Cookbook author’s Chocolate Cobbler, April 3-April 9, 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 – taco shell, the blank slate / best cobbler? / marinara + +  ♦  CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT – sheet pan 2.0    FEATURED RECIPE – oh my!!!    TIP – flour trick    THE WEEK – save the milk / fun with taters / impromptu dressing 

  TIDBITS 

Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

  A feature in “Parade” last weekend was a fine reminder of just how versatile tacos can be. Once you set up a shell {see our tip in the 02.21.20 Salon for making them stand tall} or lay out a tortilla, the possibilities for fillings/toppings are boundless. Meats, fish, cheeses, veggies, beans, fruits, bacon, eggs, chilies, onions of any color, garlic, citrus, herbs, sour cream, salsa in all its variations, hot sauces and other sauces. What a great way to raid the fridge and use up tasty odds and ends.

  This week’s Salon is a bonanza for cobbler lovers. Not only do we have the blow-everyone-away chocolate version as our Featured Recipe. but also this from MyRecipes: “How to Make Your Best Cobbler Yet.” You’ll find the 1-2-3-4 of assembling your dish, and then how to cook it in the oven, on your stovetop, or even . . . on the grill.

  Truth be told there are some decent spaghetti sauces at the supermarket. But Epicurious via msn.com says there are ways to make them even better with its “5 Ways to Amp Up Jarred Pasta Sauce.” Temperature, seasonings, ingredients, cooking and baking techniques are in the details.

♦  CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT  ♦ 

Already done!

Two weeks ago we talked about using foil to create separate compartments for different foods. And that’s a good technique with an item you likely have at hand.Chicago Metallic Lasagna Trio Pan, 12-Inch by 15-Inch by 3-Inch (11-1/2-Inch by 2-1/2-Inch Cavities)

But, eureka! A sectioned sheet pan already exists. It’s called a lasagna tri-pan but clearly you could use it anyway you want, and because of the depth it’s actually better than a standard sheet pan..Disposable Aluminum 3 Compartment T.V Dinner Trays with Board Lid #210L (50)

And then there are disposable ones too. These are multipacks. Both images are clickable.

Btw, you’ll also see others designed for brownies, bars, mini loaves and the like that could even work for smaller amounts.

Sectioned sheet pans, 4 stars & up

CS Marketplace Directory

  FEATURED RECIPE  

Looks aren’t everything 

OK, here’s the thing. When cookbook author Elizabeth Heiskell was putting this dish in the oven on the Food Network show, The Kitchen, the hosts in effect compared it to sludge.

Truth be told, when it came back out the cosmetic improvement was slight at best. The ice cream makes a tasty coverup – she used cherry, a sort of Black Forest thing going on, and I used butter pecan. Whipped cream or sour cream I think could also be nice.

BUT, how it looks will fade into the ionosphere once you taste it. Yikes it’s good!. In fact I believe it was Sunny that said it was the best dessert she’d ever had on the show.

What Can I Bring?: Southern Food for Any Occasion Life Serves UpThe frosting on the cobbler so to speak {hey maybe another solution}, is that it is quite easy to make. One melt, two mixes, and voop into the oven.

Some notes. I took it out 33 minutes. There’s no guideline on whether to use 3/4 or 1 cup of hot water – I used 3/4 and think next time a full cup for even more gooey goodness, and maybe take a minute or two off the baking time. To serve it I flipped it over to have the melty chocolate on top..

Heiskell is the author of a book we’ve previously featured in the Salon, a gift guide of sorts titled “What Can I Bring,” and subtitled southern food for any occasion life serves up –  hardcover and Kindle, both discounted on Amazon. We’ve also linked her other cookbooks, similarly with a southern accent.

Recipe    “What Can I Bring”    Heiskell’s other books

  TIP 

Don’t have self-rising flour? Easy fix

AllRecipes to the rescue again. Turns out that site is not only boffo for recipes but also for techniques.

Our Featured Recipe for this week calls for self-rising flour, but not everyone keeps this on hand. No worries, as long as you have regular flour, salt and baking powder you’re good to go.

There’s even a demo. And bonus, while I was on the site found a way to turn salsa into 11 dinners. Next week Tidbits!

To make self-rising flour

  A PEEK AT MY WEEK  

Welcome to my kitchen and living room

  Please, please, don’t hoard milk {or really anything else}. But most guidelines say it’s OK to take one extra of most things. With milk the problem is using it up before it spoils. So, asked Alexa on my Echo Show about freezing it and this is what she said – remove about a cup from the carton to allow for expansion. Write the date it’s going into the freezer and the expiration date on the carton, which will tell you when you eventually use it about how long it should stay fresh. Thaw in the fridge or in cold water, shake before use in case the fat has separated.

  And then, good Alexa offered a transfer to WikiHow for more information. So, I poured about a half gallon from a gallon into a large container, left about 2″ clearance, sealed up, into the freezer. And we shall see.

{At some point we’ll be bringing you regular food news, tips, recipes, even jokes from Alexa on its own CS page}

  What a fun and festive idea for when we can once again party on. See the pic? – that’s “potato snow,” found in “The Secret Garden Cookbook” featured in our 03.06.20 Salon. Oh so easy too! Per the recipe, simply push boiled, towel-dried potatoes through a coarse sieve with a wooden spoon letting them “pile high into a snowy mountain slope.”

  I actually peeled the potatoes, wrapped in foil and baked, so no drying time needed and then held with a multi-folded large napkin to sieve while still hot. Even so, there will be some cooling so it’s a good idea to serve with some hot melted butter. Just be careful not to shake the plate or you could end up with something more like a “drift.”

  Steak, baked potatoes, and salad were on the dinner menu. When baked is on the plate, sour cream is sure to follow. So a creamy dressing on the salad would be sort of redundant, but I wanted more flavor than just a vinaigrette. Hmmmm, started with some soy sauce, then in quick succession sesame oil, rice wine vinegar, hot sauce, and grated dried garlic. Nice. Now a new fave.

This week’s:

  •  Photo credits – sheet pans, book-Amazon, others-mine
  •  Link sources – sheet pans, books-Amazon, recipe-Food Network
  • Partnerships – Amazon

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

So far next week: 16 meals from salsa, catch corona through food?, brownie mix upgrade, clam chowder with a secret, more on safe shopping, made the potato soup, Alexa cake, play with your food, fun foodie mugs

Last week, just below: baking crafts, safer shopping for the times, boffo cake, recipe clone source, leftover pizza breakfast casserole 2.0, Wilbur’s chicken trick, grits hits, safe& easy pretty Easter eggs, Japanese home cooking cookbook

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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Leftover Pizza Breakfast Casserole, March 27-April 3, 2020

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

New Salon every Friday – c’mon in

CS friends, and help yourself to tasty resources

CS Friends

I considered suspending CooksSalon during these times when ingredients can be hard to find and we have more on our minds than a new recipe. The other side of that is that perhaps there’s a benefit in staying connected through a shared passion and enjoying a little respite from the cares of the day.

So here’s  what we’re going to do for now

First, keep publishing CooksSalon each Friday for the present.

Second, post anything we can find to provide help in our cooking realm – ways to protect our health, make the best of what we have on hand, substitute for what we don’t – the first example being the shopping guidelines just below.

Third, watch for any signs that we should in fact suspend the Salon for a while.

Stay safe my friends.

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

  TIDBITS – baking crafts / safer shopping for the times / boffo cake     CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT – recipe clone source    FEATURED RECIPE – really, this time    TIP – Wilbur’s chicken trick   THE WEEK – grits hits / safe, easy, pretty Easter eggs / Japanese Home Cooking cookbook

♦  TIDBITS 

Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

  This is sort of an interesting case of kitchen meets craft room. Most of us most days just don’t have time for time-consuming recipes. But every now and then it might be nice, even therapeutic, to just let hands and mind concentrate on something that will reward us with a pretty and tasty end result. Epicurious thinks so, and backs that up with this slide show of “31 Epic Dessert and Baking Recipes for When You Need a Project.” Maybe a giant chocolate candy bar, best morning buns, caramel apple drip cake, or spiced hazelnut-pear cake with chocolate sauce.

  As we all know, right now there are some scary times out there. To help in the food realm, msn.com offers these suggestions on How to Protect Yourself from Coronavirus When Grocery Shopping.  You’ll find guidelines for picking up pre-assembled grocery orders, receiving deliveries, and handling the items once they’re in your home.

  Haven’t even made this yet but what an interesting cake. Take a look at the picture of this Sweet and Salty Snack Food Cake AND the ingredients and see if you might not agree. The topping is so different, potato chips, cookies, coconut, raisins, nuts, butter, brown sugar. Think this rich cake might also be good as is or with just a touch of glaze or frosting.

  CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT  ♦ 

Send in the clones

Oh, this is fun. Think of your favorite restaurant food, or even selected grocery store items, and you just might find a copycat in this cookbook.

Todd Wilbur’s reason for creating “Top Secret Recipes . . . Step by Step/Secret Formulas with Photos for Duplicating Your Favorite Famous Foods at Home” would warm any cook’s heart. “. . . the enjoyment we experience when everyone is amazed by the successful re-creation of a delicious dish they thought they could only get in a restaurant or in a package sets this type of cooking apart from any other.”Top Secret Recipes Step-by-Step: Secret Formulas with Photos for Duplicating Your Favorite Famous Foods at Home

Requests from fans turn into quests by Wilbur, a mix of “snooping, exploring, and experimenting,” a process he enjoys it seems every bit as much as creating the end result. And this is nice – little information boxes atop each recipe specify first time or improved hack, active and inactive prep times, level of difficulty, and yield.

All in all you’ll find 125 recipes from over 60 sources – think fast food outlets, family restaurants, ethnic places, breakfast spots, steakhouses, coffee emporiums and dessert bars. The packaged goods clones include Twinkies®, Auntie Anne’s Pretzels®, Fudgsicles®, a couple of Girl Scout cookies, and more.

Yikes, so many temptations here. Think my list-toppers might be the Chili’s® molten chocolate cake {with caramel sauce!}, Legal Sea Foods® clam chowder, Panera Bread® Asian sesame chicken salad, Red Lobster® Cheddar Bay Biscuits®, Ruth’s Chris Steak House® barbecued shrimp, and Taco Bell® Mexican Pizza.

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

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  FEATURED RECIPE  

A pizza journey 

AllRecipes magazine in effect is asking us this question about leftover pizza: Why have a cold slice in the morning when you could instead use those leftovers to fill your plate with hot “Pizza Breakfast Casserole.” What a way to start the day.

When I went to their site to get the link to post for you, the dish in the photo with the recipe looked quite different from the one in the magazine. The recipes are identical except in two regards and I think that accounts for the difference in appearance.

First, the mag one bakes the casserole for just 30 min before uncovering, while the one on the site calls for 45 min, and then both continue for another 20 min. Second, at that 30 min point, the mag version tops the dish with pepperoni.

So, onto my prep. One change I made was minor, stirring the red pepper flakes into the egg mix instead of using as a topper. The second was more significant  – had buttermilk to use up and that replaced the milk. It was probably the latter change that led to the dish testing done at the 30 min point. Laid on the pepperoni and back in uncovered for just 3 min.

Next time? Since this is fork food rather than finger food, I would cut the pepperoni into halves or quarters depending on the size of the slices.

I think even with regular milk the 30/20 timing would probably be enough and accordingly I would lightly saute the onion and garlic in the melted butter. And with that just-right baking, it’s likely your pizza casserole will look like the one in the magazine – and like mine {plus parsley}.

Recipe    AllRecipes magazine  

  TIP  

Straight from our Spotlight book

In his cloned recipe for KFC Original Recipe Fried Chicken, author Todd Wilbur offers this way to keep the finished chicken warm while the remaining pieces are cooked. Thinking that would also be good if you have to wait for other dishes or late guests.

So, do this, he says. Place the fried pieces on a rack on a baking sheet and then into a 200 degree oven. This should maintain a nice serving temperature without overcooking the chicken.

Now wondering what else this might be applied to. French fries, bacon, toast? Might try it.

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

  So now that I’m a bit of a grits-o-phile, I’m suddently seeing preps elsewhere. A feature in the current issue of Food Network magazine stirs in shrimp & cheddar, or mushrooms & acorn squash, or coconut & short ribs. The Epicurious site shows a version very similar to the one we featured in our 02.14.20 Salon, but kicked up with jalapeno. Serious Eats crafted a “biography” of grits on its site with some really interesting flavor variations along the way. All those sound good, but for a quick and simple prep I like to cook it now in chicken bouillon with a bit of butter, top with bacon and chives. If I want to go a little gussier, I stir in cheese and add a fried egg on top.

  So, in our 03.13.20 Salon we showed the pretty lavender results of  dipping peeled hard cooked eggs in beet juice. But maybe you’d like a bit more decoration, and also eggs with their shells still on. Well, alrighty then. Let’s take a look at our chat from last July {07.26.19} that showed an easy way to decorate Easter eggs with food color pens. Fast. Safe. Even prettier!

  Recently finished “Japanese Home Cooking” by Sonoko Sakai. Maybe not for everyone, but definitely a good source for the serious student of this cuisine. And student is appropriate because Sakai taught Japanese cooking first in her home, then across the country and eventually around the world, and that comes through in her carefully designed recipe instructions and also the separate sections on principles, equipment, tableware, and ingredients. You’ll find pantry style {everyday} dishes and then some a bit more complex in this book where Sakai offers “the craft and reverence of three generations of women in my family.”

This week’s:

  •  Photo credits – book-Amazon / chicken-Wilbur book / others-mine
  •  Link sources – snack cake-Food Network / books-Amazon / recipe-AllRecipes / AllRecipes mag-AllRecipes subscription page
  • Partnerships – Amazon

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

So far next week: sheet pans 2.0, chocolate cobbler, best cobbler, party gift book, potato snow, upgrading jarred marinara, taco fillers, no self-rising flour no problem, freezing milk, impromptu dressing

Last week, just below: brunch watch, sheet pan trick, food spending, a new home for your spices?, cheddary apple crisp, paring knife to go, tiddy whatty?, pizza does breakfast, book for bloggers

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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Apple crisp with cheddar crumble, March 20-March 26, 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 – brunch watch / sheet pan trick / food spending    CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT – a new home for your spices?    FEATURED RECIPE – promise made-promise sorta kept    TIP – knife to go    THE WEEK – tiddy whatty? / pizza even better / book for bloggers 

  TIDBITS 

Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

  It’s today! But, fear not, if you’re interested can still catch up with it Sat or Sun. “It” is chefs checking in with some favorite brunch dishes on the PBS channel, Create. Kevin Belton, Lidia Bastianich, and America’s Test Kitchen bring on, respectively, tastes of New Orleans, Italy, and from the latter, best coffee cake and more. In my PT zone, today 9p-2a, Sat 10a-3p, and Sun noon-5p.

  Looking at the current food mags and food shows it would appear that sheet pan cooking has matriculated from trend to staple. Meanwhile did you see this idea in the ads Reynolds Wrap is running right now? The pieces of foil, in this case three, were crimped on the edges to create separate compartments on the pan. Keeps the flavors and juices right where they belong, with easy cleanup as a bonus.

  Thinking it may be our group that’s responsible for any escalation of these averages. In fact it was  CS-er, and many thanks, that sent along a report from msn.com that took a look at food spending in 22 major American cities. Click the link to see how your household compares.

♦  CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT   

Rack ’em up

I love my spice rack. Three pull-out drawers, nine slots in each. Now don’t tell it, but there’s one on Amazon I’m sorely tempted to order as a replacement.McCormick Gourmet Three Tier Wood 24 Piece Organic Spice Rack, 27.6 oz

It one holds all the jars face forward. Easy to see at a glance what you what you’re looking for.  Easy to see at a glance what needs to be replenished. And no worries about if it will fit in your pantry or cabinets because, as you can see top left, it’s handsome enough to sit on the counter much like a nice piece of furniture.

Spice Rack Wall Mount Invisible Acrylic Wall Spice Rack Wall Mount Spice Rack Spice Rack Spice Rack Organizer Spice Rack for Door (Pack of 4)This is an “Amazon Choice” and Prime eligible. It is a little on the pricey side, but many are not, including the other two shown here, with actually quite the discount on the crisscross one, and a Kamenstein 5085178 Criss-Cross 18-Jar Bamboo Countertop Spice Rack Organizer with Free Spice Refills for 5 Years, Browntouch of magic for the one on the right that makes your jars appear to be held in place by an unseen force.

Not too surprisingly there are other gussy offerings on Amazon, lots of styles, features and prices. Some come with their own jars, other accommodate the original store-bought jars. All of the selections shown are clickable.

Spice racks 4 stars & up    Spice jar labels 4 stars & up

CS Marketplace Directory

  FEATURED RECIPE  

Cheddar apple crumble yummer

Well here’s the story. After promising this tasty desert recipe last week, things went bad this week.

Couldn’t find the frappin’ thing {thank you Aunty Peggy for that polite word}. The victim no doubt of TMR syndrome {Too Many Recipes].

Since cheese was the guest star here, turned to Sargento and voila! And to the best of my recollection it’s pretty much the same as the one that’s been in my family for decades {and presumably somewhere still is}. Btw, I sometimes baked these in individual oven-proof bowls.

I think you’ll like this. And their addition of vanilla ice cream atop the warm confection sure can’t hurt.

 Recipe  

 

  TIP  

The cutting edge

. . . has its place. But not when a paring knife is accompanying you to a picnic, potluck or other destination where further prep may be needed.

The solution may be as close as your stash of travel items. With a bit, that is, of repurposing.

Rummage through the stuff and extract the two-piece tube that usually transports a toothbrush. Alternatively there’s a good chance you can find one in the trial and travel section of your grocery store or pharmacy.

Knife in, container sealed. Good to go.

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

  Since you folks aren’t here to do it, smacked myself upside the head. In our 03.06.20 Salon, in the chat about “The Secret Garden Cookbook” I included reference to tiddy oggies with no clue what the heck that is. It’s actually pasties filled with budget-friendly potatoes rather than meat, with tiddy being the Cornish name for potatoes. Google corrects this to tiddly. Turned to good ol’ Diner’s Dictionary to arbitrate and it opted for tiddy, further informing us that oggy is the Cornwall term for pasty – much more to the story under the oggy listing, including its role in the sports chant, “Oggy, Oggy, Oggy Oi, Oi, Oi.”

  CS friends, I apologize for the tease. I did make the promised breakfast casserole from leftover pizza and it is very good. But there’s so much to say about it, discrepancy between two recipes, my results, my changes to the recipe, my planned changes for next time around, baking time. So . . . since it is so good it indeed qualifies as a Featured Recipe and that is exactly what it will be next week. All the details!

  True to its name, the Serious Eats site is dedicated to those serious about food, where recipes are like cooking lessons, ingredients merit detailed backstories, appliances are virtually disassembled and reassembled, techniques are designed to refine. The book “Serious Eater” by site founder Ed Levine, parallels the approach by delivering an eye-opening primer on starting and sustaining a blog. The hobby blogger can pick up some pointers but for anyone planning to pursue this as a business, the book is required reading. All of us CS-ers, however, can appreciate his tales of restaurant reviewing in the early chapters and restaurant recipes sprinkled throughout, starting with C.C Brown’s hot fudge.

This week’s:

  •  Photo credits – spice racks-Amazon / apple crisp-Sargento / pizza casserole-mine
  •  Link sources – spice racks, jar labels, books-Amazon / recipe-Sargento
  • Partnerships – Amazon / PBS {member, not affliate}

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

So far next week: baking projects, safer shopping, top secret restaurant recipes source, grits 2.0, the whole breakfast pizza casserole story, snack-topped cake, chicken trick, Japanese cookbook, even prettier eggs

Last week, just below: Irish hangover cures, using up milk, juice reuse, good food read, savory creamy herbed steak sauce, say nuts to tight bottle caps, made the shrimp & grits, pretty eggs, virtual Paris read

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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This savory sauce on steak is just the beginning, March 13-March 19, 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 – Irish hangover cures / using up milk / juice reuse    CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT – food read    FEATURED RECIPE – savory creamy herbed steak sauce    TIP – say nuts to tight bottle caps    THE WEEK – made the shrimp & grits / gussied up eggs / virtual Paris 

  TIDBITS 

Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks and 

  Well perhaps you won’t need this, but just in case you do . . . you can thank this authoritative source, IrishCentral, for The Best Irish Hangover Cures. It was originally posted for New Year’s Day but we all know what other beverage-centric Day is coming. Clearly you have to use your own judgment here {we’re guessing it will have returned by morn after apparently leaving the building last night}.

  So, I found an article about using up milk, especially welcome since this is such a perishable product. But when I went to share it with you here, ummmm, seems it became “un-found.” No worries, can probably “re-find” it on google. Did, bonanza! All kinds of folks ready to suggest ways to do this very thing.

  Wait! Don’t throw this out either, at least not just yet. First, let’s take a look at “Liquid Leftovers Get a Second Chance in the Kitchen.” It offers ways to repurpose pickle juice and other brines {see one more below in My Week}, whey {you may have it without realizing it}, and liquids from bean cooking, canned tuna, poaching meats, tofu, plus leftover oils. I particularly like the tuna one.

  CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT   

“Recipe for a Perfect Wife,” Yeas 3, Nays 1

What quickly turns this into a fascinating read is the interplay of two women, generations apart and unknown to each other, who connect through a house, a cookbook, and the next door neighbor. The launching point is when Alice and Nate move into the home previously owned by Nellie and Richard.

In page after page we see their parallels regarding husband and family, neighbors and friends, sex and Recipe for a Perfect Wife: A Novelpregnancy, decor and wardrobe, gardening and cooking, work and play, and yes, secrets. The device puts a klieg light on changes, both within the lives of the two women and between the generations, as well as what vestiges can survive down through the years.

The second yea is for the recipes from the 1950s cookbook Alice finds in the basement, once belonging to Nellie’s mom but with notations from Nellie. Wow, preps for such mid-century favorites as tuna casserole, meatloaf with oatmeal, herbed cheese popovers, rose caramels {with actual petals}, boiled chocolate cookies and baked Alaska, about a dozen in all.

The third one comes from other readers. with 77 of them giving it an average 4-star rating. And they join the kudos in the cover comments.

So, the “nay” arrives with the last page where the story arc seems to stop short, leaving us with no clue about Alice’s next step. Or, is there? Among her various options there might be hints she’s contemplating one last parallel.

“Recipe for a Perfect Wife”    Other books by Karma Brown

CS Marketplace Directory

  FEATURED RECIPE  

Fourth time was the charm 

It started with a recipe in one of the old English cookbooks I’ve been going through. A topper for beef called Chasseur Sauce sounded just so good.

But as it turned out, as much as I love mushrooms didn’t like them in this prep, and also wanted it a bit more flavor. Ha! will make my own variation.

So, second version. Nope. Third version. Nope. Fourth version. Eureka! Flavor bomb!

Here’s the thing. Try a nice thick ribbon of it on steak for sure. But no need to stop there.

Instead of beef, nap it on sauteed chicken breasts or boiled peeled shrimp. Beat into scrambled eggs. Mix with cooked rice and maybe a bit of green onion for a hot side dish. Or with pasta instead, straight or blended with marinara. Use it as a baked tater topper. Thin a little with another dressing or pickle juice for a salad dressing or egg salad. Take it right from the refrigerator {it will have thickened} to serve as a dip for chips, crackers or veggies. And, and, and . . .  ???

Recipe  

♦  TIP  

This didn’t work . . . but then

So I came across a handy tip that I thought was worth a try. But truth be told, should have realized the fatal flaw right from the start.

The subject: uncooperative jar lids. We’ve all I’m guessing had the experience of lids that can resist such heroic efforts as banging on the carpet, running under water, beating the rim with a heavy utensil.

The tip was to use a nutcracker, basic, not the kind of the Suite of the same name. But, ahhhhh, unless you have one sized to crack coconuts chances are the nutcracker isn’t going to span the lid.

But . . . don’t chuck the nutcracker yet. It is a perfect fit for bottles, e.g., water, soda, ketchup, taco sauce, vanilla extract, certain vinegars, soy sauce, oyster sauce, and especially already opened syrup bottles. Oh yeah, and sake, possibly Champagne, and also leftover wine {hahahah} that you’ve re-corked.

Btw, a crab cracker is much the same thing as a basic nutcracker and chances are you have one or another or both in your utensil drawer. In case not, here’s a link . . .

Basic nut crackers

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

  So I made the shrimp and grits, the Featured Recipe in our 02.14.20 Salon. Yikes, now I’m a grits convert. ‘Course this prep did have a lot of help from onions, garlic, bacon, cheese etc. I don’t think mine actually created soup, but it does have a kind of juicy, loosey texture. And though this is likely the proper consistency, based on what I’ve been served in Southern restaurants and also the recipe’s soup promise, in fact I liked the leftovers even better after reheating tightened it all up a bit. So if you wanted, you could achieve this with extra baking time, or another egg, or more cheese. The flavor though needs no help at all. Even so, now planning to be brave and try a plainer version.

  Well how pretty is this??? You just never know where or when a kitchen tip will come your way. In this case the source was a nice lady at a political event who mentioned how much she loved pickled eggs created by dropping peeled hard cooked eggs into the juice from store-bought pickled beets. And they take on the color so quickly you can do them one at a time {vs needing enough juice to cover a bunch of them}. Wouldn’t a bowl of those be a nice addition to the Easter table? Because it’s beet juice it’s safe and easy to use, and pretty much “free.”

  Btw, also tried this with unpeeled hard cooked eggs – in a separate container – but the color really didn’t stay on. Maybe cook the eggs right in the beet juice, though would need quite a bit more juice. For the peeled and unpeeled, transferred them to a baking rack set over paper towels atop sticky wrap to dry for a bit before refrigerating. Btw II, I just dunked these in juice right from the fridge, but if you want to follow an actual recipe, here you go.

  Reading right now “The Food Lover’s Guide to Paris,” even though no plans right now to be back in that culinary capital. It is interesting though to read author Patrica Wells’ descriptions of her tasting experiences and even better the 40 restaurant-inspired recipes. She covers, bistros, brasseries and restaurants along with reservations, ordering, dining hours, tipping and more as well as side notes and observations. One of the latter I especially liked: “You know it’s a good restaurant when you are already planning and looking forward to a return visit before you pay the bill.”

This week’s:

  •  Photo credits – book-Amazon / others-mine
  •  Link sources – liquids-Epicurious / books, nutcracker-Amazon / sauce recipe-CS page / eggs-Taste of Home
  • Partnerships – Amazon

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

So far next week: compare your food spending, brunch watch, foil trick, rack ’em up, the promised apple cheddar crisp, seriously interesting food book, leftover pizza 2.0, its a what now???

Last week, just below: bakers source, brown sugar chewies, chefs who nuke, “secret” recipes source, “best ever” Irish stew, oopsie fixes, cheese crackers where?, crochet dinner, easy spice up for fries

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

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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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Ghirardelli Chocolate Lava Cake, Feb 21-Feb 27, 2020

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

New Salon every Friday – c’mon in

CS friends, and help yourself to tasty resources

Just a reminder

photo credits, link sources not ID’d in text, and partnerships are listed at the end of every Salon

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

 TIDBITS – coffee cake a la you / bacon ways / cooks’ source    CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT – longevity somewhat unmasked    FEATURED RECIPE – just look at this indulgence    TIP – interpretive lasagna    THE WEEK – biggie foodfest tix / taco tamer / word of the day

  TIDBITS 

Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

  How’s this for a magnetic headline, “How to Make Your Greatest Coffee Cake Yet“? OK, truth be told the story isn’t quite what I thought the headline meant, which is to say one, single, el supremo, award-worthy, crowd goes wild, recipe. But maybe it’s in fact something better. Three steps guide you through mixing and matching elements so that you end up with a customized confection with all your favorite stuff.

  OK, this one too: “10 Ways You Never Thought You’d Use Bacon.” For CS-ers, some items in this Food & Wine list will be new ideas, others tasty reminders. Bacon pancakes and bacon-wrapped shrimp may well fall into that latter category. But how about Almond Joy bacon, caramel bacon popcorn, cheesy garlicky bacon bread??? Some may even be breakfast-friendly enough to keep your coffee cake company.

  Cooks Illustrated is currently offering a discount and free trial for its “All-Access Membership.” It’s described as including favorite cooking techniques and recipes, unbiased equipment and ingredient ratings, videos, mobile app, free shipping in their shop, and viewing of all 20 seasons of their hit TV show. I am not a member, so just passing this along for your look-see. Scroll down on the linked page.

  CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT   

Wow, is this an interesting book

The total mystery of longevity may still be somewhat elusive, but this enlightening read sure puts some cracks in the case. It takes an in-depth look at four diverse regions of the world, termed “blue zones,” where an extraordinary number of folks burst through the actuarial tables to reach and blow past age 100.The Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer From the People Who've Lived the Longest

What makes the stories even more intriguing is how many of these centenarians are still so mentally alert and physically active. As a side note, what seems to be a privilege of 100-plusing, and perhaps even a factor in that achievement, is a hearty touch of feistiness.

The author Dan Buettner and his team were most conscientious in verifying birth dates to make certain the tales of longevity were true. Then it was a matter of close observation and personal interviews to The Blue Zones Kitchen: 100 Recipes to Live to 100determine lifestyle, food and beverage consumption, work habits, family life, social interaction, and other {some maybe unexpected} activities.

Some clear patterns emerged that then led to a list of conclusions for each area. As a result, “The Blue Zones” can show you how to “make simple adjustments to your lifestyle that can add years to your life.” And looking at the superseniors in those zones, it could add life to your years as well.

To bring the lessons right to our stoves, Buettner also published “The Blue Zones Kitchen,” and there are other spin-offs as well. Most are multiple formats, 4 1/2 stars on Amazon.

“The Blue Zones”    “The Blue Zones Kitchen”      Other books based on the blue zones

CS Marketplace Directory

  FEATURED RECIPE  

Do try this at home

One of the sweetest ways to give a restaurant dinner a big finish is with a delectable chocolate lava cake. But why wait till your next outing when you can make it in your own kitchen. While the prep is a little on the long side, there’s really nothing difficult about it.

If you do click onto the recipe, may want to meander a bit while you’re there. You’ll find several categories of preps to tap into.

One with some really pretty and great sounding treats is the Holiday Desserts category. Some candidates for the to-make list: layered chocolate cheesecake, mini chocolate raspberry brownie trifles, chocolate-orange mousse cake, dark chocolate almond butter bon bons, dreamy fudge pie {yikes, stop!}.

Chocolate lava cake recipe    Ghirardelli recipe page

  TIP  

If you like your lasagna with more filling than noodles . . .

You’re going to love this technique. It was on I believe the first episode in this season’s Marcus Samuelsson PBS series, “No Passport Required.” He took us along with him for a tasty tour of Philadelphia’s Italian community.

It was at Ralph’s, now the oldest Italian restaurant in America. Now let’s pause for a ‘fess up: since the camera didn’t stay continuously on the process, I may have missed the addition of more noodles.

So let’s call this my preferred interpretation. Whether theirs or mine, it begins with a layer of gravy {red sauce}, and then an interesting noodle pattern.

Starting at the short end of the baking pan, two noodles are placed end to end so that they meet in the middle with the rest draped over the long sides of the pan across from each other, and so on till there’s a full layer, and then other noodles are positioned over the short sides of the pan. All is then covered with the ricotta mix, seasoned meat, and more gravy.

That’s where there’s a good chance we part company. Was there another layer of noodles?

I chose to think not. With or without more noodles, we would both then repeat the ricotta/meat/gravy, and then fold the draped noodle ends over the filling, topping it all off with more gravy.

Click here to see {and interpret} for yourself}

  A PEEK AT MY WEEK  

Welcome to my kitchen and living room

  There are foodfests all over the country and calendar, but maybe the granddaddy of them all is the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen, one I had the supreme pleasure of attending a few years back. You would find first class food from first class chefs as far as the eye can see, and oceans of beverages for paired perfection. Classes and demos, dinners and tastings, up front and personal encounters. Bonus feast for the eyes: the spectacular Rockies backdropping the entire experience. This year it takes place June 19-21, but tickets {passes} are already available.

  If the Danish in the bakery section of your market is packaged like they are at mine, there are slots that hold the rolls at an angle. This will sound like a change of subject – as much as I love tacos, what I like a lot less is the shells being so uncooperative and flopping around when you’re trying to fill them.

  Do you see where this is going? {OK, guess the answer isn’t so mysterious given I totally tipped it with the photo}. As you can see, you can park the shells right in those slots and fill away. And, yes, I’m aware of the flat-bottomed shells, just don’t prefer them.

  To quote South Park [yeah, OK, should be too old to find it so amusing}: I learned something today. But what makes it a bit unexpected is that it’s sourced from . . . a crossword puzzle{!} Here ’tis. Sapid means having a strong, pleasant taste. Hey, that could be the Punch Sauce from last week, with the latter coming into play after the honey contribution. In the interest of full disclosure, it can also refer to talk or writing being pleasant or interesting.

This week’s: 

Photo credits – books-Amazon / lava cake-Ghirardelli site / lasagna-PBS & youtube

Link sources – coffee cake-MyRecipes / bacon-Food & Wine / all books-Amazon / lava cake-Ghirardelli site / lasagna-youtube / Classic in Aspen tix-Food & Wine fest site

Partnerships – Amazon / PBS {member, not affiliate}

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

So far next week: red wine braised red cabbage, St Pat’s Day kitchen decs, ancient dining, copycat restaurant recipes, hash browns redo, movie question, Shirley Temple take-offs, cookie fix, up your etiquette, fake foods

Last week, just below: more good press for eggs, power breakfasts, online food help, Unofficial Downton Abbey cookbook, shrimp & grits casserole with bonus soup, save the avocados, pig pickin’ cake, punch drunk sauce, another recipe source

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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Old English Beef a la Mode, Feb 07-Feb 13, 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 – veggies ready for their close-up / the good egg / 12 tasty secrets    CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT – look out, fat    FEATURED RECIPE – Beef a la Mode, no ice cream    TIP – peanuts ‘fess up   THE WEEK – pot pie upgrade / un-donuts / thank you, pudding

  TIDBITS 

Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

  Love vegetables? Want to love vegetables? Let Jamie Oliver help with his PBS show, “Jamie’s Ultimate Veg,” designed to give veggies international flair and a starring role on the plate. Continuing Saturdays through Feb 22, in my time zone at 2:30p. Some interesting episode subjects: Bigged-Up Broccoli, Charred Salad, Bean Burger.

  The Well-Done newsletter poses the question: Are hard-boiled eggs good for you? Good news here, and some surprising news too. Even better, their take on the best way to make them.

  The same newsletter, same issue, teases us with this headline: “12 Secret Ingredients That’ll Make Your Cooking So Much Better.” Among the recipes with a secret, brownies, pecan pie, extra crispy roasted vegetables, impressive desserts, and the mysterious “cretons.” You can scroll down to see all the dishes as an alternative to the slide show.

Still dealing with a holiday “gift” of extra pounds and inches?

Are they still being unwelcome guests at your waistline and beyond?  Either those that have been hanging around for too long now, or maybe a holiday “gift that keeps on giving”? Help is here!

My very own Dieter’s Survival Guide series gives you ways to deal with all those everyday situations that try to add more pounds and inches, or keep you from shedding the ones you want to go onto someone else’s hips. Not a formal program, but rather a common sense roadmap to avoid fat traps without feeling deprived.

There is a full-story version but these days most folks prefer quicker access and that’s right here in “The Busy Person’s Diet Guide,” including all the information of the original but in fast-read form. There are also full chapters excepted into 99-cent books. All on Kindle, so you can just tap & start fat-zapping.

See all the Dieter’s Survival Guide books on this Amazon page

New Marketplace debuts next week

  FEATURED RECIPE  

Awesome beef roast with an English accent – yikes, this is good!

Well, there may be no ice cream in this Beef a la Mode but it does fold in some surprising spices more typically associated with dessert. Combined with the aromatics, the medley yields a full of flavor roast.

The recipe comes from the charming cookbook “Dinner with Dickens.” Notes tell us “Dickens writes about visiting Johnson’s famous à la mode beef house near London’s Drury Lane. and this is where he has David Copperfield treat himself to a ‘small plate of that delicacy.'”

The origin recipe, also shown on the page, tells us, “You may serve it up hot or cold.” Author Pen Vogler’s prep, “updated for the modern kitchen,” suggests we serve with carrots and greens. I actually put the carrots in the pan to roast with the beef, potatoes too, more opps for absorbing those flavors.

Dinner with Dickens: Recipes inspired by the life and work of Charles DickensIn page after page, foodie tales from the Victorian era accompany such historical preps as candied French plums, roly poly jam pudding, lobster patties, Yorkshire pie, tea cakes, and a libation called Smoking Bishop. Also, punch sauce which we’ll talk more about next week, when you’ll see how well named it is.

What makes this an especially nice gift book is a cover that almost has the feeling of tapestry. Right now at least, at a good price on Amazon.

Recipe    “Dinner with Dickens” cookbook

  TIP  

This is too important not to have its own spotlight

In the 01.10.20 Salon, in My Week, I referred to cookies I had made but without the usual peanut butter filling because they would be consumed by folks I didn’t know, and accordingly didn’t know if any of them might have peanut allergies. You can use the link if you want to go back and see how what I did at the time.

In that item I also made passing reference to a way that I had subsequently recalled that would allow you to make your favorite peanutty recipes and solve this every time, and it deserves more than that quick note. And that’s regardless of whether the ingredient was peanuts or peanut candy or peanut butter, or peanut whatever, and it would work for any type of dessert.

So obvious, I’m rather chagrined I hadn’t thought of this on my own. It’s simply a matter of topping the cake or cupcake or cookies or pie, et al, with whole or chopped peanuts.  It doesn’t have to be a lot – even a single peanut half sends up a red flag to anyone with this kind of serious allergy.

Shown are half peanuts on chocolate chip cookies baked in a mini muffin tin, and when removed from the oven stuffed with a small Reese’s peanut butter cup {the kind you unwrap}.

  A PEEK AT MY WEEK  

Welcome to my kitchen and living room

♦  Do you ever buy pot pies from the deli in your grocery store for a quick and easy dinner? The ones from my market are pretty darn good, loaded with lean and tender meat. But here’s how they can be fairly easily upgraded – top them with your own gravy. And, OK, ‘fessing up, if I don’t have available homemade gravy I do use, and have ever since a high profile chef told me this is his plan B – dry mix. But here’s a big ps to that. No matter what kind I’m using – chicken, turkey, pork – I always blend it with a brown gravy one, really kicks the flavor.

  Puff pastry donuts – the rest of the story. In our 01.17.20 Salon we featured a demo by Mad Genius for making donuts with this pastry. Couldn’t find the sheets so picked up a package of Pepperidge Farm shells, dipped them in peanut oil and baked as directed. Let me take a moment here to say I share a lot of good stuff from my kitchen which might indicate there are no flops. Wrong! Usually keep those to myself.

  But, ‘fessing up, these guys didn’t bake right {the oil?}, fell apart when I tried to entirely remove the centers to look like donuts, and had to go back in the oven looking like so many onion rings until they crisped up. But I let them cool a bit and then hit them with powdered sugar. So, if you erase donuts from your mind, and replace that image with say the Italian cookie pizzelles, hey not so bad. Just . . . not . . . donuts.

  So, was looking for ways to use the rest of the chocolate pudding from our 01.24.20 Salon item on my version of pudding shots in the My Week section. And then, yay, decided to press it into service as yet another oatmeal helper. Not bad at all! And then staying in the cereal “aisle,” if you want to go all kid with dry cereal, put the pudding under it instead of milk or cream over it. Say, with peanut butter Chex. {OK, yeah, did that – nice combo!}.

This week’s

  •  Photo credits – books-Amazon / all others-mine
  •  Link sources –  recipe-CS recipe page / Dickens book-Amazon
  • Partnerships – Amazon / PBS-membership, not affiliate

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

So far next week: more egg bennies, energy breakfasts, celeb helpline, another Downton Abbey cookbook, Aspen fest, pig pickin’ cake, punch sauce, classic savory sauce

Last time, just below: F&W’s Best-Ever Dishes, foodie app, taming the late-night hungries, Marketplace announcement, 5-star seafood au gratin, taming the brown sugar, rye in what???, my pudding shot, taming the food budget

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 ©2020 CooksSalon.com

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

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Giada’s fresh & simple salmon dish, Jan 17-Jan 23, 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 – cheesy chicken galore / pudding shots! / cheeseboard upgrade    CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT – top-rated cheeseboards    FEATURED RECIPE – a touch of spring     TIP – it’s a wrap   THE WEEK – Tejano cooking / donuts from what ??? / a tasty, testy past 

  TIDBITS 

Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

I so look forward to receiving the MyRecipes online newsletter because it’s always filled with good stuff that I like to share with you. But sometimes a single newsletter is just a total culinary home run and one I just caught up with from last month is a perfect example. All three tidbits come from that one newsletter

  Here’s another one of those {at least to some of us!} irresistible headlines. 34 Cheesy Chicken Casseroles. So much good stuff here, classics like parmesan and enchiladas to some a bit more out there including a loaded baked potato version and a Tex-Mex squash combo. Btw, if you don’t want to do the slide show, should be able to just scroll down on the page that opens with the link. And . . . “surf” takes a turn next week in our Featured Recipe, baked seafood au gratin.

  Oh yum. Move over jello shots, here comes pudding. After pudding of your choice and alcohol of your choice, the variations are endless, as their story, “How to make pudding shots: the easy, boozy treat you never knew you needed,” shows in living color. It’s sort of like a spirited, drinkable, trifle. Now, it doesn’t specify where the alcohol goes, but guessing jello shot vets know it will be mixed into the pudding. Some other pudding shots I saw online combined everything into one mixture, but this layered approach makes a really nice presentation.

  So the holidays are over, but the reasons/excuses for a party large or small are fortunately never ending. A star of the show can often be a selection of cheeses. But have to say I never realized that “This ingredient is a crucial addition to your cheese board.” Not trying to be mysterious here, but before you click the link, see if you can guess what ingredient is not usually on the board but in fact makes great sense to join the array. I like it!

  CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT   

And continuing  the subject . . .

It’s like a cheeseboard superstore at Amazon. Yikes is this some good looking stuff.

Choose your material, choose your size, choose your shape, choose your amenities, choose your price – it’s all there. To give you a bit of a head start on filtering your options, our link below takes you to only boards that are 4 stars & up.

Did someone say amenities? Yep, some of these items come with slots or niches for serving utensils or even better a slide-out drawer {shown}, or slide out trays for extra surface, or cracker trenches to keep them nice and neat, or with their own little bowls or cheese markers, and at least one that stores as a compact wedge and then swivels open to an 18″ tiered circle {shown}.

Beautiful Boards: 50 Amazing Snack Boards for Any OccasionAnd even if you’re not in the market right now? Might want to take a look anyway since most of the boards on the Amazon pages are “dressed,” and as such offer a wealth of ideas on how you could assemble your own goodie mix. Or you can find all kinds of help with our link to colorful books on cheeseboards for all occasions.

Note that you can click on the illustrations to go directly to that item on Amazon. This book, btw, is an Amazon Best Seller.

Cheeseboards 4 stars & up    Cheeseboard books 4 stars & up

  FEATURED RECIPE  

Just simply good 

Even though spring is not yet even close to visible on the horizon, a touch of it can come to your plate with this fish dish from Giada. And because the salad accompaniment is so “springly,” the goodness of the salmon remains the star of the show.

The filet is treated gently in both the prep and the cooking process. A quick broil and done.

As for that light, bright salad, it actually serves double duty, as a bed under the fish and then as a garnish. That would be a lightly dressed mix of fennel, radish, and basil, a great counterpoint to the richness of the salmon. Btw, I also used some of the pretty and flavorful fennel fronds as garnish.

Giada continues her focus on tasty, healthful dining. You can keep up with offerings by signing up for her newsletter, link in the upper corner of her page.

Giadzy’s Broiled Salmon with Fennel Salad   Giada’s cookbooks    Giada’s DVDs

  TIP  

But wait . . . there’s more

Encore! This is indeed a re-run but it fits in well with our other sections this week.

There are suggestions galore online on the best way to store packaged store-bought cheese. This is what has always worked well for me . . .

Cut off the end of the package wrapper. Then cut along both top edges all the way to the back, but leaving the back intact so that you end up with a kind of hinged flap.

After slicing off the cheese you need, fold the two loose ends of the wrapper over the cheese, and place it in a food storage bag, pressing the opened end tightly against the inside of the bag so the wrapper ends stay in place as you press out the air, seal the bag, and fold the rest of it around the block of cheese.

If you’re rather use devices designed for that purpose, we have a link below to that page on Amazon.

Cheese keepers, 4 stars & up

  A PEEK AT MY WEEK  

Welcome to my kitchen and living room

  The cookbook, “AMA – A Modern Tex-Mex Kitchen” served up a nice discovery. Though I’d heard of it before, had never really delved into Tejano cooking, the south Texas home vs nationwide commercial version of Tex-Mex. It’s marked by lots of beef, chili plain and simple, lots of chiles fresh and dried, cumin, and two surprises – considerable German influence and more bacon than I expected. The title refers to the chef/author Josef Centeno’s LA restaurant, Ama: A Modern Tex-Mex Kitchen (Mexican Food Cookbooks, Tex-Mex Cooking, Mexican and Spanish Recipes)whose name in turn honors Centeno’s great grandmother’s cooking, and the cuisine is the product of four generations of food-oriented Tejanos {Texans of Mexican heritage} on both sides of his family. Haven’t tried any of the recipes yet, but surely will.

  I just love the Mad Genius tips. This time it’s donuts, which he calls the easiest ever and they just may be. The magic is in puff pastry, and the rest of the story is in his donut demo. Btw, since I don’t do a lot of deep frying, I made some by dipping both sides of puff pastry shells in peanut oil and then baking them per instructions. {Hold off for Part II in two weeks.}

  Oh, the memories. As a Chicago native and long time Las Vegas resident, the story is of more than passing interest. My first contact with any of the elements was when my husband and I, visitors at the time, dined at a fabulous Italian restaurant near the Las Vegas convention center – called Villa d’Este, it was parlayed from a previous site called Villa Venice, in turn previously Anjoe’s. After a history of a gunshot, a fire, Chicago mob ties, and a touch of Sinatra, it eventually evolved into Piero’s, now an equally famous institution for almost four decades. One of my very favorite chefs, Hubert Keller, will visit this legendary restaurant during his January 25 “Secrets of a Chef” episode on PBS.

This week’s

  •  Photo credits – cheeseboards & book/Amazon, all others/mine
  •  Link sources – cheeseboards, books. dvds/Amazon, recipe/Giada’s site, donut demo/Food & Wine site, history of Villa d’Este, now Pierro’s/ imgur.com {shows “lock” icon}
  • Partnerships – Amazon

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

So far next week: more cheesy goodness with a baked seafood au gratin, 40 best-ever recipes from top source, my own pudding shot, chocolate cookies with surprise ingredient, new fave baked beans

Last week, just below: shrimp curry with spinach, 30-min dinners, hot toddy prep {plus bonus tip}, chai-spiced snickerdoodles, bye bye holiday pounds, save the cookware, food resources keep Echo-ing, “venting”

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 ©2020 CooksSalon.com

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

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Shrimp curry with spinach a la Downton Abbey, Jan 10-Jan 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 – dinner in 30 / toddy & bonus spoon trick / Chai goes “kookie”    CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT – busy person’s diet guide    FEATURED RECIPE – flavors burst out of history    TIP –your pans will thank you    THE WEEK – the peanut indicator / treasure trove of food resources / steam up, up & away

  TIDBITS 

Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

  I’m guessing pretty much every one of us could make good use of this. From Food & Wine online, 30-min dinners in an illustrated slide show with links to the recipes. You’ll find steak & chops, fish & seafood, pasta dishes, burger creations, veggie entrees, soup and eggs. I’m thinking of trying one of the chicken recipes, either the spicy Mexican one or the stir fry with Chinese cabbage.

  It’s sure the right time of year for this libation, and we can thank IrishCentral for a fine hot toddy prep. But what I found equally interesting is a tip embedded here. I haven’t had the nerve to try it and certainly not encouraging you to either – but if you do hope you’ll share it with the rest of us. Or maybe this is something lots of folks already know about and use. It involves placing a metal spoon into the glass which it says will keep it from breaking.

We have to guess this refers to when the hot water is added – clearly something is missing in that part of the prep. It would seem to mean some of the hot water is added to the glass in advance to heat it up, then discarded before proceeding with the other ingredients. I looked at some other recipes and most just put in everything at the same time. Cheers!

  And I just bet these would go great with that toddy. Chai-spiced snickerdoodles! Another flavorful winner from MyRecipes.

  CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT   

The “weight” is over! {or it can be}

Is taking off some pounds among your 2020 resolutions?  Either those that have been hanging around for too long now, or maybe a holiday “gift that keeps on giving”? Help is here!

My very own Dieter’s Survival Guide series gives you ways to deal with all those everyday situations that try to add more pounds and inches, or keep you from shedding the ones you want to go onto someone else’s hips. Not a formal program, but rather a common sense roadmap to avoid fat traps without feeling deprived.

There is a full-story version but these days most folks prefer quicker access and that’s right here in “The Busy Person’s Diet Guide,” including all the information of the original but in fast-read form.

You can see the full series, available on Amazon, in our Marketplace, .99-$2.99.

CS Marketplace on this site

  FEATURED RECIPE  

History in every bite 

This just might be high on the list of most fun looking at and for recipes. The Downton Abbey Cookbook serves up delectable back stories for all the preps, plus Downton tidbits, snippets of relevant dialog, and even how to host a Downton-themed party.The Official Downton Abbey Cookbook

Curries carry their own piece of history. To quote the book, “In season 4 {Rose’s father} is appointed governor of Bombay and moves to India, which at the time was under British rule: in 1877, Queen Victoria was declared empress of India, and in 1887 she had five Indians brought over to act as her personal attendants.” *

They continue, “British fascination with India went back much further, however, and the first curry recipes appeared in English cookery books in the eighteenth century. By the time Downton opens in the Edwardian period, curries were almost as British as fish and chips, and were often seen as a way to use up leftovers.” {kudos!}

What I found so amazing about this curry is that for all its simplicity, it’s loaded with flavor. And would certainly marry every bit as well with chicken or pork – hmmm, wonder how it would be mixed with just rice as a side dish or meatless entree.

*  This was the real-life basis for the movie, “Victoria & Abdul.”

Recipe page on this site    “The Downton Abbey Official Cookbook”  ♦  Other Downton items  

  TIP  

Save the cookware!

We can thank Cooking Light for this revelation about a possible mistake we’re making with our pots and pans and bakeware. One simple and effective way, they say, to prolong their life, and especially the finish, is to allow some cooling time before hitting them with water. See the full story here.

  A PEEK AT MY WEEK  

Welcome to my kitchen and living room

  So I made cookies for some of my favorite people over the holidays and one of my favorite cookies is chocolate chip stuffed with a peanut butter cup. But what about possible peanut allergies for folks beyond the friends who may indulge without realizing there’s pb inside. So, instead used a caramel filled chocolate kiss. But afterward remembered something I’d read long ago which is – whenever this might be a concern, put an actual peanut, whole or chopped, atop the goodie. What a great idea. Next time.

  Do you have an Echo Show? I do now, the “8,” and among all the other features, what a bonanza for cooks. The rotation on the screen regularly features recipes and if you opt for one of them, a demo pops up followed by the actual prep in text form. And if you miss clicking it, you can just ask for it and sweet Alexa brings it right back. Or you can request a recipe and chances are several will appear as in the photo showing roast chicken options. Food podcasts too! What a fun and cook-friendly toy! {And no, not a freebie from Amazon}

  Could be my imagination. Often when I’m making stock, I’ll use a lot of water to be sure all the ingredients are totally immersed with plenty of room to frolic around as they cook. But then after they’ve done their best and are strained out, I let the stock continue to cook and evaporate somewhat to concentrate the flavors. When I was doing that recently I wanted to hurry the process but without boiling steam into the stock. Did this work? –  I turned on the vent fan and it sure seemed like those vapors stepped up their ascent into the ionosphere.

This week’s: 

  •  Photo credits – book/Amazon, all others mine
  •  Link sources –  books, movie, Echo/Amazon
  • Partnerships – Amazon

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

So far next week: Tex Mex cookbook, seafood au gratin, cheesy chicken casseroles, pudding shots, cheese board upgrade, puff pastry donuts

Last week, just below: top tasty recipes from 2019 on CS

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 ©2020 CooksSalon.com

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

FacebooktwitterlinkedinFacebooktwitterlinkedin