Thin Mint/Banana Cream Pie {+caramel}, March 22-April 4, 2019

Computer being a bad boy againnew post April 5

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

& Misty the FoodieCat

CS friends, help yourself to tasty resources!

  CatChat –  Misty previews this week’s salon  

  TIDBITS – pb&j mug cake / spirited chocolate donuts / phooey on freezer burn    CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT – Martha tells all    FEATURED RECIPE – Girl Scout cookie dessert & an oopsie & bonus recipes   TIP – talkin’ cheese    THE WEEK – fresh pb / toast 2.0 / good read, no recipes?

Misty’s History    Misty’s Gallery

  TIDBITS 

Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

  So, in our Feb 15, 2019 Salon we shared a link for mug cake recipes on google, all kinds of flavors. Now I’ve come across a one dear to my palate. Peanut butter and jelly mug cake! And like the others it’s pretty much 5-min or less from taking the empty mug out of the cabinet to taking the filled mug out of the nuker. You have to scroll a bit through the text to reach the directions, and once there note that there’s an alternative for making a fudgier, peanut butterier version.

Could this be the best way ever to start your day? To be honest, the folks at Irish Central actually position these donuts, Chocolate Baked Guinness Donuts with Irish Cream Glaze, in the dessert slot. I say, your choice. Since I already have Guinness for the Irish stew featured in our 03.15.19 Salon, just may give this a try. And if I do, CS friends will be among the very first to know.

What is freezer burn, what does it look like, what does it do to food – and most important, how can we avoid it. Food & Wine has the answers in this super helpful article.

  CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT  ♦ 

“The Martha Manual”

We first mentioned this new book from Martha Stewart in our 03.08.19 Salon, noting its thorough coverage of cleaning, organizing, repairing, laundry, decorating, crafts, gardening, pet care, entertaining – and cooking which we promised would get a closer look.

Here her comprehensive take guides us on tool repurposing, produce purchases, freezer use, leftovers, ingredient timesavers, basic methods, kitchen troubleshooting, baking skills, and frosting tips. Within each, so much illustrated detail.

There aren’t really recipes, but you will find preps in this section. For example, I found instructions for vegetable broth, nut butters, corncob chowder, baked butternut, pan sauces, parchment cooking, a proper omelet, refrigerator pickles,

Party prone cooks may also be interested in the “Host and Entertain” and “Celebrate” sections. The former is food oriented,  the latter fun oriented.

The 387 pages add up to a blueprint for an easy, organized, enjoyable life with a whole lot of pretty touches along the way. It’s 4 1/2 stars on Amazon, now $24.50 {vs $35} for hardcover, $14.99 for Kindle.

“The Martha Manual”    Stewart’s other books & more

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

BJN’s Eclectic Offerings Page

  FEATURED RECIPE  

Thin Mints rule the crust

The oopsie first. In our 02.08 19 Salon I mentioned that the Girl Scout cookies available on Amazon didn’t indicate any time limits, which was true. But decided I better check a little further and received this reply: “. . . usually just during the first few months of the year – until we run out of this year’s stock.” Right now Thin Mints and others still show as available.

The pie recipe on the site is actually for peppermint chocolate cheesecake on a Thin Mint crust. You can access this by clicking the link below, selecting Thin Mints from the recipe list, and then scrolling down to the pie and, I might mention, passing a whole bunch of other good stuff on the way.

I started with their crust prep, 10 oz bag Thin Mints crushed and mixed with 3T melted butter. But then went a simpler route, filling it with banana cream pudding and after thoroughly chilled, decorating it with some caramel striping.

Note: if you can no longer find these cookies, you can still make a comparable crust for either the cheesecake or the pie {or any other filling} with store-bought chocolate mint cookies. I’ve done this previously the same way, 10 oz bag, 3 T melted butter.

And, a chuckle: This is from one of the Internet cartoon collections: How many boxes of those Thin Mints do I have to eat before I start seeing results???

Girl Scout cookie recipes  ♦  GS cookies on Amazon  

♦  TIP  

Cheese It!

I just came across some tips from the “Hot & Cheesy” cookbook that I had kept note of because they seemed particularly valuable. Here’s some of what author Clifford A Wright has to say . . .

  • Store cheese separately from other foods {like in a compartment}
  • When aged cheese melts, it will be grainy
  • When young cheese melts, it will be creamier
  • It should be cooked briefly and gently, just until is has fully melted
  • It’s easier to grate, crumble or slice when it’s cold
  • 1 cup of shredded or crumbled cheese weighs about 3 ounces
  • {love this one} “Nonfat cheeses never melt, but I don’t use them, as they have no taste”

“Hot & Cheesy” Cookbook

  A PEEK AT MY WEEK  

Welcome to my kitchen and living room

♦  Thinking next time I make that Thin Mint/banana cream pie I’ll decorate it with peanut butter stripes. Maybe what brought that to mind is the fact that pb has two honorary mentions in this week’s Salon. And that brings me to this question? Do you ever make your own? It really is so easy, just dump a jar of peanuts of your choice in the food processor. I don’t even add oil, but rather just keep processing until the nuts release enough of their own oil until, voila! peanut butter.

♦  Bye bye breakfast blahs. That’s what I thought when I read this Food & Wine article, “12 Healthy Ways to Spice Up Your Morning Toast.” For some folks, Healthy is a caution, for others an invitation. Think both groups will be happy with these flavorful and colorful a.m. upgrades. Actually the dozen is spread over three “bases” – peanut butter, ricotta, and avocado. Here is my pb/carrot strips/chile garlic sauce/lime strips.

  So, now reading Rhys Bowen’s “Heirs & Graces,” her next Spyness book after “The 12 Clues of Christmas,” featured in our 03.08.19 Salon. It’s off to a good start with Mummy smack dab in the spotlight, but not for long as Georgiana could have predicted. One thing I want to note though – I haven’t seen any recipes in this one. So if you’re just looking for a good read from this top selling mystery author, probably any of her books would be fine, but if it’s recipes you crave may want to give it a leaf-through first.

So far next week: tater flake tricks, you eat whaaaat?, best biscuits, braid your eggs, spud art, wowsa pancake, cauliflower upgrades

Looking for something in CS? – scroll and check Misty’s previews OR enter the item in the search box OR email me at bjnosek@gmail.com

Note, transactions are solely between the buyer and linked supplier

Photo credits: Donuts/Irish Central, Martha book/Amazon, Martha pic/her site, cheesecake/Girl Scouts site, banana cream/mine, cheese dish/Wright’s book, pb/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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Irish Guinness Beef Stew, March 15-21, 2019

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

& Misty the FoodieCat

CS friends, help yourself to tasty resources!

  CatChat – Misty previews this week’s salon  

  TIDBITS – kitchen oopsies / mac salad, classic & more / where the chefs go    CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT – food as fiction star    FEATURED RECIPE – simple tasty stew {M – I’ll have some, hold the veggies}   TIP – soda bread & other buttermilk delights    THE WEEK – combine the three subjects and you have cocktail hour & entree

Misty’s History    Misty’s Gallery

♦  Tidbits  

Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

Yikes, could any of us really be making over 100 mistakes in the kitchen. For CS-ers, probably not, but we might be making some of them. MyRecipes shows us how to mend our wayward ways with this roster of “130 Extremely Common Kitchen Mistakes and How to Fix Them.” Could browse the whole list, or maybe just use your page’s search function to see if a particular problem is covered.

Probably nowhere in the world is mac salad as revered as it is in Hawai’i. The basics are overcooked mac, Hellman/Best mayo, and finely grated onion. Where it goes from there determines if it’s tasty or just filling. The Taste newsletter has an interesting story on the island view, some restaurant variations, accompaniments, and then a recipe for a classic version. Btw scroll to the bottom of their page if you’d like to sign up

  The food is reportedly first rate, progressive yet traditional, and most of all “unfussy” according to this nytimes article about Yardbird – Hong Kong birthed by Canadian-born owners – soon to bring its vibe to the USA, starting in Los Angeles. Two reasons you might care – first because you just may want to try some of these simple preps at home, and second because you just might find yourself tableside or barside chatting with – and drawing secrets from – top level chefs who apparently flock {sorry!} to Yardbird.

  CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT   

Rhys Bowen’s “The Twelve Clues of Christmas”

Calling on the lexicon of the book’s 1930s setting, this is a dashed good tale, alive with characters you’d like to join in the drawing room for afternoon sherry. Including – yes – Noel Coward.

Are there some narrative gliches? I’d say a few, but what do I know. Bowen is a hugely successful mystery writer whose works often reside on best seller lists.

More to the point for CS-ers, it’s rich in detail about the many fine meals served during the 12 days of a holiday get-together of family, friends and strangers in a large mansion in a small English village. The plan is a “perfect old fashioned English Christmas,” but – oops – pesky murders get in the way.

As another bonus, when finally the perps are unmasked and the ends tied into a pretty bow – recipes! Mincemeat pie, sausage rolls, Christmas pudding, brandy butter and more. Plus blurbs on the parlor games played and holiday traditions observed.

First found Bowen in a mystery writers cookbook {12.14.18 Salon}. Would I read her again – you bet!

“The Twelve Clues of Christmas”    Bowen’s other books

“Mystery Writers of America Cookbook”

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

BJN’s Eclectic Offerings Page

  FEATURED RECIPE  

Still time to make Irish Guinness Stew for St Pat’s 

It’s actually a pretty simple prep. Some chopping of course, but then it’s just a matter of IRISH: How To Be Irish + The Big Irish Cookbooksimmering until the beef is fall apart tender.

If you hate fat as much as I do, you’ll want to buy a piece a bit more than the required 2 lbs so you have that much after trim. Not talking about just marbling – that’s good stuff.

Also, I did add peas & carrots. And looking at their pic {Salon, just below}, though the recipe doesn’t call for the latter, looks like they did too.

All in all though, this was a pure dish that let the beef and beef flavor shine. Need some other Irish dishes in a hurry? Browse the instant Kindle choices at the second link.

Recipe    Irish cookbooks on Kindle  

  TIP  

“Eurekae!”

Eureka – I found it! – I’m guessing is singular  So . . . calling on my Latin classes of {censored} years ago, taking a leap of faith that my title is plural.

Back story – I certainly don’t dislike bottled Ranch dressings and use them quite a bit. But every now and then would like one that tastes more like the fresh-made versions found in some restaurants.

Accordingly, embarked on a quest to make my own {still ongoing}. Problem, though, what to do with the leftover buttermilk. Turns out – lots of things.

Thank you google for this page of possibilities. One was a recipe for slow cooker oatmeal, which I applied to a regular batch and yay one more way to make the cereal more palate-friendly. The recipe I did use was for Irish soda bread, on The Kitchn website, and I think it was just as good as the one I usually buy at Sprouts. Loooooove it toasted, and a bit of apricot preserves can’t hurt either.

Getting rid of – eh, that is using up – buttermilk

Irish Buttermilk Soda Bread recipe

  A PEEK AT MY WEEK  

Welcome to my kitchen and living room

Do you like tequila? I sure do like not-too-sweet margaritas, and occasionally a little glass of a nice tequila. Nice? For me that means smooth and rich, just enough sensation on the throat to know you just had a sip of the yield of the blue agave. Have for now found my number one fave – El Padrino. And nope, not a sip or cent in compensation, likely don’t even know of the mention.

Sometimes you just don’t want to cook. And sometimes a serendipitous thread leads you to tasty alternative. So in that article linked in the 02.22.19 Salon on ube, there was a mention of Jollibee, which coincidentally recently opened here in town and which had garnered woohoos on our Nextdoor app.

–  Now, tried it. Seems extra juicy, maybe the citrus marinade google shows for most recipes? And when paired with a bit of crunchy breading, a good bite indeed. Misty? Hoovered it!

  Actually finished those rye croutons some time back, but just remembered something else I wanted to mention about them. Great just on their own! Afternoon munch, cocktail companion, late night snack. {caution on the latter, morning garlic breath}

So far next week: Guinness donuts, another mug cake, Martha’s wisdom, Thin Mint/banana cream pie w/pb, cheese tips, upgrade your morning toast, culinary lesson

Looking for something in CS? – scroll and check Misty’s previews OR enter the item in the search box OR email me at bjnosek@gmail.com

Any transactions are solely between the direct buyer and direct seller

Photo credits: book pix/Amazon, all others my own

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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Sooooo easy, sooooo good Nutella Brownie Cookies, Feb 1-7, 2019

  CatChat  

 

Misty previews what you’ll find below in this week’s salon

  TIDBITS – guide to wine fridges / pb French toast / best bacon {M – whadizit, whadizit, whadizit???   CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT – “cover” stories    FEATURED RECIPE – love these cookies!  ♦  TIP – finger salads    THE WEEK – new fave ingredient / bookin’ / fast mac

Misty’s History    Misty’s Gallery

Yay! Four new pix in my gallery – mom calls it “Misty & bacon, the rest of the story”

♦  TIDBITS  ♦

Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

  Do you love wine? Then you might very well enjoy connecting with ILoveWine.com. Here’s a recent article posted on the site, guiding you to the best wine coolers, size and style, for your home. I do have a wine cooler and just love it, also keep  my coffee in there. On the site you’ll find all kinds of helpful wine information along with a form to sign up for the newsletter. Worth a look for any wine lover.

  Peanut butter fans, beat a path to this link {fortunately it’s just a few words away}. Hooray Food & Wine for bringing us Peanut Butter French Toast. In addition to giving pb a starring role, it comes together with a rich drenching sauce, crunchy crust, and – my personal fave – a light touch so it isn’t soaked to death before cooking. Be trying this one real soon.

  Well this is cool. Food & Wine completes our breakfast or brunch with – bacon! In this story the premier mag serves up The Best Bacon in America, in different categories, from designer offerings to supermarket brands.

♦  CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT  ♦ 

Keep the pot hot

A recent story on the MyRecipes site listed some helpful ways to cover a pan that either doesn’t have a lid or has a lid that has gone into hiding. It also mentions as an alternativeModern Innovations Elegant 18/8 Stainless Steel Universal Lid with Adjustable Steam Vent, Fits All 7" to 12" Pots and Pans, Replacement Frying Pan Cover and Cookware Lids having on hand a universal lid.

I’ve had one of these for years and make very good use of it. While I don’t have any lid-less pots or uncooperative lids, this particular cover is great for all my frying pans and I’ve also used Silicone Lids Extra Large Set of 6 Sturdy Suction Seal Covers. Universal fit for Pots, Fry Pans, Cups and Bowls 5" to 12". Natural grip handles that interlock for easy use and storage. Food Safe.it to cover big bowls of hot food.

Amazon has lots of these available but I’ve featured one like my own, large at 12 1’2″ and with an adjustable vent, though there’s also a link below where you can browse all of them. Also found a handy set of six with sizes not only for your pots but as well for other dishes and even pitchers, all in silicone. Both featured items are rated 4 1/2 stars.

Selected lid   Silicone 6-lid set   All universal lids    All silicone lids

MyRecipes article    CS Marketplace

♦  FEATURED RECIPE  

Every word in the title is a winner 

Thank you, thank you, thank you Food 52. How often do we encounter a dish – a dessert in this case – that’s easy peasy easy AND totally indulgent.

So, yeah, I wasted no time making these “3-Ingredient Nutella Brownie Cookies.” Yikes there are more words in the title than there are ingredients.

This is actually an amalgam of Nutella cookies and Nutella brownies, and recipes are shown for these individuals too. The final one adds up to four ingredients with the addition of a bit of salt.

Whichever version, could they be any easier? You know what, maybe they could. When I make them again, and you bet there will be an “again,” I’m going to see how it might work in a sheet pan.

Notes: A 13 oz jar is just right. I did use parchment paper, but if you don’t have it at hand then, chances are good baking {not cooking} spray would work OK, or at least it’s never failed me. I did 8 minutes and that was perfect.

Recipe  

♦  TIP  

Salad as finger food???

So at one of my home salons, I was serving sandwiches, deviled eggs, chicken wings, pickles & olives. How to include salad without having to drag out forks and bottles of dressing?

Here’s how. I lined up small disposable glasses. Poured in the bottom of each some of my fave/easy salad dressing, equal parts of ranch and Wishbone original Italian.

Then arranged pluckable strips of veggies around the perimeter of each glass. In this version: carrots, celery, cuke, red, green and yellow bell peppers, and then added a two-radish “centerpiece,” all against a frilly lettuce leaf backdrop. Easy for me, easy for guests.

♦  A PEEK AT MY WEEK  

Welcome to my kitchen and living room

  After all these years I’ve discovered malted milk powder. Of course since childhood I’ve had malteds {and wow are those getting harder to find}, but never before had the powder in my pantry. First use was for a re-do of bran muffins that came out way too dense – broke them up, added egg, milk, vanilla and the powder and baked in a sheet pan, all better.

Second, yay, found it’s another “oatmeal helper.” And then, though I pretty much always take coffee and tea straight black, recently added some of the powder to coffee and that made a nice “snack.” Haven’t tried it in tea yet but could give a whole new meaning to a “cream tea.”

  Maybe this is why that latter idea came to mind. While I do love a good mystery, my knowledge of the top writers in the realm is pretty shallow so it wasn’t until I discovered the Mystery Writers Cookbook {Jan 11 Salon} that I’d heard of Rhys Bowen, and her penchant for including food in her stories. Which leads me to my first foray into her list, “The 12 Clues of Christmas,” where a cream tea [the real kind} plays a supporting role.

  I have a mac & cheese recipe that is quite a crowd pleaser and that’s what I generally make. But recently I had an ingredient that I wanted to use up, and that was an almost full jar of queso dip. Yep, combined it with some cooked mac from the freezer and voila! – instant, decent, and even a bit spicy m&c.

BJN’s Eclectic Offerings Page

So far next week: Girl Scout cookie desserts, cake upgrade, rye bread re-do, butternut squash soup/sauce, choclo {whaaaaat?}

Cook with passion and a party spirit, whether for a crew, or for two, or just for you
Email me at bjnosek@gmail.com 
{subj – CooksSalon} & receive an “invitation” to weekly online salons

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