Constant Growing Amazement Cooks!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Blueberry Almond Shortbread Tart

Okay!  Winner winner chicken dinner!!!!  This dessert is fabulous!  Friend and neighbor Cari (the consummate baker!) made this tart for a get together last night.  Died and gone to heaven.  Or as hubby said - his favorites are anything lemon or banana or coconut (all of which she made last night as well)- and this dessert even topped them!

It is a little time consuming but so worth the effort.  You need a spring form pan and a food processor makes it a lot easier.

I served it with a coconut gelato and a bit of blueberry sauce for garnish.

Blueberry Almond Shortbread Tart

Shortbread Tart Dough

1 recipe below

Almond Filling

1 1/2 cups sliced almonds
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 egg
1 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. vanilla
3 cups fresh blueberries

Crumb Topping

3/4 cup cold butter
3/4 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup sliced almonds

Preheat oven to 350

Prepare one recipe of Shortbread Tart Dough.  Gently press it evenly into a 1/4 thick shell on the bottom and 1 1/2 inches up the sides of a 10-inch spring form cake pan.  Line a small tart tin with the remaining dough.  Wrap the small tart shell in plastic and freeze to use at another time.  Place the unbaked shell onto a sheet pan and set aside.

Almond Filling

Finely grind the almonds with the sugar in a food processor.  Add the butter, eggs, flour and vanilla and process briefly again to mix well.  Spread the almond filling into the prepared crust.  Top the almond filling with the blueberries.

To Prepare the Crumb Topping

Cut the cold butter into small pieces and place into aa food processor.  Add the flour, brown sugar and the cinnamon.  Process briefly until the mixture resembles coarse meal.  Add the almonds and process briefly again.  Be sure not to over process.  The mixture should remain crumbly.  Pile the streusel toppings onto the top of the tart.

To Bake

Bake the tart on he sheet pan or baking sheet in the fuly preheated oven for about 1 hour or until the tart crust starts to turn golden and the filling is set around the edges.  A knife inserted into the center should come out clean.  Remove from the sheet pan and cool to warm before removing from the pan for serving.

Marilyn's notes:  My tart pans are 8"- and I found there was enough filling to do two tarts albeit one a little less full than the other.  Tons of the streusel topping left over- would be perfect for a cobbler for another time.  I used one grocery box of blueberries for my two smaller tarts.

Rainbow Slaw

Oh so marvelous Rainbow Slaw-  made by Valene for our own Bon Appetit dinner.  I LOVED IT!  The dressing isn't heavy and it is such a nice change from regular slaw!


Servings: Makes about 8 cups
  • 1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • 1 small green cabbage, thinly sliced (about 8 cups)
  • 1 small red cabbage, thinly sliced (about 8 cups)
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled, grated
  • 1 small yam (red-skinned sweet potato), peeled, grated
  • 1 large unpeeled Fuji apple, cored, grated
  • 1 large unpeeled Golden Delicious apple, cored, grated
  • 1 medium-size green pepper, cored, seeded, thinly sliced
  • 3 green onions, finely chopped
  • Paprika



  • Whisk mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, sugar, and maple syrup in small bowl. Place green cabbage and next 7 in very large bowl. Pour dressing over; toss. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and chill 1 hour. DO AHEAD Can be made 8 hours ahead. Chill.
  • Sprinkle with paprika and serve.

Char-Grilled Beef Tenderloin with Three-Herb Chimichurri


Spice Rub

  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon sweet smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon coarse kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chipotle chile powder or ancho chile powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper

Chimichurri sauce

  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons Sherry wine vinegar or red wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 medium shallots, peeled, quartered
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
  • 3 cups (packed) stemmed fresh parsley
  • 2 cups (packed) stemmed fresh cilantro
  • 1 cup (packed) stemmed fresh mint

Beef tenderloin

  • 1 3 1/2-pound beef tenderloin
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil


Spice rub

  • Combine all ingredients in small bowl. DO AHEAD Can be made 2 days ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.

Chimichurri sauce

  • Combine first 8 ingredients in blender; blend until almost smooth. Add 1/4 of parsley, 1/4 of cilantro, and 1/4 of mint; blend until incorporated. Add remaining herbs in 3 more additions, pureeing until almost smooth after each addition. DO AHEAD Can be made 3 hours ahead. Cover; chill.

Beef tenderloin

  • Let beef stand at room temperature 1 hour.
  • Prepare barbecue (high heat). Pat beef dry with paper towels; brush with oil. Sprinkle all over with spice rub, using all of mixture (coating will be thick). Place beef on grill; sear 2 minutes on each side. Reduce heat to medium-high. Grill uncovered until instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of beef registers 130°F for medium-rare, moving beef to cooler part of grill as needed to prevent burning, and turning occasionally, about 40 minutes. Transfer to platter; cover loosely with foil and let rest 15 minutes. Thinly slice beef crosswise. Serve with chimichurri sauce.

Monday, July 18, 2016


Friend and neighbor Cari Larsen made these alternative brownies for a neighborhood gathering.  They were a hit.  She said she can eat half a pan all by herself.  Since she looks like a size hardly nuthin', I highly doubt that...but the Lemonies were seriously that good. 

1 ½ cup flour
1 ½ cup sugar
½ tsp. salt
Whisk together and add the following:
1 cup butter (softened)
4 eggs
Blend well and add:
Zest from 1 lemon
Juice from 1 lemon (2 TBS)
Spread in greased 9 x 13 baking dish
Bake for approximately 25 minutes
While still warm, glaze with the following
1 cup powdered sugar
2 TBS lemon juice
2 tsp zest

Monday, July 11, 2016

Balsamic Roasted Cauliflower

Made this recipe for birthday dinners and we loved it!  Recipe from  It's a winner!

Balsamic Roasted Cauliflower


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 head cauliflower, chopped into bite size pieces


  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil
  2. Stir the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, and garlic together in a bowl. Add the cauliflower and toss to coat; spread the mixture onto the lined baking sheet.
  3. Stirring occasionally, bake in the preheated oven until tender, about 20 minutes.

Pecan, Bacon with Blue Cheese Green Beans

This is another Pinterest try- recipe by

I posted an earlier green bean recipe that I love- green beans with bacon and peppers (flakes).  That has a touch of Balsamic.  I love them both.

Pecan, Bacon with Blue Cheese Green Beans
Ingredients (serves 4-6)
  • 1 lb green beans
  • 3 slices bacon
  • 4 oz blue cheese
  • 1 cup candied pecans (chopped)
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Add the green beans and cook for 2-3 minutes.

Next, drain the beans and immediately place them in a bowl of ice water for 2-3 minutes.
Remove the beans from the ice water and set aside.  Cook the bacon slices in a large skillet until crisp.
Remove the slices of bacon and place on a paper towel. Add the green beans to the bacon drippings and cook for 2-3 minutes.
Then, crumble the bacon and add to the green beans with the blue cheese, chopped pecans, salt and pepper

Honey Garlic Shrimp Skillet

From TheCookingJar and my Pinterest files- I made this marvelous recipe that is a new favorite.


Honey Garlic Shrimp Skillet
Serves: 4
  • 1 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined with tail on
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon ginger, minced
  • 4 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  1. Combine the sauce ingredients and divide it into half
  2. Marinate the shrimp with one half of the sauce for 15-30 minutes. Discard marinade
  3. Over medium high heat in a 10" skillet, pan sear the shrimp in some oil. Sear them on both sides in two batches until browned, about 1 minute per side
  4. Using tongs, rub the shrimp into the caramelized bits on the bottom of the pan
  5. Dish and serve hot drizzled with the remaining sauce
For even more flavor, try adding in some red pepper flakes for heat or fresh lime juice for zest!