Rich and creamy {& famous} clam chowder, April 10-April 16, 2020

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

New Salon every Friday – c’mon in

CS friends, and help yourself to tasty resources

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

  TIDBITS – “easiest” asparagus / salsa=16 dinners / corona through food?    CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT – our fun new mugs / adda Mada    FEATURED RECIPE – trick it up    TIP – read & ready    THE WEEK – there’s good and there’s good / possible leftovers resource / play without fear

  TIDBITS 

Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

  What a great time for an asparagus recipe, just when the tender spears are becoming available. Even better, “This might be the easiest way to make asparagus.” It’s in a skillet, few ingredients, says 5 minutes.

  As promised in last week’s Salon, here is AllRecipe’s offer of “16 Easy Dinners to Make with a Jar of Salsa.” Note as with many of these slide shows you can also opt to just scroll down and see the full list. I think my list-topper is likely to be the Black Bean Breakfast Bowl, or wait, maybe the Cilantro Lime Garlic Sauteed Shrimp {D’s Taco Pizza?}.

Thinking we’d all like to know the answer to this. “Can You Contract Coronavirus Through Food?” MyRecipes takes our previous posts a step further with “Why you need to pay attention before, during, and after your supermarket visits {and home deliveries}.” Their information is sourced from the CDC and FDA.

  CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT   

Cheer up your morning {or any time} with a fun CS mug

Our own CS mug collection {five is a collection, right?} is now on its own page right here on the Salon site. More will come in the days ahead.The Mug With A Hoop

For now, you can raise a toast to chocolate, coffee, ice cream, and parties. And rounding out the lineup, one I just love . . . “In this house I’M the celebrity chef” – you too?

All of them are our own designs. But credit for the craftwork goes to CA-based Zazzle, home of many fine crafts.

The page also gives you links to other food-themed mugs on Zazzle plus on Amazon and SunFrog. Some are more cups than mugs, like the clever one shown here from Amazon. Images are clickable.

CS Fun Mug page    CS Marketplace Directory

NEW, our “Make America Decent Again” collection on Zazzle now includes a tee, hoodie. button, sweatshirt and mug – all right now on BJN’s Eclectic Mall page

  FEATURED RECIPE  

Make as is or use their own trick

In our 03.27.20 Salon we featured Todd Wilbur’s book, “Top Secret Recipes/Step by Step.” I had mentioned that among the preps landing on my to-make list was this very one from the famous Boston {etc} restaurant group, Legal Sea Food.

The amped up flavor is thanks to such ingredients as bacon, onions, garlic, and spices. I actually used bottled clam juice for the stock, and here’s one of two ‘fess-ups – canned clams, added at the end and gently heated so they stayed tender.

The second ‘fess up requires a detour, in fact to Boston. I’m long familiar with Legal Sea Foods given that it was a mandatory stop any time my husband and I were in town.

Top Secret Recipes Step-by-Step: Secret Formulas with Photos for Duplicating Your Favorite Famous Foods at HomeOne time while we were at the bar awaiting our table we had a pleasant conversation with the bartender. In the course of the chat we mentioned how we were all but addicted to their fish chowder.

Whether he should have told us or not, he did – the secret he said is a lot of Monterey jack cheese. The question was, is that true or not, but our fairly experienced taste buds thought it probably was and that’s what I’ve borrowed for the clam chowder in place of the flour and cornstarch, melting in till it was as thick as I wanted, and then the clams.

Btw, I learned something that’s reflected in the recipe link. Don’t know how many are in its “library,” but apparently Google posts entire books and that’s where the link will take you. If you’d rather have a real book in your hands, there’s also the Amazon link where you’ll see Wilbur’s work merits 4 1/2 stars, available at good discounts for both Kindle and paperback.

Recipe     “Top Secret Recipes Step by Step”    Wilbur’s other Top Secret Recipes cookbooks  

  TIP  

For some CS-ers, this is going to be a great big Duh!

Which is to say, you might take a look at the subject and say, well of course I do that. But not all of us do, all the time, and I’m as guilty as anyone else in this regard.

The subject is, reading the recipe. And not just right before you make it, but a day or two before you make it.

Do you have all the ingredients. And just as important, do you have enough of each ingredient. Are the necessary appliances in working order. Does anything have to be done in advance – marinating, baking, chilling, freezing. Or, can some of the steps be completed in advance.

Party time makes this pre-look even more critical, and now we’re likely talking more than one recipe. Are the necessary big bowls and pans going to be available or in use for something else. Is there room in the oven or on the stove for all the planned preps. Is there time to get it all ready.

So grab a cup of coffee or your beverage of choice, sit back and relax. And have a nice little read.

  A PEEK AT MY WEEK  

Welcome to my kitchen and living room

  I was drawn to a headline regarding Quarantine Cakes on my Echo Show. Turns out they’re from a bakery in CA, designed for 1 or 2 people, frosted with coronavirus messages {“Stay 6 ft apart,” e.g.}. Not sure what I was expecting, but not exactly this, and not something available only locally. But maybe, intentionally or otherwise, there’s a message here anyway – don’t have to totally abandon good eating habits, but maybe this is a time to indulge in a few more treats than usual. We’ll do our best to help.

  In case you have an Echo Show, one of the features that’s quite handy is asking Alexa how to use up leftovers, as a general question or regarding a specific ingredient. I asked her about some leftover cooked shrimp and she came back with shrimp quesadillas and lemon garlic shrimp. You can then of course ask her for the recipe.

  Are you among those spending a little more time at home than usual these days. One possibility to pass the time is to . . . play with your food. And do it without fear because, cooks being among the most creative folks on earth, we can almost always find ways to turn the bad to good. E.g., I recently made a layer cake instead in a sheet pan, and after a guessed-at baking time the poked-in wooden skewer came out clean and the edges had started to pull away.

  But after it cooled somewhat discovered that actually the bottom was decidedly not cooked. Hmmmm. Hauled out a large skillet, in with a little oil, and then dropped in squares of the cake undercooked side down, until done and a little crisp. Over briefly for some crispness on the done side. Then cooled, wrapped portions in foil, and into the freezer to emerge on demand as tasty pancakes.

This week’s:

  •  Photo credits – cup, mug, book-Amazon / recipe-my photo of Wilbur’s page / others-mine
  •  Link sources – cooking asparagus-MyRecipes / brownies-msn.com / photo links for cup & mug, books-Amazon
  • Partnerships – Amazon {ongoing – Amazon, Zazzle, SunFrog}

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

So far next week: Starting next week our Salon will convert for now to a more simple format, just two elements – a comfort food recipe and whatever food safety measures we can find

Last week, just below: taco shell the blank slate, best cobbler?, marinara + + , sheet pan 2.0, warm chocolate cobbler, flour trick, save the milk, fun with taters, impromptu dressing

Looking for something in CS?

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

Questions, comments?

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

Note

All transactions are solely between the buyer and linked supplier

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

All pages ©2020 CooksSalon.com

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“Best . . . ever” Irish lamb stew, March 6-March 12, 2020

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

New Salon every Friday – c’mon in

CS friends, and help yourself to tasty resources

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

  TIDBITS – bakers rejoice / a chewy, chewy, oh chewy / closet nukers    CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT – “secret” recipes    FEATURED RECIPE – St Pat’s classic    TIP – save the dish    THE WEEK – cheese it! / crochet dinner / and again, cheese it!

  TIDBITS 

Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

  Bonanza for bakers! Taste of Home, another superfavorite recipe source, has introduced Bakeable, a one-stop destination for all things related. There looks like a lot of sweet stuff going on here, most under the banners of Baking Guides, Baking Essentials, Baking Recipes and Bakeable Community. I have not tried this myself, but if you’d like the rest of the story, please click the link.

  Well my CS friends, this sure looks to be worth a spot on the to-make list. Paula Deen actually posted this as a Super Bowl treat, but once you take a look, aiyyyyy, is there any occasion, any time of year, we wouldn’t want this. Her Brown Sugar Chewies are dangerously simple, which is to say too easy to make any time day or night with the stuff that’s likely already in your pantry.

  Ha! busted. Topline chefs may scoff at the very idea of a nuker in the kitchen, but MyRecipes tells all. The curtain is pulled back in their tale of “18 Unexpected Items These Chefs Always Microwave.” Some of this actually might be expected, but most live up to the title. One of the most surprising to me was grilled cheese, especially since the chef identified this as one of his favorite things on earth so I believe we can rest assured he would not use a technique that disrespected this classic sandwich.

  CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT   

Better late than never

When I was just a child {censored} years ago I read, and loved, “The Secret Garden.” For reasons lost in the mists of history I didn’t finish the book with only about 25 pages to go.

In more recent years a friend and I attended a book store opening and there on a kind of easel display stand among other books, was “The Secret Garden.” It was just too tempting – while my friend did her thing, I stood at that stand, believe it or not able to pretty well figure out where I’d left off, and finished the book.The Secret Garden Cookbook, Newly Revised Edition: Inspiring Recipes from the Magical World of Frances Hodgson Burnett's The Secret Garden

To this day the story, the setting, and the characters are still so fresh and dear. So, was absolutely delighted to come upon “The Secret Garden Cookbook.”

The dishes were inspired by the book and adapted by chef and culinary historian Amy Cotler from traditional Victorian recipes, and in fact are often accompanied by tidbits on the era’s food, eating habits, and cooking customs. Among such offerings as cheese muffins, potato snow, tattie soup, and “tiddy oggies,” I particularly found the Snap Baskets intriguing, with “magical” batter that once baked can be molded into, e.g., rolls or baskets and then filled.

The book says for ages 8 and up and “where necessary work with an adult” – but while I think youngsters would enjoy looking through the recipes with their notes and quotes, really all should be supervised. It’s 4+ stars on Amazon, Hardcover in new and used, and Kindle discounted.

“The Secret Garden Cookbook”   “The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett”

The Secret Garden Prime Video & DVD  ♦  Other Cotler books    Other Hodgson books

CS Marketplace Directory

  FEATURED RECIPE  

Go really, really, Irish for St. Pat’s Day

What could be a more warm and welcoming taste of Ireland than a rich and hearty Irish stew??? And what a great way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.

Let’s be clear here, though. That “best . . . ever” claim comes from the recipe source. But once you look at the ingredients and process, and even before you taste it, you might see the potential of the promise.

And, ahhhh, have to be clear about something else. This is not your typical recipe, in that it’s not a list of ingredients and then the procedure, but rather a running chronology of both of those at once. Second, much like many passed-down grandma preps, why bother with pesky amounts.

And yet, and yet, here’s another of those magnetic headlines, drawing you in and prompting a give-it-a-go, especially with the added creds of coming from mom and appearing on IrishCentral. I have not made this yet, but if I do before next week will post the results.

“The best lamb stew recipe you ever had”  

  TIP 

  To the best of my recollection

And actually I have quite a bit of faith in the details here. It was on Julia Child’s tv show, not a rerun, back when this culinary icon was still among us.

Of course we wholeheartedly appreciated her straight-talking French techniques. But we also know she was subject to the occasional mishap.

In this particular instance, while the dish turned out just fine in terms of taste, something went bad with the surface, the appearance. All these years later I do not recall if it was a sweet and savory dish.

What I do remember quite clearly was her advice in either of those cases. To be ready to cover up a cosmetic oopsie {my word} on something sweet be sure to always have chopped nuts available. For savory, parsley. All better.

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

  A PEEK AT MY WEEK  

Welcome to my kitchen and living room

  Here’s yet another novel idea from Trisha Yearwood, which I saw on her Food Network show. Most of us could agree that cheddar and apples make a darn good combo. One of my long favorite recipes uses cheddar in the topping for apple crisp, and lots of folks just simply plop a slice of the cheese on a slice of apple pie. So the Yearwood twist – using cheese crackers in the crumble atop apple pie. Take a look at her tasty idea. {Well that was rude, tell you about great recipe in my files and then nothing, so thinking I’ll feature it for the 03.20.20 Salon}

  After I got past my annoyance with the author for not telling the rest of us what the heck amigurumi is, I became AmiguruMe Eats: Make Cute Scented Crochet Foodsquite captivated with this Japanese art of crocheting items made 3-D usually with fiberfill. In this book, titled “AmiguruME Eats,” the items are mostly food but also plates, bowls, glasses, flatware, pots & utensils.

  The cuteness factor notches even higher when there’s a face, and yet another sense is brought into play with the addition of scents. Thinking this could even be great fun as a wall decoration, on a plate or other surface, for your own kitchen or a hostess gift. Btw, the book does include crochet lessons.

  So, guessing we can all agree there’s nothing wrong with french fries just as they are in all their golden glory. {Just ask Betty White!} But, if at some point you’d like to add just a quick hit of kicked up flavor, you might do what I did tonight. After they’re nice and hot, melt on some pepper jack. Oh yeah.

This week’s

  •  Photo credits – books-Amazon / Chewies-Deen site / Irish kitchen-IrishCentral
  •  Link sources – books & DVDs-Amazon / stew recipe-IrishCentral
  • Partnerships – Amazon

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

So far next week: Savory sauce on steak is just the beginning, Irish hangover cures, “Recipe for a Perfect Wife,” omg made the shrimp & grits

Last week, just below: restaurant dishes you can make at home, no clinking & other niceties, don’t take a fake, St Pat-ifying your kitchen, new MADA shirt on Zazzle, red wine braised red cabbage, tater-free hash browns, food of the ancients, cookie redux, Temple {Shirley} & trivia

Looking for something in CS?

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

Questions, comments?

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

Note

All transactions are solely between the buyer and linked supplier

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

All pages ©2020 CooksSalon.com

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Red-wine braised red cabbage, Feb 28-March 5, 2020

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

New Salon every Friday – c’mon in

CS friends, and help yourself to tasty resources

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

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

  TIDBITS 

Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

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

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

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

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

♦  CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT   

Begorrah Decorah

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

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

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

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

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

All St Pat’s decs    Irish cookbooks  ♦  Irish movies

CS Marketplace Directory

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

  FEATURED RECIPE  

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

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

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

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

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

Recipe  

  TIP  

A tasty way to switch out carbs

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

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

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

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

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

  A PEEK AT MY WEEK  

Welcome to my kitchen and living room

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

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

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

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

This week’s

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

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

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

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

Looking for something in CS?

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

Questions, comments?

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

Note

All transactions are solely between the buyer and linked supplier

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

All pages ©2020 CooksSalon.com

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10 last minute gifts for cooks & their kitchens, Dec 20, 2019 – Jan 2, 2020

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

New Salon every Friday – c’mon in

CS friends, and help yourself to tasty resources!

ALL THE BEST TO OUR SALON FRIENDS THROUGHOUT THIS JOYOUS SEASON

LET’S MEET RIGHT BACK HERE ON JAN 3, 2020

WE’LL GREET THE NEW YEAR WITH RECIPES  GALORE, THE TASTIEST FROM 2019

Link for tasty leftover turkey recipes on google

  Here are some of this year’s top featured items that might rescue procrastinators 

Click the item link to go to the Amazon page, and Salon link for that week’s recipes & resources

Check delivery times in item listings

The Diner's Dictionary: Word Origins of Food and Drink

Marketplace, 02.15.19  I just love Diner’s Dictionary. Open to just about any page and expect to find something fascinating.

Of course it’s also a fast resource for an individual ingredient, a single food item, or an entire dish. Alphabetical, too. What fun!

And happily, you may find in some cases not only the definition, but as well characteristics, uses, and origins, plus related geography, history, literature, law, commerce, and notable people. Hardcover, 4 1/2 stars on Amazon. Diner’s Dictionary 

Featured Recipe, 02.22.19  Our recipe that week, Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie, is hands-down one of the best desserts I’ve ever made.

It comes from David Venable, of the QVC show “In the Kitchen with David, in his “Comfort Food Shortcuts,” specializing in satisfying dishes that marry your cooking talents to grocery store convenience.

Lots of dips, soups, saucy preps, casseroles, rich desserts. E.g., bananas foster pancakes, pepperoni/cheesy breadsticks, chocolate stuffed {store-bought!} bread, peach enchiladas. “Comfort Food Shortcuts” cookbook

wall26 Canvas Prints Wall Art - Still Life Various of Spices on Rustic Wooden Table Food/Kitchen Concept | Modern Wall Decor/Home Decoration Stretched Gallery Canvas Wrap Giclee Print - 12" x 18"

Marketplace, 03.08.19  A kicky food poster can add a fun, whimsical touch to any kitchen or dining area. And so many choices, framed and unframed.

There are designs dedicated to herbs & spices, fruits & vegetables, casseroles & ethnic foods, coffee & tea, beer & wine, dishes & utensils, chefs & kitchenware, collages & sayings. There’s a link for that week to the top rated selections. Spice poster

Marketplace, 03.22.19  Martha’s total take on cleaning, organizing, repairing, laundry, decorating, crafts, gardening, pet care, entertaining . . .

And cooking too! Tool repurposing, produce purchases, freezer use, leftovers, timesavers, basic methods, troubleshooting, baking skills. No actual recipes, but guides for veggie broth, nut butters, pan sauces, parchment cooking, a proper omelet, and more.

All beautifully illustrated, 4 1/2 stars on Amazon.  “The Martha Manual”

American Masters: James Beard DVDMarketplace, 05.31.19  This precious DVD takes you right inside the mind of a culinary legend, an iconic chef, the “First Foodie” – James Beard. We hear from him and from those who knew him best in this fascinating tale.

And it is indeed the whole story, from childhood travails, to mom’s influence, early challenges, founding role in The Four Seasons and its pioneering devotion to seasonal cuisine,  personal & professional relationships, cookbooks, ascent to legendary status, post-mortem inspiration for the James Beard Foundation and Awards.  “James Beard” DVD

Nostalgia SCM525BL Vintage Countertop Snow Cone Maker Makes 20 Icy Treats, Includes 2 Reusable Plastic Cups & Ice Scoop – BlueMarketplace, 06.21.19  Oh, how fun is this??? Some lucky person’s very own Sno Cone Machine!

In addition to the adorable little cart shown here, there are others that look more like kitchen appliances, at least one based on a Disney character, a Jelly Belly version, some retro designs and more.

There’s also a link in that week’s Salon to the full range of designs, styles, and prices. Cart-style sno cone machine

The Great Book of ChocolateMy Week, 06.21.19  In April we had featured David Lebovitz’ recipe for chocolate salted caramel tartlets from his book, “My Paris Kitchen.” In the intro he had noted his passion for chocolate.

This Lebovitz  tome, “The Great Book of Chocolate/The Chocolate Lover’s Guide” sure proves that to be true. He gives us chocolate, chocolate, chocolate – back story, tasting hints, health benefits, buying tips, resources and – yes, indeedy! – recipes.

Choco-philes just may want to read this one cover to cover like a pleasurable fine novel.  “The Great Book of Chocolate/The Chocolate Lover’s Guide

The Official Downton Abbey CookbookTidbits, 09.20.19  In her magazine earlier this year, Rachael Ray told us that “to dine like the Crawleys,” just simply serve oysters, soup, fish, fowl, main dish with sauces & veggies, dessert, fruit & cheese, and a final savory. But what would that be specifically?

To the rescue, a Downton Abbey cookbook. And not just recipes, but also their backstories and context. Plus, a guide to throwing a Downton-themed party complete with etiquette tips and customs of the times.

A Downton cocktail book too.  “The Official Downton Abbey Cookbook”

Marketplace, 10.25.19  In our original Salon we featured “Cake Boss” Buddy Valastro’s cake kits for humans, including the mix, the filling, the icing, even the pan. But those may not be available in time. {The links are still available on the original Salon page if you’d like to check}.

Originally we showed here a complete Valastro gift kit for dogs, but when I just now checked the link – nada. There are however individual Valastro baking kits for dog goodies, such as the chicken parm bites shown here.

Other flavors, plus biscuits. Valastro dog treat baking kits

Marketplace, 11.08.19  Kitchen timers these days range from the classic tick-tick-tickers to some with advanced functions. And so many designs, some fun, some stylish, some ready to stick to the fridge, some multi-packs so inexpensive they could be party favors or stocking stuffers.

Equal time for kitty-lovers. And could this one be any cuter??? There are also companion kitchen items on the Amazon page. And you can also find a link to the full array on the Salon page. Cat-and-Mouse Design Timer

 

You might also like to browse in our CooksSalon

Fine Chefs Book & Gift Shop

Gift Shop link is right within CooksSalon. All others on this page go to Amazon. Please see original Salons for available photo credits & partnerships or contact me for information regarding Salons that predated these listings

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

Looking for something in CS?

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

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All pages ©2019 CooksSalon.com

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

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

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

New Salon every Friday – c’mon in

CS friends, and help yourself to tasty resources!

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

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

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

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

  TIDBITS 

Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

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

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

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

  CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT   

Deck your kitchen!

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

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

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

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

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

The full array on Amazon 

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

♦  FEATURED RECIPE  

Just when you thought chocolate couldn’t get any better

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

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

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

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

Recipe    Maida Heatter’s “Happiness is Baking”

  TIP 

Easy garlic trick

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

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

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

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

  A PEEK AT MY WEEK  

Welcome to my kitchen and living room

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

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

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

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

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

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

This week’s

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

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

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

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

Looking for something in CS?

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

Note, transactions are solely between the buyer and linked supplier

All pages ©2019 CooksSalon.com

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

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Chocolate/Peanut Butter No-Bake, a two-fer, June 14-20, 2019

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

& Misty the FoodieCat

CS friends, help yourself to tasty resources!

  CatChat –  Misty previews this week’s salon  

  TIDBITS – kitchen beauty / artsy dumpling demo / chef-ing    CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT – spectacular book for any foodster    FEATURED RECIPE – neener neener to the oven . . . twice    TIP – love your beef tender    THE WEEK – turkey tale {M – beef, turkey, any of this coming my way?} / seeking corn pudding / recipe notes

Misty’s History    Misty’s Gallery

  TIDBITS 

Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

  I’m not personally familiar with Furniture.com, but I can tell you they are most generous with design tips for the whole house, including of course the kitchen. In “How to Decorate a Kitchen, for example, you’ll find creative, budget-friendly, time-sparing ways to take the room “from utilitarian to dazzling” with both decorative and practical additions. Once you’re on the site, you can tap into the full spectrum by clicking Tips and then browsing through both of the selections in the drop-down menu.

  If you are on LinkedIn, look up Antony Mzee and I’m hoping you can tap into his video on dumplings – which he deftly turns into any number of delicate sculptures. Though Mzee has a global resume, thinking at some point he was either in the U.S. or became a long distance fan because the musical accompaniment is distinctly country & western.

  Three ways to see how the top chefs do it. Go to their restaurants, especially the newest ones where likely their most current thinking is at work – as two examples, Bobby Flay has opened Shark featuring Latin seafood at the Palms in Las Vegas. And looking ahead, Emeril’s Bistro 1396 will debut summer 2020 on Carnival Cruise Line’s Mardi Gras ship with a Creole menu. Or you can crib right from their cookbooks. Flay, Emeril, and lots of others are a click away from Amazon right here on CS, Fine Chefs Book & Gift Shop.

  CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT  ♦ 

Awesome – American food writing from the 1600s to present day

What we have here is a phenomenal labor of love and we are the beneficiaries. Author Mollie O’Neill has deftly mined nuggets from, as she notes in her intro, “every phase of American history: journals, letters, novels, poems, travel accounts, autobiographies, histories, ethnographic studies.”

It all adds up to 727 pages of ultra rich content. You might want to read it cover to cover, or alternatively American Food Writing: An Anthology with Classic Recipes: A Library of America Special Publicationpick it up at random as an ongoing treat.

Open it up to any page and you may find yourself face to virtual face with, e.g., Jefferson, Brillat-Savarin, Claiborne, Thoreau, Dickinson, MFK Fisher, Bracken, Beard, Child, Trillin, Waters, Bourdain, or Reichl, over 150 in all.

Also in the intro, O’Neill is quite philosophical about the subject which has some interesting points, but most of the writings are not, at least to that extent. You’ll discover humor, you-are-there tales, ingredient tributes, reviews, opinions, anecdotes, techniques, recipes, the full spectrum.

This spectacular compilation would be dear to the heart of cooks, bakers, food-o-philes, food bloggers, food critics, and on. It’s 4 stars on Amazon, discounted, Prime eligible – click and/or scroll down for other buying choices, formats, and other anthologies.

“American Food Writing”

  FEATURED RECIPE  

Not sorry 

That was sort of a natural, given how closely related this stuff is to a Reese’s peanut butter cup. And like Reese’s, no apologies for bringing you this indulgence.

We have the “Sweet Tooth VP” at Kraft to thank for the first delight, “Chocolate Peanut Butter Eclair.” Yikes, layers of graham crackers and a peanut butter pudding topped off with a buttery chocolate frosting.

Then I started to play. Made the chocolate/butter combo and poured that into a graham cracker crust . . . made the pb layer with banana pudding and without the Cool Whip, and doubled the peanut butter {to stand up to the banana flavor}, and spooned that atop the chocolate . . . and then smoothed the Cool Whip over that.

Pretty darn good. Btw, I did keep this pie refrigerated, but set it out a little while before serving. This also helps in cutting through the chocolate which is quite sturdy – next time {and if you make it} would add some cream, or skip the butter and make an actual ganache. See other notes in “Week” below.

If you make either, only one question remains – could this be too good for guests??? {not sorry}

Eclair recipe

♦  TIP  

You 1, Beef 0

Some cuts of beef just are not team players. You want it tender, and it in effect says, uh, no.

Well now those days can be over, thanks to our ol’ friend MyRecipes and the secrets they share for tenderizing any cut of beef. You’ll find five steps that can take you from raw and challenging to melt in your mouth goodness.

Rest assured none of this will require pro skills or equipment, though good steak knives are part of the plan. Marinating is also in the mix, with suggestions and actual recipes. Among the recommendations is yogurt and you  may recall one of the Tidbits in our 04.26.19 Salon linked to a story that went into nice detail on this technique.

“How to Tenderize Any Cut of Beef”

  A PEEK AT MY WEEK  

Welcome to my kitchen and living room

  In the thoroughly enjoyable Brillat-Savarin entry in our Spotlight book above, philosophy indeed takes a back seat to culinary passion. After a day of wild turkey hunting, capped by his host’s long dissertation on life in America, the Brit native left “plunged in profound thought.” About his host’s deep parting speech? Nope. “I was considering how best I should cook my turkey . . . I feared that in Hartford I might not find all the ingredients I would need.” Love his priorities!

  One of the early entries in that Spotlight book is Joel Barlow’s 1793 poem “Hasty Pudding,” a tribute to a pioneering version of this corn concoction, which reminded me that I wanted to see if I could track down Cleo Johns’ southern corn pudding, mentioned in “Hotbox” {05.24.19 Salon} where legendary food critic Mimi Sheraton confessed she loved this so much she traded Mrs Johns three cookbooks for her recipe.

  Nuts, no luck, but did find a five star take at AllRecipes, Grandma Swallow’s Corn Pudding. Meanwhile think for now I’ll stick with the prep from my precious stepdaughter Colleen, always a hit: combine 15 oz can kernel corn, 14 oz can creamed corn, 8 oz pkg corn muffin mix, 1 c sour cream, and 1 stick melted butter – pour into a greased casserole dish and bake at 350 for 45 min or till golden – top with 1 1/2 c cheddar cheese & bake another 5-10 till cheese is melty. Let stand 5 min. Btw, one time a guest said, really don’t even need the cheese – ummm, speak for yourself {!}

  Some notes about our pie recipe above. I did use a store-bought crust. Also, I let the pudding chill in the fridge and the chocolate cool and then go into the fridge for a while before assembling the pie. Also, once the chocolate is pretty much  melted, might want to finish whisking it off the heat to make sure it doesn’t burn. And for whatever reason, better the next day.

So far next week: cheers-ing with ice cream {!}, PBS dining guide for outside, one of the coolest ways to fun-up your picnics and parties, Star Wars bacon {& more}, doggie chic

Direct access to Amazon homepage through my personal link

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

Note, transactions are solely between the buyer and linked supplier

Photo credits – book/Amazon, eclair/KraftHeinz site, steak/Jon Sullivan. others/mine

All pages ©2019 CooksSalon.com

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

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