Strawberry Shortcake

Strawberry Shortcake- Lizzy McAvoy- The Girl in the Apron



½ Cup Unsalted Butter, softened

½ Cup Granulated Sugar

2 Eggs

1 ¼ Cup Unbleached Flour

⅔ Cup Milk

2 ½ tsp Baking Powder

1 tsp Vanilla Extract


1 Lb Fresh Strawberries, washed and sliced

Homemade Whipped Topping (recipe below)

Here’s How You Do It:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar together until fluffy, about 1 minute.

Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.

Add flour, alternating with milk, beginning and ending with flour.

Add baking powder and vanilla extract. Mix well until combined.

In a greased 8x8 glass dish or 9” round cake pan (greased and floured), pour in batter.

Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and cake is a nice golden color.

When cake is completely cooled, cut into squares and top with strawberries and whipped topping. Enjoy!

Homemade Whipped Topping:

1 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream

1 Tbsp Powdered Sugar

Splash of Vanilla Extract

In a large bowl, add heavy whipping cream. Using an electric mixer with the whisk attachment, beat the whipping cream. Start on a low setting and gradually increase speed to prevent splattering liquid out of the bowl. As the heavy cream begins to thicken, add the powdered sugar and vanilla extract. Beat whipped cream to stiff peaks, about 3-5 minutes.

Potato Leek Soup

Potato Leek Soup- The Girl In The Apron


Note from The Girl In The Apron:

We have come to the tail end of winter and begging for those beginning glances of Spring. In the meantime, while we’re trying to combat the winter blues I turn to one of my favorite childhood recipes: Potato Leek Soup. This soup was a staple in our house growing up and my Mom could always whip it up in flash. You can enjoy this soup all year round, but it’s particularly delicious in the winter months when leeks are in prime season. This soup can be topped with an assortment of delicious additions and can be a great get together food. So call up your friends, make a big pot and even set up a Make Your Own Potato Soup Bar. Try chives, bacon and cheddar cheese…. Go a little crazy and do pulled pork with a side of cornbread or even some steamed broccoli. It’s an affordable dish that is universally loved. And as always with The Girl In The Apron, it’s quick, it’s easy and here’s how you do it! xo L.


5 lbs yukon gold potatoes*, peeled, rinsed + roughly chopped

4 cups whole milk**

2 sticks unsalted butter

1 stalk celery, rinsed + chopped

1 small sweet onion, chopped

3 green leek stalks, rinsed very well and cut half moon

½ tsp garlic powder

½ tsp onion powder

½ tsp ground black pepper

1-2 tsp salt

1 cup instant mashed potatoes***

Toppings: cheddar cheese, green onions


Here’s How You Do It


Place potatoes in a large non stick pot.

Barely cover potatoes with water and place on medium high heat.

Add 2 cups milk, butter, celery, onion, leeks, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper and salt. Add 1 cup milk so potatoes are barely covered. Mix all the ingredients together.

Bring soup to a rolling boiling and cover. Boil for 25- 30 minutes or until potatoes are tender. If a fork easily goes through the potatoes, even splitting pieces in half, you’re tots are ready.

Using a potato masher, mash your soup to desired consistency. Add 1 cup milk and stir to combine.

Bring soup to a gentle simmer, gradually sprinkle 1 cup instant potatoes over soup: stirring constantly to prevent lumps from forming.

Soup will thicken immediately. Add more or less instant potatoes for a thicker or thinner soup.

Serve warm, add toppings and enjoy!

Happy Cooking!

* I prefer the yukon gold potato. It makes for a creamier and less starchy soup  texture.

** I like to use Fairlife Whole Milk for this recipe. However, 2% or 1% milk tastes just as delicious with fewer calories.

*** My Mom has always used Idahoan Instant Mashed Potatoes. It’s a trusted brand in our house that we love.

**** Keep a close eye on your pot until you find the proper heat to acheive a rollling boil,  this soup will easily boil over when covered or uncovered.


Kitchen Tip: Cleaning and Cutting Leeks



M&M Cookies

MM Cookies.JPG

Note from the Girl in the Apron:

One of my dearest friends adores M&Ms; she can never get enough of them. So when her birthday rolls around, M&M Cookies must make a sweet treat appearance. This recipe is so easy to whip up. Whether you’re hosting an after-school get together for your kids or a wine night with your girlfriends, this recipe will always be a crowd favorite. You can easily make these cookies in less than 30 mins. Have fun with them and use any variety of your favorite M&M candy!

Happy Cooking!


1 cup shortening

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup granulated white sugar

2 eggs

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (unbleached if you have it)

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 cups candy-coated milk chocolate pieces (such as M&M's© ), reserve 1/2 cup for decoration


In a large bowl, whip shortening, brown sugar and white sugar on medium-high speed for 2-3 mins. Add eggs one at a time. Be sure to scrape down your bowl. Mix in extracts. Add flour and baking soda to butter mixture. Blend well. 

Gently fold in 1 cup chocolate candy. 

Drop dough by teaspoonful onto parchment lined baking sheet. Smooth the edges and lightly flatten the tops of the dough. Slightly push a few candies on top of each dough ball with remaining 1/2 cup candies. 

Bake at 350 degrees F for 10-12 minutes.

Very Vegetable Minestrone Soup

Very Vegetable Minestrone Soup

Note from The Girl in The Apron:

This is a recipe my family and I enjoy often. The ingredients (especially the veggies) in this soup are easy to find at any grocery store or local market. This soup has a large margin for improvisation. Substitute any of the vegetables with you or your families favorites veggies. If Swiss Chard isn't available or in season, Fresh Spinach is a great alternative. It’s a quick recipe to assemble and enjoy for many days. I try to purchased low sodium or no sodium Vegetable Broth if possible. This recipe could be substituted with a Chicken Broth as well. I always like to garnish my Minestrone Soup with a sprinkle of grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano Cheese. I hope you enjoy this family favorite!

Happy Cooking!


3 Tbsp Olive Oil

2 Cups Onions, diced

2 Cups Fennel Bulb, diced

1 Cup Celery, diced

1 Cup Carrot, diced

4 Garlic Cloves, smashed and skin removed

1 Cup Zucchini, sliced in half moon

1 tsp Salt

1 tsp Ground Black Pepper

1 tsp Garlic Powder

1 tsp Onion Powder

1 Can (15 oz) Cannellini Beans, drained and rinsed

1 Can (15 oz) Garbanzo Beans, drained and rinsed

3 (32 oz) Containers Vegetable Broth (Preferably Low Sodium or No Sodium)

1 Can (14.5 Oz) Diced Tomatoes in Juice

1 Tablespoon (Or 1 Cube) Vegetable Bouillon,

8 Cups Fresh Swiss Chard, de-ribbed and sliced

1/4 Cup Parmesan Cheese, grated

Sweat onion, fennel, celery, carrot, and garlic in 3 T. olive oil in a large pot over medium- high heat; sauce for about 4-5 minutes. Add zucchini and sauté for 4-5 minutes.

Season vegetables with salt, pepper, onion powder and garlic powder. Add canned tomatoes and canned beans. Stir in broth and vegetable bouillon.

Using kitchen twine, tie together 10 sprigs of fresh thyme; add thyme to pan.

Bring soup to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 1- 1 1/2 hours. Remove thyme.

Add swiss chard and parmesan cheese. Allow to simmer for 4-5 mins. Serve and garnish with Parmesan Cheese. Enjoy!


Cleaning and Cutting Swiss Chard: