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 24, 2012

Hat Tossing Time!!!

Ladies and Gents,

Paula Deen is looking for the next Deen Team Blogger.  With that in mind, I am going to toss my hat into the ring.  My red hair is on fire and my creative juices have shifted into overdrive....or overhaul....well, maybe a little of each, so here goes.

Paula has asked that applicants demonstrate why we think we are the best candidate.  Let's start with the basics....I'm a short, round redhead with tons of personality, I am not shy or retiring, I love to mix things up, especially from a culinary standpoint, my recipes are easy and delicious...and I can write.  I have been published in Plano Profile Magazine and my Turkey, Cranberry and Chipotle Tamale recipe has travelled through the Chef and Publisher blogs.  I am working on my first cookbook.  I have been described as "very creative" and "open".  I have a way of connecting with and engaging with people, both in person and in writing.  I know how to address any subject in a polite and appropriate manner, and with or without humor.   I know how to say please, thank you, and I'm sorry....and mean it.

But the most important thing is - any blog should not be solely about the writer, it has to include the reader / follower.  Each blogger needs to be able to connect with their audience, tell stories, talk about how things developed for the recipe or situation and provide the reader with the impetus to try and the confidence to succeed.  A blogger needs to be able to be open and have the ability to share information about themselves, their successes and failures so that people can connect with them and with each other, in other words, a blogger is a facilitator.  A blogger also needs to be able to receive feedback graciously, whether it is positive, identifies an opportunity for improvement or is more critical feedback.  Blog content should also include mishaps, challenges and opportunities and what we did about them and what we learned so that readers / followers know it is OK when these things occur, that it is not always going to be right the first time.

My role, as a food blogger, is to inspire.  One of the things that I am looking forward to is holding cooking classes in a casual but structured environment so that people can connect via a common meeting ground.  Whether the food is good, bad or great, food brings people together.

Food and cooking can:

  • Facilitate relationship building because it is a subject that everyone is familiar with  
  • Open communication in a way that no other vehicle can because food is a universal language, we all speak "food" no matter what our background
  • Express love, offer comfort and rebuild broken bridges
  • Inspire creativity, enhance fun and be a stress reliever
  • Be comic relief, break world records and bring communities together
  • Raise money to feed the hungry
  • Help heal the sick and offer hope
Now that I have shared my personal philosophy, I would love to hear from y'all.  What are your thoughts about food and its expanded role in society?  What do you think food and cooking can do?  

From the heart of my purple kitchen to you,

Saturday, October 20, 2012

OMGoodness!!! She's back and with a Breakfast Pizza

Hello to Everyone,

Wow...it has been quite a while since I have posted on my blog.  Working full time (50+ hrs a week), going to school and singing in choir is probably more than anyone should try to do along with attempting to make progress on a cookbook and blog.  I have always taken on too much and every once in a while, I need to step back and take a break.

Most importantly, Thank you to everyone who has visited my blog for the first time and to everyone who has returned to my blog over the past 2 months.  I appreciate each one of you and your visits.

Even though I have not been blogging on a regular basis for this brief respite, I have been cooking.  I have several new recipes to post, including:

  • Breakfast Pizza, 
  • Buffalo tenderloin with blackberry & sage wine sauce,
  • Cornbread & chili muffins,
  • Green chili & chicken pasta
  • Dark chocolate and caramel sandwich cookies, 
  • Pumpkin and chocolate chip cookies, 
  • Peanut butter and jelly cookies,
  • And....a few other wonderful items.
So, with that list in hand, here is the Breakfast Pizza:

I decided to make this easy on myself and purchase some really great pizza dough from a local grocer.  Pizza shops who make their own dough are usually willing to sell it to you, if you ask.  

This makes 16 servings, or 8 if you are especially hungry.  

1 ball of pizza dough, preferably fresh
1 - 8 ounce jar of medium picante sauce
1/8 cup olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
12 ounces of bulk chorizo
8 eggs
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
4 cups shredded pepper jack cheese
2 cups queso fresco, crumbled
1 - 16 ounce jar of red salsa
1 cup of Crema Mexicana - can substitute Creme Fresh 

Preheat your oven to 350' F and use the middle rack. 

In a large nonstick skillet on medium, add the olive oil and let heat for 2 minutes
Add the onion and saute until translucent, about 5 minutes
Add the chopped jalapeno to the pan, stir and cook for an additional 2 minutes
Add the chorizo to the pan and break up the meat into small, bit size pieces and let brown

While the chorizo is cooking, crack open the eggs into a medium bowl and whisk with the garlic, salt and pepper

When the chorizo is cooked, remove excess fat from the pan and add the egg mixture.  Cook the eggs gently, scrambling as they set until the eggs are done.  Turn off the heat and set aside.

In a jelly roll pan, scatter 1 tablespoon of cornmeal.  Using 1 ball of pizza dough, roll it out into a rectangle and place the dough in the pan.  Bake for 20 minutes.

When the crust has baked for 20 minutes, remove from the oven and spread the picante sauce over the crust, scatter on the egg and chorizo mixture and cover with the cheeses.  Return this back to the oven until the cheese melts and becomes golden brown.  Remove from the oven, spoon on the red salsa, drizzle with the Crema and serve hot.  

This was delicious - spicy and substantial for a breakfast pizza and there was no skimping on toppings.  

From the heart of my purple kitchen to you,