Boffo Bean Dip that comes with 4 News Flashes, May 21-May 27, 2021

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Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

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Kitchen Talk – Southern Living shares great ways to start the day with their Breakfast Casseroles Worth Waking Up For. Scroll down on their page for such casserole versions as Cheesy Sausage Croissant, Banana Bread French Toast, Bacon & Cheddar Grits Quiche, Cinnamon Roll, Huevos Ranchero, and Breakfast Enchiladas.        When is an egg carton not an egg carton? When it transforms into a holder to portion and preserve rice. Here’s what I did – treated the compartments with non stick spray, filled all 24 with rice, covered the top tray with a cut-to-fit piece of plastic wrap, holding the wrap in place turned top over bottom, closed up and into the freezer. As you can see, when you subsequently open the carton, most of the top portions pop out on their own {you can just close the top back over them after removing what you want}, and if they don’t just push on the bottom of the sections. Where the two have been removed you can see the shininess of the plastic wrap.       Chocolate in, chocolate on, and a pistachio chaser in this Chocolate Pistachio Wreath Bread that the description calls ooey gooey. From Midwest Living, a Meredith Corporation publication.

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Shopping Finds – Have you heard of goldbelly.com? I hadn’t until recently when I started coming across it as the ordering source for various food items. What it does is connect you to restaurant food via mail order. That means you can set your table with specialties from, e.g., Marcus Samuelsson, Daniel Boulud, Stephanie Izard, Guy Fieri, Carla Hall, as well as from steakhouses, ethnic places, bbq joints, and more, more, more. They also show you the reviews behind their 4.7 star rating.        So, I’ve now excavated a KitchenAid stand mixer from the back of a cabinet. I’d inherited it, never used, but now ready to give it a go. If you have one in hiding or are thinking of buying one, their cookbook can be a BIG help, with not just preps but also tips and techniques. And if you’d like to check out the various mixer models on Amazon, just click here.

This week’s featured CS-designed, Zazzle-crafted item – “Golden” moms and dads, this mug’s for you. You can find three mugs styles and lots of shirt choices too, all right here on our CS Eclectic Mall page.

   On the Table  

Feature – Super tasty dip – and the flashes?

First surprise or did you already know this? Until it was revealed actually in a commercial I had no idea that Amy in Big Bang Theory not only plays a neuroscientist – she is one! With a phd from UCLA.

Second, in addition to that and Emmy nominated, award winning actress, Mayim Bialik’s resume includes this – she’s also a cookbook author, capturing her culinary passion in “Mayim’s Vegan Kitchen.”

Page after page delivers the third news flash – vegan doesn’t have to mean bland or boring. Classic dishes are all over these pages and what’s so interesting is how they’re bombarded with intense flavors that boot out the non-plant components in such a way that we’ll never miss them.

And then the actual recipe, Mexican Bean Dip, {below in Notes} showcases the fourth revelation. Look at the ingredients – all familiar, all likely already in your kitchen. Whether a whole meal or just some of its parts, we’ve all likely been cooking vegan stuff for years. It’s just plant-based, not scary at all. And of course it would make a great cocktail snack, a worthy addition to CHB below.

Recipe Notes – You may want to add a bit more soy or some salt, and I did add more cumin, then served with vegs and three kinds of corn chips {no guarantee they were vegan though}. One other thing, I didn’t go full frijoles on this, but rather left it a little chunky.

The prep is so simple, we’re just going to run it right here: saute 1/4 c chopped onion, 1 minced garlic clove, and 2 T finely chopped celery in 1 T olive oil until soft, about 5 min; add 1 1/2 c or a 14-oz can kidney or pinto beans, drained and rinsed plus 1/4 t ea soy sauce & ground cumin and 1/8 t cayenne {opt}; puree in a blender or processor until smooth; serve with veggies and warm tortillas.

A few additional bio notes from her Wiki page. Most folks first came to know Bialik in her starring role in the tv series Blossom. Along the way she’s also written books for kids and parents {and become a mom herself}. She’s as well a founding member of a Jewish organization that advocates for the ethical treatment for animals. 

Next week – Lasagna Bites, a flavor blast morning, noon, or night

“Mayim’s Vegan Cookbook”   Vegan cookbooks on Amazon, 4 stars & up    Bialik on Wiki

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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 pineapple upside down pancakes? So, the fave cake for dessert becomes a new pancake for breakfast. And just like the classic there’s butter, brown sugar, sweet cherries, of course the pineapple rings, even rum if you want {another round of breakfast for everyone}, and pineapple syrup to top it all off. This morning treat is from Tasty.

Alexa says request: How do you make cheeseburger pie? Even better, AllRecipes serves up a Quick Cheeseburger Pie. The flavor vibe starts with seasoned beef and the sharper taste of Swiss cheese, and then gets kicked up with dill pickle and dill pickle juice. The crust goes a little faster than one that’s rolled out and fitted as it’s just patted into place. Of course a store-bought one would be faster yet.

Alexa says request: How do I make a cake bomb? Oh Tastemade, you are baaaaaaad. Exhibit A? This No-Bake Cookies & Milk Cake Bomb. Yikes, wait till you see it and you’ll know exactly what I mean. Btw, if the instructions don’t paint a clear picture of the prep, no worries, the demo does. One other thing, you’ll see how to make cookie milk, which just may have a promising future in your kitchen all on its own.

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

   I found this on the editor’s page in Food & Wne, part of a piece on “getting out of a rut,” March 2021 issue. And it’s a pretty cool idea, sort of an upgrade on cocktail hour snacks. Or as Editor Lewis says, “Snack-ify dinner,” by setting out hearty snacks on a platter or sheet pan. He adds, “It’s fun, easy, and cleanup is a cinch.”

   Pretty much by definition, a heavy appetizer usually has meat in a starring role, with cheese not far behind. If those appetizers come from deli fave Boarshead, both often come to play. Case in point, this beautiful board from their appetizer recipe page which is filled with fabulous ideas that just could quite easily add up to a dinner party.

  Thinking about traveling again? This could be just the final nudge you need. “5 Amazing Wine Destinations in Africa for Delicious Drinks and Beautiful Views.” Uncorked for us by Food & Wine.

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

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Aunty Peggy’s Ham & Beef Tavern Chili, Feb 26-March 4, 2021

New Salon every Friday – c’mon in

CS friends, and help yourself to tasty resources

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

  Let’s chat   

Quick Bites – How about this? Homemade edible cookie dough! Food Network tells us exactly how to go about it, offering peanut butter, chocolate chip, and birthday cake versions. The latter mixes white chocolate chips and sprinkles into the cookie dough. Be sure to note the essential flour toasting step in the Cook’s Note shown for each recipe.    In listing ways to boost your immunity, Clean Plates notes these foods: elderberry, garlic, colorful fruits and vegetables, black and green tea. Here’s the full story  Prefer to drink one of these boosters? See below in our Cocktail Hour Buzz.

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Shopping Finds – When a condiment, despite its origins in a single small food stall, has chef and celeb enthusiasts, logo clothing, a fanzine, an appreciation society, and now a presence in 30 countries – it’s probably worth a taste, huh? Called Lao Gan Ma, it’s an amped up chilli oil in several varieties and be forewarned, it really is a little addictive. Here’s a story about it. And if you can’t find it locally, you can order from Amazon  This would be useful for any of us, but also what a fun gift for any cooking friend. Called a Supoon – Silicon Sit-up Scraping Spoon, those few words telegraph its two main functions. One, the “squeegee” edge to scrape a bowl or pan clean. Second, the off the counter design “to keep it clean.” It also nicely has measuring lines. And I would add one more perk – if the pic is accurate, it lets you measure “hands free.” On Amazon, other colors too, though some may not always be available.

This week’s featured CS-designed, Zazzle-crafted item – Pug mug! Are these just about the cutest, most lovable little guys??? T-shirt available too. See both, plus other breeds and our Shelter Dog design right here on CS on our Eclectic Mall page.

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Kitchen Talk – I love fresh garlic, but sometimes garlic powder can be so convenient. Even Cook’s Country says don’t “dis” it as it “works well alongside other spices in everything from dry rubs to chili, mashed potatoes, and garlic bread.” They add, just use it right by first hydrating it with a bit of water. OK, from now on then.    KitchenAid has announced that its 2021 color of the year is Honey, calling it “a reminder of the sweetness of coming together in the kitchen.” Well we’ll second that, and in fact their rendition really is a nice warm, cozy color.    Need to thin a tomato based sauce? Instead of water add extra flavor with a bit of vegetable juice.

   On the Table  

Feature – Aunty Peggy’s Ham & Beef Tavern Chili

She was one of my dad’s three sisters. Their uncles, my great uncles, owned taverns in the Chicago suburbs, and served cups of this chili gratis to their patrons.

I don’t know the dates of operation for those establishments. The family was sort of vague about that.

Decades ago, Aunty Peggy’s tavern chili won a recipe contest conducted by the Chicago Tribune. I don’t know which was the greater thrill for her, the win itself or seeing her picture in this prestigious paper.

Much as I love this stuff, a friend in Chicago probably makes it even more than I do. She likes it in its pure form but recently discovered it’s even better with smoked ham.

I use that too now. I also like a bit more chili powder and a couple of tablespoons of cumin. Depending on the heat level in the chili beans, I may add some hot sauce.

It’s tasty and satisfying just as is, but toppings are good too. Here I used cheddar, sour cream and a bit of green onion.

Next week – Bailey’s Chocolate Cheesecake Pots, hello St. Pat’s Day

Recipe  ♦  Chili cookbooks, 4 stars & up

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 chicken pot pie by Wolfgang Puck? The first part of that title tells you we’re talking comfort food and the second part says it’s going to be something special. And it is, because here classic meets upgrade. As a bonus Chef Puck himself delivers the demo. And as another perk, there’s a tip on checking sauce consistency that can be applied well beyond this dish. Thanks, Tasty, for giving us this recipe.

Alexa says request: How do I make chocolate dipped cannoli cupcakes? Is there any part of that title that isn’t a winner. And what I like even further is that it’s based on a cake mix, and that instead of hollowing out the cupcakes they’re just kind of smooshed down to make room for the filling inside and then also piled up to then be dipped in chocolate. Then looking back at the promise in the title, yep, that filling is classic cannoli including the mini chocolate chips. Thanks again! Tasty, for this boffo recipe and demo too.

My request: What’s the best way to store cookies ? At room temperature in an airtight container, then should be good for 2 weeks. If you want, put plastic wrap between the cookies to preserve their moisture. But if the cookies are made with dairy products in the frosting or filling then store in the fridge. Cookies can also be stored in the freezer, though not recommended for frosted ones.

And this week’s unexpected thing we found that Alexa can do – recommend a recipe – when you request this she will ask if you want to search by dish or ingredient.

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

   Elderberry and as well elderflower are popular ingredients for drinks, both alcoholic and non, usually added as a syrup. Both of these gifts from the elder tree are often credited with boosting immunity. Here’s a google link to cocktail recipes for both. These Amazon pages feature the syrup and a lot more.  Elderberry  Elderflower  Cheers!

   Does your grocery store have these? Crafted of wild caught salmon swirled around cream cheese with shallots and capers, they’re tailor made for the snack table. Cut a bagel in half, then each half in 4 or 6, top each piece with a pinwheel and voila – appetizers! Can sprinkle with dill weed as shown here, or tuck a cuke slice underneath, e.g. Would also taste good on crackers, pretzel rolls, rye bread I think.

   Have teetotalers in your circle? Or should I say “teatotalers”??? A recent find may have the adult beverage crowd setting aside their glasses for a cup of what I recently found – tea that tastes like birthday cake. First the bad news – the found is lost. Now the good news – google has actually multiple sources for this treat. And these are on Amazon.

   Amy Reily’s newsletter this month features an article that is perfect for the times, perfect for lovers of wine. Titled, “How to Host a Zoom Wine Tasting,” it actually covers both joining an existing Zoom wine tasting as well as hosting a virtual tasting of your own.

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 these affiliate partners

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

           

Looking for something in CS?

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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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Ham & Egg & Cheese Breakfast Braid, April 5-11, 2019

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

& Misty the FoodieCat

CS friends, help yourself to tasty resources!

  CatChat –  Misty previews this week’s salon 

  TIDBITS – quirky food / tater flake tricks / KitchenAid’s “bio”    CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT – biscuit books {recipes too}    FEATURED RECIPE – braid your eggs    TIP – fun, funny taters    THE WEEK – boffo pancake / cauliflower tricks / cauliflower find {M – you can have mine}

Misty’s History    Misty’s Gallery

♦  TIDBITS  ♦

Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

Do you have some weird food preferences or eating habits? Chances are they fade into tameness vs these confessions, all the more notable because they come from food editors. When I saw the one about burnt popcorn I war reminded of a long ago boss who I observed on company retreats send a bagel back two and three times because the kitchen couldn’t believe he really did want it black as charcoal. Btw, this is worth a look just to see the expressions on various celebs as well as on an adorable pug.

OK, ‘fess up, is there a box of potato flakes tucked at the back of your pantry shelf, hidden from public view? Well bring that treasure into the light, because while they can still serve as in-a-flash mashies, we see here that they can also enhance an unexpected array of other foods – think deviled eggs, meatloaf, bread and breading, e.g. I’ll fess up I do often have them on hand, mainly as a repair kit in case the real thing turns out too thin {hate that}, but now inspired to try some of these other apps as well.

{. . . and for some fun with real taters, see the Tip below}

  Whether you own a KitchenAid or not, do or don’t plan to own one, this is a quite fascinating look at the veteran powerhouse appliance. Here you’ll find the backstory on its history, role in the military, marketing launch, and even how it became a money maker for housewives at the time. I have a decades old one that belonged to my mom and it still works just fine.

–  Something I found interesting, presumably still applicable today, is that as the company developed new accessories they were designed to fit all their machines no matter when they were produced. You can browse here on Amazon if you want, to see the sleek models available today.

♦  CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT  ♦ 

Biscuit Bliss

A couple of articles recently served as a reminder of how even the most basic meal {not that there’s anything wrong with that!} can move into a new dimension if a basket of Biscuits & Scones: Southern Recipe Collection! (Southern Cooking Recipes)homemade biscuits comes to the table.

Easy Baking From Scratch: Quick Tutorials Time-Saving Tips Extraordinary Sweet and Savory ClassicsOne was a Food & Wine slide show and the other a story on great biscuits in Natchez MS, including baking tips and a recipes for butter biscuits and sweet potato biscuits.

And that sent me to Amazon to see if there are cookbooks specializing biscuitry. Of course there are. Here are just two that look pretty darn good, the Easy Baking offering biscuits and more, and both of these cookbooks are rated 5-stars.

F&W slides    Natchez biscuits    Biscuit books    Best rated

“Biscuits & Scones: Southern Recipe Collection” {Southern Cooking Recipes}

“Easy Baking from Scratch: Quick Tutorials, Time Saving Tips”

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

BJN’s Eclectic Offerings Page

♦  FEATURED RECIPE  

Showy brunch dish – tasty! – easy!

I first saw this recipe in the AllRecipes magazine {yikes I love their stuff} and was immediately taken with its appealing look and promise of satisfying flavors. Then, to see if I could share it with a link checked the AllRecipes site and woohoo! there it was.

The ingredients, amounts and baking procedure are the same for both. And both start with two cans of refrigerated crescent roll dough and a filling of ham, cheese, scrambled eggs and optional mustard.

The magazine one though called for cutting slits in the dough and folding over the filling to make two loaves. The one on the site made one large loaf, using the dough from one can as the base and separating the dough in the other into the perforated 8 pieces to fold over the filling.

I think this one is easier. One thing, I did sort of angle the individual pieces to create more of a braided look in the final result. Could be nice for Easter morning.

Recipe   AllRecipes mag sub on Amazon    Eggy cookbooks

♦  TIP  

Go ahead, play with your food

In this case – taters! One of the Tidbits in our 02.08.19 Salon talked about some Internet fun involving putting makeup on potatoes, and I added a note to the effect that it could be even more fun to use food coloring pens on baked potatoes and serve them as party food.

OK, so now the tests are over and the results are in. The Easter egg design {OK, no art critics need weigh in!} went on before baking, the Christmas tree hot out of the oven and the pumpkin after the potato cooled. All were OK, but the skin on the unbaked potato is easiest to work with.

I did check with World of Color whose “Gourmet Writer Food Decorator Pens” I used to make sure there were no problems with subjecting the “ink” to heat. And good news, no problems at all.

The pens I used    Others on Amazon

♦  A PEEK AT MY WEEK  

Welcome to my kitchen and living room

Actually did this a couple of weeks ago, just catching up with sharing how I used the rest of that buttermilk {that seemed to be in a bottomless carton}, still hanging around after the dressing test, oatmeal stand-in for milk, and Irish soda bread ingredient. Love the recipe on my buttermilk pancake mix box – melt a T butter in a 9″ pie pan in a 450 oven, combine 1 c mix, 1/2 c water, 1 egg, pour into pan, bake 15 min. So . . . substituted 3/4 c buttermilk for the water. Rich! Buttermilk squared.

  Cauliflower haters may well be folks whose only experience with the snowy veg is as a soggy flavorless mess. But that latter quality, its fairly bland flavor profile, is exactly what the “lovers” value, treating it as a blank canvas just waiting to accommodate any number of ingredients and techniques.

  MyRecipes stars it in a ton of preps here, fried, baked, mashed, grilled and au gratin-ed. And nice, it can stand in for potatoes as in the list’s shepherd’s pie, for meat in the tandoori dish, for rice in the risotto cakes. For the mashed, btw, no reason it can’t take a ladle of gravy.

♦  As a follow-up to the above, if you’d like to use cauliflower as a replacement for rice, but dread the ricing step – finding the food processor leaves some pieces too big and other too small, or {noooooooooooo} trying to do it by hand – you’ll be happy to know there’s a good chance your supermarket already has riced cauliflower in the produce section. It worked like a charm in risotto – here’s the recipe I used, on the Mann’s site, didn’t add mushrooms but did stir in chopped fresh dill just before serving.

So far next week: ancient foods, do you dukkah, Salted Caramel Tartlets, more potato flakes fun, classic pork roast, cookie dough trick, Resurrection rolls

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

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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

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