Recipe Galore & More, July 23-Aug 5, 2021

New Salon every Friday – c’mon in

CS friends, and help yourself to tasty resources

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

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Kitchen Talk – So, I sent my new Ninja blender on it’s maiden voyage with homemade hummus. Love this stuff but was curious about other uses. Bon Appetit at our service with 10 Things to Do With Hummus, from burgers to casseroles to noodles. Btw, this blender is like a captured tornado. I’ve linked the whole page of them below.       I remember one time years ago when my mom was going to make hamburgers, but discovered we had only hot dogs buns. Well, she just patted that ground beef into flattened oblongs and, problem solved. Now though there’s a different way to make that matchup, even if in reverse – round hotdogs! See ’em here, where Food & Wine tells all.        I did not know what gram flour was, so thanks google for teaching me it’s chickpea flour, common in Indian cooking. If you didn’t know, yay, now you do too.

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Shopping Finds – I recently came across this really stylish herb saver {savor} from Prepara. Looked on Amazon to see if they made companion pieces too and Voila! But not just more stuff from Prepara but other makers with other items in similar cool designs. Shown are just two of the many possibilities. See the whole page here.        Last Feb we talked about a condiment that has chef and celeb enthusiasts, logo clothing, a fanzine, facebook appreciation page and a global presence. Laoganma’s Spicy Chili Crisp is amped up chili in oil that I’ve finally tried for myself. Definitely crisp, a little funky, a lot tasty – purists might cringe but I like it mixed with cream cheese, sour cream, or ranch dressing – and yes, I’d say deserving of all that adoration. {Yikes, want some right now} You can see their lineup on Amazon.

One of the items on our Chefs, Food, Cooking DVDs page – Can’t get enough of “Diners, Drive-in & Dives”? Or know someone who’s a big fan? There are seasons, seasons, seasons, of Fieri’s hit show on DVD on Amazon. You can also access links to videos of celeb chefs, top rated shows and food-themed movies on our page.

   On the Table  

Featured Recipes

Ice Cream Pie with easy caramel sauce

A cool summer treat with a favorite sweet flavor on top. But wait, there’s more. What the title doesn’t tell you is that peanut butter cups and chocolate covered peanut butter crunch bars are chunked into the ice cream. Yum! From Food Network.

Easiest Ever Biscuits

You may well have a recipe that disputes this claim. But I will say they are easy, and they may also add the possible tag of tastiest ever because they really are good. Also there are two quite interesting techniques here, one regarding the cream and the other having to do with the merger of measuring and shaping. The link takes you to a YouTube video from America’s Test Kitchen.

Pop Pop Sauce

OK, this was actually used to zip up grilled cauliflower, in a prep from Sunny Anderson on The Kitchen, and the link takes you to the full recipe. But I put the sauce in the spotlight because once you see it you’ll know immediately that this tasty blend can go a whole lot of places. Here, we actually used it as salad dressing. Note that it is quite zesty, and if you want could tame it down with less of the hot stuff or cool it down with ranch and/or sour cream. From Food Network.

Mounds Bar-like Brownies

{OK, so they didn’t use the -like, but I rather not have a lawyer visit} Did you ever want to eat a video. Mercy, in goes, along with the staples, chopped chocolate, butter, cocoa, vanilla and the three eggs for moist chewiness. Then the mid layer including butter, powdered sugar, condensed milk and shredded coconut. On top – what else – a thick layer of ganache. From Tastemade.

Creamy Cucumber Salad

Does this sound like COOL in a bowl. And the refreshment values go well beyond the title. Those cukes are joined by sweet onion, fresh dill, and fresh chives, and then for tasty tang, rice wine vinegar and sour cream. From MyRecipes.

5-ingredient slow cooker recipes

And woohoo, some call for even fewer. The tasty lineup features lots of entrees, think classic pot roast, to a couple of side dishes, a delectable lemon bar cake and even tea. Great way to keep the kitchen cool and still enjoy hearty meals that are easy on the ingredient lists. From Southern Living via Food Feed.

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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. Below are recipes recently displayed on the screen. Echo owners, also note that in many cases she guides you step by step through the prep . . .

Chicken Pot Pie Biscuits  What a boffo idea. Chicken is cooked in well seasoned broth which become gravy and joins with the chicken along with potatoes and peas to become a filling for puff pastry biscuits. Can you say, Satisfying. Video. From Tastemade.

Peanut Butter Banana French Toast Skillet  This dish is kind of like French toast meets bread pudding. And as if there weren’t already enough good stuff, what the title doesn’t tell you is there’s also a caramely vibe in the sauce – which is topped with sliced bananas and the seasoned eggy bread pieces, baked in the skillet, then cut into saucy wedges.  That’ll get ’em out of bed. From Tasty.

Diablo Diablo Diablo Burger  And in addition to the three Diablos from two sauces and a cheese, might also get a tingle from the green chilies and some zip from the nacho dip. There’s black pepper too but this point it’s wearing a wimpy sign. That dip, btw, is subject to an interesting technique that leads to a melty surprise inside the burger.  From Food Network, thanks to Sunny Anderson

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

   A recent issue of Eating Well featured Zero Proof Sips, calling them beverages that “have all the grown up flavor you’re looking for.” The article is also posted on their website with the title “The Best Non-Alcoholic Drinks You Can Buy Online, According to Our Editors.”

   Yikes, this looks good, and probably tastes even better. The title, Tomato and Bacon Flatbread, tells you where the flavor starts, but then it’s boosted by shallots, garlic, and mozzarella. Fresh greens go on top, pizza dough is on the bottom. Cut into small wedges, what a pretty addition to the snack table.

   America’s Test Kitchen’s first ever cocktail book {published in 2019}, How to Cocktail. is on a pretty darn good discount for both hardcover and kindle at Amazon. And true to test kitchen protocol it promises, “After rigorous recipe testing, we’re able to reveal not only the ideal ingredient proportions and best mixing technique for each drink” but also how to make big batches, plus your own tonic, liqueurs, vermouths, and cocktail cherries, wrapping up with a snack section.

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Easy Cheesy Bacon-Tater Tot Pie, Feb 12-Feb 18, 2021

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 – Hello, bacon lovers! And rejoice as msn/lifestyle brings us these 10 most Creative Bacon Dishes from across the country. And I know all you clever CS-ers can replicate these bacony foods and beverages right in your own kitchens.     As far as we can tell, these foodfests are still scheduled in these locales for this year. South Beach, May 20-23.  Aspen, Sept 10-12. Austin, Nov 5-7.  Food + Funny. On Feb 17 PBS/Create is teaming chef Curtis Stone and chef/comic Alex Thomopoulos for a “Moveable Feast” through Australia.

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Shopping Finds – So, we’ve already seen ice cream for dogs. But here’s what’s new – ice cream for dogs from Ben & Jerry’s    In Amazon’s Hot New Releases, and “hot” applies doubly here – Mott’s Hot Apple Cider Keurig pods.

This week’s featured CS-designed, Zazzle-crafted item  If we thought the new year would see high fives across the aisle and a bipartisan chorus of kumbaya in govs in DC and beyond . . . nope! Let’s flash this message everywhere we can.  See all 5 “Decent” items on our Eclectic Mall page.

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Kitchen Talk – Here’s one of those magnetic headlines I came across from MyRecipes. Why Snack Dinner is the Best Thing You Can Make for Yourself Tonight”  Wow, there are some fine looking assemblies here. But shown is the plate we featured from our cheese board in the 01.22.21 Salon and to the article’s point, it sure did add up to dinner.   So, had a lot of Genoa salami hanging around and decided to put it in the food processor with the other ingredients that would typically go into ham salad {including peanuts, love peanuts in ham salad}. Turned out good. But, duh, now had even more leftovers. Hmmm. After using some for sandwiches, mixed the rest with egg and bread crumbs, browned in a skillet, and then I had something I could freeze. Some has already come back out to join eggs and salad for a boffo brunch.    When you’re making chili, e.g., do you brown the meat trimmings and add veggies to make a stock? Me too. Then usually strained, defatted and made it into gravy. But recently instead added into the chili. Turned out to be a tasty idea.

   On the Table 

Feature – Cheesy Bacon-Tater Tot Pie

For being so simple, this savory treat from Food Network is a supremely satisfying dish. Tater tots, which are already somewhat seasoned, make a tasty base for an easy combo of cheddar and bacon, later joined by sauce and chives.

You know what’s a big bonus? That sauce! And as a double down, you’re likely to have some left over to kick up other preps you creative CS-ers can imagine.

One thing, looking at FN’s rendition {link below} the light color of the sauce makes me think they pulled back on the Sriracha. Depending on your heat tolerance, might want to taste as you mix.

And an egg good is so good on here. But just take a look and you can see how it’s sort of a natural playmate for these particular ingredients.

And with eggs, what a great centerpiece for brunch, especially joined by guac, tomatoes and olives. But you sure don’t have to wait for Sunday.

Recipe Notes – After the tater tots are baked, the assembled dish needs to bake for only about 5 minutes.

Substitutions if needed – Thinly sliced green onion tops can stand in nicely for chives. Also, you could certainly consider other cheeses or a combo.

Next week – Ooey Gooey Turtle Bars, starting with store-bought cookie dough

Recipe  ♦  Tater Tot cookbooks 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 I make No-churn Peppermint Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream? Oh my, with a title like that about all we need to do is add this recipe link. Maybe just note that both the peppermint and the chocolate make more than one appearance. From Food Network. Really sounds good.

Alexa says request: How do I make Mexican Cornbread Salad? This is nice, something like a 7-layer salad but as the title suggests with a decided south of the border accent. Colorful too! See it here from AllRecipes.

Alexa says request: Play the cookie dough secret video  Well, this couldn’t be easier. Chill the dough – 30 min in the fridge or 15 in the freezer. It says the fat will melt more slowly in the oven and thus help prevent overspreading. As a bonus chilled dough is easier to handle, and sturdier for cut-out cookies. Left it in too long? Just let the bowl sit on the counter until the dough softens a bit.

And this week’s unexpected thing we found that Alexa can do – play sleep and meditation sounds

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 Debbie Vinson gives five stars to a recipe she passed along for a sambal sauce to be drizzled on cod, but as she and I noted it could be equally good on other fish, maybe even chicken. I’ve since made this sauce, and btw did use it on cod, and my palate and I 100% agree with her rating – sweet and spicy, tangy and tasty. You can see it right here on parade.com.

   How fun would this be for a sweet finish to cocktail hour? A cousin to last week’s tie dye cookies but this time it’s candy all the way as once again Trisha Yearwood shows us how to play with our food. White chocolate meets pastel wafers to create bark that’s an edible work of art. Melt x 5, spread, drizzle, swirl, then chill {both you and the confection}. Done!

   A pop quiz – when are ice cubes not cubes? When they’re spheres or hexagons or sticks. Or opt for classic cube shape but tiny or HUGE. Many trays are made of silicone or other easy release material and some come with lids. All right here on this Amazon page.

   Here’s a whole bunch of stuff we love tucked into one book. It’s Susan Spungen’s new work, “Open Kitchen,” a place, her site says, to “welcome company and enjoy togetherness.” It goes on to describe her entertaining approach as a “‘get-ahead’ cooking philosophy that ensures streamlined, stress-free preparation, so you can spend more time opening your kitchen to new menus, flavors, and guests–effortlessly.” Kindle and hardcover on Amazon.

Want to join the Buzz? Enter CooksSalon in the subject line – sign the way you want to be identified

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

Find t-shirts, mugs, dvds, gift collections, plus top chef items including cookbooks

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CooksSalon is free to everybody – appreciate anytime you click through to these affiliate partners

Zazzle food-themed items             Ninja Grill on Amazon             Amazon Echo Show

                       

Looking for something in CS?

Scroll & check previews  OR use Search OR contact me at bjnosek@gmail.com, subject=CooksSalon

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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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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 

Want to join the Buzz? Enter CooksSalon in the subject line – sign the way you want to be identified

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

Find t-shirts, mugs, dvds, gift collections, plus top chef items including cookbooks

CS Marketplace Directory

♦  ♦  ♦

CooksSalon is free to everybody – appreciate anytime you click through to these affiliate partners

Zazzle food-themed items             Ninja Grill on Amazon             Amazon Echo Show

                       

Looking for something in CS?

Scroll & check previews  OR use Search OR contact me at bjnosek@gmail.com, subject=CooksSalon

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 ©2021 CooksSalon.com

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Chocolate Brownie Ice Cream Bread, Oct 30-Nov 5, 2020

New Salon every Friday – c’mon in

CS friends, and help yourself to tasty resources

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

Help end the animosity – “Make America Decent Again”

See my 7 items crafted by CA-based Zazzle, on our page Or Zazzle page

 Let’s chat   

Quick Bites –     If you’ve been familiar with WalMart over the years you know that the company has regularly increased its emphasis on food. And now their newsletters include some pretty darn good looking recipes, such as a recent one for Apple Cider Glazed Salmon with the contrasting flavors of honey and whole grain mustard.    Yikes, at least six different gremlins can make our cookies go flat, according the this story we were re-directed to from the current “Today’s Fresh Finds” post.    It’s chili season! And this is really kind of interesting, 5 Secrets to a Healthier, Heartier Chili from Clean Plates, and there’s a lot of good emphasis is on the hearty part.

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Shopping Finds – A perk of watching Fieri’s GGG show is the possibility of discovering grocery store products you didn’t know existed. Though in this case maybe you did. Did you? – it’s bacon flavored popcorn.     But did you know about this, and oh yum, yum, yum. Reese’s peanut butter sauce {on Amazon}. Truth be told, I wish it had the chocolate too, but hey we can add that if we want. No disappointment indicated in the reviews, 4+ stars. Btw, there’s also a topping version.    And then kind of mashing up those two themes, a shopper on a more recent GGG episode introduced us to peanut butter powder. How the heck would you use that? Here’s what google has to say.

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Kitchen Talk – Nachos chillin’ out. Sort of a reverse of my Mexican salad {09.04.20 Salon}, a Dorito or corn chip base topped with smashed avocado, tomato, Mex onions, black olives, jack shreds, sour cream, cilantro and hot sauce {shown}.    Did you make any of the cheese pumpkins from our 10.02.20 Salon? Leftovers? With or without the olives and green pepper, let the whole disk sink into a bowl of hot cream soup.    My new favorite Food Network host brings us the show of the same name, Delicious Miss Brown. What comes out of this kitchen hits 10 on the comfort food scale, accompanied by a generous side dish of southern hospitality. Just one recent example, a scoop of butter-caramelized onions added inside a grilled cheese sandwich {and don’t spare the cheese}.

   On the Table 

Feature – Chocolate Brownie Ice Cream Bread – just three ingredients!

Previously I’ve made this recipe with French Vanilla ice cream, and then Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough ice cream. I found the texture of those two be midway between French bread and pound cake.

This one – you could frost. It comes closest to actual cake, a nice moist chocolate cake.

It’s good as is. It would be good with frosting. It was good with cherry pie filling, a Black Forest vibe, and also nestled into a bed of caramel or just crisped in a skillet. And as with the other two, it freezes very nicely.

All in all it’s such an easy prep. Just ice cream, self-rising flour and a bit of sugar, then into a small pan, bake and done.

 Original recipe in 07.17.20 Salon

Recipe Notes – I’ve learned: 1} You don’t need to buy premium ice cream but you do want to use good quality for the best texture, 2} The baking time can vary based on the flavor you use, so you need to test each time, and 3} While the bread is very good on day one, it’s even better in the days following. One other thing, though it’s fun working with gussied up ice cream, I really liked the French vanilla one best.

Next week – Baked rigatoni with sausage, fennel and peperonata – tomatoey, creamy, cheesy

A Cuppa with Alexa – Recipes, Tips, News & 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 I make Pizza Tots? Oh yum, tots with a surprise inside. Pretty easy too, simply a matter of mixing store bought shredded hash browns with eggs and seasonings and forming small handfuls of the mixture around mozzarella and pepperoni, then freezing and frying. And voila! Pizza Tots, on the Tasty site, demo included.

Alexa says request: How do make peanut butter cake? Tasty delivers again! The actual full title is Chocolate Peanut Butter Poke Cake. Well, guess that pretty much tells us everything we need to know. Except maybe the good news that all the richness builds on the convenience of cake mix.

My request: How do you open a stubborn jar? Alexa sends us to Wikihow, and this is so cool. First are some ways to “get a grip,” then using tools to break the air seal, then a Community Q&A that addresses various tight spots, and finally a demo. By the time you reach the end, that lid shouldn’t stand a chance.

And an unexpected thing we found that Alexa can do – tell a spooky story

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, Amazon delivery notifications, alerts, security camera connection . . .  and food, food, food, all on an interactive screen {some connect to Prime}.

You can browse all the styles here on this Amazon page

   Cocktail Hour Buzz  

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

  I’ve been fascinated with Ferran Adria, motive force of the iconic El Bulli named World’s Best five times, ever since a long ago profile in Esquire. I couldn’t even begin to wrap my mind around having him attend one of our live Salons. The good news is, the fact that we have to link to this wondrous interview from Epicurious on our online get-together instead means we can all enjoy his extraordinary take on food, cooking, and life.

  I want to note that I did have the extreme pleasure of meeting his brother Albert, who needs to be acknowledged for all the behind the curtain work he did and does in the duo’s sideways-thinking, laboratory-intensive approach to what goes on the plate and how it’s to be enjoyed.

  Must love anchovies. Don’t? Move along, nothing to see here. Do? Then you’re going to love these throwback cocktail hour snacks – Anchovy Toasts, with 8 filets of the fishies minced into 4 oz gruyere, 1/2 c mayo & 4 T parm, on buttered toast, sprinkled with paprika, 5 min at 450F. From Playboy’s Host & Bar Book, originally featured in our 09.04.20 Salon on Amazon. For whatever molecularly-inspired reason {oops, some Adria sneaked in}, these go so very well with nicy, icy martinis.

  More foodie chat in the Salon. These veggie sculptures are just so cool, and really we could do many of these ourselves for our plates or platters or table. Take a veggie, take a knife, and go! Now since cyber stuff and I are not always bffs, this is likely going to be a two-step thing. When you click the link for the video the download will probably show in your lower task bar, and will say Done xxx. Just click the up arrow and then Open.

–  Note that this forwarded MP4 has been safety-checked by Avast. Our CS contributor, Patti Tripp of Las Vegas, says she would try it, but “I am the one who stuck her hand in a moving blender, so attempting this with a knife is, well, not the best or safest of ideas.”

  Be sure to see the recipe link above in the Alexa section for Pizza Tots.

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Hearty Cheese Ravioli Soup, Sept 18-Sept 24, 2020

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Quick Bites – Take a dog to lunch? Turns out quite a few restaurant chains will welcome Rover or Fifi  🐶  and maybe even sweeten the deal with water and treats. Often the pups and their moms & dads are seated outdoors which many places are now emphasizing anyway. Here are a lot of sources on google  Milk Street fans, Season 4 starts Sept 19. Now the team is going on the road, in fact around the world, where they’ll, as PBS says, “meet cooks who inspire a new style of home cooking.” In my time zone, Saturdays at noon.

♦  ♦  ♦

Shopping Finds – On a recent episode of Fieri’s GGG one of the contestants selected ginger syrup for his dish – and that was new to me so looked for at the grocery store but nope, but thank you Amazon, found it there.    I guess we had to know it would be coming – face masks with food themes! I found these on the well established Eat This Not That site but the masks they show come from various sources so you may want to do a pre-check. If you do go on those sites, maybe even more food you can “wear.”

♦  ♦  ♦

Kitchen Talk –  So far have used the ginger syrup on waffles and in tea. Much as I can’t abide ginger in baked goods, love it every other way and this joins that collection. How else might you use it? Here’s what google says.    Btw, did not waste that original caramel sauce from our 09.04.20 Salon, but instead mixed it with soba noodles, a little chicken bouillon, chicken, carrot shreds, topped with green onion & chopped peanuts. That worked.     My quest continues for a really good oven fried chicken recipe – you’ll be the first to know.

 

 On the Table

Cheese Ravioli Soup – just a big bowl of good

Such a satisfying dish, and thank you Taste of Home. Now, don’t be frightened by the long-ish ingredient list.

Step one, brown the ground beef, and then add and cook all the sauce ingredients.

Step two, cook the ravioli, combine with the sauce and heat through.

Step three, stir in parm, top with parsley. Done!

Even though I know this is a very tasty bowlful, I was curious why the recipe rated just 3 1/2 stars. Ha! we could have guessed this one – not like soup. The only other criticism was not enough ravioli for the sauce.

Commenters loved the taste and no one downgraded on this point. That’s all good in my book {bowl?}

Recipe    Taste of Home cookbooks on Amazon

Recipe Notes – I used frozen ravioli and worked fine. What else? just bring on the crusty bread.

Next week  – Peach Pecan Cobbler, a warm and satisfying fall dessert . . . or breakfast

A Cuppa with Alexa – Recipes, Tips, News & More

Visit with Alexa on Amazon Echo right here in the Salon on our own CS page. In the chat this week . . .

Philly Cheese Steak Bread – three come up but we like the one “in a box,” crispy fried chicken, a wine joke {alert – groaner!}

Visit here with Alexa

Cocktail Hour Buzz 

And as we say belowwhether for a crew, or for two, or just for you

  Jello takes its place among the very best party centerpieces. Whaaaaat? It’s true and to believe it you really have to see these jello cakes on the Food & Wine site and also recently featured in the magazine. High art worthy of a museum, and edible too. But don’t know who could bear to bite into these beauties.

♦  Love leftover makeovers! “My favorite way to use leftover mashed potatoes. Plop the potatoes in the middle of saran wrap. Using the wrap, roll into a 3″ log and seal. Refrigerate on a plate (it will leak). In the morning, slice into discs and fry in a sprayed pan for perfect hash browns.” – Bob & Colleen

This is probably more entertainment than research, but even so you might want to take a look at this brief video {X-rated for implied language} posted by Food & Wine. “Here’s What Bartenders Think of You Based on Your Drink Order.” I was watched it, was amused, then invoked that same implied language – OK, good, now just make my {darn} cocktail.

♦  “Never serve oysters in a month that has no paycheck in it.” – P J O’Rourke

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Turkish Eggs – a flavor blast, July 24-July 30, 2020

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

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Oh my goodness, this is good 

Thank you AllRecipes! These Turkish Eggs send waves of flavor over breakfast, brunch, any time you want to turn poached eggs into a wonderfully satisfying meal.

Luckily, despite its exotic vibe, other than maybe the aleppo pepper, probably everything else is already in your household. What isn’t, likely has a ready substitute {see below}.

I used chili pepper flakes instead of aleppo but note that the latter is way milder and so best not to use the same amount of any dried hot pepper. Just taste as you go.

Also, I pretty much combined the latter two items in a single butter sauce that I used under and over the eggs. And though I’m a big fan of jalapenos didn’t want “pieces” in an otherwise fine textured sauce. Did add a bit more cayenne to compensate.

Served this with crisped flour tortillas which also made great scoopers. One thing to note: once you break into the eggs and start that scooping, the changed look can be interpreted two ways. A mess on a plate. Or, a culinary work of abstract art on a crockery canvas. Your choice.

Substitutions if needed: dillweed to taste instead of fresh, dried parsley to taste instead of fresh, peppers as above or chili powder in place of aleppo.

Next week: Cobb Salads go ethnic

Turkish Eggs recipe    Aleppo pepper on Amazon

  FOOD TIPS FOR THE TIMES  

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

♦  If you have Prime Video, a treat awaits called Food Safari. As they say, it “takes you on a culinary journey across Australia.” Host Maeva O’Meara’s eclectic tastes take us right to the stoves of professional chefs and passionate home cooks from one end of the continent to the other and maybe most surprising, deep inside the diversity of cuisine found here.

♦  Like to bake? Take some enjoyable time to wander through the site called What’s Baking, Babycakes. When you see that one of host Jennfer Gilbert’s baking tabs is “Candy Bar,” you can pretty well jump to the conclusion that decadence is a predominant ingredient here. Some of the recipes featured when I tuned in: Milky Way Cupcakes with Dulce de Leche Icing, Boston Cream Pie Popsicles, Chocolate Nutella Toffee Cake. Aiyyyyyy.

♦  Use up your boxed pasta. Use up your summer veggies. End up with one of these “10 Healthy Pasta Recipes for Summer.” Thank you Clean Plates.

♦  A bit of whimsy, that starts with, Is your dishwasher running? OK, close your eyes, take a deep breath, relax. And with a little {OK, a lot of} imagination you can mentally transport yourself to an oceanside resort. Take your escapes wherever you can.

Send a message to both sides of the aisle in DC & beyond with Tees, Sweats, Hoodies, Mugs, Hats, Buttons – nice styles & colors

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Ice Cream Bread, 3 ingredients, July 17-July 23, 2020

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

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Is this too good to be true – No!

Whaaaaaat? The unique flavor of ice cream right in your bread?

Yes! And you make it with just three ingredients.

The recipe calls for butter pecan, which I sure do like, but I made mine with vanilla bean. It would seem you could use any flavor, and if I do try another one will let you know right here.

So, how does it taste? Good! Sweeter than bread, less sweet than cake, with a texture kind of between French bread and pound cake.

And it’s fine just plain. But like culinary icon MFK Fisher, I’ve long been a fan of bread and chocolate and this is a natural for that pairing, here using our own chocolate sauce.

Also good with preserves. Or just toasted with butter, though keep watch because of the sugar content – I actually browned it in a skillet.

Want to make your own ice cream? There’s a Ben & Jerry’s recipe book with inventive flavors made with fruit, candy and cookies and even some of their “greatest hits.”

Recipe notes: This makes a very compact loaf so you want to be sure you have a small enough baking pan. The one I used was wider and shorter than specified and so baked in about 20 min. If it tests done and the sides have pulled away but it still seems a little moist on the bottom when you remove it from the pan, just cool it on the rack upside down.

Next weekTurkish eggs, breakfast with a kick

Recipe    Ben & Jerry’s Recipe Book

♦  FOOD TIPS FOR THE TIMES  

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

  Staying in Saturday afternoons? Something I’ve discovered at 3pm {PT} on ABC is RecipeTV. As the site says, the series takes us across America and beyond, “bringing together some of the world’s greatest culinary artists, superb restaurants, and unique recipes that satisfy the inner chef in all of us.” They have a button to check your local listings.

  Need to use up some fruit? A great way to do just that and at the same time show off your artistic skills: fruit pizzas. Just layer different colors of fruit and jam on a baked pizza crust spread with soft cream cheese and voila! a work of art. And so pretty!

  So, it’s hard to find much that’s good coming out of this pandemic, but maybe there is one thing. And that is a new view of our groceries and other household goods. Better storage so food doesn’t go bad and more vigilance so it’s used up before it goes bad, because even now we can’t always be sure replacements are available, or that the replacements we prefer are available. And the net result is less waste, more conservation of our personal resources.

  And that can extend beyond the kitchen. While that’s seriously all to the good, there can also be a lighter take. Saw this online about the bathroom and I promise it’s not gross: “I used to spin the bath tissue like a wheel of fortune and now I turn it like I’m cracking a safe.”

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

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

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Award winner 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Next week: Shrimp turns pasta “Fra Diavolo

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

  FOOD TIPS FOR THE TIMES  

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Honey Roasted Carrots, June 12-June 18, 2020

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

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This pretty much turns carrots into candy 

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

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

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

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

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

Recipe    “Eat This Not That” cookbooks

Next week Bacon Peanut Butter Corn Muffins

  FOOD TIPS FOR THE TIMES  

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

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Raise your hand

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

And we don’t have to stop there.

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

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

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

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

Next week – Chicken Pepperoni Parmesan

Deen’s donut recipe    AllRecipes jelly donuts

  FOOD TIPS FOR THE TIMES  

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

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

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

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

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

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All transactions are solely between the buyer and linked supplier

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

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

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