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


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.


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


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  


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


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

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