Thin Mint/Banana Cream Pie {+caramel}, March 22-28, 2019

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

& Misty the FoodieCat

CS friends, help yourself to tasty resources!

  CatChat –  Misty previews this week’s salon  

  TIDBITS – pb&j mug cake / spirited chocolate donuts / phooey on freezer burn    CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT – Martha tells all    FEATURED RECIPE – Girl Scout cookie dessert & an oopsie & bonus recipes   TIP – talkin’ cheese    THE WEEK – fresh pb / toast 2.0 / good read, no recipes?

Misty’s History    Misty’s Gallery

  TIDBITS 

Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

  So, in our Feb 15, 2019 Salon we shared a link for mug cake recipes on google, all kinds of flavors. Now I’ve come across a one dear to my palate. Peanut butter and jelly mug cake! And like the others it’s pretty much 5-min or less from taking the empty mug out of the cabinet to taking the filled mug out of the nuker. You have to scroll a bit through the text to reach the directions, and once there note that there’s an alternative for making a fudgier, peanut butterier version.

Could this be the best way ever to start your day? To be honest, the folks at Irish Central actually position these donuts, Chocolate Baked Guinness Donuts with Irish Cream Glaze, in the dessert slot. I say, your choice. Since I already have Guinness for the Irish stew featured in our 03.15.19 Salon, just may give this a try. And if I do, CS friends will be among the very first to know.

What is freezer burn, what does it look like, what does it do to food – and most important, how can we avoid it. Food & Wine has the answers in this super helpful article.

  CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT  ♦ 

“The Martha Manual”

We first mentioned this new book from Martha Stewart in our 03.08.19 Salon, noting its thorough coverage of cleaning, organizing, repairing, laundry, decorating, crafts, gardening, pet care, entertaining – and cooking which we promised would get a closer look.

Here her comprehensive take guides us on tool repurposing, produce purchases, freezer use, leftovers, ingredient timesavers, basic methods, kitchen troubleshooting, baking skills, and frosting tips. Within each, so much illustrated detail.

There aren’t really recipes, but you will find preps in this section. For example, I found instructions for vegetable broth, nut butters, corncob chowder, baked butternut, pan sauces, parchment cooking, a proper omelet, refrigerator pickles, more.

Party prone cooks may also be interested in the “Host and Entertain” and “Celebrate” sections. The former is food oriented,  the latter fun oriented.

The 387 pages add up to a blueprint for an easy, organized, enjoyable life with a whole lot of pretty touches along the way. It’s 4 1/2 stars on Amazon, now $24.50 {vs $35} for hardcover, $14.99 for Kindle.

“The Martha Manual”    Stewart’s other books & more

CS Marketplace Cook-friendly books, videos, tees & sometimes more

BJN’s Eclectic Offerings Page

  FEATURED RECIPE  

Thin Mints rule the crust

The oopsie first. In our 02.08 19 Salon I mentioned that the Girl Scout cookies available on Amazon didn’t indicate any time limits, which was true. But decided I better check a little further and received this reply: “. . . usually just during the first few months of the year – until we run out of this year’s stock.” Right now Thin Mints and others still show as available.

The pie recipe on the site is actually for peppermint chocolate cheesecake on a Thin Mint crust. You can access this by clicking the link below, selecting Thin Mints from the recipe list, and then scrolling down to the pie and, I might mention, passing a whole bunch of other good stuff on the way.

I started with their crust prep, 10 oz bag Thin Mints crushed and mixed with 3T melted butter. But then went a simpler route, filling it with banana cream pudding and after thoroughly chilled, decorating it with some caramel striping.

Note: if you can no longer find these cookies, you can still make a comparable crust for either the cheesecake or the pie {or any other filling} with store-bought chocolate mint cookies. I’ve done this previously the same way, 10 oz bag, 3 T melted butter.

And, a chuckle: This is from one of the Internet cartoon collections: How many boxes of those Thin Mints do I have to eat before I start seeing results???

Girl Scout cookie recipes  ♦  GS cookies on Amazon  

♦  TIP  

Cheese It!

I just came across some tips from the “Hot & Cheesy” cookbook that I had kept note of because they seemed particularly valuable. Here’s some of what author Clifford A Wright has to say . . .

  • Store cheese separately from other foods {like in a compartment}
  • When aged cheese melts, it will be grainy
  • When young cheese melts, it will be creamier
  • It should be cooked briefly and gently, just until is has fully melted
  • It’s easier to grate, crumble or slice when it’s cold
  • 1 cup of shredded or crumbled cheese weighs about 3 ounces
  • {love this one} “Nonfat cheeses never melt, but I don’t use them, as they have no taste”

“Hot & Cheesy” Cookbook

  A PEEK AT MY WEEK  

Welcome to my kitchen and living room

♦  Thinking next time I make that Thin Mint/banana cream pie I’ll decorate it with peanut butter stripes. Maybe what brought that to mind is the fact that pb has two honorary mentions in this week’s Salon. And that brings me to this question? Do you ever make your own? It really is so easy, just dump a jar of peanuts of your choice in the food processor. I don’t even add oil, but rather just keep processing until the nuts release enough of their own oil until, voila! peanut butter.

♦  Bye bye breakfast blahs. That’s what I thought when I read this Food & Wine article, “12 Healthy Ways to Spice Up Your Morning Toast.” For some folks, Healthy is a caution, for others an invitation. Think both groups will be happy with these flavorful and colorful a.m. upgrades. Actually the dozen is spread over three “bases” – peanut butter, ricotta, and avocado. Here is my pb/carrot strips/chile garlic sauce/lime strips.

  So, now reading Rhys Bowen’s “Heirs & Graces,” her next Spyness book after “The 12 Clues of Christmas,” featured in our 03.08.19 Salon. It’s off to a good start with Mummy smack dab in the spotlight, but not for long as Georgiana could have predicted. One thing I want to note though – I haven’t seen any recipes in this one. So if you’re just looking for a good read from this top selling mystery author, probably any of her books would be fine, but if it’s recipes you crave may want to give it a leaf-through first.

So far next week: tater flake tricks, you eat whaaaat?, best biscuits, braid your eggs, spud art, wowsa pancake, cauliflower upgrades

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

Note, transactions are solely between the buyer and linked supplier

Photo credits: Donuts/Irish Central, Martha book/Amazon, Martha pic/her site, cheesecake/Girl Scouts site, banana cream/mine, cheese dish/Wright’s book, pb/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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Irish Guinness Beef Stew, March 15-21, 2019

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

& Misty the FoodieCat

CS friends, help yourself to tasty resources!

  CatChat – Misty previews this week’s salon  

  TIDBITS – kitchen oopsies / mac salad, classic & more / where the chefs go    CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT – food as fiction star    FEATURED RECIPE – simple tasty stew {M – I’ll have some, hold the veggies}   TIP – soda bread & other buttermilk delights    THE WEEK – combine the three subjects and you have cocktail hour & entree

Misty’s History    Misty’s Gallery

♦  Tidbits  

Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

Yikes, could any of us really be making over 100 mistakes in the kitchen. For CS-ers, probably not, but we might be making some of them. MyRecipes shows us how to mend our wayward ways with this roster of “130 Extremely Common Kitchen Mistakes and How to Fix Them.” Could browse the whole list, or maybe just use your page’s search function to see if a particular problem is covered.

Probably nowhere in the world is mac salad as revered as it is in Hawai’i. The basics are overcooked mac, Hellman/Best mayo, and finely grated onion. Where it goes from there determines if it’s tasty or just filling. The Taste newsletter has an interesting story on the island view, some restaurant variations, accompaniments, and then a recipe for a classic version. Btw scroll to the bottom of their page if you’d like to sign up

  The food is reportedly first rate, progressive yet traditional, and most of all “unfussy” according to this nytimes article about Yardbird – Hong Kong birthed by Canadian-born owners – soon to bring its vibe to the USA, starting in Los Angeles. Two reasons you might care – first because you just may want to try some of these simple preps at home, and second because you just might find yourself tableside or barside chatting with – and drawing secrets from – top level chefs who apparently flock {sorry!} to Yardbird.

  CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT   

Rhys Bowen’s “The Twelve Clues of Christmas”

Calling on the lexicon of the book’s 1930s setting, this is a dashed good tale, alive with characters you’d like to join in the drawing room for afternoon sherry. Including – yes – Noel Coward.

Are there some narrative gliches? I’d say a few, but what do I know. Bowen is a hugely successful mystery writer whose works often reside on best seller lists.

More to the point for CS-ers, it’s rich in detail about the many fine meals served during the 12 days of a holiday get-together of family, friends and strangers in a large mansion in a small English village. The plan is a “perfect old fashioned English Christmas,” but – oops – pesky murders get in the way.

As another bonus, when finally the perps are unmasked and the ends tied into a pretty bow – recipes! Mincemeat pie, sausage rolls, Christmas pudding, brandy butter and more. Plus blurbs on the parlor games played and holiday traditions observed.

First found Bowen in a mystery writers cookbook {12.14.18 Salon}. Would I read her again – you bet!

“The Twelve Clues of Christmas”    Bowen’s other books

“Mystery Writers of America Cookbook”

CS Marketplace – Cook-friendly books, videos, tees & sometimes more

BJN’s Eclectic Offerings Page

  FEATURED RECIPE  

Still time to make Irish Guinness Stew for St Pat’s 

It’s actually a pretty simple prep. Some chopping of course, but then it’s just a matter of IRISH: How To Be Irish + The Big Irish Cookbooksimmering until the beef is fall apart tender.

If you hate fat as much as I do, you’ll want to buy a piece a bit more than the required 2 lbs so you have that much after trim. Not talking about just marbling – that’s good stuff.

Also, I did add peas & carrots. And looking at their pic {Salon, just below}, though the recipe doesn’t call for the latter, looks like they did too.

All in all though, this was a pure dish that let the beef and beef flavor shine. Need some other Irish dishes in a hurry? Browse the instant Kindle choices at the second link.

Recipe    Irish cookbooks on Kindle  

  TIP  

“Eurekae!”

Eureka – I found it! – I’m guessing is singular  So . . . calling on my Latin classes of {censored} years ago, taking a leap of faith that my title is plural.

Back story – I certainly don’t dislike bottled Ranch dressings and use them quite a bit. But every now and then would like one that tastes more like the fresh-made versions found in some restaurants.

Accordingly, embarked on a quest to make my own {still ongoing}. Problem, though, what to do with the leftover buttermilk. Turns out – lots of things.

Thank you google for this page of possibilities. One was a recipe for slow cooker oatmeal, which I applied to a regular batch and yay one more way to make the cereal more palate-friendly. The recipe I did use was for Irish soda bread, on The Kitchn website, and I think it was just as good as the one I usually buy at Sprouts. Loooooove it toasted, and a bit of apricot preserves can’t hurt either.

Getting rid of – eh, that is using up – buttermilk

Irish Buttermilk Soda Bread recipe

  A PEEK AT MY WEEK  

Welcome to my kitchen and living room

Do you like tequila? I sure do like not-too-sweet margaritas, and occasionally a little glass of a nice tequila. Nice? For me that means smooth and rich, just enough sensation on the throat to know you just had a sip of the yield of the blue agave. Have for now found my number one fave – El Padrino. And nope, not a sip or cent in compensation, likely don’t even know of the mention.

Sometimes you just don’t want to cook. And sometimes a serendipitous thread leads you to tasty alternative. So in that article linked in the 02.22.19 Salon on ube, there was a mention of Jollibee, which coincidentally recently opened here in town and which had garnered woohoos on our Nextdoor app.

–  Now, tried it. Seems extra juicy, maybe the citrus marinade google shows for most recipes? And when paired with a bit of crunchy breading, a good bite indeed. Misty? Hoovered it!

  Actually finished those rye croutons some time back, but just remembered something else I wanted to mention about them. Great just on their own! Afternoon munch, cocktail companion, late night snack. {caution on the latter, morning garlic breath}

So far next week: Guinness donuts, another mug cake, Martha’s wisdom, Thin Mint/banana cream pie w/pb, cheese tips, upgrade your morning toast, culinary lesson

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

Any transactions are solely between the direct buyer and direct seller

Photo credits: book pix/Amazon, all others my own

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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Cheese and more cheese, March 8-14, 2019

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

& Misty the FoodieCat

CS friends, help yourself to tasty resources!

  CatChat – Misty previews this week’s salon  

♦  TIDBITS – rich rib-eye / best bacon methods {M – mom, may I suggest you try all of them} / honoring Bourdain     CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT – kitchen art    FEATURED RECIPE – hot & cheesy spaghetti    TIP – cheese storage    THE WEEK – Martha Manual, first look / Irish Guinness Stew / oh-oh

Misty’s History    Misty’s Gallery

♦  TIDBITS  ♦

Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

  If you’re going to indulge, might as well go for it. Food & Wine shows the way down this culinary path with its prep for Butter-Basted Rib Eyes. Ye gods, this is my favorite cut anyway, and seldom say no to butter, so for all of us in this “bunch,” let’s give it a whirl.

  We all pretty much know how to cook bacon. But . . . do we know the best way to cook bacon. Food 52 gives us the benefit of their research {oh, the sacrifice!}, for turning out perfecto strips. But . . . the answer has a bit to do with your preferences. In that regard, still helpful. Tune in here for the results.

  Oh, this is nice. Food & Wine reports that Chef Bourdain’s native New Jersey is creating an Anthony Bourdain Food Trail, linking the state’s 10 restaurants that were featured in the NJ episode in season 5 of “Parts Unknown.” On that itinerary, a roadstand, inn, deli, oyster house, steakhouse, and more.

♦  CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT  ♦ 

Sprucing up for Spring? How about some kitchen art

Which is to say, how about some kicky food posters to give your kitchen or dining nook a colorful newHome Comforts Framed Art for Your Wall Kitchen Casserole Tomato Mozzarela Baking Dish 10x13 Frame look? Shown here, just a couple of the many artsy possibilities available.

As you scroll through the various options you’ll see designs dedicated to herbs & spices, fruits & vegetables, casseroles & ethnic foods, coffee & tea, beer & wine, dishes & utensils, chefs wall26 Canvas Prints Wall Art - Still Life Various of Spices on Rustic Wooden Table Food/Kitchen Concept | Modern Wall Decor/Home Decoration Stretched Gallery Canvas Wrap Giclee Print - 12" x 18"& kitchenware, collages & sayings.

For friends who like to cook, or are just food-a-philes, this could be a nice housewarming gift. Or any occasion gift.

Some are already framed. Others await your special touch. Saw several at $9.99.

All on Amazon    Spice poster    Casserole poster    Top rated food posters

CS Marketplace – cook-friendly books, videos, tees & sometimes more

BJN’s Eclectic Offerings Page

♦  FEATURED RECIPE  

If you like melty cheese dishes, this could be the cookbook for you 

Although our featured prep is quite spicy, most of what is delivered to the plate is kind to the palate in the “Hot & Cheesy” cookbook. All in 390 pages by James Beard winning Clifford A Wright.

So what will you find? Meat & vegetable creations, pizza & pasta, sandwiches & crepes, rice & egg preps, sauces & dips, and both sweet & savory pastries.

In addition to such cheesy choices as hot crab dip, bacon-onion rolls, pork chops stuffed with pecans and bleu cheese, chicken grilled with ham & cheese, there are ethnic classics including saganaki, raclette, queso fundido and fondues. Great tips too for selecting, measuring, cooking, serving and storage.

Our Feature, Spaghetti with Fresh Chiles, is not only tasty but pretty as well {but OK, maybe not a cardiologist’s fave}. After a bit of chopping involved, brief cooking, it’s smooth sailing to the table. A nice counterpoint, salad with cucumbers.

Recipe  ♦  “Hot & Cheesy” cookbook    Other Wright cookbooks

♦  TIP  

Keeping the cheese

If your household is like mine, cheese doesn’t stay around very long. But on those occasions when maybe you bought a larger size, or perhaps have a lot of different kinds, you sure don’t want any of it to go bad. After trying different methods, this is what I’ve found works best . . .

Leave it in the store package, which you’ve cut along the top on three sides. After each use tuck the wrapper tightly around on all sides, and then place it in a zip bag, wrapping that tightly around after squeezing out as much air as possible.

Btw, this cheese tip is one of the 50 food and kitchen tricks in my kindle book on Amazon – 99 cents.

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

♦  A PEEK AT MY WEEK  

Welcome to my kitchen and living room

  Just started looking through Stewart’s new book, “The Martha Manual.” As the title promises this big tome is chock full of techniques for life’s necessities – cleaning, organizing, repairing, laundry – and then some of the more creative aspects – decorating, crafts, gardening, pet care, entertaining and yep cooking. We’ll look at that latter section soon and share in an upcoming Salon.

  Stew instead? In our Feb 15 Salon we featured Irish potato cakes, on a page that filled in the rest of the meal with roast chicken, sides, brown bread & dessert. But the same source, Irish Central, not surprisingly also offers us a prep for Irish beef stew, enriched with Guinness. Thinking that the brown bread would be a great accompaniment for this hearty dish. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

  Took baby steps this week on the way to finally learning to use a mandolin. Pray for my fingers.

So far next week: Guinness stew, “jolly chicken,” fave tequila, foodie fiction, and I’ll rye if I want to 

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

Any transactions are solely between the direct buyer and direct seller

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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Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie {oh my}, Feb 22-28 & March 1-7, 2019

This is a 2-week Salon in view of the delayed post while security was updated

Due to offer deadline, the 03/08 Marketplace is here, kitchen art on 03/08

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

& Misty the FoodieCat

CS friends, help yourself to tasty resources!

  CatChat  

Misty previews what you’ll find below in this week’s salon

  TIDBITS – XO sauce decoded / Laissez les bons temps rouler! / ube decoded    CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT – {art for cooks now next week} this week – cooking for kids    FEATURED RECIPE – make this . . . now!    TIP – kiwi hacked    THE WEEK – cheesy t.c. / the sugar cookie sheet pan experience / yabbies??? {M – OK, yeah, this would be OK in my supper dish}

Misty’s History    Misty’s Gallery

♦  TIDBITS  ♦

Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

  Ancient Chinese secret? Probably not since these days it’s all on google. The subject is XO sauce, found roundly on Asian restaurant menus, but now interestingly appearing in offerings in other ethnic realms. Some of the whys can be found in this getflavor.com story. But if it’s the recipe you crave, back to google for those resources.NOWFE

  Folks who have been to New Orleans probably agree it’s always a fun place to visit. But  April 3-7 the good times go into overdrive with “Come to Your Senses,” the 27th anniversary of The New Orleans Wine & Food Experience, a chance to sample the bounty, and maybe pick up a tip or secret in the process, from the city’s top chefs and restaurants. And to pair it all with selections from over 1,000 wines from around the world. Tastings, seminars, dinners and more.

  Every now and then you come upon something so fun and different you just want to share it. In this case it’s “ube” – whaaaaaat? – an almost startlingly purple yam, native to the Philippines {and maybe elsewhere?}. This “Taste” article fills in some more blanks, including its classic use as an ingredient in ice cream, bread filling, cakes, and the star of the show – yam jam.

♦  CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT  ♦ 

Great offer for kids – but hurry

We sure know that from the young people’s competitions on Food Network. You watch that and think, yikes talent is sure not limited by age.

Your children may not aspire to tv kitchens, but for any that do show an interest in cooking, this stuff is for them. It’s a confidence builder comes with a whole lot of fun.

From America’s Test Kitchens, it outfits them with the cookbook and apron shown. “Using kid-tested and approved recipes . . . just right for cooks of all skill levels,” it features photos, tips, and techniques for recipes covering breakfast, snacks, beverages, dinners and desserts.

Through this March 6, the two-piece “Young Chef Bundle” is available at a discount. If you would prefer just the book, that’s available from Amazon, and also at least for now, offered at a discount.

The bundle from ATK    Just the book, from Amazon

CS Marketplace – Cook-friendly books, videos, tees & sometimes more

BJN’s Eclectic Offerings Page

♦  FEATURED RECIPE  

One of the best desserts I’ve ever made 

This is the kind of confection you should probably cut into small slices, but chances are that ain’t happening. This Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie is just soooooooo good.

It comes from a cookbook by David Venable known to many from his QVC show, “In the Kitchen with David.” The title is short but every word warms your heart, “Comfort Food Shortcuts,” specializing in satisfying dishes that marry your cooking talents to grocery store convenience, showing us the latter in his recipes.

True to the title promise, lots of dips, soups, saucy preps, noodles, casseroles, rich desserts. On my personal do list: bananas foster pancakes, pepperoni stuffed cheesy breadsticks, chocolate stuffed bread {with store-bought bread!}, peach enchiladas, and the intriguing comeback sauce {in an upcoming Salon}.

Meanwhile, with its crackly crust and soft melty interior, could anything possibly make our featured pie any better? Hmmmm, maybe cozying up to a nice scoop of French vanilla ice cream.

Recipe page    “Comfort Food Shortcuts” cookbook  

♦  TIP  

Kiwi in 3-2-1

Passing this along because if you have the right implement and this works, would be a pretty neat trick. The right implement being uncoated wire beaters on your hand mixer.

Mine are thickly coated so I couldn’t try this. You can see the full details via the link which takes you to the Cooking Light story, but it has to do with pressing the beater into each half kiwi and then twisting to pop out four even quarters from the skin.

If anyone tries this, appreciate it if you let me {and then the rest of us} know how it works. Please see the Let’s Chat page for guidelines on sending stuff along.

Kiwi trick

♦  A PEEK AT MY WEEK  

Welcome to my kitchen and living room

  Well on the way out of the supermarket, a book called “Hot & Cheesy” seemed to jump right into my hand from a bargain book bin. Despite the title, nothing salacious about it but in a sense it is rather sinful. This stuff can’t be good for you but it sure does sound good. You’ll see next week because there’s exactly where our Featured Recipe is coming from.

  So now have made the sheet pan sugar cookies twice, {recipe link in the Jan 18 Salon}, and enjoyed them both times but couldn’t resist some tweaks. One was cutting down the white sugar from 1 cup to 3/4 of a cup and they’re still sweet enough. Also put them in a larger pan, 10×15. Now if you prefer the blondie-like texture mentioned in their recipe notes, by all means stay with the 9×13.

–  The other tweak – pressing chocolate chips into the cookies the moment they’re removed from the oven. You could mix them into the dough, but believe them when they say this is a sticky {and I’d add, stiff} dough.

  Well, you just never know where you might pick up a bit of food-related information. And in this case, a most unlikely source – “The Origin Story” by David Christian, a chronology from the Big Bang to projections for the future. So the author is picturing our long ago ancestors sitting around a fire “finishing a meal of mussels, freshly caught fish, yabbies, and wallaby steak.” Yabbies? Discovered it’s a crustacean most notably in Australia that looks like a lobster but is actually related to crayfish. More on google.

So far next week: butter basted ribeyes, hot & cheesy dish, cooking for kids, best bacon, Irish Guinness stew, cheese storage, honoring Bourdain

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

Any transactions are solely between the direct buyer and direct seller

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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St Pat’s Day special, Feb 15-21, 2019

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

& Misty the FoodieCat

Help yourself to a bounty of resources!

  CatChat  

Misty previews what you’ll find below in this week’s salon

  TIDBITS – speed shopping / wine time / cake for one    CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT – A-1 resource    FEATURED RECIPE – Irish potato cakes and more for St Pat’s    TIP – it’s in the book    THE WEEK – rye, rye again / flavy gravy / burger desperation

Misty’s History    Misty’s Gallery

♦  TIDBITS  ♦

Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

  Here’s some welcome help for any cook. Are you like this too? Some parts of grocery shopping can be fun or at least interesting. But most days I think most of us would like toVin65 Template Wine Regions be able to do just what this headline says in a story on the MyRecipes site: “How to Get In and Out of the Grocery Store Faster.”

  You may not find yourself casually traveling through Pahrump NV. But given the better chance that you might visit Las Vegas, a short drive away is the newly expanded and remodeled Pahrump Winery. And yes, the vineyard is right there, which means if you hit it right you can also take part in a grape stomp – and any time you can learn a lot about wine, from seeding to sipping. Details of products, tours, events, and restaurant at the site for this multi-award winning winery.

  For some reason a dorm fave seems to be popping up a lot these days, and not just for kids anymore either. It’s the mug cake, ready in 5, just mix and nuke. The default is chocolate of course, but this google page shows a number of preps and variations.

♦  CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT  ♦ 

I know I’ve mentioned this book before, but was just browsing through it again and so love this read. Open to just about any page and you may well come upon something fascinating.

The Diner's Dictionary: Word Origins of Food and DrinkOf course it’s also a fast resource for an individual ingredient, a single food item, or an entire dish. Alphabetical, thank you. What fun!

And whether you’re in those pages for a casual stroll or a specific search, you may find in some cases not only the definition, but as well characteristics, uses, and origins, plus related geography, history, literature, law, commerce, and notable people.

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.

Diner’s Dictionary 

CS Marketplace

BJN’s Eclectic Offerings Page

♦  FEATURED RECIPE  

What could be more Irish??? 

The recipe comes from the Irish Central newsletter, and the main ingredient is potato. That sure seems to add up to the perfect brunch dish or dinner side for St. Patrick’s Day. Even better, it comes to your kitchen with few ingredients, easy technique.

Fadge (Irish Potato Cakes). Image: Getty.

Btw, you can make a healthy version of these potato cakes with olive oil or a tasty version with bacon fat. I know where my vote would go.

This prep appears on a page with several other Irish recipes, including one for traditional Irish Brown Bread. In fact you could probably plan your entire St. Pat’s dinner right here, entree, side dishes, bread and dessert.

Recipe for Fadge {Irish Potato Cakes} – scroll on page

♦  TIP  

How to’s too!

In addition to everything listed above in Marketplace, the comprehensive Diner’s Dictionary occasionally yields suggestions for uses and preps as well. You could pretty much make stuff from like Bubble & Squeak to Bubble Tea just from the descriptions here.

As another example, under Miso, after the definition there’s this: “as a dressing for salads, as a flavouring for pickles, and in marinades . . . {or} more adventurous options, such as miso-glazed baby back ribs. A bit of a surprise appears under Gravy, in the form of quite detailed instructions for oysters in something we may not now think of as gravy, a wine/broth mixture enhanced with ground almonds and seasonings, maybe even egg yolk and cheese, drawn from a 14th century cookbook.

{Btw, if you want those details just email me, here {bjnosek@gmail.com}

♦  A PEEK AT MY WEEK  

Welcome to my kitchen and living room

  You may recall the rye croutons from the last week’s Salon? At that time mentioned them as a tasty addition to soups and salads. Just discovered another great use – atop sauerkraut! Although I served this as a side dish, since that the kraut already had joined bacon, onion, garlic and tomato, this also works as an entree. A bit of sour cream won’t hurt either.

  Do you ever make your own Italian beef? Most recently I used paper thin slices of eye of round, but have also been known to let the deli take care of this part. For broth – beef bouillon, lots of fresh garlic, basil, oregano, pepper, and a bit of gardinere {with more to go on top of the sandwiches}. But here’s what I want to pass along – if you have leftover broth, yay, add a bit of thickening for a super flavorful gravy.

  Had such a taste for a hamburger but – bummer – no ground beef in the freezer. And not the kind of day that encouraged a trek to the store. So . . . . . made a burgerless burger. Melted cheddar on a bun, piled on lettuce, tomato, pickle, onion, and topped all with a mix of mayo, mustard, ketchup and French dressing. Sides of fries and bell pepper salad and, really, barely missed the meat. In fact a pretty darn good veggie plate.

So far next week: New Orleans Wine & Food Experience, kitchen art, chocolate chip cookie pie

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

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Girl Scout Cookie Desserts, Feb 8-14, 2019

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

& Misty the FoodieCat

All pages ©2019 CooksSalon.com

  CatChat  

Misty previews what you’ll find below in this week’s salon

  TIDBITS – Are you being bad? / sheet pan comes to breakfast / tater tricks  ♦  CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT – help with Valentine’s gifts {M – make mine tuna}    FEATURED RECIPE – Girl Scout cookies, a fab ingredient    TIP – cakes 5.0    THE WEEK – rye redux / butternut squash – one recipe, two uses / choclo {whaaaaat?}

Misty’s History    Misty’s Gallery

♦  TIDBITS  ♦

Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

  If you like to bake, you might also like to take a look at this article posted on Well Done. You’ll find guidelines and fixes for such aspects as reading instructions, measuring, heating the oven, ingredients, mixing, pans, under the banner “18 Bad Baking Habits You Need to Stop.”

  If you’ve ever been to a French bakery or cafe, whether here or there, chances are good the menu featured the country’s classic open face sandwich, the Croque Monsieur, basically ham & swiss on good toasted bread sauced with bechamel. Food and Wine brings us the prep for a version called Croque Meurice after its origins, and what’s interesting is that it taps into sheet pan convenience. Btw, if you cut these large enough and top each square with a fried egg it would be a handy take on Croque Madame.

  Potato art – This is too bizarrely funny not to share. It is about food. But not as food. A new Internet sensation involves posting videos of putting makeup on, yep we already tipped it, potatoes. Although I guess as we think about it, that’s maybe a small step from the years ago kids game, Mr. Potato Head. Thinking now, this could be fun – if we used food color pens they could actually be served as a party dish. Thanks, Irish Central, for the chuckle.

♦  CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT  ♦ 

Little late with a Valentine’s gift?

There’s a good chance Amazon can help. Almost anyone, I think, would appreciate a Valentine Treasures Fruit Gift Basketlovely gift basket with chocolate, maybe a stuffed animal, decorations.

In the links below, the first one leads to everything that comes up for chocolate gift baskets, the second narrows the selections to baskets specifically for Valentine’s Day, and the third lists only those rated four stars and up. At any level you can also customize in additional ways.

Btw, the “container” isn’t always a basket, sometimes a box, tin or tower. Of course check out the delivery dates but many if ordered now will arrive before the big day, including this one.

All gift chocolate baskets    For Valentine’s    Best rated    Basket shown

CS Marketplace

Need something even faster? Browse lots of instant gift cards on Amazon

♦  FEATURED RECIPE  

Girl Scout Cookies Gone Wild 

Well this whole tasty sequence began with a visit to a site I really like called MyRecipes. The draw was a story on desserts made with Girl Scout cookies {link below}. 

So then I hit Google to see when the cookies are available and that led to several discoveries. First, on the Girl Scouts site you can enter your zip code and get a big listing of dates and places for the booths.

Second, there are also cookie-based recipes on the site. Shown here are cupcakes made with Thin Mints which are crushed and mixed with cream cheese for a filling inside chocolate cake topped with ganache.

Another revelation came in the Google search, and it’s this – Girl Scout cookies are available on Amazon. Just to check I clicked on the Thin Mints and there doesn’t appear to be any “season” for them which is to say they seem to be available year ’round.

Recipe page on the Girl Scouts site {scroll on page for cupcakes}

MyRecipes article  ♦  Girl Scouts homepage    GS cookies on Amazon  

♦  TIP  

Skeptical, but my reason may not be your reason

Either way, it is an interesting idea. Tapping into a tale with the maybe slightly hyperbolic headline, “How to make any cake 1,000 time better” – with the answer being, folding in whipped cream.

The result it says, is a light consistency . . . a lighter texture,” and that where they lose me because I like desserts that are. ummm, toothy. But I realize some of you, dear friends, do prefer a lighter touch and a link is here for you to see the details.

Meanwhile, we also discover that the idea was inspired by the cookbook, “BakeWise,” which “won the James Beard Foundation Award for Best Baking and Dessert Cookbook in 2009.”

The Whipped Cream Trick    “BakeWise” on Amazon, 4 1/2 stars

♦  A PEEK AT MY WEEK  

Welcome to my kitchen and living room

  So, a package of rye bread that is supposed to close with a sticky tab – didn’t. As a result, a good four slices turned zwieback-y. Didn’t want to waste it, so hello Google. The solution that was most appealing was to turn them into croutons, which is exactly what I did, sauteeing cubes in a garlicky mix of butter and peanut oil. Turned out to be great toppers for butternut squash soup, pea soup, and really any salad.

  And about the butternut squash soup, now have my final version. Truth be told the preceding variations were good, but the “winner” was the one that most let the title veggie take an undisputed starring role. It starts with about a 3 lb squash, baked until very tender, cooled till handle-able.

  In a large pot 3-4 cloves minced garlic are lightly sauteed in 4 T butter, and then joined by 2 c prepared chicken bouillon, 1/2 T honey, 1 t sage, 1/2 t ea pepper and nutmeg. Let this simmer while you peel, seed and rough cut the squash, and then mash or blend it smooth with a 1/2 c cream.

  Whisk in the squash scoop by scoop until blended, and then add 1 cup Italian shredded cheese. Whisk until melted and mixture is hot. Serve as soup or, as originally pursued, over pasta as shown here topped with a bit of parm and parsley.

  I don’t make a steady diet of “Chopped” on Food Network, but did tune in recently and learned about an ingredient I’d never heard of before. Have you? It was choclo, a large kernel style of corn grown in Peru. The contestants did some interesting preps with it which you can view here {full episode}.

BJN’s Eclectic Offerings Page

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

So far next week

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

 

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11th hour/59th min gifts for cooks, etc., Holidays, 2018

Relax in comfy clothes and a cushy chair . . .

Here you go with some instant and same day deliveries

{for non-email gifts, check if same day is still available on your chosen day}

Kindle books

Kindle cookbooks

Best Selling Kindle books

Best Rated Kindle books

🎁  🎄  🎅

Audio books for your friends that have Audible

🎁  🎄  🎅

Flowers from Teleflora

Flowers from 1-800-Flowers

Others listed on Google

🎁  🎄  🎅

Bouquets, chocolate, fruit from Harry & David

Edible Arrangements

🎁  🎄  🎅

Foodie magazine subscriptions on Amazon

Best Sellers    Top rated

Some selections on our CS page

All magazine subs on Amazon

🎁  🎄  🎅

Amazon restaurant gift cards

All Amazon gift cards

🎁  🎄  🎅

Barnes & Noble gift cards

Barnes & Noble Nook books

🎁  🎄  🎅

Wayfair gift cards

Grubhub gift cards

Visit our Fine Chefs page for their gift cards

🎁  🎄  🎅

Have a little more time? – Amazon Gift Guide – many two day shipping for Prime

WISHING YOU EVERYTHING GOOD THROUGHOUT THE HOLIDAY SEASON FROM

          AND          

LET’S MEET RIGHT BACK HERE ON JANUARY 4, 2019

WHEN WE’LL BRING YOU THE TOP  IO RECIPES OF 2018

DOORS OPEN TO OUR REGULAR SALONS STARTING ON JAN 11

Please note, in the above list only Amazon is a partner

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