New in “Cocktail Hour Buzz,” May 27-June 2, 2022

New Salon every Friday – and you’re invited

C’mon in and help yourself to tasty resources

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

 Cocktail Hour Buzz 

sundowner snacks, drinks, chat, and . . .

whenever I can, related resources & goodies on Amazon

whether for a crew, or for two, or just for you

{links within my items go to the sources shown in red – any links underneath items take you to Amazon unless otherwise indicated, and then only ones with the lock icon}

♦♦♦  Well, this is certainly an easy snack, just four ingredients plus pre-baked shells. And the way I made it, even easier than the recipe since I did not cook it. But, ummmm, it’s about that quartet in the filling . . . they sing sort of funny. I did find it interesting, and loved the jeweled top created by the bit of cranberry. You just might want to taste-test a couple of these Cranberry, Crab Meat and Cream Cheese Appetizers before serving to others.  Ocean Spray

The prep did inspire some possible variations . . .

  • shredded chicken or turkey in place of crabmeat
  • cocktail sauce instead of cranberry
  • a smooth blend of cream cheese and cranberry, maybe a touch of orange juice

Ocean Spray recipe pages

♦♦♦   Pinot fan? This cred-laden mag identifies “16 Great Oregon Pinots for Springtime Pouring.” They provide full descriptions for these Willamette Valley reds. And one after the other makes you want to run to your favorite store and take a glass with you.  Food & Wine

That same F&W posting also offers this . . .

“There’s Never Been a Better Time to Join a Wine Club”

♦♦♦  I just LOVE this new toy, even though not exactly using it for its intended purpose. But it sure does serve a purpose for cooks who are also readers, and also usually have a lot going on in the kitchen. So, in my case I like to take a break outside with a book or magazines, but want to be alerted when it’s time to, e.g. . .

 See if the Italian sausage for tomorrow’s pizza snacks is cool enough to go in the fridge

     Set out eggs for the chocolate fudge brownies I’ll be making later

     Come back in for a particular cooking show

Then, it’s the digital bookmark with a countdown feature to the rescue! Right there, peeking above the reading material. Also with a clock and a count-up feature.  Cool designs too, mine is the wolf and the 3-D makes it look like I could pet his nose.

Of course you can use it for a whole bunch of other circumstances, too. Or give one to a child for its intended purpose – tracking time for reading assignments.  Amazon

Make sure the one you select has all the features

Mark-My-Time Digital Bookmarks

The instructions are quite clear, except for covering reset – this Google video does

How to use the reset feature

♦♦♦  So, what does your basic award-winning, French-trained celebrity chef do in his spare time? One that in fact is already busy running multiple restaurants, authoring cookbooks and novels, hosting cooking shows first on PBS and then on Food Network. For David Ruggerio it was, ahhh . . . mob enforcer, credit card fraudster, kidnapping for fun and profit. The tale becomes a bit more familiar when you see what his real surname is. There’s enough cocktail chat in this Mob Chef interview to carry you through several get-togethers. It draws on a feature that first appeared in Vanity Fair.  New York Post

David Ruggerio’s books

Thanks to imdb, you can see clips of Ruggerio’s Food Network show here

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Recipes Galore & More, July 9-July 22, 2021

New Salon every Friday – c’mon in

CS friends, and help yourself to tasty resources

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

  Let’s chat   

Kitchen Talk –  I was intrigued by the potato sauce that replaced Hollandaise for the eggs benedict that we featured in our 06.25.21 SalonMurder, She Baked: Complete Collection and wondered if it could be a blueprint for a tasty potato soup. Yep! Just as flavorful as it seemed it would be.       So, I started reading a food-themed novel and not too many pages in realized it sounded somewhat familiar. Aha! The author Joanne Fluke’s books had to be the basis for the “Murder She Baked” dvd mystery series on Amazon we featured last October. They provided nice light entertainment and thinking the books will too. See just below.      Want a tasty way to send your bottled salad dressing into somewhat healthier territory? Use half as much and then add a good splash of fresh lemon juice. So far have done this with Ranch and Avocado Ranch.

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Shopping Finds – Fluke’s fictional baker Hannah Swenson has a penchant for stumbling upon dead bodies which seem to pop up with unfortunate regularity in this small Minnesota town. Happenings at her Cookie Jar Cafe & Bakery, a meddling mom, frustrating sister, sometimes a boyfriend, sometimes two, and a fat cat add up to some nice light entertainment {except for the dead body thing}. You can find the books on Amazon. Shown is the first one in the series.     I need to note something about Goldbelly who we’ve mentioned here a couple of times. Make no mistake, the stuff looks fabulous, sourced from famous chefs, great restaurants, ethnic favorites – but, ummmm, $$$ – though should also add that even as you browse you’ll see orders flying in one after the other.

This week’s featured CS-designed, Zazzle-crafted item – For those who are ready for a party anytime – could be most of us, hmmm? – have we got a mug for you {or who}. Balloons, beverages, and the beat of the tunes fill the letters in a most colorful way. Find it here on our fun foodie mug page. And T-shirt too!

   On the Table  

Featured Recipes 

Cherry Plum Slab Pie with Walnut Streusel

Nice, the recipe gives a nod to making your own recipe for the pastry or using store-bought. The topping sounds wonderful with the noted nuts, two kinds of sugar, cinnamon, salt and of course butter. Easy way to make a big dessert, though thinking it would also be welcome on the breakfast table. From Taste of Home.

Fresh Corn Salad

Robert Irvine puts summer in a bowl where freshly shucked corn is joined by cukes, tomatoes, red and green onions, dressed with a vinaigrette cooled with a touch of sour cream, greened with cilantro. From Food Network.

Strawberries & Cream Pops

Refreshing meets indulgence in these sweet treats. Fresh strawberry sauce is swirled with vanilla frozen yogurt, then into freezer pop molds. You’ll want to allow at least six hours in the freezer. From Eating Well.

Make ahead spinach & feta egg casserole

Aka, Make Ahead Baked Greek Omelet, and with its onion, bell pepper, fresh dill, and seasonings it also calls to mind the best of a Greek salad. Easy too, since it can all be assembled the night before, some of it even days before. From The Kitchn

Peanut Butter Silk Pie

This is sort of like cheesecake and frosting and peanut butter all got together, turned silky smooth, and jumped into a graham cracker crust. Says chocolate topping optional {hahaha}. Also from Taste of Home.

Cheddar Rilettes

No fear here. Traditional rilettes involve cooking seasoned meat slowly in meat fat in a low oven until it can quite literally be mashed and spread on bread. In this easy prep, though, seasoned cheese stands in for meat and – here’s the really good part – the fat comes from rendered bacon, and then the bacon is sprinkled on top. From Food & Wine.

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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. Below are recipes recently displayed on the screen. Echo owners, also note that in many cases she guides you step by step through the prep . . .

Peanut Butter Cheesecake Bars  With its butter cracker crust and rich filling, this is one special treat. Ummm, I won’t be using the sprinkles though. Maybe chocolate chips!  From Food Network.

Ice Cream in a Bag  Well sonovagun. When she popped this up on the screen from Food Network Kitchen and I googled to get the link, made a discovery. This is a thing, with several others offering their own versions of this fun prep. All of them say, in effect, who needs an ice cream maker. The link takes you to the FN original and the other sources.

Chocolate Fridge Roll  Food Network strikes again, this time with a sweet prep from Ree Drummond. And wowsie, chocolate x 2, butter, crushed biscotti, orange zest, plus nuts, dried fruits, and a touch of rum roll into a log that’s chilled, sliced and . . . totally enjoyed.

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

♦  EatingWell always bring us such good and interesting information, both in the magazine and on their site. This chat with Curtis Stone, appearing on both, is certainly no exception as the chef talks food, wine, pantry cooking, kitchen gadgets and his work at counteracting childhood hunger.

  Thank you Southern Living for giving us such a seasonally perfect lineup of 70 No-Cook Appetizers. Some tasty salads too. Shown, ham salad snack {tweaked a little and topped with tomato}

   OK, I’m all for avoiding waste, re-purposing resources. But . . . ahhhh . . . this one by a Finnish brewery really tests our limits. I can’t bring myself to identify the ingredient used in the process, and even though I really couldn’t tell if it actually ended up in the beer, I will say the writer of the story noted that even after previously seeing so many oddities going into beer-making, a new beer like this could still catch his eye – “or make them pop out of their sockets.” So, your choice, can see it here. Thanks, I think, Food & Wine.

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