Ultimate Coconut Cake, “the coconut-tiest,” May 17-23, 2019

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

& Misty the FoodieCat

CS friends, help yourself to tasty resources!

  CatChat –  Misty previews this week’s salon  

  TIDBITS – F&W IDs best stews / new roles for bacon {M – OK, let’s get started!} / shopping secret    CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT – steak guru    FEATURED RECIPE – coconut to the nth degree    TIP – coconut perks  ♦  THE WEEK – sammy fun / super side dish found  ♦  PLUS – new Amazon direct link

Misty’s History    Misty’s Gallery

  TIDBITS 

News, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

There just may be enough cool evenings left to enjoy a good stew. Especially when we can find ones that somewhat transition into spring with say a bounty of seafood in a light broth, or freshening with lemon and dill, or the addition of spring greens into the mix. Depth of flavor brings all the dishes in Food & Wines best ever one- pot dishes into one big tasty family.

♦  Any quarrels aside with the headline {I have faith CS friends certainly may have already thought of some of these}, any “meat candy” fan may want to take a look at “10 Ways You’ve Never Thought to Use Bacon” also courtesy of F&W. Here you’ll find not just breakfast ideas but as well snacks and seasoning, sandwiches and entrees, even a meetup with Almond Joy. Demo for one of them too.

Who would like to go shopping at one of the bulk stores? Who can’t because they don’t have a membership?? Who can now say, gonna shop there anyway??? Folks who read “The Simple Little Hack That Lets You Shop Costco and Other Wholesale Clubs Without a Membership”  from Real Simple – that’s who. Note I have not tried this, but think it certainly may be worth a look.

  CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT   

Like a PhD in Steak

In the “Franklin Barbecue” book, featured in our 03.16.18 Salon, Aaron Franklin schooled us on Q from A to Z. Now the iconic pitmaster, known and revered for his eponymous Austin TX restaurant and PBS show, is taking us by the hand through what may be America’s favorite entree in “Franklin Steak.”

The very moment you open the book you’ll know you’re in for a treasure trove of steakery. On the inside cover and facing page is a flow chart of all the steaks, guiding you through bone v boneless, cooking indoors or out, thickness, aging, on down the chart to exactly how to cook the particular cut.Franklin Steak: Dry-Aged. Live-Fired. Pure Beef.

And that’s just the beginning. He goes on to in effect walk with you during the buying process, covering grading, marbling, sources, and designations. While that purchase could occur at a farm or ranch or even online, the book recognizes that for most of us that’s going to be at the grocery store or butcher shop and here Franklin goes into good detail on what to look for.

There’s so much more, the jargon, aging, storage, testing for doneness, and of course the actual cuts and, elaborating on that opening chart for the “best way to cook”each. While the chart and other chat focuses on grill-cooking, chapter three gives us a cheat sheet for pan cooking, with even more on this subject in chapter five.

And then as well, recipes for side dishes and sauces plus beverage recommendations, The book is four stars on Amazon, hardcover {pretty good discount} and Kindle, Prime eligible.

Details on –  “Franklin Steak”    “Franklin Barbecue” {5 stars} 

  FEATURED RECIPE  

A cake for all seasons 

Coconut cake is one of those dessert delights that is just sweet and substantial enough to be satisfying in cool and cold weather, tropical enough to be welcome in warm and hot seasons. But think we all know this confection can fall anywhere on a spectrum from dry and chew-challenging to moist and flavorful.

Leave it to MyRecipes, one of my favorite sites, to deliver the epitome of the latter to us. The claim is in the name – “Ultimate Coconut Cake,” calling it the “coconut-tiest cake you can make.”

And the recipe makes good on that promise, big time my friends, with coconut oil, coconut sugar, coconut extract, coconut flour, coconut milk, coconut cream, and flaked coconut.

As they say here, “For when you’re really, really serious about coconut.” By way, if you have trouble finding some of the less familiar items in your market, it’s good ol’ Amazon to the rescue, links below.

Recipe    coconut sugar    coconut flour    coconut cream

  TIP  

Super food?

With a little stretch, turns out the cake in our Featured Recipe could actually be good for you {!} It seems more and more we’re finding out how coconut in its many forms has any number of health benefits.

Fortunately this is a “health food” that tastes good. And so versatile besides. Tap into this link for more about the nutritional aspects of coconut and ways to incorporate it into your own cuisine.

Coconut Board

  A PEEK AT MY WEEK  

Welcome to my kitchen and living room

  One of the Tidbits in our 03.22.19 Salon revealed odd eating choices among various food editors. And that prompted one of my own. Theirs often dated back to childhood, while this one is actually a recent discovery.

Two experiences collided to create a sweet and savory take on a classic sammie. And you know what, it is sooooooooo good.

Some years ago I read in an MFK Fisher book that one should never eat chocolate without bread. Coincidentally enough at a media event shortly thereafter one of the food rooms solely featured platters of large cubes of crusty bread and good chunk chocolate.

Even longer ago I was on a road trip in the Midwest with friend Peggy that included a stop at Stuckey’s. Back in the car first I was already munching on chocolate fudge blended with cheddar cheese. When Peggy got back to the car she asked what it was and when I told her, her face went all eww-y.

Just try one I said. Next I know the car door opened and slammed, followed in short order by friend returning with two boxes of her own, face now all smiley.

Guessing most CS friends can see what’s coming. Yep. Toasted cheese and chocolate, sauteed in a bit of butter till both are all melty. Oh my.

♦  It was a “crapples” moment when I realized that one of the cookbooks I’d donated to a local cause had my favorite red cabbage recipe. An extensive online search did not produce anything like the prep I remembered. And now, Eureka. Found this one thank you Food & Wine that, while tucking in a different ingredient or two, yields the same hearty flavor profile as the one that went away. Think you might like it too.

So far next week: food lab, new celeb blog, behind the black curtain, chicken parmesan dip, Martha’s wisdom, comeback sauce

YOU CAN CLICK HERE FOR SECURE ACCESS VIA MY LINK TO AMAZON HOME PAGE

Looking for something in CS? – scroll and check Misty’s previews OR enter the item in the search box OR email me at bjnosek@gmail.com

Note, transactions are solely between the buyer and linked supplier

Photo credits – coconut cake/Greg Dupree on the MyRecipes site, Franklin book/Amazon, sandwich/mine

All pages ©2019 CooksSalon.com

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

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Melty Chocolate Filled, Chocolate Chip Sandwich Bars, April 26-May 2, 2019

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

& Misty the FoodieCat

CS friends, help yourself to tasty resources!

  CatChat –  Misty previews this week’s salon 

  TIDBITS – pan talk / cookies in a jiffy / ghostly marinade    CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT – Mother’s Day food gifts {M – bummer, never had kittens, no gift  FEATURED RECIPE – ohmyohmyohmy    TIP – playing in the whipped cream    THE WEEK – dukkah doings / chocolate Guinness donuts – made ’em / sweet hack for Featured Recipe

Misty’s History    Misty’s Gallery

♦  TIDBITS  ♦

Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

  Did you know your baking pans can talk to you. Maybe not in out-loud words, but according to “What the Numbers on the Bottom of Your Casserole Dishes Mean” by MyRecipes, they can tell you dimensions, capacity, even possibly brand if you have one that is incognito. A linked chart helps with conversions.

Do you ever have a “Yikes, the cookies!!!” moment? As in, Yikes, I need cookies for the {bake sale, team treat, classroom party, baby shower, etc} . . . by . . . {this afternoon, this evening, tomorrow morning}! It’s going to be OK, have a cup of tea, or your beverage of choice, and browse these “7 Cookies You Can Make In Under An Hour.” Minimal ingredients, some maybe waiting in your pantry, easy prep, fast baking. Shown, the chocolate drizzled macaroons.

You can bypass the Get Recipes tab, if you want, and just click on the red-underlined item in each description. So, the seven: No-bake peanut butter cookies, raspberry-hazelnut macaroons, vanilla crescents, chocolate almond bars, coconut macaroons, butter cookies, melt-in-your-mouth shortbread.  Thank you Food & Wine.

Marinate meat with yogurt? This story on the Taste site says “It works. It works very well. A better story is: Why does it work, and what’s the best way to go about it?” And then guess what? It answers those two Qs and you can be on your way to a promised world of tenderness.

♦  CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT  ♦ 

Beautiful food gifts for mom

So much good stuff here. Whether she has a sweet tooth or a “savory” tooth,  chances are excellent you’llShimmering Delights Gourmet Gift Basket find a gift she’ll love.

There are varying arrays of tea, coffee, snacks, cookies, candy, cheese, chips & Tranquil Delights Spa Bath and Body Gift Basket Set with Tea and Cookies (Peony)salsa, plus a breakfast collection, Bloody Mary kit that includes a cutting board, and a “shimmering” gourmet collection. Some also tuck in a nice selection of pampering beauty products.

The latter is shown here along with the Tranquil Delights Spa Bath and Body Gift Basket Set with Tea and Cookies. If you’d like to see a wider array of Mother’s Day gifts, click the second link – and though there’s a huge number of possibilities, fear not, you can narrow your search by type of product, rating, brand and more, and after selecting your initial category, more factors including price and Prime eligible.

Food gifts on Amazon    Other Mother’s Day gifts

Shimmering collection shown    Spa & tea set shown

CS Marketplace – Cook-friendly books, videos, tees & sometimes more

BJN’s Eclectic Offerings Page

♦  FEATURED RECIPE  

Woohoo for Ooey Gooey

Salon friends, are any of you like this too? Certain headlines just pull me in like a bog on the moors {darn Rhys Bowen books}. This time it was Food & Wine’s “10 Ooey Gooey Desserts You Should Definitely Be Eating.”

Our choice shown here? Gooey Chocolate Chip Sandwich Bars – so gooey rich, so gooey good. One thing, phooey on waiting for the bars to cool completely. They are beyond decadent when still a little warm and soft. Oh my.

Just some of the others: chocolate ganache bread pudding, molten chocolate cake with caramel filling, butterscotch pots de creme with caramel sauce, chocolate peanut butter brownie banana splits. Is anyone else’s waistline in a panic that you might work your way through the entire list.

Recipe    The rest of the ooey gooey recipes

♦  TIP  

Whipped cream as a toy

As kids we were likely told not to play with our food. As adults, heck, we’ll play all we want. Even with – or maybe especially with – whipped cream!

Competitive bakers, Chris Taylor and Paul Arquin, also on the Taste site, found a way to play – sculpt, carve, write upon, etc – with the stuff. And the one step itThe New Pie: Modern Techniques for the Classic American Dessert takes for it to become this kind of edible version of modeling clay couldn’t be easier. Since you can write on it, might want to take another look at the food color pens we used on the taters in our 04.05.19 Salon.

And the fun goes on. With ways to trick out whipped cream so it lasts in the fridge. And with recipes including one for chocolate intensive Pie of the Tiger.

You might also want to check out the duo’s book, “The New Pie.” Four and a half stars, No. 1 new release on Amazon, Kindle and hardcover, Prime eligible.

Sculpting – and more – with whipped cream    “The New Pie” cookbook

♦  A PEEK AT MY WEEK  

Welcome to my kitchen and living room

  Thus far, contributors and I have found these fave ways to enjoy Dukkah seasoning {Tidbits & Marketplace, 04.05.19}: on banana dipped in peanut butter, {a natural} banana dipped in Nutella, celery filled with soft cream cheese, olive oil for dipping bread, and plain hummus, but the best was in butternut squash soup.

The Chocolate Guinness Donuts, first featured as a Tidbit in our 03.22.19 Salon, are currently cooling on my counter, or five of the six are 😊. You don’t really taste the Guinness, rather just an extra touch of richness. In a while I’ll dust them with confectioners sugar as you’ll see in the photo.

  Note that these are quite dense, and while that’s generally my preferred texture, thinking next time I might see what a carton of yogurt might do. Hopefully won’t interfere with the flavor which is excellent.

  Thinking if I ‘fess up way down here, maybe the recipe creators won’t see it. OK, here it is – yes, guilty – for our Featured Recipe I did use Tollhouse refrigerated chocolate chip cookie dough.

So far next week: famous roast chicken, chicken “insurance,” Martha’s foolproof recipes, cheesy Mex salad x 2, tricky lemon, malt powder haha, two new places for celeb chef dining

SECURE ACCESS THROUGH MY LINK TO AMAZON HOME PAGE

Looking for something in CS? – scroll and check Misty’s previews OR enter the item in the search box OR email me at bjnosek@gmail.com

Note, transactions are solely between the buyer and linked supplier

Photo credits – MD gifts/Amazon, whipped cream/Taste, all others/mine

All pages ©2019 CooksSalon.com

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

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Fun & Mega-Flavor Shaking Beef, April 19-25, 2019

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

& Misty the FoodieCat

CS friends, help yourself to tasty resources!

  CatChat –  Misty previews this week’s salon  

  TIDBITS – meatloaf upgrade / sweet tv / dishwasher does whaaaat???    CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT – Anti-Anxiety Diet {M – what the heck is anxiety???  FEATURED RECIPE – shake-a-steak    TIP – lovin’ the leftovers    THE WEEK – scraps=gravy! / another tasty toast 2.0 / mug cake made even easier

Misty’s History    Misty’s Gallery

{M – hey my friends – that’s all of you, right? – mom added two new pix to my Gallery}

  TIDBITS 

Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

♦  Like meatloaf? Want to hear an interesting tweak? Emma Laperruque writing in Food 52 first reveals the secret that Rao’s meatballs are made extra juicy by adding 2 cups of water for 2 lbs of ground beef. That gave her the idea to experiment with meatloaf using this same trick. She had to change it up here and there but eventually perfected the steps that “took an otherwise humble meatloaf over the top.” The rest of the story on this better meatloaf is also here as she parses the five ingredients.

 Celeb baker Buddy Valastro is giving four bakers a chance to take the cake in a big way. Each week in the four-episode series of Bake You Rich, a baker’s “winning item will available to order on the Carlo’s Bakery website.” Valastro and a team of judges will determine the winner after the three-round challenge. On Food Network Sundays, 10/9c.

There’s a commercial where an adorable little girl asks, “What does the dishwasher do?” Turns out, possibly some unexpected things, in fact seven according to suggestions by MyRecipes. The adventurous may want to try all  “7 Things You Didn’t Know Your Dishwasher Could Do”  – I’m mostly inclined to tap into those that expand on its cleaning and sanitizing capabilities.

  CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT   

Eat Yourself Calm

It’s just simply a sign of our fast moving times that many of us experience stress to some degree, at some times. For us food folks, there’s some really good news, brought to us by  Ali Miller, author of “The Anti-Anxiety Diet.”

You may not agree with all her premises – even she discarded some of them along the way – but what really resonated with me was when she talks about arriving at an ultimate The Anti-Anxiety Diet: A Whole Body Program to Stop Racing Thoughts, Banish Worry and Live Panic-Freeturning point. “. . . I understood how to treat people, not diseases! . . . to resolve the root cause of dysfunction, rather than managing a symptom . . .  to use food as medicine to functionally address imbalance in the body.”

She notes that food can have a good or bad effect on our brain chemistry. “In fact,” she says, “foods can regulate mood, emotions, and brain-signaling pathways.”

And the rest of the book tells us the “what’ of that discovery starting with the chapter, “Remove Inflammatory Foods,” and continuing with resetting, repairing, restoring, rebounding and rebalancing. Along the way there are self-tests, quick reference charts, the actual diet plan and then, bless her heart, recipes.

“The Anti-Anxiety Diet” – read more on Amazon

  FEATURED RECIPE  

Shake it up, baby 

Oh boy this is good. What? A dish with the what-fun name of Shaking Beef. I recently came across this Food & Wine recipe with an interesting technique – apply a 20-min marinade of classic Asian flavors to cubes of a good steak, then give a shake shake shake in a hot skillet, and pour the flavorful mix of meat and juices over a colorful salad. Winner!

The meat is so tender, and as a bonus the super flavorful juices create a dressing for the salad. Btw, thanks to the high heat, some of that marinade/cooking sauce can turn a bit crispy, another bonus. Note, I did add just a splash of rice wine vinegar to the mix.

Also added a bit of shaved carrot to the salad for extra color and crunch. Served it with some of the leftover cauliflower risotto and avocado. Years ago had never thought about the latter in this ethnic until I had it in sushi, but even so did hit it with a bit of Sriracha to further gussy up the Asian vibe.

Recipe

  TIP 

This old word can have a new tone

“What’s for dinner?” If your answer is “leftovers” does the rest of the family repeat the word much like Seinfeld would say “Newman“???

Well here’s some good news. You can indeed save time by cooking in bulk and still have your family even happier to see an encore thanks to the MyRecipes site where you’ll find  “30 Recipes That Are Way Better As Leftovers.”

They call upon the slow cooker, pressure cooker, and Instant Pot and of course the good ol’ skillet and oven. There are pasta dishes, ethnic specialties, casseroles, stir frys and noodle bowls. Among the interesting twists: meat loaf bundt cake, blt lasagna, “meaty” vegetarian chili.

I made the Chicken Chilaquiles Casserole, which is just layers and layers of lively flavors, and yes even better round two as the sauce further marries with the chips, cheese and chicken. As a bonus, a demo takes you through the prep, step by step.

Chicken Chilaquiles recipe    All 30

  A PEEK AT MY WEEK  

Welcome to my kitchen and living room

Waste solved. Nothing wrong with folks who like fat on meat, I just don’t happen to be one of them. So when I’m prepping a roast I tend to overtrim, as I did for the Irish Guinness stew {03.15.19 Salon}. To offset the “guilt,” I charred the trimmings in a hot skillet, seasoned with beef bouillon, garlic salt, and pepper – then removed to a soup pot along with pan drippings deglazed with a bit of wine, plus carrots, onions, and celery – cooked, strained, chilled, skimmed – and thickened into a flavorful gravy.

Have you tried any of the gussied up breakfast toast ideas from our 03.22.19 Salon yet? Thanks to Food & Wine we learned about a dozen colorful a.m. upgrades on a base of peanut butter, ricotta or avocado. Here’s my take on the smoked salmon one with a couple of tweaks, cream cheese instead of ricotta, fresh dill instead or orange strips. So good!

Guess what I found??? OK, maybe you already have. In our 02.15.19 Salon we included chocolate mug cake and in our 03.22.19 Salon, peanut butter and jelly mug cake. Both pretty fast and easy. But you know what’s even faster and easier – Betty Crocker’s mix. Just add a bit of water, nuke, let set – poof, mug cake.

So far next week: Chocolate cookie bars {ganache filled!}, doing the dukkah, , speedy cookies, recipe hack, Guinness donuts – made ’em, be a whipped cream sculptor

Looking for something in CS? – scroll and check Misty’s previews OR enter the item in the search box OR email me at bjnosek@gmail.com

Note, transactions are solely between the buyer and linked supplier

Photo credits: book/Amazon, all others/mine 

All pages ©2019 CooksSalon.com

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

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Chocolate Salted Caramel Tartlets {from a Paris kitchen}, April 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 – food time travel / buttermilk tricks / give cabbage a chance     CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT – the intriguing dukkah    FEATURED RECIPE – bites of delight    TIP – tater flakes in chocolate cake???    THE WEEK – tartlet hint / pork perfection / Resurrection rolls

Misty’s History    Misty’s Gallery

  TIDBITS 

Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

  This could be fun to work with. A recent article in the Washington Post, arriving in my mailbox via ProChef SmartBrief, points a virtual long lens scope at some ancient foods. Since they seem to be evolving into the present day spotlight you just might see them at your market. If you do, and want to play, you can read here how to do that.

  Came across this post from The Kitchn when I was looking for ways to use up my buttermilk. I didn’t actually use any, but maybe some Salon Friends out there might want to tap into some of these recipes. In fairness, it was their pancake suggestions that inspired the one I made with buttermilk mix, a My Week item in the 04.05.19 Salon.

  When you see a headline that starts “Don’t Love Cabbage?” you can guess some solutions will follow. It adds “You’re Probably Cooking it Wrong” – they do regard boiling as “bad,” but if you cook it with corned beef or smoked ham or Polish sausage, or a combo thereof along with some onions, carrots and potatoes, that’s pretty darn good. But here are definitely interesting variations of grilling, roasting, steaming and sauteing along with hints on embellishing the results.

  CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT   

One spice, three ways to get it, countless ways to use it

As if I weren’t already sufficiently intrigued by the dukkah {doo-ka} seasoning mix mentioned in the ancient foods item above in Tidbits, interest notched even higher when it almost immediately turned up in two other places. First was a recipe on the CIA site for American Lamb chops with pecan dukkah and salsa verde {shown}.

And second was in the “My Paris Kitchen” cookbook featured in the 03.22.19 Salon, a prep that started with sliced cauliflower florets, tossed with olive oil and s&p, baked in a single layer for 25 min at 425, stirred once in that time, then mixed with dukkah and roasted for an additional 15-20 min, or until seared and browned.

Dukkah, 1.6 Oz Glass JarBut as that article noted, this nut/seed/spice blend can “be used to season fish, poultry, meat, grains and vegetables. It also happens to be deliciously appealing on Instagram-famous dishes such as avocado toast, grain bowls and hummus.”

So how to put it in your pantry? You could make your own from the choices shown at the link below. You should be able to find it at Trader Joe’s and might be able to find it at a local grocery store or specialty store. Or you can order from a wide array of offerings on Amazon.

CIA recipe    Dukkah recipes on google    Dukkah on Amazon

CS Marketplace – Cook-friendly books, videos, tees & sometimes more

BJN’s Eclectic Offerings Page

  FEATURED RECIPE  

An American in Paris – with recipes!

This is an interesting cookbook. Author David Lebovitz spent 13 years at the  reveredMy Paris Kitchen: Recipes and Stories Chez Panisse in San Francisco, left to write food books, a memoir and blog, and then subsequently for reasons even he can’t quite explain moved to Paris.

His cooking is influenced, he says, by “where I’ve lived and where I am now . . . replete with aromatic flavors that rely on garlic, fresh herbs, juicy stone fruits, and earthy root vegetables, as well as lots of olive oil.” And chocolate! He says . . . “you’ll notice that I use in a lot of my desserts {Without apologies}” None needed!

In this book, “My Paris Kitchen,” you can certainly learn some tips and techniques from a French/ American perspective. Though not overly complicated, it may not be particularly suitable for a beginner.

May I suggest you read the more detailed description and reviews on Amazon. There you will also see that it’s rated 4 1/2 stars. Meanwhile our Featured Recipe, Chocolate Salted Caramel Tartlets from Lebovitz’ site, is actually fairly easy.

Recipe    “My Paris Kitchen”    Other Lebowitz food books 

  TIP  

Let’s be flaky!

Funny how you’ll see some food find, and then in short order come upon related items {just like the dukkah}. In this case the original reference was to the multiple uses for potato flakes discussed in a MyRecipes story we linked in the 03.29.19 Tidbits section.

The first find was in a back issue of Food & Wine, a recipe for Potato-Crusted Pork Schnitzel with Hot Pepper Mayonnaise. Next was a prep using the flakes in potato pancakes that I came across while on the AllRecipes site.

To take this a step further, tapped into the Idaho Potato site, entered “Potato flakes” recipes in the search box and 117 results popped up. If you want to take a look, be sure to use the quote marks as shown.

And in that listing, found the dish pictured here. It’s wow, yes, made with potato flakes! – Fudge Mocha Idaho Potato Cake, and you can find that recipe directly in the search.

F&W Schnitzel recipe  A/R Potato Pancakes recipe   Idaho Potato site

  A PEEK AT MY WEEK  

Welcome to my kitchen and living room

 Hmmmm. While I’m sure the dough in our Featured Recipe is quite delectable, maybe you don’t want to take the time or get the ingredients. One of my fast, favorite, crowd-pleasing recipes calls for baking the squares of refrigerated peanut butter cookie dough as is {no schmooshing} in mini muffin tins and then as soon as they come out sinking a Reese’s peanut butter cup into each {the ones you unwrap, not the smaller ones that come unwrapped}. Could this work here?

  After playing with a number of different methods for cooking a pork roast I’ve found what I like best is in fact a very simple prep. For about a 5 lb roast, rinse and pat dry, sprinkle generously with garlic salt and freshly ground pepper. Onto a rack, into a roaster pan, leave uncovered, 450 for 3o min, 375 for 2 hours or until it registers 170 {check before the 2 hr point}. Let stand at least 10 min.

 I recently came across a reference to Resurrection Rolls. Had you heard of them? I hadn’t so turned to google to see just what they are. AllRecipes gives us both a recipe and this back story: the sugar/cinnamon dusted marshmallows inside refrigerated crescent rolls disappear as the rolls bake, leaving a hollow shell, representing “the tomb of Jesus on Easter morning.” Their page includes a demo for this cook-rated 4 1/2 stars recipe.

So far next week: Shaking beef, stuff even better the second time around, another toast upgrade, sweet tv, Guinness donuts – made them !, there goes waste & here comes the gravy

Looking for something in CS? – scroll and check Misty’s previews OR enter the item in the search box OR email me at bjnosek@gmail.com

Note, transactions are solely between the buyer and linked supplier

Photo credits: lamb chops/CIA & American Lamb, dukkah & book/Amazon, tartlets/ Lebovitz’ site, fudge cake/{photo contest winner !}Suzanne Lumsford on Idaho Potato site, pancake & pork roast/mine

All pages ©2019 CooksSalon.com

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

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Ham & Egg & Cheese Breakfast Braid, April 5-11, 2019

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

& Misty the FoodieCat

CS friends, help yourself to tasty resources!

  CatChat –  Misty previews this week’s salon 

  TIDBITS – quirky food / tater flake tricks / KitchenAid’s “bio”    CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT – biscuit books {recipes too}    FEATURED RECIPE – braid your eggs    TIP – fun, funny taters    THE WEEK – boffo pancake / cauliflower tricks / cauliflower find {M – you can have mine}

Misty’s History    Misty’s Gallery

♦  TIDBITS  ♦

Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

Do you have some weird food preferences or eating habits? Chances are they fade into tameness vs these confessions, all the more notable because they come from food editors. When I saw the one about burnt popcorn I war reminded of a long ago boss who I observed on company retreats send a bagel back two and three times because the kitchen couldn’t believe he really did want it black as charcoal. Btw, this is worth a look just to see the expressions on various celebs as well as on an adorable pug.

OK, ‘fess up, is there a box of potato flakes tucked at the back of your pantry shelf, hidden from public view? Well bring that treasure into the light, because while they can still serve as in-a-flash mashies, we see here that they can also enhance an unexpected array of other foods – think deviled eggs, meatloaf, bread and breading, e.g. I’ll fess up I do often have them on hand, mainly as a repair kit in case the real thing turns out too thin {hate that}, but now inspired to try some of these other apps as well.

{. . . and for some fun with real taters, see the Tip below}

  Whether you own a KitchenAid or not, do or don’t plan to own one, this is a quite fascinating look at the veteran powerhouse appliance. Here you’ll find the backstory on its history, role in the military, marketing launch, and even how it became a money maker for housewives at the time. I have a decades old one that belonged to my mom and it still works just fine.

–  Something I found interesting, presumably still applicable today, is that as the company developed new accessories they were designed to fit all their machines no matter when they were produced. You can browse here on Amazon if you want, to see the sleek models available today.

♦  CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT  ♦ 

Biscuit Bliss

A couple of articles recently served as a reminder of how even the most basic meal {not that there’s anything wrong with that!} can move into a new dimension if a basket of Biscuits & Scones: Southern Recipe Collection! (Southern Cooking Recipes)homemade biscuits comes to the table.

Easy Baking From Scratch: Quick Tutorials Time-Saving Tips Extraordinary Sweet and Savory ClassicsOne was a Food & Wine slide show and the other a story on great biscuits in Natchez MS, including baking tips and a recipes for butter biscuits and sweet potato biscuits.

And that sent me to Amazon to see if there are cookbooks specializing biscuitry. Of course there are. Here are just two that look pretty darn good, the Easy Baking offering biscuits and more, and both of these cookbooks are rated 5-stars.

F&W slides    Natchez biscuits    Biscuit books    Best rated

“Biscuits & Scones: Southern Recipe Collection” {Southern Cooking Recipes}

“Easy Baking from Scratch: Quick Tutorials, Time Saving Tips”

CS Marketplace – Cook-friendly books, videos, tees & sometimes more

BJN’s Eclectic Offerings Page

♦  FEATURED RECIPE  

Showy brunch dish – tasty! – easy!

I first saw this recipe in the AllRecipes magazine {yikes I love their stuff} and was immediately taken with its appealing look and promise of satisfying flavors. Then, to see if I could share it with a link checked the AllRecipes site and woohoo! there it was.

The ingredients, amounts and baking procedure are the same for both. And both start with two cans of refrigerated crescent roll dough and a filling of ham, cheese, scrambled eggs and optional mustard.

The magazine one though called for cutting slits in the dough and folding over the filling to make two loaves. The one on the site made one large loaf, using the dough from one can as the base and separating the dough in the other into the perforated 8 pieces to fold over the filling.

I think this one is easier. One thing, I did sort of angle the individual pieces to create more of a braided look in the final result. Could be nice for Easter morning.

Recipe   AllRecipes mag sub on Amazon    Eggy cookbooks

♦  TIP  

Go ahead, play with your food

In this case – taters! One of the Tidbits in our 02.08.19 Salon talked about some Internet fun involving putting makeup on potatoes, and I added a note to the effect that it could be even more fun to use food coloring pens on baked potatoes and serve them as party food.

OK, so now the tests are over and the results are in. The Easter egg design {OK, no art critics need weigh in!} went on before baking, the Christmas tree hot out of the oven and the pumpkin after the potato cooled. All were OK, but the skin on the unbaked potato is easiest to work with.

I did check with World of Color whose “Gourmet Writer Food Decorator Pens” I used to make sure there were no problems with subjecting the “ink” to heat. And good news, no problems at all.

The pens I used    Others on Amazon

♦  A PEEK AT MY WEEK  

Welcome to my kitchen and living room

Actually did this a couple of weeks ago, just catching up with sharing how I used the rest of that buttermilk {that seemed to be in a bottomless carton}, still hanging around after the dressing test, oatmeal stand-in for milk, and Irish soda bread ingredient. Love the recipe on my buttermilk pancake mix box – melt a T butter in a 9″ pie pan in a 450 oven, combine 1 c mix, 1/2 c water, 1 egg, pour into pan, bake 15 min. So . . . substituted 3/4 c buttermilk for the water. Rich! Buttermilk squared.

  Cauliflower haters may well be folks whose only experience with the snowy veg is as a soggy flavorless mess. But that latter quality, its fairly bland flavor profile, is exactly what the “lovers” value, treating it as a blank canvas just waiting to accommodate any number of ingredients and techniques.

  MyRecipes stars it in a ton of preps here, fried, baked, mashed, grilled and au gratin-ed. And nice, it can stand in for potatoes as in the list’s shepherd’s pie, for meat in the tandoori dish, for rice in the risotto cakes. For the mashed, btw, no reason it can’t take a ladle of gravy.

♦  As a follow-up to the above, if you’d like to use cauliflower as a replacement for rice, but dread the ricing step – finding the food processor leaves some pieces too big and other too small, or {noooooooooooo} trying to do it by hand – you’ll be happy to know there’s a good chance your supermarket already has riced cauliflower in the produce section. It worked like a charm in risotto – here’s the recipe I used, on the Mann’s site, didn’t add mushrooms but did stir in chopped fresh dill just before serving.

So far next week: ancient foods, do you dukkah, Salted Caramel Tartlets, more potato flakes fun, classic pork roast, cookie dough trick, Resurrection rolls

Looking for something in CS? – scroll and check Misty’s previews OR enter the item in the search box OR email me at bjnosek@gmail.com

Note, transactions are solely between the buyer and linked supplier

Photo credits: books/Amazon, all others mine

All pages ©2019 CooksSalon.com

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

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Thin Mint/Banana Cream Pie {+caramel}, March 22-April 4, 2019

Computer being a bad boy againnew post April 5

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

& Misty the FoodieCat

CS friends, help yourself to tasty resources!

  CatChat –  Misty previews this week’s salon  

  TIDBITS – pb&j mug cake / spirited chocolate donuts / phooey on freezer burn    CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT – Martha tells all    FEATURED RECIPE – Girl Scout cookie dessert & an oopsie & bonus recipes   TIP – talkin’ cheese    THE WEEK – fresh pb / toast 2.0 / good read, no recipes?

Misty’s History    Misty’s Gallery

  TIDBITS 

Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

  So, in our Feb 15, 2019 Salon we shared a link for mug cake recipes on google, all kinds of flavors. Now I’ve come across a one dear to my palate. Peanut butter and jelly mug cake! And like the others it’s pretty much 5-min or less from taking the empty mug out of the cabinet to taking the filled mug out of the nuker. You have to scroll a bit through the text to reach the directions, and once there note that there’s an alternative for making a fudgier, peanut butterier version.

Could this be the best way ever to start your day? To be honest, the folks at Irish Central actually position these donuts, Chocolate Baked Guinness Donuts with Irish Cream Glaze, in the dessert slot. I say, your choice. Since I already have Guinness for the Irish stew featured in our 03.15.19 Salon, just may give this a try. And if I do, CS friends will be among the very first to know.

What is freezer burn, what does it look like, what does it do to food – and most important, how can we avoid it. Food & Wine has the answers in this super helpful article.

  CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT  ♦ 

“The Martha Manual”

We first mentioned this new book from Martha Stewart in our 03.08.19 Salon, noting its thorough coverage of cleaning, organizing, repairing, laundry, decorating, crafts, gardening, pet care, entertaining – and cooking which we promised would get a closer look.

Here her comprehensive take guides us on tool repurposing, produce purchases, freezer use, leftovers, ingredient timesavers, basic methods, kitchen troubleshooting, baking skills, and frosting tips. Within each, so much illustrated detail.

There aren’t really recipes, but you will find preps in this section. For example, I found instructions for vegetable broth, nut butters, corncob chowder, baked butternut, pan sauces, parchment cooking, a proper omelet, refrigerator pickles,

Party prone cooks may also be interested in the “Host and Entertain” and “Celebrate” sections. The former is food oriented,  the latter fun oriented.

The 387 pages add up to a blueprint for an easy, organized, enjoyable life with a whole lot of pretty touches along the way. It’s 4 1/2 stars on Amazon, now $24.50 {vs $35} for hardcover, $14.99 for Kindle.

“The Martha Manual”    Stewart’s other books & more

CS Marketplace Cook-friendly books, videos, tees & sometimes more

BJN’s Eclectic Offerings Page

  FEATURED RECIPE  

Thin Mints rule the crust

The oopsie first. In our 02.08 19 Salon I mentioned that the Girl Scout cookies available on Amazon didn’t indicate any time limits, which was true. But decided I better check a little further and received this reply: “. . . usually just during the first few months of the year – until we run out of this year’s stock.” Right now Thin Mints and others still show as available.

The pie recipe on the site is actually for peppermint chocolate cheesecake on a Thin Mint crust. You can access this by clicking the link below, selecting Thin Mints from the recipe list, and then scrolling down to the pie and, I might mention, passing a whole bunch of other good stuff on the way.

I started with their crust prep, 10 oz bag Thin Mints crushed and mixed with 3T melted butter. But then went a simpler route, filling it with banana cream pudding and after thoroughly chilled, decorating it with some caramel striping.

Note: if you can no longer find these cookies, you can still make a comparable crust for either the cheesecake or the pie {or any other filling} with store-bought chocolate mint cookies. I’ve done this previously the same way, 10 oz bag, 3 T melted butter.

And, a chuckle: This is from one of the Internet cartoon collections: How many boxes of those Thin Mints do I have to eat before I start seeing results???

Girl Scout cookie recipes  ♦  GS cookies on Amazon  

♦  TIP  

Cheese It!

I just came across some tips from the “Hot & Cheesy” cookbook that I had kept note of because they seemed particularly valuable. Here’s some of what author Clifford A Wright has to say . . .

  • Store cheese separately from other foods {like in a compartment}
  • When aged cheese melts, it will be grainy
  • When young cheese melts, it will be creamier
  • It should be cooked briefly and gently, just until is has fully melted
  • It’s easier to grate, crumble or slice when it’s cold
  • 1 cup of shredded or crumbled cheese weighs about 3 ounces
  • {love this one} “Nonfat cheeses never melt, but I don’t use them, as they have no taste”

“Hot & Cheesy” Cookbook

  A PEEK AT MY WEEK  

Welcome to my kitchen and living room

♦  Thinking next time I make that Thin Mint/banana cream pie I’ll decorate it with peanut butter stripes. Maybe what brought that to mind is the fact that pb has two honorary mentions in this week’s Salon. And that brings me to this question? Do you ever make your own? It really is so easy, just dump a jar of peanuts of your choice in the food processor. I don’t even add oil, but rather just keep processing until the nuts release enough of their own oil until, voila! peanut butter.

♦  Bye bye breakfast blahs. That’s what I thought when I read this Food & Wine article, “12 Healthy Ways to Spice Up Your Morning Toast.” For some folks, Healthy is a caution, for others an invitation. Think both groups will be happy with these flavorful and colorful a.m. upgrades. Actually the dozen is spread over three “bases” – peanut butter, ricotta, and avocado. Here is my pb/carrot strips/chile garlic sauce/lime strips.

  So, now reading Rhys Bowen’s “Heirs & Graces,” her next Spyness book after “The 12 Clues of Christmas,” featured in our 03.08.19 Salon. It’s off to a good start with Mummy smack dab in the spotlight, but not for long as Georgiana could have predicted. One thing I want to note though – I haven’t seen any recipes in this one. So if you’re just looking for a good read from this top selling mystery author, probably any of her books would be fine, but if it’s recipes you crave may want to give it a leaf-through first.

So far next week: tater flake tricks, you eat whaaaat?, best biscuits, braid your eggs, spud art, wowsa pancake, cauliflower upgrades

Looking for something in CS? – scroll and check Misty’s previews OR enter the item in the search box OR email me at bjnosek@gmail.com

Note, transactions are solely between the buyer and linked supplier

Photo credits: Donuts/Irish Central, Martha book/Amazon, Martha pic/her site, cheesecake/Girl Scouts site, banana cream/mine, cheese dish/Wright’s book, pb/mine

All pages ©2019 CooksSalon.com

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

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Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie {oh my}, Feb 22-28 & March 1-7, 2019

This is a 2-week Salon in view of the delayed post while security was updated

Due to offer deadline, the 03/08 Marketplace is here, kitchen art on 03/08

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

& Misty the FoodieCat

CS friends, help yourself to tasty resources!

  CatChat  

Misty previews what you’ll find below in this week’s salon

  TIDBITS – XO sauce decoded / Laissez les bons temps rouler! / ube decoded    CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT – {art for cooks now next week} this week – cooking for kids    FEATURED RECIPE – make this . . . now!    TIP – kiwi hacked    THE WEEK – cheesy t.c. / the sugar cookie sheet pan experience / yabbies??? {M – OK, yeah, this would be OK in my supper dish}

Misty’s History    Misty’s Gallery

♦  TIDBITS  ♦

Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

  Ancient Chinese secret? Probably not since these days it’s all on google. The subject is XO sauce, found roundly on Asian restaurant menus, but now interestingly appearing in offerings in other ethnic realms. Some of the whys can be found in this getflavor.com story. But if it’s the recipe you crave, back to google for those resources.NOWFE

  Folks who have been to New Orleans probably agree it’s always a fun place to visit. But  April 3-7 the good times go into overdrive with “Come to Your Senses,” the 27th anniversary of The New Orleans Wine & Food Experience, a chance to sample the bounty, and maybe pick up a tip or secret in the process, from the city’s top chefs and restaurants. And to pair it all with selections from over 1,000 wines from around the world. Tastings, seminars, dinners and more.

  Every now and then you come upon something so fun and different you just want to share it. In this case it’s “ube” – whaaaaaat? – an almost startlingly purple yam, native to the Philippines {and maybe elsewhere?}. This “Taste” article fills in some more blanks, including its classic use as an ingredient in ice cream, bread filling, cakes, and the star of the show – yam jam.

♦  CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT  ♦ 

Great offer for kids – but hurry

We sure know that from the young people’s competitions on Food Network. You watch that and think, yikes talent is sure not limited by age.

Your children may not aspire to tv kitchens, but for any that do show an interest in cooking, this stuff is for them. It’s a confidence builder comes with a whole lot of fun.

From America’s Test Kitchens, it outfits them with the cookbook and apron shown. “Using kid-tested and approved recipes . . . just right for cooks of all skill levels,” it features photos, tips, and techniques for recipes covering breakfast, snacks, beverages, dinners and desserts.

Through this March 6, the two-piece “Young Chef Bundle” is available at a discount. If you would prefer just the book, that’s available from Amazon, and also at least for now, offered at a discount.

The bundle from ATK    Just the book, from Amazon

CS Marketplace – Cook-friendly books, videos, tees & sometimes more

BJN’s Eclectic Offerings Page

♦  FEATURED RECIPE  

One of the best desserts I’ve ever made 

This is the kind of confection you should probably cut into small slices, but chances are that ain’t happening. This Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie is just soooooooo good.

It comes from a cookbook by David Venable known to many from his QVC show, “In the Kitchen with David.” The title is short but every word warms your heart, “Comfort Food Shortcuts,” specializing in satisfying dishes that marry your cooking talents to grocery store convenience, showing us the latter in his recipes.

True to the title promise, lots of dips, soups, saucy preps, noodles, casseroles, rich desserts. On my personal do list: bananas foster pancakes, pepperoni stuffed cheesy breadsticks, chocolate stuffed bread {with store-bought bread!}, peach enchiladas, and the intriguing comeback sauce {in an upcoming Salon}.

Meanwhile, with its crackly crust and soft melty interior, could anything possibly make our featured pie any better? Hmmmm, maybe cozying up to a nice scoop of French vanilla ice cream.

Recipe page    “Comfort Food Shortcuts” cookbook  

♦  TIP  

Kiwi in 3-2-1

Passing this along because if you have the right implement and this works, would be a pretty neat trick. The right implement being uncoated wire beaters on your hand mixer.

Mine are thickly coated so I couldn’t try this. You can see the full details via the link which takes you to the Cooking Light story, but it has to do with pressing the beater into each half kiwi and then twisting to pop out four even quarters from the skin.

If anyone tries this, appreciate it if you let me {and then the rest of us} know how it works. Please see the Let’s Chat page for guidelines on sending stuff along.

Kiwi trick

♦  A PEEK AT MY WEEK  

Welcome to my kitchen and living room

  Well on the way out of the supermarket, a book called “Hot & Cheesy” seemed to jump right into my hand from a bargain book bin. Despite the title, nothing salacious about it but in a sense it is rather sinful. This stuff can’t be good for you but it sure does sound good. You’ll see next week because there’s exactly where our Featured Recipe is coming from.

  So now have made the sheet pan sugar cookies twice, {recipe link in the Jan 18 Salon}, and enjoyed them both times but couldn’t resist some tweaks. One was cutting down the white sugar from 1 cup to 3/4 of a cup and they’re still sweet enough. Also put them in a larger pan, 10×15. Now if you prefer the blondie-like texture mentioned in their recipe notes, by all means stay with the 9×13.

–  The other tweak – pressing chocolate chips into the cookies the moment they’re removed from the oven. You could mix them into the dough, but believe them when they say this is a sticky {and I’d add, stiff} dough.

  Well, you just never know where you might pick up a bit of food-related information. And in this case, a most unlikely source – “The Origin Story” by David Christian, a chronology from the Big Bang to projections for the future. So the author is picturing our long ago ancestors sitting around a fire “finishing a meal of mussels, freshly caught fish, yabbies, and wallaby steak.” Yabbies? Discovered it’s a crustacean most notably in Australia that looks like a lobster but is actually related to crayfish. More on google.

So far next week: butter basted ribeyes, hot & cheesy dish, cooking for kids, best bacon, Irish Guinness stew, cheese storage, honoring Bourdain

Looking for something in CS? – scroll and check Misty’s previews OR enter the item in the search box OR email me at bjnosek@gmail.com

Any transactions are solely between the direct buyer and direct seller

All pages ©2019 CooksSalon.com

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

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St Pat’s Day special, Feb 15-21, 2019

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

& Misty the FoodieCat

Help yourself to a bounty of resources!

  CatChat  

Misty previews what you’ll find below in this week’s salon

  TIDBITS – speed shopping / wine time / cake for one    CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT – A-1 resource    FEATURED RECIPE – Irish potato cakes and more for St Pat’s    TIP – it’s in the book    THE WEEK – rye, rye again / flavy gravy / burger desperation

Misty’s History    Misty’s Gallery

♦  TIDBITS  ♦

Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

  Here’s some welcome help for any cook. Are you like this too? Some parts of grocery shopping can be fun or at least interesting. But most days I think most of us would like toVin65 Template Wine Regions be able to do just what this headline says in a story on the MyRecipes site: “How to Get In and Out of the Grocery Store Faster.”

  You may not find yourself casually traveling through Pahrump NV. But given the better chance that you might visit Las Vegas, a short drive away is the newly expanded and remodeled Pahrump Winery. And yes, the vineyard is right there, which means if you hit it right you can also take part in a grape stomp – and any time you can learn a lot about wine, from seeding to sipping. Details of products, tours, events, and restaurant at the site for this multi-award winning winery.

  For some reason a dorm fave seems to be popping up a lot these days, and not just for kids anymore either. It’s the mug cake, ready in 5, just mix and nuke. The default is chocolate of course, but this google page shows a number of preps and variations.

♦  CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT  ♦ 

I know I’ve mentioned this book before, but was just browsing through it again and so love this read. Open to just about any page and you may well come upon something fascinating.

The Diner's Dictionary: Word Origins of Food and DrinkOf course it’s also a fast resource for an individual ingredient, a single food item, or an entire dish. Alphabetical, thank you. What fun!

And whether you’re in those pages for a casual stroll or a specific search, you may find in some cases not only the definition, but as well characteristics, uses, and origins, plus related geography, history, literature, law, commerce, and notable people.

Here are the cover blurbs: “Be warned – this is a dangerously fascinating book,” “stuffed with delightful morsels in a digestible form,” “a quirky irresistible volume.” Hardcover, 4 1/2 stars on Amazon.

Diner’s Dictionary 

CS Marketplace

BJN’s Eclectic Offerings Page

♦  FEATURED RECIPE  

What could be more Irish??? 

The recipe comes from the Irish Central newsletter, and the main ingredient is potato. That sure seems to add up to the perfect brunch dish or dinner side for St. Patrick’s Day. Even better, it comes to your kitchen with few ingredients, easy technique.

Fadge (Irish Potato Cakes). Image: Getty.

Btw, you can make a healthy version of these potato cakes with olive oil or a tasty version with bacon fat. I know where my vote would go.

This prep appears on a page with several other Irish recipes, including one for traditional Irish Brown Bread. In fact you could probably plan your entire St. Pat’s dinner right here, entree, side dishes, bread and dessert.

Recipe for Fadge {Irish Potato Cakes} – scroll on page

♦  TIP  

How to’s too!

In addition to everything listed above in Marketplace, the comprehensive Diner’s Dictionary occasionally yields suggestions for uses and preps as well. You could pretty much make stuff from like Bubble & Squeak to Bubble Tea just from the descriptions here.

As another example, under Miso, after the definition there’s this: “as a dressing for salads, as a flavouring for pickles, and in marinades . . . {or} more adventurous options, such as miso-glazed baby back ribs. A bit of a surprise appears under Gravy, in the form of quite detailed instructions for oysters in something we may not now think of as gravy, a wine/broth mixture enhanced with ground almonds and seasonings, maybe even egg yolk and cheese, drawn from a 14th century cookbook.

{Btw, if you want those details just email me, here {bjnosek@gmail.com}

♦  A PEEK AT MY WEEK  

Welcome to my kitchen and living room

  You may recall the rye croutons from the last week’s Salon? At that time mentioned them as a tasty addition to soups and salads. Just discovered another great use – atop sauerkraut! Although I served this as a side dish, since that the kraut already had joined bacon, onion, garlic and tomato, this also works as an entree. A bit of sour cream won’t hurt either.

  Do you ever make your own Italian beef? Most recently I used paper thin slices of eye of round, but have also been known to let the deli take care of this part. For broth – beef bouillon, lots of fresh garlic, basil, oregano, pepper, and a bit of gardinere {with more to go on top of the sandwiches}. But here’s what I want to pass along – if you have leftover broth, yay, add a bit of thickening for a super flavorful gravy.

  Had such a taste for a hamburger but – bummer – no ground beef in the freezer. And not the kind of day that encouraged a trek to the store. So . . . . . made a burgerless burger. Melted cheddar on a bun, piled on lettuce, tomato, pickle, onion, and topped all with a mix of mayo, mustard, ketchup and French dressing. Sides of fries and bell pepper salad and, really, barely missed the meat. In fact a pretty darn good veggie plate.

So far next week: New Orleans Wine & Food Experience, kitchen art, chocolate chip cookie pie

Any transactions are solely between the direct buyer and direct seller

All pages ©2019 CooksSalon.com

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

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Girl Scout Cookie Desserts, Feb 8-14, 2019

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

& Misty the FoodieCat

All pages ©2019 CooksSalon.com

  CatChat  

Misty previews what you’ll find below in this week’s salon

  TIDBITS – Are you being bad? / sheet pan comes to breakfast / tater tricks  ♦  CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT – help with Valentine’s gifts {M – make mine tuna}    FEATURED RECIPE – Girl Scout cookies, a fab ingredient    TIP – cakes 5.0    THE WEEK – rye redux / butternut squash – one recipe, two uses / choclo {whaaaaat?}

Misty’s History    Misty’s Gallery

♦  TIDBITS  ♦

Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

  If you like to bake, you might also like to take a look at this article posted on Well Done. You’ll find guidelines and fixes for such aspects as reading instructions, measuring, heating the oven, ingredients, mixing, pans, under the banner “18 Bad Baking Habits You Need to Stop.”

  If you’ve ever been to a French bakery or cafe, whether here or there, chances are good the menu featured the country’s classic open face sandwich, the Croque Monsieur, basically ham & swiss on good toasted bread sauced with bechamel. Food and Wine brings us the prep for a version called Croque Meurice after its origins, and what’s interesting is that it taps into sheet pan convenience. Btw, if you cut these large enough and top each square with a fried egg it would be a handy take on Croque Madame.

  Potato art – This is too bizarrely funny not to share. It is about food. But not as food. A new Internet sensation involves posting videos of putting makeup on, yep we already tipped it, potatoes. Although I guess as we think about it, that’s maybe a small step from the years ago kids game, Mr. Potato Head. Thinking now, this could be fun – if we used food color pens they could actually be served as a party dish. Thanks, Irish Central, for the chuckle.

♦  CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT  ♦ 

Little late with a Valentine’s gift?

There’s a good chance Amazon can help. Almost anyone, I think, would appreciate a Valentine Treasures Fruit Gift Basketlovely gift basket with chocolate, maybe a stuffed animal, decorations.

In the links below, the first one leads to everything that comes up for chocolate gift baskets, the second narrows the selections to baskets specifically for Valentine’s Day, and the third lists only those rated four stars and up. At any level you can also customize in additional ways.

Btw, the “container” isn’t always a basket, sometimes a box, tin or tower. Of course check out the delivery dates but many if ordered now will arrive before the big day, including this one.

All gift chocolate baskets    For Valentine’s    Best rated    Basket shown

CS Marketplace

Need something even faster? Browse lots of instant gift cards on Amazon

♦  FEATURED RECIPE  

Girl Scout Cookies Gone Wild 

Well this whole tasty sequence began with a visit to a site I really like called MyRecipes. The draw was a story on desserts made with Girl Scout cookies {link below}. 

So then I hit Google to see when the cookies are available and that led to several discoveries. First, on the Girl Scouts site you can enter your zip code and get a big listing of dates and places for the booths.

Second, there are also cookie-based recipes on the site. Shown here are cupcakes made with Thin Mints which are crushed and mixed with cream cheese for a filling inside chocolate cake topped with ganache.

Another revelation came in the Google search, and it’s this – Girl Scout cookies are available on Amazon. Just to check I clicked on the Thin Mints and there doesn’t appear to be any “season” for them which is to say they seem to be available year ’round.

Recipe page on the Girl Scouts site {scroll on page for cupcakes}

MyRecipes article  ♦  Girl Scouts homepage    GS cookies on Amazon  

♦  TIP  

Skeptical, but my reason may not be your reason

Either way, it is an interesting idea. Tapping into a tale with the maybe slightly hyperbolic headline, “How to make any cake 1,000 time better” – with the answer being, folding in whipped cream.

The result it says, is a light consistency . . . a lighter texture,” and that where they lose me because I like desserts that are. ummm, toothy. But I realize some of you, dear friends, do prefer a lighter touch and a link is here for you to see the details.

Meanwhile, we also discover that the idea was inspired by the cookbook, “BakeWise,” which “won the James Beard Foundation Award for Best Baking and Dessert Cookbook in 2009.”

The Whipped Cream Trick    “BakeWise” on Amazon, 4 1/2 stars

♦  A PEEK AT MY WEEK  

Welcome to my kitchen and living room

  So, a package of rye bread that is supposed to close with a sticky tab – didn’t. As a result, a good four slices turned zwieback-y. Didn’t want to waste it, so hello Google. The solution that was most appealing was to turn them into croutons, which is exactly what I did, sauteeing cubes in a garlicky mix of butter and peanut oil. Turned out to be great toppers for butternut squash soup, pea soup, and really any salad.

  And about the butternut squash soup, now have my final version. Truth be told the preceding variations were good, but the “winner” was the one that most let the title veggie take an undisputed starring role. It starts with about a 3 lb squash, baked until very tender, cooled till handle-able.

  In a large pot 3-4 cloves minced garlic are lightly sauteed in 4 T butter, and then joined by 2 c prepared chicken bouillon, 1/2 T honey, 1 t sage, 1/2 t ea pepper and nutmeg. Let this simmer while you peel, seed and rough cut the squash, and then mash or blend it smooth with a 1/2 c cream.

  Whisk in the squash scoop by scoop until blended, and then add 1 cup Italian shredded cheese. Whisk until melted and mixture is hot. Serve as soup or, as originally pursued, over pasta as shown here topped with a bit of parm and parsley.

  I don’t make a steady diet of “Chopped” on Food Network, but did tune in recently and learned about an ingredient I’d never heard of before. Have you? It was choclo, a large kernel style of corn grown in Peru. The contestants did some interesting preps with it which you can view here {full episode}.

BJN’s Eclectic Offerings Page

{new, and still doesn’t quite have all its ingredients}

So far next week

Cook with passion and a party spirit, whether for a crew, or for two, or just for you
Email me at bjnosek@gmail.com 
{subj – CooksSalon} & receive an “invitation” to weekly online salons

 

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Sooooo easy, sooooo good Nutella Brownie Cookies, Feb 1-7, 2019

  CatChat  

 

Misty previews what you’ll find below in this week’s salon

  TIDBITS – guide to wine fridges / pb French toast / best bacon {M – whadizit, whadizit, whadizit???   CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT – “cover” stories    FEATURED RECIPE – love these cookies!  ♦  TIP – finger salads    THE WEEK – new fave ingredient / bookin’ / fast mac

Misty’s History    Misty’s Gallery

Yay! Four new pix in my gallery – mom calls it “Misty & bacon, the rest of the story”

♦  TIDBITS  ♦

Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

  Do you love wine? Then you might very well enjoy connecting with ILoveWine.com. Here’s a recent article posted on the site, guiding you to the best wine coolers, size and style, for your home. I do have a wine cooler and just love it, also keep  my coffee in there. On the site you’ll find all kinds of helpful wine information along with a form to sign up for the newsletter. Worth a look for any wine lover.

  Peanut butter fans, beat a path to this link {fortunately it’s just a few words away}. Hooray Food & Wine for bringing us Peanut Butter French Toast. In addition to giving pb a starring role, it comes together with a rich drenching sauce, crunchy crust, and – my personal fave – a light touch so it isn’t soaked to death before cooking. Be trying this one real soon.

  Well this is cool. Food & Wine completes our breakfast or brunch with – bacon! In this story the premier mag serves up The Best Bacon in America, in different categories, from designer offerings to supermarket brands.

♦  CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT  ♦ 

Keep the pot hot

A recent story on the MyRecipes site listed some helpful ways to cover a pan that either doesn’t have a lid or has a lid that has gone into hiding. It also mentions as an alternativeModern Innovations Elegant 18/8 Stainless Steel Universal Lid with Adjustable Steam Vent, Fits All 7" to 12" Pots and Pans, Replacement Frying Pan Cover and Cookware Lids having on hand a universal lid.

I’ve had one of these for years and make very good use of it. While I don’t have any lid-less pots or uncooperative lids, this particular cover is great for all my frying pans and I’ve also used Silicone Lids Extra Large Set of 6 Sturdy Suction Seal Covers. Universal fit for Pots, Fry Pans, Cups and Bowls 5" to 12". Natural grip handles that interlock for easy use and storage. Food Safe.it to cover big bowls of hot food.

Amazon has lots of these available but I’ve featured one like my own, large at 12 1’2″ and with an adjustable vent, though there’s also a link below where you can browse all of them. Also found a handy set of six with sizes not only for your pots but as well for other dishes and even pitchers, all in silicone. Both featured items are rated 4 1/2 stars.

Selected lid   Silicone 6-lid set   All universal lids    All silicone lids

MyRecipes article    CS Marketplace

♦  FEATURED RECIPE  

Every word in the title is a winner 

Thank you, thank you, thank you Food 52. How often do we encounter a dish – a dessert in this case – that’s easy peasy easy AND totally indulgent.

So, yeah, I wasted no time making these “3-Ingredient Nutella Brownie Cookies.” Yikes there are more words in the title than there are ingredients.

This is actually an amalgam of Nutella cookies and Nutella brownies, and recipes are shown for these individuals too. The final one adds up to four ingredients with the addition of a bit of salt.

Whichever version, could they be any easier? You know what, maybe they could. When I make them again, and you bet there will be an “again,” I’m going to see how it might work in a sheet pan.

Notes: A 13 oz jar is just right. I did use parchment paper, but if you don’t have it at hand then, chances are good baking {not cooking} spray would work OK, or at least it’s never failed me. I did 8 minutes and that was perfect.

Recipe  

♦  TIP  

Salad as finger food???

So at one of my home salons, I was serving sandwiches, deviled eggs, chicken wings, pickles & olives. How to include salad without having to drag out forks and bottles of dressing?

Here’s how. I lined up small disposable glasses. Poured in the bottom of each some of my fave/easy salad dressing, equal parts of ranch and Wishbone original Italian.

Then arranged pluckable strips of veggies around the perimeter of each glass. In this version: carrots, celery, cuke, red, green and yellow bell peppers, and then added a two-radish “centerpiece,” all against a frilly lettuce leaf backdrop. Easy for me, easy for guests.

♦  A PEEK AT MY WEEK  

Welcome to my kitchen and living room

  After all these years I’ve discovered malted milk powder. Of course since childhood I’ve had malteds {and wow are those getting harder to find}, but never before had the powder in my pantry. First use was for a re-do of bran muffins that came out way too dense – broke them up, added egg, milk, vanilla and the powder and baked in a sheet pan, all better.

Second, yay, found it’s another “oatmeal helper.” And then, though I pretty much always take coffee and tea straight black, recently added some of the powder to coffee and that made a nice “snack.” Haven’t tried it in tea yet but could give a whole new meaning to a “cream tea.”

  Maybe this is why that latter idea came to mind. While I do love a good mystery, my knowledge of the top writers in the realm is pretty shallow so it wasn’t until I discovered the Mystery Writers Cookbook {Jan 11 Salon} that I’d heard of Rhys Bowen, and her penchant for including food in her stories. Which leads me to my first foray into her list, “The 12 Clues of Christmas,” where a cream tea [the real kind} plays a supporting role.

  I have a mac & cheese recipe that is quite a crowd pleaser and that’s what I generally make. But recently I had an ingredient that I wanted to use up, and that was an almost full jar of queso dip. Yep, combined it with some cooked mac from the freezer and voila! – instant, decent, and even a bit spicy m&c.

BJN’s Eclectic Offerings Page

So far next week: Girl Scout cookie desserts, cake upgrade, rye bread re-do, butternut squash soup/sauce, choclo {whaaaaat?}

Cook with passion and a party spirit, whether for a crew, or for two, or just for you
Email me at bjnosek@gmail.com 
{subj – CooksSalon} & receive an “invitation” to weekly online salons

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