If you ask us, Seattle kids are some of the most enterprising and amazing around. And Sadie Davis-Suskind is no exception. We sat down with this MasterChef Junior competitor to see what she’s up to. And lucky us, Sadie even shared an easy-to-make recipe families can whip up just in time for Thanksgiving. Feast your eyes on this!
Red Tricycle: What was the first recipe you ever made? How did it turn out?
Sadie Davis-Suskind: I started cooking before I was talking. As soon as I could crawl into the kitchen, I started creating what my 5-year-old chef self thought to be culinary masterpieces. Were these early dishes edible? Probably not. But it was these experiences that initially fueled my love of cooking.
Jewish foods are the foods that I first learned to cook while watching and helping my grandmother, Sally and my mother, Rebecca make traditional dishes for Jewish Holidays. My favorites are a beautifully flavorful red wine simmered brisket and to contrast that, as nobody really likes the traditional bland gefilte fish, I make a whitefish fritter with beet vinaigrette that is amazing!
RT: When you’re not busy cooking up something in the kitchen, what else do you enjoy doing?
SDS: My second passion, if I’m not cooking, is theater. If I’m not in the kitchen I’m on the stage. I love the camaraderie and creativity of the Theatre Community. I so enjoy starting from scratch, with just an idea of what I want to create, adding in my own flair, working with a team and creating something beautiful, much like cooking.
RT: We know that eating healthy is important to you, Sadie. What tips or tricks do you have to help kids eat healthy?
SDS: Rather than trying to conceal vegetables within dishes like pasta or zucchini bread, my main focus when creating dishes and encouraging kids to eat healthy is ensuring that vibrant vegetables and nutritious foods are highlighted in the dish. I try to create recipes that use seasonal ingredients to enhance the natural flavors of these foods to make kids (and their adults) excited about eating them!
RT: What’s the coolest thing you’ve done since your appearance on MasterChef Junior?
SDS: Since being on MCJ, I’ve had incredible opportunities: I've been invited to film promo videos for artisan food companies; I've appeared on several TV stations getting out the message that great food and cooking is accessible to kids as well as adults; I've got to meet some of my culinary heroes, Tom Douglas and Ethan Stowe to name two; and I have my very own weekly column in the Seattle Times where I am given full creative freedom to create dishes I think kids and their families will love.
RT: Do you have any advice for young chefs-in-the-making?
SDS: Follow your dreams. Don’t let anyone get in your way. Don’t use a recipe, taste with your heart (and your palate!) and don’t go by the rules. Make all creations uniquely yours.
RT: Sadie, would you share a seasonal recipe with us?
For the apples:
2 cups peeled, chopped apples (I usually use granny smith but you can use any tart apple type you like)
1/2 tbsp. brown sugar
1/8 tsp. cinnamon
For the bars:
1 cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 2/3 cups packed brown sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
3/4 cup chopped nuts, optional (pecans or walnuts)
non-stick cooking spray
1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Spray your baking pan with non-stick spray. Then, line your pan with parchment, leaving the paper to hang over the pan. This will make it easier to cut the blondies after they are baked.
2. In your saucepan, add the butter and melt it over medium heat until it turns a beautiful brown color and smells nutty, about 5-6 minutes. Take the pan off the stove and pour the contents into a mixing bowl.
3. In the same pan, add your apples, brown sugar and cinnamon. Stir and cook over medium heat for about 3-5 minutes, until the apples have softened a bit.
4. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk in your flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.
5. In another medium bowl, whisk in one cup of your browned butter, your sugar, the eggs and vanilla extract.
6. Into the flour bowl, pour the wet ingredients. Mix until everything is well combined. Gently add in your apples (and nuts if using).
7. Pour your batter into the prepared pan.
8. Bake for 30-35 minutes until your blondies turn golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
9. Let your blondies cool down. Cut into squares and enjoy!
Want to keep up with Sadie? You can follow her on Instagram.