Today is Independence Day here in the U.S., so let’s do one of my favorite desserts and recipes from this book, 14-8: Baked Alaska. Obviously Simply Delicious didn’t invent this dish–it’s an American dessert that’s existed since Civil War times and is so well known you can even make it as a Sim.
I have a history with this particular version of the dish, however. I first made it as my “showstopper” dessert for a big family dinner I cooked as a teenager (along with a similarly-aged family friend) many years ago.
I also taught about 200 K-8 kids (ages 5-13ish) how to make this recipe and several others as part of an after-school cooking class program that was one of my first teaching-related jobs. I’ve been waiting YEARS to write this one, so now it’s your turn with it.
Summer 2020 has been quite the disappointment so far, and still being stuck at home is tough. If you’re looking for something to lift your spirits, 2-21: Shrimp Salad probably isn’t going to do it. However, if you close your eyes while you’re eating it, maybe you can pretend you’re on the beach instead of your couch.
This salad features not one but TWO cream-based dressings, so you know it’s fancy. I recently covered 2-5: Caribbean Seafood Salad which also features a shrimp-based salad. However, that one includes apples, bananas, and asparagus, so this one might be a safer choice.
In these trying times (are you tired of hearing that yet?), it’s important to make the food you have go as far as you can, and to reduce the amount of food being wasted. Even before “the Rona“, I’ve been spending many a Saturday (or Sunday) meal-prepping for the upcoming week, which has brought down our grocery bills (and our waistlines, but apparently not as quickly).
7-31: Lime Cayenne Pork Chops was part of a “pork chop” meal-prep week, prepared in tandem with 7-53: Cider-Braised Pork Chops and served with some mixed roasted potatoes courtesy of the CSA box. It’s “meat and potatoes”, but maybe with a healthier twist?
My mom apparently made this back in November 1993, and it was “good” and “easy”. I’m not sure who ranked it as such (since she doesn’t eat pork), but we’ll go with that recommendation.
I had extra strawberries left over from 14-22: Strawberry-Peach Cobbler, so I tried to reuse them into 15-45: Strawberries with Cottage Cheese. Simply Delicious is big on using cottage cheese in an effort to be “low-fat” (all the rage in the 1980s when this book was published) and healthy, but they’re not usually very successful.
Don’t be deceived by their pretty picture here. It’s not ice cream. It’s cottage cheese. Just keep that in mind going in.
Finally, we’ve reached the first recipe (for this project) made in my new (to you) kitchen: 14-22: Strawberry-Peach Cobbler. It was summer and 4th of July, so something with fruit that goes well with ice cream was bound to be a hit.
Speaking of 4th of July, I made 2-37: Chicken-Salami-Rice Salad for a party that I attended with a guy that I had just started dating. 10 years later, this is the first recipe I cooked in my very first house, that I bought with that same guy (who I ended up marrying not long after I made that first recipe).
Obviously, the name of this recipe is 15-17: Summery Cantaloupe, and if you’ve seen any of the pictures of the recipe (like above, as a header image), you’ve put it together that the melon pictured is in fact, not a cantaloupe.
The CSA box that week provided a very nice watermelon, and so that’s what I went with for part of my Mother’s Day 2019 brunch (MD2019). Yes, I’m also behind on writing these up.
I’ve made Simply Delicious fruit salads for Mother’s Day before–if you’re looking for similar ideas, check out 15-19: Layered Fruit Salad and 15-30: Champagne Sundaes from 2017‘s brunch. If you’re up for the challenge of carving a cantaloupe (or in my case, watermelon), continue on.
Still working my way through the backlog–we’re up to Easter with 15-26: Strawberry Pastries. Strawberries start to creep up everywhere in the springtime, and this dessert dish is a pretty classic use of them. 🍓
This recipe suggests using vanilla custard, but I’ve seen other similar recipes use fillings like Bavarian cream or crème fraîche. This is essentially a fancier version of strawberry shortcake (which often uses whipped cream), so I suppose it’s all dependent on how heavy or light you’d like to go with it. 🍰
The photo of this delectable dish is enhanced by the superior dishware chosen to accentuate the fluffiness of the iced desert within. I made 15-36: Pear-Orange Sorbet before a few years ago when we first started this project, but I forgot to take photos. I finally got back to it in January 2019.
The recipe card describes this dish about as well as I could. The ripe pears did have an intense fruity flavor that was intriguing. Can’t beat that.
A nice, cool parfait is the perfect dish for summertime. Raspberry and lemon are two of my favorite flavors and they blend together nicely to create this creamy dessert. My version of 15-29: Raspberry-Lemon Parfait will look much different from what you see here, but it is equally as delicious even though it is lactose-free.
The set designer and photographer did a particularly good job of staging the photo for this recipe card. The fresh raspberries and lemon rind really add a nice pop of color. The choice of tablecloth, wine, grapes, and flowers each provide a nice contrast to the yellow and white creamy colors of the dish and the parfait itself.
Editor’s note: This entry was written last summer, but didn’t get posted until now.
Just to show you how far behind I’m running with entries these days: I’m finally cracking into what I made for Mothers’ Day this year (MD2018) with 16-10: Strawberry Shortcake. You know…back in May. We were growing a ton of strawberries in the yard this year, and a few of them even made it into this dish.
Last year I attempted a Simply Delicious-inspired Mothers’ Day brunch (MD 2017), complete with fancy pastries and attempts at complicated sauces. This year, I kept it somewhat more simple in the interest of time spent and calories consumed. 🍓