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, May 27, 2012

Red, White & Blue Fruit Salsa

In honor of Memorial Day here in the US, I wanted to put together something very American.  We have all kinds of patriotic themed desserts, but I have not seen this version of a sweet fruit salsa.  There are no jalapenos in this, but if y'all wanted to add some, go right ahead.

Some serving suggestions that come to mind are:

  • over shortcake with whipped cream
  • used as a salsa with corn chips to satisfy that "sweet/salty" flavor craving that we all get from time to time  
  • with ice cream 
  • on cheese cake 
  • in a salad with goat cheese and raspberry walnut vinaigrette over baby field greens
  • with your favorite yogurt
  • or any other way that suits your personal fancy
Servings:     About 6
Time:     45 - 60 minutes
Temp:    Room temperature
Difficulty:     Easy

1 cup chopped fresh Bosc pears, about 1/4 inch
1 cup chopped fresh strawberries, about 1/4 inch
1 cup blueberries, not chopped
3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
1 tablespoon superfine sugar
Juice of 1 lime

Mix all ingredients together, cover and let sit in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

From the heart of my purple kitchen to you.


Monday, May 21, 2012

"Fluffernutter" Bread Pudding with Chocolate Ganache

It seems that the trend is to make new breakfast foods and deserts from the traditional peanut butter and jelly sandwich flavors.  I'm going to go in a little bit of a different direction tonite.  I grew up eating PB&J sandwiches, but I had a different favorite that was called a "fluffernutter".  For those of you who don't know what that is, it is a marshmallow fluff and peanut butter sandwich.

To make this a more "grown-up" version of this classic American childhood sandwich, I decide to change it a bit.

Yield:    8 servings
Temperature:   350' F
Time:  2 hours (Prep time approximately 60 minutes, cook time 30 minutes)
Difficulty:  Easy

For the Bread and Filling
8 slices of white bread
3/4 cup peanut butter
3/4 cup marshmallow fluff.  If fluff is not available, use mini marshmallows

For the Custard
4 eggs
2 cups milk
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

For the Chocolate Ganache
1 cup chopped bittersweet chocolate (70% cocoa)
1/3 cup heavy cream

1.  Liberally grease a 5 x 7 loaf pan with butter (glass works best for this recipe)
2.  Spread 3 slices of bread with 2 tablespoons of peanut butter and 2 tablespoons of fluff or sprinkle on the mini marshmallows and cover with the remaining slices of bread, cut into wedges.
3.  Arrange the wedges in the bottom of the loaf pan and set aside while making the custard.
4.  Whisk the eggs until well beaten, add the milk, sugar and vanilla and whisk to incorporate.
5.  Pour the custard mixture over the "sandwiches" in the baking pan, cover let sit for 30 minutes.  Then bake at 350' for approximately 30 minutes in a hot water bath, or until a tooth pick inserted comes out clean.  This should be soft in the center.
6.  While the bread pudding is cooling, make the ganache by heating the cream to scalding, then pour over the chopped chocolate and stir until melted.  

To Serve
Using martini glasses, divide the bread pudding by the spoonfull among the glasses and drizzle with the chocolate ganache.  Serve warm.

For those of you that are familiar with "fluffernutters", this will bring back wonderful memories.  For those of you who are new to this flavor combination, I know you will enjoy this rather decadent dessert.

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

Monday, May 7, 2012

Obsession - yep, I definitely need treatment for this!!!

OK...now for a simple and delicious pizza.  No red sauce, no white sauce.  The only"sauce that is on the pizza is pesto.

This makes one 12 - 14 inch pie, which will serve 2 to 3 people, if served with sides.  If not, it will serve 1 to 2 people.

Using your favorite pizza dough or prepared crust, spread about 1/2 cup of pesto on the dough,
Sprinkle on 1 and 1/2 cups shredded provolone cheese and 1 cup of shredded mozzarella
Spread on 1 1/2 cups roasted, peeled and diced red peppers
1 cup of diced tomatoes
Bake at 375 until the crust is golden and crispy

Once removed from the oven, add 2 sliced or diced avocados that have been drizzled with lime juice and dig right on in.

This is really good!!!

From the heart of my purple kitchen to you,

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Obsession with flavor combination

OK....I admit, I have now gone completely over the edge of reason.  I posted a sandwich recipe the other day and for some reason, can't get enough of the flavor combination.  So, I did a few other things with the ingredients:

1 pound of cooked mini penne pasta
1 - 12 ounce jar of roasted & peeled red peppers, julienned
1 cup of basil pesto
1/2 cup of sun dried tomato strips packed in olive oil...be sure to use the oil
2 large avocados, diced
3 cups of shredded provolone cheese
1/2 cup of toasted pine nuts

While the pasta is still warm, mix all the ingredients together and serve.  This makes 6 servings and can be served warm or at room temperature.  Since there is no mayonnaise used in the recipe, this should work well for a picnic.

From the heart of my purple kitchen to you,