We all know it’s summertime and most of you are lucky enough to be surrounded by fresh berries to just go and pick. Well, I’m not! I live in Florida. There aren’t any berries around us this time of year. There is nothing surviving in this apocalyptic heat. But at Costco…yes, at Costco, I found some super fab berries. And they were cheap. I bought blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries. I’ve been there twice in the last ten days just to get more berries. And I’ve been busy. When I was pregnant I spent way too much time watching the Food Network. My favorites were Paula Deen and Giada. Giada…what a cute Italian chick. Her smile could light up a room. Now she’s a mommy and she has a new show filmed at her home with her super cute baby with the same luminous smile. Giada made a Mixed Berry Strata the other day. I don’t normally like bread puddings. Slight confession. I am going to Hell for certain. My dad makes them pretty often and I don’t eat the portion he gives me to try. I know, I’m a bad daughter. If you are lucky enough to live where there are some fresh berries growing. Go pick them and then make this. If you are not, go to Costco or your local super market or fruit market and get some. Or pick up some frozen berries. It’s all good. But wait! You have to have day old bread. The most important step. If you have some bread in the house and you are just reading this post, make it tomorrow. Trust me, it’s worth waiting for the stale bread.
Here are some fresh raspberries that were growing all over my in-laws garden last month in Italy.
My mother-in-law prepared an exorbitant amount of jam prior to our arrival. She’s thoughtful like that. I ate fresh jam on this semi-sweet, homemade Calabrese bread for breakfast every morning. That could be blamed for part of the damage caused to my derriere last month. IF you don’t speak French, I will translate: my arse started to expand in Italy. And then the fresh cheeses aided the slow but steady expansion of my backside. I am getting off topic here. Berries.
Aren’t they gorgeous!
There were so many. The kids could’ve picked for hours.
Mixed Berry Strata recipe courtesy of Giada De Laurentiis
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 4 large eggs
- 1/2 cup whole milk ricotta
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- 4 slices of bread, torn into 1-inch pieces (about 4 cups)
- 1 (10-ounce) bag frozen mixed berries, thawed and drained
- or if you have fresh fruit, please use it.
Melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Turn off the heat, add the honey, and stir to combine.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl combine the eggs, ricotta, and sugar. Using a fork, mix to combine and beat the eggs. Add the milk, orange juice, butter and honey mixture, and bread. Stir to combine. Gently fold in the berries.
Place the ingredients in a 10-inch round (2-quart) baking dish. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours and up to 12 hours.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Bake the strata until golden on top and baked through, about 40 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving. Spoon into dishes and serve.
*Note about the recipe. I added the exact amount of honey and sugar that the recipe called for. Chef (a.k.a. my hubby), told me he didn’t think it was sweet enough and to add some powdered sugar before serving. I thought it was sweet enough.