Cookies your dentist would hate, Sept 13-Sept 19, 2019

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

New Salon every Friday – c’mon in

CS friends, and help yourself to tasty resources!

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

  TIDBITS – Emeril & Julia & recipes / lunch to go, high or low / may not be expecting this pairing    CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT – celeb’s love affair with veggies – yours too?    FEATURED RECIPE – recipe redo out-does original     TIP – more veggie love    THE WEEK – good tv series / calling all pb lovers / laundry tip {whaaaaat}

  TIDBITS 

Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

  Emeril posts an annual tribute to Julia Child in her birth month {actually Aug}, and in the recent one noted his appreciation for the years she mentored him, adding that “she taught so many people including me that cooking should be approachable and fun,” a legacy he honors to this day. Or as the beloved chef herself put it, he quotes, “The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you’ve got to have a what-the-hell attitude.” The full story includes recipes.

  MyRecipes sure has the waterfront covered, or more specifically, the lunch front. In adjacent stories you can learn “6 Money-Saving Tips for Packing Your Own Lunches” and “3 Back-to-School Lunches for Fancy Eaters.” Guessing any, all, of the above would be acceptable to both big and small kids.

  Well it seems my cheddar and chocolate {and subsequently cayenne} sandwich is becoming less odd by the moment. Take a look at this story on cheese and chocolate pairings from no less a source than Food & Wine {scroll through}. And more on this sandwich aspect in My Week below.

  CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT   

Fall in love with veggies – celeb Andrés shows you how

The name José Andrés may well be familiar to you from tv, his restaurants and cookbooks, and most admirably the thousands of meals he’s provided to victims of natural disasters {right now in the Bahamas}. His new cookbook, “Vegetables Unleashed,” features a cover that pretty well tells the tale of its tone and content.Vegetables Unleashed: A Cookbook

While Andrés is not a vegetarian, he sure knows how to find, as his co-author Matt Goulding notes, “pin-up worthy” fruits and vegetables. And then adds, “If you don’t believe in the sensuousness of produce, José has done his best to change that in these pages.”

Lots of tips and tricks too, along with a mini bio, anecdotes, food-centric tours of areas of Spain, and buying notes, plus pantry, tool, and gardening guides. Also some uniquely Jose-style “rules.”

So many interesting recipes, but a few were just absolutely intriguing. The roasted kabocha squash that became an edible “crust” for a cheesy quiche with sauteed veggies. The Catalan-style spinach with apple, dried fruits, mixed nuts, almond butter and wine. And the sweet potato sundaes which I just promoted to next week’s Featured Recipe.

“Vegetables Unleashed” by José Andrés

  FEATURED RECIPE  

These cookies – oh yeah 

In the 04.26.19 Salon our Featured Recipe was chocolate filled chocolate chip cookie bars. And oh they were good.

So, hmmmm, could they be just as good with peanut butter cookies instead of chocolate chip? Tried it. Answer – yep!

I additionally changed the recipe a bit from the one mentioned above because I wanted the peanut butter version to be more peanut butter-y. The overall prep is the same and still ever so easy.

What I did different was use one package of pb cookie mix blended with 2 T smooth peanut butter for each layer, top and bottom. The chocolate layer stayed the same as the original.

If possible, even richer. Get the big glass of cold milk ready.

Recipe in our April 26 Salon

  TIP  

Maybe not for everyone

Our featured book in the Spotlight above put me in mind of a long ago incident. My boss and I were invited to the home of a supplier for dinner. Among the many dishes on the tables were several that were just plain veggies, no sauces or extraneous ingredients.

“How,” my boss asked the supplier’s wife {an excellent cook I might add}, “are you making me like vegetables?” “Oh,” she said, “I just add a little sugar to the cooking water.”

Could be something to think about when the vegetables seem to be a little short on fresh flavor, or to make them more palatable to young palates. I particularly like this idea when corn is out of season and I’m using canned.

♦  A PEEK AT MY WEEK  

Welcome to my kitchen and living room

  Have you seen this fascinating series on the History channel, called “The Food that Built America”? Wow is it good. The one I saw recently covered the origins, growth, advances & setbacks and, most interesting, the personalities {and their passions} that led to today’s Kellogg’s, Post, Hersheys, Mars, KFC, and McDonald’s.

  Hello, pb fans. So, I thought my grilled cheese/chocolate/cayenne sandwich would probably be considered odd, but these peanut butter combos in the latest Taste of Home issue take the category to a whole new level. The familiar “Elvis” is probably the tamest of the bunch. I am a huge pb fan, but wasn’t sure if I wanted to venture in until I saw the spicy pork version – turned out quite good, like a sate sandwich.

  Stepping out of the kitchen {but staying in the house} – to share a laundry tip, and once again wondering if pretty much everyone already thought of this. So I have some new bright burgundy sheets. Was wondering if they were colorfast, so threw in a clean white towel from the rag stack with them, and that told the tale. Yay no “donations”! But if they had turned the towel pink, no big loss.

So far next week: Impossible Whopper unmasked, sweet potato sundae, tasty add-ins, those nuker eggs – tested, greens shortcut

Last time, just below: nukin’ the eggs trick, bubbles in a can, odd coffeemaker cleaner, gussy & helpful lunch totes, creamsicle dessert, notes in a tote, pizza reheat verified, EZay mole, see you on the Bridge beloved Misty

Direct access to Amazon homepage through my personal link

Looking for something in CS? – scroll & check previews OR use the search box OR email me at bjnosek@gmail.com, also valid for questions & comments – see the Let’s Chat tab for details

Note, transactions are solely between the buyer and linked supplier

Photo credits – 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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Cool, creamy creamsicle cheesecake, Aug 30-Sept 12, 2019

Next Salon Sept 13, 2019 – Happy Labor Day!

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

New Salon every Friday – c’mon in

CS friends, and help yourself to tasty resources!

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

  TIDBITS – nukin’ the eggs / bubbles where??? / odd coffeemaker cleaner    CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT – gussy, helpful lunch totes    FEATURED RECIPE –  make it light or make it dense    TIP – notable    THE WEEK – pizza reheat verified / EZay mole / see you on the Bridge beloved Misty

  TIDBITS 

Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

♦  Modesty aside, I make a darn decent poached egg but ‘fessing up, it does entail a number of steps. So, somewhere along the line I will be trying this nuker method, but meanwhile wanted to share it with you. The tale teller says the microwave offers “in fact, the best way to make a consistently delicious poached egg.” When I do, will sure let you know.

  OK, which of you dear CS-ers will be first to try this? CA-based Andre Champagne Cellars is now offering its bubbly . . . in cans. Choose Brut or Brut Rose, the former the company says with hints of lemon and pear, the latter with raspberry and cranberry. Available online and at retailers you can find on their site.

  Well I guess if you can put your “teeth” in this stuff, it would seem it would be safe for your coffeemaker. I first found this on MyRecipes, the trick of cleaning your coffee maker with denture tabs. Given the sources they cite in the story and the number of other sites I found with this same idea, again it would seem to be OK. But we all can make up our own minds.

♦  CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT   

Transporting lunch in style

Well I must say, lunch bags now are sure a lot different than the cartoon lunch box I had as a kid and the brown bags that accompanied me some days to an office. Good looks and practical applications are now the order of the day.

Some are insulated, others have beverage compartments or other extra pockets or pull-out drawers, and at least one is a reusable take on the classic brown bag. Selections for little kids and “big” kids.

ICOLOR Dogs Design Hot Kids Neoprene Insulated Lunch Food Tote Bag Box cover baby bag Gourmet Handbag lunchbox Case For School work LB-115 by ICOLOR    8x4x10" 12 Pcs. Medium-Small Multi Color Reusable Tote Bags, Grocery Bags, Fabric Shopping Bags with Handles Eco Friendly- 100% Recyclable Bag         MAZFORCE Original Lunch Box Insulated Lunch Bag - Tough & Spacious Adult Lunchbox to Seize Your Day (Wolf Grey - Lunch Bags Designed in California for Men, Adults, Women)      PackIt Freezable Lunch Bag with Zip Closure, Festive Gem

The Amazon page also features reusable snack bags and sandwich bags, and multi-packs of bags in  many colors. Filter your choice to your liking.

Reusable lunch bags on Amazon    Those that are 4 stars and up

  FEATURED RECIPE  

How about this as a sweet finish

. . . for your Labor Day get-togethers? It started when I saw a reference to creamsicle desserts, and that got me thinking about a creamsicle cheesecake.

But didn’t want one that was separated into layers but rather a rich blend that gave you the full experience with every forkful. Hello google, thank you Pillsbury. This is the one that is linked below.

One thing, I wanted a nice dense texture and so left out the whipped topping. It still actually came out a little softer than I wanted, though the flavor was quite creamsicle-y. Did a second version based on the AllRecipes cheesecake prep we featured in our 08.02.19 Salon, but in a nod to this original, a 6 oz can of thawed oj instead of the lemon juice and then orange jello powder – it {shown} was a little firmer, also good flavor, but think I want to keep tweaking.

Either, btw, could work nicely just spooned into dessert dishes. And a little chocolate drizzle can’t hurt. And if you really want to go into wretched excess in the pie version, use a graham cracker crust.

creamsicle cheesecake recipe

  TIP  

Not food, but a food companion

Just a little ps to our spotlight above. 🥪🥚🥕🧁💌😁

When I was just a kidlet taking lunch to school every day, every now and then my mom would secretly slip a little note into the tote. Something about the food, something funny, or just an I love you.

This was such a day brightener, and because they weren’t all the time they were always such a nice surprise when they did appear. A little touch of home while away from home.

This can be a sweet gesture by anyone packing lunch for anyone else. That means big kids too.

  A PEEK AT MY WEEK  

Welcome to my kitchen and living room

  Verified! I tried the pizza reheating method linked in our 08.02.19 Salon. It involved the hot skillet step most of us probably already knew about. But here there’s a second step, drizzling just a few drops of water and covering the pan. Crust is crisp, top is melty. Hooray.

  My Mexican friends, you might want to look away. Because this fast, easy, minimum ingredient mole would never compare with the complex sauce in any of its variations that is such a fabulous staple of authentic Mexican cuisine. Maybe I can be forgiven because I have made sure to incorporate the most classic flavors in this blend. So, here ’tis – all in a food processor, slightly cooled fat from frying 2 strips of bacon {the bacon is your snack}, 1/4 c chicken stock, 1 T each peanut & sesame oil, 2 T chipotle sauce, 1/2 c smooth peanut butter, 1/4 c ea raisins & bittersweet chocolate chips, 2 chopped garlic cloves, 1 t cumin, 1/2 t onion powder, tiny pinch cinnamon. Shown here on shredded chicken.

♦  Very personal note: lost my precious Misty on Aug 20 after a mercifully brief illness. I’ve removed her photo, page links under the Preview, and Preview credit on the homepage, but her History Page and Gallery remain, links in the top bar. I’ve also added a note at the end of her History page. So, my CS friends, there’s now a FoodieCat just beyond the Rainbow Bridge, where golden catcaves are filled with soft pillows, moving toys, and platters of bacon and tuna, tended by hosts of angels ever-generous with hugs, kisses, brushies, and ear scratches.

So far next time: peanut butter chocolate cookies with a shortcut, laundry tip {what’s that doing here?}, Emeril + Julia = recipes, cheese/chocolate pairings, lunch on the go and in style, veggie passion, good food tv series

Last week, just below:  no-bake key lime, finding Netflix food shows, Taco Bell news & recipe, indoor grilling, griddles & smokers, bacon cheddar dip, Trisha Yearwoods’ chalkboard cookies, Venetian/English breakfast, all-in chocolate pie, gluttony good???

Direct access to Amazon homepage through my personal link

Looking for something in CS? – scroll & check previews OR use the search box OR email me at bjnosek@gmail.com, also valid for questions & comments – see the Let’s Chat tab for details

Note, transactions are solely between the buyer and linked supplier

Photo credits – lunch totes 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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Kids’ bacon cheddar dip, Aug 23-29, 2019

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

New Salon every Friday – c’mon in

CS friends, and help yourself to tasty resources!

R.I.P. Beloved Misty {note on her History page}

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

  TIDBITS – no-bake key lime / showfinder / pop goes the Taco Bell    CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT – outdoor grilling, phooey    FEATURED RECIPE – it’s bacony, tasty, and a multi-tasker    TIP – chalk up one of the fun-est cookie tricks ever    THE WEEK – Venetian/English breakfast / this time it’s pie / gluttony good???

  TIDBITS 

Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

  Room for one more no-bake dessert? It’s creamy key lime pie and wow is it easy. Just 8 ingredients, 3 steps. BUT, choose instead a store-bought graham cracker crust and it’s 5 ingredients, 2 steps. WAIT, not done. Choose plain over pretty and it’s 4 ingredients, 1 step! And, from MyRecipes, a darn reliable source of good stuff.

  Got Netflix? Did you know about the secret code that lets you instantly find all their food shows? Food & Wine tells all, how to access it, how to use it.

  Taco Bell fans, pack your bags for Palm Springs. That where the Mex chain is opening a pop-up hotel this month, with a menu of TB favorites gussied up a bit. Or, put your suitcase back on the shelf and just serve some of their Fire Chip Chilaquiles, recipe included in the story. And if you want to dress or accessorize for the occasion, there’s also an online TB store.

  CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT   

Love grilling – but the ” great outdoors”, not so much?

Solution – indoor grills. Yikes, who knew there are so many possibilities, both electric and stove top. Some good Amazon prices too, don’t know if always or special for end of the season.

They range from the quite gussy, like the plug-in Hamilton Beach shown, complete with view Hamilton Beach 25361 Electric Indoor Searing Grill with Removable Easy-to-Clean Nonstick Plate, Viewing Window, Stainless Steelwindow, adjustable heat, non stick surface, plus the hood, plate, drip tray all dish washer safe, $69.99 at Amazon {list $89.99}, 4 1/2 stars.

At the other end of the spectrum, stove top grill pans. Here, the Lodge 10.5 square inch cast iron griller, pre-seasoned, $18.90 at Amazon {list $44.30}, 4 stars.

But, as they say, wait, there’s more. Indoor griddles that sit atop your stove also are available with grill grooves. And, you can even find indoor smokers. Neener neener bees, mosquitos, wind, rain, etc.

Elec grill shown    Stove-top pan shown  ♦  4 star & up electric grills

4 star & up grill pans   4 star & up griddles    4 star and up stove-top smokers

  FEATURED RECIPE  

Bacon rules a cheesy dip that lives on in other tasty ways

In our 08.02.19 Salon we featured cookbooks for kids. Because of “my kid” Misty I had chosen to focus on ‘Bacon Artist.” Nice recipes for soup, salad, sandwiches and snacks, plus cooking methods and safety tips. Bacon Artist: Savory Bacon Recipes (Kids Can Cook!)

I mentioned that the first recipe I would likely try was the bacon cheddar dip, and now I’ve done exactly that, and hooray! As the title indicates, its first incarnation was as a dip, which the book suggests serving with crackers, chips, and such veggies as carrots, cauliflower and broccoli.

But oh, can it go way beyond that. Since the recipe makes quite a bit there were lots of leftovers after taking s star turn during cocktail hour with friends. It’s next use was a sauce for pasta, thinned a bit with bouillon, sprinkled with parsley and parm. Future uses: over sauteed chicken or shrimp, napped on scrambled eggs {such a natural with the bacon and cheese}, or maybe the book’s suggestion to roll it up in tortillas, chill, cut into pinwheels.

Amazon has the subject of kid cookbooks thoroughly covered. The link below filters the selections by best rating but you can further customize by age group, format, condition, Prime and more.

Bacon Cheddar Dip recipe  “Bacon Artist”    Cookbooks for kids, 4 stars and up

  TIP  

Another whimsical way to decorate food – thanks Trisha!

In our 07.26.19 Salon we drew designs on holiday food with food pens and food gels. Now during a recent episode of Trisha Yearwood’s Food Network show, “Trisha’s Southern Kitchen,” she displayed another way to play.

But she went one better. Wait till you see how.

It started with butter cookie dough, cut into rectangles and then baked and cooled. Each was covered almost to the edge with store-bought royal icing that had been blended with black food coloring to create what looked much like a child’s small chalkboard.

So then we need . . . chalk. Oh what fun, Trisha nuked bright white candy melts until the mixture could be piped into silicone tube molds and refrigerated until firm. And then voila! Not only can you eat the decorated “chalkboard – you can also eat the “chalk.”

Trisha’s prep    Trisha’s cookbooks    tube molds at Amazon    Food Network

  A PEEK AT MY WEEK  

Welcome to my kitchen and living room

  So, came across a reference to “Venetian Breakfast,” and a google check outed it as a double contradiction. First, it’s a London phenomenon, more specifically for the stylish set in the early 1800s. Second, it was generally served in the early afternoon {!}  But what we CS-ers care more about – what was served? All my usual sources were frustratingly mum on the subject. But what I did find would seem to indicate the term refers to the time of the party rather than its dishes.

  So as to not go away totally foodless, I took a look at what’s known as a full English breakfast on the premise there could be some similarities. Here it is at its “fullest” – back bacon {much like ham}, fried eggs, fried or grilled tomatoes, fried mushrooms, fried bread or fried or grilled oatcakes or buttered toast, sausages {bangers}, white or black pudding {or both}, baked beans, sometimes even bubble & squeak, along with HP sauce, ketchup and marmite plus coffee, tea and fruit juices. The accounts of actual 1800s breakfasts also included beer, wine & ale.

  The newest “all-in” is a chocolate pie. The filling: the leftover cheesecake from the lemon tarts in the 08.02.19 Salon thawed from freezer and blended with a chocolate medley that had been melted into a can of sweetened condensed milk – a mixed bag of milk chocolate and bittersweet chocolate chips, some of a Lindt blueberry/acai chocolate bar, a Hershey’s bar with Reese’s Pieces, and the Hershey’s Gold bar with peanuts and pretzels that was decorated for Dad’s Day in our play-with-your-food Salon 07.26.19, probably about 2 cups in all – into a store-bought crust, then chilled till firm. And yes, luck struck again, because it turned out exceedingly good, dense like a thick mousse.

  Well here’s a different take on one of the Seven Deadlies – found in my notes from “American Food Writing,” quoting turn of the century columnist Elizabeth Robbins Pennell on gluttony which she says – “deserves  nothing but praise and encouragement . . .  it is the result and proof of the digestive organs being perfect . . .{m}orally it shows implicit resignation to the commands of nature . . . {and} love of good eating is an incentive to thought, a stimulus to the imagination.” Ohhhhhhhkay.

So far next week: peanut butter chocolate cookies, easy mole, creamsicle cheesecake™, what cleans your coffeemaker???, poachin, taking lunch, notes to go, verified – pizza reheat

Last week, just below: no-cook dinners, impromptu grilling basket, reincarnating spices, Calvin Trillin’s funny food book, cilantro peanut dip, cilantro recipes, two stick trick, farmers market tips, dinner on a stick, Trillin vignette

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 – grills & book/Amazon, cookies/Trisha Yearwood on Food Network, 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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Peanut Cilantro Dip, Aug 16-22, 2019

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

& Misty the FoodieCat

CS friends, help yourself to tasty resources!

  CatChat –  Misty previews this week’s salon  

  TIDBITS – neener neener stove / impromptu grilling basket / reincarnating spices    CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT – funny food guy    FEATURED RECIPE – cilantro overload?    TIP – two stick trick    THE WEEK – farmers market tips / dinner on a stick / funny Trillin

Misty’s History    Misty’s Gallery

  TIDBITS 

Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

  Fall is just around the corner but most of us will still be spending time in the swelter zone. So how welcome to have Food & Wine bring us a slide show of “12 No-Cook Dinners” to make right now. In the lineup, colorful roast beef summer rolls, tuna banh mi, spicy Asian chicken lettuce cups.

  Love this guy. F&W’s Justin Chapple comes up with the darnedest Mad Genius Tips, in this case crafting a grilling basket out of baking racks and paper clips. He describes it in steps, but it’s easier I think to understand if you watch the on-page video.

  Haven’t needed yet to try this, but love the idea. When you find spices in your pantry that have exceeded their expiration or best buy date, there’s an alternative according to My Recipes that can help bring whole or dried spices back to life. Pretty easy too, just involves some skillet toasting. There are also some interesting videos on the page.

  CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT   

Trillin makes food funny

Peter Meehan, who was the late super food writer Jonathan Gold’s editor at the Lucky Peach, said in the Gold dvd {well nuts, thought I had mentioned this in a previous Salon, but guess not – will remedy that next week – great, great video} – “modern food writing began with Calvin Trillin.” Who, in fact, appears in that dvd.

Trillin has a unique approach to his subject. In the intro to his entry in “American Food Writers” Alice, Let's Eat: Further Adventures of a Happy Eaterauthor Molly O’Neil calls him “a hungry amateur in a world of overwrought connoisseurs, an anti-gourmet . . . {s}elf-deprecating and never at a loss for irony, the reluctant foodie serves slices of real life, hold the pretense.”

What he tells you about here is not so much a critique of food or chefs or restaurants as it is his pursuit of something wonderful he had before, something enticing he’s heard about, or something he wants out of sheer curiosity, And he’s willing to travel the world to track down that lusted-for bite.

In, “Alice, Let’s Eat,” we learn right at the start the identity of his two true passions: love of food and love of wife. It’s despite the former and because of the latter that he’s willing to forgive Alice for her “seemingly uncontrollable attacks of moderation.” That playful tension marks much of this little book full of big smiles. A joyful read. Four stars on Amazon, Kindle, paper and hardcover.

“Alice, Let’s Eat”    A trilogy that includes “Alice”    Other Trillin books on Amazon

  FEATURED RECIPE  

Too much cilantro?

Well I’m hoping some day I can say that about the yield from my mini indoor garden, but for now took advantage of a good sale at my market. Then, ahhhhh, what to do with all of it?

Good ol’ AllRecipes told me exactly what I could do with it – in of course the nicest possible way. The one that I chose turned out to be a lovely, versatile dip –  a tasty take on classic peanut sauce.

A couple of notes. Because of the cilantro, though I may have overly-indulged my love of this herb, it takes on a color that belies its flavor. Also, I did add just a touch of salt. One more thing, this is quite the delightful tongue tingler, but if you’re not a spice fan you’ll want to cut back on the pepper flakes. Note as well that it thickens {and gets even better} in the fridge.

The recipe suggests such dippers as French bread and veggies, showing what looks like bell peppers, baby bok choy and maybe jicama. But found this to be also great on pita crackers, crisped flour tortillas, even in entree mode on roasted chicken or pork, or as I did, on scrambled eggs  {shown}.

Easy too! Some minimal chopping, a couple of rounds in the processor, and done!

Peanut Cilantro Dip recipe    Other cilantro preps on AllRecipes

  TIP  

Taming the kebab

So, we’ve had some fun here with courses on skewers. And yet one more appears in “Week” below.

Whenever I’m kebab-ing, I like to use two sticks. This makes the ingredients behave, keeps them from doing roly polys as they would on just one stick.

This trick is especially helpful if you are making say an all meat kebab that you’ll be cooking in a skillet or the oven or on the grill. When you turn them over, everyone goes along for the ride.

You can see this two-stick-er in the photo below.

  A PEEK AT MY WEEK  

Welcome to my kitchen and living room

  I love farmers markets and one of my very favorite mags, Sunset, just made that experience even better. A reader in a recent issue asked how to get the most out of these bounty of the earth fests. Some of the suggestions I liked best – bring three bags, one each for sturdy produce, tender items, and dairy/meats/eggs, do a couple of laps before you buy anything, and bring small bills.

  Both here in the Salon and in my “50 Kitchen Tricks” book we’ve seen courses on a skewer – breakfast, appetizer, salad, and dessert. Now a recent issue of Food Network Magazine takes it a step further and spears dinner on a stick too. Their creative takes were actually kebab-ing classic sandwiches – banh mi, Philly cheesesteak, turkey club, and meatball & eggplant parmesan {all on this page}. The one I played with – roasted pork tacos wrapped with green salsa & cheese and heated and browned in a skillet, alternated with avocado, tomato and seeded jalapenos, served with red salsa rice and simple nachos.

  I love this glimpse into Calvin Trillin’s love affair with food, delivered to us in the “Alice” book featured above. He’s fondly recalling a  thick potato pancake he enjoyed some years back and the fact that it is eaten while standing up – and that, Trillin says, is “a method that gives the eater the additional pleasure of being able to jump up and down occasionally in delight.”

So far next week: all-in pie, Venetian breakfast, chocolate peanut butter cookies, no-bake key lime pie, food show code, gluttony good???, Taco Bell pop-up hotel, recipe & gear, wait till you see these cookies!

Last week, just below: Martha’s spicy pulled pork in the slow cooker, s’mores ice cream cake, Uber add-on, un-frying, great kitchen organization trick, choc/cheese sammie 2.0, a sideways thinking way to solve red wine stains, put what now in the egg salad? 

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

FacebooktwitterlinkedinFacebooktwitterlinkedin

No-bake lemon cheesecake tarts, Aug 2-8, 2019

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

& Misty the FoodieCat

CS friends, help yourself to tasty resources!

  CatChat –  Misty previews this week’s salon  

  TIDBITS – pizza help duo / begorrah, the winner is . . . / out damned stain    CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT – cookbooks for kids    FEATURED RECIPE – so good, so easy, so refreshing    TIP – one from Ina Garten {and one for her???}    THE WEEK – more Med / ps to scones recipe / ps 2 to scones recipe

Misty’s History    Misty’s Gallery

  TIDBITS 

Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

  Pizza help – x 2! The first, from Food & Wine, is a reheating trick – in a skillet to get a crispy crust which I had heard of, and then the addition of a few drops of water to melty-up the cheese which was new to me. The second, from Well Done, tells you what you can do following that cry of owwwww {or something stronger} when too hot pizza assaults the roof of your mouth.

  Lads and lassies, gather around Ireland’s favorite meal, as determined by an IrishCentral poll. Yep, it’s the full Irish breakfast, and hooray the story is replete with recipes for all the contenders. Btw, in the photo for bacon and cabbage you’ll see what you’ll likely be served in an Irish pub when you order bacon, often offered as an entree because it’s like the best ham ever.

  Another chance to expand your vocabulary occurs when you or someone else accidentally douses your good stuff with a glass of cab or pinot. Well Done to the rescue with their guide, “How to remove red wine stains from almost anything.” One tip I also heard, fortunately no opportunity yet to test, is to immediately pour white wine on the stain. For any of these probably want to try first on a small area.

  CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT  

Kids can cook!

And did you know – there are all kinds of cookbooks for kids. Because of “my kid” Misty I chose  ‘Bacon Artist.” Nice recipes for soup, salad, sandwiches and snacks. Bacon Artist: Savory Bacon Recipes (Kids Can Cook!)

The pages also talk about becoming a bacon artist including safety tips, the kinds of bacon, cooking methods, making bacon bits, and of course recipes. Think the one I’ll try first is the bacon cheddar dip.

Amazon has this subject thoroughly covered. There’s a link below filtering the selections by rating but you can also customize by age group, format, condition, Prime and more.

“Bacon Artist”  ♦  Other cookbooks for kids    Cookbooks for kids, 4 stars and up

  FEATURED RECIPE  

Tart lemon, sweet cheesecake 

A Tasting Panel Selection

I have to give primary credit to AllRecipes because the cheesecake layer is totally theirs. It was actually for a regular full size cheesecake with cherry pie topping. Their readers gave it 4 1/2 stars.

For our version, we spooned the creamy mix into store-bought graham cracker tart shells and then topped it with out of the jar lemon curd. You could certainly also add a dollop of whipped cream.

So, what makes this cheesecake so rich and creamy? Could it be full the pint of  heavy whipping cream??? Whether tart or full cake, this is the only recipe I’ll use from now on.

AllRecipes cheesecake  

  TIP  

What a good idea

And so obvious have to wonder if I’m the only cook/baker that hasn’t thought of it. Thanks to Ina Garten for this one.

Watching her “Barefoot Contessa” show on Food Network, where she was making meringues which in turn went onto parchment paper. She wanted them to be a particular diameter and so marked the dimensions on the underside of the paper with a pencil. Voila, instant guide.

And then in a moment of spectacular immodesty, wondered if I could give her a tip{!} For the next dish, filled acorn squash, she talked about how hard it is to cut this veggie in half. With a knife Attila could have taken into battle she sliced into one of the grooves and then banged the whole works on the board till it fell in two. Ummm, what I actually do before backing is pierce the squash in a few places, nuke it for about three minutes, and watch a regular knife go through it like butter. 😉

Ina Garten cookbooks on Amazon    “Barefoot Contessa” on DVD    On Prime Video

  A PEEK AT MY WEEK  

Welcome to my kitchen and living room

  As a followup to my mention in the 07.19.19 Salon of the “The 30-Minute Mediterranean Diet Cookbook,” I’ve now found further encouragement with a Clean Plates post identifying “The Best Products You Can Buy for a Mediterranean Diet” – just in case you’d like to try some of this too.

  A ps to the scones prep we posted on our Recipe Page in conjunction with the food pen design for St. Pat’s Day in the 07.26.19 Salon. The original comes from the AllRecipes site which you can see here. It actually called for cranberries and walnuts rather than dates and pecans. the latter a nod to my mom’s awesome bread. Also I adjusted the recipe somewhat after reading some suggestions in the comments, and then adjusted it a bit further after our Tasting Panel session.

  Fair warning that my final version leans more toward moist than crumbly and just as noted in some of the comments this can make the step of cutting the dough into separate triangles a bit of a challenge. Two things I think I’ll try for future times, one is to deeply score the whole round of dough and then finish cutting through after baking, and the other is to use a biscuit cutter instead as shown in this joyofbaking demo. It’s certainly worth the effort because these are really good, and even the original, despite some issues posted on the page, rates 4 1/2 stars.

So far next week: dare to air, kitchen storage trick, weird upgrade for weird sammie, egg salad in love, Martha’s slow cooker recipe

Last week, just below: Play with your food! Draw colorful designs right on holiday classic fare, year ’round 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 – 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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Play with your food! Artsy, craftsy fun! July 26-Aug 1, 2019

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

& Misty the FoodieCat

CS friends, help yourself to tasty resources!

  CatChat –  Misty previews this week’s salon  

Well, my kitty-loving friends, my job was easy this week, because it was all about just one thing – making food pretty {why??????}. One bummer, with all the stuff mom found to “paint,” don’t you think bacon could have been in there somewhere??? But, nooooo 😼

Misty’s History  ♦  Misty’s Gallery

TIDBITS / MARKETPLACE / RECIPE / TIP / MY WEEK 

Yes, dear CS friends, it takes all five “conversation pits” to cover this artsy chat 

In our 04.05.19 Salon we talked about how to decorate baked potatoes with food color pens.  Since that time, all kinds of “canvases” in the fridge and pantry have become fair game for “enhancement.”

And some new pens with thick and thin tips plus a trio of sparkle gels have now joined the arsenal, the latter especially good when you have a surface that might not work well with a food pen. Note that, as the tube says, this stuff doesn’t dry completely – something you want to keep in mind when storing or transporting the decorated item.

For any designs, be sure the area is dry, and the harder the surface the better. More tips follow the decorating section below. It’s especially fun for the holidays, though of course you could have at it whenever the muse might move you.

Here are just some of the ways you can play with your food . . .

New Year’s, midnight snack on NYE, or lazy brunch on NYD – star studded bagel or a pastry that has a similarly smooth surface. Or glitter gel on muffin, donuts, croissants, sweet rolls.

Valentine’s – what fun when you watch the polite smile you get as you hand over a box of candy transform into a big grin when the cover is lifted to reveal a sweet message. Just turn over however many candies you need to write your note on the bottoms. This worked best with the side of the tips.

          

St Patrick’s Day – shamrocks on Irish scones. Need a fabulous scone recipe? Our Tasting Panel approved version is now on our Recipe Page.

Easter – in addition to our previous egg design on a baked potato in the April 15 Salon, you could of course just use the pens to color right on hard cooked eggs. The egg shells must be dry when you decorate them. Now even so, the colors may slightly run in the fridge so what you want to do is create designs where they’ll still look good. Also, decorate just one display side.

{Note that colors might run onto fingers and eggs during peeling. Too much fuss – there’s always the taters.}

Mother’s Day – sugar cookies with flowers. Use store-bought or homemade. Again, easiest to paint on the bottoms.

Memorial Day – apples on apple pie. Or if you’re going with another filling, echo that on the top crust. Here, it’s best to “dot” the design onto the crust rather than trying to draw lines. You also want to be careful not to lean on the rim and break the crust – you can help avoid this be cutting the pie first and decorating the individual pieces.

           

Father’s Day – “Love You Dad” in sparkle gel on a candy bar. This was the “Hershey’s Gold” which provided a nice light colored surface. Be sure to then keep the finished bar in a container deep enough that you can cover it without anything touching the gel design.

4th of July – starry watermelon. Love this way to serve a mini, cut into easy-eat spears. First, though, cut a small slice off a rounded end and set it aside. Then cut the melon in half and using the half with the missing slice, cut into vertical spears. Dry the rind of the cut piece you’ve set aside, decorate with the sparkle gels, and replace it onto the melon spears. At serving time, remove the top and set elsewhere as a decoration. In case any of the gel gets on the melon, no problem since it is of course edible.

{A totally different way to play – since regular food pens don’t show up very well on watermelon rind, and you may regard the gels even in this application as too messy, here’s another idea. Put the pens back in the pantry and instead use small stickers showing flags, stars, Uncle Sam, etc. – from the craft store or even the ones that sometimes are included with return address labels – on each of the spear tops. You’ll still want to make sure the surface is dry.}

Labor Day – turns out s’mores actually can be even more fun. With fireworks. Edible fireworks. Decorate as many squares as there will be s’mores and set them aside as tops. I smooshed the mallow down with a pancake turner so avoid the possibility of the top cracker breaking.

              

Halloween – the trick for this treat starts with orange bell peppers. Carefully cut around the stem and remove it, then cut the pepper in half vertically and remove the seeds without cutting through to the outside. Lay the halves cut-side down on a work surface and use the black or brown pen to draw pumpkin faces. When the colors are fully dry, move the pieces to a flat serving platter and carefully cut the pepper halves into serving size strips – it’s a good idea to dry the knife after each cut. Add strips of green pepper as stems. It’s best to do this close to serving time so they don’t have to be refrigerated.

{If no orange peppers available, you could probably use an orange or tangerine. Then just cut each half in half again and serve the assembled quarters as  part of dessert.}

Thanksgiving – classic holiday decs on baked sweet potatoes. Decide how many pieces each potato will yield and then place the designs so that there will be one on each serving. Photo shows them after baking. Btw, for anything going right onto an oven or toaster oven rack, design side up.

Christmas – Well {darn it} no one has yet figured out how to grow pizza on trees, but you can “grow” a tree on pizza. Your “canvas” is a pizza bottom. Here’s how – bake a round pizza and chill completely in the fridge. Then cut into wedges, as much as possible all the same size. Turn half of the slices face down on a work surface. Cut small pieces out of the bottom corners {your snack!} to create the tree trunks. Pat the crusts dry if necessary, then decorate – easiest with the dotting method. Place the decorated wedges on the other slices, and then reheat the “sandwiches.”

{For our feature on decorating baked potatoes on April 15, we designed one with a Christmas tree on it {see above.}

Anytime – Birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, reunions, baby showers, bridal showers, any festive occasion. Maybe marshmallows decorated to become baby “birthday cakes” {see photo}. And remember you can always “paint” anything you want on a potato going into the oven. See details for this in our 04.05.19 Salon. Also, hard cooked eggs can be your artsy friend as well.

Some things to note. Always work on dry surfaces. And then keep the finished design away from moisture. Also, be sure the food pen designs are dry before coming into contact with anything else. Remember the gels never dry completely.

Keep paper towels nearby, both to test colors and to wipe the tips when crumbs are involved. It’s a really good idea to practice whatever you want to do prior to party eve, so you know how the colors look and work on the chosen surface, and as well how they do in the oven or the fridge where that’s applicable.

Most of all have a ball with this, use your own considerable creativity to go beyond what’s above, and don’t worry about mistakes. Well, there is one you should worry about . . . be sure to store the food pens far away from regular markers – that’s a mixup you don’t want to make.

And don’t worry about your artistic skills. Look at the ones here that I did, not likely hanging in the Louvre any time soon. No worries, play, display, grin!

Food color pens The 1st ones I used The second ones with thick & thin tips

Gel food coloring Wilton sparkle gels and others

So far next week: bacon cookbook & others for kids, no bake cheesecake, Ina Garten, squash help, scones ps x 2, best Med diet products

Last week, just below: grilling gone wild, off for the coffee & bound for the beer, flex your diet muscles, everyday ways to lose weight, rockin’ sammies in a roll, hot & not, go Med, egg bonanza, ps x 3 for all-in bread pudding

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 – all are mine this week

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

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

& Misty the FoodieCat

CS friends, help yourself to tasty resources!

  CatChat –  Misty previews this week’s salon  

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

Misty’s History    Misty’s Gallery

  TIDBITS 

Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

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

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

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

  CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT  ♦ 

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

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

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

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

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

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

“American Food Writing”

  FEATURED RECIPE  

Not sorry 

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

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

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

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

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

Eclair recipe

♦  TIP  

You 1, Beef 0

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

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

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

“How to Tenderize Any Cut of Beef”

  A PEEK AT MY WEEK  

Welcome to my kitchen and living room

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

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

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

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

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

Direct access to Amazon homepage through my personal link

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

Note, transactions are solely between the buyer and linked supplier

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

All pages ©2019 CooksSalon.com

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

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