Sue Z.’s Finds

Sweets for our sweethearts come in many forms, but few beat the elegant selections at Max’s (3826 Grand Way, St. Louis Park, 952-922-8364, Owner Ellen Hertz travels the world to find the very best chocolates and jewelry for her store, Style by Max. Chocolates from Italy and an artisan piece of jewelry for your Valentine?

If winter has given you a scratchy throat, soothe it with Nina Wong’s all-natural ginger syrup. Just add it to your tea or smoothies for a delightful treat. You can also use it in salad dressings and to top off pancakes and waffles—even ice cream. Find it at her restaurant, Chin Dian Café (1500 E. Hennepin Ave., Mpls., 612-676-1818,

It’s hard to think about trout fishing in winter, but don’t let that keep you from picking up Brett Laidlaw’s great new book: Trout Caviar: Recipes from a Northern Forager ($28, Minnesota Historical Society Press). More than just trout recipes (although there is a great one for lake-trout chowder!), the book is a collection of tips and recipes designed to help you take advantage of the seasonal bounty found right here in Minnesota all year round.   

If it’s a new twist on old-fashioned sweets you’re looking for, check out the assorted malted milk balls at Alix in Candyland (5400 France Ave. S., 952-915-1100, Big and little kids alike will find their favorite flavor among the bins of these colored treats and more in this divine fairy-tale-filled shop.

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.

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.