C’mon in to our Alexa Room, Sept 24-Sept 30, 2021

New Salon every Friday – and you’re invited

C’mon in and help yourself to tasty resources

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

Next week – Kitchen Talk, Shopping Finds, Featured Recipes & Cocktail Hour Buzz

Let’s wine & dine with Alexa   

Tap into some of this culinary bounty that is an everyday part of Amazon Echo’s offerings – always CS-style recipes, sometimes tips and tidbits too

  Caramel Bourbon Brownie Cookies   There’s a title that catches the eye. And it doesn’t even touch on the cocoa, chocolate chips and walnuts that also go into these treats described as chewy and chocolately with  a hint of spice. Includes some nice ideas too for any leftover caramel sauce. Video and step by step demo. From SideChef.

  Cubano Burger   Everything you love in a Cubano sandwich piled onto a well seasoned ground pork burger, all tucked into a brioche bun. Yum. From Tastemade.

  Loaded Vegetarian Nachos   Show of hands for renaming these Fiesta Nachos, because just look at that celebration of colors, flavors and textures all on one plate. More ingredients than we usually feature but so worth it and you actually could if you want limit the toppings. One shortcut that I used was canned lentils, still stirring in all the seasonings. From Tasty.  

♦  Eggs in a Cloud   The same folks bring us a prep that is pure fun. And, oh yeah, there’s bacon in there too, plus chives if you like, mixed into the whipped whites, baked for 3 min to emerge with golden crests. Then the yolks are plopped into these nests, a bit more baking and out comes a whimsical breakfast. A big bonus is the wacky hack you’ll see in the demo for separating out the yolks. From Tasty.

  Chili Relleno Casserole   The creator of this prep calls the dish very easy to prepare and loaded with flavor. Reviewers agree, giving it 4+ stars. It starts with canned whole green chile peppers that are stuffed with both jack and cheddar, treated to a pour-over of eggs, evaporated milk and flour, then baked. The recipe calls for topping with canned tomato sauce, but I’m thinking taco sauce could be interesting. From AllRecipes.

  Mini Cheesecakes with Melty Chocolate and Strawberry Hearts   Make any day Valentine’s Day with a dessert that’s as simple as it is elegant. Decadence checks in too with its buttery graham cracker crust, rich filling, and perfect toppings. Note that you want to make them a day ahead to then decorate them after an overnight stay in the fridge. Credited to Christina Lane at Food Network Kitchen

Would you like your own Echo Show?

Boundless finds –  music, movies, tv shows, videos, health tips & news, entertainment news, national news, local news, sports news & recaps, jokes, weather, time, timer, alarm, reminders, shopping lists, Amazon delivery notifications, alerts, security camera connection, Skills . . .  and food, food, food, including step by step demos for most recipes, all on an interactive screen. Some connect to Amazon Prime.

Find the Show or other Echo style that’s just right for you on the Amazon pages below

Some are sweet & simple OR others have voice control, 3D audio, BlueTooth, HiFi speakers, Color bulbs, Smart home hub, alarms, clocks, also separate smart clocks & accessories too

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Recipes Galore & More, Sept 17-Sept 23, 2021

New Salon every Friday – and you’re invited

C’mon in and help yourself to tasty resources

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

Next week – use our links as we Wine & Dine with Alexa

      Let’s Chat   

Kitchen Talk –  In our 08.06.21 Salon we brought you a big list of Fresh Summer Appetizers from MyRecipes, and made and displayed the mini corn cakes with salmon and dill creme fraiche. But . . . with a few “companions” this snack easily upgrades to lunch or brunch. Here we invited in potato salad, tomatoes, pickles and olives. Mmmmm.        Vegan or vegetarian. Full-time? Some time? Give it time? Taste of Home has you covered with its Plant-Based Guide, mostly taking the mystery out of meat substitutes but with lots of links to other information.      If you kick diets to the curb, this is 100% good news. An Oreo Cafe opened last month in Rutherford NJ, where the iconic cookies go wild, and we can only assume more places in the country will also soon be serving countless calories-be-darned twists and turns.

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Shopping Finds – Oh this is good, and a National Bestseller, “The School of Essential Ingredients.” And those ingredients are almost like characters, showing us not only how to appeal to all our senses but also, as the books says, to “live in our senses.” And as the human characters come to life one by one, we discover something else – the varying roles food and cooking and sharing may play within each person’s own individual world. A cover quote says it best: “A delicious, meltingly lovely hymn to food and friendship.” Multiple formats, 4 1/2 stars on Amazon.        Well how how handy is this. Frozen nuggets of crushed ginger, ready to be popped out as needed whenever the fresh stuff isn’t on hand. May not be a one-for-one sub for the actual root, but the fragrance as it melts into hot butter or oil tells you ginger is in the house.

This week’s featured CS-designed, Zazzle-crafted item – See our NEW o’clocks. We have designs for lovers of pizza, wine, candy, beer, burgers, coffee, tea, cheese, chocolate, cupcakes, pie, and ice cream. See them on our CS t-shirt page and CS foodie mug page.

 Featured Recipes

Jean-Philippe on Instagram

Jean-Philippe Ruzé is a first class French guide and keto chef that I am honored to call friend. He regularly posts dishes on facebook that tempt you to reach right into the screen, and a recent one was such fun I wanted to bring it to you here. Chaffles! Cheese * Waffles = Chaffles. Here’s his recipe to make two: mix an egg with 50 g shredded mozzarella, salt, pepper and some parsley. Divide the preparation into 2 and bake in the waffle iron {Alexa says 50 g is just under 2 oz or about 1/2 cup}. He tops these with butter cooked eggs on a slice of emmental, sprinkled with a pinch of tarragon, salt & pepper You can also tap into his awesome preps at the Instagram link above. From Jean-Philippe

Chicken Tamale Pie

Anything that promises 5 min prep time is a magnet for us. And this recipe can probably live up to it with an ingredients list composed of cooked chicken, canned goods, jarred salsa and shredded cheese. Some nice spices go in there too, all topped with a broth-infused cornmeal crust. {Oops, that crust could stretch the prep time by a couple of minutes.} I’m also thinking this could be good in large individual ramekins. From Food Network

Slow Cooker Pineapple Habanero Pulled Chicken

Those same folks check in with another chicken prep, this one though considerably higher on the “thermometer.” And in case the 1-2 habaneros don’t tingle your tongue enough, there’s also black pepper and hot sauce in the mix. Thank your culinary stars for the pineapple, sour cream and lime juice. Lots of other good stuff in {and on} there too. From Food Network.

Tomato & Bacon Flatbread with Greens

Well this is quite the colorful plate-ful. Ready-made pizza dough means an easy start and the rest moves along pretty smoothly too. A super flavorful vinaigrette seasons the dough and then waits in the wings while the flatbread goes through an initial baking and then back in the oven with the tomatoes, bacon and cheese. Then the mixed baby greens take their turn with the remaining vinaigrette and Voila! ready to enjoy. From Real Simple

Sweet Lemon Desserts You Can Make All Year Long

Cheesecakes and crumb cakes and pound cakes, oh my. And more. Pies, and bars, and cookies. And more. From Southern Living

   Cocktail Hour Buzz   

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

   Topo Chico? Has this hot topic made its way to your doorstep yet? The short take is it’s a mineral water from Mexico, but the fact is it has quite a backstory. It involves a legend, history, geography, health claims, drink ideas, name origin, and hangover buzz, prevention as well as cure {alternatives just below}. Thanks to the WideOpenEats site {shows as secure} much of the story is all gathered in one place. They can be hard to find, so if you need to, can turn to good ol’ Amazon.

   Yeah, we do tend to feature Yearwood creations here a bit, but mercy Trisha just does so much that’s fun, so much that’s tasty. The latter goes into overdrive in her Charleston Cheese Dip, where cheese x 3 meets bacon, scallions and a touch of spice, all creamy-ed up with mayo. I’m in!

   A recent episode of “Chopped” on Food Network was themed on “hangry,” though a specific application which is to say hangovers. While as always ingredients abounded, both inside and outside the baskets, these are the ones that both contestants and judges seemed to think best address the issue: eggs, avocados, broth, cheese, noodles, hydrating fruits like watermelon, any kind of bread or crackers, anything creamy whether sweet or savory. For what it’s worth.

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

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Click above for Amazon home page, below for Amazon Echo {Alexa}

Echo Show styles      Echo Dots      Echo Studio      Especially for Kids

Or browse all the fun Echo styles right here

CS-Designed, Zazzle-Crafted Items

Food Lovers T-Shirts page here on CS  ♦  Food Lover Mug page here on CS

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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

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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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Aug 20-Sept 16, 2021

New Salon every Friday – c’mon in

CS friends, and help yourself to tasty resources

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

While we’re on a brief break, please enjoy past Salons & and other CS pages. See you right back here on Sept 17. Happy Labor Day!

  Let’s chat   

Kitchen Talk – So, I finally made Joanna Fluke’s chocolate chip crunch cookies. They’re featured in her bakery-themed book series and dvds, also among the recipes in her cookbook based on the bakery goods in that fiction realm. Links for all below in Shopping Finds        I did tweak a bit. First, I used a cup of chocolate chips and a cup of butterscotch chips, because I happened to have those on hand. Second, I measured with an ice cream scoop {walnut sized cookies – nope}. It made 26 and still baked at 375 in 10 min. I know this sort of undoes the whole idea, but not sure about the crunch. A commenter said she used Corn Chex™ {because that’s what she had on hand}, and wondering if just personally I’d like that texture better. The flavor in any case is excellent.        Need to use up some taters? Here’s a tasty, and I’d say healthful too, way to do just that. Thai Curry Potato Soup on Ihe Idaho Potato Commission site, calls upon assertive seasonings that are slightly tamed by coconut milk and chicken bouillon. Interesting garnishes too.

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Shopping Finds – For Joanna Fluke’s items on Amazon.  Mystery novels   Movies based on the novels   Cookbook with recipes from the stories.        More sparkly stuff! OK, don’t see them in my stores yet but maybe in yours. Nestle ® Toll House ® Disco ™ Semi Sweet & Edible Glitter Morsels. How fun is that??? See more on their page.

This week’s featured CS-designed, Zazzle-crafted item – Our featured item last week was especially for dog lovers. This week, if you’re a dog lover and a coffee lover, this one’s for you. Or maybe for a friend who shares those two passions. “Who’s a good coffeehound???”  Browse on Zazzle, your choice, mug or tee.

   On the Table  

Featured Recipes

Jacques Pepin’s Cream Cheese Soufflé

Wait, come back! Despite a rep that precedes it and not always in the most favorable way, this savory souffle could not be easier. The link actually takes you to a YouTube video where the platinum-credentialed chef himself shows you how it’s done. At the end of the demo there’s a list of ingredients and amounts. That his dishes are so elegant yet simple is a common refrain in the comments. From the Masters at Home series on PBS.

Giant cheese stuffed cracker

While it may borrow some style notes from pies, this is indeed a big-a cracker. And the title really should say CHEESE ’cause that filling blends a whole lot of cheddar, cream cheese and Parm. After the two crusts are baked, it’s all fridge. I did wonder if the crust would be so crackery that it would shatter when cut, but no, demo shows the wedge coming out nice and smooth, pie-like. Interesting way to shape the dough too. From Food Network.

Giant taco roll

Can two things from the same folks make a pattern? Who cares, this sounds like some tasty fun. A wrap made of baby corn tortillas is lightly baked with cheese inside and out. Then in goes a savory filling of ground beef, beans, pico, pickled jalapenos, black olives, seasonings and more cheese, baked and sliced. From Food Network.

Nutella Marshmallow French Toast 

One bite and you’ll want s’more {sorry!}. And simple as can be. I personally like this prep because of the quick dip in the egg/cream mixture and then into the pan. Those who may prefer the more custardy version could certainly let it sit in the drink a while longer.  No Nutella? Do what I did and mix melted chocolate chips with cashew butter {or pb or almond butter}. Btw you could make at least two and maybe more given the amount of egg & cream. From Tasty.

Italian Style Eggplant Parmesan

Well I guess most of us already attribute that dish to this culture. But . . . maybe some of the ingredients do earn this Parm extra Italian credits. Fresh tomatoes rather than a canned products as the base of the sauce. Fresh basil rather than dried. Fresh salted mozzarella. And freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano. That’s a whole lot of mmm mmm. From Epicurious.

Their very best pizza recipes

From classic Chicago style deep dish and veggie to breakfast and dessert dishes. And so many ways to put it on the table – English muffin, pocket, pretzel, rolled, snack and casserole versions, also keto and gluten-free options, and yep dessert too. 26 in all. From Food Network.

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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. Echo owners, also note that in many cases she guides you step by step through the prep . . .

Reuben Dips  When this came up on the screen and I went to AllRecipes to fetch the prep for you, wowsie, about a bazillion came up. So I just linked to the whole AR page and if you click it, the one that should appear in the first slot is the same one that was on Alexa’s screen and of the ones I checked really looks the best to me, and it is 5 stars. Also see an alternative below particularly suited to Happy Hour.

Chicken Tamale Pie  Got a moment? Send your cursor back to the link, click, and see just how good and satisfying this looks. It’s loaded with lots of chicken, plus beans, scallions, salsa, and seasonings, all topped with a buttery, cheesy, cornmeal crust. Rave comments for this one give it its 4.5 stars. From Food Network.

Extra Crispy Spicy Fried Cauliflower  Well the double hit of a coating that includes both flour and cornstarch likely says crispy’s gonna happen. And with a teaspoon of cayenne and two tablespoons of hot sauce you can probably expect that spicy promise to deliver too. With many other flavors also checking in, this is a really nice side dish, but thinking it could easily jump into snackland and right down into Cocktail Hour Buzz. From Tasty.

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

   As promised, here is the dip referenced above in Alexa’s Room. This one is a Slow Cooker Reuben Dip which could keep warm on the snack table. Whichever one you make, whichever way you make it, probably want a big surrounding pile of rye or pumpernickel pieces or even rye crackers.

   Bad news. Tequila Day was last month and some of us might have missed celebrating it. Good news. Patron has give us enough tequila-based drink recipes to last us till next year’s big day. Shown, watermelon basil margarita. Cheers!

  Trisha Yearwood always brings us such fun food. And tasty too! As a fine example, her Cheese Straws which get an added kick from garlic powder, black pepper and cayenne. Not only great finger food, but thinking could also be pretty good dippers. Demo too. On Food Network.

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Ninja Grill on Amazon   Amazon Echo Show    Ninja Blenders

Zazzle

Food-themed T-shirts here on CS    Food-themed Mugs here on CS

Food-themed items

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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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Creamy-Topped Caramelized Pineapple, April 16-April 22, 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 – So, in a recent rerun of The Kitchen on Food Network, Katie Lee went full-on Thanksgiving with a Fall Meatloaf that mashed up ground turkey, stuffing mix, celery, onion, and a cranberry mix that goes both into and atop the loaf. Hmmm, I wondered, how might a version of this work for turkeyburgers. Answer: pretty good, if a wee crumbly, at least as I made it – 1 lb gr turkey, 1 c stuffing mix, 1 egg, s&p – but really good!      One of our favorite words at CS joins with the season in 36 Comforting Spring Casseroles, from Southern Living   She says she’s been sautéing mushrooms wrong her whole life. You too? Me too? Anyway, the fix actually turns out to be as simple as can be. Here’s the mushroom solution from the Takeout site.

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Shopping Finds – Have you tried this? Petit Pot dark chocolate French pudding. They may call it pudding but it’s more like dense mousse meets the candy called French cremes. Their site shows we can also be tempted by vanilla bean, salted caramel, CA lemon, and rice pudding, and helpfully offers suggested pairings for each. There’s also a store locator on the page.      You know what I think adds to the charm of this tasty confection – the adorable little 3″ jars. And guess what. You can find your very own to cradle any of your own desserts. Btw if you scroll down on the Amazon page you will see other sizes, shapes and quantities.

This week’s featured CS-written, Amazon-produced Kindle – Dieting? Think you have to give up snacking? Nope. Find all kinds of waistline-friendly goodies. And as well ways to replace “fat trap” ingredients with skinnier ones. All right here for just 99 cents, Big Snacks & Subs Lists.

   On the Table 

Feature – Caramelized Pineapple Slices, with 3 ways to do the creamy topping

How much good stuff applies here, let us count the ways. Five ingredients. Prep time 15 minutes. To table 25 minutes. Toasted coconut. Creamy. Caramelized. Pineapple. CS shortcuts & tips.

Pineapple topped with cottage cheese, or vice versa, is a diner staple. The simple act of caramelizing the pineapple slices and then topping the whole affair with golden coconut elevates it to company-worthy status.

Now I can almost hear some noses wrinkling at the mention of cottage cheese, and the fact is while I enjoy the taste I don’t consider the texture a bff. So I did just what I’ve done before – blend till it’s nice and smooth. Now you could substitute sour cream, but that little bit of cheese saltiness kicks up the other flavors.

The prep comes from Daisy and no, no affiliation with them, but I do like their sour cream, and for this dish did indeed use their cottage cheese. Their site features a number of fine recipes using the two products.

Recipe Notes – I used store-bought pineapple slices, not only for the convenience but as well because I prefer fresh pineapple in its pure state. I do wonder if store-bought caramel topping could work, especially the tub kind which is a little sturdier than the jarred ones. Here though I really liked the brown sugar component and actually made extra. I would not skip toasting the coconut, really adds a nice texture and takes only a few minutes {with careful watching though}.

Next week – This shrimp cocktail won’t know what hit it, but tropical flavors help cushion the blow

Recipe  ♦  Daisy recipe page

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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 Philly Cheesesteak Pull-Apart Bread? May I suggest that you use this link on Food Network to just look at this ever so appealing dish for breakfast, brunch, lunch or even snack table. All the right ingredients are right in there but in a whole new fun way. From Trisha Yearwood who we’ve seen is just the best at playing with food.

Alexa says request: How do I make coconut shrimp? The thing about any prep from Serious Eats is that you can be sure it’s been well researched to deliver the best possible version. And sure enough their recipe rated a solid five stars. While the shrimp part is nice enough, quite simple, I’m thinking maybe a contributor to those kudos was the sweet and sour and spicy and salty chili sauce accompaniment.

My request: Do you have a recipe for chicken curry served over French fries? Truth be told, I did not expect to find anything, even with Alexa’s vast resources. The request stemmed from a long ago but fondly recalled dinner at a British pub here in town that offered their chicken curry on rice or fries. Whaaaat? Ordered the fries of course and it was a revelation for the palate. Whatever brought it back to mind, wondered if this was an aberration or a real thing. Ha! The latter! See it here. Thank you Alexa.

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 Layne Whiteman adds a savory dimension to cocktail hour phone or video chat visits. Snacks! So both people, or however many folks are on the call, each then have a nibble of choice along with the beverage of choice. Makes it even more like an in-person Happy Hour. Btw, if you’re now having more actual visits, this is still a great way to party on with out-of-town family and friends.  Love it, Layne!

  I like to do a kind of snack storm. Shake up all kinds of goodies in my snack jar, always a little different with each handful and each refill. This particular one merges Chex Buffalo Ranch Mix, already a medley, plus Caesar flavor pea snacks, Cheez-it Double Cheese Snap’d, dilled almonds, Butter Toffee Coconut Peanuts, and for a touch of sweetness, Hazelnut Cocoa Pillows cereal. This a great way to use up partial bags, though of course you can also start with all fresh stuff . . . or, mix it up.

  Food & Wine brings us news from Haus, a company they report in 2019 started producing wine-based aperitifs. In the story they go on to talk about how these drinks have become popular among those who like low-alcohol cocktails. The news? The newest flavor – grapefruit jalapeno which sounds like a really nice spring sip.

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 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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So fun, Hasselback Pizza Chicken, April 9-April 15, 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 – Have you heard of this? Tea latte, officially dubbed London Fog. The basics are tea and steamed milk and then customization sets in. What’s your pleasure? Perhaps vanilla syrup or brown sugar, other sweeteners, maybe a touch of lavender. Thanks to Google see it all here, how to make or where to buy.      Love Oreos but hate the gluten? Rejoice! Yep, there are now gluten-free Oreos. Regular and Double Stuf. See them on the Oreo site.      Burger lovers love burgers anytime of the year, but as the weather turns balmy, there just seems to be something extra special about those tasty patties, in the pan or on the grill. For folks who might like to change up the current faves will want to take a look at the Best 33 Burger Recipes from Food & Wine.

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Shopping Finds – So, we’ve played a lot recently with sparkly and colored sugar. But here comes a whole different take – sparkly syrup! Found Strawberry Sparkle on Amazon – I couldn’t really see glittering in the pix but one of the reviewers who had poured it into sparkling waters said, loved watching the sparkles swirl around the bubbles. And a company called Runamok {not familiar with them but shows the lock icon} offers a Maple Sparkle Syrup. Btw, on the Amazon page you can also find jars of mica, the stuff that creates the blingy magic.    For you, for someone just setting up housekeeping, for your cookster friend? Wowsie, 24-pc kitchen utensil set, #1 Amazon Best Seller, Prime eligible, $24.99.

This week’s featured CS-designed, Zazzle-crafted item Who’s rescued a dog from a shelter and given it a loving forever home. You? Someone you know? This mug not only showcases that good deed in a kind of whimsical way, but also just may encourage others to go forth and do likewise. “I’m being trained by a sweetie I adopted from the shelter.” Find it right here on our CS mug page. Or choose a tee instead on our CS T-shirt page.

   On the Table 

Feature – Hasselback Pizza Chicken, easy fun

Once again Alexa popped up a recipe where resistance was fu-tile. And so here it is, “upstairs,” in the Featured Recipe spotlight.

This is so fun. Like chicken parm meets pizza meets a technique usually confined to the potato province.

I did take a couple of CS-liberties here. Marinara instead of puree. Pepperoni instead of salami. But you know what, it sure seems the original would be great too.

I also experimented with cooked chicken breasts from the deli counter, baked until heated through and the cheese was all melty. Worked just fine.

I opted for fries and slaw as platemates, but think pasta or even risotto could work well. Some kind of salad is almost always a good counterpoint.

Thanks, Tasty!

Next week – Creamy topped caramelized pineapple, quick and easy

Recipe  ♦  Chicken Cookbooks, 4 stars & up

♦  ♦  ♦

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 perfect spinach salad? So, when that popped up on the screen sort of had to see how it might live up the hype. Here’s what backs up the hype for a perfect spinach salad – peppered bacon, onions caramelized in the bacon fat, mushrooms also sautéed in the fat {with license to add more fat if needed}, baby spinach, and – look out – more bacon fat in the dressing  {cardiologists, look away}. From Ree Drummond.

Alexa says request: How so I make potato cannolis? As the description says, Think of this as two potatoes for the price of one. That’s because the shell is rolled and crisped potato slices, and the filling is creamy mashed potatoes, mixed with Gruyere and little hits of nutmeg and salt. A sprinkle of chives adds a touch of color to the fun. This recipe comes from Tastemade.

My request: Show me some Nutella recipes Of the bunch that she pulled up, I think the one going on the to-make list is the Easy No Bake Nutella Pie from AllRecipes. Btw, the results also included a couple of ways to make your own version of Nutella.

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

  Eately offers up some wine suggestions for the snack table and the sweet table. The page also includes a link for their wine & cheese guide.

  Our CS Tasting Panel judged this a hit. Chicken Parm Dip! Starts with a store-bought rotisserie chicken {yay!}, then gets saucy and also adds in seasonings and cheese. Serve piping hot from the oven with crostini & veggies as dippers. And be prepared – it makes a lot. The good news, so many tasty ways to use the leftovers.

  Who loves margaritas {hand raised}? If you can still find the April/May issue of Taste of Home you’ll find 10 ways to gussy up the classic. Can’t find. Well then, double down instead with this page on their site, “20 of Our Best Margarita Recipes.”

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Bailey’s Irish Cream Chocolate Cheesecake Pots, March 5-March 11, 2021

New Salon every Friday – c’mon in

CS friends, and help yourself to tasty resources

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

No Salon March 12. See you right back here on March 19

  Let’s chat   

Quick Bites – Have you heard of these? Japanese soufflé pancakes. Whisking, whipping, freezing, piping, and using cold egg whites yield a pancake like no other. Food & Wine lets us give it a try.    Can flour go bad? Sure don’t want you to get sick. So note what Healthline says about this, what to look for in terms of aroma and appearance.    Bon Appetit believes these are the only veggies we should buy frozen. Btw, in my experience frozen artichokes are way more tender than canned or jarred.

♦  ♦  ♦

Shopping Finds – As you may well have noticed, Tasty.co has become a favorite site, a great source of exactly the kind of recipes we love here. Just wanted to let you know they also make pet treats {which almost look like they could appear in our Cocktail Hour Buzz section} available at Petco. They’re based on their own recipes, also shown. One other perk of visiting the page, some pretty cool pupsters.    If you’re a Ree Drummond fan {not? never mind}, may like to know about her new seasoning line, all six quite perky. She says find them at Walmart or on Amazon. See more from Ree below in Cocktail Hour Buzz.

This week’s featured CS-designed, Zazzle-crafted item – A fave term joins a popular saying in this whimsical mug, “Who’s a good Coffeehound???” At our Food Themed Mugs page

♦  ♦  ♦

Kitchen Talk – I’m really enjoying the Stanley Tucci series on Italy and hope you are too {01.29.21 Salon}. Trying not to use as an excuse one of the bits of information from the first show – deep frying sterilizes food!!!    Just love grilled cheese with tomato. You too? Usually I keep it classic but this time nudged it into pizza territory with garlic powder, marjoram and mozzarella both above and below the tomatoes. Served with a pile of parsley, which I recently discovered is among the foods reported to counteract inflammation, treated with a squeeze of fresh lemon.    Assuming no dietary restrictions, finishing salts can instantly elevate so many dishes. But beware, somehow they manage to be saltier than {regular} salt.

   On the Table  

Feature – Celebrate St Pat’s with spirit – Bailey’s Chocolate Cheesecake Pots

A confection made with Bailey’s Irish Cream liqueur. And with the recipe from the staff of IrishCentral.

How much more St Pat’s can you get?

And here’s a nice perk. It’s no bake. Here’s another. Biscuits or crackers go as is into the bottom, no crust prep.

Now don’t be scared by the ingredient list. Here’s what I used: 12 broken up chocolate Teddy Graham snacks, 1 1/2 8 oz pkgs cream cheese {12 oz total}, 1/4 c heavy cream, 1/4 c Baileys {see note}, 1/2 c brown sugar, 2 T cocoa powder – btw, as best I could tell the conversion for the cocoa was actually 1 T, but I wanted it a bit more chocolatey.

The IrishCentral recipe, linked below, tells you how it all comes together. I’ve also linked the IrishCentral food & drink page in case you want to go bragh, I mean go bigger, for the Day, and also top rated Irish cookbooks on Amazon.

Recipe Notes – The recipe calls for the “chilled” cream cheese, not cold and not room temp, so I let it sit in the bowl for about 45 minutes before adding the other ingredients. And about the Bailey’s – while this is indeed what makes it Irish, for the kiddies or folks who don’t drink alcohol, I’d think you could sub chocolate milk and a bit of vanilla.

March 19, 2021 – Ham & Tater Cake-ettes, sort of like potato pancakes 2.0

Original recipe  ♦  Recipes on IrishCentral  ♦  Irish cookbooks, 4 stars and up

♦  ♦  ♦

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 Enchilada Rice? This prep is from AllRecipes and improves the title with the promise of Easy Chicken Enchilada Rice. The easy part is delivered, first, by calling upon a lot of store-bought goodies and, second, by having it all meet in a single skillet. Lots of flavor, and colorful too. By the way, we ran a veggie version of this dish in our 11.20.20 Salon.

Alexa says request: How do I make Nutella Mug Cake? Well, AllRecipes strikes again and once again ups the ante by giving us Fudgy Nutella Mug Cake. Preps in 5 min, cooks in 2, rests for 5, and go on in.

Alexa says request: How do I make an Italian omelet? It’s a trifecta as AllRecipes has the answer and, surprise, surprise, a promise is included in what they’re calling a Simple Italian Omelet. As with a French omelet the story is as much if not more about technique than ingredients. Still the filling here is quite nice, and yes simple, just goat cheese and chives.

And this week’s unexpected thing we found that Alexa can do – Calm your cat, comfort your dog

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

  Ranging from downhome to downright elegant, and from across the regions, I couldn’t agree more about these Top 20 Pasta Recipes from eately.com. “Italian is not my all time favorite cuisine, but these look well worth a try” – sent along by Esther Lodge Hevener

   Ree Drummond reminds us that deviled eggs are always a welcome addition to the snack table. In a recent show she topped them off with a shard of peppered bacon. I’ve also serve them wrapped in a strip of lean deli ham. Other possibilities, caviar, capers, black or green olive slices, chives, or sprinkled with paprika, dillweed, or the fave seasoning in this kitchen, Tajin. Truth be told though, I like them best just pure.

  Tasty.co strikes again. How fun are these cocktail snacks – Loaded Potato & Cheese Sticks! With bacon. Baked or fried. They’re sort of like mini cousins of the bacon-tater tot pie in our 02.12.21 Salon. Btw, lots of interesting stuff in the comments on the recipe page.

   So, watching a story on the MN State Fair on Food Network and one of the food vendors poaches eggs in the shell. Whaaaaat? Onto Google and still didn’t find exactly that but did come across a poaching trick that starts with a brief in-shell step {details here on the foodiewithfamily site}. But the line that brought a broad smile had more to do with cosmetics than technique when the author, showing a fine passion, said, “Pretty food makes everyone happy. It’s so nice to look at a pretty plate before dropping your face into it like a heathen.” – Rebecca

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Easy, Ooey Gooey Turtle Bars, Feb 19-Feb 25, 2021

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 – Carrots gone wild. Tasty and somewhat unexpected ways to use them up. Find salads, soup, smoothie, stir fry, fried rice, and desert bars in this story from Clean Plates. Also see a carrot prep & demo below in Alexa’s Room    Ha! another way to make oatmeal a bit more appealing. Thanks to MyRecipes for Peanut Butter Overnight Oats, further elevated with bananas, peanuts and honey. Btw, that same post also suggests toasting and stirring the oats for a couple of minutes over low heat before adding the liquid.    Bring some south into your kitchen no matter where you live with these 25 Classic Southern Recipes from Southern Living.

♦  ♦  ♦

Shopping Finds – Have you seen these? So clever. Designed to look like Mason jars but actually reusable plastic bags that tuck neatly into freezer, fridge or pantry. Four sizes, three packages 30-50, 10.99 -20.29. Prime eligible, 4 1/2 stars, and an Amazon’s Choice. Dimensions are shown on the page.   The reviews for the brownies from Prepared Pantry’s mix glow right off the page. Their most recent newsletter features a recipe for using the Seriously Fudgy mix to make pretty brownie cake pops. You’ll also find other flavors such as thick & chewy, chocolate raspberry, and chocolate chip blondies.

This week’s featured CS Kindle on Amazon – good for students, other writers, too! On Kindle, read it today, use it tomorrow. “Be a Better Business Writer in Nine Easy Steps”. You can also view this book, and others, and other items here on CS in BJN’s Eclectic Mall.

♦  ♦  ♦

Kitchen Talk – Finding fun ways to play with the gold and silver decorating sugar I originally bought for the tie dye cookies featured in our 02.05.21 Salon. Striped both on a homemade banana donut, just gold on a chocolate filled pastry, a combo on buttered carrots, and just silver on my fave sundae, chocolate ice cream with marshmallow topping. One thing, how much the sugar sparkles depends on how much light is on it.    More fun. Blood oranges, which I’ve long heard of but just recently had in my kitchen. You slice through the darkish peel to find juicy, crimson fruit waiting inside. Expect a nice balance of sweet and tart {and also red drops on your hands}. Squeeze into water, add ice, and you’ll have an “ade” that looks sort of exotic.    Still playing with making my own marshmallow topping.

   On the Table   

Feature – Ooey Gooey Turtle Bars

So, the Pillsbury refrigerated dough I used for the tie dye cookies mentioned above in Kitchen Talk made such good cookies I decided to take another look at their site for other recipes based on this dough. And just look what I found!

After the ready to go dough there are just a half dozen ingredients. And four steps.

Four of those ingredients add up to an elevation. Store-bought caramel sauce is kicked up with more butter and brown sugar and, somewhat unexpectedly, graham cracker crumbs. Interesting!

It rates 4 stars and the comments delivered rave reviews. One tip therein, two of the cooks said they lined the pan with parchment paper.

The top of my to-make list is getting pretty crowded but this has to go there. Will report the results in a future Kitchen Talk.

{Photo from Pillsbury site}

Next week – Aunty Peggy’s Ham & Beef Tavern Chili, a storied dish

Recipe  ♦  Pillsbury recipe pages    Pillsbury cookbooks 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 I make caramelized banana peanut butter cheesecake? Are those all the right words, or what??? Prep for a large rich cheesecake meets up with a cup of creamy peanut butter, destined for a graham cracker crust. Then . . . it’s topped with sliced bananas that have been glazed with a creamy, buttery caramel sauce. And guess what? No bake! We can say our thanks for this recipe, once again, to Tasty.

Alexa displays: Show me this recipe. This option appears with every recipe that pops up on the screen. You can also just request it by name later – the good news at that point is that other possibilities also come along for the ride. The bad news, however rare, can occur when the request includes a quite unfamiliar name that Alexa may not recognize.

This happened recently with Socca, though as always you can of course look it up on line. The other good news embedded here is the opportunity every now and then to learn about a new food. Btw, Socca?  Born in Genoa, popularized in Nice, it’s like a cross between a pancake and a pizza, topped at will a la the latter. Here’s what I found on google and the first prep shown is the same one that had been shown by Alexa.

Alexa says request: How do I make roasted carrots with pistachio pesto? We previously posted a darn good recipe for roasted carrots in our 06.12.20 Salon. No harm though in taking a look at how it’s done in this demo. But what was really intriguing in this offering from Epicurious was the pistachio pesto, which interestingly takes a “nose to tail” approach to the carrots. Also wondering how it might work to just sub pistachios for whatever nuts you now use in a classic pesto prep.

And this week’s unexpected thing we found that Alexa can do – play the song quiz

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

♦  Molly Yeh of “Girl Meets Farm” on Food Network brings us a substantial happy hour treat. It starts with a multi-flavored Bloody Mary and ends with a multi snack. Anchoring the latter is a mini reuben sandwich on a stick that also holds a cornichon, the whole shebang then cozying up to the required celery stalk. Btw, one of the ingredients in the cocktail is caraway which bridges nicely to the rye bread in the reuben. And, it seems Yeh has a broad definition of happy hour, telling us, “Bloody Marys wake you up in a way coffee wishes it could.”   

  This taste-intensive Tex-Mex dip for the cocktail hour from Las Vegas celeb chef Les Kincaid – “Combine over lo-med heat until cheese melts, 1 lb Velveeta cubed, 8 oz jar cheese spread, 1 lb bacon cooked and crumbled, 1 bunch green onions sliced and 4 oz chopped green chiles – serve with chips and an assortment of veggies.” It’s quite amazing how so few ingredients, simply stirred together, can create such big flavor.

   We previously talked about martini variations – not the kind of drinks that bear no resemblance to the classic cocktail but adopt that name because they are served in a martini glass. But rather the requisite gin or vodka and vermouth, with the variations being usually just a single add-in, as in our previous references to the “dirty” one with olive juice or my fave with jalapeno or other hot pepper juice. Meanwhile there’s been a low level trend of a few years now of adding pickle juice to adult beverages. Tried it in a tini. Nope.

   While advice may not always be appreciated, this example might be welcome. “7 Best Cocktails to Drink While Cooking Weeknight Dinners.” Now if you’re wondering what makes these  sips different from others, here’s what the folks at Food & Wine say: “There’s something wonderfully therapeutic about cooking dinner after a long day. There’s something even more therapeutic about cooking dinner after a long day with a drink in your hand. Skip the martini— what you need is something quick, refreshing and relatively low proof so you’ll still be coherent by the time supper is ready.” {btw, the martini link takes you to F&W’s prep}

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

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Giant Chocolate Almond Butter Cups {etc!}, Nov 27-Dec 3, 2020

New Salon every Friday – c’mon in

CS friends, and help yourself to tasty resources

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

One of our own CS items, crafted by Zazzle

In a party mood? Even if it’s just hanging with the householders, you can still dress the part with CS’ very own Party Party Party {then everything else} tee. Images of party parts tucked right into the letters – balloons, beverages, music. Choose from different styles, sizes & colors, or in a nice mug also various colors & styles. On Zazzle page see delivery date to the right under pic.

  Let’s chat   

Quick Bites – I’ve definitely upped my French fry intake since reading that they’re a regular part of Betty White’s diet. And while I’m fine with then as is, there are some intriguing ideas in the Chelsea Davis story, “I tried 10 ways to make frozen fries better, and there are 9 hacks I’d definitely do again,”  on insider.com via google news. You’ll find seasonings, toppings and cooking techniques.   Food & Wine checks in with Recipes for Two, and start to finish they do look quite satisfying, with a nice spectrum of pasta, vegetable entrees, seafood, steak & other meat, and a”supersilky” no-bake chocolate custard.    Wait! Don’t throw out that muffin pan just yet. This tip, also from F&W, may salvage it. See the step-by-steps at “How to clean grimy muffin pans the easy way.” Could this also work with regular baking pans?

♦  ♦  ♦

Shopping Finds – Here’s a timely present for yourself or any food lovers. These cook-friendly calendars on Amazon feature all kinds of edibles, drinkables, and interests. Just some examples – fruits & veggies, herbs, cupcakes, baking, coffee, cocktails, and the chocolate one shown.    Know anybody that needs to keep bandaids in the kitchen? This could be just the solution. Finger guards! Fingies hide behind the metal barrier as the knife goes to work. I’m wondering if it could also help in creating more uniform slices.

♦  ♦  ♦

Kitchen Talk – So now, armed with a good cooking method for quinoa {in Alexa section, 11.20.20 Salon}, I’m reaching beyond the Mex bowl {11.06.20 Salon} to another savory app, using it as a substitute for rice in a now inaptly named “fried rice.” But here’s what’s nice about quinoa – it’s every bit at home in sweet versions. And here’s one little kids, big kids, really big kids, just may like – for each cup of cooked quinoa, 1 T ea {or more to taste} peanut butter and jelly. Here I used apricot preserves and topped it all with swirls of syrup and chopped peanuts.

   On the Table  

Feature – Giant Chocolate Almond Butter Cups – and tasty variations 

I don’t necessarily make the recipes from “Alexa’s room.” But in this case . . . resistance was futile. We first mentioned this confection from AllRecipes in our 11.06.20 Salon.

They’re a take off on the Reese’s classic, but made in muffin cup liners, and with almond butter. You could put them in an actual muffin tin but since it helps to give them a little room to spread out a little I arranged them in a baking pan.

The recipe calls for dark chocolate chips {I used 60%}. You may be tempted to go with a sweeter chip, but this really is a good foil for the richness of the filling.

One change I did make for the second batch was to melt the entire 12 oz bag. So, those variations . . .

First it’s very easy to cut down the almond butter recipe to use it in just four of the cups. The others? As shown here, along with the almond butter, marshmallow cream just as it comes from the jar, and hazelnut spread mixed with powdered sugar as for the almond butter.

Recipe Notes – maybe my house is too warm, but these really didn’t fully set up until I refrigerated them {and btw, according to the label almond butter needs to be in the fridge}. It is a good idea to let them sit out a while before serving. As long as you can stand the wait, anyway.

Next week – Our fave cook-loving gifts from 2020

Recipe

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 I make Come ‘ere Puddin’ Pie? OK, when Alexa pops a recipe like this up on the screen you sorta just have to have a look. Turns of the more formal name is Chocolate-Ginger Pudding Pie, and it tucks in the title ingredients twice. First, chocolate wafers and ginger snaps in the crust. Then, bittersweet chocolate and – this is interesting – candied ginger joining cream, powdered sugar and more in the filling. It’s the creation of celeb chef Aarti Sequeira on the Food Network site.

Alexa says request: How do I make curried chicken & apple wraps? Food Network steps forward with another celeb chef for this recipe. Credit Giada for a mix that goes so far beyond chicken and apples it could threaten flavor overload {that’s a good thing}. Think mango, raisins, goat cheese, hot sauce – ahhhh, maybe you’d just like to take a look.

My request: Alexa, what spices go well with sweet potatoes? So, thinking the sweet potato casserole in last week’s Salon {11.20.20} would be good for Christmas too. One thing I had mentioned in the recipe notes is that if you think you might not like the thyme specified in the prep you might substitute nutmeg. But then just thought I’d see what Alexa thought and she replied, in addition to nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice or baking spice, the latter being kind of an interesting possibility.

And an unexpected thing we found that Alexa can do – tell you the time or temp in locations around the world

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

   Oh, what a joy it is to bring into the Salon for you some fine words from celebrated chef Daniel Boulud, one of my top faves of the chefs I’ve had the pleasure of meeting. This interview comes to us from epicurious, and the impetus for it is Boulud’s new book, “Daniel: My French Cuisine”, 4 1/2 stars on Amazon. In the interview he notes that while his other cookbooks made French cuisine quite approachable, this one is more complicated, then revealing how we can actually have fun with serious recipes. Paraphrasing my favorite takeaway, Just cook, don’t worry how wrong or right you are. I have his “Chef Daniel Boulud, Cooking in New York City” which I love, and here is a full list of his books on Amazon.

  Highlight, print, and save for Jan 1. The beauty of these 23 Best Hangover Foods, is that for the most part they are indeed foods, not drink concoctions or say exercises that are the last thing in the world you feel like doing. Even better, they’re likely already on hand, in your household. Neener, neener New Year’s Eve excesses! From Healthline.

   Let’s hear it for Science – and red wine! Victor Marchione on the LifeHack site {shows lock icon} headlines his tale about a new study as follows – “A glass of red wine can replace 1 hour of exercising.” Did I just hear some early New Year’s resolutions going back to the drawing board? Read all about it. Sent to CS by BLV.

♦  “Your recipes are incredible” – Linda Faso, Las Vegas. Well thank you so much and what a nice way to end our last regular Salon until next year. Happy cooking, Linda!

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                    

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 ©2020 CooksSalon.com

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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}

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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All pages ©2020 CooksSalon.com

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Apple Crumb Cheesecake with Caramel Sauce, Nov 13-Nov 19, 2020

New Salon every Friday – c’mon in

CS friends, and help yourself to tasty resources

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

Help end the animosity – “Make America Decent Again”

See my 7 items crafted by CA-based Zazzle, on our page Or Zazzle page

  Let’s chat   

Quick Bites – What the heck happens to meat we put in the freezer, where’s the taste and texture we bought? This story, “The Game-Changing Trick That Makes Defrosted Meat Taste Better,” explains why it changes and how to fix it. Btw, as not a big fan of balsamic wondering if other vinegars might work. But if you’re happily in that camp go for it.    It’s not surprising that lots of veggies are more nutritious raw, but what may be? – 12 Surprising Vegetables That Become Healthier When They’re Cooked. We already knew this about tomatoes but some in this American Journal of Clinical Nutrition list on the Yahoo/Life site are kind of unexpected.    They’re becoming an ever bigger thing – hot cocoa bombs – cocoa and maybe more inside a chocolate shell that “explodes” in hot milk. What fun! You can let google show you how to make them, or buy them in stores or online including Amazon. and the same page has molds to make your own.

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Shopping Finds – Are you familiar with ghee” – butter slowly cooked to separate out the milk solids and yield a rich clear liquid that this Bon Appetit article calls butterscotchy but I’ve always thought of as nutty. The article covers uses and how to make your own, but also their recommendations about where to buy it.    I just LOVE these toaster oven pans. Seems so often what I had available was too small for the food or too big for the oven, but Goldilocks style, these are just right. Non-stick, 4 1/2 stars on Amazon, Prime eligible. And reasonable too! – at this writing $13.35 for the set, shows reg as $19.99.

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Kitchen Talk – So, I was watching the Food Network Show, Food Paradise, and a chef put a layer of bread stuffing on the chicken and vegetables in a pot pie before fitting it with the crust. That made me wonder, why not just use the stuffing as the crust, even better maybe on a turkey pot pie, or make the whole thing as a casserole.     May I say, no matter what else might be in your salad, a topping of crushed Doritos and hot sauce can kick it right into the exciting zone.    The squash recipes we featured in our 10.23.20 Salon, all from Food & Wine, drew me magnet style to one particular recipe, mostly because I dearly love butternut, here in an interesting merger with polenta {I used less}, sage and smoked cheese. Lots of the steps can be completed in advance, including any toppings, my choice being pureed spinach and seasoned tomato sauce. But I liked it best with just a bit of melted butter, and the next day. Be sure to read the recipe comments.

   On the Table  

Feature – Apple Crumb Cheesecake with Caramel Sauce

I haven’t made this yet, and I don’t know at what point I will. But it looks like such a nice holiday dessert I wanted to share it now.

It comes from the Food Network host I mentioned previously, whose treasure of a show is Delicious Miss Brown. I just love about everything she makes, and pretty sure this will be no exception.

This cake is kind of a showstopper. One of those creations you almost don’t want to ruin by cutting into it.

But just start thinking about the graham cracker/brown sugar crust, the creamy filling {with a secret}, the buttery apple crumb layer, all topped with {store-bought, thank you Miss Brown} caramel sauce, and – hand me the knife.

{Photo and Recipe from the Food Network page}

Recipe notes – probably any caramel sauce would work nicely, but I really like the kind that comes in a tub, usually found in the produce section, but so rich and thick you may want to warm it slightly to make it more spoonable.

Recipe    Miss Brown’s show page on Food Network

Next week – My favorite sweet potato casserole, featuring some unexpected ingredients

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 an Oreo Roll Cake? Anything starting with 3 packs of Double Stuf Oreos cant be all bad – especially when chocolate frosting, butter and confectioners sugar also join the party. This is from another newly-discovered foodie site {thank you, Alexa}, Tastymade, which also folds in travel and home design. One thing that’s a little puzzling in the directions is solved in the demo which shows you use only about four pieces of the filling for the frozen part. It will all come clear on the Oreo Cake Roll recipe page.

Alexa says request: How do you make bread burgers? Well wasn’t sure quite what to expect here, maybe a stuffed dish. burgers on bread instead of buns, burgers with bread in them {other than just crumbs} ??? None of the above. Rather, Alexa delivered a couple of recipes that had bread in the title, the first one a burger with {Alexa!} bread and butter pickles. But the other one was a little truer to the promise and a tasty choice at that, Pepperoni Garlic Bread Cheeseburgers from the respected Serious Eats site. The “bread” is actually a bun but who cares when the assembly includes gussied up garlic butter and pepperoni turned into a sauce with, yep, more garlic.

Alexa says request: How do I make buttercup marshmallow s’mores ? So, am I the only one new to buttercup squash? Sounds like a delightful discovery, even more so with this unusual prep. Here’s the original recipe from Food Network Kitchen. Then may I be so brazen as to suggest my own likely version. Mix all of the cooked & scooped squash with the maple syrup, butter, cream cheese and salt {and maybe some ginger} and heat through. Scoop back into the shells, top with toasted marshmallows, shaved chocolate, graham cracker crumbs.

And an unexpected thing we found that Alexa can do – tell you a food joke {get your groan ready}

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 styles here on this Amazon page

   Cocktail Hour Buzz   

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

   Dressed to impress – not you, the hot dogs! CS-er, and displaced Chicagoan, BLV sends along this boffo find for other Windy City ex-pats and anyone who wants to make a delightful hot doggy discovery. Vienna® Chicago-Style Condment Kit, and that means yellow mustard, neon green relish, perky sport peppers and celery salt. Just add onions and the dogs {NO KETCHUP}. Pour beverages of choice, fill a bowl with chips, and what a fun evening of chat, games, or movies. It’s available online from Walmart {link above}.

 We’ve invited Chef Phillip Dell of Las Vegas into our Salon to talk about food, his bbq sauce, and indoor grills, and even share one of his rib recipes, and we’re honored he accepted. His resume features many impressive wins, not the least of which is Chopped Champion on Food Network.

  First of all, big congratulations on qualifying for the World Food Championships. Can you tell us a little about this competition?Every year the creators of the WFC (MMA Creative) put on qualifying events to create entry opportunities for foodies to win. In doing so, the winning competitor then secures a spot in the big show – The World Food Championships! It’s the pinnacle of what we like to call, food sport, the competition competitors all hope to not only compete in, but WIN! Competitors from all over the world come together to compete in one of ten categories, to take home at least a piece of over $100,000 in prizes and cash. They had to be canceled this year, and are now scheduled for November of 2021.   

  And what was that winning dish? It looks fabulous.
In this competition we were tasked to incorporate a La Lechonera marinade into our dishes. Since I love everything barbecue, I just knew I had to go that direction. Here is the description of the winning dish I entered in the Chef category – Mojo Costillas Cortas (magical short ribs – CAUTION! May cause mild to severe cravings!}.Rich and succulent beef short rib is nestled in soft, cheesy jalapeno grits and turns magical when topped with criollo bacon jam. It’s a fiesta for your taste buds.
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  And we also need to talk about your very own bbq sauce, Sweet Addiction
We are very excited to finally have our sauce available to everyone!  For years, people have asked where they could get my bbq sauce after tasting it on the famous – Original Pork Star! (as featured on Cooking Channel’s Carnival Eats and Carnival Kings), finger-licking ribs or even drizzled over vegetables. Now it’s available! at both Premier Barbecue and Fire and BBQ Concepts in Las Vegas, and both are happy to ship it to you. In the very near future, we hope to offer it online. 
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  Here at CooksSalon we like dishes that are first and foremost comforting, satisfying, and fairly easy in terms of ingredients and techniques. Would you have a recipe like that you might share with us?
I for one find anything cooked outdoors to be comforting, especially ribs! You see, I have many childhood memories around ribs. They make my heart and taste-buds smile. I hope you will enjoy this recipe for Artisan Style Ribs as much as I do. Please note:  All recipes are just that- A recipe!  Change them as you feel fit. And, flavor profiles are very subjective, so use a seasoning that gives you all the warm and fuzzy feelings associated with comfort food. For me that could be my own concoctions, or a blend from companies like Oakridge BBQ Seasonings (Competition pork and beef) or Brantley Creek (you really must try the “pecan rub”).
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  Now turning from food to prep, it would be great to hear your take on indoor grills. Do they have a place in our kitchens, are there particular features we should look for?
The short answer is – YES! Not everyone can have a grill outdoors, so I say, get it where you can. A good ventilation system is always helpful, but you can still produce great food on an indoor grill nevertheless. I am a huge fan of gas-powered kitchen equipment, as they tend to have the most consistent cooking capabilities. However, electric is perfectly fine too. Just look for something that is heavy duty and has the highest btu output. This will help when it comes to heat retention and recovery.
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  Anything else you’d like to add?
I am blessed you asked me for this interview- Thank you!  I wear many hats, and they are ever changing. The easiest way to find out what’s cookin’  is to please follow me on Instagram and Facebook to stay up to date. I have also started a new Youtube channel – Chef Phillip Dell Presents where I hope to help share some of my many recipes.
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And thank you Chef

 “A crust eaten in peace is better than a banquet partaken in anxiety” – The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse

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                                       SunFrog

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 ©2020 CooksSalon.com

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