Monday, February 27, 2017

Spring Fever, Time to Lighten Up

Today at Lake Tahoe spring is in the air – sort of. The changes in temperature, warm and cold, are confusing to me, my dog, and taste buds. One minute I’m in the mood to bake a deep dish berry pie, the next minute I want to keep it light and fresh. And that’s just what I did. 
A few years ago, spring fever hit. I was on a get-healthy mission, from head to toe. This feat included feng shui on the deck. So, I painted the weathered front door a reddish color. Feng shui gurus will tell you that this action can bring you good luck and good fortune. I went to work and after admired the new, improved colorful door. I was so excited that I moved my potted plants, big and small, one by one, and placed them on the freshly painted deck. I was ready. Good luck was on its way. Not. 
Hours later, my back was killing me – I was on the way the place people go when they’re dying of back pain. I went to the chiropractor right away. Walking into the office, I was hunched over and in terrible pain. My back was so tight that the chiropractor couldn’t even adjust anything. Long story short: Ice, heat, and bed rest healed my aching back – and I had a colorful deck to admire. While healing I ate berries and nuts – no cooking for this one. And this is what I put together to get into eating lighter for Daylight Savings change and longer days, longer nights.
Berry-Nut Pound Cake
1 cup fresh strawberries, sliced
1 cup fresh blackberries, chopped
2 tablespoons pure, raw honey (local preferred)
1/2 cup walnuts or pecans, chopped
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 store-bought all butter loaf cake
Mint for garnish

In a large bowl, combine berries and nuts. Set aside. In dessert dishes, place chunks of pound cake (about 1/4 cup each). Sprinkle with cinnamon and drizzle with honey. Top each with berry-nut mixture. Use a dollop of whipped cream or ice cream if desired. Use mint for garnish. Serves 4.
Sometimes less is more. Sure, I could have baked a berry pie or tart. But savoring fresh berries and nuts from nature – without baking it – tastes better and is better for you. This recipe is fast and the results are yummy. While the berries, nuts, and spice go back to caveman days, the pound cake is a taste of the 21st century. Next week I may stay in this century and bake a pie but, for now, this down-to-earth treat is all you need to enjoy the spring.

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