Chocolate filled crescents, so easy, July 3-July 9, 2020

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

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Ah darn, but then all better 

So I saw what appeared to be a crescent roll filled with chocolate and maybe something else in an ad. The bummer about this kind of thing is when the tempting item is merely a prop, no recipe will be forthcoming.

Ha! Pillsbury to the rescue.

Their basic recipe couldn’t be easier, just the rolls, mini chocolate chips and optional powdered sugar. I had a few raisins to use up so after softening them in some hot water {then drained and blotted} added those in too. I chose not to top with powdered sugar because I didn’t want to cover up that beautiful golden exterior.

Breakfast, midday, dessert, all good. And of course you can stroll all through the site’s recipe pages for countless sweet and savory ways to fill crescent rolls.

Recipe notes: I found two things help keep the chips in place while you’re “rolling in the dough.” One is to use the palm of your hand to press them down into the crescent. And second, what worked best for me was to fold the point up to the wide edge and then roll from the fold to the wide edge, turning them seam down in the baking pan – if you look at the cheesecake crescent shown beneath the recipe on the Pillsbury page, it looks like that’s how those rolled.

Next week: gooey, gussied grilled cheese sandwiches

Pillsbury recipe    Their other crescent roll recipes    Pillsbury cookbooks on Amazon  

  FOOD TIPS FOR THE TIMES  

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

  Be the smartest person in the grocery store, or picking up groceries, or having groceries delivered. The NBC news site gives a shout-out to canned goods which, as the story says, because of their longevity cut back on waste and also mean “your pantry holds a treasure of quick meal solutions.” Here’s where it turns to gold. The report includes pointers for selecting the most nutritious canned goods, and maybe even better a roundup of the nation’s top food pros and nutritionists citing their favorite canned goods and why. Here are all the secrets.

♦  Meanwhile, here’s another take on wash produce the right way. This one from Yahoo, in turn citing the CDC.

  Well I never thought I’d be saying, I love the idea of a “garbage jar.” Let’s just say this is not only yet another way to avoid waste but as well to make maybe some of your best baked goods ever. Find the sweet scoop from MyRecipes here.

  Wait, don’t throw that out! EatingWell magazine tell us, “Instead of tossing the stems, ends and seeds of your produce, learn how to give them new life. It’s easy.” Details and a demo are here at Grow Scraps {never quite sure what threat this might pose, but please note the EW site shows “not secure” – rest assured CooksSalon is!}. This is actually quite fascinating. Will let you know if I give it a try.  

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Shrimp Fra Diavolo, June 26-July 2, 2020

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

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Shrimp gets frisky 

A decent hit of red pepper flakes, a touch of another pepper, and go-for-it garlic all conspire to put a tingle on your tongue. Though truth be told, I did drizzle a bit of sriracha over it too.

There are of course other fine flavors too, seasonings, wine {though I actually used clam juice instead}, tomatoes, herbs. Thinking a green salad with some cooling avocado and a dollop of sour cream could be a tasty counterpoint.

The prep is from one of my favorite sites, AllRecipes, and in turn is credited to Chef John. Thanks Chef John!

The good news roster: prep time 15 min, cook time 20 min, 5 star rating, delicious!

Well, woohoo, turns out the good chef has all kinds of great looking dishes on the AllRecipes site. The ones most likely to bring me back first – his breakfast & brunch dishes, lemon bars and potato roses, and the latter includes a demo. Even if you never make this dish, pretty sure you will enjoy watching even if only for his droll sense of humor.

Next week: chocolate filled crescent rolls

Recipe    Chef John’s dishes on AllRecipes  

  FOOD TIPS FOR THE TIMES  

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

  In last week’s salon we linked imdb’s favorite foodie movies. Leave it to google to tap into a full roster of sources for top rated movies with a culinary theme. Water for Chocolate and Chocolat are two of my list toppers and truly for reasons well beyond the title subject.

  A little indulgence now and then can’t hurt right? Good for the spirits. So, high on that list for lots of us is a hot fudge sundae. No hot fudge? If you have karo syrup and any kind of chocolate – boxed, bars, chips – you in effect have hot fudge in the wings. And easy, no measuring, even though I do use a measuring cup for the easy pouring. Put in the chips or chopped chocolate, cover fully with the syrup, nuke and whisk till smooth with a pinch of salt.

And remember it will thicken considerably when it hits the ice cream. After you make it once, you’ll know if next time you want to add more of one or the other to suit your taste. You can enrich it with butter, cream, vanilla, e.g., too but it will also be a perfectly good sauce with just those main ingredients. I did discover one thing – a hot fudge banana split is a heck of a breakfast.

  Campbell’s cream of chicken soup is the foundation of my own personal mother sauce. May share some of that here but as well going into a cookbook. Meanwhile, wow, so many tasty ways to use this culinary workhorse. See for yourself with a stroll through Campbell’s cream of chicken soup recipes on their site. You know what looks so good – the creamy chicken pot pie, easy chicken & cheese enchiladas, shortcut chicken cordon bleu, chicken and stuffing pie – better stop.

  Also, Campbell’s has published cookbooks based on their wide range of products, and there is at least one dedicated to recipes that start with their soups. You can find these cookbooks on this page on Amazon.

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

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Award winner 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Next week: Shrimp turns pasta “Fra Diavolo

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

  FOOD TIPS FOR THE TIMES  

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Honey Roasted Carrots, June 12-June 18, 2020

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This pretty much turns carrots into candy 

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

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

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

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

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

Recipe    “Eat This Not That” cookbooks

Next week Bacon Peanut Butter Corn Muffins

  FOOD TIPS FOR THE TIMES  

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

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

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

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

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

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Saucy, spicy, savory Cajun shrimp, June 5-June 11, 2020

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

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Fieri finds “real-deal” Cajun in Mooresville, Indiana

It’s called Zydeco’s and that real deal is not just a matter of serving up all the classics, but as well making some of the essential ingredients in-house and flying in some of the rest. Guy says, when you’re inside you really are in New Orleans.

This recipe from his cookbook, “Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives: The Funky Finds in Flavortown,” is an adaptation of the one provided to Fieri by co-owner and New Orleans native Carter Hutchinson. Zydeco’s BBQ Shrimp is not for the faint of palate – any hint of red in the buttery/garlicky sauce is not from tomatoes {there are none}, but from hot peppers – ground, flaked and liquid.

That’s indeed Big Easy style, with the requisite crusty bread pressed into service after the shrimp is gone to scoop up every last bit of the sauce. Expect to have butter residue to the elbows immediately afterward, and garlic wafting from your pores possibly for days.

You also could have had pretty much this same dish if you ever happened to have gone years ago to a place called Slicker Sam’s in Melrose Park, a suburb west of Chicago, and probably today at other select places outside New Orleans. Just make sure wherever it is, it’s the “real deal.”

Both cookbook links below take you to Amazon. Fieri’s books generally rate four stars and up.

Next week: Honey roasted carrots

Zydeco’s BBQ Shrimp recipe on Food Network    This DDD cookbook    Other Fieri cookbooks

  FOOD TIPS FOR THE TIMES  

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

  Quick pickup at Trader Joe’s, back home, minutes later, dinner! And hooray for the number of ingredients too. It’s all promised in their list of “Meals {that} Have Fewer Than Four Ingredients and Take 10 Minutes to Make.” They’ve done a boffo job of packing a lot of flavor and texture into a little bit of stuff. Thanks Cooking Light for posting this. {Just a quick PS, more accurate to say four or fewer ingredients

  How about a nice ice cream dessert with a kick? This sweet treat is the result of Fieri’s visit to a place called Union Woodshop in Clarkston MI, and the recipe in the book {above} for a Maple Bourbon Pecan Sundae is courtesy of that restaurant’s Chef Aaron Cozadd. Thinking despite the title this would be quite good even without the bourbon, and then maybe some vanilla instead.

We should note that Cozadd makes his own vanilla ice cream for this sundae, using the nitrogen freezing method. I’ve had this prep before and the ice cream turns out so smooth, so creamy, it’s almost in a class by itself. A lot of cautions go along with this process, so maybe ice cream from the store would do just fine.

  Joanna Gaines, known to many as a cookbook author and more, is posting cooking demos on her Youtube channel. What’s so nice about this format vs live tv is you can pause the video to make notes or whatever, or run it back to see something again. There is a subscribe button but you can just go ahead and watch any of these Magnolia Table episodes. May want to start with the French Silk Pie. Meanwhile if you’d like you can browse her cookbooks and more on Amazon.

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Famous cookie filling, May 29-June 4, 2020

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

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Everybody loves a clone 

For some reason we keep encountering cloned dishes. Our marketplace spotlight in the 03.27.20 Salon was a entire book of them, Todd Wilbur’s “Top Secret Recipes/Step by Step.” Then it was Food Network Magazine’s take on Panera’s loaded baked potato soup, our featured recipe in the 04.24.20 Salon.

Now a fabulous book by Stella Parks, whose resume includes honors as one of Food & Wine’s Best New Pastry Chefs, BraveTart: Iconic American Dessertsserves up a whole section of clones in her big book, “Bravetart.” Think such proprietary names as Animal Crackers, Fig Newtons, Oreos, Fudge Stripes, Twinkies, Thin Mints and more.

And in our 05.01.20 Salon, we “borrowed” her chocolate topping {see below} for those famous filled cupcakes to drizzle over the featured Cookies and Cream Bread Pudding. This week we intended to again take out another loan, you might say, loading up store-bought chocolate wafers with Parks’ cloned Oreo® filling – but, no wafers.

No worries, you can see the finished product right on the cover of her book, and the filling recipe is linked below. Of course for the full experience you’d want to make her version of the cookies too.

So many long time American classics here – in fact Parks says most of them date back more than a hundred years, and she brings it all further to life with what she calls origin stories as well as vintage ads. Think pies, cakes, cookies, puddings, donuts – classics! – cherry pie, “no fuss” apple pie, “no Stress” all butter pastry crust, no-cook lemon syrup, Boston cream pie,  lots of old fashioned cakes.

Next week: saucy, spicy, savory Cajun shrimp from Guy Fieri’s “DDD” book

Homemde Oreo® filling on our recipe page    “Bravetart” on Amazon, 5 stars  

  FOOD TIPS FOR THE TIMES  

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

  The cookbook mentioned in conjunction with our featured recipe above could serve as a rewarding way to spend this extra time at home for folks who love baking. The recipes come from an acclaimed baker, and as such really tap into the joys of deep-diving into scratch baking, including relevant ingredients and equipment notes.  In the intro, food columnist Kenji Lopez-Alt calls the calls the dishes a “balance between comfort and quality” and compares them to the best treats of our childhood, but “better, because you’re an adult now and nobody’s gonna tell you how much frosting to put on those cakes.”

  So, about Stella Parks’ chocolate sauce. Thankfully, quite easy. You can see for yourself on our recipe page. Note that though the whipped cream is listed with the sauce ingredients, it’s actually for the filling.

  We’ve referenced Eat This Not That previously in our Salon, and this time on msn.com they offer up this timely slide show, “120 Best-Ever Comfort Food Recipes.” I’ll be honest here, I had no intention of going through all 120 but yikes so much good stuff I ended up doing exactly that. Here are just a few – Sunday roast chicken, chicken pot pie, poor man’s steak with onion and mushrooms plus garlic gravy, slow roasted pork shoulder, gussied up grilled cheese, the Elvis sandwich, grilled Mexican style corn {shown}, honey roasted carrots, blueberry peach cobbler, best fudgy brownies. You can bet some of these will magically appear as our Featured Recipes.

  While it”s so wonderful to see communities step up to fill the void left by closed schools and the loss of those meals for kids that depend on them, apparently that’s not the case everywhere. No Kid Hungry, a Share Our Strength program that I’v seen supported by chefs at national events, says they have a plan to find new ways to feed these children. If you are fortunate enough to be able to help, please visit their site here. See their ratings here.

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Brunch goes Mexi with Chilaquilies, May 22-May 28, 2020

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

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A skillet full of flavor 

When I was checking the Bush Beans site for dishes that could be created from this ingredient – one of our tips in last week’s Salon – I was rather amazed at just how many I found. But one that just jumped off the page at me was the Chilaquiles recipe, something I’ve had and enjoyed in restaurants.

It’s sort of a cousin to nachos but with the egg component a really nice breakfast or brunch dish. You could even up the egg quotient with a fried or poached eggs on top {and I did, with the leftovers}.

Black beans and the mixed-in eggs are joined in the pan by chips and salsa, and when hot served with onion, cheese, cilantro and sour cream. I made it as the recipe indicated but wondering if their photo doesn’t also show some pinto beans too, which sure couldn’t hurt.

Also couldn’t hurt to add some bacon {and I did} or breakfast sausage into the equation, maybe some avocado on the side {did}. All in all, as is or enhanced, a great combo of flavors and textures.

Oh, how good would these be with a bloody mary???

Substitutions if needed: cream cheese instead of crema, canned diced tomatoes with or without additions instead of salsa, any beans, any onion.

Next week:  secret cookie filling

Recipe  

  FOOD TIPS FOR THE TIMES  

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

  In our 03.27.20 Salon, in the Tidbits section, we showed a link for baking projects to consider if you’re among the many folks spending more time at home. Now Taste of Home has come along with 50+ cooking projects and I think CS-ers will find a lot to love here. Nacho appetizer triangles lead the way, followed by the likes of nutty oven fried chicken, Bavarian pot roast, bbq chicken & apple bread pudding, reuben & rye strata, a burrito bar and several good looking sheet pan dinners.

  Well this could be a fun way to spend some time. The following google link takes you to a list of sources for downloadable  food-themed crossword puzzles. Of course, go only with those you trust and that your security program approves.

  As far as I can tell, Forgotten Harvest operates only in the Detroit area. But I wonder if their proactive program could apply all over the place. They collect food that would have gone to waste and deliver it to organizations that feed the hungry. Of course would want to be sure that food is still good, but if it is, what a phenomenal way to help those in need, and more than ever today.

  Btw while I was on the Bush site checked to see if maybe they had gathered their recipes into a cookbook, but didn’t find one there. Looked on Amazon and didn’t find a Bush one but did find “Bean by Bean” cookbook,”  subtitled, “More than 175 recipes for fresh beans, dried beans, cool beans, hot beans, savory beans, even sweet beans.” Four stars. Cool beans, indeed.

 

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Chicken Pepperoni Parmesan, May 15-May 21, 2020

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

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  COMFORT FOOD  

It’s like they had a crystal ball

Magazine articles are prepped many months in advance of publication. So check this out from Food & Wine for March: “The comfort of working from home is your one saving grace. Not only can you stay in pajamas all day and watch movies while sending emails, but you can also cook some seriously comforting food. Here, the 25 things you’ll definitely want to eat.

But here’s the thing. The first sentence actually was, “When it’s March and it’s blizzarding, times are truly bleak.  And the full final sentence was, Here, the 25 things you’ll definitely want to eat while snowed in.” While much of the country is likely not snowed in, some of the country is in, and comfort food is ever so welcome.

Our Featured Recipe comes from that list, which also has such tempters as bacon fried rice with avocado and fried eggs, cheesey nachos with fried eggs and giardiniera, meatloaf with red wine glaze, individual chicken pot pies, and pralinc brownies, 25 in all. View as a slide show or scroll down for the full list.

The chicken pepperoni parm is already a plate of flavor. But in fact I did add some Italian seasonings to the tomato sauce or you could certainly use a jarred marinara. I also sauteed the chicken in butter/olive oil instead of breading it. More good news – it all bakes on a sheet pan.

Next week: Chilaquilies, layers of flavor

Recipe   Food & Wine magazine F&W comfort food list 

  FOOD TIPS FOR THE TIMES  

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

  Did you want mashed potatoes tonight, but no fresh taters, no flakes, none in the freezer? One other question – did you make the loaded baked potato soup we featured in our 04.24.20 Salon? If that one’s a Yes, do this. Put the frozen soup in a non stick skillet over low heat and when you can begin breaking it up and stirring it around. Keep stirring as it loses liquid and begins to thicken. Continue until it has the consistency you want. It will actually be more like whipped than mashed but will stand up to gravy. And, oh boy, the flavor!

  Take a can of beans. And then – wow – look what you can do. This pantry staple can be transformed into soups, stews, chili variations, salads, casseroles, skillet dinners, dips and ethnic treats. Some nicely spicy stuff too including the honey chipotle steak hot dip. And even goes sweet with bean spice cake, brownie truffle bites and chocolate fudge cookies. These treats on the Bush Beans recipe page can be searched by course, bean variety, recipe type and more. {Photo from Bush site}

  As with people food pantries, in some areas there are also pet food banks. And as with the people ones, tap into it if you need it, donate if you can. I didn’t find a central source for this kind of information, but you should be able to search for any that may be near you.

  “Produce Pool”? A funny photo circulating on the web shows one way to pass quarantine time – a guy is at his billiard sized kitchen table with what might be a cue stick taking aim at a tomato, ready to “break” a formation of limes. Pairs of bananas serve as the targets. Thanks, Peggy.

“Make America Decent Again” collection crafted by Zazzle – see it right here on CS

Tees, Sweats, Hoodies, Mugs, Hats, Buttons – nice styles & colors

CS Marketplace Directory

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

You can still see full-featured Salons below starting at 04.10.20

 

Looking for something in CS?

Scroll & check previews OR use the search box OR contact me at bjnosek@gmail.com

Questions, comments?

Use the same email, enter CooksSalon in the subject line – see the Let’s Chat tab for further details

Note

All transactions are solely between the buyer and linked supplier

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

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

All pages ©2020 CooksSalon.com

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Bacon Cheeseburger Casserole, April 17-April 23, 2020

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

New Salon every Friday – c’mon in

CS friends, and help yourself to tasty resources

Dear CS Friends

Starting this week and for as long as neceessary we’re going to share with you just two areas, both of which we hope you’ll find helpful and timely.

First, a comfort style recipe – in fact, most of our recipes fit this category but we’ll be going the extra mile to make sure they are super tasty and satisfying.

Second, whatever guides we can find that relate to the food you bring into the home or that you may already have in your home and how you can make the most of them and more.

We can perhaps take this time to flex our creativity in the kitchen, our own sweet safe haven

  COMFORT FOOD  

Hotsy, Totsy

In our 02.14.20 Salon we featured the first of the casserole-a-month recipes from Southern Living. That was shrimp and grits and I can only hope it is a marker for the other preps because that was one super tasty plateful.

So, the recipe for April is asparagus quiche which looked quite good and also takes advantage of a nice spring veggie. But I actually fast-forwarded to September and it’s ever-so-comfort sounding cheeseburger casserole with a heat secret {hotsy} and a tater tot {totsy} topping.

I did, btw, go generous with the cheese on top as you may see in the ungarnished version, and feel free to boost the bacon. One thing, since you may not be serving a crowd right now, consider cooking the beef and all the add-ins, portioning into the freezer, and then going ahead with the tots and toppings as you serve the portions.

According to Tasting Panel member and Duluth native Layne, this definitely qualifies as a classic Minnesota Hot Dish, and an eminently tummy-yummy one at that. That’s two out of two, Southern Living!

Next week: Famous loaded baked potato soup

SL recipe    All their casseroles    Southern Living

♦  FOOD TIPS FOR THE TIMES 

Shopping, cooking, storing, using up, substituting, enjoying, health & safety

  We ran an item on safe shopping in our 03.27.20 Salon that focused on what to do once the groceries are in your home. Now ABC-TV News has taken us right into the store with “How to safely grocery shop during coronavirus.”

  TV chef and cookbook author Ina Garten shows us how to make good use of existing pantry staples. She calls them her quarantine meals but they sure do equate to comfort food. Thanks to MyRecipes for sending this along.

Eat This, Not That (Revised): The Best (& Worst) Foods in America!  Are you familiar with the Eat This, Not That! books, articles, and website? The whole realm is premised on what to put and not put on your plate in the interest of nutrition, health and wellness. A recent post by msn.com, under the Eat This, Not That! banner, talks about “30 Best Immune-Boosting Foods.” The good news is that pretty much of it is stuff you can easily find at your supermarket. That first link, btw, takes you to the books on Amazon.

  Can’t get out to your favorite coffee emporium? This might be a fix, and since it’s gone viral you may already have seen it. “Quarantine Dalgona coffee” popped up on my Echo Show. Whaaaaat?  And this was unexpected. When I searched online, atop the results was a story by . . .  “Popular Mechanics” ??? They were looking at the science behind this stuff which is basically whipped sweetened coffee, named after a Korean confection and bearing some resemblance to what you would find at Starbucks, et al. This Google page will show you that one and lots more.

CS Marketplace Directory

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

You can still see full-featured Salons below starting at 04.10.20

Looking for something in CS?

Scroll & check previews OR use the search box OR contact me at bjnosek@gmail.com

Questions, comments?

Use the same email, enter CooksSalon in the subject line – see the Let’s Chat tab for further details

Note

All transactions are solely between the buyer and linked supplier

and I’m an associate for Amazon, Zazzle, & SunFrog

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

All pages ©2020 CooksSalon.com

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Rich and creamy {& famous} clam chowder, April 10-April 16, 2020

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 this week when you scroll below  

  TIDBITS – “easiest” asparagus / salsa=16 dinners / corona through food?    CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT – our fun new mugs / adda Mada    FEATURED RECIPE – trick it up    TIP – read & ready    THE WEEK – there’s good and there’s good / possible leftovers resource / play without fear

  TIDBITS 

Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

  What a great time for an asparagus recipe, just when the tender spears are becoming available. Even better, “This might be the easiest way to make asparagus.” It’s in a skillet, few ingredients, says 5 minutes.

  As promised in last week’s Salon, here is AllRecipe’s offer of “16 Easy Dinners to Make with a Jar of Salsa.” Note as with many of these slide shows you can also opt to just scroll down and see the full list. I think my list-topper is likely to be the Black Bean Breakfast Bowl, or wait, maybe the Cilantro Lime Garlic Sauteed Shrimp {D’s Taco Pizza?}.

Thinking we’d all like to know the answer to this. “Can You Contract Coronavirus Through Food?” MyRecipes takes our previous posts a step further with “Why you need to pay attention before, during, and after your supermarket visits {and home deliveries}.” Their information is sourced from the CDC and FDA.

  CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT   

Cheer up your morning {or any time} with a fun CS mug

Our own CS mug collection {five is a collection, right?} is now on its own page right here on the Salon site. More will come in the days ahead.The Mug With A Hoop

For now, you can raise a toast to chocolate, coffee, ice cream, and parties. And rounding out the lineup, one I just love . . . “In this house I’M the celebrity chef” – you too?

All of them are our own designs. But credit for the craftwork goes to CA-based Zazzle, home of many fine crafts.

The page also gives you links to other food-themed mugs on Zazzle plus on Amazon and SunFrog. Some are more cups than mugs, like the clever one shown here from Amazon. Images are clickable.

CS Fun Mug page    CS Marketplace Directory

NEW, our “Make America Decent Again” collection on Zazzle now includes a tee, hoodie. button, sweatshirt and mug – all right now on BJN’s Eclectic Mall page

  FEATURED RECIPE  

Make as is or use their own trick

In our 03.27.20 Salon we featured Todd Wilbur’s book, “Top Secret Recipes/Step by Step.” I had mentioned that among the preps landing on my to-make list was this very one from the famous Boston {etc} restaurant group, Legal Sea Food.

The amped up flavor is thanks to such ingredients as bacon, onions, garlic, and spices. I actually used bottled clam juice for the stock, and here’s one of two ‘fess-ups – canned clams, added at the end and gently heated so they stayed tender.

The second ‘fess up requires a detour, in fact to Boston. I’m long familiar with Legal Sea Foods given that it was a mandatory stop any time my husband and I were in town.

Top Secret Recipes Step-by-Step: Secret Formulas with Photos for Duplicating Your Favorite Famous Foods at HomeOne time while we were at the bar awaiting our table we had a pleasant conversation with the bartender. In the course of the chat we mentioned how we were all but addicted to their fish chowder.

Whether he should have told us or not, he did – the secret he said is a lot of Monterey jack cheese. The question was, is that true or not, but our fairly experienced taste buds thought it probably was and that’s what I’ve borrowed for the clam chowder in place of the flour and cornstarch, melting in till it was as thick as I wanted, and then the clams.

Btw, I learned something that’s reflected in the recipe link. Don’t know how many are in its “library,” but apparently Google posts entire books and that’s where the link will take you. If you’d rather have a real book in your hands, there’s also the Amazon link where you’ll see Wilbur’s work merits 4 1/2 stars, available at good discounts for both Kindle and paperback.

Recipe     “Top Secret Recipes Step by Step”    Wilbur’s other Top Secret Recipes cookbooks  

  TIP  

For some CS-ers, this is going to be a great big Duh!

Which is to say, you might take a look at the subject and say, well of course I do that. But not all of us do, all the time, and I’m as guilty as anyone else in this regard.

The subject is, reading the recipe. And not just right before you make it, but a day or two before you make it.

Do you have all the ingredients. And just as important, do you have enough of each ingredient. Are the necessary appliances in working order. Does anything have to be done in advance – marinating, baking, chilling, freezing. Or, can some of the steps be completed in advance.

Party time makes this pre-look even more critical, and now we’re likely talking more than one recipe. Are the necessary big bowls and pans going to be available or in use for something else. Is there room in the oven or on the stove for all the planned preps. Is there time to get it all ready.

So grab a cup of coffee or your beverage of choice, sit back and relax. And have a nice little read.

  A PEEK AT MY WEEK  

Welcome to my kitchen and living room

  I was drawn to a headline regarding Quarantine Cakes on my Echo Show. Turns out they’re from a bakery in CA, designed for 1 or 2 people, frosted with coronavirus messages {“Stay 6 ft apart,” e.g.}. Not sure what I was expecting, but not exactly this, and not something available only locally. But maybe, intentionally or otherwise, there’s a message here anyway – don’t have to totally abandon good eating habits, but maybe this is a time to indulge in a few more treats than usual. We’ll do our best to help.

  In case you have an Echo Show, one of the features that’s quite handy is asking Alexa how to use up leftovers, as a general question or regarding a specific ingredient. I asked her about some leftover cooked shrimp and she came back with shrimp quesadillas and lemon garlic shrimp. You can then of course ask her for the recipe.

  Are you among those spending a little more time at home than usual these days. One possibility to pass the time is to . . . play with your food. And do it without fear because, cooks being among the most creative folks on earth, we can almost always find ways to turn the bad to good. E.g., I recently made a layer cake instead in a sheet pan, and after a guessed-at baking time the poked-in wooden skewer came out clean and the edges had started to pull away.

  But after it cooled somewhat discovered that actually the bottom was decidedly not cooked. Hmmmm. Hauled out a large skillet, in with a little oil, and then dropped in squares of the cake undercooked side down, until done and a little crisp. Over briefly for some crispness on the done side. Then cooled, wrapped portions in foil, and into the freezer to emerge on demand as tasty pancakes.

This week’s:

  •  Photo credits – cup, mug, book-Amazon / recipe-my photo of Wilbur’s page / others-mine
  •  Link sources – cooking asparagus-MyRecipes / brownies-msn.com / photo links for cup & mug, books-Amazon
  • Partnerships – Amazon {ongoing – Amazon, Zazzle, SunFrog}

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

So far next week: Starting next week our Salon will convert for now to a more simple format, just two elements – a comfort food recipe and whatever food safety measures we can find

Last week, just below: taco shell the blank slate, best cobbler?, marinara + + , sheet pan 2.0, warm chocolate cobbler, flour trick, save the milk, fun with taters, impromptu dressing

Looking for something in CS?

Scroll & check previews OR use the search box OR contact me at bjnosek@gmail.com

Questions, comments?

Use the same email, enter CooksSalon in the subject line – see the Let’s Chat tab for further details

Note

All transactions are solely between the buyer and linked supplier

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

All pages ©2020 CooksSalon.com

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