A few years ago, I was cooking with a friend on a Sunday afternoon, making several dishes to leave us with leftovers for the week ahead. We were debating what to make for dessert, as a possible surprise for her husband. Somehow we hit upon the idea that it would be funny if dessert were, for no real reason, a fully iced layer cake. And so we baked and frosted one, and presented it with much fanfare and giggling.
I love the idea that any random weeknight dinner can easily turn into a celebration. While we don't always have time to construct an iced cake, there are several little turns that you can easily take, quickly turning any dinner into an occasion. Especially when you have some delicious berries to work with.
To be clear, I think berries are a celebration in and of themselves. But with just a few easy accompaniments, they can be so much more. Whether it's honey-sweet Greek yogurt (like at last week's delicious lunch club), a shortcake biscuit, or a blob of barely-sweetened whipped cream, the ordinary can become festive. Recently I rounded up a few quick berry-friendly desserts, from busy-day cake to a blitz-in-the-blender clafouti. But my favorite is this goat cheese cream, where a soft block of chevre is melted into a cheesecake-like custard sauce. Paired with a compote or fresh berries, it's a celebration of the season (or of whatever else you're looking to celebrate). You can find all of these recipes over at The Oregonian.