Sue Z.’s Finds

Add some spice to your life with products from Cooks of Crocus Hill’s Goods and Goodies line (877 Grand Ave., St. Paul, 651-228-1333, cooksofcrocushill.com). The hot zippy chips (pickles seasoned with garlic and jalapeño peppers), preserved lemons, and rhubarb/ginger jam are my favorites. Mix chopped pickle chips into cream cheese for a zippy spread, use the preserved lemons in your next tagine, and spread the rhubarb/ginger jam between layers of a pound cake—or just eat it out of the jar. Really, it’s that good!

I’m also loving Epicurean’s cutting boards, made from either wood-fiber composites or recycled milk jugs (epicureancs.com). All their products are eco-friendly, food-preparation ready, dishwasher safe, and made in Duluth. More locally made products can be found at The Kitchen in the Market at the Midtown Global Market (920 E. Lake St., Mpls., 612-568-5486, kitcheninthemarket.com). Look for Anna Jane’s sesame-seed crackers and gluten-free cornmeal crackers; Pam Knutson’s all-natural vegetarian Birdsong soups; Laurie Crowell’s Golden Fig herbs, seasonings, and sugars; and Bittercube artisan bitters for those special cocktails and cooking applications.

Before you turn on your oven, get yourself an apron from Definitely Dishy (definitelydishy.com). Sisters Tamara Multerer and Laurie Mettling handcraft more than 20 styles of aprons for men, women, and kids, all beautiful and functional. Who says cooking can’t be stylish, too?

Sue Zelickson is the founder and director of Women Who Really Cook and Perspectives Family Center’s Kid’s Cafe. She is the former host of WCCO Radio’s Food for Thought.

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Sue Zelickson (Sue Z.) is a James Beard Award-winning food media personality, philanthropist, and longtime contributor to Minnesota Monthly and WCCO radio. She has founded the Charlie Awards, the Women Who Really Cook networking organization for women in the local food industry, and the Kids Cafe at Perspectives, Inc., which improves access to nutritious meals for families in need. You can find her buzzing around from event to event throughout the Twin Cities, helping to raise funds for charitable organizations, including some she has had a hand in building.