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,

Saturday, August 28, 2010

More initial thoughts

It is 9:30am on Saturday morning and I am sitting at my computer with a big mug of coffee and 2 cats by my side.  My husband is at work and I am already considering what to fix him for lunch and what we might have for dinner.

Lunch will most likely be mushroom, onion, cheese steaks with home-made iced tea.  To clarify, "home-made" does not include instant tea, Crystal Light, tea concentrate or any other tea that is a mix that one can make "at home".  I actually measure out the loose tea, the sugar, heat the water and let the tea steep for several minutes before straining it into the 2 gallon container and adding just the right amount of water to make a glass of sweet, deep amber heaven.

About brewing your own loose tea......never, ever boil the water.  Bring it to a simmer and turn it off.  Boiling the water releases the oxygen and can change the character of the flavor.  You can also use the coffee maker to heat a pot of water, that is a great temperature to make tea with.  Think of it this way, when your nose is "stuffed up", things most likely taste differently because you cannot smell any thing.  Oxygen / breathing is an important component to taste.  Try this to test the theory...place a clothes pin on your nose and eat something, take the clothes pin off and have a second bite and see if it tastes differently.

For dinner, I'm considering some form of quesadilla with a side of grilled scallions and a salad with cranberry chipotle dressing on it.  If you have not had grilled scallions, please try them.  Clean, trim and drizzle them with olive oil, some salt and pepper and grill.  These are marvelous.  If you don't have an out-door grill, get some smoked salt and use that instead of plain salt.  Yes, smoked salt.....it is a miracle and comes in different flavors.  I use it on meats, on veggies and in salads and have even used it on grilled fruit to get that smokey flavor when out-door grilling is not an option.

Speaking of salt....fleur du sel....the flavor is soft without any sharp edges.  It is well worth the extra expense and I use it strictly "at the table".  I use sea salt or kosher salt in the actual cooking process.

For pepper, I use a peppercorn melange....black, red and pink peppercorns and always grind it fresh.

I just discovered that my coffee cup is empty, so heading back to the kitchen to fill up and see what's in the fridge and what culinary mischief I can get into.


  1. Susan, Who would have known that you would have grown up to be such an amazing cook,wife and writer. When I was a kid I was just happy to make it past 21,LOL .But I was a bit wild. I love reading all about the things you cook. I have never grilled or cooked a scallion. I know I went to breakfast with my husband this morning after dropping the baby off.I dont get much free time. So it was nice to just sit and talk and I was saying how I would like to do more cooking Vegies and healthier living style meals. But I'm just not very creative. Some where I have lost my creative side. Reading all your posts make me want to do more. So keep up the great work. Love you enthusiasm.
    Thank You

  2. Starting a blog, what fun! I'm looking forward to more of your cooking adventures.


  3. I love a woman that makes up her mind and just gets it done. Best of luck with the blog, thanks for sharing. Can't wait to see what's cooking in the kitchen next.

    Be Well, Jil