Famous cookie filling, May 29-June 4, 2020

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

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Everybody loves a clone 

For some reason we keep encountering cloned dishes. Our marketplace spotlight in the 03.27.20 Salon was a entire book of them, Todd Wilbur’s “Top Secret Recipes/Step by Step.” Then it was Food Network Magazine’s take on Panera’s loaded baked potato soup, our featured recipe in the 04.24.20 Salon.

Now a fabulous book by Stella Parks, whose resume includes honors as one of Food & Wine’s Best New Pastry Chefs, BraveTart: Iconic American Dessertsserves up a whole section of clones in her big book, “Bravetart.” Think such proprietary names as Animal Crackers, Fig Newtons, Oreos, Fudge Stripes, Twinkies, Thin Mints and more.

And in our 05.01.20 Salon, we “borrowed” her chocolate topping {see below} for those famous filled cupcakes to drizzle over the featured Cookies and Cream Bread Pudding. This week we intended to again take out another loan, you might say, loading up store-bought chocolate wafers with Parks’ cloned Oreo® filling – but, no wafers.

No worries, you can see the finished product right on the cover of her book, and the filling recipe is linked below. Of course for the full experience you’d want to make her version of the cookies too.

So many long time American classics here – in fact Parks says most of them date back more than a hundred years, and she brings it all further to life with what she calls origin stories as well as vintage ads. Think pies, cakes, cookies, puddings, donuts – classics! – cherry pie, “no fuss” apple pie, “no Stress” all butter pastry crust, no-cook lemon syrup, Boston cream pie,  lots of old fashioned cakes.

Next week: saucy, spicy, savory Cajun shrimp from Guy Fieri’s “DDD” book

Homemde Oreo® filling on our recipe page    “Bravetart” on Amazon, 5 stars  


Shopping, cooking, storing, substituting, using up, helping, amusement, health & safety

  The cookbook mentioned in conjunction with our featured recipe above could serve as a rewarding way to spend this extra time at home for folks who love baking. The recipes come from an acclaimed baker, and as such really tap into the joys of deep-diving into scratch baking, including relevant ingredients and equipment notes.  In the intro, food columnist Kenji Lopez-Alt calls the calls the dishes a “balance between comfort and quality” and compares them to the best treats of our childhood, but “better, because you’re an adult now and nobody’s gonna tell you how much frosting to put on those cakes.”

  So, about Stella Parks’ chocolate sauce. Thankfully, quite easy. You can see for yourself on our recipe page. Note that though the whipped cream is listed with the sauce ingredients, it’s actually for the filling.

  We’ve referenced Eat This Not That previously in our Salon, and this time on msn.com they offer up this timely slide show, “120 Best-Ever Comfort Food Recipes.” I’ll be honest here, I had no intention of going through all 120 but yikes so much good stuff I ended up doing exactly that. Here are just a few – Sunday roast chicken, chicken pot pie, poor man’s steak with onion and mushrooms plus garlic gravy, slow roasted pork shoulder, gussied up grilled cheese, the Elvis sandwich, grilled Mexican style corn {shown}, honey roasted carrots, blueberry peach cobbler, best fudgy brownies. You can bet some of these will magically appear as our Featured Recipes.

  While it”s so wonderful to see communities step up to fill the void left by closed schools and the loss of those meals for kids that depend on them, apparently that’s not the case everywhere. No Kid Hungry, a Share Our Strength program that I’v seen supported by chefs at national events, says they have a plan to find new ways to feed these children. If you are fortunate enough to be able to help, please visit their site here. See their ratings here.

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Nigella Lawson’s easy sheet pan chicken dinner, for May 18-24, 2018

  CatChat – Misty’s preview for this week  

Lawson’s chicken recipe    Cheese fest! {can I go???}    Kitchen appliance cleaning clues    Food storage help {I’ll store that for you!}    America the Great Cookbook with over 100 top food pros {any tuna recipes?}  ♦  Sheet pan cookbook links    Sheet pan tip    No Kid Hungry {this is a great cause}    In Barbara’s week: good food mag, loving cumin, unexpected key ingredient for easy minestrone



Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

  Love cheese? Going to be in the midwest June 1-3? Go wild at the Great Wisconsin Cheese Festival in Little Chute, n/e of Appleton, s/w of Green Bay. Looks like quite a charming little town – the link takes you to a civic site, but lots of cool pix.  Fest   Town

  Could you use some clues on cleaning your various kitchen appliances? “Reader’s Digest” has helpful suggestions. Clean Kitchen

  Like to have longer shelf life, less waste in your fridge, cabinets, and pantry? “Reader’s Digest” checks in on that too.  Save your food

CS Marketplace Spotlight

Tap into the favorite recipes of 100 food pros

America The Great Cookbook: The food we make for the people we love from 100 of our finest chefs and food heroesThis is a quite a find. “America the Great Cookbook/the food we make for the people we love from 100 of our finest chefs and food heros.”

The recipes come “from our top chefs, artisan producers, and fascinating food heroes.” And since they’re from all across the country, we’re also treated to any number of regional specialties.

And this warms the heart. The cookbook also supports “Share Our Strength’s incredible No Kid Hungry initiative {that} connect kids with at least 200,000 meals.”

“America the Great Cookbook”    No Kid Hungry    CS Marketplace

 Featured Recipe

All in favor of easy dinners . . .  

Even though sheet pan cooking has been around for a while, it’s suddenly become one of the newest darlings of chefs, food writers and culinary publications. And why not – it’s often an easy way to cook for a crowd or cook the whole family meal at once.

Among those with a recipe for this kind of cookery is Nigella Lawson, English cookbook author and broadcast personality.  Her well seasoned “Chicken and Pea Traybake” linked here is featured on the Food 52 site.

In a piece from NBC Today on celeb chef tips for taking the stress out of dinner, Curtis Stones says “With sheet pan dinners, you can place all your items on one sheet pan and bake, broil, roast or steam them together . . . One pan means less clean up, which is the real bear and deterrent for weeknight cooking.” {Watch “Tidbits” next week for the “rest of the story”}

And Ree Drummond’s recipes in her new “Come and Get It” cookbook, featured in the May 4 CooksSalon chat, include a prep for Teriyaki Salmon and Kale Sheet Pan Supper.

Recipe    Lawson’s books on Amazon    Sheet pan cookbooks on Amazon



Do your sheet pans tend to go cattywampus in the oven, heralded by a “crack” sound. Really good heavy duty pans probably won’t do this, but the lighter ones likely will. Is this too simplistic a solution. If you do have another pan the same size, nest the pan with the food inside the other one. This so far has always worked for me.

A Peek at My Week

  I just started receiving a new {to me} magazine called “Cuisine at Home,” and this is a keeper. Actually they had me early on when on page 8 they shared this tip about making pie crust: If like the contributor you don’t have a pastry blender and don’t have much luck cutting in the ingredients with two knives, do what she did. Use a whisk. I haven’t tried this yet, but assuredly will, and she says with up and down and side to side motions it made the task “easy as pie.”  On Amazon

  Cumin! Have always loved its flavor, but recently I was inspired to use it more liberally thanks to a successful ropa vieja recipe from Eva Longorio that went all in {will share soon}. So now I intend to up the quantity of cumin in chili, but have meanwhile added it to bean soup and also egg salad. All good!

  I’ve made lasagna many times but recently crafted a new recipe with great promise, needs I think just one more tweak. But here’s what I want to share: after I portioned it into various containers for the freezer had “scraps” left over. So, dissolved two teaspoons of beef bouillon in two cups of water over lo-med heat, tossed in a can of drained kidney beans and a can of petite diced tomatoes, and then the diced up lasagna leftovers which contributed their various seasonings from the meat, sauce and ricotta. Poof! Impromptu minestrone.

  Posted  “have your name appear in an upcoming novel” on Nice Life Books – Thursdays

  Kept “Just Married” tee {& more} on DoggieShirtz – Thursdays

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