Sweets of Spring

Flowers are blooming, birds are chirping, and produce sections at markets all over town seem to be getting more and more colorful with each passing day. Spring has most definitely arrived here in San Diego and nothing says spring to me quite like strawberries. Here at Specialty Produce we offer an array of different strawberry varieties throughout the season to meet all of your berry needs.


Right now we are loving all of the strawberries from our local California farms which are a perfectly sweet snack on their own, make a simple yet elegant dessert when topped with a bit of fresh cream, and are scrumptious when enjoyed with Humboldt fog goat cheese.  From simple preparation to complex recipes there are so many different ways to enjoy this delicious springtime fruit, here are a couple sweet strawberry recipes I have been enjoying the past few weeks.

Chocolate Strawberry Oatmeal

Serves 2

strawberry oatmeal


1 cup oats
1¾ cup milk (soy or moo cow, you can also substitute water for some or all of the milk if you are watching your calories)
1 teaspoon vanilla flavoring
1 teaspoon cocoa powder
1 cup strawberries, cut into bite sized pieces
15 or so chocolate chips


Bring the milk, water (if using), and oats to a light boil then reduce heat to a low simmer and add your vanilla flavoring and cocoa powder. After 5 minutes of cooking or when most of the liquid has absorbed from the oatmeal, reduce heat to low and add the strawberries. Stir gently to combine, let sit for a minute just to heat the strawberries through a smidge and then portion oats into two bowls and top with chocolate chips.

Berry Sweet Cupcakes

frosted cupcakes

This recipe makes 12 cupcakes but you can always double the batter if you want 24, and if you have any hungry family or friends around trust me you will want more than 12! It is also a gluten free recipe that I promise tastes just as delicious if not dare I say better than any gluteny cake you have ever tried.


1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
¾ cup brown rice flour
¾ cup potato starch or tapioca flour
½ teaspoon xanath gum
1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 3oz package strawberry jello
½ cup canola oil
½ cup milk (soy or moo cow)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup strawberries


Preheat the oven to 350 then combine the sugar and eggs in a large bowl and beat until well combined. In another bowl sift together the flours, xanath gum, baking powder, salt, and jello. In a third bowl combine the oil, milk, vanilla and strawberries and using a stand or hand mixer blend on medium high until the berries have broken down. Slowly add the liquid berry mixture and the flour mixture to the bowl of egg and sugar and beat at medium speed until fully combined and slightly fluffy, about 1 minute.

Pour the rosy batter into a paper cup lined muffin tin and bake for 17 to 20 minutes or until cakes have browned along the edges slightly. Let the cupcakes cool for a few minutes before removing them from the tin to sit on a wire rack until completely cool. Top the cakes with your favorite frosting, I used a cream cheese one.

Cream Cheese Frosting


½ cup cream cheese
½ cup butter
3 cups powdered sugar
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon milk


Cream together the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add to this the sugar, vanilla, and milk and mix until completely smooth. Spread the frosting onto the cupcakes. Any extra frosting can be kept in the fridge for up to 5 days.


Soft fluffy cake, sweet strawberries, and rich cream cheese frosting all wrapped up in a pretty pink package. The perfect springtime treat for all of the strawberry lovers in your life.

Chefs de Cuisine General Meeting – May 17th

Come join us for The Chefs de Cuisine Association’s may meeting at Specialty Produce.
Click here for a PDF flyer!


WHERE: Specialty Produce Warehouse – 1929 Hancock St. San Diego, CA 92110
WHEN:  Sunday, May 17th/ 3pm-6pm

Cost of attendance = $10
Knowledge you’ll leave with = priceless


FRESH ORIGINS: Owner, David Sasuga will be showcasing his line of locally grown microgreens, petitegreen, flowers, tendergreens and tiny vegetables!

PASCUCCI PASTA: A Family owned Company that has become known for their freshly made, high quality Pasta and Ravioli! Owner Daniel Tapia will answer all of your pasta questions and Chef Damasso Lee from Trattoria Acqua will be cooking them up!

GELATO VERO: Owner Aaron Rabinowitz will be scooping out samples of their high-end gelato which may include unique flavors such as giandua (Chocolate hazelnut), Bluberry-Creme Fraiche and Triple espresso!

KINOKO COMPANY: (Formerly Golden Gourmet Mushrooms): Using strict Japanese techniques, Kinoko Company has recently finished remodeling their San Marcos plant and is now producing local exotic mushrooms! Their line includes Brown and White bunashemeji, Enoki, King Trumpet and Maitake mushrooms.

Wagyu Kobe Beef

Displays of this seasons freshest fruit and veggies and a prize opportunity drawing that could bring you a variety of high end food items.

*****The educational Seminars are worth several CEH education points for ACF certification

San Diego Chefs de Cuisine Association Website
San Diego Chefs, Culinarians, Brewers & Vintners on facebook

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