Sue Z.’s Finds

Still searching for that perfect holiday gift? For the foodies on your list, there are two new local cookbooks I’d recommend: Beth Dooley’s Minnesota’s Bounty and The New Midwestern Table by Amy Thielen. Beth’s Curried Parsnip Soup and Amy’s Cardamom Caramel Rolls are worth buying extra copies to keep for yourself (both are available at your favorite bookstore). If e-books are your thing, local cooking teacher Anna Dvorak has put her expertise to good use in an e-cookbook series called Nourish: Cooking with Love in Four Seasons. She highlights foods from each period that are cooked and eaten near harvest time (

For stocking stuffers or a sweet treat for holiday parties, the new Pop It Top It kit from North Aire Market ( is a fun, easy-to-make snack. It contains microwave popcorn, white chocolate candy coating, and a snickerdoodle-inspired topping, but you can add in other flavors.

Holiday celebrations don’t need to pack on the pounds. If you’re entertaining, try serving healthy Flackers, flax-seed crackers that are dairy-, nut-, and gluten-free—as well as vegan and low-carb. Created by Dr. Allison Levitt, a local nutritionist, the five-ounce boxes can be found at Lunds, Byerly’s, and other local markets (

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