baking

Lavender Honey Almond Cake by Julie Schumacher

Finding a dessert that doesn't need modification for food sensitivities or allergies can be a challenge when I have my heart set on some dairy-dense, gluten-full creation. Scratch that. There are tons of modifications and alternative recipes out there. It can be a thing, though, to have stores of a wide variety of flours and specialty ingredients. I have them now, usually, and it's totally worth it, of course, but it's great when a single dish tics all the boxes at the start.

This almond cake? Made with lavender honey? And served with creme fraiche, even more honey and oodles of plump blackberries? Check. Check. Checkity check. It's also free of refined sugar (thanks, honey).

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Hummingbird cake & GF/DF hummingbird bread by Julie Schumacher

I love food that has a story and tells part of our story, don't you?

Ages ago in my past, past life...not just when I was a teacher but when I was a teacher living in LA, I first met the magic that is a hummingbird cake. I was invited to a pot luck baby shower for a colleague. I was one of the younger teachers so appearing a grown up mattered deeply to me and I was nervous about what to bring. My meals consisted of frozen burritos so but a grad school graduation gift of Martha Stewart Living meant I stumbled upon a hummingbird cake. It was the dried pineapple flowers that caught my eye and the cream cheese frosting that won my heart.

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Powdered Donuts With Ombre, Indeed by Julie Schumacher

An incredible evening at Sunday Dinner Club was made more incredible with some Honey Butter Fried Chicken. Fried chicken and delicious biscuits made me want to prepare some of my own comfort food. And at my house, that often means donuts. Donuts doused in powdered sugar made me think a bit of food coloring spray would give us a great ombre look. The internet abounds with donut recipes, including great baked ones. I used On Sugar Mountain's easy-to-follow recipe. I omitted the lemon for no reason other than not wanting there to be lemon in two desserts.

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Chocolate Ombre Two Ways by Julie Schumacher

Even if there were fruits and berries a-plenty, ripe for picking and baking, I'd still want to serve chocolate. Always. There were  a few cakes with ombre on the inside that look delicious but I knew there was a perfect berry cake a-coming so I wanted something that would be ombre-on-the-outside.

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Spring Baking Ideas: Floral Treats by Julie Schumacher

Spring in Chicago is something that could definitely exist only in quotes. "Spring." It can be 90 degrees one day and 50 the next. It will probably snow sometime in late March. Maybe even April. Baking seasonally can be tricky. There might be rhubarb. There might be, well, more rhubarb. This year I was motivated not by what was at the not-yet-open Farmers' Market but instead by the promise of Spring. Our salon was all about loving your now while planning your next so it seemed reasonable enough to Think Spring even if I was wearing a puffy coat at the grocery store.

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A Quick Post on Glazed Cranberry Quick Bread by Julie Schumacher

Few things prove as satisfying as baking a loaf of bread beyond eating it. I'll fight anyone who disagrees. Quick breads take the time constraints out of breadmaking without compromising on quality. While this cranberry and crystallized ginger gem from our Winter salon work wonders around the holidays, it's also super freezer friendly which means maybe I'm enjoying some right now.

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