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,

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Sausage Soup

I made my version of sausage soup...ground turkey seasoned to taste just like sausage, onion, chicken stock, tomatoes, garlic, spinach and rice, very simple, very easy and very yummy.

I also made Ina Garten's roasted tomato basil soup.  If you have not tried this, you must....this is not Campbell's from a can.  It is a sophisticated, rich and luscious soup that is low fat and amazing.

Next on my list...is chili (no beans), barbecue black beans, pot roast, roasted port tenderloin, fresh veggies and couscous.  I may even make my orzo salad....

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Home-made bread

My mom and dad used to make bread every once in a while, but I make bread much more often.  My husband LOVES my home-made white bread.  I also add different seasonings to it to create a variety of breads....classic rosemary and garlic; sun dried tomato and basil; chipotle; jalapeno and cheddar; feta and black olive among several other savory blends.

I also use the basic bread dough to create sweet versions of bread, such as: dried apricot, white chocolate and macadamia nut; dark chocolate, dried cherry and pistachio; dark chocolate and orange; white chocolate and orange; vanilla bean and several others.

The savory breads make incredible sandwiches as well as savory bread pudding.  Bread pudding, like whipped cream, does not have to be sweet to be wonderful.  New twists on old favorites are always an adventure.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Long time, no post.....

Time flies wether you are having fun or not.  I have begun classes to finish my MBA, so I have not had the same amount of time I had prior to school.  However, I am a bit ahead of schedule on my homework (thank goodness for a syllabus) so I can get back to work on my cookbook.

I remembered the best method for making an easy caramel and that is to take a can of sweetened condensed milk and simmer it in water for about 3 hours.  Yes, that is right....but the can must remain covered by water.  Watching the water level in the pan is essential.  Then remove the can, cover it with a kitchen towel and let it cool.  This is an old trick that I had forgotten about and I cannot remember where I first saw it.  But...what I am doing with the wonderful caramel that results from this process is a whole other story.  Think chocolate and think whipped cream...I'll let y'all know how this turns out.

Over the weekend, I am going to get back to the recipes from my mom's old shoebox.  Did I ever mention that the box was soldier blue?   Anyway....I made applesauce last weekend just before my oral surgery.  I had forgotten about how good my mom's applesauce was and still is.  It has the standard ingredients, plus one secret ingredient.  This applesauce is served warm and the entire house smells of cinnamon and apples.  This is also the applesauce that I use in my mom's recipe for Applesauce cake......now, this is a great cake.

I made pumpkin bread also, which is a completely vegan recipe.  There is no milk, no eggs and no butter in the recipe.  The bread is completely moist and delicious.

I also have to begin gathering the ingredients for my turkey tamales for Thanksgiving along with having a friend write down the recipe while I make it.  These are simply amazing and I can hardly wait for the holiday.