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.

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?

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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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Recipes Galore & More, July 9-July 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 –  I was intrigued by the potato sauce that replaced Hollandaise for the eggs benedict that we featured in our 06.25.21 SalonMurder, She Baked: Complete Collection and wondered if it could be a blueprint for a tasty potato soup. Yep! Just as flavorful as it seemed it would be.       So, I started reading a food-themed novel and not too many pages in realized it sounded somewhat familiar. Aha! The author Joanne Fluke’s books had to be the basis for the “Murder She Baked” dvd mystery series on Amazon we featured last October. They provided nice light entertainment and thinking the books will too. See just below.      Want a tasty way to send your bottled salad dressing into somewhat healthier territory? Use half as much and then add a good splash of fresh lemon juice. So far have done this with Ranch and Avocado Ranch.

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Shopping Finds – Fluke’s fictional baker Hannah Swenson has a penchant for stumbling upon dead bodies which seem to pop up with unfortunate regularity in this small Minnesota town. Happenings at her Cookie Jar Cafe & Bakery, a meddling mom, frustrating sister, sometimes a boyfriend, sometimes two, and a fat cat add up to some nice light entertainment {except for the dead body thing}. You can find the books on Amazon. Shown is the first one in the series.     I need to note something about Goldbelly who we’ve mentioned here a couple of times. Make no mistake, the stuff looks fabulous, sourced from famous chefs, great restaurants, ethnic favorites – but, ummmm, $$$ – though should also add that even as you browse you’ll see orders flying in one after the other.

This week’s featured CS-designed, Zazzle-crafted item – For those who are ready for a party anytime – could be most of us, hmmm? – have we got a mug for you {or who}. Balloons, beverages, and the beat of the tunes fill the letters in a most colorful way. Find it here on our fun foodie mug page. And T-shirt too!

   On the Table  

Featured Recipes 

Cherry Plum Slab Pie with Walnut Streusel

Nice, the recipe gives a nod to making your own recipe for the pastry or using store-bought. The topping sounds wonderful with the noted nuts, two kinds of sugar, cinnamon, salt and of course butter. Easy way to make a big dessert, though thinking it would also be welcome on the breakfast table. From Taste of Home.

Fresh Corn Salad

Robert Irvine puts summer in a bowl where freshly shucked corn is joined by cukes, tomatoes, red and green onions, dressed with a vinaigrette cooled with a touch of sour cream, greened with cilantro. From Food Network.

Strawberries & Cream Pops

Refreshing meets indulgence in these sweet treats. Fresh strawberry sauce is swirled with vanilla frozen yogurt, then into freezer pop molds. You’ll want to allow at least six hours in the freezer. From Eating Well.

Make ahead spinach & feta egg casserole

Aka, Make Ahead Baked Greek Omelet, and with its onion, bell pepper, fresh dill, and seasonings it also calls to mind the best of a Greek salad. Easy too, since it can all be assembled the night before, some of it even days before. From The Kitchn

Peanut Butter Silk Pie

This is sort of like cheesecake and frosting and peanut butter all got together, turned silky smooth, and jumped into a graham cracker crust. Says chocolate topping optional {hahaha}. Also from Taste of Home.

Cheddar Rilettes

No fear here. Traditional rilettes involve cooking seasoned meat slowly in meat fat in a low oven until it can quite literally be mashed and spread on bread. In this easy prep, though, seasoned cheese stands in for meat and – here’s the really good part – the fat comes from rendered bacon, and then the bacon is sprinkled on top. From Food & Wine.

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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. Below are recipes recently displayed on the screen. Echo owners, also note that in many cases she guides you step by step through the prep . . .

Peanut Butter Cheesecake Bars  With its butter cracker crust and rich filling, this is one special treat. Ummm, I won’t be using the sprinkles though. Maybe chocolate chips!  From Food Network.

Ice Cream in a Bag  Well sonovagun. When she popped this up on the screen from Food Network Kitchen and I googled to get the link, made a discovery. This is a thing, with several others offering their own versions of this fun prep. All of them say, in effect, who needs an ice cream maker. The link takes you to the FN original and the other sources.

Chocolate Fridge Roll  Food Network strikes again, this time with a sweet prep from Ree Drummond. And wowsie, chocolate x 2, butter, crushed biscotti, orange zest, plus nuts, dried fruits, and a touch of rum roll into a log that’s chilled, sliced and . . . totally enjoyed.

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

♦  EatingWell always bring us such good and interesting information, both in the magazine and on their site. This chat with Curtis Stone, appearing on both, is certainly no exception as the chef talks food, wine, pantry cooking, kitchen gadgets and his work at counteracting childhood hunger.

  Thank you Southern Living for giving us such a seasonally perfect lineup of 70 No-Cook Appetizers. Some tasty salads too. Shown, ham salad snack {tweaked a little and topped with tomato}

   OK, I’m all for avoiding waste, re-purposing resources. But . . . ahhhh . . . this one by a Finnish brewery really tests our limits. I can’t bring myself to identify the ingredient used in the process, and even though I really couldn’t tell if it actually ended up in the beer, I will say the writer of the story noted that even after previously seeing so many oddities going into beer-making, a new beer like this could still catch his eye – “or make them pop out of their sockets.” So, your choice, can see it here. Thanks, I think, Food & Wine.

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 my only affiliate partners

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

♦  ♦  ♦

And for your consideration

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

Looking for something in CS?

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

Note

All transactions are solely between the buyer and linked supplier

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

All pages ©2021 CooksSalon.com

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

New Salon every Friday – c’mon in

CS friends, and help yourself to tasty resources

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

  Let’s chat   

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

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

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

   On the Table  

Feature – German Chocolate Brownies, several ways to get there

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

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

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

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

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

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

Next week – Bloody Mary Bean Chili

Taste of Home Recipe    Brownie Cookbooks, 4 stars & up

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

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

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

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

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

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

Would you like your own Echo Show?

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

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

   Cocktail Hour Buzz   

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CS Marketplace Directory

♦  ♦  ♦

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

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

♦  ♦  ♦

And for your consideration

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

Looking for something in CS?

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

Note

All transactions are solely between the buyer and linked supplier

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

All pages ©2021 CooksSalon.com

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Lasagna Bites, any time of day, May 28-June 3, 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 – If I’ve got this right, Fancy Feast is offering a cookbook for parents of felines, with meat recipes inspired by their cat food flavors. So you and Fluffy can have matching dinners maybe. It is sort of a cute idea. See for yourself on this FF page where you can scroll down to download the book.        Sounds messy but actually quite helpful, “17 Steak Marinade Recipes to Keep in Your Back Pocket.” Some are spicy, some citrusy, some favoring ethnic seasonings,  some with side dish recipes included. From Food & Wine.       The song says, Summertime and the livin’ is easy, but how about some easy livin’ in this season. Can do with these 25 Spring Slow-Cooker Recipes for Easy CrockPot Meals from Southern Living.

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Shopping Finds – Last week we talked here about goldbelly.com, where you can order goodies from restaurants nationwide. Now I have no connection to them, but good golly miss molly, just look at this German Chocolate “Killer” Brownie®. What a fabulous resource.       Since I rescued my KitchenAid stand mixer from oblivion I guess I’m more attuned to the brand name, because this recently caught my eye. Did you know this? There’s a new line of KitchenAid Cordless Appliances – hand mixers, hand blenders, food choppers, tea kettle, can opener. Who knows, more might be added as we speak {write? read?}. Most are Prime eligible, and many at reduced pricing, on Amazon.

This week’s featured CS-designed, Zazzle-crafted items – Who do you know that’s a coffeehound? Or could that be you??? Two of our CS mug designs celebrate that happy relationship. “Coffee Coffee Coffee – then everything else” and the whimsical “Who’s a Good Coffeehound???” Find both on our CS Fun Food Mugs page. The Coffee Coffee Coffee design is also available on our CS T-Shirt page.

   On the Table  

Feature – Lasagna Bites, easy 

So, here’s another appetizer that is hearty enough to become part of a “Snack-ifed dinner” {05.21.21 Salon}. But its versatility carries it all over the hours.

Called Lasagna Bites, they’re not actually made with pasta but rather wonton wrappers that that are fitted into your muffin tin to hold the filling, which is pretty much classic lasagna ingredients. It calls for ground turkey, but notes the original used ground beef.

A great appetizer for sure. But also, send it morningside with a poached egg, so satisfying for breakfast or brunch. Add some sides and it moves right on in for lunch or dinner.

The recipe comes from FoodTalkDaily, part of the Hometalk network, and a pretty cool site with recipes galore. As the say, “Grab a plate and join the fun.” And you can find even more of their fun below in our Cocktail Hour Buzz.

Btw, vs the print option shown on the page I copied the recipe into a word document and printed from there.

Recipe Notes – I’m actually going to use this prep as a starting point for a regular lasagna. Report to follow.

Next week – German Chocolate Brownies, yes we can make our own

Recipe  ♦  Italian appetizer cookbooks

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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 Mini Pecan Sticky Buns? And muffin tins come right back into the spotlight though in this case, as the title suggests, the mini size. Store-bought bread dough shortcuts the process. The recipe makes 72 buns but no worries, folks will likely be making them disappear in impressive multiples. It’s by Ree Drummond on Food Network Kitchen.

Alexa says request: How do I make bacon burger rolls? This is like burger meets meatloaf meets sandwich wraps. And something else to note right at the start is this dish doesn’t stop with the title ingredients but also adds in ham, cheese and spinach. The demo shows serving a slice knife and fork style but I sure could see it instead on a big crusty roll. This prep comes from Tasty.

Alexa says request: How do I make Cracker Candy? Just look at this inviting subhead: “This recipe is simple, quick, and can be made with many ingredients you have on hand.” The pic showing the chocolate and caramely layers doubles down on the invitation. See it all here.

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

   If I were to ask if you have excess vodka hanging around, would you laugh uproariously or wonder if there could be ways to put it to work? For those of you who raised your hand for the latter, tap into these “16 Unique Uses for Leftover Vodka.” MyRecipes shows us how this hooch can “help to clean your home, eliminate odors, fend off unwanted critters, spruce up your hair care routine, and more.”

  So cool when appetizers are extra cook friendly. These Sweet and Spicy Shrimps From the Oven from FoodTalkDaily bake away while you tend to other things. And much of the sauce can be prepped in advance. So, according to Alexa 250 g is a bit over a 1/2 lb. The 100 ml of soy sauce according to both Alexa and google is 8 T {!} These guys are intended over rice as lunch or dinner. But stick in the toothpicks and awesome addition to the snack table.

   “I’m greatly outnumbered by these margaritas, but I shall triumph” – the lovably irascible cartoon character Maxine. Love her too? Find Maxine on just about anything printable at Hallmark.

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 my only affiliate partners

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

♦  ♦  ♦

And for your consideration

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

Looking for something in CS?

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

Note

All transactions are solely between the buyer and linked supplier

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

All pages ©2021 CooksSalon.com

eb4823     c74abc  

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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

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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 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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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

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Tasty Ham & Tater Cake-ettes, March 19-March 25, 2021

New Salon every Friday – c’mon in

CS friends, and help yourself to tasty resources

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

Please note – CooksSalon was recently subjected to what’s known as a brute force attack, which means launching thousands upon thousands of attempts to crack your password. Fortunately WordPress alerted me to this activity and I was eventually able to get it fixed, though losing some content in the process.

Clearly it could have been much worse. So, if you have a site and see anything like this going after it, do everything you can to stop it because what I saw on google said that otherwise they won’t stop until they’re successful.

 Let’s chat   

Kitchen Talk – This was an interesting journey. When Stanley Tucci was in Rome for his “Searching for Italy” series he was served meatballs with a cocoa powder sauce. Ehhh? Went to google and did find one sauce for spaghetti with cocoa powder from The Spice House, but just a 1/4 t among many other seasonings. Interestingly, the search also turned up a marinara with dark chocolate from Gimme Some Oven. Could be worth a try.    I’ve now added multi-colored sugar to the “toys” and should have some goodies to show you next week    And here’s another journey, one that started with an online comment that sweet potatoes didn’t have to be pierced before baking. Googled, decided they probably should. But several stories showed the sweets topped with peanut butter. Really? Tried it, pretty good, but maybe see if classic toppings could play nice with pb to make a sauce. The result –  2 T brown sugar, generous pinches of salt, nutmeg and cinnamon worked into 1/2 stick softened butter, then blended with 1/4 c peanut butter. Be sure the taters are good and hot if you want the sauce to be all melty.

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Shopping Finds – Have you seen these? Clips that stick. More specifically, Magnetic Multipurpose Bag Clips on Amazon. Pretty too! They’re clips so they, by def, close bags of all sorts. But because they’re also magnetic they can turn your fridge into the place for grocery lists, coupons, reminders, notes, appointment slips, photos, even lightweight holiday decorations.    One somewhat unexpected place I like to shop now – Bass Pro Shops. For the sports stuff? Nah. It’s for their food section, especially the wide selection of salsas, but also because there are so many interesting items there that I don’t see anywhere else.

This week’s featured CS-designed, Zazzle-crafted item – Let’s all scream – for Ice Cream! If you look closely you’ll see flavors galore tucked right into the letters. And as those words say, only after there’s been Ice Cream Ice Cream Ice Cream will there be everything else. Find in on our Food Themed Mugs page. On our Food Themed T-shirts page too.

   On the Table 

Feature – Ham and Tater Cake-ettes, love these

The first woohoo here is that these are just super tasty. The second is, no grating, because these cakes start with mashed potatoes.

There’s another interesting point in the prep. The crumbs serve not only as a coating, but also as an ingredient in the mix which, much as in say meatloaf, helps the whole shebang stick together.

And wow are they versatile, at home any time on the table. Thinking they could even make a nice snack.

For breakfast or brunch topped with fried or poached eggs, here paired simply with fresh tomatoes. For lunch, we followed the traditions for regular potato pancakes and paired the cakes with applesauce and sour cream. For dinner, plated them with sweet potato casserole and peas.

The prep popped up on Alexa, but had “feature recipe” written all over it. It comes from AllRecipes.

Recipe Notes – Since I really don’t do a lot of fried foods, I put four of the patties into a pan treated with baking spray, also sprayed the tops, and baked them for 20 min at 400, turning them over at the halfway point. As you can see here, they aren’t as “pretty” as the fried ones but I found them every bit as good. As always when oil is involved keep an eye on the proceedings especially if in a toaster oven.

Next week – Smoky Poblano Corn Pudding, put it in the Super Sides category

Recipe    Other leftover ham recipes on AllRecipes

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Alexa is on vacation from CS this week

No worries, she’ll be back next time

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

   And following up on Alexa, here is some good news. “Found this on the abc.net.au site. Because of changes in the tariffs, their story says, Australia red wine prices should ‘plummet’ in various countries including ours” – LVB

  Lasagna Poppers? Oh, what fun! The seasoned beef, marinara and mozzarella merge into a filling for lasagna noodles, rolled, double breaded, and deep fried {some freezer steps in between}. Here’s the recipe From Tasty.

  So, in our 02.26.21 Salon we featured smoked salmon pinwheels in our Shopping Finds. And for sure they are convenient. But truth be told, you can pretty easily make your own. Here, wrapped them up with green onions and dillweed. And some on pumpernickel with cuke slices.

   This is variously attributed, but most citations give it to Steve Allen. “Do not allow your children to mix drinks. It is unseemly and they use too much vermouth.”

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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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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Easy Cheesy Bacon-Tater Tot Pie, Feb 12-Feb 18, 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 – Hello, bacon lovers! And rejoice as msn/lifestyle brings us these 10 most Creative Bacon Dishes from across the country. And I know all you clever CS-ers can replicate these bacony foods and beverages right in your own kitchens.     As far as we can tell, these foodfests are still scheduled in these locales for this year. South Beach, May 20-23.  Aspen, Sept 10-12. Austin, Nov 5-7.  Food + Funny. On Feb 17 PBS/Create is teaming chef Curtis Stone and chef/comic Alex Thomopoulos for a “Moveable Feast” through Australia.

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Shopping Finds – So, we’ve already seen ice cream for dogs. But here’s what’s new – ice cream for dogs from Ben & Jerry’s    In Amazon’s Hot New Releases, and “hot” applies doubly here – Mott’s Hot Apple Cider Keurig pods.

This week’s featured CS-designed, Zazzle-crafted item  If we thought the new year would see high fives across the aisle and a bipartisan chorus of kumbaya in govs in DC and beyond . . . nope! Let’s flash this message everywhere we can.  See all 5 “Decent” items on our Eclectic Mall page.

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Kitchen Talk – Here’s one of those magnetic headlines I came across from MyRecipes. Why Snack Dinner is the Best Thing You Can Make for Yourself Tonight”  Wow, there are some fine looking assemblies here. But shown is the plate we featured from our cheese board in the 01.22.21 Salon and to the article’s point, it sure did add up to dinner.   So, had a lot of Genoa salami hanging around and decided to put it in the food processor with the other ingredients that would typically go into ham salad {including peanuts, love peanuts in ham salad}. Turned out good. But, duh, now had even more leftovers. Hmmm. After using some for sandwiches, mixed the rest with egg and bread crumbs, browned in a skillet, and then I had something I could freeze. Some has already come back out to join eggs and salad for a boffo brunch.    When you’re making chili, e.g., do you brown the meat trimmings and add veggies to make a stock? Me too. Then usually strained, defatted and made it into gravy. But recently instead added into the chili. Turned out to be a tasty idea.

   On the Table 

Feature – Cheesy Bacon-Tater Tot Pie

For being so simple, this savory treat from Food Network is a supremely satisfying dish. Tater tots, which are already somewhat seasoned, make a tasty base for an easy combo of cheddar and bacon, later joined by sauce and chives.

You know what’s a big bonus? That sauce! And as a double down, you’re likely to have some left over to kick up other preps you creative CS-ers can imagine.

One thing, looking at FN’s rendition {link below} the light color of the sauce makes me think they pulled back on the Sriracha. Depending on your heat tolerance, might want to taste as you mix.

And an egg good is so good on here. But just take a look and you can see how it’s sort of a natural playmate for these particular ingredients.

And with eggs, what a great centerpiece for brunch, especially joined by guac, tomatoes and olives. But you sure don’t have to wait for Sunday.

Recipe Notes – After the tater tots are baked, the assembled dish needs to bake for only about 5 minutes.

Substitutions if needed – Thinly sliced green onion tops can stand in nicely for chives. Also, you could certainly consider other cheeses or a combo.

Next week – Ooey Gooey Turtle Bars, starting with store-bought cookie dough

Recipe  ♦  Tater Tot 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 No-churn Peppermint Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream? Oh my, with a title like that about all we need to do is add this recipe link. Maybe just note that both the peppermint and the chocolate make more than one appearance. From Food Network. Really sounds good.

Alexa says request: How do I make Mexican Cornbread Salad? This is nice, something like a 7-layer salad but as the title suggests with a decided south of the border accent. Colorful too! See it here from AllRecipes.

Alexa says request: Play the cookie dough secret video  Well, this couldn’t be easier. Chill the dough – 30 min in the fridge or 15 in the freezer. It says the fat will melt more slowly in the oven and thus help prevent overspreading. As a bonus chilled dough is easier to handle, and sturdier for cut-out cookies. Left it in too long? Just let the bowl sit on the counter until the dough softens a bit.

And this week’s unexpected thing we found that Alexa can do – play sleep and meditation sounds

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 Debbie Vinson gives five stars to a recipe she passed along for a sambal sauce to be drizzled on cod, but as she and I noted it could be equally good on other fish, maybe even chicken. I’ve since made this sauce, and btw did use it on cod, and my palate and I 100% agree with her rating – sweet and spicy, tangy and tasty. You can see it right here on parade.com.

   How fun would this be for a sweet finish to cocktail hour? A cousin to last week’s tie dye cookies but this time it’s candy all the way as once again Trisha Yearwood shows us how to play with our food. White chocolate meets pastel wafers to create bark that’s an edible work of art. Melt x 5, spread, drizzle, swirl, then chill {both you and the confection}. Done!

   A pop quiz – when are ice cubes not cubes? When they’re spheres or hexagons or sticks. Or opt for classic cube shape but tiny or HUGE. Many trays are made of silicone or other easy release material and some come with lids. All right here on this Amazon page.

   Here’s a whole bunch of stuff we love tucked into one book. It’s Susan Spungen’s new work, “Open Kitchen,” a place, her site says, to “welcome company and enjoy togetherness.” It goes on to describe her entertaining approach as a “‘get-ahead’ cooking philosophy that ensures streamlined, stress-free preparation, so you can spend more time opening your kitchen to new menus, flavors, and guests–effortlessly.” Kindle and hardcover on Amazon.

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

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

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

CS Marketplace Directory

♦  ♦  ♦

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

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

                       

Looking for something in CS?

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

Note

All transactions are solely between the buyer and linked supplier

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

All pages ©2021 CooksSalon.com

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No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake, Jan 22-Jan 28, 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 – What’s better than a celebrity chef recipe for cornbread? Five celeb chef recipes for cornbread. What’s even better yet? Someone on insider.com willing to test all five, take us through each process, and give us the results. You have to search a bit, but there are links in each description that will send you to the recipe.    A slide show from USA Today lifted the curtain on how pickle juice can elevate fried chicken, calling it a magical combination. Quite intriguing, but didn’t say exactly say how to go about that {amount, timing, other ingredients}. But AllRecipes does with its Pickle Brine Chicken recipe.    Thinking ginger root must have hired a pr agent since I’m seeing more and more about its health benefits and flavor perks. Food & Wine brings us no fewer than 29 ginger recipes in this slide show {or scroll for full list}, including an intriguing one for ginger-roasted acorn squash that adds greens for a very pretty platter. {Hey, could put these three together for a mighty fine dinner}

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Shopping Finds – Did you know this? Panera Bread offers a decent variety of pantry items for contactless delivery or curbside ordering or pickup. See the details.     And did you know about this kitchen tool? You hold it kind of like a knife, run it over certain fruits or vegetables or even pastry or say slices of Swiss cheese for salad and end up with perfect uniform shreds. Many variations here on Amazon, all quite reasonably priced.

Also, CS Designed, Zazzle-crafted“I’m Being Trained by a Sweetie I Adopted from the Shelter” – see MUG on Zazzle page, TEE on Zazzle page OR preview BOTH here on CS page

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Kitchen Talk – All my previous ice cream breads have to move over, because there’s a new fave in this kitchen. Peppermint! Yes, peppermint stick ice cream bread, a semi-sweet treat that just dances in the mouth. See the original recipe in our 07.17.20 Salon, and remember, just three ingredients. Could be quite nice on the Valentine’s table.    Hot news! Yahoo Life reports that research presented at the recent AMA Scientific Sessions cited a wide-ranging chile pepper study that shows consuming these palate igniters could be instrumental in avoiding major diseases and increasing lifespan. The favorite spicy cookbook in this kitchen is The Fiery Cuisines, 5 stars on Amazon and notable for balancing flavor and heat in dishes from across the food groups and around the world.

   On the Table 

Feature – No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake

This might border on illegal {if so, blame Tasty.co & Alexa}. Or at least something you might not want to mention to your dentist.

Rich cheesecake goes a big step richer with melted chocolate chips blended in. Then cozies up to a thick layer of peanut butter that’s gone all sweet with powdered sugar.

Would certainly be good as is. But looked sort of plain, so melted another 1/4 cup of chips to drizzle overall.

While a number of desserts taste better after sitting out of the fridge for a while, this is best nice and chilled. Probably don’t need to add that small slices will suffice.

So, just for the heck of it thought I would see if Amazon offers a ready-made chocolate peanut butter cheesecake and yep they do, and quite showy but also quite pricey. What you might find surprising though are the other choc/pb items on the page including even coffee.

Recipe Notes – I cut this recipe in half and made it in a deep dish pie plate. It calls for just chocolate chips, but I opted for semi sweet and wondering if even bittersweet might work. Also, ran both layers through the food processor so they would turn out silky smooth. Note that it needs fridge time in the process and afterward.

Next week – Loaded Mashed Potato Cups, 3 ways, all fun

Recipe  ♦  Chocolate peanut butter goodies 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 tater tot breakfast pizza? Tater tots + egg = a crispy, tasty crust, especially if you heed some of the commenters who seasoned both the potatoes and the eggs. Then, the toppings, yum. Two cheeses, bacon, the eggs, pepper, not in the list but looks like parsley in the demo, and then avocados. Check other comments too for different topping suggestions. However it came together, these folks love this recipe from Tasty.

Alexa says request: How do you make cinnamon roll pancakes? AllRecipes wins this delectable derby with their 4 1/2 star recipe. Let the description on the page tell the rest of the story – “Sweet and delicious buttermilk pancakes with a butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon swirl filling. These are great any time of the day and less time consuming than making real cinnamon rolls!” Wow, add the above prep and we’re talking a 5-star brunch.

My request: Most of the time Alexa is quite amazing in putting together the parts of your request to deliver exactly what you’re looking for. In this case though, it took some “negotiating.” What I really wanted was a 5-star recipe for New Orleans style barbecued shrimp which as you all know is a whole different category of bbq. After trying this and that I finally decided to name drop and asked for a barbecued shrimp recipe by Emeril. Voop up it came and Voila! 5 stars. On Food Network and actually called Emerilized Barbecued Shrimp, it has more ingredients than maybe most others but oh my each one just layers on more flavor.

And this week’s unexpected thing we found that Alexa can do – play dinner party music, such as classic jazz or classic rock

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

♦  Well look who dropped down out of her room. Alexa! That’s because she popped up some party food on her screen. S’Mores Popcorn. It comes to us from Giada on Food Network, and indeed has all the right stuff. You’ll see that she gives it a bit of a Valentine’s look, and woohoo it starts with store-bought popped corn.

  Well I’d say definitely soothing, but Food & Wine goes all in and declares, “Hot Cocktails Are Like Heating Lamps for the Soul,” and then goes on to describe some toddy siblings found in restaurants around the country. And fear not, there’s a link to another F&W story with actual recipes.

   Here’s how Ashe Cayne in “The Unspoken” dresses up a charcuterie plate: cured meats, hard and soft cheeses, olives, grilled artichoke hearts, pepper & fig spread, bruschetta, crackers, fresh & dried fruit, strawberry jam. There are just a couple of pages in this Amazon 4-star book where you wouldn’t want to be eating at the time, but it’s otherwise a relentlessly unfolding mystery in the toughened hands of Cayne, a Shakespeare-quoting, Food Network-watching Chicago detective, hard boiled and soft boiled. Here’s my recent plateful.

  Heard on Food Paradise, Food Network, “You season both sides because you eat both sides.” Kind of a cousin to Emeril’s oft-said “I hate one-sided tasting food.”

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

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

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     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

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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?

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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.

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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!

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

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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.

♦  ♦  ♦

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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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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