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,

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Soft, Creamy and Flavorful Sandwich

I must say that this sandwich was a bit of a surprise for me.  I normally always have meat in a sandwich but recently, I had some pretty significant oral surgery done and could only eat soft foods.  So, I decided to do a take-off on a Caprese salad and make it into a sandwich.

I love the traditional tomato, mozzarella and basil salad, but wanted to add some creaminess to the sandwich idea.  Here is what I did:

2 slices bread of your choice
2 tablespoons of mayo mixed with 1 tablespoon of basil pesto, spread that on the bread.
Then place 1-2 slices of provolone cheese, a few slices of thinly sliced tomato and strips of roasted red peppers that have been julienned.  Now comes the best part......avocado...place 4 slices of avocado on the sandwich and then cover with the other piece of bread.  Place in a panini press and cook until crisp and golden.  Slice and serve.

If you are any thing like me, I don't have a panini press.  I find that an old fashioned griddle works just as well.  I have even pulled out my George Forman grill to make sandwiches on.

My husband LOVED this sandwich when I made it and he is very much a meat and potatoes kind of man. He has also asked if I would make it again......"score" one for the Pookie!!!!

From the heart of my purple kitchen to you,


Saturday, April 14, 2012

Messy Miguel's

As a child of the 60's and 70's, I grew up eating "Sloppy Joe's".  For those that may be unfamiliar with this, it is a mixture of ground beef, tomato sauce and some spices, cooked until the sauce becomes very thick, a scoop of this concoction is served on a hamburger bun and it is mainly a food for children....well, children of all ages.

I was watching an old movie and in one of the scenes they are serving this meal to a bunch of kids at camp.  I couldn't help but think.....what can I do to update this?  Knowing that I lean towards the flavors of the Southwest U.S. and Mexico, I decided to turn this into a more adult, spicier version of the meal.  Then came the name.  It's kind of cute, dontcha think?

Yield:  8 servings
Temperature:  Stovetop, medium to medium low
Time:  45 minutes
Difficulty:  Easy

1/3 cup olive oil
2 pounds of ground beef
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 medium, purple onion, diced
2 poblano peppers, diced
1 - 2 chipotles in adobo, minced (use 2 chipotles if you like your food to bite back)
30 ounces of tomato sauce
2 tablespoons of tomato paste
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
Shredded cheese (1 cup of pepper jack, 1 cup of cheddar and 1 cup of mozzarella mixed)

1.  In a large non-stick skillet, heat the olive oil.  Then add the ground beef and cook until browned.  The meat should be "scrambled" so that there are no large pieces or chunks of ground beef.
2.  Add the garlic, onion and peppers, chipotles and cook until the peppers and onions are soft.
3.  Add the tomato sauce, tomato paste, cinnamon, cloves, salt and pepper and stir to incorporate.
4.  Cook on medium low, stirring occasionally, until the mixture becomes thick and holds it's shape on a spoon.

Serving suggestion:
1.  Serve on tortillas with shredded cheese and avocado - 8 servings
2.  Use as a filling for empanadas.
3.  Use as a filling for arepas.
4.  Serve as a dip, using tortilla chips or plantain chips.

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

Monday, April 2, 2012

New Recipes Coming Soon

Hi Everyone!!!

I have not forgotten about y'all or about posting new recipes.  I have been hard at work on my cookbook with my "mentor".  We have been editing my first chapter and I am almost finished with the first group of edits.  Over the next several days, I will be sending the updated chapter to "J" for review.

Then, it is on to my next chapter and time to begin thinking about publishers and agents......this is so exciting.

I can't tell you what a blessing having a professional Chef and cookbook author as a mentor has been for me.  I am learning so much from such a generous individual.  You may be able to tell the difference in a recent recipe posting or two......we changed the format and structure of the recipes so that they contain some important and vital information that I had not always written into the recipes.

I will keep y'all posted and will post a couple of new and fun recipes over the weekend.

In the mean time, I wish you many blessings!!!

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