Gussied, extra melty, grilled cheese sandwich, July 10-July 16, 2020

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

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Nothing wrong with classic grilled cheese. The happy harmony of toasted bread and melty cheese is the epitome of comfort food.

But this variation from Eat This Not That!’s best comfort foods in our 05.29.20 Salon is sufficiently removed to be a whole different dishes. For starters, instead of just cheese, the filling is cheese, and, and. With other ingredients that create a whole new extra melty texture.

Two things about that filling. Given the amount of cheese, you might want to increase the pimento, jalapeno and scallions. In fact, “truth in advertising,” I reserved some of each of them to place along the cutline to be sure you would be able to see them.

The other thing. Once you have the cheese mix – cheddar, yogurt, mayo, hot sauce – you could add more stuff, or other stuff entirely. Thinking ham, bacon, sausage, pepperoni, tomato, corn, black beans, nuts, grapes or . . . and . . .

And if you happen to have leftovers, great in or on an enchilada. Or for an extra tasty mac & cheese, and then once again add in at will. Or not. Btw, the recipe page also has a garlicky tomato soup recipe.

Substitutes if needed: regular mayo instead of olive oil mayo, green bell pepper in place of jalapeno, red or white onion in place of scallions.

Next week: Ice Cream Bread {this is a big surprise}

Recipe

  FOOD TIPS FOR THE TIMES  

Shopping, cooking, storing, substituting, using up, helping, amusement, health & safety

  CS-ers are quite awesome at avoiding waste. But even now, when there are still times and places where we can’t necessarily rely on being able to readily replace any of our groceries, it’s especially helpful to know how to keep potatoes fresh, including shopping, storage and washing tips. Now, sometimes despite our best efforts those taters can go bad, and this same msn.com story gives you those telltale clues that can make clear this has happened.

  Wow, follow this link at your own risk. You might be surprised by that innocent looking box in your pantry that in fact can become any number of Super Moist Cake Mix Recipes. It’s not exactly breaking news that you can turn this Betty Crocker staple into a fine cake in lots of flavors. But there are so many variations – poke cakes, dump cakes, sheets, bundts, a festive rainbow version. And cupcakes and shortcakes and even cone cakes and cake pops.

  But wait, there’s more, coloring outside the lines of the cake category – squares, crisps, trifles, pancakes, breads, cookies, cinnamon rolls, coffee cake. As a nice bonus, also many fun decorating ideas, with this pic from their site being just one example.

  Yet another super helpful guide from msn.com, this one citing Eat This Not That! This kind of thing is helpful anytime but now more than ever. In effect you can eat and drink your way to telling disease neener neener when you fill your plates and cups with these “Best Foods to Strengthen Your Immune System.” To your health!

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Chocolate filled crescents, so easy, July 3-July 9, 2020

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

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Ah darn, but then all better 

So I saw what appeared to be a crescent roll filled with chocolate and maybe something else in an ad. The bummer about this kind of thing is when the tempting item is merely a prop, no recipe will be forthcoming.

Ha! Pillsbury to the rescue.

Their basic recipe couldn’t be easier, just the rolls, mini chocolate chips and optional powdered sugar. I had a few raisins to use up so after softening them in some hot water {then drained and blotted} added those in too. I chose not to top with powdered sugar because I didn’t want to cover up that beautiful golden exterior.

Breakfast, midday, dessert, all good. And of course you can stroll all through the site’s recipe pages for countless sweet and savory ways to fill crescent rolls.

Recipe notes: I found two things help keep the chips in place while you’re “rolling in the dough.” One is to use the palm of your hand to press them down into the crescent. And second, what worked best for me was to fold the point up to the wide edge and then roll from the fold to the wide edge, turning them seam down in the baking pan – if you look at the cheesecake crescent shown beneath the recipe on the Pillsbury page, it looks like that’s how those rolled.

Next week: gooey, gussied grilled cheese sandwiches

Pillsbury recipe    Their other crescent roll recipes    Pillsbury cookbooks on Amazon  

  FOOD TIPS FOR THE TIMES  

Shopping, cooking, storing, substituting, using up, amusement, helping, health & safety

  Be the smartest person in the grocery store, or picking up groceries, or having groceries delivered. The NBC news site gives a shout-out to canned goods which, as the story says, because of their longevity cut back on waste and also mean “your pantry holds a treasure of quick meal solutions.” Here’s where it turns to gold. The report includes pointers for selecting the most nutritious canned goods, and maybe even better a roundup of the nation’s top food pros and nutritionists citing their favorite canned goods and why. Here are all the secrets.

♦  Meanwhile, here’s another take on wash produce the right way. This one from Yahoo, in turn citing the CDC.

  Well I never thought I’d be saying, I love the idea of a “garbage jar.” Let’s just say this is not only yet another way to avoid waste but as well to make maybe some of your best baked goods ever. Find the sweet scoop from MyRecipes here.

  Wait, don’t throw that out! EatingWell magazine tell us, “Instead of tossing the stems, ends and seeds of your produce, learn how to give them new life. It’s easy.” Details and a demo are here at Grow Scraps {never quite sure what threat this might pose, but please note the EW site shows “not secure” – rest assured CooksSalon is!}. This is actually quite fascinating. Will let you know if I give it a try.  

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Bacon Peanut Butter Corn Muffins, June 19-June 25, 2020

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

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Award winner 

This week’s featured recipe took third place in a recent Taste of Home contest. We can only imagine how many dishes this one had to beat out for that honor. And yowza are they good.

Let us count the ways to love these Bacon-Peanut Butter Corn Muffins. The first one is right in the title!

But here’s what’s more. It comes together with ingredients likely already in residence in your pantry and fridge.

It’s great as is for breakfast. But if you go ahead with the optional caramel ice cream topping, Poof! Dessert! Likewise with the suggested alternate of chocolate chips and chocolate syrup.

I’d also add kudos for something we’ve talked about before in our Salons. By putting peanuts in the topping there’s not only some nice added crunch, but also a bright red flag for folks who are allergic and may not know there’s peanut butter in the mix.

Btw, if you’re a fan of flavor overload, while you’re on their site take a look at the Savory Cracker Snack Mix, using the search window on their menu bar.

Recipe notes – thinking this topping would be just as happy on a regular pan of cornbread or even pancakes, French toast, regular toast. Then ‘fessing up, I actually drizzled with maple syrup – good!

Next week: Shrimp turns pasta “Fra Diavolo

ToH recipe    Taste of Home cookbooks on Amazon    Taste of Home magazine

  FOOD TIPS FOR THE TIMES  

Shopping, cooking, storing, substituting, using up, helping, amusement, health & safety

♦  Craving a Big Mac®? Don’t want to go get it? A clone to the rescue yet again. And also, once again, it’s Eat This Not That that’s sending it in. In fact, they claim this is “The Best Copycat Big Mac Recipe'” {sic, which is to say, no ® i their headline}. Fries with that?

♦  Any reason why party-style dishes can’t find a home on the family table? Nope. And this one is so, so easy, and  proportions just fine no matter how few or how many places are set at that table. Start with these little phyllo shells {available from Amazon if you can’t get to, or get them from, your grocery store]. And then fill away because they arrive ready to use.

Mine shown at the right starts with some soft cream cheese that’s been further softened with a bit of sour cream, pushed down a bit in the center to create a well for cocktail sauce, and then turned into a mini cocktail with a cooked shrimp, quartered and dusted with dillweed, garnished with a celery sprig.

You could also use canned tiny shrimp, as shown at the left. For either – snack, appetizer, entree add-on, all good.

♦  Well, who knew. Turns out your produce sort of needs to practice social distancing too. A site called wellandgood tells us that certain fruits and veggies produce a gas that helps them ripen but can cause adjacent produce to ripen too fast and spoil. Tap into “The biggest mistake you’re making with your produce that causes it to go bad faster” for all the details of what to keep away from what. Especially helpful when replacements right now are not necessarily a sure thing.

♦  Need some foodie-style amusement? International Movie Data Base, a boffo information source for not just movies, but tv series, casts, stars, production folks, and other assorted celebrities, rates these selections as “The Best Food Themed Movies and Series” – popcorn slightly extra.

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Honey Roasted Carrots, June 12-June 18, 2020

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

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This pretty much turns carrots into candy 

Let’s first talk about the proverbial elephant in the room. If you follow the link below you’ll see that this recipe rates 2.8 out of 5 stars. Now I’m not the most cyber-savvy one in the room but I could not see a way to look at any comments to discover what might have led to this rather mediocre evaluation If you go to click on the stars it would appear you’re actually registering a rating, and maybe that’s how the rating ended being what it is.

Or, one other thing that occurred to me is that thyme can be acquired taste. And note that actually the thyme leaves are optional. I routinely decrease the amount specified in any recipe. Or I will substitute a compatible herb and in fact in this case I used cilantro, though think parsley would be nice too.

All that said here’s the thing, in three words. They’re quite delicious!

Using the timing given, they are tender but still have texture. And that touch of honey makes them beautiful caramelize as they roast. This recipe is from the Eat This Not That list of comfort foods linked in our 05.29.20 Salon.

If you try them and don’t like them let us know why, in effect creating our own CS commentary.

Recipe    “Eat This Not That” cookbooks

Next week Bacon Peanut Butter Corn Muffins

  FOOD TIPS FOR THE TIMES  

Shopping, cooking, storing, substituting, using up, helping, amusement, health & safety

♦  Who knew when MyRecipes posted this last fall it would be so very welcome now. Do you have refrigerated dough on hand? Then you might want to take a look at their “20+ Recipes That Start With Canned Dough.” Among the offerings is one that’s new to me but sounds like it may have some history – called Reunion Pea Casserole, its title way understates a mix of Italian sausage, eggs, and then several veggies, cheeses, and seasonings. Many are considerably simpler, the pizza rolls, chicken & dumplin soup, chocolate crescents with hazelnut spread, toffee bits and pecans.  Btw, this is a case where you can view the dishes in a slide show or scroll down and see the full list.

  This same post, again almost prophetic when some stuff now can be so hard to find, offers up a demo on “How to Make Rich, Flavorful Gravy Using Bouillon Cubes.” The prep calls for a “knob of butter” which appears to be about a couple of tablespoons. If I might add my two cents, a bit of onion powder, garlic powder, parsley flakes, and/or pepper can’t hurt. I did try this and it came out quite well, with the seasonings.

  Is stress making it hard for you to sleep? Wouldn’t it be nice if ice cream could solve that problem? Ummmm, maybe it can. A brand called Nightfood says its ice cream features a “sleep-friendly nutritional profile.” If you can’t find it in stores, the link in the previous sentence takes you to the cart page and shows their 8 flavors, including After Dinner Mint Chip, Cookies & Dreams, and Midnight Chocolate.

  So, in last week’s Salon we talked about Joanna Gaines cooking videos on her YouTube channel. Now I came across a Business Insider article listing “The 7 Best YouTube Channels for Learning How to Cook.” Bon Appetit leads the way followed by Food 52, both familiar to CS readers, with the other five perhaps lesser well known but ready and waiting for tasty discovery.

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Famous cookie filling, May 29-June 4, 2020

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

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Everybody loves a clone 

For some reason we keep encountering cloned dishes. Our marketplace spotlight in the 03.27.20 Salon was a entire book of them, Todd Wilbur’s “Top Secret Recipes/Step by Step.” Then it was Food Network Magazine’s take on Panera’s loaded baked potato soup, our featured recipe in the 04.24.20 Salon.

Now a fabulous book by Stella Parks, whose resume includes honors as one of Food & Wine’s Best New Pastry Chefs, BraveTart: Iconic American Dessertsserves up a whole section of clones in her big book, “Bravetart.” Think such proprietary names as Animal Crackers, Fig Newtons, Oreos, Fudge Stripes, Twinkies, Thin Mints and more.

And in our 05.01.20 Salon, we “borrowed” her chocolate topping {see below} for those famous filled cupcakes to drizzle over the featured Cookies and Cream Bread Pudding. This week we intended to again take out another loan, you might say, loading up store-bought chocolate wafers with Parks’ cloned Oreo® filling – but, no wafers.

No worries, you can see the finished product right on the cover of her book, and the filling recipe is linked below. Of course for the full experience you’d want to make her version of the cookies too.

So many long time American classics here – in fact Parks says most of them date back more than a hundred years, and she brings it all further to life with what she calls origin stories as well as vintage ads. Think pies, cakes, cookies, puddings, donuts – classics! – cherry pie, “no fuss” apple pie, “no Stress” all butter pastry crust, no-cook lemon syrup, Boston cream pie,  lots of old fashioned cakes.

Next week: saucy, spicy, savory Cajun shrimp from Guy Fieri’s “DDD” book

Homemde Oreo® filling on our recipe page    “Bravetart” on Amazon, 5 stars  

  FOOD TIPS FOR THE TIMES  

Shopping, cooking, storing, substituting, using up, helping, amusement, health & safety

  The cookbook mentioned in conjunction with our featured recipe above could serve as a rewarding way to spend this extra time at home for folks who love baking. The recipes come from an acclaimed baker, and as such really tap into the joys of deep-diving into scratch baking, including relevant ingredients and equipment notes.  In the intro, food columnist Kenji Lopez-Alt calls the calls the dishes a “balance between comfort and quality” and compares them to the best treats of our childhood, but “better, because you’re an adult now and nobody’s gonna tell you how much frosting to put on those cakes.”

  So, about Stella Parks’ chocolate sauce. Thankfully, quite easy. You can see for yourself on our recipe page. Note that though the whipped cream is listed with the sauce ingredients, it’s actually for the filling.

  We’ve referenced Eat This Not That previously in our Salon, and this time on msn.com they offer up this timely slide show, “120 Best-Ever Comfort Food Recipes.” I’ll be honest here, I had no intention of going through all 120 but yikes so much good stuff I ended up doing exactly that. Here are just a few – Sunday roast chicken, chicken pot pie, poor man’s steak with onion and mushrooms plus garlic gravy, slow roasted pork shoulder, gussied up grilled cheese, the Elvis sandwich, grilled Mexican style corn {shown}, honey roasted carrots, blueberry peach cobbler, best fudgy brownies. You can bet some of these will magically appear as our Featured Recipes.

  While it”s so wonderful to see communities step up to fill the void left by closed schools and the loss of those meals for kids that depend on them, apparently that’s not the case everywhere. No Kid Hungry, a Share Our Strength program that I’v seen supported by chefs at national events, says they have a plan to find new ways to feed these children. If you are fortunate enough to be able to help, please visit their site here. See their ratings here.

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Chicken Pepperoni Parmesan, May 15-May 21, 2020

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

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  COMFORT FOOD  

It’s like they had a crystal ball

Magazine articles are prepped many months in advance of publication. So check this out from Food & Wine for March: “The comfort of working from home is your one saving grace. Not only can you stay in pajamas all day and watch movies while sending emails, but you can also cook some seriously comforting food. Here, the 25 things you’ll definitely want to eat.

But here’s the thing. The first sentence actually was, “When it’s March and it’s blizzarding, times are truly bleak.  And the full final sentence was, Here, the 25 things you’ll definitely want to eat while snowed in.” While much of the country is likely not snowed in, some of the country is in, and comfort food is ever so welcome.

Our Featured Recipe comes from that list, which also has such tempters as bacon fried rice with avocado and fried eggs, cheesey nachos with fried eggs and giardiniera, meatloaf with red wine glaze, individual chicken pot pies, and pralinc brownies, 25 in all. View as a slide show or scroll down for the full list.

The chicken pepperoni parm is already a plate of flavor. But in fact I did add some Italian seasonings to the tomato sauce or you could certainly use a jarred marinara. I also sauteed the chicken in butter/olive oil instead of breading it. More good news – it all bakes on a sheet pan.

Next week: Chilaquilies, layers of flavor

Recipe   Food & Wine magazine F&W comfort food list 

  FOOD TIPS FOR THE TIMES  

Shopping, cooking, storing, substituting, using up, helping, amusement, health & safety

  Did you want mashed potatoes tonight, but no fresh taters, no flakes, none in the freezer? One other question – did you make the loaded baked potato soup we featured in our 04.24.20 Salon? If that one’s a Yes, do this. Put the frozen soup in a non stick skillet over low heat and when you can begin breaking it up and stirring it around. Keep stirring as it loses liquid and begins to thicken. Continue until it has the consistency you want. It will actually be more like whipped than mashed but will stand up to gravy. And, oh boy, the flavor!

  Take a can of beans. And then – wow – look what you can do. This pantry staple can be transformed into soups, stews, chili variations, salads, casseroles, skillet dinners, dips and ethnic treats. Some nicely spicy stuff too including the honey chipotle steak hot dip. And even goes sweet with bean spice cake, brownie truffle bites and chocolate fudge cookies. These treats on the Bush Beans recipe page can be searched by course, bean variety, recipe type and more. {Photo from Bush site}

  As with people food pantries, in some areas there are also pet food banks. And as with the people ones, tap into it if you need it, donate if you can. I didn’t find a central source for this kind of information, but you should be able to search for any that may be near you.

  “Produce Pool”? A funny photo circulating on the web shows one way to pass quarantine time – a guy is at his billiard sized kitchen table with what might be a cue stick taking aim at a tomato, ready to “break” a formation of limes. Pairs of bananas serve as the targets. Thanks, Peggy.

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Homemade donuts, glazed, jelly, more, May 8-May 14, 2020

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

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Raise your hand

. . . if you think donuts sit way atop the list of comfort foods. But can’t go to the store right now? Paula Deen says you don’t have to. Tap into her “How to Make Doughnuts at Home” feature and turn out some beautiful glazed rounds that she tops with sprinkles – but guessing CS-ers may have some ideas of their own.

And we don’t have to stop there.

AllRecipes offers a way to turn jelly sandwiches into jelly donuts. What fun! If you do use the link below and go onto their site, you might also want look into their jelly donut cupcakes.

Many cultures have their own versions of filled donuts, often looking like what some of us call bismarcks. This is what Wikipedia has to say and it includes quite the “linkfest”. . .

jelly, or jam doughnut is a doughnut filled with jam filling. Varieties include the German BerlinerAustraliaBritain and Nigeria‘s jam doughnuts, sufganiyot from Israel, and the jelly-filled doughnuts sold in the United States and CanadaJapanese anpan are similar to the Berliner, except they contain red bean pasteKrafne from Southern Europe also include a jelly-filled variety. In Italybomboloni are popular. Bavaria and Austria also have a jelly doughnut known as Krapfen that is typically filled with apricot jam and topped with powdered sugar.

One more thing to consider. I’ve found that almost any cake or sweet bread {date nut, e.g.} batter can be spooned into donut pans and baked, usually about 10 minutes {like mine shown here}.  A great way to use up extra batter.

Next week – Chicken Pepperoni Parmesan

Deen’s donut recipe    AllRecipes jelly donuts

  FOOD TIPS FOR THE TIMES  

Shopping, cooking, storing, substituting, using up, helping, amusement, health & safety

  In our 04.24.20 Salon we suggested adding another dimension to phone visits with a libation tied to the time of day – morning coffee, afternoon tea, cocktail hour sip, evening cocoa. Washington Post food pro Mary Beth Albright has upped the ante with her suggestion of a Zoom-powered cocktail party {more about her in the next item}. And now Walmart has taken the idea all the way to hosting a virtual dinner party. Truth be told it was a little short on details but maybe all “guests” could make the same dish from a recipe the host provided, which could be one of these menu ideas that was included in the Walmart entry.

  Albright hosts online cooking demos, free to all. Called the “Quarantine Cooking Show,” it’s very much in tune with the times. Given that ingredients can be hard to find, she tends to concentrate on what’s likely on hand, also noting possible substitutes or even when you can simply leave something out. One of her comments sets the tone for all the shows: “You take what you have on hand and make something great.” As you can guess from the reference above it’s not always about food. For her virtual cocktail party she made Quarantinis.

  Did you know the Feeding America site has a search window where you can check for food banks near you? Tap into this resource if you are in need – of if you possibly can, donate even a couple of non-perishables since most of them are suffering great shortages right now as they try to help others. All of their scores at CharityNavigator are in the 90s.

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Disney’s Cookies & Cream Bread Pudding, May 1-May 7, 2020

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

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  COMFORT FOOD  

Hooray, Disney shares parks’ restaurant favorites

I saw a flash on my Echo Show about Disney’s recipe for cookie fries. Not sure if it implied this or if I just drew the conclusion but I thought the company was taking this step because we can’t go to the parks for their notable dishes.

But after tracking it down, I discovered that the “Disney Parks Blog” has been publishing its recipes for quite some time. You can find the cookie fries there too, which actually are clever cookie “bakes” that look like fries.

But our comfort “foodar” took us at warp speed to the Cookies & Cream Bread Pudding. It leans classic with a loaf of Italian bread among the ingredients which, though, has to share the spotlight with chocolate sandwich cookies along with extra vanilla and {fair warning} a whole lot of half and half. The topping only makes this rich dessert . . . richer.

Btw, you’re likely not serving this to a crowd and consequently will have some of the sweetened condensed milk left after using it as part of the topping. Hit the last link below to see what google has to suggest for the rest of it.

Recipe notes: While their topping looked quite good, I opted for chocolate sauce and sour cream. That other picture? Used some of the mix to make donuts and muffins, and those I dusted with powdered sugar – you’d still actually want to serve these fun shapes warm like regular bread pudding.

Next week: Homemade donuts, glazed, jelly and more

Recipe    Disney Parks Blog recipe pages    leftover scm on google

  FOOD TIPS FOR THE TIMES  

Shopping, cooking, storing, substituting, using up, enjoying, health & safety

♦  Truth be told, though box mix brownies can’t really compete with good homemade, most are pretty decent. But if there were a way to “Make Boxed Brownies Taste Homemade” we’d probably take a look, right? Have at it, because there’s not just one but four ways to do this. Hey, why not use even more than one???

  This is a surprise to me but credible sources say even in the age of the coronavirus, the best way of cleaning produce is simply with running water, and maybe a clean brush for items with sturdy exteriors. And they further specifically advise against soap or other household cleaning products. Did not see anything one way or the other about vinegar. Here are two of the articles I found that cite entities we should be able to trust.  Huffpost   USAToday  Photo by Gila Brand at en.wikipedia

  Chances are pretty good a whole lot of us have a can, or two, or more, of tuna in the pantry. It’s a classic star in a salad and casserole. But here comes MyRecipes with “Three Deliciously Creative Ways” that may be new to you. 1} tonnato sauce, typically used on cooked veggies or as a dip for raw ones. 2} rillettes, a creamy meaty spread, and 3} a tuna version of a crispy crab cake. The can opener is calling you.

  With a nod to our stay at home way of life right now, someone in our Nextdoor group said he needed to start practicing social distancing from the refrigerator.

“Make America Decent Again” collection crafted by Zazzle – see it right here on CS

New – now Hats are part of the “Decent” collection

CS Marketplace Directory

Click here or on the Amazon logo    to go directly to their home page

You can still see full-featured Salons in the Archives, 04.10.20 & earlier

Looking for something in CS?

Scroll & check previews OR use the search box OR contact me at bjnosek@gmail.com

Questions, comments?

Use the same email, enter CooksSalon in the subject line – see the Let’s Chat tab for further details

Note

All transactions are solely between the buyer and linked supplier

I’m associated with Amazon, Zazzle, and SunFrog, only

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

All pages ©2020 CooksSalon.com

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Rich and creamy {& famous} clam chowder, April 10-April 16, 2020

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

New Salon every Friday – c’mon in

CS friends, and help yourself to tasty resources

  Here’s what you’ll find this week when you scroll below  

  TIDBITS – “easiest” asparagus / salsa=16 dinners / corona through food?    CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT – our fun new mugs / adda Mada    FEATURED RECIPE – trick it up    TIP – read & ready    THE WEEK – there’s good and there’s good / possible leftovers resource / play without fear

  TIDBITS 

Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

  What a great time for an asparagus recipe, just when the tender spears are becoming available. Even better, “This might be the easiest way to make asparagus.” It’s in a skillet, few ingredients, says 5 minutes.

  As promised in last week’s Salon, here is AllRecipe’s offer of “16 Easy Dinners to Make with a Jar of Salsa.” Note as with many of these slide shows you can also opt to just scroll down and see the full list. I think my list-topper is likely to be the Black Bean Breakfast Bowl, or wait, maybe the Cilantro Lime Garlic Sauteed Shrimp {D’s Taco Pizza?}.

Thinking we’d all like to know the answer to this. “Can You Contract Coronavirus Through Food?” MyRecipes takes our previous posts a step further with “Why you need to pay attention before, during, and after your supermarket visits {and home deliveries}.” Their information is sourced from the CDC and FDA.

  CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT   

Cheer up your morning {or any time} with a fun CS mug

Our own CS mug collection {five is a collection, right?} is now on its own page right here on the Salon site. More will come in the days ahead.The Mug With A Hoop

For now, you can raise a toast to chocolate, coffee, ice cream, and parties. And rounding out the lineup, one I just love . . . “In this house I’M the celebrity chef” – you too?

All of them are our own designs. But credit for the craftwork goes to CA-based Zazzle, home of many fine crafts.

The page also gives you links to other food-themed mugs on Zazzle plus on Amazon and SunFrog. Some are more cups than mugs, like the clever one shown here from Amazon. Images are clickable.

CS Fun Mug page    CS Marketplace Directory

NEW, our “Make America Decent Again” collection on Zazzle now includes a tee, hoodie. button, sweatshirt and mug – all right now on BJN’s Eclectic Mall page

  FEATURED RECIPE  

Make as is or use their own trick

In our 03.27.20 Salon we featured Todd Wilbur’s book, “Top Secret Recipes/Step by Step.” I had mentioned that among the preps landing on my to-make list was this very one from the famous Boston {etc} restaurant group, Legal Sea Food.

The amped up flavor is thanks to such ingredients as bacon, onions, garlic, and spices. I actually used bottled clam juice for the stock, and here’s one of two ‘fess-ups – canned clams, added at the end and gently heated so they stayed tender.

The second ‘fess up requires a detour, in fact to Boston. I’m long familiar with Legal Sea Foods given that it was a mandatory stop any time my husband and I were in town.

Top Secret Recipes Step-by-Step: Secret Formulas with Photos for Duplicating Your Favorite Famous Foods at HomeOne time while we were at the bar awaiting our table we had a pleasant conversation with the bartender. In the course of the chat we mentioned how we were all but addicted to their fish chowder.

Whether he should have told us or not, he did – the secret he said is a lot of Monterey jack cheese. The question was, is that true or not, but our fairly experienced taste buds thought it probably was and that’s what I’ve borrowed for the clam chowder in place of the flour and cornstarch, melting in till it was as thick as I wanted, and then the clams.

Btw, I learned something that’s reflected in the recipe link. Don’t know how many are in its “library,” but apparently Google posts entire books and that’s where the link will take you. If you’d rather have a real book in your hands, there’s also the Amazon link where you’ll see Wilbur’s work merits 4 1/2 stars, available at good discounts for both Kindle and paperback.

Recipe     “Top Secret Recipes Step by Step”    Wilbur’s other Top Secret Recipes cookbooks  

  TIP  

For some CS-ers, this is going to be a great big Duh!

Which is to say, you might take a look at the subject and say, well of course I do that. But not all of us do, all the time, and I’m as guilty as anyone else in this regard.

The subject is, reading the recipe. And not just right before you make it, but a day or two before you make it.

Do you have all the ingredients. And just as important, do you have enough of each ingredient. Are the necessary appliances in working order. Does anything have to be done in advance – marinating, baking, chilling, freezing. Or, can some of the steps be completed in advance.

Party time makes this pre-look even more critical, and now we’re likely talking more than one recipe. Are the necessary big bowls and pans going to be available or in use for something else. Is there room in the oven or on the stove for all the planned preps. Is there time to get it all ready.

So grab a cup of coffee or your beverage of choice, sit back and relax. And have a nice little read.

  A PEEK AT MY WEEK  

Welcome to my kitchen and living room

  I was drawn to a headline regarding Quarantine Cakes on my Echo Show. Turns out they’re from a bakery in CA, designed for 1 or 2 people, frosted with coronavirus messages {“Stay 6 ft apart,” e.g.}. Not sure what I was expecting, but not exactly this, and not something available only locally. But maybe, intentionally or otherwise, there’s a message here anyway – don’t have to totally abandon good eating habits, but maybe this is a time to indulge in a few more treats than usual. We’ll do our best to help.

  In case you have an Echo Show, one of the features that’s quite handy is asking Alexa how to use up leftovers, as a general question or regarding a specific ingredient. I asked her about some leftover cooked shrimp and she came back with shrimp quesadillas and lemon garlic shrimp. You can then of course ask her for the recipe.

  Are you among those spending a little more time at home than usual these days. One possibility to pass the time is to . . . play with your food. And do it without fear because, cooks being among the most creative folks on earth, we can almost always find ways to turn the bad to good. E.g., I recently made a layer cake instead in a sheet pan, and after a guessed-at baking time the poked-in wooden skewer came out clean and the edges had started to pull away.

  But after it cooled somewhat discovered that actually the bottom was decidedly not cooked. Hmmmm. Hauled out a large skillet, in with a little oil, and then dropped in squares of the cake undercooked side down, until done and a little crisp. Over briefly for some crispness on the done side. Then cooled, wrapped portions in foil, and into the freezer to emerge on demand as tasty pancakes.

This week’s:

  •  Photo credits – cup, mug, book-Amazon / recipe-my photo of Wilbur’s page / others-mine
  •  Link sources – cooking asparagus-MyRecipes / brownies-msn.com / photo links for cup & mug, books-Amazon
  • Partnerships – Amazon {ongoing – Amazon, Zazzle, SunFrog}

Click here or on the Amazon logo    to go directly to their home page

So far next week: Starting next week our Salon will convert for now to a more simple format, just two elements – a comfort food recipe and whatever food safety measures we can find

Last week, just below: taco shell the blank slate, best cobbler?, marinara + + , sheet pan 2.0, warm chocolate cobbler, flour trick, save the milk, fun with taters, impromptu dressing

Looking for something in CS?

Scroll & check previews OR use the search box OR contact me at bjnosek@gmail.com

Questions, comments?

Use the same email, enter CooksSalon in the subject line – see the Let’s Chat tab for further details

Note

All transactions are solely between the buyer and linked supplier

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

All pages ©2020 CooksSalon.com

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Cookbook author’s Chocolate Cobbler, April 3-April 9, 2020

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

New Salon every Friday – c’mon in

CS friends, and help yourself to tasty resources

  Here’s what you’ll find this week when you scroll below  

  TIDBITS – taco shell, the blank slate / best cobbler? / marinara + +  ♦  CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT – sheet pan 2.0    FEATURED RECIPE – oh my!!!    TIP – flour trick    THE WEEK – save the milk / fun with taters / impromptu dressing 

  TIDBITS 

Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

  A feature in “Parade” last weekend was a fine reminder of just how versatile tacos can be. Once you set up a shell {see our tip in the 02.21.20 Salon for making them stand tall} or lay out a tortilla, the possibilities for fillings/toppings are boundless. Meats, fish, cheeses, veggies, beans, fruits, bacon, eggs, chilies, onions of any color, garlic, citrus, herbs, sour cream, salsa in all its variations, hot sauces and other sauces. What a great way to raid the fridge and use up tasty odds and ends.

  This week’s Salon is a bonanza for cobbler lovers. Not only do we have the blow-everyone-away chocolate version as our Featured Recipe. but also this from MyRecipes: “How to Make Your Best Cobbler Yet.” You’ll find the 1-2-3-4 of assembling your dish, and then how to cook it in the oven, on your stovetop, or even . . . on the grill.

  Truth be told there are some decent spaghetti sauces at the supermarket. But Epicurious via msn.com says there are ways to make them even better with its “5 Ways to Amp Up Jarred Pasta Sauce.” Temperature, seasonings, ingredients, cooking and baking techniques are in the details.

♦  CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT  ♦ 

Already done!

Two weeks ago we talked about using foil to create separate compartments for different foods. And that’s a good technique with an item you likely have at hand.Chicago Metallic Lasagna Trio Pan, 12-Inch by 15-Inch by 3-Inch (11-1/2-Inch by 2-1/2-Inch Cavities)

But, eureka! A sectioned sheet pan already exists. It’s called a lasagna tri-pan but clearly you could use it anyway you want, and because of the depth it’s actually better than a standard sheet pan..Disposable Aluminum 3 Compartment T.V Dinner Trays with Board Lid #210L (50)

And then there are disposable ones too. These are multipacks. Both images are clickable.

Btw, you’ll also see others designed for brownies, bars, mini loaves and the like that could even work for smaller amounts.

Sectioned sheet pans, 4 stars & up

CS Marketplace Directory

  FEATURED RECIPE  

Looks aren’t everything 

OK, here’s the thing. When cookbook author Elizabeth Heiskell was putting this dish in the oven on the Food Network show, The Kitchen, the hosts in effect compared it to sludge.

Truth be told, when it came back out the cosmetic improvement was slight at best. The ice cream makes a tasty coverup – she used cherry, a sort of Black Forest thing going on, and I used butter pecan. Whipped cream or sour cream I think could also be nice.

BUT, how it looks will fade into the ionosphere once you taste it. Yikes it’s good!. In fact I believe it was Sunny that said it was the best dessert she’d ever had on the show.

What Can I Bring?: Southern Food for Any Occasion Life Serves UpThe frosting on the cobbler so to speak {hey maybe another solution}, is that it is quite easy to make. One melt, two mixes, and voop into the oven.

Some notes. I took it out 33 minutes. There’s no guideline on whether to use 3/4 or 1 cup of hot water – I used 3/4 and think next time a full cup for even more gooey goodness, and maybe take a minute or two off the baking time. To serve it I flipped it over to have the melty chocolate on top..

Heiskell is the author of a book we’ve previously featured in the Salon, a gift guide of sorts titled “What Can I Bring,” and subtitled southern food for any occasion life serves up –  hardcover and Kindle, both discounted on Amazon. We’ve also linked her other cookbooks, similarly with a southern accent.

Recipe    “What Can I Bring”    Heiskell’s other books

  TIP 

Don’t have self-rising flour? Easy fix

AllRecipes to the rescue again. Turns out that site is not only boffo for recipes but also for techniques.

Our Featured Recipe for this week calls for self-rising flour, but not everyone keeps this on hand. No worries, as long as you have regular flour, salt and baking powder you’re good to go.

There’s even a demo. And bonus, while I was on the site found a way to turn salsa into 11 dinners. Next week Tidbits!

To make self-rising flour

  A PEEK AT MY WEEK  

Welcome to my kitchen and living room

  Please, please, don’t hoard milk {or really anything else}. But most guidelines say it’s OK to take one extra of most things. With milk the problem is using it up before it spoils. So, asked Alexa on my Echo Show about freezing it and this is what she said – remove about a cup from the carton to allow for expansion. Write the date it’s going into the freezer and the expiration date on the carton, which will tell you when you eventually use it about how long it should stay fresh. Thaw in the fridge or in cold water, shake before use in case the fat has separated.

  And then, good Alexa offered a transfer to WikiHow for more information. So, I poured about a half gallon from a gallon into a large container, left about 2″ clearance, sealed up, into the freezer. And we shall see.

{At some point we’ll be bringing you regular food news, tips, recipes, even jokes from Alexa on its own CS page}

  What a fun and festive idea for when we can once again party on. See the pic? – that’s “potato snow,” found in “The Secret Garden Cookbook” featured in our 03.06.20 Salon. Oh so easy too! Per the recipe, simply push boiled, towel-dried potatoes through a coarse sieve with a wooden spoon letting them “pile high into a snowy mountain slope.”

  I actually peeled the potatoes, wrapped in foil and baked, so no drying time needed and then held with a multi-folded large napkin to sieve while still hot. Even so, there will be some cooling so it’s a good idea to serve with some hot melted butter. Just be careful not to shake the plate or you could end up with something more like a “drift.”

  Steak, baked potatoes, and salad were on the dinner menu. When baked is on the plate, sour cream is sure to follow. So a creamy dressing on the salad would be sort of redundant, but I wanted more flavor than just a vinaigrette. Hmmmm, started with some soy sauce, then in quick succession sesame oil, rice wine vinegar, hot sauce, and grated dried garlic. Nice. Now a new fave.

This week’s:

  •  Photo credits – sheet pans, book-Amazon, others-mine
  •  Link sources – sheet pans, books-Amazon, recipe-Food Network
  • Partnerships – Amazon

Click here or on the Amazon logo    to go directly to their home page

So far next week: 16 meals from salsa, catch corona through food?, brownie mix upgrade, clam chowder with a secret, more on safe shopping, made the potato soup, Alexa cake, play with your food, fun foodie mugs

Last week, just below: baking crafts, safer shopping for the times, boffo cake, recipe clone source, leftover pizza breakfast casserole 2.0, Wilbur’s chicken trick, grits hits, safe& easy pretty Easter eggs, Japanese home cooking cookbook

Looking for something in CS?

Scroll & check previews OR use the search box OR contact me at bjnosek@gmail.com

Questions, comments?

Use the same email, enter CooksSalon in the subject line – see the Let’s Chat tab for further details

Note

All transactions are solely between the buyer and linked supplier

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

All pages ©2020 CooksSalon.com

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