Nothing says summer more than farmers’ markets and picnics. Follow my lead and put the two together. You’ll find The Chef Shack (507-358-4220, chefshack.org) at the Mill City Farmers’ Market (Second St. and Chicago Ave., Mpls., between the Guthrie Theater and Spoonriver). Chef Shack co-owners/chefs Lisa Carlson and Carrie Summer use local products to create worldly taste treats served from a trailer. This summer you’ll also find the Chef Shack at neighborhood markets in Kingfield, Northeast, and Uptown.
Cupcakes are in vogue, and there’s quite a variety to enjoy. Make a giant cupcake at home with molds from the Nordic Ware Outlet Store (5005 Hwy. 7, St. Louis Park, 952-924-9672, nordicware.com). Or go a local bakery to enjoy everything from mini cupcakes to lollipop cupcakes. Try Laurie Pyle and Joe Lin’s Cocoa and Fig in Gaviidae Commons (651 Nicollet Mall, Mpls., 612-333-1485, cocoaandfig.com) or at the Prior Lake and Minneapolis farmers’ markets. Sweet Retreat (5013 France Ave., Edina, 612-353-6230) and Cake Eater Bakery and Café (2929 E. 29th St., 612-354-7178, cakeeaterbakery.com) also bake up divine, delicious, designer cupcakes.
Kathy Anderson of Kimball is the creative mind behind Abcbabycakes.com, which are perfect for baby showers and newborn gifts. Each non-edible, cake facsimile comes in pink, blue, or yellow on a dome-covered cake plate made with a rattle, baby socks, washcloth, diapers and pins, baby shampoo, powder, and lotion, all wrapped in a blanket. They are absolutely adorable. So cute it could be a party centerpiece.