November 2, 2013 by Bake Up, Little Suzy
Happy 4th of Halloween Eve!
To celebrate the magic of Halloween, this year I decided to make a candy inspired by … 4th of July fireworks.
When I was a girl, I though fireworks and firecrackers were so beautiful—pretty enough to eat—and I desperately wanted to know what they taste like. Fortunately my sensible sister Emily dissuaded me from taking a big bite of fiery sparkler.
This candy tastes like you just ate a firecracker, but without the hassle of having to re-grow your eyebrows. First it’s sweet and hot, then there’s an explosion in your mouth, followed by a bit of lingering smoke.
The recipe for chipotle pepitas makes far more than needed for the chocolate bark, and that’s fine by me. The salty, smoky seeds make an excellent crunchy snack.
Continue reading for the Chocolate Bark with Chipotle Pepitas and Pop Rocks recipe
Category Candy, Chocolate, Dessert, Family and Friends, Nuts, Vegetarian | Tags: , candy, chocolate, dessert, nuts, vegetarian | 7 Comments
August 31, 2013 by Bake Up, Little Suzy
Goodbye ice cream trucks and picnics and ripe tomatoes.
Goodbye road trips and outdoor concerts. Goodbye action blockbusters in air conditioned theaters. Goodbye lemonade.
Goodbye s’mores and dandelions and thunderstorms and fireworks. Goodbye reruns and strappy sandals. Goodbye sunburns. Goodbye baseball and crickets chirping.
Goodbye fresh cherries.
Continue reading for the Cherry Crisp recipe
Category Apple, Bars, Cherry, Dessert, Fruit, Fruit Desserts, Lemon, Vegetarian | Tags: , apple, bars, cherry, dessert, fruit, fruit desserts, lemon, vegetarian | 7 Comments
July 21, 2013 by Bake Up, Little Suzy
The good news is my little show opens in less than two weeks and we’re right on track. The bad news is my little show opens in less than two weeks and I’m plagued with the world’s worst chest cough. For better or for worse, I’ll soon be standing in front of hundreds of people at the Illusion Theater in Minneapolis, and I’m hoping with all I’m worth that I won’t be up there honking like an agitated goose.
Thank goodness for Air Supply’s Greatest Hits to ease my anxiety.
I’m comforted, too, by the memory of the last meal I prepared for Mom and Handsome Greg that I truly tasted—Crab Cakes with Orange Aioli—before cough drops became my primary source of sustenance and “mentholyptus” killed my taste buds. The crab cakes were exceptionally crabby—you could easily add more breadcrumbs and make more cakes. They were moist and flavorful with a crispy, golden crust, and the accompanying dip was a perfect balance of creamy mayo, pungent garlic, and bright, fresh orange zest.
Continue reading for the Crab Cakes with Orange Aioli recipe
Category Family and Friends, Fish and Seafood, Fruit, Garlic, Greens, Handsome Greg, Jalapeno, My Mom Rules, Onion, Orange, Sauce, Vegetable | Tags: , fish and seafood, fruit, garlic, greens, handsome greg, jalapeno, my mom rules, onion, orange, sauce, vegetable | 5 Comments
June 30, 2013 by Bake Up, Little Suzy
Two weeks ago I posted a recipe for Bloody Mary Ketchup accompanied by an image of a beer-braised bratwurst half-dressed in the spicy, tangy sauce. I have since heard impassioned debate on proper brat condiments from a number of sources. It seems the argument between ketchup lovers and mustard enthusiasts is more volatile than the Great Cilantro War of aught three.
In the interest of impartiality I’m following up my favorite ketchup recipe with my favorite mustard recipe. I roasted a head of garlic with sprigs of fresh rosemary, then combined the resulting sweet garlic paste with a creamy honey dijonnaise.
Continue reading for the Rosemary Roasted Garlic Honey Mustard recipe
Category Garlic, Recessipes, Sauce, Vegetable, Vegetarian | Tags: , garlic, recessipes, sauce, vegetable, vegetarian | 5 Comments
June 16, 2013 by Bake Up, Little Suzy
I’m not exactly what you’d call a sports fan. I mean, sure, I’ll watch gymnastics at the Summer Olympics and figure skating at the Winter Olympics. But beyond that, I don’t know the difference between a double dribble and a double play.
I make an exception to my sports Grinch-i-tude each summer when Handsome Greg takes me out to see our minor-league hometown team, the Saint Paul Saints. Granted, the game itself bores me to tears, but I love that the game is An Event. I love the anticipation of the action, and getting to know the people sitting near us, and the hokey entertainment between innings, and the tiara-wearing pig who delivers the game ball. And I love baseball food—hot dogs, pretzels, cracker jacks—I love it all.
And so when I was tasked with preparing a springtime dinner for Mom and Handsome Greg last month, I thought, how can I elevate baseball cuisine?
I braised fresh bratwurst in beer infused with apples and onions, and served them in soft Kaiser hot dog rolls topped with Bloody Mary Ketchup and Rosemary-Roasted Garlic Honey Dijon. I served the brats with soft pretzels and beer cheese sauce, alongside a great, big platter of fresh veggies with homemade French onion dip. For dessert, I served homemade Cracker Jacks—caramel puff corn and peanuts in red and white striped popcorn boxes.
Touchdown! Or home run! Or whatever, I don’t know.
I first made Bloody Mary Ketchup from scratch, with slow-roasted tomatoes and onions and blah blah blah. I most recently tried the same idea with store bought ketchup, and it was every bit as good, but with far less work and time. So here’s the quicky version:
Continue reading for the Bloody Mary Ketchup recipe
Category Family and Friends, Fruit, Handsome Greg, My Mom Rules, Recessipes, Sauce, Tomato | Tags: , fruit, handsome greg, my mom rules, recessipes, sauce, tomato | 3 Comments
April 28, 2013 by Bake Up, Little Suzy
My dear, imaginary internet friends, I have a confession to make. I’ve lured you here under false pretenses. Yes, I will eventually get to the velvety dumplings I promised you, and yes, you could just scroll down to the recipe. But I hope you’ll read my shameless plug first.
When I’m not cooking up fabulous dishes in my kitchen, I’m cooking up fabulous musicals for the stage. I work with a small theater company in the Twin Cities and we’re creating a new show all about growing up called Are You There, God? It’s a New Musical Revue! The show, inspired by Judy Blume and other YA fiction, will premiere at the Minnesota Fringe Festival in August.
And we’re raising funds via Kickstarter to offset the production costs. If you’d like to make a donation—even $5 will help—I’d be incredibly grateful. If you’re unable to make a donation, but you’d like to support the show, please pass along a link to your blog readers, your Facebook friends, your Twitter followers, your barista…anyone you think might be interested in supporting our show.
The Ugly Dumpling
I’ve been working on this show for the past decade, and it’s truly a labor of love. And I’d love it if you played a part in it.
And now for the recipe I promised. I’m a big fan of edamame—my favorite movie-watching treat is edamame steamed in the shell, then dusted with truffle salt. I promise: it’s better than popcorn. I wanted to give my fave flavor combo an upgrade, and hoo boy, these dumplings did the trick. They’re younger than springtime—bright, fresh, and tender—yet creamy and luxurious. Dip them in the shallot broth for a perfect sweet-and-salty bite.
Continue reading for the Truffled Edamame Potstickers with Shallot Broth recipe
Category Appetizer, Beans, Dumplings, Sauce, Shallot, Vegetable, Vegetarian | Tags: , appetizer, beans, dumplings, sauce, shallot, vegetable, vegetarian | 5 Comments
April 14, 2013 by Bake Up, Little Suzy
Well, this is awkward. I suppose it’s a little late to give a heads up that posting will be sparse until my show opens in August…? Also, the dog ate my homework, and the check is in the mail.
I’m sure you will forgive me for failing to post a new recipe for (gasp!) an entire month, when you try this righteous salad. It’s bright and fresh, yet satisfying, with a perfect balance of salty, sweet, and sour. It’s so delicious that with one bite, you’ll forget entirely what a lazy slacker I am. The recipe is from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook by Deb Perelman. Do you have this book? You need this book.
The day I prepared this salad is pretty much a blur—I was so rushed making dinner for Mom and Handsome Greg that I barely had a chance to take photos of the meal. So I’m sorry to say that my sad pics don’t begin to do this recipe justice. Just another reason to pick up The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook; the photos are so beautiful you’ll have to resist the urge to devour the actual pages. The only change I made from the original recipe was to omit the tablespoon of fresh, minced ginger, because, as I mentioned before, I’m deathly allergic. If ginger doesn’t send you to the ER, then I suppose you ought to add it to the dressing as Deb suggests. She knows what she’s talking about.
Continue reading for the Sugar Snap Pea Salad with Miso Dressing recipe
Category Appetizer, Beans, Cabbage, Family and Friends, Garlic, Handsome Greg, My Mom Rules, Onion, Peas, Radish, Salad, Sauce, Side Dish, Vegetable, Vegetarian | Tags: , appetizer, beans, cabbage, garlic, handsome greg, my mom rules, onion, peas, radish, salad, sauce, side dish, vegetable, vegetarian | 12 Comments
March 12, 2013 by Bake Up, Little Suzy
My blog is having a mid-life crisis. I’m a little concerned that my blog may get a flashy, new template, buy a convertible, and start dating a much younger blog.
See, when I first began sharing recipes from my tiny galley kitchen, I imagined my recipes would feature ingredients like fiddlehead ferns, duck confit, persimmon, and dry vermouth (Vermouth?! You can’t HANdle vermouth!).
And here I am, two and a half years later, blogging about refried beans on toast and wondering, what happened? Well, the truth is, a tasty, satisfying lunch that never fails to remind me of my most memorable summer happened.
The summer before my junior year of high school I went on a service trip to a tiny village outside of Mexico City. Each morning we traveled in the back of a pick-up truck along the side of a mountain to our work site. After a few hours of labor, that same pick-up returned with our lunch – a tray full of crusty rolls smeared with refried beans, topped with a slice of American cheese. And it might’ve been the heat, or the hard-earned hunger, or perhaps it’s my fuzzy memory, but I’m pretty sure those simple sandwiches were better than all the fiddlehead ferns and duck confit in the world.
And so, in a fit of gooey nostalgia, I recreated my favorite culinary memory. I toasted split club rolls and topped them with a generous dollop of refried beans dressed up with prepared salsa and cumin. A thin slice of pepper jack cheese melted over top sealed the deal.
Continue reading for the Bean-y Crostini recipe
Category Beans, Bread, Jalapeno, No Cheese Left Behind, Recessipes, Sandwich, Spread, Vegetable, Vegetarian | Tags: , beans, bread, jalapeno, no cheese left behind, recessipes, sandwich, spread, vegetable, vegetarian | 4 Comments
February 17, 2013 by Bake Up, Little Suzy
It’s official! My dear imaginary friends, this summer I’ll be singing again. My little theater group won a spot in the 2013 Minnesota Fringe Festival, and we will present a brand, new show this August. Details will be forthcoming; keep your eye out for Blue Umbrella Productions’ premiere of Are You There, God? It’s a New Musical Revue!
To kick off our first production meeting of the season, I prepared for my collaborators, Tall Paul and Hurricane Windy, a wreath of fresh vegetables and crackers surrounding a bowl of creamy, flavor-packed sun-dried tomato dip. The silky, tangy spread was equally charming atop celery sticks, pita chips, and the next day’s turkey bagel sandwich for lunch.
Continue reading for Sun-Dried Tomato Dip recipe
Category Appetizer, Family and Friends, Fruit, Garlic, No Cheese Left Behind, Spread, Tomato, Vegetable, Vegetarian | Tags: , appetizer, fruit, garlic, no cheese left behind, spread, tomato, vegetable, vegetarian | 7 Comments
January 30, 2013 by Bake Up, Little Suzy
I’ve been sitting on these cookies. I mean, I’ve been sitting on the recipe for these cookies.
I first made these delightful treats nearly two years ago for a bake sale. My singer/actor friends (Mickey and Judy) and I needed to raise money to produce a musical. The show was in August, and it didn’t seem right to post about cinnamon-kissed cookies perfect for Christmastime in the sweltering summer heat.
So I tucked the recipe away, and made a mental to note to share the recipe closer to the holidays. Then I forgot about them entirely until somewhere around St. Patrick’s Day 2012. Well, shoot, I thought (except I probably thought a stronger word than ‘shoot’). Now I’ll have to wait another eight months before I can post this recipe! How will I sleep at night, knowing all my imaginary internet friends will be again deprived of my snickerdoodles with cinnamon chips?
As it turns out, I slept just fine. Christmas 2012 came and went, and I forgot, once more, to share the recipe. I’m pretty sure that if I file this recipe away again, by the time you get it, you’ll be able to bake the cookies in the glove compartment of your flying car.
I suppose you could serve them for Valentine’s Day, with some line about your sweet-hot cinnamon love. But that’s your business.
Continue reading for the Snickerdoodles with Cinnamon Chips recipe.
Category Cookies, Dessert, Recessipes, Vegetarian | Tags: , cookies, dessert, recessipes, vegetarian | 5 Comments