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The sweet season for strawberries, with our pick of 12 juicy recipes

Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times

Dear readers:

Today we'd like to encourage your strawberry consumption, and we'd like to convince you that flowers are not only pretty, they're edible (at least some are). We're also recommending that you make some pies and you might even want to think about trying out some Green Chile Vodka. Cheers.

— Russ Parsons


BERRIES, PANCAKES AND PIES. OH, MY.

Yes, you can buy strawberries year-round. But now we’re heading into the sweetest time for Southern California fans, when the local fields are producing at their prime. Food columnist Russ Parsons tells us how to find a great strawberry ... and he's got 12 recipes to boot.

PancakeBot via Kickstarter

Let's say you're a pancake person, but you're a little tired of all those circles of batter on the griddle. Enter the Pancakebot. Food writer Jenn Harris reports on this new product, a hot griddle with a suspended squeeze bottle for batter and special software that allows users to print pancakes in any shape. So, yes, you can make a pancake that looks like your pet tortoise if you so desire.

Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times

Maybe you’re not a pancake person. Maybe you’re a presentation person, pondering your next dinner party and wondering how it might look. If so, think flowers. Not for the centerpiece but, rather, as an ingredient. They are perfect, Test Kitchen Director Noelle Carter says, for adding color and flavor to a host of sweet and savory recipes.

Did you miss Pi Day? It was Saturday, March 14. (This year was even more special because it was 3/14/15). Well, we like to think it’s always Pi… or Pie ... Day, and we suggest you celebrate with strawberry or pecan, or perhaps apple, lemon meringue or coconut. Do we have recipes? In fact, Noelle has 52 of them.

S. Irene Virbila / Los Angeles Times

A FEW SUGGESTIONS ON HOW TO TOAST THE START OF SPRING

There’s a lot going on right now in the world of spirts — including Green Chile Vodka. S. Irene Virbila reports on a trio of just-released vodkas from St. George Spirits. “It’s got an invigorating snap of heat,” she writes, “and a seductively smooth mouth-feel. A Bloody Mary made with this vodka would be an extremely good call.”

And, finally, for those of you who are Paula Deen fans, get your iPhones ready, y'all. Deen has  launched a free mobile game called "Paula Deen's Recipe Quest.” Jenn Harris has all the details. 

Feedback?

We’d love hear from you. Email us at food@latimes.com


Are you a food geek? Follow me on Twitter @russ_parsons1

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