Creamy-Topped Caramelized Pineapple, April 16-April 22, 2021

New Salon every Friday – c’mon in

CS friends, and help yourself to tasty resources

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

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Kitchen Talk – So, in a recent rerun of The Kitchen on Food Network, Katie Lee went full-on Thanksgiving with a Fall Meatloaf that mashed up ground turkey, stuffing mix, celery, onion, and a cranberry mix that goes both into and atop the loaf. Hmmm, I wondered, how might a version of this work for turkeyburgers. Answer: pretty good, if a wee crumbly, at least as I made it – 1 lb gr turkey, 1 c stuffing mix, 1 egg, s&p – but really good!      One of our favorite words at CS joins with the season in 36 Comforting Spring Casseroles, from Southern Living   She says she’s been sautéing mushrooms wrong her whole life. You too? Me too? Anyway, the fix actually turns out to be as simple as can be. Here’s the mushroom solution from the Takeout site.

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Shopping Finds – Have you tried this? Petit Pot dark chocolate French pudding. They may call it pudding but it’s more like dense mousse meets the candy called French cremes. Their site shows we can also be tempted by vanilla bean, salted caramel, CA lemon, and rice pudding, and helpfully offers suggested pairings for each. There’s also a store locator on the page.      You know what I think adds to the charm of this tasty confection – the adorable little 3″ jars. And guess what. You can find your very own to cradle any of your own desserts. Btw if you scroll down on the Amazon page you will see other sizes, shapes and quantities.

This week’s featured CS-written, Amazon-produced Kindle – Dieting? Think you have to give up snacking? Nope. Find all kinds of waistline-friendly goodies. And as well ways to replace “fat trap” ingredients with skinnier ones. All right here for just 99 cents, Big Snacks & Subs Lists.

   On the Table 

Feature – Caramelized Pineapple Slices, with 3 ways to do the creamy topping

How much good stuff applies here, let us count the ways. Five ingredients. Prep time 15 minutes. To table 25 minutes. Toasted coconut. Creamy. Caramelized. Pineapple. CS shortcuts & tips.

Pineapple topped with cottage cheese, or vice versa, is a diner staple. The simple act of caramelizing the pineapple slices and then topping the whole affair with golden coconut elevates it to company-worthy status.

Now I can almost hear some noses wrinkling at the mention of cottage cheese, and the fact is while I enjoy the taste I don’t consider the texture a bff. So I did just what I’ve done before – blend till it’s nice and smooth. Now you could substitute sour cream, but that little bit of cheese saltiness kicks up the other flavors.

The prep comes from Daisy and no, no affiliation with them, but I do like their sour cream, and for this dish did indeed use their cottage cheese. Their site features a number of fine recipes using the two products.

Recipe Notes – I used store-bought pineapple slices, not only for the convenience but as well because I prefer fresh pineapple in its pure state. I do wonder if store-bought caramel topping could work, especially the tub kind which is a little sturdier than the jarred ones. Here though I really liked the brown sugar component and actually made extra. I would not skip toasting the coconut, really adds a nice texture and takes only a few minutes {with careful watching though}.

Next week – This shrimp cocktail won’t know what hit it, but tropical flavors help cushion the blow

Recipe  ♦  Daisy recipe page

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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 Philly Cheesesteak Pull-Apart Bread? May I suggest that you use this link on Food Network to just look at this ever so appealing dish for breakfast, brunch, lunch or even snack table. All the right ingredients are right in there but in a whole new fun way. From Trisha Yearwood who we’ve seen is just the best at playing with food.

Alexa says request: How do I make coconut shrimp? The thing about any prep from Serious Eats is that you can be sure it’s been well researched to deliver the best possible version. And sure enough their recipe rated a solid five stars. While the shrimp part is nice enough, quite simple, I’m thinking maybe a contributor to those kudos was the sweet and sour and spicy and salty chili sauce accompaniment.

My request: Do you have a recipe for chicken curry served over French fries? Truth be told, I did not expect to find anything, even with Alexa’s vast resources. The request stemmed from a long ago but fondly recalled dinner at a British pub here in town that offered their chicken curry on rice or fries. Whaaaat? Ordered the fries of course and it was a revelation for the palate. Whatever brought it back to mind, wondered if this was an aberration or a real thing. Ha! The latter! See it here. Thank you Alexa.

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

  CS Tasting Panel member Layne Whiteman adds a savory dimension to cocktail hour phone or video chat visits. Snacks! So both people, or however many folks are on the call, each then have a nibble of choice along with the beverage of choice. Makes it even more like an in-person Happy Hour. Btw, if you’re now having more actual visits, this is still a great way to party on with out-of-town family and friends.  Love it, Layne!

  I like to do a kind of snack storm. Shake up all kinds of goodies in my snack jar, always a little different with each handful and each refill. This particular one merges Chex Buffalo Ranch Mix, already a medley, plus Caesar flavor pea snacks, Cheez-it Double Cheese Snap’d, dilled almonds, Butter Toffee Coconut Peanuts, and for a touch of sweetness, Hazelnut Cocoa Pillows cereal. This a great way to use up partial bags, though of course you can also start with all fresh stuff . . . or, mix it up.

  Food & Wine brings us news from Haus, a company they report in 2019 started producing wine-based aperitifs. In the story they go on to talk about how these drinks have become popular among those who like low-alcohol cocktails. The news? The newest flavor – grapefruit jalapeno which sounds like a really nice spring sip.

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

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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


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.”


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

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


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.



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


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

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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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