Get Stuffed 

Scent of summer

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• strawberry margarita — throw tequila, triple sec, ice, a splash of lime and a pinch of salt with a few handfuls of freshly hulled berries into the blender – you may want to add a bit of sugar to taste;

• add whole berries to sangria or sparkling white wine;

• macerate (wash and hull and let the berries sit in the alcohol for a few hours) in liqueur or champagne and serve with a dollop of crème fraiche or whipping cream;

• fold mashed strawberries into whipped cream to serve with pound cake or banana cake;

• au naturel with a dip of plain yogurt or mascarpone cream (Italian cream cheese) mixed with honey.

More strawberry facts can be found at www.jamm.com/strawberry/facts.html

Recipes:

Strawberry Shortcake

There are countless recipes for this classic dessert. This one was adapted by Lindsey Shere, author of "Chez Panisse Desserts" and pastry chef at Chez Panisse in Berkeley. This recipe, using cream biscuits instead of cake layers, was featured in the June 1994 issue of Food & Wine magazine.

Serves 4.

1 pint strawberries — rinsed, hulled and thinly sliced lengthwise

2 tablespoons plus 3 teaspoons granulated sugar

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder

3/8 teaspoon salt (3 good pinches)

2 cups heavy cream (whipping cream), chilled

1/8 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Icing sugar for dusting

1. In a medium bowl, toss the strawberries with 2 tablespoons of the granulated sugar. Refrigerate for 1 hour.

2. Preheat the oven to 400 F. Lightly grease a large baking sheet. In a medium bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, salt and 2 teaspoons of the granulated sugar. Stir in 1 cup less 1 tablespoon of the heavy cream until just combined. Knead briefly.

3. Turn the dough out on a lightly floured surface and roll out to a scant 1/2-inch thickness. Using a biscuit cutter or a glass, cut out eight 2 1/2-inch rounds. Place the rounds on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until golden.

4. In a large bowl, using a hand-held electric mixer, whip the remaining 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon heavy cream and 1 teaspoon sugar with the vanilla extract until it holds a soft shape.

5. To serve, split the shortcakes horizontally and place 2 bottoms on each of 4 dessert plates. Spoon the berries and their juices on the biscuits. Dollop with whipped cream. Cover with the shortcake tops, set slightly askew. Lightly dust icing sugar over the biscuit tops and serve.

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