Eggs Rockefeller, for Sept 28-Oct 4, 2018


Misty shows you what you’ll find in this week’s salon

  TIDBITS –  Octoberfests everywhere /  16 classics for beginners {and us?} / save your herbs    CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT – Save, save, save / wow of a book     FEATURED RECIPE – Eggs Rockefeller {M – baaaaacon}, other poachie preps, eggy cookbooks    TIP  – how to make those poachies for a crowd     THE WEEK – cereal upgrade / save the pizza / posset ahead

Misty’s History    Misty’s Gallery


Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

  Some are this very weekend! What? OctoberFests, all over the country. They often sell fresh from the farm produce and products, hand out recipes, stage demos, and generally just offer a wagonload of fun. Find them in, e.g., Tulsa, Denver, Nashville, Providence, Milwaukee, New Ulm MN, and more. Check out the rundown here in the TravelPulse newsletter.

  Even the most experienced cook won’t necessarily excel at all the basics. So although this story in the Food & Wine online newsletter is titled “16 French Recipes Every Beginner Cook Should Master,” lots of us can benefit from these preps – among them, beef burgundy, roast chicken with herb jus, raspberry clafoutis, {Jacques Pepin’s} cheese toasts, crepes with creamy caramel {or skip the crepe part!}.

  UNE’s Food and Nutrition newsletter spotlights the unfortunate belief that “More than many other kitchen ingredients, herbs seem to become food waste.” The report, which covers both fresh and dried herbs, provides guidance on storage that extends their life.


Did you know about these warehouse deals at Amazon?

And while the deals are available in many categories, our special interest is what can go Electric Kettle Water Heater with SpeedBoil Tech, Glass Tea, Coffee Pot 1.8 Liter Cordless with LED Light, Borosilicate Glass BPA-Free with Auto Shut-Off and Boil-Dry Protectionright into the kitchen. Once there on the page, specific categories can be selected – kitchen & dining, event & party supplies, storage & NutriBullet NBR-1201 12-Piece High-Speed Blender/Mixer System, Grayorganization, lots more.

If you click furniture in the left hand column, you can then go the next step to furniture for kitchen and dining. Other search refinements are available too: rating, brand, color, price.

Rubbermaid Brilliance Food Storage Container, 14-Piece Set 1977447Examples shown: Electric Kettle Water Heater, Nutri Bullet 12-Piece, Rubbermaid Brilliance 14-Piece Food Storage Container Set.

All are Amazon best sellers and Rubbermaid’s Brilliance line recently received top billing in a food newsletter’s report on storage containers.

Home & Kitchen Warehouse Deals    All Warehouse Deals

At CS Marketplace page: “Especially for . . .” – “Cooks”  “Readers”  “Dog Lovers”

Extra for Book Lovers – Don’t let being pro or con the co-author keep you from this mercilessly gripping political thriller. It pulls you in early on, ensnares you with taunting mini-revelations, and will not let you go. The book understandably gives you an inside look and in the process smacks down both sides of the aisle and the media too. By James Patterson and Bill Clinton: “The President is Missing”


Make those “poachies” {see below} sing!

I pretty much always have a taste for eggs anyway, but thanks to this week’s Tip the current craving is for preps calling for poached. So what better source than the Egg Board for some tasty recipe ideas.

And they sure didn’t disappoint. The one we’ve featured here is a take on oysters Rockefeller and that means a rich mix of bacon, spinach, heavy cream, parm, a touch of spirits if you wish and more, right down to the bread crumb topping.And you sure don’t have to stop there. Others shown pair the eggs with different kinds of hash, some Benedicts, mushrooms or asparagus, and a shakshuka {our own version, coming soon as our Featured Recipe}.

Note: excuse me but that fork needs to be a spoon – don’t want to miss a single goodie!

Eggs Rockefeller    Their other recipes using poached eggs


Want a bunch of poached eggs all at once?

The Mad Genius strikes again! {thanks to Food & Wine, via Well Done}. This time showing us how to make a dozen poached eggs all at the same time. And they did look darn good in his demo, which involves a muffin tin.

And they also looked like they held together, probably because of being confined in a small space. When I make poached as usual in a pan, always add a good splash of vinegar.

So, the next time I need 12 at once I’ll give this a try, or hmmmm . . . guess I could just use a few of the cups. If so, you will know.


Please join  me in my kitchen &  parlor

♦  Thanks to my dearheart step-daughter for this one. Even though you know it’s good for you {well, depending on your selection}, do you find dry cereal can be a bit boring. Of course you can do some add-ins as we talked about with oatmeal, or use heavy whipping cream as previously noted for a rare treat. But here’s a way that’s likely already in your pantry. Mix two kinds, or three . . . or more! A different delight in every bite.

  Have you ever been stuck with a dinner-ruining pizza? Heading for the trash pizza? Wait!!! Make yourself a pb&j {bummer if you already mixed a ‘tini}. Enjoy. Then pull the toppings off the pizza, mix with a good marinara, add seasonings of choice, and use as pasta sauce {a little extra cheese can’t hurt!}. The crust? Top the slices with with garlic butter and parm and toast until crispy. No waste!

  Stay tuned! Think I have a boffo posset recipe in the works. Needs one more test, hopefully not more, and then should be able to post soon. Probably have to call it posset plus.

So far next week: IQ foods, date caramel, dense chocolate cake, shopping for old time kitchen finds 

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




Chocolate Twinkie Cake {no-bake!}, for Sept 21-27, 2018


Misty shows you what you’ll find in this week’s salon

  Tidbits – Ramsay & you sans yelling / resting, too? {M: I like resting/ gussying the bowl  ♦  CS Marketplace Spotlight – new resources! / W-Izzard  ♦  Featured Recipe – no-bake cake from a phenom of a book  ♦  Tip – more for the bowl {M: nuts, not my bowl}  ♦  The Week – Alton’s bizarro book / boffo dinner / salad helper {M: who cares}

Misty’s History    Misty’s Gallery


Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

  How would you like to learn from Gordon Ramsay – without the yelling, cussing and humiliation??? You can! Just sign up for his online lessons in the Masterclass series. Videos plus a downloadable workbook and a chance to share in questions. Previous students rate this 4.7 out of 5.

  Here’s an interesting little tidbit I came across, or I should say re-came across. On a photocopied page {no idea of the original} I read that Margaret, Queen of Navarre, sister of King Francois I, was the first to use the term “restaurant,” but it was in reference to restorative food, I guess then ambling into a definition of a place for same. A handwritten note on the page claims that the French term restaurateur translates to “restorer.”

  A serendipitous find in my pantry is yielding yet more suggestions {in addition to my own in the Aug 31 salon} for gussying up oatmeal. The clipping is actually for amaranth, millet, and quinoa, but . . . steal from good. So here’s the lineup: dried cherries, coconut, sugar, macadamia nuts, vanilla, banana, cacao nibs, chopped dates, demerara sugar {like brown sugar, but darker and a bit crunchy}. hazelnuts, cloves {maybe ground???}, clementines, granola, dried apricots, agave syrup, pine nuts, cardamom, blueberries, toasted coconut. {Also, see Tip below}


Three new for you!

So, we previously noted the addition of a page of food-centric magazines on CooksSalon, where you can check Amazon offers. And now we’ve added its link to the Marketplace page, so you can easily tap into the page while browsing other resources.

We’ve also added food-o-phile videos right on the Marketplace page. These are collections by season from favorite tv shows, such as Chopped, Iron Chef, Food Network Star, Worst Cooks in America, and more.

And . . . our upgraded book {& gift!} shop is now complete with chef-specific videos, branded items, and gift cards. This page too is linked in the Marketplace, and all are found in the top-listed “Especially for Cooks” section.

At CS Marketplace: “Especially for . . .” – “Cooks”  “Readers”  “Dog Lovers”

Extra for Book LoversMy path to this book: Irish Central newsletter > mention of Irish Travelers > google Irish Travelers > discover tv show about same starring Eddie Izzard looking very un-Izzard-ly > curiosity about him leads to his book “Believe Me.” Fascinating life of a funny, unusual, imaginative, can-do, and personable human being. Also some deep insights for any creative person inside or outside show biz.   “Believe Me”    Izzard videos  “The Riches” tv series about Irish Travelers starring Izzard


Is this the book lots of us have been waiting for???

Within these pages you’ll find many tasty answers to the title question, “What Can I Bring?” What Can I Bring?: Southern Food for Any Occasion Life Serves Upwhatever the occasion or destination. The satisfying dishes here for the most part are make-ahead, multiple-serving, and fairly easy to transport.

In addition to author, Elizabeth Heiskell’s resume includes caterer, instructor, and TODAY show contributor. Just some of her preps that caught my eye: peanut butter bars {chocolate frosted}, bacon bites {quick, simple}, and hangover sliders {so bad, so good}.

Our feature combines actual Twinkies with chocolate infused whipped cream and pecans for a fabulous layer cake. Easy too.

Recipe Page    Other Heiskell books  

♦  TIP  

A bit more on oatmeal, a two-fer

If you’re cooking oatmeal with milk and in a pan {rather than with water and/or in the nuker}, you might find that some of the milk sticks to the bottom of the pan, or worse burns. I’ve found that stirring in a bit of butter right along with the milk can prevent this. Also, yet one more way to add flavor to oatmeal.


Please join  me in my kitchen &  parlor

  Taking a closer look at Alton Brown’s 5-star “Good Eats 2” and this thing is like a bizarre parallel universe . . . with recipes! Each page is a trip, where one moment you’re looking at dancing sugar molecules, frosting m.o.’s and tidbits about butter calories and royal frosting. And the next you’re seeing Brown being tormented by a stuffed squirrel while making macadamia nut pie crust, while the facing page shows you how to make a “lemon meringue chaise lounge.” What fun!

♦  Had a simply fabulous entree – and a lesson – at Fuego Steakhouse in the Fiesta Henderson {NV}. It was a pork T-bone, which isn’t particularly common at other steakhouses in town, even though Exec Chef Christopher Clark tells us its actually the exact same cut as its beef counterpart. And oh my was it good.

Chef Clark kindly shared this too: “We start with a spice and herb apple brine for 24 hours. When the order is placed we season the meat with salt and pepper and then grill it to the guest specifications and it is served with a hard apple demi.”

At Fuego, guests can then pair this porky wonder {or other entrees} with either a colossal baked potato, macaroni & cheese, creamed corn au gratin, fresh broccoli, baked sweet potato, fresh spinach {creamed, steamed or sauteed}, house-made French fries or Yukon mashed potatoes. Yum squared.

  Want to add an interesting and unexpected dimension to your green salad? Sprinkle in some shredded or flaked coconut! OK, OK, yes this was a bit of a hail Mary with the all the leftover coconut from the oatmeal cookies. But thankfully, turned out really good – even better if you have some nuts in there too.

So far next week – award winning recipes for your 9×13, salvaging pizza, boffo novel

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


Big Bad Breakfast Egg Bake, for Sept 14-20, 2018


Misty shows you what you’ll find in this week’s salon

  TIDBITS –  cheese in your pancakes? {M – rather have it on my napkin} / tomatillo genealogy / animals win {M – yay}   ♦  CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT– cook anything! / 8 reads  ♦  FEATURED RECIPE – Big Bad Breakfast {M – bacon!♦  TIP –  whisk it!  ♦  THE WEEK – boffo bubbly / curry cookie what??? / fishin’

Misty’s History    Misty’s Gallery


Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

  Hey cheeseheads, here’s a prep you may not have encountered. Thank an Extra Crispy article for educating us about sirniki, Russian cheese pancakes that can be sweet or savory. One frightening line, though undated: they were one of a few hundred recipes officially approved by the state. Eh? This google page is full of recipe sources.

  If you have one of the originals, throw it out. Wow, just came across a page I’d kept from Food Network magazine last year that says the discovery in Patagonia of 52-million-year-old tomatillos means that it and its cousins, including peppers, potatoes, and tomatoes – might have coexisted with the dinosaurs.

  OK, futher evidence I’m going through the “treasure trove” again. This survey {note on a scrap of paper – no source – nice job bjn} is actually from a year and half ago, but we’d like to think it’s only gotten better. It says . . . 83% of Millennials say they consider animal welfare when making food choices.


Would you like to know “how to cook basically anything”?

That’s the promise of the “Tasty Ultimate” cookbook, produced by Buzzfeed’s Tasty site. You can expect to find even more of what’s on the site, “more ‘Versus’ (head-to-head recipe Tasty Ultimate: How to Cook Basically Anything (An Official Tasty Cookbook)competitions), more 101s (all-purpose kitchen tips and tricks), and more culinary bragging rights.”

Whether pro or am, these 150 preps take you to the confident side of ingredients, entrees and sides, ethnic and vegetarian dishes, desserts, and the relevant techniques.

Coming Oct 9. Hardcover now at an almost 50% pre-order discount and Prime eligible, Kindle too.

“Tasty Ultimate”

At CS Marketplace: “Especially for Cooks,” “Especially For Book Lovers” & “Especially for Dog Lovers”

Extra for Book Lovers – here are the eight new “page turners” Newsweek thinks you should be reading this fall. Curl up with a novel


“The Most Important Book of the Day”

Well that’s a pretty clever play on words author and Beard-winning chef/proprietor John Currence used to subtitle his book called “Big Bad Breakfast.” And true to its title it’s singularly about breakfast, and the breakfasts are hearty and satisfying.

Open these pages to find baskets of baked goods, a bounty of egg dishes, pancakes & waffles {including homemade pop-tarts}, breakfast sides, sandwiches and beverages. And “breakfast for dinner.” And “cereals, grains and other pseudo-virtuous things.” 😁

In addition to the “master recipes,” the most compelling preps? Where to start? Sausage cinnamon rolls. Big Bad Breakfast: The Most Important Book of the DayLouisiana crab cake benedict with sweet & hot peppers. Peanut butter and banana pancakes with chocolate chips and marshmallows. Shrimp breakfast enchiladas. Monkey bread with apples and currants and caramel sauce {shown}.

And for our feature: his signature egg bake {also shown}, an indulgent mix of meat, cheese, garlic cheese grits and fresh herbs. The recipe is per serving.

Big Bad Breakfast Egg Bake

Toast a slice of whole wheat bread and cut into two 3-in rounds, placing one in the bottom of an 8-10 oz oven-proof cup treated with nonstick spray. Measure 1/4 ea – small diced ham or bacon, grits {recipe follows}, parmesan and cheddar, plus 1 T your choice of chopped herbs. Top the bread with half the meat and grits and a pinch of the cheeses and herbs.

Add the other toast round, then the remaining ham and grits, a pinch each of the Parmesan and cheddar, and two raw eggs. Season with s&p, sprinkle with remaining herbs and cheeses. Place on a small baking sheet and bake at 350 until the cheese is melted and bubbly and the eggs are cooked to your liking, 8-14 min.

Garlic cheese grits {serve 4-6}: Combine 2 c milk and 2 c chicken stock in a saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Stir in 1 c stone-ground grits and 1 t salt. Reduce the heat to simmer and stir constantly until the grits and tender and thoroughly cooked, about 15 min. Remove from heat and blend in 6 T small-diced unsalted butter, 1/2 c grated parm, and 1 t minced garlic. Season with s&p. Serve immediately.

“Big Bad Breakfast”     Other Currence & southern cookbooks  


A reluctant one

A reluctant tip only because I wonder if I’m “busting” myself as the only one of us not already doing this. But it is a worthy one, so I’ll take the chance.

This was in a demo by one of the chefs on Food Network that included the fact that when you’re mixing mayo into other ingredients it should always be whisked smooth first. That way, no lumps.

So, yep, I do that now, but also with, e.g., sour cream {shown}, yogurt, {what else?}. The funny thing is I always whisked sour cream before setting it out as a topping.


Please join  me in my kitchen &  parlor

  I learned something this week, actually a two-fer. Both have to do with Prosecco, starting with the fact that this is a very viable alternative to Champagne when you’re serving a crowd and want to be gentler on the wallet. Second is the easy quality designation – DOC means grapes from nine different provinces in the region, and DOCG means a smaller growing area with special terroir plus higher standards for the vineyard and cellar.

  I led three lives – signed, curry cookie. Right after I came out of the oven I was quite dry, and shunned. After a few days, as happens with some other kinds of baked goods, moisture magically entered the equation and then I tasted great, and was cherished.

You might find my third life a little strange. There were about eight of us left that I guess bjn wanted used up. So she dissolved us in chicken broth, whisked in coconut milk and a bit of garam masala till smooth, then added in some cooked chicken. That may have been my best role of all. {It was delicious, full of flavor! – bjn}

♦  Quick kitchen pointer in the “equivalents” arena. Excavated this in conjunction with an upcoming shrimp/pasta recipe: 1/2 t of anchovy paste = 1 anchovy filet. Now we know {oh, maybe you already did}.

So far next week: learn from Ramsay {quietly!}, salvaging the pizza, 

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



Italian Farm Country Buttery Pasta with Herbs, for Sept 7-13, 2018

  CatChat – Misty’s purrty sure you’ll like what we have for you this week  

Tidbits – the tortilla that isn’t / oh, oh, pyrex / the brownie saga   CS Marketplace Spotlight – Paris food / duo bookmark   Featured Recipe – downhome {in Italy} pasta   Tip – garlic decision   Barbara’s Week – boffo pancake  / Boston EATS / tasty discovery

Misty’s History    Misty’s Gallery


♦  Tidbits  ♦ 

Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

  Love Mexican food? Avoiding carbs/gluten? Hooray, look at this traditional, but relatively unknown “tortilla.” Called pacholas, they’re thin, thin, patties of well seasoned meat that is then topped with, e.g., tomatoes, onion, avocado, cilantro, really any of the usual suspects. Thanks for the article, Epicurious.

  Did you know this about your pyrex dishes? According to an msn report, they are no longer reliably safe to go from one temp extreme to another. I actually had a pyrex casserole break and it fits exactly what they’re saying here. This tells you why, what’s still safe, what not to do and something you definitely should do.

  This is a 3-star story from the the Tasting Table newsletter. Star #1 is a recipe for brownies, extra, extra fudgy. Star #2 is Katherine Hepburn who is credited with the recipe. The unexpected Star #3 is a woman who became familiar on the Internet by pretty much blaming these very brownies for losing her husband to another woman – click Commenter in the story for that tale.

♦  CS Marketplace Spotlight  ♦ 

The great food of Paris has a fascinating backstory

After delving further into that treasure trove disguised as an ordinary stack of papers, it has become clear that the word “restaurant” referenced below is also from the David Downie book just like the Curnonsky quote last week. Adding that to some other notes hidden in the trove reminded me what a delightful read this was.

Called “A Taste of Paris,” it takes us deep into that city on a culinary tour through the ages A Taste of Paris: A History of the Parisian Love Affair with Foodand across the arrondissements. We peer into history and see what was so good back then and what echoes on the tables at today’s cafes, bistros, and restaurants.

And though Downie’s tome spans centuries of Parisian cuisine, he also peppers the pages with current options, some earning a snarky take, others high praise. In turn his book garners high praise, 4 stars, and also right now at a good discount.

Btw, in case you missed that Curnonsky quote, I’m happy to repeat it. “If the potage had been as hot as the wine, the wine as old as the chicken, the chicken as plump as the mistress of the house, things would’ve been almost all right.”

“A Taste of Paris”  ♦  Other Downie books {Paris, Rome}

Also at CS Marketplace “Especially For Book Lovers” & “Especially for Dog Lovers”

Extra for Book Lovers – what a boffo idea! A bookmark that’s also a dictionary, different word counts available. Browse here

♦  Featured Recipe  

Who loves Italian cuisine, rustic dishes & simple cooking? {most 5 steps or fewer}

Author Susan Hermann Loomis says the recipes in her “Italian Farmhouse Cookbook” come right from “the Italian farm and farm country, and they represent the sensuous core Italian Farmhouse Cookbookof Italian cuisine.” And “. . . each is marked by the personality of the cook who gave it to me.”

More than a compilation of of recipes, this cookbook also serves up vignettes of local folks, backstories of ingredients, glimpses of farmland traditions and . . . “segreti.”

Among the interesting preps: roasted peppers with tuna, chestnut pasta with wild mushrooms {alternate: artichokes}, crisp Sardinian bread, hazelnut truffles. The one featured here is a simple buttery dish of pasta and two herbs, the creation of a restaurant owner in the small town of Soliera.

Angelo’s Fabulous Pasta with Herbs

6 tablespoons unsalted butter 

1 cup fresh oregano or marjoram leaves loosely packed

1 cup chives from one bunch 

1 pound fresh tagliatelle 

fine sea salt

Recipe  ♦  “Italian Farmhouse Cookbook,” paper & hc, 4 stars   

Other Herrmann cookbooks

♦  Tip  

How do you like your garlic? {other than, very much!}

I was paging through another of Loomis’ cookbooks, “The French Grill,” and found a notation about removing the green germ from a garlic clove, as she says “when necessary,” because it can be “tough and bitter.” She’s referring of course to the sprout that can often be found in the center of the clove, and which is in fact easily pried out.

Chefs and cooks have some differences here, though most agree that if the germ is still white {as shown here} it can be left in. Also that if the garlic is going to be cooked into a dish, the germ can stay in no matter what color it is.

The debate comes into play when the garlic is going to be used raw, or lightly cooked as perhaps in a stir fry. One contributor’s comments made the best sense to me: if you like the taste of the green germ leave it in, if you don’t, remove it.

♦  A Peek at My Week  

Join me in my kitchen & parlor

  So, I finally made the sheet pan pancake, the recipe linked in our Aug 3, 2018, chat. Some notes: First, this makes a really good pancake. Second, the directions call for brushing with melted butter and broiling for the last two minutes so it will brown. But guess what – it’s already brown on the bottom so just serve it upside down and then you can skip that last step.

Third, it says makes 12 servings and while pancakes are usually stacked at 2 or 3 or more, these are very generous pieces and likely quite enough per person especially if you’re also accompanying it with bacon or sausage and fruit. Last, I think there’s a way to achieve this more easily, which I will test and of course let you know.

   Going to be in Boston next week? If so, good news, you can enjoy a spectrum of the town’s best cuisine at America’s Test Kitchen Boston EATS festival. Fri, Sept 14, Cook’s Illustrated 25th birthday party, “featuring food cooked by a who’s who of Boston’s best-loved chefs.” Sat, unlimited food and drinks from Boston’s top restaurants plus demos from the TV show cast and test cooks. Sun, a Kids Fest for young foodies.

  I had occasion to finally have lunch at a Puerto Rican restaurant, and after they turned the music down to somewhere below deafening it was an exceptionally pleasant experience. One of the highlights was a classic dish of the culture, mofongo, made of plaintains but tasting like a most flavorful stuffing kicked up with the crunch of crumbled chicharron. Googled plaintains and found this good place to learn more about these banana-looking non-bananas.

So far, next week: cheesy sirnikis, tomatillos how old???, how to cook anything, the mayo trick, curry cookies became what???

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