Constant Growing Amazement Cooks!

Monday, February 26, 2018

Strawberry and Melon Caprese Salad with Brown Butter Balsamic Vinegrette

Last week at my Galentine Ooh-La-La party, I needed a refreshing salad with a twist.  I found it at  She did a more normal Caprese salad but I'm not a big fan of mixing strawberries and tomatoes together so I left out the tomatoes and added cantaloupe and know I'll make this salad over and over....truly you will want to lick the is so unique.  I also doubled the dressing (shown here) because I love LOTS of flavor.
1 1/2 - 2 cups chunked melon
1 1/2 -2 cups strawberries, chunked
1/4 c. fresh basil leaves, torn in pieces
fresh mozzarella balls ( about 4 oz. or to taste)
Brown 4 T. of butter in a saute pan for several minutes.  I swirled my pan almost consistently on the burner.  You want it brown and nutty, not burnt.  Cool to room temperature.
Mix 5 Tb. balsamic vinegar (I actually used glazed)
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
3 Tb. honey and stir into the butter.  The butter might congeal a little but that it also part of the magical goodness!  Drizzle over your salad.  Lick your fingers and keep licking the glaze mixture.  It is heaven!
∙ Serves 4

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Perfect Hashbrowns

Although I had purchased salmon for Sunday dinner, during church my tummy started growling for breakfast.  Hash browns in particular.  But when I started to make them, I thought of all the mushy hash browns I've made when what I was really desiring was crunchy.  I googled the perfect hash browns and found out what I was doing wrong!

And guess what!  It worked perfectly!

I peeled my Russet potatoes, then grated them.  After grating, place them in a towel or I used those disposable washcloths because maybe the towel can discolor.  I then made a ball and squeezed all the water out of the potatoes.  Well, almost all.  Then fry your potatoes in a couple Tablespoons of oil.  Layer the potatoes  1/2 inch thick covering the whole pan. Cook until browned.    Turn the entire hash brown over in one swoop and cook the other side.

They were perfect.  They were delicious.  Who knew that you were supposed to squish out the water?  Try it- you'll like it.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Stuffed Primavera Chicken

I saw this as a video on Facebook from and made my own version.  There are so many things you could do here!
Where they stuffed the chicken with zucchini, tomatoes, bell peppers and onions, I used
mushrooms, peppers and onions.  Ours was delicious!

Stuffed Primavera Chicken

Ingredients (for 4 servings)

  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • 1 zucchini, halved and thinly sliced into half moons
  • 3 medium tomatoes, halved and thinly sliced into rounds
  • 2 yellow bell peppers, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 c. shredded mozzarella


  1. Preheat oven to 400º. Place chicken on a cutting board and make 5 slits in each breast, being careful not to cut through completely. Drizzle oil over chicken and season with salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning.
  2. Stuff each chicken breast with zucchini, tomato, bell pepper, and red onion.
  3. Sprinkle each chicken breast with mozzarella.
  4. Bake until chicken is cooked through and no longer pink, 25 minutes.
  5. Serve.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Glazed Corn Puffs

My sister-in-law Laraine used to always make Glazed Corn Puffs during the holiday get-togethers.  If you are looking for an awesome, addictive and quick and easy treat- you've come to the right place!

The hardest part is finding the Corn Puffs.  Here in Sandy- I find them at Reams.  The ones I used today are the Best Western brand so try what grocery sells that brand.

I made them two ways- one with white sugar and the other with brown.  I prefer the white but the brown hints more of caramel.

Glazed Corn Puffs
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup Karo syrup
dash of salt
1/4 tsp. vanilla

1/4 tsp. baking soda

Mix the first 5 ingredients in a saucepan and after butter has melted and it has started to boil, boil for 2 minutes stirring constantly.  After two minutes add the baking soda and it will turn foamy. Stir well and pour over corn pops in a bowl.  The bag of corn pops I had was 8 oz. and this recipe did about 2/3 of it- so change recipe accordingly with your volume.   Keep in an airtight container.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

One of the recipes I did for Bon Appetit- Nov.2017.  It really was good- perfect to serve with ice cream.  I was expecting to taste a pecan pie layer in the middle but really it all melted down into the brownies.  Still tasted good but not what I expected.

Brownie Pecan Pie Ooey Gooey Butter Cake
  • Base
  • 1 18.3 oz. fudge brownie mix
  • 1 egg
  • 6 tablespoons melted butter
  • ¼ cup water
  • Pecan Pie Filling
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • ⅓ cup packed light-brown sugar
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups pecan halves
  • Topping
  • 1 8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ cup butter, melted
  • 3 cups confectionery sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray a 9 x 13 pan.
  2. Add all of the base ingredients to a mixing bowl. Mix until it comes together. If some won't mix in add another tablespoon of water. This batter will be really thick. Spread it out on the bottom of the pan. Pat the dough into place.
  3. In another mixing bowl add all of the filling ingredients except the pecans. Whisk together until all is blended together. This will take a couple of minutes with a mixer or a whisk. Add the pecans. Stir in. Spread out on top of brownie base, getting the pecans as even as you can.
  4. Mix together the cheesecake mixture in a mixing bowl until thoroughly combined. Drop by large tablespoons over pecan filling like shown in the picture above. Carefully put this in the oven.
  5. Bake until the center shakes slightly. If you touch down on the cheesecake part it will feel firm. It will just be starting to turn brown. Start checking this at about 50 minutes. Mine took 1 hour and 10 minutes.

Our main course for Bon Appetit dinner this month.  The real recipe is for lamb shanks- but Valene used pork.  The vegetable reduction was unique and so flavorful.


Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Rosemary and a Vegetable Reduction

  • 2 2- to 2 1/2-pound  pork tenderloin (or veal shanks)
  • Coarse kosher salt
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 cups 1/3-inch cubes peeled carrots
  • 2 cups thinly sliced onion
  • 1 1/2 cups 1/3-inch cubes celery
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary plus sprigs (for garnish)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled, crushed
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 5 cups (or more) low-salt chicken broth, divided
  • Chopped fresh Italian parsley

Recipe Preparation

  • Preheat oven to 475°F. Sprinkle veal with coarse salt and black pepper. Heat 4 tablespoons oil in heavy large ovenproof pot over medium-high heat. Add veal; cook until dark brown, turning occasionally, 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer pot to oven; roast uncovered 30 minutes (veal will be dark brown). Maintain oven temperature.
  • Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add carrots, onion, and celery; sauté until softened, about 12 minutes. Add chopped rosemary, sage, and garlic; sauté 2 minutes. Transfer veal to plate; pour off oil from pot. Add wine, 2 cups broth, and vegetables to pot and bring to boil. Return veal to pot (broth will not cover veal). Roast uncovered until meat is very tender, turning every 30 minutes and adding more broth by cupfuls as needed to moisten as broth evaporates, about 1 hour 15 minutes.
  • Transfer veal to large plate. Set strainer over medium bowl. Pour juices and vegetables from pot into strainer, pressing on solids to extract liquid. Transfer vegetables to processor; puree until almost smooth. Skim fat from juices in bowl; discard fat. Whisk 1 cup vegetable puree into juices in bowl (discard remaining puree). Season with coarse salt and black pepper. Return puree mixture and veal to same pot. Return to oven and roast 10 minutes longer, turning veal once.
  • Cut meat off bones into 1-inch-thick pieces. Transfer to bowl. Pour sauce over. Garnish with parsley and rosemary sprigs.

Red Cabbage with Vinegar

  Another course at Chef Valene's Bon appetite dinner.  I LOVE red cabbage so I wanted to eat the whole bowl by myself.  But since I was a guest, I did not.  But I wanted to! (from Bon Appetit magazine)
Red Cabbage with Vinegar


   .  1/4 cup extra-virgin oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled, crushed
  • 1 2 1/2-pound red cabbage, quartered, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch strips
  • 1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 1 1/2 cups low-salt chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar


  • Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; sauté until beginning to brown, about 8 minutes. Add cabbage and caraway seeds; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss until cabbage is wilted, about 4 minutes. Add broth. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer 15 minutes. Add vinegar. Cover and cook until cabbage is tender, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.