New in “Cocktail Hour Buzz,” June 24-June 30, 2022

New Salon every Friday – and you’re invited

C’mon in and help yourself to tasty resources

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

 Cocktail Hour Buzz 

sundowner snacks, drinks, chat, and . . .

whenever I can, related resources & goodies on Amazon

whether for a crew, or for two, or just for you

{links within my items go to the sources shown in red – any links underneath items take you to Amazon unless otherwise indicated, and then only ones with the lock icon}

♦♦♦  I was recently reminded of a childhood favorite and though I may not have thought of it in years, in the Southern states it’s been a staple for what is apparently forever. And while my experience came out of a jar, that would be a NO if you want to truly as they say, “Put some south in your mouth.” Talking here about pimento cheese, and having now made Kardea Brown’s prep, let me say Wowsie. Thick and rich, it works in so many tasty ways – a great spread  for Happy Hour, but it can also go all melty for an omelet or open quesadilla, also cut-able to snack size – or as she used it, to stuff big burgers on the grill {recipe at link above}. Thanks Kardea!  Food Network

Note – if you’re not planning to use the cheese as burger stuffing, you can skip step 2 under Method. Also, while it doesn’t show in the recipe, I’m pretty sure she said if she weren’t stuffing burgers with the mix, she would also have added some of the pimento juice, which I did.

Kardea’s “Delicious Miss Brown” show

Kardea’s “The Way Home: A Celebration of Sea Island Food and Family with over 100 Recipes”

♦♦♦  Another round of popsicles for everyone! How appealing is this? Combines a tasty dessert and an after dinner drink in one juicy bite. Icy-perfect for summer. Flavors galore. Talking Boozy Popsicles. Some examples – cucumber lime with gin, mojito watermelon, strawberries and cream with Grand Marnier, and a couple more. The rest are non-alcoholic, but nothing wrong with improvising.  Food & Wine

Popsicle molds

♦♦♦  What a fun way to add a touch of whimsey, a touch of class, or both, to the table. Napkin designs! On plates or not. Some stand up, some lie down, some make pockets for flatware, some hold place cards – one actually looks like an envelope. And some look like something else entirely – fans, flowers, containers, a tie, tree, heart, placemat, centerpiece. All 27 become easy peasy with this demo, with mine here taking about a minute.  5-Minute Crafts

Their napkin folding video on youtube

Martha Stewart has her own ways with this fabric-y origami. I made this fan design from her Thanksgiving turkey napkin fold, securing the top with a yellow paper clip, the bottom with a key chain, and pulled the bottom folds back a bit to stabilize the fan {guessing Martha didn’t need these props but just in case like me, you do . . .}

Stewart’s “How to Fold a Napkin in 10 Beautiful Ways”

Napkin folding design books, 4 stars & up    Napkin rings, 4 stars & up {some awesome designs}

♦♦♦  Cocktail chat. “I hope this is to your liking,” the chef said as he set the dishes on the floor. Floor? Well that is a distinct possibility, though maybe they have their own little dining table and chairs. “They” would be Queen Elizabeth’s dogs, Corgis and others, who -yes!- have their own chef. Heard on ABC during the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

The rest of the story – This U.S. Sun article further reveals not just a chef, but a team of chefs, and not just any chefs but Michelin chefs

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Food Lovers T-Shirts page here on CS  ♦  Food Lover Mug page here on CS

ETC

Want to be among the first to know about new Salons?

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New in “Cocktail Hour Buzz,” June17-June 23, 2022

New Salon every Friday – and you’re invited

C’mon in and help yourself to tasty resources

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

 Cocktail Hour Buzz 

sundowner snacks, drinks, chat, and . . .

whenever I can, related resources & goodies on Amazon

whether for a crew, or for two, or just for you

{links within my items go to the sources shown in red – any links underneath items take you to Amazon unless otherwise indicated, and then only ones with the lock icon}

♦♦♦  Well who wouldn’t be giving this a woohoo upon finding it on the snack table. Crispy Twisty Bacon. Sunny Anderson made this tempter on a recent episode of The Kitchen, seasoning the tight spirals with brown sugar, thyme, and spices. All you creative CS-ers will likely come up with your own variations. When I saw this I immediately thought of it as perfect for one of our special brunch editions. But then Katie Lee noted it would be great for cocktail hour. Yes!  Food Network

The episode is called, The Kitchen’s Take on Trends

FN page for that episode

Youtube demo with a flip tip    Youtube demo for air fryer

Other Twisted Bacon recipes on google

 

♦♦♦  We just never know. Valerie Bertinelli, who seemingly just has it all, in fact has dealt with personal struggles pretty much all her life. In her memoir, “Enough Already,” she takes us along on her journey of two progressions. First from Hollywood star to Food Network star. Second, her determined steps toward finally declaring that title.

In her own words, “As I have redefined my relationship with food over the past decade – first with my trip to Italy, then by writing a cookbook, and then with the tv series – I have redefined my life and reconnected with values I consider important.” Btw, recipes too, and we’ll be making her famous chocolate cake when baking season returns.  Amazon

Valerie’s cookbooks

Valerie’s DVDs – fitness, movies, tv

Valerie’s show page on Food Network

♦♦♦   In our 05.27.22 Salon we featured Ocean Spray’s crab, cranberry and cream cheese appetizers, served in mini phyllo shells. Those snacks use such bitsy amounts of ingredients that I had leftover shells, cream cheese, and cranberry too, and decided to put them to use in an easy and pretty dessert plate. For some I beat cranberry and cream cheese till smooth, topped with reserved cranberry. For others I beat the cream cheese with a little juice from mandarin oranges, finished with halves of the mandarins. One important thing to note is that for cream fillings, or similar, you really want to do this as close to service as possible, as the shells can eventually go soft.  CS

Athens, who makes the shells I use has literally a whole book of recipes on their site

Easy, Entertaining Recipes

♦♦♦  Ever have an upside down martini {spilled ones don’t count}? The Who and the What came out in a chat with Bobby Flay on CNN in advance of the network’s special on Julia Child. He was recalling having lunch with Ms Child when she ordered that libation 🍸 and he learned it’s an inversion of the classic ingredients, meaning reversing the measures for gin and vermouth. Now I could be wrong but I’m pretty sure while the next question was being asked he said almost under his breath, 4 or 5 of them. Cheers Julia, hope you’re enjoying a heavenly golden fountain of endless upside down tinis.  Julia Child

It looks like you can watch a rerun of the documentary here

Julia Child books

Bobby Flay’s page on Food Network

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Click link above for Amazon homepage, Below for Echo Show, Echo Dots, Echo Studio, Especially for Kids – 

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Zazzle

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Food Lovers T-Shirts page here on CS    Food Lover Mug page here on CS

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Want to be among the first to know about new Salons?

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Use Search, Archives, Categories OR email me at the same link above with “CooksSalon” in the Subject line

Note

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

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New in “Cocktail Hour Buzz,” May 27-June 2, 2022

New Salon every Friday – and you’re invited

C’mon in and help yourself to tasty resources

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

 Cocktail Hour Buzz 

sundowner snacks, drinks, chat, and . . .

whenever I can, related resources & goodies on Amazon

whether for a crew, or for two, or just for you

{links within my items go to the sources shown in red – any links underneath items take you to Amazon unless otherwise indicated, and then only ones with the lock icon}

♦♦♦  Well, this is certainly an easy snack, just four ingredients plus pre-baked shells. And the way I made it, even easier than the recipe since I did not cook it. But, ummmm, it’s about that quartet in the filling . . . they sing sort of funny. I did find it interesting, and loved the jeweled top created by the bit of cranberry. You just might want to taste-test a couple of these Cranberry, Crab Meat and Cream Cheese Appetizers before serving to others.  Ocean Spray

The prep did inspire some possible variations . . .

  • shredded chicken or turkey in place of crabmeat
  • cocktail sauce instead of cranberry
  • a smooth blend of cream cheese and cranberry, maybe a touch of orange juice

Ocean Spray recipe pages

♦♦♦   Pinot fan? This cred-laden mag identifies “16 Great Oregon Pinots for Springtime Pouring.” They provide full descriptions for these Willamette Valley reds. And one after the other makes you want to run to your favorite store and take a glass with you.  Food & Wine

That same F&W posting also offers this . . .

“There’s Never Been a Better Time to Join a Wine Club”

♦♦♦  I just LOVE this new toy, even though not exactly using it for its intended purpose. But it sure does serve a purpose for cooks who are also readers, and also usually have a lot going on in the kitchen. So, in my case I like to take a break outside with a book or magazines, but want to be alerted when it’s time to, e.g. . .

 See if the Italian sausage for tomorrow’s pizza snacks is cool enough to go in the fridge

     Set out eggs for the chocolate fudge brownies I’ll be making later

     Come back in for a particular cooking show

Then, it’s the digital bookmark with a countdown feature to the rescue! Right there, peeking above the reading material. Also with a clock and a count-up feature.  Cool designs too, mine is the wolf and the 3-D makes it look like I could pet his nose.

Of course you can use it for a whole bunch of other circumstances, too. Or give one to a child for its intended purpose – tracking time for reading assignments.  Amazon

Make sure the one you select has all the features

Mark-My-Time Digital Bookmarks

The instructions are quite clear, except for covering reset – this Google video does

How to use the reset feature

♦♦♦  So, what does your basic award-winning, French-trained celebrity chef do in his spare time? One that in fact is already busy running multiple restaurants, authoring cookbooks and novels, hosting cooking shows first on PBS and then on Food Network. For David Ruggerio it was, ahhh . . . mob enforcer, credit card fraudster, kidnapping for fun and profit. The tale becomes a bit more familiar when you see what his real surname is. There’s enough cocktail chat in this Mob Chef interview to carry you through several get-togethers. It draws on a feature that first appeared in Vanity Fair.  New York Post

David Ruggerio’s books

Thanks to imdb, you can see clips of Ruggerio’s Food Network show here

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Amazon

Click link above for Amazon homepage, Below for Echo Show, Echo Dots, Echo Studio, Especially for Kids – 

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Zazzle

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Food Lovers T-Shirts page here on CS    Food Lover Mug page here on CS

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

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April 29-May 5, 2022, “Cocktail Hour Buzz,” Brunch, CooksSalon

New Salon every Friday – and you’re invited

C’mon in and help yourself to tasty resources

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

 Cocktail Hour Buzz

 🌸🌹🌺   Mother’s Day Brunch Edition 🌻🌼🌷

When Happy Hour goes early with snacks, drinks and chat

and maybe related resources & goodies on Amazon

whether for a crew, or for two, or just for you

{links within my items go to the sources shown in red – any links underneath items take you to Amazon unless otherwise indicated, and then only ones with the lock icon}

♦♦♦  I was so happy to find Molly Yeh’s technique for filling roll-ups that makes the process so much easier. By spreading the ingredients on dough and then cutting wedges to be rolled, all the filling is done at once and distributed evenly vs parceling out individually for each piece. In her prep & demo, which we featured in our 03.25.22 Salon, the roll-up was spinach and feta on pie dough. We decided to go brunchy {and no-cook} with smoked salmon, onion & chive cream cheese, red onion, capers, and a sprinkling of dillweed on a slightly softened burrito size tortilla.  CS

Tip: It’s a good idea to do this as close as possible to service so the tortilla stays dry

Molly Yeh’s “Girl Meets Farm” show on Food Network

Molly Yeh cookbooks

♦♦♦   That sunshiny brightness, the tongue-tickling bubbles, the graceful glasses, all make Champagne and orange juice a pluperfect brunch choice. But turns out even here, pairing counts. Or at least that’s the premise of this guide to “9 Champagnes That Are Perfect for Mimosas.” Mixing tips too. And if someone wants to skip the juice? Says here these sparklers are ready to step up to that job too.  F&W The Wine List

MyRecipes tests grocery store orange juices

♦♦♦  You probably want to set out hand wipes for this one. It’s Bobby Flay’s  Pecan Pie Monkey Bread. The  classic pull-apart sweet treat is smacked with the famed Flay favor punch, here taking shape as rich caramel and chopped pecans over and between a double layer of sugary, cinnamon-y homemade rolls.   Food Network via Alexa

Bobby Flay’s show on Food Network

Flay’s cookbooks

While “from scratch” is always so good, Pillsbury offers this refrigerated biscuit version . . .

“Grands™ Monkey Bread,” a caramel-y pull-apart with walnuts & raisins, shown here

♦♦♦  You just never know where you might come across a recipe, let alone one with a past – in this case giving us the opportunity to dress up our brunch table with a famous salad. The source here is Sharon Gless’ memoir, an Amazon Editors’ Pick, where among other revelations we discover that her maternal grandfather, Neil McCarthy, a high-powered entertainment attorney for top Hollywood luminaries of the times {think Howard Hughes, Lana Turner, Katherine Hepburn, Ava Gardner, et al}, had a salad named after him at the Polo Lounge, a sort of re-imagined Cobb, where it remains on the menu to this day. Heck of a conversation piece.  Amazon

For these individual servings you’ll want to dice everything extra small – also you can either layer the foods as shown on the right, or blend them, left, as is often done with Cobbs, either one then with levels of dressing. 

The Polo Lounge is in the Beverly Hills Hotel, part of the Dorchester Collection

Authentic McCarthy Salad Recipe {& some backstory} from the Dorchester website

Google offers these choices for Brown Derby’s Classic Cobb Salad recipe

“Apparently There Were Complaints” by Sharon Gless

Next week, how Gless’ maternal grandmother made her own mark in the culinary world

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♦  ♦  ♦

Appreciate anytime you can visit affiliate partners, linked below or in features above

Amazon

Click link above for Amazon homepage, Below for Echo Show, Echo Dots, Echo Studio, Especially for Kids – 

Browse Amazon Echo styles right here – all a foodster’s dream resource 

Zazzle

Click link above for Zazzle homepage, Below for CS-Designed, Zazzle-Crafted Items {direct Zazzle links on these pages}

Food Lovers T-Shirts page here on CS    Food Lover Mug page here on CS

ETC

Want to be among the first to know about new Salons?

Easy! Just put “Preview List”  in the Subject line, and email me at the link shown above for comments & questions

Looking for something in CS?

Use Search, Archives, Categories OR email me at the same link above with “CooksSalon” in the Subject line

Note

All transactions are solely between the buyer and linked supplier

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

All pages ©2022 CooksSalon.com

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March 18-March 24, 2022

New Salon every Friday – and you’re invited

C’mon in and help yourself to tasty resources

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

 Cocktail Hour Buzz 

sundowner snacks, drinks, chat, and . . .

whenever I can, related resources & goodies on Amazon

whether for a crew, or for two, or just for you

{any links under these items take you right to Amazon unless otherwise indicated – and then only ones with the lock icon}

♦♦♦  Call up the Bloody Marys, Mimosa, and/or Champagne. Because have we got a brunch dish for you. Cheesy Bacon Bread Pudding. And once you’ve cubed the bread, the rest is a breeze. Two things to note. The prep calls for 45 minutes of baking, but you’re going to want to start checking it at 35. Second, those dark elements in my pudding may look like sausage, but actually some rye bread I folded in. Though sausage would be good as would ham.  I did use extra cheese in the mix and on top.  FramedCooks

This is 9″ x 13″ of goodness that may well have leftovers and that lets me segue to sharing my favorite container storage system. I’ve had mine for years, and it’s held up beautifully – compact, easy to access, three sizes and the lids, hooray, fit all of them. Four stars, Prime eligible . . .

Kitchen Organization Carousel

Other storage container organizers

♦♦♦  Intrigue! Did you know the kitchenware in your cabinets and drawers can lead a secret life as artist’s tools, with food as the medium? But it’s all good because this is pure fun. Call up the baking rack, hand mixer, rolling pin, melon baller, slotted spoon, even a fork, and move on to the pans and bowls and, yep, even bubble wrap. The Kitchen Utensil Decorating Hacks video shows all.  Tastemade

Find more inspiring utensils right here

♦♦♦   Fried chicken that isn’t fried? Well, more specifically it’s Oven Fried Chicken. And it’s darn good, lots of flavor going on. For my treatment, I cut thick slices of skinless, boneless chicken breast – perfect for Happy Hour. I didn’t have corn flakes at the time, so crushed up the corn snack, Bugles, and that worked out just fine. This Mary Berg prep features an accompanying recipe for spicy honey slaw.  Food Network

“Mary Makes It Easy” on Food Network

Mary Berg’s cookbooks

♦♦♦  Finally, we can just about stand on tippytoes and see Spring. And Bobby Flay has a fabulous way to toast its arrival – with his Mojito Limeade. And as if that’s not already season-perfect, there’s also mint, plus club soda adding tingle, and white rum supplying the spirit. All poured over crushed ice. Cheers!  Food Network

Teacher: “When water becomes ice, what great change takes place?” Pupil: “The price” – The Old Farmer’s Almanac, Almanac.com

Bobby Flay on Food Network

Flay’s cookbooks    Flay’s DVDs

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Amazon

Click link above for Amazon homepage, Below for Echo Show, Echo Dots, Echo Studio, Especially for Kids – 

Browse Amazon Echo styles right here – all a foodster’s dream resource 

Zazzle

Click link above for Zazzle homepage, Below for CS-Designed, Zazzle-Crafted Items {direct Zazzle links on these pages}

Food Lovers T-Shirts page here on CS    Food Lover Mug page here on CS

ETC

Want to be among the first to know about new Salons?

Easy! Just put “Preview List”  in the Subject line, and email me at the link shown above for comments & questions

Looking for something in CS?

Use Search, Archives, Categories OR email me at the same link above with “CooksSalon” in the Subject line

Note

All transactions are solely between the buyer and linked supplier

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

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This week’s Cocktail Hour Buzz in CooksSalon, Feb 4-Feb 10, 2022

New Salon every Friday – and you’re invited

C’mon in and help yourself to tasty resources

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

 Cocktail Hour Buzz

sundowner snacks, drinks, chat, and . . .

whenever I can, related resources & goodies on Amazon

whether for a crew, or for two, or just for you

{links below items take you right to Amazon unless otherwise indicated}

♦♦♦  Hooray for this complete blueprint for your game day get-together. It’s from “Giada Entertains,” and though a re-run it’s timeless in terms of the festive suggestions for decorations, pompoms, mini take-home pix, serving tricks, and a Beer Bar. And of course – recipes! For bacon & blue cheese truffles, margarita wings, individual snack mixes, and football-shaped walnut cookies. Here’s “Giada’s Kickoff Party” episode in its entirety.  Food Network

There may be a tiny ad banner in the lower right corner of the screen – can just ignore it, as you’ll still see the full show

Giada’s Cookbooks    Giada’s Videos    Beer 101 on Vinepair {shows SSL}

♦♦♦  Have you seen the bags of mini bell peppers in your market? That is an easy, colorful appetizer just waiting to happen. Here we stuffed the cleaned, halved peppers with a mix of 4 oz softened block cream cheese, garlic salt, dried parsley and just enough avocado ranch to make a nice consistency, still thick enough to survive a bite without depositing the rest of the filling on the floor. Toppings were, clockwise from rightmost, smoked paprika, chopped pimento olives, green onions, chopped pepperoni, dill weed, and for a sweet touch, diced dates. The CS Kitchen

Bell Pepper Cookbooks, stuffed & more

How to grow your own bell peppers on The Gardener’s Path {shows SSL}

♦♦♦  Pink Champagne or . . . one of these “15 Best Pink Valentine’s Day Cocktails”? A nice range of flavors and true to the title, pretty creations ranging from delicate petal hues to a rosy blush. Here are some sips that will have me checking for ingredients. Blueberry mint cocktail, White hot chocolate with pink frosting, Honeyed cherry daiquiri.  Country Living

♦♦♦  Take your pick from these 50 Easy Snacks for the Big Game. Wowsie, dips, salsas, wings, nachos, poppers, bacon-wrapped tenders & smokies, cheese or veggie meatballs, bite-size pizzas & corn dogs, garlic knots, tasty veggies too. Below are some that sounded especially good. We made the crackers linked below and shown here, and it’s almost magic how the humble cracker can become a first class snack.  AllRecipes

Alabama Fire Crackers    Chicken Nachos w/Refried Beans

Greek-Inspired Snack Board

♦♦♦  Bad weather before the game? Ran out during the game? Don’t want to get out of your pjs? If you have an Amazon Echo Show, you can ask Alexa, “Which liquor stores deliver?” and then just watch the screen for the results.  Alexa

Echo Styles on Amazon

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Appreciate anytime you can visit affiliate partners, linked below or in features above

Amazon

Click link above for Amazon homepage, Below for Echo Show, Echo Dots, Echo Studio, Especially for Kids – 

Browse Amazon Echo styles right here – all a foodster’s dream resource 

Zazzle

Click link above for Zazzle homepage, Below for CS-Designed, Zazzle-Crafted Items {direct Zazzle links on these pages}

Food Lovers T-Shirts page here on CS    Food Lover Mug page here on CS

ETC

Want to be among the first to know about new Salons?

Easy! Just put “Preview List”  in the Subject line, and email me at the link shown above for comments & questions

Looking for something in CS?

Use Search, Archives, Categories OR email me at the same link above with “CooksSalon” in the Subject line

Note

All transactions are solely between the buyer and linked supplier

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

All pages ©2022 CooksSalon.com

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Cocktail Hour Buzz, Jan 14-20, 2022

New Salon every Friday – and you’re invited

C’mon in and help yourself to tasty resources

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

   Cocktail Hour Buzz   

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

  Flying high takes on a whole new meaning as the New Zealand winery Invivo launches what is being called “the worlds first winery airline,”  which will operate within the country. A chartered plane will deliver guests to destination towns where they can enjoy exploration time, an overnight stay, and a visit to origin vineyards.  From Food & Wine

  Shrimp toasts are a’comin {oops, age-busted by a song}. These traditional Asian appetizers are always just so satisfying, and now you can make them at home with a pretty easy process. A whirl in the processor with fairly familiar ingredients, a quick dip in hot oil and voila! Shrimp Toasts. The story calls them a cocktail hour staple.  From msn.com

 This quesadilla is actually an encore, originally appearing as a Feature Recipe in CS over a year ago. It’s here partly because it’s a perfect cold weather snack, which it can so easily become with smaller slices and maybe sans the egg. But mostly because it’s just so full of flavor, exactly as you’d expect from a Bobby Flay creation, loaded with bacon, hash browns, onions, peppers, cheese, salsa and chives – and deserved another time in the spotlight. From Food Network site

Flay’s cookbooks on Amazon    Flay items & other celeb chef items on our CS page

  Another round of desserts for everyone. OK, so these boozy confections were posted as holiday treats, but thinking they could make any day a holiday. Among the goodies, Mudslide Pie, Grasshopper Cheesecake, and Rum Truffles. Great for the sweet side of the snack table, many already individual servings, and the rest can be cut down to size. You should be able to scroll down on the site and see all the recipes listed rather than doing the slideshow.  From AllRecipes

  Finish off the season in tasty style with these “16 Best Snacks for Game Day.” Wowsie, 7-layer taco dip, firecracker shrimp with bleu cheese dressing, mini brioche lobster rolls, lots more. Here too, should be able to scroll to full list.  From Food & Wine

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Jan 7-Jan 13, 2022, Favorite Recipes from a Year of CS

Join us next week as we temporarily skinny down to a weekly Cocktail Hour Buzz while we explore an exciting new CooksSalon project

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

 

Deconstructed Tamales – Pulled Pork  Cheese Grit Cake   Leave it to Trisha Yearwood to turn grits into a funfest. The dish starts with fried cheesy grits cakes. Then Mexi-seasoned pulled pork. And then on with the corn salsa, sour cream, green onions and cilantro. I did use the thick and creamy grits right from the pot rather than chilling and frying. Avocados make a great accompaniment. And, any leftover pulled pork makes a mighty fine sandwich or tortilla wrap.   Recipe    Trisha Yearwood Cookbooks    From 01.15.21 Salon

          

Cherry Cream Cheese Coffeecake   The base of this cake s a buttery marvel. Add the rich cream cheese layer and the flavor bombs that are cherries, and it’s destined to be a crowd pleaser. And, yep, it’s big enough to serve a crowd too. As you can see, I used a rectangular pan instead of the springform, though. Great for breakfast of course, but add a big scoop of ice cream and it transforms right into dessert. You really do want to let it cool completely before removing it from the pan.   Recipe    From 05.14.21 Salon

Loaded Mashed Potato Cups   This is such a perfect fit with all we love here at CS and it’s easy to see why. First, mashed potatoes just on their own qualify for the comfort food hall of fame. But here they’re joined by more good stuff – bacon, chives, parm and seasonings, cheese stuffing, sour cream topping. And it’s an easy prep. Ingredients that are few, familiar, likely already at hand. No complicated techniques. And a pan probably pretty much all of us already own. And by varying its platemates it can move from breakfast/brunch to lunch to dinner. Btw, also a great opp to use up leftover mashed.   Recipe  ♦  Top potato cookbooks on Amazon  ♦  From 01.29.21 Salon

Artsy Confections   For these Tie Dye Cookies, Molly Yeh divides sugar cookie dough into three pieces, each blended with food color, then formed into “balls” that are slightly flattened and baked. The finishing touch is a sprinkling of sanding sugar. “Fessing up, I did use refrigerated dough.  Then, this Painted White Chocolate Bark comes not surprisingly from Trisha Yearwood who just excels at making food fun. The chocolate mingles with different colors of candy melting wafers, all merrily swirled together into these edible works of art.    Cookie Recipe from 02.05.21 Salon    Candy Recipe from 02.12.21 Salon  ♦  Food color on Amazon    Decorating sugar on Amazon

Loaded Vegetarian Nachos   Yes, indeedy, veggies can be tasty and fun and appetizing, here even a bit of a showpiece. In fact we vote for renaming them Fiesta Nachos because, as you can see it’s just such a celebration of colors and textures. It’s more ingredients than we usually feature but so worth it and you actually could if you want limit the toppings. And, yes, there actually are chips in there, and then all topped off sour a scoop of sour cream. One shortcut that I used was canned lentils, still stirring in though  all the seasonings.  Recipe    From 09.24.21 Salon

Oreo Cake Balls {or just cake as shown here}  Oh my. Oreo crumbs and cream cheese packed like little snow balls, quick freeze, dip in melted chocolate, refrigerate, done.  They are so, so, easy to make and that might be the bad news because, mercy, they are rich and even luxurious. And they’re fun, the round shape ready to become sports balls, funny heads, bling, and in fact star pastry chef Buddy Valastro turned them into pretty eyeballs. As an alternative, you can just pat the mixture into a pan and use the chocolate chips to make a ganache frosting, as seen here.  Like the richest ever brownie.   Recipe from 06.25.21 Salon    Redo in 08.06.21 Salon    Cake ball books on Amazon

Ham & Beef Tavern Chili   My great uncles owned taverns in the Chicago suburbs, and served cups of this chili gratis to their patrons. I don’t know the dates of operation for those establishments. The family was sort of vague about that. So, this was passed down to me by my Aunty Peggy who actually won a recipe contest with it conducted by the Chicago Tribune. I do like a bit more chili powder and a couple of tablespoons of cumin. And depending on the heat level in the chili beans, I may add some hot sauce. It’s even better with such toppings as cheddar, sour cream and a bit of green onion. Recipe    Chili cookbooks, 4 stars & up    From 02.26.21 Salon

Snacks for Dinner   This is not so much a recipe you’d cook or bake, but rather one for putting together a pretty plate. It all began when I cam across this magnetic headline :“Why Snack Dinner is the Best Thing You Can Make for Yourself Tonight”  Wow, there are some fine looking assemblies here. And in fact we were pretty much already on board with this array, shown, even though it was actually representing our cheese board featured in a previous Salon and, btw, this plateful indeed added up to to dinner.    The full article    From our 02.12.21 Salon   Cheese board story in our 01.22.21 Salon

Lasagna Bites   Yikes, these are good, and very lasagna-y even though there’s no pasta in sight. Rather, they’re made with wonton wrappers that are fitted into your muffin tin. The filling holds to tradition though with pretty much classic lasagna ingredients. It calls for ground turkey, but notes the original used ground beef, and so did I. As you can see, its versatility carries it all over the hours. A great appetizer for sure. But also, send it morningside with a poached egg, so satisfying for breakfast or brunch. Add some sides and it moves right on in for lunch or dinner.    Recipe  ♦  From 05.28.21 Salon  ♦  Italian appetizer cookbooks

Chocolate Peanut Butter No-Bake Cheesecake   Rich cheesecake goes even richer with one layer that blends in melted chocolate chips & a second one of sweetened peanut butter, each separately whirled in the food processor till silky smooth. I did add a drizzle of melted chips, also cut the prep in half and used a deep dish pie plate. FYI, Amazon offers a ready-made chocolate peanut butter cheesecake, quite showy but also quite pricey. What you might find surprising though are all the other choc/pb items on the page including even coffee.   Recipe   Chocolate peanut butter goodies on Amazon

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FN Host’s Tie Dye Cookies, Feb 5 – Feb 11, 2021 {1}

New Salon every Friday – c’mon in

CS friends, and help yourself to tasty resources

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

 Let’s chat   

Quick Bites –  Credit goes to AARP for telling us about these 10 Best Superfoods for Your Eyes Well look what Pillsbury did with its crescent rolls – transformed them into a circle of creamy, spicy goodness. Their Buffalo Chicken Crescent Ring is kind of fun too, like a tasty craft  project.    Much as we CS-ers love to cook, guessing there are days when we could welcome “What to Cook When You Are Tired of Cooking” from MyRecipes.

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Shopping Finds – Bakers, do you know about this magazine? Just received a flyer for “Bake from Scratch,” subtitled The Go-to Resource for Artisan Home Bakers, adding that it offers pro tips and visual guides. Haven’t decided yet it there’s room in my magazine rack for one more resident. In case you like to consolidate your purchases, the link takes you to Amazon and the price there is the same as on the magazine’s site.  Thinking of getting a multicooker? The folks at Cook’s Illustrated took an in-depth look at these appliances and reported the #1 pick as the 8 qt Duo-Evo Plus 9-in-1 Electric Pressure Cooker, and in 2nd place the 8-qt Express XL Stainless Steel Pressure Cooker. The links take you to Amazon – the Duo-Evo is I believe the correct one because the titles match; the second is the right one because the model numbers match. Here now is the rest of the story and a chance to sign up.

This week’s CS-written item on Amazon  How’s the diet resolution going? If you need help, you just may find it in our quick-read Kindle book loaded with ways to avoid fat traps in everyday situations and also including  a “free zone,” “The Busy Person’s Diet Guide”

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Kitchen Talk – Could this be one of the best tasting flour-free cookies ever? The miracle is that these Flourless Chocolate Chip Almond Butter Cookies from LiveWellBakeOften actually become . . . cookies! Because this is all that goes into them: almond butter, coconut sugar {or brown, which I used}, egg, vanilla, and chocolate chips.     Thinking whenever I next have a party, this would be a conversation-worthy side dish. French Onion Soup Casserole from Southern Living    Yum! Made french fries {store bought, frozen} in my new Ninja Grill and they were fabulous. I’m guessing there’s likely already a bit of oil on them but no more was needed to yield crispy exteriors, fluffy interiors. Also, the rest of the dinner wasn’t quite ready so just closed the cover back up and hallelujah they held that perfect condition.

   On the Table 

Feature – Tie Dye Cookies

Have to wonder if Molly Yeh, host of Food Network’s “Girl Meets Farm,” is a student of Trisha Yearwood because like the latter she clearly likes to play with her food. And may I offer as Exhibit A, these oh so fun tie dye cookies.

Start with sugar cookies. Divide and conquer with food coloring. Twist and shout. OK, maybe not shout, but form into a ball. Sparkles complete the festive results.

Yeh used red, blue and yellow, but this cute idea could be emerge in any number of color combos. For example, a nice red and white, maybe pink too, for Valentine’s Day.

The recipe calls for nuking the dough so it can be under-baked and still safely consumed. Note that an asterisk under the ingredients provides an alternative for♦ fully baking the cookies.

Here’s another alternative. I used refrigerated cookie dough, easily divided into 12 cookies. A keeper.

Recipe Notes: I made the colors a little more marble-y to look even more like tie dye, and did the kneading inside plastic wrap. Also, rolled some of the cookies in gold sanding sugar, others in silver, with a light touch. Btw the Pillsbury cookie dough I used said on the package it can be consumed raw

Next week – Cheesy, Bacon-Tater Tot Pie, add eggs for a tasty way to start your day

Recipe  Molly Yeh cookbooks  ♦  Girl Meets Farm

Food color on Amazon    Decorating sugar on Amazon

Have a cuppa in Alexa’s room – recipes & more

You don’t have to have an Amazon Echo Show to tap into the particular tidbits we’ve linked below, drawn from its vast culinary bounty.

Just pour a cup and let’s talk food with Alexa. We also show the actual requests for those who are Echo owners, who should also note that in many cases she guides you step by step through the recipes.

Alexa says request: How do you make giant grilled cheese kebabs? To me, one of the biggest perks of my Echo Show is discovering new food sites, sources for the recipes that pop up on the screen. In this case it’s Tastymade which does show the lock icon. The recipe looks like great fun, and you creative folks I’m sure would come up with variations. Not too surprisingly the suggested accompaniment is tomato soup. One thing, expect to need clean-up on aisle 5, aka your grill pan.

Alexa says request: How do I make white chocolate pudding? The details reveal that it’s even better than the title would tell us. An Oreo cookie layer in the bottom of the individual serving glasses, and then grated chocolate on top. In the middle of course the main event, a rich and creamy white chocolate pudding. This comes from Ree Drummond on her Food Network show. Demo too!

Alexa says request: What’s the cheese ball story? We’re familiar with a number of things that can close down roads. But cheese balls? Yep, that actually happened late last year when a truck overturned on Interstate 495 in Maryland spilling out 20,000 pounds of the snack. After two hours of cleanup of the cheesey escapees and the resulting fuel spill plus lots of rerouting, all was well . . . mostly anyway. No human injuries but it appears none of the cheese balls survived.

And this week’s unexpected thing we found that Alexa can do – play the spelling game {adult & kid versions}

Would you like your own Echo Show?

Boundless information, music, movies, tv shows, videos, health tips & news, entertainment news, national news, local news, sports news & recaps, weather, timer, alarm, reminders, shopping lists, Amazon delivery notifications, alerts, security camera connection . . .  and food, food, food, all on an interactive screen. Some connect to Amazon Prime.

You can browse all the Echo styles here on this Amazon page

   Cocktail Hour Buzz  

Sundowner snacks, drinks, talkwhether for a crew, or for two, or just for you

  CS Tasting Panel member Christine McKellar posted a plu-perfect dish for a wintry night on her Vegas Only Entertainment site. Wait till you see the layer upon layer of flavor in this Creamy Sausage Stew. And while there are lots of ingredients, fear not, just a few steps and it’s ready to go to the slow cooker {or I would guess a large pot OK too} and emerge as big bowls of goodness. 

  The same issue of Cook’s Illustrated that ran the cooker feature above offers this recommendation for spirits to stock in the basic home bar: Tequila, Vodka, Rum, Gin, Brandy, and Whiskey. Saying further, for cocktails stay with bottles in the $15-$40 range, upping the ante then for anything meant to be sipped on its own.

  Credit Ina Garten for this sexy cocktail snack. Large butterflied dates are filled with bleu cheese and wrapped with prosciutto, then warmed in the oven. Mmmmm. Here’s the whole recipe on Food Network. Btw, something Chef Garten used for a different drink but that I think could cozy up to a margarita is a rim of both salt and sugar.

   “Anyone who tells a lie has not a pure heart, and cannot make a good soup” – Beethoven 

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Click here to email your comments, questions, links to fave recipes, or?

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Dec 4, 2020, Gifts Cooks Will Love, From This Year on CS

ALL THE BEST TO OUR SALON FRIENDS THROUGHOUT THIS JOYOUS SEASON

LET’S MEET RIGHT BACK HERE ON JAN 8, 2021

WE’LL GREET THE NEW YEAR WITH “THE GREAT RECIPE ROUND-UP OF 2020”

Click the item link to go to the source page, and date link for that Salon’s recipes & resources

Check for delivery times in item listings

03.27.20  Marketplace  What fun for anyone, or anyone who loves both eating out and eating in. Todd Wilbur’s “Top Secret Recipes . . . Step by Step/Secret Formulas with Photos for Duplicating Your Favorite Famous Foods at Home” – is just that. Specifically, 125 recipes from over 60 sources – think fast food outlets, family restaurants, ethnic places, breakfast spots, steakhouses, coffee emporiums and dessert bars. The packaged goods clones include Twinkies®, Auntie Anne’s Pretzels®, Fudgsicles®, a couple of Girl Scout cookies, and more.  “Top Secret Recipes Step by Step”

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10.23.20  Cocktail Hour Buzz  While I’m guessing we probably all know some folks that can likely defy this promise, for the most part this is a very welcome prospect – wine glasses that won’t, or maybe we should say strongly resist, tipping over. They’re 12 oz and because of the design the maker says they’re “naturally aerating.” Hand blown, stemless, all in all very stylish. Prime eligible and right now at a nice discount. Set of two, by Culinex. Four and a half stars and an “Amazon’s Choice.”  “Spill-Proof Wine Glasses!”

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10.30.20  Shopping Finds  And a find it is indeed. Reese’s has taken its peanut butter a step further into the sauce realm. How many ways would you use it? Best think of lots of them because it comes in a 4.5 lb tub. I do sort f wish they’d taken a page from the candy and maybe swirled in some chocolate, but hey we can add that if we want. No disappointment indicated in the reviews, 4+ stars on Amazon, and an Amazon Choice. Btw, there’s also a topping version.  Reese’s peanut butter sauce 

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11.13.20  Shopping Finds  For anyone that uses the toaster oven on a regular basis, these pans are so handy, so welcome. I have them and just LOVE them. Four sweet little helpers that fit most ovens, with the two sheet pans and baking pan checking in at 11 x 7.75, and the baby pizza pan at 4″ also suitable for say rolls or muffins. Non-stick, 4 1/2 stars on Amazon, Prime eligible. And reasonable too! – at this writing $13.35 for the set, shows reg as $19.99. Toaster Oven Pans

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07.17.20  Featured Recipe  This book was actually linked in that Salon in conjunction with our featured recipe that week, the 3-ingredient Ice Cream Bread. But we thought just maybe some folks might be interested in making their own ice cream. And if so, how about turning to the ice cream icons. Their recipe book offers a bowlful of inventive flavors made with fruit, candy and cookies and even includes some of their “greatest hits.” Kindle and Prime Eligible paperback, 4 1/2 stars on Amazon, very reasonably priced.  Ben & Jerry’s Homemade Ice Cream & Dessert Book

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10.09.20  Shopping Finds  What cook wouldn’t like to have fresh herbs available right in the kitchen. Especially when there are a number of options that make it so easy. In addition to the seeds or seedlings, they arrive variously with pots or self watering peat pots, potting soil or potting soil disks, seedling trays, plant markers, tools, gloves, grow light, growing guide. Some it seems include just about everything but a gardener. The pot shown {clickable} comes with paints so you can decorate it however you want.  Herb Starter Kits

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11.13.20  Quick Bites  They’re becoming an ever bigger thing, and that’s how they ended up in our newsy section. These “bombs” are made with cocoa or other ingredients inside a chocolate shell that “explodes” in hot milk. What fun! You can google them to see how to make them. Or you may be able to find them in your local grocery or general merchandise store. Or you can, no surprise there, find them on Amazon. The same Amazon page also has the molds to make your own.  Hot Cocoa Bombs

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11.20.20  Salon Topper  This sturdy cup is offered as a classic design, two tone, frosted, and morphing in both 11 oz & 15 oz sizes, plus as a stein and travel mug. Any would be great when you’re in the Salon and having a “Cuppa with Alexa.” Our very own CS design, and crafted by CA-based Zazzle, it’s perfect for that unique morning group. Yep, Coffeehounds, this one’s for you. And if you’re a dog lover, it’s even more for you. Especially if you know the answer to this – “Who’s a Good Coffeehound???”

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09.25.20  Shopping Finds  Anyone who cooks a lot will welcome having {finally} enough spatulas, one of the handiest tools in the kitchen on a par with whisks and good knives. And even better, in different sizes and styles with some flat and some scooped for different tasks. Plus a food brush. And on top of it all, so pretty, so festive. Heat-resistant, non-stick silicone and dishwasher safe. Right now the set is $13.50, Prime eligible, 5 stars, and an “Amazon’s Choice.”  7-pc Spatula Set

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05.22.20  Tips for Our Times  So, in this item in the Salon we were suggesting a tasty way for cooks and other food-o-philes to spend some enjoyable time at home. And that was online food-themed crossword puzzles. But . . . that’s a little hard to give as a gift, though we still like the general idea. So, decided to see what Amazon might have to offer and we found what looks like a goodie – as the site says, ” over 50 new food themed word searches and word scrambles by puzzle master Emily Jacobs.” Food for Fun

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     Zazzle                    

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All pages ©2020 CooksSalon.com

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