New in “Cocktail Hour Buzz,” July 22-July 28, 2022

New Salon every Friday – and you’re invited

C’mon in and help yourself to tasty resources

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

 Cocktail Hour Buzz 

sundowner snacks, drinks, chat, and . . .

whenever I can, related resources & goodies on Amazon

whether for a crew, or for two, or just for you

{links within my items go to the sources shown in red – any links underneath items take you to Amazon unless otherwise indicated, and then only ones with the lock icon}

♦♦♦  Don’t be frightened when I suggest as a great party dish . . . sushi. First, as you can see, no wrapping and rolling here. Second, while the prep does call for raw fish, pretty sure the sushi police won’t be showing up if you use only cooked. Like I did – and no knocks on my door! We’ll call it sushi-esque. The style of this particular prep is called Chirashi Sushi, with all the pretty goodies served on a bed of sushi rice.

Also in the good column, this one comes from legendary chef, Jacques Pepin, who I recently saw prepare the dish on his “Heart & Soul” show on PBS/Create. Finding a direct source for the recipe proved elusive, but you can access it on the Pinterest page linked above, and then once there clicking on the recipe name. Meanwhile you’ll find other possibilities just below.  PBS member tv station KQED

Jacques Pepin’s “Heart & Soul” show on PBS/Create

Jacques Pepin’s cookbooks    Jacques Pepin’s DVDs

Youtube video of Jacques Pepin making Chirashi Sushi from PBS/KLRN

Chirashi sushi recipes on Google

21 Recipes for sushi without raw fish on Spoon University

Hmmm, can order online? Not sure how that works but here it is . . .

Chirashi sushi on Amazon

♦♦♦  Wine in the glass . . . and on the plate? Well, not all by itself but rather as a flavor-enhancer in these 17 Simply Delicious Red Wine Recipes. Watch it go to work as a marinade for short ribs, poaching liquid for eggs, cooking liquid for pasta, sauce for veal chops, glaze for lamb chops, secret ingredient for chocolate snack cake, and on and on. As a bonus, many of the recipe pages have links to even more goodies.  Food & Wine

♦♦♦  So, in conjunction with an item on the our 06.10.22 Salon on the beer cocktail Shandy, we included a bonus link for Beer & Food Matching. Now we’ve taken a closer look at this chart and it is quite interesting. The left hand column lists the major types of beers and then the next three columns gives the ideal kinds of companion foods in the categories of savories, cheese, and dessert.  Rounding out the helpful information, recommended glassware and serving temp.

As just one example, Imperial Stout 1} Easily overpowers most main dishes, but stands up to foie gras, smoked goose, 2} Long-aged cheese: Gouda, Parmesan or cheddar, 3} Dark chocolate truffles, chocolate raspberry mousse cake. Then an image of a goblet style glass, and 10–13 °C/50–55 °F.  Brewers Association

Some classy, some fun, one even beer-can-shaped, assortments too . . .

Beer glassware, 4 stars and up

♦♦♦  However much we may like to bake, in summer not so much. Which makes all the more welcome these 35 No-Bake Desserts. Citrus, seasonal fruit, ice cream, chocolate, caramel, nuts, even no-bake cheesecake all come to the party. One has a touch of spirits, and some are quite portable, including the Mamie Eisenhower fudge, peach buttermilk popsicles and triple chocolate milkshake.  Southern Living

No-bake cookbooks {including some for kids}

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Recipes Galore & More, Aug 6 – Aug 19, 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 – It was only a matter of time before I succumbed to the lure of the Oreo cake balls that were in Alexa’s Room in our 06.25.21’s Salon. They are so, so, easy to make and that might be the bad news because, mercy, they are rich and even luxurious. They were new to me, and a little tour on google revealed they’re generally formed from cream cheese or frosting and cake or cookie crumbs, dipped or rolled in other goodies. All no-bake. And they’re fun, the round shape ready to become sports balls, funny heads, bling, and in fact star pastry chef Buddy Valastro turned them into pretty eyeballs. And – no surprise – Amazon has whole books of them.      And now how about a shortcut? If you aren’t planning anything fancy with the balls, just pat the mixture into a pan and use the chocolate chips to make a ganache frosting, as seen here.  Like the richest ever brownie.      I don’t think I’m alone in appreciating the nutritional benefits of oatmeal without necessarily being a fan of its delivery method {eating it}, and accordingly the Salon has offered various add-in suggestions. My new favorite has a German chocolate cake vibe – after cooked, stir in coconut, pecans, chocolate chips, and brown sugar or maple syrup.

♦  ♦  ♦

Shopping Finds – In our 06.25.21 Salon we featured Joanne Fluke’s foodie mystery novels, in turn the basis for a Hallmark series that we linked to in an earlier Salon. Now, what a nice find – her cookbook that reveals some of those recipes that teased us in the stories. Here it is on Amazon,  Joanne Fluke’s Lake Eden Cookbook.”        Well how fun is this. Could be for a get-together. Could be just so you’re always cooking in a partied-up kitchen. Food-themed balloons! Some are fun, some pretty, some downright appetizing. Note that you can find a specific food design – hamburger, pizza, ice cream, etc. – by entering it after “balloons” in the search window on the Amazon page. Many multi-packs too of food groupings, like the one shown here.     

This week’s featured CS-designed, Zazzle-crafted item  We hear more and more that shelters are are so overcrowded as a result of the pandemic. Is there room in your home and heart for a shelter dog{or cat}? If so, spread the word to others.  Shelter dog mug  Shelter dog tee

   On the Table  

Featured Recipes – 

Chicago Deep Dish Pizza Dip

A full 5 stars for this fun and festive mix of of thick spaghetti sauce mix, pepperoni, ricotta, mozzarella, and Parm, ready to be paired with the suggested garlic bread or baguettes. Or how about a baked pizza crust cut in strips. Now while I am pretty sure with its rating this is mega-tasty, and some seasonings would check in from the sauce, still not sure it lives up to the Chicago adjective. I can tell you what would would do that trick is some garlic, oregano and red pepper flakes, maybe a bit of basil and fennel too. From AllRecipes.

Shoyu Chicken

All the classic Asian flavors come together to beautifully bronzed chicken thighs that taste as good as they look. While the demo shows that the skin was left on, I did remove the skin and would say no harm done. From Food Network.

Chocolate Dipped Peanut Butter S’Mores

How much does that title telegraph a decadent promise? And it looks like it will definitely live up to it. Especially since there’s even more. Because Nutella and white almond bark also come to the party. More? Suggested toppings reach into pistachios, pretzels and sprinkles. From Food Network.

Stuffed Queso Meatloaf

Even non-meatloaf lovers may want to grab a fork. Crumbed corn tortillas, tomatoes, chili powder and cumin join the usual suspects in the meat mix. Then, soft cheese and jalapenos are channeled in, and a tomato/ketchup glaze goes on. Bake, wait, slice, yum. From Food Network.

31 No-Bake Desserts

Any “no-bakes” that look good I’ll be sending your way right here, so as little as possible see the oven {even as we may feel like we are}. These are from FoodFeed, and the sneaky petes draw you in right from the git-go with chocolate peanut butter bugle bars. 🎵

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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. Below are recipes recently displayed on the screen. Echo owners, also note that in many cases she guides you step by step through the prep . . .

Banana Bread Ice Cream Cake  What is it about bananas that they just excel at adding flavor, texture and moisture in so many ways to so many goodies. Here they’re mashed into a fairly classic banana bread, but after it’s baked the magic begins. Sliced into three the long way, it’s layered first with vanilla ice cream, then with chocolate, then frozen. The thing is, looking at the demo it seems it doesn’t come out like a brick but rather supple slices, spoon-ready. From Tasty.

Country Style Pork Ribs with Bourbon & Cola BBQ Sauce  In the slow cooker! In addition to the title ingredients, the sauce gains even more flavor from ketchup, tomato paste, garlic, brown sugar, Wooster, chili powder, cayenne, vinegar and syrup. From Epicurious.

Berry Smoothie Bowl  Take a sip of summer. Strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and bananas whirl into yogurt, almond milk and peanut butter. The recipe serves two so can go into a couple of glasses or maybe be the destination for two straws. Or, apply a multiplier and voila . . . summer punch. From Tasty.

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

  The gins of summer  After sacrificing on our behalf and taste-testing 65 gins, writer Ray Isle offers these nine selections for cocktails on the patio. He never quite says quite why he chose this lineup, but we do get clues from his descriptions, which speak of lemon, lime, orange, florals, mint, even seaweed. From Food & Wine.

   Fresh Summer Appetizers  This lineup is a happy matchup for warm weather snacking, pretty much utensil-free and seasonally inspired. Think mini savory pancakes, little pizzas, stuffed veggies, quesadillas, nachos, dips and lots more. Shown, the mini corn cakes with smoked salmon and dill creme fraiche {shortcuts & subs – store-bought cornbread or muffins, sour cream, dried dill}.  From MyRecipes.

   Bloody Mary Bar  One of my absolute favorite brunch places featured a bloody mary bar that looked a mile long. Such fun! On a nice site I found and will visit again is a great diy array of tasty stuff to mix in, dip in, or prop atop the marys. In addition to the bar checklist, you’ll also find “The Best Bloody Mary Recipe.” The site is FoodieCrush.

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Cool, Rich, No-Bake Summer Desserts, for July 27-Aug 2, 2018

  CatChat – Misty’s preview 

Food mag duo brings us a list of 40 no-bake desserts    Wait till you see Clara {M – “I just bet she liked kitties”  Save the cheese {M – “Please!”  Save your brain?  ♦  Save your money {M – “Then buy extra tuna!”  Readers Extra    This no-bake dessert couldn’t be easier   Barbara’s week: Fries in a hurry, cheesefests, bacon – funny & freezing 

Misty’s History  ♦  Misty’s Gallery 

♦  Tidbits  ♦ 

Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

  Wow, Clara! She’s actually gone now, departing at age 98 no doubt to a kitchen in the heavens, but what a gift she left for us – the videos of course but also the abundance of culinary inspiration.  Her grandson’s school project led to a YouTube series that began when she was 91, each showcasing her prep of a Depression Era dish along with generous servings of sweet memories and friendly chat. But what she creates, for example in the breakfast episode. is anything but depressing.    Her story on Food52  Her YouTube videosCapabunga CV5 Cheese Vault Storage Box, Butter

  We’ve all probably seen, and likely even owned, cheese keeper containers.  But did you know there are actual cheese vaults? Vaults! They aren’t cheap but may be worth the investment for what we spend on even basic cheese, let alone the finer kinds. Btw, the brand name on Amazon sounds like what you might shout when you make this dicovery. Capabunga!  Find them here

  Smart eating takes on a whole new meaning in this report from Reader’s Digest, authored by Kenneth S Kosik MD, whose areas of expertise include the biological processes of the brain. So, this is the list of dining habits Dr. Kosik recommends to protect your brain from Alzheimer’s.  Brain food

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So, you just never know who you’re going to {re-}encounter on social media. This week it was an old friend, Mary Hunt, who long ago launched a publication that I believe was called Cheapskate Monthly {apologies M if I muffed this}, and I had actually contributed to it a few times with a Q&A food column.

She has since parlayed her concept into award-winning and best selling books {all 4+ stars on Amazon}, a monthly newsletter, newspaper column, speaking engagements, and an interactive website.

It’s all dedicated to her goal for all of us to enjoy “debt-proof living.” Her “Better, Cheaper, Faster: Over 2,000 Tips and Tricks to Save you Time and Money Every Day” covers some stuff for cooking/cleaning and as well way beyond.

“Better, Cheaper, Faster”    Mary Hunt’s other books    CS Marketplace

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

Readers Extra – Preston & Child, individually and in collaboration, reliably pen tales of high adventure, exciting to frightening, and revelatory too, with their latest work taking us along on the way to the heart and secrets of an unknown, ancient civilization, but – will we get there???   “The Pharoah Key”  Preston books   Child books 

♦  Featured Recipe  

Cool summer desserts, and lots of them 

The Reader’s Digest online newsletter brings us lots of good food ideas, and in a recent edition tapped into some sweet treats from, as they said, “our friends at Taste of Home.” Best of all they don’t need to get anywhere near your oven.

Here’s just a sampling: lemon curd tart, peanut butter cup trifle, root beer float pie, turtle praline tart, and S’mOreos {yep, just what it sounds like}. And some add a fun vibe with, e.g., candy corn or potato sticks.

Follow the link and start {not} cooking . . .

40 Easy N0-Bake Summer Desserts    Reader’s Digest    Taste of Home

No-bake dessert books on Amazon

♦  Tip  

Set it out – stand clear

One of my favorite party desserts, also no-bake, let’s guests in on the fun which hopefully doesn’t include a realization that they’re doing all the work. It’s simple a matter of setting out slices of a good French baguette which they use to make little sandwiches, open or closed with any of these toppings: hot fudge {not heated}, tub caramel, marshmallow creme, peanut butter, jams, shredded coconut, chopped nuts, raisins, sliced fruit.

♦  A Peek at My Week  

Fast fries, cheesefests, how much do YOU love bacon

  Crapples, meant to make french fries!!! Have you ever had one of these moments when the rest of dinner is all but ready and the bag of fries is giving you a neener neener from the freezer? Here’s what I did. First turned the toaster oven on Hi, then wrapped the fries in paper towels with two layers all around. Into the nuker for just a minute or two, then on a baking pan and into the toaster over for 5 min. Fries are ready!

Note: Follow the guidelines for your microwave oven and your paper towels for safe use. Then also limit the time in there so the fries are less likely to stick.

  In the course of looking further into the world of cheese after discovering it includes vaults, I also found there is a Cheesemonger Invitational and a Cheesemaker’s Festival, that one in Vermont, every year. And now you know too.

  Got such a kick out of a posting this week about bacon, and how to have it ready at any given moment. Because, it said – sometimes you may not want to eat a whole package all at once {!} I’m a huge bacon freak, but thinking this had to be directed at the truly obsessed. Btw, the trick was to cook it all and freeze it, something I already do and guessing many of you do too. Even frozen, just about 15-20 seconds wrapped in paper towels in the nuker, and have at it.

Next week highlights: kitchen savings, sheet pan brunches, perfect & easy corn on the cob, pinch bowls, easy pizza fondue & dippers, slow cooker hints, recipe trove, kicking up bean soup, using up pasta sauce

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