Sue Z.’s Local Finds

’Tis the season to spread the joy. This year, why not fill a basket or stuff stockings with your favorite local goodies for friends and family? Tasya Kelen‘s Isadore Nut Company makes sweet little satchels of healthy-but-irresistible nuts packaged with adorable gift tags. The Cayenne Kick, Cinnamon Spice, and Zesty Lemon Rosemary flavors are made without gluten, soy, or sugar (Lakewinds Food Co-ops and 

Thumbs Cookies are made with love by Robyn Frank, who has moved back to her native Minnesota after making her mark baking in the Big Apple. She uses her mother’s recipe for the thumb-size shortbread-style cookies, available in flavors including Rosemary Pecan, Double Chocolate, and Apricot Pistachio Cardamom. She even makes mini cookie sandwiches with customizable fillings ( 

Flavored oils and vinegars bring extra zing to any dish. At Olive on Tap in the Sundial Center in Minnetonka, Rebecca Bouchier infuses more than 100 flavors in her 18-year aged balsamic vinegars and delicious olive oils, perfect for enhancing your next pasta dish or jazzing up a holiday roast (5757 Sanibel Dr., Minnetonka,

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.