Bacon Peanut Butter Corn Muffins, June 19-June 25, 2020

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

New Salon every Friday – c’mon in

CS friends, and help yourself to tasty resources

We want to help us all stay safe – and find joy in the kitchen, our own special haven

  COMFORT FOOD  

Award winner 

This week’s featured recipe took third place in a recent Taste of Home contest. We can only imagine how many dishes this one had to beat out for that honor. And yowza are they good.

Let us count the ways to love these Bacon-Peanut Butter Corn Muffins. The first one is right in the title!

But here’s what’s more. It comes together with ingredients likely already in residence in your pantry and fridge.

It’s great as is for breakfast. But if you go ahead with the optional caramel ice cream topping, Poof! Dessert! Likewise with the suggested alternate of chocolate chips and chocolate syrup.

I’d also add kudos for something we’ve talked about before in our Salons. By putting peanuts in the topping there’s not only some nice added crunch, but also a bright red flag for folks who are allergic and may not know there’s peanut butter in the mix.

Btw, if you’re a fan of flavor overload, while you’re on their site take a look at the Savory Cracker Snack Mix, using the search window on their menu bar.

Recipe notes – thinking this topping would be just as happy on a regular pan of cornbread or even pancakes, French toast, regular toast. Then ‘fessing up, I actually drizzled with maple syrup – good!

Next week: Shrimp turns pasta “Fra Diavolo

ToH recipe    Taste of Home cookbooks on Amazon    Taste of Home magazine

  FOOD TIPS FOR THE TIMES  

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

♦  Craving a Big Mac®? Don’t want to go get it? A clone to the rescue yet again. And also, once again, it’s Eat This Not That that’s sending it in. In fact, they claim this is “The Best Copycat Big Mac Recipe'” {sic, which is to say, no ® i their headline}. Fries with that?

♦  Any reason why party-style dishes can’t find a home on the family table? Nope. And this one is so, so easy, and  proportions just fine no matter how few or how many places are set at that table. Start with these little phyllo shells {available from Amazon if you can’t get to, or get them from, your grocery store]. And then fill away because they arrive ready to use.

Mine shown at the right starts with some soft cream cheese that’s been further softened with a bit of sour cream, pushed down a bit in the center to create a well for cocktail sauce, and then turned into a mini cocktail with a cooked shrimp, quartered and dusted with dillweed, garnished with a celery sprig.

You could also use canned tiny shrimp, as shown at the left. For either – snack, appetizer, entree add-on, all good.

♦  Well, who knew. Turns out your produce sort of needs to practice social distancing too. A site called wellandgood tells us that certain fruits and veggies produce a gas that helps them ripen but can cause adjacent produce to ripen too fast and spoil. Tap into “The biggest mistake you’re making with your produce that causes it to go bad faster” for all the details of what to keep away from what. Especially helpful when replacements right now are not necessarily a sure thing.

♦  Need some foodie-style amusement? International Movie Data Base, a boffo information source for not just movies, but tv series, casts, stars, production folks, and other assorted celebrities, rates these selections as “The Best Food Themed Movies and Series” – popcorn slightly extra.

“Make America Decent Again” collection crafted by Zazzle – see it right here on CS

Tees, Sweats, Hoodies, Mugs, Hats, Buttons, tote bags – nice styles & colors

CS Marketplace Directory

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

You can still see full-featured Salons in the Archives, 04.10.20 & earlier

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

Note

All transactions are solely between the buyer and linked supplier

I’m associated with Amazon, Zazzle, and SunFrog, only

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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Tasty, satisfying, and famous potato soup, April 24-April 30, 2020

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

New Salon every Friday – c’mon in

CS friends, and help yourself to tasty resources

We want to help us all stay safe – and find joy in the kitchen, our own special haven

  COMFORT FOOD  

Do try this at home 

If you’re a big fan of Panera’s baked potato soup, you may be looking like this 😥. It’s not a matter of not being able to go to the restaurant, and presumably can’t pick it up or have it delivered either.

According to Food Network Magazine, the soup is just no longer on the menu. Then the same mag comes to the rescue with its Copycat Baked Potato Soup.

Rich in cream, bacon, seasonings, and three kinds of cheese, it’s a bowlful of indulgence. The title above is the one used in the magazine, but when you go to the link you’ll see that online Panera Bread Baked Potato Soup, 16 ozit’s Almost Famous Baked Potato Soup.

‘Fessing up – I’m doing a little double dipping here. While my soup shown here is very similar to the FN one, it’s tweaked a bit to accommodate a test for a cookbook I’m planning.

Also note that subsequent to coming across this recipe, I’ve now seen that you can buy Panera’s soup in the grocery store and also on Amazon {shown left, linked below}. Haven’t tried it yet, but good to know.

Next week: Cookies & Cream Bread Pudding

Recipe    Food Network Magazine    Amazon

♦  FOOD TIPS FOR THE TIMES  

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

  A study in Lancet Microbe shows that in the most common conditions, the corona virus can live for 3 hours on printing and tissue paper, 2 days on wood and cloth, 4 days on glass and paper money, 7 days on stainless steel and plastic, 7+ days on the exterior of surgical masks.

  First you take a package of ramen noodles. And then you make your choice of these “24 Tasty Recipes.” Not just gussied up soups but also main dishes, stir frys, sides and salads. Some get quite creative with the seasoning packet. And one unique app has you divide the cooked noodles into a muffin tin, bake until crisp, and then use as “buns” for sliders. Thanks “Taste of Home.”

  So if we can’t visit friends and family in person, we can still use our cells or landlines to stay in touch and many of us are doing exactly that. There’s a fun way you can make that phone visit just a bit more like the real thing. Instead of just a call, share a morning coffee, afternoon tea, cocktail hour sip, or nighttime cocoa, each person ready with the appropriate beverage. Nice.

“Make America Decent Again” collection page here on CS

CS Marketplace Directory

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

You can still see full-featured Salons in the Archives, 04.10.20 & earlier

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

Note

All transactions are solely between the buyer and linked supplier

I’m associated with Amazon, Zazzle, and SunFrog

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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“Best . . . ever” Irish lamb stew, March 6-March 12, 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 – bakers rejoice / a chewy, chewy, oh chewy / closet nukers    CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT – “secret” recipes    FEATURED RECIPE – St Pat’s classic    TIP – save the dish    THE WEEK – cheese it! / crochet dinner / and again, cheese it!

  TIDBITS 

Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

  Bonanza for bakers! Taste of Home, another superfavorite recipe source, has introduced Bakeable, a one-stop destination for all things related. There looks like a lot of sweet stuff going on here, most under the banners of Baking Guides, Baking Essentials, Baking Recipes and Bakeable Community. I have not tried this myself, but if you’d like the rest of the story, please click the link.

  Well my CS friends, this sure looks to be worth a spot on the to-make list. Paula Deen actually posted this as a Super Bowl treat, but once you take a look, aiyyyyy, is there any occasion, any time of year, we wouldn’t want this. Her Brown Sugar Chewies are dangerously simple, which is to say too easy to make any time day or night with the stuff that’s likely already in your pantry.

  Ha! busted. Topline chefs may scoff at the very idea of a nuker in the kitchen, but MyRecipes tells all. The curtain is pulled back in their tale of “18 Unexpected Items These Chefs Always Microwave.” Some of this actually might be expected, but most live up to the title. One of the most surprising to me was grilled cheese, especially since the chef identified this as one of his favorite things on earth so I believe we can rest assured he would not use a technique that disrespected this classic sandwich.

  CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT   

Better late than never

When I was just a child {censored} years ago I read, and loved, “The Secret Garden.” For reasons lost in the mists of history I didn’t finish the book with only about 25 pages to go.

In more recent years a friend and I attended a book store opening and there on a kind of easel display stand among other books, was “The Secret Garden.” It was just too tempting – while my friend did her thing, I stood at that stand, believe it or not able to pretty well figure out where I’d left off, and finished the book.The Secret Garden Cookbook, Newly Revised Edition: Inspiring Recipes from the Magical World of Frances Hodgson Burnett's The Secret Garden

To this day the story, the setting, and the characters are still so fresh and dear. So, was absolutely delighted to come upon “The Secret Garden Cookbook.”

The dishes were inspired by the book and adapted by chef and culinary historian Amy Cotler from traditional Victorian recipes, and in fact are often accompanied by tidbits on the era’s food, eating habits, and cooking customs. Among such offerings as cheese muffins, potato snow, tattie soup, and “tiddy oggies,” I particularly found the Snap Baskets intriguing, with “magical” batter that once baked can be molded into, e.g., rolls or baskets and then filled.

The book says for ages 8 and up and “where necessary work with an adult” – but while I think youngsters would enjoy looking through the recipes with their notes and quotes, really all should be supervised. It’s 4+ stars on Amazon, Hardcover in new and used, and Kindle discounted.

“The Secret Garden Cookbook”   “The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett”

The Secret Garden Prime Video & DVD  ♦  Other Cotler books    Other Hodgson books

CS Marketplace Directory

  FEATURED RECIPE  

Go really, really, Irish for St. Pat’s Day

What could be a more warm and welcoming taste of Ireland than a rich and hearty Irish stew??? And what a great way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.

Let’s be clear here, though. That “best . . . ever” claim comes from the recipe source. But once you look at the ingredients and process, and even before you taste it, you might see the potential of the promise.

And, ahhhh, have to be clear about something else. This is not your typical recipe, in that it’s not a list of ingredients and then the procedure, but rather a running chronology of both of those at once. Second, much like many passed-down grandma preps, why bother with pesky amounts.

And yet, and yet, here’s another of those magnetic headlines, drawing you in and prompting a give-it-a-go, especially with the added creds of coming from mom and appearing on IrishCentral. I have not made this yet, but if I do before next week will post the results.

“The best lamb stew recipe you ever had”  

  TIP 

  To the best of my recollection

And actually I have quite a bit of faith in the details here. It was on Julia Child’s tv show, not a rerun, back when this culinary icon was still among us.

Of course we wholeheartedly appreciated her straight-talking French techniques. But we also know she was subject to the occasional mishap.

In this particular instance, while the dish turned out just fine in terms of taste, something went bad with the surface, the appearance. All these years later I do not recall if it was a sweet and savory dish.

What I do remember quite clearly was her advice in either of those cases. To be ready to cover up a cosmetic oopsie {my word} on something sweet be sure to always have chopped nuts available. For savory, parsley. All better.

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

  Here’s yet another novel idea from Trisha Yearwood, which I saw on her Food Network show. Most of us could agree that cheddar and apples make a darn good combo. One of my long favorite recipes uses cheddar in the topping for apple crisp, and lots of folks just simply plop a slice of the cheese on a slice of apple pie. So the Yearwood twist – using cheese crackers in the crumble atop apple pie. Take a look at her tasty idea. {Well that was rude, tell you about great recipe in my files and then nothing, so thinking I’ll feature it for the 03.20.20 Salon}

  After I got past my annoyance with the author for not telling the rest of us what the heck amigurumi is, I became AmiguruMe Eats: Make Cute Scented Crochet Foodsquite captivated with this Japanese art of crocheting items made 3-D usually with fiberfill. In this book, titled “AmiguruME Eats,” the items are mostly food but also plates, bowls, glasses, flatware, pots & utensils.

  The cuteness factor notches even higher when there’s a face, and yet another sense is brought into play with the addition of scents. Thinking this could even be great fun as a wall decoration, on a plate or other surface, for your own kitchen or a hostess gift. Btw, the book does include crochet lessons.

  So, guessing we can all agree there’s nothing wrong with french fries just as they are in all their golden glory. {Just ask Betty White!} But, if at some point you’d like to add just a quick hit of kicked up flavor, you might do what I did tonight. After they’re nice and hot, melt on some pepper jack. Oh yeah.

This week’s

  •  Photo credits – books-Amazon / Chewies-Deen site / Irish kitchen-IrishCentral
  •  Link sources – books & DVDs-Amazon / stew recipe-IrishCentral
  • Partnerships – Amazon

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

So far next week: Savory sauce on steak is just the beginning, Irish hangover cures, “Recipe for a Perfect Wife,” omg made the shrimp & grits

Last week, just below: restaurant dishes you can make at home, no clinking & other niceties, don’t take a fake, St Pat-ifying your kitchen, new MADA shirt on Zazzle, red wine braised red cabbage, tater-free hash browns, food of the ancients, cookie redux, Temple {Shirley} & trivia

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

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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Red-wine braised red cabbage, Feb 28-March 5, 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 – restaurant dishes you can make / no clinking, etc etc etc / don’t take a fake  ♦  CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT – Pat-ifying your kitchen / New MADA shirt on Zazzle    FEATURED RECIPE – a super sweet and tart tasty side    TIP – make a hash of it     THE WEEK – food of the ancients / cookie redux / Temple & trivia

  TIDBITS 

Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

  Last week we featured lava cakes, a restaurant specialty you could make at home with the Ghirardelli recipe we included. Ready? Here are a lot more thanks to Taste of Home serving up “30 Restaurant Copycat Recipes Ready in 30 Minutes {or Less!}.” Now you can make in your very own kitchen such dining out specialties with recipes for, inspired by as they say, Cheddar Bay biscuits, Culver’s butterburger, KFC Crispy, Olive Garden breadsticks, Orange Julius, Cheese Factory Spicy Cashew Chicken, Shamrock Shake, and lots more.

Tut tut {lorgnette to eyes}. My dear, do you not know the “11 Fine-Dining Etiquette Rules You’ve Probably Broken Your Whole Life.” Some are just plain practical, others I think we may regard as optional. About the napkin, e.g. – long ago a tuxedo-ed server showed me the trick of laying it flat in the lap, then folding the far edge back about a third, providing a handy hand-wiping area that also keeps your dress safe. And then the one about always leaving one bite {hahahahaha}.

Btw, did the writer take this all super seriously? There might be a clue in this intro comment about learning the “few rules of formal dining that you can follow even if you’re hosting in your own home, serving delivery that you are trying to pass off as your own cooking.”

  Can you make a fake? Not create a fake food item, but rather know one when you see one. Cooking Light has identified for us seven foods that are on the suspect list for not being what they seem, and then telling us what to look for to distinguish the genuine article from the impostor. It’s all here in “The 7 Most Common Counterfeit Foods and How to Identify Them.”

♦  CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT   

Begorrah Decorah

Bobee St Patricks Day Decorations Banner, 9 St Pats Decor, Shamrock, Top Hat, Rainbow, Pot of Gold, pre-Strung on 8 Foot White RibbonSo easy to turn your kitchen into Celebration Central for St Pat’s Day. And that’s whether, as we say in our motto at the end of every Salon in a slightly different context, it’s “for a crew, or for two, or just for you.”

Stores are already overrun with festive possibilities,and of course there’s also always good ol’ Amazon. Shown here a few of the possibilities offered by the latter.

That adorable garland is just $6.99, Prime eligible. This sprightly fabric leprechaun is actually a door hanger, but what a great theme setter for the kitchen or dining room, $29.99, Prime free delivery. Or brighten up the whole scene with these battery-operated four-leaf clover indoor/outdoor string lights, $11.99, Prime free one-day. All images here are clickable.

What else can you find there? Tablecloths and runners, hanging garlands, banners balloons, ornaments, stickers, decals {including leprechaun footprints}, window clings, valance decorations, figurines, wall decor and more including combo packs.

Bring it all to lunch or dinner with paper plates and cups, napkins and flatwear. And how about something Irish to put on those plates? Happy St Pat’s!

All St Pat’s decs    Irish cookbooks  ♦  Irish movies

CS Marketplace Directory

Eclectic Mall   NEW  Now shirts on Zazzle with the “Make America Decent Again” message – shirts and mugs still on SunFrog

  FEATURED RECIPE  

Red wine braised red cabbage – a Eureka moment in the kitchen 

To give credit due, it was a same-named recipe in “The Unofficial Downton Abbey Cookbook,” featured in our 02.14.20 Salon, that started this process. My favorite version was in a cookbook that apparently was swept up in a donation to a culinary instructor.

The one in the Downton book came close to the one I’d had, and inspired a further search. Thank you Taste of Home for providing the simple and similar prep I was looking for.

A ‘fess up though – to bring it even closer to what I recall I tweaked somewhat. Sauteed the onion in a half stick butter. Brown sugar instead of white sugar. Red wine instead of vinegar {thus the title here vs. the name on the recipe}. If it dries out too much while cooking pour in a bit of stock, and if you’d like it a little sweeter increase the sugar or, as I did, add a bit of syrup.

Sooooo happy with this dish. Hope you will be too.

Recipe  

  TIP  

A tasty way to switch out carbs

Thanks to AllRecipes, I found a great remake for hash browns. Now, if I promise there will also be a rich potato version, can you please promise you’ll give this a chance after you read . . . cauliflower.

Their Dec/Jan issue had side by side preps for Keto Cauliflower Hash Browns and Loaded Breakfast Potatoes that were made with regular hash browns. I liked the cauliflower idea but wanted it a little richer like the potato one.

Wait, how about plugging the cauliflower into the potato prep???

Below you’ll find both original recipes. I made the potato one with 2 16 oz bags frozen florets, thawed and blotted, just cutting down the largest ones. I used a cup of cheese in the mix and then another cup for the topping, and also 2 T chopped chives “borrowed” from the cauliflower prep. Pretty good, maybe just a tweak or two needed.

Loaded Breakfast Potatoes {comes up as crack potatoes}     Keto Cauliflower Hash Browns

  A PEEK AT MY WEEK  

Welcome to my kitchen and living room

  Thanks to a friend’s recent excursion followed coincidentally by a Smithsonian article I’ve become familiar with the archaeological/architectural wonder in Jordan known as Petra, site of an ancient and remarkably advanced culture, where up to 30,000 people dwelt among temples, theaters, gardens, tombs, villas, Roman baths, trade routes and marketplaces. The link leads to much more detail.

  Bringing it into CS land, what was on those tables over 2000 year ago? Oxen, sheep, chickens, wheat, grapes, olives, pomegranates, sesame, often starring in great feasts and banquets. And . . . “the king holds many drinking bouts in magnificent style – but no one drinks more than 11 cupfuls.” {!}

Whenever I see a way to salvage otherwise trash-bound food, like to share it with you. What happened is that I was making my butter cookie recipe with the addition of lemon curd, but that changed the timing and so the first batch was underbaked. So, beat them smooth with an egg, a bit of flour, baking soda and peanut oil, dolloped into a skillet and, voila, not bad pancakes.

  Let’s play trivia. On a recent episode of The Kitchen, I saw Geoffrey Zakarian made two take-offs on the non-alcoholic beverage known as a Shirley Temple. One was a Dirty Shirley, a cherry flavored gin drink. The other, with a similar flavor profile but no alcohol, he named Don’t Call It Shirley. Here’s the trivia – what movie does this latter one refer to and what is the exact line?

This week’s

  •  Photo credits – St Pat’s decs-Amazon / all others-mine
  •  Link sources – etiquette-Food & Wine / all St Pat’s items-Amazon / Petra-google
  • Partnerships – Amazon

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

So far next week: hearty Irish stews, book found/cookbook found, crochet dinner, Yearwood tops it, bakers bonanza, chewy goodness, chefs’ secret is out, Julia Child’s secret is out, fries with that

Last week, just below: coffee cake a la you, bacon ways, cooks’ source, longevity somewhat unmasked, Ghirardelli chocolate lava cake, interpretive lasagna, biggie foodfest tix, taco tamer, word of the day

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

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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Double Layer Cheesecake Bars, for Oct 26-Nov 1, 2018

  CatChat  

Misty shows you what you’ll find in this week’s salon

  TIDBITS – new nutrition site / best chicken preps {MI’ll take one of each  please/ storage tips for leftovers    CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT – chocolate on your shirt / funny doggies on your shirt    FEATURED RECIPE – delectable layers of vanilla & chocolate cheesecake on yellow cake    TIP – besta pasta    THE WEEK – a totally soup-ed up week including an oh-oh video {Mthe words are no worse than I say with my eyes}

Misty’s History  ♦  Misty’s Gallery

  TIDBITS 

Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

  Healthy help. The Center for Nutrition Studies has a new website with new features and recipes too. It focuses on a plant-based life but looks to me like it could be equally  helpful for anyone who just wants some perspective for the veggie side of their palate.

  Chicken! Such a tasty blank canvas, so many ways to prep. How to choose? This might help. Food 52 tops its current newsletter with their “10 Most Popular Chicken Recipes Of All Time.”

  Meanwhile, “Well Done”  helps us minimize waste with some smart tips on avoiding mistakes when storing leftovers.

  CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT   

Chocolate on your shirt . . . in a good way

I sort of love the new commercials for Reese’s peanut butter cups with the tag line “Not sorry.” It captures the pleasure/guilt dichotomy of chocolate – and then in just two words blasts away the latter.

So if you’re a chocoholic, don’t hide it. Shout it.

Or let my shirt do it for you, with not only the bold words, but also chocolates right inside the letters. Other colors, many sizes.

“CHOCOLATE/CHOCOLATE/CHOCOLATE – everything else” Priorities, my friends.

Crafted by Michigan company SunFrog

At CS Marketplace: “Especially for . . .” – “Cooks”  “Readers”  “Dog Lovers”

Extra for Dog Lovers – if that’s you, you might want to add another kind of shirt too. This roundup features dog centric tees with funny sayings. Funny dog shirts for humans

  FEATURED RECIPE  

Cheesecake AND chocolate – BOTH!

OK, you’ve been warned: “Taste of Home” can make you buy more notebooks, cabinets or bytes . It’s one of the few sources, whether the hard copy mag or the online newsletter, where I want to make just about everything they show and tell, and accordingly my recipe files runneth over.

And this look-out-teeth dessert is no exception – Double Layer Cheesecake Bars. As the descrip says, “Can’t choose between chocolate or vanilla cheesecake? Have both when you make this bar recipe with two distinct layers.”

Something interesting in this recipe is the addition of a dry ingredient to a creamy layer. I had not see anything like this until recently and now twice – here and also the chocolate peanut butter bars mentioned in last week’s salon and coming Nov 9 as our Featured Recipe. One note – I used Butter Cake for the base.

Recipe    Taste of Home    Taste of Home cookbooks  

  TIP  

Pasta, we gotcha

So an old yellowed clipping – maybe from the Tribune in my Chicago days? – excavated from my food file, yields some quite helpful tips about the noodle.

How much to cook? So for 4 oz: for small pasta, about 1 c uncooked, 2 1/2 c cooked, 2-3 servings . . . for med size pasta, 3 c uncooked, 3 c cooked, 3 servings {this seems odd, but so it says} . . . for long pasta, 1″ in diameter, 2 c cooked, 2 servings {may want to re-calculate servings to personal appetite}.

Cooking: for 4-8 oz pasta, 3 quarts water, 1 t oil, 1/4 t salt, bring water to full rolling boil before adding noodles, add a little at a time so the water keeps boiling, simmer uncovered until done.

Done? Bite into it – the outside should be tender with a little firmness on the inside, in other words, al dente. Drain, rinsing only if destined for a cold dish. If you need to keep it hot, place the strainer of drained pasta over a pan of boiling water.

We don’t-waste-food-ers like this: Any leftover noodles can be frozen. Reheat for 1 min in boiling water. {Pasta image by Stilfehler}

  A PEEK AT MY WEEK  

Please join  me in my kitchen &  parlor

  Oh-Oh! There’s a video in the article cited below that I actually watched after reading the story. But I’m mentioning it first because it could be offensive to some folks. It’s a compilation of food videos that ranked on social media, and with one exception they’re pretty good. The oh-oh comes in with the narrator who uses, ummm, quite colorful language, but on the plus side he’s also rather funny.

  Are you like this too? I prefer some foods in fairly pure form – e.g., guacamole, deviled eggs, hummus – while others I think benefit from some added pizzazz. We already talked about this for salads and oatmeal. Now I found this gussy article from “Bon Appett” about soup toppers. Soup toppers! What a good and versatile idea. Here’s my take, starting with pasta in a creamy chicken broth.

  A couple of things I discovered about using soup toppers. First you want either feather light toppings or dense soup so that your pretty display doesn’t sink to the bottom. Also, heat any that you can so as little of the stuff as possible cools off the soup too much – for the one I did that you see here, I heated the shrimp and the olives and the peanuts in a skillet over low heat – I also had let the avocado, green onion, and cilantro sit out for a while at room temp.

So far next week: rim glasses like a pro, festive chill for bottles, scraps on tv, celeb bowl, bowl tips

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

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You won’t believe this miso fudge, for April 27-May 3, 2018

  In the Salon this week  

Fudge -> Brownies -> Sundae    Guess what you can freeze    Fun foods that fool    Don’t have a cow, wait, do have one {sort of}    A book-ful of tasty food just for you    The perks of almond flour, who knew    Some magic for bean soup & a classic cocktail plus what to serve at “your” state dinner

  Tidbits 

Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

  Love the fact that the Reader’s Digest online newsletter seems to be running even more food articles. The current edition brings us 10 foods we can freeze {might find a few surprises here}. Some I knew, some I didn’t, some I have to try to believe, and one is among the 50 kitchen tricks in my Kindle book. See more in Tip next week.    Freeze it!     50 . . . Tricks

  This bit of fun cookery arrives “pinball” style – from Taste of Home to Reader’s Digest to CooksSalon to you! It’s all about “April Fool” food but would be fun anytime. Find out how to make “onion rings” that are actually candy, a “burger” that’s cookies, “popcorn” that’s cauliflower, a two-layer “cake” that’s meatloaf, and some eyeball and spidery creations you might want to tuck away for Halloween or for a party for little kids or little kids at heart.    See all 23

  Adopt a cow, get cheese. Really! Of course, we’re talking very special cows, very special cheese. The adopt a cow button is at the top of the page in the link, more details if you scroll down.    Cheese it!

  CS Marketplace Spotlight

Cooking for one can be so much fun

Whether it’s most nights or just occasionally, cooking for just yourself can be a challenge. Or . . . it can be a delightful experience. In “Serve Yourself/Nightly Adventures in Cooking For One” author, and “Cooking for One” columnist for the Washington Post, Joe Yonan brings Serve Yourself: Nightly Adventures in Cooking for Oneus creations from every part of the food pyramid for this very purpose, noting that if you do want more, “it’s much easier to double a recipe that’s written for one than it is to shrink one for six.”

Yonan makes clear that of course he loves sharing a meal now and then, but dining solo is “also about answering my particular, ever-shifting cravings.” He takes that a step further, saying unlike Miss Lonely Hearts in Rear Window, “I don’t pretend my true love is sitting across from me – I’m often too excited about the flavors I’ve just put together to think about much of anything else.”

Also see the motto that appears at the end of each of our posts.

“Serve Yourself”    CS Marketplace

  Featured Recipe 

Decadent, Decadent-er, Decadent-est 

Would you ever expect to see “miso” and “fudge” in the same recipe title??? It was intriguing enough I had to try it, especially given the bonus of few ingredients, easy technique. The result: a chocolatey, creamy,  soft {OK, messy!} confection.

But wait, there’s more. Even though I made just the fudge, the full recipe, linked below, is actually for cocoa intensive brownies with the miso fudge as a topping along with miso candied almonds.

And more. The recipe also includes a suggestion for turning the whole shebang into a brownie sundae. And btw, as long as there aren’t any suspect ingredients in the ice cream, the dish is gluten free.

Notes  Since I wanted to first try the fudge as just fudge, I refrigerated it in a spray treated foil lined pan, and then lifted it onto a work surface for cutting.  Note there’s no reason you couldn’t use the fudge/nuts atop your own favorite brownies. Wondering if guests {yours or mine} would be able to figure out the secret ingredient.

Miso Fudge Brownies recipe

  Tip 

The brownies referenced in our Featured Recipe this week achieve their gluten free status by using almond flour, which inspired me to learn more about this ingredient. Wow, what a surprise.

The real thing is made of only ground skinless almonds, which is why no gluten. But it’s also high in fiber, high in protein, and low in carbohydrates, as well as a good source of vitamin E and a number of essential minerals. You may also see it called almond meal.

You can find it here on Amazon

A Peek at My Week

  Made bean soup and while good, turned out broth-ier than I wanted. Hmmm, what to use to thicken? Tomato paste, cheese, mashed potatoes, cornstarch? Didn’t want anything that would dilute the bean taste, so . . . duh . . . used a can of frijoles. Turned out great!

  So maybe I’ll want to host a state-like dinner sometime. Maybe you will. So that thought sent me in search of the menu for the recent event at the White House in honor of French President Emmanuel Macron and wife Brigitte. Here’s what came to the elegantly set table: First Course – goat cheese gateau, tomato jam, buttermilk biscuit crumbles, young variegated lettuces / Second Course – rack of spring lamb, burnt cipollini soubise {pureed onion sauce}, Carolina Gold Rice jambalaya / Dessert – nectarine tart, creme fraiche ice cream.

  Nothing against Mountain Dew, know it has its avid fans, but I just don’t happen to be much of a soda drinker. But I had purchased some for a guest and now had leftovers. Toss? Wait, though I haven’t had one in a very long time, could this contribute to a scotch sour??? Along with some fresh lemon? Did. Good!

  Kept Mystic River on Nice Life Books – Thursdays

  Posted Adoption Message T-shirts & more on DoggieShirtz – Thursdays

  Added Adoption Message T-shirt & more on Amazon

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

 

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