Strawberries are supreme this spring, so enjoy a few recipes inspired by the sweet red berry.

I received an anonymous message on my cell phone this week that suggested that I really should feature the recipe for Strawberry Pretzel Salad in "Welcome To My Kitchen." I had assumed by now that EVERYONE had their own recipe but just in case you don't, the recipe is below. This is something that I dare not make because I would eat the entire recipe. However, I have discovered that Pretzel Salad is frequently featured on the menu at Kirby and Holloways restaurant and I always order it.

Incidentally I did do some research that suggests that you can substitute 2 1/2 to 3 cups chilled fresh strawberries (capped and sliced) for the package of frozen strawberries that some recipes call for. Also you should have no problem substituting 2 cups of stiffly whipped heavy cream for the Cool Whip.

The recipe that I'm including today was featured in a wonderful (and still available!) Dorchester, Md. cookbook titled "Cooks to the Rescue: Reflections of Life and Times in the Neck District and the Food That Feeds Our Souls."

My friend Debbie Weber contributed this recipe with the following note : "I got so tired of my crust being so hard you couldn't get it out or it would be soggy, so I tried doing it upside down. Use the same old recipe from the 1986 NDVFC cookbook, just do it backwards with a new twist on the crust!"

This week I also received a recipe for Strawberry White Chocolate Mini Muffins from my friend Lynn Engelman who loves to test new recipes and then share them with her co-workers at the Pentagon. Don't you wish that happened at your place of work? YES – this does call for 1/2 tablespoon baking powder! What would I ever do without my friends!

Lastly I was again doing a search through prior column recipes and came across the one for Strawberry Coffee Cake that appeared in this column in June 2010. I know that wasn't terribly long ago but, in case you haven't tried this recipe, I think you'll want to and if you (like I did) had forgotten about it, now is the time to make this.

To contact Judi Leaming, email


2 cups hot water

2 small (OR 1 large) package strawberry Jello

1 large package of frozen strawberries

1 (8-ounce) brick cream cheese, softened

1 cup granulated sugar

1 large container Cool Whip

2 cups pretzels, crushed

3 tablespoons granulated sugar

3/4 cups butter

Mix hot water and Jello together and then add frozen strawberries. Pour into bottom of a 9-x13-inch pan and let set. Mix cream cheese, sugar and Cool Whip and spread over strawberry mix. Mix pretzels, remaining 3 tablespoons of sugar and butter in a frying pan and cook until toasty and crisp. Be careful not to burn. Sprinkle on top. Chill before serving.


(Attributed to PBS Food contributor and Food blogger Meredith Steele)

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs

3/4 cup milk

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted

1 cup strawberries, diced small

1/2 cup white chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 500 degrees. (Starting the oven at a high temperature and then lowering it gives the muffins a nice round top.) Line 24-plus mini-muffin tins with liners and lightly spray the liners with cooking oil spray. (Lynn and I think that just spraying the tins well with the spray should work just as well.) Combine dry ingredients – flour, baking powder and salt. In a large bowl combine milk, sugar, melted butter and eggs. Add ingredients to the wet and stir until just combined. Gently fold in strawberries and white chocolate chips. Fill the muffin liners with the batter. Place the muffin tin in the oven and IMMEDIATELY turn down the oven temperature to 400 degrees. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes until a toothpick inserted into a muffin comes out clean. Carefully remove the muffins from the tin and allow to cool before serving. Makes 24-plus mini muffins.


(adapted from

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 egg

1/2 cup milk or sour cream

2 tablespoons butter, melted

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups capped and sliced fresh strawberries


1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup cold butter

1/4 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease an 8-inch square baking pan and set aside. In a large bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt; set aside. In another bowl beat the egg, milk, butter and extract to mix. Stir into the dry ingredients just until moistened. Pour into prepared baking pan and top evenly with the strawberries. TOPPING: Combine flour and sugar in a bowl; cut in butter until crumbly. Stir in pecans. Sprinkle evenly over strawberries. Bake in preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cut into squares. Can be served warm.