St Pat’s Day special, Feb 15-21, 2019

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

& Misty the FoodieCat

Help yourself to a bounty of resources!


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

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

Misty’s History    Misty’s Gallery


Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

Diner’s Dictionary 

CS Marketplace

BJN’s Eclectic Offerings Page


What could be more Irish??? 

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

Fadge (Irish Potato Cakes). Image: Getty.

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

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

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

♦  TIP  

How to’s too!

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

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

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


Welcome to my kitchen and living room

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

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

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

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

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


Taco Chili in the slow cooker, for July 20-26, 2018

  CatChat – Misty’s Preview 

Food truckin’ on tv {M – yes, as a matter of fact I do watch television  See the pros cooking up front and personal  ♦  How much butter? {M – LOVE butter!  Mom’s new favorite food book {M – not a cookbook though  Hot dish in a cool kitchen    Slow cooker tip    Barbara’s week: small fun way to go green, Bolognese fail, look what she’ll be sharing with you!

{M – Also, mom added two new photos in my Gallery, yay!}

Misty’s History    Misty’s Gallery 

♦  Tidbits  ♦ 

Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

  Coming July 26, the new season of “The Great Food Truck Race” on the Food Network, 9p/8c. Host Tyler Florence {whom I had the pleasure of meeting and can verify he’s just as charming and personable face to face as on the screen}, heads to locations in the Southwest as seven trucks compete for a $50,000 grand price in this annual competition. The winner will be named in the grand finale on Aug 30.

  Not till October but tix available now. One of the country’s largest food & wine fests takes place yearly infestival photos gallery 2018 19 250x250 - Festival Photos NYC, and for 2018 it’s 10/11-10/14. Learn from the best and enjoy the yield of their culinary talents with seminars, demos, dinners and more, from Daniel Boulud {love this guy}, Alton Brown, Anne Burrell, Scott Conant, Giada, Bobby Flay, Ina Garten, Duff Goldman, Rachel Ray, Emeril, Martha, Florence too & seemingly hundreds more! NYCWFF

Btw, the fest also benefits No Kid Hungry, and you’ll find a link to that worthy org in the “Especially for Cooks” boutique on the CS Marketplace page.

  Butter lovers pack your bags. Australian astronomers have discovered that the Milky Way contains enough “grease” to make – don’t even try to count this on your fingers – 40 trillion trillion trillion packs of butter. Even though we may not know what the Aussies regard as a pack, that’s a whole lot of popcorn topping. But if this is going to happen any place, guess it makes sense it’s in “Milky” Way.

♦  CS Marketplace Spotlight  ♦

Well how handy is this???

If you’ve ever had any question about an individual ingredient, a single food item, an entire dish, chances are excellent the answer is in this book. And I’ve found I’m not only diving in to look up something specific butThe Diner's Dictionary: Word Origins of Food and Drink as well just journeying through the pages to come upon, e.g., Boston Strawberries, Dublin Lawyer, Vienna Steak. What fun!

Because this tome goes beyond just simple definitions, characteristics, uses, and origins to also tell us variously about connections to geography, history, literature, law, commerce, and notable people. And all alphabetical for easy reference.

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

Diners Dictionary    CS Marketplace

Also at CS Marketplace “Especially For Readers” & “Especially for Dog Lovers”

Dog Lovers Extra – I’m inclined to call most of these “things” opinions rather than facts, but nevertheless there may be a clue or two in this Reader’s Digest list of Things You Do That Your Dog Actually Hates”  

♦  Featured Recipe  ♦

Cool way to cook dinner on a hot day

Who the heck wants to turn on the oven or stand over the stove on a July day??? Thinking, that would be no one.

And if you have a slow cooker, you don’t have to! And the other good news in this week’s Featured Recipe is that it comes from a whole chapter of 5-ingredient {thank you!} recipes in this slow cooker cookbook.Biggest Book of Slow Cooker Recipes (Better Homes & Gardens)

And a tasty prep it is too, extracting full flavor value in the selection of the five components. Add some corn chips, maybe a bit of green salad and done.

The cookbook is a creation of Better Homes and Gardens, so you know you’re going to find some good, reliable stuff in here. In addition to this one, that chapter also has such offerings as Texas Two-Step Stew, Creamy Ranch Potatoes {4 ingredients!}, Spicy Spareribs, and Home Style Chicken and Stuffing.

Of course there are other complete chapters to use the slow cooker for appetizers, beverages, soups, stews, side dishes, beef/pork/lamb preps, poultry with ethnic flair, meatless main dishes, and desserts. A bonus chapter on one-dish meals moves the cooking method to the oven, skillet and wok. Paper & spiral bound, 4 stars on Amazon.

Taco Chili

4-6 servings

1 lb ground beef

1.2 oz pkg taco seasoning mix

15-oz can chunky Mexican style tomatoes, undrained

15-oz can red kidney beans, undrained

15-oz can kernel corn, undrained

Cook ground beef in a skillet until browned, drain fat. Add with remaining ingredients to 3 1/2-4 qt slow cooker. Cover and cook on low setting for 4-6 hours or on high setting for 2-3 hours.

Note: It’s not cheating the 5-ingredient promise – that is all that went into the cooker! – if you want to put a few things on the table for toppings/mix-ins, such as shredded cheese, hot sauce, sour cream, sliced green onions, cilantro. 

“Better Homes & Gardens Biggest Book of Slow Cooker Recipes”

Other top rated slow cooker cookbooks

♦  Tip  ♦

No peeking {except in the next section!}

The slow cooker cookbook that is the source of this week’s Featured Recipe sprinkles cooking hints throughout, including this one about the cooker: “Because slow cookers cook food at such low temperatures, removing the lid can dramatically reduce the temperature inside the cooker. When you lift the cover to stir or add ingredients, replace the lid as quickly as possible. An uncovered cooker can lose up to 200° of cooking heat in as little as 2 minutes. A quick peek, however, lowers the temperature only 1 or 2 degrees. If you have no reason to peek – don’t!”

♦  A Peek at My Week  ♦

Stainless Steel Straws, 10.5” Long Reusable Replacement Metal Straws for 20 30 OZ Yeti Tumbler, RTIC, Tervis, Ozark Trail, Starbucks, Mason Jar, Set of 8 with Silicone Tips & Cleaning Brush  I’m sure you’ve noticed too the number of food places that are eliminating plastic straws. So even though we don’t use straws too much here, when we do it’s usually from a box of, yep, plastic ones. Of course you can probably recycle them, but that stuff is supposed to be cleaned and what a pain in the {censored} that is. So just looked into some reusables on Amazon and found quite a few, both metal and silicone, and here’s what I really like about some of those choices – they include cleaning brushes! Here’s what I’m ordering.  Color-tipped shown   Other options

  Well, bummer, Bolognese sauce didn’t live up to my expectations. But we soldier on and I think I can build on this attempt to get it right. So, whenever it’s really ready, will share right here.

  But anyway here’s some good news. For me and very likely for you too! My Great Courses book and DVDs have arrived, this one being “The Everyday Gourmet: Rediscovering the Lost Art of Cooking.” And you know, dear friends, I will be sharing all along the way, though with the caveat that it will be a while till I can do them justice.

So far for next week: Clara wow, cheese vault, brain food, saving saving saving, fries in a hurry, cheesefests

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