Strawberries with Mint and Balsamic Reduction


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Change. It can be scary. And exciting. Maybe a little bit uncomfortable. But it usually ends up being a good thing. You grow. You learn. You discover. You experience something new and different.

Next year is going to be all these things for my family.

We are going to be spending the school year in

Northern California. Wine Country. And I can’t wait. After ten years of living in Crested Butte, CO – a charming and tiny town way way up in the mountains, where it has been known to snow on the 4th of July, I am ready for something new and different. For a little while anyway.

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There are a lot of unknowns about next year. And that is okay. Even fun. For now I have taken care of the few things I can. Housing and schools. Yes, schools is plural. Not only are the kids going to go to a fabulous Montessori school but I am heading back to school as well. I am enrolled in a Natural Chef Program at Bauman College. This is the impetus for our move, although it’s really more layered than that, as most things are.

I feel blessed to have this opportunity to follow my passion and become a certified Natural Chef where I will learn nutritional and therapeutic based cooking.

My dear husband, Eric, is so supportive and downright excited about next year. Luckily he will be able to do most of this work from California (or we wouldn’t be going!) but he will travel back and forth throughout the year. Hopefully he’ll catch a few powder days when he is back in the Butte.

We are embracing change and looking forward to growing as a family come September! That, as well as all the local farmers markets, warmer climate, the California coast, wine tasting, being close to my brother and his fiance, exploring San Francisco, camping in the Redwoods, spending time with my dear college friend, Jamie, and her family, mountain biking, great restaurants, live music…should I go on? I think you get it.

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We have three months before we leave. The best 3 months to be in Crested Butte, as far as I am concerned. I am going to soak up every moment of summer. It should be here soon.

This recipe is such a great summer dish. It could be a salad, dessert, a snack. It’s really an anytime kind of dish. Have you even eaten strawberries with balsamic vinegar? Time to try something different. This is inspired by David Rocco and I think it’s brilliant and so simple. Reduce balsamic vinegar until it becomes a sweet thick syrup. Take care not to over heat the vinegar or it will thicken and harden…not that I know from experience of anything.

I added mint, although I think basil would work as well. And I tried it two different ways- with goat cheese and with whip cream. You can’t go wrong.

Besides tasting sweet and juicy, strawberries are so good for you. They are high in Vitamin C, an anti-oxidant which can help with immunity and are also good for inflammation, eye sight and many other things. They are always on the dirty dozen list so I recommend buying organic, or growing your own if you live somewhere warm. Here is a list of the dirty dozen fruits and vegetables if you want a refresher before summer. It also lists the cleaner vegetables so you can save some money and buy conventional.


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Strawberries with Mint and Balsamic Reduction (serves 4)

1 basket of Strawberries (quarter each strawberry)

1/4 Cup Balsamic Vinegar

small bunch of Mint, (chiffonade)


Sprinkle of goat cheese OR

Homemade Whip Cream OR

Vanilla Ice Cream

TO MAKE: In a Bowl, mix strawberries and mint together. In a small saucepan over medium heat, reduce balsamic vinegar for about 12-15 minutes. The 1/4 cup will end up being about a Tablespoon. Take care not to over heat it or it will thicken and harden.

I tried this with a dollop of whip cream on top and then with a sprinkle of goat cheese. Both tastes awesome. Depends if you are in the mood for something more sweet of more savory.

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