Fun & Mega-Flavor Shaking Beef, April 19-25, 2019

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

& Misty the FoodieCat

CS friends, help yourself to tasty resources!

  CatChat –  Misty previews this week’s salon  

  TIDBITS – meatloaf upgrade / sweet tv / dishwasher does whaaaat???    CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT – Anti-Anxiety Diet {M – what the heck is anxiety???  FEATURED RECIPE – shake-a-steak    TIP – lovin’ the leftovers    THE WEEK – scraps=gravy! / another tasty toast 2.0 / mug cake made even easier

Misty’s History    Misty’s Gallery

{M – hey my friends – that’s all of you, right? – mom added two new pix to my Gallery}


Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

♦  Like meatloaf? Want to hear an interesting tweak? Emma Laperruque writing in Food 52 first reveals the secret that Rao’s meatballs are made extra juicy by adding 2 cups of water for 2 lbs of ground beef. That gave her the idea to experiment with meatloaf using this same trick. She had to change it up here and there but eventually perfected the steps that “took an otherwise humble meatloaf over the top.” The rest of the story on this better meatloaf is also here as she parses the five ingredients.

 Celeb baker Buddy Valastro is giving four bakers a chance to take the cake in a big way. Each week in the four-episode series of Bake You Rich, a baker’s “winning item will available to order on the Carlo’s Bakery website.” Valastro and a team of judges will determine the winner after the three-round challenge. On Food Network Sundays, 10/9c.

There’s a commercial where an adorable little girl asks, “What does the dishwasher do?” Turns out, possibly some unexpected things, in fact seven according to suggestions by MyRecipes. The adventurous may want to try all  “7 Things You Didn’t Know Your Dishwasher Could Do”  – I’m mostly inclined to tap into those that expand on its cleaning and sanitizing capabilities.


Eat Yourself Calm

It’s just simply a sign of our fast moving times that many of us experience stress to some degree, at some times. For us food folks, there’s some really good news, brought to us by  Ali Miller, author of “The Anti-Anxiety Diet.”

You may not agree with all her premises – even she discarded some of them along the way – but what really resonated with me was when she talks about arriving at an ultimate The Anti-Anxiety Diet: A Whole Body Program to Stop Racing Thoughts, Banish Worry and Live Panic-Freeturning point. “. . . I understood how to treat people, not diseases! . . . to resolve the root cause of dysfunction, rather than managing a symptom . . .  to use food as medicine to functionally address imbalance in the body.”

She notes that food can have a good or bad effect on our brain chemistry. “In fact,” she says, “foods can regulate mood, emotions, and brain-signaling pathways.”

And the rest of the book tells us the “what’ of that discovery starting with the chapter, “Remove Inflammatory Foods,” and continuing with resetting, repairing, restoring, rebounding and rebalancing. Along the way there are self-tests, quick reference charts, the actual diet plan and then, bless her heart, recipes.

“The Anti-Anxiety Diet” – read more on Amazon


Shake it up, baby 

Oh boy this is good. What? A dish with the what-fun name of Shaking Beef. I recently came across this Food & Wine recipe with an interesting technique – apply a 20-min marinade of classic Asian flavors to cubes of a good steak, then give a shake shake shake in a hot skillet, and pour the flavorful mix of meat and juices over a colorful salad. Winner!

The meat is so tender, and as a bonus the super flavorful juices create a dressing for the salad. Btw, thanks to the high heat, some of that marinade/cooking sauce can turn a bit crispy, another bonus. Note, I did add just a splash of rice wine vinegar to the mix.

Also added a bit of shaved carrot to the salad for extra color and crunch. Served it with some of the leftover cauliflower risotto and avocado. Years ago had never thought about the latter in this ethnic until I had it in sushi, but even so did hit it with a bit of Sriracha to further gussy up the Asian vibe.



This old word can have a new tone

“What’s for dinner?” If your answer is “leftovers” does the rest of the family repeat the word much like Seinfeld would say “Newman“???

Well here’s some good news. You can indeed save time by cooking in bulk and still have your family even happier to see an encore thanks to the MyRecipes site where you’ll find  “30 Recipes That Are Way Better As Leftovers.”

They call upon the slow cooker, pressure cooker, and Instant Pot and of course the good ol’ skillet and oven. There are pasta dishes, ethnic specialties, casseroles, stir frys and noodle bowls. Among the interesting twists: meat loaf bundt cake, blt lasagna, “meaty” vegetarian chili.

I made the Chicken Chilaquiles Casserole, which is just layers and layers of lively flavors, and yes even better round two as the sauce further marries with the chips, cheese and chicken. As a bonus, a demo takes you through the prep, step by step.

Chicken Chilaquiles recipe    All 30


Welcome to my kitchen and living room

Waste solved. Nothing wrong with folks who like fat on meat, I just don’t happen to be one of them. So when I’m prepping a roast I tend to overtrim, as I did for the Irish Guinness stew {03.15.19 Salon}. To offset the “guilt,” I charred the trimmings in a hot skillet, seasoned with beef bouillon, garlic salt, and pepper – then removed to a soup pot along with pan drippings deglazed with a bit of wine, plus carrots, onions, and celery – cooked, strained, chilled, skimmed – and thickened into a flavorful gravy.

Have you tried any of the gussied up breakfast toast ideas from our 03.22.19 Salon yet? Thanks to Food & Wine we learned about a dozen colorful a.m. upgrades on a base of peanut butter, ricotta or avocado. Here’s my take on the smoked salmon one with a couple of tweaks, cream cheese instead of ricotta, fresh dill instead or orange strips. So good!

Guess what I found??? OK, maybe you already have. In our 02.15.19 Salon we included chocolate mug cake and in our 03.22.19 Salon, peanut butter and jelly mug cake. Both pretty fast and easy. But you know what’s even faster and easier – Betty Crocker’s mix. Just add a bit of water, nuke, let set – poof, mug cake.

So far next week: Chocolate cookie bars {ganache filled!}, doing the dukkah, , speedy cookies, recipe hack, Guinness donuts – made ’em, be a whipped cream sculptor

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

Note, transactions are solely between the buyer and linked supplier

Photo credits: book/Amazon, all others/mine 

All pages ©2019

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


Ladies of the Night Pasta, for Nov 23-29, 2018


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

  TIDBITS – a food shopper’s dream / getting food-smarter / bar USA   CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT – Leftovers solved {M – let ME solve this!!!} / Party Party Party shirts    FEATURED RECIPE – the name’s as interesting as the dish is tasty    TIP – crushing squash {not literally}    THE WEEK – really lemony!!!  / the avocado / the rant

Misty’s History    Misty’s Gallery


Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

  It’s a long time since I’ve been in Miami but may well be worth a trip, given it’s on its way to becoming a food hall capital. These emporiums typically gather a great array of food vendors and restaurants under one roof. In the city now you can find the multi-ethnic St Roch Market, the Italian flavored La Centrale {shown} and Casa Tua Cucina, and the Asian themed  1-800-Lucky. Rumors swirl of more to come.

  Are you a label reader? If so, good for you, as this can be so important in terms of spying unwelcome ingredients, avoiding personal allergens, checking fat/sodium content, and just generally cultivating healthful eating. So, you may want to know about new label requirements from the FDA {thanks to Food & Wine} within the next three years.

  Well this is interesting. Tasting Table has given us a roster of spirits, mixers, and add-ins that are all American made – so, as they say, you can stock an all-American bar at home. Two notes. First, you’ll probably want to add some other stuff that may or may not  have a domestic pedigree. And, since they did not include a vodka I’d like to suggest Tito, a nice clean taste without being filtered to death.


Leftovers mean easy meals ahead

30 Holiday Leftover Makeover Recipes : Recipes For Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner (Holiday Leftover Recipes Book 1)And here are the books that tell you how. The holiday one shown here and several others are available on Kindle for just $2.99. Others come in additional formats.

The one called “30 Holiday Leftover Makeover Recipes: Recipes for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner” is rated 4 1/2 stars.Dot's Secret Little What to do with Leftover Turkey Cookbook

The turkey one rates 5 stars, and is offered in various formats and prices.

Holiday Leftovers cookbook    Turkey Leftovers cookbook    Other leftovers cookbooks

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

Extra for everyone – Going to a holiday party? Go in comfort. Go in style. Just pop on one of our “Party Party Party / tomorrow everything else” shirts. Click to see a larger image, along with other styles, sizes and colors.  On SunFrog     On Zazzle


 A pasta dish . . . “as we like it”

Called “Ladies of the Night Pasta,” it pulls together rotini {I used penne}, chicken, sausage, mushrooms and more in a pretty quick process. Maybe a takeoff on another speedy pasta, “Puttanesca,” a reference to those same Ladies and titled it’s said because they could easily prep it between “gentleman callers” and the aroma acting as an additional lure.

Btw, this one says it “serves 6-8 customers.”😉

The recipe’s name, also the title of a Broadway play, and the chapter it came from, “The Taming of the Stew,” will make total sense when we look at the source. It’s the “As You Like It” cookbook from the gift shop at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis.

I couldn’t find this cookbook or any cookbook in the theater’s online gift shop, though it may well be on the actual shelves – but did find a different one of theirs on Amazon. Pretty cool to add to your collection and at the same time contribute to a worthy cause, at the Guthrie or any other cultural shop.

Recipe page    “Much Ado About Food: A Guthrie Theater Cookbook

  Guthrie Theater


Butternut squash is a holiday favorite and also a personal favorite. So was happy to see Real Simple give us a tutorial for the veggie.

About that. Something I learned – cut before peeling. Something I’d suggest – use a grapefruit spoon. Something I’m probably not doing – much of a recipe junkie as I am, not likely to use any here, but only because winter squash is another food I like pretty much pure.

In fairness, the dishes sound quite interesting and may well be a nice addition to your table. You’ll find a roasted version with mustard vinaigrette, a soup that includes parsnip {another personal fave}, and a “pizza-like flatbread.”

Crushing the squash


Please join  me in my kitchen &  parlor

  Like lemon? Like cake? Then think you might like this. Especially since it has a store-bought head start – twice. So, for  the lemon cake used “the box” but put the juice of a large lemon in a measuring cup and added water to make the cup of liquid required for the mix. While it baked, blended 8 oz cream cheese with 1/2 of a 10 oz jar of lemon curd for the filling. And then “the can” of lemon frosting blended with the rest of the curd for the top. Lemony!

  What, never? Aarón Sánchez, who you may know from his tv gigs, cookbooks or New Orleans restaurant, says never put an avocado “anywhere near an oven” – ruins the magic he says. But the chef doesn’t leave you hanging, instead offering tips and a fish taco recipe. Btw, there’s an add-on to the Sanchez story from Buzz60 which intros vegan avocado beer. OK.

  Fair warning: soapbox ahead. The Sanchez piece further noted that if contestants present him with “baked (or roasted, or sauteed) avocado, they’d better be ready for a raised eyebrow.” Hopefully Sanchez doesn’t go beyond a lifted brow. Because one of my BIG bugaboos in competition shows is when judges base an evaluation on personal preference rather than sound culinary principles. I’ll keep the  name to myself but one particular female judge is routinely guilty of this practice.

So far next week: Ree’s Caramel Brownies, easy/showy party courses, dress like a pro {your salad, that is}, awesome breakfast dish

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


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


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

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

Misty’s History    Misty’s Gallery


Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

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

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

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


OK, who wants eggs?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Emeril’s turkey breast with savory sausage stuffing

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

Pide demo    All about pide


Please join  me in my kitchen &  parlor

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

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

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

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

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

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


Decadent chocolate-peanut butter bars, for Nov 9-Nov 15, 2018


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

  TIDBITS – do you create recipes? / good show! book too! / drink your leftovers    CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT – tv helps your gift list / for celeb chef fans    FEATURED RECIPE – chocolate, peanut butter and an unexpected ingredient {M – is it tuna ???}    TIP – weather report for your kitchen    THE WEEK – crisp French toast / Top Chef preview / humbug {no bah}

Misty’s History  ♦  Misty’s Gallery


Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

  Are you a creative cook? Do you like designing your own dishes, start to finish. You might then find interesting this shadowing of a chef as he develops a new dish “from vision to revision.” It’s a quite detailed account that in effect takes you inside the chef’s mind.

  “Salt/Fat/Acid/Heat” If those are some of your favorite flavors you’re in luck – twice! Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good CookingIt’s a new Netflix series, featuring Samin Nosrat who, as described in the Tasting Table story, “is a joy to watch on screen as she travels to Italy, Japan, the Yucatán and more in order to share culinary traditions from around the world.”

–   And second, the series is based on Nosrat’s book of the same name, subtitled “Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking.” Btw, it was among the top picks for go-to cookbooks  gathered on Tasting Table’s facebook page.

  Well here’s a new use for your leftovers. Instead of in the trash, in your glass. As this tale tells, bartenders are finding creative ways to re-purpose this ready source of foodstuff into what one mixologist calls trash cocktails.


The lost & wanted can be found & acquired

While I’m not addicted to tv offers, there are certain items that I’ve found appealing and have in fact ordered. The problem is, often I see this stuff during “insomnia time” and don’t have quick access to pen, paper, and light.

As Seen on TvMy grocery store, and maybe yours too, has an “As Seen on TV” section and sometimes something I’ve missed is there and sometimes not. So I was quite happy to discover that good ol’ Amazon features these offers – 6,000 of them.

Don’t panic! You can narrow it down from there, e.g., 483 for Kitchen & Dining, and then you can further tame the search with such subcategories as utensils, cookware, storage items, appliances, and spice racks.

All “As Seen on TV” on Amazon    Kitchen & Dining section

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

Extra for cooks – who do you know that’s a fan of celeb chefs? Or maybe that’s you. My Kindle, “Celebrity Chef Book of Links” puts you just a click away from discovering the fascinating histories, restaurant locations, contact information, and access to blogs, newsletters and classes of the chefs we know from their tv shows, top rated eateries and best selling cookbooks, over 100 in all.  Celeb Chef Book


You, your family, your guests just might swoon 

Remember this book from our 09.21.18 salon? The one that gives you tasty answers to the title question, “What Can I Bring?” What Can I Bring?: Southern Food for Any Occasion Life Serves Upwhatever the occasion or destination. The satisfying dishes here for the most part are make-ahead, multiple-serving, and fairly easy to transport.

In addition to author, Elizabeth Heiskell’s resume includes caterer, instructor, and TODAY show contributor. Which is to say, she sure knows her stuff, and 179 reviewers agree, giving this book 4 1/2 stars.

This recipe from the book features the made-in-heaven pairing of chocolate and peanut butter, and wait till you see an additional flavorful ingredient – two choices actually, theirs and mine. Either would be good, mine was a matter of what was handy.

Even better it’s no-bake, and if you use my other tweak, no cook either! All so good and easy.

Recipe Page    “What Can I Bring” cookbook   Other Heiskell books 


No storms in the kitchen

You may well be doing this already. Talking about when you’re using a hand mixer to blend something like flour or powdered sugar into a batter, and the danger looms of sending a snowstorm over your counter and everything thereon.

What I like to do is gently fold in the “snow” with a spatula. It doesn’t have to be totally mixed in – that’s what the appliance is for – but rather just sort of buried in the lower depths of the bowl.

Usually this would not be necessary with a stand mixer. But if the bowl is really full, might be a worthy precaution.


Please join  me in my kitchen &  parlor

  How do you like your French toast? Personally I don’t care for what’s actually the classic prep, which calls for drowning the bread before cooking. This recipe for a crisp version from America’s Test Kitchen via AP calls for a much shorter soaking time but for me still too much. However, along with my usual dip-turn-out method, it’s the pre-step and the liquid ingredients that I found make one delish dish. See what you think.

  Thanks to Food & Wine’s online newsletter I recently saw the trailer for season 16 of “Top Chef” which debuts Dec 6, 9p ET on Bravo in Louisville KY. I like these kinds of shows where they compete and you both learn and enjoy. You can watch it too, right here, and the page also shows the 15 contestants so you can see if any are from your town.

  Browsing through the Diner’s Dictionary again and came upon this gem. “Humbug” {no bah}, referring to a taffy-like boiled sweet flavored with peppermint. It says that its eventual evolution from dessert to Scrooge’s rant “may be of similar inspiration to trifle.” There’s even more backstory covering time, place and literary reference. These kinds of finds pop up among more common entries in this chock-full compilation of “Word origins of food & drink.” I love this book.

So far next week: save the food, wash the cocktails, Emeril’s turkey take, garlic mouth fixes, pea-zuh or pea-duh??? 

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


Andres’ Great Big Bowl of Goodness, for Nov 2-Nov 8, 2018


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

  TIDBITS – tv show stars leftovers {M – told her before I’d be happy to take care of that stuff} / rim like a pro / don’t throw those water balloons, freeze ’em    CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT – give yourself celeb status / easy gifting of top cookbooks  ♦  FEATURED RECIPE – a “strike” with this kind of bowl-ing  ♦  TIP –  . . . and some “spares” ♦  THE WEEK – make-do is a woohoo / keep on truckin’ / dip for your face 

Misty’s History    Misty’s Gallery


Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

  Have you watched ”Scraps”? Just as the name would imply, this Katie Couric-produced tv show addresses makeovers for leftovers. This season, its second, just debuted on 10.11, and on the page, with a couple of steps, you can watch episodes, or just go directly to recipes. Other food shows on this FYI network too.

  Holiday get-togethers are just around the corner, and festive beverages can be part of the fun. A site called VinePair offers a schooling on rimming the glasses with a number of good things beyond salt, and tips on how to do it. Though this is cocktail-based, why not get creative with soft drinks too.

  And I just love this party idea for chilling your beverages from Hometalk {once there, scroll to the right}. Regular ice in the bucket is replaced by ice filled balloons – so festive and no melting all over the place making everything drippy.

  One thing though, I’m wondering if once you take a bottle out if it’s hard to replace among the balloons. Maybe a second container inside? Btw, if you’re a crafty sort, this site can keep you busy every day with projects from their super-creative contributors.


“In this house I’M the celebrity chef”

Proclaim it with your morning coffee, afternoon tea, and evening cocoa, and what the "In this house I'M the celebrity chef" Long Apronheck pour in your beverage of choice at cocktail hour.

Or say it with a tee, sweat, hoodie or apron. Wear your proud statement.

Any will make clear to one and all just who rules this kitchen.

For you, or your cook-tastic spouse, friend or family member.

Just FYI, this is my own design. Mugs & shirts at Michigan company SunFrog. Apron at Zazzle.

Mugs    Shirts    Apron

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

Extra for Cooks – or more specifically, those who have folks on their gift list who are cooks. For most, cookbooks are always welcome. But how to choose from the zillion available? This can help if you want to shop on Amazon. Best selling cookbooks   Best rated cookbooks


Wait till you see how much good stuff goes into one boffo bowl 

Leave it to José Andrés to take a humble bowl from the cabinet and fill it meatlessly to 5-star perfection. The picture tells most of the story.

You can see the flavor, texture, and color contrasts of carrots, scallions, corn, edamame, and bok choy, among other main ingredients. What you don’t see is the dimension altering garlic yogurt sauce and soy ginger dressing.

Btw, that beautiful egg is in neither the ingredients list nor directions. But heck what doesn’t get even better with an eggie crown???

And the recipe title is the mouthful, “Inspired by Beefsteak’s Kimchi-Wa Bowl.” If, like me you’re not a big fan of kimchi, fear not, it’s really just a garnish and as such you can – oops, forgot to add it.

Recipe    Jose Andre cookbooks  

♦  TIP  

Bowl over your family, your guests, even yourself

Because it’s not just Andrés. Bowl cuisine is an emerging trend in restaurants at all levels. And this is one we can so easily bring into our own kitchens.Clean Eating Bowls: 50 Superfood Paleo Bowl Recipes for Clean Eating, Increased Energy, and Vibrant Health

As this story picked up by ProChef SmartBrief notes, these dishes are easy to eat, encourage adventurousness, and can look quite pretty. Easy to build too, because there are no rules.

But there are suggestions to get you started. Just check out this google page.

And of course, trust Amazon to bring you books all about it, including the one shown. And many others

Food bowl cookbooks


Please join  me in my kitchen &  parlor

  So when I went to make some shredded beef for a Mexican buffet I found I didn’t have the taco seasoning that I wanted to use in the cooking water. So I substituted what I did have – a steak marinade mix. And what a pleasant surprise. Had never used this for anything before but will likely apply it in other ways too – maybe sometime even on steak {!}

  I just caught up with what’s turned out to be one of my favorite new shows on Food Network – Andrew Zimmern’s “Big Food Truck Tip,” where for six episodes he visited these mobile eateries across the country. The name derives from the fact that in each city the best of the three trucks he checks out will receive a $10,000 “tip.”

Though the truck trend is not new, it’s also not going way, but rather increasing as time goes by. Surely contributing to the popularity is that so many of them serve just such great food, usually fast, and with a come-as-you-are vibe. Episodes so far ran in Sept & Oct, and you can catch up with all of them on the Food Network site.

  Since I always make sure to have a good supply of avocados, some can get iffy. So was happy to see these 5 ways to use them up. They’re all quite interesting but the one I tried wasn’t food {or wasn’t supposed to be} – sort of a guacamole facial. It’s nice, skin feels refreshed when it goes on, soft when it comes off, and with a bit of a glow {or was that the turmeric???}. Btw, though you can store leftovers, I just spooned out what I needed and put some crackers to the rest.

So far next week: chocolate covered peanut butter bars, top-pop cookbook, baking tip, drink your leftovers

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


Savory Sweet Potato Bake, for Oct 19 – Oct 25, 2018


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

  TIDBITS – ice cream for breakfast? how many ways? {M – make mine vanilla} / potato chips too? / bagels aflame    CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT – decking the halls / holiday perusing    FEATURED RECIPE – sweet potato casserole, two ways    TIP – do a Sprat, but save the fat    THE WEEK – sweet potato casserole, 3.0 / decadence tc / a celeb chef and I invite you to have some “debris”

{Mdear feline friends, please check out the two new photos mom put in my Gallery}

Misty’s History    Misty’s Gallery


Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

  Well Food & Wine has done it again, dangled a headline before us that just hoovers us into the story. It was in their online newsletter that they offered “19 Ways to Eat Ice Cream for Breakfast,” where you’ll find morning versions of sundaes & splits, cookies & cakes, tacos, and melted ice cream hot chocolate.

  And how about this for breakfast . . . potato chips??? I just loved the sassy tone in this Extra Crispy story that steamrollers over guilt and drags the bag out of the pantry, and its contents into eggs, one way or another.

  Food 52 is not slouch either when it comes to irresistible headlines. And again, it was well worth it. Enjoy the tale and recipe that follow “I Tried Chrissy Teigen’s Everything Bagel Casserole & Nearly Set My Kitchen on Fire,” the recipe from Teigen’s new “Cravings: Hungry for More” cookbook.


Bring Christmas right to the dining table

So much fun to decorate for the holidays, especially when such pretty stuff can be just a few clicks away in Amazon’s vast array. Santa Claus Hat Christmas Chair Covers, Miniko(TM) Santa Claus Party Gift Dinner Dinning Christmas Table Decorations Tableware Set Pack 4

Our main link below takes you to the page for tablecloths, table runners, place mats, ways to make it all so festive.

ITART 9 Pack Wine Bottle String Lights Cork LED Battery Powered Lights 15 Leds 2.5ft Multicolor Micro Small Silver Wire Shaped Fairy Light Crafts Table Centerpieces Wedding Parties Christmas DecorYou can also search on the page for other Christmassy touches such as Centerpieces, Lighting, and more.

Holiday table decor

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

Extra for Book Lovers – the “book store” at Amazon offers such a treasury of holiday reading, from coloring books, to novels, to cookbooks, to decorating guides. Browse them all for you, or “who. ”


For Thanksgiving, or Christmas, or . . . right now!

This sweet potato casserole is one of my most crowd-pleasing recipes. The original is by a favorite chef, Nick Stellino, and the only major difference between my version and that one is that his is a souffle and mine isn’t, and then there are some minor variations in seasoning amounts.

My non-egg version is denser and needs to bake only until heated through. Those who favor a lighter touch will want to stay with the original.

Either way, an unexpected ingredient combo makes this a winning companion for ham, chicken, turkey – I even like it with a nice pork roast or even Mexican food. Here are links for both . . .

My version on our Recipe Page    Nick Stellino’s original    Stellino’s cookbooks



If you’re like Jack Sprat . . .

 . . . and can eat no fat, or at least just plain don’t want to, then like me you trim, trim, trim, whether you’re cooking beef {see leftovers tip in My Week below}, chicken, pork, ham, whatever. But since I also don’t like waste, I use what I cut off, whether from the precooked or cooked meat.

And unless you’re a surgeon, the trimmings usually include some lean meat too, so all of that and any bones go into a pot of water along with carrots, onion, celery, garlic and a bit of bouillon powder. I cook till flavorful, letting some of the water cook off if necessary.

Let cool, then chill in the fridge till the fat rises to the top as a solid and can be scraped off and discarded. Then strain and use as is, or make gravy by thickening it with flour or cornstarch, or with the pureed cooking vegetables.


Please join  me in my kitchen &  parlor

  An addendum to our Featured Recipe this week. I like dried thyme well enough, but for me it doesn’t take much to be too much, so my prep cuts the original measure to just a sort of healthy pinch. In case you don’t like thyme at all, one time I did substitute nutmeg and that worked out quite well. I do have to say though the thyme does add an interesting and not altogether unwelcome earthy dimension.

  So made the chocolate-topped peanut butter bars from the What Can I Bring cookbook featured in our Sept 21 salon. It made a lot and accordingly had a lot of taste testers. Kudos all around for this easy dessert, so right now planning to make it our Featured Recipe for the Nov 9 salon, right in time for the holiday tables. No-bake too!

  Have leftover cooked beef? One of the ways I’ve used it up ever since I had super chef Carlos Guia’s original at Commander’s Palace some time back – is as “debris,” and I swear it tastes way, way better than it sounds. In my version I shred the beef and heat it in beef broth or stock to which I’ve added garlic powder and pepper along with butter-sauteed onions. And then top each serving with a poached egg or two. Did just that this week, and along with some sourdough toast, an mmm-mmm brunch.

So far next week: best chicken recipes, avoiding chicken cooking mistakes, double layer cheesecake bars, pasta tips 

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



Alton Brown’s Overnight Cinnamon Rolls, for Aug 31-Sept 6, 2018

  CatChat – Misty’s purrty sure you’ll like what we have for you this week  

Tidbits– food-saving site {M: let me take care of those leftovers/ pan hack / chef Q&A   CS Marketplace Spotlight– top chef cookbooks / yay dog owners! {M: phooey}   Featured Recipe– yay for Sunday breakfast too!  Tip– burgers for a crowd {M: or all just for me!}   Barbara’s Week– the cream slipped / funny critique upgrading oatmeal

Misty’s History    Misty’s Gallery

♦  Tidbits  ♦ 

Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

  Good website! We’d like to think for everybody, but for sure for folks like those in our salon who hate wasting food. NRDC’s SaveTheFood has general tips, shopping guidance, meal-planning ideas, leftovers uses, even a dinner party calculator. nrdcAnd guess what – saving food saves money, and maybe time too!

  Have you become a sheet pan fan? If so, you know the downside is cleaning the thing afterward. Unless your dish can work with lining the pan with foil or parchment, this can be a daunting task. Here’s help. I also have used a technique I saw some time ago that was just a matter of scrubbing with balled up aluminum foil – of course you want to make sure this won’t damage the surface of your pan.

  Talking with a Beard-winning chef. Some interesting stuff in the Q&A that “The Daily Beast” conducted with Philadelphia restaurant Zahav’s Michael Solomonov.

♦  CS Marketplace Spotlight  ♦ 

Find all the top chef cookbooks right on this site

Did you discover this yet? So handy for you or a cookin’ friend or family member.

Our Top Chef Cookbooks page gives you direct links to over a hundred chefs renowned for popular tv shows, top rated restaurants, and best selling cookbooks. You may even have seen some of them at food and wine fests.

All are linked to Amazon, so you know it’s a reliable source. Would you like to take a look?

Top Chef Cookbooks    My “Celebrity Chef Book of Links” on Kindle $2.99

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

Dog Lovers Extra – yay, Time Magazine confirms what most pet lovers already knew in their heart of hearts. And that is, dog owners live longer, healthier lives.

♦  Featured Recipe  

Quirky can be good

Add the word cooking and it takes us directly to Alton Brown. Like him or not, his Good Eats” show according to a site called Ranker is one of the top rated on Food Network, and it did win a Peabody Award.Good Eats 2: The Middle Years

The charm of that series lies in the way Brown works science and technology into the prep with various props, offbeat demos, cartoon inserts, odd camera angles, unexpected staging, and the occasional outrageous pun.

In addition to the tv show, you can also bring this educational circus into your home with his equally unique books. Meanwhile, if you love lazy Sundays, Brown’s Overnight Cinnamon Rolls can make them even lazier – the link takes you to the recipe on Food Network, but it’s also in his “Good Eats 2.”

Recipe    Good Eats Books    Other Alton Brown books

♦  Tip  

Just in time for Labor Day

Whether you’re cooking for family or flipping for a crowd, you will probably love this method of shaping them up. In fact the “Mad Genius” in the demo shows how he created 18 uniform patties in under three minutes.

And so easy!

Easy to do. To peel off the work surface. And to stack up to take to the grill or pan without them sticking together.

♦  A Peek at My Week  

Join me in my kitchen & parlor 

  That porcupine dessert from the Aug 17 salon calls for 1/2 cup of the heavy cream but of course the smallest container you can buy holds a full cup. What to do with the leftovers? Then thinking, ohhh . . . how about? Ummm, let’s just say I ended up with the richest bowl of cereal ever!  😁  Probably don’t want to make this an everyday occurrence.

  Got a chuckle out of a quote attributed to early 1900s food writer Curnonsky: “If the potage had been as hot as the wine, the wine as old as the chicken, the chicken as plump as the mistress of the house, things would’ve been almost all right.”    My note says this was cited in “A Taste of Paris” by David Downie.

   So, an addendum to the oatmeal cookie recipe featured in the Aug 10 salon. I do have oatmeal some mornings but truth be told it’s not one of my favorite things. I got to thinking some of those very ingredients {and variations} in the cookies might be just the thing to perk up the bowl. Yep! Added chocolate chips, raisins, and cinnamon. Quite tasty.

So far next week: brownie saga, pyrex warning, Italian farmhouse food, garlic sprouts a debate, foodfest

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


for Aug 17-23, 2018

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

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

Misty’s History    Misty’s Gallery

♦  Tidbits  ♦ 

Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

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

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

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

♦  CS Marketplace Spotlight  ♦ 

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

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

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

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

The Thrifty Cookbook    Quick & Easy Recipes Using Everyday Leftovers

Other “Leftovers” cookbooks    CS Marketplace

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

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

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

♦  Featured Recipe  

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

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

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

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

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

Porcupine Cookies

Makes . . . a lot

1 c shredded coconut {the “needles”}

3 c quick cooking oatmeal

1 c sugar

2/3 c cocoa powder

1/2 c butter

1/2 c heavy whipping cream

1 t vanilla

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

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

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

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

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

No-bake dessert books on Amazon

♦  Tip  

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

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

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

♦  A Peek at My Week  

Join me in my kitchen & parlor 

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

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

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

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

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


Pizza fondue in the slow cooker, for Aug 3-9, 2018

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

Tidbits – kitchen savings, sheet pan brunches {M > “one has baaaacon”}, perfect & easy corn on the cob    CS Marketplace Spotlight – pinch bowls {M >  “really, not punch”}    Featured Recipe – easy pizza fondue & dippers {M > “wonder if my paw qualifies as a dipper”}    Tip – slow cooker hints    Barbara’s Week – recipe trove, kicking up bean soup, using up pasta sauce

Misty’s History    Misty’s Gallery 

♦  Tidbits  ♦ 

Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks

  The latest issue of the always content-rich AARP Bulletin, borrowed it from a friend {uh huh}, featured 99 Great Ways to Save. Here are the ones that find a place in the kitchen: SnipSnap {not checked out} for coupon storage, 1/4 t baking soda in 1/4 c water for indigestion, if you’re in this silver category get restaurant discounts at and for everyone, compare unit pricing on grocery items, host brunches instead of dinners, buy wine by the case.  AARP Bulletin

  Ready for a sheet pan brunch? In a story credited to both Food & Wine and Real Simple, Grace Elkus treats us to the toss-together prep for a garlicky potato and veggie hash topped with fried eggs. Bonus 1: her suggestions for some variations. Bonus 2: a link to her sheet pan pancakes. Bonus 3: a link to her sheet pan egg sandwiches.  Brunch is ready

  Woohoo, corn season is upon us. Here are five ways the “Today” show says you can “cook corn on the cob perfectly – the easy way.” Recipes too, including one of my favorites, Mexican Street Corn.  Corn-ucopia

That beautiful corn image {and judging by the bright green relish, sport peppers, and NO ketchup, what sure looks like Chicago dogs} is by jeffreyw

♦  CS Marketplace Spotlight  ♦ 

Pinch bowls – a typo? Nope!

That’s what I thought when I first came across the term, having no clue what adorable dishes I was about to discover. Pinch bowls! also called portion cups and the more familiar Now Designs Pinch Bowls (Set of 6), Modern Colorsramekins, even just small or little bowls.

They’re diminutive vessels for the kind of stuff where you’ll want just a “pinch” salt, pepper, herbs, spices. But of course the uses go well beyond that.

Serve your guests individual dishes of nuts, sauces, dressings, dips, mousse, or use for pre-measured recipe ingredients, a mise en place.

Btw, the Amazon pages shows somewhat larger bowls as well, but the genuine article is typically about 1.5-4 ounces. They can be stoneware, porcelain, glass, stainless steel, silicone. All quite pretty.

Just a Pinch {shown}    Pinch bowls on Amazon    CS Marketplace

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

Dog {& Cat!} Lovers Extra Oh these are so cute, so grin-inducing, and thanks once more to Reader’s Digest for bringing us a lovely highlight of our day. At least one of these pix had to have been taken just before some holiday havoc and another calls to mind a classic episode of “King of Queens.”  Fun & funny cat & dog photos

♦  Featured Recipe  

Party on the weekend or perk up a weeknight

. . . with this fun dish. After finding that slow cooker recipe for the July 20 taco chili recipe, kept the book out to seeBiggest Book of Slow Cooker Recipes (Better Homes & Gardens) what other goodies it might offer. And here’s one I think we all can like.

It’s not 5-ingredient like that previous one, but just about as easy. And so full of flavor! Thinking leftovers – if any! – could be poured right over cooked pasta, either leftovers if you used some as dippers or a fresh batch.

You might remember from before this book is available in paperback and spiral bound. Rates 4 stars on Amazon.

Supreme Pizza Fondue

10 servings

4 oz Italian sausage

Small onion, finely chopped

Garlic clove, minced

28-oz jar meatless spaghetti sauce

1 c slice mushrooms

2/3 c chopped pepperoni or Canadian style bacon

1 t dried basil or oregano, crushed

1/2 c sliced pitted ripe olives {optional}

1/4 c chopped sweet green pepper {optional}

Remove casings from sausage, if present. In a large skillet cook the sausage, onion and garlic {see Notes} until meat is brown. Drain off fat

In a 3 1/2-4 qt slow cooker combine spaghetti sauce, mushrooms, pepperoni or Canadian bacon, and basil or oregano. Stir in the sausage mixture.

Cover and cook on low heat setting for 3 hours. If desired stir in the olives and/or green pepper. Cover and cook on low heat setting for 15 minutes more.

Notes: For my personal taste would probably use a bit more garlic, and also I generally don’t add this ingredient until the other ingredients  – in this case sausage and onions – are pretty well cooked and then just for about a minute . . . I see no reason if you’re so inclined you couldn’t add both basil and oregano . . . suggested dippers shown in the recipe: focaccia or Italian bread cubes, mozzarella or provolone cubes, cooked tortellini or ravioli – could be interesting to dip in a small cube each of the bread and cheese on the same fondue fork. 

“Better Homes & Gardens Biggest Book of Slow Cooker Recipes”

Other top rated slow cooker cookbooks

♦  Tip  

Here are some more slow cooker hints from the cookbook

“During the holidays {or any time you’re hosting a party – bjn}, oven and cooktop space fills up quickly. Use your slow cooker to make the festive desserts in this book. Slow cookers provide a handy way to bake breads and cook vegetable side dishes. Also use slow cookers for potlucks, Carry side dishes and desserts in a cooker to the party; then plug it into keep food warm.”

♦  A Peek at My Week  

  Needed a chocolate fix and lo and behold, a part bag of chocolate chips in the fridge. Hellooooo. But this also served as a reminder to me that I thought I’d pass along to you. It was inspired by seeing the recipe for cc cookies on the package, which is the one I always use. The reminder was that a lot of food packaging has recipes that we might be overlooking instead of looking over – because who knows better how to get the most out of an ingredient than the folks who made it. I’ll sure be paying closer attention.

  Two unplanned ingredients ended up kicking up some leftover bean soup. I needed a little more liquid but because there was also ham in the soup it was already salty enough, so that put broth or bouillon out of the running. Instead added a bit of cream. Enough liquid then, but had slightly diluted the flavor. Whether it was the common color or what, grabbed some cocoa powder {not mix}, stirred it in and had some mighty fine bean soup, could be in the new recipe now.

  Am I the only one that makes too much food resulting in an ongoing inventory of leftovers??? So in this case that was pasta sauce. No problem, picked up an eggplant to make some parm. Btw I never bread and fry the eggplant slices but rather brush them with olive oil and bake them. Oops, seeing them on the cookie sheet made clear it wasn’t enough for the sauce.

So . . .  sliced an onion and sprinkled that among the eggplant, along with however many garlic-stuffed olives were left in the jar and into the oven {afterward, sliced the olives}. Then layered that with the sauce and Italian mixed cheese – and what the heck, already upset the usual traditions, so included a layer of feta too – topped it off with some dried basil, olive oil, parmesan. Baked as usual and, well OK then, a fine Mediterranean-ized surprise!

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


Taco Chili in the slow cooker, for July 20-26, 2018

  CatChat – Misty’s Preview 

Food truckin’ on tv {M – yes, as a matter of fact I do watch television  See the pros cooking up front and personal  ♦  How much butter? {M – LOVE butter!  Mom’s new favorite food book {M – not a cookbook though  Hot dish in a cool kitchen    Slow cooker tip    Barbara’s week: small fun way to go green, Bolognese fail, look what she’ll be sharing with you!

{M – Also, mom added two new photos in my Gallery, yay!}

Misty’s History    Misty’s Gallery 

♦  Tidbits  ♦ 

Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

  Coming July 26, the new season of “The Great Food Truck Race” on the Food Network, 9p/8c. Host Tyler Florence {whom I had the pleasure of meeting and can verify he’s just as charming and personable face to face as on the screen}, heads to locations in the Southwest as seven trucks compete for a $50,000 grand price in this annual competition. The winner will be named in the grand finale on Aug 30.

  Not till October but tix available now. One of the country’s largest food & wine fests takes place yearly infestival photos gallery 2018 19 250x250 - Festival Photos NYC, and for 2018 it’s 10/11-10/14. Learn from the best and enjoy the yield of their culinary talents with seminars, demos, dinners and more, from Daniel Boulud {love this guy}, Alton Brown, Anne Burrell, Scott Conant, Giada, Bobby Flay, Ina Garten, Duff Goldman, Rachel Ray, Emeril, Martha, Florence too & seemingly hundreds more! NYCWFF

Btw, the fest also benefits No Kid Hungry, and you’ll find a link to that worthy org in the “Especially for Cooks” boutique on the CS Marketplace page.

  Butter lovers pack your bags. Australian astronomers have discovered that the Milky Way contains enough “grease” to make – don’t even try to count this on your fingers – 40 trillion trillion trillion packs of butter. Even though we may not know what the Aussies regard as a pack, that’s a whole lot of popcorn topping. But if this is going to happen any place, guess it makes sense it’s in “Milky” Way.

♦  CS Marketplace Spotlight  ♦

Well how handy is this???

If you’ve ever had any question about an individual ingredient, a single food item, an entire dish, chances are excellent the answer is in this book. And I’ve found I’m not only diving in to look up something specific butThe Diner's Dictionary: Word Origins of Food and Drink as well just journeying through the pages to come upon, e.g., Boston Strawberries, Dublin Lawyer, Vienna Steak. What fun!

Because this tome goes beyond just simple definitions, characteristics, uses, and origins to also tell us variously about connections to geography, history, literature, law, commerce, and notable people. And all alphabetical for easy reference.

Here are the cover blurbs: “Be warned – this is a dangerously fascinating book,” “stuffed with delightful morsels in a digestible form,” “a quirky irresistible volume.” Hardcover, 4 1/2 stars on Amazon, but it appears stock is very low for new copies.

Diners Dictionary    CS Marketplace

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

Dog Lovers Extra – I’m inclined to call most of these “things” opinions rather than facts, but nevertheless there may be a clue or two in this Reader’s Digest list of Things You Do That Your Dog Actually Hates”  

♦  Featured Recipe  ♦

Cool way to cook dinner on a hot day

Who the heck wants to turn on the oven or stand over the stove on a July day??? Thinking, that would be no one.

And if you have a slow cooker, you don’t have to! And the other good news in this week’s Featured Recipe is that it comes from a whole chapter of 5-ingredient {thank you!} recipes in this slow cooker cookbook.Biggest Book of Slow Cooker Recipes (Better Homes & Gardens)

And a tasty prep it is too, extracting full flavor value in the selection of the five components. Add some corn chips, maybe a bit of green salad and done.

The cookbook is a creation of Better Homes and Gardens, so you know you’re going to find some good, reliable stuff in here. In addition to this one, that chapter also has such offerings as Texas Two-Step Stew, Creamy Ranch Potatoes {4 ingredients!}, Spicy Spareribs, and Home Style Chicken and Stuffing.

Of course there are other complete chapters to use the slow cooker for appetizers, beverages, soups, stews, side dishes, beef/pork/lamb preps, poultry with ethnic flair, meatless main dishes, and desserts. A bonus chapter on one-dish meals moves the cooking method to the oven, skillet and wok. Paper & spiral bound, 4 stars on Amazon.

Taco Chili

4-6 servings

1 lb ground beef

1.2 oz pkg taco seasoning mix

15-oz can chunky Mexican style tomatoes, undrained

15-oz can red kidney beans, undrained

15-oz can kernel corn, undrained

Cook ground beef in a skillet until browned, drain fat. Add with remaining ingredients to 3 1/2-4 qt slow cooker. Cover and cook on low setting for 4-6 hours or on high setting for 2-3 hours.

Note: It’s not cheating the 5-ingredient promise – that is all that went into the cooker! – if you want to put a few things on the table for toppings/mix-ins, such as shredded cheese, hot sauce, sour cream, sliced green onions, cilantro. 

“Better Homes & Gardens Biggest Book of Slow Cooker Recipes”

Other top rated slow cooker cookbooks

♦  Tip  ♦

No peeking {except in the next section!}

The slow cooker cookbook that is the source of this week’s Featured Recipe sprinkles cooking hints throughout, including this one about the cooker: “Because slow cookers cook food at such low temperatures, removing the lid can dramatically reduce the temperature inside the cooker. When you lift the cover to stir or add ingredients, replace the lid as quickly as possible. An uncovered cooker can lose up to 200° of cooking heat in as little as 2 minutes. A quick peek, however, lowers the temperature only 1 or 2 degrees. If you have no reason to peek – don’t!”

♦  A Peek at My Week  ♦

Stainless Steel Straws, 10.5” Long Reusable Replacement Metal Straws for 20 30 OZ Yeti Tumbler, RTIC, Tervis, Ozark Trail, Starbucks, Mason Jar, Set of 8 with Silicone Tips & Cleaning Brush  I’m sure you’ve noticed too the number of food places that are eliminating plastic straws. So even though we don’t use straws too much here, when we do it’s usually from a box of, yep, plastic ones. Of course you can probably recycle them, but that stuff is supposed to be cleaned and what a pain in the {censored} that is. So just looked into some reusables on Amazon and found quite a few, both metal and silicone, and here’s what I really like about some of those choices – they include cleaning brushes! Here’s what I’m ordering.  Color-tipped shown   Other options

  Well, bummer, Bolognese sauce didn’t live up to my expectations. But we soldier on and I think I can build on this attempt to get it right. So, whenever it’s really ready, will share right here.

  But anyway here’s some good news. For me and very likely for you too! My Great Courses book and DVDs have arrived, this one being “The Everyday Gourmet: Rediscovering the Lost Art of Cooking.” And you know, dear friends, I will be sharing all along the way, though with the caveat that it will be a while till I can do them justice.

So far for next week: Clara wow, cheese vault, brain food, saving saving saving, fries in a hurry, cheesefests

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