Brunch goes Mexi with Chilaquilies, May 22-May 28, 2020

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

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  COMFORT FOOD  

A skillet full of flavor 

When I was checking the Bush Beans site for dishes that could be created from this ingredient – one of our tips in last week’s Salon – I was rather amazed at just how many I found. But one that just jumped off the page at me was the Chilaquiles recipe, something I’ve had and enjoyed in restaurants.

It’s sort of a cousin to nachos but with the egg component a really nice breakfast or brunch dish. You could even up the egg quotient with a fried or poached eggs on top {and I did, with the leftovers}.

Black beans and the mixed-in eggs are joined in the pan by chips and salsa, and when hot served with onion, cheese, cilantro and sour cream. I made it as the recipe indicated but wondering if their photo doesn’t also show some pinto beans too, which sure couldn’t hurt.

Also couldn’t hurt to add some bacon {and I did} or breakfast sausage into the equation, maybe some avocado on the side {did}. All in all, as is or enhanced, a great combo of flavors and textures.

Oh, how good would these be with a bloody mary???

Substitutions if needed: cream cheese instead of crema, canned diced tomatoes with or without additions instead of salsa, any beans, any onion.

Next week:  secret cookie filling

Recipe  

  FOOD TIPS FOR THE TIMES  

Shopping, cooking, storing, substituting, using up, amusement, helping, health & safety

  In our 03.27.20 Salon, in the Tidbits section, we showed a link for baking projects to consider if you’re among the many folks spending more time at home. Now Taste of Home has come along with 50+ cooking projects and I think CS-ers will find a lot to love here. Nacho appetizer triangles lead the way, followed by the likes of nutty oven fried chicken, Bavarian pot roast, bbq chicken & apple bread pudding, reuben & rye strata, a burrito bar and several good looking sheet pan dinners.

  Well this could be a fun way to spend some time. The following google link takes you to a list of sources for downloadable  food-themed crossword puzzles. Of course, go only with those you trust and that your security program approves.

  As far as I can tell, Forgotten Harvest operates only in the Detroit area. But I wonder if their proactive program could apply all over the place. They collect food that would have gone to waste and deliver it to organizations that feed the hungry. Of course would want to be sure that food is still good, but if it is, what a phenomenal way to help those in need, and more than ever today.

  Btw while I was on the Bush site checked to see if maybe they had gathered their recipes into a cookbook, but didn’t find one there. Looked on Amazon and didn’t find a Bush one but did find “Bean by Bean” cookbook,”  subtitled, “More than 175 recipes for fresh beans, dried beans, cool beans, hot beans, savory beans, even sweet beans.” Four stars. Cool beans, indeed.

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Chicken Pepperoni Parmesan, May 15-May 21, 2020

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

New Salon every Friday – c’mon in

CS friends, and help yourself to tasty resources

  COMFORT FOOD  

It’s like they had a crystal ball

Magazine articles are prepped many months in advance of publication. So check this out from Food & Wine for March: “The comfort of working from home is your one saving grace. Not only can you stay in pajamas all day and watch movies while sending emails, but you can also cook some seriously comforting food. Here, the 25 things you’ll definitely want to eat.

But here’s the thing. The first sentence actually was, “When it’s March and it’s blizzarding, times are truly bleak.  And the full final sentence was, Here, the 25 things you’ll definitely want to eat while snowed in.” While much of the country is likely not snowed in, some of the country is in, and comfort food is ever so welcome.

Our Featured Recipe comes from that list, which also has such tempters as bacon fried rice with avocado and fried eggs, cheesey nachos with fried eggs and giardiniera, meatloaf with red wine glaze, individual chicken pot pies, and pralinc brownies, 25 in all. View as a slide show or scroll down for the full list.

The chicken pepperoni parm is already a plate of flavor. But in fact I did add some Italian seasonings to the tomato sauce or you could certainly use a jarred marinara. I also sauteed the chicken in butter/olive oil instead of breading it. More good news – it all bakes on a sheet pan.

Next week: Chilaquilies, layers of flavor

Recipe   Food & Wine magazine F&W comfort food list 

  FOOD TIPS FOR THE TIMES  

Shopping, cooking, storing, substituting, using up, helping, amusement, health & safety

  Did you want mashed potatoes tonight, but no fresh taters, no flakes, none in the freezer? One other question – did you make the loaded baked potato soup we featured in our 04.24.20 Salon? If that one’s a Yes, do this. Put the frozen soup in a non stick skillet over low heat and when you can begin breaking it up and stirring it around. Keep stirring as it loses liquid and begins to thicken. Continue until it has the consistency you want. It will actually be more like whipped than mashed but will stand up to gravy. And, oh boy, the flavor!

  Take a can of beans. And then – wow – look what you can do. This pantry staple can be transformed into soups, stews, chili variations, salads, casseroles, skillet dinners, dips and ethnic treats. Some nicely spicy stuff too including the honey chipotle steak hot dip. And even goes sweet with bean spice cake, brownie truffle bites and chocolate fudge cookies. These treats on the Bush Beans recipe page can be searched by course, bean variety, recipe type and more. {Photo from Bush site}

  As with people food pantries, in some areas there are also pet food banks. And as with the people ones, tap into it if you need it, donate if you can. I didn’t find a central source for this kind of information, but you should be able to search for any that may be near you.

  “Produce Pool”? A funny photo circulating on the web shows one way to pass quarantine time – a guy is at his billiard sized kitchen table with what might be a cue stick taking aim at a tomato, ready to “break” a formation of limes. Pairs of bananas serve as the targets. Thanks, Peggy.

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Homemade donuts, glazed, jelly, more, May 8-May 14, 2020

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

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We want to help us all stay safe – and find joy in the kitchen, our own special haven

  COMFORT FOOD  

Raise your hand

. . . if you think donuts sit way atop the list of comfort foods. But can’t go to the store right now? Paula Deen says you don’t have to. Tap into her “How to Make Doughnuts at Home” feature and turn out some beautiful glazed rounds that she tops with sprinkles – but guessing CS-ers may have some ideas of their own.

And we don’t have to stop there.

AllRecipes offers a way to turn jelly sandwiches into jelly donuts. What fun! If you do use the link below and go onto their site, you might also want look into their jelly donut cupcakes.

Many cultures have their own versions of filled donuts, often looking like what some of us call bismarcks. This is what Wikipedia has to say and it includes quite the “linkfest”. . .

jelly, or jam doughnut is a doughnut filled with jam filling. Varieties include the German BerlinerAustraliaBritain and Nigeria‘s jam doughnuts, sufganiyot from Israel, and the jelly-filled doughnuts sold in the United States and CanadaJapanese anpan are similar to the Berliner, except they contain red bean pasteKrafne from Southern Europe also include a jelly-filled variety. In Italybomboloni are popular. Bavaria and Austria also have a jelly doughnut known as Krapfen that is typically filled with apricot jam and topped with powdered sugar.

One more thing to consider. I’ve found that almost any cake or sweet bread {date nut, e.g.} batter can be spooned into donut pans and baked, usually about 10 minutes {like mine shown here}.  A great way to use up extra batter.

Next week – Chicken Pepperoni Parmesan

Deen’s donut recipe    AllRecipes jelly donuts

  FOOD TIPS FOR THE TIMES  

Shopping, cooking, storing, substituting, using up, helping, amusement, health & safety

  In our 04.24.20 Salon we suggested adding another dimension to phone visits with a libation tied to the time of day – morning coffee, afternoon tea, cocktail hour sip, evening cocoa. Washington Post food pro Mary Beth Albright has upped the ante with her suggestion of a Zoom-powered cocktail party {more about her in the next item}. And now Walmart has taken the idea all the way to hosting a virtual dinner party. Truth be told it was a little short on details but maybe all “guests” could make the same dish from a recipe the host provided, which could be one of these menu ideas that was included in the Walmart entry.

  Albright hosts online cooking demos, free to all. Called the “Quarantine Cooking Show,” it’s very much in tune with the times. Given that ingredients can be hard to find, she tends to concentrate on what’s likely on hand, also noting possible substitutes or even when you can simply leave something out. One of her comments sets the tone for all the shows: “You take what you have on hand and make something great.” As you can guess from the reference above it’s not always about food. For her virtual cocktail party she made Quarantinis.

  Did you know the Feeding America site has a search window where you can check for food banks near you? Tap into this resource if you are in need – of if you possibly can, donate even a couple of non-perishables since most of them are suffering great shortages right now as they try to help others. All of their scores at CharityNavigator are in the 90s.

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Disney’s Cookies & Cream Bread Pudding, May 1-May 7, 2020

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

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  COMFORT FOOD  

Hooray, Disney shares parks’ restaurant favorites

I saw a flash on my Echo Show about Disney’s recipe for cookie fries. Not sure if it implied this or if I just drew the conclusion but I thought the company was taking this step because we can’t go to the parks for their notable dishes.

But after tracking it down, I discovered that the “Disney Parks Blog” has been publishing its recipes for quite some time. You can find the cookie fries there too, which actually are clever cookie “bakes” that look like fries.

But our comfort “foodar” took us at warp speed to the Cookies & Cream Bread Pudding. It leans classic with a loaf of Italian bread among the ingredients which, though, has to share the spotlight with chocolate sandwich cookies along with extra vanilla and {fair warning} a whole lot of half and half. The topping only makes this rich dessert . . . richer.

Btw, you’re likely not serving this to a crowd and consequently will have some of the sweetened condensed milk left after using it as part of the topping. Hit the last link below to see what google has to suggest for the rest of it.

Recipe notes: While their topping looked quite good, I opted for chocolate sauce and sour cream. That other picture? Used some of the mix to make donuts and muffins, and those I dusted with powdered sugar – you’d still actually want to serve these fun shapes warm like regular bread pudding.

Next week: Homemade donuts, glazed, jelly and more

Recipe    Disney Parks Blog recipe pages    leftover scm on google

  FOOD TIPS FOR THE TIMES  

Shopping, cooking, storing, substituting, using up, enjoying, health & safety

♦  Truth be told, though box mix brownies can’t really compete with good homemade, most are pretty decent. But if there were a way to “Make Boxed Brownies Taste Homemade” we’d probably take a look, right? Have at it, because there’s not just one but four ways to do this. Hey, why not use even more than one???

  This is a surprise to me but credible sources say even in the age of the coronavirus, the best way of cleaning produce is simply with running water, and maybe a clean brush for items with sturdy exteriors. And they further specifically advise against soap or other household cleaning products. Did not see anything one way or the other about vinegar. Here are two of the articles I found that cite entities we should be able to trust.  Huffpost   USAToday  Photo by Gila Brand at en.wikipedia

  Chances are pretty good a whole lot of us have a can, or two, or more, of tuna in the pantry. It’s a classic star in a salad and casserole. But here comes MyRecipes with “Three Deliciously Creative Ways” that may be new to you. 1} tonnato sauce, typically used on cooked veggies or as a dip for raw ones. 2} rillettes, a creamy meaty spread, and 3} a tuna version of a crispy crab cake. The can opener is calling you.

  With a nod to our stay at home way of life right now, someone in our Nextdoor group said he needed to start practicing social distancing from the refrigerator.

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Tasty, satisfying, and famous potato soup, April 24-April 30, 2020

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

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We want to help us all stay safe – and find joy in the kitchen, our own special haven

  COMFORT FOOD  

Do try this at home 

If you’re a big fan of Panera’s baked potato soup, you may be looking like this 😥. It’s not a matter of not being able to go to the restaurant, and presumably can’t pick it up or have it delivered either.

According to Food Network Magazine, the soup is just no longer on the menu. Then the same mag comes to the rescue with its Copycat Baked Potato Soup.

Rich in cream, bacon, seasonings, and three kinds of cheese, it’s a bowlful of indulgence. The title above is the one used in the magazine, but when you go to the link you’ll see that online Panera Bread Baked Potato Soup, 16 ozit’s Almost Famous Baked Potato Soup.

‘Fessing up – I’m doing a little double dipping here. While my soup shown here is very similar to the FN one, it’s tweaked a bit to accommodate a test for a cookbook I’m planning.

Also note that subsequent to coming across this recipe, I’ve now seen that you can buy Panera’s soup in the grocery store and also on Amazon {shown left, linked below}. Haven’t tried it yet, but good to know.

Next week: Cookies & Cream Bread Pudding

Recipe    Food Network Magazine    Amazon

♦  FOOD TIPS FOR THE TIMES  

Shopping, cooking, storing, substituting, using up, enjoying, helping, health & safety

  A study in Lancet Microbe shows that in the most common conditions, the corona virus can live for 3 hours on printing and tissue paper, 2 days on wood and cloth, 4 days on glass and paper money, 7 days on stainless steel and plastic, 7+ days on the exterior of surgical masks.

  First you take a package of ramen noodles. And then you make your choice of these “24 Tasty Recipes.” Not just gussied up soups but also main dishes, stir frys, sides and salads. Some get quite creative with the seasoning packet. And one unique app has you divide the cooked noodles into a muffin tin, bake until crisp, and then use as “buns” for sliders. Thanks “Taste of Home.”

  So if we can’t visit friends and family in person, we can still use our cells or landlines to stay in touch and many of us are doing exactly that. There’s a fun way you can make that phone visit just a bit more like the real thing. Instead of just a call, share a morning coffee, afternoon tea, cocktail hour sip, or nighttime cocoa, each person ready with the appropriate beverage. Nice.

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You can still see full-featured Salons in the Archives, 04.10.20 & earlier

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Bacon Cheeseburger Casserole, April 17-April 23, 2020

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

New Salon every Friday – c’mon in

CS friends, and help yourself to tasty resources

Dear CS Friends

Starting this week and for as long as neceessary we’re going to share with you just two areas, both of which we hope you’ll find helpful and timely.

First, a comfort style recipe – in fact, most of our recipes fit this category but we’ll be going the extra mile to make sure they are super tasty and satisfying.

Second, whatever guides we can find that relate to the food you bring into the home or that you may already have in your home and how you can make the most of them and more.

We can perhaps take this time to flex our creativity in the kitchen, our own sweet safe haven

  COMFORT FOOD  

Hotsy, Totsy

In our 02.14.20 Salon we featured the first of the casserole-a-month recipes from Southern Living. That was shrimp and grits and I can only hope it is a marker for the other preps because that was one super tasty plateful.

So, the recipe for April is asparagus quiche which looked quite good and also takes advantage of a nice spring veggie. But I actually fast-forwarded to September and it’s ever-so-comfort sounding cheeseburger casserole with a heat secret {hotsy} and a tater tot {totsy} topping.

I did, btw, go generous with the cheese on top as you may see in the ungarnished version, and feel free to boost the bacon. One thing, since you may not be serving a crowd right now, consider cooking the beef and all the add-ins, portioning into the freezer, and then going ahead with the tots and toppings as you serve the portions.

According to Tasting Panel member and Duluth native Layne, this definitely qualifies as a classic Minnesota Hot Dish, and an eminently tummy-yummy one at that. That’s two out of two, Southern Living!

Next week: Famous loaded baked potato soup

SL recipe    All their casseroles    Southern Living

♦  FOOD TIPS FOR THE TIMES 

Shopping, cooking, storing, using up, substituting, enjoying, health & safety

  We ran an item on safe shopping in our 03.27.20 Salon that focused on what to do once the groceries are in your home. Now ABC-TV News has taken us right into the store with “How to safely grocery shop during coronavirus.”

  TV chef and cookbook author Ina Garten shows us how to make good use of existing pantry staples. She calls them her quarantine meals but they sure do equate to comfort food. Thanks to MyRecipes for sending this along.

Eat This, Not That (Revised): The Best (& Worst) Foods in America!  Are you familiar with the Eat This, Not That! books, articles, and website? The whole realm is premised on what to put and not put on your plate in the interest of nutrition, health and wellness. A recent post by msn.com, under the Eat This, Not That! banner, talks about “30 Best Immune-Boosting Foods.” The good news is that pretty much of it is stuff you can easily find at your supermarket. That first link, btw, takes you to the books on Amazon.

  Can’t get out to your favorite coffee emporium? This might be a fix, and since it’s gone viral you may already have seen it. “Quarantine Dalgona coffee” popped up on my Echo Show. Whaaaaat?  And this was unexpected. When I searched online, atop the results was a story by . . .  “Popular Mechanics” ??? They were looking at the science behind this stuff which is basically whipped sweetened coffee, named after a Korean confection and bearing some resemblance to what you would find at Starbucks, et al. This Google page will show you that one and lots more.

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Rich and creamy {& famous} clam chowder, April 10-April 16, 2020

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

New Salon every Friday – c’mon in

CS friends, and help yourself to tasty resources

  Here’s what you’ll find this week when you scroll below  

  TIDBITS – “easiest” asparagus / salsa=16 dinners / corona through food?    CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT – our fun new mugs / adda Mada    FEATURED RECIPE – trick it up    TIP – read & ready    THE WEEK – there’s good and there’s good / possible leftovers resource / play without fear

  TIDBITS 

Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

  What a great time for an asparagus recipe, just when the tender spears are becoming available. Even better, “This might be the easiest way to make asparagus.” It’s in a skillet, few ingredients, says 5 minutes.

  As promised in last week’s Salon, here is AllRecipe’s offer of “16 Easy Dinners to Make with a Jar of Salsa.” Note as with many of these slide shows you can also opt to just scroll down and see the full list. I think my list-topper is likely to be the Black Bean Breakfast Bowl, or wait, maybe the Cilantro Lime Garlic Sauteed Shrimp {D’s Taco Pizza?}.

Thinking we’d all like to know the answer to this. “Can You Contract Coronavirus Through Food?” MyRecipes takes our previous posts a step further with “Why you need to pay attention before, during, and after your supermarket visits {and home deliveries}.” Their information is sourced from the CDC and FDA.

  CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT   

Cheer up your morning {or any time} with a fun CS mug

Our own CS mug collection {five is a collection, right?} is now on its own page right here on the Salon site. More will come in the days ahead.The Mug With A Hoop

For now, you can raise a toast to chocolate, coffee, ice cream, and parties. And rounding out the lineup, one I just love . . . “In this house I’M the celebrity chef” – you too?

All of them are our own designs. But credit for the craftwork goes to CA-based Zazzle, home of many fine crafts.

The page also gives you links to other food-themed mugs on Zazzle plus on Amazon and SunFrog. Some are more cups than mugs, like the clever one shown here from Amazon. Images are clickable.

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NEW, our “Make America Decent Again” collection on Zazzle now includes a tee, hoodie. button, sweatshirt and mug – all right now on BJN’s Eclectic Mall page

  FEATURED RECIPE  

Make as is or use their own trick

In our 03.27.20 Salon we featured Todd Wilbur’s book, “Top Secret Recipes/Step by Step.” I had mentioned that among the preps landing on my to-make list was this very one from the famous Boston {etc} restaurant group, Legal Sea Food.

The amped up flavor is thanks to such ingredients as bacon, onions, garlic, and spices. I actually used bottled clam juice for the stock, and here’s one of two ‘fess-ups – canned clams, added at the end and gently heated so they stayed tender.

The second ‘fess up requires a detour, in fact to Boston. I’m long familiar with Legal Sea Foods given that it was a mandatory stop any time my husband and I were in town.

Top Secret Recipes Step-by-Step: Secret Formulas with Photos for Duplicating Your Favorite Famous Foods at HomeOne time while we were at the bar awaiting our table we had a pleasant conversation with the bartender. In the course of the chat we mentioned how we were all but addicted to their fish chowder.

Whether he should have told us or not, he did – the secret he said is a lot of Monterey jack cheese. The question was, is that true or not, but our fairly experienced taste buds thought it probably was and that’s what I’ve borrowed for the clam chowder in place of the flour and cornstarch, melting in till it was as thick as I wanted, and then the clams.

Btw, I learned something that’s reflected in the recipe link. Don’t know how many are in its “library,” but apparently Google posts entire books and that’s where the link will take you. If you’d rather have a real book in your hands, there’s also the Amazon link where you’ll see Wilbur’s work merits 4 1/2 stars, available at good discounts for both Kindle and paperback.

Recipe     “Top Secret Recipes Step by Step”    Wilbur’s other Top Secret Recipes cookbooks  

  TIP  

For some CS-ers, this is going to be a great big Duh!

Which is to say, you might take a look at the subject and say, well of course I do that. But not all of us do, all the time, and I’m as guilty as anyone else in this regard.

The subject is, reading the recipe. And not just right before you make it, but a day or two before you make it.

Do you have all the ingredients. And just as important, do you have enough of each ingredient. Are the necessary appliances in working order. Does anything have to be done in advance – marinating, baking, chilling, freezing. Or, can some of the steps be completed in advance.

Party time makes this pre-look even more critical, and now we’re likely talking more than one recipe. Are the necessary big bowls and pans going to be available or in use for something else. Is there room in the oven or on the stove for all the planned preps. Is there time to get it all ready.

So grab a cup of coffee or your beverage of choice, sit back and relax. And have a nice little read.

  A PEEK AT MY WEEK  

Welcome to my kitchen and living room

  I was drawn to a headline regarding Quarantine Cakes on my Echo Show. Turns out they’re from a bakery in CA, designed for 1 or 2 people, frosted with coronavirus messages {“Stay 6 ft apart,” e.g.}. Not sure what I was expecting, but not exactly this, and not something available only locally. But maybe, intentionally or otherwise, there’s a message here anyway – don’t have to totally abandon good eating habits, but maybe this is a time to indulge in a few more treats than usual. We’ll do our best to help.

  In case you have an Echo Show, one of the features that’s quite handy is asking Alexa how to use up leftovers, as a general question or regarding a specific ingredient. I asked her about some leftover cooked shrimp and she came back with shrimp quesadillas and lemon garlic shrimp. You can then of course ask her for the recipe.

  Are you among those spending a little more time at home than usual these days. One possibility to pass the time is to . . . play with your food. And do it without fear because, cooks being among the most creative folks on earth, we can almost always find ways to turn the bad to good. E.g., I recently made a layer cake instead in a sheet pan, and after a guessed-at baking time the poked-in wooden skewer came out clean and the edges had started to pull away.

  But after it cooled somewhat discovered that actually the bottom was decidedly not cooked. Hmmmm. Hauled out a large skillet, in with a little oil, and then dropped in squares of the cake undercooked side down, until done and a little crisp. Over briefly for some crispness on the done side. Then cooled, wrapped portions in foil, and into the freezer to emerge on demand as tasty pancakes.

This week’s:

  •  Photo credits – cup, mug, book-Amazon / recipe-my photo of Wilbur’s page / others-mine
  •  Link sources – cooking asparagus-MyRecipes / brownies-msn.com / photo links for cup & mug, books-Amazon
  • Partnerships – Amazon {ongoing – Amazon, Zazzle, SunFrog}

Click here or on the Amazon logo    to go directly to their home page

So far next week: Starting next week our Salon will convert for now to a more simple format, just two elements – a comfort food recipe and whatever food safety measures we can find

Last week, just below: taco shell the blank slate, best cobbler?, marinara + + , sheet pan 2.0, warm chocolate cobbler, flour trick, save the milk, fun with taters, impromptu dressing

Looking for something in CS?

Scroll & check previews OR use the search box OR contact me at bjnosek@gmail.com

Questions, comments?

Use the same email, enter CooksSalon in the subject line – see the Let’s Chat tab for further details

Note

All transactions are solely between the buyer and linked supplier

Cook with passion and a party spirit, whether for a crew, or for two, or just for you

All pages ©2020 CooksSalon.com

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Cookbook author’s Chocolate Cobbler, April 3-April 9, 2020

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

New Salon every Friday – c’mon in

CS friends, and help yourself to tasty resources

  Here’s what you’ll find this week when you scroll below  

  TIDBITS – taco shell, the blank slate / best cobbler? / marinara + +  ♦  CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT – sheet pan 2.0    FEATURED RECIPE – oh my!!!    TIP – flour trick    THE WEEK – save the milk / fun with taters / impromptu dressing 

  TIDBITS 

Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

  A feature in “Parade” last weekend was a fine reminder of just how versatile tacos can be. Once you set up a shell {see our tip in the 02.21.20 Salon for making them stand tall} or lay out a tortilla, the possibilities for fillings/toppings are boundless. Meats, fish, cheeses, veggies, beans, fruits, bacon, eggs, chilies, onions of any color, garlic, citrus, herbs, sour cream, salsa in all its variations, hot sauces and other sauces. What a great way to raid the fridge and use up tasty odds and ends.

  This week’s Salon is a bonanza for cobbler lovers. Not only do we have the blow-everyone-away chocolate version as our Featured Recipe. but also this from MyRecipes: “How to Make Your Best Cobbler Yet.” You’ll find the 1-2-3-4 of assembling your dish, and then how to cook it in the oven, on your stovetop, or even . . . on the grill.

  Truth be told there are some decent spaghetti sauces at the supermarket. But Epicurious via msn.com says there are ways to make them even better with its “5 Ways to Amp Up Jarred Pasta Sauce.” Temperature, seasonings, ingredients, cooking and baking techniques are in the details.

♦  CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT  ♦ 

Already done!

Two weeks ago we talked about using foil to create separate compartments for different foods. And that’s a good technique with an item you likely have at hand.Chicago Metallic Lasagna Trio Pan, 12-Inch by 15-Inch by 3-Inch (11-1/2-Inch by 2-1/2-Inch Cavities)

But, eureka! A sectioned sheet pan already exists. It’s called a lasagna tri-pan but clearly you could use it anyway you want, and because of the depth it’s actually better than a standard sheet pan..Disposable Aluminum 3 Compartment T.V Dinner Trays with Board Lid #210L (50)

And then there are disposable ones too. These are multipacks. Both images are clickable.

Btw, you’ll also see others designed for brownies, bars, mini loaves and the like that could even work for smaller amounts.

Sectioned sheet pans, 4 stars & up

CS Marketplace Directory

  FEATURED RECIPE  

Looks aren’t everything 

OK, here’s the thing. When cookbook author Elizabeth Heiskell was putting this dish in the oven on the Food Network show, The Kitchen, the hosts in effect compared it to sludge.

Truth be told, when it came back out the cosmetic improvement was slight at best. The ice cream makes a tasty coverup – she used cherry, a sort of Black Forest thing going on, and I used butter pecan. Whipped cream or sour cream I think could also be nice.

BUT, how it looks will fade into the ionosphere once you taste it. Yikes it’s good!. In fact I believe it was Sunny that said it was the best dessert she’d ever had on the show.

What Can I Bring?: Southern Food for Any Occasion Life Serves UpThe frosting on the cobbler so to speak {hey maybe another solution}, is that it is quite easy to make. One melt, two mixes, and voop into the oven.

Some notes. I took it out 33 minutes. There’s no guideline on whether to use 3/4 or 1 cup of hot water – I used 3/4 and think next time a full cup for even more gooey goodness, and maybe take a minute or two off the baking time. To serve it I flipped it over to have the melty chocolate on top..

Heiskell is the author of a book we’ve previously featured in the Salon, a gift guide of sorts titled “What Can I Bring,” and subtitled southern food for any occasion life serves up –  hardcover and Kindle, both discounted on Amazon. We’ve also linked her other cookbooks, similarly with a southern accent.

Recipe    “What Can I Bring”    Heiskell’s other books

  TIP 

Don’t have self-rising flour? Easy fix

AllRecipes to the rescue again. Turns out that site is not only boffo for recipes but also for techniques.

Our Featured Recipe for this week calls for self-rising flour, but not everyone keeps this on hand. No worries, as long as you have regular flour, salt and baking powder you’re good to go.

There’s even a demo. And bonus, while I was on the site found a way to turn salsa into 11 dinners. Next week Tidbits!

To make self-rising flour

  A PEEK AT MY WEEK  

Welcome to my kitchen and living room

  Please, please, don’t hoard milk {or really anything else}. But most guidelines say it’s OK to take one extra of most things. With milk the problem is using it up before it spoils. So, asked Alexa on my Echo Show about freezing it and this is what she said – remove about a cup from the carton to allow for expansion. Write the date it’s going into the freezer and the expiration date on the carton, which will tell you when you eventually use it about how long it should stay fresh. Thaw in the fridge or in cold water, shake before use in case the fat has separated.

  And then, good Alexa offered a transfer to WikiHow for more information. So, I poured about a half gallon from a gallon into a large container, left about 2″ clearance, sealed up, into the freezer. And we shall see.

{At some point we’ll be bringing you regular food news, tips, recipes, even jokes from Alexa on its own CS page}

  What a fun and festive idea for when we can once again party on. See the pic? – that’s “potato snow,” found in “The Secret Garden Cookbook” featured in our 03.06.20 Salon. Oh so easy too! Per the recipe, simply push boiled, towel-dried potatoes through a coarse sieve with a wooden spoon letting them “pile high into a snowy mountain slope.”

  I actually peeled the potatoes, wrapped in foil and baked, so no drying time needed and then held with a multi-folded large napkin to sieve while still hot. Even so, there will be some cooling so it’s a good idea to serve with some hot melted butter. Just be careful not to shake the plate or you could end up with something more like a “drift.”

  Steak, baked potatoes, and salad were on the dinner menu. When baked is on the plate, sour cream is sure to follow. So a creamy dressing on the salad would be sort of redundant, but I wanted more flavor than just a vinaigrette. Hmmmm, started with some soy sauce, then in quick succession sesame oil, rice wine vinegar, hot sauce, and grated dried garlic. Nice. Now a new fave.

This week’s:

  •  Photo credits – sheet pans, book-Amazon, others-mine
  •  Link sources – sheet pans, books-Amazon, recipe-Food Network
  • Partnerships – Amazon

Click here or on the Amazon logo    to go directly to their home page

So far next week: 16 meals from salsa, catch corona through food?, brownie mix upgrade, clam chowder with a secret, more on safe shopping, made the potato soup, Alexa cake, play with your food, fun foodie mugs

Last week, just below: baking crafts, safer shopping for the times, boffo cake, recipe clone source, leftover pizza breakfast casserole 2.0, Wilbur’s chicken trick, grits hits, safe& easy pretty Easter eggs, Japanese home cooking cookbook

Looking for something in CS?

Scroll & check previews OR use the search box OR contact me at bjnosek@gmail.com

Questions, comments?

Use the same email, enter CooksSalon in the subject line – see the Let’s Chat tab for further details

Note

All transactions are solely between the buyer and linked supplier

Cook with passion and a party spirit, whether for a crew, or for two, or just for you

All pages ©2020 CooksSalon.com

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Leftover Pizza Breakfast Casserole, March 27-April 3, 2020

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

New Salon every Friday – c’mon in

CS friends, and help yourself to tasty resources

CS Friends

I considered suspending CooksSalon during these times when ingredients can be hard to find and we have more on our minds than a new recipe. The other side of that is that perhaps there’s a benefit in staying connected through a shared passion and enjoying a little respite from the cares of the day.

So here’s  what we’re going to do for now

First, keep publishing CooksSalon each Friday for the present.

Second, post anything we can find to provide help in our cooking realm – ways to protect our health, make the best of what we have on hand, substitute for what we don’t – the first example being the shopping guidelines just below.

Third, watch for any signs that we should in fact suspend the Salon for a while.

Stay safe my friends.

  Here’s what you’ll find this week when you scroll below  

  TIDBITS – baking crafts / safer shopping for the times / boffo cake     CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT – recipe clone source    FEATURED RECIPE – really, this time    TIP – Wilbur’s chicken trick   THE WEEK – grits hits / safe, easy, pretty Easter eggs / Japanese Home Cooking cookbook

♦  TIDBITS 

Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

  This is sort of an interesting case of kitchen meets craft room. Most of us most days just don’t have time for time-consuming recipes. But every now and then it might be nice, even therapeutic, to just let hands and mind concentrate on something that will reward us with a pretty and tasty end result. Epicurious thinks so, and backs that up with this slide show of “31 Epic Dessert and Baking Recipes for When You Need a Project.” Maybe a giant chocolate candy bar, best morning buns, caramel apple drip cake, or spiced hazelnut-pear cake with chocolate sauce.

  As we all know, right now there are some scary times out there. To help in the food realm, msn.com offers these suggestions on How to Protect Yourself from Coronavirus When Grocery Shopping.  You’ll find guidelines for picking up pre-assembled grocery orders, receiving deliveries, and handling the items once they’re in your home.

  Haven’t even made this yet but what an interesting cake. Take a look at the picture of this Sweet and Salty Snack Food Cake AND the ingredients and see if you might not agree. The topping is so different, potato chips, cookies, coconut, raisins, nuts, butter, brown sugar. Think this rich cake might also be good as is or with just a touch of glaze or frosting.

  CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT  ♦ 

Send in the clones

Oh, this is fun. Think of your favorite restaurant food, or even selected grocery store items, and you just might find a copycat in this cookbook.

Todd Wilbur’s reason for creating “Top Secret Recipes . . . Step by Step/Secret Formulas with Photos for Duplicating Your Favorite Famous Foods at Home” would warm any cook’s heart. “. . . the enjoyment we experience when everyone is amazed by the successful re-creation of a delicious dish they thought they could only get in a restaurant or in a package sets this type of cooking apart from any other.”Top Secret Recipes Step-by-Step: Secret Formulas with Photos for Duplicating Your Favorite Famous Foods at Home

Requests from fans turn into quests by Wilbur, a mix of “snooping, exploring, and experimenting,” a process he enjoys it seems every bit as much as creating the end result. And this is nice – little information boxes atop each recipe specify first time or improved hack, active and inactive prep times, level of difficulty, and yield.

All in all you’ll find 125 recipes from over 60 sources – think fast food outlets, family restaurants, ethnic places, breakfast spots, steakhouses, coffee emporiums and dessert bars. The packaged goods clones include Twinkies®, Auntie Anne’s Pretzels®, Fudgsicles®, a couple of Girl Scout cookies, and more.

Yikes, so many temptations here. Think my list-toppers might be the Chili’s® molten chocolate cake {with caramel sauce!}, Legal Sea Foods® clam chowder, Panera Bread® Asian sesame chicken salad, Red Lobster® Cheddar Bay Biscuits®, Ruth’s Chris Steak House® barbecued shrimp, and Taco Bell® Mexican Pizza.

“Top Secret Recipes Step by Step”    Wilbur’s other Top Secret Recipes cookbooks

CS Marketplace Directory

  FEATURED RECIPE  

A pizza journey 

AllRecipes magazine in effect is asking us this question about leftover pizza: Why have a cold slice in the morning when you could instead use those leftovers to fill your plate with hot “Pizza Breakfast Casserole.” What a way to start the day.

When I went to their site to get the link to post for you, the dish in the photo with the recipe looked quite different from the one in the magazine. The recipes are identical except in two regards and I think that accounts for the difference in appearance.

First, the mag one bakes the casserole for just 30 min before uncovering, while the one on the site calls for 45 min, and then both continue for another 20 min. Second, at that 30 min point, the mag version tops the dish with pepperoni.

So, onto my prep. One change I made was minor, stirring the red pepper flakes into the egg mix instead of using as a topper. The second was more significant  – had buttermilk to use up and that replaced the milk. It was probably the latter change that led to the dish testing done at the 30 min point. Laid on the pepperoni and back in uncovered for just 3 min.

Next time? Since this is fork food rather than finger food, I would cut the pepperoni into halves or quarters depending on the size of the slices.

I think even with regular milk the 30/20 timing would probably be enough and accordingly I would lightly saute the onion and garlic in the melted butter. And with that just-right baking, it’s likely your pizza casserole will look like the one in the magazine – and like mine {plus parsley}.

Recipe    AllRecipes magazine  

  TIP  

Straight from our Spotlight book

In his cloned recipe for KFC Original Recipe Fried Chicken, author Todd Wilbur offers this way to keep the finished chicken warm while the remaining pieces are cooked. Thinking that would also be good if you have to wait for other dishes or late guests.

So, do this, he says. Place the fried pieces on a rack on a baking sheet and then into a 200 degree oven. This should maintain a nice serving temperature without overcooking the chicken.

Now wondering what else this might be applied to. French fries, bacon, toast? Might try it.

Items featured here also appear in our weekly Tip Tuesday posts on Twitter, Facebook & LinkedIn

  A PEEK AT MY WEEK  

Welcome to my kitchen and living room

  So now that I’m a bit of a grits-o-phile, I’m suddently seeing preps elsewhere. A feature in the current issue of Food Network magazine stirs in shrimp & cheddar, or mushrooms & acorn squash, or coconut & short ribs. The Epicurious site shows a version very similar to the one we featured in our 02.14.20 Salon, but kicked up with jalapeno. Serious Eats crafted a “biography” of grits on its site with some really interesting flavor variations along the way. All those sound good, but for a quick and simple prep I like to cook it now in chicken bouillon with a bit of butter, top with bacon and chives. If I want to go a little gussier, I stir in cheese and add a fried egg on top.

  So, in our 03.13.20 Salon we showed the pretty lavender results of  dipping peeled hard cooked eggs in beet juice. But maybe you’d like a bit more decoration, and also eggs with their shells still on. Well, alrighty then. Let’s take a look at our chat from last July {07.26.19} that showed an easy way to decorate Easter eggs with food color pens. Fast. Safe. Even prettier!

  Recently finished “Japanese Home Cooking” by Sonoko Sakai. Maybe not for everyone, but definitely a good source for the serious student of this cuisine. And student is appropriate because Sakai taught Japanese cooking first in her home, then across the country and eventually around the world, and that comes through in her carefully designed recipe instructions and also the separate sections on principles, equipment, tableware, and ingredients. You’ll find pantry style {everyday} dishes and then some a bit more complex in this book where Sakai offers “the craft and reverence of three generations of women in my family.”

This week’s:

  •  Photo credits – book-Amazon / chicken-Wilbur book / others-mine
  •  Link sources – snack cake-Food Network / books-Amazon / recipe-AllRecipes / AllRecipes mag-AllRecipes subscription page
  • Partnerships – Amazon

Click here or on the Amazon logo    to go directly to their home page

So far next week: sheet pans 2.0, chocolate cobbler, best cobbler, party gift book, potato snow, upgrading jarred marinara, taco fillers, no self-rising flour no problem, freezing milk, impromptu dressing

Last week, just below: brunch watch, sheet pan trick, food spending, a new home for your spices?, cheddary apple crisp, paring knife to go, tiddy whatty?, pizza does breakfast, book for bloggers

Looking for something in CS?

Scroll & check previews OR use the search box OR contact me at bjnosek@gmail.com

Questions, comments?

Use the same email, enter CooksSalon in the subject line – see the Let’s Chat tab for further details

Note

All transactions are solely between the buyer and linked supplier

Cook with passion and a party spirit, whether for a crew, or for two, or just for you

All pages ©2020 CooksSalon.com

 

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Apple crisp with cheddar crumble, March 20-March 26, 2020

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

New Salon every Friday – c’mon in

CS friends, and help yourself to tasty resources 

  Here’s what you’ll find this week when you scroll below  

  TIDBITS – brunch watch / sheet pan trick / food spending    CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT – a new home for your spices?    FEATURED RECIPE – promise made-promise sorta kept    TIP – knife to go    THE WEEK – tiddy whatty? / pizza even better / book for bloggers 

  TIDBITS 

Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

  It’s today! But, fear not, if you’re interested can still catch up with it Sat or Sun. “It” is chefs checking in with some favorite brunch dishes on the PBS channel, Create. Kevin Belton, Lidia Bastianich, and America’s Test Kitchen bring on, respectively, tastes of New Orleans, Italy, and from the latter, best coffee cake and more. In my PT zone, today 9p-2a, Sat 10a-3p, and Sun noon-5p.

  Looking at the current food mags and food shows it would appear that sheet pan cooking has matriculated from trend to staple. Meanwhile did you see this idea in the ads Reynolds Wrap is running right now? The pieces of foil, in this case three, were crimped on the edges to create separate compartments on the pan. Keeps the flavors and juices right where they belong, with easy cleanup as a bonus.

  Thinking it may be our group that’s responsible for any escalation of these averages. In fact it was  CS-er, and many thanks, that sent along a report from msn.com that took a look at food spending in 22 major American cities. Click the link to see how your household compares.

♦  CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT   

Rack ’em up

I love my spice rack. Three pull-out drawers, nine slots in each. Now don’t tell it, but there’s one on Amazon I’m sorely tempted to order as a replacement.McCormick Gourmet Three Tier Wood 24 Piece Organic Spice Rack, 27.6 oz

It one holds all the jars face forward. Easy to see at a glance what you what you’re looking for.  Easy to see at a glance what needs to be replenished. And no worries about if it will fit in your pantry or cabinets because, as you can see top left, it’s handsome enough to sit on the counter much like a nice piece of furniture.

Spice Rack Wall Mount Invisible Acrylic Wall Spice Rack Wall Mount Spice Rack Spice Rack Spice Rack Organizer Spice Rack for Door (Pack of 4)This is an “Amazon Choice” and Prime eligible. It is a little on the pricey side, but many are not, including the other two shown here, with actually quite the discount on the crisscross one, and a Kamenstein 5085178 Criss-Cross 18-Jar Bamboo Countertop Spice Rack Organizer with Free Spice Refills for 5 Years, Browntouch of magic for the one on the right that makes your jars appear to be held in place by an unseen force.

Not too surprisingly there are other gussy offerings on Amazon, lots of styles, features and prices. Some come with their own jars, other accommodate the original store-bought jars. All of the selections shown are clickable.

Spice racks 4 stars & up    Spice jar labels 4 stars & up

CS Marketplace Directory

  FEATURED RECIPE  

Cheddar apple crumble yummer

Well here’s the story. After promising this tasty desert recipe last week, things went bad this week.

Couldn’t find the frappin’ thing {thank you Aunty Peggy for that polite word}. The victim no doubt of TMR syndrome {Too Many Recipes].

Since cheese was the guest star here, turned to Sargento and voila! And to the best of my recollection it’s pretty much the same as the one that’s been in my family for decades {and presumably somewhere still is}. Btw, I sometimes baked these in individual oven-proof bowls.

I think you’ll like this. And their addition of vanilla ice cream atop the warm confection sure can’t hurt.

 Recipe  

 

  TIP  

The cutting edge

. . . has its place. But not when a paring knife is accompanying you to a picnic, potluck or other destination where further prep may be needed.

The solution may be as close as your stash of travel items. With a bit, that is, of repurposing.

Rummage through the stuff and extract the two-piece tube that usually transports a toothbrush. Alternatively there’s a good chance you can find one in the trial and travel section of your grocery store or pharmacy.

Knife in, container sealed. Good to go.

Items featured here also appear in our weekly Tip Tuesday posts on Twitter, Facebook & LinkedIn

  A PEEK AT MY WEEK  

Welcome to my kitchen and living room

  Since you folks aren’t here to do it, smacked myself upside the head. In our 03.06.20 Salon, in the chat about “The Secret Garden Cookbook” I included reference to tiddy oggies with no clue what the heck that is. It’s actually pasties filled with budget-friendly potatoes rather than meat, with tiddy being the Cornish name for potatoes. Google corrects this to tiddly. Turned to good ol’ Diner’s Dictionary to arbitrate and it opted for tiddy, further informing us that oggy is the Cornwall term for pasty – much more to the story under the oggy listing, including its role in the sports chant, “Oggy, Oggy, Oggy Oi, Oi, Oi.”

  CS friends, I apologize for the tease. I did make the promised breakfast casserole from leftover pizza and it is very good. But there’s so much to say about it, discrepancy between two recipes, my results, my changes to the recipe, my planned changes for next time around, baking time. So . . . since it is so good it indeed qualifies as a Featured Recipe and that is exactly what it will be next week. All the details!

  True to its name, the Serious Eats site is dedicated to those serious about food, where recipes are like cooking lessons, ingredients merit detailed backstories, appliances are virtually disassembled and reassembled, techniques are designed to refine. The book “Serious Eater” by site founder Ed Levine, parallels the approach by delivering an eye-opening primer on starting and sustaining a blog. The hobby blogger can pick up some pointers but for anyone planning to pursue this as a business, the book is required reading. All of us CS-ers, however, can appreciate his tales of restaurant reviewing in the early chapters and restaurant recipes sprinkled throughout, starting with C.C Brown’s hot fudge.

This week’s:

  •  Photo credits – spice racks-Amazon / apple crisp-Sargento / pizza casserole-mine
  •  Link sources – spice racks, jar labels, books-Amazon / recipe-Sargento
  • Partnerships – Amazon / PBS {member, not affliate}

Click here or on the Amazon logo    to go directly to their home page

So far next week: baking projects, safer shopping, top secret restaurant recipes source, grits 2.0, the whole breakfast pizza casserole story, snack-topped cake, chicken trick, Japanese cookbook, even prettier eggs

Last week, just below: Irish hangover cures, using up milk, juice reuse, good food read, savory creamy herbed steak sauce, say nuts to tight bottle caps, made the shrimp & grits, pretty eggs, virtual Paris read

Looking for something in CS?

Scroll & check previews OR use the search box OR contact me at bjnosek@gmail.com

Questions, comments?

Use the same email, enter CooksSalon in the subject line – see the Let’s Chat tab for further details

Note

All transactions are solely between the buyer and linked supplier

Cook with passion and a party spirit, whether for a crew, or for two, or just for you

All pages ©2020 CooksSalon.com

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