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 9, 2013 by Bake Up, Little Suzy
Forgive me, foodies, for I have slacked off. It has been 26 days since I last posted a new recipe. I’m not Catholic, so that’s as far as I’m willing to take the confession metaphor.
All kidding aside, I’ve just been really overwhelmed by life outside the kitchen lately. Between my job, writing a new show, and keeping Handsome Greg and Professor Meowington happy, I’m swamped. The thought of creating a unique recipe accompanied by a clever tale makes me want to cry into my apron.
And so, in the interest of keeping my blog alive (while exerting the VERY least amount of effort) I’m sharing an entirely unoriginal and frankly lazy-ass recipe. It’s easy, tasty, and a little bit embarrassing.
I am sorry for these and all the sins of my kitchen.
Continue reading for the Buffalo Chicken Calzone recipe.
Category Bread, Chicken, Family and Friends, Handsome Greg, No Cheese Left Behind, Professor Meowington, Recessipes | Tags: bread,chicken,handsome greg,no cheese left behind,professor meowington,recessipes | 10 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 28, 2012 by Bake Up, Little Suzy
It’s embarrassing how much time I spend thinking about recipes I want to try. I’ll start with the germ of an idea (say, a pear dessert for Mom’s birthday dinner). Then I’ll spend weeks – maybe months – considering the options: pear tart, pear cobbler, pear cake, pear sorbet… And when I finally decide on the perfect recipe, I abandon the idea entirely because I’m terrified of making a mistake. (Yeah, I never said my process was a healthy one.)
In this case, the paralyzing fear was invoked by the menace of homemade caramel sauce—it’s the easiest thing in the world to ruin. I think if I ever get around to recording another CD, it’ll be called Ways to Ruin Caramel, with forlorn country ballads like “Too Runny,” “Too Hard,” “Bitter and Scorched,” and “Grains of Sand.”
It took no less than three glasses of cheap wine for me to face my caramelized fear, and I’m so drunk—I mean, I’m so happy that I did! This caramel sauce is the perfect texture (creamy but not too thick), with the subtlest bite of sea salt and just enough booze. *hiccup*
The other components of the recipe – poached pears, sweetened mascarpone, flaky puff pastry, and toasted pistachios—are a cinch to prepare, yet every bit as delicious as the bourbon caramel.
Continue reading for the Poached Pear Napoleons with Bourbon Caramel Sauce recipe
Category Caramel, Dessert, Family and Friends, Fruit, Fruit Desserts, Lemon, My Mom Rules, No Cheese Left Behind, Nuts, Pear, Spread, Vegetarian | Tags: caramel,dessert,fruit,fruit desserts,lemon,my mom rules,no cheese left behind,nuts,pear,spread,vegetarian | 14 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
September 17, 2012 by Bake Up, Little Suzy
When I left my apartment this morning, a chilly wind mussed the yellow-green-red-orange leaves in the trees while it whipped my almost-dry hair into snarled submission. As I squinted into the crisp, blue sky, I thought—
Crap. I can’t do this. I’m still not ready to write about autumn. Sorry, folks.
Today’s recipe features the juicy, tart strawberries I loved all summer. There’s really nothing fall-like about it. The chewy toasts topped with goat cheese, basil, and summer berries macerated in sweet balsamic vinegar are a perfect appetizer for your next dinner party. In July.
Continue reading for the Balsamic Strawberry Crostini with Goat Cheese and Basil recipe
Category Appetizer, Bread, Fruit, No Cheese Left Behind, Strawberry, Vegetarian | Tags: appetizer,bread,fruit,no cheese left behind,strawberry,vegetarian | 3 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
August 10, 2012 by Bake Up, Little Suzy
INT. BAKE UP, LITTLE SUZY’S APARTMENT – NIGHT
BAKE UP, LITTLE SUZY and HANDSOME GREG sit cross-legged on a red checkered table cloth on the living room floor, sharing potato chips and onion dip. The phone rings. SUZY answers the phone.
BAKE UP, LITTLE SUZY
Hello? Oh, hi.
Who’s on the phone?
BAKE UP, LITTLE SUZY
It’s the sixties. They want their onion dip made from Lipton soup mix and sour cream back.
Continue reading for the Caramelized Onion Dip recipe
Category Appetizer, Family and Friends, Handsome Greg, No Cheese Left Behind, Onion, Recessipes, Side Dish, Spread, Vegetable, Vegetarian | Tags: appetizer,handsome greg,no cheese left behind,onion,recessipes,side dish,spread,vegetable,vegetarian | 13 Comments
June 30, 2012 by Bake Up, Little Suzy
I had the best idea.
One night I was craving a hearty salad with sweet-tart, fresh fruit vinaigrette. I’d already made salad dressings with lemon, orange, and tangerine, but I wanted to move out of the citrus family and try something different.
And that’s when inspiration struck – I could transform the classic combination of strawberries and balsamic vinegar into a savory salad dressing, with layer upon layer of flavors.
Juicy, caramelized strawberries, fresh garlic, creamy-sharp Dijon mustard, a tender kiss of wild blackberry honey, and aged balsamic vinegar.
Sadly, this brilliant idea occurred to me five months ago, in the dead of Minnesota winter, when strawberries—if they could be found at all—were dry and wooden.
That left me with 147 long, cold days to dream of ripe, juicy berries. In those 147 days, I wondered just what would happen when you roasted strawberries. I finally had a chance to roast strawberries last week, and as it turns out, this is what it smells like when doves cry.
The strawberry halves gently caramelized in the oven, their juices slowly seeping out and thickening, before they became the foundation of my new favorite salad dressing. I tossed the dressing with romaine hearts and scallions, then topped the greens with roasted chicken, goat cheese, and sweet-n-spicy candied almonds.
It was a very long winter.
Continue reading for Chicken Salad with Roasted Strawberry Vinaigrette Recipe
Category Chicken, Fruit, Greens, No Cheese Left Behind, Nuts, One-Dish Meals, Onion, Salad, Sauce, Strawberry, Vegetable | Tags: chicken,fruit,greens,no cheese left behind,nuts,one-dish meals,onion,salad,sauce,strawberry,vegetable | 5 Comments