Bacon-Pimiento Cheese Dip, Nov 22-Nov 28, 2019

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

New Salon every Friday – c’mon in

CS friends, and help yourself to tasty resources!

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

  TIDBITS – say Hi to pie / gravy trick / food vs sleep     CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT – baking book from the best    FEATURED RECIPE – all the right stuff    TIP – flour trick    THE WEEK –  another Parm corn butter app / jar salads & other easy lunches / a quote to love


Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

  Here comes pie season! America’s Test Kitchen helps us kick it off with its article, “A Slice of Pie.” You’ll find some tips on pie baking, a link to their pie book, an offer for their pie book, and their recipes for Perfect Pecan Pie, Apple Slab Pie, and The Best Pumpkin Pie.

  Afraid the leftover gravy might run out before the leftover turkey and stuffing do? No worries, because MyRecipes is here to tell you “How to make a rich, flavorful gravy using bouillon cubes.” And in fact you could use this prep anytime a gravy craving hits and the freezer isn’t cooperating.

  Insomnia? Don’t make it worse by indulging in “7 Bedtime Snack Mistakes That Can Wreck Your Sleep.” Even better, this Cooking Light article tells you why each of the items is a zzz-killer and, even better yet, what to have instead. It’s not about deprivation but rather, smart choices.


“Classic, can’t-fail recipes for a lifetime of happy baking”

How’s that for a cookbook promise??? And do you know why we can fully believe that – because the source of these recipes is Maida Heatter, “Queen of Cake,” three-time Beard winner, Beard Hall of Fame inductee, contributor to the New York Times, and creator of numerous baking books.

Happiness Is Baking: Cakes, Pies, Tarts, Muffins, Brownies, Cookies: Favorite Desserts from the Queen of CakeShe left us just this year, at age 102. At age 100 she took the stage to receive one of those awards and then starting chucking wrapped brownies into the crowd. Thinking she probably didn’t slow down after that either.

So here’s a collection of her favorites – cakes, pies tarts, muffins, brownies, cookies – complete with tips and techniques for the entire process. Two things quickly become obvious. One, Heatter really favors chocolate And second, the recipes often seem long, but that’s good news because she pretty much talks you through all the steps.

Here are just a few of her famous confections I’d like to make:  Budapest Coffee Cake, Bull’s Eye Cheesecake {this one is like a magic trick}, and Peanut Butter Puffs. But first of all her Chocolate Intrigue, “a moist cake with a fine texture and an extremely generous amount of chocolate. It keeps well, slices beautifully, and is quick and easy to make” – wow, are those ever all the right words {and btw, has a secret ingredient}.

Maida Heatter’s “Happiness is Baking” – 4 1/2 stars on Amazon    Other Heatter books


A natural for the party table 

Yikes does this bacon-pimiento cheese dip look good. Flavorful, versatile and easy, just like we like it, right savvy CS friends?

The only cooking step could be the bacon. Or, as the prep suggests, use fully cooked bacon. After that, it’s just mix it all up, pour into a baking dish, into the oven, and then say c’mon, c’mon, c’mon until it’s done.

Serve with crackers and veggies as shown. Or other veggies, or crisped pita or tortillas, or sausage sticks. Or? And maybe a toast topper the next morning.

This tasty dip is on the Kraft/Food & Family site. Be careful, there are other tempting recipes on that page that beg to be added to your collection, like the chicken enchilada stew.

Kraft recipe  

♦  TIP  


In the process of looking for something else, I came upon my gram’s bread recipe. Oh my the memories of those heavenly loaves.

That immediately went on the do list for fall baking. And in a case of happy coincidence, Ina Garten had a bread baker on a recent show and he did one of those things that when you see it you say, well duh, of course.

When he put the dough in the bowl to rise, he sprinkled some flour on the inside of the bowl just above the loaf-to-be. So when it does rise, it won’t stick to bowl. Great idea.

It was timely for me and hopefully for you too. To paraphrase our featured author, Happy Baking!


Welcome to my kitchen and living room

  I’m really liking the pureed version of the Parm corn butter {11.01.19}. And I may have discovered my favorite way yet of using it – to cook scrambled eggs. Just melt it in the pan, stir around the eggs till everything is incorporated, and enjoy. Because of the Parmesan already in there I didn’t add any salt but did hit it with a good shower of cracked pepper.

♦  Oh yeah, this is an idea for us. It’s not totally new, but it seems most often the jar trick has to do with ingredients for something to bake, and of course nothing wrong with that at all. But here, the jar holds ingredients for {usually} a salad, one of the “5 Quick and Clean Lunch Recipes That You Don’t Have to Reheat.” from Clean Plates. For mine, I went south of the border with avocado, red onion, cilantro, cherry tomatoes, jalapeno, cheddar cubes, black beans, lettuce and then ranch dressing, Btw, this 6″ jar yielded an Elaine-worthy “big salad.”

♦  Even though baking guru Maida Heatter is no longer among us, her 102-yr-old self was sure here long enough to pen the intro to the latest collection of her recipes, featured above. In that preamble, after recounting an incident where she was watching a tv doc talk about ways to reduce stress, and she yelled at the screen, “Bake cookies!,” she added these lines that I love: “Baking is a great escape. It’s happiness. It’s creative. It’s good for your health. It reduces stress.” Amen to that dear one.

So far next week: cinnamon cake with chocolate chile frosting, chocolate Yule logs, pie-spiced pumpkin pancakes, holiday decor for the kitchen, Maida Heatter’s bittersweet chocolate sauce with cocoa, Andres’ veggie upgrade, taming the marshmallows, a new way to glaze, all-in pie crust

Last week, just below: Thanksgiving help, cheese help, Cookbook Club help, join Bobby Flay in the kitchen, tunnel of fudge cake, tv “guide,” frozen cauliflower goes good, Parm butter 2.0, Twain quote

Direct access to Amazon homepage through my personal link

Looking for something in CS? – scroll & check previews OR use the search box OR email me at, also valid for questions & comments – see the Let’s Chat tab for details, also for my partnerships and more

Note, transactions are solely between the buyer and linked supplier

Photo credits – book/Amazon, cheese dip/Kraft, others/mine

Link sources – Heatter books/Amazon 

All pages ©2019

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



Coleslaw, bbq primer, from a top pitmaster, for March 16-22, 2018

  In the Salon this week  

Banana jam    Make your own cookbook with tested recipes    Roast Chicken in 30 min    Celeb chef cookbooks    Title recipe   How long should you marinate    Resource links


Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

  Just how many times can we make banana bread when those nannos start getting really ripe. How about this instead? Banana Jam! The creator on Food 52 says you can treat it like canning, but she just stores it in a jar in the fridge. Recipe

  Well this could be fun. America’s Test Kitchen is offering the chance to create a customized cookbook of their editors’ all-time favorite recipes. Take your choice from, e.g., Party Appetizers, More Cheese Please, and The Cookie Jar. If you want to make it as a gift, you can add a personal note on the dedication page. Details

  Roast Chicken in 30 minutes??? You can do it. “Real Simple” shows you how. Method

  CS Marketplace Spotlight

Do you have a favorite celebrity chef?

We are familiar with a good number of these high profile kitchen masters from tv, cookbooks, and food festivals. Want to see how they make some of those signature recipes?

It’s nice for us home cooks that so many of these folks share recipes in these various venues. And especially in the cookbooks, where you may well find in addition to recipes valuable tips, techniques, recommendations for utensils and appliances, glossary, sources, pix of final dishes and more.

Chances are quite good that you’ll find cookbooks for most of these notable chefs in our listing. Who’s your fave – Giada, Daniel Boulud, Thomas Keller, Wolfgang Puck, Anne Burrell, Rick Bayless, Buddy Valastro, Alice Waters, Guy Fieri, Gordon Ramsay? They’re all there along with 50+ others.

Celeb chef cookbooks   CS Marketplace

  Featured Recipe

The tome entitled “Franklin Barbecue” though it does include a few recipes, is not really in the classic sense a cookbook. What it is, rather, is like a master course in q – with chapters on the smoker, wood, fire, smoke, and most of all the meat – from one of the very top pitmasters in the U.S, Aaron Franklin.

Folks may know him from his Austin restaurant of the same name, his PBS show “BBQ with Franklin,” or from his appearances at various food fests. While meat is the star here, he also does address sauces and sides, and that’s where we’ll find recipes in his book . . . like this one, a classic bbq side that gets an extra kick from two vinegars and dry mustard.


Makes about 2 cups

From “Franklin BBQ” cookbook

About 2 cups shredded cabbage mix

1 T kosher salt

1/4 c sour cream

2 T mayo

2 T cider vinegar

2 T rice vinegar

2 1/4 t coarse black pepper

1 1/2 t dry mustard powder

Place the cabbage in a colander or strainer and sprinkle with salt. Let sit and exude some of the juice while you prepare the dressing. In a large bowl, stir together remaining ingredients.

Blot away any excess moisture from the cabbage with a towel, then transfer to the bowl containing the dressing and toss to combine. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Serve cold.

Notes  The cabbage mix can really be your choice, any combo of green cabbage, red cabbage, carrot, onion, even radishes. Texas slaw typically does not include sweetener – if that’s a bit too tart for you, feel free to skip the authenticity and add a little sugar or honey.

“Franklin Barbecue” the book 

4 1/2 stars on Amazon, hardcover $18.99 {list $29.99}, Kindle $14.99, Prime Eligible

BBQ with Franklin the videos  Franklin Barbecue the restaurant


Did you know this? Most meats really don’t need to be marinated for a long time. The newsletter Basically, hosted by “Bon Appetit,” tells the tale. You might also be surprised by what they describe as the purpose of a marinade. And while you’re on that page it’s likely a window will pop up offering to deliver these kinds of tips right to your email box. Learn

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