Cinnamon Apple Pie Bread, Oct 18-Oct 24, 2019

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

New Salon every Friday – c’mon in

CS friends, and help yourself to tasty resources!

Starting this week, the information panel below will show any link destinations not identified in the text

  Here’s what you’ll find when you scroll below  

  TIDBITS – bread-keeping / quark unmasked / food show returns   CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT – lovely book    FEATURED RECIPE – perfect for fall    TIP – look out ‘fridge   THE WEEK – nachos > burritos / Catalan-style spinach / dinner metric 


Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

  Bread lovers, rejoice. So sad when we open the package in the pantry or fridge and find hockey pucks, a touch of green {or white}, or a soggy mess. Leave it to Food & Wine to clue us on how to avoid all that with “5 Secrets to Storing Bread {and making it last longer.” Thanks!

  Quark? Hmmm?? Isn’t that something out of particle physics??? Not for folks who love trying new things in the kitchen. Turns out in our realm it’s a dairy product, sort of a hybrid between cheese and yogurt, that you can make yourself. The surprising thing, given the prep procedure, is how the taste is described. See that and uses too in this article about Quark by MyRecipes.

  It’s one of the most popular cooking shows on PBS and it returns to our living rooms Oct 19. It’s “Sara’s Weeknight Meals,” a treasure trove of home cooking, with quick preps for busy families. Watch for actual home cooks showing us regional fare from Mississippi, Miami and Key West. As they say, check your local listings – mine say 12:30 pm.


What a sweetheart of a novel

Welcome to the town of Avalon where it doesn’t take long for the reader to feel like a visitor or maybe even a resident. That’s in great part thanks to author Darien Gee’s talents at establishing a sense of place, and even more theFriendship Bread: A Novel deft introduction of main characters and secondary players in such a way that they retain clear identities rather than dissolving into a blur.

But the book’s title, “Friendship Bread” telegraphs the real star of the show. Throughout, the starter and loaves work their way into these lives variously taking on the roles of nourishment for the body, an elementary school hit, a conversation opener, coin of the realm, a source of humor, a community organizer, the inspiration for both “thank yous” and “Oh nos!” – even the cause of panic in the streets and the underpinning for a mission of mercy.

We follow the bread all the way to the story’s satisfying conclusion. And then there’s . . .  recipes!

The bread, the people, the situations both social and serious often center around the town’s tea shoppe. Feel free to pull up a chair.

“Friendship Bread”    Gee’s other books in Avalon


Just, yum 

I’ve come upon this site before and always found it so interesting. Called Wishes & Dishes, it’s chock full of great looking recipes, starting right with the homepage. In fact, not sure I’ll be able to resist the banana bread brownies with chocolate peanut butter ganache. Also party tips, holiday specialties, and the eclectic Wishes section.

And here, they bring us Cinnamon Apple Pie Bread, so moist and flavorful, a sweet treat for breakfast, snack or dessert. As it says in the intro: “Forget the pie crust and get all the flavors of fall . . .”

Quite easy too. After chopping the apple it’s pretty much just measure, mix, and wait while it bakes. Maybe a quirk of my oven or altitude, after max baking time the center still wasn’t totally set though the edges were. So, I just shut off the oven, left the bread in there for another 25 minutes, and then all good . . . really good.

Btw, there’s a demo on the page which can be helpful but doesn’t include any amounts. When you scroll down you’ll come across a button to Get Recipe – maybe it’s just my unfortunate relationship with electronics but this took me somewhere into the cyber hinterlands.

But . . . if you just keep scrolling on the original page – eureka! – there’s the recipe. After the ingredients you’ll see an arrow. Just scroll right past that into the directions. Then the fun begins! Thanks W&D!

Cinnamon Apple Pie Bread recipe    Wishes & Dishes  


I say All-in, you say . . .

So, we’ve seen a few all-in dishes in past Salons, bread pudding, chocolate pie, stew. And there are very likely more to come because this kind of thing is a great way to use up odd and ends rather than waste them.

It was interesting then to discover a similar phenom in an older version of Better Homes & Gardens. It was part of various strategies for “a better dinner tonight.”

They called one of the suggestions “Clean out the fridge,” and in this particular case the destination was a curry. Into coconut milk base went chicken, veggies, Thai green curry paste and lemons.

But, heck, you could start out with fridge cleaning and end up with soup, salad, burritos, pasta, quiche, “Dagwood” sandwiches, gumbo, paella . . . and whatever else could emerge from the lively imagination of all you creative CS-ers.


Welcome to my kitchen and living room

  As a follow-up to our Tip above, some weeks back I made burritos with a cousin of this technique. A place nearby makes these fabulous nachos with shredded beef, cheese, black olives, onions, peppers, salsa, sour cream, and guacamole on, oh yeah, french fries. After rescuing the fries, I wrapped all the leftover toppings in tortillas and froze the burritos for future enjoyment.

  I have a side dish to share with you, and the fact it is so good is far from a surprise since it’s the creation of flavor master JoséAndrés. It’s his Catalan-Style Spinach and while I’m as big a fan as anyone of the pure taste of lightlyVegetables Unleashed: A Cookbook cooked fresh spinach, this one takes the veggie into a whole new incredibly rich dimension. I first came across the prep in the chef’s “Vegetables Unleashed” cookbook, and it differs just a bit from the one linked here. If you want the best of both recipes, add a chopped shallot or comparable amount of onion, and mixed nuts instead of just pine nuts {I used slivered almonds and halved pecans}, and mixed dried fruits instead of just raisins {I used raisins and chopped dates}. Wondering with a bit of chicken if it couldn’t transform into an entree.

  Here’s one way you know you’re in the presence of a really, really, good dinner, whether at your home table, a host’s table, or a restaurant table. You realize you’re reaching capacity, and you’re just going to have to forego something on that beautiful plate. But what??? There are just no viable candidates. Do I have a solution? Nope. My job here was just verifying that you have had the good fortune to be face to plate with this kind of memorable dinner. Yes, thank you, I did have one such experience this very week.

So far next week: bacon and egg breakfast enchiladas, marshmallow equivalents, bake a cake like Buddy, Jose Andres quote, Watergate Salad, pizza plus

Last week, just below:  cola & peanuts meet in the bottle {yep}, best rotisserie chicken, keeping ‘shrooms fresh, whole book of grilled cheese mania, caterer to the star’s chocolate cake from mix – good/ rich/ easy, cuss-free wrapping, jammy eggs, fun & spooky food, savory salteñas 

Direct access to Amazon homepage through my personal link

Looking for something in CS? – scroll & check previews OR use the search box OR email me at, also valid for questions & comments – see the Let’s Chat tab for details, also for my partnerships and more

Note, transactions are solely between the buyer and linked supplier

Photo credits – books/Amazon, food array/Acabashi on Wikimedia Commons, bread/mine

Link sources – Sara’s Weeknight Dinner/Sara Moulton, Catalan-style spinach/Jose Andres, all books/Amazon

All pages ©2019

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


Jose Andres’ Sweet Potato Sundae, Sept 20-Sept 26, 2019

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 when you scroll below  

  TIDBITS – Dine like Downton / Impossible-possible? / Green Goddess rules    CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT – Halloween party fun    FEATURED RECIPE – Andrés at his playful best    TIP – cookies {and more} as Halloween decorations    THE WEEK – tasty add-ins / tested the nuked eggs / greens trick


Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

  Do a Downton? According to “Rach,” to dine like the Crawleys, just simply serve oysters, soup, fish, fowl, main dish with sauces & veggies, dessert, fruit & cheese, and a final savory {!} From the recent issue of “Rachel Rae Every Day Magazine” {yikes, deep, deep discount at this Amazon link, but be quick}. Or you could go into full D/A party mode with “The Official Downton Abbey Cookbook,” with not only preps and their backstories and context but as well a guide to throwing a theme party complete with etiquette tips and customs of the times.

♦  Have you tried the Impossible Whopper? It’s actually not bad and for folks avoiding or minimizing meat it can be a nice alternative – I know there’s been some buzz about the fact it’s cooked on the same surface as the beef ones, but there’s a note on their site that says you can request all vegetarian prep. Truth be told I’ll probably be sticking with the original. Meanwhile, for those interested, here are the “Impossible” stats, listing the recipe {scroll down on the page} and the nutritional values {scroll down more}.

♦  Here’s a blast from the past, today as good as ever in both its classic form and some updated versions. I went to AllRecipes for an original and as usual the site did not disappoint. Here’s the link for their authentic Green Goddess dressing {OK, it does use creme fraiche instead of the traditional sour cream which of course you could put right back in the recipe}. But it was the “Food & Wine” newsletter that brought the old favorite to mind with its roster of Green Goddess variations for salads, burgers and crudites.


More party fun, spooky style

Hard as it might be to believe, Halloween is right around the corner. The summer holidays may be in the rear view mirror but a whole party season rolls out on Oct 31.

If you’re hosting a get-together, you can find so much good stuff  to set a festive tone. For the table, plates, cups, flatware and centerpieces. For the rest of the room, decorations scary-ed up with pumpkins & skeletons, ghosts and goblins, spiders and disguises, on gift bags, banners, inflatables, so much more.

Even wearables so you can dress the part. That includes “ugly” sweaters and – too cute! – miniature ones so the cakes or cupcakes can dress up too.

As we’ve come to expect, Amazon had it all. And as always, after following the link I post below, you can click away to customize the search, find just what you want.

Halloween party stuff galore People-size ugly Halloween sweaters


Indulge in this rich dish as an entree, side, even dessert 

The vast scope of Jose Andres’ creativity, flavor mastery, passion, and even playfulness comes together in his Sweet Potato Sundae. And like so many of his dishes, it’s uncomplicated, simply enhanced in a way that the main ingredient clearly remains the star of the show.

And uncomplicated also means . . . easy for us home cooks. This recipe calls for just seven ingredients, only one of which needs to be cooked and nothing needs mixing, and overall minimal prep. And, oh, is it ever good, even with the peanut butter Chex I used instead of Rice Krispies.

Since I served it as a side dish, I topped it with a scoop of cream cheese instead of ice Vegetables Unleashed: A Cookbookcream. Thinking you could also use sour cream even though that will not exactly look like a scoop {but then neither will the ice cream once it hits the warm tater}. Who cares, would still taste great with any of those toppers.

The recipe is from Andrés’ book, “Vegetables Unleashed,” our Spotlight last week. Page after page delivers the super chef’s innovative ways with veggies, and some fruits too, in a book that’s called “a love letter to the plant world.”

Recipe    “Vegetables Unleashed”    Other Andrés books


Easy, edible Halloween decs

Cookies offer one of the easiest ways to make dessert part of the decorations. If your store doesn’t have orange frosting, just buy white {vanilla, sour cream, e.g.} and using a drop at a time add red and yellow food coloring. As you can see here I upped the pumpkin-ness on the second set with just another drop of red.

To make it easy on yourself just use any store-bought cookie that has a flat side. Frost away and then “make a face.” If you are using raisins or chocolate chips or chunks {think chips would work better but I had chunks so chunks it was} affix them while the frosting is still soft.

If you use food color pens, first chill the cookies until the frosting is fully set, and then take a couple at a time out of the fridge. Also, it seems easier to create the grooves with either a toothpick or the pen when the frosting is chilled.

Don’t worry about the art {clearly I didn’t} just have fun and giggle as you go. Gather them onto a platter or let them grin from individual plates. Also, you can take a look at our 07.26.19 Salon for bell pepper pumpkins and our 04.05.19 Salon for a pumpkin-ized baked potato {along with its Easter and Christmas buddies}.


Welcome to my kitchen and living room

♦  Some favorite add-ins to share with you. Two are new – chopped black olives in egg salad, liquid smoke in baked beans, canned or homemade. And two longtime faves, used recently – chopped green olives in tuna salad, a touch of dark chocolate in chili.

♦  So, tried the egg in the nuker trick. Two things about the prep – first it does not specify egg size or egg temp. The second thing, and I’m sorry I didn’t see this when I posted it in the Aug 30, 2019, Salon, the recipe talks about the process cooking the yolk faster than the white and says if you want the “white” softer take it out sooner – think that should have been “yolk.” Anyway, used a room temp large egg, and cooked for the specified one minute, and the yolk {shown} was cooked hard – nuts.

  Did a second one for 50 seconds and the yolk was better, but even though covered in water there was a soft spot in the white on top – in this case no problem, flipped it over onto hot greens. Even so think I’ll stay with my multi-step process which I’ll post in full in next week’s Tip.

  About those greens mentioned just above. I found a great way to have a nice mix of colors, flavors and textures without loading the cart with countless bags or having to cook forever. It’s very likely your market has a plastic tub of what’s called Fresh Herb Salad {triple washed and ready to eat}. Perfect! For the entire 5 oz package, 6-8 slices of bacon fried crisp, drained and crumbled. In the bacon fat, or replacing some or all with butter or olive oil, a small onion diced, seasoned and cooked till golden, 2 minced garlic cloves cooked briefly, then in with the greens and fresh ground pepper and stir, stir, stir. Greens folks will know that these cook down like someone poked them and let all the air out. Sprinkle on bacon and dig in.

So far next week: FoodFests across the country, package for Fido, Doritos Chicken casserole, nice poached eggs, awesome peanut sauce, woohoo delivery discovery, peanut butter chex mix, 

Last time, just below: Emeril & Julia & recipes, lunch to go, high or low, chocolate/cheese pairings, Jose Andres’ love affair with veggies, chocolate/peanut butter cookie bars, more veggie love, good tv series, unusual pb sammies, laundry tip

Direct access to Amazon homepage through my personal link

Looking for something in CS? – scroll & check previews OR use the search box OR email me at, also valid for questions & comments – see the Let’s Chat tab for details

Note, transactions are solely between the buyer and linked supplier

Photo credits – decs/Amazon, all others/mine

All pages ©2019

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