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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Boffo Bean Dip that comes with 4 News Flashes, May 21-May 27, 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 – Southern Living shares great ways to start the day with their Breakfast Casseroles Worth Waking Up For. Scroll down on their page for such casserole versions as Cheesy Sausage Croissant, Banana Bread French Toast, Bacon & Cheddar Grits Quiche, Cinnamon Roll, Huevos Ranchero, and Breakfast Enchiladas.        When is an egg carton not an egg carton? When it transforms into a holder to portion and preserve rice. Here’s what I did – treated the compartments with non stick spray, filled all 24 with rice, covered the top tray with a cut-to-fit piece of plastic wrap, holding the wrap in place turned top over bottom, closed up and into the freezer. As you can see, when you subsequently open the carton, most of the top portions pop out on their own {you can just close the top back over them after removing what you want}, and if they don’t just push on the bottom of the sections. Where the two have been removed you can see the shininess of the plastic wrap.       Chocolate in, chocolate on, and a pistachio chaser in this Chocolate Pistachio Wreath Bread that the description calls ooey gooey. From Midwest Living, a Meredith Corporation publication.

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Shopping Finds – Have you heard of goldbelly.com? I hadn’t until recently when I started coming across it as the ordering source for various food items. What it does is connect you to restaurant food via mail order. That means you can set your table with specialties from, e.g., Marcus Samuelsson, Daniel Boulud, Stephanie Izard, Guy Fieri, Carla Hall, as well as from steakhouses, ethnic places, bbq joints, and more, more, more. They also show you the reviews behind their 4.7 star rating.        So, I’ve now excavated a KitchenAid stand mixer from the back of a cabinet. I’d inherited it, never used, but now ready to give it a go. If you have one in hiding or are thinking of buying one, their cookbook can be a BIG help, with not just preps but also tips and techniques. And if you’d like to check out the various mixer models on Amazon, just click here.

This week’s featured CS-designed, Zazzle-crafted item – “Golden” moms and dads, this mug’s for you. You can find three mugs styles and lots of shirt choices too, all right here on our CS Eclectic Mall page.

   On the Table  

Feature – Super tasty dip – and the flashes?

First surprise or did you already know this? Until it was revealed actually in a commercial I had no idea that Amy in Big Bang Theory not only plays a neuroscientist – she is one! With a phd from UCLA.

Second, in addition to that and Emmy nominated, award winning actress, Mayim Bialik’s resume includes this – she’s also a cookbook author, capturing her culinary passion in “Mayim’s Vegan Kitchen.”

Page after page delivers the third news flash – vegan doesn’t have to mean bland or boring. Classic dishes are all over these pages and what’s so interesting is how they’re bombarded with intense flavors that boot out the non-plant components in such a way that we’ll never miss them.

And then the actual recipe, Mexican Bean Dip, {below in Notes} showcases the fourth revelation. Look at the ingredients – all familiar, all likely already in your kitchen. Whether a whole meal or just some of its parts, we’ve all likely been cooking vegan stuff for years. It’s just plant-based, not scary at all. And of course it would make a great cocktail snack, a worthy addition to CHB below.

Recipe Notes – You may want to add a bit more soy or some salt, and I did add more cumin, then served with vegs and three kinds of corn chips {no guarantee they were vegan though}. One other thing, I didn’t go full frijoles on this, but rather left it a little chunky.

The prep is so simple, we’re just going to run it right here: saute 1/4 c chopped onion, 1 minced garlic clove, and 2 T finely chopped celery in 1 T olive oil until soft, about 5 min; add 1 1/2 c or a 14-oz can kidney or pinto beans, drained and rinsed plus 1/4 t ea soy sauce & ground cumin and 1/8 t cayenne {opt}; puree in a blender or processor until smooth; serve with veggies and warm tortillas.

A few additional bio notes from her Wiki page. Most folks first came to know Bialik in her starring role in the tv series Blossom. Along the way she’s also written books for kids and parents {and become a mom herself}. She’s as well a founding member of a Jewish organization that advocates for the ethical treatment for animals. 

Next week – Lasagna Bites, a flavor blast morning, noon, or night

“Mayim’s Vegan Cookbook”   Vegan cookbooks on Amazon, 4 stars & up    Bialik on Wiki

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

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

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

Alexa says request: How do I make pineapple upside down pancakes? So, the fave cake for dessert becomes a new pancake for breakfast. And just like the classic there’s butter, brown sugar, sweet cherries, of course the pineapple rings, even rum if you want {another round of breakfast for everyone}, and pineapple syrup to top it all off. This morning treat is from Tasty.

Alexa says request: How do you make cheeseburger pie? Even better, AllRecipes serves up a Quick Cheeseburger Pie. The flavor vibe starts with seasoned beef and the sharper taste of Swiss cheese, and then gets kicked up with dill pickle and dill pickle juice. The crust goes a little faster than one that’s rolled out and fitted as it’s just patted into place. Of course a store-bought one would be faster yet.

Alexa says request: How do I make a cake bomb? Oh Tastemade, you are baaaaaaad. Exhibit A? This No-Bake Cookies & Milk Cake Bomb. Yikes, wait till you see it and you’ll know exactly what I mean. Btw, if the instructions don’t paint a clear picture of the prep, no worries, the demo does. One other thing, you’ll see how to make cookie milk, which just may have a promising future in your kitchen all on its own.

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

   I found this on the editor’s page in Food & Wne, part of a piece on “getting out of a rut,” March 2021 issue. And it’s a pretty cool idea, sort of an upgrade on cocktail hour snacks. Or as Editor Lewis says, “Snack-ify dinner,” by setting out hearty snacks on a platter or sheet pan. He adds, “It’s fun, easy, and cleanup is a cinch.”

   Pretty much by definition, a heavy appetizer usually has meat in a starring role, with cheese not far behind. If those appetizers come from deli fave Boarshead, both often come to play. Case in point, this beautiful board from their appetizer recipe page which is filled with fabulous ideas that just could quite easily add up to a dinner party.

  Thinking about traveling again? This could be just the final nudge you need. “5 Amazing Wine Destinations in Africa for Delicious Drinks and Beautiful Views.” Uncorked for us by Food & Wine.

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A Classic Canadian Sweet Treat, no-bake, Oct 9-Oct 15, 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 – Salad greens, so crisp and fresh . . . until they aren’t. Why do they insist on racing ahead of other produce to go bad? Well, MyRecipes has some insights in that regard, and not only the “why” but also Exactly How to Store Salad Greens Until You Need Them. Salad saved.    That same post has an instructive article on when to use a food processor, when to use a blender, and when to just work by hand. See it here   CleanPlates is offering a free 10 day Wellness Tune-up, based on the belief that “most of the time, a few small tweaks to your routine, diet, or self-care is enough to make a difference in how you feel every day.” The link takes you to their site rather than the offer so you can check out the context.

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Shopping Finds – Have you discovered the Prepared Pantry? It sells all kinds of stuff to make your baking life easier but also routinely posts recipes and great tips.    So, I saw a reference on F&W’s Today’s Fresh Finds post about Amazon delivering fresh plants, and with the Chicago CS-er’s tip about rosemary in our 09.25.20 Salon still fresh in mind, started wondering if Amazon offers herb plants. They do, but the reviews were pretty dismal. The good news is there are bunches of herb starter kits that come with just about everything but a gardener.

{shown, the “paint & plant” pizza herb growing kit, clickable}

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Kitchen Talk – Did have some leftover cheese/condiment sauce from last week’s featured burgers, and the first re-purposing found it in a skillet with mac, a bit of cream, cooked shrimp, chopped almonds and parsley {shown}. For the rest I reached back through the decades for a impromptu version of a dish called Welsh rarebit, melty on toast with a sprinkling of crisp bacon. Sliced tomatoes good with this.    And that piqued my curiosity about the rarebit, so right to one of the favorite books in my library, Diner’s Dictionary, and it did not disappoint. Turns out it was originally called Welsh rabbit though it it did not originate in Wales and the latter was never in the dish. While it always starts with toast and melted cheese, ethnic variations may see other ingredients mixed with the cheese and various topping. Our version here with bacon and green onion would be a kind of Irish/Yorkshire mashup.    Have you looked at your rice cooker manual lately? No? So I came across mine in the process of looking for a different manual, and paging through it reminded me of the other uses it has, reheating rice, steaming veggies, et al.

 On the Table

From the title did you know what they are? – Nanaimo Bars!

These rich bars {according to google, say nuh NYE mo} are sure to be on the table at pretty much any holiday celebration or other traditional get-togethers in Canada. And it’s been ever thus for over seven decades. It has a rather colorful history on Wikipedia which is linked below.

And rich, oh yeah. {As shown, right} a chocolately, nutty, graham cracker crust, topped with amped up butter cream frosting, topped with a kind of ganache where the cream is replaced by butter. Indulgent!

Even so, I started thinking I would like those same flavors in a bar that was a bit less complicated, a bit less crumbly, and a bit less sweet, maybe more creamy. By the time I got through tweaking, ahhhh, we were looking at somewhat more than six degrees of separation from the original.

Say hello to – “NaNaNo” bars. Here’s {left} my version . . .

Bottom layer – 1 1/4 c graham cracker crumbs, 5 T unsweetened cocoa powder, 1/4 c chopped almonds, 1 stick melted butter, combined and pressed into an 8×11 pan lined with parchment paper {see Notes}.

Middle layer – 1/2 stick room temp butter, 2 T coconut milk {or half & half}, 2 T coconut pudding powder, 1 c confectioners sugar, blended smooth in a food processor, spread over crust {see Notes}.

Top layer – 2 T butter and 2/3 c bittersweet chocolate, chips or chunks, nuked, whisked, and cooled for 2 min, poured over, smoothed out. Cover and refrigerate.

Meanwhile the original recipe I used, from Food Network, is linked below.

Original recipe    Other recipes on Google    Nanaimo Bars on Wikipedia

Recipe Notes – in the linked recipe: custard powder = pudding mix, and icing sugar = confectioners sugar. If you chill the crust it will be a little easier to spread the creamed layer, but if you don’t and a few crumbs pop through, no biggie, just creates a bit of a marble effect. While these are good right out of the fridge, let them sit out a while and they are transformed.

And a hint – while parchment paper is our friend when removing goodies from the pan, not so much when we’re first putting stuff in, instead sitting up high as if trying to survey the kitchen. So, just leave it in the that position, curved side up, and start piling the mixture into the middle and gradually flattening it out. Then hold the paper tight to the side of the pan closest to you and push the mixture into the far side and corners, then reverse and, hooray, all done.

Next week – Steak pizzaiola, where tender beef goes Italian in a big, robust way

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.

So, 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 to make sandwich skewers:  We chose to link the chicken and bacon shish kabobs, where the title ingredients share the perch with mushrooms and pineapple, and a sweet and sour green onion marinade is promoted to basting sauce. Yummers. From AllRecipes.

Alexa says request: how to make taco meatballs: They had us at cheese-stuffed. The Tasty site pulls all the right tastes into these cheese-stuffed taco meatballs, with taco chips for a corn vibe and taco-compatible jack cheese for the melty center. Salsa, sour cream, and cilantro top it all off.

My request, Alexa do you have recipes for vegetarian lasagna? Yikes, 25 come to the screen. But one of the 5-stars comes from a site new to me, SideChef. New to you or not? Proprietarily called, Vegetarian Lasagna, it uses tofu and cottage cheeses instead of ricotta but after that goes on quite the flavor spree and certainly doesn’t stint on the cheese working in three more kinds.

And an unexpected thing we found that Alexa can do – ask you entertainment trivia

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.

You can browse all the styles here on this Amazon page

Cocktail Hour Buzz

And as we say belowwhether for a crew, or for two, or just for you

  Friend Norene from the Midwest calls our attention to the growing trend of ghost kitchens, facilities professionally decked out like those in full service restaurants but offering delivery only. And now even national chains are dipping into this concept, including a couple in her area – and maybe in yours.

 In our 02.18.19 Salon, we talked about making garlic croutons to use up rye bread. Subsequently in our 03.15.19 Salon, we mentioned a few more uses for these tidbits including as a “cocktail companion,” and a new batch I just made served this very purpose . . . and very well!

  Letters, we get . . . uh, emails} “Years ago at a party I had a wonderfully light cocktail called a Butterfly. The only thing I recall is that it had two kinds of vermouth and was kind of fruity. But when I try t find it online, all the options that come up call for grapes and I know there were no grapes. I’m wondering if it could be in the Playboy book {09.04.20} you mentioned a couple of weeks back.” – Joanna T, Seattle

  You’re in luck  or at least I think you are. The book shows a recipe for a Butterfly cocktail made from 1 1/2 oz dry vermouth, 3/4 oz sweet vermouth, 1/2 oz Red Dubonnet and 1/2 oz orange juice. “Shake everything well with ice. These Halloween traditions all have Irish originsStrain over rocks in prechilled old-fashioned glass.” And it does call this drink “extremely light.” Cheers!

  Planning a family night on Halloween? Turn off the lights, turn on a single flashlight, and creep each other out with these Irish tales about Oct 31 which the Celts called Samhain and believed it was when the veil is thinnest between this world and the otherworld. IrishCentral {source of the photo} tells all in Ancient Irish Myths That Invoke the Spirit of Samhain. Beverage of choice – maybe Bloody Marys?

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

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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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