About Susan

In June of 2009, I had just finished my first year of teaching mathematics after transitioning from a career as an attorney.  During that first year of teaching, it did not take long for my Calculus students to learn how much I enjoyed cooking and eating.  They began class on Mondays by asking what my husband and I prepared over the weekend – ricotta gnocchi, stuffed artichokes, escargots?

During these conversations about weekend menus and trips to Philly’s Italian Market, I realized that many young people are genuinely curious about cooking.  So, to share my love of food, I created La Cucina di Poppiti, LLC, to provide cooking instruction to teens.  I designed several series of courses, including one on ethnic dishes – Italian, French, Spanish and Moroccan – and one on menu items inspired by restaurant kitchens from across the United States  – Chez Panisse in Berkeley, Vetri in Philadelphia and db Bistro Moderne in New York City.  Every session involves preparing and enjoying multi course lunch menus, and students leave each session with the recipes.

Now I offer “Pop-Up” cooking classes (typically dinner menus) to adults.  You can find a sample menu on the “Pop-Up” Page.

I also write a monthly column entitled “The Judicial Palate” for The Journal of the Delaware State Bar Association.  My articles focus on recipes as well as restaurant reviews, but sometimes you will find a crossword, word search or other puzzle.

Thank you for visiting!

8 responses to “About Susan

  1. This is great! A little note from your Cousin Gina in California…I want to commend you sharing your culinary skills with your teen students–Two weeks ago we dropped our daughter off for college –pre-season soccer training– and in one night we got 5 desperate calls from her about cooking spaghetti and meat sauce.

    I will try to make sure that our younger daughter is better prepared when her time comes…Gina

    • Thank you, Gina! Maybe next time it will be ricotta gnocchi…I can forward my recipe.

    • Leone Cahill - Krout

      Susan & Gina,

      I thought I would share a story that I hope is perfect for the upcoming holiday and embraces both your teaching and your culinary passions.

      My daughter is a Senior at the Univ. of Delaware studying History Ed and is student teaching at Avon Grove HS; AP History and AP Macro-economics.

      She recently went on an Apple Picking trip with fellow students and they found themselves with more apples than they knew what to do with. Limited kitchen facilites in the dormitory prohibited the usual Apple Pie.

      She concocted an Apple Pico de Gallo which was so creative! It is a delicious balance of sweet and spicy!

      It is the basic Pico de Gallo mix of chopped red onion, cilantro, jalapeno, sprinkle of salt and spritz of lime but she used only 1 tomato. Then added 3 unpeeled, chopped apples. (I used Gala since the skin is thinner than Red Delicious but equally crunchy and sweet).

      The Apple Pico de Gallo really cleanses the palate, especially against all the traditional Turkey day starches. I plan to serve it this year as an fresh alternative to the traditional cranberry sauce at Thanksgiving this year.

      Leave it to the “starving, college kid” to come up with this versitile, edgy condiment!

      I wish you a warm holiday that fills your soul and belly!

      • Hi Leone,

        Great story! Thanks to you and your daughter for sharing the Apple Pico de Gallo recipe…I plan on trying it over the Thanksgiving holiday. What a great way to use the apple varieties available this time of year. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours as well!


  2. Susan,
    Great job! The blog is terrific! Sorry to make this short but I have some recipes to try out!

  3. Deanna McGregor

    Hi Susan –

    I got some encouragement to post my dinner last night on your blog!!

    I took a couple sprigs of fresh rosemary, four cloves of garlic and salt & pepper & olive oil and put it in my Magic Bullet and blended it until it was reduced to a straight liquid. Then I took a marinating syringe and injected a 2.5 lb boneless pork loin all over. I then pan seared it on each side, then cooked it at 350 until it had an internal temp of just shy of 150 degrees. Then I covered it and let it rest for 15 minutes. It was juicy, tender and DELICIOUS!

    I also use the marinating syringe for things like whole picnics where it is really difficult to get it properly marinated. I just cut the layer of fat back, inject it all over, including close to the bone, put the fat back and then slow roast it.

    The trick with the syringe is getting your marinade blended well enough so there are no chunks so it will pass through the needle easily.

    If you have never tried one, I recommend them!

  4. apple salsa does sound refreshing…much appreciated! best of luck to your daughter.

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