Tricks and techniques for mastering these summertime dishes

July 07, 2016
Recipe: Plum-Berry Cornmeal Sheet CakeTop it with ice cream or sour cream mixed with vanilla extract and light brown sugar.
Alison Miksch

Alison Miksch

We love all of the recipes in the pages of Southern Living, but in every issue, there are a few standout dishes that our test kitchen has fallen head-over-heels for. Here are a few recipes from July that our testers will be making all summer long, plus their tasting notes and tips.

Plum-Berry Cornmeal Sheet Cake

"Dense and moist, not too sweet. The berries and plums were perfect. Serve with ice cream, sweetened whipped cream, or maybe sour cream with a little vanilla and brown sugar stirred Julin."

Sour Cream Potato Salad

"A delicious new take on a classic by using sour cream and white vinegar rather than all mayo and mustard and sliced potatoes instead of cubed."

Colorful Collard Slaw

"This is a delicious alternative to regular slaw. It has a nice sweetness from the apple and the dressing. If fresh bunches of collards are unavailable in the summer, you could substitute bagged, chopped collards."

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Alison Miksch

Alison Miksch

Sheet Pan White Pizza

"The creamy, rich, garlicky flavor of the ricotta and mozzarella mixture is balanced with the bite of extra virgin olive oil, which also thins the mixture perfectly for spreading on the dough. The spicy salami and sweet peppers are rounded out by the slight heat of the red onion. Arugula and crushed red pepper add the perfect finishing touch."

Berry Swirl Gelato Cake

"Great combo of a creamy ice cream and fruity dessert—a win-win! Any berries can be used in the puree. Feel free to skip the malt powder if your family doesn't enjoy the flavor."

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Alison Miksch

Alison Miksch

Lemon-Lavender Ice Cream

"This is lovely! Lavender can easily be overpowering, but this has just enough. The lemon isn't strong, but it adds brightness to the floral notes of the lavender. The starch and the brown rice syrup give this ice cream an excellent texture. It's so velvety! Outstanding!"

Comfy Cow's Bourbon Ball Ice Cream from Comfy Cow in Louisville, KY

"YUM. This ice cream is incredibly boozy, but so delicious. A bourbon-lover's dream! The Bourbon Ball Candy recipe makes way more than needed for one quart of ice cream, but they can be kept in the freezer in an airtight container for up to six months."