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Friday, January 25, 2013

Stoemp (Mashed Potatoes with Leeks):Spotlight on The Girl in the Little Red Kitchen

Stoemp (Mashed Potatoes with Leeks)

Yay! Another Sponsor Spotlight!

Today I want to introduce you guys to the incomparable Susan, The Girl in the Little Red Kitchen. Susan lives in Brooklyn with her husband and adorable pug and she cooks up delicious (and often-times award winning) food in her little, red, kitchen! She and I also have a special bond. For one thing, red is our favorite color. BUT ALSO she is the first fellow food blogger I ever met in real life! You guys remember when I blogged about our fun foodie date at Chelsea Market? Yeah? Great! Then you know how funny, fun, and fabulous (the 3 "F's") Susan is!

Stoemp (Mashed Potatoes with Leeks)

She has blogged sooo many delicious recipes! On the sweets side, I can't wait to try her (award winning) Belgian Supreme Ice Cream, the (also award winning) S'more Nutella Rice Pudding, Homemade Nutella, and her Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie! This girl also knows how to do savory right-like um her post on how to cook steak at home!? And she is queen of risotto (I want this recipe to become the first risotto I ever try). AND yes Buttermilk Oven Fried Chicken and Smoked Gouda Mac and Cheese with Kale and Onions-mmmm!

And, so we can all get to know her better, she filled out a fun questionnaire for us!
(I filled out one for her too, AND she made one of my recipes so go check it out on her site!)

Stoemp (Mashed Potatoes with Leeks)

Q: Let's start with the obligatory question: How'd you get into food blogging, and why?
A: I felt like a needed a tangible hobby.  I was 6 months from turning 30 and wanted something else to do.  I already cooked on a regular basis like I do now and had the habit of taking photos of food, so why not just write it down for everyone to see? 

Q: If it was your last day on earth, what would your perfect meal be?
A: Peter Luger porthouse cooked medium rare, with a side of lobster.   The most perfect in season juicy tomatoes, french fries from Belgium and for dessert - a warm chocolate chip cookie piled high with ice cream and hot fudge.  Hey, it's my last meal I'm going to eat well!
(mmmm that sounds amazing! I still haven't been to Peter Luger!)

Q: What is the thing you've made that you've been the most proud of?
 A: That'd be my French macarons.  The pictures didn't up doing justice with how pretty they looked - I had feet and they didn't collapse! A lot of work went into finding the right recipe and ratio and then of course figuring out the fillings.  However, I do say to anyone who thinks they can't make them - try.  I had failures.  Ones that cracked, others that were too brown, or under baked, but I tried and tried and it worked!  This isn't a recipe that you'll get right the first time and that's okay. 
(OK, I totally do wanna try, they look awesome)

Q: What are your favorite recipes that you've blogged?
A: Well I love my pecan crusted salmon, I actually need to do an update because I've changed it slightly (for the better imo) since I originally posted it. It's one of the few I make on a regular basis.  Then there's the garlic scape pesto, which I can literally eat by spoonfuls.  It doesn't help with my breath, but it's that good.  I think lastly would be my thick and chewy compost cookies.  When you are finished making them, your kitchen smells like a candy shop.  What can be better?
(Now I'm thinking about those cookies!)

Q: What kind of stuff did you cook/bake growing up, when you were just a little Susan?
A: I mostly baked on my own as a little kid - the usual, chocolate chip cookies, brownies, rice krispie treats.  The one piano recital I had as a kid I was so proud because I "catered" it with all my baking.  After that, I'd help out in the kitchen around holiday time, but I really didn't start true cooking on my own until college. 

Q: What's your favorite thing that has come out of food blogging?
A: Getting back into writing again.  I wrote a lot as a child and a teenager and then just stopped.  It's been a pleasure to express my thoughts again and of course meeting so many wonderful people - like you!
(Aw! I have the same thing though, I wrote a lot as a kid then stopped!)

Q: What's your favorite spice?
A: I use za'atar often, it's a mix of sumac, sesame, oregano and mint.  Perfect for Middle Eastern and Greek cooking and just has that right blend. 
(That is way more interesting than my answer)

Q: Sweet or savory?
A: Both! I don't go for super sweet items though, I always end up with a little savory in there :-).

Q: Favorite drink?
A: Water. I'm not a soda drinker, well except for seltzer.  On the flip side, a nice hoppy beer or dry white or red wine makes me happy. 

Q: Cake or Pie?
A: Pie, and really only cake of it's homemade or cheese. 

Q: Cookies or Cupcakes?
A: COOKIES! <----- leaving your response! (we wrote the same thing :P)

Q: If you could model your dream kitchen, what are a few things you'd NEED?
A: Small appliances I think I have everything I need.  Big appliances, a Viking stove or Wolf, I'm not picky! Definitely a dishwasher and plenty of counter space! 

Q: Favorite kitchen tool/gadget?
A: On the small side, I live for my microplanes - you wouldn't think you need more than one, but oh I found reason for it!  On the large, my stand mixer and food pro!

Q: Show us a picture of your kitchen! (Lookat the cutie pug!)

Q: What's the most annoying thing, to you, about working in a small kitchen?
A: Not enough counter space.  Half is taken up by my dish rack and I do like to leave it up all the time since I clean as I go!
(me too!)

Q: Non-food related questions--What's your favorite color? Your favorite animal?
A: Red! Pugs! (duh)

Q: What's a brief rundown of a day in the life of Susan?
A:  Get up, walk puggers, come back in and spend about 15-20 minutes on the computer checking email/social media.  Get ready for work - work 10-6 - then depending on the day I might go to zumba/kickboxing cardio after work then come home, make dinner for the two of us, watch some TV, "bloganate" as my husband would say and call it a night by 11:30!  

Q: What is your biggest dream?
A: I'd love a career in food, not to cook professionally, but to write or work in a test kitchen.  After that, be happy, grow old in Brooklyn with hubs and pugster number 2 or 3 :-)

Q: Where do you want to be in 5 years (in general life and bloggy-dom)?
A: See above. :-)

Q: How much do you love Kayle, and why?
Kayle was one of the first blogging friends that I met! We had a lovely date at Chelsea Market, where I let her discover the little secret known has half price brownies at Fat Witch Bakery after 5pm. :-) Kayle's a sweetheart, we can talk food and blog stuff and about our men and not tire each other out.  Plus have you seen the things she bakes up? 
(Awwww I love you too! I agree with everything you said :P)

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Stoemp (Mashed Potatoes with Leeks)

For this spotlight I made Susan's "stoemp" (AKA mashed potatoes with leeks--it's apparently a traditional Belgian potato recipe). Susan said, "Once you make these potatoes, you will never look back on your mashed potato recipe again." Gosh darn it she was right!! These potatoes are so velvety in texture and incredibly rich and flavorful! I could not get enough of these, and Michael loved them too! I know you'll agree, so you should head on over to The Girl in the Little Red Kitchen to get the recipe!

Stoemp (Mashed Potatoes with Leeks)
Stoemp (Mashed Potatoes with Leeks)
Have a bite of this rich lusciousness. Go make this recipe. ASAP.
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