Strawberries may be my favorite berries, though blueberries and raspberries are also delicious. Strawberries can be found abundantly in both the wild and in Supermarkets during June: the height of the strawberry season. Take advantage of this wonderful bounty of strawberries by trying out these three strawberry-based recipes. I thought of a drink, main dish, and dessert to create a well-rounded strawberry filled meal. 

Drink: Strawberry Lemonade

All you need for this refreshing drink is a cup of fresh strawberries, a cup of lemon juice, four cups of water, and a tablespoon of sweetener. Blend the strawberries and strain before combining with the rest of the ingredients for a smoother texture. Place in the fridge for a few hours before serving chilled. Top with additional strawberries and lemon wedges.

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Meal: Strawberry Summer Salad

Wash up a few handfuls of lettuce of your choice. Slice about a half a cup strawberries to add to the salad. Add about 1/4 cup salted, roasted pecans. If you want some protein try honey-glazed chicken or honey-roasted chickpeas. For those who eat dairy, feta cheese or another goat cheese is really good in this salad. If you want some grains, try adding cooked quinoa, farro, or barley. For dressings, try something lemon based like a lemon greek-goddess dressing or go for the classic balsamic vinaigrette. 

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Dessert: Blot Kake (Norwegian Cream Cake with Strawberries)

My favorite birthday cake growing up, this fluffy cake layered with cream and strawberries is a little complicated but worth the effort. For the sponge, separate 6 eggs and whip whites until fluffy, adding 1 cup of sugar and beating until stiff. Beat the 6 egg yolks until frothy, then fold into 3/4 cup cake flour and 1 tsp. baking powder. Bake in two buttered 9-inch pans for 30 minutes at 350˚F. For the filling, combine 3 egg yolks, 2 tbsp butter, 2 tsp cornstarch, 1 1/2 cups half n' half, and 1/4 cup sugar in a saucepan. Cook on low heat and stir until smooth and thick. Cool and add 2 tsp vanilla extract. Cut the cooled sponges in half and layer the sponge with the custard and sliced strawberries. You'll need around a pint of strawberries for the whole cake. Layer with the next sponge and repeat adding custard and strawberries. Top the cake with whipped cream. Make the whipped cream using 1 1/2 cup heavy cream, 2 tbsp powder sugar, and 1 tsp vanilla. Whip until stiff, chill for about half an hour before use for firmer peaks, but you can use it right away. Top with more sliced strawberries. Enjoy!

Mackenzie Laverick