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Sunday, January 12, 2014

Berries With Vanilla Glaze--A Pick-Me-Up for Winter Doldrums

Winter, be gone!

If only it were that easy.

Even though it has been pouring rain, the sixty-degree temps of the last couple of days brought a bit of spring fever with them.

Clyde has spring fever, too!

  I settled for a bowl of berries instead, doctored up with a vanilla glaze.  I know, I know...berries are not in season.  Which is exactly why I want them.  Because if they were in season, I wouldn't need them to cure my spring fever, because it would no longer be winter and I wouldn't have spring fever.  Are you following my logic?

This recipe is so simple, and so good!  At first bite, my girls declared, "This is a keeper!" "Make this again!" And I will, anytime I want to chase the winter doldrums away.

Today's Playlist

  • "Sixteen Saltines"...Jack White
  • "Someday"...The Strokes
  • "Sick Boys"...Social Distortion
  • "I Fought the Law"...The Clash
  • "Sheena is a Punk Rocker"...The Ramones
  • "She"...Green Day

Berries with Vanilla Glaze (4 servings)

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste (or the seeds scraped out of 1/2 vanilla bean)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 6 cups assorted fresh berries ( (I used a combo of strawberries, blackberries and blueberries)
vinegar, for washing berries

Gather your ingredients.

You'll also need a bowl large enough to wash your berries in.  A two-quart bowl is the perfect size.

If you're using strawberries, remove the leaves/hulls from the strawberries.  Place them in the bowl, slicing any large berries in half.

Add the remaining berries.  I added blackberries...

...and blueberries.

Use whatever type of berries you like best!  This is my favorite combo.

To wash the berries, I add about 1/3 cup of white vinegar to the bowl...

...and fill it with water.  Swish the berries around for a few seconds, then let them soak for about 10 to 15 minutes so that the vinegar can kill any bacteria as well as remove any pesticide residue.

Prepare the vanilla glaze while the berries are soaking.

 The glaze is just a simple syrup with a bit of vanilla paste.  Put 1/4 cup of sugar into a small saucepan.

Add 1/4 cup of water.  Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring only until the sugar dissolves.  Don't allow it to boil!  Turn the heat off when the sugar is dissolved.

Add the vanilla paste and stir. (If you don't have vanilla paste, substitute the seeds scraped out of 1/2 a vanilla bean.  Or you can substitute 1 1/2 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract.)

I like vanilla paste because it is a bit more mellow than extract, without the mess of a vanilla bean pod.  If you look closely you can see all the tiny little flecks and seeds in the syrup.

Let the syrup cool down before you add it to the berries.

While you're waiting for the syrup to cool, drain the vinegar/water from your berries.  Give the berries a quick rinse to remove any lingering vinegar.

Add the vanilla syrup to the berries.  Stir to combine.  



  1. Fran, This looks delicious! Do you think I could use half sugar & half Splenda without destroying it? LOL! Hope my grocery store has berries on sale this week.

    On another note, guess you are happy about your Patriots! :)

    1. Hi Pam! I've never tried, but I think you could use Splenda (the baking type that measures like sugar). If you do make this with Splenda, let me know how it turns out! And you're right, GO PATS!!!!!


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