Jose Andres’ Scallops with savory roasted sauce, for March 30-April 5, 2018

  In the Salon this week  

    Giada on parm v parm    Easy nut milk    Who needs a recipe?    Do-it-all container set    Title recipe   Yet another excuse for chocolate   My week in food & more  


Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

  Giada explains the difference between parmesan {grated, shredded, block} and parmigiano, plus how to use and when to use. Very informative.  Video

  Nut Butter -> Nut Milk. Yum! Thanks “Bon Appetit”  Here’s how!

  “Look Ma, No Recipe” titles an article from the cook-friendly Food 52,  happily describing content that delivers on that promise. The page opens with a freestyle lasagna, but then you can also scroll down for a number of others, spaghetti bolognese, “World Championship Pesto” and more.  Page

  CS Marketplace Spotlight

Boffo Containers

Guess we all might have a pantry-ful  of recycled plastic containers, and reusing is good for sure. But for some jobs we just need glass, and Amazon calls the material in this set the “strongest glass available.”[5-Pack] Glass Meal Prep Containers - Food Prep Containers with Lids Meal Prep - Food Storage Containers Airtight - Lunch Containers Portion Control Containers - BPA Free Container [29 ounce] The beauty of it is, each 6.5” x 4.75” x 2” compartment can serve as a mixing bowl, then go in the oven/microwave/freezer, store leftovers, take goodies to work or play with no leaking, no spilling en route.

The five pack rates 4 1/2 stars on Amazon, features airtight locking lids {separate usage instructions}, and sells for $25.99 with free shipping for Prime members.

Popular enough to appear on Page One of best selling kitchen items on Amazon, nice enough to be a thoughtful gift.

Set of 5 glass containers with locking lids    CS Marketplace

Featured Recipe

The chef famous for gold standard cuisine . . . and a heart of gold

You may know chéf Jose Andrés from his cookbooks, cooking shows, travelogs, and restaurants. What you may or may not know about him is his untiring work through his World Central Kitchen providing meals and training and equipment all over the planet. Read more about it at his website.

Andrés is considered a pioneer in bringing small plates to the U.S., bearing his personal signature of high flavor, deep color – that sure comes to a crescendo in the dish, lobster with clementines and grapefruit in saffron oil, shown at the right, and from his cookbook, “Tapas: A Taste of Spain in America” and talk about making it authentic, his recipe on page 30 tucks a copper penny into the equation to get the traditional effect.

His scallop recipe, our feature this week {right}, is one of so many generously shared on his site. As a bonus, you’ll learn how to make the classic Spanish sauce Romesco {do you know the essential “secret” ingredient?}

Andres’ Scallops recipe  ♦  His “Tapas” cookbook

{cookbook – 4 stars, good discount, Prime Eligible, now at Amazon}

Andrés website  ♦  His other cookbooks  ♦  Videos of his “Made in Spain” show


I discovered – and fortunately it was years ago, from one of the fine books by M.F.K. Fisher {find her books in our list} – that, however unexpectedly, chunk chocolate and good bread add up to a match made in culinary heaven. Now along comes José Andrés with an enhancement, also from his tapas cookbook. He starts with rustic bread, toasted, and dark chocolate, melty on the bread, and then sprinkles with extra virgin olive oil and sea salt. Whether you go with just room temp bread and chocolate or this upgraded version, it’s one of the easiest, most welcome, desserts you can serve.

A Peek at My Week

  Once again tossed leftovers into broth to make a tasty soup, in this case rice with vegetables, steamed dumplings, and shrimp that had been cooked in garlic oil, lemon, soy sauce, and a touch of sriracha all in chicken bouillon.

  Just thrilled to discover that my Albertson’s is now carrying Chicago’s iconic Vienna hot dogs.

♦  Made Nobu’s Matsuhisa Salsa again this week and realized all over how really good this is, originally posted here on Feb 9 as our featured recipe.

  How did I miss this before? – the boffo steak feature for next week comes from Morton’s Steak Bible and while going through the book found a recipe for black bean soup that just might be a clone of one I had decades ago in a restaurant in Ybor City, a Florida town known at least then for its Cuban culture – if it’s as good as it sounds, you’ll see it here is a future chat.

  Posted “Remains of the Day” by Kazao Ishiguro on my Nice Life Books – Tuesdays

  Posted “21 Dog Friendly Vacations” link on my DoggieShirtz – Wednesdays

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


Brownie Pudding/Giant Lava Cake recipe, for March 23-29, 2018

  In the Salon this week  ♦

  “Easier than anything” biscuits    OMG doughnut chips {and dips}    Ina interview on F&W    Ina’s books & videos   Title recipe    Easier biscuits, Part II   Resource links  


Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

  In “Real Simple” Grace Elkus shares a biscuit recipe that she calls “easier than anything I’ve ever made before,” and as bonus, “the biscuits came out even more buttery and delicious than I anticipated.” Hint: it starts with Bisquick. {also see this week’s Tip}  Recipe

  Watch at your own risk. If you think the “doughnut chips” are indulgent, wait till you read about the dipping sauces. Chips and dips as you’ve never seen them before. Thanks, “Extra Crispy” . . .  I think. Video

  Ina Garten fan? You’ll be happy to know that her show, “Barefoot Contessa: Cook Like a Pro” has returned to Food Network, once again bringing us not only demos but also lots of practical kitchen tips. She talked about both and more in this recent chat with “Food & Wine” magazine. Interview

  CS Marketplace Spotlight

Speaking of Ina . . .

She has some fine cookbooks on Amazon, and yay at this writing all of the hardcovers are offered at good discounts, all rate 4 1/2 stars, and all are Prime Eligible. Available on Kindle too, also on Flexibound and a couple in paperback form. Pictured are just a few and all can be viewed at the link below. And her shows can be found at the second link, one on DVD, the others on Amazon Video.

Cooking for Jeffrey: A Barefoot Contessa CookbookThe Barefoot Contessa CookbookMake It Ahead: A Barefoot Contessa Cookbook

Ina’s cookbooks    Videos of Ina’s TV shows    CS Marketplace

  Featured Recipe 

All the Valentine’s chocolate gone? 

Forget those stingy little individual chocolate lava cakes. Go big or  . . . no, just go big. And this panful is just the way to do it.

Thanks {again . . . I think} to the Food 52 newsletter for this sweet way to restock the larder in the form of a Brownie Pudding/Giant Lava cake, offering a generous eruption of melty chocolate.

Grab a spoon and tell everyone else to stand clear.

Cake recipe  ♦  Food 52 site


For the biscuit recipe in Tidbits, of course you want round rolls so they fit nicely in the skillet. But for regular rolls baked in a square or rectangular pan, I just roll the dough to fairly even thickness edge to edge and then slice it both ways to create square biscuits. Saves time but even better, no re-rolling and no waste. Do the edges end up a little irregular? Who cares?

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


Coleslaw, bbq primer, from a top pitmaster, for March 16-22, 2018

  In the Salon this week  

Banana jam    Make your own cookbook with tested recipes    Roast Chicken in 30 min    Celeb chef cookbooks    Title recipe   How long should you marinate    Resource links


Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

  Just how many times can we make banana bread when those nannos start getting really ripe. How about this instead? Banana Jam! The creator on Food 52 says you can treat it like canning, but she just stores it in a jar in the fridge. Recipe

  Well this could be fun. America’s Test Kitchen is offering the chance to create a customized cookbook of their editors’ all-time favorite recipes. Take your choice from, e.g., Party Appetizers, More Cheese Please, and The Cookie Jar. If you want to make it as a gift, you can add a personal note on the dedication page. Details

  Roast Chicken in 30 minutes??? You can do it. “Real Simple” shows you how. Method

  CS Marketplace Spotlight

Do you have a favorite celebrity chef?

We are familiar with a good number of these high profile kitchen masters from tv, cookbooks, and food festivals. Want to see how they make some of those signature recipes?

It’s nice for us home cooks that so many of these folks share recipes in these various venues. And especially in the cookbooks, where you may well find in addition to recipes valuable tips, techniques, recommendations for utensils and appliances, glossary, sources, pix of final dishes and more.

Chances are quite good that you’ll find cookbooks for most of these notable chefs in our listing. Who’s your fave – Giada, Daniel Boulud, Thomas Keller, Wolfgang Puck, Anne Burrell, Rick Bayless, Buddy Valastro, Alice Waters, Guy Fieri, Gordon Ramsay? They’re all there along with 50+ others.

Celeb chef cookbooks   CS Marketplace

  Featured Recipe

The tome entitled “Franklin Barbecue” though it does include a few recipes, is not really in the classic sense a cookbook. What it is, rather, is like a master course in q – with chapters on the smoker, wood, fire, smoke, and most of all the meat – from one of the very top pitmasters in the U.S, Aaron Franklin.

Folks may know him from his Austin restaurant of the same name, his PBS show “BBQ with Franklin,” or from his appearances at various food fests. While meat is the star here, he also does address sauces and sides, and that’s where we’ll find recipes in his book . . . like this one, a classic bbq side that gets an extra kick from two vinegars and dry mustard.


Makes about 2 cups

From “Franklin BBQ” cookbook

About 2 cups shredded cabbage mix

1 T kosher salt

1/4 c sour cream

2 T mayo

2 T cider vinegar

2 T rice vinegar

2 1/4 t coarse black pepper

1 1/2 t dry mustard powder

Place the cabbage in a colander or strainer and sprinkle with salt. Let sit and exude some of the juice while you prepare the dressing. In a large bowl, stir together remaining ingredients.

Blot away any excess moisture from the cabbage with a towel, then transfer to the bowl containing the dressing and toss to combine. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Serve cold.

Notes  The cabbage mix can really be your choice, any combo of green cabbage, red cabbage, carrot, onion, even radishes. Texas slaw typically does not include sweetener – if that’s a bit too tart for you, feel free to skip the authenticity and add a little sugar or honey.

“Franklin Barbecue” the book 

4 1/2 stars on Amazon, hardcover $18.99 {list $29.99}, Kindle $14.99, Prime Eligible

BBQ with Franklin the videos  Franklin Barbecue the restaurant


Did you know this? Most meats really don’t need to be marinated for a long time. The newsletter Basically, hosted by “Bon Appetit,” tells the tale. You might also be surprised by what they describe as the purpose of a marinade. And while you’re on that page it’s likely a window will pop up offering to deliver these kinds of tips right to your email box. Learn

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



Hello full-of-flavor black eyed peas, for March 2-8, 2018

  In the Salon this week  

Pillsbury Bake-Off Grand Prize Winner    Genius rolling pin    Fridge bare – dinner saved    Important note on Instant Pot    Title recipe    Taming the carrot   Resource links


Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks

  In case you haven’t seen this – here’s the winner, including the recipe, in the 48th Pillsbury Baking-Off. Interestingly, includes crushed pineapple and ginger beer or ginger ale.  Bejewled cranberry-orange rolls

  This is one of those things that you have to say, why didn’t someone think of this before??? {OK, if someone has, please let me know and I’ll acknowledge it right here}. So “this” is a set of rolling pins with end pieces that sit 1/8″ and 1/4″ respectively above your work surface. What that means is that when those end pieces contact the counter you know that your dough is exactly that measure. Genius! As icing on the roller, their smooth wax finish shuns that sticky dough. See it on Amazon

  Well this is handy. “Taste of Home” is giving us a whole bunch of solutions to that “oh no” moment otherwise known as “What to Make for Dinner When Your Fridge is Bare.” You’re saved right here

  CS Marketplace Spotlight


In the Feb 9 post below we featured the Instant Pot DUO Plus 60, 6 qt 9-in-1 multi-use programmable pressure cooker in this spot. Thus far there are no reported problems with this specific appliance.

But we also linked to other models and one of those according to several sources is now the subject of a recall. It’s the Gem 65 8-in-1 Multicooker, with batch codes of 1728, 1730, 1731, 1734, and 1746, which can apparently overheat and even melt.

Oddly, I didn’t find anything about this on the Instant Pot website. If you do own one of these models, may want to contact them {link below} at “Support”or check with the seller.

Instant Pot website

Featured Recipe

I have to say I’ve wondered if black eyed peas have been given the rep of bringing you luck if consumed on New Year’s Eve just to get people to eat them at least once a year. Is that rude? It’s just that they can be so blaaaaand.

Not in this recipe! Thanks to ham, mirepoix, and aromatics, plus a unique egg topping and the cozying up of oven-crisped greens on the plate, you might just want to make this one throughout the seasons.

Even bigger thanks to David Hoover who created this dish for his Crispy Bird restaurant in Indianapolis. And to Tasting Table for bringing it to us.

Black Eyed Peas with Crispy Collard Greens

from the Crispy Bird

Recipe    Crispy Bird    Tasting Table


You may well already be aware of this little trick, but in case not . . . when cutting carrots {green onions, etc}, the resulting circular slices can get frisky and roll off the work surface {did I hear a tiny giggle}. Foil them by cutting at an angle. Not rolling and as a bonus, look nicer too. Btw this is one of the tips in my 50 Fun & Unexpected Food Prep, Presentation & Storage Tricks” – 99 cents on Kindle.

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