{It’s a secret} tasty toast, for Jan 18-24, 2019


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

  TIDBITS – awesome eye of round / a sheet of cookies / some human food = good doggie treats    CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT – bye bye pounds    FEATURED RECIPE – wait till you see    TIP – ham, let us count the ways    THE WEEK – chicken tenders “cordon bleu” / easy Mex salad / Mother Sauce book t.c.

Misty’s History    Misty’s Gallery


Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

  In case you didn’t see this on Food Network – a beautiful eye of round prepped by Jeff Mauro on The Kitchen. I love this cut of meat, but his version including a savory dry rub looks like it would take it to a whole new level and can’t wait to try it. Here’s the recipe in case you would like to give it a go too. The page also has a demo.

  The sheet pan moves into the cookie realm. In this case, sugar cookies. The beauty of this kind of cookie is while it’s great tasting on its own, it’s also a blank canvas for all kinds of flavors and decorations. And the beauty of this method is that you can skip a whole bunch of steps. Thanks Food 52!

  Who’s a good boy! Or girl! And who wants a treat??? {Btw, I just love that commercial where the guy says to his dog, Do you want to eat, Do you want to eat, over and over – and finally the dog says, Tomorrow night let’s just assume I want to eat!!!} So, Southern Living knows our four footed good boys and girls like treats and has compiled a list of people food that dogs can not only have but that they say is actually good for them. Also some no-no’s.


OH ! OH !

Have extra holiday pounds now overstaying their welcome? Help is here!

My very own Dieter’s Survival Guide series gives you ways to deal with all those everyday situations that try to add more pounds or keep you from shedding the ones you want gone. Some quite tasty.

There is a full-story version but these days most folks prefer quicker access and that’s available in the “The Busy Person’s Diet Guide,” including all the information of the original but in fast-read form.

You can see the full series, available on Amazon, in our CS Marketplace, .99-$2.99.

CS Marketplace


Did you resolve to buff up your cooking game?

Well hooray, here you go. Ina Garten just may have given us the book we’ve all been waiting for.Cook Like a Pro: Recipes and Tips for Home Cooks

Pro results for  the full spectrum of “am” cooks, from gourmet level to “Is this one the frying pan?” Here you’ll find how to taste, season, plate, arrange a bar, measure, test for doneness, cut, bake, prep, make stock, time, substitute – like a pro.

And . . . pro results without complex recipes. So, about our Feature. If I had ‘fessed up in the headline that these are cauliflower toasts, would you have clicked past so fast your screen would have spun??? But just look at these . . . in addition to the title veggie there’s prosciutto, three kinds of cheese, chives, seasonings and a touch of spice. Pretty easy too. Thanks “Barefoot Contessa.”

Recipe    “Cook Like a Pro”    Ina’s other cookbooks

CS page of cooking substitutions on this site


Still have leftover holiday ham in the freezer?

You probably already know some tasty ways to use it up. But, just in case you would like a few more ideas, here’s Tasting Table at your service with a trio of dishes that can take that porky delight into whole new realms. All pretty easy too.

Transforming ham leftovers


Where we talk cooking and other salon-y subjects

  Well this was darn good. And, cheers, it starts with store bought chicken tenders. Here’s what I did – melted butter in a skillet over med-lo heat, split the tenders length wise and placed cut side down in the hot butter for just about a minute, then turned over and topped each pair with two slices of Swiss and two slices folded in half of thinly sliced ham. Covered just until cheese had melted enough to hang onto the ham, then flipped over, covered again till all heated through. Poured the butter over the servings.

  In addition to the restaurant clone Mexican salad we talked about in last week’s salon, there’s another I like to make that’s pretty darn good. In fact at one get-together after four of us had seconds, one of the guests went and picked up the platter and proceeded to finish it off by herself – didn’t ask if anyone else wanted more because I think she didn’t want to risk the answer.

  So, it’s sliced avocados drizzled with ranch {could substitute stirred sour cream}, topped with chopped red pepper, green onion and black olives black sliced olives.

  Years ago I clipped a recipe for a potato casserole and not only has it been a go-to dish ever since, but in more recent times I’ve started using a version of the sauce – now called my own personal Mother Sauce – for other preps. Later this year I’m going to round up all these tasty dishes into a Kindle book. I hope you’ll like it.

BJN’s Eclectic Offerings Page

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

So far next week: wine cooler guide, salad as finger food, my version of butternut squash sauce, speedy mac & cheese

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



10 Favorite CS Recipes from 2018, Jan 4-10, 2019

From celeb chefs, awesome cookbooks, foodie newsletters, food boards

{some links take you directly to the recipe, others to the relevant salon}

In no particular order – we love them all!

Giada’s Raspberry-Cherry Chocolate “Pop” Tarts recipe

For an extra kick, she uses pop rocks as part of the filling! More happy news – the sweet treat is made almost entirely of ganache, easy ganache, the topper adds a festive splash of color, and they’re already individual servings – no carving required.

Charlie Palmers Acorn Squash with Vegetable Chili

Craving something hearty and warming? One chef that sure can make good on that kind of promise is big guy Charlie Palmer, a celeb chef whose repertoire ranges from high style to downright down-home. Here, he combines two winter faves, a sweet and tender squash serving as a receptacle for a gently spiced garden-full chili. Though of course you are welcome to turn up the heat with more cayenne or other incendiary ingredients. A tasty dish for the family, a showy dish for guests.

Forget those stingy little individual chocolate lava cakes. Go big or  . . . no, just go big. And this panful is just the way to do it. Thanks to this boffo foodie newsletter for an easy and rewarding way to send the sweet tooth into decadent overload. Also called a Brownie Pudding Cake, every spoonful delivers a generous eruption of melty chocolate. Grab a big utensil, tell everyone else to stand clear, and have at it.

Franklin BBQ’s Cole Slaw

This was one of our most accessed recipes all year. It’s from the book “Franklin Barbecue,” a master course in q – with chapters on the smoker, wood, fire, smoke, and most of all the meat – and a few recipes from one of the top pitmasters in the U.S, Aaron Franklin of Franklin Barbecue in Austin, also known for his PBS show.

Valerie Bertinelli’s Breakfast Biscuit Sammies

This is like a whole array of flavorful cravings all in one dish, a Bertinelli signature by the way, and a great way to start the day. It’s from her cookbook, “Valerie’s Home Cooking,” featuring personal notes that intro each section and each recipe. This particular prep combines sausage, cheese, maple syrup, hot sauce, eggs, cheese, and bacon, some in the baking mix, some sandwiched between the halves of the homemade biscuits.

Ree Drummond’s Cap’n Crunch Chicken Strips

Ree Drummond’s “Come and Get It” cookbook has to be one of the most helpful ever because for every single recipe she shows step by steps with photos. This simple and satisfying dish from the book is also shown on her site and that’s what we’ve linked. And guess what – it also shows the step the step process too, even though this is an extremely easy prep.

Martha Stewart’s Chocolate Crusted Cheesecake with Raspberries

You know when she’s in the kitchen, a polished result will be coming out of the kitchen and this elegant dessert is no exception. A buttery chocolate wafer crush, rich cream cheese/whipped cream filling, and pureed raspberry topping = mmm mmm. And, yay, all no bake! A real show stopper! And in addition to a link for the printed recipe, the page also includes a demo so you can see her at work.

Les Kincaid’s Perfect Prime Rib

Image result for prime rib picturesWorking with an expensive cut of meat can be quite scary, but you can cook a prime rib with confidence, thanks to this detailed recipe from chef/cookbook author/cooking instructor/syndicated wine show radio host Les Kincaid. Even better, he also shares a jus prep and extra cooking tips. {Science of Cooking picture}

Eggs Rockefeller from the Egg Board

And who would know eggs better??? In this clever take on the oyster dish, these beautifully poached eggs sit atop a rich mix of bacon, spinach, heavy cream, parm, a touch of spirits if you wish and more, right down to the bread crumb topping. And may I add one thing – I’d replace that fork with a spoon to scoop up every last bit of goodness.

No-bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars {go to 11.09.18}

This is from the ever so helpful “What Can I Bring?” cookbook, filled cover to cover with satisfying dishes that are for the most part make-ahead, multiple-serving, and fairly easy to transport. It features the made-in-heaven pairing of chocolate and peanut butter, and wait till you see an additional flavorful ingredient – two choices actually, theirs and mine. Either would be good, mine was a matter of what was handy.

Next week so far: Appetizers, Mexican salad, butternut squash pasta sauce


Ree’s Easy Rich Caramel Brownies, for Nov 30-Dec 6, 2018


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

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

Misty’s History    Misty’s Gallery


Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks

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

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

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


Oh these cookbooks are such fun

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

All Six Sisters cookbooks

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

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


Chef-crafted rich brownies with caramel – easy caramel!

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

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

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

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


Well this makes it a Well Done/My Recipes trifecta

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

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

Good gravy


Please join  me in my kitchen &  parlor

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

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

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

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

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

Emeril’s Italian sausage stuffed turkey breast, for Nov 16-22, 2018


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

  TIDBITS – Save your food / overcook your broccoli / wash your cocktails     CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT – hello, egg lovers / reader-wear   FEATURED RECIPE – Emeril’s easy, showy turkey {M – gimme, gimme gimme!}    TIP – pide party    THE WEEK – then watch out for vampires / upsized nachos / food show trove

Misty’s History    Misty’s Gallery


Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

  Save it for another day. Your food that is.  And it will all last longer if we follow these tips to avoid the “12 Storage Mistakes That are Spoiling Your Leftovers” And even better it adds “How to Fix Them.”

  Kudos to writers who craft headlines that all but grab you by the hand and tug you into the story. Like: “Go ahead, please cook the daylights out of your broccoli.” While that may go against all your instincts, it fact this is a recipe for soup {with cheese too, may have used more 😉, and nothing wrong with also “on”} and says the prolonged cooking is the key to its “sweet, nutty, vegetable flavor.”

  Washed any cocktails lately. Appears this is a new thing but quickly finding its way across the country. The reality doesn’t quite match the term, but this basically involves adding a savory element mainly via fat. Forbes gives a number of examples and if you scroll down to the one called Pork Chops and Applesauce you’ll get some idea of the technique. Sounds rather intriguing, and the adventurous just may want to try this at home {or not}.


OK, who wants eggs?

A chorus of I do I do I do, etc? No problem with this “Rapid Egg Cooker,” No 2 best seller in Kitchen and Dining on Amazon. Looks good too!

I’m going to order one of these for myself just to see how the heck it does scrambled and omelets. That middle picture might offer a clue. It also of course makes hard cooked, soft cooked and poached.

It certainly would be a nice gift for any egg lover. But how handy would this guy be for any morning, but especially Sundays and holidays. And if you’re like this too, eggs aren’t just for breakfast any more.

Also in white and yellow. It’s rated 4 1/2 stars with hundreds of reviews. Starts at $14.99.

  Rapid Egg Cooker    Amazon’s Top 100 Best Sellers in Kitchen & Dining

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

 Extra for Book Lovers . . . who have book lovers on their gift list. This t-shirt sort of says it all.“Reading Reading Reading / everything else” This one is my design, but if you click the Marketplace link just above and scroll down to the Book Lovers section, you can also connect to other shirts for readers/writers, and other nice items for readers including gift cards.


Emeril’s turkey breast with savory sausage stuffing

This is so perfect for anyone who doesn’t want to prep a whole turkey – easier to carve too! Plus, it’s quite a showy dish, a great centerpiece for whatever else completes the table.

Best of all, you know it’s going to be a mouthful of flavor thanks to Emeril’s lively take on ingredients. That comes into play in the stuffing, a delectable mix of Italian sausage, sourdough bread, aromatics, apple, chestnuts, goat cheese and seasonings galore.

If you click the second link below you’ll arrive on a page with the chef’s other Thanksgiving entrees. As well there’s a box of links there for his other course dishes. Bon appetit!

Recipe    Other Emeril dishes    Emeril’s cookbooks    Emeril’s merchandise


How about for your next pizza party . . . you don’t make pizza???

And instead, make pide. Or to fold in the pronunciation, instead of pea-zuh, pea-duh. One distinct difference is that it’s brushed with butter instead of tomato sauce, but otherwise many similarities.

So, this interesting dish with Turkish origins starts with a nice dough that gets patted into a long oval, and then topped with – whatever you like – but often meat, cheese, veggies, and sometime an egg too. The edges are then folded in to create a kind of edible canoe.

Can’t quite picture the process? No problem, we’ve got the demo by an Australian chef. And as well, a yahoo page of other tasty information and recipes.

Pide demo    All about pide


Please join  me in my kitchen &  parlor

♦  Well you just never know where you’re going to encounter a food tip. In the current issue of “Smithsonian,” a reader asks how garlic can manage to, let  me say, “perfume” not only your breath but as well your skin and perspiration. The answer has to do with a chemical that isn’t digested and thus passes into the bloodstream. But here’s where the tip comes in – you can neutralize garlic breath with apples. lemons, parsley, spinach or mint. For the skin – “wash with salt and lemon or a dab of toothpaste, or rub your hands across a stainless steel utensil under running water.”

  How do you like your tacos? I favor the soft, rolled kind, usually flour tortillas for beef or shrimp, corn for pork or chicken. But some folks like the crunchy kind so I have those available for get-togethers. Then, though, what about the leftovers? They can certainly be used for an occasional crunchy taco, or crumbled for regular nachos.

  Or . . . as I recently did, split in half for nice big individual nachos. These are topped with cheese {twice}, tomatoes, black olives, and serranos. By the way, those center pieces that you want to remove so they are mostly flat – those are for while-you’re-cooking snacks.

  If you haven’t already discovered this treasure trove, don’t let it take you as long as it’s taken me. Talking about the secondary PBS channel “Create,” PBSCR in the tv listings. I actually have seen a program or two on this network but just this week delved into the schedule and oh my goodness, shows on regional cuisine, ethnic preps, cooking techniques, celeb features, and more. True to its name other creative arts are represented as well. Time slots for your area might be different, but if you want to click on the link here at least you can see if there’s something you want to track down.

So far next week: Ladies of the Night pasta, skewer-mania, your patriotic bar, Sanchez on the soapbox, BJN on the soapbox

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


Double Layer Cheesecake Bars, for Oct 26-Nov 1, 2018


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

  TIDBITS – new nutrition site / best chicken preps {MI’ll take one of each  please/ storage tips for leftovers    CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT – chocolate on your shirt / funny doggies on your shirt    FEATURED RECIPE – delectable layers of vanilla & chocolate cheesecake on yellow cake    TIP – besta pasta    THE WEEK – a totally soup-ed up week including an oh-oh video {Mthe words are no worse than I say with my eyes}

Misty’s History  ♦  Misty’s Gallery


Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

  Healthy help. The Center for Nutrition Studies has a new website with new features and recipes too. It focuses on a plant-based life but looks to me like it could be equally  helpful for anyone who just wants some perspective for the veggie side of their palate.

  Chicken! Such a tasty blank canvas, so many ways to prep. How to choose? This might help. Food 52 tops its current newsletter with their “10 Most Popular Chicken Recipes Of All Time.”

  Meanwhile, “Well Done”  helps us minimize waste with some smart tips on avoiding mistakes when storing leftovers.


Chocolate on your shirt . . . in a good way

I sort of love the new commercials for Reese’s peanut butter cups with the tag line “Not sorry.” It captures the pleasure/guilt dichotomy of chocolate – and then in just two words blasts away the latter.

So if you’re a chocoholic, don’t hide it. Shout it.

Or let my shirt do it for you, with not only the bold words, but also chocolates right inside the letters. Other colors, many sizes.

“CHOCOLATE/CHOCOLATE/CHOCOLATE – everything else” Priorities, my friends.

Crafted by Michigan company SunFrog

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

Extra for Dog Lovers – if that’s you, you might want to add another kind of shirt too. This roundup features dog centric tees with funny sayings. Funny dog shirts for humans


Cheesecake AND chocolate – BOTH!

OK, you’ve been warned: “Taste of Home” can make you buy more notebooks, cabinets or bytes . It’s one of the few sources, whether the hard copy mag or the online newsletter, where I want to make just about everything they show and tell, and accordingly my recipe files runneth over.

And this look-out-teeth dessert is no exception – Double Layer Cheesecake Bars. As the descrip says, “Can’t choose between chocolate or vanilla cheesecake? Have both when you make this bar recipe with two distinct layers.”

Something interesting in this recipe is the addition of a dry ingredient to a creamy layer. I had not see anything like this until recently and now twice – here and also the chocolate peanut butter bars mentioned in last week’s salon and coming Nov 9 as our Featured Recipe. One note – I used Butter Cake for the base.

Recipe    Taste of Home    Taste of Home cookbooks  


Pasta, we gotcha

So an old yellowed clipping – maybe from the Tribune in my Chicago days? – excavated from my food file, yields some quite helpful tips about the noodle.

How much to cook? So for 4 oz: for small pasta, about 1 c uncooked, 2 1/2 c cooked, 2-3 servings . . . for med size pasta, 3 c uncooked, 3 c cooked, 3 servings {this seems odd, but so it says} . . . for long pasta, 1″ in diameter, 2 c cooked, 2 servings {may want to re-calculate servings to personal appetite}.

Cooking: for 4-8 oz pasta, 3 quarts water, 1 t oil, 1/4 t salt, bring water to full rolling boil before adding noodles, add a little at a time so the water keeps boiling, simmer uncovered until done.

Done? Bite into it – the outside should be tender with a little firmness on the inside, in other words, al dente. Drain, rinsing only if destined for a cold dish. If you need to keep it hot, place the strainer of drained pasta over a pan of boiling water.

We don’t-waste-food-ers like this: Any leftover noodles can be frozen. Reheat for 1 min in boiling water. {Pasta image by Stilfehler}


Please join  me in my kitchen &  parlor

  Oh-Oh! There’s a video in the article cited below that I actually watched after reading the story. But I’m mentioning it first because it could be offensive to some folks. It’s a compilation of food videos that ranked on social media, and with one exception they’re pretty good. The oh-oh comes in with the narrator who uses, ummm, quite colorful language, but on the plus side he’s also rather funny.

  Are you like this too? I prefer some foods in fairly pure form – e.g., guacamole, deviled eggs, hummus – while others I think benefit from some added pizzazz. We already talked about this for salads and oatmeal. Now I found this gussy article from “Bon Appett” about soup toppers. Soup toppers! What a good and versatile idea. Here’s my take, starting with pasta in a creamy chicken broth.

  A couple of things I discovered about using soup toppers. First you want either feather light toppings or dense soup so that your pretty display doesn’t sink to the bottom. Also, heat any that you can so as little of the stuff as possible cools off the soup too much – for the one I did that you see here, I heated the shrimp and the olives and the peanuts in a skillet over low heat – I also had let the avocado, green onion, and cilantro sit out for a while at room temp.

So far next week: rim glasses like a pro, festive chill for bottles, scraps on tv, celeb bowl, bowl tips

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


Martha’s slow cooker carne guisada {that means gravy!}, for Oct 12-18, 2018


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

  TIDBITS – best ever one-pots / eat well & do good / awesomeness for your 9×13’s    CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT– best cookers / pet warmers {M – let the dogs have ’em, I never go outside}    FEATURED RECIPE – boffo tacos    TIP – José plays, you drink  ♦  THE WEEK – chop chop / yum to come / “genius” tips

Misty’s History    Misty’s Gallery


Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

♦  Stew season! The folks at Food & Wine have culled through decades of recipes from their pages to bring us “Best Recipes Ever: Stews and One-Pot Dishes.” The lineup features downhome favorites, regional preps and ethnic specialties, all rich and hearty.

  Need a break from the kitchen now and then? Or maybe on vacation? If so, and one of José Andrés’ restaurants is in the area, maybe consider making this your destination one night. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting this Beard-winning, Michelin-starred chef, notable for his world class tasting menus, and can confirm he has a larger than life personality – but we now know he also has a larger than life heart. Andrés organized kitchens that served 3.6 million meals to storm-ravaged Puerto Rico and to date more than 80,000 meals in the Florence-bashed Carolinas.

  Move over sheet pans, and make room for your 9×13 cousins. Taste of Home is showing a dozen preps, and woohoo all are contest winners. One I found interesting is for monkey bread, single layer instead of the usual bundt style {and the grand prize winner}. And one you can bet I’ll be trying, and sharing, is the double layer cheesecake bars.


Stew all day – dinner, not you

One of the things I love about Amazon is that whatever you’re looking for it’s likely you’re going to find lots of choices. What keeps it from becoming confusing is that you can zeroElite Platinum Maxi-Matic Quart Stainless Steel Slow Cooker in on your preferences with the options listed in the left side menu.

While for all of you, my friends, that is of course a personal decision, Cadet Crock-Pot SCCPVL600S Cook' N Carry 6-Quart Oval Manual Portable Slow Cooker, Stainless Steelthere’s a particular selection I like to make when featuring something here in CooksSalon. And that is, what are the top offerings. So pretty much any time I’m showing such items, beyond a Electric Rice Cooker Food Steamer - Small 5 Cup (Uncooked) Mini Rice Maker Steamer for Grains and Hot Cereal with One Touch Control and Automatic Keep Warm Functionspecific product you’ll also see a link to best seller, best rated, or both.

Inspired by the stew recipes noted in this week’s Tidbits, thought we could take a look at slow cookers in that regard. Nice, many of them are prime eligible.

Best selling slow cookers    Best rated slow cookers

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

Extra for Dog Lovers – here comes cold weather, time to get out the warm coats for you and the puppydogs. Don’t have any for the four-pawed ones? Browse right here with these direct links to Amazon or Zazzle.


Tacos from the slow cooker – yep!

So, thanks to a bunch of Yelp-ers, I learned the difference between carne asada and carne guisada. The former grills the meat and the latter simmers it in a savory gravy.

Onions, garlic, tomatoes, peppers, broth and seasonings are all in the mix. And then the slow cookers infuses all those flavors into browned cubes of beef chuck or bottom round.

Even better, the prep comes from the kitchen guru Martha Stewart. See more of her slow cooker recipes in the link below, and a lot more in her dedicated cookbook.

Recipe    39 more slow cooker recipes from Martha

Her slow cooker cookbook    Her other cookbooks


Sipping the Andrés way

José Andrés plays with his food. His website has a page of videos showing exactly that and while all are quite fascinating and fun to watch, most are not really for the home cook, calling into service, e.g., sous vide, sheets of ice, flamethrowers, exotic ingredients, or complex steps.

But at least one of them does fall reasonably within the home kitchen realm. It’s a drink for two and quite appealing both in appearance and probable taste. How about though if both of the people at those straws pledge no driving afterward.

Just for your amusement, may want to check out some of his other videos.

Señor y Señora Sandí-Tiki Cocktail demo    Andres’ page of videos


Please join  me in my kitchen &  parlor

  Do you have one of those small choppers, either hand crank or electric? Why did I have to see someone else do this to realize how perfect it is for mincing garlic and ginger, both otherwise a bit of a pain in the patootie. Works great!

  In the process of browsing Jose Andrés’ site, found so many recipes I’d like to  try. I think the first one is going to be something he says is inspired by a kimchi bowl he serves at his Beefsteak restaurant – but actually the kimchi is a topping and as such I’d call optional {a good thing, not a fan} – everything else comes together so flavorfully, may well be an upcoming Featured Recipe.

  And the beat goes on. Here, BuzzFeed shares some “genius” slow cooker tips, for meats, chili, dumplings, bread pudding, mac & cheese and more. All from notable chefs, each has a brief explanation and then a link for more information.

So far next week: ice cream for breakfast, potato chips for breakfast, sweet potatoes for a crowd, smokin’ bagels {literally!}

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


Eggs Rockefeller, for Sept 28-Oct 4, 2018


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

  TIDBITS –  Octoberfests everywhere /  16 classics for beginners {and us?} / save your herbs    CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT – Save, save, save / wow of a book     FEATURED RECIPE – Eggs Rockefeller {M – baaaaacon}, other poachie preps, eggy cookbooks    TIP  – how to make those poachies for a crowd     THE WEEK – cereal upgrade / save the pizza / posset ahead

Misty’s History    Misty’s Gallery


Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

  Some are this very weekend! What? OctoberFests, all over the country. They often sell fresh from the farm produce and products, hand out recipes, stage demos, and generally just offer a wagonload of fun. Find them in, e.g., Tulsa, Denver, Nashville, Providence, Milwaukee, New Ulm MN, and more. Check out the rundown here in the TravelPulse newsletter.

  Even the most experienced cook won’t necessarily excel at all the basics. So although this story in the Food & Wine online newsletter is titled “16 French Recipes Every Beginner Cook Should Master,” lots of us can benefit from these preps – among them, beef burgundy, roast chicken with herb jus, raspberry clafoutis, {Jacques Pepin’s} cheese toasts, crepes with creamy caramel {or skip the crepe part!}.

  UNE’s Food and Nutrition newsletter spotlights the unfortunate belief that “More than many other kitchen ingredients, herbs seem to become food waste.” The report, which covers both fresh and dried herbs, provides guidance on storage that extends their life.


Did you know about these warehouse deals at Amazon?

And while the deals are available in many categories, our special interest is what can go Electric Kettle Water Heater with SpeedBoil Tech, Glass Tea, Coffee Pot 1.8 Liter Cordless with LED Light, Borosilicate Glass BPA-Free with Auto Shut-Off and Boil-Dry Protectionright into the kitchen. Once there on the page, specific categories can be selected – kitchen & dining, event & party supplies, storage & NutriBullet NBR-1201 12-Piece High-Speed Blender/Mixer System, Grayorganization, lots more.

If you click furniture in the left hand column, you can then go the next step to furniture for kitchen and dining. Other search refinements are available too: rating, brand, color, price.

Rubbermaid Brilliance Food Storage Container, 14-Piece Set 1977447Examples shown: Electric Kettle Water Heater, Nutri Bullet 12-Piece, Rubbermaid Brilliance 14-Piece Food Storage Container Set.

All are Amazon best sellers and Rubbermaid’s Brilliance line recently received top billing in a food newsletter’s report on storage containers.

Home & Kitchen Warehouse Deals    All Warehouse Deals

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

Extra for Book Lovers – Don’t let being pro or con the co-author keep you from this mercilessly gripping political thriller. It pulls you in early on, ensnares you with taunting mini-revelations, and will not let you go. The book understandably gives you an inside look and in the process smacks down both sides of the aisle and the media too. By James Patterson and Bill Clinton: “The President is Missing”


Make those “poachies” {see below} sing!

I pretty much always have a taste for eggs anyway, but thanks to this week’s Tip the current craving is for preps calling for poached. So what better source than the Egg Board for some tasty recipe ideas.

And they sure didn’t disappoint. The one we’ve featured here is a take on oysters Rockefeller and that means a rich mix of bacon, spinach, heavy cream, parm, a touch of spirits if you wish and more, right down to the bread crumb topping.And you sure don’t have to stop there. Others shown pair the eggs with different kinds of hash, some Benedicts, mushrooms or asparagus, and a shakshuka {our own version, coming soon as our Featured Recipe}.

Note: excuse me but that fork needs to be a spoon – don’t want to miss a single goodie!

Eggs Rockefeller    Their other recipes using poached eggs


Want a bunch of poached eggs all at once?

The Mad Genius strikes again! {thanks to Food & Wine, via Well Done}. This time showing us how to make a dozen poached eggs all at the same time. And they did look darn good in his demo, which involves a muffin tin.

And they also looked like they held together, probably because of being confined in a small space. When I make poached as usual in a pan, always add a good splash of vinegar.

So, the next time I need 12 at once I’ll give this a try, or hmmmm . . . guess I could just use a few of the cups. If so, you will know.


Please join  me in my kitchen &  parlor

♦  Thanks to my dearheart step-daughter for this one. Even though you know it’s good for you {well, depending on your selection}, do you find dry cereal can be a bit boring. Of course you can do some add-ins as we talked about with oatmeal, or use heavy whipping cream as previously noted for a rare treat. But here’s a way that’s likely already in your pantry. Mix two kinds, or three . . . or more! A different delight in every bite.

  Have you ever been stuck with a dinner-ruining pizza? Heading for the trash pizza? Wait!!! Make yourself a pb&j {bummer if you already mixed a ‘tini}. Enjoy. Then pull the toppings off the pizza, mix with a good marinara, add seasonings of choice, and use as pasta sauce {a little extra cheese can’t hurt!}. The crust? Top the slices with with garlic butter and parm and toast until crispy. No waste!

  Stay tuned! Think I have a boffo posset recipe in the works. Needs one more test, hopefully not more, and then should be able to post soon. Probably have to call it posset plus.

So far next week: IQ foods, date caramel, dense chocolate cake, shopping for old time kitchen finds 

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




Chocolate Twinkie Cake {no-bake!}, for Sept 21-27, 2018


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

  Tidbits – Ramsay & you sans yelling / resting, too? {M: I like resting/ gussying the bowl  ♦  CS Marketplace Spotlight – new resources! / W-Izzard  ♦  Featured Recipe – no-bake cake from a phenom of a book  ♦  Tip – more for the bowl {M: nuts, not my bowl}  ♦  The Week – Alton’s bizarro book / boffo dinner / salad helper {M: who cares}

Misty’s History    Misty’s Gallery


Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

  How would you like to learn from Gordon Ramsay – without the yelling, cussing and humiliation??? You can! Just sign up for his online lessons in the Masterclass series. Videos plus a downloadable workbook and a chance to share in questions. Previous students rate this 4.7 out of 5.

  Here’s an interesting little tidbit I came across, or I should say re-came across. On a photocopied page {no idea of the original} I read that Margaret, Queen of Navarre, sister of King Francois I, was the first to use the term “restaurant,” but it was in reference to restorative food, I guess then ambling into a definition of a place for same. A handwritten note on the page claims that the French term restaurateur translates to “restorer.”

  A serendipitous find in my pantry is yielding yet more suggestions {in addition to my own in the Aug 31 salon} for gussying up oatmeal. The clipping is actually for amaranth, millet, and quinoa, but . . . steal from good. So here’s the lineup: dried cherries, coconut, sugar, macadamia nuts, vanilla, banana, cacao nibs, chopped dates, demerara sugar {like brown sugar, but darker and a bit crunchy}. hazelnuts, cloves {maybe ground???}, clementines, granola, dried apricots, agave syrup, pine nuts, cardamom, blueberries, toasted coconut. {Also, see Tip below}


Three new for you!

So, we previously noted the addition of a page of food-centric magazines on CooksSalon, where you can check Amazon offers. And now we’ve added its link to the Marketplace page, so you can easily tap into the page while browsing other resources.

We’ve also added food-o-phile videos right on the Marketplace page. These are collections by season from favorite tv shows, such as Chopped, Iron Chef, Food Network Star, Worst Cooks in America, and more.

And . . . our upgraded book {& gift!} shop is now complete with chef-specific videos, branded items, and gift cards. This page too is linked in the Marketplace, and all are found in the top-listed “Especially for Cooks” section.

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

Extra for Book LoversMy path to this book: Irish Central newsletter > mention of Irish Travelers > google Irish Travelers > discover tv show about same starring Eddie Izzard looking very un-Izzard-ly > curiosity about him leads to his book “Believe Me.” Fascinating life of a funny, unusual, imaginative, can-do, and personable human being. Also some deep insights for any creative person inside or outside show biz.   “Believe Me”    Izzard videos  “The Riches” tv series about Irish Travelers starring Izzard


Is this the book lots of us have been waiting for???

Within these pages you’ll find many tasty answers to the title question, “What Can I Bring?” What Can I Bring?: Southern Food for Any Occasion Life Serves Upwhatever the occasion or destination. The satisfying dishes here for the most part are make-ahead, multiple-serving, and fairly easy to transport.

In addition to author, Elizabeth Heiskell’s resume includes caterer, instructor, and TODAY show contributor. Just some of her preps that caught my eye: peanut butter bars {chocolate frosted}, bacon bites {quick, simple}, and hangover sliders {so bad, so good}.

Our feature combines actual Twinkies with chocolate infused whipped cream and pecans for a fabulous layer cake. Easy too.

Recipe Page    Other Heiskell books  

♦  TIP  

A bit more on oatmeal, a two-fer

If you’re cooking oatmeal with milk and in a pan {rather than with water and/or in the nuker}, you might find that some of the milk sticks to the bottom of the pan, or worse burns. I’ve found that stirring in a bit of butter right along with the milk can prevent this. Also, yet one more way to add flavor to oatmeal.


Please join  me in my kitchen &  parlor

  Taking a closer look at Alton Brown’s 5-star “Good Eats 2” and this thing is like a bizarre parallel universe . . . with recipes! Each page is a trip, where one moment you’re looking at dancing sugar molecules, frosting m.o.’s and tidbits about butter calories and royal frosting. And the next you’re seeing Brown being tormented by a stuffed squirrel while making macadamia nut pie crust, while the facing page shows you how to make a “lemon meringue chaise lounge.” What fun!

♦  Had a simply fabulous entree – and a lesson – at Fuego Steakhouse in the Fiesta Henderson {NV}. It was a pork T-bone, which isn’t particularly common at other steakhouses in town, even though Exec Chef Christopher Clark tells us its actually the exact same cut as its beef counterpart. And oh my was it good.

Chef Clark kindly shared this too: “We start with a spice and herb apple brine for 24 hours. When the order is placed we season the meat with salt and pepper and then grill it to the guest specifications and it is served with a hard apple demi.”

At Fuego, guests can then pair this porky wonder {or other entrees} with either a colossal baked potato, macaroni & cheese, creamed corn au gratin, fresh broccoli, baked sweet potato, fresh spinach {creamed, steamed or sauteed}, house-made French fries or Yukon mashed potatoes. Yum squared.

  Want to add an interesting and unexpected dimension to your green salad? Sprinkle in some shredded or flaked coconut! OK, OK, yes this was a bit of a hail Mary with the all the leftover coconut from the oatmeal cookies. But thankfully, turned out really good – even better if you have some nuts in there too.

So far next week – award winning recipes for your 9×13, salvaging pizza, boffo novel

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


for Aug 17-23, 2018

  CatChat – Misty previews what you’ll find in each section this week  

♦  Tidbits – watermelon: selecting, using up / guide to chiles / oopsies in the kitchen    CS Marketplace Spotlight –  getting creative with leftovers / food no-no’s for dogs / cat cartoons {M – ha! equal time, about time  Featured Recipe – porcupine cookies {M – wait, is that meat?}    Tip –  stew 2.0 {M – that’s meat!  Barbara’s Week – fries in a hurry / s&p your dessert? / Alexa the foodie

Misty’s History    Misty’s Gallery

♦  Tidbits  ♦ 

Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

  Watermelon! The very word can make your mouth feel cooler. Two foodie newsletters have something to say about this summer treat. Well Done tells us that in addition to a  uniform shape, dull sheen, hollow sound after a thump, look for a creamy yellow spot from where it ripened on the ground. Meanwhile, Tasting Table shows us how to turn the rind into a “tasty, tangy pickle.”

  I just love cooking with chiles – you too? Then you’re going to also love this guide from “Real Simple” that gives a quick descrip of each of the major kinds, and as a bonus a demo that adds a visual component for each including exterior and interior views, size reference, some still on the vine, some stuffed.

  Think your kitchen mishaps are bad. Compare them to these. I guess some of them aren’t really funny but aiyyyy still kind of hard to stifle a laugh.

♦  CS Marketplace Spotlight  ♦ 

We at CooksSalon, and guessing you, our savvy friends, have a passion for not wasting food.The Thrifty Cookbook: 476 ways to eat well with leftovers You’ll regularly find items in the My Week section below that talk about using up this or that. Maybe at some point I should add a forum where we can all share our ideas.

At any rate as often happens, in the course of looking for one thing on google I came across something else of Quick & Easy Recipes Using Everyday Leftovers: Tasty Ways to Use Up Leftovers So Nothing Goes to Wasteinterest. The search target was the second watermelon item above since it had rudely disappeared from my inbox.

But what also came up was the fact that there are books on Amazon totally devoted to using up leftovers. I’m going to take a closer look at some of these selections soon, but meanwhile I want to share the link to that page and the two examples.

The two cookbooks shown here are rated 4 & 5 stars. Happy re-purposing!

The Thrifty Cookbook    Quick & Easy Recipes Using Everyday Leftovers

Other “Leftovers” cookbooks    CS Marketplace

Also at CS Marketplace “Especially For Readers” & “Especially for Dog Lovers”

Dog Lovers Extra – A warning from “Reader’s Digest”  11 Summer Foods You Should Never, Ever, Share With Your Dog

Misty demanded some equal time for Cat Lovers. So, please enjoy these cartoons.

♦  Featured Recipe  

A fun, easy, no-bake dessert just in time for Labor Day 

Just the name tells you there’s some sweet whimsey going on here. Porcupine cookies!

Have you made these before? If so, you know they’re a hit and even a bit of a conversation piece.

No idea anymore the source of the recipe I have, a print-out with no person’s name or company name on it. But no matter because I’ve changed it up anyway to make it a bit less sweet, a bit more chocolatey, and a bit richer.

So now it’s my recipe. And now it can be yours too! Powdered sugar optional.

Porcupine Cookies

Makes . . . a lot

1 c shredded coconut {the “needles”}

3 c quick cooking oatmeal

1 c sugar

2/3 c cocoa powder

1/2 c butter

1/2 c heavy whipping cream

1 t vanilla

Whisk coconut and oats in a large bowl. Set aside.

In a rather large saucepan or kettle, over med heat, combine sugar, cocoa, butter, and cream. Cook, whisking constantly, until sugar is dissolved and mixture is a uniform color.

Bring to a boil, then let boil 3-4 minutes, watching constantly so it doesn’t bubble over. Remove from heat and whisk in vanilla.

Pour oat mixture into hot sauce and mix until blended. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto wax paper on a cookie sheet and let cool.

Notes: One of the changes I made was to use heavy whipping cream instead of milk, but you could certainly use either one or something in between. Meanwhile, here’s a link to the phooey-on-the-oven dessert books we ran a few weeks back.

No-bake dessert books on Amazon

♦  Tip  

Want to kick up the ol’ family recipe {demo}

Andre Soltner has a trophy case full of accolades but is probably best known for helming the iconic Lutèce in NYC for 34 years. In this youtube video uploaded by Saveur magazine he demonstrates his favorite childhood dish, Bacheofe, which is wine-marinated and oven-simmered meat and vegetables topped with bacon.

There’s a link to the recipe too, but truly you could probably use whatever amounts you like and still end up with a beautiful stew.

♦  A Peek at My Week  

Join me in my kitchen & parlor 

  Nuts! No, actually fries. Should have noted two things in that item in the July 27 Salon about getting your fries ready in hurry. First, and guessing you already do this, follow the guidelines for your microwave oven and your paper towels for safe use. Then also limit the time in there to about a minute and a half, so the fries are less likely to stick. I’ve now added that to the July 27 original.

  Another addendum, also to the July 27 Salon, this one based on something I just read. That earlier Tip had to do with an easy no-bake dessert that was simply a matter of setting out slices of good bread and a bunch of toppings. One of the latter was unheated hot fudge {though chocolate bars would be fine too} inspired by MFK Fisher’s admonition to “never eat chocolate without bread.” At any rate the more recent reading also cheered this combo but with an unexpected addition – salt & pepper! So if you and your friends are feeling adventurous, go right ahead and add that into the mix.

  I love my Amazon Echo but am probably using about 10% of Alexa’s capabilities. But just came across another application that is great if you also have Prime. Have both? Then according to a blurb in Food & Wine magazine, you folks in more than 30 cities can use Alexa to get {in their example a missing ingredient} delivered in just hours via Prime Now.

So far next week: cooking bacon in water, cooking lessons, cookin’ novel, easy jam

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


Cool, Rich, No-Bake Summer Desserts, for July 27-Aug 2, 2018

  CatChat – Misty’s preview 

Food mag duo brings us a list of 40 no-bake desserts    Wait till you see Clara {M – “I just bet she liked kitties”  Save the cheese {M – “Please!”  Save your brain?  ♦  Save your money {M – “Then buy extra tuna!”  Readers Extra    This no-bake dessert couldn’t be easier   Barbara’s week: Fries in a hurry, cheesefests, bacon – funny & freezing 

Misty’s History  ♦  Misty’s Gallery 

♦  Tidbits  ♦ 

Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

  Wow, Clara! She’s actually gone now, departing at age 98 no doubt to a kitchen in the heavens, but what a gift she left for us – the videos of course but also the abundance of culinary inspiration.  Her grandson’s school project led to a YouTube series that began when she was 91, each showcasing her prep of a Depression Era dish along with generous servings of sweet memories and friendly chat. But what she creates, for example in the breakfast episode. is anything but depressing.    Her story on Food52  Her YouTube videosCapabunga CV5 Cheese Vault Storage Box, Butter

  We’ve all probably seen, and likely even owned, cheese keeper containers.  But did you know there are actual cheese vaults? Vaults! They aren’t cheap but may be worth the investment for what we spend on even basic cheese, let alone the finer kinds. Btw, the brand name on Amazon sounds like what you might shout when you make this dicovery. Capabunga!  Find them here

  Smart eating takes on a whole new meaning in this report from Reader’s Digest, authored by Kenneth S Kosik MD, whose areas of expertise include the biological processes of the brain. So, this is the list of dining habits Dr. Kosik recommends to protect your brain from Alzheimer’s.  Brain food

♦  CS Marketplace Spotlight  ♦ 

So, you just never know who you’re going to {re-}encounter on social media. This week it was an old friend, Mary Hunt, who long ago launched a publication that I believe was called Cheapskate Monthly {apologies M if I muffed this}, and I had actually contributed to it a few times with a Q&A food column.

She has since parlayed her concept into award-winning and best selling books {all 4+ stars on Amazon}, a monthly newsletter, newspaper column, speaking engagements, and an interactive website.

It’s all dedicated to her goal for all of us to enjoy “debt-proof living.” Her “Better, Cheaper, Faster: Over 2,000 Tips and Tricks to Save you Time and Money Every Day” covers some stuff for cooking/cleaning and as well way beyond.

“Better, Cheaper, Faster”    Mary Hunt’s other books    CS Marketplace

Also at CS Marketplace “Especially For Readers” & “Especially for Dog Lovers”

Readers Extra – Preston & Child, individually and in collaboration, reliably pen tales of high adventure, exciting to frightening, and revelatory too, with their latest work taking us along on the way to the heart and secrets of an unknown, ancient civilization, but – will we get there???   “The Pharoah Key”  Preston books   Child books 

♦  Featured Recipe  

Cool summer desserts, and lots of them 

The Reader’s Digest online newsletter brings us lots of good food ideas, and in a recent edition tapped into some sweet treats from, as they said, “our friends at Taste of Home.” Best of all they don’t need to get anywhere near your oven.

Here’s just a sampling: lemon curd tart, peanut butter cup trifle, root beer float pie, turtle praline tart, and S’mOreos {yep, just what it sounds like}. And some add a fun vibe with, e.g., candy corn or potato sticks.

Follow the link and start {not} cooking . . .

40 Easy N0-Bake Summer Desserts    Reader’s Digest    Taste of Home

No-bake dessert books on Amazon

♦  Tip  

Set it out – stand clear

One of my favorite party desserts, also no-bake, let’s guests in on the fun which hopefully doesn’t include a realization that they’re doing all the work. It’s simple a matter of setting out slices of a good French baguette which they use to make little sandwiches, open or closed with any of these toppings: hot fudge {not heated}, tub caramel, marshmallow creme, peanut butter, jams, shredded coconut, chopped nuts, raisins, sliced fruit.

♦  A Peek at My Week  

Fast fries, cheesefests, how much do YOU love bacon

  Crapples, meant to make french fries!!! Have you ever had one of these moments when the rest of dinner is all but ready and the bag of fries is giving you a neener neener from the freezer? Here’s what I did. First turned the toaster oven on Hi, then wrapped the fries in paper towels with two layers all around. Into the nuker for just a minute or two, then on a baking pan and into the toaster over for 5 min. Fries are ready!

Note: Follow the guidelines for your microwave oven and your paper towels for safe use. Then also limit the time in there so the fries are less likely to stick.

  In the course of looking further into the world of cheese after discovering it includes vaults, I also found there is a Cheesemonger Invitational and a Cheesemaker’s Festival, that one in Vermont, every year. And now you know too.

  Got such a kick out of a posting this week about bacon, and how to have it ready at any given moment. Because, it said – sometimes you may not want to eat a whole package all at once {!} I’m a huge bacon freak, but thinking this had to be directed at the truly obsessed. Btw, the trick was to cook it all and freeze it, something I already do and guessing many of you do too. Even frozen, just about 15-20 seconds wrapped in paper towels in the nuker, and have at it.

Next week highlights: kitchen savings, sheet pan brunches, perfect & easy corn on the cob, pinch bowls, easy pizza fondue & dippers, slow cooker hints, recipe trove, kicking up bean soup, using up pasta sauce

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