Summertime party ideas from Chef Kelli

These summertime party ideas and recipes come courtesy of Chef Kelli Lewton from 2 Unique Caterers & Event Planners. You can get more information at
The sky is the limit with a fun MYO shortcake bar, mix, match, toss sprinkles, fruit and toppings for festive dessert ending to a summer event or as a standalone food station with champagne perhaps! 
Roasted Stone Fruit
6 peaches, pitted and cut into eighths 
6 plums or Italian prune plums, pitted and quartered 
6 apricots, pitted and quartered
3/4 cup sugar 
2 cups fresh raspberries 
2 tablespoons orange juice
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 vanilla bean split and seeded (optional)
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. 
Toss fruits lightly with vanilla and vanilla seeds.  Place the peaches, plums and apricots in a single layer, cut side up, in glass or porcelain oven-proof baking dishes. Sprinkle with the sugar, and then top with the raspberries. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until tender. 
Heat the broiler and place the fruit about 5 inches below the heat and broil for 5 to 8 minutes, until the berries release some of their juices. 
Remove from the broiler and sprinkle with orange juice. Serve warm, at room temperature, or chilled.
Classic Pound Cake
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon coarse salt
4 sticks softened unsalted butter, plus more for pans
2 Cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoons good vanilla extract
9 eggs at room temperature
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter two 5-by-9-inch loaf pans. Combine all-purpose flour and salt in a bowl.
2. Cream butter and sugar with a mixer on high speed until pale and fluffy, for 8 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl. Reduce speed to medium, and add vanilla extract.
3. Lightly beat eggs, and add to mixer bowl in 4 additions, mixing thoroughly after each and scraping down sides. Reduce speed to low, and add flour mixture in 4 additions, mixing until just incorporated. Divide batter between pans. Tap on counter to distribute; smooth tops.
4. Bake until a tester inserted into center of each cake comes out clean, about 65 minutes. Let cool in pans on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Remove from pans, and let cool completely on wire rack. 
Chocolate Pound Cake
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups packed light brown sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
4 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup milk
2 cups chocolate chips
PREHEAT oven to 350º F. Grease 12-cup Bundt pan. 
MICROWAVE 1 1/2 cups morsels in medium, uncovered, microwave-safe bowl for 30 seconds and then stir. The morsels may retain some of their original shape. If necessary, microwave at additional 10- to 15-second intervals, stirring just until morsels are melted. Cool to room temperature.
Sift flour, baking powder and salt in medium bowl. Beat sugar, butter and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in melted chocolate. Gradually beat in flour mixture alternately with milk. Spoon into prepared Bundt pan or buttered/sprayed loaf pans 3/4 full.
BAKE for 55 to 65 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in cake comes out clean. Cool in pan for 30 minutes. Invert cake onto wire rack to cool completely.
Toppings for Shortcake 
Roasted stone fruit
Chocolate ganache
Citrus infused whipped cream
Chocolate whipped cream
Lemon or lime curd (store bought is fine)
Mixed berries (strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, and blueberries)
Toasted sliced almonds
Chopped candied nuts (walnuts, pecans)
Toasted coconut
Cherry compote
Assorted sprinkles & candies  
Watermelon is so very versatile and quenches thirst on a hot summer day.  Try it in salads, serve as a refreshing appetizers or fun craft cocktail!
Watermelon Cubes:
 Cut a 1 & ½ inch square, take a small melon ball scoop and gently hollow out a divot.  Fill with most anything; chicken salad, poached shrimp, a little goat cheese with cranberries, honey & candied nut or a cube of feta with basil and a splash of balsamic syrup.  
Summer Arugula Watermelon Berry Salad 
Start with; Small cubed watermelon, handful of arugula, blueberries, strawberries and black berries add feta cheese and a little fresh basil for a little zip.  Arrange greens top with berries, fruit and a sprinkle of feta, drizzled with a little balsamic vinegar and olive oil.  Serve with sliced grilled chicken breast if desired.  
Fruit Pizza 
Slice watermelon into wedges (leaving rind) top with a generous dollop of vanilla or plain Greek style yogurt. Sprinkle top with berries and strawberries 
Drinks and Cocktails 
Sandia Water: puree water melon in blender with a few ice cubes and squeeze of fresh lemon= delicious!  
H2O Margarita: 1 cup watermelon, 3 cups silver tequila, 1 cup lime juice, 1 cup simple syrup  
H20 Mojito: 1 cup watermelon, 2 ounces rum, 8 mint leaves, 2 tsp sugar, ½ of a lime.  Puree, pour into a glass and top with a little soda water for fizz
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