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, September 6, 2010

Sunday night adventures

Today, I decided that I was not going to work on the book.  Instead, I played in my kitchen.  I began with a great pot of coffee then went thru the items that I had in the house.  Onions, poblanos, cheese, tortillas, chicken thighs, salsa and cilantro.  I ended up making braised chicken thighs with quesadillas.

Then, I made cilantro rice with black beans to make burritos with.  Just add some cheese to the warm rice and beans and it makes a great burrito.

Then...at 9pm, I got the urge to make biscuits.  So I made the most tender, melt in your mouth buttermilk biscuits that anyone has ever had.  One really huge bit of advice when making biscuits....do not knead the dough, even if the recipe tells you to do so.  Just mix the biscuits enough to bring the dough together.  If you spend too much time on the biscuit dough, the gluten develops and that is why they get tough.  I do not use a rolling pin either, I bring the dough together with my hands and then use the biscuit cutter.  Your hands are the best tools that you have in the kitchen.  So, at 10:30pm, my husband was having biscuits...one with honey and one with peach jalapeno jam.  I could hear him make the "mmmm" sound as he took his first bite.....

Tomorrow morning, I'll make poached eggs and maple bacon and use the biscuits for breakfast sandwiches.  Then, I need to write down the cilantro rice with black beans recipe for the cookbook along with the braised chicken thighs...this was actually very good.

The next big recipe that I have to actually make while writing it down, is my turkey tamale recipe.  I make these every year for Thanksgiving.  These are a huge hit and are very different from traditional tamales.  Each time I make these, I have to make extra for family and friends.  

I also make pumpkin flan for Thanksgiving each year along with my mom's pumpkin cake.  Being from New England, pumpkin is the prominent vegetable for the fall.  I also make pumpkin soup, muffins, bread, sauce (great on poultry) and baked pumpkin (sweet and savory varieties).  This is a very versatile vegetable.

I almost forgot....the Build A Better Burger contest finalists were announced and I was not among them.  When I read the recipes that made it to the finals, they were very complex with multiple ingredients.  My burgers were very simple, my sauce only had 6 ingredients (including salt and pepper), sauteed mushrooms and cheese.  I believe in the KISS method.....keep it simple sweetheart.  My reward was when I made the burgers for the 4th of July and not one guest talked while they were eating them.  There is always next year.....

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