Ask B: End of Year Teacher Gift Ideas

 

Dear B,

This is the last week of school for my three kids, and given the fact we haven’t been in the classroom for a couple months, are elaborarte end of the year teacher gifts still necessary? If so, any recommendations?

Sincerely,

H


 

Dear H,

This is a great question! Teachers – especially now in these uncertain times – go above and beyond for our children, and strive endlessly to help shape their education and lives. Yes, I think a gift for each of your children’s teachers would be lovely and deeply appreciated by them! The gifts don’t have to be expensive to be meaningful, and so try and choose something you think would bring a smile to their face. Here are a few ideas:

Strawberry Shortcake Recipe

 

I’ve been cooking more than ever these past several months and enjoying testing new recipes, both savory and sweet. Our children have loved baking, and become more adventurous with their tastebuds too which has thrilled me to no end! As each week tumbles into the next, our family continues to feel so fortunate to be at home making these memories together. We have profound admiration and gratitude for all of the doctors, nurses, first responders, and people working on the front lines right now.

And so, one of our weekly tradition’s is a special Sunday night dinner. Last Sunday I whipped up a Mediterranean menu as well as strawberry shortcake for dessert. I found the most beautiful red berries at the market on Saturday, and so I instantly knew what to make for our Sunday treat. Strawberry shortcake always reminds me of summertime when the late sunny afternoons spill into warm evenings, and the berries are ripe and juicy,  just waiting to bejewel a buttery biscuit and decadent dollop of coconut whipped cream. I decided to add a little strawberry sauce as well, and it really added an extra layer of flavor and elevated the dish. This delectable recipe – which is also grain free, dairy free and gluten free – is adapted from my favorite dessert cook book by Sweet Laurel Bakery, and I hope you will give it a try! PS-this made enough for us to have shortcake for two nights, which is always a bonus 🙂

 

Strawberry Shortcake (8 Strawberry Shortcakes)

Biscuits 

2 tablespoons solid coconut oil

2 tablespoons solid coconut butter

21⁄2 cups almond flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1⁄2 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt

2 tablespoons maple syrup

3⁄4 cup coconut yogurt (I like Culina)

 

Preheat the oven to 350°F, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Add the coconut butter and coconut oil to a small bowl, and place it in the freezer to chill for 5 minutes. In a separate medium sized bowl, combine the almond flour, baking powder and salt. Add the cold coconut butter and coconut oil and mix all of the ingredients until well incorporated and the oil and butter are the size of peas. Gently fold in the maple syrup and coconut yogurt until the dough comes together. Form the dough into a ball, and then press it down until its about 1 inch thick. Fold the dough on top of itself several times to help create a fluffy texture.

Next, press the dough so it’s 1 inch thick, and using a biscuit cutter (or cookie cutter), cut out X-inch round biscuits. Place them on the baking ship, and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown. Set the the biscuits aside to cool while you prepare the strawberries, filling and whipped cream.

 

Strawberry Filling

1 cup quartered fresh strawberries (plus an additional pint of fresh berries to be used on top of the whipped cream)

Juice of 1 lemon

1⁄4 cup honey

 

Pour 1 cup of the quartered strawberries, the juice of half a lemon, and honey into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. If you’d like the sauce thinner/less sweet, add more lemon juice until you reach the desired consistency and taste.

 

Assembling the Shortcakes 

Place each biscuit on a plate and add a generous dollop of coconut whipped cream (I love this one, but you could also make your own), a heaping spoonful of fresh sliced strawberries, and a spoonful of strawberry sauce. I sometimes like to garnish with a sprig of mint too!