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3 Red Fruits to Savor this Summer

By Charlotte on May 8, 2013 6:18 AM

By Chef Billy Mayer, Bee's Knees Baking Co.

Summer is just around the corner and with it comes easier access to fresh fruits. With cherries and rhubarb reaching their prime this month, and strawberries coming into season in June, think red. It's a sure way to add some excitement to everyday recipes.

Fresh cherries, rhubarb and strawberries can perk up ordinary dishes.


A Strawberry Salad Sensation

Fruits can give an ordinary salad a delicious surprise. Try topping fresh spinach with chopped pecans, goat cheese and diced strawberries. Drizzle a simple balsamic on top and enjoy the interesting flavors and textures this salad has to offer.

rhubarb 338.jpg

Here's a great tip. If you're preparing a salad to eat later, keep the greens separated from the fruit until serving time.

By waiting to combine them, you'll ensure the greens stay crisp and the fruits fresh.


The Allure of Rhubarb

Some people are hesitant to give rhubarb a try. What a waste!

This celery-like vegetable, which is also considered a fruit, has a flavor profile that pairs well with cakes, pies and other desserts.

To make sure it's fresh, look for rhubarb with long, firm stalks. Also, be sure to discard the leafy green portion (in large quantities it can actually be toxic) and use only the tall stalks.

Rhubarb resembles red celery. Long, firm stalks indicate it's fresh.



Cherry Picking Your Recipes

Most of us have some tried-and-true cherry recipes. Rather than abandoning these classics for something new, why not enhance the flavor? That's easy when you:

Mixing cherry varieties can add interest to the simplest pie.

These steps can provide another layer and dimension to your dishes that will have everyone wanting more.

Now that you're relishing red, here's one of my favorite ways to incorporate strawberries, rhubarb and cherries into one delightful dessert.


Strawberry Rhubarb Cherry Upside-Down Cake

Makes a 13"x9" cake

BK_Upside Down 2 600.jpgFruit Topping:
Cake Mix:

Preparing the Fruit Topping:

Preheat the oven to 350° F.

Place unsalted butter in a 13"x9"-inch pan and place in oven until just melted. Sprinkle light brown sugar over the melted butter.

Chop rhubarb and combine with cherries and strawberries. Sprinkle evenly over brown sugar.

* Canned or frozen fruit can be substituted for fresh. However, if using frozen fruits, be sure to thaw them to room temperature before combining.

Preparing the Cake:

Sift flour and baking powder, add salt and whisk together.

Cream butter, sugar and vanilla in an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until light. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing and scraping bowl between additions, continue until the mixture resembles buttercream.

Add the flour mixture in 3 stages, alternating with buttermilk. Scrape the bowl after each addition, and mix until just combined. Layer the cake mixture on top of the fruits.

Bake at 350 until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean (about 25 minutes.)

Inverting the Cake:

While the cake is still hot from the oven, place a large, metal cookie sheet or platter over the cake pan. Then flip the entire cake onto the metal pan or platter. The butter, brown sugar and fruit that were originally on the bottom of the baking pan then become the topping.

For an even prettier presentation, use a glass or cup to cut individual, round portions.


billy1 250.jpgAbout the Author

Chef Billy Mayer and his partners at Bees Knees Baking Co. are known for their unique cake-cups, a delicious dessert that combines the texture and decadence of a cake with the portability of a cupcake. Flavors ranging from Lemon Raspberry to Peanut Butter and Jelly are available at the popular bakery, 113 W. 10th St., New York, NY.







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Diabetes-Friendly Chicken Burrito Bowl

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By Laura Cipullo and Lisa Mikus, authors of Everyday Diabetes Meals
Image credit: Colin Erricson

Prepare your own Mexican quick fix with this Chipotle-inspired bowl. Carbs are moderated by filling the bowl with beans, extra veggies and chicken. No need for rice, since the beans count as carbs.


If you love tomatoes, increase the quantity to 1/2 cup, but note that the carbohydrates will also increase.

If preparing this recipe for one person, cut all of the ingredients in half. Or simply prepare the full recipe up to the end of step 2 and store leftover chicken and vegetable-bean mixture in separate airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Reheat in the microwave on High for 1 to 2 minutes, or until heated through, and continue with step 3.

Health Bite: The iron, calcium, magnesium, manganese, copper and zinc in black beans help to keep bones strong and healthy.

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