Cobbler – Peach, Pecan & a Touch of Caramel, Sept 25-Oct 1, 2020

New Salon every Friday – c’mon in

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Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

Help end the animosity – “Make America Decent Again”

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   Let’s Chat   

Quick Bites – Is your muffin tin phoning it in, just showing up for . . . muffins??? Let Food & Wine expand its job description with these 10 Spectacular Non-Muffin Recipes to Make in Your Muffin Tin. You can run the slide show or just scroll down on their page to find crustless quiche bites, mini black bottom cheesecakes, open face egg and ham sandwiches, maple-bacon popovers, brownie bites and the rest    Takeout is a nice indulgence, but if it’s a little more prevalent these days you might want to take a look at this nutritionist’s take on making your order a bit healthier with these 7 Simple Swaps on the Clean Plates site.     Indulgence meets healthy in this Cheeseburger Salad from MyRecipes.

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Shopping Finds – I don’t know about you but it seemed I never had enough spatulas . . . until I found this festive set. Plus a food brush! Right now the 7-pc spatula set is $8.99, Prime eligible, 5 stars, and an “Amazon’s Choice.”    Want to decorate the kitchen for Halloween? And to cite the spirit of the Salon – whether for a crew, or for two, or just for you – Amazon’s got you covered.    If you’re having trouble finding bouillon powder, as I have, you might try the jarred bases which I have found at the grocery store – have to be careful of the saltiness but quite the flavor whammy.

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Kitchen Talk – So, I finally took a look at the necktag that was on the ginger syrup {09.18.20 Salon}, and in   addition to a recipe for seasoned ginger party nuts, even more uses – ice cream, baked chicken, oatmeal {always like some help in that bowl}, yogurt parfait, chocolate cake, even cocktails . . . and roasted carrots to which I added a bit of butter, and mmm-mmm.    If you’re avoiding gluten, have I got a recipe for you. The title, Flourless Oat Banana Muffins, doesn’t do it justice given its flavor boosters of peanut butter, honey, spices and chocolate chips. Actually even better the next day.

      On the Table 

Peach cobbler – five ingredients – tons of yum

As this week’s title tells you, the peach filling has some company in the pan. Pecans for crunch, bits for extra richness.

About the bits. The recipe calls for toffee but once I spotted caramel chips, a substitution was immediately in play.

And this tasty dish couldn’t be easier. Layer, sprinkle x 2, stir briefly, sprinkle x 3. Ready to bake.

About the baking. This prep is actually designed for campfire cooking, buried in hot coals. It bakes in a parchment-lined Dutch Oven.

No problem. I used a 9 x 13 pan treated with baking spray. Then based on other cobbler recipes, baked at 350 for 50 minutes covered. Checking if it’s done all the way through can be dicey since the tester will be going through the fruit too. If you’re not sure, remove a scoop of the cobbler and use the tester on some of the cake that’s fallen to the bottom.

Recipe Notes – You could certainly still use parchment paper if you wanted. I think next time I would skip the brief stir, maybe instead just using the back of a spoon to press down a little bit of the cake mix. Sweetness is front and center here so if too much add a dollop of sour cream.

Next week – Knife & Fork Bacon Cheeseburger, savory sauce under and over

Recipe on the AllRecipes site    Cobbler cookbooks on Amazon

A Cuppa with Alexa – Recipes, Tips, News & More

You don’t have to have an Amazon Echo Show to tap into the particular tidbits we’ve linked below, drawn from its vast culinary bounty.

So, pour a cup and let’s talk food with Alexa.  In many cases she also guides you step by step through the recipes. We also show the actual requests for the benefit of those who are Echo owners.

Alexa says request: How do you make a French omelette? Of the four that immediately pop up on the screen, we’re going to link to Chef John’s prep on AllRecipes because he is more detailed on what makes it an authentic French omelette, also shunning extra ingredients because as he says, it’s “just eggs and butter, no filling . . . 10% ingredients, 90% technique.” Demo too.

Alexa says request: How do you make banana bread cake? But the option from Food Network Kitchen takes it a big step further. Called Banana Bread Lava Cake, it’s rich in spices and of course bananas, but the star of the show, the “lava,” the secret ingredient – here revealed – is ice cream bars! This one also has a demo.

My request: Alexa, how do you soften hard brown sugar? Wikihow is cited for two solutions, one that calls for imprisoning the sugar with a slice of bread or apple in a plastic bag, the other pressing the nuker into service. But if you go to the Wikihow site for this advice you’ll actually find six ways.

Would you like your own Echo Show?

Boundless information, music, movies, tv shows, videos, national & local news, sports, weather, timer, alarm, reminders, alerts, Amazon delivery notifications, most security camera connections . . .  and food, food, food, all on an interactive screen {some connect to Prime}.

You can browse all the styles here on this Amazon page

{Echo owners, if you say Alexa play oldies {others too?} the lyrics scroll on the screen – let’s sing along!}

   Cocktail Hour Buzz  

And as we say belowwhether for a crew, or for two, or just for you

♦ Perfect for the food-centric chat in our Salons. “Parsley, thyme and basil are typical savory herbs used to enhance the flavor of meat. But my favorite herb is rosemary. It’s great with chicken, beef or pork, great flavor and great fragrance as the meat cooks. You’ll find it in many Spanish recipes.” – Pld, Chicago

{Photo from Amazon, source of a variety of herb seeds}

  One of perhaps the best pieces of advice from the Playboy book featured in our 09.04.20 Salon: Take care of all  the preliminaries hours before or, if possible, the day before the event – e.g., amassing ice cubes, polishing brandy snifters, shopping, cooking, marinating, table setting, disks for the stereo, setting out cocktail napkin napkins, or if that’s the plan, hiring help. And then the real nugget: during the party Relax! – “. . . enjoy yourself at your own party.”

  Well, we don’t know if Linus will see the Great Pumpkin for this first time ever this year. But what whiskey-sippin’ folks can see for the first time ever this year is Pumpking Pumpkin Whiskey, a sibling to the well-established Pumpking Imperial Ales by Southern Tier Brewing.  🍺  Cheers.  

  More foodie chat. The acronym DOP on such Italian treats as salumi, fromaggi, olive oil, balsamic vinegars, stands for “protected designation of origin” . . .  showing that it “is legally guaranteed by the European Union to be ‘authentic, or made in the original town or region with traditional ingredients'” (in other words: no mystery ingredients). This bit of instruction from Eately and thanks for making us smarter.

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Hearty Cheese Ravioli Soup, Sept 18-Sept 24, 2020

New Salon every Friday – c’mon in

CS friends, and help yourself to tasty resources

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

My “Make America Decent Again” – 7 items crafted by CA-based Zazzle

See it right here on CS  OR Go right to the Zazzle page

Let’s Chat

Quick Bites – Take a dog to lunch? Turns out quite a few restaurant chains will welcome Rover or Fifi  🐶  and maybe even sweeten the deal with water and treats. Often the pups and their moms & dads are seated outdoors which many places are now emphasizing anyway. Here are a lot of sources on google  Milk Street fans, Season 4 starts Sept 19. Now the team is going on the road, in fact around the world, where they’ll, as PBS says, “meet cooks who inspire a new style of home cooking.” In my time zone, Saturdays at noon.

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Shopping Finds – On a recent episode of Fieri’s GGG one of the contestants selected ginger syrup for his dish – and that was new to me so looked for at the grocery store but nope, but thank you Amazon, found it there.    I guess we had to know it would be coming – face masks with food themes! I found these on the well established Eat This Not That site but the masks they show come from various sources so you may want to do a pre-check. If you do go on those sites, maybe even more food you can “wear.”

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Kitchen Talk –  So far have used the ginger syrup on waffles and in tea. Much as I can’t abide ginger in baked goods, love it every other way and this joins that collection. How else might you use it? Here’s what google says.    Btw, did not waste that original caramel sauce from our 09.04.20 Salon, but instead mixed it with soba noodles, a little chicken bouillon, chicken, carrot shreds, topped with green onion & chopped peanuts. That worked.     My quest continues for a really good oven fried chicken recipe – you’ll be the first to know.

 

 On the Table

Cheese Ravioli Soup – just a big bowl of good

Such a satisfying dish, and thank you Taste of Home. Now, don’t be frightened by the long-ish ingredient list.

Step one, brown the ground beef, and then add and cook all the sauce ingredients.

Step two, cook the ravioli, combine with the sauce and heat through.

Step three, stir in parm, top with parsley. Done!

Even though I know this is a very tasty bowlful, I was curious why the recipe rated just 3 1/2 stars. Ha! we could have guessed this one – not like soup. The only other criticism was not enough ravioli for the sauce.

Commenters loved the taste and no one downgraded on this point. That’s all good in my book {bowl?}

Recipe    Taste of Home cookbooks on Amazon

Recipe Notes – I used frozen ravioli and worked fine. What else? just bring on the crusty bread.

Next week  – Peach Pecan Cobbler, a warm and satisfying fall dessert . . . or breakfast

A Cuppa with Alexa – Recipes, Tips, News & More

Visit with Alexa on Amazon Echo right here in the Salon on our own CS page. In the chat this week . . .

Philly Cheese Steak Bread – three come up but we like the one “in a box,” crispy fried chicken, a wine joke {alert – groaner!}

Visit here with Alexa

Cocktail Hour Buzz 

And as we say belowwhether for a crew, or for two, or just for you

  Jello takes its place among the very best party centerpieces. Whaaaaat? It’s true and to believe it you really have to see these jello cakes on the Food & Wine site and also recently featured in the magazine. High art worthy of a museum, and edible too. But don’t know who could bear to bite into these beauties.

♦  Love leftover makeovers! “My favorite way to use leftover mashed potatoes. Plop the potatoes in the middle of saran wrap. Using the wrap, roll into a 3″ log and seal. Refrigerate on a plate (it will leak). In the morning, slice into discs and fry in a sprayed pan for perfect hash browns.” – Bob & Colleen

This is probably more entertainment than research, but even so you might want to take a look at this brief video {X-rated for implied language} posted by Food & Wine. “Here’s What Bartenders Think of You Based on Your Drink Order.” I was watched it, was amused, then invoked that same implied language – OK, good, now just make my {darn} cocktail.

♦  “Never serve oysters in a month that has no paycheck in it.” – P J O’Rourke

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Kentucky Butter Poke Cake, Sept 11-Sept 17, 2020

New Salon every Friday – c’mon in

CS friends, and help yourself to tasty resources

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

Let’s Chat

Quick Bites – Walmart offers daylong suggestions in the feature “Quick Homemade Healthy Meal Ideas for Busy Weekdays.” The trick here is to sneak extra fruits and vegetables into, e.g., smoothies, breakfast tacos &burritos, lunch wraps, afternoon snacks, hearty soups, and dinner sandwiches.    Did you know, maybe under the banner of any excuse for a party, over 100 countries celebrate Sept 17 as “Halfway to St Patrick’s Day”?    Bring it to the table with “All the Irish Potato Recipes you could ever need” {see Kitchen Talk} – and maybe a bit of corned beef and a wee dram.

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Shopping Finds – Well just in time for Halloween, Cello Cheese in bringing to market a pumpkin spice rubbed version of their fontals {a fontina sibling}, described as smooth and creamy, mild and sweet, and “wonderfully buttery.” On their site you can find Where to Buy  Culinary icon Ruth Reichl {see her storied career on her site} has several books steeped in the food world, but maybe none a better window on her approach to opportunities and challenges than “Save Me the Plums” {on Amazon}, her life and times as editor of Gourmet Magazine.

On BJN’s Eclectic Mall – Tired of the vitriol now routinely flying back and forth across the aisle in our governmental bodies from DC to local? My “Make America Decent Again” items {7 in all} send the message loud & clear. You can find some details below, all details at the BJN link shown.

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Kitchen Talk – I made the Champ {from potato story above, shown here}, basically mashed with green onions, but there’s some fun in the technique – served in individual bowls, it’s spooned up from the outside in so the taters can be dipped in a central well of melted butter. Btw, if you do want a recipe, you can click the link underneath in the story rather than going through their alternate process.    I continue to discover the many ways grits are great. The latest – topped with chili! and a little cheese  🧀  stirred into the grits can’t hurt.   Another goodie from The Food Lab book, featured last week on Amazon – to smash or not to smash? Your burger, that is. Turns out it’s a matter of timing. FL says, to end up with nice browning without losing juices, smash within the first 30 seconds of the patty hitting the hot skillet.

 On the Table

Kentucky Butter Poke Cake – even richer than it sounds

In this confection from the Betty Crocker site, there’s cream cheese in the cake, more cream cheese in the rich frosting that is poked into the cake and spread on top as well. And then stir both butter and buttermilk into the mix. This is a really good cake.

And it’s a big cake, so you can play. I topped part of it with the sliced almonds called for in the recipe, though I didn’t mix them into the frosting as specified. Other parts of the rich, creamy surface were treated to a dusting of cinnamon, and yet others a sprinkling of unsweetened cocoa. Though truth be told it’s fabulous just as is, unadorned.

Two really helpful items on the recipe page: a slide button that keeps your screen from going dark while you’re working, and a sidebar of expert tips. Thanks, Betty!

Recipe Notes – I left the frosting a little thicker so it wouldn’t soak the cake too much and accordingly poked with the blunt end of a skewer rather than a fork. Even in a pan slightly smaller than 9 x 13, my cake was done in 30 min, maybe because less wet. It also freezes very well, and in fact the texture seems even silkier when thawed.

Substitutions if needed – Other nuts, chopped, should also be fine.

Next week – Hearty Ravioli Soup, bountiful enough to be an entree

Recipe Betty Crocker cookbooks on Amazon Betty Crocker recipe page

A Cuppa with Alexa – Recipes, Tips, News & More

Visit with Alexa on Amazon Echo right here in the Salon for this week’s chat – Bobby Flay’s Cuban hamburger, vanilla wafer cake, green onion-cheddar doughnuts

Visit with Alexa

Cocktail Hour Buzz 

And as we say belowwhether for a crew, or for two, or just for you

  Food and Wine lifts the curtain – along with our spirits – on “Our Best Brunch Cocktails.” What makes them especially brunch-y? Starring roles for fresh fruits and vegetables, fruity liqueurs, colorful garnishes, even decorative ice cubes. 16 super sippers in all.

  Perfect for the month that also hosts National Cheeseburger Day, from a member of our Tasting Panel. “Do the readers know about secretburger.com? They’re staging cool events all over the country, through Sept 13, often benefiting charities, meanwhile treating diners to “secret” off-menu dishes created by chefs cutting loose from their everyday cooking. Everybody wins!” – Debbie, Las Vegas. Scroll down on the site to see about your town.

A bit of party advice from the Playboy book featured in last week’s Salon: “Meticulous planning, comfortable digs, elaborate platters may be important to your reputation as a host, but vital to it is your understanding that every prearranged drinking session calls for two kinds of alchemy: the first is mixing potables; the second, mixing people.”

  Regarding the former, “. . . their purpose is to create fun and amity.” For the latter, in smaller gatherings, “guests who’ll be as compatible as gin and tonic.” And for larger parties, “two or three abrasive acquaintances may provide just the catalytic force needed to transform a low-key soiree into an uninhibited revel – like yeast in small quantities, they often guarantee the lively but controlled fermentation on which good parties rise.”

♦  Good idea! “I get a lot of inspiration from the food I have when I go on trips” Ree Drummond on her Pioneer Woman show on Food Network

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“Make America Decent Again” collection crafted by CA-based Zazzle

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Find top chef’s brand name items, cookbooks, t-shirts, mugs, dvds, gift collections

CS Marketplace Directory

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Caramel Chicken {and!}, Sept 4-Sept 10, 2020

New Salon every Friday – c’mon in

CS friends, and help yourself to tasty resources

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

Hello CS-ers! We’re back from our break with a brighter, breezier updated look. Plus the new “Cocktail Hour Buzz” {join in!}, Alexa page, and good ol’ comfort food now every week

   Let’s Chat  

Quick Bites – What’s in your pantry? So many way to use up stuff with – 18 Decadent Brownie Recipes from Food & Wine. The preps variously call for caramel, chunk chocolate, flaky sea salt, bacon, walnuts, pecans, popcorn, bourbon, cocoa powder, bananas, marscapone, peanuts, peanut butter, peanut brittle, coconut, dulce de leche, coffee, marshmallows, and yep even more.   During one of Guy Fieri’s stops on his DDD show, a chef showed a way to shuck corn without having the kernels detour all over the kitchen. I tried this and it works very well {see pic}, just a matter of turning a small bowl {even better with a bottom rim} upside down inside a larger bowl. Pretty cool.

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Shopping Finds – Who do you know that loves a deep dive into the secrets and science of food? That’s exactly whatThe Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science resides in the 936 pages of The Food Lab. There’s a good overview in the Look Inside feature on its Amazon page, but all in all it’s the inside story of what happens any time you cook, and how to harness those mysteries to produce the very best results. Cold brew fans, did you know you can now buy it in a box for the fridge? Here’s what google found.

NEW – our doggie shirt & mug section now in BJN’s Eclectic Mall {and then scroll down}

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Kitchen Talk – Love this salad {shown}, lettuce, tomato, avocado, black olives, green onions tossed with Ranch, topped with slightly crushed Doritos, queso from the jar warmed, salsa, sour cream, chopped cilantro.    If you like cheese, you’ll LOVE the mac & cheese recipe in The Food Lab book {above}, with not only interesting seasonings but also a 2:1 ratio of cheese to mac.   Speaking of olives, I really like them warmed, and even tastier with some crushed garlic, coarse salt, red pepper flakes, and olive oil.

 On the Table

Caramel Chicken – and a celeb chef alternative

Pretty much every recipe for Caramel Chicken, including the first one I made, is bursting with Asian flavors. It was actually quite good, just not what the title conjured up in my palate’s mind. I wanted something more caramel-y, and if simpler all the better.

After some experimentation and a little inspiration from peanut sauce and salted caramel, here is my version: Prepare 1/2 c chicken bouillon and pour just enough into a medium saucepan to barely cover the bottom. Add a 16 oz tub caramel dip, 1 T mayo, and 1 t garlic salt. Heat and stir over low heat till well blended. Whisk in remaining bouillon a little at a time till it’s a nice pourable consistency but still thick. Let cool slightly.

Now since the classic recipes for this dish feature an Asian vibe, the traditional bed is rice. But when I first came upon caramel chicken, my thoughts immediately went elsewhere. Waffles! And now I’m wondering if having that in mind might have shaped my reaction to the first sauce. Because in truth that first one would be a perfect match for rice.

Now since waffles were on the plate, I opted for fried chicken, and poured the sauce over both. Meanwhile, I’ve linked that original recipe below, which is on the Food Network site. It’s by Katie Lee, always a reliable source of high flavor dishes.

Katie Lee’s version    Katie Lee’s cookbooks

Recipe Notes – Fruit pairs well with this dish, and here I used kiwi and tangerine sections. Even with its savory elements, the sauce is good over just the waffles, and of course a little butter can’t hurt. But beyond that, nice with pork roast or chops, on sweet potatoes, or added to baked beans. Haven’t tried either of these this yet, but wondering how it would be spooned into acorn squash halves or brushed over freshly cooked and drained bacon. Btw, those tubs of caramel are often in the produce section near the apples.

Next week – Kentucky Butter Poke Cake, moist and flavorful, a really, really good cake

A Cuppa with Alexa Recipes, Tips, News & More

Visit with Alexa on Amazon Echo right here in the Salon for this week’s chat – Cheeseburger Bread {3 ways}, best selling soup pots – 4 1/2 stars, best vegetables for grilling this Labor Day

Visit with Alexa

Cocktail Hour Buzz 

And as we say belowwhether for a crew, or for two, or just for you

We asked Les Vegas’ own celeb chef Les Kincaid if he would be willing to share his flavorful dry rub, given that Labor Day is a fave grilling occasion. “Actually,” he told us, “that’s one of the many recipes on my website, and can be found under Grilling & BBQ. And folks may want to check out my jicama cole slaw in the Salads section, a great Playboy's host & bar book.side dish for any grilled meats.” Also an internationally known wine expert, Kincaid recommends pairing a “spicy zinfandel or spicy sirah.” Thanks, Les!

During the CS break I came upon my copy of maybe the best party book ever, Playboy Host & Bar Book. If you decide to add this to your library, don’t be scared off by the {yikes!} $800+ price tag as there are used/very good condition hardcovers for $14 and less on Amazon. In addition to hundreds of drink recipes, you’ll find classic and innovative mixes and garnishes, tips on barmanship and equipping the bar, guidance on measures and amounts, a primer on wines of the world, and hooray also recipes for classy cocktail hour snacks.

Amy Reilly is notable for  her wine picks as well as for dwelling in the aphrodisiac sector of the culinary spectrum. In her recent newsletter she recommends Wolfberger Cremant d’Alsace Brut Rosé to “serve with your favorite mushroom dish,” spotlighting one of her fave foods in this realm.

“Never eat more than you can lift” – Ms Piggy

Want to join the CHB Chat? CooksSalon in the subject line – sign the way you want to be identified

Click here to email your comments, questions, links to fave recipes, or?

Send a message to both sides of the aisle in DC & beyond with my Tees, Sweats, Hoodies, Mugs, Hats, Buttons – nice styles & colors too!

“Make America Decent Again” collection crafted by CA-based Zazzle

See it right here on CS  OR Go right to the Zazzle page

♦  ♦  ♦

Find top chef’s brand name items, cookbooks, t-shirts, mugs, dvds, gift collections

CS Marketplace Directory

♦  ♦  ♦

CooksSalon is free to everybody – appreciate anytime you click through to these affiliate partners

      Zazzle                                       SunFrog

   

Looking for something in CS?

Scroll & check previews  OR use search OR contact me at bjnosek@gmail.com, subject = CooksSalon

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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Smoked Salmon Pizza with Cream Cheese & Dill, Aug 7-Aug 13, 2020

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

New Salon every Friday – c’mon in

CS friends, and help yourself to tasty resources

We’re going to enjoy a bit of a summer break, and when we see you right back here on Sept 4, 2020, it will be with a new look featuring a breezier format, faster reading, and a permanent emphasis on easy comfort food recipes plus a new chatty feature. 

We’ll also introduce an Alexa page with recipes, tips and more. Plus an expanded shopping experience that you can tap into without leaving home. Cooking tips will move to social media.

So you don’t miss a thing, this would be a great time to sign up for weekly email “invitations” which you can do at the right or by joining our social media family with the icons at the bottom of the post.

  COMFORT FOOD  

Could this be summer’s most perfect dish?

Credit for creating the original smoked salmon pizza most likely goes to Wolfgang Puck and most assuredly goes to this famed and acclaimed chef for its high profile and popularity from coast to coast and probably beyond. But over the years others have checked in with their own variations for the crust and add-ons of this cool treat.

Our feature here is an amalgam of flavors that I like best from the number of recipes I viewed. It doesn’t stray too far or add too much because a great deal of the culinary charm of Puck’s signature dish is its simplicity. And, no baking!

I started with a store-bought baked pizza crust. Smoothed on a nice layer of cream cheese, then smoked salmon, bits of tomato and green onion, and then a good sprinkling of dillweed {fresh dill is even better}. Avocado is sort of a natural match with the salmon.

I’ve included links below to Puck’s original and a google page of other sources. Once you lay down a good crust, a creamy layer and the smoked salmon you already have something wonderful and anything else is at the pleasure of your imagination.

Puck’s recipe on the Food & Wine site     Google page of recipes     Wolfgang Puck cookbooks 

  FOOD TIPS FOR THE TIMES  

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

  Time on your hands? If you own a copy of Diner’s Dictionary, you can spend many pleasurable moments just paging through its entries that often bring into the mix detail on uses, history, geography, literature, people, anecdotes and more. Take that, google.

  What prompted a recent trip through its treasures was a reference to Dan Dan noodles in Food & Wine. It’s a dish I’ve seen referenced many times before, so it was time to see what this was all about, and there it was. “Street Food from the Szechwan province of west central China, consisting of noodles cooked in a spicy sauce that typically includes Szechwan pepper. Dan Dan refers literally to the carrying pole used by street vendors.” Next, searching for an awesome recipe.

  Remember the ice cream bread we featured in our 07.17.20 Salon? Made the 3-ingredient wonder again, this time with chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream. Oh, yeah. The dough part turned into a kind of butterscotchy caramel as it baked, and then there’s the sprinkling of chips. Next time thinking chocolate ice cream bread.

  Hey, bakers! Did you know there’s a community for you hosted by Taste of Home. Called Bakeable, it offers “everything you want to know about baking, including the very best recipes, gorgeous inspiration and easy step-by-step instructions.” But wait, there’s more. “Join our active community of bakers by taking part in a monthly baking challenge.”

  Be careful. There’s apparently another threat to our health and well being in these times as cited in “Why the Pandemic Could Be Causing More Kitchen Fires.” This Food & Wine story looks at some possible reasons, at the same time acknowledging cause and effect is not totally verified. Nevertheless, the reasons serve as a cautionary tale, and just as important, the article details what to do if a kitchen fire does happen.

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Cobb Salad goes global x 3, July 31-Aug 6, 2020

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

New Salon every Friday – c’mon in

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

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Salad at its tasty best 

Well I had a bonus discovery here, aside from the salads, and likely many all you are already in this loop. But for those who aren’t, as I was wasn’t, there is a great food site preemptively called Food.com, which is actually in the same biz family as Food Network and Cooking Channel among other brands.

So that’s where I found the boffo Mexican Cobb shown here, recipe by PanNan. It comes together with the freshness of Mex veggies, the richness of cheese, and the heartiness of chicken and beans. And, so pretty!

Rachael Ray’s fan blog gives us the Italian version, straight out of Ray’s Express Lane Meals cookbook. In this one the side by side ingredients give the chicken some competition with salami and Italian peppers to kick it all up.

One of CS’ faves, Taste of Home, checks in with a taste of Asia, or more specifically Thai. The chicken and veggie-rich mix takes on a whole new life with the drizzle of peanut-sesame dressing.

Next week: Smoked Salmon/cream cheese pizza

Mexican Cobb Salad    Italian Cobb Salad    Thai Cobb Salad  

Rachael Ray’s Express Lane Meals cookbook on Amazon

♦  FOOD TIPS FOR THE TIMES  

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

  Experts say a good breakfast can get us off to a good start with benefits that last well into the day. And with today’s extra challenges that may be even more necessary than usual. Now you may well agree with that and still think . . . borrrrring. Well, now, see if this might change your mind. “These 5 Beautiful Breakfast Bowls Will Brighten Up Your Morning” from Clean Plates- surprisingly satisfying combos.

  Need a treat? Like Black Forest Cake? If yes to both you may well be ready for a Black Forest Sundae. And it’s just what it sounds like in terms of the tasty components. The news is in the sourcing. French vanilla ice cream left over from the ice cream bread, 07.17.20 Salon. Cherry filling leftover from our fruit pizza, also 07.17.20 Salon. Chocolate sauce left over from our banana split {breakfast!}, 06.26.20 Salon.

  This site is like “don’t waste food” central. Called Save the Food, it helps you do just that with prep and storage tools, recipes that give a second life to otherwise trash-bound items, a lesson in how much money you can save with these practices, even a party planner that guides you on amounts to purchase, plus stories galore in the Community. As they say on the site, become a food waste warrior.

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Turkish Eggs – a flavor blast, July 24-July 30, 2020

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

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Oh my goodness, this is good 

Thank you AllRecipes! These Turkish Eggs send waves of flavor over breakfast, brunch, any time you want to turn poached eggs into a wonderfully satisfying meal.

Luckily, despite its exotic vibe, other than maybe the aleppo pepper, probably everything else is already in your household. What isn’t, likely has a ready substitute {see below}.

I used chili pepper flakes instead of aleppo but note that the latter is way milder and so best not to use the same amount of any dried hot pepper. Just taste as you go.

Also, I pretty much combined the latter two items in a single butter sauce that I used under and over the eggs. And though I’m a big fan of jalapenos didn’t want “pieces” in an otherwise fine textured sauce. Did add a bit more cayenne to compensate.

Served this with crisped flour tortillas which also made great scoopers. One thing to note: once you break into the eggs and start that scooping, the changed look can be interpreted two ways. A mess on a plate. Or, a culinary work of abstract art on a crockery canvas. Your choice.

Substitutions if needed: dillweed to taste instead of fresh, dried parsley to taste instead of fresh, peppers as above or chili powder in place of aleppo.

Next week: Cobb Salads go ethnic

Turkish Eggs recipe    Aleppo pepper on Amazon

  FOOD TIPS FOR THE TIMES  

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

♦  If you have Prime Video, a treat awaits called Food Safari. As they say, it “takes you on a culinary journey across Australia.” Host Maeva O’Meara’s eclectic tastes take us right to the stoves of professional chefs and passionate home cooks from one end of the continent to the other and maybe most surprising, deep inside the diversity of cuisine found here.

♦  Like to bake? Take some enjoyable time to wander through the site called What’s Baking, Babycakes. When you see that one of host Jennfer Gilbert’s baking tabs is “Candy Bar,” you can pretty well jump to the conclusion that decadence is a predominant ingredient here. Some of the recipes featured when I tuned in: Milky Way Cupcakes with Dulce de Leche Icing, Boston Cream Pie Popsicles, Chocolate Nutella Toffee Cake. Aiyyyyyy.

♦  Use up your boxed pasta. Use up your summer veggies. End up with one of these “10 Healthy Pasta Recipes for Summer.” Thank you Clean Plates.

♦  A bit of whimsy, that starts with, Is your dishwasher running? OK, close your eyes, take a deep breath, relax. And with a little {OK, a lot of} imagination you can mentally transport yourself to an oceanside resort. Take your escapes wherever you can.

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Ice Cream Bread, 3 ingredients, July 17-July 23, 2020

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

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Is this too good to be true – No!

Whaaaaaat? The unique flavor of ice cream right in your bread?

Yes! And you make it with just three ingredients.

The recipe calls for butter pecan, which I sure do like, but I made mine with vanilla bean. It would seem you could use any flavor, and if I do try another one will let you know right here.

So, how does it taste? Good! Sweeter than bread, less sweet than cake, with a texture kind of between French bread and pound cake.

And it’s fine just plain. But like culinary icon MFK Fisher, I’ve long been a fan of bread and chocolate and this is a natural for that pairing, here using our own chocolate sauce.

Also good with preserves. Or just toasted with butter, though keep watch because of the sugar content – I actually browned it in a skillet.

Want to make your own ice cream? There’s a Ben & Jerry’s recipe book with inventive flavors made with fruit, candy and cookies and even some of their “greatest hits.”

Recipe notes: This makes a very compact loaf so you want to be sure you have a small enough baking pan. The one I used was wider and shorter than specified and so baked in about 20 min. If it tests done and the sides have pulled away but it still seems a little moist on the bottom when you remove it from the pan, just cool it on the rack upside down.

Next weekTurkish eggs, breakfast with a kick

Recipe    Ben & Jerry’s Recipe Book

♦  FOOD TIPS FOR THE TIMES  

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

  Staying in Saturday afternoons? Something I’ve discovered at 3pm {PT} on ABC is RecipeTV. As the site says, the series takes us across America and beyond, “bringing together some of the world’s greatest culinary artists, superb restaurants, and unique recipes that satisfy the inner chef in all of us.” They have a button to check your local listings.

  Need to use up some fruit? A great way to do just that and at the same time show off your artistic skills: fruit pizzas. Just layer different colors of fruit and jam on a baked pizza crust spread with soft cream cheese and voila! a work of art. And so pretty!

  So, it’s hard to find much that’s good coming out of this pandemic, but maybe there is one thing. And that is a new view of our groceries and other household goods. Better storage so food doesn’t go bad and more vigilance so it’s used up before it goes bad, because even now we can’t always be sure replacements are available, or that the replacements we prefer are available. And the net result is less waste, more conservation of our personal resources.

  And that can extend beyond the kitchen. While that’s seriously all to the good, there can also be a lighter take. Saw this online about the bathroom and I promise it’s not gross: “I used to spin the bath tissue like a wheel of fortune and now I turn it like I’m cracking a safe.”

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Gussied, extra melty, grilled cheese sandwich, July 10-July 16, 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  

Nothing wrong with classic grilled cheese. The happy harmony of toasted bread and melty cheese is the epitome of comfort food.

But this variation from Eat This Not That!’s best comfort foods in our 05.29.20 Salon is sufficiently removed to be a whole different dishes. For starters, instead of just cheese, the filling is cheese, and, and. With other ingredients that create a whole new extra melty texture.

Two things about that filling. Given the amount of cheese, you might want to increase the pimento, jalapeno and scallions. In fact, “truth in advertising,” I reserved some of each of them to place along the cutline to be sure you would be able to see them.

The other thing. Once you have the cheese mix – cheddar, yogurt, mayo, hot sauce – you could add more stuff, or other stuff entirely. Thinking ham, bacon, sausage, pepperoni, tomato, corn, black beans, nuts, grapes or . . . and . . .

And if you happen to have leftovers, great in or on an enchilada. Or for an extra tasty mac & cheese, and then once again add in at will. Or not. Btw, the recipe page also has a garlicky tomato soup recipe.

Substitutes if needed: regular mayo instead of olive oil mayo, green bell pepper in place of jalapeno, red or white onion in place of scallions.

Next week: Ice Cream Bread {this is a big surprise}

Recipe

  FOOD TIPS FOR THE TIMES  

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

  CS-ers are quite awesome at avoiding waste. But even now, when there are still times and places where we can’t necessarily rely on being able to readily replace any of our groceries, it’s especially helpful to know how to keep potatoes fresh, including shopping, storage and washing tips. Now, sometimes despite our best efforts those taters can go bad, and this same msn.com story gives you those telltale clues that can make clear this has happened.

  Wow, follow this link at your own risk. You might be surprised by that innocent looking box in your pantry that in fact can become any number of Super Moist Cake Mix Recipes. It’s not exactly breaking news that you can turn this Betty Crocker staple into a fine cake in lots of flavors. But there are so many variations – poke cakes, dump cakes, sheets, bundts, a festive rainbow version. And cupcakes and shortcakes and even cone cakes and cake pops.

  But wait, there’s more, coloring outside the lines of the cake category – squares, crisps, trifles, pancakes, breads, cookies, cinnamon rolls, coffee cake. As a nice bonus, also many fun decorating ideas, with this pic from their site being just one example.

  Yet another super helpful guide from msn.com, this one citing Eat This Not That! This kind of thing is helpful anytime but now more than ever. In effect you can eat and drink your way to telling disease neener neener when you fill your plates and cups with these “Best Foods to Strengthen Your Immune System.” To your health!

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Chocolate filled crescents, so easy, July 3-July 9, 2020

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

New Salon every Friday – c’mon in

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  COMFORT FOOD  

Ah darn, but then all better 

So I saw what appeared to be a crescent roll filled with chocolate and maybe something else in an ad. The bummer about this kind of thing is when the tempting item is merely a prop, no recipe will be forthcoming.

Ha! Pillsbury to the rescue.

Their basic recipe couldn’t be easier, just the rolls, mini chocolate chips and optional powdered sugar. I had a few raisins to use up so after softening them in some hot water {then drained and blotted} added those in too. I chose not to top with powdered sugar because I didn’t want to cover up that beautiful golden exterior.

Breakfast, midday, dessert, all good. And of course you can stroll all through the site’s recipe pages for countless sweet and savory ways to fill crescent rolls.

Recipe notes: I found two things help keep the chips in place while you’re “rolling in the dough.” One is to use the palm of your hand to press them down into the crescent. And second, what worked best for me was to fold the point up to the wide edge and then roll from the fold to the wide edge, turning them seam down in the baking pan – if you look at the cheesecake crescent shown beneath the recipe on the Pillsbury page, it looks like that’s how those rolled.

Next week: gooey, gussied grilled cheese sandwiches

Pillsbury recipe    Their other crescent roll recipes    Pillsbury cookbooks on Amazon  

  FOOD TIPS FOR THE TIMES  

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

  Be the smartest person in the grocery store, or picking up groceries, or having groceries delivered. The NBC news site gives a shout-out to canned goods which, as the story says, because of their longevity cut back on waste and also mean “your pantry holds a treasure of quick meal solutions.” Here’s where it turns to gold. The report includes pointers for selecting the most nutritious canned goods, and maybe even better a roundup of the nation’s top food pros and nutritionists citing their favorite canned goods and why. Here are all the secrets.

♦  Meanwhile, here’s another take on wash produce the right way. This one from Yahoo, in turn citing the CDC.

  Well I never thought I’d be saying, I love the idea of a “garbage jar.” Let’s just say this is not only yet another way to avoid waste but as well to make maybe some of your best baked goods ever. Find the sweet scoop from MyRecipes here.

  Wait, don’t throw that out! EatingWell magazine tell us, “Instead of tossing the stems, ends and seeds of your produce, learn how to give them new life. It’s easy.” Details and a demo are here at Grow Scraps {never quite sure what threat this might pose, but please note the EW site shows “not secure” – rest assured CooksSalon is!}. This is actually quite fascinating. Will let you know if I give it a try.  

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

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Questions, comments?

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All transactions are solely between the buyer and linked supplier

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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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