Bring Forth the Sweetness / by Julie Schumacher

Sweet Food Spring 2013

One of the unexpected joys of Forth was the chance to bake, and bake a lot. I love baking. I love the science and precision. I'm not and never will be a free form chef, that's Kelly's bag. I prefer to sift and measure and level. I love me a recipe. To know that women with great taste were gathering meant I wanted to be sure we had some great tastes. For our Spring 2013 event, I went with something I knew I wouldn't mess up, something I thought I wouldn't mess up, and something, well, that I had no idea what I was doing.

A go-to for ages at our house has been chocolate chip meringue drops. I love them because it takes about 10 minutes to prepare and then you are kind of supposed to forget about them. They bake for an hour...or more. Then you leave them to harden in the oven for two hours...or more. There's also something incredibly satisfying about whipping egg whites, really. If you are ever having a crappy day, get to making stiff peaks.

Here's my how-to for my go-to.

A second little nibble were these lemon-mint-ginger cookies. All those hyphens mean so much goodness. At our home, lemon, mint, and ginger are always welcome. And by golly these were yum. Soft and a pop of subtle flavor. With Janelle's gorgeous trays, the bite sized bits were tiny indulgences as we talked.

Citrus Glazed Tart Forth Chicago-1

Now, onto the third treat and my most recent humbling kitchen moment.

I have a terrible tendency to try to do, well, much. A new ingredient, a new technique, a new something that makes something much harder than it needs to be. This time? It was rhubarb. I even coined a fun portmanteau "rhubris" for over-confident baking with rhubarb. The citrus-glazed tart turned out far better than I could've hoped in those harried moments in the kitchen.

Sweet Food Spring 2013

Thinking seasonally, as we do for our salons, is leading to so many delightful ideas. I'm newer to the world of seasonal eating and cooking (and baking) so I've loved learning what ingredients work best, and are best, when. Follow Forth Chicago on Pinterest, where I post many of the recipes I'm daydreaming about.

xo- julie