Purple Kitchen Treats

Over the past few years, I have been working on a cookbook. During this time, I took time off to finish my Master's Degree. Now that I have accomplished that, I am working again on my cookbook, slowly but surely.

However, over the past few months, something interesting has happened...I have received multiple requests for baked goods, particularly my cookies. I am also receiving multiple requests for granola. So, with all these requests in mind, I have started to make my cookies for sale, along with my granola.

My official web site is available, but will be undergoing a significant redesign. Be sure to visit my "official" web site at: http://www.susanshonk.com and watch for some exciting changes.

From the heart of my purple kitchen to you,

Monday, March 3, 2014

Someone Else's Blackberry Cobbler

Hello Everyone,

I wanted to share a picture of a cobbler that I made using someone else's recipe.  This is a blackberry cobbler made a much different way than the usual.  The biscuit dough was rolled out to approx. 1/2 inch, covered with blackberries, rolled up like a jelly roll, cut into 2 inch slices and placed in a buttered pan and baked.

First of all, I have to say right off the bat, that I added chopped crystalized ginger to the biscuit dough and sprinkled the top of the biscuits with sugar crystals.  I also added twice as many blackberries as the recipe called for, so the biscuits were "juicier".

They came out incredibly well.  So well that I am going to make them again with my original modifications.

 One of the challenges that I face is that I can't leave any recipe alone.  My husband and I tend to like bold flavors and a bit of spice in our food. so I'm always taking recipes and adding more of something to them.  Whether that is an existing ingredient or not, depends upon what I'm making.

For example, while I was making this cobbler, I decided to make a fruited butter.  I took room temperature butter, added some honey and strained blackberries (I'm not a fan of the seeds) and mixed until everything was incorporated.  I have done this with mashed strawberries, peaches and raspberries.  Each fruit butter requires adjustments to the amount of honey that is added.  I have even done this with minced candied lemon peel and lemon zest.  For a different twist, use room temperature cream cheese and honey and add your fruit to that.  Making your own is much cheaper than buying it and you can control how much fruit and sweetness that is added.  These fruited butters and cream cheese make wonderful gifts for a housewarming party or as a take home gift following a party.

From the heart of my purple kitchen to you,


Sunday, February 23, 2014

If I have business cards & brochures, does it really mean I am in business?

Well everyone......I finally took the plunge and ordered business cards and brochures.  My friends have been nagging me to start selling my cookies.  So, I took the first step of officially being in business and sold my first order of cookies, which consisted of 5 varieties:

  1. Spicy Peanut Butter
  2. Chocolate, Cherry & Chipotle
  3. Chocolate, Cashew & Caramel
  4. Maple, Walnut & Vanilla
  5. Creamsicle
For fun, I added a small bag of Cherry Almond Granola and my spicy Adobo seasoning blend.  As I sat in the location of my first sale, the gentleman who made the purchase dug into one of the bags of cookies and took his first bite.  I watched him intently as a smile spread across his face.  Then, he dug into another bag, and another and another until he had tried them all.  He eventually came over to where I was located and began raving about the cookies.  He was especially taken with the maple, walnut & vanilla cookies.  

He has asked me to please bring him samples for his shop so that all of his customers can try them.  He already has a bunch of my business cards, so this week, I'll be working hard at making several varieties of cookies that I will package individually and bring to his shop.

A few days after this request, I received word that my hairdresser is moving and will be having an open house.  She has asked me to please bring some treats for the "grand opening" of her new location and to please bring a bunch of business cards and brochures, which is also this weekend.

I definitely have my work cut out for me this week.  I am going to be very busy, but very happy.

The variety of cookies that I have available, in addition to the ones listed above, are:
  • Sun Dried Tomato, Basil & Pine Nut
  • White Chocolate, Apricot & Macadamia Nut
  • Dark Chocolate, Cherry & Pistachio
  • Coconut & Pineapple 
  • Cherry Pecan
  • Cherry Almond
  • Cranberry Walnut
  • Ginger & Molasses
  • Basil & Ginger
  • Cilantro & Lime
Granola flavors include:
  • Cherry Almond
  • Apricot, ginger & Macadamia Nut
  • Pineapple, Coconut & Pecan
  • Kitchen Sink (cherry, apricot, currant, almonds, pecans, cashews)
  • Maple, Blueberry & Walnut
  • Cranberry, Orange & Walnut
My next step is to figure out how to ship these goodies for out of town orders, which I already have requests for.  

I'll be posting updates much more frequently than I have been over the past several months and will keep y'all informed about how my business is going.

From the heart of my purple kitchen to you, enjoy!!!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thanksgiving Day menu - 2013

Hi Everyone,

I hope this post finds you all well.  I have been prepping for the Thanksgiving holiday since the weekend and here is what I have on the menu:

  • A southwestern flavored brined turkey
  • Pork loin roast that has also been brined
  • Roasted brussel sprouts
  • Green beans with shallots and toasted almonds
  • Roasted carrots with an espresso balsamic drizzle
  • Roasted garlic mashed potatoes
  • Sweet potatoes with butter and maple syrup
  • Pumpkin pie
  • Apple pie
  • Vanilla ice cream
  • Black walnut ice cream
The brine for the turkey and pork loin is posted in my blog, as is the roasted brussels sprouts recipe.  The sweet potatoes with butter and maple syrup is very simple and I'll post that over the weekend.

I think that is a very good menu for a small crowd with enough left-overs to feed us for another week.

I hope you have a wonderful holiday and a fabulous weekend.

From the heart of my purple kitchen to you,


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Writing a Cook Book: And - she's back!!!

Writing a Cook Book: And - she's back!!!: Oh my goodness!!!  I can't believe that it has been 6 months since I posted on my blog. Lots has been going on that I will have to let y'all know about.  I finally finished my MBA in Strategic Leadership, so I can concentrate on blogging, cooking and communicating.

From the heart of my purple kitchen to you!!!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

And - she's back!!!

Oh my goodness!!!  I can't believe that it has been 6 months since I posted on my blog.

Lots has been going on that has had nothing to do with cooking.  I stepped away from my blog to complete my Master of Business Administration in Strategic Leadership degree.  And, I am happy to say that I graduated on November 15, 2013.  So, school is over and I can get back to cooking and blogging and focusing on my cookbook.

Just in time for Thanksgiving, I will be posting my menu and will be posting the menu for my husband's birthday party.

I also discovered a brand of peanut butter that includes cayenne pepper and red pepper flakes in it.  I'll be posting an updated version of peanut butter cookies - one with chocolate chips and one with grape jelly.

Jason and I were on vacation in Albuquerque not to long ago, where we discovered espresso infused balsamic vinegar.  I'll be doing something with that new ingredient.  I'll take caffeine where ever I can get it.

I need to post the recipe for Orange, almond and habanero cookies too.  I realized I was missing that post from last spring.

All in all, it is exciting to be moving on from working full time and taking 2 classes a semester for the past 3 semesters.

Thank you to all who have continued to visit over the past 6 months.

From the heart of my purple kitchen to you!!!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Long lost cook.....

Hi Everyone!!!

I just started my break from classes...I am FREE now through June 7, so be on the look-out for new postings and recipes to tempt your palate.

I'll be posting a new cookie or 2, fish tacos just in time for summer and a very cool southwestern inspired slaw recipe that will be amazing on my new buffalo burgers.

Also....venison with blackberry sage sauce will be coming your way along with a special surprise in time for 4th of July.

In the mean time....I appreciate each and every visit to my blog.

From the heart of my purple kitchen to you...


Sunday, April 7, 2013

Hello Everyone!!!!

I'm just checking in and letting y'all know that I am still here, but VERY busy.  Dad has been in the hospital, but is home now and doing very well.  I'm still working full time and am still in school.  I'm taking 2 classes each semester for the next 3 semesters so I can finish my MBA this year.  I expect to be finished in November.

I am still cooking, but with my current schedule, certainly not like I was cooking before.  During the upcoming break from classes, In the next 6 weeks or so, I will have about 2 weeks off and am looking forward to posting some more recipes and pictures here.

In the mean time - I am working on a couple of grilled cheese sandwiches to submit to a contest.  As soon as I get the recipes ironed out, I will post them here too.

In the mean time.....please take care of yourselves and know that y'all are in my thoughts an prayers.

From the heart of my purple kitchen to you,