Cinnamon Apple Pie Bread, Oct 18-Oct 24, 2019

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

New Salon every Friday – c’mon in

CS friends, and help yourself to tasty resources!

Starting this week, the information panel below will show any link destinations not identified in the text

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

  TIDBITS – bread-keeping / quark unmasked / food show returns   CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT – lovely book    FEATURED RECIPE – perfect for fall    TIP – look out ‘fridge   THE WEEK – nachos > burritos / Catalan-style spinach / dinner metric 

  TIDBITS 

Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

  Bread lovers, rejoice. So sad when we open the package in the pantry or fridge and find hockey pucks, a touch of green {or white}, or a soggy mess. Leave it to Food & Wine to clue us on how to avoid all that with “5 Secrets to Storing Bread {and making it last longer.” Thanks!

  Quark? Hmmm?? Isn’t that something out of particle physics??? Not for folks who love trying new things in the kitchen. Turns out in our realm it’s a dairy product, sort of a hybrid between cheese and yogurt, that you can make yourself. The surprising thing, given the prep procedure, is how the taste is described. See that and uses too in this article about Quark by MyRecipes.

  It’s one of the most popular cooking shows on PBS and it returns to our living rooms Oct 19. It’s “Sara’s Weeknight Meals,” a treasure trove of home cooking, with quick preps for busy families. Watch for actual home cooks showing us regional fare from Mississippi, Miami and Key West. As they say, check your local listings – mine say 12:30 pm.

  CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT  ♦ 

What a sweetheart of a novel

Welcome to the town of Avalon where it doesn’t take long for the reader to feel like a visitor or maybe even a resident. That’s in great part thanks to author Darien Gee’s talents at establishing a sense of place, and even more theFriendship Bread: A Novel deft introduction of main characters and secondary players in such a way that they retain clear identities rather than dissolving into a blur.

But the book’s title, “Friendship Bread” telegraphs the real star of the show. Throughout, the starter and loaves work their way into these lives variously taking on the roles of nourishment for the body, an elementary school hit, a conversation opener, coin of the realm, a source of humor, a community organizer, the inspiration for both “thank yous” and “Oh nos!” – even the cause of panic in the streets and the underpinning for a mission of mercy.

We follow the bread all the way to the story’s satisfying conclusion. And then there’s . . .  recipes!

The bread, the people, the situations both social and serious often center around the town’s tea shoppe. Feel free to pull up a chair.

“Friendship Bread”    Gee’s other books in Avalon

  FEATURED RECIPE  

Just, yum 

I’ve come upon this site before and always found it so interesting. Called Wishes & Dishes, it’s chock full of great looking recipes, starting right with the homepage. In fact, not sure I’ll be able to resist the banana bread brownies with chocolate peanut butter ganache. Also party tips, holiday specialties, and the eclectic Wishes section.

And here, they bring us Cinnamon Apple Pie Bread, so moist and flavorful, a sweet treat for breakfast, snack or dessert. As it says in the intro: “Forget the pie crust and get all the flavors of fall . . .”

Quite easy too. After chopping the apple it’s pretty much just measure, mix, and wait while it bakes. Maybe a quirk of my oven or altitude, after max baking time the center still wasn’t totally set though the edges were. So, I just shut off the oven, left the bread in there for another 25 minutes, and then all good . . . really good.

Btw, there’s a demo on the page which can be helpful but doesn’t include any amounts. When you scroll down you’ll come across a button to Get Recipe – maybe it’s just my unfortunate relationship with electronics but this took me somewhere into the cyber hinterlands.

But . . . if you just keep scrolling on the original page – eureka! – there’s the recipe. After the ingredients you’ll see an arrow. Just scroll right past that into the directions. Then the fun begins! Thanks W&D!

Cinnamon Apple Pie Bread recipe    Wishes & Dishes  

  TIP  

I say All-in, you say . . .

So, we’ve seen a few all-in dishes in past Salons, bread pudding, chocolate pie, stew. And there are very likely more to come because this kind of thing is a great way to use up odd and ends rather than waste them.

It was interesting then to discover a similar phenom in an older version of Better Homes & Gardens. It was part of various strategies for “a better dinner tonight.”

They called one of the suggestions “Clean out the fridge,” and in this particular case the destination was a curry. Into coconut milk base went chicken, veggies, Thai green curry paste and lemons.

But, heck, you could start out with fridge cleaning and end up with soup, salad, burritos, pasta, quiche, “Dagwood” sandwiches, gumbo, paella . . . and whatever else could emerge from the lively imagination of all you creative CS-ers.

  A PEEK AT MY WEEK  

Welcome to my kitchen and living room

  As a follow-up to our Tip above, some weeks back I made burritos with a cousin of this technique. A place nearby makes these fabulous nachos with shredded beef, cheese, black olives, onions, peppers, salsa, sour cream, and guacamole on, oh yeah, french fries. After rescuing the fries, I wrapped all the leftover toppings in tortillas and froze the burritos for future enjoyment.

  I have a side dish to share with you, and the fact it is so good is far from a surprise since it’s the creation of flavor master JoséAndrés. It’s his Catalan-Style Spinach and while I’m as big a fan as anyone of the pure taste of lightlyVegetables Unleashed: A Cookbook cooked fresh spinach, this one takes the veggie into a whole new incredibly rich dimension. I first came across the prep in the chef’s “Vegetables Unleashed” cookbook, and it differs just a bit from the one linked here. If you want the best of both recipes, add a chopped shallot or comparable amount of onion, and mixed nuts instead of just pine nuts {I used slivered almonds and halved pecans}, and mixed dried fruits instead of just raisins {I used raisins and chopped dates}. Wondering with a bit of chicken if it couldn’t transform into an entree.

  Here’s one way you know you’re in the presence of a really, really, good dinner, whether at your home table, a host’s table, or a restaurant table. You realize you’re reaching capacity, and you’re just going to have to forego something on that beautiful plate. But what??? There are just no viable candidates. Do I have a solution? Nope. My job here was just verifying that you have had the good fortune to be face to plate with this kind of memorable dinner. Yes, thank you, I did have one such experience this very week.

So far next week: bacon and egg breakfast enchiladas, marshmallow equivalents, bake a cake like Buddy, Jose Andres quote, Watergate Salad, pizza plus

Last week, just below:  cola & peanuts meet in the bottle {yep}, best rotisserie chicken, keeping ‘shrooms fresh, whole book of grilled cheese mania, caterer to the star’s chocolate cake from mix – good/ rich/ easy, cuss-free wrapping, jammy eggs, fun & spooky food, savory salteñas 

Direct access to Amazon homepage through my personal link

Looking for something in CS? – scroll & check previews OR use the search box OR email me at bjnosek@gmail.com, also valid for questions & comments – see the Let’s Chat tab for details, also for my partnerships and more

Note, transactions are solely between the buyer and linked supplier

Photo credits – books/Amazon, food array/Acabashi on Wikimedia Commons, bread/mine

Link sources – Sara’s Weeknight Dinner/Sara Moulton, Catalan-style spinach/Jose Andres, all books/Amazon

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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Star caterer’s rich chocolate cake from mix, Oct 11-Oct 17, 2019

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 when you scroll below  

  TIDBITS – put whaaaat in your cola / best rotisserie chicken / keeping ‘shrooms fresh    CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT – grilled cheese mania    FEATURED RECIPE – so good, so rich, so easy    TIP – that’s a wrap ♦  THE WEEK – jammy eggs / spooky food / savory salteñas 

  TIDBITS 

Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

♦  Well, here’s a new one on me. But it won’t likely be for anyone from the south, and that’s combining peanuts and cola, Coke as most postings say, Pepsi when I saw it, and one online rebel mentioned Dr. Pepper. I was enlightened by North Carolina chef Vivian Howard in Season 1 of her PBS series “A Chef’s Life,” where the proper technique was on display. Open the {must be} glass bottle, take a few swigs, pour in the peanuts using your hand as a funnel – while the demo ended there, it seems then you either chew and sip or drink up before snacking on the peanuts.

–  Chef Vivian translated this into a dish of brined and cooked pork belly glazed with Pepsi that had been cooked down with brown sugar and lemon juice, all topped with freshly hulled peanuts that had been boiled in a salty county ham stock until they were “kind of tender.”

  The first paragraph in this MyRecipes feature, “How to choose the best grocery store rotisserie chicken,” reminds us there are so many ways to use this cooked and flavorful entree or ingredient, and may even give us a few new ideas. But of course we want to start with the best one possible and there are three ways offered that help us do just that. And not only is it a time saver, but also it says here that vs the cost of a raw chicken and the flavor ingredients, the rotisserie one is a better value. As a bonus there’s a recipe for a fine looking chicken chilaquiles casserole.

  Thanks Extra Crispy for cluing us in on how to Keep Mushrooms Fresh because we all know what can happen to those little guys in a matter of days. In addition to some good tips, and the reasons for them, two other things I found of interest. One kinda funny, as the author refers to the mushrooms having “a temperament.” The second kinda creepy, news that the sneaky fungi can continue to grow even after harvesting  There’s a movie in there somewhere.

  CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT  ♦ 

Grilled Cheese lovers, rejoice!

Because here’s an entire book of those comfort food wonders in all their golden glory. In the preemptively named “Grilled Cheese,” subtitled 50 recipes to make you melt, in addition to the preps you’ll also find a cheese guide, bread guide, and chat about putting it all together, along with some tips for the Perfect Grilled Cheese Sandwich. Grilled Cheese: 50 Recipes to Make You Melt

And then there’s a substantial list of add-ins – such fridge finds as pickles, veggies, cured meats, condiments and sauces – to gussy up your classic version. Author Marlena Spieler likens it to accessorizing a little black dress.

In the recipes there are some good basic sandwiches, but you can also go fancy with others that tuck in such upscale groceries as truffle paste, green olive tapenade, radicchio. These leaped onto my do list: rare roast beef, blue cheese and watercress . . . and {what I would regard as 2.0 versions of} chicken club, cuban, and torta . . . individual muffalettas . . . and mozzarella, prosciutto and fig jam.

Btw, that last one is on the cover {couldn’t you almost just take a bite right out of that???}. Whichever one you might choose to make, as Spieler says, “Breakfast, lunch, dinner, after school, or midnight snack . . . all are the perfect time for a grilled cheese sandwich.”

“Grilled Cheese” cookbook

  FEATURED RECIPE  

This full-of-good-stuff chocolate cake couldn’t be easier 

Last week {10.04.19 Salon} our CS Marketplace Spotlight featured a charming book by caterer to the stars Mary Giuliani. While much of the food parts of the book focused on the title dish, “Tiny Hot Dogs,” dessert was by no means overlooked.

In fact in the opinion of some folks {me, maybe you} everything else may well be overshadowed by the chocolate cake in this book. It’s a recipe, Giuliani tells us, that was given to her mother by her good friend Rita in the 1970s. Thus the full name, “My Mom’s Friend Rita’s Chocolate Cake.”

All of the ingredients are the stuff of cravings. And it all just mingles in a bowl pretty much all at once, then into the pan, into the oven, stand on one foot then the other till it’s baked and cool enough to dive in.

As Giulani notes, “It’s a really quick, easy, no-skill required, half box mix, half homemade cake that leaves your crowd happy.” What more could we ask.

Recipe    Giulani’s book, “Tiny Hot Dogs”    Giuliani’s other book, The Cocktail Party “  

  TIP  

Wrap it up cuss-free

Make no mistake, I still use aluminum foil for certain tasks. But when I want a fairly airtight way to store food, now I use sticky wrap. But just among us chickens, the unwrapping can inspire some hearty sailor language.

So, here’s the way I do it now. Lay the sheet sticky side down on a work surface. Place the food in the center, then fold the far side toward you over the food.

Next fold over the the edge closest to you about an inch to create a narrow flap {which will then have a sticky surface facing you}. Then then fold this side forward over the food, making sure to completely enclose the contents, and press to stick down.

Last, wrap both the ends underneath onto the sticky bottom side, and press to seal. Now you have a nice tight and neat package.

I store these in a freezer bag, marked with date and item. Then when I’m ready to use one of the servings, it’s ever so easy to unwrap by just bringing the ends back up and pulling up the flap you created. No cussing!

  A PEEK AT MY WEEK  

Welcome to my kitchen and living room

  Have you joined the jammy egg craze? It’s basically an egg cooked kind of midway between hard boiled and soft boiled, and thus the “jammy” yolk. This MyRecipes story acknowledges all the factors involved in getting it just right, but then offers a technique that neutralizes a lot of the variables. I did it as described, but because I have {at least as far as boiling water is concerned} a “bad altitude,” increased the time to 7 minutes. Almost right. Then 7.5 and perfect. It appears this is the only aspect that may require adjustment.

  Oh, these are just great. All kinds of Halloween-decorated food, some adorable, some quite creepy, all so very clever. I couldn’t actually find a prep for the featured one, the eyeballs, but it looked like it was based on donuts, so I used powdered sugar donut holes. Then with this “canvas” before me, put on my beret, and got to work with food color gels, finishing with chocolate chip centers. Woooooohooooo MyRecipes.

  I’m guessing a number of CS-ers might share my impulse to hit Search any time they come across an unfamiliar food. That was the case recently when I saw a reference to Bolivian savory pastries called salteñas. I hope the Bolivians will forgive me but I was mainly interested in how the filling ingredients came together, so just made it as a kind of stew – eliminating the gelatin, dough & annatto butter. And what I discovered was a big flavor interplay of spicy and mild, acidic and sweet, soft and firm, salty and not. I liked it! You can check recipes and more at salteñas, I used the 5-star MyRecipes one as a guide.

So far next week: cinnamon apple pie bread, good show, storing bread, Friendship Bread, a.k.a all-in. nachos into burritos, José Andrés’ decadent spinach, good dinner meter

Last week, scroll down:  ice cream for breakfast, the oddball flying jacob, a beer backstory, tiny hot dogs the book, tiny hot dogs the demo, corn on the cob takes 1, 2, 3, Choctaw stew, burger cooking tip, the sweet potato sundae repurposed

Direct access to Amazon homepage through my personal link

Looking for something in CS? – scroll & check previews OR use the search box OR email me at bjnosek@gmail.com, also valid for questions & comments – see the Let’s Chat tab for details, also for my partnerships and more

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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Tiny Hot Dogs x 2, Oct 4-Oct 10, 2019

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 when you scroll below  

♦  TIDBITS – {encore!} ice cream for breakfast / go take a flying jacob / beer backstory    CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT – tiny hot dogs, read    FEATURED RECIPE – tiny hot dogs, watch  ♦  TIP – corn on the cob, takes 1, 2, 3    THE WEEK – Choctaw stew / burger tip / tater redux

  TIDBITS 

Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

  Yes, indeedy, we ran this before {as did Food & Wine} and just as they regarded it as worthy of an encore, so do we! And in fact it was way up there as a favorite Tidbit among CS-ers. What? “19 Ways to Enjoy Ice Cream for Breakfast.” Ignore where the sun is, hit the freezer, etc, and enjoy!

  Have you ever heard of this? When Guy Fieri took his Diners, Drive-ins & Dives to Krokstrom in Kansas City, we were introduced to a dish called Flying Jacob, an unlikely combo of chicken, bacon, bananas, cream, spicy ketchup and peanuts that became a sensation when the recipe was submitted by a man named Jacobsson and printed in the Swedish mag “Allt Om Mat” {All About Food} in the 70s, and has unpredictably maintained shelf life to the present day. Here is the reprint AOP published after crowd pressure and it includes a link to the original recipe. You can google many variations including casserole versions.

  And so it was born. The stronger, hoppy brew many folks now enjoy at happy hour was the result of transport issues rather than flavor r&r. Beer sent by Britain on a long, hot journey to its soldiers in India would often arrive flat and sour. They found though that if they raised the alcohol content and added fresh hops to the barrels, the beer not only survived the trip but “tasted pretty good.” You might agree because today we know this quaff as India Pale Ale. Another tidbut from Moveable Feasts, the book that lifts the veil on how foods travel from a whole lot of “theres” to your plate, first mentioned in our 09.27.19 Salon..

  CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT   

Tiny Hot Dogs, the book . . . with recipes 

Mary Giuliani {no, not a relative, as she is constantly asked} is a caterer to the stars and sometimes we know who the Tiny Hot Dogs: A Memoir in Small Bitesmarquee folks are and sometimes not. What we discover more often is what she serves them.

And that brings us to the “tiny” reference. Giuliani shuns the usual gussy celeb fare for what might be characterized as upscale snack food, served in bite size pieces as telegraphed in the book’s title, “Tiny Hot Dogs.” That means her party tables will be laden with, e.g., mini versions of lobster rolls, corn dogs, spring rolls, turkey clubs, and variations on grilled cheese.

And recipes for all of those items mentioned above, as well as others, are included in the book. Along the way you’ll also come upon some catering tales, her foodie bio, some straight-talk revelations, and a bit of droll humor. All in all, quite enjoyable.

“Tiny Hot Dogs,” 4 1/2 stars    Her previous book, “The Cocktail Party,” 4 stars   

  FEATURED RECIPE  

Tiny Hot Dogs, the video . . . three ways

Giuliani brought her book title to life when she appeared on a charming show called Home & Family, on the Hallmark Channel. Her tiny hot dogs demo from that time is now on YouTube and is linked below.

You’ll see three ways to kick up the flavor on what are alternatively called pigs in a blanket, but bite-size, maybe two-bite. She also shows a compatible sauce for each.

You will also discover something you might find surprising. The only reason it wasn’t a revelation to me is that I had just finished reading a book on catering and learned how common this time-saving practice is in the industry. Turns out with the right sourcing, no quality is lost with this shortcut.

Tiny Hot Dogs video    Home & Family show

  TIP  

Corn x 3

What is it about corn that is just so satisfying. On the cob, off the cob, plain, flavored, cooked, raw, all so good. Here’s some buzz I hope you’ll find helpful . . .

So, in view of the fact that corn off the cob does quite well in the freezer, wondered why I couldn’t just freeze the whole cob. Never know until you try. Just tightly wrapped it, uncooked, in a paper towel and then in foil, and in it went.  The picture here shows it thawed, looking not bad, though for whatever reason it seems to survive the freezer better, in terms of both taste and texture, when it’s off the cob. I can probably say that with more conviction after trying one of these methods I belatedly found.

Street corn {elote} in a dish! So, had some kernels that I’d taken off the cob and frozen, no cooking, and thought it might be interesting to hit it with elote flavors. Found this recipe for a casserole which I used as a guide for ingredients but since I wasn’t using the prep’s 10 oz of corn, actually just did a toss into the skillet. Sauteed salted garlic in butter, then in with the corn, lime juice, a bit of hot sauce & some monterey jack, and when nice and hot into the dish with a bit more cheese to melt on top plus a sprinkling of fresh basil {in place of cilantro}. Excellent.

OK, again not remembering the source but best guess is Rachael Ray’s magazine that I saw a tip for removing corn silk. My previous go-to method? A paper towel. After Rach? A dedicated toothbrush! Now – even more recently, in an episode from Season 1 of “A Chef’s Life,” the silk remover was a regular household scrub  brush, ahhhh, that we’d like to think also solely dedicated to the task – sure covers a lot more ground {cob}.

♦  A PEEK AT MY WEEK  

Welcome to my kitchen and living room

  This time the all-in is stew, though not really a stretch I’ll admit. But what happened was, something in a book reminded me of a story I read when I was just a mini-foodie about three kids stranded on a floating island. Other than that main premise all I recall is that they made something called Indian stew. Googled and found Choctaw Stew –  close enough though the one in my memory also had tomatoes so added those along with celery & kosher salt though none of the three in this recipe – said no to green beans & squash but yes to garlic & hot peppers, and large-diced the potatoes – my broth of choice was a mix of chicken & beef, all in the slowcooker on low for 8 hours. Quite tasty.

  Is this something a whole bunch of you are already doing? I like to cook hamburgers in a really hot pan to produce a nice char but, aiyyyyy, not so fond of the fat splat onto the stovetop. Ha! Now I use a deep pan and at least most of the spray stays inside.

♦  The Featured Recipe in our 09.20.19 Salon was the tasty treat by José Andrés, Sweet Potato Sundae. I meant to mention that afterward I mashed the leftovers till quite smooth, served some the next day, froze the rest. All good! Recall though that I had used cream cheese not ice cream, so a prep with the latter is untested.

So far next week: Pro chocolate cake from a mix, sticky wrap without cussing, satenas, jammy eggs, making mushrooms last

Last week, just below:  Delivery for Fido have to sign for it, foodfests galore, good veggie veggie fruit fruit news, kitchen pockets, pumpkin caramel dip, poaching eggs to perfection, Legal Sea Food, love this peanut sauce, peanut butter Chex mix 

Direct access to Amazon homepage through my personal link

Looking for something in CS? – scroll & check previews OR use the search box OR email me at bjnosek@gmail.com, also valid for questions & comments – see the Let’s Chat tab for details, also for my partnerships and more

Note, transactions are solely between the buyer and linked supplier

Photo credits – book/Amazon, hot dog tray/Home & Family on Youtube, 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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Rich Pumpkin Caramel Dip, Sept 27-Oct 3, 2019

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 when you scroll below  

  TIDBITS – Does Fido have to sign for it? / foodfests galore / “Apeel-ing” news    CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT – kitchen pockets  ♦  FEATURED RECIPE – decadent dippin’    TIP – poached to perfection  ♦  THE WEEK – seafood ho! / woohoo peanut sauce / peanut butter Chex mix 

  TIDBITS 

Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

  Woof, arf, bark, bowwow {translation – please send the kit with beef and don’t be stingy}.  Yes, the dog’s day has come in the form of delivered meal kits. To make sure the kit is a fit, there are variously questionnaires, algorithms, even a personal care manager. Meals are generally precooked, pre-portioned, ready to eat. Check meal delivery for dogs and you’ll discover there are actually several sources. Bone appetite! {sorry}

  Some October food/bev fests – will you be in any of these cities? Dripping Springs TX, Dripping with Taste Trail, Oct 1-30 / Long Beach Peninsula WA, Wild Mushroom Celebration, Oct 1-Nov 15 / Tucson AZ, Flavors of Tucson, Oct 3 / Laguna CA, Taste of Laguna, Oct 3 / Denver CO, Great American Beer Festival, Oct 3-5 / Las Vegas NV, Food & Wine Festival, Oct 4 & 5 /  Suffolk VA, Peanut Festival, Oct 10-13 / Clermont FL, BBQ & Blues Festival, Oct 11-13 / Wellfleet MA, Oysterfest, Oct 19 & 20 / Chicago IL, James Beard Foundation’s Taste of America, Oct 24 & 25 / Atlanta GA, Whiskies of the World, Oct 26.

  Have you heard of Apeel? Inspired by the revelation that perishability is responsible for a great percentage of global food waste and thus significant world hunger, James Rogers founded that company to develop an edible coating, invisible and flavorless, that can help produce last 2-3 times longer. Treated fruits and vegetables are already appearing in major grocery stores. Rogers calls the process, “{using} food to preserve food.”

  CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT   

Bet we all know where this idea came from

Thinking some innovative soul looked at the shoe bag hanging on the closet door and thought, hmmm, I do believe 2 Pack - SimpleHouseware Crystal Clear Over The Door Hanging Pantry Organizer (52" x 18")that could serve a totally different useful purpose. And here it is.

A nice clear bag for your pantry door. Actually, two of them.  A quick glance shows just some of the possibilities.

Spices may well be the first choice since those things have the darnedest way of ending up all over the place. Little hand towels, the k-cups, small to medium bottles, jars and boxes. Or, lots and lots of utensils out of the drawers, out of the countertop holders, off the never-enough hooks, and all organized right into those pockets.

And pretty reasonable! A 2-pk, so 30 pockets total, for $12.97, 5 stars on Amazon. Prime Eligible too.

Door hanging pantry organizer

 FEATURED RECIPE  

Pumpkin + caramel = mmm mmm

The Libby’s site is well into the season with pumpkin recipes galore that go tasty miles beyond pie. Cheesecake, cookies, pudding, brownies, soup, chili, pasta sauce, rice dishes, vinaigrette, even a s’mores version . . . and this rich and rippin’ good dip.

Bring on the apple and pear slices, big soft pretzels, donut holes, or do a double down with one of Libby’s pumpkin cookies. Or how about drizzled over French vanilla ice cream or a graham cracker with a toasted and mashed marshmallow or mixed into whipped cream and plopped atop pumpkin pie.

By the way their recipe page, linked below, also features a fudge pumpkin dip and one made with cookie butter. In fact given the many ways here you can cook up the ol’ jack o’ lantern you could do an entire pumpkin-based dinner with totally different flavors in every dish. {and nope, no partnership with Libby’s}

Pumpkin caramel dip recipe    Libby’s recipe page 

  TIP  

As promised, how I poach an egg

Yes, it’s multi-step, but I like to think worth it. Bring the egg to room temp either by letting it sit out or warming it in water. Treat the bottom of your pan with non-stick spray, and tip the pan a bit to fill it with water so the spray is disturbed as little as possible. Add a splash of vinegar and set the pan over med hi heat. Fold a paper towel in quarters and treat the inner half with non-stick spray.

For each egg, crack into a sauce dish. Have a plastic slotted spoon ready. When the water is boiling, slide the egg in and immediately, and gently, run the slotted spoon underneath it, giving it a little shove. Reduce heat to create a very gentle bubbling on the surface,

I set the timer for 4 min – given the bit of time elapsed from the steps above, it probably cooks about 4 min and 10 sec – you may want to adjust this. When the timer goes off, gently remove the egg with the slotted spoon onto the prepared paper towel, closing it between the quarters. Gently flip over the whole works so the other side drains too. Then, enjoy!

  A PEEK AT MY WEEK  

Welcome to my kitchen and living room

  Oh, happy day! In an interesting book called “Moveable Feasts” – full of facts and anecdotes about how “long distance food” is sourced and shipped, arriving on our tables from even half a world away – I found this gem. Legal Sea Foods ships! I love their food but rarely am I where they are. Hello LSF website!

  In our 08.16.19 Salon, peanut butter cilantro sauce was our Featured Recipe, and it was quite good as is. But it occurred to me that with a bit of tweaking it could become an outstanding Thai peanut sauce. Tried it and now the only one I’ll use from now on. Here ’tis – in a food processor till blended, 1/4 c ea peanut oil, sesame oil, soy sauce & lime juice {liquids first}, then 1/2 c peanut butter, 4 garlic cloves & 2″ peeled med size ginger root both roughly chopped, 2 T red pepper flakes, 1/4 t salt. One possible tweak: might use sriracha instead of flakes.

  Well I’ve always like Chex cereals but the peanut butter one out now moved immediately to the top of the list. I used it recently in a mix with dry roasted peanuts, honey roasted peanuts, jalapeno pretzels, and garlic rye chips, later enhanced with a “donation” of sesame sticks. Tasty. Did not use any coating but if you prefer it that way, here’s a loaded peanut butter Chex party mix from their site.

So far next week: tiny hot dogs the book, tiny hot dogs the video, a beery nice story, dare to make a flying jacob, ice cream for breakfast, fresh corn x 3, hamburger cooking trick, another all-in, just as good mashed up

Last week, just below: Downton dinners, Impossible burger, Green Goddess dressing, Halloween party decorations, José Andrés Sweet Potato Sundae, cookies {and more} as Halloween decorations,  tasty add-ins, tested the nuked eggs, easy greens trick

Direct access to Amazon homepage through my personal link

Looking for something in CS? – scroll & check previews OR use the search box OR email me at bjnosek@gmail.com, also valid for questions & comments – see the Let’s Chat tab for details, also for my partnerships and more

Note, transactions are solely between the buyer and linked supplier

Photo credits – Organizer/Amazon, Dip/Libby’s site, egg dish/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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Jose Andres’ Sweet Potato Sundae, Sept 20-Sept 26, 2019

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 when you scroll below  

  TIDBITS – Dine like Downton / Impossible-possible? / Green Goddess rules    CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT – Halloween party fun    FEATURED RECIPE – Andrés at his playful best    TIP – cookies {and more} as Halloween decorations    THE WEEK – tasty add-ins / tested the nuked eggs / greens trick

  TIDBITS 

Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

  Do a Downton? According to “Rach,” to dine like the Crawleys, just simply serve oysters, soup, fish, fowl, main dish with sauces & veggies, dessert, fruit & cheese, and a final savory {!} From the recent issue of “Rachel Rae Every Day Magazine” {yikes, deep, deep discount at this Amazon link, but be quick}. Or you could go into full D/A party mode with “The Official Downton Abbey Cookbook,” with not only preps and their backstories and context but as well a guide to throwing a theme party complete with etiquette tips and customs of the times.

♦  Have you tried the Impossible Whopper? It’s actually not bad and for folks avoiding or minimizing meat it can be a nice alternative – I know there’s been some buzz about the fact it’s cooked on the same surface as the beef ones, but there’s a note on their site that says you can request all vegetarian prep. Truth be told I’ll probably be sticking with the original. Meanwhile, for those interested, here are the “Impossible” stats, listing the recipe {scroll down on the page} and the nutritional values {scroll down more}.

♦  Here’s a blast from the past, today as good as ever in both its classic form and some updated versions. I went to AllRecipes for an original and as usual the site did not disappoint. Here’s the link for their authentic Green Goddess dressing {OK, it does use creme fraiche instead of the traditional sour cream which of course you could put right back in the recipe}. But it was the “Food & Wine” newsletter that brought the old favorite to mind with its roster of Green Goddess variations for salads, burgers and crudites.

  CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT   

More party fun, spooky style

Hard as it might be to believe, Halloween is right around the corner. The summer holidays may be in the rear view mirror but a whole party season rolls out on Oct 31.

If you’re hosting a get-together, you can find so much good stuff  to set a festive tone. For the table, plates, cups, flatware and centerpieces. For the rest of the room, decorations scary-ed up with pumpkins & skeletons, ghosts and goblins, spiders and disguises, on gift bags, banners, inflatables, so much more.

Even wearables so you can dress the part. That includes “ugly” sweaters and – too cute! – miniature ones so the cakes or cupcakes can dress up too.

As we’ve come to expect, Amazon had it all. And as always, after following the link I post below, you can click away to customize the search, find just what you want.

Halloween party stuff galore People-size ugly Halloween sweaters

♦  FEATURED RECIPE  

Indulge in this rich dish as an entree, side, even dessert 

The vast scope of Jose Andres’ creativity, flavor mastery, passion, and even playfulness comes together in his Sweet Potato Sundae. And like so many of his dishes, it’s uncomplicated, simply enhanced in a way that the main ingredient clearly remains the star of the show.

And uncomplicated also means . . . easy for us home cooks. This recipe calls for just seven ingredients, only one of which needs to be cooked and nothing needs mixing, and overall minimal prep. And, oh, is it ever good, even with the peanut butter Chex I used instead of Rice Krispies.

Since I served it as a side dish, I topped it with a scoop of cream cheese instead of ice Vegetables Unleashed: A Cookbookcream. Thinking you could also use sour cream even though that will not exactly look like a scoop {but then neither will the ice cream once it hits the warm tater}. Who cares, would still taste great with any of those toppers.

The recipe is from Andrés’ book, “Vegetables Unleashed,” our Spotlight last week. Page after page delivers the super chef’s innovative ways with veggies, and some fruits too, in a book that’s called “a love letter to the plant world.”

Recipe    “Vegetables Unleashed”    Other Andrés books

  TIP  

Easy, edible Halloween decs

Cookies offer one of the easiest ways to make dessert part of the decorations. If your store doesn’t have orange frosting, just buy white {vanilla, sour cream, e.g.} and using a drop at a time add red and yellow food coloring. As you can see here I upped the pumpkin-ness on the second set with just another drop of red.

To make it easy on yourself just use any store-bought cookie that has a flat side. Frost away and then “make a face.” If you are using raisins or chocolate chips or chunks {think chips would work better but I had chunks so chunks it was} affix them while the frosting is still soft.

If you use food color pens, first chill the cookies until the frosting is fully set, and then take a couple at a time out of the fridge. Also, it seems easier to create the grooves with either a toothpick or the pen when the frosting is chilled.

Don’t worry about the art {clearly I didn’t} just have fun and giggle as you go. Gather them onto a platter or let them grin from individual plates. Also, you can take a look at our 07.26.19 Salon for bell pepper pumpkins and our 04.05.19 Salon for a pumpkin-ized baked potato {along with its Easter and Christmas buddies}.

  A PEEK AT MY WEEK  

Welcome to my kitchen and living room

♦  Some favorite add-ins to share with you. Two are new – chopped black olives in egg salad, liquid smoke in baked beans, canned or homemade. And two longtime faves, used recently – chopped green olives in tuna salad, a touch of dark chocolate in chili.

♦  So, tried the egg in the nuker trick. Two things about the prep – first it does not specify egg size or egg temp. The second thing, and I’m sorry I didn’t see this when I posted it in the Aug 30, 2019, Salon, the recipe talks about the process cooking the yolk faster than the white and says if you want the “white” softer take it out sooner – think that should have been “yolk.” Anyway, used a room temp large egg, and cooked for the specified one minute, and the yolk {shown} was cooked hard – nuts.

  Did a second one for 50 seconds and the yolk was better, but even though covered in water there was a soft spot in the white on top – in this case no problem, flipped it over onto hot greens. Even so think I’ll stay with my multi-step process which I’ll post in full in next week’s Tip.

  About those greens mentioned just above. I found a great way to have a nice mix of colors, flavors and textures without loading the cart with countless bags or having to cook forever. It’s very likely your market has a plastic tub of what’s called Fresh Herb Salad {triple washed and ready to eat}. Perfect! For the entire 5 oz package, 6-8 slices of bacon fried crisp, drained and crumbled. In the bacon fat, or replacing some or all with butter or olive oil, a small onion diced, seasoned and cooked till golden, 2 minced garlic cloves cooked briefly, then in with the greens and fresh ground pepper and stir, stir, stir. Greens folks will know that these cook down like someone poked them and let all the air out. Sprinkle on bacon and dig in.

So far next week: FoodFests across the country, package for Fido, Doritos Chicken casserole, nice poached eggs, awesome peanut sauce, woohoo delivery discovery, peanut butter chex mix, 

Last time, just below: Emeril & Julia & recipes, lunch to go, high or low, chocolate/cheese pairings, Jose Andres’ love affair with veggies, chocolate/peanut butter cookie bars, more veggie love, good tv series, unusual pb sammies, laundry tip

Direct access to Amazon homepage through my personal link

Looking for something in CS? – scroll & check previews OR use the search box OR email me at bjnosek@gmail.com, also valid for questions & comments – see the Let’s Chat tab for details

Note, transactions are solely between the buyer and linked supplier

Photo credits – decs/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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Cool, creamy creamsicle cheesecake, Aug 30-Sept 12, 2019

Next Salon Sept 13, 2019 – Happy Labor Day!

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 when you scroll below  

  TIDBITS – nukin’ the eggs / bubbles where??? / odd coffeemaker cleaner    CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT – gussy, helpful lunch totes    FEATURED RECIPE –  make it light or make it dense    TIP – notable    THE WEEK – pizza reheat verified / EZay mole / see you on the Bridge beloved Misty

  TIDBITS 

Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

♦  Modesty aside, I make a darn decent poached egg but ‘fessing up, it does entail a number of steps. So, somewhere along the line I will be trying this nuker method, but meanwhile wanted to share it with you. The tale teller says the microwave offers “in fact, the best way to make a consistently delicious poached egg.” When I do, will sure let you know.

  OK, which of you dear CS-ers will be first to try this? CA-based Andre Champagne Cellars is now offering its bubbly . . . in cans. Choose Brut or Brut Rose, the former the company says with hints of lemon and pear, the latter with raspberry and cranberry. Available online and at retailers you can find on their site.

  Well I guess if you can put your “teeth” in this stuff, it would seem it would be safe for your coffeemaker. I first found this on MyRecipes, the trick of cleaning your coffee maker with denture tabs. Given the sources they cite in the story and the number of other sites I found with this same idea, again it would seem to be OK. But we all can make up our own minds.

♦  CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT   

Transporting lunch in style

Well I must say, lunch bags now are sure a lot different than the cartoon lunch box I had as a kid and the brown bags that accompanied me some days to an office. Good looks and practical applications are now the order of the day.

Some are insulated, others have beverage compartments or other extra pockets or pull-out drawers, and at least one is a reusable take on the classic brown bag. Selections for little kids and “big” kids.

ICOLOR Dogs Design Hot Kids Neoprene Insulated Lunch Food Tote Bag Box cover baby bag Gourmet Handbag lunchbox Case For School work LB-115 by ICOLOR    8x4x10" 12 Pcs. Medium-Small Multi Color Reusable Tote Bags, Grocery Bags, Fabric Shopping Bags with Handles Eco Friendly- 100% Recyclable Bag         MAZFORCE Original Lunch Box Insulated Lunch Bag - Tough & Spacious Adult Lunchbox to Seize Your Day (Wolf Grey - Lunch Bags Designed in California for Men, Adults, Women)      PackIt Freezable Lunch Bag with Zip Closure, Festive Gem

The Amazon page also features reusable snack bags and sandwich bags, and multi-packs of bags in  many colors. Filter your choice to your liking.

Reusable lunch bags on Amazon    Those that are 4 stars and up

  FEATURED RECIPE  

How about this as a sweet finish

. . . for your Labor Day get-togethers? It started when I saw a reference to creamsicle desserts, and that got me thinking about a creamsicle cheesecake.

But didn’t want one that was separated into layers but rather a rich blend that gave you the full experience with every forkful. Hello google, thank you Pillsbury. This is the one that is linked below.

One thing, I wanted a nice dense texture and so left out the whipped topping. It still actually came out a little softer than I wanted, though the flavor was quite creamsicle-y. Did a second version based on the AllRecipes cheesecake prep we featured in our 08.02.19 Salon, but in a nod to this original, a 6 oz can of thawed oj instead of the lemon juice and then orange jello powder – it {shown} was a little firmer, also good flavor, but think I want to keep tweaking.

Either, btw, could work nicely just spooned into dessert dishes. And a little chocolate drizzle can’t hurt. And if you really want to go into wretched excess in the pie version, use a graham cracker crust.

creamsicle cheesecake recipe

  TIP  

Not food, but a food companion

Just a little ps to our spotlight above. 🥪🥚🥕🧁💌😁

When I was just a kidlet taking lunch to school every day, every now and then my mom would secretly slip a little note into the tote. Something about the food, something funny, or just an I love you.

This was such a day brightener, and because they weren’t all the time they were always such a nice surprise when they did appear. A little touch of home while away from home.

This can be a sweet gesture by anyone packing lunch for anyone else. That means big kids too.

  A PEEK AT MY WEEK  

Welcome to my kitchen and living room

  Verified! I tried the pizza reheating method linked in our 08.02.19 Salon. It involved the hot skillet step most of us probably already knew about. But here there’s a second step, drizzling just a few drops of water and covering the pan. Crust is crisp, top is melty. Hooray.

  My Mexican friends, you might want to look away. Because this fast, easy, minimum ingredient mole would never compare with the complex sauce in any of its variations that is such a fabulous staple of authentic Mexican cuisine. Maybe I can be forgiven because I have made sure to incorporate the most classic flavors in this blend. So, here ’tis – all in a food processor, slightly cooled fat from frying 2 strips of bacon {the bacon is your snack}, 1/4 c chicken stock, 1 T each peanut & sesame oil, 2 T chipotle sauce, 1/2 c smooth peanut butter, 1/4 c ea raisins & bittersweet chocolate chips, 2 chopped garlic cloves, 1 t cumin, 1/2 t onion powder, tiny pinch cinnamon. Shown here on shredded chicken.

♦  Very personal note: lost my precious Misty on Aug 20 after a mercifully brief illness. I’ve removed her photo, page links under the Preview, and Preview credit on the homepage, but her History Page and Gallery remain, links in the top bar. I’ve also added a note at the end of her History page. So, my CS friends, there’s now a FoodieCat just beyond the Rainbow Bridge, where golden catcaves are filled with soft pillows, moving toys, and platters of bacon and tuna, tended by hosts of angels ever-generous with hugs, kisses, brushies, and ear scratches.

So far next time: peanut butter chocolate cookies with a shortcut, laundry tip {what’s that doing here?}, Emeril + Julia = recipes, cheese/chocolate pairings, lunch on the go and in style, veggie passion, good food tv series

Last week, just below:  no-bake key lime, finding Netflix food shows, Taco Bell news & recipe, indoor grilling, griddles & smokers, bacon cheddar dip, Trisha Yearwoods’ chalkboard cookies, Venetian/English breakfast, all-in chocolate pie, gluttony good???

Direct access to Amazon homepage through my personal link

Looking for something in CS? – scroll & check previews OR use the search box OR email me at bjnosek@gmail.com, also valid for questions & comments – see the Let’s Chat tab for details

Note, transactions are solely between the buyer and linked supplier

Photo credits – lunch totes 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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Kids’ bacon cheddar dip, Aug 23-29, 2019

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

New Salon every Friday – c’mon in

CS friends, and help yourself to tasty resources!

R.I.P. Beloved Misty {note on her History page}

♦  Here’s what you’ll find when you scroll down  

  TIDBITS – no-bake key lime / showfinder / pop goes the Taco Bell    CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT – outdoor grilling, phooey    FEATURED RECIPE – it’s bacony, tasty, and a multi-tasker    TIP – chalk up one of the fun-est cookie tricks ever    THE WEEK – Venetian/English breakfast / this time it’s pie / gluttony good???

  TIDBITS 

Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

  Room for one more no-bake dessert? It’s creamy key lime pie and wow is it easy. Just 8 ingredients, 3 steps. BUT, choose instead a store-bought graham cracker crust and it’s 5 ingredients, 2 steps. WAIT, not done. Choose plain over pretty and it’s 4 ingredients, 1 step! And, from MyRecipes, a darn reliable source of good stuff.

  Got Netflix? Did you know about the secret code that lets you instantly find all their food shows? Food & Wine tells all, how to access it, how to use it.

  Taco Bell fans, pack your bags for Palm Springs. That where the Mex chain is opening a pop-up hotel this month, with a menu of TB favorites gussied up a bit. Or, put your suitcase back on the shelf and just serve some of their Fire Chip Chilaquiles, recipe included in the story. And if you want to dress or accessorize for the occasion, there’s also an online TB store.

  CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT   

Love grilling – but the ” great outdoors”, not so much?

Solution – indoor grills. Yikes, who knew there are so many possibilities, both electric and stove top. Some good Amazon prices too, don’t know if always or special for end of the season.

They range from the quite gussy, like the plug-in Hamilton Beach shown, complete with view Hamilton Beach 25361 Electric Indoor Searing Grill with Removable Easy-to-Clean Nonstick Plate, Viewing Window, Stainless Steelwindow, adjustable heat, non stick surface, plus the hood, plate, drip tray all dish washer safe, $69.99 at Amazon {list $89.99}, 4 1/2 stars.

At the other end of the spectrum, stove top grill pans. Here, the Lodge 10.5 square inch cast iron griller, pre-seasoned, $18.90 at Amazon {list $44.30}, 4 stars.

But, as they say, wait, there’s more. Indoor griddles that sit atop your stove also are available with grill grooves. And, you can even find indoor smokers. Neener neener bees, mosquitos, wind, rain, etc.

Elec grill shown    Stove-top pan shown  ♦  4 star & up electric grills

4 star & up grill pans   4 star & up griddles    4 star and up stove-top smokers

  FEATURED RECIPE  

Bacon rules a cheesy dip that lives on in other tasty ways

In our 08.02.19 Salon we featured cookbooks for kids. Because of “my kid” Misty I had chosen to focus on ‘Bacon Artist.” Nice recipes for soup, salad, sandwiches and snacks, plus cooking methods and safety tips. Bacon Artist: Savory Bacon Recipes (Kids Can Cook!)

I mentioned that the first recipe I would likely try was the bacon cheddar dip, and now I’ve done exactly that, and hooray! As the title indicates, its first incarnation was as a dip, which the book suggests serving with crackers, chips, and such veggies as carrots, cauliflower and broccoli.

But oh, can it go way beyond that. Since the recipe makes quite a bit there were lots of leftovers after taking s star turn during cocktail hour with friends. It’s next use was a sauce for pasta, thinned a bit with bouillon, sprinkled with parsley and parm. Future uses: over sauteed chicken or shrimp, napped on scrambled eggs {such a natural with the bacon and cheese}, or maybe the book’s suggestion to roll it up in tortillas, chill, cut into pinwheels.

Amazon has the subject of kid cookbooks thoroughly covered. The link below filters the selections by best rating but you can further customize by age group, format, condition, Prime and more.

Bacon Cheddar Dip recipe  “Bacon Artist”    Cookbooks for kids, 4 stars and up

  TIP  

Another whimsical way to decorate food – thanks Trisha!

In our 07.26.19 Salon we drew designs on holiday food with food pens and food gels. Now during a recent episode of Trisha Yearwood’s Food Network show, “Trisha’s Southern Kitchen,” she displayed another way to play.

But she went one better. Wait till you see how.

It started with butter cookie dough, cut into rectangles and then baked and cooled. Each was covered almost to the edge with store-bought royal icing that had been blended with black food coloring to create what looked much like a child’s small chalkboard.

So then we need . . . chalk. Oh what fun, Trisha nuked bright white candy melts until the mixture could be piped into silicone tube molds and refrigerated until firm. And then voila! Not only can you eat the decorated “chalkboard – you can also eat the “chalk.”

Trisha’s prep    Trisha’s cookbooks    tube molds at Amazon    Food Network

  A PEEK AT MY WEEK  

Welcome to my kitchen and living room

  So, came across a reference to “Venetian Breakfast,” and a google check outed it as a double contradiction. First, it’s a London phenomenon, more specifically for the stylish set in the early 1800s. Second, it was generally served in the early afternoon {!}  But what we CS-ers care more about – what was served? All my usual sources were frustratingly mum on the subject. But what I did find would seem to indicate the term refers to the time of the party rather than its dishes.

  So as to not go away totally foodless, I took a look at what’s known as a full English breakfast on the premise there could be some similarities. Here it is at its “fullest” – back bacon {much like ham}, fried eggs, fried or grilled tomatoes, fried mushrooms, fried bread or fried or grilled oatcakes or buttered toast, sausages {bangers}, white or black pudding {or both}, baked beans, sometimes even bubble & squeak, along with HP sauce, ketchup and marmite plus coffee, tea and fruit juices. The accounts of actual 1800s breakfasts also included beer, wine & ale.

  The newest “all-in” is a chocolate pie. The filling: the leftover cheesecake from the lemon tarts in the 08.02.19 Salon thawed from freezer and blended with a chocolate medley that had been melted into a can of sweetened condensed milk – a mixed bag of milk chocolate and bittersweet chocolate chips, some of a Lindt blueberry/acai chocolate bar, a Hershey’s bar with Reese’s Pieces, and the Hershey’s Gold bar with peanuts and pretzels that was decorated for Dad’s Day in our play-with-your-food Salon 07.26.19, probably about 2 cups in all – into a store-bought crust, then chilled till firm. And yes, luck struck again, because it turned out exceedingly good, dense like a thick mousse.

  Well here’s a different take on one of the Seven Deadlies – found in my notes from “American Food Writing,” quoting turn of the century columnist Elizabeth Robbins Pennell on gluttony which she says – “deserves  nothing but praise and encouragement . . .  it is the result and proof of the digestive organs being perfect . . .{m}orally it shows implicit resignation to the commands of nature . . . {and} love of good eating is an incentive to thought, a stimulus to the imagination.” Ohhhhhhhkay.

So far next week: peanut butter chocolate cookies, easy mole, creamsicle cheesecake™, what cleans your coffeemaker???, poachin, taking lunch, notes to go, verified – pizza reheat

Last week, just below: no-cook dinners, impromptu grilling basket, reincarnating spices, Calvin Trillin’s funny food book, cilantro peanut dip, cilantro recipes, two stick trick, farmers market tips, dinner on a stick, Trillin vignette

Direct access to Amazon homepage through my personal link

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 – grills & book/Amazon, cookies/Trisha Yearwood on Food Network, 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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No-bake lemon cheesecake tarts, Aug 2-8, 2019

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

& Misty the FoodieCat

CS friends, help yourself to tasty resources!

  CatChat –  Misty previews this week’s salon  

  TIDBITS – pizza help duo / begorrah, the winner is . . . / out damned stain    CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT – cookbooks for kids    FEATURED RECIPE – so good, so easy, so refreshing    TIP – one from Ina Garten {and one for her???}    THE WEEK – more Med / ps to scones recipe / ps 2 to scones recipe

Misty’s History    Misty’s Gallery

  TIDBITS 

Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

  Pizza help – x 2! The first, from Food & Wine, is a reheating trick – in a skillet to get a crispy crust which I had heard of, and then the addition of a few drops of water to melty-up the cheese which was new to me. The second, from Well Done, tells you what you can do following that cry of owwwww {or something stronger} when too hot pizza assaults the roof of your mouth.

  Lads and lassies, gather around Ireland’s favorite meal, as determined by an IrishCentral poll. Yep, it’s the full Irish breakfast, and hooray the story is replete with recipes for all the contenders. Btw, in the photo for bacon and cabbage you’ll see what you’ll likely be served in an Irish pub when you order bacon, often offered as an entree because it’s like the best ham ever.

  Another chance to expand your vocabulary occurs when you or someone else accidentally douses your good stuff with a glass of cab or pinot. Well Done to the rescue with their guide, “How to remove red wine stains from almost anything.” One tip I also heard, fortunately no opportunity yet to test, is to immediately pour white wine on the stain. For any of these probably want to try first on a small area.

  CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT  

Kids can cook!

And did you know – there are all kinds of cookbooks for kids. Because of “my kid” Misty I chose  ‘Bacon Artist.” Nice recipes for soup, salad, sandwiches and snacks. Bacon Artist: Savory Bacon Recipes (Kids Can Cook!)

The pages also talk about becoming a bacon artist including safety tips, the kinds of bacon, cooking methods, making bacon bits, and of course recipes. Think the one I’ll try first is the bacon cheddar dip.

Amazon has this subject thoroughly covered. There’s a link below filtering the selections by rating but you can also customize by age group, format, condition, Prime and more.

“Bacon Artist”  ♦  Other cookbooks for kids    Cookbooks for kids, 4 stars and up

  FEATURED RECIPE  

Tart lemon, sweet cheesecake 

A Tasting Panel Selection

I have to give primary credit to AllRecipes because the cheesecake layer is totally theirs. It was actually for a regular full size cheesecake with cherry pie topping. Their readers gave it 4 1/2 stars.

For our version, we spooned the creamy mix into store-bought graham cracker tart shells and then topped it with out of the jar lemon curd. You could certainly also add a dollop of whipped cream.

So, what makes this cheesecake so rich and creamy? Could it be full the pint of  heavy whipping cream??? Whether tart or full cake, this is the only recipe I’ll use from now on.

AllRecipes cheesecake  

  TIP  

What a good idea

And so obvious have to wonder if I’m the only cook/baker that hasn’t thought of it. Thanks to Ina Garten for this one.

Watching her “Barefoot Contessa” show on Food Network, where she was making meringues which in turn went onto parchment paper. She wanted them to be a particular diameter and so marked the dimensions on the underside of the paper with a pencil. Voila, instant guide.

And then in a moment of spectacular immodesty, wondered if I could give her a tip{!} For the next dish, filled acorn squash, she talked about how hard it is to cut this veggie in half. With a knife Attila could have taken into battle she sliced into one of the grooves and then banged the whole works on the board till it fell in two. Ummm, what I actually do before backing is pierce the squash in a few places, nuke it for about three minutes, and watch a regular knife go through it like butter. 😉

Ina Garten cookbooks on Amazon    “Barefoot Contessa” on DVD    On Prime Video

  A PEEK AT MY WEEK  

Welcome to my kitchen and living room

  As a followup to my mention in the 07.19.19 Salon of the “The 30-Minute Mediterranean Diet Cookbook,” I’ve now found further encouragement with a Clean Plates post identifying “The Best Products You Can Buy for a Mediterranean Diet” – just in case you’d like to try some of this too.

  A ps to the scones prep we posted on our Recipe Page in conjunction with the food pen design for St. Pat’s Day in the 07.26.19 Salon. The original comes from the AllRecipes site which you can see here. It actually called for cranberries and walnuts rather than dates and pecans. the latter a nod to my mom’s awesome bread. Also I adjusted the recipe somewhat after reading some suggestions in the comments, and then adjusted it a bit further after our Tasting Panel session.

  Fair warning that my final version leans more toward moist than crumbly and just as noted in some of the comments this can make the step of cutting the dough into separate triangles a bit of a challenge. Two things I think I’ll try for future times, one is to deeply score the whole round of dough and then finish cutting through after baking, and the other is to use a biscuit cutter instead as shown in this joyofbaking demo. It’s certainly worth the effort because these are really good, and even the original, despite some issues posted on the page, rates 4 1/2 stars.

So far next week: dare to air, kitchen storage trick, weird upgrade for weird sammie, egg salad in love, Martha’s slow cooker recipe

Last week, just below: Play with your food! Draw colorful designs right on holiday classic fare, year ’round fun 

Direct access to Amazon homepage through my personal link

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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Wrap up an easy party dish, July 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 – grilling gone wild / off for the coffee, bound for the beer / flex your diet muscles    CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT – everyday ways to lose weight    FEATURED RECIPE – rock with rolls     TIP – hot & not    THE WEEK – go Med / egg bonanza / ps x 3 for all-in bread pudding

{There’s a new pic in my gallery showing how I tried to help mom, but she didn’t seem to appreciate it}

Misty’s History    Misty’s Gallery

  TIDBITS 

Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

  Wow! “Featured this season are new grilling techniques such as smoking with smoldering straw, and grilling with ash, flaming planks, hot iron and smoky salt slabs.” What? “Steve Raichlen’s Project Fire – Season 2.” On PBS starting July 20. In my reference, says Saturdays at 2:30 p.

  Pack your bags for a vacation highlighted by . . . coffee? . . . or beer? Maybe so for for the biggest fans of these beverages. The Apartment Guide has you covered for coffee with a rundown on the best destinations for a cuppa. And Food & Wine picks up the ball – or glass – for beer. Btw, that F&W page also, for you folks in the former category, has a story on the best coffee in every state.

  Have you caught up with the term, “flexitarian.” It is sort of self-explanatory but more of the descriptions I found said those who follow this diet platform tend to be mostly vegetarian, but eat meat sometimes. Some forego red meat though, others stay with organic or sustainable or responsibly raised. There is a proprietary site out of the U.K. and of course Amazon is all over it.

  CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT   

Say neener neener to “food fat traps” with my Dieter’s Survival Guide kindles

Find a veritable buffet of easy and powerful ways to help you avoid weight gain, and still enjoy the Dieter's Survival Guide: Avoiding the Fat-Traps in Everyday Situationsdining experience, in life’s everyday situations – home alone, on the road, in a fast food outlet, at the office or a party, and more – plus shopping “survival style,” long, smart lists of snacks and substitutes, and short lists of “sneaky-The Busy Person's Diet Guide - The at-a-glance version of Dieter's Survival Guidecises” and wardrobe tips.

It treats you to a fast course in savvy decisions AND satisfying selections. And you “graduate” knowing just how to balance practicality and pleasure with the goal of forever lookin’ good and feelin’ good.

It can be your sole field manual or it can dovetail with a separate diet or exercise plan. Either way, you can just pick and choose what you want to use, or go for it all. Choose either the full Guide at $4.99 or the “Busy Person’s” version at $2.99.

“Dieter’s Survival Guide” “Busy Person’s Diet Guide”

  FEATURED RECIPE  

Roll up an easy summer lunch with friends 

A Tasting Panel Selection

And this classic sandwich isn’t just easy. But tasty and pretty too. And great for get-togethers!

Start with flour tortillas spread fairly generously with mayo. Then just layer on all the components of a ham club, making sure the lettuce and tomatoes are as fresh as can be, the bacon is nice and crisp, lots of ham but sliced thin.

Have the ingredients stop just a little short of the far edge of the tortilla. Then just roll the whole thing up so that the mayo on the “naked” section of the tortilla glues it shut, and cut each roll into festive pinwheels.

As an alternative to the mayo you could also use cream cheese. Or, cream cheese mixed with a bit of ranch dressing. And of course, chicken or turkey versions or entirely different combos could be tucked in instead. Go for it, creative CS-ers.

  TIP  

Another favorite way to use tortillas

I love gyros and often indulge in a homemade version. One thing I’ve never figured out is how the restaurants manage to have the meat hot when the sandwich is served despite the chilled toppings.

So, came up with my own way. Two tortillas! Both warmed to make pliable, meat on one, another tortilla on top, tomato, onion, cuke sauce on that one, fold over and yum.

For other tips & technique in the kitchen, maybe take a look at my . . .

“50 Fun & Unexpected Prep, Presentation & Storage Tricks”

{what a hussy! again promoting her own books!}

  A PEEK AT MY WEEK  

Welcome to my kitchen and living room

  Not planning to convert to a total Mediterranean diet any time soon, but given the continuing focus on its health benefits I’m thinking it’s probably a good idea to fold in some of those dishes now and then. Found this book “The 30-Minute Mediterranean Diet Cookbook,” 4 1/2 stars on Amazon, has some darn good sounding stuff. Now what to try first, the Italian Breakfast Bruschetta, Spicy Shrimp Puttanesca, Honey-Almond Crusted Chicken Tenders, or Chilled Dark Chocolate Fruit Kebabs???

  Oh do I love having discovered this website. Well not so much the site itself, egglandsbest.com, but rather the beautiful array of recipes there. And not just breakfast and brunch but good stuff for appetizers, main dishes, side dishes and dessert. The one I tried relied on our old friend the sheet pan, oven-baked scrambles with turmeric and tasty toppings.

  I opted for the unstirred version. If you would want scrambled but don’t want to do the stirring step, you can bake it as a “cake” and then crumble it afterward as shown. {If you want to know my partnerships, just look in the Links section on my Let’s Chat page {btw – nuts! – not these folks}.

  So in the 07.05.19 Salon we talked in My Week about an all-in bread pudding. Should have ‘fessed up about the sauce which also pretty much resulted from a scavenger hunt. It was about equal parts store-bought whipped vanilla frosting and Cool Whip, thinned with just enough {really, just drops} of lemon lime soda to make a spoonable consistency. Since discovered it’s pretty good with syrup too. Also think any bread pudding I make from now on, whether classic or “fridge roulette,” will have some kind of chocolate as part of the mix.

So far next week: wait till you see! Mega fun in the kitchen, yes, yes, yes, play with your food – it’s the entire Salon!

Direct access to Amazon homepage through my personal link

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

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

& Misty the FoodieCat

CS friends, help yourself to tasty resources!

  CatChat –  Misty previews this week’s salon  

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

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

Misty’s History    Misty’s Gallery

  TIDBITS 

Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

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

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

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

  CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT   

Behind the scenes book gives up secret sauce

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

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

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

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

“Shake Shack, Recipes & Stories”

  FEATURED RECIPE  ♦

This makes party prep pure fun

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

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

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

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

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

Phyllo cups at Amazon Food Network article

  TIP 

Want to make a real Chicago dog???

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

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

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

  MY WEEK 

Welcome to my kitchen and living room

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

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

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

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

Direct access to Amazon homepage through my personal link

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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