Sunday, May 31, 2015

Berries with Balsamic Vinegar and Pepper (A Fast Dessert) #WholeFoods #Giveaway

My favorite Spring dessert is berries. Strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries; they all  make me thing Spring. As their prices fall and they are sourced from places closer to me, they seem to become tastier. Whole Foods is one of my favorite places to find fresh berries. When looking for strawberries I try to find those that are all red, not those that have white tops. You know the ones, I'm talking about, don't you? The kind that looked like they use suncreen, but missed  one spot?

Blueberries are my faves. I love the plump berries, covered in a white haze. They develop that haze to protect them form the sun. To me, that means they must be ripe, because that is what good berries look like. You want them to shake around in their package which means they aren't moldy and clumped together, but you don't want them shriveled, which means they are old and dry.

I never wash my berries until I am ready to serve them. I always store them in the refrigerator and I always eat them as soon as possible. That's never very hard because it always seems I am grabbing a handful to put in my mouth. Zoe was the notorious berry stealer. That girl packs them away and I can never have enough berries to please her.

Today is Sunday, the last day of May. I don't know about you but Sundays are busy for me. In Denver we've been waiting for our weather to improve; translate that to no rain- and yesterday and today are those days! I've been working on yard projects and trying to catch us up for the season. Yesterday I finally was able to clean off the deck and put out some new cushions. I must tell you that we really scored on a new power washer. We found it for less than half price at Tuesday Morning! We also found two deck chairs that work perfectly for sitting in the yard-if I ever get to sit!

Why am I telling you this? Well, all that busy work keeps me from the kitchen, though that doesn't have to stop me from eating dessert. In these cases, this simple berry dessert is perfect served over ice cream or yogurt, or even with a spoonful of creme fraiche. The use of vinegar and pepper may sound odd, but combined with the sweetness of the berries makes a very refreshing, healthy dessert. Plus it is fast, which makes it perfect on a busy day.

And for a few more berry recipes, check out my links and the Whole Foods website.

Whole Foods is giving away 1 $25 gift card to help fill your basket. This post is sponsored by Whole Foods but all opinions expressed are mine. Open only to US residents. No compensation has been given but products have been provided. Giveaway closes on June 30th, 2015Subscribe if you don't want to miss the announcement of the winner in July to see if you won! Winner will be chosen by a Random Number Generator! 

How to Enter:

· Enter once by leaving me a comment and telling me your favorite ways to use berries!
· Enter twice by subscribing to This is How I Cook
· Enter again by following me on Pinterest, Facebook or Twitter or on Instagram.

Berries with Balsamic Vinegar and Black Pepper
Serves 2
Time to Make: 5 Minutes

1 pint raspberries
4 strawberries
Handful of blueberries
1 T good balsamic vinegar
3 T brown sugar
2-3 grinds of fresh black pepper
Ice cream, creme fraiche, yogurt

I usually start these before I prepare dinner so that the berries have a chance to macerate. Wash your berries of choice and combine with vinegar and sugar. Before serving add a few fresh grinds of pepper. (You can adjust this to your liking, but this is a good, basic recipe and even tastes great with shortcake!)

Other Berry Desserts:
Raspberry Crumble Tart
Blueberry Chicken Pesto Salad
Black Pepper Strawberry Jam
5 Minute Raspberry Rose Jam
Strawberry Spiral Biscuit Pie
Triple Berry Hand Pies
Blackberry, Blueberry, Basil and Browned Butter Cobbler
White Chocolate, Blueberry Brownies

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  1. I have been obsessed with berries lately. This is a fantastic dessert, Abbe. And beautiful bright clicks.

  2. Hands down, homemade strawberry gelato. I was thinking of making some today.

  3. I follow you on as deniseleb.

  4. Hi Abbe, I think that this is going to be my new favorite way to eat berries. I bet this is delicious on there own or with ice cream.

  5. Favorite berries - I think strawberries are on the top of my list lately :) Love this dessert!

  6. I am heading over the Pinterest to follow you Abbe!

  7. I love the combo of strawberries and balsamic vinegar and pepper. Usually use it in a salad, though (and I roast the strawberries). Great idea to use this combo in a dessert -- I'm so going to do this! Thanks.

  8. I love short cake with berries and lots of whipped cream. One of the best parts of summer. Without a doubt.

  9. I have had roasted strawberries before but I so need to try this balsamic vinegar and pepper it sounds like a party going on in your mouth of flavors. Don't you just love how sweet the strawberries are now. Pinning and sharing, of course!

  10. I adore berries with balsamic---the perfect ice cream topper! My favorite use of berries is over a slice of cake with a dollop of sweetened cream.

  11. And, of course, I follow you :)

  12. Whole Foods must love you :) Right now, my favorite way to use berries is in my morning smoothie, but as summer rolls along my favorite way to use them is in a sabayon for dessert.

  13. I just followed you on Pinterest ;) I already follow you on Facebook and subcribe to TIHIC.

  14. The colours are making me so hungry, dear! Good luck to those participating in the giveaway! xoxo

  15. I think your dessert looks beautiful. This will be on my table very soon. I have some expensive balsamic vinegar that I hoard and won't even use it in vinaigrettes. I believe I've found the perfect use for it. Thanks for sharing.