Star caterer’s rich chocolate cake from mix, Oct 11-Oct 17, 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 – put whaaaat in your cola / best rotisserie chicken / keeping ‘shrooms fresh    CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT – grilled cheese mania    FEATURED RECIPE – so good, so rich, so easy    TIP – that’s a wrap ♦  THE WEEK – jammy eggs / spooky food / savory salteñas 

  TIDBITS 

Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

♦  Well, here’s a new one on me. But it won’t likely be for anyone from the south, and that’s combining peanuts and cola, Coke as most postings say, Pepsi when I saw it, and one online rebel mentioned Dr. Pepper. I was enlightened by North Carolina chef Vivian Howard in Season 1 of her PBS series “A Chef’s Life,” where the proper technique was on display. Open the {must be} glass bottle, take a few swigs, pour in the peanuts using your hand as a funnel – while the demo ended there, it seems then you either chew and sip or drink up before snacking on the peanuts.

–  Chef Vivian translated this into a dish of brined and cooked pork belly glazed with Pepsi that had been cooked down with brown sugar and lemon juice, all topped with freshly hulled peanuts that had been boiled in a salty county ham stock until they were “kind of tender.”

  The first paragraph in this MyRecipes feature, “How to choose the best grocery store rotisserie chicken,” reminds us there are so many ways to use this cooked and flavorful entree or ingredient, and may even give us a few new ideas. But of course we want to start with the best one possible and there are three ways offered that help us do just that. And not only is it a time saver, but also it says here that vs the cost of a raw chicken and the flavor ingredients, the rotisserie one is a better value. As a bonus there’s a recipe for a fine looking chicken chilaquiles casserole.

  Thanks Extra Crispy for cluing us in on how to Keep Mushrooms Fresh because we all know what can happen to those little guys in a matter of days. In addition to some good tips, and the reasons for them, two other things I found of interest. One kinda funny, as the author refers to the mushrooms having “a temperament.” The second kinda creepy, news that the sneaky fungi can continue to grow even after harvesting  There’s a movie in there somewhere.

  CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT  ♦ 

Grilled Cheese lovers, rejoice!

Because here’s an entire book of those comfort food wonders in all their golden glory. In the preemptively named “Grilled Cheese,” subtitled 50 recipes to make you melt, in addition to the preps you’ll also find a cheese guide, bread guide, and chat about putting it all together, along with some tips for the Perfect Grilled Cheese Sandwich. Grilled Cheese: 50 Recipes to Make You Melt

And then there’s a substantial list of add-ins – such fridge finds as pickles, veggies, cured meats, condiments and sauces – to gussy up your classic version. Author Marlena Spieler likens it to accessorizing a little black dress.

In the recipes there are some good basic sandwiches, but you can also go fancy with others that tuck in such upscale groceries as truffle paste, green olive tapenade, radicchio. These leaped onto my do list: rare roast beef, blue cheese and watercress . . . and {what I would regard as 2.0 versions of} chicken club, cuban, and torta . . . individual muffalettas . . . and mozzarella, prosciutto and fig jam.

Btw, that last one is on the cover {couldn’t you almost just take a bite right out of that???}. Whichever one you might choose to make, as Spieler says, “Breakfast, lunch, dinner, after school, or midnight snack . . . all are the perfect time for a grilled cheese sandwich.”

“Grilled Cheese” cookbook

  FEATURED RECIPE  

This full-of-good-stuff chocolate cake couldn’t be easier 

Last week {10.04.19 Salon} our CS Marketplace Spotlight featured a charming book by caterer to the stars Mary Giuliani. While much of the food parts of the book focused on the title dish, “Tiny Hot Dogs,” dessert was by no means overlooked.

In fact in the opinion of some folks {me, maybe you} everything else may well be overshadowed by the chocolate cake in this book. It’s a recipe, Giuliani tells us, that was given to her mother by her good friend Rita in the 1970s. Thus the full name, “My Mom’s Friend Rita’s Chocolate Cake.”

All of the ingredients are the stuff of cravings. And it all just mingles in a bowl pretty much all at once, then into the pan, into the oven, stand on one foot then the other till it’s baked and cool enough to dive in.

As Giulani notes, “It’s a really quick, easy, no-skill required, half box mix, half homemade cake that leaves your crowd happy.” What more could we ask.

Recipe    Giulani’s book, “Tiny Hot Dogs”    Giuliani’s other book, The Cocktail Party “  

  TIP  

Wrap it up cuss-free

Make no mistake, I still use aluminum foil for certain tasks. But when I want a fairly airtight way to store food, now I use sticky wrap. But just among us chickens, the unwrapping can inspire some hearty sailor language.

So, here’s the way I do it now. Lay the sheet sticky side down on a work surface. Place the food in the center, then fold the far side toward you over the food.

Next fold over the the edge closest to you about an inch to create a narrow flap {which will then have a sticky surface facing you}. Then then fold this side forward over the food, making sure to completely enclose the contents, and press to stick down.

Last, wrap both the ends underneath onto the sticky bottom side, and press to seal. Now you have a nice tight and neat package.

I store these in a freezer bag, marked with date and item. Then when I’m ready to use one of the servings, it’s ever so easy to unwrap by just bringing the ends back up and pulling up the flap you created. No cussing!

  A PEEK AT MY WEEK  

Welcome to my kitchen and living room

  Have you joined the jammy egg craze? It’s basically an egg cooked kind of midway between hard boiled and soft boiled, and thus the “jammy” yolk. This MyRecipes story acknowledges all the factors involved in getting it just right, but then offers a technique that neutralizes a lot of the variables. I did it as described, but because I have {at least as far as boiling water is concerned} a “bad altitude,” increased the time to 7 minutes. Almost right. Then 7.5 and perfect. It appears this is the only aspect that may require adjustment.

  Oh, these are just great. All kinds of Halloween-decorated food, some adorable, some quite creepy, all so very clever. I couldn’t actually find a prep for the featured one, the eyeballs, but it looked like it was based on donuts, so I used powdered sugar donut holes. Then with this “canvas” before me, put on my beret, and got to work with food color gels, finishing with chocolate chip centers. Woooooohooooo MyRecipes.

  I’m guessing a number of CS-ers might share my impulse to hit Search any time they come across an unfamiliar food. That was the case recently when I saw a reference to Bolivian savory pastries called salteñas. I hope the Bolivians will forgive me but I was mainly interested in how the filling ingredients came together, so just made it as a kind of stew – eliminating the gelatin, dough & annatto butter. And what I discovered was a big flavor interplay of spicy and mild, acidic and sweet, soft and firm, salty and not. I liked it! You can check recipes and more at salteñas, I used the 5-star MyRecipes one as a guide.

So far next week: cinnamon apple pie bread, good show, storing bread, Friendship Bread, a.k.a all-in. nachos into burritos, José Andrés’ decadent spinach, good dinner meter

Last week, scroll down:  ice cream for breakfast, the oddball flying jacob, a beer backstory, tiny hot dogs the book, tiny hot dogs the demo, corn on the cob takes 1, 2, 3, Choctaw stew, burger cooking tip, the sweet potato sundae repurposed

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 bjnosek@gmail.com, 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, all others/mine

All pages ©2019 CooksSalon.com

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

FacebooktwitterlinkedinFacebooktwitterlinkedin

Tiny Hot Dogs x 2, Oct 4-Oct 10, 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 – {encore!} ice cream for breakfast / go take a flying jacob / beer backstory    CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT – tiny hot dogs, read    FEATURED RECIPE – tiny hot dogs, watch  ♦  TIP – corn on the cob, takes 1, 2, 3    THE WEEK – Choctaw stew / burger tip / tater redux

  TIDBITS 

Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

  Yes, indeedy, we ran this before {as did Food & Wine} and just as they regarded it as worthy of an encore, so do we! And in fact it was way up there as a favorite Tidbit among CS-ers. What? “19 Ways to Enjoy Ice Cream for Breakfast.” Ignore where the sun is, hit the freezer, etc, and enjoy!

  Have you ever heard of this? When Guy Fieri took his Diners, Drive-ins & Dives to Krokstrom in Kansas City, we were introduced to a dish called Flying Jacob, an unlikely combo of chicken, bacon, bananas, cream, spicy ketchup and peanuts that became a sensation when the recipe was submitted by a man named Jacobsson and printed in the Swedish mag “Allt Om Mat” {All About Food} in the 70s, and has unpredictably maintained shelf life to the present day. Here is the reprint AOP published after crowd pressure and it includes a link to the original recipe. You can google many variations including casserole versions.

  And so it was born. The stronger, hoppy brew many folks now enjoy at happy hour was the result of transport issues rather than flavor r&r. Beer sent by Britain on a long, hot journey to its soldiers in India would often arrive flat and sour. They found though that if they raised the alcohol content and added fresh hops to the barrels, the beer not only survived the trip but “tasted pretty good.” You might agree because today we know this quaff as India Pale Ale. Another tidbut from Moveable Feasts, the book that lifts the veil on how foods travel from a whole lot of “theres” to your plate, first mentioned in our 09.27.19 Salon..

  CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT   

Tiny Hot Dogs, the book . . . with recipes 

Mary Giuliani {no, not a relative, as she is constantly asked} is a caterer to the stars and sometimes we know who the Tiny Hot Dogs: A Memoir in Small Bitesmarquee folks are and sometimes not. What we discover more often is what she serves them.

And that brings us to the “tiny” reference. Giuliani shuns the usual gussy celeb fare for what might be characterized as upscale snack food, served in bite size pieces as telegraphed in the book’s title, “Tiny Hot Dogs.” That means her party tables will be laden with, e.g., mini versions of lobster rolls, corn dogs, spring rolls, turkey clubs, and variations on grilled cheese.

And recipes for all of those items mentioned above, as well as others, are included in the book. Along the way you’ll also come upon some catering tales, her foodie bio, some straight-talk revelations, and a bit of droll humor. All in all, quite enjoyable.

“Tiny Hot Dogs,” 4 1/2 stars    Her previous book, “The Cocktail Party,” 4 stars   

  FEATURED RECIPE  

Tiny Hot Dogs, the video . . . three ways

Giuliani brought her book title to life when she appeared on a charming show called Home & Family, on the Hallmark Channel. Her tiny hot dogs demo from that time is now on YouTube and is linked below.

You’ll see three ways to kick up the flavor on what are alternatively called pigs in a blanket, but bite-size, maybe two-bite. She also shows a compatible sauce for each.

You will also discover something you might find surprising. The only reason it wasn’t a revelation to me is that I had just finished reading a book on catering and learned how common this time-saving practice is in the industry. Turns out with the right sourcing, no quality is lost with this shortcut.

Tiny Hot Dogs video    Home & Family show

  TIP  

Corn x 3

What is it about corn that is just so satisfying. On the cob, off the cob, plain, flavored, cooked, raw, all so good. Here’s some buzz I hope you’ll find helpful . . .

So, in view of the fact that corn off the cob does quite well in the freezer, wondered why I couldn’t just freeze the whole cob. Never know until you try. Just tightly wrapped it, uncooked, in a paper towel and then in foil, and in it went.  The picture here shows it thawed, looking not bad, though for whatever reason it seems to survive the freezer better, in terms of both taste and texture, when it’s off the cob. I can probably say that with more conviction after trying one of these methods I belatedly found.

Street corn {elote} in a dish! So, had some kernels that I’d taken off the cob and frozen, no cooking, and thought it might be interesting to hit it with elote flavors. Found this recipe for a casserole which I used as a guide for ingredients but since I wasn’t using the prep’s 10 oz of corn, actually just did a toss into the skillet. Sauteed salted garlic in butter, then in with the corn, lime juice, a bit of hot sauce & some monterey jack, and when nice and hot into the dish with a bit more cheese to melt on top plus a sprinkling of fresh basil {in place of cilantro}. Excellent.

OK, again not remembering the source but best guess is Rachael Ray’s magazine that I saw a tip for removing corn silk. My previous go-to method? A paper towel. After Rach? A dedicated toothbrush! Now – even more recently, in an episode from Season 1 of “A Chef’s Life,” the silk remover was a regular household scrub  brush, ahhhh, that we’d like to think also solely dedicated to the task – sure covers a lot more ground {cob}.

♦  A PEEK AT MY WEEK  

Welcome to my kitchen and living room

  This time the all-in is stew, though not really a stretch I’ll admit. But what happened was, something in a book reminded me of a story I read when I was just a mini-foodie about three kids stranded on a floating island. Other than that main premise all I recall is that they made something called Indian stew. Googled and found Choctaw Stew –  close enough though the one in my memory also had tomatoes so added those along with celery & kosher salt though none of the three in this recipe – said no to green beans & squash but yes to garlic & hot peppers, and large-diced the potatoes – my broth of choice was a mix of chicken & beef, all in the slowcooker on low for 8 hours. Quite tasty.

  Is this something a whole bunch of you are already doing? I like to cook hamburgers in a really hot pan to produce a nice char but, aiyyyyy, not so fond of the fat splat onto the stovetop. Ha! Now I use a deep pan and at least most of the spray stays inside.

♦  The Featured Recipe in our 09.20.19 Salon was the tasty treat by José Andrés, Sweet Potato Sundae. I meant to mention that afterward I mashed the leftovers till quite smooth, served some the next day, froze the rest. All good! Recall though that I had used cream cheese not ice cream, so a prep with the latter is untested.

So far next week: Pro chocolate cake from a mix, sticky wrap without cussing, satenas, jammy eggs, making mushrooms last

Last week, just below:  Delivery for Fido have to sign for it, foodfests galore, good veggie veggie fruit fruit news, kitchen pockets, pumpkin caramel dip, poaching eggs to perfection, Legal Sea Food, love this peanut sauce, peanut butter Chex mix 

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 bjnosek@gmail.com, 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, hot dog tray/Home & Family on Youtube, all others/mine

All pages ©2019 CooksSalon.com

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

FacebooktwitterlinkedinFacebooktwitterlinkedin

Rich Pumpkin Caramel Dip, Sept 27-Oct 3, 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 – Does Fido have to sign for it? / foodfests galore / “Apeel-ing” news    CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT – kitchen pockets  ♦  FEATURED RECIPE – decadent dippin’    TIP – poached to perfection  ♦  THE WEEK – seafood ho! / woohoo peanut sauce / peanut butter Chex mix 

  TIDBITS 

Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

  Woof, arf, bark, bowwow {translation – please send the kit with beef and don’t be stingy}.  Yes, the dog’s day has come in the form of delivered meal kits. To make sure the kit is a fit, there are variously questionnaires, algorithms, even a personal care manager. Meals are generally precooked, pre-portioned, ready to eat. Check meal delivery for dogs and you’ll discover there are actually several sources. Bone appetite! {sorry}

  Some October food/bev fests – will you be in any of these cities? Dripping Springs TX, Dripping with Taste Trail, Oct 1-30 / Long Beach Peninsula WA, Wild Mushroom Celebration, Oct 1-Nov 15 / Tucson AZ, Flavors of Tucson, Oct 3 / Laguna CA, Taste of Laguna, Oct 3 / Denver CO, Great American Beer Festival, Oct 3-5 / Las Vegas NV, Food & Wine Festival, Oct 4 & 5 /  Suffolk VA, Peanut Festival, Oct 10-13 / Clermont FL, BBQ & Blues Festival, Oct 11-13 / Wellfleet MA, Oysterfest, Oct 19 & 20 / Chicago IL, James Beard Foundation’s Taste of America, Oct 24 & 25 / Atlanta GA, Whiskies of the World, Oct 26.

  Have you heard of Apeel? Inspired by the revelation that perishability is responsible for a great percentage of global food waste and thus significant world hunger, James Rogers founded that company to develop an edible coating, invisible and flavorless, that can help produce last 2-3 times longer. Treated fruits and vegetables are already appearing in major grocery stores. Rogers calls the process, “{using} food to preserve food.”

  CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT   

Bet we all know where this idea came from

Thinking some innovative soul looked at the shoe bag hanging on the closet door and thought, hmmm, I do believe 2 Pack - SimpleHouseware Crystal Clear Over The Door Hanging Pantry Organizer (52" x 18")that could serve a totally different useful purpose. And here it is.

A nice clear bag for your pantry door. Actually, two of them.  A quick glance shows just some of the possibilities.

Spices may well be the first choice since those things have the darnedest way of ending up all over the place. Little hand towels, the k-cups, small to medium bottles, jars and boxes. Or, lots and lots of utensils out of the drawers, out of the countertop holders, off the never-enough hooks, and all organized right into those pockets.

And pretty reasonable! A 2-pk, so 30 pockets total, for $12.97, 5 stars on Amazon. Prime Eligible too.

Door hanging pantry organizer

 FEATURED RECIPE  

Pumpkin + caramel = mmm mmm

The Libby’s site is well into the season with pumpkin recipes galore that go tasty miles beyond pie. Cheesecake, cookies, pudding, brownies, soup, chili, pasta sauce, rice dishes, vinaigrette, even a s’mores version . . . and this rich and rippin’ good dip.

Bring on the apple and pear slices, big soft pretzels, donut holes, or do a double down with one of Libby’s pumpkin cookies. Or how about drizzled over French vanilla ice cream or a graham cracker with a toasted and mashed marshmallow or mixed into whipped cream and plopped atop pumpkin pie.

By the way their recipe page, linked below, also features a fudge pumpkin dip and one made with cookie butter. In fact given the many ways here you can cook up the ol’ jack o’ lantern you could do an entire pumpkin-based dinner with totally different flavors in every dish. {and nope, no partnership with Libby’s}

Pumpkin caramel dip recipe    Libby’s recipe page 

  TIP  

As promised, how I poach an egg

Yes, it’s multi-step, but I like to think worth it. Bring the egg to room temp either by letting it sit out or warming it in water. Treat the bottom of your pan with non-stick spray, and tip the pan a bit to fill it with water so the spray is disturbed as little as possible. Add a splash of vinegar and set the pan over med hi heat. Fold a paper towel in quarters and treat the inner half with non-stick spray.

For each egg, crack into a sauce dish. Have a plastic slotted spoon ready. When the water is boiling, slide the egg in and immediately, and gently, run the slotted spoon underneath it, giving it a little shove. Reduce heat to create a very gentle bubbling on the surface,

I set the timer for 4 min – given the bit of time elapsed from the steps above, it probably cooks about 4 min and 10 sec – you may want to adjust this. When the timer goes off, gently remove the egg with the slotted spoon onto the prepared paper towel, closing it between the quarters. Gently flip over the whole works so the other side drains too. Then, enjoy!

  A PEEK AT MY WEEK  

Welcome to my kitchen and living room

  Oh, happy day! In an interesting book called “Moveable Feasts” – full of facts and anecdotes about how “long distance food” is sourced and shipped, arriving on our tables from even half a world away – I found this gem. Legal Sea Foods ships! I love their food but rarely am I where they are. Hello LSF website!

  In our 08.16.19 Salon, peanut butter cilantro sauce was our Featured Recipe, and it was quite good as is. But it occurred to me that with a bit of tweaking it could become an outstanding Thai peanut sauce. Tried it and now the only one I’ll use from now on. Here ’tis – in a food processor till blended, 1/4 c ea peanut oil, sesame oil, soy sauce & lime juice {liquids first}, then 1/2 c peanut butter, 4 garlic cloves & 2″ peeled med size ginger root both roughly chopped, 2 T red pepper flakes, 1/4 t salt. One possible tweak: might use sriracha instead of flakes.

  Well I’ve always like Chex cereals but the peanut butter one out now moved immediately to the top of the list. I used it recently in a mix with dry roasted peanuts, honey roasted peanuts, jalapeno pretzels, and garlic rye chips, later enhanced with a “donation” of sesame sticks. Tasty. Did not use any coating but if you prefer it that way, here’s a loaded peanut butter Chex party mix from their site.

So far next week: tiny hot dogs the book, tiny hot dogs the video, a beery nice story, dare to make a flying jacob, ice cream for breakfast, fresh corn x 3, hamburger cooking trick, another all-in, just as good mashed up

Last week, just below: Downton dinners, Impossible burger, Green Goddess dressing, Halloween party decorations, José Andrés Sweet Potato Sundae, cookies {and more} as Halloween decorations,  tasty add-ins, tested the nuked eggs, easy greens trick

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 bjnosek@gmail.com, 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 – Organizer/Amazon, Dip/Libby’s site, egg dish/mine

All pages ©2019 CooksSalon.com

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

FacebooktwitterlinkedinFacebooktwitterlinkedin

Jose Andres’ Sweet Potato Sundae, Sept 20-Sept 26, 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 – Dine like Downton / Impossible-possible? / Green Goddess rules    CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT – Halloween party fun    FEATURED RECIPE – Andrés at his playful best    TIP – cookies {and more} as Halloween decorations    THE WEEK – tasty add-ins / tested the nuked eggs / greens trick

  TIDBITS 

Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

  Do a Downton? According to “Rach,” to dine like the Crawleys, just simply serve oysters, soup, fish, fowl, main dish with sauces & veggies, dessert, fruit & cheese, and a final savory {!} From the recent issue of “Rachel Rae Every Day Magazine” {yikes, deep, deep discount at this Amazon link, but be quick}. Or you could go into full D/A party mode with “The Official Downton Abbey Cookbook,” with not only preps and their backstories and context but as well a guide to throwing a theme party complete with etiquette tips and customs of the times.

♦  Have you tried the Impossible Whopper? It’s actually not bad and for folks avoiding or minimizing meat it can be a nice alternative – I know there’s been some buzz about the fact it’s cooked on the same surface as the beef ones, but there’s a note on their site that says you can request all vegetarian prep. Truth be told I’ll probably be sticking with the original. Meanwhile, for those interested, here are the “Impossible” stats, listing the recipe {scroll down on the page} and the nutritional values {scroll down more}.

♦  Here’s a blast from the past, today as good as ever in both its classic form and some updated versions. I went to AllRecipes for an original and as usual the site did not disappoint. Here’s the link for their authentic Green Goddess dressing {OK, it does use creme fraiche instead of the traditional sour cream which of course you could put right back in the recipe}. But it was the “Food & Wine” newsletter that brought the old favorite to mind with its roster of Green Goddess variations for salads, burgers and crudites.

  CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT   

More party fun, spooky style

Hard as it might be to believe, Halloween is right around the corner. The summer holidays may be in the rear view mirror but a whole party season rolls out on Oct 31.

If you’re hosting a get-together, you can find so much good stuff  to set a festive tone. For the table, plates, cups, flatware and centerpieces. For the rest of the room, decorations scary-ed up with pumpkins & skeletons, ghosts and goblins, spiders and disguises, on gift bags, banners, inflatables, so much more.

Even wearables so you can dress the part. That includes “ugly” sweaters and – too cute! – miniature ones so the cakes or cupcakes can dress up too.

As we’ve come to expect, Amazon had it all. And as always, after following the link I post below, you can click away to customize the search, find just what you want.

Halloween party stuff galore People-size ugly Halloween sweaters

♦  FEATURED RECIPE  

Indulge in this rich dish as an entree, side, even dessert 

The vast scope of Jose Andres’ creativity, flavor mastery, passion, and even playfulness comes together in his Sweet Potato Sundae. And like so many of his dishes, it’s uncomplicated, simply enhanced in a way that the main ingredient clearly remains the star of the show.

And uncomplicated also means . . . easy for us home cooks. This recipe calls for just seven ingredients, only one of which needs to be cooked and nothing needs mixing, and overall minimal prep. And, oh, is it ever good, even with the peanut butter Chex I used instead of Rice Krispies.

Since I served it as a side dish, I topped it with a scoop of cream cheese instead of ice Vegetables Unleashed: A Cookbookcream. Thinking you could also use sour cream even though that will not exactly look like a scoop {but then neither will the ice cream once it hits the warm tater}. Who cares, would still taste great with any of those toppers.

The recipe is from Andrés’ book, “Vegetables Unleashed,” our Spotlight last week. Page after page delivers the super chef’s innovative ways with veggies, and some fruits too, in a book that’s called “a love letter to the plant world.”

Recipe    “Vegetables Unleashed”    Other Andrés books

  TIP  

Easy, edible Halloween decs

Cookies offer one of the easiest ways to make dessert part of the decorations. If your store doesn’t have orange frosting, just buy white {vanilla, sour cream, e.g.} and using a drop at a time add red and yellow food coloring. As you can see here I upped the pumpkin-ness on the second set with just another drop of red.

To make it easy on yourself just use any store-bought cookie that has a flat side. Frost away and then “make a face.” If you are using raisins or chocolate chips or chunks {think chips would work better but I had chunks so chunks it was} affix them while the frosting is still soft.

If you use food color pens, first chill the cookies until the frosting is fully set, and then take a couple at a time out of the fridge. Also, it seems easier to create the grooves with either a toothpick or the pen when the frosting is chilled.

Don’t worry about the art {clearly I didn’t} just have fun and giggle as you go. Gather them onto a platter or let them grin from individual plates. Also, you can take a look at our 07.26.19 Salon for bell pepper pumpkins and our 04.05.19 Salon for a pumpkin-ized baked potato {along with its Easter and Christmas buddies}.

  A PEEK AT MY WEEK  

Welcome to my kitchen and living room

♦  Some favorite add-ins to share with you. Two are new – chopped black olives in egg salad, liquid smoke in baked beans, canned or homemade. And two longtime faves, used recently – chopped green olives in tuna salad, a touch of dark chocolate in chili.

♦  So, tried the egg in the nuker trick. Two things about the prep – first it does not specify egg size or egg temp. The second thing, and I’m sorry I didn’t see this when I posted it in the Aug 30, 2019, Salon, the recipe talks about the process cooking the yolk faster than the white and says if you want the “white” softer take it out sooner – think that should have been “yolk.” Anyway, used a room temp large egg, and cooked for the specified one minute, and the yolk {shown} was cooked hard – nuts.

  Did a second one for 50 seconds and the yolk was better, but even though covered in water there was a soft spot in the white on top – in this case no problem, flipped it over onto hot greens. Even so think I’ll stay with my multi-step process which I’ll post in full in next week’s Tip.

  About those greens mentioned just above. I found a great way to have a nice mix of colors, flavors and textures without loading the cart with countless bags or having to cook forever. It’s very likely your market has a plastic tub of what’s called Fresh Herb Salad {triple washed and ready to eat}. Perfect! For the entire 5 oz package, 6-8 slices of bacon fried crisp, drained and crumbled. In the bacon fat, or replacing some or all with butter or olive oil, a small onion diced, seasoned and cooked till golden, 2 minced garlic cloves cooked briefly, then in with the greens and fresh ground pepper and stir, stir, stir. Greens folks will know that these cook down like someone poked them and let all the air out. Sprinkle on bacon and dig in.

So far next week: FoodFests across the country, package for Fido, Doritos Chicken casserole, nice poached eggs, awesome peanut sauce, woohoo delivery discovery, peanut butter chex mix, 

Last time, just below: Emeril & Julia & recipes, lunch to go, high or low, chocolate/cheese pairings, Jose Andres’ love affair with veggies, chocolate/peanut butter cookie bars, more veggie love, good tv series, unusual pb sammies, laundry tip

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 bjnosek@gmail.com, also valid for questions & comments – see the Let’s Chat tab for details

Note, transactions are solely between the buyer and linked supplier

Photo credits – decs/Amazon, all others/mine

All pages ©2019 CooksSalon.com

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

eb4823

FacebooktwitterlinkedinFacebooktwitterlinkedin

Cookies your dentist would hate, Sept 13-Sept 19, 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 – Emeril & Julia & recipes / lunch to go, high or low / may not be expecting this pairing    CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT – celeb’s love affair with veggies – yours too?    FEATURED RECIPE – recipe redo out-does original     TIP – more veggie love    THE WEEK – good tv series / calling all pb lovers / laundry tip {whaaaaat}

  TIDBITS 

Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

  Emeril posts an annual tribute to Julia Child in her birth month {actually Aug}, and in the recent one noted his appreciation for the years she mentored him, adding that “she taught so many people including me that cooking should be approachable and fun,” a legacy he honors to this day. Or as the beloved chef herself put it, he quotes, “The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you’ve got to have a what-the-hell attitude.” The full story includes recipes.

  MyRecipes sure has the waterfront covered, or more specifically, the lunch front. In adjacent stories you can learn “6 Money-Saving Tips for Packing Your Own Lunches” and “3 Back-to-School Lunches for Fancy Eaters.” Guessing any, all, of the above would be acceptable to both big and small kids.

  Well it seems my cheddar and chocolate {and subsequently cayenne} sandwich is becoming less odd by the moment. Take a look at this story on cheese and chocolate pairings from no less a source than Food & Wine {scroll through}. And more on this sandwich aspect in My Week below.

  CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT   

Fall in love with veggies – celeb Andrés shows you how

The name José Andrés may well be familiar to you from tv, his restaurants and cookbooks, and most admirably the thousands of meals he’s provided to victims of natural disasters {right now in the Bahamas}. His new cookbook, “Vegetables Unleashed,” features a cover that pretty well tells the tale of its tone and content.Vegetables Unleashed: A Cookbook

While Andrés is not a vegetarian, he sure knows how to find, as his co-author Matt Goulding notes, “pin-up worthy” fruits and vegetables. And then adds, “If you don’t believe in the sensuousness of produce, José has done his best to change that in these pages.”

Lots of tips and tricks too, along with a mini bio, anecdotes, food-centric tours of areas of Spain, and buying notes, plus pantry, tool, and gardening guides. Also some uniquely Jose-style “rules.”

So many interesting recipes, but a few were just absolutely intriguing. The roasted kabocha squash that became an edible “crust” for a cheesy quiche with sauteed veggies. The Catalan-style spinach with apple, dried fruits, mixed nuts, almond butter and wine. And the sweet potato sundaes which I just promoted to next week’s Featured Recipe.

“Vegetables Unleashed” by José Andrés

  FEATURED RECIPE  

These cookies – oh yeah 

In the 04.26.19 Salon our Featured Recipe was chocolate filled chocolate chip cookie bars. And oh they were good.

So, hmmmm, could they be just as good with peanut butter cookies instead of chocolate chip? Tried it. Answer – yep!

I additionally changed the recipe a bit from the one mentioned above because I wanted the peanut butter version to be more peanut butter-y. The overall prep is the same and still ever so easy.

What I did different was use one package of pb cookie mix blended with 2 T smooth peanut butter for each layer, top and bottom. The chocolate layer stayed the same as the original.

If possible, even richer. Get the big glass of cold milk ready.

Recipe in our April 26 Salon

  TIP  

Maybe not for everyone

Our featured book in the Spotlight above put me in mind of a long ago incident. My boss and I were invited to the home of a supplier for dinner. Among the many dishes on the tables were several that were just plain veggies, no sauces or extraneous ingredients.

“How,” my boss asked the supplier’s wife {an excellent cook I might add}, “are you making me like vegetables?” “Oh,” she said, “I just add a little sugar to the cooking water.”

Could be something to think about when the vegetables seem to be a little short on fresh flavor, or to make them more palatable to young palates. I particularly like this idea when corn is out of season and I’m using canned.

♦  A PEEK AT MY WEEK  

Welcome to my kitchen and living room

  Have you seen this fascinating series on the History channel, called “The Food that Built America”? Wow is it good. The one I saw recently covered the origins, growth, advances & setbacks and, most interesting, the personalities {and their passions} that led to today’s Kellogg’s, Post, Hersheys, Mars, KFC, and McDonald’s.

  Hello, pb fans. So, I thought my grilled cheese/chocolate/cayenne sandwich would probably be considered odd, but these peanut butter combos in the latest Taste of Home issue take the category to a whole new level. The familiar “Elvis” is probably the tamest of the bunch. I am a huge pb fan, but wasn’t sure if I wanted to venture in until I saw the spicy pork version – turned out quite good, like a sate sandwich.

  Stepping out of the kitchen {but staying in the house} – to share a laundry tip, and once again wondering if pretty much everyone already thought of this. So I have some new bright burgundy sheets. Was wondering if they were colorfast, so threw in a clean white towel from the rag stack with them, and that told the tale. Yay no “donations”! But if they had turned the towel pink, no big loss.

So far next week: Impossible Whopper unmasked, sweet potato sundae, tasty add-ins, those nuker eggs – tested, greens shortcut

Last time, just below: nukin’ the eggs trick, bubbles in a can, odd coffeemaker cleaner, gussy & helpful lunch totes, creamsicle dessert, notes in a tote, pizza reheat verified, EZay mole, see you on the Bridge beloved Misty

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 bjnosek@gmail.com, also valid for questions & comments – see the Let’s Chat tab for details

Note, transactions are solely between the buyer and linked supplier

Photo credits – book Amazon, others mine

All pages ©2019 CooksSalon.com

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

FacebooktwitterlinkedinFacebooktwitterlinkedin

Cool, creamy creamsicle cheesecake, Aug 30-Sept 12, 2019

Next Salon Sept 13, 2019 – Happy Labor Day!

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 – nukin’ the eggs / bubbles where??? / odd coffeemaker cleaner    CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT – gussy, helpful lunch totes    FEATURED RECIPE –  make it light or make it dense    TIP – notable    THE WEEK – pizza reheat verified / EZay mole / see you on the Bridge beloved Misty

  TIDBITS 

Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

♦  Modesty aside, I make a darn decent poached egg but ‘fessing up, it does entail a number of steps. So, somewhere along the line I will be trying this nuker method, but meanwhile wanted to share it with you. The tale teller says the microwave offers “in fact, the best way to make a consistently delicious poached egg.” When I do, will sure let you know.

  OK, which of you dear CS-ers will be first to try this? CA-based Andre Champagne Cellars is now offering its bubbly . . . in cans. Choose Brut or Brut Rose, the former the company says with hints of lemon and pear, the latter with raspberry and cranberry. Available online and at retailers you can find on their site.

  Well I guess if you can put your “teeth” in this stuff, it would seem it would be safe for your coffeemaker. I first found this on MyRecipes, the trick of cleaning your coffee maker with denture tabs. Given the sources they cite in the story and the number of other sites I found with this same idea, again it would seem to be OK. But we all can make up our own minds.

♦  CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT   

Transporting lunch in style

Well I must say, lunch bags now are sure a lot different than the cartoon lunch box I had as a kid and the brown bags that accompanied me some days to an office. Good looks and practical applications are now the order of the day.

Some are insulated, others have beverage compartments or other extra pockets or pull-out drawers, and at least one is a reusable take on the classic brown bag. Selections for little kids and “big” kids.

ICOLOR Dogs Design Hot Kids Neoprene Insulated Lunch Food Tote Bag Box cover baby bag Gourmet Handbag lunchbox Case For School work LB-115 by ICOLOR    8x4x10" 12 Pcs. Medium-Small Multi Color Reusable Tote Bags, Grocery Bags, Fabric Shopping Bags with Handles Eco Friendly- 100% Recyclable Bag         MAZFORCE Original Lunch Box Insulated Lunch Bag - Tough & Spacious Adult Lunchbox to Seize Your Day (Wolf Grey - Lunch Bags Designed in California for Men, Adults, Women)      PackIt Freezable Lunch Bag with Zip Closure, Festive Gem

The Amazon page also features reusable snack bags and sandwich bags, and multi-packs of bags in  many colors. Filter your choice to your liking.

Reusable lunch bags on Amazon    Those that are 4 stars and up

  FEATURED RECIPE  

How about this as a sweet finish

. . . for your Labor Day get-togethers? It started when I saw a reference to creamsicle desserts, and that got me thinking about a creamsicle cheesecake.

But didn’t want one that was separated into layers but rather a rich blend that gave you the full experience with every forkful. Hello google, thank you Pillsbury. This is the one that is linked below.

One thing, I wanted a nice dense texture and so left out the whipped topping. It still actually came out a little softer than I wanted, though the flavor was quite creamsicle-y. Did a second version based on the AllRecipes cheesecake prep we featured in our 08.02.19 Salon, but in a nod to this original, a 6 oz can of thawed oj instead of the lemon juice and then orange jello powder – it {shown} was a little firmer, also good flavor, but think I want to keep tweaking.

Either, btw, could work nicely just spooned into dessert dishes. And a little chocolate drizzle can’t hurt. And if you really want to go into wretched excess in the pie version, use a graham cracker crust.

creamsicle cheesecake recipe

  TIP  

Not food, but a food companion

Just a little ps to our spotlight above. 🥪🥚🥕🧁💌😁

When I was just a kidlet taking lunch to school every day, every now and then my mom would secretly slip a little note into the tote. Something about the food, something funny, or just an I love you.

This was such a day brightener, and because they weren’t all the time they were always such a nice surprise when they did appear. A little touch of home while away from home.

This can be a sweet gesture by anyone packing lunch for anyone else. That means big kids too.

  A PEEK AT MY WEEK  

Welcome to my kitchen and living room

  Verified! I tried the pizza reheating method linked in our 08.02.19 Salon. It involved the hot skillet step most of us probably already knew about. But here there’s a second step, drizzling just a few drops of water and covering the pan. Crust is crisp, top is melty. Hooray.

  My Mexican friends, you might want to look away. Because this fast, easy, minimum ingredient mole would never compare with the complex sauce in any of its variations that is such a fabulous staple of authentic Mexican cuisine. Maybe I can be forgiven because I have made sure to incorporate the most classic flavors in this blend. So, here ’tis – all in a food processor, slightly cooled fat from frying 2 strips of bacon {the bacon is your snack}, 1/4 c chicken stock, 1 T each peanut & sesame oil, 2 T chipotle sauce, 1/2 c smooth peanut butter, 1/4 c ea raisins & bittersweet chocolate chips, 2 chopped garlic cloves, 1 t cumin, 1/2 t onion powder, tiny pinch cinnamon. Shown here on shredded chicken.

♦  Very personal note: lost my precious Misty on Aug 20 after a mercifully brief illness. I’ve removed her photo, page links under the Preview, and Preview credit on the homepage, but her History Page and Gallery remain, links in the top bar. I’ve also added a note at the end of her History page. So, my CS friends, there’s now a FoodieCat just beyond the Rainbow Bridge, where golden catcaves are filled with soft pillows, moving toys, and platters of bacon and tuna, tended by hosts of angels ever-generous with hugs, kisses, brushies, and ear scratches.

So far next time: peanut butter chocolate cookies with a shortcut, laundry tip {what’s that doing here?}, Emeril + Julia = recipes, cheese/chocolate pairings, lunch on the go and in style, veggie passion, good food tv series

Last week, just below:  no-bake key lime, finding Netflix food shows, Taco Bell news & recipe, indoor grilling, griddles & smokers, bacon cheddar dip, Trisha Yearwoods’ chalkboard cookies, Venetian/English breakfast, all-in chocolate pie, gluttony good???

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 bjnosek@gmail.com, also valid for questions & comments – see the Let’s Chat tab for details

Note, transactions are solely between the buyer and linked supplier

Photo credits – lunch totes Amazon, all others mine

All pages ©2019 CooksSalon.com

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

FacebooktwitterlinkedinFacebooktwitterlinkedin

Kids’ bacon cheddar dip, Aug 23-29, 2019

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

New Salon every Friday – c’mon in

CS friends, and help yourself to tasty resources!

R.I.P. Beloved Misty {note on her History page}

♦  Here’s what you’ll find when you scroll down  

  TIDBITS – no-bake key lime / showfinder / pop goes the Taco Bell    CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT – outdoor grilling, phooey    FEATURED RECIPE – it’s bacony, tasty, and a multi-tasker    TIP – chalk up one of the fun-est cookie tricks ever    THE WEEK – Venetian/English breakfast / this time it’s pie / gluttony good???

  TIDBITS 

Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

  Room for one more no-bake dessert? It’s creamy key lime pie and wow is it easy. Just 8 ingredients, 3 steps. BUT, choose instead a store-bought graham cracker crust and it’s 5 ingredients, 2 steps. WAIT, not done. Choose plain over pretty and it’s 4 ingredients, 1 step! And, from MyRecipes, a darn reliable source of good stuff.

  Got Netflix? Did you know about the secret code that lets you instantly find all their food shows? Food & Wine tells all, how to access it, how to use it.

  Taco Bell fans, pack your bags for Palm Springs. That where the Mex chain is opening a pop-up hotel this month, with a menu of TB favorites gussied up a bit. Or, put your suitcase back on the shelf and just serve some of their Fire Chip Chilaquiles, recipe included in the story. And if you want to dress or accessorize for the occasion, there’s also an online TB store.

  CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT   

Love grilling – but the ” great outdoors”, not so much?

Solution – indoor grills. Yikes, who knew there are so many possibilities, both electric and stove top. Some good Amazon prices too, don’t know if always or special for end of the season.

They range from the quite gussy, like the plug-in Hamilton Beach shown, complete with view Hamilton Beach 25361 Electric Indoor Searing Grill with Removable Easy-to-Clean Nonstick Plate, Viewing Window, Stainless Steelwindow, adjustable heat, non stick surface, plus the hood, plate, drip tray all dish washer safe, $69.99 at Amazon {list $89.99}, 4 1/2 stars.

At the other end of the spectrum, stove top grill pans. Here, the Lodge 10.5 square inch cast iron griller, pre-seasoned, $18.90 at Amazon {list $44.30}, 4 stars.

But, as they say, wait, there’s more. Indoor griddles that sit atop your stove also are available with grill grooves. And, you can even find indoor smokers. Neener neener bees, mosquitos, wind, rain, etc.

Elec grill shown    Stove-top pan shown  ♦  4 star & up electric grills

4 star & up grill pans   4 star & up griddles    4 star and up stove-top smokers

  FEATURED RECIPE  

Bacon rules a cheesy dip that lives on in other tasty ways

In our 08.02.19 Salon we featured cookbooks for kids. Because of “my kid” Misty I had chosen to focus on ‘Bacon Artist.” Nice recipes for soup, salad, sandwiches and snacks, plus cooking methods and safety tips. Bacon Artist: Savory Bacon Recipes (Kids Can Cook!)

I mentioned that the first recipe I would likely try was the bacon cheddar dip, and now I’ve done exactly that, and hooray! As the title indicates, its first incarnation was as a dip, which the book suggests serving with crackers, chips, and such veggies as carrots, cauliflower and broccoli.

But oh, can it go way beyond that. Since the recipe makes quite a bit there were lots of leftovers after taking s star turn during cocktail hour with friends. It’s next use was a sauce for pasta, thinned a bit with bouillon, sprinkled with parsley and parm. Future uses: over sauteed chicken or shrimp, napped on scrambled eggs {such a natural with the bacon and cheese}, or maybe the book’s suggestion to roll it up in tortillas, chill, cut into pinwheels.

Amazon has the subject of kid cookbooks thoroughly covered. The link below filters the selections by best rating but you can further customize by age group, format, condition, Prime and more.

Bacon Cheddar Dip recipe  “Bacon Artist”    Cookbooks for kids, 4 stars and up

  TIP  

Another whimsical way to decorate food – thanks Trisha!

In our 07.26.19 Salon we drew designs on holiday food with food pens and food gels. Now during a recent episode of Trisha Yearwood’s Food Network show, “Trisha’s Southern Kitchen,” she displayed another way to play.

But she went one better. Wait till you see how.

It started with butter cookie dough, cut into rectangles and then baked and cooled. Each was covered almost to the edge with store-bought royal icing that had been blended with black food coloring to create what looked much like a child’s small chalkboard.

So then we need . . . chalk. Oh what fun, Trisha nuked bright white candy melts until the mixture could be piped into silicone tube molds and refrigerated until firm. And then voila! Not only can you eat the decorated “chalkboard – you can also eat the “chalk.”

Trisha’s prep    Trisha’s cookbooks    tube molds at Amazon    Food Network

  A PEEK AT MY WEEK  

Welcome to my kitchen and living room

  So, came across a reference to “Venetian Breakfast,” and a google check outed it as a double contradiction. First, it’s a London phenomenon, more specifically for the stylish set in the early 1800s. Second, it was generally served in the early afternoon {!}  But what we CS-ers care more about – what was served? All my usual sources were frustratingly mum on the subject. But what I did find would seem to indicate the term refers to the time of the party rather than its dishes.

  So as to not go away totally foodless, I took a look at what’s known as a full English breakfast on the premise there could be some similarities. Here it is at its “fullest” – back bacon {much like ham}, fried eggs, fried or grilled tomatoes, fried mushrooms, fried bread or fried or grilled oatcakes or buttered toast, sausages {bangers}, white or black pudding {or both}, baked beans, sometimes even bubble & squeak, along with HP sauce, ketchup and marmite plus coffee, tea and fruit juices. The accounts of actual 1800s breakfasts also included beer, wine & ale.

  The newest “all-in” is a chocolate pie. The filling: the leftover cheesecake from the lemon tarts in the 08.02.19 Salon thawed from freezer and blended with a chocolate medley that had been melted into a can of sweetened condensed milk – a mixed bag of milk chocolate and bittersweet chocolate chips, some of a Lindt blueberry/acai chocolate bar, a Hershey’s bar with Reese’s Pieces, and the Hershey’s Gold bar with peanuts and pretzels that was decorated for Dad’s Day in our play-with-your-food Salon 07.26.19, probably about 2 cups in all – into a store-bought crust, then chilled till firm. And yes, luck struck again, because it turned out exceedingly good, dense like a thick mousse.

  Well here’s a different take on one of the Seven Deadlies – found in my notes from “American Food Writing,” quoting turn of the century columnist Elizabeth Robbins Pennell on gluttony which she says – “deserves  nothing but praise and encouragement . . .  it is the result and proof of the digestive organs being perfect . . .{m}orally it shows implicit resignation to the commands of nature . . . {and} love of good eating is an incentive to thought, a stimulus to the imagination.” Ohhhhhhhkay.

So far next week: peanut butter chocolate cookies, easy mole, creamsicle cheesecake™, what cleans your coffeemaker???, poachin, taking lunch, notes to go, verified – pizza reheat

Last week, just below: no-cook dinners, impromptu grilling basket, reincarnating spices, Calvin Trillin’s funny food book, cilantro peanut dip, cilantro recipes, two stick trick, farmers market tips, dinner on a stick, Trillin vignette

Direct access to Amazon homepage through my personal link

Looking for something in CS? – scroll and check Misty’s previews OR enter the item in the search box OR email me at bjnosek@gmail.com

Note, transactions are solely between the buyer and linked supplier

Photo credits – grills & book/Amazon, cookies/Trisha Yearwood on Food Network, all others/mine

All pages ©2019 CooksSalon.com

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

FacebooktwitterlinkedinFacebooktwitterlinkedin

Peanut Cilantro Dip, Aug 16-22, 2019

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

& Misty the FoodieCat

CS friends, help yourself to tasty resources!

  CatChat –  Misty previews this week’s salon  

  TIDBITS – neener neener stove / impromptu grilling basket / reincarnating spices    CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT – funny food guy    FEATURED RECIPE – cilantro overload?    TIP – two stick trick    THE WEEK – farmers market tips / dinner on a stick / funny Trillin

Misty’s History    Misty’s Gallery

  TIDBITS 

Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

  Fall is just around the corner but most of us will still be spending time in the swelter zone. So how welcome to have Food & Wine bring us a slide show of “12 No-Cook Dinners” to make right now. In the lineup, colorful roast beef summer rolls, tuna banh mi, spicy Asian chicken lettuce cups.

  Love this guy. F&W’s Justin Chapple comes up with the darnedest Mad Genius Tips, in this case crafting a grilling basket out of baking racks and paper clips. He describes it in steps, but it’s easier I think to understand if you watch the on-page video.

  Haven’t needed yet to try this, but love the idea. When you find spices in your pantry that have exceeded their expiration or best buy date, there’s an alternative according to My Recipes that can help bring whole or dried spices back to life. Pretty easy too, just involves some skillet toasting. There are also some interesting videos on the page.

  CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT   

Trillin makes food funny

Peter Meehan, who was the late super food writer Jonathan Gold’s editor at the Lucky Peach, said in the Gold dvd {well nuts, thought I had mentioned this in a previous Salon, but guess not – will remedy that next week – great, great video} – “modern food writing began with Calvin Trillin.” Who, in fact, appears in that dvd.

Trillin has a unique approach to his subject. In the intro to his entry in “American Food Writers” Alice, Let's Eat: Further Adventures of a Happy Eaterauthor Molly O’Neil calls him “a hungry amateur in a world of overwrought connoisseurs, an anti-gourmet . . . {s}elf-deprecating and never at a loss for irony, the reluctant foodie serves slices of real life, hold the pretense.”

What he tells you about here is not so much a critique of food or chefs or restaurants as it is his pursuit of something wonderful he had before, something enticing he’s heard about, or something he wants out of sheer curiosity, And he’s willing to travel the world to track down that lusted-for bite.

In, “Alice, Let’s Eat,” we learn right at the start the identity of his two true passions: love of food and love of wife. It’s despite the former and because of the latter that he’s willing to forgive Alice for her “seemingly uncontrollable attacks of moderation.” That playful tension marks much of this little book full of big smiles. A joyful read. Four stars on Amazon, Kindle, paper and hardcover.

“Alice, Let’s Eat”    A trilogy that includes “Alice”    Other Trillin books on Amazon

  FEATURED RECIPE  

Too much cilantro?

Well I’m hoping some day I can say that about the yield from my mini indoor garden, but for now took advantage of a good sale at my market. Then, ahhhhh, what to do with all of it?

Good ol’ AllRecipes told me exactly what I could do with it – in of course the nicest possible way. The one that I chose turned out to be a lovely, versatile dip –  a tasty take on classic peanut sauce.

A couple of notes. Because of the cilantro, though I may have overly-indulged my love of this herb, it takes on a color that belies its flavor. Also, I did add just a touch of salt. One more thing, this is quite the delightful tongue tingler, but if you’re not a spice fan you’ll want to cut back on the pepper flakes. Note as well that it thickens {and gets even better} in the fridge.

The recipe suggests such dippers as French bread and veggies, showing what looks like bell peppers, baby bok choy and maybe jicama. But found this to be also great on pita crackers, crisped flour tortillas, even in entree mode on roasted chicken or pork, or as I did, on scrambled eggs  {shown}.

Easy too! Some minimal chopping, a couple of rounds in the processor, and done!

Peanut Cilantro Dip recipe    Other cilantro preps on AllRecipes

  TIP  

Taming the kebab

So, we’ve had some fun here with courses on skewers. And yet one more appears in “Week” below.

Whenever I’m kebab-ing, I like to use two sticks. This makes the ingredients behave, keeps them from doing roly polys as they would on just one stick.

This trick is especially helpful if you are making say an all meat kebab that you’ll be cooking in a skillet or the oven or on the grill. When you turn them over, everyone goes along for the ride.

You can see this two-stick-er in the photo below.

  A PEEK AT MY WEEK  

Welcome to my kitchen and living room

  I love farmers markets and one of my very favorite mags, Sunset, just made that experience even better. A reader in a recent issue asked how to get the most out of these bounty of the earth fests. Some of the suggestions I liked best – bring three bags, one each for sturdy produce, tender items, and dairy/meats/eggs, do a couple of laps before you buy anything, and bring small bills.

  Both here in the Salon and in my “50 Kitchen Tricks” book we’ve seen courses on a skewer – breakfast, appetizer, salad, and dessert. Now a recent issue of Food Network Magazine takes it a step further and spears dinner on a stick too. Their creative takes were actually kebab-ing classic sandwiches – banh mi, Philly cheesesteak, turkey club, and meatball & eggplant parmesan {all on this page}. The one I played with – roasted pork tacos wrapped with green salsa & cheese and heated and browned in a skillet, alternated with avocado, tomato and seeded jalapenos, served with red salsa rice and simple nachos.

  I love this glimpse into Calvin Trillin’s love affair with food, delivered to us in the “Alice” book featured above. He’s fondly recalling a  thick potato pancake he enjoyed some years back and the fact that it is eaten while standing up – and that, Trillin says, is “a method that gives the eater the additional pleasure of being able to jump up and down occasionally in delight.”

So far next week: all-in pie, Venetian breakfast, chocolate peanut butter cookies, no-bake key lime pie, food show code, gluttony good???, Taco Bell pop-up hotel, recipe & gear, wait till you see these cookies!

Last week, just below: Martha’s spicy pulled pork in the slow cooker, s’mores ice cream cake, Uber add-on, un-frying, great kitchen organization trick, choc/cheese sammie 2.0, a sideways thinking way to solve red wine stains, put what now in the egg salad? 

Direct access to Amazon homepage through my personal link

Looking for something in CS? – scroll and check Misty’s previews OR enter the item in the search box OR email me at bjnosek@gmail.com

Note, transactions are solely between the buyer and linked supplier

Photo credits – books/Amazon, all others/mine

All pages ©2019 CooksSalon.com

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

FacebooktwitterlinkedinFacebooktwitterlinkedin

Martha’s Slow Cooker Spicy Pulled Pork, Aug 9-15, 2019

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

& Misty the FoodieCat

CS friends, help yourself to tasty resources!

  CatChat –  Misty previews this week’s salon  

  TIDBITS – S’mores cake! / Uber what now? / well that’s one way to deal with a red wine stain    CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT – a whole new fry-day    FEATURED RECIPE – Martha goes spicy    TIP – kitchen tangle, your days are numbered    THE WEEK – egg salad 2.0 / weird sammie upgrade / oink too! {M – could I have the other parts?}

Misty’s History    Misty’s Gallery

  TIDBITS 

Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

  A classic summertime treat just got even cooler and sweeter. I hope the picture police don’t come after me because I just had to share the image of this S’mores Cake ice cream cake. It’s on the Tasting Table page but from Pinterest and some of those are public domain and some aren’t – as always we credit the pic below. And yes, the recipe is on the page too.

  Am I missing something here? So, on some evenings you just don’t want to cook, and it’s Uber Eats to the rescue. All well and good. But now in select cities in the west, Uber is testing a “Dine-In” option. Rather than having me try to describe it, since I’m not exactly clear on the benefit, you can see the story for yourself. Then, what do you think?

  So, last week in Tidbits {which is immediately below this week’s Salon} we ran a link to an article about removing red wine stains. Came across this and thought it was pretty funny – don’t remove the stain, go with it! Here’s that solution.

  CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT   

What do you see?

To me, this looks like a cute little alien that dropped out of the mothership to bring futuristic help to the kitchen. Especially if you’d like a future that includes fried foods without the oil-driven frying.Dash DFAF455GBAQ01 Deluxe Electric Air Fryer + Oven Cooker with with Temperature Control, Non Stick Fry Basket, Recipe Guide + Auto Shut Off Feature, 6 qt, Aqua

For appetizers, desserts, wings, fries, it guarantees your food will come out crisp every time. Set the temp, set the timer, go do something else for a while {they say “minutes”}.

Cook-friendly features include auto shut-off, cool touch housing, all non-electric parts dishwasher safe. Match your kitchen with an exterior of black, white, red, aqua. Recipe book too, and recipe database access.

The chicken photo shows their crispy promise. It’s 4 1/2 stars on Amazon, Prime eligible, at this writing $20 discount. Some comments: “awesome,” “great recipes,” “everything comes out perfect.”

Dash Electric Air Fryer on Amazon

  FEATURED RECIPE  

Tasty, Spicy, Easy!

Not just the most tender ever pork. But also, those spicy and herby ingredients join onions and tomatoes and play together for hours in the slow cooker, all emerging as a unified bounty of flavor, ready to pile onto a bun or a plate, or as the recipe suggests, into taco shells with cheddar or {and?} sour cream. Btw, feel free to add even more spice.

And because it’s Martha behind this Spicy Pulled Pork, you already can pretty much guess there are cooking tips too. And as she notes, the easy prep all comes together in a matter of minutes.

Martha has a entire cookbook devoted to slow cooker recipes {good discount right now on Amazon}. As it promises, “110 recipes for flavorful, foolproof dishes {including desserts}, plus test-kitchen tips and strategies.”

Slow Cooker Spicy Pulled Pork recipe  “Martha Stewart’s Slow Cooker” cookbook  

Stewart’s other cookbooks    Other slow cooker cookbooks, 4 stars & up

  TIP  

Kitchen help – from the office supply store?

I love this storage trick. No more the jumble of baking sheets, cooling racks, toaster oven pans, and cutting boards that used to fight it out for space in the cabinet.

Now they play nice in folder holders, the kind you’d find at Office Depot or Amazon. And you can multiple the capacity by additionally storing more of these kinds of items between the ends of the sorter and the cabinet walls. I actually use three of them.

Btw, this {she noted shamelessly} is one of the 50 kitchen tricks you’ll find in my Kindle book, 99 cents,  linked just below. Also a link for folder holders/sorters on Amazon, most pretty inexpensive, like under $20,  and saw one with 8 slots on sale for just under $10.

“50 Fun & Unexpected Food Prep, Presentation & Storage Tricks”   Folder sorters 

  A PEEK AT MY WEEK  

Welcome to my kitchen and living room

  Love egg salad? Love hummus? I recently arranged a “marriage” of the two. It still had the classic ingredients of onion, celery, a bit of dill pickle relish {some folks might prefer sweet} and then, the hummus in place of mayo. You know what – keeper!

  In our 05.17.19 Salon I mentioned two long ago experiences that had come together to create a grilled chocolate/cheddar sandwich. Now a new bit of information, a Food Network Magazine article on sprinkling smoked paprika on a whole buffet of foodstuffs including grilled cheese, sparked a memory of a wondrous chile/chocolate pie at a since-closed restaurant – all clearly suggesting that my sammie could go for an upgrade. Except I sprinkled cayenne. Thanks everybody!

PS – have the napkins handy!

  We CS-ers are pretty darn good at avoiding food waste. So guessing maybe we all can appreciate a comment by darling Tyler Florence on his Bite Club Show on Food Network a few weeks back. While creating pork dishes he said they use everything, “even the oink.”

So far next week: no-cook dinners, funny food book, farmers market tips, dinner on a stick, peanut cilantro dip, cilantro recipes, reviving spices, a A-Team approach to a grilling basket, two-stick trick

Last week, just below: pizza help x 2, Irish breakfast, red wine stains, kids cookbooks, no bake lemon cheesecake tarts {easy!}, parchment paper & squash tricks, scones ps x 2   

Direct access to Amazon homepage through my personal link

Looking for something in CS? – scroll and check Misty’s previews OR enter the item in the search box OR email me at bjnosek@gmail.com

Note, transactions are solely between the buyer and linked supplier

Photo credits – s’mores cake/Rachel Vanni/Tasting Table, air fryer & chicken/Amazon, all others/mine

All pages ©2019 CooksSalon.com

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

eb4823

FacebooktwitterlinkedinFacebooktwitterlinkedin

No-bake lemon cheesecake tarts, Aug 2-8, 2019

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

& Misty the FoodieCat

CS friends, help yourself to tasty resources!

  CatChat –  Misty previews this week’s salon  

  TIDBITS – pizza help duo / begorrah, the winner is . . . / out damned stain    CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT – cookbooks for kids    FEATURED RECIPE – so good, so easy, so refreshing    TIP – one from Ina Garten {and one for her???}    THE WEEK – more Med / ps to scones recipe / ps 2 to scones recipe

Misty’s History    Misty’s Gallery

  TIDBITS 

Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

  Pizza help – x 2! The first, from Food & Wine, is a reheating trick – in a skillet to get a crispy crust which I had heard of, and then the addition of a few drops of water to melty-up the cheese which was new to me. The second, from Well Done, tells you what you can do following that cry of owwwww {or something stronger} when too hot pizza assaults the roof of your mouth.

  Lads and lassies, gather around Ireland’s favorite meal, as determined by an IrishCentral poll. Yep, it’s the full Irish breakfast, and hooray the story is replete with recipes for all the contenders. Btw, in the photo for bacon and cabbage you’ll see what you’ll likely be served in an Irish pub when you order bacon, often offered as an entree because it’s like the best ham ever.

  Another chance to expand your vocabulary occurs when you or someone else accidentally douses your good stuff with a glass of cab or pinot. Well Done to the rescue with their guide, “How to remove red wine stains from almost anything.” One tip I also heard, fortunately no opportunity yet to test, is to immediately pour white wine on the stain. For any of these probably want to try first on a small area.

  CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT  

Kids can cook!

And did you know – there are all kinds of cookbooks for kids. Because of “my kid” Misty I chose  ‘Bacon Artist.” Nice recipes for soup, salad, sandwiches and snacks. Bacon Artist: Savory Bacon Recipes (Kids Can Cook!)

The pages also talk about becoming a bacon artist including safety tips, the kinds of bacon, cooking methods, making bacon bits, and of course recipes. Think the one I’ll try first is the bacon cheddar dip.

Amazon has this subject thoroughly covered. There’s a link below filtering the selections by rating but you can also customize by age group, format, condition, Prime and more.

“Bacon Artist”  ♦  Other cookbooks for kids    Cookbooks for kids, 4 stars and up

  FEATURED RECIPE  

Tart lemon, sweet cheesecake 

A Tasting Panel Selection

I have to give primary credit to AllRecipes because the cheesecake layer is totally theirs. It was actually for a regular full size cheesecake with cherry pie topping. Their readers gave it 4 1/2 stars.

For our version, we spooned the creamy mix into store-bought graham cracker tart shells and then topped it with out of the jar lemon curd. You could certainly also add a dollop of whipped cream.

So, what makes this cheesecake so rich and creamy? Could it be full the pint of  heavy whipping cream??? Whether tart or full cake, this is the only recipe I’ll use from now on.

AllRecipes cheesecake  

  TIP  

What a good idea

And so obvious have to wonder if I’m the only cook/baker that hasn’t thought of it. Thanks to Ina Garten for this one.

Watching her “Barefoot Contessa” show on Food Network, where she was making meringues which in turn went onto parchment paper. She wanted them to be a particular diameter and so marked the dimensions on the underside of the paper with a pencil. Voila, instant guide.

And then in a moment of spectacular immodesty, wondered if I could give her a tip{!} For the next dish, filled acorn squash, she talked about how hard it is to cut this veggie in half. With a knife Attila could have taken into battle she sliced into one of the grooves and then banged the whole works on the board till it fell in two. Ummm, what I actually do before backing is pierce the squash in a few places, nuke it for about three minutes, and watch a regular knife go through it like butter. 😉

Ina Garten cookbooks on Amazon    “Barefoot Contessa” on DVD    On Prime Video

  A PEEK AT MY WEEK  

Welcome to my kitchen and living room

  As a followup to my mention in the 07.19.19 Salon of the “The 30-Minute Mediterranean Diet Cookbook,” I’ve now found further encouragement with a Clean Plates post identifying “The Best Products You Can Buy for a Mediterranean Diet” – just in case you’d like to try some of this too.

  A ps to the scones prep we posted on our Recipe Page in conjunction with the food pen design for St. Pat’s Day in the 07.26.19 Salon. The original comes from the AllRecipes site which you can see here. It actually called for cranberries and walnuts rather than dates and pecans. the latter a nod to my mom’s awesome bread. Also I adjusted the recipe somewhat after reading some suggestions in the comments, and then adjusted it a bit further after our Tasting Panel session.

  Fair warning that my final version leans more toward moist than crumbly and just as noted in some of the comments this can make the step of cutting the dough into separate triangles a bit of a challenge. Two things I think I’ll try for future times, one is to deeply score the whole round of dough and then finish cutting through after baking, and the other is to use a biscuit cutter instead as shown in this joyofbaking demo. It’s certainly worth the effort because these are really good, and even the original, despite some issues posted on the page, rates 4 1/2 stars.

So far next week: dare to air, kitchen storage trick, weird upgrade for weird sammie, egg salad in love, Martha’s slow cooker recipe

Last week, just below: Play with your food! Draw colorful designs right on holiday classic fare, year ’round fun 

Direct access to Amazon homepage through my personal link

Looking for something in CS? – scroll and check Misty’s previews OR enter the item in the search box OR email me at bjnosek@gmail.com

Note, transactions are solely between the buyer and linked supplier

Photo credits – book/Amazon, all others/mine

All pages ©2019 CooksSalon.com

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

FacebooktwitterlinkedinFacebooktwitterlinkedin