Celeb’s Bloody Mary Gazpacho with Seasoned Shrimp, June 11-June 17, 2021

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CS friends, and help yourself to tasty resources

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

  Let’s chat   

Kitchen Talk – Though Prepared Pantry sells mixes and other baking necessities, owner Dennis Weaver is quite generous with posting even recipes that don’t require those goods. And this one, for the classic cheesy brunch dish, is a keeper. How to Make Any Quiche You Can Imagine shows us a basic prep and tips, then one for the classic Lorraine, variations, and then helpful resources.        Need to peel tomatoes? Here’s what I did as an alternative to the dip in boiling water, wait to cool, method. Halved the matoes and placed them cut side down on a plate, covered with a paper towel, nuked for 1 min. Depending on their size may take less or more time. Cooled quick, peeled easy as you can see on the front one.        If, as many do, you believe food can be medicine, this list is for you. Foods that can clear arteries, on google.

Shopping Finds – A name we’ve trusted for years has published a new cookbook with a title that can warm the hearts of all Cs-ers. Easy Meal Prep by Good Housekeeping offers preps developed by their test kitchen chefs, “using their best time-saving, flavor building wisdom combined with their genius plan-ahead tips and tricks.”        When a recipe calls for a certain amount of an item – meat, fish, taters, or even ingredients in some baking preps that go by weight rather than volume – you can always get it just right with a kitchen scale. I use mine {shown, an “Amazon’s Choice”} quite a bit, more than I expected. Nice that they’re quite inexpensive on Amazon, some with discounts or coupons. The photo link goes to that product, and the blue link goes to scales that are 4 stars and up.

This week’s spotlight CS page – Are you looking for a cookbook for yourself or as a gift? Below the CS-published books on our page, you’ll find links to Amazon’s best sellers and top rated ones, and as well popular ethnic categories, all just a click away, CS Food Books & CookBooks

   On the Table  

Feature – Bloody Mary Gazpacho with Shrimp, snack & cocktail all in one!

We’ve seen a lot of recipes for gazpacho flavored bloody marys, but loved coming across this more substantial reversal. We can thank Adam Richman,  known for Man v Food, The Food That Built America, and Modern Marvels, but here showing us how this is done on the Today Show.

Richman remixes all the best flavors of both and then adds the tasty bonus of flavorful shrimp. In sum, pretty much snack squared.

Now in his intro he notes the novel notion of stirring vodka into soup, but then the prep doesn’t really include this, though it is in the shrimp marinade. Of course if the chef isn’t looking you could certainly tip a bit of the spirit into the gazpacho anyway.

Many layers of flavor going on here, and especially love the add-in of olive juice and the generous hand with the hot sauce. Fun to serve by the cup for happy hour, or upgrade to a bowl for lunch or dinner.

Recipe Notes – I pureed only half of the vegetables and left the rest diced, which created a juicier consistency. And if you do that might want to make spoons available, and as well some crusty toast for dipping into those juices. Also, when the shrimp were pretty much done I turned up the heat just long enough to create a nice char.

Next week – Watermelon/Chocolate Dessert Board, oh my

Recipe  ♦  Cold Soup Recipe Books, 4 stars & up on Amazon

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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. We also show the actual requests for those who are Echo owners, who should also note that in many cases she guides you step by step through the recipes.oll

Alexa says request: How do I make cinnamon roll s’mores? Tastemade’s prep starts with croissant dough that you gussy up, roll, slice, bake. So already I’m thinking maybe you could do this with refrigerated dough cinnamon rolls. Selective shortcuts are a good thing. And now I’m wondering something else – how it would work to pull out some of the center of each baked roll {wait, don’t toss, save for a snack} and tuck the marshmallow half down inside. Or . . . just do it as specified. 😁

Alexa says request: How do I make 40 garlic clove chicken?  Let’s set aside the fear right here. You don’t have to peel them! Nope, the cloves cook along with other ingredients to flavor browned chicken thighs and then emerge ready to pop out and be scooped onto crusty bread. This dish is from Tasty and there’s a demo too.

Alexa says request: How do I make peach caprese salad with balsamic cherries ? Is this the perfect warm weather salad or what? Fresh peaches stand in for the usual tomatoes, but mozzarella and fresh basil are still checking in. And then there are the cherries, yummed up with not only the balsamic but as well olive oil, shallots, s&p. And as a bonus, this Katie Lee medley on Food Network is quite pretty.

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

   Well maybe it depends on the size of your appetite {or mouth?}. Either way, these tasty Two-Bite Parmesan Biscuits cozy up quite nicely to your preferred adult beverage. Freshly grated parm {and maybe herbs} add savoriness on the inside and crunch on the outside. From Food & Wine.

   Food Network brings some tasty fun to the party with Mini Meatball Sliders, created by Trisha Yearwood. Meatballs seasoned with store-bought pesto and other fine flavors nestle into mini potato rolls along with some marinara, yours or not.

  Food & Wine checks back in to complete the happy hour equation with these 33 best rosés to drink right now. Domestic and imported, exceptional quality “at every price imaginable,” pricing from everyday to collectibility, many styles, all so nice for the season.

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Zazzle food-themed items             Ninja Grill on Amazon             Amazon Echo Show

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And for your consideration

No Kid Hungry – discover, donate    K9s For Warriors – discover, donate

Looking for something in CS?

Use Search OR contact me at bjnosek@gmail.com, subject line -> CooksSalon

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

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Pour a cup – Cherry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake, May 14-May 20, 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 – Feeling old school? Dip into these 17 Nostalgic Recipes to Bring Back in 2021 from MyRecipes. Casserole it, stuff it, or just “go big with meat and potatoes.” {also see Cocktail Hour Buzz below for vintage appetizers}       Or update a long time classic in a sweet and tasty way. These French Toast Bars from FoodTalkDaily take the flavors of the breakfast treat and transform them into a kind of blondie brownie. Given the cream cheese swirl it’s almost like a stuffed version.        Make it tasty, not waste-y. This can help. Look what you can make with leftover mashed potatoes! from Prepared Pantry, the source of some of the best baking mixes, aka top notch shortcuts. You’ll find biscuits, mashed potato salads, and omelets and when you scroll down on any of the pages there are even more possibilities which is how I cam across these super stuffed spuds.

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Shopping Finds – If you like to bake but time is not on your side, Prepared Pantry mentioned above can be your cavalry. Way too many products to list here, but all the major categories are represented – breads, breakfast goods, desserts, along with such accessories as syrups, jams and sauces. And pretty much every week there are tips, recipes, specials and even sometimes free stuff.        Still working on that get-organized resolution for this year? These counter organizers make it pretty easy, and I really like the wire rack ones especially those that have the little front walls so everything is secure yet visible. The link takes you to just those rated 4 stars and up on Amazon.

This week’s featured CS-designed, Zazzle-crafted item – Will there ever be a time when we can stop having to send this message to our legislators? In the meantime, we have five items with variations that let you display that message, “Make America Decent Again,” or literally send to your representatives. Find all choices on our Eclectic Mall page.

   On the Table  

Feature – Cherry Cream Cheese Coffeecake, so good

I actually made this once before so already knew it was going to be something wonderful. Even though in that previous incarnation I had substituted apricot filling for cherry.

The thing is this dough is a buttery marvel. So when you add a cream cheese layer and a fruity topping it’s destined to be a winner.

As you can see, I used a rectangular pan instead of the springform, though certainly the prescribed pan should work just fine. I did line it with parchment paper {see more about this in Notes}

One other nice thing, it can slip into dessert mode just as is. Of course a side of ice cream can’t hurt.

And as good as it is, I do have a tweak in mind the reprises the apricot filling. You’ll be among the first to know if it does turn out share-worthy.

Recipe Notes – The recipe has been in my files for quite a while, and with no attribution, so please let me know if any of you folks might know the source    I used vanilla instead of almond extract    In my oven was done in 50 min    You really do want to let it cool completely before removing it from the pan

  Some time back we suggested one way to work with inherently uncooperative parchment paper was to put it in the pan curl up and then start plopping whatever is going in to push it into the corners. We since passed along a tip about crumpling up the paper and then smoothing it into the pan. Cooks Illustrated recently offered their take that involved a few drops of water spread in the pan before adding the parchment. That worked pretty good too but I think the crumpling worked best.

Next week – Mexi Bean Dip, and 4 surprising things about it.

Recipe  ♦  Coffee Cake cookbooks, 4 stars and up

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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. We also show the actual requests for those who are Echo owners, who should also note that in many cases she guides you step by step through the recipes.

Alexa says request: How do I make a Chocolate Peanut Butter Milkshake? The ingredients for the most part are telegraphed in the title. But then along comes something else to add a blast of sweetness and creaminess. See what it is in this prep from SideChef.

Alexa says request: How do I make ravioli alfredo with artichokes? Food Network’s version starts with store-bought mushroom ravioli and frozen artichoke hearts. The sauce is rich with butter, wine, cream, Parm and shallots, plus nutmeg and tarragon, with the final dish given another vibe with the colorful addition of peas. Go here for the recipe.

Alexa says request: How do I make bacon pork chops? Oh my, oh my, look what came up. Blue Cheese, Bacon, and Chive Stuffed Pork Chops! Once you have all the good stuff in the title not much more is needed except the garlic salt, pepper and parsley. Good ol’ AllRecipes gives us this 4-star prep.

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

   Well this is inviting. 25 Bottles of Wine to Drink to Become a Wine Expert. Now one thing they say is of course you don’t have to buy them all at once. But more to the point of the title, and calling it like a game, “Follow the path in order. Each bottle leads to the next. You accumulate experience. But instead of retiring at the end, you wind up with a bunch of wine smarts and the rest of your days ahead of you. Not bad, right?” The Food & Wine slide show tells all.

   If for any number of reasons you don’t want to set up a table-ful of cocktail snacks how about this – Bento Boxes! While the original hides tasty treasures in little drawers, current commercial versions use compartmented trays. I found these 5-opening disposables with lids at Amazon, which also offers a selection of reusables. May, though, want to part from tradition and replace that rice with more finger food.

   Some time back a CS-er asked if we might know of some “other vintage snacks like the anchovy one you featured {from the Playboy Party Book, 10.30.20 Salon} to serve at a themed cocktail party.” And now what popped up in my mailbox from Southern Living? 35 Vintage Party Appetizers. Hey, maybe a themed Bento Box???

Want to join the Buzz? Enter CooksSalon in the subject line – sign the way you want to be identified

Click here to email your comments, questions, links to fave recipes, or?

Find t-shirts, mugs, dvds, gift collections, plus top chef items including cookbooks

CS Marketplace Directory

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CooksSalon is free to everybody – appreciate anytime you click through to my only affiliate partners

Zazzle food-themed items             Ninja Grill on Amazon             Amazon Echo Show

♦  ♦  ♦

And for your consideration

No Kid Hungry – discover, donate    K9s For Warriors – discover, donate

Looking for something in CS?

Use Search OR contact me at bjnosek@gmail.com, subject line -> CooksSalon

Note

All transactions are solely between the buyer and linked supplier

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

All pages ©2021 CooksSalon.com

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Easy, Ooey Gooey Turtle Bars, Feb 19-Feb 25, 2021

New Salon every Friday – c’mon in

CS friends, and help yourself to tasty resources

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

 Let’s chat   

Quick Bites – Carrots gone wild. Tasty and somewhat unexpected ways to use them up. Find salads, soup, smoothie, stir fry, fried rice, and desert bars in this story from Clean Plates. Also see a carrot prep & demo below in Alexa’s Room    Ha! another way to make oatmeal a bit more appealing. Thanks to MyRecipes for Peanut Butter Overnight Oats, further elevated with bananas, peanuts and honey. Btw, that same post also suggests toasting and stirring the oats for a couple of minutes over low heat before adding the liquid.    Bring some south into your kitchen no matter where you live with these 25 Classic Southern Recipes from Southern Living.

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Shopping Finds – Have you seen these? So clever. Designed to look like Mason jars but actually reusable plastic bags that tuck neatly into freezer, fridge or pantry. Four sizes, three packages 30-50, 10.99 -20.29. Prime eligible, 4 1/2 stars, and an Amazon’s Choice. Dimensions are shown on the page.   The reviews for the brownies from Prepared Pantry’s mix glow right off the page. Their most recent newsletter features a recipe for using the Seriously Fudgy mix to make pretty brownie cake pops. You’ll also find other flavors such as thick & chewy, chocolate raspberry, and chocolate chip blondies.

This week’s featured CS Kindle on Amazon – good for students, other writers, too! On Kindle, read it today, use it tomorrow. “Be a Better Business Writer in Nine Easy Steps”. You can also view this book, and others, and other items here on CS in BJN’s Eclectic Mall.

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Kitchen Talk – Finding fun ways to play with the gold and silver decorating sugar I originally bought for the tie dye cookies featured in our 02.05.21 Salon. Striped both on a homemade banana donut, just gold on a chocolate filled pastry, a combo on buttered carrots, and just silver on my fave sundae, chocolate ice cream with marshmallow topping. One thing, how much the sugar sparkles depends on how much light is on it.    More fun. Blood oranges, which I’ve long heard of but just recently had in my kitchen. You slice through the darkish peel to find juicy, crimson fruit waiting inside. Expect a nice balance of sweet and tart {and also red drops on your hands}. Squeeze into water, add ice, and you’ll have an “ade” that looks sort of exotic.    Still playing with making my own marshmallow topping.

   On the Table   

Feature – Ooey Gooey Turtle Bars

So, the Pillsbury refrigerated dough I used for the tie dye cookies mentioned above in Kitchen Talk made such good cookies I decided to take another look at their site for other recipes based on this dough. And just look what I found!

After the ready to go dough there are just a half dozen ingredients. And four steps.

Four of those ingredients add up to an elevation. Store-bought caramel sauce is kicked up with more butter and brown sugar and, somewhat unexpectedly, graham cracker crumbs. Interesting!

It rates 4 stars and the comments delivered rave reviews. One tip therein, two of the cooks said they lined the pan with parchment paper.

The top of my to-make list is getting pretty crowded but this has to go there. Will report the results in a future Kitchen Talk.

{Photo from Pillsbury site}

Next week – Aunty Peggy’s Ham & Beef Tavern Chili, a storied dish

Recipe  ♦  Pillsbury recipe pages    Pillsbury cookbooks on Amazon

♦  ♦  ♦

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. We also show the actual requests for those who are Echo owners, who should also note that in many cases she guides you step by step through the recipes.

Alexa says request: How do I make caramelized banana peanut butter cheesecake? Are those all the right words, or what??? Prep for a large rich cheesecake meets up with a cup of creamy peanut butter, destined for a graham cracker crust. Then . . . it’s topped with sliced bananas that have been glazed with a creamy, buttery caramel sauce. And guess what? No bake! We can say our thanks for this recipe, once again, to Tasty.

Alexa displays: Show me this recipe. This option appears with every recipe that pops up on the screen. You can also just request it by name later – the good news at that point is that other possibilities also come along for the ride. The bad news, however rare, can occur when the request includes a quite unfamiliar name that Alexa may not recognize.

This happened recently with Socca, though as always you can of course look it up on line. The other good news embedded here is the opportunity every now and then to learn about a new food. Btw, Socca?  Born in Genoa, popularized in Nice, it’s like a cross between a pancake and a pizza, topped at will a la the latter. Here’s what I found on google and the first prep shown is the same one that had been shown by Alexa.

Alexa says request: How do I make roasted carrots with pistachio pesto? We previously posted a darn good recipe for roasted carrots in our 06.12.20 Salon. No harm though in taking a look at how it’s done in this demo. But what was really intriguing in this offering from Epicurious was the pistachio pesto, which interestingly takes a “nose to tail” approach to the carrots. Also wondering how it might work to just sub pistachios for whatever nuts you now use in a classic pesto prep.

And this week’s unexpected thing we found that Alexa can do – play the song quiz

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

♦  Molly Yeh of “Girl Meets Farm” on Food Network brings us a substantial happy hour treat. It starts with a multi-flavored Bloody Mary and ends with a multi snack. Anchoring the latter is a mini reuben sandwich on a stick that also holds a cornichon, the whole shebang then cozying up to the required celery stalk. Btw, one of the ingredients in the cocktail is caraway which bridges nicely to the rye bread in the reuben. And, it seems Yeh has a broad definition of happy hour, telling us, “Bloody Marys wake you up in a way coffee wishes it could.”   

  This taste-intensive Tex-Mex dip for the cocktail hour from Las Vegas celeb chef Les Kincaid – “Combine over lo-med heat until cheese melts, 1 lb Velveeta cubed, 8 oz jar cheese spread, 1 lb bacon cooked and crumbled, 1 bunch green onions sliced and 4 oz chopped green chiles – serve with chips and an assortment of veggies.” It’s quite amazing how so few ingredients, simply stirred together, can create such big flavor.

   We previously talked about martini variations – not the kind of drinks that bear no resemblance to the classic cocktail but adopt that name because they are served in a martini glass. But rather the requisite gin or vodka and vermouth, with the variations being usually just a single add-in, as in our previous references to the “dirty” one with olive juice or my fave with jalapeno or other hot pepper juice. Meanwhile there’s been a low level trend of a few years now of adding pickle juice to adult beverages. Tried it in a tini. Nope.

   While advice may not always be appreciated, this example might be welcome. “7 Best Cocktails to Drink While Cooking Weeknight Dinners.” Now if you’re wondering what makes these  sips different from others, here’s what the folks at Food & Wine say: “There’s something wonderfully therapeutic about cooking dinner after a long day. There’s something even more therapeutic about cooking dinner after a long day with a drink in your hand. Skip the martini— what you need is something quick, refreshing and relatively low proof so you’ll still be coherent by the time supper is ready.” {btw, the martini link takes you to F&W’s prep}

Want to join the Buzz? Enter CooksSalon in the subject line – sign the way you want to be identified

Click here to email your comments, questions, links to fave recipes, or?

Find t-shirts, mugs, dvds, gift collections, plus top chef items including cookbooks

CS Marketplace Directory

♦  ♦  ♦

CooksSalon is free to everybody – appreciate anytime you click through to these affiliate partners

Zazzle food-themed items             Ninja Grill on Amazon             Amazon Echo Show

                       

Looking for something in CS?

Scroll & check previews  OR use Search OR contact me at bjnosek@gmail.com, subject=CooksSalon

Note

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

All pages ©2021 CooksSalon.com

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A Classic Canadian Sweet Treat, no-bake, Oct 9-Oct 15, 2020

New Salon every Friday – c’mon in

CS friends, and help yourself to tasty resources

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

Help end the animosity – “Make America Decent Again”

See my 7 items crafted by CA-based Zazzle, on our page Or Zazzle page

Let’s Chat

Quick Bites – Salad greens, so crisp and fresh . . . until they aren’t. Why do they insist on racing ahead of other produce to go bad? Well, MyRecipes has some insights in that regard, and not only the “why” but also Exactly How to Store Salad Greens Until You Need Them. Salad saved.    That same post has an instructive article on when to use a food processor, when to use a blender, and when to just work by hand. See it here   CleanPlates is offering a free 10 day Wellness Tune-up, based on the belief that “most of the time, a few small tweaks to your routine, diet, or self-care is enough to make a difference in how you feel every day.” The link takes you to their site rather than the offer so you can check out the context.

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Shopping Finds – Have you discovered the Prepared Pantry? It sells all kinds of stuff to make your baking life easier but also routinely posts recipes and great tips.    So, I saw a reference on F&W’s Today’s Fresh Finds post about Amazon delivering fresh plants, and with the Chicago CS-er’s tip about rosemary in our 09.25.20 Salon still fresh in mind, started wondering if Amazon offers herb plants. They do, but the reviews were pretty dismal. The good news is there are bunches of herb starter kits that come with just about everything but a gardener.

{shown, the “paint & plant” pizza herb growing kit, clickable}

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Kitchen Talk – Did have some leftover cheese/condiment sauce from last week’s featured burgers, and the first re-purposing found it in a skillet with mac, a bit of cream, cooked shrimp, chopped almonds and parsley {shown}. For the rest I reached back through the decades for a impromptu version of a dish called Welsh rarebit, melty on toast with a sprinkling of crisp bacon. Sliced tomatoes good with this.    And that piqued my curiosity about the rarebit, so right to one of the favorite books in my library, Diner’s Dictionary, and it did not disappoint. Turns out it was originally called Welsh rabbit though it it did not originate in Wales and the latter was never in the dish. While it always starts with toast and melted cheese, ethnic variations may see other ingredients mixed with the cheese and various topping. Our version here with bacon and green onion would be a kind of Irish/Yorkshire mashup.    Have you looked at your rice cooker manual lately? No? So I came across mine in the process of looking for a different manual, and paging through it reminded me of the other uses it has, reheating rice, steaming veggies, et al.

 On the Table

From the title did you know what they are? – Nanaimo Bars!

These rich bars {according to google, say nuh NYE mo} are sure to be on the table at pretty much any holiday celebration or other traditional get-togethers in Canada. And it’s been ever thus for over seven decades. It has a rather colorful history on Wikipedia which is linked below.

And rich, oh yeah. {As shown, right} a chocolately, nutty, graham cracker crust, topped with amped up butter cream frosting, topped with a kind of ganache where the cream is replaced by butter. Indulgent!

Even so, I started thinking I would like those same flavors in a bar that was a bit less complicated, a bit less crumbly, and a bit less sweet, maybe more creamy. By the time I got through tweaking, ahhhh, we were looking at somewhat more than six degrees of separation from the original.

Say hello to – “NaNaNo” bars. Here’s {left} my version . . .

Bottom layer – 1 1/4 c graham cracker crumbs, 5 T unsweetened cocoa powder, 1/4 c chopped almonds, 1 stick melted butter, combined and pressed into an 8×11 pan lined with parchment paper {see Notes}.

Middle layer – 1/2 stick room temp butter, 2 T coconut milk {or half & half}, 2 T coconut pudding powder, 1 c confectioners sugar, blended smooth in a food processor, spread over crust {see Notes}.

Top layer – 2 T butter and 2/3 c bittersweet chocolate, chips or chunks, nuked, whisked, and cooled for 2 min, poured over, smoothed out. Cover and refrigerate.

Meanwhile the original recipe I used, from Food Network, is linked below.

Original recipe    Other recipes on Google    Nanaimo Bars on Wikipedia

Recipe Notes – in the linked recipe: custard powder = pudding mix, and icing sugar = confectioners sugar. If you chill the crust it will be a little easier to spread the creamed layer, but if you don’t and a few crumbs pop through, no biggie, just creates a bit of a marble effect. While these are good right out of the fridge, let them sit out a while and they are transformed.

And a hint – while parchment paper is our friend when removing goodies from the pan, not so much when we’re first putting stuff in, instead sitting up high as if trying to survey the kitchen. So, just leave it in the that position, curved side up, and start piling the mixture into the middle and gradually flattening it out. Then hold the paper tight to the side of the pan closest to you and push the mixture into the far side and corners, then reverse and, hooray, all done.

Next week – Steak pizzaiola, where tender beef goes Italian in a big, robust way

A Cuppa with Alexa – Recipes, Tips, News & 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.

So, pour a cup and let’s talk food with Alexa. We also show the actual requests for those who are Echo owners, who should also note that in many cases she guides you step by step through the recipes.

Alexa says request: how to make sandwich skewers:  We chose to link the chicken and bacon shish kabobs, where the title ingredients share the perch with mushrooms and pineapple, and a sweet and sour green onion marinade is promoted to basting sauce. Yummers. From AllRecipes.

Alexa says request: how to make taco meatballs: They had us at cheese-stuffed. The Tasty site pulls all the right tastes into these cheese-stuffed taco meatballs, with taco chips for a corn vibe and taco-compatible jack cheese for the melty center. Salsa, sour cream, and cilantro top it all off.

My request, Alexa do you have recipes for vegetarian lasagna? Yikes, 25 come to the screen. But one of the 5-stars comes from a site new to me, SideChef. New to you or not? Proprietarily called, Vegetarian Lasagna, it uses tofu and cottage cheeses instead of ricotta but after that goes on quite the flavor spree and certainly doesn’t stint on the cheese working in three more kinds.

And an unexpected thing we found that Alexa can do – ask you entertainment trivia

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, Amazon delivery notifications, alerts, security camera connection . . .  and food, food, food, all on an interactive screen.

You can browse all the styles here on this Amazon page

Cocktail Hour Buzz

And as we say belowwhether for a crew, or for two, or just for you

  Friend Norene from the Midwest calls our attention to the growing trend of ghost kitchens, facilities professionally decked out like those in full service restaurants but offering delivery only. And now even national chains are dipping into this concept, including a couple in her area – and maybe in yours.

 In our 02.18.19 Salon, we talked about making garlic croutons to use up rye bread. Subsequently in our 03.15.19 Salon, we mentioned a few more uses for these tidbits including as a “cocktail companion,” and a new batch I just made served this very purpose . . . and very well!

  Letters, we get . . . uh, emails} “Years ago at a party I had a wonderfully light cocktail called a Butterfly. The only thing I recall is that it had two kinds of vermouth and was kind of fruity. But when I try t find it online, all the options that come up call for grapes and I know there were no grapes. I’m wondering if it could be in the Playboy book {09.04.20} you mentioned a couple of weeks back.” – Joanna T, Seattle

  You’re in luck  or at least I think you are. The book shows a recipe for a Butterfly cocktail made from 1 1/2 oz dry vermouth, 3/4 oz sweet vermouth, 1/2 oz Red Dubonnet and 1/2 oz orange juice. “Shake everything well with ice. These Halloween traditions all have Irish originsStrain over rocks in prechilled old-fashioned glass.” And it does call this drink “extremely light.” Cheers!

  Planning a family night on Halloween? Turn off the lights, turn on a single flashlight, and creep each other out with these Irish tales about Oct 31 which the Celts called Samhain and believed it was when the veil is thinnest between this world and the otherworld. IrishCentral {source of the photo} tells all in Ancient Irish Myths That Invoke the Spirit of Samhain. Beverage of choice – maybe Bloody Marys?

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