Wrap up an easy party dish, July 19-25, 2019

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

& Misty the FoodieCat

CS friends, help yourself to tasty resources!

♦  CatChat –  Misty previews this week’s salon  

  TIDBITS – grilling gone wild / off for the coffee, bound for the beer / flex your diet muscles    CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT – everyday ways to lose weight    FEATURED RECIPE – rock with rolls     TIP – hot & not    THE WEEK – go Med / egg bonanza / ps x 3 for all-in bread pudding

{There’s a new pic in my gallery showing how I tried to help mom, but she didn’t seem to appreciate it}

Misty’s History    Misty’s Gallery

  TIDBITS 

Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

  Wow! “Featured this season are new grilling techniques such as smoking with smoldering straw, and grilling with ash, flaming planks, hot iron and smoky salt slabs.” What? “Steve Raichlen’s Project Fire – Season 2.” On PBS starting July 20. In my reference, says Saturdays at 2:30 p.

  Pack your bags for a vacation highlighted by . . . coffee? . . . or beer? Maybe so for for the biggest fans of these beverages. The Apartment Guide has you covered for coffee with a rundown on the best destinations for a cuppa. And Food & Wine picks up the ball – or glass – for beer. Btw, that F&W page also, for you folks in the former category, has a story on the best coffee in every state.

  Have you caught up with the term, “flexitarian.” It is sort of self-explanatory but more of the descriptions I found said those who follow this diet platform tend to be mostly vegetarian, but eat meat sometimes. Some forego red meat though, others stay with organic or sustainable or responsibly raised. There is a proprietary site out of the U.K. and of course Amazon is all over it.

  CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT   

Say neener neener to “food fat traps” with my Dieter’s Survival Guide kindles

Find a veritable buffet of easy and powerful ways to help you avoid weight gain, and still enjoy the Dieter's Survival Guide: Avoiding the Fat-Traps in Everyday Situationsdining experience, in life’s everyday situations – home alone, on the road, in a fast food outlet, at the office or a party, and more – plus shopping “survival style,” long, smart lists of snacks and substitutes, and short lists of “sneaky-The Busy Person's Diet Guide - The at-a-glance version of Dieter's Survival Guidecises” and wardrobe tips.

It treats you to a fast course in savvy decisions AND satisfying selections. And you “graduate” knowing just how to balance practicality and pleasure with the goal of forever lookin’ good and feelin’ good.

It can be your sole field manual or it can dovetail with a separate diet or exercise plan. Either way, you can just pick and choose what you want to use, or go for it all. Choose either the full Guide at $4.99 or the “Busy Person’s” version at $2.99.

“Dieter’s Survival Guide” “Busy Person’s Diet Guide”

  FEATURED RECIPE  

Roll up an easy summer lunch with friends 

A Tasting Panel Selection

And this classic sandwich isn’t just easy. But tasty and pretty too. And great for get-togethers!

Start with flour tortillas spread fairly generously with mayo. Then just layer on all the components of a ham club, making sure the lettuce and tomatoes are as fresh as can be, the bacon is nice and crisp, lots of ham but sliced thin.

Have the ingredients stop just a little short of the far edge of the tortilla. Then just roll the whole thing up so that the mayo on the “naked” section of the tortilla glues it shut, and cut each roll into festive pinwheels.

As an alternative to the mayo you could also use cream cheese. Or, cream cheese mixed with a bit of ranch dressing. And of course, chicken or turkey versions or entirely different combos could be tucked in instead. Go for it, creative CS-ers.

  TIP  

Another favorite way to use tortillas

I love gyros and often indulge in a homemade version. One thing I’ve never figured out is how the restaurants manage to have the meat hot when the sandwich is served despite the chilled toppings.

So, came up with my own way. Two tortillas! Both warmed to make pliable, meat on one, another tortilla on top, tomato, onion, cuke sauce on that one, fold over and yum.

For other tips & technique in the kitchen, maybe take a look at my . . .

“50 Fun & Unexpected Prep, Presentation & Storage Tricks”

{what a hussy! again promoting her own books!}

  A PEEK AT MY WEEK  

Welcome to my kitchen and living room

  Not planning to convert to a total Mediterranean diet any time soon, but given the continuing focus on its health benefits I’m thinking it’s probably a good idea to fold in some of those dishes now and then. Found this book “The 30-Minute Mediterranean Diet Cookbook,” 4 1/2 stars on Amazon, has some darn good sounding stuff. Now what to try first, the Italian Breakfast Bruschetta, Spicy Shrimp Puttanesca, Honey-Almond Crusted Chicken Tenders, or Chilled Dark Chocolate Fruit Kebabs???

  Oh do I love having discovered this website. Well not so much the site itself, egglandsbest.com, but rather the beautiful array of recipes there. And not just breakfast and brunch but good stuff for appetizers, main dishes, side dishes and dessert. The one I tried relied on our old friend the sheet pan, oven-baked scrambles with turmeric and tasty toppings.

  I opted for the unstirred version. If you would want scrambled but don’t want to do the stirring step, you can bake it as a “cake” and then crumble it afterward as shown. {If you want to know my partnerships, just look in the Links section on my Let’s Chat page {btw – nuts! – not these folks}.

  So in the 07.05.19 Salon we talked in My Week about an all-in bread pudding. Should have ‘fessed up about the sauce which also pretty much resulted from a scavenger hunt. It was about equal parts store-bought whipped vanilla frosting and Cool Whip, thinned with just enough {really, just drops} of lemon lime soda to make a spoonable consistency. Since discovered it’s pretty good with syrup too. Also think any bread pudding I make from now on, whether classic or “fridge roulette,” will have some kind of chocolate as part of the mix.

So far next week: wait till you see! Mega fun in the kitchen, yes, yes, yes, play with your food – it’s the entire Salon!

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 – books/amazon, all 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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How to party-easy? Fill a phyllo! July 12-18, 2019

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

& Misty the FoodieCat

CS friends, help yourself to tasty resources!

  CatChat –  Misty previews this week’s salon  

  TIDBITS – watermelon promoted / not just health foods, maybe healing foods / yeah, hangry is a thing    CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT – Shake Shack tells all {or most}    FEATURED RECIPE  – great fun with phyllo    TIP – make a Chicago dog  ♦  THE WEEK – best-est mistake? / wowsie rellenos / gems by you?       

{M – I fooled mom! She kept saying I wouldn’t like pasta & marinara and I kept giving her the “pleeeeze” look – she finally put some down for me and  – hah! – hoovered it!}

Misty’s History    Misty’s Gallery

  TIDBITS 

Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

  Can’t wait till dessert to chomp into some juicy watermelon? Cooking Light to the rescue with its Shrimp & Watermelon Salad. Yowza there’s a lot of flavor going into this dish that invites in avocado, spinach, sesame oil, lime juice and more.

  In our 04.19.19 Salon we featured the “Anti-Anxiety Diet” book/cookbook that focused on calming foods, and while that also connects to physical well-being, I wondered if food could also play a role in healing the body. Googled it and found quite a few resources. You’ll want to do a bit more research before deciding which one{s} to trust to offer reliable information.

  On a sort of related note, if you’ve ever attributed a momentary lapse in the manners mama taught you to being “hangry,” turns out there’s scientific evidence that that’s a real thing. If that should happen again, cite at will from “Are You Really You When You’re Hungry?” which appeared on the American Psychological Association site.

  CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT   

Behind the scenes book gives up secret sauce

Sometimes “secret sauce” means a special hidden advantage. Here, it certainly is a special advantage, but no longer hidden – and it actually is a sauce.

If you’ve ever had a Shake Shake burger you know the sauce is almost as addictive as the burgerShake Shack: Recipes & Stories itself. Along with the crinkle cut fries, shakes, Chicago dogs {took some liberties with these but at least no ketchup – see below} and other fixins.

Now, woohoo, the “Shake Shack” cookbook takes us backstage in effect to see how this all came about and most important how to make authentic versions of their food in your own kitchen. One exception: they ‘fess up that while they include a prep for a good burger pattie, it is not exactly the same as their proprietary recipe.

So for that no-longer-secret sauce: 1/2 c Hellman’s {“Best” brand in the west}, 1 T Dijon mustard, 1 t Heinz ketchup, 1/2 t kosher dill pickle brine, pinch cayenne pepper. So good, and likely all stuff that’s in your fridge and pantry right now.

“Shake Shack, Recipes & Stories”

  FEATURED RECIPE  ♦

This makes party prep pure fun

So cute. So much versatility. So much good snacking. So little work!

Actually, how much work is involved is really up to you, because it’s all a matter of what you want to put into these adorable little phyllo cups, each about an 1 3/4″ across at the rim. Go simple or complex.

Shown here is eggs scrambled with sausage, onion, green pepper and cheese {a Tasting Panel selection}. And then a dessert version with a layer of caramel {from a store-bought tub} topped with a layer of ganache, though truth be told you could certainly just spoon on a thick hot fudge from the fridge, such as Mrs. Richardson’s.

And your choice as well, the fillings can be warm either from the oven with say a melty ham & swiss or just filled with warm goodies like baby burgers – or chilled such as tuna salad with an olive topper or smoked salmon, cream cheese and capers. Food Network magazine did a nice slide show of ideas, which you can see at the link below.

I purchased my Athens Mini Phyllo Shells from Amazon, and though I was a little concerned about the delicate things surviving the trip, in fact all arrived just fine. This is really fun stuff that can supplement appetizers, entrees and dessert or serve as mini versions of all the courses for cocktail hour.

Phyllo cups at Amazon Food Network article

  TIP 

Want to make a real Chicago dog???

This is what you do. First and foremost, the hot dog should be Vienna. And the bun should be of the soft “Wonder Bread” kind, studded with poppy seeds, and lightly steamed. The dog goes in first, whole {I mention that only because some non-authentic-Chicago versions show the dog split and the toppings shoved in}.

Then a good squirt of mustard all along the dog, onions and bright green relish {yeah mine had to go a bit un-authentic, no neon green stuff} along the sides of the bun, a pickle atop one side of the dog, tomato slices on the other side, and sport peppers in between. Then a nice sprinkling of celery salt overall.

Some places add cuke slices too and that’s OK. Ketchup is NOT. {Excuse my Chicago origins bias 😊}

  MY WEEK 

Welcome to my kitchen and living room

  Is this in contention for the tastiest mistake ever??? In the John Thorne entry in “American Food Writing” {06.14.19 Salon}, I discovered that “In the year 1930, Ruth Wakefield of the Toll House Inn in Wakefield MA, added chunks of semi-sweet chopped chocolate to a buttery drop-cookie batter, expecting them to melt. Mrs. Wakefield was making chocolate cookies but though she baked them well, the chocolate remained intact, creating little islands of molten goo. Ruth was surprised and embarrassed, but her customers couldn’t get enough of her mistake.” We love you Ruth!

  Chile rellenos go HOT. And wow are these good – pickled jalapeno rellenos. The extra perks: created by first class Mex chef Rick Bayless, just four ingredients, no cooking or baking. In fact as Bayless says, “”Scoop the mixture into the chiles and serve without hesitation.” As an additional bonus, when you follow the link to Rick’s recipe page, you can connect to a bunch of his primo Mex dishes.

♦  Take a chance. There’s a place for Mexican food, really a counter rather than a restaurant, that is in a convenience store that’s part of a complex that also includes a gas station, oil and lube garage, car wash, and smog hut. I’ve avoided it even though it’s right in my neighborhood, but eventually couldn’t resist, drawn in by the 5-star reviews. Oh my, every star so well deserved. You can believe I’m making up for lost time, though each visit is a tug or war between something new and the addictive chile rellenos and the loaded nachos served on french fries. What hidden gems might be in your burg?

So far next week: iconic Waters, easy pretty party sammies, tasty ps to “all-in” bread pudding, coffee ho

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, all 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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Getting saucy with a first class cookbook, July 5-11, 2019

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

& Misty the FoodieCat

CS friends, help yourself to tasty resources!

  CatChat –  Misty previews this week’s salon  

  TIDBITS – fun pastry gallery / meatballs {etc} on the move / cookie secret    CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT – it saves money too    FEATURED RECIPE – put this on a lot of stuff    TIP – but no fire breathing    THE WEEK – great New Orleans cookbook / riotous bread pudding / jalwho now???

Misty’s History    Misty’s Gallery

  TIDBITS 

Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

  If the name Dominique Ansel is at all familiar, it may well be because he is the original cronut guy. But thanks to “Food  & Wine”  we can take a look at what he’s up to now, pastries that mimic New York icons. No matter what those confections look like, they are not what they seem. Just fun to see.

  Well you can pretty well rest assured food delivery is here to stay when the practice is now being tested by IKEA. For now just in Paris, but if it succeeds could your neighborhood location be next. I must say I would welcome having their awesome lingonberry preserves show up at my door as opposed to me showing up at their bazillion sq ft building and parking lot.

  This could almost be a parlor game – guess the surprise ingredient in an otherwise fairly classic chocolate chip cookie recipe. Right you are, buttermilk. Follow the link for the exact details from Food52. Btw, wonder if a similar upgrade could be achieved with buttermilk powder.

♦  CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT   

Be adventurous, save the planet

While a good many of us do our best to reduce food waste, I’m guessing most of us may not have  ventured into this book’s realm of “Cooking With Scraps” by Food52 columnist Lindsay-Jean Hard. She does, bless her heart, make it ever so easy, devoting each chapter to a single ingredient and its possible, if unexpected, roles. Cooking with Scraps: Turn Your Peels, Cores, Rinds, and Stems into Delicious Meals

Although as it turns out, lots of the preps are not so far out, such as the mix of apple peels & cores, white and brown sugar, that yields a simple apple syrup. And then there’s the, ahhhh, banana peel cake {although the cooks in Food Network’s The Kitchen declared it excellent}.

No matter which recipes you may or may not want to try, by the last page you may well start viewing the whole concept as a fun, creative game. You might be daring the trash can to continue claiming peels, cores, rinds, seeds, leaves, stems, stalks, pits, pulp, grounds, cobs, leftover bits, cooking liquids and stale stuff – neener, neener, you’ll now have some fine ideas for these food bonuses.

The book is 4 1/2 stars on Amazon, hardcover {good discount} and Kindle {huge discount}, Prime eligible. Also, an Amazon Best Seller.

“Cooking with Scraps” Lindsay-Jean Hard at Food52

♦  FEATURED RECIPE 

Dazzling coffee table book . . . with recipes

The restaurant creds: Gramercy Tavern, in biz over two decades, nine James Beard Awards including “Outstanding Restaurant” and “Outstanding Chef in America,” darling of the critics, 4 1/2 stars on Yelp with over 2700 reviews.The Gramercy Tavern Cookbook

The book: “The Gramercy Tavern Cookbook,” by GT’s chef Michael Anthony and founder Danny Meyer – 4 1/2 stars on Amazon, hardcover {good discount}, Kindle {phenomenal discount}, Prime eligible.

The premise: to reproduce “the spirit of the cooking at GT, and to create your own versions of our recipes . . . {and} the book will look great on your coffee table, but I want you to take it into the kitchen and use it well.”

The recipes: much like the beloved NYC restaurant’s dishes, offer familiar takes in an upscale style, such as sugar snaps with lobster, carrot cake with carrot glaze, slow roasted pork with bacon broth. Our feature – a creamy, herby, citrusy sauce, in the book a flounder topper but ever so good on other fish, poached chicken breasts, grilled veggies, and on and on.

One of the best lessons: how easy it is to take a dish from basic to breathtaking, with either composition or topping. Shown, another fish dish, char, joined by a rainbow of veggies and flowers – you don’t even have to go this far, just some garnishes of different shapes, colors, textures drawn from what may well already be in your fridge.

Superb sauce recipe    “Gramercy Tavern cookbook”  

  TIP  

Slaying the Dragon {Fruit}

Well this is a bunch of fun. As scary as dragon fruit may be to look at, it’s ever so easy to enjoy.

The link below from Real Simple takes you through selection at the store, prep and apps at home. There’s a demo too, and one thing that’s shown in there but not mentioned in the text is cutting off the tough stem before halving the fruit lengthwise.

So just what do we have here? It’s juicy and mildly sweet which makes it quite refreshing, but you may even want to hit it with some honey or agave. The texture to me is much like a red plum. Those seeds are barely noticeable, not crunchy as in raspberries.

No matter how you serve it, probably best to run a spoon along between the white and red parts. This will likely leave some of the fruit attached to the rind, which is a good thing because that part is decidedly less sweet. So, CS friends, get out your “swords” and go for it.

Dragon fruit primer

  A PEEK AT MY WEEK  

Welcome to my kitchen and living room

  So, was looking at some leftovers in the fridge and freezer, all in the sweet realm, and hmmm, starting thinking, how much could I stretch the boundaries of bread pudding. Here’s what went into the mix: half of an apple pie, about two banana donuts, a store-bought cinnamon roll, half a dozen no-bake chocolate/coconut cookies, maybe a half cup of peanut butter pudding, the bottom of a jar of Nutella, also to give the name some legitimacy about a cup of bread, and then because I’ve become such a fan, 2T of malt powder.

♦  Btw, used a bread pudding recipe in my favorite New Orleans cookbook, “La Bouche Creole,” as a guide for the eggs, milk and vanilla. One thing, since the bread and its friends were of indeterminate measure, started with just 3 c of milk rather than the specified 4 and that was just right. So here’s the problem with improvising – if it turns out good, and oh boy did it, you really can’t recreate it. Oh well, enjoy now, try others in the future, and hope you will too.

  In the 06.21.19 Salon I noted an item on our “Eclectic” page about a book where the main characters are the grandchildren of Sherlock and Watson. At one point the grandaughter, Charlotte Holmes says, “I’d heard quite a bit of rot from him about the curative powers of chicken jalfrezi.” Eh? So, to the “Diner’s Dictionary” and once again wasn’t disappointed. In brief, jalfrezi, Indian but familiar in the UK since the late 1900s it says, is a “medium-to-very hot curry featuring meat, fish, or vegetables cooked in a sauce made with onions, tomatoes and fresh chillies {sic}.”

So far next week: tell-all Shake Shack book + sauce recipe, chile rellenos go snacky, healing foods, coffee rules {maybe}

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 – books/Amazon, fish dish/Maura McEvoy in the cookbook, all 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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Oh Louie, what you do to shrimp & more, June 28-July 4, 2019

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

& Misty the FoodieCat

CS friends, help yourself to tasty resources!

  CatChat –  Misty previews this week’s salon  

♦  TIDBITS – baked taties in the slow cooker? / “confetti” in your party cake / stock v broth    CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT – let’s get the picnic started {M – that basket looks heavy, let me take something out of there to make it easier for you to carry  FEATURED RECIPE – shrimp louie and louie gone wild    TIP – forkless salad x 3    THE WEEK – dvds t.c. / food pen “class” t.c. / sorta foodie mystery

Misty’s History    Misty’s Gallery

  TIDBITS 

Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

  Can this really work? “Food & Wine” is I would think a totally reliable source, but their prep for baking potatoes in the slow cooker scares me a little. I guess the benefit is not having to heat up the oven, though the toaster oven would seem to be a viable alternative. Anyway if you want to check it out click this link, though I feel more comfortable sending you to one that appeared within their story for “Baked Potato Recipes.” Some really good stuff here!

  No qualms about this one from F&W. Could this birthday cake possibly be any more festive. And what make it even more fun is that its party perfect presentation remains a surprise until it’s cut. Dessert and decoration all in one! See the recipes for both cake and frosting and the full photograph here.

  Broth vs stock. The differences come to us from a connected string of sources, starting with msn.com, picking up the story from Reader’s Digest, who in turn quotes thekitchn.com, under the banner, “This is the real difference between stock and broth.” See what you think. {I apparently make “brock” because I always season stock – bouillon, peppercorns, fresh garlic, sometimes parsley}

  CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT   

Just watch out for Yogi

Not just for picnics in the park, but as well, outdoor concerts, fireworks celebrations, beach parties, or just toting goodies from your kitchen to your backyard. What? Pic-a-nic baskets!Picnic Basket Set for 4 Person | Insulated Red Picnic Hamper Set | Picnic Table Set | Picnic Plates | Picnic Supplies | Summer Picnic Kit | Picnic Utensils Cutlery Flatware

And oh just wait till you see what’s available, from simple to elaborate, from inexpensive to aiyyyy! And in addition to many variations of the classic wicker hamper, there are also backpacks, shoulder bags, Picnic Insulated Bag, Oumers 32L Large Size Insulated Picnic Basket - BBQ Meat Drinks Cooler Bag -Folding Collapsible Cooler Basket for Family Vacations Parties Outdoor Travel, Keep Food Cold Storageorganizer baskets, and cooler bags.

Variously, you’ll find places for cutlery, plates, wine bottles, wine glasses, corkscrew, blanket, plus in some, food storage containers and auxiliary insulated compartments. Soooo many amenity combinations.

Shown here just two possibilities. Many are Prime eligible and available for next day delivery.

Here’s what you can find on Amazon    These are rated 4 stars and up 

Found this on RealSimple – how to pack a cooler

  FEATURED RECIPE  

Thank you Ina Garten! 

{and Tasting Panel}

How about you? I’ve always found Louie sauce to be a little too sweet. There’s a good chance that’s exactly what it’s supposed to be, but it appears Ina Garten’s tastes run a lot like mine.

Her recipe {which she calls “Louis”} uses a lot of the typical ingredients, but delivers a result that’s rich and tangy. Could be the horseradish and sriracha Cook Like a Pro: Recipes and Tips for Home Cooks{!} Our Tasting Panel gave it a big thumbs up in a dish of cold poached shrimp {Garten used it as a dipping sauce for roasted shrimp}.

But then I discovered a bonus, actually two of them. And again, how about you? I find pasta salads one of the most difficult dishes to make flavorful, not matter what other ingredients go in there. Solved! This sauce is fabulous on a mix of mac, sweet peppers, black olives, celery, really your choice.

The other app? Spread it on a bun with the other usual suspects and you can have a creditable clone of a favorite fast food burger. Haven’t tried it yet, but thinking it would be good on a regular garden salad.

Ina’s recipe    It’s from this book, Garten’s “Cook Like a Pro”  

  TIP  

Fun Salads. Forget the forks

Whether for a family meal and a friendly get-together, if all the other dishes are finger foods, who wants to drag out forks just to have salad. Good news – don’t have to!

The first way is actually a prep approved by our savvy Tasting Panel, and that is colorful diced veggies on French endive leaves that have been painted with dressing. I used ranch but whatever you like will do just fine.

The next is the skewer trick. Just go with whatever produce is poke-able and serve dressing on the side. Pickles and olives are good on there too. And some cheese cubes wouldn’t hurt either.

Our third forkless salad is served in individual cups that have dressing in the bottom. Make it pretty with a border of lettuce leaves and then some sticks – carrots, celery, bell pepper, zucchini, e.g. – then plop a radish right in the middle.

  A PEEK AT MY WEEK  

Welcome to my kitchen and living room

  Finally started viewing my culinary dvds from The Great Courses. Aiyyyy, why did I wait so long, these are fabulous. Gathering tips to share.

♦  Oh yeah, playing with the food color pens again. Especially since I now have a new set with not only more colors but as well thick and thin tips. What fun! Food by food I’m assembling a “class” to show you the ways we can even further gussy-up the holidays with these artsy tools. Some time next month we’re going to devote an entire Salon to this festive endeavor – thinking July 26 Salon.

  So, just finished reading “The Cooking School Murders,” an engaging tales, but after the interesting cooking class scene the story shifts away from the school and to the title happening – even so food does make an appearance in subsequent pages thanks to neighborly dinners, Greg’s special diet, and “Edward.”One thing in there that sent me to google was a reference to “rat cheese” – whaaaaat? So distilling what I found, it mainly defines an inexpensive cheddar. Guess cheapie stuff to put in the traps???

So far next week: Irish food, scary food {but doesn’t have to be}, coffee table cookbook, slaying the dragon, jal-what now???, ice cream in a hurry

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 – cake slice {cropped}/Food & Wine site, picnic baskets & book/Amazon, all 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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Stars Wars Bacon {& other out of this world dishes}, June 21-27, 2019

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

& Misty the FoodieCat

CS friends, help yourself to tasty resources!

  CatChat –  Misty previews this week’s salon  

  TIDBITS – desserts & more for doggies / outside dining guide / spirited ice cream    CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT – sno cones at home!    FEATURED RECIPE – Chewie’s Bacon from Star Wars Cookbook BB-Ate {M – I’ll take mine straight, please  TIP – neener, neener, chocolate    THE WEEK – mug cakes have cousins / too much basil? / chocolate, chocolate, chocolate book

Misty’s History    Misty’s Gallery

  TIDBITS 

Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

  On your culinary journey, how about taking the dog{s} along? We already noted doggie beer in our 05.31.19 Salon. But did you know there’s actually cake mix and frosting for dogs, also ice cream, jello mix, peanut butter, cookies including creme filled, “mallows,” pie, cupcakes {called pupcups}, and some of them even come in gift boxes. As we noted in the Dog Beer item, you might want to check with your vet. Pretty much all of these can be found on Amazon.

  Starts tomorrow, and so timely. The Create channel from PBS is staging a marathon that can help us take the party onto the patio. Or into the yard. Or on a picnic. In the information for my area, “Dining Al Fresco” runs from 6a-noon on June 22, repeats at 6p same day and on June 23 at noon. Great for July 4, Labor Day, any beautiful summer day or evening.

  A special nod to summer cocktail hour from . . . Häagen-Dazs??? Yes! Their new “Spirits Collection” says cheers with Amaretto Black Cherry Almond, Bourbon Praline Pecan, Bourbon Vanilla Bean Truffle, Rum Tres Leche, Stout Chocolate Pretzel Crunch, Irish Cream Brownie, and the one I’ll be snatching out of the freezer – which takes a different form – Irish Cream Cookie Squares. Another round of ice cream for everyone!

  CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT   

Cool summer-long treat for just under $25

OK, in the spirit of full disclosure, there will be some extra expenses, but oh what fun to choose thoseNostalgia SCM502 Vintage Snow Cone Maker DASH DSIM100GBPK02 Shaved Ice Maker + Slushie Machine with with Stainless Steel Blades for Snow Cone, Margarita + Frozen Cocktails, Organic, Sugar Free, Flavored Healthy Snacks for Kids & Adults, Pinktasty add-ons. Yes indeed you have your very own Sno Cone Machine.

I wasn’t surprised to find them on Amazon, but didn’t expect to see so many choices. I particularly liked the one on a little cart shown here, but 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.

While some can be a bit pricey, there are also well rated selections in the $20s and $30s. And many of them are Prime eligible.

Sno-cone machines on Amazon    Sno Cone Syrups

CS Marketplace – Cook-friendly books, videos, tees & sometimes more

BJN’s Eclectic Offerings PageNew – a CS EXTRA, just for Sherlock Holmes fans

  FEATURED RECIPE  

Even the smallest Star Wars fans will “get” the subhead for this cookbook 

And that is – “BB-Ate: Awaken to the Force of Breakfast and Brunch.” Such references resonate The Star Wars Cookbook: BB-Ate: Awaken to the Force of Breakfast and Brunchthroughout “The Star Wars Cookbook,” quite compact because it’s actually directed to kids with requisite alerts for adult supervision.

But even “big kids” can appreciate these flavorful creations “brimming with intergalactic goodness.” And so “Adventure and tastiness will be yours” takes shape as such early day goodies as peanut buttery BB-8 Energy Balls, cheesy Maz Kanata Frittata, cocoa-y Starkiller Pancakes

. . . and our Featured Recipe “Chewie’s Bacon,” one of those preps where a simple technique yields a high flavor combo – sweet and salty {and if you want, peppery}.

Since I was making bacon anyway for another dish {German potato salad!}, I tested the recipe on a few slices. It turns out with a nice rich color, as you  can see here – the two middle slices are Chewie-d, the others destined for the potato salad. Though after tasting the recipe ones, realized what a great addition they would be and – into the salad they went.

It’s 4 1/2 stars on Amazon, hardcover and Kindle {both discounted}, Prime Eligible. Turns out there are other Star Wars cookbooks too.

Recipe page    “Star Wars Cookbook/BB-Ate”    Other Star Wars cookbooks  

  TIP  

Chocolate mystery – solved / chocolate problem – solved

Aha! In our 06.07.19 Salon I wondered about an instruction in the chocolate peanut butter mousse prep that called for mixing the chocolate with water, because I thought that would make the chocolate seize up.

Now in the David Leibovitz book on chocolate {see “Week” below}, he says that indeed while a drop or so of water will cause melted chocolate to seize, a lot of water won’t. The rule of thumb he states is that “if you need to melt chocolate with a liquid, there should be at least 25% of the liquid to the chocolate.”

Nestled in here is a great tip for when a bit liquid, water or otherwise, does accidentally hit a pan of just chocolate. Though it may seize and seen ruined, now we know that whisking in more of that liquid can make it smooth again.

I’m pretty sure none of us would want to sabotage some chocolate just to see if this works. But should that unhappy thing occur, this is at least something we can try.

  A PEEK AT MY WEEK  

Welcome to my kitchen and living room

  Mug treats gone wild! Look what I found in the grocery store that takes mug-for-one well beyond cake: Ghiradelli brownies, Betty Crocker brownies including a Hot Fudge version plus muffins, Udi gluten-free brownies, and Duncan Hines brownies, muffins, pancakes and coffee cakes.  If you can’t find them in your store, or prefer online shopping, most of these are available on this Amazon page – for some brands, scroll down for variations and of course you can always use the search window.

  Well here’s a problem I’m hoping to have, though maybe should be careful what I wish for. In case you already need to know What to do With Too Much Basil, MyRecipes has some answers. Meanwhile my little garden is showing some promise, actually seems to be doing better since I brought it inside.

  The Featured Recipe in our 04.12.19 Salon was Chocolate Salted Caramel Tartlets from David Lebovitz book, “My Paris Kitchen.” In his intro he noted his passion for chocolate and now I’ve discovered that comes fully to life in another of his books, “The Great Book of Chocolate/The Chocolate Lover’s Guide.” Wow, back story, tasting hints, health benefits, buying tips, resources and – yes! – recipes. Reading this one cover to cover.

So far next week: Yogi and Booboo would love this page, chuck the fork and enjoy the salad x 3, this dragon breathes refreshment rather than fire, food & murder, new food color fun

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 – sno cone machines & book/Amazon, bacon & basil/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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Marcela’s Sandwich Cake, June 7-13, 2019

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

& Misty the FoodieCat

CS friends, help yourself to tasty resources!

  CatChat –  Misty previews this week’s salon  

  TIDBITS –  best brunching / pub in the yard! / mousse on the loose   CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT – cookbooks just for dad    FEATURED RECIPE – ole every day / savory cake    TIP –  lemon hack    THE WEEK – carb cuts / risotto vs. soubise / fiesta beverage

Misty’s History    Misty’s Gallery

  TIDBITS 

Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

Lots of brunch opps right around the corner, so thanks to Food & Wine for this timely – and extensive – roundup of “Best Brunch Recipes.” Among the tasty suggestions: brioche with prosciutto/gruyere/egg, butterscotch sticky buns {with actual scotch! – also wondering if you couldn’t use the decadent glaze on store-bought buns or muffins}, potato pancakes with smoked salmon/caviar/dill cream, open-face eggs and griddled ham breakfast sandwiches. Beverages too, including the “Hellfire Club Bloody Mary.”

  Oh, how much fun would this be??? Right now just in Boston but if I understand a linkNewPhotoImg1-min correctly on their site, other cities could offer it at some point. What is “it”? An inflatable Irish pub!

. . .  that can come with traditional Irish food, drinks and entertainment . . . and says, Ask about our Irish Wolfhounds. What? Rent-a-Wolfie?

So if you do live in Boston, guess the only question is, how big is your backyard? Or, how big is a party-prone friend’s backyard? Plan ahead, Halfway to St. Pat’s Day is just a few months away!

Should we thank Food 52 or not??? For . . . a two ingredient chocolate peanut butter mousse. Nothing like making indulgence in easy reach, even easier with the demo. In the interest of full disclosure there is water too, plus optional flaky salt, and the whisking {“like your life depends on it”}. I’m going to have to try this just because I’ve always thought that water makes chocolate seize up. Just research, you understand.

  CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT 

For dads that cook, dads that would like to cook

Short Order Dad: One Guy?s Guide to Making Food Fun and Hassle-FreeHow nice to see Amazon has all kinds of cookbooks for dad. As always, many ways to customize your search.

Just on the first page I found “making food fun and hassle-free,” “everything your mother never taught you,” plus healthy food, slow cooker recipes, dishes for the single dad, so much more.

Most of those are well rated and reasonably priced, available in various formats. Also many are Prime eligible.

Cookbooks for Dad

  FEATURED RECIPE  

Make any day, every day if you want, a Fiesta

Two brief glimpses tell us just about everything we need to know about Food Network host/cookbook author Marcela Valladolid’s brand new release, “Fiestas.” First, her three chapters make abundantly clear her must-haves for such celebrations: Drinks, Nibbles, Sweets.Fiestas: Tidbits, Margaritas & More

Second is the attitude she’s evolved toward hosting these get-togethers. After earlier years of feeling that everything had to be perfect {“God forbid I burned a tortilla chip”}, she now says, “My focus is simply on corralling the people I love and feeding them.” Hooray for that!

Our featured recipe is a beauty, looks like a fiesta all on one plate. The tuna/ham/cheese/pepper creation, a “sandwichon,” actually comes from her beloved mom who, btw, used olives halves instead of flowers, and in fact the garnishes aren’t even listed in the ingredients but rather as suggestions in the directions – really, a matter of your own artistic choice.

Some others of interest – sweet potato chipotle hummus, white chocolate and apricot oatmeal cookies, dulce de leche cream puffs, mint chocolate coffee cocktail. And Marcela’s also a garnish-o-phile with beverages, variously splashing in, e.g., cucumber curls, blood orange slices, serrano disks, coffee ice cream, flowers and flower flavored ice pops.

Sandwich recipe    Marcela’s “Fiesta” cookbook   Her other books

  TIP  

It works!

This is one of those things you sort of have to try to believe. It has to do with the times you need just a bit of lemon juice. You cut, use the half or whatever, store the rest, find it in the fridge weeks, months {?} later. But . . .

What if you could use fresh lemon in a way that’s sort of comparable to the lemon juice from concentrates sold in lemon-looking containers. This Food52 food hacker found the way.

Btw since the gimmicked lemon looks like the others, I keep it separate in a little dish. One thing, probably want to use it in a few days as it does tend to dry out.

Demo

  A PEEK AT MY WEEK  

Welcome to my kitchen and living room

  The Anti-Anxiety Diet book featured in our 04.19.19 Salon emphasized more proteins and fats, few carbs. Now personally I prefer a balance, but was thinking maybe fewer carbs would achieve more balance. The start – open face sandwiches, veggie-based pasta, more sweet potatoes, fewer white potatoes. Not always, of course. Just in case you might be thinking along the same lines.

♦  I’ve never had a risotto anywhere that could rival my husband’s ambrosial version. Intimidated me enough that I’ve never even tried to make it. But aha, enter soubise. While it’s basically an onion sauce enriched with cheese, some preps also mix in rice. And instead of stirring the stuff until your arm’s ready to fall off as with risotto, with soubise you do a bit of prelim cooking and then the oven does the rest. Here are some descriptions and recipes on google, and as you’ll see there are various add-ins. I’m ginning up {not literally . . . yet} to give this a try. Will sure let you know.

♦  Guess this is a week of “gonnas” because something else I want to try is mezcal. That was prompted by a Food Wine story that revealed the difference between the mezcal and tequila. A helpful gent from our local Lee’s described it as smokier than tequila because the first destination for the raw agave hearts is literally a smoke pit. Think next time I’m there just going to go for it. Could be nice next to a plate of something from the cookbook in our Featured Recipe section above.

So far next week: corn pudding, kitchen decor tips, “Glorious Food,” chocolate peanut butter pie, tenderizing any cut of beef

SECURE ACCESS THROUGH MY LINK TO AMAZON HOME PAGE

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: pub/pub site, MD gifts & book/Amazon, Marcella’s cake/chefmarcela.com, lemon & soubise/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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Mex makes salads exciting, May 31-June 6, 2019

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

& Misty the FoodieCat

CS friends, help yourself to tasty resources!

  CatChat –  Misty previews this week’s salon 

  TIDBITS – cake plate trick / spicin’ / pubtime for pups {M – uh huh, and for kitties???}    CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT – behind the “Beard”    FEATURED RECIPE – s.o.b salads & free book  ♦  TIP – sammie upgrade    THE WEEK – Beard-ism / saucy discovery / fridge smarts

Misty’s History    Misty’s Gallery

  TIDBITS 

Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

  Elevate your desserts. Literally. The secret behind “The $0 Trick for Bakery Style Desserts” is . . . bowls. Even before you click through, be aware that we’re talking here about presentation, not recipes. But intriguing nonetheless.

  Want to spice up your life in some new ways? Discard that first thought and have a look at “13 Next Level Spices and Seasonings.” Truth be told, it’s quite likely some of these will be familiar to CS-ers, and probably already in the pantry. But the good news is there are recipes links for each of these flavor boosters – e.g., stuffed roasted pumpkin, blackberry cardamom mulled wine, pecan breaded pork chops with beer sauce, dark chocolate ice cream with Sichuan peanut brittele, lots more.

  When you’re serving ice cold brews on a hot summer day – don’t forget the dog. Yep, Rover can join right in with the quaffing thanks to “Good Boy Dog Beer.” It’s brewed like people beer but not fermented, and thus non-alcoholic. Just to be good parents, may want to get your vet’s take on the beverage before sliding one down the bar to your good boy or good girl.

  CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT   

Inside the mind of a culinary legend

The behind-the-catering-scene book “Hotbox” featured in our 05.24.19 Salon opens with a guest chef dinner at the James Beard Foundation, which made me realize how little I knew about this iconic chef, widely regarded at the First Foodie, though I now know that title may more appropriately belong to his mom. I learned that fact and so many other revelatory details in the PBS film, “James Beard.”American Masters: James Beard DVD

What a fascinating story his life tells, from childhood travails, to mom’s influence, to cooking in exchange for invites, to his founding role in The Four Seasons restaurant and its pioneering devotion to seasonal cuisine, to his personal and professional relationships, to his authorship of about a dozen cookbooks, to his ascent to legendary status, to his post-mortem inspiration for the James Beard Foundation and Awards.

The tale is vastly enriched by lots of perspectives from those who knew him best. The DVD is about an hour long, part of PBS American Master Series, four stars on Amazon, Prime Eligible, just under $10.

“James Beard” DVD    James Beard cookbooks    CS Fine Chefs shop

  FEATURED RECIPE  

Color, texture, flavor, ole! {s.o.b. – south of the border}

In our 07.06.18 Salon, we featured Irish salad with cheese. Although it was a fine dish with its shaved Dubliner, it wasn’t really a match for what I’d thoroughly enjoyed in a totally authentic Irish pub, crisp cool veggies topped with warm melty cheese. Onward. Decided to apply the idea to a Mex mix. The lettuces, green onion, black olives and serrano were cold from the fridge. Tomatoes room temp. And then melted cheddar, sour cream and lime wedges.

And making that one immediately gave me a taste for Mexican Tuna Dip, which I first discovered in Cabo San Lucas, and subsequently found right in one of my fave local restaurants. As the name implies, the lively mix of cilantro, onion, tomato, jalapeno, mayo is intended as a dip but is actually quite a treat on toast or lettuce.

It also occurred to me that the melty salad could be an entree with the addition of a bit of rotisserie chicken, and then avocado making it even more substantial. Btw, with cheese pretty much all over this one, it’s a bit more like that Irish salad that started the ball of fun rolling.

Meanwhile found this Kindle book on Amazon, covering Mexican side dish and main dish salads. It doesn’t have any reviews yet but we may not care – it’s free! Yay!

“Mexican Salads”

♦  TIP  

Sammie glamour

In one of the demos in the Beard DVD there was such an easy way to turn a humble sandwich into a pretty picture. It was his signature combo of onions and homemade mayo on bread that in some versions is cut into rounds, but here it was triangles.

Then the magic. More mayo was spread on the outside and then the sandwich edges were rolled in freshly chopped parsley. Depending on the filling, thinking this could also be dill, basil, oregano, etc.

In my take – pastrami, Swiss, lettuce and tomatoes, with parsley – as you can see I left one side ungarnished to contrast with the layers of filling. For you creative CS-ers, the variations are endless.

  A PEEK AT MY WEEK  

Welcome to my kitchen and living room

  I just loved that James Beard DVD, felt like just about anyone interested in food could comfortably have a nice chat with him despite his fame. One of the quotes in the film is especially endearing to us CS-ers who love freshness and flavor and hate wasting food and money: “It is true thrift to use the best ingredients available. Use them carefully and wisely and you will have less waste than if you searched for bargains and end up with a full garbage pail.”

♦  Just like some headlines can draw in the food-inclined, so for sure can some recipe names. Would you agree that “Comeback Sauce” might fall smack into that category? I first came across this reference in Food & Wine where it was served with grilled shrimp, and then in short order in the “Comfort Food Shortcuts” cookbook {02.22.19 Salon} where it teamed up with mashed potato crusted flounder. Not too surprisingly, google is all over it. Since as I’ve learned it’s a southern tradition, I made the really good one from “Southern Living.” Great on wings!

  So this is a good idea. In a recent episode, Ree Drummond not only cleaned out her refrigerator, but then, aha, moved the items with the closest expiration dates to the front of the shelves. I had recently washed my fridge from stem to stern and now, thanks Ree, added step two. Another way to help minimize waste!

So far next week: brunch bounty, chocolate peanut butter mousse, chocolate cookbook, make a sandwich cake, chocolate tip {sensing a theme here}, anti-anxiety foods, hello Mezcal, the ol’ pub in the yard trick

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 – dvd/Amazon, all 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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Chicken Parmesan Dip {soooo goood!}, May 24-30, 2019

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

& Misty the FoodieCat

CS friends, help yourself to tasty resources!

  CatChat –  Misty previews this week’s salon  

  TIDBITS – do-ahead snacks {M – let’s do the bacon and cheese one right now} / sweet peels / foodie idea?    CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT – going backstage with caterers   FEATURED RECIPE – party perfect dip    TIP – Martha’s got you covered    THE WEEK – on a roll / beets all / eat to heal

Misty’s History    Misty’s Gallery

  TIDBITS 

Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

  Memorial Day, July 4, Labor Day, backyard bbqs, summer picnics, oh yeah party time is upon us. When you’re the one hosting it’s always nice to have some appetizers to set out while you put the finishing touches on the rest of the repast. Even nicer when you can tap into some tasty and interesting “Make-Ahead Hors d’Oeuvres” from Food & Wine.

  So, I saw a chef on Food Network cook up some stuffed sweet potatoes, and then bite right through the half, skin and all. Hmmm, I have to say it never occurred to me that the skin was edible or palatable. So, hello google, only to discover all kinds of entries saying not only can you indeed consume them, but also touting their nutritional value.

  In the process I discovered a site called “Lunch Scraps,” which sounded like maybe it addressed going “nose to tail” with veggies as in a book we’ll be featuring later on. It wasn’t but is so filled with how-tos in its Cooking Tips section that it certainly does seem like it could lead a lot less waste.

  Do you have a food idea that you think could become a business? If so, might want to look into WeWork Food Labs. The company hosts other kinds of labs too, but the link takes you to the one for blossoming food entrepreneurs. They list out some nice on-site amenities and resources, but of course you’d want to do a bit more research on them before making any commitments – I have no connection to them or knowledge of them beyond what’s on their page.

  CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT   

This is a revelation, a thoroughly fascinating book

Titled “Hotbox” by author brothers Matt Lee and Ted Lee, it totally tears down the black curtain that normally conceals all the food prep happenings at virtually any catered event. It’s not really written for caterers though indeed they would likely be head-nodding at the all too familiar triumphs and catastrophes that are revealed here.Hotbox: Inside Catering, the Food World's Riskiest Business

But primarily this insider book is written for us, folks with a lively curiosity about all things food, especially stuff that’s typically hidden from our view. Page after page takes us right into the prep & event kitchens to witness all those wows and oops, plop us right at the work stations as the dishes take shape, and send us along with the waitstaff where more challenges may await.

We also learn how this became a $$$$$ industry, how to work with a caterer, some practical tips we can apply in our own kitchens, and as a bonus a whole new vocabulary.

One thing I can pretty much guarantee. Unlike the attendees who have not read this book, you will never again view a catered event in quite the same way.

Browse “Hotbox” on Amazon

  FEATURED RECIPE  

It’s a hit! Chicken Parmesan Dip

*  A Tasting Panel Selection  *

Oh, super tasty. A real crowd pleaser that’s doubly good as a party dish because it makes quite a bit.

And what gives it an easy head start is that you use rotisserie chicken right from the grocery store {and then can make stock from the bones for future use}. I have to give credit to MyRecipes for the original prep, which actually survives to a great extent in my version where I add in Italian seasonings and some extra cheese.

It was served piping hot from the oven with crostini as dippers. And afterward it lived on as a sandwich on a bun, and also as a pasta sauce after being thinned with a bit of V-8 though you could also use more marinara, or tomato sauce, or broth, or wine, or a combo.

And this is nice. Because it’s so flavorful you could if you wanted actually leave out the chicken to have a vegetarian dish, and it would still work just as well for all the above applications. This is a keeper.

Recipe page   Original at MyRecipes 

  TIP  

Foolproof recipes, foolproof techniques?

Here’s a tip. If you want to invest time and money in preps with these claims, make sure they come from an impeccable source.

Got one! Thanks to Food 52 you can tap into “9 Martha Food52 A New Way to Dinner: A Playbook of Recipes and Strategies for the Week Ahead (Food52 Works)Stewart Recipes for When You Need a Sure Fire Winner” {ummmm, think we’d like to have that pretty much all the time}.

Here you’ll find mac & cheese, stews, ethnic specialties, a one-pan pasta {shown}, and a dish that tucks right into a recent theme in our visits – sheet pans! – in this case for a crowd-feeding slab pie with just about any fruit your palate desires.

Btw, Food 52 has its own gussy offering for “stress-free meal planning.” It’s a cookbook called “A New Way to Dinner,” 4 stars on Amazon, Kindle and Hardcover.

Martha’s sure fires    “A New Way to Dinner”    Stewart’s books

  A PEEK AT MY WEEK  

Welcome to my kitchen and living room

♦  Sometime back I noted that I like to avoid doing biscuits with a biscuit cutter because of all the redoing which means handling the dough too much and almost inevitably ending up with waste. I had suggested creating a square which was then cut into squares. Now here’s a recipe from Trisha Yearwood that drops the dough by spoonfuls into muffin tins. Btw, I think she may also have been the one that in another method patted the dough into a circle, cutting that into wedges and then rolling each triangle into a ball. For all of those, no waste.

{Norene, move along to the 3rd item, nothing for you to see here in the 2nd one . . .}

♦  All I knew about beets in my childhood was that they showed up on a plate cooked to death in a treacly sauce {did Harvard really lend its name to this willingly?}. Then I discovered pickled beets and a whole different and wonderful world of flavor and texture. More recently, thanks to the top chefs in our town, I’ve come to actually crave roasted beets.

Now thanks to Gwyneth Paltrow I have a permanent addition to my recipe file. Place 6 beets, scrubbed and rubbed with 2 T olive oil {total} on parchment paper, add 3 T water, and sprinkle with salt & pepper. Wrap tightly in the parchment, making sure the beets are completely sealed inside so no liquid can escape, place on a rimmed baking sheet and roast for 90 minutes at 400. Do be careful of the hot steam when you open the package.

♦  The recipe above is from Paltrow’s book,  “The Clean Plate,” and the preceding link will take you to the Amazon page. It is quite interesting and more diverse than I expected, with preps pulling in veggies, fruits, seeds, nuts, herbs, aromatics, chicken, fish, turkey, beans, spices, bottled and homemade sauces, lots of lemons and limes. Even sheet pan preps! Also specific healing cleanses, pantry & cooking tips.

So far next week: Mex salads, impromptu cake stands, kicky spices, not-so-secret sauce, sammie trick, all about Beard

SECURE ACCESS THROUGH MY LINK TO AMAZON HOME PAGE

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 – books/Amazon, Martha’s pasta/Food 52 site, 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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Ultimate Coconut Cake, “the coconut-tiest,” May 17-23, 2019

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

& Misty the FoodieCat

CS friends, help yourself to tasty resources!

  CatChat –  Misty previews this week’s salon  

  TIDBITS – F&W IDs best stews / new roles for bacon {M – OK, let’s get started!} / shopping secret    CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT – steak guru    FEATURED RECIPE – coconut to the nth degree    TIP – coconut perks  ♦  THE WEEK – sammy fun / super side dish found  ♦  PLUS – new Amazon direct link

Misty’s History    Misty’s Gallery

  TIDBITS 

News, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

There just may be enough cool evenings left to enjoy a good stew. Especially when we can find ones that somewhat transition into spring with say a bounty of seafood in a light broth, or freshening with lemon and dill, or the addition of spring greens into the mix. Depth of flavor brings all the dishes in Food & Wines best ever one- pot dishes into one big tasty family.

♦  Any quarrels aside with the headline {I have faith CS friends certainly may have already thought of some of these}, any “meat candy” fan may want to take a look at “10 Ways You’ve Never Thought to Use Bacon” also courtesy of F&W. Here you’ll find not just breakfast ideas but as well snacks and seasoning, sandwiches and entrees, even a meetup with Almond Joy. Demo for one of them too.

Who would like to go shopping at one of the bulk stores? Who can’t because they don’t have a membership?? Who can now say, gonna shop there anyway??? Folks who read “The Simple Little Hack That Lets You Shop Costco and Other Wholesale Clubs Without a Membership”  from Real Simple – that’s who. Note I have not tried this, but think it certainly may be worth a look.

  CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT   

Like a PhD in Steak

In the “Franklin Barbecue” book, featured in our 03.16.18 Salon, Aaron Franklin schooled us on Q from A to Z. Now the iconic pitmaster, known and revered for his eponymous Austin TX restaurant and PBS show, is taking us by the hand through what may be America’s favorite entree in “Franklin Steak.”

The very moment you open the book you’ll know you’re in for a treasure trove of steakery. On the inside cover and facing page is a flow chart of all the steaks, guiding you through bone v boneless, cooking indoors or out, thickness, aging, on down the chart to exactly how to cook the particular cut.Franklin Steak: Dry-Aged. Live-Fired. Pure Beef.

And that’s just the beginning. He goes on to in effect walk with you during the buying process, covering grading, marbling, sources, and designations. While that purchase could occur at a farm or ranch or even online, the book recognizes that for most of us that’s going to be at the grocery store or butcher shop and here Franklin goes into good detail on what to look for.

There’s so much more, the jargon, aging, storage, testing for doneness, and of course the actual cuts and, elaborating on that opening chart for the “best way to cook”each. While the chart and other chat focuses on grill-cooking, chapter three gives us a cheat sheet for pan cooking, with even more on this subject in chapter five.

And then as well, recipes for side dishes and sauces plus beverage recommendations, The book is four stars on Amazon, hardcover {pretty good discount} and Kindle, Prime eligible.

Details on –  “Franklin Steak”    “Franklin Barbecue” {5 stars} 

  FEATURED RECIPE  

A cake for all seasons 

Coconut cake is one of those dessert delights that is just sweet and substantial enough to be satisfying in cool and cold weather, tropical enough to be welcome in warm and hot seasons. But think we all know this confection can fall anywhere on a spectrum from dry and chew-challenging to moist and flavorful.

Leave it to MyRecipes, one of my favorite sites, to deliver the epitome of the latter to us. The claim is in the name – “Ultimate Coconut Cake,” calling it the “coconut-tiest cake you can make.”

And the recipe makes good on that promise, big time my friends, with coconut oil, coconut sugar, coconut extract, coconut flour, coconut milk, coconut cream, and flaked coconut.

As they say here, “For when you’re really, really serious about coconut.” By way, if you have trouble finding some of the less familiar items in your market, it’s good ol’ Amazon to the rescue, links below.

Recipe    coconut sugar    coconut flour    coconut cream

  TIP  

Super food?

With a little stretch, turns out the cake in our Featured Recipe could actually be good for you {!} It seems more and more we’re finding out how coconut in its many forms has any number of health benefits.

Fortunately this is a “health food” that tastes good. And so versatile besides. Tap into this link for more about the nutritional aspects of coconut and ways to incorporate it into your own cuisine.

Coconut Board

  A PEEK AT MY WEEK  

Welcome to my kitchen and living room

  One of the Tidbits in our 03.22.19 Salon revealed odd eating choices among various food editors. And that prompted one of my own. Theirs often dated back to childhood, while this one is actually a recent discovery.

Two experiences collided to create a sweet and savory take on a classic sammie. And you know what, it is sooooooooo good.

Some years ago I read in an MFK Fisher book that one should never eat chocolate without bread. Coincidentally enough at a media event shortly thereafter one of the food rooms solely featured platters of large cubes of crusty bread and good chunk chocolate.

Even longer ago I was on a road trip in the Midwest with friend Peggy that included a stop at Stuckey’s. Back in the car first I was already munching on chocolate fudge blended with cheddar cheese. When Peggy got back to the car she asked what it was and when I told her, her face went all eww-y.

Just try one I said. Next I know the car door opened and slammed, followed in short order by friend returning with two boxes of her own, face now all smiley.

Guessing most CS friends can see what’s coming. Yep. Toasted cheese and chocolate, sauteed in a bit of butter till both are all melty. Oh my.

♦  It was a “crapples” moment when I realized that one of the cookbooks I’d donated to a local cause had my favorite red cabbage recipe. An extensive online search did not produce anything like the prep I remembered. And now, Eureka. Found this one thank you Food & Wine that, while tucking in a different ingredient or two, yields the same hearty flavor profile as the one that went away. Think you might like it too.

So far next week: food lab, new celeb blog, behind the black curtain, chicken parmesan dip, Martha’s wisdom, comeback sauce

YOU CAN CLICK HERE FOR SECURE ACCESS VIA MY LINK TO AMAZON HOME PAGE

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 – coconut cake/Greg Dupree on the MyRecipes site, Franklin book/Amazon, sandwich/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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The Tasting Panel has spoken, May 3-16, 2019

Next Salon, May 17, 2019 – see you then!

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

& Misty the FoodieCat

CS friends, help yourself to tasty resources!

  CatChat –  Misty previews this week’s salon  

  TIDBITS – chicken insurance / leftover makeover / do this first    CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT – beautiful Mom’s Day gifts ♦  FEATURED RECIPE – makin’ Zuni Cafe’s iconic chicken    TIP – avocado love    THE WEEK – the SuperTasters have approved these dishes / the powder caper

Misty’s History    Misty’s Gallery

  TIDBITS 

Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

It’s not likely you’re ever going to hear anyone order chicken “rare.” And we sure as heck don’t want to serve it that way. So “How Long to Cook Every Cut of Chicken” from MyRecipes can provide some very welcome “chicken insurance.” Get the scoop on roasting, grilling, pan frying and deep frying, so that as the subhead says, “you never botch your bird again.” As a bonus there’s a demo on breaking down a whole chicken, which can be a real money-saver.

♦  More from MyRecipes. In the 04.19.19 Salon we spotlighted 30 dishes that are even better as leftovers. So how cool is this for a follow-up, “25 recipes to use up your leftovers.” And this is nice, for some of the items you may also find a recipe for the star that started the show, and then more than one use as leftovers. If as planned I make the chicken parmesan dip you’ll sure see it in a future My Week. Oooh maybe the burger bun donuts too!

And more. You may already do “The First Thing Great Chefs Do Before They Start Cooking” {we’d like to think “wash their hands” but we’ll take that as a given}. I already do this “thing” and was familiar with the French term for it, but sure did learn some extra tricks here. And not only for cooking.

  CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT  ♦ 

Beautiful food gifts for mom

So much good stuff here. Whether she has a sweet tooth or a “savory” tooth,  chances are excellent you’llShimmering Delights Gourmet Gift Basket find a gift she’ll love.

There are varying arrays of tea, coffee, snacks, cookies, candy, cheese, chips & Tranquil Delights Spa Bath and Body Gift Basket Set with Tea and Cookies (Peony)salsa, plus a breakfast collection, Bloody Mary kit that includes a cutting board, and a “shimmering” gourmet collection. Some also tuck in a nice selection of pampering beauty products.

The latter is shown here along with the Tranquil Delights Spa Bath and Body Gift Basket Set with Tea and Cookies. If you’d like to see a wider array of Mother’s Day gifts, click the second link – and though there’s a huge number of possibilities, fear not, you can narrow your search by type of product, rating, brand and more, and after selecting your initial category, more factors including price and Prime eligible.

Food gifts on Amazon  ♦  Other Mother’s Day gifts

Shimmering collection shown    Spa & tea set shown

  FEATURED RECIPE  

A San Francisco classic 

Those of us who’ve had the memorable pleasure of dining at Zuni Cafe know it’s an experience to be treasured ever after. New York Times recently featured the iconic Market Street restaurant on the 40th anniversary of its founding by Billy West, who was joined in 1987 by the revered chef Judy Rodgers, sadly no longer among us – but it goes well beyond the cliche to say her legacy lives on with every meal still served there.

The story spotlights such specialties as Caesar salad, ricotta gnocchi, espresso granita, chocolate Gâteau Victoire, even the hamburger. But it was the hauntingly good wood-roasted chicken for two on warm aromatic bread salad that most stays with me from our visit.The Zuni Cafe Cookbook: A Compendium of Recipes and Cooking Lessons from San Francisco's Beloved Resturant

I subsequently made this dish {shown} from my Zuni Cafe cookbook, which also btw includes the salad, gnocchi, hamburger, and granita. The chicken was spectacular, which prompted a do-list of such other items in the book as prosciutto with chestnuts in olive oil, artichoke caponata, corn-shrimp bisque, and mock {which is to say easier – she calls the original “formidable”} porchetta.

This cookbook, by Judy Rodgers, is a very unselfish offering. All her tip, tricks. and techniques are right there – in fact “cooking lessons”  is part of the subtitle. It’s 4 1/2 stars on Amazon, Kindle & Hardcover, Prime eligible.

Recipes on google    NY Times article    Zuni cookbook    Zuni Cafe 

  TIP  

Be gentle now

A helpful hint from Ree Drummond. When you’re adding diced avocado to a salad, wait until you’ve tossed all the other ingredients.

Then gently fold the cubes into the mix. Your avocado will thank you.

Btw, did you know that in the correction pronunciation, Haas rhymes with glass. Click the link for lots more about this versatile star of the produce world.

California Avocado

  A PEEK AT MY WEEK  

Welcome to my kitchen and living room

♦  Oh what a beautiful week at CooksSalon. A buffet of dishes, candidates for future appearances in CooksSalon, took center stage. Then a quartet of SuperTasters gave the whole array, appetizers to desserts, a thorough vetting, sometimes needing second and third “tests” to be absolutely certain their evaluations would be accurate.

>  Yay, eight thumbs up for chicken parmesan dip, buffalo cauliflower, French endive “hand” salads, shrimp Louie, queso eggs in phyllo cups, ham club sandwich rollups, lemon cheesecake tarts, date/nut scones, and salted chocolate caramel tartlets. Mega thanks and a tip of the toque to Christine McKellar, Debbie Vinson, and Layne Whiteman for helping make sure CS brings you just the best-est recipes.

> So then, all those dishes will be coming your way in the near future. Meanwhile, for a weekly serving of the top happenings in Las Vegas, be sure to tune in to Christine’s site, Vegas Only Entertainment.

♦  In our 02.01.19 Salon we talked about discovering malted milk powder and putting it to use in muffins, oatmeal . . . and coffee. Now the Caribou Coffee chain has added menu items that incorporate malted milk powder into both hot and cold coffee beverages. Do you think they read it first in CooksSalon? 😉😁🤣

So far in the next Salon: best stews, bulk shopping trick, 10 new ways with bacon, that sandwich is what now???

SECURE ACCESS THROUGH MY LINK TO AMAZON HOME PAGE

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: Mom’s Day gifts & Zuni book/Amazon, 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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