Sue Z.'s Local Finds: February 2017

Twin Cities foodie Sue Zelickson shares her favorite new local cookbooks, plus Bloody Mary mixes

A tall Bloody Mary could be just the right thing to warm your heart for Valentine’s Day, and you can enjoy it right at home with a new mix. The Sideshow Bloody Mary mixes created by Pete and Kelly Holzer in Jordan, MN, come in three heat levels including the original “Strongman,” the jalapeño garlic “Fire Breather,” and the horseradish “Thick Rider.”

Or cook your sweetie a recipe from Kitchens of the Great Midwest, the bestselling novel by Hastings, MN, native J.Ryan Stradal. The story follows a young girl’s journey to becoming a star chef, raised on MN flavors. And be sure to have five medium onions, dry sherry, and Gruyère cheese on hand for the onion soup recipe.

Speaking of cookbooks by MN natives, onetime Minnesota Monthly food critic Nick Fauchald’s Short Stack series ( releases a small book focusing on a single ingredient each month. Now all 23 editions are combined in The Short Stack Cookbook: Ingredients That Speak Volumes, which features easy recipes from great chefs, recipe researchers, and cookbook authors.

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

Photo by Shari Fleming Photography

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.