Ripe for the picking: Berry quinoa, panna cotta, cake


Breakfast Coconut Quinoa with Berries

Makes 3 servings.

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups coconut milk (canned or refrigerated; see note)
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • Honey, fresh berries, almonds or pecans (for serving)

Rinse quinoa according to package directions. In a pot with a tight-fitting lid, cook quinoa, coconut milk, brown sugar and cinnamon stick over medium-high heat. Once boiling, cover and reduce heat to low. Cook for 15-20 minutes. Serve warm with honey, berries and nuts. Leftovers can also be enjoyed cold.

Note: With refrigerated coconut milk, fat may separate as it cooks. Stir it at the end, and it will be fine.

Easy Panna Cotta with Blackberry Sauce

Makes 6 servings.

Panna cotta:

  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 (.25-ounce) packet unflavored gelatin
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract


  • 2 cups fresh blackberries (divided use)
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/3 cup sugar

For panna cotta: Pour milk in a saucepan, and sprinkle gelatin on top. Allow it to rest for 5 minutes, or until gelatin gets wrinkled on top. Add in sugar and heavy cream, and turn heat to medium-low. Bring it to just a simmer, and stir until sugar is dissolved. Do not let it boil. Stir in vanilla extract. Remove from heat, and divide into ramekins. Refrigerate for 4 hours or until set.

For sauce: Place 1 1/2 cups blackberries, water and sugar in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes, until blackberries start to fall apart. Mash them with a fork, or use an immersion blender. Set aside to cool. Serve on top of panna cotta. Garnish with remaining blackberries.

Strawberry Basil Cake

Makes 8 servings.


  • 1 pound strawberries, hulled and sliced (more for garnish, if desired)
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar (divided use)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 1/2 cups cake flour, sifted
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 6-8 ounces strawberry yogurt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup milk or heavy cream
  • 3 large eggs


  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1 (8-ounce) tub whipped strawberry cream cheese
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Basil cream:

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 6-8 large basil leaves
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • For cake: Add strawberries, 1/2 cup sugar and water to small saucepan. Cook over medium heat until berries break down and start to thicken, stirring to make sure they don’t burn. Set aside to cool. Puree berries using a blender or food processor.

Heat oven to 350. Grease two 9-inch cake pans; set aside.

In a large bowl, sift together flour, 1 cup sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add in yogurt, vanilla extract, canola oil, milk/cream, eggs and strawberry puree; beat with an electric mixer until well-combined. Evenly pour into prepared cake pans. Bake for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting.

For frosting: Beat butter with an electric mixer until fluffy. Beat in strawberry cream cheese, and gradually beat in powdered sugar.

For basil cream: Add all ingredients to a blender or food processor, and blend for 20-30 seconds, or until combined and thick.

To assemble: Place bottom cake layer on a plate; spread basil cream on top. Top with second cake layer; frost top and sides with frosting. If desired, garnish with additional strawberries.

Note: The basil cream is delicious on its own! Keep this recipe to serve as a fruit dip for strawberries and peaches.

Web Exclusive Recipe: Easy Citrus Blueberry Cake

Makes 8 servings.


  • 2 pints (about 4 cups) fresh blueberries
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • Zest from 1 orange
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup oil


  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 (8-ounce) container whipped cream cheese, softened
  • Zest from 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • For cake: Heat oven to 350. Grease two 9-inch cake pans, and set aside.

Add blueberries, water and sugar to a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat for 7 minutes, or until blueberries start to burst. Mash berries with a fork, and set aside to cool.

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat together cake mix, orange zest, orange juice, eggs, oil and half of the cooled blueberry mixture. (Save other half for top. When thoroughly combined, pour evenly into prepared cake pans. Bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting.

For frosting: In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter, then beat in whipped cream cheese. Once combined and fluffy, add lemon zest and lemon juice. Gradually add powdered sugar, and beat until smooth.

To assemble: Frost bottom cake layer; stack with second layer and frost. Pour remaining blueberry mixture on top of cake, or serve it on the side as a sauce.