St Pat’s Day special, Feb 15-21, 2019

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

& Misty the FoodieCat

Help yourself to a bounty of resources!


Misty previews what you’ll find below in this week’s salon

  TIDBITS – speed shopping / wine time / cake for one    CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT – A-1 resource    FEATURED RECIPE – Irish potato cakes and more for St Pat’s    TIP – it’s in the book    THE WEEK – rye, rye again / flavy gravy / burger desperation

Misty’s History    Misty’s Gallery


Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

  Here’s some welcome help for any cook. Are you like this too? Some parts of grocery shopping can be fun or at least interesting. But most days I think most of us would like toVin65 Template Wine Regions be able to do just what this headline says in a story on the MyRecipes site: “How to Get In and Out of the Grocery Store Faster.”

  You may not find yourself casually traveling through Pahrump NV. But given the better chance that you might visit Las Vegas, a short drive away is the newly expanded and remodeled Pahrump Winery. And yes, the vineyard is right there, which means if you hit it right you can also take part in a grape stomp – and any time you can learn a lot about wine, from seeding to sipping. Details of products, tours, events, and restaurant at the site for this multi-award winning winery.

  For some reason a dorm fave seems to be popping up a lot these days, and not just for kids anymore either. It’s the mug cake, ready in 5, just mix and nuke. The default is chocolate of course, but this google page shows a number of preps and variations.


I know I’ve mentioned this book before, but was just browsing through it again and so love this read. Open to just about any page and you may well come upon something fascinating.

The Diner's Dictionary: Word Origins of Food and DrinkOf course it’s also a fast resource for an individual ingredient, a single food item, or an entire dish. Alphabetical, thank you. What fun!

And whether you’re in those pages for a casual stroll or a specific search, you may find in some cases not only the definition, but as well characteristics, uses, and origins, plus related geography, history, literature, law, commerce, and notable people.

Here are the cover blurbs: “Be warned – this is a dangerously fascinating book,” “stuffed with delightful morsels in a digestible form,” “a quirky irresistible volume.” Hardcover, 4 1/2 stars on Amazon.

Diner’s Dictionary 

CS Marketplace

BJN’s Eclectic Offerings Page


What could be more Irish??? 

The recipe comes from the Irish Central newsletter, and the main ingredient is potato. That sure seems to add up to the perfect brunch dish or dinner side for St. Patrick’s Day. Even better, it comes to your kitchen with few ingredients, easy technique.

Fadge (Irish Potato Cakes). Image: Getty.

Btw, you can make a healthy version of these potato cakes with olive oil or a tasty version with bacon fat. I know where my vote would go.

This prep appears on a page with several other Irish recipes, including one for traditional Irish Brown Bread. In fact you could probably plan your entire St. Pat’s dinner right here, entree, side dishes, bread and dessert.

Recipe for Fadge {Irish Potato Cakes} – scroll on page

♦  TIP  

How to’s too!

In addition to everything listed above in Marketplace, the comprehensive Diner’s Dictionary occasionally yields suggestions for uses and preps as well. You could pretty much make stuff from like Bubble & Squeak to Bubble Tea just from the descriptions here.

As another example, under Miso, after the definition there’s this: “as a dressing for salads, as a flavouring for pickles, and in marinades . . . {or} more adventurous options, such as miso-glazed baby back ribs. A bit of a surprise appears under Gravy, in the form of quite detailed instructions for oysters in something we may not now think of as gravy, a wine/broth mixture enhanced with ground almonds and seasonings, maybe even egg yolk and cheese, drawn from a 14th century cookbook.

{Btw, if you want those details just email me, here {}


Welcome to my kitchen and living room

  You may recall the rye croutons from the last week’s Salon? At that time mentioned them as a tasty addition to soups and salads. Just discovered another great use – atop sauerkraut! Although I served this as a side dish, since that the kraut already had joined bacon, onion, garlic and tomato, this also works as an entree. A bit of sour cream won’t hurt either.

  Do you ever make your own Italian beef? Most recently I used paper thin slices of eye of round, but have also been known to let the deli take care of this part. For broth – beef bouillon, lots of fresh garlic, basil, oregano, pepper, and a bit of gardinere {with more to go on top of the sandwiches}. But here’s what I want to pass along – if you have leftover broth, yay, add a bit of thickening for a super flavorful gravy.

  Had such a taste for a hamburger but – bummer – no ground beef in the freezer. And not the kind of day that encouraged a trek to the store. So . . . . . made a burgerless burger. Melted cheddar on a bun, piled on lettuce, tomato, pickle, onion, and topped all with a mix of mayo, mustard, ketchup and French dressing. Sides of fries and bell pepper salad and, really, barely missed the meat. In fact a pretty darn good veggie plate.

So far next week: New Orleans Wine & Food Experience, kitchen art, chocolate chip cookie pie

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All pages ©2019

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


Doritos meet cornbread, for June 15-28, 2018

Apologies for any format bobbles, just switched hosting platforms, added security, both requiring a bit of a makeover so this session will go through June 28.

  CatChat – Misty’s preview  

Cornbread recipe welcomes Doritos {M – this is so good with butter  Berry good ideas   Growing strawberries    Sheet pans rule    Wine cooler stands tall, good discount    More ways to de-stress the kitchen {M – ummm, stress, what exactly is that?}   Barbara’s week: taters where???, cereal helper, beware the Cracker Test  

Also, Barbara’s Nice Life Books {now “BJN’s Help U Books”} & DoggieShirtz {now “BJN’s Dog Shirts & More”} are now right on this site {M – was tempted to leave out that last one}

Misty’s History    Misty’s Gallery


Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

  So sad when berries go bad. Help awaits. But as you’ll see, an Extra Crispy story on five ways to preserve them actually becomes seven. There are the five ideas in their list, plus another in the intro, plus another I’ll contribute right here thanks to the suggestion of a friend: bury them in yogurt!

This is all especially helpful if you grown your own and have a bumper crop. I’m also including a youtube on raising your own strawberries, and the image is from that video.  Story    Strawberry video

  More good sheet pan stuff. The pan’s role in the dish from Food52 is to caramelize eggplant cubes for a minty, lemony salad that’s served at room temp. Meanwhile Extra Crispy is giving us six ways to “sheet pan” breakfast, some sweet, some savory, some then topped with fried eggs. And then the inevitable, “Whether you line with parchment or foil, grease with butter or cooking spray, after dozens of trips through the oven” ummm it’s going to need a good cleaning, and the very same Extra Crispy has the answer.  Salad  Breakfasts  Cleaning

  When you see a title like, “A Kitchen Hack That Outlasted the Boyfriend It Came From” you sort of have to take a look. This one minute soap opera in print could display both theater masks at the end – as the title telegraphs boyfriend gone, but not only does the hack live on but so does an enriched life. There’s almost always a bright side.  Tale of a hack

CS Marketplace Spotlight

Found another wine cooler refrigerator, different shape, good sale!

These appliances are so cool {OK, pun intended} for any wine enthusiast. I love mine!Wine Enthusiast Silent 18 Bottle Wine Refrigerator - Freestanding Slimline Upright Bottle Storage Wine Cooler, Black

It’s by Magic Chef, but as noted last week, there are others just as highly rated on Amazon, so if you happen to favor particular brands you can possibly find those too. They range from 6-bottle to 90+ though at that level they start calling them free standing wine cellars. And many are Prime eligible.

The Slimline one shown, fittingly enough, is by Wine Enthusiast, four star rating, Prime eligible, and woohoo $70 off. Note that the browse page I’ve linked covers just those rated 4 stars and up. Btw, I also store my coffee in it since it’s so close to the brewer.

Cooler shown  ♦  Browse coolers here

{The CS Marketplace is on the drawing board for now as we make the new hosting & SSL behave}


Please note: the Book & Doggie Shirts pages are being reconfigured – meanwhile here are the  links for this week’s features

“The Restless Wave” by John McCain    Shelter dogs going home, on YouTube

Featured Recipe

 Can’t believe this happened again! Another bag of Doritos poised on the border of exp land. Must have been when I was using up the other one. Well, saved it and here’s how.

I  found a cornbread recipe I liked, in this case the one called Homesteader. Interestingly several sources claim this, but I’m linking us to the one on AllRecipes, which is one of my favorite go-to’s. In fact while you’re there might want to browse a bit.

So, what I did is poured the Doritos into the food processor and whirled away until the texture was pretty darn close to cornmeal and then just substituted it in the recipe. Baked just as the recipe indicated.

Notes  Totally optional, I whisked in a 6 oz carton of plain yogurt at the end, which actually I always do with the boxed preps, sometimes using vanilla flavor instead. The bread was actually better the next day, Dorito-ier. Btw, you may crunch into a piece of chip that didn’t totally succumb to the blades – bonus!

Homesteader Cornbread Recipe


More ways to de-stress in the kitchen

Building on the Tip in the May 25 CooksSalon chat that offered advice for new or nervous cooks, now we can add some help from the pros. Take a look at the ways celeb chefs show us how to take the stress out of dinner prep. Cool in the kitchen

A Peek at My Week

  So, on the dinner menu was spicy Mexican pork in green sauce, typically joined by rice. But a container of leftover mashed potatoes in the fridge sparked a years ago memory of a dish in Cancun that ringed a plate of well spiced achiote chicken with the wonderful contrast of creamy, buttery mashed. And so it was, a nice scoop right in the middle of the pork, with melted Monterey jack replacing the butter. Yeah, that worked.

  Want to encourage kids – “big” kids too! – to eat more cereal? I have nothing against cereal, have it often for breakfast, but sometimes you’d just like a little more flavor. Here’s how. Pour your milk or cream in the bowl first – then {assuming no allergies!} whisk in a good spoon of peanut butter, then your corn flakes or whatever. If you want to slow down the sogging effect, precede the cereal with a banana barrier.

  Have you heard about this “cracker test” that purports to “reveal how many starchy carbohydrates a person can eat without triggering excess weight gain”? In case you should come across it elsewhere I urge you, before you change your diet based on the results, to read the very ending of this article. I discovered that after the fact – bright side, had a nice afternoon snack.   See it here

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


Martha Stewart’s Chocolate-Crusted Cheesecake with Raspberries, for June 8-14, 3018

  CatChat – Misty’s preview  

Martha Stewart’s cheesecake  {M – did you save me any cream cheese?  Fish tricks    No bad food for you {M – none for me either!  The Guinness secret    For your wine, and maybe more    Something new from Martha    shaping up flour tortillas {M – I could do that but she may not like my way Barbara’s week: saucing a Benedict, mayo-ing a steak, Dorito-ing shrimp    The Spotlights

{M – If you want to take a look,  my mom has added two new pictures to my Gallery}

Misty’s History    Misty’s Gallery



Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

  Eating fish is usually good for us, but maybe not always so much for the health and well being of the balance within our waterways. In a story in the beautiful “Saveur” magazine, celeb chef Eric Ripert has some ideas about how to fully enjoy the bounty of the seas in a responsible way.

Here also, and as well as in the definitive book “Fish Without a Doubt” by fishmaster Rick Moonen, are resources for sustainability plus buying and cooking tips. Shown here is salmon tandoori from that book, which actually covers this oven roasting technique in a recipe for tandoori sable   Go, fish  Moonen’s book

  As you may know {or hopefully don’t}, bad food will take revenge upon your body in truly rude ways. You might be able to at least sometimes avoid this situation by following the warnings “Reader’s Digest” offers in its online newsletter.  Eat good

  Whenever folks of a certain age are asked what they think got them to that point, I always wonder if they actually know. But then, sometimes, you just sort of want to believe the stated secret to longevity. As with this 100-yr-old English woman, as “Food & Wine” tells us, who drinks Guinness every day. It’s a cute story that also talks about her Guinness-themed birthday party in the nursing home.  Sláinte! 

CS Marketplace Spotlight

I was just extracting a bit of libation from my wine cooler and it occurred to me that I’ve had this boffo appliance for almost 20 years. Wow. And it’s so nice at keeping the whites at the perfect temp, not chilled to death as they would be in a regular fridge.Koldfront TWR160S 16 Bottle Thermoelectric Freestanding Wine Cooler

Now mine is by Magic Chef, but actually others are just as highly rated on Amazon, so if you happen to favor particular brands you can possibly find those too. They range from 6-bottle to 90+ though at that level they start calling them free standing wine cellars. And many are Prime eligible.

The one shown, though a different brand, is similar to mine which easily sits on a kitchen cart. Note that the page I’ve linked covers just those rated 4 stars and up. Btw, I also store my coffee in it since it’s so close to the brewer.

Browse coolers here  ♦  CS MarketplaceColoring Book for Adults: Amazing Swirls


  Adult Coloring Books on the Nice Life Books page

Just one example shown here

  A heartwarming video on the DoggieShirtz page

From dying to thriving


Featured Recipe  

Cook like Martha

There were already several ways to emulate Martha Stewart’s polished way of cooking. Consider all the recipes, tips, techniques and demos in her cookbooks, blog, magazine, pbs demos, youtube, online newsletter, am I forgetting anything, probably. But now there’s one more.

Thanks to “Food & Wine” magazine for reporting the debut of Martha Stewart Food, her own line of pantry staples – brownie mix, pasta sauce, olive oil and more. And it’s Macy’s that snagged the right to be the showcase.

Meanwhile, if you’d like to cook, or not in this case, a cool no-bake cheesecake with chocolate crust and fresh raspberry garnish like Martha, here you go. And yay, there’s a demo.

Recipe  ♦  Martha’s cookbooks on Amazon

Martha’s videos on Amazon {have to scroll a bit}  ♦  Food & Wine


Saw a cute trick in the Kraft magazine “Food & Family.” To create a taco shape with flour tortillas, brush melted butter on both sides, fold in half and place three each down the long side of an inverted muffin tin, and then two each {on the end cups} on the short sides – 10 total – and then bake at 325 18-20 minutes or until lightly browned. Btw, this was actually for a dessert so the tortillas were also sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon.

A Peek at My Week

  Well this was darn good. I was out for breakfast and saw Shrimp Benedict on the menu, and even though I ended up ordering something else, that stayed on my mind. So this week cooked some medium size shrimp in water liberally seasoned with Old Bay, poached some eggs, toasted some English muffins – and then what I think made it really work, mixed {eyeballed measures} mayo, ranch dressing, parsley, fresh lemon juice and hot sauce, lightly heated. Next time will order that at the restaurant and see if I like it as well {!}

  And speaking of mayo, I was sure a skeptic about this one. Was on the Hellman’s site and happened to see their suggestion to use mayo and some other ingredients {recipe} as a steak marinade. Even more surprising, when I googled this technique I found others that also used just mayo, but with maybe just salt and pepper, then left on as the steak goes on the grill or in the pan. Really? Tried it in a HOT pan. Wow good sear, tasty crust, juicy meat.  Btw this was just adding s&p, next time will go full Hellman’s take.

  Finally used up the Doritos, yay! This was actually week before last when the exp date was ringing alarm bells ever louder. So, crushed them up with the remains of a well used bag of potato chips, a little shredded coconut, some seasoning, and voila! a great crispy coating for fried shrimp. Truth be told I don’t fry a lot of stuff, but a quick dip in flour, then beaten egg, then the crumbs, actually in a a shallow pool of oil and butter, made for a darn good main dish and the next day’s sandwich filling.

R.I.P. Ella Brennan, 92, doyenne of Commander’s Palace, which launched the careers of such culinary luminaries as Emeril Lagasse, Paul Prudhomme and Carlos Guia

and to

Anthony Bourdain who could bring the world to a common table

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


Recipe for the Royal Wedding Cake, for May 25-May 31, 2018

  CatChat – Misty’s preview of this week  

  Pinot celebration in Oregon {M – can you turn some into water please}

  Rick Bayless interview    Top winners in World Spirits Competition 

  America the Great Cookbook/No Kid Hungry {M – another chance to help this cause

  Tips for new/nervous cooks {M – there’s a surprising note here  More about the royals  

  Elderberry cordial {M – wine, spirits, cordial – think I’m getting tipsy just doing my preview

  Barbara’s week: Reese’s to the rescue, the burrito mission, tacos retrofitted for breakfast {M – do you think on occasion she could use just a little less spice???}

Misty’s History    Misty’s Gallery 


Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

  Attention pinot-philes. It’s almost that time again, for the International Pinot Noir Celebration, U.S., in Willamette Valley. In addition to vineyard visits and seminars, this “mecca for lovers of Pinot noir and northwest cuisine {will feature} world-renowned winemakers, northwest chefs, esteemed media, epicures, and wine lovers” will pour on the fun at Linfield College McMinnville, Oregon, July 27-29. IPNC

  Thank you “Daily Beast” for this unique and personal glimpse of Rick Bayless, his inpiration, his tequila/mezcal take, his favorite things, and more. If you’ve ever had the pleasure of dining at one of his restaurants, you know this is Mexican food at its finest. Interview   Bayless cookbooks

  Want to have some award winners at your cocktail party? No, not the people. Talking here about the spirits. The results have now been announced in all categories in the 2018 San Francisco World Spirits Competition. This stuff must be good to have risen to the top of almost 2500 entries. Award-winning spirits

CS Marketplace Spotlight

Held over! – Tap into the favorite recipes of 100 food pros

America The Great Cookbook: The food we make for the people we love from 100 of our finest chefs and food heroesThis is a quite a find. “America the Great Cookbook/the food we make for the people we love from 100 of our finest chefs and food heros.”

The recipes come “from our top chefs, artisan producers, and fascinating food heroes.” And since they’re from all across the country, we’re also treated to any number of regional specialties.

And this warms the heart. The cookbook also supports “Share Our Strength’s incredible No Kid Hungry initiative {that} connect kids with at least 200,000 meals.”

“America the Great Cookbook”    No Kid Hungry    CS Marketplace

Featured Recipe

Do dessert like the royals  

Leave it to Food & Wine magazine to bring us the recipe – and a bit of backstory – for the “sponge cake with elderflower and lemon and cream cheese frosting” served at the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Ummm, may want to cut down the quantities somewhat.

If you can’t find the exact brand of elderberry cordial and for that matter any brand you can, not too surprisingly, find several on Amazon. In checking on this libation I found several references to how pleasant it is just on its own {and duh guess that is the original purpose}.Image may contain: 1 person, indoor

The image here is from the Royal Family’s facebook page {yes, they have one!}. From the comments posted and given that the context was the wedding, it would seem this is indeed the trio of royal cakes. Aha, Forbes just showed this as the genuine article {thanks}.

That cake description above is from another article in the F&W newsletter, an interesting peek at some other royal food facts including some preferences of the newly titled Duke and Duchess of Sussex. It’s linked below.

Royal Wedding Cake Recipe    Royal food

Elderberry Wine on Amazon    Food & Wine magazine


Nervous cook? Our tip this week comes from the Food52 online newsletter and it fits right in with this: I was watching “Barefoot Contessa” Ina Garten’s show, and after asking her guest, an accomplished chef, about a step she was about to take, added something like, I always think I might be doing something wrong.

As I regard her as an accomplished chef herself I found this at first surprising, and then oddly reassuring. Guessing any cook, pro or no, who stretches the culinary boundaries, tries this preparation and that, adds tweaks and refinements, will likely feel trepidation on a regular basis. And, good for you who do! Meanwhile here’s Food52’s advice for the new or nervous. Calm cookin’   Ina’s cookbooks

A Peek at My Week

  Dieting? Look away, nothing to see here. For everybody else – I wanted a sweet finish for Sunday brunch but no help from the fridge or freezer. Hello pantry and that bag of little Reese’s peanut butter cups, and at the same time into my head came MFK Fisher’s admonition to never have chocolate without bread {hmmm, didn’t say peanut butter couldn’t join in}.

So, halved them, lined them up on French bread slices and into the toaster oven on Warm for just a few minutes. Do I even need to tell you? Btw, for a little crisper version can lightly toast the bread first.

  Well some dear friends and I tried Food & Wine magazine’s selection for best burrito in town, at a Korean/Mexican restaurant. And while it’s probably not my top fave locally it was pretty good – but here’s what made it interesting. Whichever meat you chose, beef/chicken/pork, it had been prepared bulgogi style, thinly sliced and marinated in soy, garlic, sesame, green onion and sometimes other Asian flavors. Some fusions can get quite crazy but this one worked and may inspire some experiments in my own kitchen – and maybe yours?

  Love tacos, but after using leftovers once in their original form, wanted to do something with the rest that would be a bit un-taco-y. Ha! Fried up a lot of onion, seasoned with garlic salt and pepper, chopped up the tacos and added to the pan, tossed till hot then slid onto a plate, dotted with hot sauce and covered with pepperjack cheese and nuked till all melty. Meanwhile fried some eggs, plopped on top, and ringed with avocado slices. Oh yeah good!

♦  Posted “A Higher Loyalty” on Nice Life Books – Thursdays

♦  Posted Yorkie Shirts  Hats  Mugs on DoggieShirtz – Thursdays

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