February 9, 2014 by Bake Up, Little Suzy
Today I’m going to ask you to use your imagination. Have a glass of wine, close your eyes, turn on some Simon and Garfunkel, and imagine you’re entertaining your nearest and dearest. Imagine you’re tasked with cooking a fabulous dinner for your terribly handsome beau on his 50th birthday. And imagine that last minute rush before dinner is served—the rush to get dinner on the table and make sure that hot food stays hot and salad stays fresh.
Can you imagine that? Good. Now imagine that the beautiful ingredients below came together in a perfectly composed salad that I didn’t have a chance to photograph on that lovely night before serving it!
Sorry, folks. By the time dinner was served, the sun had gone down and I couldn’t justify whipping out my lighting set-up to photograph the finished salad. So just imagine a bed of velvety greens tossed in sweet and sour pear vinaigrette, topped with creamy, pungent Cambozola, toasted walnuts, crispy apples, and my mad scientist experiment, hibiscus pearls. Imagine that!
A word about those hibiscus pearls: this was my first foray into molecular gastronomy. It was a success, and much simpler than I imagined. I steeped a cup of hibiscus tea and spiked it with hibiscus extract from l.c. finn. I boiled that with agar agar, and used a regular eyedropper to squeeze the mixture into a tall glass of cold oil to form the pearls. That’s the extent of the special ingredients and equipment. The flavor of the pearls was distinct but not overwhelming; a little tart, like pomegranate juice. The texture was smooth and gelatinous—sort of like biting into a creamy drop of tea. For instructions on making agar agar pearls, visit http://molecule-r.com/en/content/67-pearls-training. You can purchase the extract here.
Continue reading for the recipe for Mixed Greens with Cambozola, Hibiscus Pearls, and Pear Vinaigrette
Category Apple, Family and Friends, Fruit, Greens, Handsome Greg, No Cheese Left Behind, Nuts, Onion, Salad, Side Dish, Vegetable, Vegetarian | Tags: apple,fruit,greens,handsome greg,no cheese left behind,nuts,onion,salad,side dish,vegetable,vegetarian | 2 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
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 | 14 Comments
December 30, 2012 by Bake Up, Little Suzy
Happy Holidays, imaginary internet friends! And congratulations on surviving the end of the world. Now I’m off to Barnes and Noble to demand a refund for my Mayan wall calendar. Wish me luck!
In the meantime, I hope you’ll take another look at the 10 most popular recipes I shared this year.
S’mores Fried Ice Cream with Chipotle Chocolate Sauce
Asparagus Lasagna with Pancetta, Goat Cheese, and Lemon
Baked Churros with Cinnamon Ice Cream and Dulce de Leche
Loaded Baked Potato Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Cinnamon Roll Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Homemade Oatmeal Cream Pies
Toffee Cashew Cookies
Chicken Pot Pie Soup with Pie Crust Crackers
Jalapeno Popper Grilled Cheese Sandwich
And the most popular recipe of 2012:
Pepperoni Stuffed Chicken Breasts
Here’s to a delicious (and gooey) new year!
Category Asparagus, Bread, Breakfast, Cake, Caramel, Carrots, Celery, Chicken, Chocolate, Cookies, Corn, Dessert, Family and Friends, Fruit, Garlic, Green Beans, Grilled Cheese, Handsome Greg, Ice Cream, Jalapeno, Lemon, My Mom Rules, No Cheese Left Behind, Nuts, One-Dish Meals, Onion, Pasta, Peas, Pork, Potato, Professor Meowington, Recessipes, Sandwich, Sauce, Soup, Spread, Tomato, Turkey, Vegetable, Vegetarian | Tags: asparagus,bread,breakfast,cake,caramel,carrots,celery,chicken,chocolate,cookies,corn,dessert,fruit,garlic,green beans,handsome greg,ice cream,jalapeno,lemon,my mom rules,no cheese left behind,nuts,one-dish meals,onion,pasta,peas,pork,potato,professor meowington,recessipes,sandwich,sauce,soup,spread,tomato,turkey,vegetable,vegetarian | 2 Comments
November 14, 2012 by Bake Up, Little Suzy
Just last week(ish), I shared with you all how my allergy to green peppers indirectly prevented me from ever tasting tomatillos. Today, my imaginary internet friends, I’m going to tell another terrible tale: The Most Lamentable Tragedy of Bake Up, Little Suzy’s Exclusion from the Whole of Asian Cuisine.
(I know. The title needs work. It’s a little wordy.)
Bell peppers are not my only edible allergens. I’m also allergic to ginger, coffee, curry, and horseradish. And that bizarre combination not only kept me from coffee house poetry slams in the 90’s, but also excludes me from enjoying the cuisine of Asia to this very day.
I’ve long dreamed of preparing meals that feature the genuine flavors of China, India, Korea, Thailand—but I’ve never really tasted them, out of fear of, well, dying. So I’m attempting to learn about entirely unfamiliar flavors, in utterly inauthentic ways.
I begin today with this fresh and crispy, savory and sweet, salty and crunchy salad. Now I’m assuming that normal people who don’t share my allergies will add ginger to the dressing or the marinade or both. But I found this salad delicious, satisfying, and not at all deadly without it.
Continue reading for the Sesame Chicken Salad recipe.
Category Chicken, Fruit, Greens, Nuts, Onion, Orange, Salad, Sauce, Vegetable | Tags: chicken,fruit,greens,nuts,onion,orange,salad,sauce,vegetable | 8 Comments
November 4, 2012 by Bake Up, Little Suzy
Green pepper is my sworn enemy.
The conniving nightshade sneaks into salsa, it prowls in pasta, and it lurks in jambalaya, waiting to make its deadly move. Just one bite of a bell pepper and I’m a pathetic wheezing heap, my lips swollen like a Hollywood collagen job gone terribly wrong.
For years I avoided green salsa in every Mexican restaurant, for fear that the lovely olive color might be enhanced by the scoundrel bell pepper. And as a sad consequence, I never tasted the delightful tang of tomatillos.
Until now. I made this recipe for Mom and Handsome Greg, and instantly fell madly in love with the tart tomatillo sauce warmed through with a healthy teaspoon of smoky cumin. I filled corn tortillas with a luxurious and creamy chicken mixture, then doused them with the silky tomatillo sauce and topped them with a generous handful of gooey cheese.
Next time I make this dish I’ll use white cheddar – the orange cheese with the green salsa was a little off-putting. Otherwise it was perfect.
Continue reading for the Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas recipe
Category Chicken, Fruit, Garlic, Jalapeno, Lime, No Cheese Left Behind, Onion, Poblano, Tomatillo, Vegetable | Tags: chicken,fruit,garlic,jalapeno,lime,no cheese left behind,onion,poblano,tomatillo,vegetable | 4 Comments
October 28, 2012 by Bake Up, Little Suzy
Please believe me: I love pretty food.
Now I know that seems unlikely, given the sorry, grey-brown mess that is today’s featured recipe.
But despite its sad mud-pie appearance, this dish has a lot to offer.
Tender, juicy, and highly seasoned ground beef patties are smothered in savory gravy with meaty mushrooms.
Still, this dish needs to accessorize in the worst way. So in the spirit of Halloween dress-up, here are the Salisbury Bats:
And Salisbury Devil:
Continue reading for the Salisbury Steak with Mushroom Gravy recipe
Category Beef, Garlic, Mushrooms, Onion, Recessipes, Sauce, Vegetable | Tags: beef,garlic,mushrooms,onion,recessipes,sauce,vegetable | 9 Comments
October 11, 2012 by Bake Up, Little Suzy
July, August, September, Souptober—
After weeks of stalling, I have finally come to terms with Minnesota’s harsh reality: it’s soup season. And you won’t find a creamier, sweeter, or more buttery soup in which to dip a timid toe—er, spoon—than this delicate, yet decadent, chicken corn chowder.
Continue reading for the Chicken Corn Chowder recipe
Category Celery, Chicken, Corn, Onion, Potato, Recessipes, Soup, Vegetable, Zucchini | Tags: celery,chicken,corn,onion,potato,recessipes,soup,vegetable,zucchini | 3 Comments
September 4, 2012 by Bake Up, Little Suzy
This is the perfect side dish for summer picnics and barbec—what? It’s past Labor Day? And I missed Barbecue Season™?
I’m a day late, but I just can’t keep this recipe to myself until Memorial Day 2013, when picnics are once again permissible. Also? I’m wearing white pants. Yeah, I’m a rebel.
When I first served this recipe at a work potluck, my adorable friend Karl told me that my baked beans were the best baked beans he’d had. I was more than a little concerned that of all my recipes, the one that earned the greatest compliment was made of store-bought, canned baked beans and all the condiments in the door of my refrigerator. Fortunately I got over it.
Continue reading for the Dressed Up Baked Beans recipe
Category Beans, Onion, Pork, Recessipes, Side Dish, Vegetable | Tags: beans,onion,pork,recessipes,side dish,vegetable | 5 Comments
August 26, 2012 by Bake Up, Little Suzy
I think I may be in danger.
For the past four days, I’ve been shooting my mouth off about how much I despise the Minnesota State Fair, and I fear the devoted fair-goers may turn up at my door with pronto pup-topped pitchforks and propane torches.
But I just can’t seem to help myself. Sweet cracker sandwiches, how I hate the fair. I hate the hokey state fair news coverage, and the ubiquitous on-a-stick jokes, and the questionable odors perfuming the air near the farm building, and the huge lines for rickety rides, and most of all, the mobs of people who invade my neighborhood for 10 days each August, taking every last parking space, along with the very last deep fried morsel of my patience and good will.
I’ve become the summertime Grinch.
While my fellow Minnesotans are enjoying the Great Minnesota Sweat Together, I grumpily hibernate in my apartment, leaving only to fight my way to work and back through streets filled with meandering jaywalkers, pushing strollers and dragging over-sized stuffed animals.
And forget about having company! I wouldn’t dream of asking my guests to brave the crowds and fight for parking during the fair. So it’s a good thing I hosted my summer picnic, starring Greek-inspired lamb burgers well before the vendor trucks and fair-goers descended upon my street.
The burgers were encrusted in garlic, oregano, kosher salt and red pepper flakes before I seared them to a juicy medium rare. Then I topped the burgers with spicy capicola and nestled them in chewy, soft ciabatta rolls dressed in a tzatziki-inspired goat cheese and cucumber spread.
I’m fairly certain my heart grew three sizes that day.
Continue reading for the Lamb Burgers with Capicola and Cucumber-Goat Cheese Spread recipe
Category Bread, Cucumber, Lamb, No Cheese Left Behind, Onion, Pork, Sandwich, Spread, Vegetable | Tags: bread,cucumber,lamb,no cheese left behind,onion,pork,sandwich,spread,vegetable | 6 Comments