Favorite Recipes from CS 2020, Jan 8-Jan 14, 2021

New Salon every Friday – c’mon in

CS friends, and help yourself to tasty resources

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek


To see the full details for each dish, including recipe, context, recipe notes and any relevant substitutions click the opening link with the date – to see the recipe only click the closing link

07.17.20, Food Tips for Our Times  Fruit Pizza There’s a good chance there might be some extra fruit, fresh and canned, in the house these days, after stocking up for baking, dressing up a holiday table, received as gifts. A fun and colorful way to put it to good use is a fruit pizza. And at the same time show off your artistic skills! Just layer different colors of fruit and jam on a baked pizza crust spread with soft cream cheese and voila! a work of art. And so pretty! Here are some other suggestions for fruit pizzas that google found.

05.13.20, Featured Recipe  Chicken Pepperoni Parmesan  Just looking at the name tells you it’s a pretty good bet it tastes pretty darn good. And it does! This chicken pepperoni parm is already a plate of flavor. But in fact I did add some Italian seasonings to the tomato sauce or you could certainly use a jarred marinara. I also sautéed the chicken as is in butter/olive oil instead of breading it. Add crusty bread and a green salad and it’s done and yum. More good news – it all bakes on a sheet pan.  Recipe 

04.03.20, My Week  “Potato Snow”  What a fun and festive way to play with taters. See the pic? – that’s “potato snow,” and oh so easy too! Per the recipe, simply push boiled, peeled, towel-dried potatoes through a coarse sieve with a wooden spoon letting them “pile high into a snowy mountain slope.” Or do that several times to make a “range.” Another recipe I found {on an unsecured site}, suggested adding onion salt and garlic salt to the cooking water rather than trying to mix it in afterward. The prep I used is from The Secret Garden Cookbook.

10.23.20, Featured Recipe  Bobby Flay’s Cheesy Bacon & Tater Quesadilla  This is a perfect example of Chef Flay’s passionate take on southwest cuisine. The title foodstuffs join onion and peppers in a tasty tortilla stack, topped with a nice fried egg, fresh tomato salsa, and chopped chives. A perfect way to start the day. Especially a day with a late and lazy start. Bloody Marys anyone? The recipe is on the Food Network site.  Recipe

07.17.20, Featured Recipe  Ice Cream Bread  Wow, the unique flavor of ice cream right in your bread? And just 3 ingredients. In the original sojourn I used French vanilla, then played with some variations. The result is sweeter than bread, less sweet than cake, with a texture kind of between French bread and pound cake. Those subsequent variations  – Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough {08.07.20}, Chocolate Brownie {10.30.20} Each good as is, but also happily welcome toppings.

10.02.20, Featured Recipe  Knife & Fork Bacon Cheeseburgers  This is one satisfying plateful, a happy gathering of onion, tomato, pickle, bacon, burgers, buns, plus a condiment mashup, and savory cheese sauce. And this is nice. Lots of the elements can be prepped in advance. To make life even easier, use store-bought burgers if there are some you like, and fill out the plate with deli-supplied or pantry & fridge ready side dishes. Might also like to take a look at these google-found alternatives for burger sauces.

06.19.20, Featured Recipe  Bacon Peanut Butter Corn Muffins  One bite and you’ll see why these goodies took a top award in a Taste of Home contest. Yowza are they good. And happily the come together with ingredients likely already in residence in your pantry and fridge. Great as is for breakfast. Or with the caramel ice cream topping, Poof! Dessert! Or go all in for dessert with the suggested alternate of chocolate chips and chocolate syrup. And you know what, thinking this topping would be just as happy on a regular pan of cornbread or even pancakes, French toast, regular toast. Recipe 

11.20.20, Cocktail Hour Buzz  Baked Mini Ham & Cheese Sandwiches  This hearty snack actually was part of a reply when we invited “Alexa” into CHB and asked her for cocktail snacks made with cheese. These minis sounded so good, and then tasted as good as they sounded. Pretty easy too. One of the others that’s now high up on our to-make list is the Filled Parmesan Baskets, and then maybe the Stuffed Artichoke Hearts. If you would like to see the other snacks and their recipe links, just click on the 11.20.20 above. All are from AllRecipes, and there’s demos too. Recipe

09.18.20, Featured Recipe  Cheese Ravioli Soup  A big bowl of good, and thank you Taste of Home. Despite the long-ish ingredient list, it’s as easy as 1-2-3. 1} brown the ground beef, then add the sauce ingredients. 2} cook the ravioli, combine with the sauce and heat through. 3} stir in parm, top with parsley. Done! So what brought its rating down to 3 1/2 stars. Not the flavors. Nope, instead critics said it was more like an entree than soup – and we couldn’t agree more! Thick, hearty and satisfying.  Recipe 

10.09.20, Featured Recipe  Nanaimo Bars {and “Plan B”}  For at least seven decades these rich bars have been on celebratory tables in Canada. Rich, yeah! 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 played with an alternate, “NaNaNo Bars,” – a bit less complicated, a bit less crumbly, and a bit less sweet, maybe more creamy. You can see details of this version if you want in the 10.09.20 Salon. Recipe

Our Featured Recipe when we return to regular Salons Jan 11: a full of flavor tamale makeover

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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!


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.


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

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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”  


  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


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?

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Use the same email, enter CooksSalon in the subject line – see the Let’s Chat tab for further details


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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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