Girl Scout Cookie Desserts, Feb 8-14, 2019

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

& Misty the FoodieCat

All pages ©2019


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

  TIDBITS – Are you being bad? / sheet pan comes to breakfast / tater tricks  ♦  CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT – help with Valentine’s gifts {M – make mine tuna}    FEATURED RECIPE – Girl Scout cookies, a fab ingredient    TIP – cakes 5.0    THE WEEK – rye redux / butternut squash – one recipe, two uses / choclo {whaaaaat?}

Misty’s History    Misty’s Gallery


Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

  If you like to bake, you might also like to take a look at this article posted on Well Done. You’ll find guidelines and fixes for such aspects as reading instructions, measuring, heating the oven, ingredients, mixing, pans, under the banner “18 Bad Baking Habits You Need to Stop.”

  If you’ve ever been to a French bakery or cafe, whether here or there, chances are good the menu featured the country’s classic open face sandwich, the Croque Monsieur, basically ham & swiss on good toasted bread sauced with bechamel. Food and Wine brings us the prep for a version called Croque Meurice after its origins, and what’s interesting is that it taps into sheet pan convenience. Btw, if you cut these large enough and top each square with a fried egg it would be a handy take on Croque Madame.

  Potato art – This is too bizarrely funny not to share. It is about food. But not as food. A new Internet sensation involves posting videos of putting makeup on, yep we already tipped it, potatoes. Although I guess as we think about it, that’s maybe a small step from the years ago kids game, Mr. Potato Head. Thinking now, this could be fun – if we used food color pens they could actually be served as a party dish. Thanks, Irish Central, for the chuckle.


Little late with a Valentine’s gift?

There’s a good chance Amazon can help. Almost anyone, I think, would appreciate a Valentine Treasures Fruit Gift Basketlovely gift basket with chocolate, maybe a stuffed animal, decorations.

In the links below, the first one leads to everything that comes up for chocolate gift baskets, the second narrows the selections to baskets specifically for Valentine’s Day, and the third lists only those rated four stars and up. At any level you can also customize in additional ways.

Btw, the “container” isn’t always a basket, sometimes a box, tin or tower. Of course check out the delivery dates but many if ordered now will arrive before the big day, including this one.

All gift chocolate baskets    For Valentine’s    Best rated    Basket shown

CS Marketplace

Need something even faster? Browse lots of instant gift cards on Amazon


Girl Scout Cookies Gone Wild 

Well this whole tasty sequence began with a visit to a site I really like called MyRecipes. The draw was a story on desserts made with Girl Scout cookies {link below}. 

So then I hit Google to see when the cookies are available and that led to several discoveries. First, on the Girl Scouts site you can enter your zip code and get a big listing of dates and places for the booths.

Second, there are also cookie-based recipes on the site. Shown here are cupcakes made with Thin Mints which are crushed and mixed with cream cheese for a filling inside chocolate cake topped with ganache.

Another revelation came in the Google search, and it’s this – Girl Scout cookies are available on Amazon. Just to check I clicked on the Thin Mints and there doesn’t appear to be any “season” for them which is to say they seem to be available year ’round.

Recipe page on the Girl Scouts site {scroll on page for cupcakes}

MyRecipes article  ♦  Girl Scouts homepage    GS cookies on Amazon  

♦  TIP  

Skeptical, but my reason may not be your reason

Either way, it is an interesting idea. Tapping into a tale with the maybe slightly hyperbolic headline, “How to make any cake 1,000 time better” – with the answer being, folding in whipped cream.

The result it says, is a light consistency . . . a lighter texture,” and that where they lose me because I like desserts that are. ummm, toothy. But I realize some of you, dear friends, do prefer a lighter touch and a link is here for you to see the details.

Meanwhile, we also discover that the idea was inspired by the cookbook, “BakeWise,” which “won the James Beard Foundation Award for Best Baking and Dessert Cookbook in 2009.”

The Whipped Cream Trick    “BakeWise” on Amazon, 4 1/2 stars


Welcome to my kitchen and living room

  So, a package of rye bread that is supposed to close with a sticky tab – didn’t. As a result, a good four slices turned zwieback-y. Didn’t want to waste it, so hello Google. The solution that was most appealing was to turn them into croutons, which is exactly what I did, sauteeing cubes in a garlicky mix of butter and peanut oil. Turned out to be great toppers for butternut squash soup, pea soup, and really any salad.

  And about the butternut squash soup, now have my final version. Truth be told the preceding variations were good, but the “winner” was the one that most let the title veggie take an undisputed starring role. It starts with about a 3 lb squash, baked until very tender, cooled till handle-able.

  In a large pot 3-4 cloves minced garlic are lightly sauteed in 4 T butter, and then joined by 2 c prepared chicken bouillon, 1/2 T honey, 1 t sage, 1/2 t ea pepper and nutmeg. Let this simmer while you peel, seed and rough cut the squash, and then mash or blend it smooth with a 1/2 c cream.

  Whisk in the squash scoop by scoop until blended, and then add 1 cup Italian shredded cheese. Whisk until melted and mixture is hot. Serve as soup or, as originally pursued, over pasta as shown here topped with a bit of parm and parsley.

  I don’t make a steady diet of “Chopped” on Food Network, but did tune in recently and learned about an ingredient I’d never heard of before. Have you? It was choclo, a large kernel style of corn grown in Peru. The contestants did some interesting preps with it which you can view here {full episode}.

BJN’s Eclectic Offerings Page

{new, and still doesn’t quite have all its ingredients}

So far next week

Cook with passion and a party spirit, whether for a crew, or for two, or just for you
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Prison Gravy recipe inspired by Goodfellas dish, for Feb 23-March 1, 2018

  In the Salon this week  

St Pat’s Day full Irish breakfast    TV kitchen recreations    Celery – preserving, restoring    Who do you know that’s the celebrity chef in their own kitchen???    Title recipe    Girl Scout cookie recipes   Resource links


  St Pat’s Day is just weeks away and what better start to the celebration than that won’t-need-anything-till-dinner meal, the Full Irish Breakfast. And what better authority for how it’s done than the Irish Central newsletter. St Pat’s Breakfast

  Remodeling your kitchen? Want it to look like something from a popular tv series? Food & Wine shows us Home Advisor’s recreations from “Friends,” “Fresh Prince of Bel Air,” “The Handmaid’s Tale,” “The Big Bang Theory, ” “New Girl,” “Malcolm in the Middle,” and “Mad Men.” TV Kitchens

  What a bummer when you can whip a celery stalk back and forth like a rubber hose.  The “Extra Crispy” newsletter comes through again with storage suggestions and a recovery solution. Btw, the aluminum foil technique calls for leaving the ends open, but my trick, which is among the tips in my Kindle book, is to close it up tight. Maybe we can try both ways and see which works best.  Celery article    My “50 Fun & Unexpected Food Storage, Prep and Presentation Tricks,” 99 cents

  CS Marketplace Spotlight

“In this house I’M the celebrity chef”

Proclaim it with your morning coffee, afternoon tea, and evening cocoa, and what the heck pour in your beverage of choice at cocktail hour.

Make clear to one and all just who rules this kitchen.

For you, your spouse, or a cook-tastic friend or family member.

Other colors available.

Also tees, sweats and hoodies with this design.

My design, crafted by Michigan company SunFrog, where all printing takes place in the USA

See the mugs here  ♦  Shirts  ♦  CS Marketplace

  Featured Recipe  

What a clever concept for a cookbook. In its pages Andrew Rea brings us recipes inspired by Eat What You Watch: A Cookbook for Movie Loversmemorable dishes from the movie world, many of which in effect played a supporting role in the tale: Chocolate Truffles {“Chocolat”}, Tonkatsu Ramen {“Tampopo”}, Il Timpano {“Big Night”}.

There are other food-centric films represented too, “Julie & Julia,” “Babette’s Feast,” “Eat Drink Man Woman,” while others just simply at some point turned the cameras on a notable dish, in sum yielding over 40 recipes here. While I considered several for my first foray into the book, in the end the Prison Gravy from “Goodfellas” won out, just the sauce though since I’m not a meatball fan.

Prison Gravy for Pasta

from “Eat What You Watch/A Cookbook for Movie Lovers”

1 T vegetable oil

1/2 lb sweet Italian sausage, casing removed

1/2 lb spicy Italian sausage, casing removed

1/2 lb beef shank

1/2 lb veal neck bones, with meat attached

1 T olive oil

2 garlic cloves, sliced paper-thin

1 med onion, finely chopped

1 T tomato paste

1/2 c red wine

Two 28-oz cans whole peeled San Marzano tomatoes

2 large basil sprigs

1 large carrot, peeled and cut into 3 pieces

1 T butter or olive oil for finishing the sauce {optional}

In a very large stainless steel or enameled cast iron pot, heat the vegetable oil over med-hi heat until shimmering. Working in batches, brown the sausages, beef and veal until well browned and a brown crust forms on the bottom of the pot. Transfer the meat to a platter and reserve.

Heat the olive oil in the same pot over med heat until shimmering. Add the garlic and cook until soft, about 30 seconds. Add the onion and tomato paste and cook until the onion is translucent, about 4 min. Add the wine and stir making sure to scrape up all the browned bits on the bottom of the pot.

Pour the tomatoes into a bowl and crush them with your hands, then add them to the pot. Return the meat and any accumulated juices to the pot. Add the basil and carrot and bring to a gentle simmer.

Let the sauce simmer on low heat for about 4 hours total, stirring and scraping the bottom occasionally with a wooden spoon {don’t let anything stick to the pot; it will scorch and ruin your sauce}. Then, using tongs, fish out and discard the carrots and bones. If there is any meat remaining on the bones, remove it and put it back in the sauce. If desired, stir in a tablespoon of olive oil or butter to make a richer sauce.

Notes  In the movie, those paper-thin garlic slices were achieved with a razor. If you are using meatballs, make them golf ball size and add them to the sauce during the last hour of cooking. Also, Rea says this sauce freezes and reheats exceptionally well for up to 2 months.

“Eat What You Watch”    Goodfellas videos    The Wise Guy Cookbook by Henry Hill


In many communities this is Girl Scout cookie season and chances are the goodness of your heart has translated into a pretty decent inventory of thin mints, samoas, trios and more. Without questions these are all just fine right from the box, but did you know there are official recipes that can help you use up some of that surplus in quite tasty ways?  What’s even better is they’re sorted by cookie type so you can go directly to the possibilities for whatever has taken over your household  See them here

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