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Sue Doeden

Sue Doeden contributes food columns, recipes and photos every Sunday in the Bemidji Pioneer. She also appears Wednesday nights on Lakeland News at 10 and teaches cooking classes.

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Rhubarb. Roasted. Honey-Glazed. Sigh.

Bemidji’s Natural Choice Farmers Market opened for the season yesterday. I was there with my market bag, filling it with fresh butter lettuce, baby turnips, green onions and beautiful rosy red radishes. Oh, and I can’t forget the homemade bread.

Spoonriver Cookbook's Rhubarb Cake: Example of love in the kitchen

When you’re on the phone with Brenda Langton, owner of Spoonriver restaurant in Minneapolis, you can hear the smile in her voice; you can sense the sparkle in her eyes and feel the passion in her words.


Green Scene No-Bake Energy Bites

I was on a mission. I needed more Green Scene No-Bake Energy Bites. I had been to the cozy organic market and deli just the week before. The half dozen Energy Bites I grabbed from the Green Scene deli lasted only minutes in the car on my way home. I did save a couple for the peanut butter monster I live with. Now, I was on the road to Walker for more of those addictive Energy Bites.

Hooray for hummus: Middle Eastern dip is colorful, healthful

On our way to Hackensack, Minn., to do some last-minute shopping for bee supplies a couple of weeks ago, my beekeeping buddy, Bobbie, and I made a stop at Green Scene in Walker. A container of spinach hummus, prepared by chef Kristin Melby in the spotless, wide-open stainless steel kitchen that takes up about a third of the cozy store’s space, went into my bag of organic food purchases.


Chocolate-Banana Chia Pudding: It's super easy

When a friend of mine told me her husband was at the grocery store picking up some chia seeds, I did what anyone who watched television in the 1980s would do. I sang. “You mean, ch-ch-ch-chia?” The catchy tune of the singing chia pet commercial popped right out of my mouth.


Don't chuck the celery ... make some tasty soup

Any other time, I wouldn’t give a second glance to a recipe for celery soup. I use celery when I make a pot of stock, and sometimes I add it to salads and slaws. It goes into mirepoix to use as a flavorful base for sauces, soups and stews. But unless its ribs are filled with peanut butter and dotted with soft raisins, I ignore celery.


Better Than a Biscuit Dairy-Free Strawberry Rhubarb Scones

I’ve steered clear of biscuit-making ever since I mixed up a crumbly mess of dry ingredients with butter and buttermilk years ago. The end result, inedible hockey pucks, came after a very frustrating baking experience. The wanna-be biscuits wound up in the garbage. That was when I decided I just didn’t need to ever, ever be making biscuits. And that’s why, when Katie Novotny, owner of St. Paul Classic Cookie Co. said that scones are simply a biscuit, I got nervous.

Scones made with a baker's gentle touch

I watched intently as Katie Novotny, owner of St. Paul Classic Cookie Co., dumped dry ingredients into a large metal mixing bowl. She used a knife to slash chunks of chilled butter into the same bowl. It seemed making perfect scones would be quite simple.


Asparagus with Creamy Chive Drizzle celebrates early spring

When the guy at the checkout asked me if asparagus could hold up to freezing temperatures, I thought he was referring to a malfunctioning refrigerator. Then, he put his hands in the air, layering them 4 or 5 inches apart. “My asparagus is about this big already,” he said. “It’s supposed to get down into the 20s tonight. I’m worried about the asparagus.”


Go straight for the Avocado Smoothie

I recently attended the annual conference for the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP), held in New York this year. Breakfast was included on a few of the days. Throughout the large eighth-floor gathering room of the Broadway Millennium hotel, long tables were arranged with a display of help-yourself fresh fruit, small cartons of yogurt and plates of fancy rich pastries, puffy New York bagels and muffins.


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Freestyling it in the kitchen

If you come home after a long day of work, toss a frozen Lean Cuisine dinner into the oven and hit the television remote control to tune into the food channel, you’re not alone.


This cake comes with (health) benefits

“What are a few things you always have in your pantry?” I’m often asked this question by curious cooks.


Walnuts take the spotlight in pasta dish

I’ve always thought walnuts tasted best in cookies, particularly chocolate chip and oatmeal cookies. Quick breads have also been a logical place to put some chopped walnuts.


Shortbread spoons are filled with love

My love affair with shortbread began seven years ago with my first bite of a homemade heart-shaped cookie that melted in my mouth. Rich, buttery dough had been packed into cast-iron heart-shaped molds and baked until they were set but not brown.


Hooked on salmon tacos

For years, I’ve stayed far away from fish. I didn’t prepare it or serve it and I would never even consider ordering it at a restaurant. I’m not fond of that “fishy” flavor that I thought all fish naturally carried.


Hot soy can be so cool

“Mom, you’ve got to try edamame.” It was my son, Andy. He was calling me from Texas where he was a senior in college. That was seven years ago. I had no idea what he was talking about. Was he learning a new exotic language?


Easy gardening concept inspires healthful rice medley recipe

As I pulled my copy of “All New Square Foot Gardening” from the shelf in my office, my mind wandered back almost 30 years to 1981. My mom was so excited about a new book she’d discovered.


Pots de Crème: Way more than just pudding

A slight resemblance to custard, but so creamy and smooth it could be mousse. Only the texture is a bit more dense than mousse. These little cups of silky smooth lusciousness are called Pots de Crème in French.


Turn your leftover Easter ham into a kicked-up 'hotdish'

If a large succulent ham will be the centerpiece of your Easter meal, there’s a good chance at least a small chunk of it will remain when the last diners push away from the table.


Hot cross buns: Pull-apart goodness

In many homes around the world, Good Friday isn’t Good Friday without egg- and butter-rich Hot Cross Buns, fragrant with spices and topped with a cross to signify Christ’s sacrifice.