Monthly Archives: June 2014

What’s Fresh: June

It’s Strawberry season here in Iowa, and we couldn’t be more excited! Because strawberries season only lasts a few weeks, there is no better time than the present to dive in and enjoy everything these berries have to offer. Try this Old-Fashioned Strawberry Shortcake Recipe for the perfect treat to end a long summer day.

Some Strawberry fun-facts:
– One serving of just 8 strawberries gives you 140% of the recommended daily amount of vitamin C
– Strawberries are the only berries with seeds on the outside
– Strawberries are grown in all 50 states of the US!


Classic Strawberry Shortcake

  •  2 (16-oz.) containers fresh strawberries, quartered
  • 3/4 cup sugar, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract (optional)
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 cup cold butter, cut up
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 (8-oz.) container sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Garnish: fresh mint sprigs



1. Combine strawberries, 1/2 cup sugar, and, if desired, almond extract. Cover berry mixture, and let stand 2 hours.

2. Beat whipping cream at medium speed with an electric mixer until foamy; gradually add 2 Tbsp. sugar, beating until soft peaks form. Cover and chill up to 2 hours.

3. Combine flour, remaining 1/4 cup sugar, and baking powder in a large bowl; cut butter into flour mixture with a pastry blender or two forks until crumbly.

4. Whisk together eggs, sour cream, and vanilla until blended; add to flour mixture, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened. Drop dough by lightly greased 1/3 cupfuls onto a lightly greased baking sheet. (Coat cup with vegetable cooking spray after each drop.)

5. Bake at 450° for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden.

6. Split shortcakes in half horizontally. Spoon about 1/2 cup berry mixture onto each shortcake bottom; top each with a rounded Tbsp. chilled whipped cream, and cover with tops. Serve with remaining whipped cream. Garnish, if desired.

Strawberry Jam Shortcakes: Prepare recipe as directed. Before topping shortcake bottoms with strawberry mixture, stir together 1/4 cup strawberry jam and 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh mint. Spread cut sides of bottom shortcake halves evenly with jam mixture. Proceed with recipe as directed.

What’s Happening: June

Upcoming Events

Winefest Des Moines’ Willis Grand Tasting,  June 7, 6:00 – 9:00pm The “grand” has been put back in The Grand Tasting at this intimate evening showcasing the best food and wine available in central Iowa. Des Moines’ finest restaurants and caterers will prepare hearty hors d’oeuvres to be paired with high-end wines. A limited number of tickets will be sold for $75 with an option to upgrade to the Sammons Financial Group VIP Lounge for $35. Cocktail attire. More info here.


The Eight Annual Swine Festival, June 7, 4:00 – 8:00pm Two of Iowa’s best tastes come together in a casual, yet refined event designed to benefit the viticulture and enology program at Des Moines Area Community College. The Eighth Annual Swine Festival will feature central Iowa’s finest chefs and Iowa wineries (including many of our BFBL members). Chefs will prepare samples of gourmet pork offerings while wineries will pour samples and offer wine for sale. Tickets are $45 at the door. More info here.


Iowa Craft Brew Festival, June 14, 2:00 – 5:00pm More than 30 Iowa breweries, including BFBL member Peace Tree Brewing Company, will be featured, which will serve as the finale to the inaugural Des Moines Beer Week (June 8-14). Participating breweries will be pouring unlimited beer samples of over 200 beers, including a variety of special brews exclusive to the Iowa Craft Brew Festival. More info here.


Music at the Winery, June 14/June 28, 6:00pm (Covered Bridges Winery) Join Covered Bridges Winery for a Saturday evening in the country! Relax, bring a snack, sit back and listen to great music while enjoying your favorite bottle of Covered Bridges wine. June 14 Guest: Crosswind June 28 Guest: Exit 113 More info here.


Plant a Mile HoQ Fundraising Dinner, June 15, 5:00pm Celebrate Father’s Day by supporting families in need and enjoying a four course, locally grown dinner at HoQ Restaurant on 303 E 5th Street, Des Moines, IA. For a $75 donation, participants will receive a meal including light appetizers, salad, choice of entrée, dessert, and coffee. Guests are encouraged to bring wine as there will be a $10 corkage fee donated to Plant a Mile.  There will also be a cash bar available. RSVP by Monday, June 9. Reservations can be made online here.


Garden to Table, June 21, 12:00 – 2:00pm Community Garden Tour, Bottle Garden and Food Demonstrations. Wooden Spoons and Apron Strings Chef Deb Cazavilan, Johnston HyVee Chef Christina, Steve and Deanne Bryce and ISU Extension Nutritionist Mary Krisco will share their specialties using seasonal fresh produce. Produce will be provided by BFBL member Grade A Gardens. More info here.


Grape Escape Winery Social Sundays, 2:00 – 5:00pm Wine Education Segments and Bags Tourney with winners each week and season championship. Great Wines and good times with friends, new and old. More info here.


Grape Escape Winery Wine-In Movies, 7:00pm On select Fridays and Saturdays throughout June and July, join Grape Escape Winery for Wine-In Movies in the vineyard. Outdoor movies on a 11 foot by 20 foot screen with surround sound, full 1080p High Definition picture, gourmet popcorn, and fire pits. Meal available for purchase at 7:00 p.m.  Movie begins at dark. For more information on dates and movies screened, visit their calendar here.


2014 Summer Concert Series, Thursdays, 6:00 – 9:00pm (Jasper Winery) Join Jasper Winery every Thursday from 6-9pm this summer for live music at the winery! As always, we’ll have all of our wines, sangria and Madhouse Brewing Co. beer available by the glass. The grill will be back this year for burgers and brats with a some special appearances by Gusto Pizza. For the really hot nights, don’t forget to enjoy a Chocolaterie Stam gelato float! Remember to bring chairs or blankets; kids are cool but please leave the pups at home. You may bring your own non-alcoholic beverages but all alcohol must be purchased from Jasper Winery that night. June 5- Eufórquestra June 12- Brother Trucker June 19- The Nadas June 26- Pianopalooza Band


The Cheese Shop Fondue Night, Wednesdays, 4:00pm – 7:00pm