Ultimate Coconut Cake, “the coconut-tiest,” May 17-23, 2019

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

& Misty the FoodieCat

CS friends, help yourself to tasty resources!

  CatChat –  Misty previews this week’s salon  

  TIDBITS – F&W IDs best stews / new roles for bacon {M – OK, let’s get started!} / shopping secret    CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT – steak guru    FEATURED RECIPE – coconut to the nth degree    TIP – coconut perks  ♦  THE WEEK – sammy fun / super side dish found  ♦  PLUS – new Amazon direct link

Misty’s History    Misty’s Gallery


News, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

There just may be enough cool evenings left to enjoy a good stew. Especially when we can find ones that somewhat transition into spring with say a bounty of seafood in a light broth, or freshening with lemon and dill, or the addition of spring greens into the mix. Depth of flavor brings all the dishes in Food & Wines best ever one- pot dishes into one big tasty family.

♦  Any quarrels aside with the headline {I have faith CS friends certainly may have already thought of some of these}, any “meat candy” fan may want to take a look at “10 Ways You’ve Never Thought to Use Bacon” also courtesy of F&W. Here you’ll find not just breakfast ideas but as well snacks and seasoning, sandwiches and entrees, even a meetup with Almond Joy. Demo for one of them too.

Who would like to go shopping at one of the bulk stores? Who can’t because they don’t have a membership?? Who can now say, gonna shop there anyway??? Folks who read “The Simple Little Hack That Lets You Shop Costco and Other Wholesale Clubs Without a Membership”  from Real Simple – that’s who. Note I have not tried this, but think it certainly may be worth a look.


Like a PhD in Steak

In the “Franklin Barbecue” book, featured in our 03.16.18 Salon, Aaron Franklin schooled us on Q from A to Z. Now the iconic pitmaster, known and revered for his eponymous Austin TX restaurant and PBS show, is taking us by the hand through what may be America’s favorite entree in “Franklin Steak.”

The very moment you open the book you’ll know you’re in for a treasure trove of steakery. On the inside cover and facing page is a flow chart of all the steaks, guiding you through bone v boneless, cooking indoors or out, thickness, aging, on down the chart to exactly how to cook the particular cut.Franklin Steak: Dry-Aged. Live-Fired. Pure Beef.

And that’s just the beginning. He goes on to in effect walk with you during the buying process, covering grading, marbling, sources, and designations. While that purchase could occur at a farm or ranch or even online, the book recognizes that for most of us that’s going to be at the grocery store or butcher shop and here Franklin goes into good detail on what to look for.

There’s so much more, the jargon, aging, storage, testing for doneness, and of course the actual cuts and, elaborating on that opening chart for the “best way to cook”each. While the chart and other chat focuses on grill-cooking, chapter three gives us a cheat sheet for pan cooking, with even more on this subject in chapter five.

And then as well, recipes for side dishes and sauces plus beverage recommendations, The book is four stars on Amazon, hardcover {pretty good discount} and Kindle, Prime eligible.

Details on –  “Franklin Steak”    “Franklin Barbecue” {5 stars} 


A cake for all seasons 

Coconut cake is one of those dessert delights that is just sweet and substantial enough to be satisfying in cool and cold weather, tropical enough to be welcome in warm and hot seasons. But think we all know this confection can fall anywhere on a spectrum from dry and chew-challenging to moist and flavorful.

Leave it to MyRecipes, one of my favorite sites, to deliver the epitome of the latter to us. The claim is in the name – “Ultimate Coconut Cake,” calling it the “coconut-tiest cake you can make.”

And the recipe makes good on that promise, big time my friends, with coconut oil, coconut sugar, coconut extract, coconut flour, coconut milk, coconut cream, and flaked coconut.

As they say here, “For when you’re really, really serious about coconut.” By way, if you have trouble finding some of the less familiar items in your market, it’s good ol’ Amazon to the rescue, links below.

Recipe    coconut sugar    coconut flour    coconut cream


Super food?

With a little stretch, turns out the cake in our Featured Recipe could actually be good for you {!} It seems more and more we’re finding out how coconut in its many forms has any number of health benefits.

Fortunately this is a “health food” that tastes good. And so versatile besides. Tap into this link for more about the nutritional aspects of coconut and ways to incorporate it into your own cuisine.

Coconut Board


Welcome to my kitchen and living room

  One of the Tidbits in our 03.22.19 Salon revealed odd eating choices among various food editors. And that prompted one of my own. Theirs often dated back to childhood, while this one is actually a recent discovery.

Two experiences collided to create a sweet and savory take on a classic sammie. And you know what, it is sooooooooo good.

Some years ago I read in an MFK Fisher book that one should never eat chocolate without bread. Coincidentally enough at a media event shortly thereafter one of the food rooms solely featured platters of large cubes of crusty bread and good chunk chocolate.

Even longer ago I was on a road trip in the Midwest with friend Peggy that included a stop at Stuckey’s. Back in the car first I was already munching on chocolate fudge blended with cheddar cheese. When Peggy got back to the car she asked what it was and when I told her, her face went all eww-y.

Just try one I said. Next I know the car door opened and slammed, followed in short order by friend returning with two boxes of her own, face now all smiley.

Guessing most CS friends can see what’s coming. Yep. Toasted cheese and chocolate, sauteed in a bit of butter till both are all melty. Oh my.

♦  It was a “crapples” moment when I realized that one of the cookbooks I’d donated to a local cause had my favorite red cabbage recipe. An extensive online search did not produce anything like the prep I remembered. And now, Eureka. Found this one thank you Food & Wine that, while tucking in a different ingredient or two, yields the same hearty flavor profile as the one that went away. Think you might like it too.

So far next week: food lab, new celeb blog, behind the black curtain, chicken parmesan dip, Martha’s wisdom, comeback sauce


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

Note, transactions are solely between the buyer and linked supplier

Photo credits – coconut cake/Greg Dupree on the MyRecipes site, Franklin book/Amazon, sandwich/mine

All pages ©2019 CooksSalon.com

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


Melty Chocolate Filled, Chocolate Chip Sandwich Bars, April 26-May 2, 2019

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

& Misty the FoodieCat

CS friends, help yourself to tasty resources!

  CatChat –  Misty previews this week’s salon 

  TIDBITS – pan talk / cookies in a jiffy / ghostly marinade    CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT – Mother’s Day food gifts {M – bummer, never had kittens, no gift  FEATURED RECIPE – ohmyohmyohmy    TIP – playing in the whipped cream    THE WEEK – dukkah doings / chocolate Guinness donuts – made ’em / sweet hack for Featured Recipe

Misty’s History    Misty’s Gallery


Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

  Did you know your baking pans can talk to you. Maybe not in out-loud words, but according to “What the Numbers on the Bottom of Your Casserole Dishes Mean” by MyRecipes, they can tell you dimensions, capacity, even possibly brand if you have one that is incognito. A linked chart helps with conversions.

Do you ever have a “Yikes, the cookies!!!” moment? As in, Yikes, I need cookies for the {bake sale, team treat, classroom party, baby shower, etc} . . . by . . . {this afternoon, this evening, tomorrow morning}! It’s going to be OK, have a cup of tea, or your beverage of choice, and browse these “7 Cookies You Can Make In Under An Hour.” Minimal ingredients, some maybe waiting in your pantry, easy prep, fast baking. Shown, the chocolate drizzled macaroons.

You can bypass the Get Recipes tab, if you want, and just click on the red-underlined item in each description. So, the seven: No-bake peanut butter cookies, raspberry-hazelnut macaroons, vanilla crescents, chocolate almond bars, coconut macaroons, butter cookies, melt-in-your-mouth shortbread.  Thank you Food & Wine.

Marinate meat with yogurt? This story on the Taste site says “It works. It works very well. A better story is: Why does it work, and what’s the best way to go about it?” And then guess what? It answers those two Qs and you can be on your way to a promised world of tenderness.


Beautiful food gifts for mom

So much good stuff here. Whether she has a sweet tooth or a “savory” tooth,  chances are excellent you’llShimmering Delights Gourmet Gift Basket find a gift she’ll love.

There are varying arrays of tea, coffee, snacks, cookies, candy, cheese, chips & Tranquil Delights Spa Bath and Body Gift Basket Set with Tea and Cookies (Peony)salsa, plus a breakfast collection, Bloody Mary kit that includes a cutting board, and a “shimmering” gourmet collection. Some also tuck in a nice selection of pampering beauty products.

The latter is shown here along with the Tranquil Delights Spa Bath and Body Gift Basket Set with Tea and Cookies. If you’d like to see a wider array of Mother’s Day gifts, click the second link – and though there’s a huge number of possibilities, fear not, you can narrow your search by type of product, rating, brand and more, and after selecting your initial category, more factors including price and Prime eligible.

Food gifts on Amazon    Other Mother’s Day gifts

Shimmering collection shown    Spa & tea set shown

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

BJN’s Eclectic Offerings Page


Woohoo for Ooey Gooey

Salon friends, are any of you like this too? Certain headlines just pull me in like a bog on the moors {darn Rhys Bowen books}. This time it was Food & Wine’s “10 Ooey Gooey Desserts You Should Definitely Be Eating.”

Our choice shown here? Gooey Chocolate Chip Sandwich Bars – so gooey rich, so gooey good. One thing, phooey on waiting for the bars to cool completely. They are beyond decadent when still a little warm and soft. Oh my.

Just some of the others: chocolate ganache bread pudding, molten chocolate cake with caramel filling, butterscotch pots de creme with caramel sauce, chocolate peanut butter brownie banana splits. Is anyone else’s waistline in a panic that you might work your way through the entire list.

Recipe    The rest of the ooey gooey recipes

♦  TIP  

Whipped cream as a toy

As kids we were likely told not to play with our food. As adults, heck, we’ll play all we want. Even with – or maybe especially with – whipped cream!

Competitive bakers, Chris Taylor and Paul Arquin, also on the Taste site, found a way to play – sculpt, carve, write upon, etc – with the stuff. And the one step itThe New Pie: Modern Techniques for the Classic American Dessert takes for it to become this kind of edible version of modeling clay couldn’t be easier. Since you can write on it, might want to take another look at the food color pens we used on the taters in our 04.05.19 Salon.

And the fun goes on. With ways to trick out whipped cream so it lasts in the fridge. And with recipes including one for chocolate intensive Pie of the Tiger.

You might also want to check out the duo’s book, “The New Pie.” Four and a half stars, No. 1 new release on Amazon, Kindle and hardcover, Prime eligible.

Sculpting – and more – with whipped cream    “The New Pie” cookbook


Welcome to my kitchen and living room

  Thus far, contributors and I have found these fave ways to enjoy Dukkah seasoning {Tidbits & Marketplace, 04.05.19}: on banana dipped in peanut butter, {a natural} banana dipped in Nutella, celery filled with soft cream cheese, olive oil for dipping bread, and plain hummus, but the best was in butternut squash soup.

The Chocolate Guinness Donuts, first featured as a Tidbit in our 03.22.19 Salon, are currently cooling on my counter, or five of the six are 😊. You don’t really taste the Guinness, rather just an extra touch of richness. In a while I’ll dust them with confectioners sugar as you’ll see in the photo.

  Note that these are quite dense, and while that’s generally my preferred texture, thinking next time I might see what a carton of yogurt might do. Hopefully won’t interfere with the flavor which is excellent.

  Thinking if I ‘fess up way down here, maybe the recipe creators won’t see it. OK, here it is – yes, guilty – for our Featured Recipe I did use Tollhouse refrigerated chocolate chip cookie dough.

So far next week: famous roast chicken, chicken “insurance,” Martha’s foolproof recipes, cheesy Mex salad x 2, tricky lemon, malt powder haha, two new places for celeb chef dining


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

Note, transactions are solely between the buyer and linked supplier

Photo credits – MD gifts/Amazon, whipped cream/Taste, 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