“Multi celebs'” hearty, entree-worthy Tuscan soup, Dec 13 – Dec 19, 2019

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

New Salon every Friday – c’mon in

CS friends, and help yourself to tasty resources!

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

  TIDBITS – Our measurement equivalents page / PBS upcoming cooking shows / stress less  ♦  CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT – fascinating chef memoir    FEATURED RECIPE – super satisfying soup    TIP – it’s easy . . . or easier  ♦  THE WEEK – edible wreaths / breakfast-dinner do si do / sweet fun 

♦  TIDBITS 

Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

  As you cook and bake, bake and cook, did you know you can find a whole bunch of “how much?” answers on our Measurement Equivalents page? You’ll find spoons to spoons, spoons to cups, cups to ounces, plus drops, pinches and dashes. There’s also a link to the AllRecipes conversion chart for baking pan sizes. And finally, a list of common ingredients translated to spoons and cups, ounces and pounds.

No Passport Required  PBS has you covered with some nice holiday cooking shows, and others. The first one – this very night – launches season 2 of No Passport Required, a culinary journey across the U.S., starting with Seattle. Each week super chef Marcus Samuelsson, he of the incredible backstory {his book}, introduces us to a particular city’s take on American cuisine and culure.

  On 12.20 we take a seat at tables across the country with Lidia Bastianich. Also on 12.20 join the celebration of the America’s Test Kitchen 20th Anniversary Special {looks like it might be on tonight too}. Then on 12.21 it’s feasts and more on their Create track’s Joy to the World. Finally, on 12.22 virtually open The Houston Cookbook. Check your local listings for all this foodie fun.

  Nice little tip I found, actually in the HGTV Magazine. A bit of a stress buster as you prepare holiday feasts. In essence it says, concentrate primarily on one main dish, and then supplement with starters and sides you can make in advance and serve at room temp. And may I add . . . some prepared dished from your market make that part even easier, and no guilt allowed.

♦  CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT  ♦ 

Celeb chef recipes – and it gets even better from there

World renowned chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten has given us a memoir that’s as easy to consume as his acclaimed cuisine in its multi-awarded forms. We’re virtually at his side as his takes his apprentice test in France, travels the world with the French army, polishes his skills in a succession of Michelin-starred kitchens, suffers setback, and celebrates triumphs.

And regarding the setback and triumphs, and especially the very last one – with his team. Always with his team. And with that team, he now oversees, directly or via a license agreement, about 40 restaurants around the world.

A personal note is sounded right at the start when he tells us why he gives such enormous credit to his mom, not only for her cooking mastery but as well for her devotion to quality, service, and a solid work ethic. The latter was essential since she cooked lunch and dinner for a large family and on-site business staff, leading him to say about the home kitchen, “I basically grew up in a restaurant doing 60 covers a day.”

The book is called, “JGV / A Life in 12 Recipes,” and the subtitle is so relevant because those preps mark notable moments or turning points is his storied career. They may seem long, but part of each one is like a one on one chat about the recipe, including his recounting of the POTUS-noted pea guacamole controversy. I’ll be making his carrot sauce for seafood, and will of course share.

When you see that the book rates 3 1/2 stars from six people, I encourage you to look at the detail. There’s a 3 star review that takes issue with the editing, then a 5 star and 4 star. The other three are ratings with no reviews and no sourcing. Here are some other views. All in all, I found this such an enjoyable and enlightening read.

Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s “JGV”     His “Home Cooking” cookbook    His other books 

BJN’s Eclectic Offerings Pagesend a message to all of DC, “Make America Decent Again”

♦  FEATURED RECIPE  

Acclaimed chef Curtis Stone is just the start 

This is sort of a hybrid celeb chef creation. With all the root vegetables, it’s primarily Curtis Stone’s version and what I particularly like about the way he makes it is that the veggies stay in instead of flavoring the broth and then being discarded, and the bread stays out, which is to say served alongside the soup rather than cooked into it.

And the demo in the link below shows a collaborative effort with Stone and Rachael Ray, during one of her broadcasts, both handling the prep. But then there are other cooks for this broth {and, no, they didn’t spoil it} too, touches by Giada and Ann Burrell.

So, building on Stone’s recipe, I added a can of diced tomatoes and {my own contribution} a cup of vegetable juice in place of 2 cups of the chicken broth. Also spinach {which Stone condones} instead of kale, and a lot of it, half a bag in fact, along with a half package of fresh basil, as well as a half teaspoon of crushed red pepper.

A good crusty bread is the perfect accompaniment, and Stone’s recipe calls for ciabatta which would be great. But I found a Tuscan loaf in my grocery story, and that seemed only natural.

Stone’s Tuscan Soup recipe    Other ones on google     Fine Chefs Book & Gift Shop

  TIP  

“Easy does it” appetizers or mini desserts

In our 07.12.19 Salon we featured phyllo cups and fillings, one of the Tasting Panel selections. These handy little holders are available already shaped and baked from the grocery store or Amazon {despite seeming quite delicate, mine from Amazon arrived fully intact}.

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

Want to make it even easier? Put out the empty shells and a variety of fillings and let your guests create their own little dessert buffets. That also would mean no waste from shells with moist fillings that would not survive as leftovers.

See more possibilities in the July Salon linked above and a Food Network slide show linked below. All so festive and perfect for holiday get-togethers and all such fun whoever fills them up!

Phyllo cups at Amazon  Food Network article

  A PEEK AT MY WEEK  

Welcome to my kitchen and living room

  One of my favorite things to make, and give away, this time of year is edible wreaths. Really pretty easy, basically the same prep as the classic Rice Krispies treats, but made instead with corn flakes to simulate, along with the help of some green food coloring, foliage. The original Kellogg’s recipe calls for making this cookie size and sometimes I do this. But more often I make them a little bigger or a lot bigger. Also in place of the red hots I use red M&Ms, attached with a bit of sugar water. And one time, instead of wreaths I shaped the entire mixture into a Christmas tree and then used all colors of M&Ms as ornaments and melted chocolate for the trunk.

  Here’s what happened. Had taken some of the turmeric eggs {07.19.19 Salon} and a container of rice out of the freezer to make, along with some cooked salmon, kedgeree for breakfast, only to discover two surprises. Ham slices in with the eggs and some corn nestled next to the rice. Had also taken out a container of my cheesy potatoes as a side dish for the dinner steak. Cut up some onion to start breakfast and the wheels began to turn. Hmmmm. Cheesy potatoes, ham, corn, onion – sounds like a pretty good hash to me, along with salt & pepper and some parsley, sauteed in butter, paired with salad. Yep, parts of breakfast became dinner, and to counterbalance, that dinner steak became the next day’s breakfast, nestled alongside eggs & toast.

  So, we end the last of our regular Salons for the year on sweet note that turns a holiday classic into a whimsical treat. The prep’s pretty sweet too. Cooked sweet potatoes, mixed with melted butter and brown sugar, formed around a marshmallow, rolled in crushed cereal, baked until heated through and a bit of the mallow peeks out.  I used peanut butter Chex but next time thinking pecans or walnuts. Good & fun!

This week’s

  •  Photo credits – books/Amazon, others/mine
  •  Link sources – measurements/CS, all books/Amazon, HGTV/HGTV site, Stone’s recipe/Rachel Ray show, items on Offerings page/Sunfrog  
  • Partnerships – Amazon, PBS {member, not affiliate}, items on Offerings page/SunFrog

Click here or on the Amazon logo    to go directly to their home page

Next week: Top gifts for cooks featured this year in Marketplace, many with short shipping times

Last week, just below: thaw it fast, apple crisp punch, Depression-era dinners, handy kitchen organizers, hot fudge pudding cake, peel ginger?, eggy love, salad-style burritos, heating up Parm corn butter- two ways

Looking for something in CS?

Scroll & check previews OR use the search box OR contact me at bjnosek@gmail.com, also valid for questions & comments – see the Let’s Chat tab for email details

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All pages ©2019 CooksSalon.com

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

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Bacon & Egg Breakfast Enchiladas, Oct 25-Oct 31, 2019

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

New Salon every Friday – c’mon in

CS friends, and help yourself to tasty resources!

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

  TIDBITS – easy upgrade / pomey punch / whose salad???    CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT – Buddy-bakin’    FEATURED RECIPE – just add a b-mary    TIP – veggies go scary   THE WEEK – cookbooks! / pizza rescue / spinach so rich 

♦  TIDBITS  ♦

Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

  What a clever tip, actually a multi-tip, but all having to do with salad dressings. Bottled salad dressings. And how to upgrade the flavor with some simple tricks. The MyRecipes story, ‘How to Make Salad Dressings Taste Homemade,” starts from a broader perspective, including this line that will likely resonate with our Salon folks, “. . . often store-bought items reveal to you upon first taste exactly what they need to be a better version of themselves.” The detail then covers vinaigrettes plus dressings that are creamy, sweet or cheese-based. Good ideas!

  Could this be the star of your cocktail party? First of all it’s based on the great taste of pomegranate without those pesky seeds {or, it doesn’t have to – feel free to leave out those interlopers}. Second, it has the sweet touch of one kind of wine and the refreshing sparkle of another. Third, it brings to the party that symbol of hospitality, pineapple, and one of the holidays’ fave fruits, orange. And fourth, it serves a crowd. Sip on. Thanks Food & Wine for this Sparkling Pomegranate Punch.

  Can a salad be scandalous? Well maybe not even if its name touches a 70s nerve. So the subject here is Watergate Salad, an unusual combo that tastes better than you might think. My mom was an early adopter of this prep and it was always a hit with dinner guests. As the MyRecipes story noted, while the the Deep Throat source was eventually revealed, the salad’s remains somewhat controversial. Who cares! Enjoy – and party! – whichever party you prefer.

♦  CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT  ♦ 

Bake it like Buddy

This may be the very closest we can come to making a cake just like the tasty creations of “Cake Boss” Buddy Valastro. Even better than having a recipe.

Buddy Valastro Foods Perfect Cake Kits - Cake Mix, Cake Pans, Icing, and Filling (Banana Cream Cake)This is like having him right in your kitchen. In the form, that is, of one on his cake kits, available as either white cake or banana cream, and including the mix, the filling, the icing . . . even the pan.

The only thing that would be more authentic would be to have one of his cakes made for you. Oops, that’s also a possibility, with ordering instructions on his Carlo’s Bakery site, which we’ve linked below.

But wait there’s more. He also offers his own ready-to-use fondant in white and purple, plus gourmet crumb cake and peanut butter/carob treats for – wait for it – your dog!

Valastro cake kits    Carlo’s Bakery site    Valastro’s cookbooks    “Cake Boss” DVDs

♦  FEATURED RECIPE  

Good Morning! 

And it surely will be if these bacon and egg breakfast enchiladas are on the table. And, yes, breakfast would be good but these flavorful bundles have brunch written all over them, as actually the Food & Wine page mentions.

Don’t be scared by the ingredient list. It’s long but really just the result of a palate-tingling array of seasonings and spices, most of which are tossed into a quick sauce.

And pretty smooth sailing too, just the way we busy CS-ers like it. Most of us have cooked bacon and scrambled eggs before, and that’s about as difficult as this prep gets.

The green onion garnish and side scoop of sour cream add nice color and texture. But you know what, a ladle of refried beans and some ripe sliced avocado wouldn’t hurt either!

Can this be right. The Amazon link just below for the magazine shows $5 for a 1-year subscription {vs $71.88}. Does say limited time offer.

Food & Wine recipe    Food & Wine magazine {might be 2nd one down on page}

♦  TIP  

Vegetables have never been so scary

Cooking Light did the most clever thing with a vegetable platter. With deft arrangement it all comes together as a skeleton! Also on the page some pumpkin-faced cookies and other characters, “devil” eggs, vampire dip and oven-baked sweet potato tots with jalapeno garlic ranch – the latter two to keep Dracula away.

Here’s the link

Meanwhile the marshmallow chart originally scheduled for this week will appear in the 11.08.19 Salon. There’s a decorated mallow too.

♦  A PEEK AT MY WEEK  

Welcome to my kitchen and living room 

♦  So, went to a very dangerous place this week. Called Amber Unicorn, it’s a used book store with a truly eclectic offering, but here’s the thing – the cookbook collection rules. For folks like us, the debit card all but jumps out as you pass the register, waiting patiently there as you begin a long leisurely browse. If you’re in Las Vegas, or will be, it’s a list-topping stop. Now, the center is no longer a bustling place but no worries, still in a busy part of town.

♦  I was dismayed when I took leftover pizza slices out of the freezer and saw how skimpy they were. Solution: pile on! Olive oil in the bottom of a baking dish, pizza in, tomato slices on top. When baked enough to be fairly warm added fresh spinach, shredded mozzarella, pepper and marjoram, a drizzle of olive oil, then back in the oven. Topped each serving with a fried egg. Yeah, that was satisfying.

♦  In this My Week section last week {10.18.19 Salon} we posted a rich spinach recipes from Jose Andres’ cookbook, “Vegetables Unleashed.” There was something the chef said in his intro in the book that I quite liked and wanted to share. “. . . drive the extra mile, pay the extra dollar . . . Find the people and places that can give you a little taste of perfection.”

So far next week: Doritos Chicken Casserole, Take out containers do what???, Parmesan corn butter, favorite kitchen storage, star turn for carrots, cheesy addiction, donairs

Last week, just below: bread-keeping tricks, edible quarks?, food show returns, lovely novel, cinnamon apple pie bread recipe, taste instead of waster, nachos > burritos, rich Catalan-style spinach, dinner metric 

Direct access to Amazon homepage through my personal link

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

Note, transactions are solely between the buyer and linked supplier

Photo credits – Baking kit/Amazon, others/mine

Link sources – Valastro cake kits/Carlos Bakery, Valastro cookbooks & dvds & F&W mag/Amazon, others/self-ID 

All pages ©2019 CooksSalon.com

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

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

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

New Salon every Friday – c’mon in

CS friends, and help yourself to tasty resources!

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

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

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

  TIDBITS 

Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

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

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

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

  CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT  ♦ 

What a sweetheart of a novel

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

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

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

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

“Friendship Bread”    Gee’s other books in Avalon

  FEATURED RECIPE  

Just, yum 

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

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

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

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

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

Cinnamon Apple Pie Bread recipe    Wishes & Dishes  

  TIP  

I say All-in, you say . . .

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

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

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

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

  A PEEK AT MY WEEK  

Welcome to my kitchen and living room

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

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

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

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

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

Direct access to Amazon homepage through my personal link

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

Note, transactions are solely between the buyer and linked supplier

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

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

All pages ©2019 CooksSalon.com

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

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

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

New Salon every Friday – c’mon in

CS friends, and help yourself to tasty resources!

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

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

  TIDBITS 

Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

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

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

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

  CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT   

Tiny Hot Dogs, the book . . . with recipes 

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

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

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

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

  FEATURED RECIPE  

Tiny Hot Dogs, the video . . . three ways

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

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

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

Tiny Hot Dogs video    Home & Family show

  TIP  

Corn x 3

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

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

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

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

♦  A PEEK AT MY WEEK  

Welcome to my kitchen and living room

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

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

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

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

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

Direct access to Amazon homepage through my personal link

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

Note, transactions are solely between the buyer and linked supplier

Photo credits – book/Amazon, hot dog tray/Home & Family on Youtube, all others/mine

All pages ©2019 CooksSalon.com

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

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Peanut Cilantro Dip, Aug 16-22, 2019

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

& Misty the FoodieCat

CS friends, help yourself to tasty resources!

  CatChat –  Misty previews this week’s salon  

  TIDBITS – neener neener stove / impromptu grilling basket / reincarnating spices    CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT – funny food guy    FEATURED RECIPE – cilantro overload?    TIP – two stick trick    THE WEEK – farmers market tips / dinner on a stick / funny Trillin

Misty’s History    Misty’s Gallery

  TIDBITS 

Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

  Fall is just around the corner but most of us will still be spending time in the swelter zone. So how welcome to have Food & Wine bring us a slide show of “12 No-Cook Dinners” to make right now. In the lineup, colorful roast beef summer rolls, tuna banh mi, spicy Asian chicken lettuce cups.

  Love this guy. F&W’s Justin Chapple comes up with the darnedest Mad Genius Tips, in this case crafting a grilling basket out of baking racks and paper clips. He describes it in steps, but it’s easier I think to understand if you watch the on-page video.

  Haven’t needed yet to try this, but love the idea. When you find spices in your pantry that have exceeded their expiration or best buy date, there’s an alternative according to My Recipes that can help bring whole or dried spices back to life. Pretty easy too, just involves some skillet toasting. There are also some interesting videos on the page.

  CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT   

Trillin makes food funny

Peter Meehan, who was the late super food writer Jonathan Gold’s editor at the Lucky Peach, said in the Gold dvd {well nuts, thought I had mentioned this in a previous Salon, but guess not – will remedy that next week – great, great video} – “modern food writing began with Calvin Trillin.” Who, in fact, appears in that dvd.

Trillin has a unique approach to his subject. In the intro to his entry in “American Food Writers” Alice, Let's Eat: Further Adventures of a Happy Eaterauthor Molly O’Neil calls him “a hungry amateur in a world of overwrought connoisseurs, an anti-gourmet . . . {s}elf-deprecating and never at a loss for irony, the reluctant foodie serves slices of real life, hold the pretense.”

What he tells you about here is not so much a critique of food or chefs or restaurants as it is his pursuit of something wonderful he had before, something enticing he’s heard about, or something he wants out of sheer curiosity, And he’s willing to travel the world to track down that lusted-for bite.

In, “Alice, Let’s Eat,” we learn right at the start the identity of his two true passions: love of food and love of wife. It’s despite the former and because of the latter that he’s willing to forgive Alice for her “seemingly uncontrollable attacks of moderation.” That playful tension marks much of this little book full of big smiles. A joyful read. Four stars on Amazon, Kindle, paper and hardcover.

“Alice, Let’s Eat”    A trilogy that includes “Alice”    Other Trillin books on Amazon

  FEATURED RECIPE  

Too much cilantro?

Well I’m hoping some day I can say that about the yield from my mini indoor garden, but for now took advantage of a good sale at my market. Then, ahhhhh, what to do with all of it?

Good ol’ AllRecipes told me exactly what I could do with it – in of course the nicest possible way. The one that I chose turned out to be a lovely, versatile dip –  a tasty take on classic peanut sauce.

A couple of notes. Because of the cilantro, though I may have overly-indulged my love of this herb, it takes on a color that belies its flavor. Also, I did add just a touch of salt. One more thing, this is quite the delightful tongue tingler, but if you’re not a spice fan you’ll want to cut back on the pepper flakes. Note as well that it thickens {and gets even better} in the fridge.

The recipe suggests such dippers as French bread and veggies, showing what looks like bell peppers, baby bok choy and maybe jicama. But found this to be also great on pita crackers, crisped flour tortillas, even in entree mode on roasted chicken or pork, or as I did, on scrambled eggs  {shown}.

Easy too! Some minimal chopping, a couple of rounds in the processor, and done!

Peanut Cilantro Dip recipe    Other cilantro preps on AllRecipes

  TIP  

Taming the kebab

So, we’ve had some fun here with courses on skewers. And yet one more appears in “Week” below.

Whenever I’m kebab-ing, I like to use two sticks. This makes the ingredients behave, keeps them from doing roly polys as they would on just one stick.

This trick is especially helpful if you are making say an all meat kebab that you’ll be cooking in a skillet or the oven or on the grill. When you turn them over, everyone goes along for the ride.

You can see this two-stick-er in the photo below.

  A PEEK AT MY WEEK  

Welcome to my kitchen and living room

  I love farmers markets and one of my very favorite mags, Sunset, just made that experience even better. A reader in a recent issue asked how to get the most out of these bounty of the earth fests. Some of the suggestions I liked best – bring three bags, one each for sturdy produce, tender items, and dairy/meats/eggs, do a couple of laps before you buy anything, and bring small bills.

  Both here in the Salon and in my “50 Kitchen Tricks” book we’ve seen courses on a skewer – breakfast, appetizer, salad, and dessert. Now a recent issue of Food Network Magazine takes it a step further and spears dinner on a stick too. Their creative takes were actually kebab-ing classic sandwiches – banh mi, Philly cheesesteak, turkey club, and meatball & eggplant parmesan {all on this page}. The one I played with – roasted pork tacos wrapped with green salsa & cheese and heated and browned in a skillet, alternated with avocado, tomato and seeded jalapenos, served with red salsa rice and simple nachos.

  I love this glimpse into Calvin Trillin’s love affair with food, delivered to us in the “Alice” book featured above. He’s fondly recalling a  thick potato pancake he enjoyed some years back and the fact that it is eaten while standing up – and that, Trillin says, is “a method that gives the eater the additional pleasure of being able to jump up and down occasionally in delight.”

So far next week: all-in pie, Venetian breakfast, chocolate peanut butter cookies, no-bake key lime pie, food show code, gluttony good???, Taco Bell pop-up hotel, recipe & gear, wait till you see these cookies!

Last week, just below: Martha’s spicy pulled pork in the slow cooker, s’mores ice cream cake, Uber add-on, un-frying, great kitchen organization trick, choc/cheese sammie 2.0, a sideways thinking way to solve red wine stains, put what now in the egg salad? 

Direct access to Amazon homepage through my personal link

Looking for something in CS? – scroll and check Misty’s previews OR enter the item in the search box OR email me at bjnosek@gmail.com

Note, transactions are solely between the buyer and linked supplier

Photo credits – books/Amazon, all others/mine

All pages ©2019 CooksSalon.com

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

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Martha’s Slow Cooker Spicy Pulled Pork, Aug 9-15, 2019

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

& Misty the FoodieCat

CS friends, help yourself to tasty resources!

  CatChat –  Misty previews this week’s salon  

  TIDBITS – S’mores cake! / Uber what now? / well that’s one way to deal with a red wine stain    CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT – a whole new fry-day    FEATURED RECIPE – Martha goes spicy    TIP – kitchen tangle, your days are numbered    THE WEEK – egg salad 2.0 / weird sammie upgrade / oink too! {M – could I have the other parts?}

Misty’s History    Misty’s Gallery

  TIDBITS 

Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

  A classic summertime treat just got even cooler and sweeter. I hope the picture police don’t come after me because I just had to share the image of this S’mores Cake ice cream cake. It’s on the Tasting Table page but from Pinterest and some of those are public domain and some aren’t – as always we credit the pic below. And yes, the recipe is on the page too.

  Am I missing something here? So, on some evenings you just don’t want to cook, and it’s Uber Eats to the rescue. All well and good. But now in select cities in the west, Uber is testing a “Dine-In” option. Rather than having me try to describe it, since I’m not exactly clear on the benefit, you can see the story for yourself. Then, what do you think?

  So, last week in Tidbits {which is immediately below this week’s Salon} we ran a link to an article about removing red wine stains. Came across this and thought it was pretty funny – don’t remove the stain, go with it! Here’s that solution.

  CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT   

What do you see?

To me, this looks like a cute little alien that dropped out of the mothership to bring futuristic help to the kitchen. Especially if you’d like a future that includes fried foods without the oil-driven frying.Dash DFAF455GBAQ01 Deluxe Electric Air Fryer + Oven Cooker with with Temperature Control, Non Stick Fry Basket, Recipe Guide + Auto Shut Off Feature, 6 qt, Aqua

For appetizers, desserts, wings, fries, it guarantees your food will come out crisp every time. Set the temp, set the timer, go do something else for a while {they say “minutes”}.

Cook-friendly features include auto shut-off, cool touch housing, all non-electric parts dishwasher safe. Match your kitchen with an exterior of black, white, red, aqua. Recipe book too, and recipe database access.

The chicken photo shows their crispy promise. It’s 4 1/2 stars on Amazon, Prime eligible, at this writing $20 discount. Some comments: “awesome,” “great recipes,” “everything comes out perfect.”

Dash Electric Air Fryer on Amazon

  FEATURED RECIPE  

Tasty, Spicy, Easy!

Not just the most tender ever pork. But also, those spicy and herby ingredients join onions and tomatoes and play together for hours in the slow cooker, all emerging as a unified bounty of flavor, ready to pile onto a bun or a plate, or as the recipe suggests, into taco shells with cheddar or {and?} sour cream. Btw, feel free to add even more spice.

And because it’s Martha behind this Spicy Pulled Pork, you already can pretty much guess there are cooking tips too. And as she notes, the easy prep all comes together in a matter of minutes.

Martha has a entire cookbook devoted to slow cooker recipes {good discount right now on Amazon}. As it promises, “110 recipes for flavorful, foolproof dishes {including desserts}, plus test-kitchen tips and strategies.”

Slow Cooker Spicy Pulled Pork recipe  “Martha Stewart’s Slow Cooker” cookbook  

Stewart’s other cookbooks    Other slow cooker cookbooks, 4 stars & up

  TIP  

Kitchen help – from the office supply store?

I love this storage trick. No more the jumble of baking sheets, cooling racks, toaster oven pans, and cutting boards that used to fight it out for space in the cabinet.

Now they play nice in folder holders, the kind you’d find at Office Depot or Amazon. And you can multiple the capacity by additionally storing more of these kinds of items between the ends of the sorter and the cabinet walls. I actually use three of them.

Btw, this {she noted shamelessly} is one of the 50 kitchen tricks you’ll find in my Kindle book, 99 cents,  linked just below. Also a link for folder holders/sorters on Amazon, most pretty inexpensive, like under $20,  and saw one with 8 slots on sale for just under $10.

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

  A PEEK AT MY WEEK  

Welcome to my kitchen and living room

  Love egg salad? Love hummus? I recently arranged a “marriage” of the two. It still had the classic ingredients of onion, celery, a bit of dill pickle relish {some folks might prefer sweet} and then, the hummus in place of mayo. You know what – keeper!

  In our 05.17.19 Salon I mentioned two long ago experiences that had come together to create a grilled chocolate/cheddar sandwich. Now a new bit of information, a Food Network Magazine article on sprinkling smoked paprika on a whole buffet of foodstuffs including grilled cheese, sparked a memory of a wondrous chile/chocolate pie at a since-closed restaurant – all clearly suggesting that my sammie could go for an upgrade. Except I sprinkled cayenne. Thanks everybody!

PS – have the napkins handy!

  We CS-ers are pretty darn good at avoiding food waste. So guessing maybe we all can appreciate a comment by darling Tyler Florence on his Bite Club Show on Food Network a few weeks back. While creating pork dishes he said they use everything, “even the oink.”

So far next week: no-cook dinners, funny food book, farmers market tips, dinner on a stick, peanut cilantro dip, cilantro recipes, reviving spices, a A-Team approach to a grilling basket, two-stick trick

Last week, just below: pizza help x 2, Irish breakfast, red wine stains, kids cookbooks, no bake lemon cheesecake tarts {easy!}, parchment paper & squash tricks, scones ps x 2   

Direct access to Amazon homepage through my personal link

Looking for something in CS? – scroll and check Misty’s previews OR enter the item in the search box OR email me at bjnosek@gmail.com

Note, transactions are solely between the buyer and linked supplier

Photo credits – s’mores cake/Rachel Vanni/Tasting Table, air fryer & chicken/Amazon, all others/mine

All pages ©2019 CooksSalon.com

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

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No-bake lemon cheesecake tarts, Aug 2-8, 2019

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

& Misty the FoodieCat

CS friends, help yourself to tasty resources!

  CatChat –  Misty previews this week’s salon  

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

Misty’s History    Misty’s Gallery

  TIDBITS 

Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

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

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

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

  CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT  

Kids can cook!

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

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

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

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

  FEATURED RECIPE  

Tart lemon, sweet cheesecake 

A Tasting Panel Selection

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

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

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

AllRecipes cheesecake  

  TIP  

What a good idea

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

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

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

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

  A PEEK AT MY WEEK  

Welcome to my kitchen and living room

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

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

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

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

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

Direct access to Amazon homepage through my personal link

Looking for something in CS? – scroll and check Misty’s previews OR enter the item in the search box OR email me at bjnosek@gmail.com

Note, transactions are solely between the buyer and linked supplier

Photo credits – book/Amazon, all others/mine

All pages ©2019 CooksSalon.com

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

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Marcela’s Sandwich Cake, June 7-13, 2019

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

& Misty the FoodieCat

CS friends, help yourself to tasty resources!

  CatChat –  Misty previews this week’s salon  

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

Misty’s History    Misty’s Gallery

  TIDBITS 

Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

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

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

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

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

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

  CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT 

For dads that cook, dads that would like to cook

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

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

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

Cookbooks for Dad

  FEATURED RECIPE  

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

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

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

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

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

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

  TIP  

It works!

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

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

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

Demo

  A PEEK AT MY WEEK  

Welcome to my kitchen and living room

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

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

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

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

SECURE ACCESS THROUGH MY LINK TO AMAZON HOME PAGE

Looking for something in CS? – scroll and check Misty’s previews OR enter the item in the search box OR email me at bjnosek@gmail.com

Note, transactions are solely between the buyer and linked supplier

Photo credits: pub/pub site, MD gifts & book/Amazon, Marcella’s cake/chefmarcela.com, lemon & soubise/mine

All pages ©2019 CooksSalon.com

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

 

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Mex makes salads exciting, May 31-June 6, 2019

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

& Misty the FoodieCat

CS friends, help yourself to tasty resources!

  CatChat –  Misty previews this week’s salon 

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

Misty’s History    Misty’s Gallery

  TIDBITS 

Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

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

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

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

  CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT   

Inside the mind of a culinary legend

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

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

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

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

  FEATURED RECIPE  

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

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

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

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

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

“Mexican Salads”

♦  TIP  

Sammie glamour

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

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

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

  A PEEK AT MY WEEK  

Welcome to my kitchen and living room

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

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

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

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

Looking for something in CS? – scroll and check Misty’s previews OR enter the item in the search box OR email me at bjnosek@gmail.com

Note, transactions are solely between the buyer and linked supplier

Photo credits – dvd/Amazon, all others/mine

All pages ©2019 CooksSalon.com

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

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The Tasting Panel has spoken, May 3-16, 2019

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

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

& Misty the FoodieCat

CS friends, help yourself to tasty resources!

  CatChat –  Misty previews this week’s salon  

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

Misty’s History    Misty’s Gallery

  TIDBITS 

Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

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

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

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

  CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT  ♦ 

Beautiful food gifts for mom

So much good stuff here. Whether she has a sweet tooth or a “savory” tooth,  chances are excellent you’llShimmering Delights Gourmet Gift Basket find a gift she’ll love.

There are varying arrays of tea, coffee, snacks, cookies, candy, cheese, chips & Tranquil Delights Spa Bath and Body Gift Basket Set with Tea and Cookies (Peony)salsa, plus a breakfast collection, Bloody Mary kit that includes a cutting board, and a “shimmering” gourmet collection. Some also tuck in a nice selection of pampering beauty products.

The latter is shown here along with the Tranquil Delights Spa Bath and Body Gift Basket Set with Tea and Cookies. If you’d like to see a wider array of Mother’s Day gifts, click the second link – and though there’s a huge number of possibilities, fear not, you can narrow your search by type of product, rating, brand and more, and after selecting your initial category, more factors including price and Prime eligible.

Food gifts on Amazon  ♦  Other Mother’s Day gifts

Shimmering collection shown    Spa & tea set shown

  FEATURED RECIPE  

A San Francisco classic 

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

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

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

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

Recipes on google    NY Times article    Zuni cookbook    Zuni Cafe 

  TIP  

Be gentle now

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

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

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

California Avocado

  A PEEK AT MY WEEK  

Welcome to my kitchen and living room

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

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

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

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

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

SECURE ACCESS THROUGH MY LINK TO AMAZON HOME PAGE

Looking for something in CS? – scroll and check Misty’s previews OR enter the item in the search box OR email me at bjnosek@gmail.com

Note, transactions are solely between the buyer and linked supplier

Photo credits: Mom’s Day gifts & Zuni book/Amazon, others/mine

All pages ©2019 CooksSalon.com

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

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