Pour a cup – Cherry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake, May 14-May 20, 2021

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Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

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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???

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

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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?

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 these affiliate partners

       Zazzle                                       SunFrog

   

Looking for something in CS?

Scroll & check previews  OR use Search OR contact me at bjnosek@gmail.com, subject=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 ©2020 CooksSalon.com

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