Oh Louie, what you do to shrimp & more, June 28-July 4, 2019

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

& Misty the FoodieCat

CS friends, help yourself to tasty resources!

  CatChat –  Misty previews this week’s salon  

♦  TIDBITS – baked taties in the slow cooker? / “confetti” in your party cake / stock v broth    CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT – let’s get the picnic started {M – that basket looks heavy, let me take something out of there to make it easier for you to carry  FEATURED RECIPE – shrimp louie and louie gone wild    TIP – forkless salad x 3    THE WEEK – dvds t.c. / food pen “class” t.c. / sorta foodie mystery

Misty’s History    Misty’s Gallery

  TIDBITS 

Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

  Can this really work? “Food & Wine” is I would think a totally reliable source, but their prep for baking potatoes in the slow cooker scares me a little. I guess the benefit is not having to heat up the oven, though the toaster oven would seem to be a viable alternative. Anyway if you want to check it out click this link, though I feel more comfortable sending you to one that appeared within their story for “Baked Potato Recipes.” Some really good stuff here!

  No qualms about this one from F&W. Could this birthday cake possibly be any more festive. And what make it even more fun is that its party perfect presentation remains a surprise until it’s cut. Dessert and decoration all in one! See the recipes for both cake and frosting and the full photograph here.

  Broth vs stock. The differences come to us from a connected string of sources, starting with msn.com, picking up the story from Reader’s Digest, who in turn quotes thekitchn.com, under the banner, “This is the real difference between stock and broth.” See what you think. {I apparently make “brock” because I always season stock – bouillon, peppercorns, fresh garlic, sometimes parsley}

  CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT   

Just watch out for Yogi

Not just for picnics in the park, but as well, outdoor concerts, fireworks celebrations, beach parties, or just toting goodies from your kitchen to your backyard. What? Pic-a-nic baskets!Picnic Basket Set for 4 Person | Insulated Red Picnic Hamper Set | Picnic Table Set | Picnic Plates | Picnic Supplies | Summer Picnic Kit | Picnic Utensils Cutlery Flatware

And oh just wait till you see what’s available, from simple to elaborate, from inexpensive to aiyyyy! And in addition to many variations of the classic wicker hamper, there are also backpacks, shoulder bags, Picnic Insulated Bag, Oumers 32L Large Size Insulated Picnic Basket - BBQ Meat Drinks Cooler Bag -Folding Collapsible Cooler Basket for Family Vacations Parties Outdoor Travel, Keep Food Cold Storageorganizer baskets, and cooler bags.

Variously, you’ll find places for cutlery, plates, wine bottles, wine glasses, corkscrew, blanket, plus in some, food storage containers and auxiliary insulated compartments. Soooo many amenity combinations.

Shown here just two possibilities. Many are Prime eligible and available for next day delivery.

Here’s what you can find on Amazon    These are rated 4 stars and up 

Found this on RealSimple – how to pack a cooler

  FEATURED RECIPE  

Thank you Ina Garten! 

{and Tasting Panel}

How about you? I’ve always found Louie sauce to be a little too sweet. There’s a good chance that’s exactly what it’s supposed to be, but it appears Ina Garten’s tastes run a lot like mine.

Her recipe {which she calls “Louis”} uses a lot of the typical ingredients, but delivers a result that’s rich and tangy. Could be the horseradish and sriracha Cook Like a Pro: Recipes and Tips for Home Cooks{!} Our Tasting Panel gave it a big thumbs up in a dish of cold poached shrimp {Garten used it as a dipping sauce for roasted shrimp}.

But then I discovered a bonus, actually two of them. And again, how about you? I find pasta salads one of the most difficult dishes to make flavorful, not matter what other ingredients go in there. Solved! This sauce is fabulous on a mix of mac, sweet peppers, black olives, celery, really your choice.

The other app? Spread it on a bun with the other usual suspects and you can have a creditable clone of a favorite fast food burger. Haven’t tried it yet, but thinking it would be good on a regular garden salad.

Ina’s recipe    It’s from this book, Garten’s “Cook Like a Pro”  

  TIP  

Fun Salads. Forget the forks

Whether for a family meal and a friendly get-together, if all the other dishes are finger foods, who wants to drag out forks just to have salad. Good news – don’t have to!

The first way is actually a prep approved by our savvy Tasting Panel, and that is colorful diced veggies on French endive leaves that have been painted with dressing. I used ranch but whatever you like will do just fine.

The next is the skewer trick. Just go with whatever produce is poke-able and serve dressing on the side. Pickles and olives are good on there too. And some cheese cubes wouldn’t hurt either.

Our third forkless salad is served in individual cups that have dressing in the bottom. Make it pretty with a border of lettuce leaves and then some sticks – carrots, celery, bell pepper, zucchini, e.g. – then plop a radish right in the middle.

  A PEEK AT MY WEEK  

Welcome to my kitchen and living room

  Finally started viewing my culinary dvds from The Great Courses. Aiyyyy, why did I wait so long, these are fabulous. Gathering tips to share.

♦  Oh yeah, playing with the food color pens again. Especially since I now have a new set with not only more colors but as well thick and thin tips. What fun! Food by food I’m assembling a “class” to show you the ways we can even further gussy-up the holidays with these artsy tools. Some time next month we’re going to devote an entire Salon to this festive endeavor – thinking July 26 Salon.

  So, just finished reading “The Cooking School Murders,” an engaging tales, but after the interesting cooking class scene the story shifts away from the school and to the title happening – even so food does make an appearance in subsequent pages thanks to neighborly dinners, Greg’s special diet, and “Edward.”One thing in there that sent me to google was a reference to “rat cheese” – whaaaaat? So distilling what I found, it mainly defines an inexpensive cheddar. Guess cheapie stuff to put in the traps???

So far next week: Irish food, scary food {but doesn’t have to be}, coffee table cookbook, slaying the dragon, jal-what now???, ice cream in a hurry

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 – cake slice {cropped}/Food & Wine site, picnic baskets & 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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Marcela’s Sandwich Cake, June 7-13, 2019

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

& Misty the FoodieCat

CS friends, help yourself to tasty resources!

  CatChat –  Misty previews this week’s salon  

  TIDBITS –  best brunching / pub in the yard! / mousse on the loose   CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT – cookbooks just for dad    FEATURED RECIPE – ole every day / savory cake    TIP –  lemon hack    THE WEEK – carb cuts / risotto vs. soubise / fiesta beverage

Misty’s History    Misty’s Gallery

  TIDBITS 

Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

Lots of brunch opps right around the corner, so thanks to Food & Wine for this timely – and extensive – roundup of “Best Brunch Recipes.” Among the tasty suggestions: brioche with prosciutto/gruyere/egg, butterscotch sticky buns {with actual scotch! – also wondering if you couldn’t use the decadent glaze on store-bought buns or muffins}, potato pancakes with smoked salmon/caviar/dill cream, open-face eggs and griddled ham breakfast sandwiches. Beverages too, including the “Hellfire Club Bloody Mary.”

  Oh, how much fun would this be??? Right now just in Boston but if I understand a linkNewPhotoImg1-min correctly on their site, other cities could offer it at some point. What is “it”? An inflatable Irish pub!

. . .  that can come with traditional Irish food, drinks and entertainment . . . and says, Ask about our Irish Wolfhounds. What? Rent-a-Wolfie?

So if you do live in Boston, guess the only question is, how big is your backyard? Or, how big is a party-prone friend’s backyard? Plan ahead, Halfway to St. Pat’s Day is just a few months away!

Should we thank Food 52 or not??? For . . . a two ingredient chocolate peanut butter mousse. Nothing like making indulgence in easy reach, even easier with the demo. In the interest of full disclosure there is water too, plus optional flaky salt, and the whisking {“like your life depends on it”}. I’m going to have to try this just because I’ve always thought that water makes chocolate seize up. Just research, you understand.

  CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT 

For dads that cook, dads that would like to cook

Short Order Dad: One Guy?s Guide to Making Food Fun and Hassle-FreeHow nice to see Amazon has all kinds of cookbooks for dad. As always, many ways to customize your search.

Just on the first page I found “making food fun and hassle-free,” “everything your mother never taught you,” plus healthy food, slow cooker recipes, dishes for the single dad, so much more.

Most of those are well rated and reasonably priced, available in various formats. Also many are Prime eligible.

Cookbooks for Dad

  FEATURED RECIPE  

Make any day, every day if you want, a Fiesta

Two brief glimpses tell us just about everything we need to know about Food Network host/cookbook author Marcela Valladolid’s brand new release, “Fiestas.” First, her three chapters make abundantly clear her must-haves for such celebrations: Drinks, Nibbles, Sweets.Fiestas: Tidbits, Margaritas & More

Second is the attitude she’s evolved toward hosting these get-togethers. After earlier years of feeling that everything had to be perfect {“God forbid I burned a tortilla chip”}, she now says, “My focus is simply on corralling the people I love and feeding them.” Hooray for that!

Our featured recipe is a beauty, looks like a fiesta all on one plate. The tuna/ham/cheese/pepper creation, a “sandwichon,” actually comes from her beloved mom who, btw, used olives halves instead of flowers, and in fact the garnishes aren’t even listed in the ingredients but rather as suggestions in the directions – really, a matter of your own artistic choice.

Some others of interest – sweet potato chipotle hummus, white chocolate and apricot oatmeal cookies, dulce de leche cream puffs, mint chocolate coffee cocktail. And Marcela’s also a garnish-o-phile with beverages, variously splashing in, e.g., cucumber curls, blood orange slices, serrano disks, coffee ice cream, flowers and flower flavored ice pops.

Sandwich recipe    Marcela’s “Fiesta” cookbook   Her other books

  TIP  

It works!

This is one of those things you sort of have to try to believe. It has to do with the times you need just a bit of lemon juice. You cut, use the half or whatever, store the rest, find it in the fridge weeks, months {?} later. But . . .

What if you could use fresh lemon in a way that’s sort of comparable to the lemon juice from concentrates sold in lemon-looking containers. This Food52 food hacker found the way.

Btw since the gimmicked lemon looks like the others, I keep it separate in a little dish. One thing, probably want to use it in a few days as it does tend to dry out.

Demo

  A PEEK AT MY WEEK  

Welcome to my kitchen and living room

  The Anti-Anxiety Diet book featured in our 04.19.19 Salon emphasized more proteins and fats, few carbs. Now personally I prefer a balance, but was thinking maybe fewer carbs would achieve more balance. The start – open face sandwiches, veggie-based pasta, more sweet potatoes, fewer white potatoes. Not always, of course. Just in case you might be thinking along the same lines.

♦  I’ve never had a risotto anywhere that could rival my husband’s ambrosial version. Intimidated me enough that I’ve never even tried to make it. But aha, enter soubise. While it’s basically an onion sauce enriched with cheese, some preps also mix in rice. And instead of stirring the stuff until your arm’s ready to fall off as with risotto, with soubise you do a bit of prelim cooking and then the oven does the rest. Here are some descriptions and recipes on google, and as you’ll see there are various add-ins. I’m ginning up {not literally . . . yet} to give this a try. Will sure let you know.

♦  Guess this is a week of “gonnas” because something else I want to try is mezcal. That was prompted by a Food Wine story that revealed the difference between the mezcal and tequila. A helpful gent from our local Lee’s described it as smokier than tequila because the first destination for the raw agave hearts is literally a smoke pit. Think next time I’m there just going to go for it. Could be nice next to a plate of something from the cookbook in our Featured Recipe section above.

So far next week: corn pudding, kitchen decor tips, “Glorious Food,” chocolate peanut butter pie, tenderizing any cut of beef

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: pub/pub site, MD gifts & book/Amazon, Marcella’s cake/chefmarcela.com, lemon & soubise/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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Mex makes salads exciting, May 31-June 6, 2019

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

& Misty the FoodieCat

CS friends, help yourself to tasty resources!

  CatChat –  Misty previews this week’s salon 

  TIDBITS – cake plate trick / spicin’ / pubtime for pups {M – uh huh, and for kitties???}    CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT – behind the “Beard”    FEATURED RECIPE – s.o.b salads & free book  ♦  TIP – sammie upgrade    THE WEEK – Beard-ism / saucy discovery / fridge smarts

Misty’s History    Misty’s Gallery

  TIDBITS 

Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

  Elevate your desserts. Literally. The secret behind “The $0 Trick for Bakery Style Desserts” is . . . bowls. Even before you click through, be aware that we’re talking here about presentation, not recipes. But intriguing nonetheless.

  Want to spice up your life in some new ways? Discard that first thought and have a look at “13 Next Level Spices and Seasonings.” Truth be told, it’s quite likely some of these will be familiar to CS-ers, and probably already in the pantry. But the good news is there are recipes links for each of these flavor boosters – e.g., stuffed roasted pumpkin, blackberry cardamom mulled wine, pecan breaded pork chops with beer sauce, dark chocolate ice cream with Sichuan peanut brittele, lots more.

  When you’re serving ice cold brews on a hot summer day – don’t forget the dog. Yep, Rover can join right in with the quaffing thanks to “Good Boy Dog Beer.” It’s brewed like people beer but not fermented, and thus non-alcoholic. Just to be good parents, may want to get your vet’s take on the beverage before sliding one down the bar to your good boy or good girl.

  CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT   

Inside the mind of a culinary legend

The behind-the-catering-scene book “Hotbox” featured in our 05.24.19 Salon opens with a guest chef dinner at the James Beard Foundation, which made me realize how little I knew about this iconic chef, widely regarded at the First Foodie, though I now know that title may more appropriately belong to his mom. I learned that fact and so many other revelatory details in the PBS film, “James Beard.”American Masters: James Beard DVD

What a fascinating story his life tells, from childhood travails, to mom’s influence, to cooking in exchange for invites, to his founding role in The Four Seasons restaurant and its pioneering devotion to seasonal cuisine, to his personal and professional relationships, to his authorship of about a dozen cookbooks, to his ascent to legendary status, to his post-mortem inspiration for the James Beard Foundation and Awards.

The tale is vastly enriched by lots of perspectives from those who knew him best. The DVD is about an hour long, part of PBS American Master Series, four stars on Amazon, Prime Eligible, just under $10.

“James Beard” DVD    James Beard cookbooks    CS Fine Chefs shop

  FEATURED RECIPE  

Color, texture, flavor, ole! {s.o.b. – south of the border}

In our 07.06.18 Salon, we featured Irish salad with cheese. Although it was a fine dish with its shaved Dubliner, it wasn’t really a match for what I’d thoroughly enjoyed in a totally authentic Irish pub, crisp cool veggies topped with warm melty cheese. Onward. Decided to apply the idea to a Mex mix. The lettuces, green onion, black olives and serrano were cold from the fridge. Tomatoes room temp. And then melted cheddar, sour cream and lime wedges.

And making that one immediately gave me a taste for Mexican Tuna Dip, which I first discovered in Cabo San Lucas, and subsequently found right in one of my fave local restaurants. As the name implies, the lively mix of cilantro, onion, tomato, jalapeno, mayo is intended as a dip but is actually quite a treat on toast or lettuce.

It also occurred to me that the melty salad could be an entree with the addition of a bit of rotisserie chicken, and then avocado making it even more substantial. Btw, with cheese pretty much all over this one, it’s a bit more like that Irish salad that started the ball of fun rolling.

Meanwhile found this Kindle book on Amazon, covering Mexican side dish and main dish salads. It doesn’t have any reviews yet but we may not care – it’s free! Yay!

“Mexican Salads”

♦  TIP  

Sammie glamour

In one of the demos in the Beard DVD there was such an easy way to turn a humble sandwich into a pretty picture. It was his signature combo of onions and homemade mayo on bread that in some versions is cut into rounds, but here it was triangles.

Then the magic. More mayo was spread on the outside and then the sandwich edges were rolled in freshly chopped parsley. Depending on the filling, thinking this could also be dill, basil, oregano, etc.

In my take – pastrami, Swiss, lettuce and tomatoes, with parsley – as you can see I left one side ungarnished to contrast with the layers of filling. For you creative CS-ers, the variations are endless.

  A PEEK AT MY WEEK  

Welcome to my kitchen and living room

  I just loved that James Beard DVD, felt like just about anyone interested in food could comfortably have a nice chat with him despite his fame. One of the quotes in the film is especially endearing to us CS-ers who love freshness and flavor and hate wasting food and money: “It is true thrift to use the best ingredients available. Use them carefully and wisely and you will have less waste than if you searched for bargains and end up with a full garbage pail.”

♦  Just like some headlines can draw in the food-inclined, so for sure can some recipe names. Would you agree that “Comeback Sauce” might fall smack into that category? I first came across this reference in Food & Wine where it was served with grilled shrimp, and then in short order in the “Comfort Food Shortcuts” cookbook {02.22.19 Salon} where it teamed up with mashed potato crusted flounder. Not too surprisingly, google is all over it. Since as I’ve learned it’s a southern tradition, I made the really good one from “Southern Living.” Great on wings!

  So this is a good idea. In a recent episode, Ree Drummond not only cleaned out her refrigerator, but then, aha, moved the items with the closest expiration dates to the front of the shelves. I had recently washed my fridge from stem to stern and now, thanks Ree, added step two. Another way to help minimize waste!

So far next week: brunch bounty, chocolate peanut butter mousse, chocolate cookbook, make a sandwich cake, chocolate tip {sensing a theme here}, anti-anxiety foods, hello Mezcal, the ol’ pub in the yard trick

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 – dvd/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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Chicken Parmesan Dip {soooo goood!}, May 24-30, 2019

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

& Misty the FoodieCat

CS friends, help yourself to tasty resources!

  CatChat –  Misty previews this week’s salon  

  TIDBITS – do-ahead snacks {M – let’s do the bacon and cheese one right now} / sweet peels / foodie idea?    CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT – going backstage with caterers   FEATURED RECIPE – party perfect dip    TIP – Martha’s got you covered    THE WEEK – on a roll / beets all / eat to heal

Misty’s History    Misty’s Gallery

  TIDBITS 

Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

  Memorial Day, July 4, Labor Day, backyard bbqs, summer picnics, oh yeah party time is upon us. When you’re the one hosting it’s always nice to have some appetizers to set out while you put the finishing touches on the rest of the repast. Even nicer when you can tap into some tasty and interesting “Make-Ahead Hors d’Oeuvres” from Food & Wine.

  So, I saw a chef on Food Network cook up some stuffed sweet potatoes, and then bite right through the half, skin and all. Hmmm, I have to say it never occurred to me that the skin was edible or palatable. So, hello google, only to discover all kinds of entries saying not only can you indeed consume them, but also touting their nutritional value.

  In the process I discovered a site called “Lunch Scraps,” which sounded like maybe it addressed going “nose to tail” with veggies as in a book we’ll be featuring later on. It wasn’t but is so filled with how-tos in its Cooking Tips section that it certainly does seem like it could lead a lot less waste.

  Do you have a food idea that you think could become a business? If so, might want to look into WeWork Food Labs. The company hosts other kinds of labs too, but the link takes you to the one for blossoming food entrepreneurs. They list out some nice on-site amenities and resources, but of course you’d want to do a bit more research on them before making any commitments – I have no connection to them or knowledge of them beyond what’s on their page.

  CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT   

This is a revelation, a thoroughly fascinating book

Titled “Hotbox” by author brothers Matt Lee and Ted Lee, it totally tears down the black curtain that normally conceals all the food prep happenings at virtually any catered event. It’s not really written for caterers though indeed they would likely be head-nodding at the all too familiar triumphs and catastrophes that are revealed here.Hotbox: Inside Catering, the Food World's Riskiest Business

But primarily this insider book is written for us, folks with a lively curiosity about all things food, especially stuff that’s typically hidden from our view. Page after page takes us right into the prep & event kitchens to witness all those wows and oops, plop us right at the work stations as the dishes take shape, and send us along with the waitstaff where more challenges may await.

We also learn how this became a $$$$$ industry, how to work with a caterer, some practical tips we can apply in our own kitchens, and as a bonus a whole new vocabulary.

One thing I can pretty much guarantee. Unlike the attendees who have not read this book, you will never again view a catered event in quite the same way.

Browse “Hotbox” on Amazon

  FEATURED RECIPE  

It’s a hit! Chicken Parmesan Dip

*  A Tasting Panel Selection  *

Oh, super tasty. A real crowd pleaser that’s doubly good as a party dish because it makes quite a bit.

And what gives it an easy head start is that you use rotisserie chicken right from the grocery store {and then can make stock from the bones for future use}. I have to give credit to MyRecipes for the original prep, which actually survives to a great extent in my version where I add in Italian seasonings and some extra cheese.

It was served piping hot from the oven with crostini as dippers. And afterward it lived on as a sandwich on a bun, and also as a pasta sauce after being thinned with a bit of V-8 though you could also use more marinara, or tomato sauce, or broth, or wine, or a combo.

And this is nice. Because it’s so flavorful you could if you wanted actually leave out the chicken to have a vegetarian dish, and it would still work just as well for all the above applications. This is a keeper.

Recipe page   Original at MyRecipes 

  TIP  

Foolproof recipes, foolproof techniques?

Here’s a tip. If you want to invest time and money in preps with these claims, make sure they come from an impeccable source.

Got one! Thanks to Food 52 you can tap into “9 Martha Food52 A New Way to Dinner: A Playbook of Recipes and Strategies for the Week Ahead (Food52 Works)Stewart Recipes for When You Need a Sure Fire Winner” {ummmm, think we’d like to have that pretty much all the time}.

Here you’ll find mac & cheese, stews, ethnic specialties, a one-pan pasta {shown}, and a dish that tucks right into a recent theme in our visits – sheet pans! – in this case for a crowd-feeding slab pie with just about any fruit your palate desires.

Btw, Food 52 has its own gussy offering for “stress-free meal planning.” It’s a cookbook called “A New Way to Dinner,” 4 stars on Amazon, Kindle and Hardcover.

Martha’s sure fires    “A New Way to Dinner”    Stewart’s books

  A PEEK AT MY WEEK  

Welcome to my kitchen and living room

♦  Sometime back I noted that I like to avoid doing biscuits with a biscuit cutter because of all the redoing which means handling the dough too much and almost inevitably ending up with waste. I had suggested creating a square which was then cut into squares. Now here’s a recipe from Trisha Yearwood that drops the dough by spoonfuls into muffin tins. Btw, I think she may also have been the one that in another method patted the dough into a circle, cutting that into wedges and then rolling each triangle into a ball. For all of those, no waste.

{Norene, move along to the 3rd item, nothing for you to see here in the 2nd one . . .}

♦  All I knew about beets in my childhood was that they showed up on a plate cooked to death in a treacly sauce {did Harvard really lend its name to this willingly?}. Then I discovered pickled beets and a whole different and wonderful world of flavor and texture. More recently, thanks to the top chefs in our town, I’ve come to actually crave roasted beets.

Now thanks to Gwyneth Paltrow I have a permanent addition to my recipe file. Place 6 beets, scrubbed and rubbed with 2 T olive oil {total} on parchment paper, add 3 T water, and sprinkle with salt & pepper. Wrap tightly in the parchment, making sure the beets are completely sealed inside so no liquid can escape, place on a rimmed baking sheet and roast for 90 minutes at 400. Do be careful of the hot steam when you open the package.

♦  The recipe above is from Paltrow’s book,  “The Clean Plate,” and the preceding link will take you to the Amazon page. It is quite interesting and more diverse than I expected, with preps pulling in veggies, fruits, seeds, nuts, herbs, aromatics, chicken, fish, turkey, beans, spices, bottled and homemade sauces, lots of lemons and limes. Even sheet pan preps! Also specific healing cleanses, pantry & cooking tips.

So far next week: Mex salads, impromptu cake stands, kicky spices, not-so-secret sauce, sammie trick, all about Beard

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 – books/Amazon, Martha’s pasta/Food 52 site, 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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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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The Tasting Panel has spoken, May 3-16, 2019

Next Salon, May 17, 2019 – see you then!

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

& Misty the FoodieCat

CS friends, help yourself to tasty resources!

  CatChat –  Misty previews this week’s salon  

  TIDBITS – chicken insurance / leftover makeover / do this first    CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT – beautiful Mom’s Day gifts ♦  FEATURED RECIPE – makin’ Zuni Cafe’s iconic chicken    TIP – avocado love    THE WEEK – the SuperTasters have approved these dishes / the powder caper

Misty’s History    Misty’s Gallery

  TIDBITS 

Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

It’s not likely you’re ever going to hear anyone order chicken “rare.” And we sure as heck don’t want to serve it that way. So “How Long to Cook Every Cut of Chicken” from MyRecipes can provide some very welcome “chicken insurance.” Get the scoop on roasting, grilling, pan frying and deep frying, so that as the subhead says, “you never botch your bird again.” As a bonus there’s a demo on breaking down a whole chicken, which can be a real money-saver.

♦  More from MyRecipes. In the 04.19.19 Salon we spotlighted 30 dishes that are even better as leftovers. So how cool is this for a follow-up, “25 recipes to use up your leftovers.” And this is nice, for some of the items you may also find a recipe for the star that started the show, and then more than one use as leftovers. If as planned I make the chicken parmesan dip you’ll sure see it in a future My Week. Oooh maybe the burger bun donuts too!

And more. You may already do “The First Thing Great Chefs Do Before They Start Cooking” {we’d like to think “wash their hands” but we’ll take that as a given}. I already do this “thing” and was familiar with the French term for it, but sure did learn some extra tricks here. And not only for cooking.

  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

  FEATURED RECIPE  

A San Francisco classic 

Those of us who’ve had the memorable pleasure of dining at Zuni Cafe know it’s an experience to be treasured ever after. New York Times recently featured the iconic Market Street restaurant on the 40th anniversary of its founding by Billy West, who was joined in 1987 by the revered chef Judy Rodgers, sadly no longer among us – but it goes well beyond the cliche to say her legacy lives on with every meal still served there.

The story spotlights such specialties as Caesar salad, ricotta gnocchi, espresso granita, chocolate Gâteau Victoire, even the hamburger. But it was the hauntingly good wood-roasted chicken for two on warm aromatic bread salad that most stays with me from our visit.The Zuni Cafe Cookbook: A Compendium of Recipes and Cooking Lessons from San Francisco's Beloved Resturant

I subsequently made this dish {shown} from my Zuni Cafe cookbook, which also btw includes the salad, gnocchi, hamburger, and granita. The chicken was spectacular, which prompted a do-list of such other items in the book as prosciutto with chestnuts in olive oil, artichoke caponata, corn-shrimp bisque, and mock {which is to say easier – she calls the original “formidable”} porchetta.

This cookbook, by Judy Rodgers, is a very unselfish offering. All her tip, tricks. and techniques are right there – in fact “cooking lessons”  is part of the subtitle. It’s 4 1/2 stars on Amazon, Kindle & Hardcover, Prime eligible.

Recipes on google    NY Times article    Zuni cookbook    Zuni Cafe 

  TIP  

Be gentle now

A helpful hint from Ree Drummond. When you’re adding diced avocado to a salad, wait until you’ve tossed all the other ingredients.

Then gently fold the cubes into the mix. Your avocado will thank you.

Btw, did you know that in the correction pronunciation, Haas rhymes with glass. Click the link for lots more about this versatile star of the produce world.

California Avocado

  A PEEK AT MY WEEK  

Welcome to my kitchen and living room

♦  Oh what a beautiful week at CooksSalon. A buffet of dishes, candidates for future appearances in CooksSalon, took center stage. Then a quartet of SuperTasters gave the whole array, appetizers to desserts, a thorough vetting, sometimes needing second and third “tests” to be absolutely certain their evaluations would be accurate.

>  Yay, eight thumbs up for chicken parmesan dip, buffalo cauliflower, French endive “hand” salads, shrimp Louie, queso eggs in phyllo cups, ham club sandwich rollups, lemon cheesecake tarts, date/nut scones, and salted chocolate caramel tartlets. Mega thanks and a tip of the toque to Christine McKellar, Debbie Vinson, and Layne Whiteman for helping make sure CS brings you just the best-est recipes.

> So then, all those dishes will be coming your way in the near future. Meanwhile, for a weekly serving of the top happenings in Las Vegas, be sure to tune in to Christine’s site, Vegas Only Entertainment.

♦  In our 02.01.19 Salon we talked about discovering malted milk powder and putting it to use in muffins, oatmeal . . . and coffee. Now the Caribou Coffee chain has added menu items that incorporate malted milk powder into both hot and cold coffee beverages. Do you think they read it first in CooksSalon? 😉😁🤣

So far in the next Salon: best stews, bulk shopping trick, 10 new ways with bacon, that sandwich is what now???

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: Mom’s Day gifts & Zuni book/Amazon, 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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Cheese and more cheese, March 8-14, 2019

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

& Misty the FoodieCat

CS friends, help yourself to tasty resources!

  CatChat – Misty previews this week’s salon  

♦  TIDBITS – rich rib-eye / best bacon methods {M – mom, may I suggest you try all of them} / honoring Bourdain     CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT – kitchen art    FEATURED RECIPE – hot & cheesy spaghetti    TIP – cheese storage    THE WEEK – Martha Manual, first look / Irish Guinness Stew / oh-oh

Misty’s History    Misty’s Gallery

♦  TIDBITS  ♦

Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

  If you’re going to indulge, might as well go for it. Food & Wine shows the way down this culinary path with its prep for Butter-Basted Rib Eyes. Ye gods, this is my favorite cut anyway, and seldom say no to butter, so for all of us in this “bunch,” let’s give it a whirl.

  We all pretty much know how to cook bacon. But . . . do we know the best way to cook bacon. Food 52 gives us the benefit of their research {oh, the sacrifice!}, for turning out perfecto strips. But . . . the answer has a bit to do with your preferences. In that regard, still helpful. Tune in here for the results.

  Oh, this is nice. Food & Wine reports that Chef Bourdain’s native New Jersey is creating an Anthony Bourdain Food Trail, linking the state’s 10 restaurants that were featured in the NJ episode in season 5 of “Parts Unknown.” On that itinerary, a roadstand, inn, deli, oyster house, steakhouse, and more.

♦  CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT  ♦ 

Sprucing up for Spring? How about some kitchen art

Which is to say, how about some kicky food posters to give your kitchen or dining nook a colorful newHome Comforts Framed Art for Your Wall Kitchen Casserole Tomato Mozzarela Baking Dish 10x13 Frame look? Shown here, just a couple of the many artsy possibilities available.

As you scroll through the various options you’ll see designs dedicated to herbs & spices, fruits & vegetables, casseroles & ethnic foods, coffee & tea, beer & wine, dishes & utensils, chefs wall26 Canvas Prints Wall Art - Still Life Various of Spices on Rustic Wooden Table Food/Kitchen Concept | Modern Wall Decor/Home Decoration Stretched Gallery Canvas Wrap Giclee Print - 12" x 18"& kitchenware, collages & sayings.

For friends who like to cook, or are just food-a-philes, this could be a nice housewarming gift. Or any occasion gift.

Some are already framed. Others await your special touch. Saw several at $9.99.

All on Amazon    Spice poster    Casserole poster    Top rated food posters

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

BJN’s Eclectic Offerings Page

♦  FEATURED RECIPE  

If you like melty cheese dishes, this could be the cookbook for you 

Although our featured prep is quite spicy, most of what is delivered to the plate is kind to the palate in the “Hot & Cheesy” cookbook. All in 390 pages by James Beard winning Clifford A Wright.

So what will you find? Meat & vegetable creations, pizza & pasta, sandwiches & crepes, rice & egg preps, sauces & dips, and both sweet & savory pastries.

In addition to such cheesy choices as hot crab dip, bacon-onion rolls, pork chops stuffed with pecans and bleu cheese, chicken grilled with ham & cheese, there are ethnic classics including saganaki, raclette, queso fundido and fondues. Great tips too for selecting, measuring, cooking, serving and storage.

Our Feature, Spaghetti with Fresh Chiles, is not only tasty but pretty as well {but OK, maybe not a cardiologist’s fave}. After a bit of chopping involved, brief cooking, it’s smooth sailing to the table. A nice counterpoint, salad with cucumbers.

Recipe  ♦  “Hot & Cheesy” cookbook    Other Wright cookbooks

♦  TIP  

Keeping the cheese

If your household is like mine, cheese doesn’t stay around very long. But on those occasions when maybe you bought a larger size, or perhaps have a lot of different kinds, you sure don’t want any of it to go bad. After trying different methods, this is what I’ve found works best . . .

Leave it in the store package, which you’ve cut along the top on three sides. After each use tuck the wrapper tightly around on all sides, and then place it in a zip bag, wrapping that tightly around after squeezing out as much air as possible.

Btw, this cheese tip is one of the 50 food and kitchen tricks in my kindle book on Amazon – 99 cents.

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

♦  A PEEK AT MY WEEK  

Welcome to my kitchen and living room

  Just started looking through Stewart’s new book, “The Martha Manual.” As the title promises this big tome is chock full of techniques for life’s necessities – cleaning, organizing, repairing, laundry – and then some of the more creative aspects – decorating, crafts, gardening, pet care, entertaining and yep cooking. We’ll look at that latter section soon and share in an upcoming Salon.

  Stew instead? In our Feb 15 Salon we featured Irish potato cakes, on a page that filled in the rest of the meal with roast chicken, sides, brown bread & dessert. But the same source, Irish Central, not surprisingly also offers us a prep for Irish beef stew, enriched with Guinness. Thinking that the brown bread would be a great accompaniment for this hearty dish. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

  Took baby steps this week on the way to finally learning to use a mandolin. Pray for my fingers.

So far next week: Guinness stew, “jolly chicken,” fave tequila, foodie fiction, and I’ll rye if I want to 

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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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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Martha’s Slow Cooker Sicilian Style Beef Stew, for Dec 14-20, 2018

  CatChat  

Misty shows you what you’ll find in this week’s salon

  TIDBITS – Bacon pairing for cocktail hour {M – I’ll take mine with a fine bowl of water} / kitchen cheat sheet / a mega cheat sheet from the CIA    CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT – book for the reader/cook / ’tis the season    FEATURED RECIPE – so tender, so tasty    TIP – meatloaf???  ♦  THE WEEK – squash sauce / accidental cake / fare facts to share, coming soon

Misty’s History    Misty’s Gallery

  TIDBITS 

Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

  This is a cocktail party idea you can definitely try at home. AP reported on a StillwaterBrown Sugar Bacon Jerky Candied Bacon MN restaurant, Brick & Bourbon, that offers a “bacon flight.” Whaaaaaat? Even though a fairly thorough search turned up no detail, quite certain we can figure this out for ourselves. Especially with help from this page on google, offering a bunch of ways to flavor this fave.

Want a head start? Take a look at this Brown Sugar Bacon Jerky Candied Bacon ready to go on Amazon {shown}, and other options on the site.

  Well this is handy. The MyRecipes site has listed out 13 ratios that cover a whole spectrum of cooking activities. Like – vinaigrette 3:1, pasta 3:2, muffins 2:2:1:1 – and then of course spells out what those numbers stand for. They suggest memorizing them, but may I suggest highlight/print or copy/paste/print.

  Have a spare $7.97 a month to polish your culinary talents? That amount would buy you membership in a brand new program from the Culinary Institute of America, DISH, and in turn access to technique videos, top chef demos, the recipe collection, lots more. Click the link here to see the full spectrum

  CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT   

Mystery writers + recipes = one perfect book for the reader/cook

“The Mystery Writers of America Cookbook” offers, as the cover says, “wickedly good recipes” from a star studded lineup of writers – Lee Child, Mary Higgins Clark, Harlan The Mystery Writers of America Cookbook: Wickedly Good Meals and Desserts to Die ForCoben, Sue Grafton, James Patterson, Scott Turow and a host of, again quoting the cover, “other acclaimed plot stirrers.” Including Richard Castle {!}

In the intro, author Kate White makes the point that mystery coming to the table is a bit of a natural given the genre’s “countless scenes that mix murder and food,” adding that “it would be a crime not to celebrate this idea.”

As for the recipes, some are purloined from the books, others are authors’ favorites, and each one starts with the dish’s backstory. There are so many good preps here, and you can expect to see several in the 2019 salons, starting right away on Jan 11.

“The Mystery Writers of America Cookbook” 

Best selling mysteries on Amazon    Top rated mysteries on Amazon

At CS Marketplace: “Especially for . . .” – “Cooks”  “Readers”  “Dog Lovers”

Extra for all – as you enjoy the feasts and gifts and good cheer of the holiday season, perhaps you can also share some of that bounty. And if you do choose to do so, an easy way is available with the links at the bottom of the page. You may want to check further but I’ve done my best to see that these are all highly rated and regarded charities.

  FEATURED RECIPE  

A Party hearty dish with an Italian accent 

Some really interesting flavors set this tasty dish apart from classic stew. In addition to the requisite beef chuck, this pot also welcomes the likes of fennel, rosemary, orange zest and olives.

There’s also an interesting tip to enhance the beef flavor. Though it cooks for hours, according to Stewart the prep time is just 35 minutes. And it serves, she say, 4-6

She recommends serving with mashed potatoes and that is indeed a good combo. But take a look back at the Nov 30 salon for the item about turning leftover mashed potatoes into gnocchi – and that’s what I used for this tasty stew.

Recipe    Martha Stewart’s cookbooks  ♦  Her magazine

{btw, the Martha Manual would be a welcome book for any beginning cook}

  TIP  

Maybe meatloaf

I know this makes little sense, but as much as I adore hamburgers have never been a fan of meatloaf and for that matter meatballs either. Always seemed too dense and often lacking in flavor perhaps because of the breadcrumbs taking over. But watching Ina Garten make her mini meatloaves on Food Network, thinking she just may have solved both. First, she cooks the onions along with other good stuff {see recipe}, and second she blends it with a fork and as she says you can actually see that the mixture is “fluffy.”

Another trick just may seal the deal. A friend ordered meatloaf at a recent lunch get-together, and it was clear that the thick slices had been seared on the flat top creating a nice char. Almost looked like a hamburger! So, just might possibly maybe perhaps give it a try some time. Meanwhile, here’s Ina’s recipe. Demo too.

Mini meatloaf recipe    Food Network    Barefoot Contessa episodes

  A PEEK AT MY WEEK  

Please join  me in my kitchen &  parlor

  Soooo, that alternate idea for a gnocchi sauce is to borrow from a classic ravioli recipe, and that is butternut squash filling, here going over though instead of in. I found this Betty Crocker prep that sounds pretty darn good. I think mine might be an adaptation but meanwhile you might want to give Betty’s version a try.

  A tasty mistake. So another tempting recipe in the “12 Days of Christmas with Six Sisters Stuff” was gooey butter cookies. Easy! Cream 8 oz cream cheese with a 1/2 cup butter, beat in 1 egg and 1/4 t vanilla, Then slowly blend in a 16.5 oz box yellow cake mix. Roll in 1″ balls, then in powdered sugar, bake 1″ apart at 350 on an ungreased sheet 10-13 min.

  Yum. Got everything I need . . . oops, except not that cake mix but did have an 18.4 oz milk chocolate brownie mix. Heck, give it a try, I’ll just add a little cream to offset the extra mix. Well, not little enough or because it was brownie mix, didn’t end up like cookie dough. OOOOOK, into a pan and into the oven. Tastes great! Needless to say, very moist!

  Over our holiday break – starting after next week’s salon – I’ll finally get to “The Everyday Gourmet” dvds from Great Courses. And that means on into 2019 I’ll be able to share with you samples of whatever culinary wisdom awaits in this series. The book that accompanies the set promises lessons on ingredients, tools, various cooking methods, herbs & spices, sauces, and seemingly all the food groups including my favorite one – desserts!

Next week: totally devoted to very last minute gifts for cooks and foodies. You’re saved.

Cook with passion and a party spirit, whether for a crew, or for two, or just for you
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Ree’s Easy Rich Caramel Brownies, for Nov 30-Dec 6, 2018

  CatChat  

Misty shows you what you’ll find in this week’s salon 

  TIDBITS – mashies go Italian / it’s OK, no yolk / ham it up {M – ham !!!   CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT – party time cookbooks / for celeb chef fans    FEATURED RECIPE –  oh these are goooooood    TIP – gravy rules    THE WEEK – no recipe required / skewer it / best dressed salads

Misty’s History    Misty’s Gallery

  TIDBITS 

Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks

  Here’s a tasty way to transform leftover mashed potatoes into a whole new dish with an Italian accent. Gnocchi! And really, couldn’t be easier. I’m going to give this prep a try and if it turns out as good as it sounds, I’ll share as an item in a future My Week section of the Salon. Need to play with a sauce too, and actually have a somewhat unusual idea in mind.

  Never saw one, but in case you have . . . Well Done newsletter brings us assurances from MyRecipes that if you find a white egg yolk, no problem. No need to chuck it out. Just a matter of what the chicken ate, e.g., a bunch of white corn. Good news that we wouldn’t have to waste it.

  That same dual source also offers to school us on doing a boffo job on one of the season’s favorite entrees. Their list of “The 11 Most Common Mistakes People Make Cooking Ham – And How to Prevent Them”  is chock full of valuable information. Also includes a video on the best way to carve a spiral ham. And if you hang in there, other helpful demos follow.

  CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT   

Oh these cookbooks are such fun

If their cookbooks are any indication, for these six sisters life is an ongoing party. This is food that is fun, festive, a riot of colors and flavors.

Depending on the book, you also may well find cooking hacks, pantry help, storage tricks, menus, serving suggestions, decorating ideas, artistic flourishes, party activities, organization tips, instructions for homemade gifts, craft projects, even family traditions. One of the latter included in “A Year with Six Sisters Stuff,” communal and clever, is the “D-I-Y At-Home Family Restaurant.”

Here are some recipes on my do-list from a sampling of their books . . .

“Dinner Made Easy” – taco braid {shown}, crispy coconut chicken strips with pina colada dipping sauce, skillet pizza {actually a turbo charged mac}

“A Year with Six Sisters Stuff” – chicken cordon bleu bites, nutty caramel bars {shown}, mini garlic monkey bread

“12 Days of Christmas with Six Sisters Stuff” – peppermint crunch ice cream pie, bacon & egg breakfast casserole {shown}, slow cooker chicken fajita soup

“Celebrate Every Season with Six Sisters Stuff” {my personal fave} – baked cheeseburger sliders, slow cooker chili cheese dip, St Patrick’s Day cupcakes {shown}

One that I don’t have at hand but that sounds equally interesting is their “Copycat Cooking with Six Sisters Stuff: 100+ Restaurant Meals You Can Make at Home.” It’s 5 stars on Amazon, and it seems their books are generally at least 4 1/2 stars. Good stuff!

All Six Sisters cookbooks

At CS Marketplace: “Especially for . . .” – “Cooks”  “Readers”  “Dog Lovers”

Extra for the cooks on your list – especially those who love celeb chef shows. Our special page right on this site lists easy links to the cookbooks, videos, items and giftcards of over 100 of the chefs you know from their tv shows, best sellers, and award winning restaurants. Within this treasure trove you’ll also find some books by these folks that go beyond cookbooks, including fiction and memoirs.  Fine Chefs Book & Gift Shop

  FEATURED RECIPE  

Chef-crafted rich brownies with caramel – easy caramel!

It’s the holidays, go for it! Which is to say, bake a batch of Ree Drummond’s Caramel Brownies, featured on a recent show. Maybe the best brownie I’ve ever had.

What makes the caramel so easy? It’s actually rich dulce de leche . . . out of a jar. And the brownie itself checks in with its own decadence thanks to butter, chocolate and cocoa, and extra vanilla. So good as is, could even skip the caramel and just use the powdered sugar.

Want the best dulce de leche for this recipe or another recipe or atop ice cream or just on a spoon??? Click below to see the ones with top ratings on Amazon.

Recipe    Ree’s cookbooks    Ree’s show videos    Best Dulce de Leche 

  TIP  

Well this makes it a Well Done/My Recipes trifecta

One more from the same twin sources cited in two Tidbits above, elevated to Tip section status. Why? You may or may not be making hard cooked eggs and ham this holiday season, but chances are pretty good you will be making gravy.

Gravy! Pour it on and so many already good dishes get booted into the culinary ionosphere. To make it extra good, follow these guidelines on when and how to use cornstarch or flour, and really for whenever you want to thicken a sauce.

Good gravy

  A PEEK AT MY WEEK  

Please join  me in my kitchen &  parlor

  Well this is nice. A dish I actually made from a recipe can in fact just be put together according to your favorite version – which is to say, really, no recipe needed. What is it? Nachos in a sheet pan, corn corn chips topped with all the usual suspects – maybe some chorizo, tomatoes, onions, garlic, black olives, cilantro and of course cheese{s} – and then, fried eggs. Awesome breakfast or brunch. Pretty too. And here’s another breakfast idea {not the salad shown}.

  Another episode of “Pioneer Woman” had a dish that resonated with me because it offers a variation on a presentation trick I already use, and that’s serving an entire course on a skewer. In my “50 … Tricks” Kindle book it applies to appetizer, salad {shown, carrots and Brussels sprouts blanched}, and dessert. Drummond’s is a clever breakfast version, a lineup of sauteed sausage links, onion wedges, red bell peppers, and green bell peppers, plus cheese stuffed omelets, rolled and sliced. Gonna try this too.

  Lookout, here come some bragging rights and a secret. All inspired by a Basically newsletter from Bon Appetit that says we should dress our salads twice, first acidic and then creamy. Here’s how they do it. I’ve been doing this for years but in an easier {OK, and less pro} way. The secret: I mix equal parts of Wishbone Italian and a good Ranch. Truth be told, it’s a crowd pleaser.

So far next week: sassy soup, foodie jewelry, wine pairing, fave foodie writer on dining alone, millennials want whaaaaat???

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