Celeb’s Bloody Mary Gazpacho with Seasoned Shrimp, June 11-June 17, 2021

New Salon every Friday – c’mon in

CS friends, and help yourself to tasty resources

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

  Let’s chat   

Kitchen Talk – Though Prepared Pantry sells mixes and other baking necessities, owner Dennis Weaver is quite generous with posting even recipes that don’t require those goods. And this one, for the classic cheesy brunch dish, is a keeper. How to Make Any Quiche You Can Imagine shows us a basic prep and tips, then one for the classic Lorraine, variations, and then helpful resources.        Need to peel tomatoes? Here’s what I did as an alternative to the dip in boiling water, wait to cool, method. Halved the matoes and placed them cut side down on a plate, covered with a paper towel, nuked for 1 min. Depending on their size may take less or more time. Cooled quick, peeled easy as you can see on the front one.        If, as many do, you believe food can be medicine, this list is for you. Foods that can clear arteries, on google.

Shopping Finds – A name we’ve trusted for years has published a new cookbook with a title that can warm the hearts of all Cs-ers. Easy Meal Prep by Good Housekeeping offers preps developed by their test kitchen chefs, “using their best time-saving, flavor building wisdom combined with their genius plan-ahead tips and tricks.”        When a recipe calls for a certain amount of an item – meat, fish, taters, or even ingredients in some baking preps that go by weight rather than volume – you can always get it just right with a kitchen scale. I use mine {shown, an “Amazon’s Choice”} quite a bit, more than I expected. Nice that they’re quite inexpensive on Amazon, some with discounts or coupons. The photo link goes to that product, and the blue link goes to scales that are 4 stars and up.

This week’s spotlight CS page – Are you looking for a cookbook for yourself or as a gift? Below the CS-published books on our page, you’ll find links to Amazon’s best sellers and top rated ones, and as well popular ethnic categories, all just a click away, CS Food Books & CookBooks

   On the Table  

Feature – Bloody Mary Gazpacho with Shrimp, snack & cocktail all in one!

We’ve seen a lot of recipes for gazpacho flavored bloody marys, but loved coming across this more substantial reversal. We can thank Adam Richman,  known for Man v Food, The Food That Built America, and Modern Marvels, but here showing us how this is done on the Today Show.

Richman remixes all the best flavors of both and then adds the tasty bonus of flavorful shrimp. In sum, pretty much snack squared.

Now in his intro he notes the novel notion of stirring vodka into soup, but then the prep doesn’t really include this, though it is in the shrimp marinade. Of course if the chef isn’t looking you could certainly tip a bit of the spirit into the gazpacho anyway.

Many layers of flavor going on here, and especially love the add-in of olive juice and the generous hand with the hot sauce. Fun to serve by the cup for happy hour, or upgrade to a bowl for lunch or dinner.

Recipe Notes – I pureed only half of the vegetables and left the rest diced, which created a juicier consistency. And if you do that might want to make spoons available, and as well some crusty toast for dipping into those juices. Also, when the shrimp were pretty much done I turned up the heat just long enough to create a nice char.

Next week – Watermelon/Chocolate Dessert Board, oh my

Recipe  ♦  Cold Soup Recipe Books, 4 stars & up on Amazon

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Have a cuppa in Alexa’s room – recipes & more

You don’t have to have an Amazon Echo Show to tap into the particular tidbits we’ve linked below, drawn from its vast culinary bounty.

Just pour a cup and let’s talk food with Alexa. We also show the actual requests for those who are Echo owners, who should also note that in many cases she guides you step by step through the recipes.oll

Alexa says request: How do I make cinnamon roll s’mores? Tastemade’s prep starts with croissant dough that you gussy up, roll, slice, bake. So already I’m thinking maybe you could do this with refrigerated dough cinnamon rolls. Selective shortcuts are a good thing. And now I’m wondering something else – how it would work to pull out some of the center of each baked roll {wait, don’t toss, save for a snack} and tuck the marshmallow half down inside. Or . . . just do it as specified. 😁

Alexa says request: How do I make 40 garlic clove chicken?  Let’s set aside the fear right here. You don’t have to peel them! Nope, the cloves cook along with other ingredients to flavor browned chicken thighs and then emerge ready to pop out and be scooped onto crusty bread. This dish is from Tasty and there’s a demo too.

Alexa says request: How do I make peach caprese salad with balsamic cherries ? Is this the perfect warm weather salad or what? Fresh peaches stand in for the usual tomatoes, but mozzarella and fresh basil are still checking in. And then there are the cherries, yummed up with not only the balsamic but as well olive oil, shallots, s&p. And as a bonus, this Katie Lee medley on Food Network is quite pretty.

Would you like your own Echo Show?

Boundless information, music, movies, tv shows, videos, health tips & news, entertainment news, national news, local news, sports news & recaps, weather, timer, alarm, reminders, shopping lists, Amazon delivery notifications, alerts, security camera connection . . .  and food, food, food, all on an interactive screen. Some connect to Amazon Prime.

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

   Cocktail Hour Buzz   

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

   Well maybe it depends on the size of your appetite {or mouth?}. Either way, these tasty Two-Bite Parmesan Biscuits cozy up quite nicely to your preferred adult beverage. Freshly grated parm {and maybe herbs} add savoriness on the inside and crunch on the outside. From Food & Wine.

   Food Network brings some tasty fun to the party with Mini Meatball Sliders, created by Trisha Yearwood. Meatballs seasoned with store-bought pesto and other fine flavors nestle into mini potato rolls along with some marinara, yours or not.

  Food & Wine checks back in to complete the happy hour equation with these 33 best rosés to drink right now. Domestic and imported, exceptional quality “at every price imaginable,” pricing from everyday to collectibility, many styles, all so nice for the season.

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Make our own German Chocolate Brownies, June 4-June 10, 2021

New Salon every Friday – c’mon in

CS friends, and help yourself to tasty resources

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

  Let’s chat   

Kitchen Talk – Kudos to restaurants that tell us how to make their signature dishes. In this case it’s  IKEA’s Swedish meatball recipe or, as they call it in this Southern Living piece, an “at home alternative.” And yep, the cream sauce prep is there too.      If you made extra of the Mexican Bean Dip {05.21.21 Salon} and have leftovers, yowza you’re on your way to a super flavorful bean soup. I added beef bouillon and taco sauce, then on with the toppings – sour cream, avocado, bacon, cheddar, then cilantro over all. Yum.      Who doesn’t want to get ahead of the game? Look how we can do just that. 40+ Freezer Recipes To Make Ahead and Reheat Easily. Good stuff too, think Smoked pork stuffed shells, Green chile chicken stew, Tamale pie mix-up, Tex-Mex meatballs in red chile sauce, Buffalo chicken casserole, more.

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Shopping Finds – After coming across that Oreo birthday gift that we had featured {04.23.21 Salon}, wondered if Amazon may have other nice gift packs for birthday celebrations. Yep, at the link.        So, I recently saw a passing reference to the nutritional benefits of dried fruits – in addition to being quite tasty – so googled and found interesting nutritional information. Then thinking, maybe Amazon has dried fruit gifts too. And again, yep.

This week’s featured CS-designed, Zazzle-crafted item – With June weddings here, definitely time to think about bride gifts. One with a whimsical touch is our pretty, flowery “Just Married” tee. For the honeymoon trip, to relax into the day after the ceremony, or just to say, “We did it!” On our Eclectic Mall page.

   On the Table  

Feature – German Chocolate Brownies, several ways to get there

So, in last week’s Salon we featured German Chocolate Brownies available from goldbelly. And yikes they look good, but we do have ways to make our own, even if they aren’t quite the same showpieces.

Let’s start with the 5-star recipe from Taste of Home linked below. A classic brownie recipe, though using German sweet chocolate. And the classic pecan and coconut topping that we associate with German Chocolate cake. Likely worth every one of its stars.

But, I had some of the wonderfully dense, chewy brownies left over from our chocolate malt version {04.30.21 Salon}. And as a big fan of time saved if quality’s preserved, I made the ToH frosting and right onto the ready and waiting brownies {shown, right}. This frosting, btw, could easily become your sweet tooth’s bff.

No naked brownies in your freezer? If there’s a mix you like, that can certainly be a worthy shortcut. Or, for an even “shorter cut,” if your market’s bakery has brownies with just powdered sugar, snap ’em up, and lay down the frosting.

The cookbook shown here is just one from the many featured at the link below, but just look at that cover. You almost want to put it on a plate and get a fork. Have to wonder if that brownie on top was meant to be that way or if someone at the photo session lost control.

Recipe Notes – Instead of broiling the topped brownies I nuked the frosting for about 45 seconds. I also made an alternate version of the frosting for folks who need to avoid nuts, substituting chocolate chips instea}, and given the extra sweetness cut the sugar to 1/3 cup. Great with ice cream!

Next week – Bloody Mary Bean Chili

Taste of Home Recipe    Brownie Cookbooks, 4 stars & up

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Have a cuppa in Alexa’s room – recipes & more

You don’t have to have an Amazon Echo Show to tap into the particular tidbits we’ve linked below, drawn from its vast culinary bounty.

Just pour a cup and let’s talk food with Alexa. We also show the actual requests for those who are Echo owners, who should also note that in many cases she guides you step by step through the recipes.

Alexa says request: How do I make pineapple vanilla skillet cake? Yay, two great flavors come together here and then they welcome in fresh orange and honey to create a treat that juicy underneath, crackly on top. All in an easy, easy prep. And even better, it’s oven-free. Btw if your market doesn’t carry self rising cake flour, you can find it on Amazon.

Alexa says request: How do I make ham & cheese pull apart garlic bread? Every part of this title says, gimme the recipe! And here it is. From Tasty. Easy start with ready to use pizza dough. Perfect for brunch.

My request: Do you have recipes for cookie pops? I requested this general category in search of cheesecake cookie pops I’d seen somewhere. They didn’t appear but what did could not be more appropriate for the three upcoming national holidays, and with the bonus of one of America’s favorite cookies. Red, White & Blue Oreo Cookie Pops! From Food Network.

Would you like your own Echo Show?

Boundless information, music, movies, tv shows, videos, health tips & news, entertainment news, national news, local news, sports news & recaps, weather, timer, alarm, reminders, shopping lists, Amazon delivery notifications, alerts, security camera connection . . .  and food, food, food, all on an interactive screen. Some connect to Amazon Prime.

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

   Cocktail Hour Buzz   

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

   What kind of snack table doesn’t “go nuts”??? Make sure yours isn’t one of them with this amped up version. The Spiced Pecans prep from Tastemade wrangles sweet from sugar, heat from cayenne, and a touch of exotic with cinnamon and ginger. Our own celeb chef Les Kincaid says these contrasting flavors are enhanced by a nice glass of rosé.

  Tastemade strikes again with a classic combo that in this incarnation can be breakfast, brunch, or . . . awesome addition to the snack table. Chicken & Waffle Bites! Prep some waffle mix, skewer the chicken, fire up the oil and before you know it you’re sprinkling powdered sugar and dunking in maple syrup.

   Food & Wine schools us on a whole new gin and its maybe unexpected provenance. The name is Sông Cái and the origin is Vietnam. So much makes it unique starting with the 14 local tribe-sourced botanicals in the mix, but maybe even moreso, the “culinary philosophy, which emphasizes a balance of ingredients deemed to have hot or cold energy.” There’s so much more to this story, including the fact that major cities in the country have become cocktail destinations.

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

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

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

CS Marketplace Directory

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

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

♦  ♦  ♦

And for your consideration

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

Looking for something in CS?

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

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 ©2021 CooksSalon.com

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Smoky Poblano Corn Pudding, March 26-April 1, 2021

New Salon every Friday – c’mon in

CS friends, and help yourself to tasty resources

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

 Let’s chat   

Kitchen Talk – While cold March winds are still a-blowin,’ nice hot chicken soup remains a welcome counterpoint. And it’s Better Homes and Gardens at your service with bowls of their Best Recipes, many hearty enough to easily serve as a main meal.      Meanwhile MyRecipes has their own Best, and it’s a goodie. Our Best Restaurant Copycat Recipes {and some packaged goods too}. Yay! Legendary rolls, breads breakfasts, soups, sandwiches, sauces, desserts and beverages, ethnic specialtes, even Bailey’s, Nutella and Chili’s Baby Back Ribs      Oh what fun this colored sugar is! Especially as a decorating substitute for those {hand raised} who do not like sprinkles. A glittery upgrade for simple peach ice cream and whipped cream  A sparkly update on bagel and cream cheese. And as if donuts aren’t already fun enough, a step even beyond the chocolate frosting. Link goes to Amazon.      See Cocktail Hour Buzz below for yet another happy app.

{PS on the sugar – as much as possible add it just before serving because being sugar there may be some melting. Although if it’s going onto something sturdy like cream cheese, as on the bagel here, you can let it just blur into a different pretty pattern. Something more liquidy like whipped topping, maybe not so much.}

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Shopping Finds – Have you heard of the sausage company called Seemore??? Oh my goodness wait till you hear their flavors. Chicken Parm, Chicken Soup, Broccoli Melt, La Dolce Beet-A, Loaded Blue Diamond Almonds, Bold Spicy Dill Pickle, 6 OunceBaked Potato. In a sausage! All can be ordered directly from them. I have to say I’ve never heard of these folks before, but their products are sold at Whole Foods and Amazon.      So, I had this somewhat addictive spicy dill snack mix, that was then {how rude} discontinued. Went online to see about something similar. Did, but wow, some unexpected pricing.Can This Help You FINALLY Quit Smoking ??? Finally found something not only dilly and reasonable but also a brand name. Blue Diamond Bold Spicy Dill Pickle Almonds on Amazon, and maybe at your own market.

This week’s featured CS item on Amazon – If quitting smoking is still one of your 2021 goals, maybe this can help. Our Kindle book of reinforcements about all the good to be gained and the bad to be gone when you kick this butt. Use with or without other methods. On our Eclectic Mall page.

   On the Table 

Have a cuppa in Alexa’s room – recipes & more

You don’t have to have an Amazon Echo Show to tap into the particular tidbits we’ve linked below, drawn from its vast culinary bounty.

Just pour a cup and let’s talk food with Alexa. We also show the actual requests for those who are Echo owners, who should also note that in many cases she guides you step by step through the recipes.

Alexa says request: How do I make banana split cake? And it’s a no-bake cake! A vanilla wafer crust is layered with a cheesecake-like mix, then topped with crushed pineapple and sliced bananas, and then non dairy topping, chopped walnuts and maraschino cherries. This prep is from AllRecipes.

So, a couple of notes. First, you may want to be a bit more generous with the walnuts. Second, ummm, a most important classic topping is not represented – chocolate syrup! which you are of course free to add, or maybe chocolate chips on top.

Alexa says request: How do I make bacon jalapeno chicken? So, while this is a fairly simple  and most appealing dish, it’s based on a Traeger Grill. If you have one, yay, here’s their recipe. Meanwhile so the rest of us don’t have to miss out entirely, found these Chicken Bombs with Bacon and Jalapenos on AllRecipes. Oh boy, Monterey jack and cream cheese are wrapped up in there too, then all glazed with bbq sauce.

Alexa says request: How do I make smoky poblano corn pudding ? The smoky and the poblano elements start off this recipe with a trip to the oven for the peppers to get nice and charred. They then merge their smokiness with butter and whipping cream, cheddar and chives, to turn the frozen corn into a beautiful casserole. Thanks for this super side dish also goes to AllRecipes.

Would you like your own Echo Show?

Boundless information, music, movies, tv shows, videos, health tips & news, entertainment news, national news, local news, sports news & recaps, weather, timer, alarm, reminders, shopping lists,  delivery notifications, alerts, security camera connection . . .  and food, food, food, all on an interactive screen. Some connect to Amazon Prime.

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

   Cocktail Hour Buzz  

Sundowner snacks, drinks, talkwhether for a crew, or for two, or just for you

  Sparkly sugar comes to happy hour. And its sweet contribution so nicely plays against this vodka sour. As you can see, I didn’t use it in the usual way. Instead of upending the glass into the sugar thus creating only a narrow coating inside and out, I ran the cut lime about a 1/2 inch down around the rim on the outside, then rolled the glass back and forth on a band of the sugar. This method also means no sugar on the inside to be washed away as you make the drink. This sugar on Amazon.

   Like your beer well aged? Archeologists have uncapped quite a discovery in Egypt – what’s regarded as the oldest biz-size brewery in the world, dating back over 5,000 years. OK, probably no suds left in these tanks, but it’s estimated that at its peak, the facility could pour out 5,900 gallons of beer at a time. Turns out though most of the output was used ritually rather than for consumption. Cheers! {or not}

  While I don’t have an Aldi’s in my town, their map shows a bunch east of the Mississippi and even a sprinkling on the other side of the river. And so for all you folks in Aldi towns, here is the Well Done Newsletter’s report from EatingWell on best wines there under $15.

   “Life is a combination of magic and pasta” – Federico Fellini quoted in Stanley Tucci’s “Searching for Italy”

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

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

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

CS Marketplace Directory

♦  ♦  ♦

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

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

      ♦  ♦  ♦

And for your consideration

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

 

Looking for something in CS?

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

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 ©2021 CooksSalon.com

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FN Host’s Tie Dye Cookies, Feb 5 – Feb 11, 2021 {1}

New Salon every Friday – c’mon in

CS friends, and help yourself to tasty resources

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

 Let’s chat   

Quick Bites –  Credit goes to AARP for telling us about these 10 Best Superfoods for Your Eyes Well look what Pillsbury did with its crescent rolls – transformed them into a circle of creamy, spicy goodness. Their Buffalo Chicken Crescent Ring is kind of fun too, like a tasty craft  project.    Much as we CS-ers love to cook, guessing there are days when we could welcome “What to Cook When You Are Tired of Cooking” from MyRecipes.

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Shopping Finds – Bakers, do you know about this magazine? Just received a flyer for “Bake from Scratch,” subtitled The Go-to Resource for Artisan Home Bakers, adding that it offers pro tips and visual guides. Haven’t decided yet it there’s room in my magazine rack for one more resident. In case you like to consolidate your purchases, the link takes you to Amazon and the price there is the same as on the magazine’s site.  Thinking of getting a multicooker? The folks at Cook’s Illustrated took an in-depth look at these appliances and reported the #1 pick as the 8 qt Duo-Evo Plus 9-in-1 Electric Pressure Cooker, and in 2nd place the 8-qt Express XL Stainless Steel Pressure Cooker. The links take you to Amazon – the Duo-Evo is I believe the correct one because the titles match; the second is the right one because the model numbers match. Here now is the rest of the story and a chance to sign up.

This week’s CS-written item on Amazon  How’s the diet resolution going? If you need help, you just may find it in our quick-read Kindle book loaded with ways to avoid fat traps in everyday situations and also including  a “free zone,” “The Busy Person’s Diet Guide”

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Kitchen Talk – Could this be one of the best tasting flour-free cookies ever? The miracle is that these Flourless Chocolate Chip Almond Butter Cookies from LiveWellBakeOften actually become . . . cookies! Because this is all that goes into them: almond butter, coconut sugar {or brown, which I used}, egg, vanilla, and chocolate chips.     Thinking whenever I next have a party, this would be a conversation-worthy side dish. French Onion Soup Casserole from Southern Living    Yum! Made french fries {store bought, frozen} in my new Ninja Grill and they were fabulous. I’m guessing there’s likely already a bit of oil on them but no more was needed to yield crispy exteriors, fluffy interiors. Also, the rest of the dinner wasn’t quite ready so just closed the cover back up and hallelujah they held that perfect condition.

   On the Table 

Feature – Tie Dye Cookies

Have to wonder if Molly Yeh, host of Food Network’s “Girl Meets Farm,” is a student of Trisha Yearwood because like the latter she clearly likes to play with her food. And may I offer as Exhibit A, these oh so fun tie dye cookies.

Start with sugar cookies. Divide and conquer with food coloring. Twist and shout. OK, maybe not shout, but form into a ball. Sparkles complete the festive results.

Yeh used red, blue and yellow, but this cute idea could be emerge in any number of color combos. For example, a nice red and white, maybe pink too, for Valentine’s Day.

The recipe calls for nuking the dough so it can be under-baked and still safely consumed. Note that an asterisk under the ingredients provides an alternative for♦ fully baking the cookies.

Here’s another alternative. I used refrigerated cookie dough, easily divided into 12 cookies. A keeper.

Recipe Notes: I made the colors a little more marble-y to look even more like tie dye, and did the kneading inside plastic wrap. Also, rolled some of the cookies in gold sanding sugar, others in silver, with a light touch. Btw the Pillsbury cookie dough I used said on the package it can be consumed raw

Next week – Cheesy, Bacon-Tater Tot Pie, add eggs for a tasty way to start your day

Recipe  Molly Yeh cookbooks  ♦  Girl Meets Farm

Food color on Amazon    Decorating sugar on Amazon

Have a cuppa in Alexa’s room – recipes & more

You don’t have to have an Amazon Echo Show to tap into the particular tidbits we’ve linked below, drawn from its vast culinary bounty.

Just pour a cup and let’s talk food with Alexa. We also show the actual requests for those who are Echo owners, who should also note that in many cases she guides you step by step through the recipes.

Alexa says request: How do you make giant grilled cheese kebabs? To me, one of the biggest perks of my Echo Show is discovering new food sites, sources for the recipes that pop up on the screen. In this case it’s Tastymade which does show the lock icon. The recipe looks like great fun, and you creative folks I’m sure would come up with variations. Not too surprisingly the suggested accompaniment is tomato soup. One thing, expect to need clean-up on aisle 5, aka your grill pan.

Alexa says request: How do I make white chocolate pudding? The details reveal that it’s even better than the title would tell us. An Oreo cookie layer in the bottom of the individual serving glasses, and then grated chocolate on top. In the middle of course the main event, a rich and creamy white chocolate pudding. This comes from Ree Drummond on her Food Network show. Demo too!

Alexa says request: What’s the cheese ball story? We’re familiar with a number of things that can close down roads. But cheese balls? Yep, that actually happened late last year when a truck overturned on Interstate 495 in Maryland spilling out 20,000 pounds of the snack. After two hours of cleanup of the cheesey escapees and the resulting fuel spill plus lots of rerouting, all was well . . . mostly anyway. No human injuries but it appears none of the cheese balls survived.

And this week’s unexpected thing we found that Alexa can do – play the spelling game {adult & kid versions}

Would you like your own Echo Show?

Boundless information, music, movies, tv shows, videos, health tips & news, entertainment news, national news, local news, sports news & recaps, weather, timer, alarm, reminders, shopping lists, Amazon delivery notifications, alerts, security camera connection . . .  and food, food, food, all on an interactive screen. Some connect to Amazon Prime.

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

   Cocktail Hour Buzz  

Sundowner snacks, drinks, talkwhether for a crew, or for two, or just for you

  CS Tasting Panel member Christine McKellar posted a plu-perfect dish for a wintry night on her Vegas Only Entertainment site. Wait till you see the layer upon layer of flavor in this Creamy Sausage Stew. And while there are lots of ingredients, fear not, just a few steps and it’s ready to go to the slow cooker {or I would guess a large pot OK too} and emerge as big bowls of goodness. 

  The same issue of Cook’s Illustrated that ran the cooker feature above offers this recommendation for spirits to stock in the basic home bar: Tequila, Vodka, Rum, Gin, Brandy, and Whiskey. Saying further, for cocktails stay with bottles in the $15-$40 range, upping the ante then for anything meant to be sipped on its own.

  Credit Ina Garten for this sexy cocktail snack. Large butterflied dates are filled with bleu cheese and wrapped with prosciutto, then warmed in the oven. Mmmmm. Here’s the whole recipe on Food Network. Btw, something Chef Garten used for a different drink but that I think could cozy up to a margarita is a rim of both salt and sugar.

   “Anyone who tells a lie has not a pure heart, and cannot make a good soup” – Beethoven 

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

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

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

CS Marketplace Directory

♦  ♦  ♦

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

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

                       

Looking for something in CS?

Scroll & check previews  OR use Search OR contact me at bjnosek@gmail.com, subject=CooksSalon

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 ©2021 CooksSalon.com

eb4823     c74abc 

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Favorite Recipes from CS 2020, Jan 8-Jan 14, 2021

New Salon every Friday – c’mon in

CS friends, and help yourself to tasty resources

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

 r

To see the full details for each dish, including recipe, context, recipe notes and any relevant substitutions click the opening link with the date – to see the recipe only click the closing link

07.17.20, Food Tips for Our Times  Fruit Pizza There’s a good chance there might be some extra fruit, fresh and canned, in the house these days, after stocking up for baking, dressing up a holiday table, received as gifts. A fun and colorful way to put it to good use is a fruit pizza. And at the same time show off your artistic skills! Just layer different colors of fruit and jam on a baked pizza crust spread with soft cream cheese and voila! a work of art. And so pretty! Here are some other suggestions for fruit pizzas that google found.

05.13.20, Featured Recipe  Chicken Pepperoni Parmesan  Just looking at the name tells you it’s a pretty good bet it tastes pretty darn good. And it does! This chicken pepperoni parm is already a plate of flavor. But in fact I did add some Italian seasonings to the tomato sauce or you could certainly use a jarred marinara. I also sautéed the chicken as is in butter/olive oil instead of breading it. Add crusty bread and a green salad and it’s done and yum. More good news – it all bakes on a sheet pan.  Recipe 

04.03.20, My Week  “Potato Snow”  What a fun and festive way to play with taters. See the pic? – that’s “potato snow,” and oh so easy too! Per the recipe, simply push boiled, peeled, towel-dried potatoes through a coarse sieve with a wooden spoon letting them “pile high into a snowy mountain slope.” Or do that several times to make a “range.” Another recipe I found {on an unsecured site}, suggested adding onion salt and garlic salt to the cooking water rather than trying to mix it in afterward. The prep I used is from The Secret Garden Cookbook.

10.23.20, Featured Recipe  Bobby Flay’s Cheesy Bacon & Tater Quesadilla  This is a perfect example of Chef Flay’s passionate take on southwest cuisine. The title foodstuffs join onion and peppers in a tasty tortilla stack, topped with a nice fried egg, fresh tomato salsa, and chopped chives. A perfect way to start the day. Especially a day with a late and lazy start. Bloody Marys anyone? The recipe is on the Food Network site.  Recipe

07.17.20, Featured Recipe  Ice Cream Bread  Wow, the unique flavor of ice cream right in your bread? And just 3 ingredients. In the original sojourn I used French vanilla, then played with some variations. The result is sweeter than bread, less sweet than cake, with a texture kind of between French bread and pound cake. Those subsequent variations  – Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough {08.07.20}, Chocolate Brownie {10.30.20} Each good as is, but also happily welcome toppings.

10.02.20, Featured Recipe  Knife & Fork Bacon Cheeseburgers  This is one satisfying plateful, a happy gathering of onion, tomato, pickle, bacon, burgers, buns, plus a condiment mashup, and savory cheese sauce. And this is nice. Lots of the elements can be prepped in advance. To make life even easier, use store-bought burgers if there are some you like, and fill out the plate with deli-supplied or pantry & fridge ready side dishes. Might also like to take a look at these google-found alternatives for burger sauces.

06.19.20, Featured Recipe  Bacon Peanut Butter Corn Muffins  One bite and you’ll see why these goodies took a top award in a Taste of Home contest. Yowza are they good. And happily the come together with ingredients likely already in residence in your pantry and fridge. Great as is for breakfast. Or with the caramel ice cream topping, Poof! Dessert! Or go all in for dessert with the suggested alternate of chocolate chips and chocolate syrup. And you know what, thinking this topping would be just as happy on a regular pan of cornbread or even pancakes, French toast, regular toast. Recipe 

11.20.20, Cocktail Hour Buzz  Baked Mini Ham & Cheese Sandwiches  This hearty snack actually was part of a reply when we invited “Alexa” into CHB and asked her for cocktail snacks made with cheese. These minis sounded so good, and then tasted as good as they sounded. Pretty easy too. One of the others that’s now high up on our to-make list is the Filled Parmesan Baskets, and then maybe the Stuffed Artichoke Hearts. If you would like to see the other snacks and their recipe links, just click on the 11.20.20 above. All are from AllRecipes, and there’s demos too. Recipe

09.18.20, Featured Recipe  Cheese Ravioli Soup  A big bowl of good, and thank you Taste of Home. Despite the long-ish ingredient list, it’s as easy as 1-2-3. 1} brown the ground beef, then add the sauce ingredients. 2} cook the ravioli, combine with the sauce and heat through. 3} stir in parm, top with parsley. Done! So what brought its rating down to 3 1/2 stars. Not the flavors. Nope, instead critics said it was more like an entree than soup – and we couldn’t agree more! Thick, hearty and satisfying.  Recipe 

10.09.20, Featured Recipe  Nanaimo Bars {and “Plan B”}  For at least seven decades these rich bars have been on celebratory tables in Canada. Rich, yeah! A chocolately, nutty, graham cracker crust, topped with amped up butter cream frosting, topped with a kind of ganache where the cream is replaced by butter. Indulgent! Even so, I played with an alternate, “NaNaNo Bars,” – a bit less complicated, a bit less crumbly, and a bit less sweet, maybe more creamy. You can see details of this version if you want in the 10.09.20 Salon. Recipe

Our Featured Recipe when we return to regular Salons Jan 11: a full of flavor tamale makeover

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Favorite Sweet Potato Casserole, Nov 20-Nov 26, 2020

New Salon every Friday – c’mon in

CS friends, and help yourself to tasty resources

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

New! Another of our very own CS designs

Coffeehounds, this one’s for you. And if you’re a dog lover, it’s even more for you. Especially if you know the answer to this – “Who’s a Good Coffeehound???”

Crafted by CA-based Zazzle, it’s offered as a classic design, two tone, morphing, stein and travel mug.

  Let’s chat   

Quick Bites – Whole lot of enhancements for the dining room table in this “30 Deliciously Easy Thanksgiving Vegetable Sides” story from MyRecipes    Have you noticed that the beef or chicken in some Asian dishes is not just tender but super soft? Yahoo Sports {?} explains it all in its story, “Velveting is the Chinese Technique That Takes Stir-Fries to the Next Level.” And yes, it is something you can try at home.    There a promise of being good and good for you tucked into this tale of “The Wellness Tea Concentrate to Prepare for Cold and Flu Season.” It actually does sound pretty tasty. Also from MyRecipes.

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Shopping Finds – Have you heard of Chef’s Gold? Quite interesting, made from prime beef tenderloin fat trimmings, formed into “bricks,” and dry aged along with the beef. This msn.com story calls it “the secret to adding serious flavor to any cut of meat,” later noting it can also transform mashed potatoes. There’s a link to the source but it’s incorrect – use this instead, Snake River Farms – the site does show the lock icon.    Hands up, who loves chocolate? You? Shout it from your shirt with our own “Chocolate Chocolate Chocolate / then everything else” tee, with images of the title goodies tucked right into the letters. From Zazzle, with details on our CS food-themed tees page. You can also go all chocolate on our CS food-themed mugs page.

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Kitchen Talk – A great recipe source is most food product websites. And a nice perk is by definition the prep likely shortcuts the process with store-bought goods. I recently tapped into the Barilla site and found a nice minestrone with an unexpected ingredient – butternut squash. This Tomato & Basil Minestrone recipe starts with their pasta sauce of the same name.   So had some of the spinach puree left over from last week’s squash polenta casserole, and found a good home for it in a grilled cheese & tomato sandwich. A really good home.    NFG? Ehhhh? So heard this term on Fieri’s GGG, and don’t know if it has currency beyond this show but it stands for something worth thinking about – Non Functional Garnish. Meaning don’t plop on top something that doesn’t add to the dish, doesn’t go with the dish, or worst of all detracts from it.

   On the Table  

Feature – A surprising mix of ingredients, easy & sooooo good

This sweet potato casserole is one of my most crowd-pleasing recipes. The original is by a favorite chef, Nick Stellino, and the only major difference between my version and that one is that his is a souffle and mine isn’t, and then there are some minor variations in seasoning amounts.

My non-egg version is denser and needs to bake only until heated through. Those who favor a lighter touch will want to stay with the original.

Either way, an unexpected ingredient combo makes this a winning companion for ham, chicken, turkey – I even like it with a nice pork roast or even Mexican food. But the next time I make it, very tempted to add the topping from one of the recipes from the MyRecipes story above.

Below are links for all three . . .

Recipe Notes – if the thyme in the recipe isn’t to your taste, nutmeg is an interesting alternative.

Next week – Giant Chocolate Almond Butter Cups {and sweet variations}

My version on our Recipe Page    The one from the MyRecipes story {above} with the topping  

Nick Stellino’s original    Stellino’s cookbooks

A Cuppa with Alexa – Recipes, Tips, News & More

You don’t have to have an Amazon Echo Show to tap into the particular tidbits we’ve linked below, drawn from its vast culinary bounty.

Just pour a cup and let’s talk food with Alexa. We also show the actual requests for those who are Echo owners, who should also note that in many cases she guides you step by step through the recipes.

Alexa says request: How do you make enchilada rice? Well, here we are right back on the Tasty site, where the recipe gets even better because the full title is “One Pot Enchilada Rice.” A quick glance at the ingredient list shows this is a fiesta in a pan. What doesn’t show in the print but does is the demo is ways to use it other than just on a plate, which is in a taco, wrapped in a tortilla and something I was already planning on, topped with a fried egg. Btw, cheese is listed as optional, hahahahaha, more likely doubled.

Alexa says request: How do you make a Twix Lovers Cake? So, this recipe from Food Network shows a wonderful cake, both in appearance and in the rich ingredients that start with a cake mix. It does call for making chocolate mousse, but if you’ve had satisfactory results with a mix or premade, that could be a worthy shortcut. It also calls for making ganache, which is actually quite easy. This cake is likely to be quite the crowd pleaser.

My request: What’s the best way to cook quinoa on the stove ? As a newbie I relied on the package directions but something didn’t seem clear. Thanks to Alexa, I now have a method that works great. Combine 1 part of well rinsed and drained quinoa with 2 parts water {or broth}. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer until all liquid has been absorbed and the grains have curly tails. I like this visual check, don’t even have to worry about timing.

And an unexpected thing we found that Alexa can do – play podcasts

Would you like your own Echo Show?

Boundless information, music, movies, tv shows, videos, health tips & news, entertainment news, national news, local news, sports news & recaps, weather, timer, alarm, reminders, Amazon delivery notifications, alerts, security camera connection . . .  and food, food, food, all on an interactive screen {some connect to Prime}.

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

   Cocktail Hour Buzz   

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

   Get lit – twice. Friend Norene sent along an adorable mini-book titled Tequila Mockingbird, which in turn is adapted from a full size tome, “Tequila Mockingbird, Cocktails with a Literary Twist,” an Amazon best seller that loosely ties classic reads to cocktails with such related names as Rye and Punishment, Brave New Swirled, Frangelico and Zooey. Some spinoffs too on the same page. Of course I’m not really suggesting you get drunk because we know that can be painful. As these t-shirts, also on Amazon, say “One Tequila/Two Tequila/Three Tequila/Floor.”

♦  Look who we invited into the Salon. Alexa! This special visit, “downstairs” so to speak, is to ask her for cocktail snacks made with cheese. Here’s what she found. Baked Ham & Cheese Party Sandwiches {shown}   Filled Parmesan Baskets  ♦  Beer Cheese Pretzel & Dip Dip {includes recipe for pretzels which also incorporate beer and cheese and could be fun, but could certainly use store-bought}   Stuffed Artichoke Hearts   Jamie’s Baked Brie    Double Tomato Bruschetta. All from AllRecipes. Demos too!

   See, replicate, voila! – beautifully upgraded presentations on your table. Chef Pete Ghione has a remarkable talent for assembling dishes in ways that take colorful all the way to eye-poppingly artistic. Probably no reason you couldn’t make many of these pretty entrees and more seen here on his Instagram page.

   “What could be healthier than the food you love” – Marie Barone {Everybody Loves Raymond}

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

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