Cookbook author’s Chocolate Cobbler, April 3-April 9, 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 – taco shell, the blank slate / best cobbler? / marinara + +  ♦  CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT – sheet pan 2.0    FEATURED RECIPE – oh my!!!    TIP – flour trick    THE WEEK – save the milk / fun with taters / impromptu dressing 

  TIDBITS 

Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

  A feature in “Parade” last weekend was a fine reminder of just how versatile tacos can be. Once you set up a shell {see our tip in the 02.21.20 Salon for making them stand tall} or lay out a tortilla, the possibilities for fillings/toppings are boundless. Meats, fish, cheeses, veggies, beans, fruits, bacon, eggs, chilies, onions of any color, garlic, citrus, herbs, sour cream, salsa in all its variations, hot sauces and other sauces. What a great way to raid the fridge and use up tasty odds and ends.

  This week’s Salon is a bonanza for cobbler lovers. Not only do we have the blow-everyone-away chocolate version as our Featured Recipe. but also this from MyRecipes: “How to Make Your Best Cobbler Yet.” You’ll find the 1-2-3-4 of assembling your dish, and then how to cook it in the oven, on your stovetop, or even . . . on the grill.

  Truth be told there are some decent spaghetti sauces at the supermarket. But Epicurious via msn.com says there are ways to make them even better with its “5 Ways to Amp Up Jarred Pasta Sauce.” Temperature, seasonings, ingredients, cooking and baking techniques are in the details.

♦  CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT  ♦ 

Already done!

Two weeks ago we talked about using foil to create separate compartments for different foods. And that’s a good technique with an item you likely have at hand.Chicago Metallic Lasagna Trio Pan, 12-Inch by 15-Inch by 3-Inch (11-1/2-Inch by 2-1/2-Inch Cavities)

But, eureka! A sectioned sheet pan already exists. It’s called a lasagna tri-pan but clearly you could use it anyway you want, and because of the depth it’s actually better than a standard sheet pan..Disposable Aluminum 3 Compartment T.V Dinner Trays with Board Lid #210L (50)

And then there are disposable ones too. These are multipacks. Both images are clickable.

Btw, you’ll also see others designed for brownies, bars, mini loaves and the like that could even work for smaller amounts.

Sectioned sheet pans, 4 stars & up

CS Marketplace Directory

  FEATURED RECIPE  

Looks aren’t everything 

OK, here’s the thing. When cookbook author Elizabeth Heiskell was putting this dish in the oven on the Food Network show, The Kitchen, the hosts in effect compared it to sludge.

Truth be told, when it came back out the cosmetic improvement was slight at best. The ice cream makes a tasty coverup – she used cherry, a sort of Black Forest thing going on, and I used butter pecan. Whipped cream or sour cream I think could also be nice.

BUT, how it looks will fade into the ionosphere once you taste it. Yikes it’s good!. In fact I believe it was Sunny that said it was the best dessert she’d ever had on the show.

What Can I Bring?: Southern Food for Any Occasion Life Serves UpThe frosting on the cobbler so to speak {hey maybe another solution}, is that it is quite easy to make. One melt, two mixes, and voop into the oven.

Some notes. I took it out 33 minutes. There’s no guideline on whether to use 3/4 or 1 cup of hot water – I used 3/4 and think next time a full cup for even more gooey goodness, and maybe take a minute or two off the baking time. To serve it I flipped it over to have the melty chocolate on top..

Heiskell is the author of a book we’ve previously featured in the Salon, a gift guide of sorts titled “What Can I Bring,” and subtitled southern food for any occasion life serves up –  hardcover and Kindle, both discounted on Amazon. We’ve also linked her other cookbooks, similarly with a southern accent.

Recipe    “What Can I Bring”    Heiskell’s other books

  TIP 

Don’t have self-rising flour? Easy fix

AllRecipes to the rescue again. Turns out that site is not only boffo for recipes but also for techniques.

Our Featured Recipe for this week calls for self-rising flour, but not everyone keeps this on hand. No worries, as long as you have regular flour, salt and baking powder you’re good to go.

There’s even a demo. And bonus, while I was on the site found a way to turn salsa into 11 dinners. Next week Tidbits!

To make self-rising flour

  A PEEK AT MY WEEK  

Welcome to my kitchen and living room

  Please, please, don’t hoard milk {or really anything else}. But most guidelines say it’s OK to take one extra of most things. With milk the problem is using it up before it spoils. So, asked Alexa on my Echo Show about freezing it and this is what she said – remove about a cup from the carton to allow for expansion. Write the date it’s going into the freezer and the expiration date on the carton, which will tell you when you eventually use it about how long it should stay fresh. Thaw in the fridge or in cold water, shake before use in case the fat has separated.

  And then, good Alexa offered a transfer to WikiHow for more information. So, I poured about a half gallon from a gallon into a large container, left about 2″ clearance, sealed up, into the freezer. And we shall see.

{At some point we’ll be bringing you regular food news, tips, recipes, even jokes from Alexa on its own CS page}

  What a fun and festive idea for when we can once again party on. See the pic? – that’s “potato snow,” found in “The Secret Garden Cookbook” featured in our 03.06.20 Salon. Oh so easy too! Per the recipe, simply push boiled, towel-dried potatoes through a coarse sieve with a wooden spoon letting them “pile high into a snowy mountain slope.”

  I actually peeled the potatoes, wrapped in foil and baked, so no drying time needed and then held with a multi-folded large napkin to sieve while still hot. Even so, there will be some cooling so it’s a good idea to serve with some hot melted butter. Just be careful not to shake the plate or you could end up with something more like a “drift.”

  Steak, baked potatoes, and salad were on the dinner menu. When baked is on the plate, sour cream is sure to follow. So a creamy dressing on the salad would be sort of redundant, but I wanted more flavor than just a vinaigrette. Hmmmm, started with some soy sauce, then in quick succession sesame oil, rice wine vinegar, hot sauce, and grated dried garlic. Nice. Now a new fave.

This week’s:

  •  Photo credits – sheet pans, book-Amazon, others-mine
  •  Link sources – sheet pans, books-Amazon, recipe-Food Network
  • Partnerships – Amazon

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

So far next week: 16 meals from salsa, catch corona through food?, brownie mix upgrade, clam chowder with a secret, more on safe shopping, made the potato soup, Alexa cake, play with your food, fun foodie mugs

Last week, just below: baking crafts, safer shopping for the times, boffo cake, recipe clone source, leftover pizza breakfast casserole 2.0, Wilbur’s chicken trick, grits hits, safe& easy pretty Easter eggs, Japanese home cooking cookbook

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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This savory sauce on steak is just the beginning, March 13-March 19, 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 – Irish hangover cures / using up milk / juice reuse    CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT – food read    FEATURED RECIPE – savory creamy herbed steak sauce    TIP – say nuts to tight bottle caps    THE WEEK – made the shrimp & grits / gussied up eggs / virtual Paris 

  TIDBITS 

Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks and 

  Well perhaps you won’t need this, but just in case you do . . . you can thank this authoritative source, IrishCentral, for The Best Irish Hangover Cures. It was originally posted for New Year’s Day but we all know what other beverage-centric Day is coming. Clearly you have to use your own judgment here {we’re guessing it will have returned by morn after apparently leaving the building last night}.

  So, I found an article about using up milk, especially welcome since this is such a perishable product. But when I went to share it with you here, ummmm, seems it became “un-found.” No worries, can probably “re-find” it on google. Did, bonanza! All kinds of folks ready to suggest ways to do this very thing.

  Wait! Don’t throw this out either, at least not just yet. First, let’s take a look at “Liquid Leftovers Get a Second Chance in the Kitchen.” It offers ways to repurpose pickle juice and other brines {see one more below in My Week}, whey {you may have it without realizing it}, and liquids from bean cooking, canned tuna, poaching meats, tofu, plus leftover oils. I particularly like the tuna one.

  CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT   

“Recipe for a Perfect Wife,” Yeas 3, Nays 1

What quickly turns this into a fascinating read is the interplay of two women, generations apart and unknown to each other, who connect through a house, a cookbook, and the next door neighbor. The launching point is when Alice and Nate move into the home previously owned by Nellie and Richard.

In page after page we see their parallels regarding husband and family, neighbors and friends, sex and Recipe for a Perfect Wife: A Novelpregnancy, decor and wardrobe, gardening and cooking, work and play, and yes, secrets. The device puts a klieg light on changes, both within the lives of the two women and between the generations, as well as what vestiges can survive down through the years.

The second yea is for the recipes from the 1950s cookbook Alice finds in the basement, once belonging to Nellie’s mom but with notations from Nellie. Wow, preps for such mid-century favorites as tuna casserole, meatloaf with oatmeal, herbed cheese popovers, rose caramels {with actual petals}, boiled chocolate cookies and baked Alaska, about a dozen in all.

The third one comes from other readers. with 77 of them giving it an average 4-star rating. And they join the kudos in the cover comments.

So, the “nay” arrives with the last page where the story arc seems to stop short, leaving us with no clue about Alice’s next step. Or, is there? Among her various options there might be hints she’s contemplating one last parallel.

“Recipe for a Perfect Wife”    Other books by Karma Brown

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  FEATURED RECIPE  

Fourth time was the charm 

It started with a recipe in one of the old English cookbooks I’ve been going through. A topper for beef called Chasseur Sauce sounded just so good.

But as it turned out, as much as I love mushrooms didn’t like them in this prep, and also wanted it a bit more flavor. Ha! will make my own variation.

So, second version. Nope. Third version. Nope. Fourth version. Eureka! Flavor bomb!

Here’s the thing. Try a nice thick ribbon of it on steak for sure. But no need to stop there.

Instead of beef, nap it on sauteed chicken breasts or boiled peeled shrimp. Beat into scrambled eggs. Mix with cooked rice and maybe a bit of green onion for a hot side dish. Or with pasta instead, straight or blended with marinara. Use it as a baked tater topper. Thin a little with another dressing or pickle juice for a salad dressing or egg salad. Take it right from the refrigerator {it will have thickened} to serve as a dip for chips, crackers or veggies. And, and, and . . .  ???

Recipe  

♦  TIP  

This didn’t work . . . but then

So I came across a handy tip that I thought was worth a try. But truth be told, should have realized the fatal flaw right from the start.

The subject: uncooperative jar lids. We’ve all I’m guessing had the experience of lids that can resist such heroic efforts as banging on the carpet, running under water, beating the rim with a heavy utensil.

The tip was to use a nutcracker, basic, not the kind of the Suite of the same name. But, ahhhhh, unless you have one sized to crack coconuts chances are the nutcracker isn’t going to span the lid.

But . . . don’t chuck the nutcracker yet. It is a perfect fit for bottles, e.g., water, soda, ketchup, taco sauce, vanilla extract, certain vinegars, soy sauce, oyster sauce, and especially already opened syrup bottles. Oh yeah, and sake, possibly Champagne, and also leftover wine {hahahah} that you’ve re-corked.

Btw, a crab cracker is much the same thing as a basic nutcracker and chances are you have one or another or both in your utensil drawer. In case not, here’s a link . . .

Basic nut crackers

Items featured here also appear in our weekly Tip Tuesday posts on Twitter, Facebook & LinkedIn

  A PEEK AT MY WEEK  

Welcome to my kitchen and living room

  So I made the shrimp and grits, the Featured Recipe in our 02.14.20 Salon. Yikes, now I’m a grits convert. ‘Course this prep did have a lot of help from onions, garlic, bacon, cheese etc. I don’t think mine actually created soup, but it does have a kind of juicy, loosey texture. And though this is likely the proper consistency, based on what I’ve been served in Southern restaurants and also the recipe’s soup promise, in fact I liked the leftovers even better after reheating tightened it all up a bit. So if you wanted, you could achieve this with extra baking time, or another egg, or more cheese. The flavor though needs no help at all. Even so, now planning to be brave and try a plainer version.

  Well how pretty is this??? You just never know where or when a kitchen tip will come your way. In this case the source was a nice lady at a political event who mentioned how much she loved pickled eggs created by dropping peeled hard cooked eggs into the juice from store-bought pickled beets. And they take on the color so quickly you can do them one at a time {vs needing enough juice to cover a bunch of them}. Wouldn’t a bowl of those be a nice addition to the Easter table? Because it’s beet juice it’s safe and easy to use, and pretty much “free.”

  Btw, also tried this with unpeeled hard cooked eggs – in a separate container – but the color really didn’t stay on. Maybe cook the eggs right in the beet juice, though would need quite a bit more juice. For the peeled and unpeeled, transferred them to a baking rack set over paper towels atop sticky wrap to dry for a bit before refrigerating. Btw II, I just dunked these in juice right from the fridge, but if you want to follow an actual recipe, here you go.

  Reading right now “The Food Lover’s Guide to Paris,” even though no plans right now to be back in that culinary capital. It is interesting though to read author Patrica Wells’ descriptions of her tasting experiences and even better the 40 restaurant-inspired recipes. She covers, bistros, brasseries and restaurants along with reservations, ordering, dining hours, tipping and more as well as side notes and observations. One of the latter I especially liked: “You know it’s a good restaurant when you are already planning and looking forward to a return visit before you pay the bill.”

This week’s:

  •  Photo credits – book-Amazon / others-mine
  •  Link sources – liquids-Epicurious / books, nutcracker-Amazon / sauce recipe-CS page / eggs-Taste of Home
  • Partnerships – Amazon

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

So far next week: compare your food spending, brunch watch, foil trick, rack ’em up, the promised apple cheddar crisp, seriously interesting food book, leftover pizza 2.0, its a what now???

Last week, just below: bakers source, brown sugar chewies, chefs who nuke, “secret” recipes source, “best ever” Irish stew, oopsie fixes, cheese crackers where?, crochet dinner, easy spice up for fries

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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Red-wine braised red cabbage, Feb 28-March 5, 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 – restaurant dishes you can make / no clinking, etc etc etc / don’t take a fake  ♦  CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT – Pat-ifying your kitchen / New MADA shirt on Zazzle    FEATURED RECIPE – a super sweet and tart tasty side    TIP – make a hash of it     THE WEEK – food of the ancients / cookie redux / Temple & trivia

  TIDBITS 

Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

  Last week we featured lava cakes, a restaurant specialty you could make at home with the Ghirardelli recipe we included. Ready? Here are a lot more thanks to Taste of Home serving up “30 Restaurant Copycat Recipes Ready in 30 Minutes {or Less!}.” Now you can make in your very own kitchen such dining out specialties with recipes for, inspired by as they say, Cheddar Bay biscuits, Culver’s butterburger, KFC Crispy, Olive Garden breadsticks, Orange Julius, Cheese Factory Spicy Cashew Chicken, Shamrock Shake, and lots more.

Tut tut {lorgnette to eyes}. My dear, do you not know the “11 Fine-Dining Etiquette Rules You’ve Probably Broken Your Whole Life.” Some are just plain practical, others I think we may regard as optional. About the napkin, e.g. – long ago a tuxedo-ed server showed me the trick of laying it flat in the lap, then folding the far edge back about a third, providing a handy hand-wiping area that also keeps your dress safe. And then the one about always leaving one bite {hahahahaha}.

Btw, did the writer take this all super seriously? There might be a clue in this intro comment about learning the “few rules of formal dining that you can follow even if you’re hosting in your own home, serving delivery that you are trying to pass off as your own cooking.”

  Can you make a fake? Not create a fake food item, but rather know one when you see one. Cooking Light has identified for us seven foods that are on the suspect list for not being what they seem, and then telling us what to look for to distinguish the genuine article from the impostor. It’s all here in “The 7 Most Common Counterfeit Foods and How to Identify Them.”

♦  CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT   

Begorrah Decorah

Bobee St Patricks Day Decorations Banner, 9 St Pats Decor, Shamrock, Top Hat, Rainbow, Pot of Gold, pre-Strung on 8 Foot White RibbonSo easy to turn your kitchen into Celebration Central for St Pat’s Day. And that’s whether, as we say in our motto at the end of every Salon in a slightly different context, it’s “for a crew, or for two, or just for you.”

Stores are already overrun with festive possibilities,and of course there’s also always good ol’ Amazon. Shown here a few of the possibilities offered by the latter.

That adorable garland is just $6.99, Prime eligible. This sprightly fabric leprechaun is actually a door hanger, but what a great theme setter for the kitchen or dining room, $29.99, Prime free delivery. Or brighten up the whole scene with these battery-operated four-leaf clover indoor/outdoor string lights, $11.99, Prime free one-day. All images here are clickable.

What else can you find there? Tablecloths and runners, hanging garlands, banners balloons, ornaments, stickers, decals {including leprechaun footprints}, window clings, valance decorations, figurines, wall decor and more including combo packs.

Bring it all to lunch or dinner with paper plates and cups, napkins and flatwear. And how about something Irish to put on those plates? Happy St Pat’s!

All St Pat’s decs    Irish cookbooks  ♦  Irish movies

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Eclectic Mall   NEW  Now shirts on Zazzle with the “Make America Decent Again” message – shirts and mugs still on SunFrog

  FEATURED RECIPE  

Red wine braised red cabbage – a Eureka moment in the kitchen 

To give credit due, it was a same-named recipe in “The Unofficial Downton Abbey Cookbook,” featured in our 02.14.20 Salon, that started this process. My favorite version was in a cookbook that apparently was swept up in a donation to a culinary instructor.

The one in the Downton book came close to the one I’d had, and inspired a further search. Thank you Taste of Home for providing the simple and similar prep I was looking for.

A ‘fess up though – to bring it even closer to what I recall I tweaked somewhat. Sauteed the onion in a half stick butter. Brown sugar instead of white sugar. Red wine instead of vinegar {thus the title here vs. the name on the recipe}. If it dries out too much while cooking pour in a bit of stock, and if you’d like it a little sweeter increase the sugar or, as I did, add a bit of syrup.

Sooooo happy with this dish. Hope you will be too.

Recipe  

  TIP  

A tasty way to switch out carbs

Thanks to AllRecipes, I found a great remake for hash browns. Now, if I promise there will also be a rich potato version, can you please promise you’ll give this a chance after you read . . . cauliflower.

Their Dec/Jan issue had side by side preps for Keto Cauliflower Hash Browns and Loaded Breakfast Potatoes that were made with regular hash browns. I liked the cauliflower idea but wanted it a little richer like the potato one.

Wait, how about plugging the cauliflower into the potato prep???

Below you’ll find both original recipes. I made the potato one with 2 16 oz bags frozen florets, thawed and blotted, just cutting down the largest ones. I used a cup of cheese in the mix and then another cup for the topping, and also 2 T chopped chives “borrowed” from the cauliflower prep. Pretty good, maybe just a tweak or two needed.

Loaded Breakfast Potatoes {comes up as crack potatoes}     Keto Cauliflower Hash Browns

  A PEEK AT MY WEEK  

Welcome to my kitchen and living room

  Thanks to a friend’s recent excursion followed coincidentally by a Smithsonian article I’ve become familiar with the archaeological/architectural wonder in Jordan known as Petra, site of an ancient and remarkably advanced culture, where up to 30,000 people dwelt among temples, theaters, gardens, tombs, villas, Roman baths, trade routes and marketplaces. The link leads to much more detail.

  Bringing it into CS land, what was on those tables over 2000 year ago? Oxen, sheep, chickens, wheat, grapes, olives, pomegranates, sesame, often starring in great feasts and banquets. And . . . “the king holds many drinking bouts in magnificent style – but no one drinks more than 11 cupfuls.” {!}

Whenever I see a way to salvage otherwise trash-bound food, like to share it with you. What happened is that I was making my butter cookie recipe with the addition of lemon curd, but that changed the timing and so the first batch was underbaked. So, beat them smooth with an egg, a bit of flour, baking soda and peanut oil, dolloped into a skillet and, voila, not bad pancakes.

  Let’s play trivia. On a recent episode of The Kitchen, I saw Geoffrey Zakarian made two take-offs on the non-alcoholic beverage known as a Shirley Temple. One was a Dirty Shirley, a cherry flavored gin drink. The other, with a similar flavor profile but no alcohol, he named Don’t Call It Shirley. Here’s the trivia – what movie does this latter one refer to and what is the exact line?

This week’s

  •  Photo credits – St Pat’s decs-Amazon / all others-mine
  •  Link sources – etiquette-Food & Wine / all St Pat’s items-Amazon / Petra-google
  • Partnerships – Amazon

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

So far next week: hearty Irish stews, book found/cookbook found, crochet dinner, Yearwood tops it, bakers bonanza, chewy goodness, chefs’ secret is out, Julia Child’s secret is out, fries with that

Last week, just below: coffee cake a la you, bacon ways, cooks’ source, longevity somewhat unmasked, Ghirardelli chocolate lava cake, interpretive lasagna, biggie foodfest tix, taco tamer, word of the day

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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Southern shrimp & grits with “bonus soup,” Feb 14-Feb 20, 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 – more good press for eggs / power breakfasts / online food help    CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT – lawless Downton cookbook    FEATURED RECIPE – shrimp dish squared    TIP – save the avocados!    THE WEEK – pig pickin’ dessert / punch drunk sauce / another recipe source 

  TIDBITS 

Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

  Another source weighs in on the benefits of eggs. And while pretty much this whole Clean Plates story is contained in the headline, “It turns out an egg a day isn’t so bad for your heart after all,” it goes on to detail the studies and source. Even better, it touts the eggy perks of delivering “a quick dose of protein and flavor to settle hunger in a snap.”

  The same newsletter offers a tasty and colorful take on “7 energizing breakfast recipes to help fuel your week.”  What you’ll find: an overnight oat prep, loaded egg cup, “best” green smoothie, breakfast cookies, breakfast sandwich, and two breakfast bowls. All look and sound quite yum.

  So, was perusing Paula Deen’s latest online newsletter, and don’t know if this is new or just never saw it before, but at the bottom is a link for Ask our Helpline. Looks like you can submit a question right to Deen or her team. Nice.

  CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT   

Ooh, naughty, “Unofficial”!

Guessing no laws were harmed in the preparation of this interesting book of recipes and tales. Meanwhile, what a fun look at history, all about food.

The promise is in the intro. “Indeed while the upstairs elite of Downton may seem miles – rather The Unofficial Downton Abbey Cookbook, Expanded Edition: From Lady Mary's Crab Canapés to Christmas Plum Pudding―More Than 150 Recipes from Upstairs and Downstairsthan feet – away from the downstairs inhabitants, servants and aristocrats alike share a nearly fanatic appreciation for rich food, a fact that quickly becomes apparent once you begin flipping through the “The Unofficial Downton Abbey Cookbook.”

Some of those rich preps: Christmas pudding, beef Wellington, showy Duchess potatoes, scones with clotted cream, and jammy Bakewell tarts. One likely to be featured in an upcoming Salon is red wine braised red cabbage.

Ahhhh, maybe it is a little edgy, as a cover caution notes “This book is unofficial and unauthorized . . . not authorized, approved, licensed, or endorsed by Carnival Film & Television Ltd., its writers or producers, or any of its licensees.” Wonder if it arrives in a plain brown wrapper.

“The Unofficial Downton Abbey Cookbook”

now {pretty much} ready for its closeup

The CS Marketplace Directory

  FEATURED RECIPE  

A classic Southern casserole and lots of it 

It doesn’t get much more traditional on the Southern table than shrimp and grits. Grits, whaaaat? OK, hold back your groans for a moment.

When you see the fine flavors in this dish you’ll be thanking the grits for being on the job to soak it all up. It’s rich with cream and cheese, savory with aromatics, kicked up with bacon, “souped up” with wine and broth.

Now, about that soup promise. In the description on the main page: “You’ll want to eat the ‘shrimp gravy,’ or pan sauce. It’s that delicious.”

That main page is titled “Casseroles to make every month in 2020” from Southern Living, a nicely reliable source of good recipes. The prep for the shrimp dish, this month’s selection, is linked below, and we’ll be featuring more from this feature in future Salons.

I haven’t tried this yet and despite the length of my to-make list, this one has a priority stamp on it.

Shrimp & Grits Casserole recipe    Southern Living  

  TIP  

So, why didn’t I already realize this trick 

As noted in a previous Salon, a way to make guacamole in advance is to mix all the ingredients, except sour cream and lime if you usually them. Then, top the mixture with some lime juice and a thin layer of sour cream, making sure to cover the mix completely, and then cover and refrigerate the container.

So recently, and atypically, I had some leftover chopped avocado. Yikes, can’t waste avocado, a permanent member of my personal food pyramid.

Light bulb comes on at 1000 watts overhead. Just like with guacamole, cover it with lime juice, frost it with sour cream, cover and refrigerate.

But here’s the thing. Forgot about it for five days. Nuts!!!

The good news, as you can see, perfect. Just perfect. Thank you lime juice and sour cream.

  A PEEK AT MY WEEK  

Welcome to my kitchen and living room

  On a recent show Ree Drummond made a “pig-pickin’ cake.” Eh? If she explained the name I missed it, so found out on good ol’ google that at southern pig roasts, rather than have the meat cut into slices or portions, guests  just pick off what they want, and so the event is known as a pig pickin,’ and typically this particular cake is served for dessert. So just like cake served at a birthday party is birthday cake, this one served at a pig pickin’ is pig pickin’ cake. It really sounds good with layers of yellow cake, mandarin oranges and pineapple plus cream cheese frosting.

  English puddings dating back centuries refer to a steamed or boiled dish, sweet or savory, fairly solid in texture, unlike what we mix from a package. I found this hot, citrusy Punch Sauce for those kinds of puddings in Dinner with Dickens, featured in last week’s Salon. It’s quite well named, counting wine, rum and brandy among the ingredients. I actually found it a little strong and tempered it with some honey.

  I did get a kick out of the note in the cookbook from the Pickwick Papers saying “if ever hot punch did fail to act as a preventive, it was merely because the patient fell into the vulgar error of not taking enough of it.” Here’s a google page for the sauce, and the deliaonline one is very close to the Dickens prep.

  So, my old toaster oven gave up the ghost and so ordered a top-rated one from Hamilton Beach. Yikes, it’s didn’t look this big online, but I’m pretty sure this is going to be a good thing, and as a bonus has a convection function. Did have a few questions though and while I was on hold, among the recorded messages was the news that their website included recipes. Well . . . who among us despite data-pigging files online, bulging boxes, ready-to-burst notebooks, and overstuffed kitchen crannies, doesn’t want yet another recipe source. Wow, way more comprehensive than I expected, more soon.

This week’s

  •  Photo credits – books-Amazon / shrimp & grits-Southern Living site / all others-mine
  •  Link sources –  books-Amazon / shrimp & grits recipe-Southern Living site / pig pickin’ cake-google
  • Partnerships – Amazon

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

So far next week: Ghiradelli lava cake, book on longevity and the who/why, shirts with message to DC, recycled taco holder, new foodie word, Aspen bonanza, best coffee cake, big cooking resource, wily ways with bacon

Last week, just below veggies ready for their close-up, the good egg, 12 tasty secrets, fat avoidance kindle book, Beef a la Mode/no ice cream, peanuts ‘fess up, pot pie upgrade, un-donuts, thank you chocolate pudding

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

Note, transactions are solely between the buyer and linked supplier

All pages ©2020 CooksSalon.com

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

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Baked seafood au gratin, Jan 24-Jan 30, 2020

NEXT SALON FEB 7, 2020

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

New Salon every Friday – c’mon in

CS friends, and help yourself to tasty resources

  New feature on the way 

I just love my Amazon Echo Show and as I noted before, was so pleasantly surprised to discover how food-oriented it is. But I realize not everyone has this device, so will be sharing some news, tips, recipes, et al, on a regular basis, starting soon, and on a page right here on our Salon site.

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

  TIDBITS – Best-Evers / this app’s for you / taming the late-night hungries    CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT – announcement    FEATURED RECIPE – 5-star seafood dish    TIP – taming the brown sugar    THE WEEK – rye in what??? / I take a shot / taming the food budget

  TIDBITS 

Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

  Well, when a so respected food publication like Food & Wine offers up their 40 Best-Ever Recipes, it sort of snags your attention. So much great stuff! Guest-worthy poached eggs in a rich red wine sauce. Says here, ultimate chocolate mousse. Acclaimed Vietnamese chef’s sizzled pancakes with a savory filling. Julia Child’s ham steak in Madeira {she called it “a fast dish for fancy people”}. “Dreamy and homey” Breton butter cake. Star of the cocktail party, Tiki snack mix. And more, more, more.

  C’mon, get app happy. The new Food Network Kitchen app features star chefs cooking in real time in interactive sessions {yes, you can submit questions}, recipes, classes, episode reruns, even says grocery delivery {?} More details at the link just above.

  Oh, a pox on those late night hungries. But, yay, this kind of thing is right in Cooking Light’s wheelhouse. Their listing of Our Six Best Healthy Late-Night Snacks includes options that can fill you up without weighing you down. And if we might also modestly suggest our “Big Snacks and Subs{titutes} Lists,” two chapters excerpted from “Dieter’s Survival Guide” into a stand-alone Kindle book, 99 cents.

  CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT   

Marketplace is undergoing a remodel. Watch for a new, easier to navigate format. Coming soon.

  FEATURED RECIPE  

Surf and . . . cheese 

I came across a recipe for seafood au gratin that actually seemed a little short on flavor, but was sufficiently interested in this kind of dish to turn to a source I often rely upon and that’s AllRecipes. Eureka and hooray!

The one featured here is generous with bounty of the sea and with just enough other stuff to enhance the stars of the show and hold it all together. Also nice that it yields a party size dish.

No party planned? It actually does freeze and reheat {gently} quite well {one comment, “leftovers were even better”}.

While I was fairly true to the recipe I did make some minor changes based on personal preferences. Interestingly, the comments show many folks tweaked and yet it still turned out good. Seems if you follow the basics of the recipe you can adjust and improvise at will. Majority of ratings are 5 stars.

Recipe  

  TIP  

Oh, bad word, bad word, bad word

That very well may be your soliloquy when you right-now need the brown sugar only to discover it’s turned into something that would be right at home in the petrified forest. Let’s just say, Drat!

Here’s what has worked best for me to prevent the sugar from ever reaching that stage. It starts with a glass jar with a tight-fitting stopper.

Tuck a one-gallon freezer bag into the jar and transfer the sugar from its packaging into this bag. Don’t seal it but fold the open end over to completely cover the contents, and then lay a folded dampened paper towel on top of it.

Last, place a plastic sandwich bag over the top and tightly insert the stopper. Depending on how long the sugar is stored, you may need to occasionally replace the moist paper towel.

Now, if despite your best efforts the sugar goes all concrete anyway, there are ways to rescue it instead of tossing it. The link below will take you to google’s offerings, and other one is for our handy little Kindle booklet that includes storage tips.

Softening brown sugar  ♦  50 Ways, 99 cents

♦  A PEEK AT MY WEEK  

Welcome to my kitchen and living room

  In our 02.14.19 Salon, we talked about turning stale rye bread into croutons, as a topper for soup or salad, subsequently also posting that they could be popped atop seasoned sauerkraut or right into your mouth as a snack. Now Jamie Oliver has a sweet use for leftover rye – in easy chocolate cookies. That went onto my try-list right away. Btw, google says 100 grams is just over 3 1/2 oz.

  So, tried my own version of the pudding shots we featured in the 01.17.20 Salon. Here’s what’s layered in: caramel dip, chocolate pudding mixed with marshmallow vodka, repeat those two, then sour cream, chopped peanuts and chocolate sauce. If If I do say so myself . . .

  I recently heard some news on Food Network’s, “The Kitchen,” that unfortunately in general terms is not news to any of us. It has to do with how much the price of food has increased in the past 10 years. It’s the specific that inspires some gasps. 26% !!! Here’s one of the show’s episodes that focuses on budget-friendly dishes and shopping tips too. Here’s another.

This week’s

  •  Photo credits – all are mine
  •  Link sources –  chocolate cookies/Jamie Oliver site
  • Partnerships – Amazon

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

So far for Feb 7: ooey gooey oatbars, bacon x 10, cooking like the Dickens, peanut signal, pudding for breakfast, tried the donuts 🙄 , peasto???

Last week, just below:  cheesy chicken galore, pudding shots, cheeseboard upgrade, top-rated cheeseboards, Giada’s salmon – touch of spring, cheese storage, Tejano cooking, donuts from what ???, a tasty, testy past 

Looking for something in CS?

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

Note, transactions are solely between the buyer and linked supplier

All pages ©2020 CooksSalon.com

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

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Hot Fudge Pudding Cake, Dec 6 – Dec 12, 2019

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

New Salon every Friday – c’mon in

CS friends, and help yourself to tasty resources!

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

♦  TIDBITS – thaw it fast / apple crisp punch / throwback dinners  ♦  CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT – handy kichen organizers    FEATURED RECIPE – a bowl of chocolaty goodness    TIP – that is the question    THE WEEK – eggy love / salad-style burrito / heating up Parm corn butter

♦  TIDBITS 

Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

  I came, I thaw, I conquered. OK, the grammar gets a bit tortured and Caesar’s ashes just turned over, but may I redirect your attention to “How to Quickly and Safely Thaw Anything” – a rescue move for those moments when, OH NO, dinner that should be on the table in short order is still in the {censored} freezer. Having just come upon it, haven’t yet given it a try, but sure seems to make sense.

  This just looks so refreshing. A peek at the ingredients tells you that promise is quite likely to be fulflled. And as you can see right here, it’s pretty too! Two perfect attributes for a holiday libation. Called Apple Crisp Punch, the magic is in the sweet and sour pours and colorful garnishes.

  One link led to another and I found myself on the page, “23 Dinners That Got Us Through the Great Depression.” Since the very first one calls for a slow cooker, guessing some updates may have checked in. Even so, some good stuff here, with many that really are easy on the budget, a hot doggy one that’s sure to be a kid fave, some good looking soups and salads, and yep, meatloaf.

♦  CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT   

Resolution?

Are you doing 2020s yet? Or, if you’re like me, the one I’m about to pose is an ongoing aspiration.

Getting the kitchen better organized!!!

One of the previous Salons {08.09.19} talked about wrangling at least one set of items, the flat kind of stuff like baking sheets, cooling racks, cutting boards, et al, into a folder holder from the office supply store. And another {09.27.19} featured hanging bags for small items.

But lately I’ve been haunting the Amazon kitchen organization section for more help, and found some I think you might like: stylish towel hooks, pan and lid rack {I actually have one of these already and love it not only for the anti-clutter perk but also because it keeps the pan bottoms off other pans’ inner surfaces}, practical and whimsical drying rack {cloth over “cactus” too?}, sink caddy that lets the sponge and cloth air-dry, and could probably accommodate your kitchen brush too.

                             

 

Btw, the link below goes to only the top rated items. And you know what the #1 best seller in this category is – a portable paper towel holder, finishes from $5.99-$18.99.

Kitchen organization items, 4 stars and up

  FEATURED RECIPE  

Who might like a warm bowl of fudgy comfort food? 

I have to ‘fess up that I haven’t made this yet, but yikes it sounds so good, so holiday-ey, that I wanted to share it now. I certainly will make it some time in the new year and tell you all about it.

But just look at the source and the ingredients and the picture and I think we can be pretty confident that this is going to be a very good thing. The promise is in the name – Hot Fudge Pudding Cake.

It’s from Hershey’s where you’ll find tons of other great looking recipes on its site, so I have a link below to the whole shebang, where you can also search by various filters. And of course a link right to our Featured Recipe.

Hot Fudge Pudding Cake recipe    Hershey’s recipe page  

  TIP  

To peel or not to peel?

I happen to be in the former category, which is to say I’ve always peeled fresh ginger. You too?

Well, this food editor says we’re doing it all wrong, and also tells us why. See if you agree that we should “never peel ginger.”

Btw, though she kind of disdains using a spoon tip if you do/did peel, I’ve actually found this to be quite a good method. Easy over the bumps, minimum waste.

♦  A PEEK AT MY WEEK  

Welcome to my kitchen and living room

♦  In a recent show, Ina Garten mentioned a combo that may not be generally top of mind but happens to one of my favorites too – poached eggs atop seasoned greens {and for mine, bacon too}. And do you know what, alone or accompanied, it’s so perfect for any time of day or night. We did talk about this, including the starting point and seasonings, in our 09.20.19 Salon. Btw, this time I topped it with a bit of hot sauce. All good.

  Just catching up with mentioning this. The jar salad featured in our 11.22.19 Salon as we noted yielded quite a sizable bowlful, almost like the jar was hiding extra stuff in a secret compartment. So, yep, there were leftovers. And where they headed afterward {minus the lettuce} was one of my favorite ways to use them up, after in this case a brief cooking step – right into tortillas to make tasty burritos. A little extra jack on top didn’t hurt.

♦  A Parm corn butter add-on. We first talked about making this elote-style spread in our 11.01.19 Salon. Now, watching one of the Thanksgiving specials on Food Network I saw a reference to an original elote prep that included cayenne. Why not??? A natural I think. Btw, in the same Salon linked above for jar salads we talked about heating up the corn butter the other way, in a pan on the stove, to cook flavor-layered scrambled eggs.

This week’s

  •  Photo credits – punch/Nolet’s Gin, kitchen org/Amazon, cake/Hersheys, egg/mine
  •  Link sources – thaw/MyRecipes, punch/Nolet’s gin, Depression dinners/Taste of Home, kitchen org/Amazon, cake recipe/Hershey’s, ginger/Yahoo 
  • Partnerships – Amazon

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

So far next week: Giada’s hearty Tuscan soup, celeb chef memoirs with recipes, fill a phyllo, ingredient measurement help, stress tip, impromptu ham hash, wreath cookies, sugar from where???

Last week, just below: chocolate frosting with a secret, chocolate Yule log recipes, pumpkin pancakes, holiday kitchen decor, bittersweet chocolate sauce with cocoa, easy garlic, all-in cookie pie crust, decorated marshmallows for cocoa, hot sugar icing 

Looking for something in CS?

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

Note, transactions are solely between the buyer and linked supplier

All pages ©2019 CooksSalon.com

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

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Maida Heatter’s Chocolate Sauce with Cocoa, Nov 29 – Dec 5, 2019

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

New Salon every Friday – c’mon in

CS friends, and help yourself to tasty resources!

Starting this week, any of my partnership connections in the current week’s Salon

will be listed in the information box below, along with the photo credits & link sources

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

  TIDBITS – chocolate frosting with a secret / chocolate Yule log recipes / pumpkin-y pancakes    CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT – Merry Kitchen!  ♦  FEATURED RECIPE – cocoa loco   TIP – easy garlic  ♦  THE WEEK – the next all-in / merry mallows / a hot trend 

  TIDBITS 

Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

  It looks so innocent, a luscious layer of chocolate frosting. But this icing might need some ice to counteract it. The current Food & Wine online newsletter offers up a prep for Chile Chocolate Buttercream, with the hidden heat of ancho powder and cayenne. Having some time back enjoyed pie with a chocolate-ancho filling I can tell you this sweet-hot interplay can be quite addictive. Btw, there’s also a recipe for the cinnamon cake underneath.

  Was so happy to see IrishCentral feature a Bailey’s Chocolate Yule Log, only to discover it was not a recipe but rather a retail item, and adding insult to injury seemingly only to be available in Ireland and the UK. Not to be deterred, tried Amazon for us. Not even on Amazon! So, back to one of my most reliable sources for great preps, AllRecipes. And there found some good looking Chocolate Yule Logs, which if one were so inclined could certainly not be harmed by the addition of a little spirit.

  So, then Irish Central redeemed itself with a feature on pie-spiced pumpkin pancakes. And, yep, complete with recipe. Nice treat for a holiday morning breakfast, maybe with a bit of bacon or sausage, some colorful fruit. Btw, I quite like this newsletter, and if you might too, can subscribe in the upper task bar on that page.

  CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT   

Deck your kitchen!

Why should the living room have an exclusive on all the festive decor??? Especially when we have so many ways to bring the seasonal colors and images right into the kitchen.D-FantiX Snowman Refrigerator Magnets Set of 16, Cute Funny Fridge Magnet Refrigerator Stickers Holiday Christmas Decorations for Fridge, Metal Door, Garage, Office Cabinets (Large)

Large stores, even pharmacies, often feature items for this very purpose. The ones we’re showing here are on Amazon.

Some are temporary additions like refrigerator magnets {shown}, appliance handle covers, wall decor {shown}, even chair slipcovers. Some are temporary replacements such as towels, tablecloths, napkins, table runners, and dish drying mats.

And this adorable tie-back set. And more. And all such fun.

So often our family and friends gather in the kitchen anyway, so why not make their surroundings sing Christmas and more. Just as good, why shouldn’t you have a joyful setting as you prepare those holiday goodies.

The full array on Amazon 

 BJN’s Eclectic Offerings PageIf you’d like to send a strong message to both sides in D.C., please consider my new items on the Offerings page that say, “Make America Decent Again.”

♦  FEATURED RECIPE  

Just when you thought chocolate couldn’t get any better

I think it has something to do with the cocoa. It just adds such a deep, rich dimension versus other forms of chocolate.

And just like we like it, at least some of the time, the prep has few ingredients, simple technique. As flagged in our notes, though it calls for rum and many folks will find this a welcome addition, I used vanilla and it was still just so good.

The prep also tells us to use it cold, right from the fridge or after a brief stand at room temp. I did use it that way and also tested it heated, both over ice cream {work, work, work!}. As you can see, the ice cream does get melty with the warmed sauce but I actually liked it better that way.

The fact that it’s good however you use it is no surprise. It comes from the sweet genius of the late “Queen of Cake,” Maida Heatter, and appears in her book listed below.

Recipe    Maida Heatter’s “Happiness is Baking”

  TIP 

Easy garlic trick

Thanks to the late and dear Mr. Food for this one. When you need to add garlic to a dish, put the knife or press back in the drawer and take out a fork.

You can start with whole cloves unless they’re extra large, then slice those in half horizontally. Now take your fork start pushing into the edges {not right down over the whole top}, and continue around the perimeter, gradually working your way toward the middle, pressing the tines toward the work surface and pulling them back toward you. If necessary, turn over and repeat on the other side.

The primary beauty of this technique is that in short order you’ll have coarse chopped garlic ready to go. Or you can continue to work the fork for a finely chopped result. Or, if you need the garlic in paste form, add a bit of salt and then mash down and back and forth with the fork. Voila, paste.

The bonuses? No more pieces flying off the work surface, sticking to the knife, and clinging to your fingers.

  A PEEK AT MY WEEK  

Welcome to my kitchen and living room

  My latest all -in. Pie crust! In our 08.23.19 Salon we talked about a pie filling made up of various chocolate items from the pantry and fridge. Now the chocolate vibe has gone into a crust in the form of cookies collected also from the pantry and fridge. There were stripes, stripes with frosting, chocolate coated mint cookies, even a couple of fortune cookies {nice little pockets of crunch}, crushed to crumbs and then mixed with melted butter in the classic graham cracker crust proportion of 1 1/4 cups to 1/3 of a stick. Now in the freezer awaiting filling and pretty sure one of them will host cheesecake. I’m guessing any cookies would do the trick.

  So, I saw such a cute way to serve cocoa on Trisha Yearwood’s Food Network show. She dipped marshmallows in melted chocolate mixed with a bit of coconut oil and then pressed some into pistachios, others into coconut. Next, for each cup of her white chocolate cardamom cocoa, she speared the two kinds of marshmallows on a wooden skewer and laid it across the rim. Adorable. But, oops, in the next scene when the cups are served, the marshmallows had done a backflip so all the pretty toppings were hiding face-down in the cocoa. Ummm, should we tell her about the two-stick trick from our 08.16.19 Salon???

Wait, wait, wait let me make two things perfectly clear. First, could this have been by design so that the chocolate melted into the white cocoa? Maybe. But even more notable, I love the food she does, and the whimsical touches she often shows us, some of which we’ve featured in previous Salons. So, face-up or face-down, a cool idea. Btw, for mine shown here I crushed spicy peanuts and M&Ms.

  Care to experiment? I plan to do so with whatever baked good I make next. This technique is called hot sugar icing, a matter of topping the unbaked cake or cobbler with sugar and then, uh oh, hot water. But the promise is a crunchy, candy-like sugar crust. The link takes you to the Taste article, and then a link at the bottom to a recipe for pear cherry cobbler, which include the amounts and instructions for the hot sugar upgrade.

So far next week: Hot fudge pudding cake, peeling ginger, flashback dinners, thaw it quick, kitchen organizers, elote add-on, next burrito, apple crisp punch

Last week, just below: pie guide, gravy trick, food vs sleep, baking book from the best, bacon-pimento cheese dip, flour trick, another Parm corn butter app, jar salads & other easy lunches, a quote to love

This week’s

  •  Photo credits – pancakes/IrishCentral, decs/Amazon, others/mine
  •  Link sources –  recipe/CS Recipe Page Heatter book/Amazon, items on Offerings page/Michigan-based SunFrog
  • Partnerships – Amazon, SunFrog

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

So far next week: hot fudge pudding cake, kitchen organization,  

Last week, just below: bacon-pimento cheese dip, pie guide + recipes, gravy trick, food vs sleep, baking book from a legend, flour help, try this with the Parm corn butter, jar salads & other easy lunches, a quote to love

Looking for something in CS?

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

Note, transactions are solely between the buyer and linked supplier

All pages ©2019 CooksSalon.com

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

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My favorite sweet potato casserole, Nov 8-Nov 14, 2019

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

New Salon every Friday – c’mon in

CS friends, and help yourself to tasty resources!

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

  TIDBITS – another round of pie for everyone / save on NOWFE tix / what to do if you’ve eaten recalled food    CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT – kicky timers    FEATURED RECIPE – savory sweet potato casserole  ♦  TIP – measuring the marshmallow  ♦  THE WEEK – how waffle {actually tasty and clever} / cinnamon apple sweet goes simple / saving the casserole 

  TIDBITS 

Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

  Add a touch of Irish to your Thanksgiving dessert? That online newsletter that brings the Emerald Isle to the U.S., IrishCentral, is currently featuring a recipe for Irish Whiskey Pumpkin Pie. OK, the title also says Halloween but NOWFEdon’t we usually top off dinner with this traditional treat on TG?

  Planning to be in New Orleans next March? Early Bird tix are now available for the New Orleans Wine & Food Experience, 03.18-03.22, 2020. Right now 23% off on major events. I attended this some years ago and it was a gastronomic bonanza back then, and have to think it can only have become exponentially better.

  So, we’d all hope never to have something in our pantry or fridge that ends up in a recall, but doodoo happens. This guide from F&W Daily tells you exactly “What to do”  if you’ve already consumed some of the stuff.

♦  CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT   

Good timing!

Kitchen times sure have come a long way from just the simple hand-set tick-tick-tickers. Though those are sure available too, though now in a number of stylish selections, like the 1st one shown that manages to be vintage and modern all at once.

Now there are interesting variations in both technology and design. Some are multi-setting, some count up or down, some can time up to almost 100 hours, some have a visual countdown, some stick on the refrigerator, even saw some little guys in a 12-pack, could hand these out like party favors.

Here are a few others I found interesting. Click any one to go to the Amazon page.

Kikkerland Vintage Streamline Kitchen Timer, Red  YOOYIST Commercial 4 Channels Kitchen Timers Restaurant Timer Loud Alarm Cooking Reminder Stainless Steel Clear Display for Multiple Events      Joie Meow Cat 60-Minute Kitchen Timer Home Decor Products    Kitchen Timer, OVEKI Magnetic Countdown Digital Timer,One Button Operation for Teacher kids and Elderly,for classroom home work fitness     JTX Kitchen Timer Cooking Timer Reminder 60-Minute Mechanical Countdown Clock Time Management

2nd – set more than one timer on the same device – the one shown can handle four, but there are others with six and eight. 3rd – note that for the adorable Meow timer there are also companion measuring cups, measuring spoons, and spatula {btw, this timer might be a better match for the measuring items}. 4th – yikes, you might be able to see this one from the next room. 5th – could this be any cuter, and just $13,99, Prime eligible

Full array of timer choices

  FEATURED RECIPE  

A surprising mix of ingredients = sooooo good

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

  TIP  

Who doesn’t love marshmallow stuff???

I came across this helpful chart that I thought would be especially useful for the holiday season that’s now just around the corner. It all comes from Kraft, for their jet-puffed mallows and their creme.

Marshmallow Equivalents

7 oz Marshmallow Creme = approximately 1-1/2 cups
13 oz Marshmallow Creme = approximately 3 cups
1 Regular Marshmallow = 13 Miniature Marshmallows
8 Regular Marshmallows = 1 cup
16 oz bag Miniature = 8 cups
10.5 oz bag Miniature = 5-1/2 cups
50 Miniature Marshmallows = 1/2 cup Miniature Marshmallows
5 Regular Marshmallows = 1/2 cup
64 Regular Marshmallows = 16 oz bag

And

While we’re on the subject of mallows, just in case you find yourself in desperate need of tiny decorations that look like iced cakes – and are edible! – grab a regular marshmallow and some food color pens or gels. Voila!

  A PEEK AT MY WEEK  

Welcome to my kitchen and living room

  What a clever idea. An old issue of “Food & Wine” had a feature on one-handed party snacks {leaving the other one free for your beverage of choice}. It showed skewered items, spreads on crackers, and this one – caviar waffle bites. Elegant for sure but it’s the “format” that’s such fun, putting fillings into  single strips of a waffle. Is that just a beginning or what??? Like, alternating dollops of egg salad and chicken salad, or melted cheese and taco meat, or go sweet with a variety of preserves. A new delight in every bite and colorful too! {do I even need to say it, that we’d be considering the frozen aisle in the grocery store vs the homemade waffles}

♦  As much as I loved the cinnamon apple pie bread featured in our 10.18.19 Salon, I was sure drawn to a recipe with a similar flavor profile, but that offered the convenience of store-bought rolls. Even so, I made it simpler yet but want to give it another tweak. Meanwhile if you would like to take a look at the original, here ’tis Cinnamon Apple Pull-Apart Bread.

  Btw, meant to mention, regarding last week’s Dorito Chicken Casserole {11.01.19} that I didn’t waste this dish that turned out 85% excellent, 15% flop. Nope, rescued it with queso dip. All good.

So far next week: TG help from PBS, start a cookbook club, Bobby Flay cookbook, tunnel of fudge cake, Twain quote, corn butter revisited, cooking show tip, cheese platter guide

Last week, just below: recipe pre-test, donairs, perfect carrots, Lidia’s Italian celebration cookbook, Dorito chicken casserole links, take-out container surprise, Parm corn butter, soup rescue, cheesy chat 

Direct access to Amazon homepage through my personal link

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

Note, transactions are solely between the buyer and linked supplier

Photo credits – NOWFE pic/NOWFE site, timers/Amazon, Stellino/his site, others/mine

Link sources –  NOWFE/NOWFE site, timer array/Amazon, Stellino recipe/his site, Stellino books/Amazon

All pages ©2019 CooksSalon.com

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

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

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

New Salon every Friday – c’mon in

CS friends, and help yourself to tasty resources!

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

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

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

  TIDBITS 

Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

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

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

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

  CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT  ♦ 

What a sweetheart of a novel

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

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

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

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

“Friendship Bread”    Gee’s other books in Avalon

  FEATURED RECIPE  

Just, yum 

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

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

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

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

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

Cinnamon Apple Pie Bread recipe    Wishes & Dishes  

  TIP  

I say All-in, you say . . .

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

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

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

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

  A PEEK AT MY WEEK  

Welcome to my kitchen and living room

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

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

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

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

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

Direct access to Amazon homepage through my personal link

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

Note, transactions are solely between the buyer and linked supplier

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

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

All pages ©2019 CooksSalon.com

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

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Rich Pumpkin Caramel Dip, Sept 27-Oct 3, 2019

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

New Salon every Friday – c’mon in

CS friends, and help yourself to tasty resources!

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

  TIDBITS – Does Fido have to sign for it? / foodfests galore / “Apeel-ing” news    CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT – kitchen pockets  ♦  FEATURED RECIPE – decadent dippin’    TIP – poached to perfection  ♦  THE WEEK – seafood ho! / woohoo peanut sauce / peanut butter Chex mix 

  TIDBITS 

Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

  Woof, arf, bark, bowwow {translation – please send the kit with beef and don’t be stingy}.  Yes, the dog’s day has come in the form of delivered meal kits. To make sure the kit is a fit, there are variously questionnaires, algorithms, even a personal care manager. Meals are generally precooked, pre-portioned, ready to eat. Check meal delivery for dogs and you’ll discover there are actually several sources. Bone appetite! {sorry}

  Some October food/bev fests – will you be in any of these cities? Dripping Springs TX, Dripping with Taste Trail, Oct 1-30 / Long Beach Peninsula WA, Wild Mushroom Celebration, Oct 1-Nov 15 / Tucson AZ, Flavors of Tucson, Oct 3 / Laguna CA, Taste of Laguna, Oct 3 / Denver CO, Great American Beer Festival, Oct 3-5 / Las Vegas NV, Food & Wine Festival, Oct 4 & 5 /  Suffolk VA, Peanut Festival, Oct 10-13 / Clermont FL, BBQ & Blues Festival, Oct 11-13 / Wellfleet MA, Oysterfest, Oct 19 & 20 / Chicago IL, James Beard Foundation’s Taste of America, Oct 24 & 25 / Atlanta GA, Whiskies of the World, Oct 26.

  Have you heard of Apeel? Inspired by the revelation that perishability is responsible for a great percentage of global food waste and thus significant world hunger, James Rogers founded that company to develop an edible coating, invisible and flavorless, that can help produce last 2-3 times longer. Treated fruits and vegetables are already appearing in major grocery stores. Rogers calls the process, “{using} food to preserve food.”

  CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT   

Bet we all know where this idea came from

Thinking some innovative soul looked at the shoe bag hanging on the closet door and thought, hmmm, I do believe 2 Pack - SimpleHouseware Crystal Clear Over The Door Hanging Pantry Organizer (52" x 18")that could serve a totally different useful purpose. And here it is.

A nice clear bag for your pantry door. Actually, two of them.  A quick glance shows just some of the possibilities.

Spices may well be the first choice since those things have the darnedest way of ending up all over the place. Little hand towels, the k-cups, small to medium bottles, jars and boxes. Or, lots and lots of utensils out of the drawers, out of the countertop holders, off the never-enough hooks, and all organized right into those pockets.

And pretty reasonable! A 2-pk, so 30 pockets total, for $12.97, 5 stars on Amazon. Prime Eligible too.

Door hanging pantry organizer

 FEATURED RECIPE  

Pumpkin + caramel = mmm mmm

The Libby’s site is well into the season with pumpkin recipes galore that go tasty miles beyond pie. Cheesecake, cookies, pudding, brownies, soup, chili, pasta sauce, rice dishes, vinaigrette, even a s’mores version . . . and this rich and rippin’ good dip.

Bring on the apple and pear slices, big soft pretzels, donut holes, or do a double down with one of Libby’s pumpkin cookies. Or how about drizzled over French vanilla ice cream or a graham cracker with a toasted and mashed marshmallow or mixed into whipped cream and plopped atop pumpkin pie.

By the way their recipe page, linked below, also features a fudge pumpkin dip and one made with cookie butter. In fact given the many ways here you can cook up the ol’ jack o’ lantern you could do an entire pumpkin-based dinner with totally different flavors in every dish. {and nope, no partnership with Libby’s}

Pumpkin caramel dip recipe    Libby’s recipe page 

  TIP  

As promised, how I poach an egg

Yes, it’s multi-step, but I like to think worth it. Bring the egg to room temp either by letting it sit out or warming it in water. Treat the bottom of your pan with non-stick spray, and tip the pan a bit to fill it with water so the spray is disturbed as little as possible. Add a splash of vinegar and set the pan over med hi heat. Fold a paper towel in quarters and treat the inner half with non-stick spray.

For each egg, crack into a sauce dish. Have a plastic slotted spoon ready. When the water is boiling, slide the egg in and immediately, and gently, run the slotted spoon underneath it, giving it a little shove. Reduce heat to create a very gentle bubbling on the surface,

I set the timer for 4 min – given the bit of time elapsed from the steps above, it probably cooks about 4 min and 10 sec – you may want to adjust this. When the timer goes off, gently remove the egg with the slotted spoon onto the prepared paper towel, closing it between the quarters. Gently flip over the whole works so the other side drains too. Then, enjoy!

  A PEEK AT MY WEEK  

Welcome to my kitchen and living room

  Oh, happy day! In an interesting book called “Moveable Feasts” – full of facts and anecdotes about how “long distance food” is sourced and shipped, arriving on our tables from even half a world away – I found this gem. Legal Sea Foods ships! I love their food but rarely am I where they are. Hello LSF website!

  In our 08.16.19 Salon, peanut butter cilantro sauce was our Featured Recipe, and it was quite good as is. But it occurred to me that with a bit of tweaking it could become an outstanding Thai peanut sauce. Tried it and now the only one I’ll use from now on. Here ’tis – in a food processor till blended, 1/4 c ea peanut oil, sesame oil, soy sauce & lime juice {liquids first}, then 1/2 c peanut butter, 4 garlic cloves & 2″ peeled med size ginger root both roughly chopped, 2 T red pepper flakes, 1/4 t salt. One possible tweak: might use sriracha instead of flakes.

  Well I’ve always like Chex cereals but the peanut butter one out now moved immediately to the top of the list. I used it recently in a mix with dry roasted peanuts, honey roasted peanuts, jalapeno pretzels, and garlic rye chips, later enhanced with a “donation” of sesame sticks. Tasty. Did not use any coating but if you prefer it that way, here’s a loaded peanut butter Chex party mix from their site.

So far next week: tiny hot dogs the book, tiny hot dogs the video, a beery nice story, dare to make a flying jacob, ice cream for breakfast, fresh corn x 3, hamburger cooking trick, another all-in, just as good mashed up

Last week, just below: Downton dinners, Impossible burger, Green Goddess dressing, Halloween party decorations, José Andrés Sweet Potato Sundae, cookies {and more} as Halloween decorations,  tasty add-ins, tested the nuked eggs, easy greens trick

Direct access to Amazon homepage through my personal link

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

Note, transactions are solely between the buyer and linked supplier

Photo credits – Organizer/Amazon, Dip/Libby’s site, egg dish/mine

All pages ©2019 CooksSalon.com

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

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