Bobby Flay’s Bacon/Tater Quesadillas w/Salsa & Eggs, Oct 23-Oct 29, 2020

New Salon every Friday – c’mon in

CS friends, and help yourself to tasty resources

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

Help end the animosity – “Make America Decent Again”

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Quick Bites – Squash season! While I like mine with just a bit of butter and brown sugar, I have to say there are some good looking renditions in Food & Wines offering of Our 36 Best Squash Recipes, such as mashed winter squash with Indian spices, baked butternut squash with cheese polenta, winter squash with gruyere gratin, savory ricotta squash tart, acorn squash saltimbocca. {thanks to Jeffery Martin at Wikimedia Commons for the photo}    We like to share stories on avoiding waste whenever we see them so hoping you’ll take a look at this one on storing sweet potatoes from Extra Crispy. Love sweet potatoes!    So, Well Done sent us to MyRecipes sent us to Reddit for this hack on heating two bowls of food at once in the nuker. I have not tried this.

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Shopping Finds – I know flavored syrups have been around for a long time, but was sort of surprised to discover how many infused maple syrups are available, and so many sound so good.  The link takes you to the page I saw on Amazon.    MyRecipes, especially as a protégé of AllRecipes, I think is a pretty trusted source. So I paid attention when they posted their pick for favorite pie filling. The winner: Duncan Hines Simply Pie Fillings & Toppings, available in apple, blueberry, cherry, peach, raspberry & strawberry.    Could help avoid waste? Amazon identifies this Automatic Food Sealer with starter kit as one of its current “Hot Releases.” Four and a half stars, Prime Eligible.

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Kitchen Talk – I’m inspired by the current Better Homes & Gardens to “put down the carving knife” and instead turn the surface of pumpkins, real or craft, into pop art. The cover punkin gets its festive look from tissue paper, Better Homes And Gardens Magazine October 2020while others in the story call upon electrical tape, cording, yarn, and paint – brushed on, splattered on, or a fun trick where you blow bubbles into it {don’t inhale}.    The other pic? Popcorn balls? Nope, but first, in our 09.25.20 Salon we linked a story on foods other than muffins you can make in your muffin tin. I have another way I like to use that pan, and that’s to freeze {covered} individual portions of various items, in the case here cooked macaroni. Also good for rice, cooked shrimp, stuffing, frozen veggies, cooked veggies, e.g. Just be sure to treat the cups with non-stick spray so the food can be popped out and into a freezer bag.    Another good use for the ginger syrup {09.18.20 Salon} – in a spicy stir-fry, a tasty offset to the peppers.

   On the Table 

Feature – Bobby Flay’s Bacon & Hash Brown Quesadillas with Salsa & Eggs

I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Flay – briefly – and enjoying dinner at his Mesa Grill – not so brief!. No, you want to linger over this fiesta of flavors, a showcase for his passionate take on southwest cuisine.

And so I was drawn magnet-style to this quesadilla {OK, the bacon helped}. That bacon plus homemade hash browns join onion and peppers and cheese in a tasty tortilla stack, topped with a nice fried egg, fresh tomato salsa, and chopped chives.

A perfect way to start the day. Especially a day with a late and lazy start. Bloody marys anyone?

The recipe is on the Food Network site. If the same page comes up that I saw, you should be able to also scroll down for a demo showing pumpkin gooey butter cake.

Recipe   Flay’s cookbooks, Amazon     Flay items & other celeb chef items on our CS page

Recipe Notes – The recipe makes four very generous servings, and if there will likely be leftovers, just leave the eggs and salsa off the extra stacks and and freeze them. I diced the potatoes instead of grating and cooked them together with the onions, par-fried bacon, pepper and chile powder in the oil. The salsa has the unusual addition of honey and truth be told I was kind of skeptical about it, but in fact it brings a nice touch of richness to the party. Possibilities in advance: make salsa, cook potatoes, lightly fry bacon, chop onions & chives.

Substitutions if needed – while it won’t be the same intense flavor you could probably use chile powder in place of ancho powder.

Next week – Chocolate Brownie Ice Cream Bread – sooooooo easy

A Cuppa with Alexa – Recipes, Tips, News & More

You don’t have to have an Amazon Echo Show to tap into the particular tidbits we’ve linked below, drawn from its vast culinary bounty.

Just pour a cup and let’s talk food with Alexa. We also show the actual requests for those who are Echo owners, who should also note that in many cases she guides you step by step through the recipes.

Alexa says request: How to make French style beef? Oh my, a winner emerged in short order, a slow cooker treatment of a beef chuck roast, rich with broth, veggies, herbs, and a sun dried tomato tapenade. It’s Beef Provençale, from Food Network Kitchen.

Alexa says request: How to make cheese waffles? Among the results was an interesting take that went one better. Ham & Cheese Waffles, with those two guest ingredients going right into the batter. Served warm with butter and maple syrup. From Epicurious.

My request: Do you have a good Bolognese sauce recipe? I’m guessing a good many of you have had this experience too. You throw together an impromptu version of a known dish and it turns out great. But then somehow you just can’t re-create it and nor do any of the recipes you find. For me, that’s a Bolognese sauce. and under the banner of hope springs eternal going to try a 5-star one Alexa found from Side Chef, a site we just recently discovered. If it’s what I’m looking for, you’ll be the first to know.

And this unexpected thing we found that Alexa can do – flip a coin {make your choice before you ask}

Would you like your own Echo Show?

Boundless information, music, movies, tv shows, videos, health tips & news, entertainment news, national news, local news, sports news & recaps, weather, timer, alarm, reminders, Amazon delivery notifications, alerts, security camera connection . . .  and food, food, food, all on an interactive screen {some connect to Prime}.

You can browse all the Echo styles here on this Amazon page

   Cocktail Hour Buzz  

And as we say belowwhether for a crew, or for two, or just for you

  Big kids tap into their inner little kids with, say, jelly glasses of . . . peanut butter whiskey. Called, and with good reason, Skrewball, it’s just as it sounds, whiskey and peanut butter which, as the maker says, “go together so well the make pb&j jealous.”  Those folks, the husband and wife creators and their team, have lots of fun on their website with the name and while there you’ll also see their hashtag, and meanwhile will leave it to your imagination.

  Good thought, broaden your sipping horizons even further! One thing may be of interest regarding cocktails — cocktails from around the world.  Sure, most everyone knows about margaritas and mojitos, but how about the lesser known cocktails like Pimm’s Cup (UK), Aperol Spritz (Italy),  Caipirinha (Brazil), Kir Royale (France)” – Linda K-P, Orlando

  Guessing there are some folks that can defy this promise, but for the most part this is a very welcome prospect – “spill-proof wine glasses!” They’re 12 oz and “naturally aerating.” Four and a half stars and an “Amazon’s Choice.”

   Btw, just as with the rye croutons, the bacon croutons in Kitchen Talk in last week’s Salon also make a mighty fine cocktail snack. Hot, warm, or cold.

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A Classic Canadian Sweet Treat, no-bake, Oct 9-Oct 15, 2020

New Salon every Friday – c’mon in

CS friends, and help yourself to tasty resources

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

Help end the animosity – “Make America Decent Again”

See my 7 items crafted by CA-based Zazzle, on our page Or Zazzle page

Let’s Chat

Quick Bites – Salad greens, so crisp and fresh . . . until they aren’t. Why do they insist on racing ahead of other produce to go bad? Well, MyRecipes has some insights in that regard, and not only the “why” but also Exactly How to Store Salad Greens Until You Need Them. Salad saved.    That same post has an instructive article on when to use a food processor, when to use a blender, and when to just work by hand. See it here   CleanPlates is offering a free 10 day Wellness Tune-up, based on the belief that “most of the time, a few small tweaks to your routine, diet, or self-care is enough to make a difference in how you feel every day.” The link takes you to their site rather than the offer so you can check out the context.

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Shopping Finds – Have you discovered the Prepared Pantry? It sells all kinds of stuff to make your baking life easier but also routinely posts recipes and great tips.    So, I saw a reference on F&W’s Today’s Fresh Finds post about Amazon delivering fresh plants, and with the Chicago CS-er’s tip about rosemary in our 09.25.20 Salon still fresh in mind, started wondering if Amazon offers herb plants. They do, but the reviews were pretty dismal. The good news is there are bunches of herb starter kits that come with just about everything but a gardener.

{shown, the “paint & plant” pizza herb growing kit, clickable}

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Kitchen Talk – Did have some leftover cheese/condiment sauce from last week’s featured burgers, and the first re-purposing found it in a skillet with mac, a bit of cream, cooked shrimp, chopped almonds and parsley {shown}. For the rest I reached back through the decades for a impromptu version of a dish called Welsh rarebit, melty on toast with a sprinkling of crisp bacon. Sliced tomatoes good with this.    And that piqued my curiosity about the rarebit, so right to one of the favorite books in my library, Diner’s Dictionary, and it did not disappoint. Turns out it was originally called Welsh rabbit though it it did not originate in Wales and the latter was never in the dish. While it always starts with toast and melted cheese, ethnic variations may see other ingredients mixed with the cheese and various topping. Our version here with bacon and green onion would be a kind of Irish/Yorkshire mashup.    Have you looked at your rice cooker manual lately? No? So I came across mine in the process of looking for a different manual, and paging through it reminded me of the other uses it has, reheating rice, steaming veggies, et al.

 On the Table

From the title did you know what they are? – Nanaimo Bars!

These rich bars {according to google, say nuh NYE mo} are sure to be on the table at pretty much any holiday celebration or other traditional get-togethers in Canada. And it’s been ever thus for over seven decades. It has a rather colorful history on Wikipedia which is linked below.

And rich, oh yeah. {As shown, right} a chocolately, nutty, graham cracker crust, topped with amped up butter cream frosting, topped with a kind of ganache where the cream is replaced by butter. Indulgent!

Even so, I started thinking I would like those same flavors in a bar that was a bit less complicated, a bit less crumbly, and a bit less sweet, maybe more creamy. By the time I got through tweaking, ahhhh, we were looking at somewhat more than six degrees of separation from the original.

Say hello to – “NaNaNo” bars. Here’s {left} my version . . .

Bottom layer – 1 1/4 c graham cracker crumbs, 5 T unsweetened cocoa powder, 1/4 c chopped almonds, 1 stick melted butter, combined and pressed into an 8×11 pan lined with parchment paper {see Notes}.

Middle layer – 1/2 stick room temp butter, 2 T coconut milk {or half & half}, 2 T coconut pudding powder, 1 c confectioners sugar, blended smooth in a food processor, spread over crust {see Notes}.

Top layer – 2 T butter and 2/3 c bittersweet chocolate, chips or chunks, nuked, whisked, and cooled for 2 min, poured over, smoothed out. Cover and refrigerate.

Meanwhile the original recipe I used, from Food Network, is linked below.

Original recipe    Other recipes on Google    Nanaimo Bars on Wikipedia

Recipe Notes – in the linked recipe: custard powder = pudding mix, and icing sugar = confectioners sugar. If you chill the crust it will be a little easier to spread the creamed layer, but if you don’t and a few crumbs pop through, no biggie, just creates a bit of a marble effect. While these are good right out of the fridge, let them sit out a while and they are transformed.

And a hint – while parchment paper is our friend when removing goodies from the pan, not so much when we’re first putting stuff in, instead sitting up high as if trying to survey the kitchen. So, just leave it in the that position, curved side up, and start piling the mixture into the middle and gradually flattening it out. Then hold the paper tight to the side of the pan closest to you and push the mixture into the far side and corners, then reverse and, hooray, all done.

Next week – Steak pizzaiola, where tender beef goes Italian in a big, robust way

A Cuppa with Alexa – Recipes, Tips, News & More

You don’t have to have an Amazon Echo Show to tap into the particular tidbits we’ve linked below, drawn from its vast culinary bounty.

So, pour a cup and let’s talk food with Alexa. We also show the actual requests for those who are Echo owners, who should also note that in many cases she guides you step by step through the recipes.

Alexa says request: how to make sandwich skewers:  We chose to link the chicken and bacon shish kabobs, where the title ingredients share the perch with mushrooms and pineapple, and a sweet and sour green onion marinade is promoted to basting sauce. Yummers. From AllRecipes.

Alexa says request: how to make taco meatballs: They had us at cheese-stuffed. The Tasty site pulls all the right tastes into these cheese-stuffed taco meatballs, with taco chips for a corn vibe and taco-compatible jack cheese for the melty center. Salsa, sour cream, and cilantro top it all off.

My request, Alexa do you have recipes for vegetarian lasagna? Yikes, 25 come to the screen. But one of the 5-stars comes from a site new to me, SideChef. New to you or not? Proprietarily called, Vegetarian Lasagna, it uses tofu and cottage cheeses instead of ricotta but after that goes on quite the flavor spree and certainly doesn’t stint on the cheese working in three more kinds.

And an unexpected thing we found that Alexa can do – ask you entertainment trivia

Would you like your own Echo Show?

Boundless information, music, movies, tv shows, videos, health tips & news, entertainment news, national news, local news, sports news & recaps, weather, timer, alarm, reminders, Amazon delivery notifications, alerts, security camera connection . . .  and food, food, food, all on an interactive screen.

You can browse all the styles here on this Amazon page

Cocktail Hour Buzz

And as we say belowwhether for a crew, or for two, or just for you

  Friend Norene from the Midwest calls our attention to the growing trend of ghost kitchens, facilities professionally decked out like those in full service restaurants but offering delivery only. And now even national chains are dipping into this concept, including a couple in her area – and maybe in yours.

 In our 02.18.19 Salon, we talked about making garlic croutons to use up rye bread. Subsequently in our 03.15.19 Salon, we mentioned a few more uses for these tidbits including as a “cocktail companion,” and a new batch I just made served this very purpose . . . and very well!

  Letters, we get . . . uh, emails} “Years ago at a party I had a wonderfully light cocktail called a Butterfly. The only thing I recall is that it had two kinds of vermouth and was kind of fruity. But when I try t find it online, all the options that come up call for grapes and I know there were no grapes. I’m wondering if it could be in the Playboy book {09.04.20} you mentioned a couple of weeks back.” – Joanna T, Seattle

  You’re in luck  or at least I think you are. The book shows a recipe for a Butterfly cocktail made from 1 1/2 oz dry vermouth, 3/4 oz sweet vermouth, 1/2 oz Red Dubonnet and 1/2 oz orange juice. “Shake everything well with ice. These Halloween traditions all have Irish originsStrain over rocks in prechilled old-fashioned glass.” And it does call this drink “extremely light.” Cheers!

  Planning a family night on Halloween? Turn off the lights, turn on a single flashlight, and creep each other out with these Irish tales about Oct 31 which the Celts called Samhain and believed it was when the veil is thinnest between this world and the otherworld. IrishCentral {source of the photo} tells all in Ancient Irish Myths That Invoke the Spirit of Samhain. Beverage of choice – maybe Bloody Marys?

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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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Cobbler – Peach, Pecan & a Touch of Caramel, Sept 25-Oct 1, 2020

New Salon every Friday – c’mon in

CS friends, and help yourself to tasty resources

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

Help end the animosity – “Make America Decent Again”

See my 7 items crafted by CA-based Zazzle, on our page Or Zazzle page

Alexa has been promoted! Now find her every week right here on the main Salon page

   Let’s Chat   

Quick Bites – Is your muffin tin phoning it in, just showing up for . . . muffins??? Let Food & Wine expand its job description with these 10 Spectacular Non-Muffin Recipes to Make in Your Muffin Tin. You can run the slide show or just scroll down on their page to find crustless quiche bites, mini black bottom cheesecakes, open face egg and ham sandwiches, maple-bacon popovers, brownie bites and the rest    Takeout is a nice indulgence, but if it’s a little more prevalent these days you might want to take a look at this nutritionist’s take on making your order a bit healthier with these 7 Simple Swaps on the Clean Plates site.     Indulgence meets healthy in this Cheeseburger Salad from MyRecipes.

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Shopping Finds – I don’t know about you but it seemed I never had enough spatulas . . . until I found this festive set. Plus a food brush! Right now the 7-pc spatula set is $8.99, Prime eligible, 5 stars, and an “Amazon’s Choice.”    Want to decorate the kitchen for Halloween? And to cite the spirit of the Salon – whether for a crew, or for two, or just for you – Amazon’s got you covered.    If you’re having trouble finding bouillon powder, as I have, you might try the jarred bases which I have found at the grocery store – have to be careful of the saltiness but quite the flavor whammy.

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Kitchen Talk – So, I finally took a look at the necktag that was on the ginger syrup {09.18.20 Salon}, and in   addition to a recipe for seasoned ginger party nuts, even more uses – ice cream, baked chicken, oatmeal {always like some help in that bowl}, yogurt parfait, chocolate cake, even cocktails . . . and roasted carrots to which I added a bit of butter, and mmm-mmm.    If you’re avoiding gluten, have I got a recipe for you. The title, Flourless Oat Banana Muffins, doesn’t do it justice given its flavor boosters of peanut butter, honey, spices and chocolate chips. Actually even better the next day.

      On the Table 

Peach cobbler – five ingredients – tons of yum

As this week’s title tells you, the peach filling has some company in the pan. Pecans for crunch, bits for extra richness.

About the bits. The recipe calls for toffee but once I spotted caramel chips, a substitution was immediately in play.

And this tasty dish couldn’t be easier. Layer, sprinkle x 2, stir briefly, sprinkle x 3. Ready to bake.

About the baking. This prep is actually designed for campfire cooking, buried in hot coals. It bakes in a parchment-lined Dutch Oven.

No problem. I used a 9 x 13 pan treated with baking spray. Then based on other cobbler recipes, baked at 350 for 50 minutes covered. Checking if it’s done all the way through can be dicey since the tester will be going through the fruit too. If you’re not sure, remove a scoop of the cobbler and use the tester on some of the cake that’s fallen to the bottom.

Recipe Notes – You could certainly still use parchment paper if you wanted. I think next time I would skip the brief stir, maybe instead just using the back of a spoon to press down a little bit of the cake mix. Sweetness is front and center here so if too much add a dollop of sour cream.

Next week – Knife & Fork Bacon Cheeseburger, savory sauce under and over

Recipe on the AllRecipes site    Cobbler cookbooks on Amazon

A Cuppa with Alexa – Recipes, Tips, News & More

You don’t have to have an Amazon Echo Show to tap into the particular tidbits we’ve linked below, drawn from its vast culinary bounty.

So, pour a cup and let’s talk food with Alexa. We also show the actual requests for those who are Echo owners, who should also note that in many cases she guides you step by step through the recipes.

Alexa says request: How do you make a French omelette? Of the four that immediately pop up on the screen, we’re going to link to Chef John’s prep on AllRecipes because he is more detailed on what makes it an authentic French omelette, also shunning extra ingredients because as he says, it’s “just eggs and butter, no filling . . . 10% ingredients, 90% technique.” Demo too.

Alexa says request: How do you make banana bread cake? But the option from Food Network Kitchen takes it a big step further. Called Banana Bread Lava Cake, it’s rich in spices and of course bananas, but the star of the show, the “lava,” the secret ingredient – here revealed – is ice cream bars! This one also has a demo.

My request: Alexa, how do you soften hard brown sugar? Wikihow is cited for two solutions, one that calls for imprisoning the sugar with a slice of bread or apple in a plastic bag, the other pressing the nuker into service. But if you go to the Wikihow site for this advice you’ll actually find six ways.

Would you like your own Echo Show?

Boundless information, music, movies, tv shows, videos, national & local news, sports, weather, timer, alarm, reminders, alerts, Amazon delivery notifications, most security camera connections . . .  and food, food, food, all on an interactive screen {some connect to Prime}.

You can browse all the styles here on this Amazon page

{Echo owners, if you say Alexa play oldies {others too?} the lyrics scroll on the screen – let’s sing along!}

   Cocktail Hour Buzz  

And as we say belowwhether for a crew, or for two, or just for you

♦ Perfect for the food-centric chat in our Salons. “Parsley, thyme and basil are typical savory herbs used to enhance the flavor of meat. But my favorite herb is rosemary. It’s great with chicken, beef or pork, great flavor and great fragrance as the meat cooks. You’ll find it in many Spanish recipes.” – Pld, Chicago

{Photo from Amazon, source of a variety of herb seeds}

  One of perhaps the best pieces of advice from the Playboy book featured in our 09.04.20 Salon: Take care of all  the preliminaries hours before or, if possible, the day before the event – e.g., amassing ice cubes, polishing brandy snifters, shopping, cooking, marinating, table setting, disks for the stereo, setting out cocktail napkin napkins, or if that’s the plan, hiring help. And then the real nugget: during the party Relax! – “. . . enjoy yourself at your own party.”

  Well, we don’t know if Linus will see the Great Pumpkin for this first time ever this year. But what whiskey-sippin’ folks can see for the first time ever this year is Pumpking Pumpkin Whiskey, a sibling to the well-established Pumpking Imperial Ales by Southern Tier Brewing.  🍺  Cheers.  

  More foodie chat. The acronym DOP on such Italian treats as salumi, fromaggi, olive oil, balsamic vinegars, stands for “protected designation of origin” . . .  showing that it “is legally guaranteed by the European Union to be ‘authentic, or made in the original town or region with traditional ingredients'” (in other words: no mystery ingredients). This bit of instruction from Eately and thanks for making us smarter.

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CooksSalon is free to everybody – appreciate anytime you click through to these affiliate partners

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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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Hearty Cheese Ravioli Soup, Sept 18-Sept 24, 2020

New Salon every Friday – c’mon in

CS friends, and help yourself to tasty resources

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

My “Make America Decent Again” – 7 items crafted by CA-based Zazzle

See it right here on CS  OR Go right to the Zazzle page

Let’s Chat

Quick Bites – Take a dog to lunch? Turns out quite a few restaurant chains will welcome Rover or Fifi  🐶  and maybe even sweeten the deal with water and treats. Often the pups and their moms & dads are seated outdoors which many places are now emphasizing anyway. Here are a lot of sources on google  Milk Street fans, Season 4 starts Sept 19. Now the team is going on the road, in fact around the world, where they’ll, as PBS says, “meet cooks who inspire a new style of home cooking.” In my time zone, Saturdays at noon.

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Shopping Finds – On a recent episode of Fieri’s GGG one of the contestants selected ginger syrup for his dish – and that was new to me so looked for at the grocery store but nope, but thank you Amazon, found it there.    I guess we had to know it would be coming – face masks with food themes! I found these on the well established Eat This Not That site but the masks they show come from various sources so you may want to do a pre-check. If you do go on those sites, maybe even more food you can “wear.”

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Kitchen Talk –  So far have used the ginger syrup on waffles and in tea. Much as I can’t abide ginger in baked goods, love it every other way and this joins that collection. How else might you use it? Here’s what google says.    Btw, did not waste that original caramel sauce from our 09.04.20 Salon, but instead mixed it with soba noodles, a little chicken bouillon, chicken, carrot shreds, topped with green onion & chopped peanuts. That worked.     My quest continues for a really good oven fried chicken recipe – you’ll be the first to know.

 

 On the Table

Cheese Ravioli Soup – just a big bowl of good

Such a satisfying dish, and thank you Taste of Home. Now, don’t be frightened by the long-ish ingredient list.

Step one, brown the ground beef, and then add and cook all the sauce ingredients.

Step two, cook the ravioli, combine with the sauce and heat through.

Step three, stir in parm, top with parsley. Done!

Even though I know this is a very tasty bowlful, I was curious why the recipe rated just 3 1/2 stars. Ha! we could have guessed this one – not like soup. The only other criticism was not enough ravioli for the sauce.

Commenters loved the taste and no one downgraded on this point. That’s all good in my book {bowl?}

Recipe    Taste of Home cookbooks on Amazon

Recipe Notes – I used frozen ravioli and worked fine. What else? just bring on the crusty bread.

Next week  – Peach Pecan Cobbler, a warm and satisfying fall dessert . . . or breakfast

A Cuppa with Alexa – Recipes, Tips, News & More

Visit with Alexa on Amazon Echo right here in the Salon on our own CS page. In the chat this week . . .

Philly Cheese Steak Bread – three come up but we like the one “in a box,” crispy fried chicken, a wine joke {alert – groaner!}

Visit here with Alexa

Cocktail Hour Buzz 

And as we say belowwhether for a crew, or for two, or just for you

  Jello takes its place among the very best party centerpieces. Whaaaaat? It’s true and to believe it you really have to see these jello cakes on the Food & Wine site and also recently featured in the magazine. High art worthy of a museum, and edible too. But don’t know who could bear to bite into these beauties.

♦  Love leftover makeovers! “My favorite way to use leftover mashed potatoes. Plop the potatoes in the middle of saran wrap. Using the wrap, roll into a 3″ log and seal. Refrigerate on a plate (it will leak). In the morning, slice into discs and fry in a sprayed pan for perfect hash browns.” – Bob & Colleen

This is probably more entertainment than research, but even so you might want to take a look at this brief video {X-rated for implied language} posted by Food & Wine. “Here’s What Bartenders Think of You Based on Your Drink Order.” I was watched it, was amused, then invoked that same implied language – OK, good, now just make my {darn} cocktail.

♦  “Never serve oysters in a month that has no paycheck in it.” – P J O’Rourke

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Smoked Salmon Pizza with Cream Cheese & Dill, Aug 7-Aug 13, 2020

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

New Salon every Friday – c’mon in

CS friends, and help yourself to tasty resources

We’re going to enjoy a bit of a summer break, and when we see you right back here on Sept 4, 2020, it will be with a new look featuring a breezier format, faster reading, and a permanent emphasis on easy comfort food recipes plus a new chatty feature. 

We’ll also introduce an Alexa page with recipes, tips and more. Plus an expanded shopping experience that you can tap into without leaving home. Cooking tips will move to social media.

So you don’t miss a thing, this would be a great time to sign up for weekly email “invitations” which you can do at the right or by joining our social media family with the icons at the bottom of the post.

  COMFORT FOOD  

Could this be summer’s most perfect dish?

Credit for creating the original smoked salmon pizza most likely goes to Wolfgang Puck and most assuredly goes to this famed and acclaimed chef for its high profile and popularity from coast to coast and probably beyond. But over the years others have checked in with their own variations for the crust and add-ons of this cool treat.

Our feature here is an amalgam of flavors that I like best from the number of recipes I viewed. It doesn’t stray too far or add too much because a great deal of the culinary charm of Puck’s signature dish is its simplicity. And, no baking!

I started with a store-bought baked pizza crust. Smoothed on a nice layer of cream cheese, then smoked salmon, bits of tomato and green onion, and then a good sprinkling of dillweed {fresh dill is even better}. Avocado is sort of a natural match with the salmon.

I’ve included links below to Puck’s original and a google page of other sources. Once you lay down a good crust, a creamy layer and the smoked salmon you already have something wonderful and anything else is at the pleasure of your imagination.

Puck’s recipe on the Food & Wine site     Google page of recipes     Wolfgang Puck cookbooks 

  FOOD TIPS FOR THE TIMES  

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

  Time on your hands? If you own a copy of Diner’s Dictionary, you can spend many pleasurable moments just paging through its entries that often bring into the mix detail on uses, history, geography, literature, people, anecdotes and more. Take that, google.

  What prompted a recent trip through its treasures was a reference to Dan Dan noodles in Food & Wine. It’s a dish I’ve seen referenced many times before, so it was time to see what this was all about, and there it was. “Street Food from the Szechwan province of west central China, consisting of noodles cooked in a spicy sauce that typically includes Szechwan pepper. Dan Dan refers literally to the carrying pole used by street vendors.” Next, searching for an awesome recipe.

  Remember the ice cream bread we featured in our 07.17.20 Salon? Made the 3-ingredient wonder again, this time with chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream. Oh, yeah. The dough part turned into a kind of butterscotchy caramel as it baked, and then there’s the sprinkling of chips. Next time thinking chocolate ice cream bread.

  Hey, bakers! Did you know there’s a community for you hosted by Taste of Home. Called Bakeable, it offers “everything you want to know about baking, including the very best recipes, gorgeous inspiration and easy step-by-step instructions.” But wait, there’s more. “Join our active community of bakers by taking part in a monthly baking challenge.”

  Be careful. There’s apparently another threat to our health and well being in these times as cited in “Why the Pandemic Could Be Causing More Kitchen Fires.” This Food & Wine story looks at some possible reasons, at the same time acknowledging cause and effect is not totally verified. Nevertheless, the reasons serve as a cautionary tale, and just as important, the article details what to do if a kitchen fire does happen.

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You can still see full-featured Salons in the Archives, 04.10.20 & earlier

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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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Cobb Salad goes global x 3, July 31-Aug 6, 2020

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

New Salon every Friday – c’mon in

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We want to help us all stay safe – and find joy in the kitchen, our own special haven

  COMFORT FOOD  

Salad at its tasty best 

Well I had a bonus discovery here, aside from the salads, and likely many all you are already in this loop. But for those who aren’t, as I was wasn’t, there is a great food site preemptively called Food.com, which is actually in the same biz family as Food Network and Cooking Channel among other brands.

So that’s where I found the boffo Mexican Cobb shown here, recipe by PanNan. It comes together with the freshness of Mex veggies, the richness of cheese, and the heartiness of chicken and beans. And, so pretty!

Rachael Ray’s fan blog gives us the Italian version, straight out of Ray’s Express Lane Meals cookbook. In this one the side by side ingredients give the chicken some competition with salami and Italian peppers to kick it all up.

One of CS’ faves, Taste of Home, checks in with a taste of Asia, or more specifically Thai. The chicken and veggie-rich mix takes on a whole new life with the drizzle of peanut-sesame dressing.

Next week: Smoked Salmon/cream cheese pizza

Mexican Cobb Salad    Italian Cobb Salad    Thai Cobb Salad  

Rachael Ray’s Express Lane Meals cookbook on Amazon

♦  FOOD TIPS FOR THE TIMES  

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

  Experts say a good breakfast can get us off to a good start with benefits that last well into the day. And with today’s extra challenges that may be even more necessary than usual. Now you may well agree with that and still think . . . borrrrring. Well, now, see if this might change your mind. “These 5 Beautiful Breakfast Bowls Will Brighten Up Your Morning” from Clean Plates- surprisingly satisfying combos.

  Need a treat? Like Black Forest Cake? If yes to both you may well be ready for a Black Forest Sundae. And it’s just what it sounds like in terms of the tasty components. The news is in the sourcing. French vanilla ice cream left over from the ice cream bread, 07.17.20 Salon. Cherry filling leftover from our fruit pizza, also 07.17.20 Salon. Chocolate sauce left over from our banana split {breakfast!}, 06.26.20 Salon.

  This site is like “don’t waste food” central. Called Save the Food, it helps you do just that with prep and storage tools, recipes that give a second life to otherwise trash-bound items, a lesson in how much money you can save with these practices, even a party planner that guides you on amounts to purchase, plus stories galore in the Community. As they say on the site, become a food waste warrior.

Send a message to both sides of the aisle in DC & beyond with Tees, Sweats, Hoodies, Mugs, Hats, Buttons – nice styles & colors

“Make America Decent Again” collection crafted by Zazzle – see it right here on CS  OR go right to the Zazzle page

CS Marketplace Directory

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

You can still see full-featured Salons in the Archives, 04.10.20 & earlier

Looking for something in CS?

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

Questions, comments?

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

Note

All transactions are solely between the buyer and linked supplier

and I’m associate of Amazon, Zazzle, and SunFrog, only

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

All pages ©2020 CooksSalon.com

 

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Ice Cream Bread, 3 ingredients, July 17-July 23, 2020

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

New Salon every Friday – c’mon in

CS friends, and help yourself to tasty resources

We want to help us all stay safe – and find joy in the kitchen, our own special haven

  COMFORT FOOD  

Is this too good to be true – No!

Whaaaaaat? The unique flavor of ice cream right in your bread?

Yes! And you make it with just three ingredients.

The recipe calls for butter pecan, which I sure do like, but I made mine with vanilla bean. It would seem you could use any flavor, and if I do try another one will let you know right here.

So, how does it taste? Good! Sweeter than bread, less sweet than cake, with a texture kind of between French bread and pound cake.

And it’s fine just plain. But like culinary icon MFK Fisher, I’ve long been a fan of bread and chocolate and this is a natural for that pairing, here using our own chocolate sauce.

Also good with preserves. Or just toasted with butter, though keep watch because of the sugar content – I actually browned it in a skillet.

Want to make your own ice cream? There’s a Ben & Jerry’s recipe book with inventive flavors made with fruit, candy and cookies and even some of their “greatest hits.”

Recipe notes: This makes a very compact loaf so you want to be sure you have a small enough baking pan. The one I used was wider and shorter than specified and so baked in about 20 min. If it tests done and the sides have pulled away but it still seems a little moist on the bottom when you remove it from the pan, just cool it on the rack upside down.

Next weekTurkish eggs, breakfast with a kick

Recipe    Ben & Jerry’s Recipe Book

♦  FOOD TIPS FOR THE TIMES  

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

  Staying in Saturday afternoons? Something I’ve discovered at 3pm {PT} on ABC is RecipeTV. As the site says, the series takes us across America and beyond, “bringing together some of the world’s greatest culinary artists, superb restaurants, and unique recipes that satisfy the inner chef in all of us.” They have a button to check your local listings.

  Need to use up some fruit? A great way to do just that and at the same time show off your artistic skills: fruit pizzas. Just layer different colors of fruit and jam on a baked pizza crust spread with soft cream cheese and voila! a work of art. And so pretty!

  So, it’s hard to find much that’s good coming out of this pandemic, but maybe there is one thing. And that is a new view of our groceries and other household goods. Better storage so food doesn’t go bad and more vigilance so it’s used up before it goes bad, because even now we can’t always be sure replacements are available, or that the replacements we prefer are available. And the net result is less waste, more conservation of our personal resources.

  And that can extend beyond the kitchen. While that’s seriously all to the good, there can also be a lighter take. Saw this online about the bathroom and I promise it’s not gross: “I used to spin the bath tissue like a wheel of fortune and now I turn it like I’m cracking a safe.”

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

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

CS Marketplace Directory

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

You can still see full-featured Salons in the Archives, 04.10.20 & earlier

Looking for something in CS?

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

Questions, comments?

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

Note

All transactions are solely between the buyer and linked supplier

and I’m associate of Amazon, Zazzle, and SunFrog, only

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

All pages ©2020 CooksSalon.com

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

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

New Salon every Friday – c’mon in

CS friends, and help yourself to tasty resources

We want to help us all stay safe – and find joy in the kitchen, our own special haven

  COMFORT FOOD  

Ah darn, but then all better 

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

Ha! Pillsbury to the rescue.

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

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

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

Next week: gooey, gussied grilled cheese sandwiches

Pillsbury recipe    Their other crescent roll recipes    Pillsbury cookbooks on Amazon  

  FOOD TIPS FOR THE TIMES  

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CS Marketplace Directory

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

You can still see full-featured Salons in the Archives, 04.10.20 & earlier

Looking for something in CS?

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

Questions, comments?

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

Note

All transactions are solely between the buyer and linked supplier

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

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

All pages ©2020 CooksSalon.com

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Shrimp Fra Diavolo, June 26-July 2, 2020

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

New Salon every Friday – c’mon in

CS friends, and help yourself to tasty resources

We want to help us all stay safe – and find joy in the kitchen, our own special haven

  COMFORT FOOD  

Shrimp gets frisky 

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

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

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

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

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

Next week: chocolate filled crescent rolls

Recipe    Chef John’s dishes on AllRecipes  

  FOOD TIPS FOR THE TIMES  

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CS Marketplace Directory

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

You can still see full-featured Salons in the Archives, 04.10.20 & earlier

Looking for something in CS?

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

Questions, comments?

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

Note

All transactions are solely between the buyer and linked supplier

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

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

All pages ©2020 CooksSalon.com

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

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

New Salon every Friday – c’mon in

CS friends, and help yourself to tasty resources

We want to help us all stay safe – and find joy in the kitchen, our own special haven

  COMFORT FOOD  

Award winner 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Next week: Shrimp turns pasta “Fra Diavolo

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

  FOOD TIPS FOR THE TIMES  

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CS Marketplace Directory

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

You can still see full-featured Salons in the Archives, 04.10.20 & earlier

Looking for something in CS?

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

Questions, comments?

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

Note

All transactions are solely between the buyer and linked supplier

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

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

All pages ©2020 CooksSalon.com

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