Fun & Mega-Flavor Shaking Beef, April 19-25, 2019

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

& Misty the FoodieCat

CS friends, help yourself to tasty resources!

  CatChat –  Misty previews this week’s salon  

  TIDBITS – meatloaf upgrade / sweet tv / dishwasher does whaaaat???    CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT – Anti-Anxiety Diet {M – what the heck is anxiety???  FEATURED RECIPE – shake-a-steak    TIP – lovin’ the leftovers    THE WEEK – scraps=gravy! / another tasty toast 2.0 / mug cake made even easier

Misty’s History    Misty’s Gallery

{M – hey my friends – that’s all of you, right? – mom added two new pix to my Gallery}


Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

♦  Like meatloaf? Want to hear an interesting tweak? Emma Laperruque writing in Food 52 first reveals the secret that Rao’s meatballs are made extra juicy by adding 2 cups of water for 2 lbs of ground beef. That gave her the idea to experiment with meatloaf using this same trick. She had to change it up here and there but eventually perfected the steps that “took an otherwise humble meatloaf over the top.” The rest of the story on this better meatloaf is also here as she parses the five ingredients.

 Celeb baker Buddy Valastro is giving four bakers a chance to take the cake in a big way. Each week in the four-episode series of Bake You Rich, a baker’s “winning item will available to order on the Carlo’s Bakery website.” Valastro and a team of judges will determine the winner after the three-round challenge. On Food Network Sundays, 10/9c.

There’s a commercial where an adorable little girl asks, “What does the dishwasher do?” Turns out, possibly some unexpected things, in fact seven according to suggestions by MyRecipes. The adventurous may want to try all  “7 Things You Didn’t Know Your Dishwasher Could Do”  – I’m mostly inclined to tap into those that expand on its cleaning and sanitizing capabilities.


Eat Yourself Calm

It’s just simply a sign of our fast moving times that many of us experience stress to some degree, at some times. For us food folks, there’s some really good news, brought to us by  Ali Miller, author of “The Anti-Anxiety Diet.”

You may not agree with all her premises – even she discarded some of them along the way – but what really resonated with me was when she talks about arriving at an ultimate The Anti-Anxiety Diet: A Whole Body Program to Stop Racing Thoughts, Banish Worry and Live Panic-Freeturning point. “. . . I understood how to treat people, not diseases! . . . to resolve the root cause of dysfunction, rather than managing a symptom . . .  to use food as medicine to functionally address imbalance in the body.”

She notes that food can have a good or bad effect on our brain chemistry. “In fact,” she says, “foods can regulate mood, emotions, and brain-signaling pathways.”

And the rest of the book tells us the “what’ of that discovery starting with the chapter, “Remove Inflammatory Foods,” and continuing with resetting, repairing, restoring, rebounding and rebalancing. Along the way there are self-tests, quick reference charts, the actual diet plan and then, bless her heart, recipes.

“The Anti-Anxiety Diet” – read more on Amazon


Shake it up, baby 

Oh boy this is good. What? A dish with the what-fun name of Shaking Beef. I recently came across this Food & Wine recipe with an interesting technique – apply a 20-min marinade of classic Asian flavors to cubes of a good steak, then give a shake shake shake in a hot skillet, and pour the flavorful mix of meat and juices over a colorful salad. Winner!

The meat is so tender, and as a bonus the super flavorful juices create a dressing for the salad. Btw, thanks to the high heat, some of that marinade/cooking sauce can turn a bit crispy, another bonus. Note, I did add just a splash of rice wine vinegar to the mix.

Also added a bit of shaved carrot to the salad for extra color and crunch. Served it with some of the leftover cauliflower risotto and avocado. Years ago had never thought about the latter in this ethnic until I had it in sushi, but even so did hit it with a bit of Sriracha to further gussy up the Asian vibe.



This old word can have a new tone

“What’s for dinner?” If your answer is “leftovers” does the rest of the family repeat the word much like Seinfeld would say “Newman“???

Well here’s some good news. You can indeed save time by cooking in bulk and still have your family even happier to see an encore thanks to the MyRecipes site where you’ll find  “30 Recipes That Are Way Better As Leftovers.”

They call upon the slow cooker, pressure cooker, and Instant Pot and of course the good ol’ skillet and oven. There are pasta dishes, ethnic specialties, casseroles, stir frys and noodle bowls. Among the interesting twists: meat loaf bundt cake, blt lasagna, “meaty” vegetarian chili.

I made the Chicken Chilaquiles Casserole, which is just layers and layers of lively flavors, and yes even better round two as the sauce further marries with the chips, cheese and chicken. As a bonus, a demo takes you through the prep, step by step.

Chicken Chilaquiles recipe    All 30


Welcome to my kitchen and living room

Waste solved. Nothing wrong with folks who like fat on meat, I just don’t happen to be one of them. So when I’m prepping a roast I tend to overtrim, as I did for the Irish Guinness stew {03.15.19 Salon}. To offset the “guilt,” I charred the trimmings in a hot skillet, seasoned with beef bouillon, garlic salt, and pepper – then removed to a soup pot along with pan drippings deglazed with a bit of wine, plus carrots, onions, and celery – cooked, strained, chilled, skimmed – and thickened into a flavorful gravy.

Have you tried any of the gussied up breakfast toast ideas from our 03.22.19 Salon yet? Thanks to Food & Wine we learned about a dozen colorful a.m. upgrades on a base of peanut butter, ricotta or avocado. Here’s my take on the smoked salmon one with a couple of tweaks, cream cheese instead of ricotta, fresh dill instead or orange strips. So good!

Guess what I found??? OK, maybe you already have. In our 02.15.19 Salon we included chocolate mug cake and in our 03.22.19 Salon, peanut butter and jelly mug cake. Both pretty fast and easy. But you know what’s even faster and easier – Betty Crocker’s mix. Just add a bit of water, nuke, let set – poof, mug cake.

So far next week: Chocolate cookie bars {ganache filled!}, doing the dukkah, , speedy cookies, recipe hack, Guinness donuts – made ’em, be a whipped cream sculptor

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

Note, transactions are solely between the buyer and linked supplier

Photo credits: book/Amazon, all others/mine 

All pages ©2019

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


Alton Brown’s Overnight Cinnamon Rolls, for Aug 31-Sept 6, 2018

  CatChat – Misty’s purrty sure you’ll like what we have for you this week  

Tidbits– food-saving site {M: let me take care of those leftovers/ pan hack / chef Q&A   CS Marketplace Spotlight– top chef cookbooks / yay dog owners! {M: phooey}   Featured Recipe– yay for Sunday breakfast too!  Tip– burgers for a crowd {M: or all just for me!}   Barbara’s Week– the cream slipped / funny critique upgrading oatmeal

Misty’s History    Misty’s Gallery

♦  Tidbits  ♦ 

Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

  Good website! We’d like to think for everybody, but for sure for folks like those in our salon who hate wasting food. NRDC’s SaveTheFood has general tips, shopping guidance, meal-planning ideas, leftovers uses, even a dinner party calculator. nrdcAnd guess what – saving food saves money, and maybe time too!

  Have you become a sheet pan fan? If so, you know the downside is cleaning the thing afterward. Unless your dish can work with lining the pan with foil or parchment, this can be a daunting task. Here’s help. I also have used a technique I saw some time ago that was just a matter of scrubbing with balled up aluminum foil – of course you want to make sure this won’t damage the surface of your pan.

  Talking with a Beard-winning chef. Some interesting stuff in the Q&A that “The Daily Beast” conducted with Philadelphia restaurant Zahav’s Michael Solomonov.

♦  CS Marketplace Spotlight  ♦ 

Find all the top chef cookbooks right on this site

Did you discover this yet? So handy for you or a cookin’ friend or family member.

Our Top Chef Cookbooks page gives you direct links to over a hundred chefs renowned for popular tv shows, top rated restaurants, and best selling cookbooks. You may even have seen some of them at food and wine fests.

All are linked to Amazon, so you know it’s a reliable source. Would you like to take a look?

Top Chef Cookbooks    My “Celebrity Chef Book of Links” on Kindle $2.99

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

Dog Lovers Extra – yay, Time Magazine confirms what most pet lovers already knew in their heart of hearts. And that is, dog owners live longer, healthier lives.

♦  Featured Recipe  

Quirky can be good

Add the word cooking and it takes us directly to Alton Brown. Like him or not, his Good Eats” show according to a site called Ranker is one of the top rated on Food Network, and it did win a Peabody Award.Good Eats 2: The Middle Years

The charm of that series lies in the way Brown works science and technology into the prep with various props, offbeat demos, cartoon inserts, odd camera angles, unexpected staging, and the occasional outrageous pun.

In addition to the tv show, you can also bring this educational circus into your home with his equally unique books. Meanwhile, if you love lazy Sundays, Brown’s Overnight Cinnamon Rolls can make them even lazier – the link takes you to the recipe on Food Network, but it’s also in his “Good Eats 2.”

Recipe    Good Eats Books    Other Alton Brown books

♦  Tip  

Just in time for Labor Day

Whether you’re cooking for family or flipping for a crowd, you will probably love this method of shaping them up. In fact the “Mad Genius” in the demo shows how he created 18 uniform patties in under three minutes.

And so easy!

Easy to do. To peel off the work surface. And to stack up to take to the grill or pan without them sticking together.

♦  A Peek at My Week  

Join me in my kitchen & parlor 

  That porcupine dessert from the Aug 17 salon calls for 1/2 cup of the heavy cream but of course the smallest container you can buy holds a full cup. What to do with the leftovers? Then thinking, ohhh . . . how about? Ummm, let’s just say I ended up with the richest bowl of cereal ever!  😁  Probably don’t want to make this an everyday occurrence.

  Got a chuckle out of a quote attributed to early 1900s food writer Curnonsky: “If the potage had been as hot as the wine, the wine as old as the chicken, the chicken as plump as the mistress of the house, things would’ve been almost all right.”    My note says this was cited in “A Taste of Paris” by David Downie.

   So, an addendum to the oatmeal cookie recipe featured in the Aug 10 salon. I do have oatmeal some mornings but truth be told it’s not one of my favorite things. I got to thinking some of those very ingredients {and variations} in the cookies might be just the thing to perk up the bowl. Yep! Added chocolate chips, raisins, and cinnamon. Quite tasty.

So far next week: brownie saga, pyrex warning, Italian farmhouse food, garlic sprouts a debate, foodfest

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


Martha Stewart’s Chocolate-Crusted Cheesecake with Raspberries, for June 8-14, 3018

  CatChat – Misty’s preview  

Martha Stewart’s cheesecake  {M – did you save me any cream cheese?  Fish tricks    No bad food for you {M – none for me either!  The Guinness secret    For your wine, and maybe more    Something new from Martha    shaping up flour tortillas {M – I could do that but she may not like my way Barbara’s week: saucing a Benedict, mayo-ing a steak, Dorito-ing shrimp    The Spotlights

{M – If you want to take a look,  my mom has added two new pictures to my Gallery}

Misty’s History    Misty’s Gallery



Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

  Eating fish is usually good for us, but maybe not always so much for the health and well being of the balance within our waterways. In a story in the beautiful “Saveur” magazine, celeb chef Eric Ripert has some ideas about how to fully enjoy the bounty of the seas in a responsible way.

Here also, and as well as in the definitive book “Fish Without a Doubt” by fishmaster Rick Moonen, are resources for sustainability plus buying and cooking tips. Shown here is salmon tandoori from that book, which actually covers this oven roasting technique in a recipe for tandoori sable   Go, fish  Moonen’s book

  As you may know {or hopefully don’t}, bad food will take revenge upon your body in truly rude ways. You might be able to at least sometimes avoid this situation by following the warnings “Reader’s Digest” offers in its online newsletter.  Eat good

  Whenever folks of a certain age are asked what they think got them to that point, I always wonder if they actually know. But then, sometimes, you just sort of want to believe the stated secret to longevity. As with this 100-yr-old English woman, as “Food & Wine” tells us, who drinks Guinness every day. It’s a cute story that also talks about her Guinness-themed birthday party in the nursing home.  Sláinte! 

CS Marketplace Spotlight

I was just extracting a bit of libation from my wine cooler and it occurred to me that I’ve had this boffo appliance for almost 20 years. Wow. And it’s so nice at keeping the whites at the perfect temp, not chilled to death as they would be in a regular fridge.Koldfront TWR160S 16 Bottle Thermoelectric Freestanding Wine Cooler

Now mine is by Magic Chef, but actually others are just as highly rated on Amazon, so if you happen to favor particular brands you can possibly find those too. They range from 6-bottle to 90+ though at that level they start calling them free standing wine cellars. And many are Prime eligible.

The one shown, though a different brand, is similar to mine which easily sits on a kitchen cart. Note that the page I’ve linked covers just those rated 4 stars and up. Btw, I also store my coffee in it since it’s so close to the brewer.

Browse coolers here  ♦  CS MarketplaceColoring Book for Adults: Amazing Swirls


  Adult Coloring Books on the Nice Life Books page

Just one example shown here

  A heartwarming video on the DoggieShirtz page

From dying to thriving


Featured Recipe  

Cook like Martha

There were already several ways to emulate Martha Stewart’s polished way of cooking. Consider all the recipes, tips, techniques and demos in her cookbooks, blog, magazine, pbs demos, youtube, online newsletter, am I forgetting anything, probably. But now there’s one more.

Thanks to “Food & Wine” magazine for reporting the debut of Martha Stewart Food, her own line of pantry staples – brownie mix, pasta sauce, olive oil and more. And it’s Macy’s that snagged the right to be the showcase.

Meanwhile, if you’d like to cook, or not in this case, a cool no-bake cheesecake with chocolate crust and fresh raspberry garnish like Martha, here you go. And yay, there’s a demo.

Recipe  ♦  Martha’s cookbooks on Amazon

Martha’s videos on Amazon {have to scroll a bit}  ♦  Food & Wine


Saw a cute trick in the Kraft magazine “Food & Family.” To create a taco shape with flour tortillas, brush melted butter on both sides, fold in half and place three each down the long side of an inverted muffin tin, and then two each {on the end cups} on the short sides – 10 total – and then bake at 325 18-20 minutes or until lightly browned. Btw, this was actually for a dessert so the tortillas were also sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon.

A Peek at My Week

  Well this was darn good. I was out for breakfast and saw Shrimp Benedict on the menu, and even though I ended up ordering something else, that stayed on my mind. So this week cooked some medium size shrimp in water liberally seasoned with Old Bay, poached some eggs, toasted some English muffins – and then what I think made it really work, mixed {eyeballed measures} mayo, ranch dressing, parsley, fresh lemon juice and hot sauce, lightly heated. Next time will order that at the restaurant and see if I like it as well {!}

  And speaking of mayo, I was sure a skeptic about this one. Was on the Hellman’s site and happened to see their suggestion to use mayo and some other ingredients {recipe} as a steak marinade. Even more surprising, when I googled this technique I found others that also used just mayo, but with maybe just salt and pepper, then left on as the steak goes on the grill or in the pan. Really? Tried it in a HOT pan. Wow good sear, tasty crust, juicy meat.  Btw this was just adding s&p, next time will go full Hellman’s take.

  Finally used up the Doritos, yay! This was actually week before last when the exp date was ringing alarm bells ever louder. So, crushed them up with the remains of a well used bag of potato chips, a little shredded coconut, some seasoning, and voila! a great crispy coating for fried shrimp. Truth be told I don’t fry a lot of stuff, but a quick dip in flour, then beaten egg, then the crumbs, actually in a a shallow pool of oil and butter, made for a darn good main dish and the next day’s sandwich filling.

R.I.P. Ella Brennan, 92, doyenne of Commander’s Palace, which launched the careers of such culinary luminaries as Emeril Lagasse, Paul Prudhomme and Carlos Guia

and to

Anthony Bourdain who could bring the world to a common table

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