Watermelon/Chocolate Dessert Board, June 18 – June 24, 2021

New Salon every Friday – c’mon in

CS friends, and help yourself to tasty resources

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

  Let’s chat   

Kitchen Talk – How about dessert and an after dinner drink {sort of} all in one. Food Network Magazine recently featured three cupcakes that mimic the flavor of, respectively, a Negroni, Old Fashioned, and Moscow Mule. The cupcakes themselves don’t actually have any alcohol, but two of the frostings sneak in a bit of spirit, though alternatives are provided. Scroll down to the dessert section on their May 2021 Recipe Index page for the scoop.        Sheet pan preps likely aren’t going away any time soon and that’s a good thing, easy cooking, easy clean-up. Ree Drummond has given us a real bonanza with 50 sheet pan dinners, offering up such goodies as Spicy peanut chicken & broccoli, Quesadillas, Crispy cheddar pork chops, Fish & chips, Shrimp Boil, Chicken & dressing, plus fajitas, sandwiches, ethnic specialties . . .  and the harissa chicken shown {sweets instead of eggplant}.

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Shopping Finds – A gift of bread brought back a memory of an utterly charming novel I read some time ago. Set in small town Midwest, it tells the tale of three strangers that become bonded over each one’s special circumstances, along with a cast of supporting neighbors that bring the ups and downs into full colorful context. In Friendship Bread that baked good plays many roles – consoling gift, conversation piece, source of discontent, metaphor and so much more that in total make it the star of the show. Secondary billing goes to the tea salon that serves as story central.       If you likey spicy, may I suggest Mrs Refro’s salsas that you should be able to find in your market. One caveat – did not particularly care for her queso, but everything else is boffo.

This week’s featured CS-designed, Zazzle-crafted item – And it’s brand NEW. It’s our take on a popular saying that we’ve re-worded especially for all of us wine lovers. “Yay!!! It’s Wine o’clock” No matter what that other clock says. Have it on a tee or a mug, choice of styles and colors. Find both linked on our Eclectic Mall page.

   On the Table  

📢  NEWS  📢

CS-ers, what’s better, one recipe or up to a half dozen recipes??? If you chose the latter, hooray!!!

Starting next week the Featured Recipe will become Featured Recipes. We’ll select some of the easiest and tastiest preps from tv, magazines, and the ‘net and link them right here with quick descriptions. 

And whenever I make one of the dishes I’ll add a personal note for you about the results. Happy cooking!

Meanwhile here’s this week’s Featured Recipe
Water Melon and Chocolate Dessert Tray – two faves, and more
 Thank you Watermelon Board for this beautiful medley. where refreshing melon, three ways, cozies up to dark chocolate, plus berries & cherries, nuts and coconut. The absolute perfect finish to a lovely summer evening. The prep for this dish is pretty much self-explanatory, but for the full roster of the Board’s other colorful and refreshing recipes, you can click the link below.

Watermelon and Chocolate Dessert Board

Watermelon Board Recipe Page

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

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

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

Alexa says request: How do I make cheesy baked tortellini? Here she sends up a 4 1/2 star prep from famed Italian chef Giada. Yay, the prep starts with store-bought cheese tortellini, then ups the cheese ante with marscapone, parm, and smoked mozzarella. On the Food Network site.

Alexa says request: How do I make brown sugar cheesecake? So, among the options is one that’s actually a step up from the inquiry, showing us Peach Brown Sugar Cheesecake. It’s for the slow cooker, but wondered if this fabo flavor combo could emerge as an oven baked version. We just might be trying that. Also from Food Network.

My request: How do I make a Sleeping rice bear egg blanket? Well this certainly piqued my curiosity. If I may be permitted an edit, more accurately I would call it A Sleeping Brown Bear Cub Made of Rice with a Blanket Made of Eggs. It’s from Tasty and there is a demo. Even if you never plan to make it, please, please, take a look. It is so creative and beyond adorable.

Would you like your own Echo Show?

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

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

   Cocktail Hour Buzz   

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

   Irish Central suggests these dishes to accompany, what else, Guinness! And it takes just a wee look into the recipes to see that the beer merrily joins in with the ingredients too. I’m thinking their burger, zingy with Tabasco and wooster, could be quartered into some mighty fine snacks.

   Do these wines have more flight miles than you do? Truth be told, we don’t know if they’re from onboard or cupboard, but what we do know is that the new At-Home Wine Experience from American Airlines lets you have bottles that “represent unique regions and flavors from prestigious vineyards around the world” show up right on your doorstep. The page shows many price reductions.

   I saw this fun idea in Food Network magazine, where a variety of snacks are tucked into small jars to make individual servings. They called it “Jarcuterie,” and when I went onto google to see if I could find a link to the article to post here for you {didn’t} I discovered all kinds of folks are into this, and you can see lots of variations at the google link. It’s another way to have personal servings rather than communal dishes on a snack table, as are the Bento Boxes we featured in our 05.14.21 Salon.

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

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

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

CS Marketplace Directory

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

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

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

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Cheese and more cheese, March 8-14, 2019

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

& Misty the FoodieCat

CS friends, help yourself to tasty resources!

  CatChat – Misty previews this week’s salon  

♦  TIDBITS – rich rib-eye / best bacon methods {M – mom, may I suggest you try all of them} / honoring Bourdain     CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT – kitchen art    FEATURED RECIPE – hot & cheesy spaghetti    TIP – cheese storage    THE WEEK – Martha Manual, first look / Irish Guinness Stew / oh-oh

Misty’s History    Misty’s Gallery


Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

  If you’re going to indulge, might as well go for it. Food & Wine shows the way down this culinary path with its prep for Butter-Basted Rib Eyes. Ye gods, this is my favorite cut anyway, and seldom say no to butter, so for all of us in this “bunch,” let’s give it a whirl.

  We all pretty much know how to cook bacon. But . . . do we know the best way to cook bacon. Food 52 gives us the benefit of their research {oh, the sacrifice!}, for turning out perfecto strips. But . . . the answer has a bit to do with your preferences. In that regard, still helpful. Tune in here for the results.

  Oh, this is nice. Food & Wine reports that Chef Bourdain’s native New Jersey is creating an Anthony Bourdain Food Trail, linking the state’s 10 restaurants that were featured in the NJ episode in season 5 of “Parts Unknown.” On that itinerary, a roadstand, inn, deli, oyster house, steakhouse, and more.


Sprucing up for Spring? How about some kitchen art

Which is to say, how about some kicky food posters to give your kitchen or dining nook a colorful newHome Comforts Framed Art for Your Wall Kitchen Casserole Tomato Mozzarela Baking Dish 10x13 Frame look? Shown here, just a couple of the many artsy possibilities available.

As you scroll through the various options you’ll see designs dedicated to herbs & spices, fruits & vegetables, casseroles & ethnic foods, coffee & tea, beer & wine, dishes & utensils, chefs wall26 Canvas Prints Wall Art - Still Life Various of Spices on Rustic Wooden Table Food/Kitchen Concept | Modern Wall Decor/Home Decoration Stretched Gallery Canvas Wrap Giclee Print - 12" x 18"& kitchenware, collages & sayings.

For friends who like to cook, or are just food-a-philes, this could be a nice housewarming gift. Or any occasion gift.

Some are already framed. Others await your special touch. Saw several at $9.99.

All on Amazon    Spice poster    Casserole poster    Top rated food posters

CS Marketplace – cook-friendly books, videos, tees & sometimes more

BJN’s Eclectic Offerings Page


If you like melty cheese dishes, this could be the cookbook for you 

Although our featured prep is quite spicy, most of what is delivered to the plate is kind to the palate in the “Hot & Cheesy” cookbook. All in 390 pages by James Beard winning Clifford A Wright.

So what will you find? Meat & vegetable creations, pizza & pasta, sandwiches & crepes, rice & egg preps, sauces & dips, and both sweet & savory pastries.

In addition to such cheesy choices as hot crab dip, bacon-onion rolls, pork chops stuffed with pecans and bleu cheese, chicken grilled with ham & cheese, there are ethnic classics including saganaki, raclette, queso fundido and fondues. Great tips too for selecting, measuring, cooking, serving and storage.

Our Feature, Spaghetti with Fresh Chiles, is not only tasty but pretty as well {but OK, maybe not a cardiologist’s fave}. After a bit of chopping involved, brief cooking, it’s smooth sailing to the table. A nice counterpoint, salad with cucumbers.

Recipe  ♦  “Hot & Cheesy” cookbook    Other Wright cookbooks

♦  TIP  

Keeping the cheese

If your household is like mine, cheese doesn’t stay around very long. But on those occasions when maybe you bought a larger size, or perhaps have a lot of different kinds, you sure don’t want any of it to go bad. After trying different methods, this is what I’ve found works best . . .

Leave it in the store package, which you’ve cut along the top on three sides. After each use tuck the wrapper tightly around on all sides, and then place it in a zip bag, wrapping that tightly around after squeezing out as much air as possible.

Btw, this cheese tip is one of the 50 food and kitchen tricks in my kindle book on Amazon – 99 cents.

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


Welcome to my kitchen and living room

  Just started looking through Stewart’s new book, “The Martha Manual.” As the title promises this big tome is chock full of techniques for life’s necessities – cleaning, organizing, repairing, laundry – and then some of the more creative aspects – decorating, crafts, gardening, pet care, entertaining and yep cooking. We’ll look at that latter section soon and share in an upcoming Salon.

  Stew instead? In our Feb 15 Salon we featured Irish potato cakes, on a page that filled in the rest of the meal with roast chicken, sides, brown bread & dessert. But the same source, Irish Central, not surprisingly also offers us a prep for Irish beef stew, enriched with Guinness. Thinking that the brown bread would be a great accompaniment for this hearty dish. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

  Took baby steps this week on the way to finally learning to use a mandolin. Pray for my fingers.

So far next week: Guinness stew, “jolly chicken,” fave tequila, foodie fiction, and I’ll rye if I want to 

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

Any transactions are solely between the direct buyer and direct seller

All pages ©2019 CooksSalon.com

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