Apple crisp with cheddar crumble, March 20-March 26, 2020

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

New Salon every Friday – c’mon in

CS friends, and help yourself to tasty resources 

  Here’s what you’ll find this week when you scroll below  

  TIDBITS – brunch watch / sheet pan trick / food spending    CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT – a new home for your spices?    FEATURED RECIPE – promise made-promise sorta kept    TIP – knife to go    THE WEEK – tiddy whatty? / pizza even better / book for bloggers 

  TIDBITS 

Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

  It’s today! But, fear not, if you’re interested can still catch up with it Sat or Sun. “It” is chefs checking in with some favorite brunch dishes on the PBS channel, Create. Kevin Belton, Lidia Bastianich, and America’s Test Kitchen bring on, respectively, tastes of New Orleans, Italy, and from the latter, best coffee cake and more. In my PT zone, today 9p-2a, Sat 10a-3p, and Sun noon-5p.

  Looking at the current food mags and food shows it would appear that sheet pan cooking has matriculated from trend to staple. Meanwhile did you see this idea in the ads Reynolds Wrap is running right now? The pieces of foil, in this case three, were crimped on the edges to create separate compartments on the pan. Keeps the flavors and juices right where they belong, with easy cleanup as a bonus.

  Thinking it may be our group that’s responsible for any escalation of these averages. In fact it was  CS-er, and many thanks, that sent along a report from msn.com that took a look at food spending in 22 major American cities. Click the link to see how your household compares.

♦  CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT   

Rack ’em up

I love my spice rack. Three pull-out drawers, nine slots in each. Now don’t tell it, but there’s one on Amazon I’m sorely tempted to order as a replacement.McCormick Gourmet Three Tier Wood 24 Piece Organic Spice Rack, 27.6 oz

It one holds all the jars face forward. Easy to see at a glance what you what you’re looking for.  Easy to see at a glance what needs to be replenished. And no worries about if it will fit in your pantry or cabinets because, as you can see top left, it’s handsome enough to sit on the counter much like a nice piece of furniture.

Spice Rack Wall Mount Invisible Acrylic Wall Spice Rack Wall Mount Spice Rack Spice Rack Spice Rack Organizer Spice Rack for Door (Pack of 4)This is an “Amazon Choice” and Prime eligible. It is a little on the pricey side, but many are not, including the other two shown here, with actually quite the discount on the crisscross one, and a Kamenstein 5085178 Criss-Cross 18-Jar Bamboo Countertop Spice Rack Organizer with Free Spice Refills for 5 Years, Browntouch of magic for the one on the right that makes your jars appear to be held in place by an unseen force.

Not too surprisingly there are other gussy offerings on Amazon, lots of styles, features and prices. Some come with their own jars, other accommodate the original store-bought jars. All of the selections shown are clickable.

Spice racks 4 stars & up    Spice jar labels 4 stars & up

CS Marketplace Directory

  FEATURED RECIPE  

Cheddar apple crumble yummer

Well here’s the story. After promising this tasty desert recipe last week, things went bad this week.

Couldn’t find the frappin’ thing {thank you Aunty Peggy for that polite word}. The victim no doubt of TMR syndrome {Too Many Recipes].

Since cheese was the guest star here, turned to Sargento and voila! And to the best of my recollection it’s pretty much the same as the one that’s been in my family for decades {and presumably somewhere still is}. Btw, I sometimes baked these in individual oven-proof bowls.

I think you’ll like this. And their addition of vanilla ice cream atop the warm confection sure can’t hurt.

 Recipe  

 

  TIP  

The cutting edge

. . . has its place. But not when a paring knife is accompanying you to a picnic, potluck or other destination where further prep may be needed.

The solution may be as close as your stash of travel items. With a bit, that is, of repurposing.

Rummage through the stuff and extract the two-piece tube that usually transports a toothbrush. Alternatively there’s a good chance you can find one in the trial and travel section of your grocery store or pharmacy.

Knife in, container sealed. Good to go.

Items featured here also appear in our weekly Tip Tuesday posts on Twitter, Facebook & LinkedIn

  A PEEK AT MY WEEK  

Welcome to my kitchen and living room

  Since you folks aren’t here to do it, smacked myself upside the head. In our 03.06.20 Salon, in the chat about “The Secret Garden Cookbook” I included reference to tiddy oggies with no clue what the heck that is. It’s actually pasties filled with budget-friendly potatoes rather than meat, with tiddy being the Cornish name for potatoes. Google corrects this to tiddly. Turned to good ol’ Diner’s Dictionary to arbitrate and it opted for tiddy, further informing us that oggy is the Cornwall term for pasty – much more to the story under the oggy listing, including its role in the sports chant, “Oggy, Oggy, Oggy Oi, Oi, Oi.”

  CS friends, I apologize for the tease. I did make the promised breakfast casserole from leftover pizza and it is very good. But there’s so much to say about it, discrepancy between two recipes, my results, my changes to the recipe, my planned changes for next time around, baking time. So . . . since it is so good it indeed qualifies as a Featured Recipe and that is exactly what it will be next week. All the details!

  True to its name, the Serious Eats site is dedicated to those serious about food, where recipes are like cooking lessons, ingredients merit detailed backstories, appliances are virtually disassembled and reassembled, techniques are designed to refine. The book “Serious Eater” by site founder Ed Levine, parallels the approach by delivering an eye-opening primer on starting and sustaining a blog. The hobby blogger can pick up some pointers but for anyone planning to pursue this as a business, the book is required reading. All of us CS-ers, however, can appreciate his tales of restaurant reviewing in the early chapters and restaurant recipes sprinkled throughout, starting with C.C Brown’s hot fudge.

This week’s:

  •  Photo credits – spice racks-Amazon / apple crisp-Sargento / pizza casserole-mine
  •  Link sources – spice racks, jar labels, books-Amazon / recipe-Sargento
  • Partnerships – Amazon / PBS {member, not affliate}

Click here or on the Amazon logo    to go directly to their home page

So far next week: baking projects, safer shopping, top secret restaurant recipes source, grits 2.0, the whole breakfast pizza casserole story, snack-topped cake, chicken trick, Japanese cookbook, even prettier eggs

Last week, just below: Irish hangover cures, using up milk, juice reuse, good food read, savory creamy herbed steak sauce, say nuts to tight bottle caps, made the shrimp & grits, pretty eggs, virtual Paris read

Looking for something in CS?

Scroll & check previews OR use the search box OR contact me at bjnosek@gmail.com

Questions, comments?

Use the same email, enter CooksSalon in the subject line – see the Let’s Chat tab for further details

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

All pages ©2020 CooksSalon.com

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Old English Beef a la Mode, Feb 07-Feb 13, 2020

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

New Salon every Friday – c’mon in

CS friends, and help yourself to tasty resources

  Here’s what you’ll find this week when you scroll below  

  TIDBITS – veggies ready for their close-up / the good egg / 12 tasty secrets    CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT – look out, fat    FEATURED RECIPE – Beef a la Mode, no ice cream    TIP – peanuts ‘fess up   THE WEEK – pot pie upgrade / un-donuts / thank you, pudding

  TIDBITS 

Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

  Love vegetables? Want to love vegetables? Let Jamie Oliver help with his PBS show, “Jamie’s Ultimate Veg,” designed to give veggies international flair and a starring role on the plate. Continuing Saturdays through Feb 22, in my time zone at 2:30p. Some interesting episode subjects: Bigged-Up Broccoli, Charred Salad, Bean Burger.

  The Well-Done newsletter poses the question: Are hard-boiled eggs good for you? Good news here, and some surprising news too. Even better, their take on the best way to make them.

  The same newsletter, same issue, teases us with this headline: “12 Secret Ingredients That’ll Make Your Cooking So Much Better.” Among the recipes with a secret, brownies, pecan pie, extra crispy roasted vegetables, impressive desserts, and the mysterious “cretons.” You can scroll down to see all the dishes as an alternative to the slide show.

Still dealing with a holiday “gift” of extra pounds and inches?

Are they still being unwelcome guests at your waistline and beyond?  Either those that have been hanging around for too long now, or maybe a holiday “gift that keeps on giving”? Help is here!

My very own Dieter’s Survival Guide series gives you ways to deal with all those everyday situations that try to add more pounds and inches, or keep you from shedding the ones you want to go onto someone else’s hips. Not a formal program, but rather a common sense roadmap to avoid fat traps without feeling deprived.

There is a full-story version but these days most folks prefer quicker access and that’s right here in “The Busy Person’s Diet Guide,” including all the information of the original but in fast-read form. There are also full chapters excepted into 99-cent books. All on Kindle, so you can just tap & start fat-zapping.

See all the Dieter’s Survival Guide books on this Amazon page

New Marketplace debuts next week

  FEATURED RECIPE  

Awesome beef roast with an English accent – yikes, this is good!

Well, there may be no ice cream in this Beef a la Mode but it does fold in some surprising spices more typically associated with dessert. Combined with the aromatics, the medley yields a full of flavor roast.

The recipe comes from the charming cookbook “Dinner with Dickens.” Notes tell us “Dickens writes about visiting Johnson’s famous à la mode beef house near London’s Drury Lane. and this is where he has David Copperfield treat himself to a ‘small plate of that delicacy.'”

The origin recipe, also shown on the page, tells us, “You may serve it up hot or cold.” Author Pen Vogler’s prep, “updated for the modern kitchen,” suggests we serve with carrots and greens. I actually put the carrots in the pan to roast with the beef, potatoes too, more opps for absorbing those flavors.

Dinner with Dickens: Recipes inspired by the life and work of Charles DickensIn page after page, foodie tales from the Victorian era accompany such historical preps as candied French plums, roly poly jam pudding, lobster patties, Yorkshire pie, tea cakes, and a libation called Smoking Bishop. Also, punch sauce which we’ll talk more about next week, when you’ll see how well named it is.

What makes this an especially nice gift book is a cover that almost has the feeling of tapestry. Right now at least, at a good price on Amazon.

Recipe    “Dinner with Dickens” cookbook

  TIP  

This is too important not to have its own spotlight

In the 01.10.20 Salon, in My Week, I referred to cookies I had made but without the usual peanut butter filling because they would be consumed by folks I didn’t know, and accordingly didn’t know if any of them might have peanut allergies. You can use the link if you want to go back and see how what I did at the time.

In that item I also made passing reference to a way that I had subsequently recalled that would allow you to make your favorite peanutty recipes and solve this every time, and it deserves more than that quick note. And that’s regardless of whether the ingredient was peanuts or peanut candy or peanut butter, or peanut whatever, and it would work for any type of dessert.

So obvious, I’m rather chagrined I hadn’t thought of this on my own. It’s simply a matter of topping the cake or cupcake or cookies or pie, et al, with whole or chopped peanuts.  It doesn’t have to be a lot – even a single peanut half sends up a red flag to anyone with this kind of serious allergy.

Shown are half peanuts on chocolate chip cookies baked in a mini muffin tin, and when removed from the oven stuffed with a small Reese’s peanut butter cup {the kind you unwrap}.

  A PEEK AT MY WEEK  

Welcome to my kitchen and living room

♦  Do you ever buy pot pies from the deli in your grocery store for a quick and easy dinner? The ones from my market are pretty darn good, loaded with lean and tender meat. But here’s how they can be fairly easily upgraded – top them with your own gravy. And, OK, ‘fessing up, if I don’t have available homemade gravy I do use, and have ever since a high profile chef told me this is his plan B – dry mix. But here’s a big ps to that. No matter what kind I’m using – chicken, turkey, pork – I always blend it with a brown gravy one, really kicks the flavor.

  Puff pastry donuts – the rest of the story. In our 01.17.20 Salon we featured a demo by Mad Genius for making donuts with this pastry. Couldn’t find the sheets so picked up a package of Pepperidge Farm shells, dipped them in peanut oil and baked as directed. Let me take a moment here to say I share a lot of good stuff from my kitchen which might indicate there are no flops. Wrong! Usually keep those to myself.

  But, ‘fessing up, these guys didn’t bake right {the oil?}, fell apart when I tried to entirely remove the centers to look like donuts, and had to go back in the oven looking like so many onion rings until they crisped up. But I let them cool a bit and then hit them with powdered sugar. So, if you erase donuts from your mind, and replace that image with say the Italian cookie pizzelles, hey not so bad. Just . . . not . . . donuts.

  So, was looking for ways to use the rest of the chocolate pudding from our 01.24.20 Salon item on my version of pudding shots in the My Week section. And then, yay, decided to press it into service as yet another oatmeal helper. Not bad at all! And then staying in the cereal “aisle,” if you want to go all kid with dry cereal, put the pudding under it instead of milk or cream over it. Say, with peanut butter Chex. {OK, yeah, did that – nice combo!}.

This week’s

  •  Photo credits – books-Amazon / all others-mine
  •  Link sources –  recipe-CS recipe page / Dickens book-Amazon
  • Partnerships – Amazon / PBS-membership, not affiliate

Click here or on the Amazon logo    to go directly to their home page

So far next week: more egg bennies, energy breakfasts, celeb helpline, another Downton Abbey cookbook, Aspen fest, pig pickin’ cake, punch sauce, classic savory sauce

Last time, just below: F&W’s Best-Ever Dishes, foodie app, taming the late-night hungries, Marketplace announcement, 5-star seafood au gratin, taming the brown sugar, rye in what???, my pudding shot, taming the food budget

Looking for something in CS?

Scroll & check previews OR use the search box OR contact me at bjnosek@gmail.com, also valid for questions & comments – see the Let’s Chat tab for email details

Note, transactions are solely between the buyer and linked supplier

All pages ©2020 CooksSalon.com

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

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Giada’s fresh & simple salmon dish, Jan 17-Jan 23, 2020

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

New Salon every Friday – c’mon in

CS friends, and help yourself to tasty resources

  Here’s what you’ll find this week when you scroll below  

  TIDBITS – cheesy chicken galore / pudding shots! / cheeseboard upgrade    CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT – top-rated cheeseboards    FEATURED RECIPE – a touch of spring     TIP – it’s a wrap   THE WEEK – Tejano cooking / donuts from what ??? / a tasty, testy past 

  TIDBITS 

Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

I so look forward to receiving the MyRecipes online newsletter because it’s always filled with good stuff that I like to share with you. But sometimes a single newsletter is just a total culinary home run and one I just caught up with from last month is a perfect example. All three tidbits come from that one newsletter

  Here’s another one of those {at least to some of us!} irresistible headlines. 34 Cheesy Chicken Casseroles. So much good stuff here, classics like parmesan and enchiladas to some a bit more out there including a loaded baked potato version and a Tex-Mex squash combo. Btw, if you don’t want to do the slide show, should be able to just scroll down on the page that opens with the link. And . . . “surf” takes a turn next week in our Featured Recipe, baked seafood au gratin.

  Oh yum. Move over jello shots, here comes pudding. After pudding of your choice and alcohol of your choice, the variations are endless, as their story, “How to make pudding shots: the easy, boozy treat you never knew you needed,” shows in living color. It’s sort of like a spirited, drinkable, trifle. Now, it doesn’t specify where the alcohol goes, but guessing jello shot vets know it will be mixed into the pudding. Some other pudding shots I saw online combined everything into one mixture, but this layered approach makes a really nice presentation.

  So the holidays are over, but the reasons/excuses for a party large or small are fortunately never ending. A star of the show can often be a selection of cheeses. But have to say I never realized that “This ingredient is a crucial addition to your cheese board.” Not trying to be mysterious here, but before you click the link, see if you can guess what ingredient is not usually on the board but in fact makes great sense to join the array. I like it!

  CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT   

And continuing  the subject . . .

It’s like a cheeseboard superstore at Amazon. Yikes is this some good looking stuff.

Choose your material, choose your size, choose your shape, choose your amenities, choose your price – it’s all there. To give you a bit of a head start on filtering your options, our link below takes you to only boards that are 4 stars & up.

Did someone say amenities? Yep, some of these items come with slots or niches for serving utensils or even better a slide-out drawer {shown}, or slide out trays for extra surface, or cracker trenches to keep them nice and neat, or with their own little bowls or cheese markers, and at least one that stores as a compact wedge and then swivels open to an 18″ tiered circle {shown}.

Beautiful Boards: 50 Amazing Snack Boards for Any OccasionAnd even if you’re not in the market right now? Might want to take a look anyway since most of the boards on the Amazon pages are “dressed,” and as such offer a wealth of ideas on how you could assemble your own goodie mix. Or you can find all kinds of help with our link to colorful books on cheeseboards for all occasions.

Note that you can click on the illustrations to go directly to that item on Amazon. This book, btw, is an Amazon Best Seller.

Cheeseboards 4 stars & up    Cheeseboard books 4 stars & up

  FEATURED RECIPE  

Just simply good 

Even though spring is not yet even close to visible on the horizon, a touch of it can come to your plate with this fish dish from Giada. And because the salad accompaniment is so “springly,” the goodness of the salmon remains the star of the show.

The filet is treated gently in both the prep and the cooking process. A quick broil and done.

As for that light, bright salad, it actually serves double duty, as a bed under the fish and then as a garnish. That would be a lightly dressed mix of fennel, radish, and basil, a great counterpoint to the richness of the salmon. Btw, I also used some of the pretty and flavorful fennel fronds as garnish.

Giada continues her focus on tasty, healthful dining. You can keep up with offerings by signing up for her newsletter, link in the upper corner of her page.

Giadzy’s Broiled Salmon with Fennel Salad   Giada’s cookbooks    Giada’s DVDs

  TIP  

But wait . . . there’s more

Encore! This is indeed a re-run but it fits in well with our other sections this week.

There are suggestions galore online on the best way to store packaged store-bought cheese. This is what has always worked well for me . . .

Cut off the end of the package wrapper. Then cut along both top edges all the way to the back, but leaving the back intact so that you end up with a kind of hinged flap.

After slicing off the cheese you need, fold the two loose ends of the wrapper over the cheese, and place it in a food storage bag, pressing the opened end tightly against the inside of the bag so the wrapper ends stay in place as you press out the air, seal the bag, and fold the rest of it around the block of cheese.

If you’re rather use devices designed for that purpose, we have a link below to that page on Amazon.

Cheese keepers, 4 stars & up

  A PEEK AT MY WEEK  

Welcome to my kitchen and living room

  The cookbook, “AMA – A Modern Tex-Mex Kitchen” served up a nice discovery. Though I’d heard of it before, had never really delved into Tejano cooking, the south Texas home vs nationwide commercial version of Tex-Mex. It’s marked by lots of beef, chili plain and simple, lots of chiles fresh and dried, cumin, and two surprises – considerable German influence and more bacon than I expected. The title refers to the chef/author Josef Centeno’s LA restaurant, Ama: A Modern Tex-Mex Kitchen (Mexican Food Cookbooks, Tex-Mex Cooking, Mexican and Spanish Recipes)whose name in turn honors Centeno’s great grandmother’s cooking, and the cuisine is the product of four generations of food-oriented Tejanos {Texans of Mexican heritage} on both sides of his family. Haven’t tried any of the recipes yet, but surely will.

  I just love the Mad Genius tips. This time it’s donuts, which he calls the easiest ever and they just may be. The magic is in puff pastry, and the rest of the story is in his donut demo. Btw, since I don’t do a lot of deep frying, I made some by dipping both sides of puff pastry shells in peanut oil and then baking them per instructions. {Hold off for Part II in two weeks.}

  Oh, the memories. As a Chicago native and long time Las Vegas resident, the story is of more than passing interest. My first contact with any of the elements was when my husband and I, visitors at the time, dined at a fabulous Italian restaurant near the Las Vegas convention center – called Villa d’Este, it was parlayed from a previous site called Villa Venice, in turn previously Anjoe’s. After a history of a gunshot, a fire, Chicago mob ties, and a touch of Sinatra, it eventually evolved into Piero’s, now an equally famous institution for almost four decades. One of my very favorite chefs, Hubert Keller, will visit this legendary restaurant during his January 25 “Secrets of a Chef” episode on PBS.

This week’s

  •  Photo credits – cheeseboards & book/Amazon, all others/mine
  •  Link sources – cheeseboards, books. dvds/Amazon, recipe/Giada’s site, donut demo/Food & Wine site, history of Villa d’Este, now Pierro’s/ imgur.com {shows “lock” icon}
  • Partnerships – Amazon

Click here or on the Amazon logo    to go directly to their home page

So far next week: more cheesy goodness with a baked seafood au gratin, 40 best-ever recipes from top source, my own pudding shot, chocolate cookies with surprise ingredient, new fave baked beans

Last week, just below: shrimp curry with spinach, 30-min dinners, hot toddy prep {plus bonus tip}, chai-spiced snickerdoodles, bye bye holiday pounds, save the cookware, food resources keep Echo-ing, “venting”

Looking for something in CS?

Scroll & check previews OR use the search box OR contact me at bjnosek@gmail.com, also valid for questions & comments – see the Let’s Chat tab for email details

Note, transactions are solely between the buyer and linked supplier

All pages ©2020 CooksSalon.com

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

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Fudge-filled blast from the past, Nov 15-Nov 21, 2019

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

New Salon every Friday – c’mon in

CS friends, and help yourself to tasty resources!

♦  Here’s what you’ll find when you scroll below  

  TIDBITS – Thank-full help / cheese help / Cookbook Club help    CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT – join Flay in the kitchen    FEATURED RECIPE – timeless tasty classic  ♦  TIP – tv “guide”    THE WEEK –  frozen, really ??? / Parm butter 2.0 / Yay Twain

  TIDBITS 

Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

  The Create Channel by PBS is bringing “Thank-full” to your livingroom for Thanksgiving help in your kitchen. Kevin Breton, Sara Moulton, Vivian Howard and the crew from America’s Test Kitchen, plus style expert Christy Rust, come together to deliver tips on what goes on your table and for the table itself. In my directory, Sat Nov 23, 6am-noon & 6pm-midnight, repeats Nov 24 from noon-6pm, and again on TG day from 6am-noon.

  Plan on setting out a cheese platter this holiday season? Take a tip {or more} from Food & Wine Top Ten, by learning “6 Common Cheese-Serving Mistakes and How to Avoid Them.”

  So, have you and maybe some like-minded friends ever thought about starting a cookbook club? It’s much like a succession of potlucks but with each dish tested from a particular cookbook. The discussion then centers on not just the food but also the book. As well, the subject of the book becomes the theme of the dinner. In the article, “How to Have a Successful Cookbook Club,” MyRecipes shows you the ropes.

  CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT  ♦ 

Bobby Flay in home kitchen mode

Kind of nice to see a celeb out of the chef whites and more into our realm, as captured in Flay’s new “Bobby at Home” cookbook. And it becomes extra endearing when you see that he dedicates the book to his mom, Dorothy Flay, saying each page “is filled with the spirit of her memory and a lust for life that only she could attain.”

Bobby at Home: Fearless Flavors from My Kitchen: A CookbookFlay calls this a collection of favorite dishes that he serves to family and friends. And at home, he says, “it’s a pace that’s steady but focused and where the food is always abundant and served family style.” And as well not too different from us CS folks, those gathered eat, drink, play games, listen to music, even “solve the problems of the world.”

And here’s most of all what the chef says this book is all about. “Don’t just think of these dishes as a means to feed someone, but as a way to gather the people in your life you want to spend quality time with . . . I hope they bring as much joy to your table as they do to mine.”

Here are some of the dishes that I look forward to putting on my table: almond crusted baked manchego, red chile caesar salad, green chile cheeseburger, coconut red curry spot prawns, chocolate hazelnut crema catalana. The book also delivers Bobby’s essential pantry & equipment guide, clever cocktail preps, and basics that Flay calls the building blocks he uses to start and finish his dishes with flavor.

“Bobby At Home” cookbook, 4 1/2 stars, Prime eligible, big discount, at Amazon

Flay’s other books    Flay’s DVDs

  FEATURED RECIPE  

 Jump into the way-back machine 

Where we re-discover one of the most notable winners in Pillsbury’s annual Bake-Off® Contest. Yep it’s the Tunnel of Fudge Cake from 1966, where magic happens right in the bundt pan.

Not familiar with the mysterious transformation that takes place as it bakes? An inner ring of fudge, a melty Tunnel of Fudge Cakechocolatey surprise, is revealed when this famous treat is cut into slices. And then a cocoa-rich glaze takes it right to the wonderful brink of wretched excess.

As the recipes instructs, “don’t scrimp on the nuts, or it won’t work.” {No idea why} Also scroll down to see the note about testing for doneness.

And another nice thing when you scroll on the page. Yet other very fine recipes. Sweet bonus.

Recipe

  TIP  

Write on!

This is quick and simple and if it’s something you’re not doing, I hope you will find it helpful. It’s always part of my routine now.

It’s just this. I make sure I always have a tablet and pen at hand when I’m watching a cooking show. Some of you may prefer to do this on your electronics.

Whichever it is, you’re always ready to make note of a cooking tip or technique, a recipe you may want to check on the show’s site, a cookbook featured during the broadcast. Easier {for some of us anyway!} than trying to remember it all.

  A PEEK AT MY WEEK  

Welcome to my kitchen and living room

  A tale of two veggies, one canned, one frozen. Oh yeah, fresh is best but can’t compete with the storage perks of those in the pantry of freezer. But, ummm, those guys need help. I recently tried whole canned green beans in the hopes they’d have a little more life than the frenched one. Nope. So, two steps. First, drain and pour into a jar of dill pickle juice. Second, chop and hide in salads. Now just came across “6 Ways to Make Frozen Cauliflower into Something Delicious.” The roasted version does sound promising.

  So, as much as I enjoyed the Parm corn butter mentioned in our 11.01.19 Salon, made as the recipe specified, I found a way I think like it even more. Pureed. Here, you see it melting on a toasted baguette, all snuggled up to some baked mostaccioli.

  Paging through my charter issue of Milk Street magazine, subtitled “The New Home Cooking,” I came across a favorite but long since forgotten quote from Mark Twain: “Part of the secret of success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside” {in some citations, “a success”}. Thinking the antacid industry could adopt this as its motto.

So far next week: bacon pimento cheese dip, jar salad {& other easy lunches}, best yet for Parm corn butter, primo baking book, pie tips & recipes

Last week, just below:  Irish Whiskey pumpkin pie, save on NOWFE tix, what to do if you’ve eaten recalled food, kicky kitchen timers, savory sweet potato casserole, marshmallow equivalents, clever waffle appetizers, cinnamon apple pull aparts, saving the casserole 

Direct access to Amazon homepage through my personal link

Looking for something in CS? – scroll & check previews OR use the search box OR email me at bjnosek@gmail.com, also valid for questions & comments – see the Let’s Chat tab for details, also for my partnerships and more

Note, transactions are solely between the buyer and linked supplier

Photo credits – cake/Pillsbury site, paper & keyboard/Pete O’Shea, book/Amazon, other/mine

Link sources –  all Flay items/Amazon, recipe/Pillsbury site, cauliflower/MyRecipes. Milk Street/magazine site

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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Cinnamon Apple Pie Bread, Oct 18-Oct 24, 2019

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

New Salon every Friday – c’mon in

CS friends, and help yourself to tasty resources!

Starting this week, the information panel below will show any link destinations not identified in the text

  Here’s what you’ll find when you scroll below  

  TIDBITS – bread-keeping / quark unmasked / food show returns   CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT – lovely book    FEATURED RECIPE – perfect for fall    TIP – look out ‘fridge   THE WEEK – nachos > burritos / Catalan-style spinach / dinner metric 

  TIDBITS 

Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

  Bread lovers, rejoice. So sad when we open the package in the pantry or fridge and find hockey pucks, a touch of green {or white}, or a soggy mess. Leave it to Food & Wine to clue us on how to avoid all that with “5 Secrets to Storing Bread {and making it last longer.” Thanks!

  Quark? Hmmm?? Isn’t that something out of particle physics??? Not for folks who love trying new things in the kitchen. Turns out in our realm it’s a dairy product, sort of a hybrid between cheese and yogurt, that you can make yourself. The surprising thing, given the prep procedure, is how the taste is described. See that and uses too in this article about Quark by MyRecipes.

  It’s one of the most popular cooking shows on PBS and it returns to our living rooms Oct 19. It’s “Sara’s Weeknight Meals,” a treasure trove of home cooking, with quick preps for busy families. Watch for actual home cooks showing us regional fare from Mississippi, Miami and Key West. As they say, check your local listings – mine say 12:30 pm.

  CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT  ♦ 

What a sweetheart of a novel

Welcome to the town of Avalon where it doesn’t take long for the reader to feel like a visitor or maybe even a resident. That’s in great part thanks to author Darien Gee’s talents at establishing a sense of place, and even more theFriendship Bread: A Novel deft introduction of main characters and secondary players in such a way that they retain clear identities rather than dissolving into a blur.

But the book’s title, “Friendship Bread” telegraphs the real star of the show. Throughout, the starter and loaves work their way into these lives variously taking on the roles of nourishment for the body, an elementary school hit, a conversation opener, coin of the realm, a source of humor, a community organizer, the inspiration for both “thank yous” and “Oh nos!” – even the cause of panic in the streets and the underpinning for a mission of mercy.

We follow the bread all the way to the story’s satisfying conclusion. And then there’s . . .  recipes!

The bread, the people, the situations both social and serious often center around the town’s tea shoppe. Feel free to pull up a chair.

“Friendship Bread”    Gee’s other books in Avalon

  FEATURED RECIPE  

Just, yum 

I’ve come upon this site before and always found it so interesting. Called Wishes & Dishes, it’s chock full of great looking recipes, starting right with the homepage. In fact, not sure I’ll be able to resist the banana bread brownies with chocolate peanut butter ganache. Also party tips, holiday specialties, and the eclectic Wishes section.

And here, they bring us Cinnamon Apple Pie Bread, so moist and flavorful, a sweet treat for breakfast, snack or dessert. As it says in the intro: “Forget the pie crust and get all the flavors of fall . . .”

Quite easy too. After chopping the apple it’s pretty much just measure, mix, and wait while it bakes. Maybe a quirk of my oven or altitude, after max baking time the center still wasn’t totally set though the edges were. So, I just shut off the oven, left the bread in there for another 25 minutes, and then all good . . . really good.

Btw, there’s a demo on the page which can be helpful but doesn’t include any amounts. When you scroll down you’ll come across a button to Get Recipe – maybe it’s just my unfortunate relationship with electronics but this took me somewhere into the cyber hinterlands.

But . . . if you just keep scrolling on the original page – eureka! – there’s the recipe. After the ingredients you’ll see an arrow. Just scroll right past that into the directions. Then the fun begins! Thanks W&D!

Cinnamon Apple Pie Bread recipe    Wishes & Dishes  

  TIP  

I say All-in, you say . . .

So, we’ve seen a few all-in dishes in past Salons, bread pudding, chocolate pie, stew. And there are very likely more to come because this kind of thing is a great way to use up odd and ends rather than waste them.

It was interesting then to discover a similar phenom in an older version of Better Homes & Gardens. It was part of various strategies for “a better dinner tonight.”

They called one of the suggestions “Clean out the fridge,” and in this particular case the destination was a curry. Into coconut milk base went chicken, veggies, Thai green curry paste and lemons.

But, heck, you could start out with fridge cleaning and end up with soup, salad, burritos, pasta, quiche, “Dagwood” sandwiches, gumbo, paella . . . and whatever else could emerge from the lively imagination of all you creative CS-ers.

  A PEEK AT MY WEEK  

Welcome to my kitchen and living room

  As a follow-up to our Tip above, some weeks back I made burritos with a cousin of this technique. A place nearby makes these fabulous nachos with shredded beef, cheese, black olives, onions, peppers, salsa, sour cream, and guacamole on, oh yeah, french fries. After rescuing the fries, I wrapped all the leftover toppings in tortillas and froze the burritos for future enjoyment.

  I have a side dish to share with you, and the fact it is so good is far from a surprise since it’s the creation of flavor master JoséAndrés. It’s his Catalan-Style Spinach and while I’m as big a fan as anyone of the pure taste of lightlyVegetables Unleashed: A Cookbook cooked fresh spinach, this one takes the veggie into a whole new incredibly rich dimension. I first came across the prep in the chef’s “Vegetables Unleashed” cookbook, and it differs just a bit from the one linked here. If you want the best of both recipes, add a chopped shallot or comparable amount of onion, and mixed nuts instead of just pine nuts {I used slivered almonds and halved pecans}, and mixed dried fruits instead of just raisins {I used raisins and chopped dates}. Wondering with a bit of chicken if it couldn’t transform into an entree.

  Here’s one way you know you’re in the presence of a really, really, good dinner, whether at your home table, a host’s table, or a restaurant table. You realize you’re reaching capacity, and you’re just going to have to forego something on that beautiful plate. But what??? There are just no viable candidates. Do I have a solution? Nope. My job here was just verifying that you have had the good fortune to be face to plate with this kind of memorable dinner. Yes, thank you, I did have one such experience this very week.

So far next week: bacon and egg breakfast enchiladas, marshmallow equivalents, bake a cake like Buddy, Jose Andres quote, Watergate Salad, pizza plus

Last week, just below:  cola & peanuts meet in the bottle {yep}, best rotisserie chicken, keeping ‘shrooms fresh, whole book of grilled cheese mania, caterer to the star’s chocolate cake from mix – good/ rich/ easy, cuss-free wrapping, jammy eggs, fun & spooky food, savory salteñas 

Direct access to Amazon homepage through my personal link

Looking for something in CS? – scroll & check previews OR use the search box OR email me at bjnosek@gmail.com, also valid for questions & comments – see the Let’s Chat tab for details, also for my partnerships and more

Note, transactions are solely between the buyer and linked supplier

Photo credits – books/Amazon, food array/Acabashi on Wikimedia Commons, bread/mine

Link sources – Sara’s Weeknight Dinner/Sara Moulton, Catalan-style spinach/Jose Andres, all books/Amazon

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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Star caterer’s rich chocolate cake from mix, Oct 11-Oct 17, 2019

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

New Salon every Friday – c’mon in

CS friends, and help yourself to tasty resources!

  Here’s what you’ll find when you scroll below  

  TIDBITS – put whaaaat in your cola / best rotisserie chicken / keeping ‘shrooms fresh    CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT – grilled cheese mania    FEATURED RECIPE – so good, so rich, so easy    TIP – that’s a wrap ♦  THE WEEK – jammy eggs / spooky food / savory salteñas 

  TIDBITS 

Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

♦  Well, here’s a new one on me. But it won’t likely be for anyone from the south, and that’s combining peanuts and cola, Coke as most postings say, Pepsi when I saw it, and one online rebel mentioned Dr. Pepper. I was enlightened by North Carolina chef Vivian Howard in Season 1 of her PBS series “A Chef’s Life,” where the proper technique was on display. Open the {must be} glass bottle, take a few swigs, pour in the peanuts using your hand as a funnel – while the demo ended there, it seems then you either chew and sip or drink up before snacking on the peanuts.

–  Chef Vivian translated this into a dish of brined and cooked pork belly glazed with Pepsi that had been cooked down with brown sugar and lemon juice, all topped with freshly hulled peanuts that had been boiled in a salty county ham stock until they were “kind of tender.”

  The first paragraph in this MyRecipes feature, “How to choose the best grocery store rotisserie chicken,” reminds us there are so many ways to use this cooked and flavorful entree or ingredient, and may even give us a few new ideas. But of course we want to start with the best one possible and there are three ways offered that help us do just that. And not only is it a time saver, but also it says here that vs the cost of a raw chicken and the flavor ingredients, the rotisserie one is a better value. As a bonus there’s a recipe for a fine looking chicken chilaquiles casserole.

  Thanks Extra Crispy for cluing us in on how to Keep Mushrooms Fresh because we all know what can happen to those little guys in a matter of days. In addition to some good tips, and the reasons for them, two other things I found of interest. One kinda funny, as the author refers to the mushrooms having “a temperament.” The second kinda creepy, news that the sneaky fungi can continue to grow even after harvesting  There’s a movie in there somewhere.

  CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT  ♦ 

Grilled Cheese lovers, rejoice!

Because here’s an entire book of those comfort food wonders in all their golden glory. In the preemptively named “Grilled Cheese,” subtitled 50 recipes to make you melt, in addition to the preps you’ll also find a cheese guide, bread guide, and chat about putting it all together, along with some tips for the Perfect Grilled Cheese Sandwich. Grilled Cheese: 50 Recipes to Make You Melt

And then there’s a substantial list of add-ins – such fridge finds as pickles, veggies, cured meats, condiments and sauces – to gussy up your classic version. Author Marlena Spieler likens it to accessorizing a little black dress.

In the recipes there are some good basic sandwiches, but you can also go fancy with others that tuck in such upscale groceries as truffle paste, green olive tapenade, radicchio. These leaped onto my do list: rare roast beef, blue cheese and watercress . . . and {what I would regard as 2.0 versions of} chicken club, cuban, and torta . . . individual muffalettas . . . and mozzarella, prosciutto and fig jam.

Btw, that last one is on the cover {couldn’t you almost just take a bite right out of that???}. Whichever one you might choose to make, as Spieler says, “Breakfast, lunch, dinner, after school, or midnight snack . . . all are the perfect time for a grilled cheese sandwich.”

“Grilled Cheese” cookbook

  FEATURED RECIPE  

This full-of-good-stuff chocolate cake couldn’t be easier 

Last week {10.04.19 Salon} our CS Marketplace Spotlight featured a charming book by caterer to the stars Mary Giuliani. While much of the food parts of the book focused on the title dish, “Tiny Hot Dogs,” dessert was by no means overlooked.

In fact in the opinion of some folks {me, maybe you} everything else may well be overshadowed by the chocolate cake in this book. It’s a recipe, Giuliani tells us, that was given to her mother by her good friend Rita in the 1970s. Thus the full name, “My Mom’s Friend Rita’s Chocolate Cake.”

All of the ingredients are the stuff of cravings. And it all just mingles in a bowl pretty much all at once, then into the pan, into the oven, stand on one foot then the other till it’s baked and cool enough to dive in.

As Giulani notes, “It’s a really quick, easy, no-skill required, half box mix, half homemade cake that leaves your crowd happy.” What more could we ask.

Recipe    Giulani’s book, “Tiny Hot Dogs”    Giuliani’s other book, The Cocktail Party “  

  TIP  

Wrap it up cuss-free

Make no mistake, I still use aluminum foil for certain tasks. But when I want a fairly airtight way to store food, now I use sticky wrap. But just among us chickens, the unwrapping can inspire some hearty sailor language.

So, here’s the way I do it now. Lay the sheet sticky side down on a work surface. Place the food in the center, then fold the far side toward you over the food.

Next fold over the the edge closest to you about an inch to create a narrow flap {which will then have a sticky surface facing you}. Then then fold this side forward over the food, making sure to completely enclose the contents, and press to stick down.

Last, wrap both the ends underneath onto the sticky bottom side, and press to seal. Now you have a nice tight and neat package.

I store these in a freezer bag, marked with date and item. Then when I’m ready to use one of the servings, it’s ever so easy to unwrap by just bringing the ends back up and pulling up the flap you created. No cussing!

  A PEEK AT MY WEEK  

Welcome to my kitchen and living room

  Have you joined the jammy egg craze? It’s basically an egg cooked kind of midway between hard boiled and soft boiled, and thus the “jammy” yolk. This MyRecipes story acknowledges all the factors involved in getting it just right, but then offers a technique that neutralizes a lot of the variables. I did it as described, but because I have {at least as far as boiling water is concerned} a “bad altitude,” increased the time to 7 minutes. Almost right. Then 7.5 and perfect. It appears this is the only aspect that may require adjustment.

  Oh, these are just great. All kinds of Halloween-decorated food, some adorable, some quite creepy, all so very clever. I couldn’t actually find a prep for the featured one, the eyeballs, but it looked like it was based on donuts, so I used powdered sugar donut holes. Then with this “canvas” before me, put on my beret, and got to work with food color gels, finishing with chocolate chip centers. Woooooohooooo MyRecipes.

  I’m guessing a number of CS-ers might share my impulse to hit Search any time they come across an unfamiliar food. That was the case recently when I saw a reference to Bolivian savory pastries called salteñas. I hope the Bolivians will forgive me but I was mainly interested in how the filling ingredients came together, so just made it as a kind of stew – eliminating the gelatin, dough & annatto butter. And what I discovered was a big flavor interplay of spicy and mild, acidic and sweet, soft and firm, salty and not. I liked it! You can check recipes and more at salteñas, I used the 5-star MyRecipes one as a guide.

So far next week: cinnamon apple pie bread, good show, storing bread, Friendship Bread, a.k.a all-in. nachos into burritos, José Andrés’ decadent spinach, good dinner meter

Last week, scroll down:  ice cream for breakfast, the oddball flying jacob, a beer backstory, tiny hot dogs the book, tiny hot dogs the demo, corn on the cob takes 1, 2, 3, Choctaw stew, burger cooking tip, the sweet potato sundae repurposed

Direct access to Amazon homepage through my personal link

Looking for something in CS? – scroll & check previews OR use the search box OR email me at bjnosek@gmail.com, also valid for questions & comments – see the Let’s Chat tab for details, also for my partnerships and more

Note, transactions are solely between the buyer and linked supplier

Photo credits – book/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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