Recipes Galore & More, Oct 1-Oct 7, 2021

New Salon every Friday – and you’re invited

C’mon in and help yourself to tasty resources

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

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Kitchen Talk –   Now that we’re back in baking season, thought this could be of interest. A tip I found in the hinter regions of my files – to make soft cookies from any cake mix, add 2 eggs and a stick of melted {said margarine} butter to the dry mix, drop by teaspoonfuls on an ungreased baking sheet, then 350 for 12-15 min.      Made ’em! I used Pillsbury’s 15.25 Funfetti cake mix. Batter is kind of dense so I shaped and slightly flattened them with the scoop spatula on parchment lined cookie sheets. Since I plopped on probably more like 1/4 cup, it yielded 15 of the velvety cookies. Good!       Two recent add-ons I tried, cumin on nachos {future: always}, and dill pickles slices on BLTs {future: sometimes, when I’m craving a bit of zing}.

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Shopping Finds – Food & Wine recently released their list of best bread cookbooks. The one I use most often isn’t among them but I love it still, and that’s the New York Times Bread & Soup Cookbook. Dates back to 1972, but still available on Amazon including newer editions. Overall, though, do have to say my very fave bread recipe is my gram’s and to this day convinced her secret was beating the daylights out of the dough, still showing it who was boss well into her 90s.      No matter how much you might like Tahini, if you don’t use it up in a timely manner it can get a little concrete-y. But this one that I now buy is likely to stay cooperative to the bottom of the bottle as long as you give it an enthusiastic shake before each use. Should be able to find it at your regular market.

This week’s featured CS-designed, Zazzle-crafted item – Hope you might have as much fun wearing or sipping from one of these as we did designing them. We now have 12 of the o’clocks, including this one for pizza lovers.  Yay! It’s Pizza O’Clock. Clicking the images will take you to their Zazzle pages. Or see them all on the CS t-shirt pageCS foodie mug page.

 Featured Recipes

Ham & Brie Pull Apart Sandwiches

These sammies are always such fun. Butter and Dijon join the title stars in the slots cut into a crusty baguette, which is all then baked to melty goodness and topped with chives and sliced cornichons. Thinking if you drizzled on some warm bechamel it would create a bit of a Croque Monsieur vibe. From Food Network Kitchen

Slow Cooker Monkey Bread

This sweetside pull-apart would make a fabulous way to start the day. After minimum prep, you can relax while the slow cooker does its magic, transforming refrigerated biscuits, butter, sugar x 2 and cinnamon into what the maker calls  decadent and “oooey, gooey and sticky-sweet all over.” From McCormick

Or maybe chicken? It’s parm!

Oh yeah, a chicken parm pull-apart with all the good stuff you’d expect, and want. Olive oil, lots of garlic, top tomatoes, oregano, two kinds of cheese all tucked into well buttered spaces in the baguette. From Food Network

Or beef? French Onion!

This pull-apart starts  with a multi, multi, flavored dressing that waits in the fridge until the loaf is ready to emerge hot and melty from the oven. Onions that have been caramelized in butter, broth and more team up with deli roast beef and swiss cheese to tuck into rye bread, with butter checking in along the way. Bake, dress, enjoy. From Food Network Kitchen

Mexican Chocolate Cookies

While this prep is on the Food Network site, credit goes to a professional chef who’s maybe even better known as an actor. It’s thanks to his former role that we have this interesting sweet with a kick. And what makes it Mexican? Ancho chile powder, pepitas, and extra chocolate. This one’s going on the to-make list. It’s from his cookbook, “Life is a Party.” From David Burtka.

Bobby Flay’s Shrimp & Grits

Buttery, cheesy grits partnered with shrimp showcase the chef’s instincts for adding just the right stuff, here including scallions, garlic and bacon. What I especially like about Flay’s prep is that unlike most s&g dishes where the shrimp are parked atop the grits, the direction here is to mix them together, causing a magical interplay of flavors {see note}.  From Food Network

Most shrimp & grits dishes are served with the shrimp atop the grits. I’ve always liked to blend them so the grits benefit from whatever flavorings are on the shrimp. The photo and demo on the FN site show them layered, but as noted Flay’s actual recipe calls for mixing them. My dish for the photo here matches the recipe’s visuals, but when the camera went off I was with Flay, ready, set, mix!

   Cocktail Hour Buzz   

Sundowner snacks, drinks, talk – whether for a crew, or for two, or just for you

   Food chat at Happy Hour, and a zippy tip it is. “Was so happy to see the creamy cucumber salad recipe {07.23.21}, and immediately printed it out. Reminds me so much of the one my mom made with sour cream when I was young, and in fact sour cream was a staple in our house growing up. Love it on Mexican food, our Lithuanian potato and dumpling dishes, potato pancakes, even salads. Soothes strong flavors and ‘riches up’ bland ones!!” – Norene

  In the Football, Friends and Comfort Food episode on her “Trisha’s Southern Kitchen” show on Food Network, Yearwood made a melty cheese medley that made you want to run to the screen with a chip or cracker. Called Charleston Cheese Dip, it’s perfect for the snack table, or just keep it for yourself. Her suggested dippers are corn chips, crackers, or bagel chips, but for sure veggies, sliced deli sausage and crusty bread cubes would also be great. The only change I made was using the green onions as a topper after the dip was baked, rather than mixing them in, though you could certainly do both.

   How about some SakTails {pronounced Sok-Tails – like, with Sake}. There really are adult beverages made with that good stuff. A site that shows secure,, offers up these “3 Delicious Sake Cocktails You Ought to be Drinking.” The first one starts with Thai basil infused sake, adding in lime juice, yuzu bitters and a bit of coconut milk, in total providing enough cover to call it “Thai Me Up Thai Me Down.”

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