Summer is for Sweetness / by Julie Schumacher

Summer Forth Spread

Summertime. Farmer's markets and sun-kissed cheeks. While popsicles and melty ice cream cones weren't our ideal sweet treats for our Summer Salon, I wanted to highlight the colors and freshness of the season.

An automatic for me was taking advantage of the incredible plums I was spotting everywhere (and I got to learn about the differences between red and black plums). This plum upside down cake from Real Simple was freaking good, if I do say so myself. The color was so intense and I felt like a real baking champ when I flipped it to see the end result.

Plum Upside Down Cake

There was nary a crumb left but I brought that crumb home for some breakfast deliciousness to thank my husband for saying nothing when I destroy our kitchen four times a year.

To compliment Janelle's fabulous cookie trays, I wanted to make a few cookie options. (Now, for disclosure, and because they're easy and a hit (and gluten free) I made the chocolate chip meringues from Spring.

Ever since we attended the Kinfolk Freshen Up event together, I've had lavender on the brain. Can you guess why?

Lavender Cockatils Kinfolk

I wanted to bake with culinary lavender, you know, some kind of something or other. After sorting through a ton of delightful sounding options, I picked this one from Cinnamon Spice & Everything Nice.

I tried to get the lavender from Whole Foods by our house because I had seen it the day before in the bulk spice section (by the way, LOVE the bulk spice section). There must have been some kind of run on it because they were out but, honestly, that worked out to my favor because I trotted to Penzey's down the street (by the way, LOVE Penzey's) and had one of those wonderful conversations about baking and spices and buying high quality ingredients. They keep their lavender hidden behind the counter because they want to be sure folks aren't buying it just for sachets. I love that.


It's shocking how bad those merignues look in photos because they are so good in real life!

Lastly, because I'm the queen of the last minute disaster, a dish fell through and I needed a last minute treat. I was so excited to make these key lime pie cake balls. It was going to be summery and a way to link our big fun balloons with the food. I had circles on the brain but the world opted to not have candy coating available. Anywhere.

So it is 10 o'clock the night before the salon and I'm heartbroken but not defeated. I had seen dip-dyed marshmallows somewhere (thekitch via idlewife) and figured, heck, even 7-11 sells marshmallows in the summer. I pulled out my cooling racks and dye and got to work. In about 10 minutes I had something I was excited about.

I have to say, the results were that perfectly pastel look we were going for.

Dip Dyed Marshmallows

I'm already excited to plan for the Fall Salon. Spices and browns, caramels and dark chocolates. Or other magical seasonal goodness.

You can follow along with us as we plan and share ideas for recipes, decor, and themes on Pinterest.