Strawberries and Cream Cupcakes




I have never met a cupcake that I didn’t like! Strawberry cakes were my favorite flavor as a kid. However, now I’m not sure I could pick between strawberry and chocolate. Lemon could probably be thrown into that mix too. I love them all! Cupcakes are the perfect dessert for a crowd. I love to serve them without the worry of cutting and serving. They are always eaten too, seldom do I have extra cupcakes left. I like it like that because I do not like to take home food from dinners and get-togethers.

I know, it’s probably crazy. After all, I eat the food at the gatherings. I have this mental thing about taking it back home and eating it, though. I feel like the food that has been setting out at the gathering just isn’t very clean after multiple people have walked past it, looked over it, many may have even touched it. I generally just toss it in the trash if I have extra.

Enough about my pet peeves, though, let’s talk about these wonderful strawberries and cream cupcakes.  They start with a cake mix and couldn’t be easier! The addition of pureed strawberries makes these cupcakes extra special. Topped with the creamy, luscious cream cheese frosting, your friends and family will go wild over these.


Strawberries and Cream Cupcakes
  • 1 box white cake mix or French Vanilla cake mix
  • 1 (3.4-oz.) pkg. instant vanilla pudding
  • ½ c. water
  • ½ c. sour cream, room temperature
  • ½ c. vegetable oil
  • 3 lg. eggs, room temperature
  • ½ tsp. strawberry extract
  • 1 (15.5-oz.) container sliced strawberries in sugar, drained well, reserve juice and puree the berries in a blender
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line cupcake pans with paper liners and set aside.
  2. Combine cake mix, pudding mix, water, sour cream, oil, and eggs in the bowl of mixer. Beat on medium speed until smooth. Add extract and pureed berries and mix just until blended.
  3. Scoop batter into prepared pan, filling about ¾ full.
  4. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until cupcakes spring back with lightly pressed with finger. Remove from oven, cool 5 minutes in pan. Remove from pan and place on wire rack to cool completely. Frost with completely cooled.

Cream Cheese Frosting for Strawberry Cupcakes
  • 1 (8-oz.) pkg. cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp. strawberry extract
  • 3 to 4 c. powdered sugar, sifted
  • some reserved strawberry juice, optional
  1. Beat cream cheese and butter with an electric mixer for 2 minutes, until fluffy and completely blended.
  2. Add vanilla and strawberry extracts. Slowly add powdered sugar and beat until light and fluffy. If frosting is too thick you can add reserved strawberry juice, adding 1 tbsp. at a time, to reach spreading consistency.
  3. Spread or pipe onto cupcakes.

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Patriotic Frozen Delight

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If you are like me, you want to do the Fourth of July cookout. However, there’s nothing less appealing that being stuck in the hot kitchen! Especially if this fourth is as hot as a few days these past couple of weeks.

I plan to make it easy on myself this year. I will prepare the sides salads at night when it’s cooler. Then we will throw some corn on the grill with the burgers and for dessert, I plan to make this refreshing berry treat. There’s no baking, and you can mix it up in a matter of minutes. It’s cool, refreshing and delicious! The strawberries and blueberries will look perfectly patriotic but for occasions in the future, try other fresh fruits instead.


Patriotic Frozen Delight
  • 1 (14-oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
  • ⅓ c. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tsp. grated lemon peel
  • 2 c. vanilla yogurt
  • 2 c. miniature marshmallows
  • ½ c. chopped pecans
  • 1 c. sliced fresh strawberries
  • 1 c. fresh blueberries
  1. In a bowl, whisk together sweetened condensed milk, lemon juice, lemon peel, and yogurt. Stir in marshmallows and pecans.
  2. Spread half of the mixture in an ungreased 8 x 8-inch square dish. Sprinkle with half of the strawberries and blueberries. Cover with the remaining yogurt mixture; top with remaining berries.
  3. Cover and freeze. Remove from freezer 15 to 20 minutes before serving.


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A FEW of my FAVORITE Summer Recipes!


I have mentioned many times in the past that I have seasonal recipes.  I love chicken and dumplings, apple pie, and soup, but I usually prepare those dishes in the fall and winter.  Salads are a favorite of mine, along with lemonade and ice cream.  Those dishes are generally reserved for the summertime.  I thought I would share some of my favorite recipes, already on NJSD, that I prepare throughout the summer months.  To see the recipes, click on the recipe names below.  Enjoy!


Strawberry & Blueberry Salad with Almonds

On of my all-time favorites, this salad is amazing!


Snapper Hemingway

If you are a fish lover you must try this dish!


Mango Salsa

This salsa compliments just about any grilled poultry, meat, or fish wonderfully!


Apricot-Balsamic Glazed Chicken

Delicious every time!


Strawberry Lemonade

A refreshing treat for hot summer days!


Smoky Gouda Grits and Shimp

My new favorite summer dish!


Fruit with Wine and Mint

Customize this with fruit of your choice!


Garlic Grilled Tomatoes

I pick up Roma tomatoes every time I’m in the store, during the summer, to be prepared to make these!


Chili Rubbed Pork Tenderloin with Apricot Ginger Glaze



Peach Ice Cream

Summer would not be complete without homemade ice cream!



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Balsamic Strawberries

Balsamic Strawberries


It’s that wonderful time of year again.  Local strawberries are in season.  While making a mad dash to the store earlier this week, I passed by the strawberries on my way to the back of the store.  That sweet smell hit me as I was walking pass.  That smell that you only get this time of year, when you find locally grown strawberries at the market.  I stopped in my tracks, noticed the strawberries were grown in South Carolina…that’s local enough..and picked up 2 quarts!

They are so heavenly!  Even as a child I loved strawberry season.  Pa, my grandfather, always had them in his garden.  I can see it, as plain as if it were yesterday.  His garden was behind the house.  He would pick me a handful of strawberries and I would be standing on the edge of the garden (probably because he didn’t want me stepping on the plants), eating them as fast as he could pick them.   Simple memories that just happened, no play dates and no planning.  Sometimes we forget, as parents, that things don’t have to be elaborate to make childhood special for our kids.

We have snacked on almost a whole quart plain.  I dressed up the other quart with a little sugar and balsamic vinegar. It may sound strange, but it’s really quite tasty!  We topped vanilla ice cream with this wonderful mixture and then I had leftover balsamic strawberries on yogurt with a little granola the next morning.  Mmm…so good!  I think I’ll be making another “mad dash” to the store for more strawberries soon!

Balsamic Strawberries
  • 1 (16-oz.) container fresh strawberries, quartered
  • ¼ c. sugar
  • 4 tsp. balsamic vinegar
  • Vanilla ice cream
  1. Combine the strawberries, sugar, and balsamic vinegar in a medium bowl. Let stand for 1 to 2 hours at room temperature, stirring occasionally.
  2. To serve, spoon strawberry mixture over vanilla ice cream. Serve immediately.


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Strawberry Yum Yum

Strawberry Yum


Are you looking for the perfect Easter dessert!  Here it is!  An old recipe, tried and true, and delicious every time.  It’s simple to make, you’ll be amazed at just how quickly it comes together.  This is a dessert that pleases both adults and children.

I can remember a time when I thought Cool Whip and Dream Whip were the same thing.  They could be, but in my opinion they taste differently.  Be sure to use the Dream Whip as the recipe suggest, it can be found on the baking aisle of the grocery store.  Also, you can find strawberry glaze in the produce section of the grocery store but I think this homemade version has a better taste and is very simple to make.


Strawberry Yum Yum
  • ¾ c. unsalted butter
  • 2 c. graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 8-oz. pkg. cream cheese
  • 2 envelopes Dream Whip
  • 1 qt. fresh strawberries, washed, and sliced
  • 3 tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 3 tbsp. strawberry Jello
  • 1 c. warm water
  1. Combine cornstarch, Jello, sugar, and water in a saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring with a whisk, until mixture thickens. Remove from heat and cool. When the glaze has cooled, add strawberries.
  2. Melt butter and mix with graham cracker crumbs. Sprinkle half of the crumbs in the bottom of a 9 x 13-inch dish, set aside.
  3. Cream sugar and cream cheese together.
  4. In a separate bowl beat Dream Whip as directed on package.
  5. Mix cream cheese mixture with the Dream Whip until smooth.
  6. Drop spoonfuls of cream cheese mixture on the top of crumbs. Spread carefully, careful not to disturb crumbs.
  7. Top with strawberry glaze.
  8. Add the remaining cream cheese mixture and spread carefully to cover strawberries.
  9. Sprinkle on the remaining graham cracker crumb mixture.
If preferred, you can purchase strawberry glaze in the produce section of the grocery store to mix with your berries before adding to the dish.



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