How to party-easy? Fill a phyllo! July 12-18, 2019

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

& Misty the FoodieCat

CS friends, help yourself to tasty resources!

  CatChat –  Misty previews this week’s salon  

  TIDBITS – watermelon promoted / not just health foods, maybe healing foods / yeah, hangry is a thing    CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT – Shake Shack tells all {or most}    FEATURED RECIPE  – great fun with phyllo    TIP – make a Chicago dog  ♦  THE WEEK – best-est mistake? / wowsie rellenos / gems by you?       

{M – I fooled mom! She kept saying I wouldn’t like pasta & marinara and I kept giving her the “pleeeeze” look – she finally put some down for me and  – hah! – hoovered it!}

Misty’s History    Misty’s Gallery


Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

  Can’t wait till dessert to chomp into some juicy watermelon? Cooking Light to the rescue with its Shrimp & Watermelon Salad. Yowza there’s a lot of flavor going into this dish that invites in avocado, spinach, sesame oil, lime juice and more.

  In our 04.19.19 Salon we featured the “Anti-Anxiety Diet” book/cookbook that focused on calming foods, and while that also connects to physical well-being, I wondered if food could also play a role in healing the body. Googled it and found quite a few resources. You’ll want to do a bit more research before deciding which one{s} to trust to offer reliable information.

  On a sort of related note, if you’ve ever attributed a momentary lapse in the manners mama taught you to being “hangry,” turns out there’s scientific evidence that that’s a real thing. If that should happen again, cite at will from “Are You Really You When You’re Hungry?” which appeared on the American Psychological Association site.


Behind the scenes book gives up secret sauce

Sometimes “secret sauce” means a special hidden advantage. Here, it certainly is a special advantage, but no longer hidden – and it actually is a sauce.

If you’ve ever had a Shake Shake burger you know the sauce is almost as addictive as the burgerShake Shack: Recipes & Stories itself. Along with the crinkle cut fries, shakes, Chicago dogs {took some liberties with these but at least no ketchup – see below} and other fixins.

Now, woohoo, the “Shake Shack” cookbook takes us backstage in effect to see how this all came about and most important how to make authentic versions of their food in your own kitchen. One exception: they ‘fess up that while they include a prep for a good burger pattie, it is not exactly the same as their proprietary recipe.

So for that no-longer-secret sauce: 1/2 c Hellman’s {“Best” brand in the west}, 1 T Dijon mustard, 1 t Heinz ketchup, 1/2 t kosher dill pickle brine, pinch cayenne pepper. So good, and likely all stuff that’s in your fridge and pantry right now.

“Shake Shack, Recipes & Stories”


This makes party prep pure fun

So cute. So much versatility. So much good snacking. So little work!

Actually, how much work is involved is really up to you, because it’s all a matter of what you want to put into these adorable little phyllo cups, each about an 1 3/4″ across at the rim. Go simple or complex.

Shown here is eggs scrambled with sausage, onion, green pepper and cheese {a Tasting Panel selection}. And then a dessert version with a layer of caramel {from a store-bought tub} topped with a layer of ganache, though truth be told you could certainly just spoon on a thick hot fudge from the fridge, such as Mrs. Richardson’s.

And your choice as well, the fillings can be warm either from the oven with say a melty ham & swiss or just filled with warm goodies like baby burgers – or chilled such as tuna salad with an olive topper or smoked salmon, cream cheese and capers. Food Network magazine did a nice slide show of ideas, which you can see at the link below.

I purchased my Athens Mini Phyllo Shells from Amazon, and though I was a little concerned about the delicate things surviving the trip, in fact all arrived just fine. This is really fun stuff that can supplement appetizers, entrees and dessert or serve as mini versions of all the courses for cocktail hour.

Phyllo cups at Amazon Food Network article


Want to make a real Chicago dog???

This is what you do. First and foremost, the hot dog should be Vienna. And the bun should be of the soft “Wonder Bread” kind, studded with poppy seeds, and lightly steamed. The dog goes in first, whole {I mention that only because some non-authentic-Chicago versions show the dog split and the toppings shoved in}.

Then a good squirt of mustard all along the dog, onions and bright green relish {yeah mine had to go a bit un-authentic, no neon green stuff} along the sides of the bun, a pickle atop one side of the dog, tomato slices on the other side, and sport peppers in between. Then a nice sprinkling of celery salt overall.

Some places add cuke slices too and that’s OK. Ketchup is NOT. {Excuse my Chicago origins bias 😊}


Welcome to my kitchen and living room

  Is this in contention for the tastiest mistake ever??? In the John Thorne entry in “American Food Writing” {06.14.19 Salon}, I discovered that “In the year 1930, Ruth Wakefield of the Toll House Inn in Wakefield MA, added chunks of semi-sweet chopped chocolate to a buttery drop-cookie batter, expecting them to melt. Mrs. Wakefield was making chocolate cookies but though she baked them well, the chocolate remained intact, creating little islands of molten goo. Ruth was surprised and embarrassed, but her customers couldn’t get enough of her mistake.” We love you Ruth!

  Chile rellenos go HOT. And wow are these good – pickled jalapeno rellenos. The extra perks: created by first class Mex chef Rick Bayless, just four ingredients, no cooking or baking. In fact as Bayless says, “”Scoop the mixture into the chiles and serve without hesitation.” As an additional bonus, when you follow the link to Rick’s recipe page, you can connect to a bunch of his primo Mex dishes.

♦  Take a chance. There’s a place for Mexican food, really a counter rather than a restaurant, that is in a convenience store that’s part of a complex that also includes a gas station, oil and lube garage, car wash, and smog hut. I’ve avoided it even though it’s right in my neighborhood, but eventually couldn’t resist, drawn in by the 5-star reviews. Oh my, every star so well deserved. You can believe I’m making up for lost time, though each visit is a tug or war between something new and the addictive chile rellenos and the loaded nachos served on french fries. What hidden gems might be in your burg?

So far next week: iconic Waters, easy pretty party sammies, tasty ps to “all-in” bread pudding, coffee ho

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