December 17-23, 2021, Lots of Cook-Loving Gifts

See you right back here Jan 7, 2022

with our great recipe roundup from 2021

Hosted by  Barbara J Nosek

Happiest Holidays! From Thanksgiving Eve to New Year’s Day

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01.29.21  Pantry Cooking Cookbooks   While this may have risen in popularity during the pandemic, there certainly are ongoing reasons to love a guide to using up what’s already on hand. Saving time, saving money, making space, avoiding waste. While the book shown snagged the definitive title you can find others to browse at the link, some including suggestions for the best staples to keep in your pantry or fridge to play a supporting role for whatever creative dish your making with the foods you want to use up whatever main ingredients you’re working with.   Amazon

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07.23.21  Herb savers {or savors}   Yes indeed, you can drop them in a glass of water, wrap them in damp paper towels and plastic, stick them in the freezer, make a paste, a compound butter, or flavored oil out of them. But only a couple of those preserve the herb’s freshness. And none of them can do it in style like these designer herb keepers.  Shown are just two of the many possibilities. On the page you’ll also see an avocado version and companion storage containers.  Amazon

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04.09.21  Sparkly Syrup, and now more  We featured sparkly maple syrup back then. And in the past we’ve also played with sparkly sugar and salt to be sprinkled on this and that. But we found on Amazon – edible glitter – that can go in or on just about anything. And how holiday-perfect is that for  a foodie friend or a blingy addition to your own kitchen. The one shown includes flakes and stars in so many pretty colors,  and the link takes you to even more sources. Maple Sparkle Syrup   Edible glitter

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10.29.21  Offset Spatula & 02.26.21 Supoon  They may look like cousins, but their zig zags have quite different roles. The spatula is one of my best cooking & baking helpers ever, inexpensive too. With it you can easily smooth out, e.g., tomato sauce, cheese mixtures, cake batter, pie fillings, etc, edge to edge. Then, the Suppoon Sit-Up Scraping Spoon, and what a fun gift for any cooking friend.  It’s helpful x 3 – “sits up” on the counter, no spoon rest needed. It scrapes bowls and pans clean. And it’s a measuring spoon with t & T lines. Both may be  at your market, or otherwise the links take you to Amazon. Offset Spatula   Supoon

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04.30.21  The Big Fun Kids Baking Book  Know any budding chefs, maybe even still in grammar school? Thinking they would just love this cookbook. If you’ve seen the kids’ baking competitions you know these munchkins turn out some pretty awesome confections. Recipes here for muffins, quick breads, brownies, bars, cookies, cupcakes & cakes, and there’s one extra fun chapter on Fake-Out Cakes, designed to look like other foods. Darn good creds too, created by the editors of Food Network Magazine, and a New York Times Bestseller.  Amazon

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11.12.21  Food Themed Candles  What a perfect hostess gift for a food-focused friend, or even a festive touch for your own holiday get-togethers. Vanilla you might expect. But how about salted caramel, warm buttered bread, lemon pound cake, blueberry muffins, pecan Belgium waffles, fresh strawberries, chocolate {shown},  marshmallow – and this too-fun cereal bowl. You can of course also search for a specific food.  Amazon

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06.04.21  Dried Fruit Gift Packs  There are so many ways this is a great gift. First, of course, it’s tasty, sweet and varied. Second, it’s such a colorful present, so festive. Third, there are so many choices of assortments, some also including nuts. And fourth, some even come in reusable containers, or on reusable platforms, boxes, platters, trays, boards – and the one we see here that pulls up accordion style and pops up a handle to become a fruit basket. The link takes you to all the beautiful possibilities.  Amazon

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05.14.21  Bento boxes  For your party-giving friends, here’s a fun way to serve snacks individually rather than communally. When I’ve had a bento box in Asian restaurants it was a little box of drawers, but these are mostly compartmented trays, or stacked boxes, both disposables and reusables. During the year we featured another way for personalized snacking – “jarcuterie” – little jars to be filled with “sticks” of say carrots, celery, cuke, green onions, deli meat, cheese, bread sticks, pretzel rods, etc. – the link takes you to a nice array of possibilities. All on Amazon.  Disposable Bentos   Reusable Bentos   Mini jars

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04.30.21  Decorative Wine Decanters  Want to wow friends with a touch of class for their cocktail scene –  or even your own. How about a decanter or decanters, instead of the just bottles. Amazon has lots of the traditional squat-bottomed ones, but also some interesting different forms, some swan-like, some elegant crystal, some seeming to have emerged from a first class art studio. Many quite reasonable including the very pretty Dublin design shown here.  Decanters   Dublin Decanter

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07.23.21  “How to Cocktail”  &  11.12.21  “The Food & Wine Guide to Perfect Pairings”  Now there’s a how-to book with a lot to like. It’s from America’s Test Kitchen and  promises, “After rigorous recipe testing, we’re able to reveal not only the ideal ingredient proportions and best mixing technique for each drink” – but also how to make big batches, plus your own tonic, liqueurs, vermouths, and cocktail cherries, wrapping up with a snack section.  What I especially like about the pairing guide is the page after page of ready-made duos, with the bonus that it’s from the pros at Food & Wine. The subtitle tells all: “150+ Delicious Recipes Matched with the World’s Most Popular Wines.” Both, Kindle & hardcover, Prime eligible, 4 1/2 stars on Amazon. “How to Cocktail”   “The Food & Wine Guide to Perfect Pairings”

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Recipes Galore & More, Dec 10-Dec 16, 2021

New Salon every Friday – and you’re invited

C’mon in and help yourself to tasty resources

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

Happiest Holidays! From Thanksgiving Eve to New Year’s Day

Next week – woohoo, our best cook-loving gifts from this year on CS

      Let’s Chat    

Kitchen TalkIf buttery desserts are your thing, who better to ask than Land O Lakes. And hurray, we found a good ‘ol downhome one, so perfect for this time of year. Their classic apple cobbler is easy too, just 5 steps. Well, given that the 1st one is light the oven and the 5th one is serve, really 3, unless you consider adding a scoop of vanilla a step rather than a given 😁        Salsa, salsa cruda, salsa fresco, pico de gallo, aaaaaaaaaaah, what’s the difference? MyRecipes untangles it with this salsa scoop   Trouble sleeping? Can food help? Let’s ask the experts. According to The Sleep Foundation, these are The Best Foods to Help You Sleep. The good news is there’s some good stuff in this list. Zzzzzzzz.

{photo thanks to Land O Lakes site}

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Shopping FindsWant to shock your pancakes? Hit them with some wildside syrups. Talking botanicals & barks, and such interesting flavors on Amazon – lemongrass, hibiscus, geranium, basil, peppermint bark, wild cherry bark, cinnamon bark, and hickory. Any of these syrups could I think also jazz up coffee and cocktails.     Want to “holiday up” your kitchen?  Wow, does Amazon have you covered. Chair covers, centerpieces, napkins, tablecloths, runners, wall hangings, fridge decor and more.

This week’s featured CS-designed, Zazzle-crafted item – Perfect gift for dog moms & dads – take a look and see if their {or your} baby is pictured on one of our tees or mugs. All right now in our Eclectic Mall

  Featured Recipes 

Bacon Cheeseburger Bake

These fun dish combines two welcome techniques – sheet pan baking and a pull-apart dish. What gives the prep extra interest {not that it needed it when we already have bacon and cheese} is the foundation of Hawaiian rolls, the flavor boost of canned tomatoes with garlic & onion, and a buttery, tangy glaze. In the oven, out of the over, party-ready.  From Taste of Home

Explosion Cakes

It was Tasty.com that first alerted me to this birthday cake phenom. And they say that credit goes to The Flour Shop in NYC for inspiring the confection. May I add though that bd or not, this cake would be a primo conversation piece on any table, maybe especially a holiday one. As you’ll see at the link there are other sources with variations on the theme, all quite spectacular.  On Google.

Guess what I found for you on Amazon! “The Power of Sprinkles: A Cake Book by the Founder of Flower Shop” – all about those colorful stacked cakes, and in a funny nod to the main title, this: “any mistake can be covered by sprinkles.” Prime eligible, $7.59 {70% discount}.

Beefy Tortilla Rollups

These Tortilla Rollups pack a lot of flavor into the colorful, almost artsy, resulting pinwheels. For that we can credit jalapeno cream cheese, pimento cheese and salsa among other goodies.

I actually used deli beef instead of dried beef, and just four tortillas with extra generous filling. Also thinking if you don’t want the jalapeno heat, onion & chive cream cheese would be a tasty substitute.

As a bonus, the red salsa and green onions give it a bit of Christmas spirit. Btw, if you substitute, do keep the pimento cheese.  From AllRecipes

Coconut Desserts with a bonus

At least that’s the promise, that they will “transport you right to the tropics.” The star ingredient can check in as sweetened or unsweetened,  flaked or shredded or chips, or as coconut oil, milk, cream, custard, or extract, sometimes tapping more than one. And the tropical vibe is helped along in the various dishes by, e.g., key limes, pineapple, bananas, lemon, oranges, rum, and spices. Of the 35 preps, have my eye on the slow cooker Coco-Loco Chocolate Fondue.  From Southern Living

Easy Hot Sandwich Recipes

What is it about a good sammie that is just so satisfying?? And at this time of year adding the word hot into the equation makes it even better. And, yes, these do look good. Lots of variety too. Now here’s the thing – after the first half dozen keep scrolling and you’ll see the sausage & pepper heroes, and then keep scrolling for more and more hot sandwiches. So, lots to love too.  From Food & Wine

   Cocktail Hour Buzz   

Sundowner snacks, drinks, talk – whether for a crew, or for two, or just for you

 Thanks goes to CS Tasting Panel member Debbie Vinson for these tasty tidbits for the sweet side of the snack table. No-Bake Cookies recipe: Bring to a boil 2 c sugar, 1/2 c margarine {butter?}, 1/2 c milk & 2 T peanut butter, cook for 1 min. Off heat, quickly mix in 2 T cocoa, 1 t vanilla & 3 c quick cooking oats. Drop by spoonfuls onto wax paper, cool, store leftovers in fridge.

Debbie adds, “I’ve found 1 cup of sugar is plenty, but I am very generous with the peanut butter, cocoa and vanilla. I also add walnuts.” And think I would add a bit of salt. I left them as is dropped from the spoon but I guess you could also flatten them a bit cookie-like. Lots of ways to play, all good.

   Well how fun is this??? But there is a danger here – it may be too pretty to eat, as you can see. This edible holiday wreath is actually a charcuterie board. Of course you crafty CS-ers can make this your own with your choice of elements. But do include apples because this festive idea comes from the Washington Apple Commission {photo too}. Probably don’t necessarily make it apple shape though.

♦  Wow, how nice to see someone honoring the classic cocktails. That someone is Liquor.com and that’s exactly what highlights their “11 Cocktails to Make for the Holidays” featuring such oldies but goodies as Brandy Alexander, Tom & Jerry, even a Flip. Cheers!

Snack chat: heard from competing chef Jonathan Wakefield on Last Call Food Brawl, the Atlanta-based episode “Wings & Bar Bites,” on Travel Channel – “If you want to make a late night snack, wrap it in bacon . . . There’s always room for bacon” –   {applause, applause}

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Recipes Galore & More, Nov 26-Dec 2, 2021

New Salon every Friday – and you’re invited

C’mon in and help yourself to tasty resources

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

Happiest Holidays! From Thanksgiving Eve to New Year’s Day

Next week – use our links as we Wine & Dine with Alexa

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Kitchen TalkIn KT in our 11.12.21 Salon we talked about finally adding Gochujang to our seasoning repertoire but noted we’d not yet used it. Not being a big fan of ketchup, always used taco sauce for fries. Now? Gochu is the go-to!      If you need a decadent  treat in a hurry, here you go. Chocolate Chip Cookie in a Mug. Thanks Food & Wine.      Baking for the holidays? This could be helpful. The article “Don’t Make These Pie Dough Mistakes” from MyRecipes identifies a half dozen ways the process can go bad no matter which technique you use. {I’m trying not to take personal the one that says, Your fat particles are too big.}

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Shopping FindsI just finished a truly pleasant read. Pamela Kelley’s tale of three sisters brought together inside “The Restaurant,” is a love story x 3, revealed by some gems excavated along the way – their Gram’s love secret behind the secret, the subplot for pet lovers, and love of comfort food, including a fish technique. Make that four when you add in the gentle love between the sisters who’ve lived apart for such a long time. Multiple formats, 4 stars on Amazon.   Which salsa to buy? This salsa taste test by MyRecipes gives you the scoop. Most should be at your market, but if not or you just want it delivered to your doorstep there’s a large selection on Amazon.

This week’s featured CS-designed, Zazzle-crafted item – Looking for gifts for cooks? There’s quite a treasure trove for you right here on CS – books, videos, gift cards, and merchandise, all from star power names, and all linked to trusted Amazon or the chef’s own site. Btw, did you know you can give Kindle books as presents using the Buy For Others button? Instant and easy. See it all on our Fine Chefs Book & Gift Shop.

  Featured Recipes 

Pizza Tots

Well these are fun. Mozzarella and pepperoni are wrapped in seasoned hash browns and deep fried to golden crispiness. A nice dip in marinara and the pizza vibe is complete. Demo shows all the steps and details.  From Tasty

Chocolate Lasagna

Really? Well let’s take a look. Cream cheese stands in for ricotta. Chocolate pudding replaces Italian sauce. And admittedly a stretch, chocolate chips top it all instead of Parm. All in all, seems to qualify for the lasagna category, just checking in for dessert rather than main course.  From Southern Living

Bake Sale Winning-est Gooey Oat Bars

Oh CS-ers, these are good. The tender buttery crust is just the tasty start. After baked golden it’s spread with a filling reminiscent of pecan pie but instead of nuts a mix of coconut and other sweet treat goodies, in the case of ours here – chocolate chips, dates, and raisins. Then a final flurry of powdered sugar makes it pretty. As with many baked goods, even better the next day.  From Food Network

Butter Chicken

That star ingredient is magnetic enough, but then add in the wave after wave of flavor contributed by fragrant, maybe even exotic, Indian seasonings. And even so, chances are many of them are already in your pantry and fridge, like onion, garlic, yogurt, brown sugar, canned tomatoes. This is definitely going to hover near the top of my to-make list.  From Food & Wine

Sheet Pan Brunch Dishes

Well this could be a darn welcome resource for the holidays, especially if you have house guests. Generally sheet pan dishes simplify things and the ones here seem to be no exception. Among the preps, giant bacon-green chile Dutch baby, Breakfast disco fries, Ultimate sheet pan eggs {love the descrip!}, Slab quiche, Salsa roasted potatoes, Berry breakfast pizza, 21 in all.  From MyRecipes

   Cocktail Hour Buzz   

Sundowner snacks, drinks, talk – whether for a crew, or for two, or just for you

   Say what? Doing shots after the entree{s}? Turns out it’s a French tradition known as a trou normand. And it’s quite an interesting concept. The link takes you to a story on MyRecipes that pours out the whole story, the what and the why – and what the heck that term even means.

   If you can still find a Oct/Nov 2021 copy of Taste of Home, among the other always fine food features you’ll find one entitled “Wisecrackers,” {sorry could not find a link}, with a “Tasty Ten” ways of dressing up a basic or fancy cracker. Just some of the ideas, Apple butter, white cheddar, pear and sliced toasted almonds. Hummus, green & black olives, garlic, feta, and a drizzle of olive oil. Queso fresco, shredded pork, salsa and jalapeno.

Can’t find it? Just start with any crackers you have and look upon them as blank canvases, just waiting to be turned into little works of art with the help of your fridge and pantry.

  Nothing wrong with some mini desserts on the snack table. Like these! Chocolate Peppermint Cheesecake Bites, from AllRecipes. Great holiday flavor. And easy to make right in your muffin tin.

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Recipes Galore & More, Nov 12-Nov 18, 2021

New Salon every Friday – and you’re invited

C’mon in and help yourself to tasty resources

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

Next week – use our links as we Wine & Dine with Alexa

      Let’s Chat    

Kitchen Talk –  It’s four steps, 10 minutes, and the crowd goes wild. 1} Whisk two 8-oz cartons whipped cream cheese, 1/4 c powdered sugar, 1 t vanilla, and pour into a store-bought graham cracker crust. 2} Carefully spread up to two 12 oz cans {depending on pan depth} apricot filling. 3} Top with Cool Whip. 4} Refrigerate for a couple of hours. And Voila! Apricot Cream Pie from CS.      Found a recipe for tahini-smothered charred cabbage. The topping was actually a sauce that also stirred in honey, lemon and seasonings. Pretty good but I think it would be awesome with just tahini. A surprise was how good the cabbage was with the caramelization brought on by the charring. You can see that original recipe here, from Bon Appetit.      I made the actor’s Mexican chocolate cookies featured in our 10.01.21 Salon and they are really good. I did half with the pepitas and half without, and actually liked the latter better. Second, I also added a bit of cinnamon, a la Mexican hot chocolate. And the last thing, you could leave out all the Mexi flavors and this would still be an excellent chocolate cookie.

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Shopping FindsOK, how cool is this for your holiday get-togethers??? Food scented candles! Vanilla you might expect. But how about salted caramel, warm buttered bread, lemon pound cake, blueberry muffins, pecan Belgium waffles, fresh strawberries, chocolate {shown}, marshmallow & more. All right here on Amazon     So, I finally bought the trending Gochujang. Interesting. Sugar sweet, red pepper spicy, mustard tangy, vinegar puckery, all wrapped up with onion and garlic. Think I like it, tasted but yet to use it. Bottle says wings, bbq sauce, dips & marinades. Likely at your supermarket, and of course on Amazon.

This week’s featured item – Fabulous videos galore! Watch then in action – your fave chefs & food shows, movies too. You can also sort by best sellers and best rated. All right here in CS on our Chef, Food, Cooking DVDs page.

  Featured Recipes 

Sweet & Sticky Caramel Hazelnut Rolls

Oh my, are those just all the right words or what. From Giada, the prep toasts the hazelnuts, ups the caramel ante with agave, and zings up the whole thing with cinnamon and nutmeg. And nice, it all starts with store-bought crescent rolls. From Food Network

Sheet Pan Caprese Chicken

All the usual tasty suspects from the classic salad cozy up to chicken for an easy cheesy dinner. Pan juices and reduced balsamic top it to perfection. From Food Network

Baked Denver Omelet

Here’s another perfect way to start the day. And if you look at the comments below the linked recipe, you’ll see it’s eminently tweakable. Some added cooked potato, others mushrooms. Some made smaller versions. Some added more cheese on top. I added more cheese in the mix and used poblano instead of bell pepper. The prep even tweaked itself, calling for a baking dish in the directions, a cast iron skillet in the demo. From AllRecipes

Mexican Meatloaf Muffins

What a fab idea. South of the border flavors meet a classic family dish in your muffin tin. Topped with a distant and savory cousin of ketchup. Easy too! Thinking this is one of those preps that can come to the table any time of day or night. From Tasty

Their Best Loved Soup & Stew Recipes

This icon of home and hearth has assembled an awesome roster of what most folks might consider the dual epitome of comfort foods. The soups and stews here come to the bowl as classic preps, ethnic specialties, and veggie transformations. Just some: baked potato soup, vegetarian gumbo, fast pho, sausage & white bean stew, green chile pork stew, seafood stew. From Better Homes & Gardens

   Cocktail Hour Buzz   

Sundowner snacks, drinks, talk – whether for a crew, or for two, or just for you

  Lunchbox Snacks Kids Will Love  So why is this in CHB? Well, looking at the stuff here, thinking we big kids should get in on the fun too. Some that seem an especially good fit for the snack table – Apple chips with honey-yogurt mint dip, Homemade cheddar cheese snack crackers, Cheesy pita chips, Crispy parm chickpeas, Smoked paprika popcorn, Pimento cheese puffs, Miniature corn muffins, Peanut butter and jelly cookie bars. From MyRecipes

  Books on wine pairing certainly have their place in our culinary realm, giving us solid guidelines for choosing a sip compatible with our menu. But, what I especially like about this one is the page after page of ready-made duos, with the bonus that’s it’s from a familiar name. It’s all in the title, “Food & Wine’s Guide to Perfect Pairings: 150+ Delicious Recipes Matched with the World’s Most Popular Wines.” Kindle & hardcover, Prime eligible, 4 1/2 stars on Amazon.

♦  Food & Wine again talks food {sort of} and beverage here, but overall it  could not be more 180 from the item above. Say someone at your Thanksgiving gathering shuns alcohol, but you would like to offer something in the holiday spirit as you all enjoy pre-dinner drinks. Jones Brand sodas, famous for their wacko flavors, has you covered – with their Turkey & Gravy Soda. Yes, you read that right. And wait till you see some of their other “you put what in that bottle???” creations.

Want to join the Buzz? Enter CooksSalon in the subject line – sign the way you want to be identified

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Click above for Amazon home page, below for Amazon Echo {Alexa}

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Or browse all the fun Echo styles right here

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Food Lovers T-Shirts page here on CS    Food Lover Mug page here on CS

♦  ♦  ♦

And for your consideration

No Kid Hungry – discover, donate    K9s For Warriors – discover, donate

Looking for something in CS?

Use Search, Archives, Categories OR contact me at bjnosek@gmail.com, subject line -> CooksSalon

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Malted Brownies with Malt Frosting, April 30-May 6, 2021

New Salon every Friday – c’mon in

CS friends, and help yourself to tasty resources

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Kitchen Talk – For those who saw the creamy-topped caramelized pineapple recipe in our 04.16.21 Salon, you know that the cottage cheese was blended smooth for the topping. What to do with the leftovers. Well, whisked them into eggs, scrambled, cooked – enjoyed! Fluffy and juicy.      Ree Drummond just gave me a way to like meatloaf {don’t particularly care for meatballs either}. Instead of a loaf she spread the mixture in a rather thin layer on a sheet pan. As I result I could make a bunch of square hamburgers, which I love {go figure}.      Food & Wine offers up the “7 Best Sandwiches to Take on a Spring Picnic,” which they say will go the distance. Why for a picnic? Maybe because they’re all served cold, no cooking or reheating required. The Spring is a lot more evident – lots of fresh veggies, fresh herbs, and herby spreads.

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Shopping Finds – If you’ve seen the kids’ baking competitions you know these munchkins turn out some pretty awesome confections. Is there a budding baker in your world? Then you might like to know about The Big Fun Kids Baking Cookbook from Food Network. You’ll also see more such books on the Amazon page.      As you know from my partnerships listed below I have no connection to Hamilton Beach, but just wanted to share how much I just love my HB single cup coffeemaker. Still have my Keurig that does full pots and K-cups, but this is just so handy for any time a cuppa is just what the doctor ordered. And what’s important to a couple of my friends and maybe yours too, comes out HOT HOT.

This week’s featured CS-designed, Zazzle-crafted item – Need a break from cooking? A night out? If the only thing holding you back is worrying about the effect on your diet plans of a meal prepared by someone else, get your hat. Go out and enjoy yourself, because you can do just that with the help of this derivative book from our Dieter’s Survival Guide – The Dining Out Chapters, covering fine dining, fast food and buffets, just 99 cents on Kindle.

   On the Table  

Feature – Malt on Malt Brownies, like the soda fountain merged with the oven

Wonder if the producer of this prep thought that the tasty powder, doubled down, isn’t already contributing enough richness to the confection. Because chocolate, cocoa, vanilla, marshmallow and lots of butter also join the party.

Not complaining! Because the fact is, though almost a sweetness overload, this is a keeper.

We already know about the candy-like flavors going in. But the brownies also have an incredibly dense, chewy texture.

The marshmallow creme in the frosting? A big luxurious finish.

The prep calls for a chopped malt ball topping, which I’m sure would be fine and a good match for the brownie flavors. But I opted instead for walnuts here, coconut there, chopped chocolate elsewhere.

This recipe comes to us from a trusted source that’s long been a friend of all of us. How long? Better Homes & Gardens has been by the sides of cooks everywhere since 1922.

Recipe Notes – From what I could tell from an online search, brownies with this kind of texture, usually the result of extra eggs, should be refrigerated. But note that you really, really, then want to set them out for a while before you plan to have them. One other thing – a glass of milk is pretty much a must.

Next week – Delectable encore, Beef a la Mode

Recipe    Malt powder recipes on google    Milkshake prep books

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Have a cuppa in Alexa’s room – recipes & 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 do I make bacon wrapped potato bouquets ? So, how cool is it when a high flavor dish is so cute it qualifies as a conversation piece??? Sweet and white potato slices becomes rosettes and by threesies go into bacon lined muffin cups, topped with cheddar, and baked. After slight cooling, a drizzle of hollandaise, and a sprinkling of chives, they’re ready for their closeup. Tap here to see recipe and demo from Tastemade.

Alexa says request: How do I make a lasagna cake? Even if you think you wouldn’t want to make this, please take a peek a the recipe to see what a great looking dish it is. The demo makes it look pretty easy. Included in the layering is meat sauce and basil pesto, and that’s exactly how it’s listed in the ingredients which is to say we’re free to make out own or let the store provide it. Also from Tastemade.

My request: Is there a recipe for a Mother’s Day Cake? With this special day just around the corner, thought I would see if she might have such a confection. And, yep. And a real charmer. Mothers Day Bonnet Cake from Sandra Lee on Food Network. The demo shows you how, and includes a couple of good tips about frosting. One thing, instead of ribbon and silk flowers {which she used in demo though recipe says fresh}, why not some of the beautiful edible decorations you can find in the baking aisle at the grocery store, the Wilton section at the craft store, or on Amazon.

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, shopping lists, Amazon delivery notifications, alerts, security camera connection . . .  and food, food, food, all on an interactive screen. Some connect to Amazon Prime.

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

   Cocktail Hour Buzz   

Sundowner snacks, drinks, talk – whether for a crew, or for two, or just for you

   Cheese and the snack table just seem to go together in perfect harmony. And the former checks in big time in this Grilled Cheese Pizza. Three kinds in generous amounts top store-bought dough along with some savory sauces, all transforming into tasty triangle bites. From Tastemade.

  Want to add a touch of class to your cocktail scene. How about a wine decanter??? Amazon has lots of the traditional squat-bottomed ones, but also some interesting different forms, most quite reasonable including this very pretty “Dublin” design.

   Here’s another example of a tasty dish, this one for the snack table, that also serves as a conversation piece. Square deviled eggs. Click here to see how to do it and how they look {it’s easier than you might think}. From Food Network Kitchen.

Want to join the Buzz? Enter CooksSalon in the subject line – sign the way you want to be identified

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Zazzle food-themed items             Ninja Grill on Amazon             Amazon Echo Show

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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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 Let’s chat   

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.

Want to join the Buzz? Enter CooksSalon in the subject line – sign the way you want to be identified

Click here to email your comments, questions, links to fave recipes, or?

Find t-shirts, mugs, dvds, gift collections, plus top chef items including cookbooks

CS Marketplace Directory

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

     Zazzle                                       SunFrog

           

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Note

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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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