Boffo Bean Dip that comes with 4 News Flashes, May 21-May 27, 2021

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Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

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Kitchen Talk – Southern Living shares great ways to start the day with their Breakfast Casseroles Worth Waking Up For. Scroll down on their page for such casserole versions as Cheesy Sausage Croissant, Banana Bread French Toast, Bacon & Cheddar Grits Quiche, Cinnamon Roll, Huevos Ranchero, and Breakfast Enchiladas.        When is an egg carton not an egg carton? When it transforms into a holder to portion and preserve rice. Here’s what I did – treated the compartments with non stick spray, filled all 24 with rice, covered the top tray with a cut-to-fit piece of plastic wrap, holding the wrap in place turned top over bottom, closed up and into the freezer. As you can see, when you subsequently open the carton, most of the top portions pop out on their own {you can just close the top back over them after removing what you want}, and if they don’t just push on the bottom of the sections. Where the two have been removed you can see the shininess of the plastic wrap.       Chocolate in, chocolate on, and a pistachio chaser in this Chocolate Pistachio Wreath Bread that the description calls ooey gooey. From Midwest Living, a Meredith Corporation publication.

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Shopping Finds – Have you heard of goldbelly.com? I hadn’t until recently when I started coming across it as the ordering source for various food items. What it does is connect you to restaurant food via mail order. That means you can set your table with specialties from, e.g., Marcus Samuelsson, Daniel Boulud, Stephanie Izard, Guy Fieri, Carla Hall, as well as from steakhouses, ethnic places, bbq joints, and more, more, more. They also show you the reviews behind their 4.7 star rating.        So, I’ve now excavated a KitchenAid stand mixer from the back of a cabinet. I’d inherited it, never used, but now ready to give it a go. If you have one in hiding or are thinking of buying one, their cookbook can be a BIG help, with not just preps but also tips and techniques. And if you’d like to check out the various mixer models on Amazon, just click here.

This week’s featured CS-designed, Zazzle-crafted item – “Golden” moms and dads, this mug’s for you. You can find three mugs styles and lots of shirt choices too, all right here on our CS Eclectic Mall page.

   On the Table  

Feature – Super tasty dip – and the flashes?

First surprise or did you already know this? Until it was revealed actually in a commercial I had no idea that Amy in Big Bang Theory not only plays a neuroscientist – she is one! With a phd from UCLA.

Second, in addition to that and Emmy nominated, award winning actress, Mayim Bialik’s resume includes this – she’s also a cookbook author, capturing her culinary passion in “Mayim’s Vegan Kitchen.”

Page after page delivers the third news flash – vegan doesn’t have to mean bland or boring. Classic dishes are all over these pages and what’s so interesting is how they’re bombarded with intense flavors that boot out the non-plant components in such a way that we’ll never miss them.

And then the actual recipe, Mexican Bean Dip, {below in Notes} showcases the fourth revelation. Look at the ingredients – all familiar, all likely already in your kitchen. Whether a whole meal or just some of its parts, we’ve all likely been cooking vegan stuff for years. It’s just plant-based, not scary at all. And of course it would make a great cocktail snack, a worthy addition to CHB below.

Recipe Notes – You may want to add a bit more soy or some salt, and I did add more cumin, then served with vegs and three kinds of corn chips {no guarantee they were vegan though}. One other thing, I didn’t go full frijoles on this, but rather left it a little chunky.

The prep is so simple, we’re just going to run it right here: saute 1/4 c chopped onion, 1 minced garlic clove, and 2 T finely chopped celery in 1 T olive oil until soft, about 5 min; add 1 1/2 c or a 14-oz can kidney or pinto beans, drained and rinsed plus 1/4 t ea soy sauce & ground cumin and 1/8 t cayenne {opt}; puree in a blender or processor until smooth; serve with veggies and warm tortillas.

A few additional bio notes from her Wiki page. Most folks first came to know Bialik in her starring role in the tv series Blossom. Along the way she’s also written books for kids and parents {and become a mom herself}. She’s as well a founding member of a Jewish organization that advocates for the ethical treatment for animals. 

Next week – Lasagna Bites, a flavor blast morning, noon, or night

“Mayim’s Vegan Cookbook”   Vegan cookbooks on Amazon, 4 stars & up    Bialik on Wiki

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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 pineapple upside down pancakes? So, the fave cake for dessert becomes a new pancake for breakfast. And just like the classic there’s butter, brown sugar, sweet cherries, of course the pineapple rings, even rum if you want {another round of breakfast for everyone}, and pineapple syrup to top it all off. This morning treat is from Tasty.

Alexa says request: How do you make cheeseburger pie? Even better, AllRecipes serves up a Quick Cheeseburger Pie. The flavor vibe starts with seasoned beef and the sharper taste of Swiss cheese, and then gets kicked up with dill pickle and dill pickle juice. The crust goes a little faster than one that’s rolled out and fitted as it’s just patted into place. Of course a store-bought one would be faster yet.

Alexa says request: How do I make a cake bomb? Oh Tastemade, you are baaaaaaad. Exhibit A? This No-Bake Cookies & Milk Cake Bomb. Yikes, wait till you see it and you’ll know exactly what I mean. Btw, if the instructions don’t paint a clear picture of the prep, no worries, the demo does. One other thing, you’ll see how to make cookie milk, which just may have a promising future in your kitchen all on its own.

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

   I found this on the editor’s page in Food & Wne, part of a piece on “getting out of a rut,” March 2021 issue. And it’s a pretty cool idea, sort of an upgrade on cocktail hour snacks. Or as Editor Lewis says, “Snack-ify dinner,” by setting out hearty snacks on a platter or sheet pan. He adds, “It’s fun, easy, and cleanup is a cinch.”

   Pretty much by definition, a heavy appetizer usually has meat in a starring role, with cheese not far behind. If those appetizers come from deli fave Boarshead, both often come to play. Case in point, this beautiful board from their appetizer recipe page which is filled with fabulous ideas that just could quite easily add up to a dinner party.

  Thinking about traveling again? This could be just the final nudge you need. “5 Amazing Wine Destinations in Africa for Delicious Drinks and Beautiful Views.” Uncorked for us by Food & Wine.

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

New Salon every Friday – c’mon in

CS friends, and help yourself to tasty resources

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

  Let’s chat   

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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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 my only affiliate partners

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

♦  ♦  ♦

And for your consideration

No Kid Hungry – discover, donate    K9s For Warriors – discover, donate

Looking for something in CS?

Use Search OR contact me at bjnosek@gmail.com, subject line -> 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 ©2021 CooksSalon.com

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Melinda’s Tropical Shrimp Cocktail, April 23-29, 2021

New Salon every Friday – c’mon in

CS friends, and help yourself to tasty resources

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

  Let’s chat   

Kitchen Talk – Leftover ham? Thankfully there are lots of ways to re-purpose it. But here’s another option, at least for some meals. Leave the ham as is in beautiful slices and let variation check in as tasty platemates. You can go big in your side dish choices with 101 from Epicurious or tame it down with 19 from AllRecipes, all ham-friendly.      We’ve talked before about, what to me anyway is a relatively new term, Pantry Meals. To avoid a trip to the store or maybe even to avoid waste, dip into the goodies already on hand. Here’s yet another take, “14 Recipes You Can Make Using Pantry Staples,” from Food & Wine.     So, Ree Drummond’s “perfect” spinach salad {04.09.21 Salon} sure looks like it can live up to its billing. But decided to make it and see for myself. Gotta say, pretty darn close. I did add a few halved cherry tomatoes for color.

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Shopping Finds – We hardly ever see butter knives on the dining table anymore, but a newer version just may become a staple in the kitchen drawer because it can rescue us from a culinary problem – hard butter. As you run it over the top of an uncooperative stick, a lineup of small holes in the blade pick up curls that can quickly soften to usability. For bread. For pancakes. For baking. And? They’re called butter spreaders, but you have to be a wee careful because some just regular butter knives on the Amazon page also use this description.     No, we don’t have an affiliation with Oreos even though this is the second mention in a couple of weeks. But came across these Birthday Oreos on Amazon and they are just so festive, so cheery, so-gift-ready.

This week’s featured CS-designed, Zazzle-crafted item – With June weddings just around the corner, time to think about bride gifts. One with a whimsical touch is our pretty, flowery “Just Married” tee. For the honeymoon trip, to relax into the day after the ceremony, or just to say, “Yep, did it!” On our Eclectic Mall page.

   On the Table  

Feature – Shrimp cocktail goes Caribbean, in a fresh & spicy way

It’s first important to note that this recipe comes from Melinda, known for decades as a major force in the hot sauce realm. In fact, I blame, uhhh credit, them with my own introduction long ago to the wonders of habanero peppers.

Melinda doubles down in this prep with the distinct potential to move the cocktail into incendiary territory. But what makes it all quite manageable is that the pepper’s legendary heat comes up against a counterbalance of cucumber, tomato, pineapple, orange, avocado, and more.

A really nice mix. Small servings would make a good first course or addition to the buffet table. But it’s also substantial enough for more generous scoops atop lettuce, spinach, or other greens to serve as a satisfying lunch or dinner.

Btw, still not hot enough for you? Do as we did and drizzle on a bit more Melinda.

Recipe Notes – The recipe actually specifies grapefruit and suggests orange as a sub, which what I did choose.

Next week – Chocolate malt brownies with malt marshmallow frosting

Recipe    Hot sauce cookbooks, 4 stars & 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 you make a croque madame casserole? It’s probably not too far fetched to call a croque monsieur the national sandwich of France. Simple as it is, the secret is in the top notch ingredients – crusty bread lightly grilled, lean ham, good Gruyere, homemade béchamel. Add a fried egg and it becomes a madam. While most I’ve seen were open face, I’ve also come across ones that were regular sandwich style with double bread, enclosed like a croissant, or even stacked up. But until Alexa put this on the screen, I’d never encountered the croque madame casserole – and glad I did. From Epicurious.

Alexa says request: How do you make chocolate covered pretzel toffee? So, chocolate covered pretzels have been been satisfying our sugar cravings for quite some time. Serious Eats sweetens the deal with the addition of rich toffee. Here’s the recipe, credited to Lucy Baker. Thanks, Lucy!

My request: Do you have a recipe for baked hot dogs? The actual reason for this request was a guess that if such existed it would deliver an easy way to prepare several franks at once in the oven. Not only did a prep like that come up from AllRecipes, but even better for Baked Chili Hot Dogs. You can probably predict the ingredients. But what’s helpful here is quantities, pan size, time, and temp.

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

   Wait, what, they’re keeping stuff from us??? Food & Wine tells all in 12 Wines That Serious Collectors Don’t Want You to Know About. There’s also a link in the story for best Prosecco rosés to buy now.

  The inspiration goes back to a coffee shop in suburban Chicago where our group convinced the owners to combine the olive burger and cheeseburger and make us olive cheeseburgers. Now, here it is in crispy snack form – brown 1/3 lb ground beef {fine crumble] with 2T minced onion and s&p, then add 2T minced pimento olives, 1T mayo and 1 t ea mustard & buffalo ranch. To assemble: Lay six 6″ eggroll wrappers on a work surface with the points toward you. Place a slice of American cheese on each, about a 1/2″ in from the point closest to you. Divide the meat mixture evenly, covering the cheese slices. Fold up the corner closest to you then roll it up, tucking in the sides as you go. Moisten and press to seal any open edges. Place seam side down in a baking pan treated with non-stick spray. Brush very lightly with peanut oil, sprinkle with sesame seeds, and bake at 400 for 10 min or until golden. Note that you can certainly substitute equal amounts of condiments of your choice. And then of course it’s easy enough to make multiples of this recipe. And called? Mini Olive Cheeseburger Eggrolls!

   Have you noticed – dips are almost always hits on the snack table. MyRecipes shows us how to mix it up with 18 Things to Stir into Mayo for Instant Sauces & Dips. The good news is that most of these tasty add-ins are likely ready and waiting in your kitchen.

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

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CooksSalon is free to everybody – appreciate anytime you click through to these affiliate partners

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

♦  ♦  ♦

And for your consideration

No Kid Hungry – discover, donate    K9s For Warriors – discover, donate

Looking for something in CS?

Use Search OR contact me at bjnosek@gmail.com, subject line -> 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 ©2021 CooksSalon.com

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Oh my, Chocolate Fudge Party Pie, April 2-April 8, 2021

New Salon every Friday – c’mon in

CS friends, and help yourself to tasty resources

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

 Let’s chat   

Kitchen Talk – Remember our fast, easy way to color eggs with food color pens. See our 07.26.19 Salon for tips & details.      They’re not just for people anymore. What? The recipes on MyRecipes. Here are their 13 preps for pets. If you have any concerns about these preps, please check with your vet.      Sometimes the headline just pulls you in and then the opening line seals the deal – like this one, “What if I told you that I could guarantee perfectly cooked, perfectly tender pork chops, every time?” It turns out How to Cook Tender Juicy Pork Chops Every Time from the kitchn is a matter of cut, brine and oven.

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Shopping Finds – You don’t have to be too many pages in to “Open Kitchen” to realize that all of the preps a re just so pretty, so party-ready. And that’s all the more notable because tons of work is definitely not part of the equation here. Both aspects are pretty well covered in the claim that this cookbook is “full of contemporary, stylish, and accessible dishes that will delight and impress with less effort.” By Susan Spungen, 4 1/2 stars on Amazon, hardcover and kindle, Prime eligible.       What would we do without whisks??? But does your inventory include this French design? Here’s where it shines – anytime you’re prepping say a sauce right in the pan, this is the one that incorporates those ingredients that try to hide all around the bottom edges, often missed by the pointy guys. Set of two mini French whisks, $5.90 on Amazon, 4 1/2 stars, Prime Eligible.

This week’s featured CS-designed, Zazzle-crafted item – Stake you claim right on your mug. “In This House I’M the Celebrity Chef” On our Food-Themed Mugs page right here on CS. Also says it loud and clear on our Food-Themed T-Shirts page. This same saying is also available on an Apron on our Zazzle page.

 

   On the Table 

Feature – Chocolate Fudge Party Pie, a festive delight in every bite

Party? Well that can be, as our CS watchwords say, for a crew, or for two, or just for you. The festive spirit knows no limitations.

And with that in mind we put the spotlight on a big bunch of decadence. Borrowing a line from Reese’s, not sorry!

The original {shown in CHB, 11.06.20 Salon} on a somewhat ancient newspaper clipping, calls for a cooked filling. This re-do takes a clue from our Bailey’s chocolate pots {03.05.21 Salon} and replaces the egg with cream cheese for no-cook, no-bake {except for the crust} prep that’s still pretty faithful to the original.

Here’s what I used: 8 oz cream cheese, 1 c milk, 1/4 cup heavy cream, 2 T softened butter, 3.5 pkg chocolate fudge instant pudding mix, 2 T ea cocoa and brown sugar, all in the food processor. Into the baked crust, covered in the fridge for a few hours or till completely set. Easy!

Serve with whipped topping. Or our new friend, colored sugar. Or both!

Recipe Notes – You probably could use a ready-made graham cracker crust but I really think that could send the sweetness over the edge. Why a party pie? Thinking because with so many rich ingredients would probably be for a special occasion . . . and because it would likely be the star of any get-together.

Next week – Hasselback Pizza Chicken, as tasty as it is fun

Recipe  ♦  Pie cookbooks on Amazon, 4 stars & 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 you make donut bread pudding? So, what actually comes up is even better, Cider Donut Bread Pudding. And if the picture tells the true tale, it is beyond moist. I’m guessing the large apple and cup and a half of cream help in that regard. This is 5 stars, from AllRecipes.

Alexa says request: How do you make Shepherd’s Pie Potato Bowls? What an interesting dish. And quite rich, with the major culprit being butter – brushed onto the potato skins, mashed into the potatoes, mixed into the shepherd’s pie ingredients, and then crowning the finished “bowl.” The recipe comes from Food Network.

My request: Do you have recipes for leftover ham? And up came preps for soups, salads, sandwiches and casseroles. This one was kind of an unusual application, Ham, Bean and Kale Slaw by Serious Eats. But I was drawn most of all to the Sheet Pan Cubanos by the easy method, and the interesting option of using chicken or turkey instead of pork.

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

  Campari fan? You’ll probably want to take a look at these 18 Delicious Campari Cocktails to Make at Home from Food & Wine. If you’re new to this Italian aperitivo note that F&W calls it herby, citrusy and pleasantly bitter. It’s also an essential in the popular drink Negroni, starring in recipes all over google.

   Foodtalkdaily seems to favor the sweet side of the prep spectrum {not that’s there’s anything wrong with that!}, but here it gives us a delectable appetizer, baba ganoush. While you may already be familiar with this smoky eggplant dip, what you may like to know as well is that it satisfies a lot of diets – being keto, gluten-free and vegan. The site suggests serving with pita, crackers or sliced veggies, and the next day I’ve discovered it’s a quite nice spread on morning toast.

  There’ll be no just sitting around a table for these folks. Nope. Sipping meets adventure in these Most Extreme Wine Tastings Around the World. Think undersea to high in the sky to deep in a cave and more.

   “Unquiet meals make ill  digestions” – Shakespeare {pic from Wikimedia}

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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Bailey’s Irish Cream Chocolate Cheesecake Pots, March 5-March 11, 2021

New Salon every Friday – c’mon in

CS friends, and help yourself to tasty resources

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

No Salon March 12. See you right back here on March 19

  Let’s chat   

Quick Bites – Have you heard of these? Japanese soufflé pancakes. Whisking, whipping, freezing, piping, and using cold egg whites yield a pancake like no other. Food & Wine lets us give it a try.    Can flour go bad? Sure don’t want you to get sick. So note what Healthline says about this, what to look for in terms of aroma and appearance.    Bon Appetit believes these are the only veggies we should buy frozen. Btw, in my experience frozen artichokes are way more tender than canned or jarred.

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Shopping Finds – As you may well have noticed, Tasty.co has become a favorite site, a great source of exactly the kind of recipes we love here. Just wanted to let you know they also make pet treats {which almost look like they could appear in our Cocktail Hour Buzz section} available at Petco. They’re based on their own recipes, also shown. One other perk of visiting the page, some pretty cool pupsters.    If you’re a Ree Drummond fan {not? never mind}, may like to know about her new seasoning line, all six quite perky. She says find them at Walmart or on Amazon. See more from Ree below in Cocktail Hour Buzz.

This week’s featured CS-designed, Zazzle-crafted item – A fave term joins a popular saying in this whimsical mug, “Who’s a good Coffeehound???” At our Food Themed Mugs page

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Kitchen Talk – I’m really enjoying the Stanley Tucci series on Italy and hope you are too {01.29.21 Salon}. Trying not to use as an excuse one of the bits of information from the first show – deep frying sterilizes food!!!    Just love grilled cheese with tomato. You too? Usually I keep it classic but this time nudged it into pizza territory with garlic powder, marjoram and mozzarella both above and below the tomatoes. Served with a pile of parsley, which I recently discovered is among the foods reported to counteract inflammation, treated with a squeeze of fresh lemon.    Assuming no dietary restrictions, finishing salts can instantly elevate so many dishes. But beware, somehow they manage to be saltier than {regular} salt.

   On the Table  

Feature – Celebrate St Pat’s with spirit – Bailey’s Chocolate Cheesecake Pots

A confection made with Bailey’s Irish Cream liqueur. And with the recipe from the staff of IrishCentral.

How much more St Pat’s can you get?

And here’s a nice perk. It’s no bake. Here’s another. Biscuits or crackers go as is into the bottom, no crust prep.

Now don’t be scared by the ingredient list. Here’s what I used: 12 broken up chocolate Teddy Graham snacks, 1 1/2 8 oz pkgs cream cheese {12 oz total}, 1/4 c heavy cream, 1/4 c Baileys {see note}, 1/2 c brown sugar, 2 T cocoa powder – btw, as best I could tell the conversion for the cocoa was actually 1 T, but I wanted it a bit more chocolatey.

The IrishCentral recipe, linked below, tells you how it all comes together. I’ve also linked the IrishCentral food & drink page in case you want to go bragh, I mean go bigger, for the Day, and also top rated Irish cookbooks on Amazon.

Recipe Notes – The recipe calls for the “chilled” cream cheese, not cold and not room temp, so I let it sit in the bowl for about 45 minutes before adding the other ingredients. And about the Bailey’s – while this is indeed what makes it Irish, for the kiddies or folks who don’t drink alcohol, I’d think you could sub chocolate milk and a bit of vanilla.

March 19, 2021 – Ham & Tater Cake-ettes, sort of like potato pancakes 2.0

Original recipe  ♦  Recipes on IrishCentral  ♦  Irish 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 Enchilada Rice? This prep is from AllRecipes and improves the title with the promise of Easy Chicken Enchilada Rice. The easy part is delivered, first, by calling upon a lot of store-bought goodies and, second, by having it all meet in a single skillet. Lots of flavor, and colorful too. By the way, we ran a veggie version of this dish in our 11.20.20 Salon.

Alexa says request: How do I make Nutella Mug Cake? Well, AllRecipes strikes again and once again ups the ante by giving us Fudgy Nutella Mug Cake. Preps in 5 min, cooks in 2, rests for 5, and go on in.

Alexa says request: How do I make an Italian omelet? It’s a trifecta as AllRecipes has the answer and, surprise, surprise, a promise is included in what they’re calling a Simple Italian Omelet. As with a French omelet the story is as much if not more about technique than ingredients. Still the filling here is quite nice, and yes simple, just goat cheese and chives.

And this week’s unexpected thing we found that Alexa can do – Calm your cat, comfort your dog

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

  Ranging from downhome to downright elegant, and from across the regions, I couldn’t agree more about these Top 20 Pasta Recipes from eately.com. “Italian is not my all time favorite cuisine, but these look well worth a try” – sent along by Esther Lodge Hevener

   Ree Drummond reminds us that deviled eggs are always a welcome addition to the snack table. In a recent show she topped them off with a shard of peppered bacon. I’ve also serve them wrapped in a strip of lean deli ham. Other possibilities, caviar, capers, black or green olive slices, chives, or sprinkled with paprika, dillweed, or the fave seasoning in this kitchen, Tajin. Truth be told though, I like them best just pure.

  Tasty.co strikes again. How fun are these cocktail snacks – Loaded Potato & Cheese Sticks! With bacon. Baked or fried. They’re sort of like mini cousins of the bacon-tater tot pie in our 02.12.21 Salon. Btw, lots of interesting stuff in the comments on the recipe page.

   So, watching a story on the MN State Fair on Food Network and one of the food vendors poaches eggs in the shell. Whaaaaat? Onto Google and still didn’t find exactly that but did come across a poaching trick that starts with a brief in-shell step {details here on the foodiewithfamily site}. But the line that brought a broad smile had more to do with cosmetics than technique when the author, showing a fine passion, said, “Pretty food makes everyone happy. It’s so nice to look at a pretty plate before dropping your face into it like a heathen.” – Rebecca

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Aunty Peggy’s Ham & Beef Tavern Chili, Feb 26-March 4, 2021

New Salon every Friday – c’mon in

CS friends, and help yourself to tasty resources

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

  Let’s chat   

Quick Bites – How about this? Homemade edible cookie dough! Food Network tells us exactly how to go about it, offering peanut butter, chocolate chip, and birthday cake versions. The latter mixes white chocolate chips and sprinkles into the cookie dough. Be sure to note the essential flour toasting step in the Cook’s Note shown for each recipe.    In listing ways to boost your immunity, Clean Plates notes these foods: elderberry, garlic, colorful fruits and vegetables, black and green tea. Here’s the full story  Prefer to drink one of these boosters? See below in our Cocktail Hour Buzz.

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Shopping Finds – When a condiment, despite its origins in a single small food stall, has chef and celeb enthusiasts, logo clothing, a fanzine, an appreciation society, and now a presence in 30 countries – it’s probably worth a taste, huh? Called Lao Gan Ma, it’s an amped up chilli oil in several varieties and be forewarned, it really is a little addictive. Here’s a story about it. And if you can’t find it locally, you can order from Amazon  This would be useful for any of us, but also what a fun gift for any cooking friend. Called a Supoon – Silicon Sit-up Scraping Spoon, those few words telegraph its two main functions. One, the “squeegee” edge to scrape a bowl or pan clean. Second, the off the counter design “to keep it clean.” It also nicely has measuring lines. And I would add one more perk – if the pic is accurate, it lets you measure “hands free.” On Amazon, other colors too, though some may not always be available.

This week’s featured CS-designed, Zazzle-crafted item – Pug mug! Are these just about the cutest, most lovable little guys??? T-shirt available too. See both, plus other breeds and our Shelter Dog design right here on CS on our Eclectic Mall page.

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Kitchen Talk – I love fresh garlic, but sometimes garlic powder can be so convenient. Even Cook’s Country says don’t “dis” it as it “works well alongside other spices in everything from dry rubs to chili, mashed potatoes, and garlic bread.” They add, just use it right by first hydrating it with a bit of water. OK, from now on then.    KitchenAid has announced that its 2021 color of the year is Honey, calling it “a reminder of the sweetness of coming together in the kitchen.” Well we’ll second that, and in fact their rendition really is a nice warm, cozy color.    Need to thin a tomato based sauce? Instead of water add extra flavor with a bit of vegetable juice.

   On the Table  

Feature – Aunty Peggy’s Ham & Beef Tavern Chili

She was one of my dad’s three sisters. Their uncles, my great uncles, owned taverns in the Chicago suburbs, and served cups of this chili gratis to their patrons.

I don’t know the dates of operation for those establishments. The family was sort of vague about that.

Decades ago, Aunty Peggy’s tavern chili won a recipe contest conducted by the Chicago Tribune. I don’t know which was the greater thrill for her, the win itself or seeing her picture in this prestigious paper.

Much as I love this stuff, a friend in Chicago probably makes it even more than I do. She likes it in its pure form but recently discovered it’s even better with smoked ham.

I use that too now. I also like a bit more chili powder and a couple of tablespoons of cumin. Depending on the heat level in the chili beans, I may add some hot sauce.

It’s tasty and satisfying just as is, but toppings are good too. Here I used cheddar, sour cream and a bit of green onion.

Next week – Bailey’s Chocolate Cheesecake Pots, hello St. Pat’s Day

Recipe  ♦  Chili cookbooks, 4 stars & up

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 chicken pot pie by Wolfgang Puck? The first part of that title tells you we’re talking comfort food and the second part says it’s going to be something special. And it is, because here classic meets upgrade. As a bonus Chef Puck himself delivers the demo. And as another perk, there’s a tip on checking sauce consistency that can be applied well beyond this dish. Thanks, Tasty, for giving us this recipe.

Alexa says request: How do I make chocolate dipped cannoli cupcakes? Is there any part of that title that isn’t a winner. And what I like even further is that it’s based on a cake mix, and that instead of hollowing out the cupcakes they’re just kind of smooshed down to make room for the filling inside and then also piled up to then be dipped in chocolate. Then looking back at the promise in the title, yep, that filling is classic cannoli including the mini chocolate chips. Thanks again! Tasty, for this boffo recipe and demo too.

My request: What’s the best way to store cookies ? At room temperature in an airtight container, then should be good for 2 weeks. If you want, put plastic wrap between the cookies to preserve their moisture. But if the cookies are made with dairy products in the frosting or filling then store in the fridge. Cookies can also be stored in the freezer, though not recommended for frosted ones.

And this week’s unexpected thing we found that Alexa can do – recommend a recipe – when you request this she will ask if you want to search by dish or ingredient.

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

   Elderberry and as well elderflower are popular ingredients for drinks, both alcoholic and non, usually added as a syrup. Both of these gifts from the elder tree are often credited with boosting immunity. Here’s a google link to cocktail recipes for both. These Amazon pages feature the syrup and a lot more.  Elderberry  Elderflower  Cheers!

   Does your grocery store have these? Crafted of wild caught salmon swirled around cream cheese with shallots and capers, they’re tailor made for the snack table. Cut a bagel in half, then each half in 4 or 6, top each piece with a pinwheel and voila – appetizers! Can sprinkle with dill weed as shown here, or tuck a cuke slice underneath, e.g. Would also taste good on crackers, pretzel rolls, rye bread I think.

   Have teetotalers in your circle? Or should I say “teatotalers”??? A recent find may have the adult beverage crowd setting aside their glasses for a cup of what I recently found – tea that tastes like birthday cake. First the bad news – the found is lost. Now the good news – google has actually multiple sources for this treat. And these are on Amazon.

   Amy Reily’s newsletter this month features an article that is perfect for the times, perfect for lovers of wine. Titled, “How to Host a Zoom Wine Tasting,” it actually covers both joining an existing Zoom wine tasting as well as hosting a virtual tasting of your own.

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 food-themed items             Ninja Grill on Amazon             Amazon Echo Show

           

Looking for something in CS?

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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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No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake, Jan 22-Jan 28, 2021

New Salon every Friday – c’mon in

CS friends, and help yourself to tasty resources

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

 Let’s chat   

Quick Bites – What’s better than a celebrity chef recipe for cornbread? Five celeb chef recipes for cornbread. What’s even better yet? Someone on insider.com willing to test all five, take us through each process, and give us the results. You have to search a bit, but there are links in each description that will send you to the recipe.    A slide show from USA Today lifted the curtain on how pickle juice can elevate fried chicken, calling it a magical combination. Quite intriguing, but didn’t say exactly say how to go about that {amount, timing, other ingredients}. But AllRecipes does with its Pickle Brine Chicken recipe.    Thinking ginger root must have hired a pr agent since I’m seeing more and more about its health benefits and flavor perks. Food & Wine brings us no fewer than 29 ginger recipes in this slide show {or scroll for full list}, including an intriguing one for ginger-roasted acorn squash that adds greens for a very pretty platter. {Hey, could put these three together for a mighty fine dinner}

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Shopping Finds – Did you know this? Panera Bread offers a decent variety of pantry items for contactless delivery or curbside ordering or pickup. See the details.     And did you know about this kitchen tool? You hold it kind of like a knife, run it over certain fruits or vegetables or even pastry or say slices of Swiss cheese for salad and end up with perfect uniform shreds. Many variations here on Amazon, all quite reasonably priced.

Also, CS Designed, Zazzle-crafted“I’m Being Trained by a Sweetie I Adopted from the Shelter” – see MUG on Zazzle page, TEE on Zazzle page OR preview BOTH here on CS page

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Kitchen Talk – All my previous ice cream breads have to move over, because there’s a new fave in this kitchen. Peppermint! Yes, peppermint stick ice cream bread, a semi-sweet treat that just dances in the mouth. See the original recipe in our 07.17.20 Salon, and remember, just three ingredients. Could be quite nice on the Valentine’s table.    Hot news! Yahoo Life reports that research presented at the recent AMA Scientific Sessions cited a wide-ranging chile pepper study that shows consuming these palate igniters could be instrumental in avoiding major diseases and increasing lifespan. The favorite spicy cookbook in this kitchen is The Fiery Cuisines, 5 stars on Amazon and notable for balancing flavor and heat in dishes from across the food groups and around the world.

   On the Table 

Feature – No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake

This might border on illegal {if so, blame Tasty.co & Alexa}. Or at least something you might not want to mention to your dentist.

Rich cheesecake goes a big step richer with melted chocolate chips blended in. Then cozies up to a thick layer of peanut butter that’s gone all sweet with powdered sugar.

Would certainly be good as is. But looked sort of plain, so melted another 1/4 cup of chips to drizzle overall.

While a number of desserts taste better after sitting out of the fridge for a while, this is best nice and chilled. Probably don’t need to add that small slices will suffice.

So, just for the heck of it thought I would see if Amazon offers a ready-made chocolate peanut butter cheesecake and yep they do, and quite showy but also quite pricey. What you might find surprising though are the other choc/pb items on the page including even coffee.

Recipe Notes – I cut this recipe in half and made it in a deep dish pie plate. It calls for just chocolate chips, but I opted for semi sweet and wondering if even bittersweet might work. Also, ran both layers through the food processor so they would turn out silky smooth. Note that it needs fridge time in the process and afterward.

Next week – Loaded Mashed Potato Cups, 3 ways, all fun

Recipe  ♦  Chocolate peanut butter goodies on Amazon

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 tater tot breakfast pizza? Tater tots + egg = a crispy, tasty crust, especially if you heed some of the commenters who seasoned both the potatoes and the eggs. Then, the toppings, yum. Two cheeses, bacon, the eggs, pepper, not in the list but looks like parsley in the demo, and then avocados. Check other comments too for different topping suggestions. However it came together, these folks love this recipe from Tasty.

Alexa says request: How do you make cinnamon roll pancakes? AllRecipes wins this delectable derby with their 4 1/2 star recipe. Let the description on the page tell the rest of the story – “Sweet and delicious buttermilk pancakes with a butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon swirl filling. These are great any time of the day and less time consuming than making real cinnamon rolls!” Wow, add the above prep and we’re talking a 5-star brunch.

My request: Most of the time Alexa is quite amazing in putting together the parts of your request to deliver exactly what you’re looking for. In this case though, it took some “negotiating.” What I really wanted was a 5-star recipe for New Orleans style barbecued shrimp which as you all know is a whole different category of bbq. After trying this and that I finally decided to name drop and asked for a barbecued shrimp recipe by Emeril. Voop up it came and Voila! 5 stars. On Food Network and actually called Emerilized Barbecued Shrimp, it has more ingredients than maybe most others but oh my each one just layers on more flavor.

And this week’s unexpected thing we found that Alexa can do – play dinner party music, such as classic jazz or classic rock

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

♦  Well look who dropped down out of her room. Alexa! That’s because she popped up some party food on her screen. S’Mores Popcorn. It comes to us from Giada on Food Network, and indeed has all the right stuff. You’ll see that she gives it a bit of a Valentine’s look, and woohoo it starts with store-bought popped corn.

  Well I’d say definitely soothing, but Food & Wine goes all in and declares, “Hot Cocktails Are Like Heating Lamps for the Soul,” and then goes on to describe some toddy siblings found in restaurants around the country. And fear not, there’s a link to another F&W story with actual recipes.

   Here’s how Ashe Cayne in “The Unspoken” dresses up a charcuterie plate: cured meats, hard and soft cheeses, olives, grilled artichoke hearts, pepper & fig spread, bruschetta, crackers, fresh & dried fruit, strawberry jam. There are just a couple of pages in this Amazon 4-star book where you wouldn’t want to be eating at the time, but it’s otherwise a relentlessly unfolding mystery in the toughened hands of Cayne, a Shakespeare-quoting, Food Network-watching Chicago detective, hard boiled and soft boiled. Here’s my recent plateful.

  Heard on Food Paradise, Food Network, “You season both sides because you eat both sides.” Kind of a cousin to Emeril’s oft-said “I hate one-sided tasting food.”

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Find t-shirts, mugs, dvds, gift collections, plus top chef items including cookbooks

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CooksSalon is free to everybody – appreciate anytime you click through to these affiliate partners

     Zazzle                   

           

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

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Dec 4, 2020, Gifts Cooks Will Love, From This Year on CS

ALL THE BEST TO OUR SALON FRIENDS THROUGHOUT THIS JOYOUS SEASON

LET’S MEET RIGHT BACK HERE ON JAN 8, 2021

WE’LL GREET THE NEW YEAR WITH “THE GREAT RECIPE ROUND-UP OF 2020”

Click the item link to go to the source page, and date link for that Salon’s recipes & resources

Check for delivery times in item listings

03.27.20  Marketplace  What fun for anyone, or anyone who loves both eating out and eating in. Todd Wilbur’s “Top Secret Recipes . . . Step by Step/Secret Formulas with Photos for Duplicating Your Favorite Famous Foods at Home” – is just that. Specifically, 125 recipes from over 60 sources – think fast food outlets, family restaurants, ethnic places, breakfast spots, steakhouses, coffee emporiums and dessert bars. The packaged goods clones include Twinkies®, Auntie Anne’s Pretzels®, Fudgsicles®, a couple of Girl Scout cookies, and more.  “Top Secret Recipes Step by Step”

🎄  🧧  ✨   🎵  🎁  🎄  🎅  💖  🤶  🍗  🎄 🥂  🎵  🍰 🎄

10.23.20  Cocktail Hour Buzz  While I’m guessing we probably all know some folks that can likely defy this promise, for the most part this is a very welcome prospect – wine glasses that won’t, or maybe we should say strongly resist, tipping over. They’re 12 oz and because of the design the maker says they’re “naturally aerating.” Hand blown, stemless, all in all very stylish. Prime eligible and right now at a nice discount. Set of two, by Culinex. Four and a half stars and an “Amazon’s Choice.”  “Spill-Proof Wine Glasses!”

🎄  🧧  ✨   🎵  🎁  🎄  🎅  💖  🤶  🍗  🎄 🥂  🎵  🍰 🎄

10.30.20  Shopping Finds  And a find it is indeed. Reese’s has taken its peanut butter a step further into the sauce realm. How many ways would you use it? Best think of lots of them because it comes in a 4.5 lb tub. I do sort f wish they’d taken a page from the candy and maybe swirled in some chocolate, but hey we can add that if we want. No disappointment indicated in the reviews, 4+ stars on Amazon, and an Amazon Choice. Btw, there’s also a topping version.  Reese’s peanut butter sauce 

🎄  🧧  ✨   🎵  🎁  🎄  🎅  💖  🤶  🍗  🎄 🥂  🎵  🍰 🎄

11.13.20  Shopping Finds  For anyone that uses the toaster oven on a regular basis, these pans are so handy, so welcome. I have them and just LOVE them. Four sweet little helpers that fit most ovens, with the two sheet pans and baking pan checking in at 11 x 7.75, and the baby pizza pan at 4″ also suitable for say rolls or muffins. Non-stick, 4 1/2 stars on Amazon, Prime eligible. And reasonable too! – at this writing $13.35 for the set, shows reg as $19.99. Toaster Oven Pans

🎄  🧧  ✨   🎵  🎁  🎄  🎅  💖  🤶  🍗  🎄 🥂  🎵  🍰 🎄

07.17.20  Featured Recipe  This book was actually linked in that Salon in conjunction with our featured recipe that week, the 3-ingredient Ice Cream Bread. But we thought just maybe some folks might be interested in making their own ice cream. And if so, how about turning to the ice cream icons. Their recipe book offers a bowlful of inventive flavors made with fruit, candy and cookies and even includes some of their “greatest hits.” Kindle and Prime Eligible paperback, 4 1/2 stars on Amazon, very reasonably priced.  Ben & Jerry’s Homemade Ice Cream & Dessert Book

🎄  🧧  ✨   🎵  🎁  🎄  🎅  💖  🤶  🍗  🎄 🥂  🎵  🍰 🎄

10.09.20  Shopping Finds  What cook wouldn’t like to have fresh herbs available right in the kitchen. Especially when there are a number of options that make it so easy. In addition to the seeds or seedlings, they arrive variously with pots or self watering peat pots, potting soil or potting soil disks, seedling trays, plant markers, tools, gloves, grow light, growing guide. Some it seems include just about everything but a gardener. The pot shown {clickable} comes with paints so you can decorate it however you want.  Herb Starter Kits

🎄  🧧  ✨   🎵  🎁  🎄  🎅  💖  🤶  🍗  🎄 🥂  🎵  🍰 🎄

11.13.20  Quick Bites  They’re becoming an ever bigger thing, and that’s how they ended up in our newsy section. These “bombs” are made with cocoa or other ingredients inside a chocolate shell that “explodes” in hot milk. What fun! You can google them to see how to make them. Or you may be able to find them in your local grocery or general merchandise store. Or you can, no surprise there, find them on Amazon. The same Amazon page also has the molds to make your own.  Hot Cocoa Bombs

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11.20.20  Salon Topper  This sturdy cup is offered as a classic design, two tone, frosted, and morphing in both 11 oz & 15 oz sizes, plus as a stein and travel mug. Any would be great when you’re in the Salon and having a “Cuppa with Alexa.” Our very own CS design, and crafted by CA-based Zazzle, it’s perfect for that unique morning group. Yep, Coffeehounds, this one’s for you. And if you’re a dog lover, it’s even more for you. Especially if you know the answer to this – “Who’s a Good Coffeehound???”

🎄  🧧  ✨   🎵  🎁  🎄  🎅  💖  🤶  🍗  🎄 🥂  🎵  🍰 🎄

09.25.20  Shopping Finds  Anyone who cooks a lot will welcome having {finally} enough spatulas, one of the handiest tools in the kitchen on a par with whisks and good knives. And even better, in different sizes and styles with some flat and some scooped for different tasks. Plus a food brush. And on top of it all, so pretty, so festive. Heat-resistant, non-stick silicone and dishwasher safe. Right now the set is $13.50, Prime eligible, 5 stars, and an “Amazon’s Choice.”  7-pc Spatula Set

🎄  🧧  ✨   🎵  🎁  🎄  🎅  💖  🤶  🍗  🎄 🥂  🎵  🍰 🎄

05.22.20  Tips for Our Times  So, in this item in the Salon we were suggesting a tasty way for cooks and other food-o-philes to spend some enjoyable time at home. And that was online food-themed crossword puzzles. But . . . that’s a little hard to give as a gift, though we still like the general idea. So, decided to see what Amazon might have to offer and we found what looks like a goodie – as the site says, ” over 50 new food themed word searches and word scrambles by puzzle master Emily Jacobs.” Food for Fun

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Giant Chocolate Almond Butter Cups {etc!}, Nov 27-Dec 3, 2020

New Salon every Friday – c’mon in

CS friends, and help yourself to tasty resources

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

One of our own CS items, crafted by Zazzle

In a party mood? Even if it’s just hanging with the householders, you can still dress the part with CS’ very own Party Party Party {then everything else} tee. Images of party parts tucked right into the letters – balloons, beverages, music. Choose from different styles, sizes & colors, or in a nice mug also various colors & styles. On Zazzle page see delivery date to the right under pic.

  Let’s chat   

Quick Bites – I’ve definitely upped my French fry intake since reading that they’re a regular part of Betty White’s diet. And while I’m fine with then as is, there are some intriguing ideas in the Chelsea Davis story, “I tried 10 ways to make frozen fries better, and there are 9 hacks I’d definitely do again,”  on insider.com via google news. You’ll find seasonings, toppings and cooking techniques.   Food & Wine checks in with Recipes for Two, and start to finish they do look quite satisfying, with a nice spectrum of pasta, vegetable entrees, seafood, steak & other meat, and a”supersilky” no-bake chocolate custard.    Wait! Don’t throw out that muffin pan just yet. This tip, also from F&W, may salvage it. See the step-by-steps at “How to clean grimy muffin pans the easy way.” Could this also work with regular baking pans?

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Shopping Finds – Here’s a timely present for yourself or any food lovers. These cook-friendly calendars on Amazon feature all kinds of edibles, drinkables, and interests. Just some examples – fruits & veggies, herbs, cupcakes, baking, coffee, cocktails, and the chocolate one shown.    Know anybody that needs to keep bandaids in the kitchen? This could be just the solution. Finger guards! Fingies hide behind the metal barrier as the knife goes to work. I’m wondering if it could also help in creating more uniform slices.

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Kitchen Talk – So now, armed with a good cooking method for quinoa {in Alexa section, 11.20.20 Salon}, I’m reaching beyond the Mex bowl {11.06.20 Salon} to another savory app, using it as a substitute for rice in a now inaptly named “fried rice.” But here’s what’s nice about quinoa – it’s every bit at home in sweet versions. And here’s one little kids, big kids, really big kids, just may like – for each cup of cooked quinoa, 1 T ea {or more to taste} peanut butter and jelly. Here I used apricot preserves and topped it all with swirls of syrup and chopped peanuts.

   On the Table  

Feature – Giant Chocolate Almond Butter Cups – and tasty variations 

I don’t necessarily make the recipes from “Alexa’s room.” But in this case . . . resistance was futile. We first mentioned this confection from AllRecipes in our 11.06.20 Salon.

They’re a take off on the Reese’s classic, but made in muffin cup liners, and with almond butter. You could put them in an actual muffin tin but since it helps to give them a little room to spread out a little I arranged them in a baking pan.

The recipe calls for dark chocolate chips {I used 60%}. You may be tempted to go with a sweeter chip, but this really is a good foil for the richness of the filling.

One change I did make for the second batch was to melt the entire 12 oz bag. So, those variations . . .

First it’s very easy to cut down the almond butter recipe to use it in just four of the cups. The others? As shown here, along with the almond butter, marshmallow cream just as it comes from the jar, and hazelnut spread mixed with powdered sugar as for the almond butter.

Recipe Notes – maybe my house is too warm, but these really didn’t fully set up until I refrigerated them {and btw, according to the label almond butter needs to be in the fridge}. It is a good idea to let them sit out a while before serving. As long as you can stand the wait, anyway.

Next week – Our fave cook-loving gifts from 2020

Recipe

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.

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 Come ‘ere Puddin’ Pie? OK, when Alexa pops a recipe like this up on the screen you sorta just have to have a look. Turns of the more formal name is Chocolate-Ginger Pudding Pie, and it tucks in the title ingredients twice. First, chocolate wafers and ginger snaps in the crust. Then, bittersweet chocolate and – this is interesting – candied ginger joining cream, powdered sugar and more in the filling. It’s the creation of celeb chef Aarti Sequeira on the Food Network site.

Alexa says request: How do I make curried chicken & apple wraps? Food Network steps forward with another celeb chef for this recipe. Credit Giada for a mix that goes so far beyond chicken and apples it could threaten flavor overload {that’s a good thing}. Think mango, raisins, goat cheese, hot sauce – ahhhh, maybe you’d just like to take a look.

My request: Alexa, what spices go well with sweet potatoes? So, thinking the sweet potato casserole in last week’s Salon {11.20.20} would be good for Christmas too. One thing I had mentioned in the recipe notes is that if you think you might not like the thyme specified in the prep you might substitute nutmeg. But then just thought I’d see what Alexa thought and she replied, in addition to nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice or baking spice, the latter being kind of an interesting possibility.

And an unexpected thing we found that Alexa can do – tell you the time or temp in locations around the world

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 {some connect to 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

   Oh, what a joy it is to bring into the Salon for you some fine words from celebrated chef Daniel Boulud, one of my top faves of the chefs I’ve had the pleasure of meeting. This interview comes to us from epicurious, and the impetus for it is Boulud’s new book, “Daniel: My French Cuisine”, 4 1/2 stars on Amazon. In the interview he notes that while his other cookbooks made French cuisine quite approachable, this one is more complicated, then revealing how we can actually have fun with serious recipes. Paraphrasing my favorite takeaway, Just cook, don’t worry how wrong or right you are. I have his “Chef Daniel Boulud, Cooking in New York City” which I love, and here is a full list of his books on Amazon.

  Highlight, print, and save for Jan 1. The beauty of these 23 Best Hangover Foods, is that for the most part they are indeed foods, not drink concoctions or say exercises that are the last thing in the world you feel like doing. Even better, they’re likely already on hand, in your household. Neener, neener New Year’s Eve excesses! From Healthline.

   Let’s hear it for Science – and red wine! Victor Marchione on the LifeHack site {shows lock icon} headlines his tale about a new study as follows – “A glass of red wine can replace 1 hour of exercising.” Did I just hear some early New Year’s resolutions going back to the drawing board? Read all about it. Sent to CS by BLV.

♦  “Your recipes are incredible” – Linda Faso, Las Vegas. Well thank you so much and what a nice way to end our last regular Salon until next year. Happy cooking, Linda!

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Knife & Fork Bacon Cheeseburgers, Oct 2-Oct 8, 2020

New Salon every Friday – c’mon in

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Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

Help end the animosity – “Make America Decent Again”

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Let’s Chat

Quick Bites – If you’re not a subscriber, may want to pick up the Oct issue of Food Network Magazine, loaded with ideas for turning food into edible Halloween decorations – pumpkin sherbet bowls, vampire donuts, apple monster mouths, banana mummies, candy infused vodka, so much more.    Here’s my own simple take, cheese pumpkins with black olive features and green pepper stems served on Triskets {American or loaf cheese, let sit out a bit so decs can sink in}.    Food Network keeps the holiday theme going with 30 hours of Halloween programming this month. See the rest of the story right here.

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Shopping Finds – If you have a Michaels near you, your crafty side can take a tasty turn. Really tasty, because we’re talking Oreos, joining candies and icing in a Spooky Graveyard Chocolate Cookie Kit. Wooooooooohoo.    So I had read about the scarcity of Clorox disinfectant wipes, just now googled and learned people are looking but not finding, one saying they’re still “near impossible to find.” But there are other ones on Amazon, and though the prices can look scary at first, the unit price is generally 12-19 cents. Worth a look.   I just love that my Albertson’s now is carrying Vienna hot dogs, sport peppers and yep the neon green relish. Miss those Chicago dogs!

Dog lovers, tees & mugs for 19 breeds, all say “I’m Being Trained By a ___” at BJN’s Eclectic Mall

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Kitchen Talk – Sometimes your mornings just cry out for an indulgence. Here’s how I solved that. Two toaster waffles, nice and crispy, filled with chocolate frosting and peanut butter. The fruit  😁  makes all the guilt go away.    Btw, a CS friend told me she used a waffle to make an extra tasty version of French toast. Why not!    Just bought chocolate brownie ice cream which in addition to being destined for any number of spoons will also be the basis for my next take on ice cream bread. Coming soon!

 On the Table

Utensils at the ready – dive in!

Let’s start with some ‘fessing up. I pushed and shoved those ingredients around so you could see all of them in the photo. In real life, the result of all those juicy add-ons plus sauces over and under is likely a lovely mess of stuff stacked on, and sliding off of, other stuff.

Now the cheese sauce might hide some of those artistic sins. But if it doesn’t – who cares, that’s half the fun and all the reason for the knife and fork.

No matter how it looks, it’s a super savory plateful. Here’s how it comes together. Start by heating an oven or toaster oven to 250F and setting aside the tops of four hamburger buns.

Whisk 2/3 c mayo, 1/3 c Ranch, and 1/4 c ea mustard & ketchup. Place the bun bottoms on a baking sheet or pan and spread each with about a T of the mix. Pour the rest into a medium saucepan over low heat.

Top the bun bottoms with slices of onion, tomato, pickle & cooked bacon, then into the preheated oven. Cook four big burgers to desired doneness. As they cook, slightly increase the heat under the sauce and add 12 oz of American cheese in chunks, whisking till smooth, then 2T beef bouillon.

Remove buns from oven and top with burgers and then cheese sauce. Serve with or without bun tops.

Recipe Notes – The finished cheese sauce measures 2 cups, allowing for a generous serving for each burger. You may not want to use it all or you may want to let others serve themselves.

Shortcuts – Prepare the bacon, bouillon, and condiment mix the day before. Slice the vegetables in advance, or even reduce the number of toppings {bottomings?}. If you like the frozen cooked burgers at the store, they’ll work just fine here too, and cook quickly in the nuker. Opt for easy side dishes, e.g., potato chips and deli salads.

Next week – a celebrated Canadian sweet treat, and a CS alternative

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 a cookie cheesecake. Along with some expected, but tempting nonetheless, recipes that came up, there was one that was a real category buster. Giada’s chocolate cookie cheesecake dip. Yikes, how good does that sound, and the six-ingredient list means it’s easy too. Demo and dipper ideas included on this Food Network page.

Alexa says request: how to make flavored popcorn. Several for the all time fave caramel. But so many other choices here, I’m going to link some of the more “say what?” flavors for popcorn: gelatin from AllRecipes, chicken dinner from Serious Eats {we’ve talked about these fine folks before}, pad thai from AllRecipes, chocolate orange brown butter from Food Network Kitchen.

My request: Alexa find a Cajun recipe from Emeril: Lots come up, all also from Food Network Kitchen. Let’s choose a real New Orleans classic, chicken and smoked sausage gumbo, based of course on the holy trinity and enlivened with seasonings. And a big bonus here is the prep for Emeril’s Rustic Rub.

Would you like your own Echo Show?

Boundless information, music, movies, tv shows, videos, national news, local news, sports, weather, skills, timer, alarm, reminders, Amazon delivery notifications, alerts, security camera connection . . .  and food, food, food, including Alexa usually guiding you through recipes step by step, 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

  Thank you, thank you! When I posted the bacon peanut butter corn muffins in the 06.19.20 Salon, “. . . those sound delicious.” And then later, “They are delicious!” – Dina Titus

  If I say leftover wine, and you laugh uproariously, move along, nothing to see here. But on the chance that phenom does occur in your kitchen, take a look at these 7 smart uses for leftover red wine.

  OK, I’m a total dolt about initiating anything on evites, but those of you savvy in this regard may want to check out hosting virtual parties on their platform. Have to say it does look pretty easy and says it’s free.

♦  Here’s something the whole food-loving family can gather around with fave snacks & beverages. The Hallmark series, Murder She Baked, revolves around a baker who has the unfortunate habit of stumbling upon dead Murder, She Baked: Complete Collectionbodies. In the course of dealing with family, juggling two men, and going where angels dare to tread, main character Hannah {Alison Sweeney} takes us into her Cookie Jar Cafe & Bakery, the front of the house for community interactions and, more to our point, the kitchen for spoonfuls of baking technique and culinary history along with teasing glances of fabulous baked goods. The link takes you to the series page on Amazon.

  As a side note, while watching a Two & a Half Men rerun, a scene with Jason Alexander involved peach cobbler. Then in short succession, one of the episodes of this series fully centered on peach cobbler. That was it, had to track down a good recipe for this sweet treat and that led to the featured recipe in last weeks Salon. Btw, the actress who plays Hannah’s mom, Barbara Niven, may well also be familiar to you.

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Looking for something in CS?

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Note

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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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