Constant Growing Amazement Cooks!

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Shameless Dog

I just got back from our Charm Girl's Trip to the Oregon coast.  It is soooo fun being 14 yrs. old again without the drama- just raucous laughter, jabbering, eating, shopping and playing games.  Did I mention laughing?  And eating?

I won't share now but the best thumbs up on our "eats" was at our farewell at the Portland airport.  The Bahama Grill serves a dish called the Shameless Dog.  We were intrigued.  It was a hit!

The idea is a Vienna sausage, wrapped in bacon, then dipped in tempura batter and deep-fried.  It was served with an onion/sweet relish mixture and Dijon mustard. Soooo good.

Well, I tried to re-create it and failed miserably.  The tempura just would not stay on the dog....

So - 
 I dreamt about the dog last night and came up with a solution.  Today's dogs turned out much better!  Just trying to redeem myself.

Today I wrapped the Vienna sausage with bacon, secured by a toothpick.  I then baked it in the oven for 20 minutes at 350.  I wrapped the dogs in a paper towel to drain the excess grease and let cool.  The tempura batter I made was
3/4 cup flour
1 tsp. baking flour
Seasoning salt to taste

Mix 1 egg
1 cup water
1 tsp. oil- then mix the two together and let batter rest for 10 minutes.

Sprinkle the dogs with flour so the dogs will adhere to the batter.  Dip in batter and deep fry.  Also the key to deep frying is to make sure your oil is hot when you put your food in it.

Serve with hotdog relish, onions, Dijon mustard- whatever you like with your hotdogs!

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Creamy Shrimp Alfredo

This is a recipe I found lurking in an old blog post (before I had a recipe blog) and thought I needed to move it to the correct place.  It is so easy and yummy!
Creamy Shrimp Alfredo

1/2 lb. linguine, uncooked
2 Tbsp. Kraft Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing
1/2 lb. uncooked deveined shrimp
3 cloves garlic, minced
6 oz. (3/4 of 8-oz. pkg.) Philadelphia cream cheese cubed
3/4 cup fat-free reduced-sodium chicken broth
1/4 c. Kraft grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley

Cook pasta as directed on package. Meanwhile, heat dressing i large skillet on medium heat. Add shrimp; cook and stir 2-3 minutes or until shrimp turn pink, adding garlic for the lat minute. Remove shrimp with slotted spoon; set aside.

Add cream cheese and broth to skillet; cook until cream cheese is completely melted, stirring frequently. Stir in Shrimp and 3 Tbsp. Parmesan.

Drain pasta. Add to skillet; toss to coat. Transfer to platter; sprinkle with remaining Parmesan and parsley.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Fig and Caramelized Onion Flatbread


Fig and Caramelized Onion Flatbread
Serves: 2-3 main dish or 6 appetizer
  • 3 medium sweet onions, cut in half and sliced from root to stem into thin slices
  • 3 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 2 flatbreads (8-inch)
  • 2 Tbsp. crumbled feta cheese, plus extra for the top
  • 2 cups lightly packed fresh arugula
  • 3 large fresh figs, sliced
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  1. Place the skillet (stainless steel or cast-iron skillet work the best!) over medium/low heat and melt butter.
  2. Add onion to the pan and stir to coat with butter.
  3. Check and stir the onions every 5-10 minutes. If onions begin to burn, lower the heat.
  4. Around 10 minutes onions will start to soften and turn translucent. Around 30 minutes the onions will begin to turn light brown in color. Around 50 minutes the onions will be dark golden and smell very caramelized. At this point, you can remove the onions from the heat.
  5. Preheat the oven to 425F.
  6. Scatter the onions evenly over each flatbread and sprinkle 1 tablespoon of feta cheese on each. Bake the flatbreads on a baking sheet for 8-10 minutes or until crisp. Remove and cool slightly.
  7. Toss arugula with olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Top each flatbread with equal amounts of arugula and sliced figs. Sprinkle with additional feta, if desired.
  8. Cut into slices and serve warm.

Peach, Blackberry and fresh Fig Salad (with or without grilled chicken)




This peach, blackberry and fresh fig salad with grilled chicken, almonds and feta is the perfect summer salad! (recipe from  I served it without the chicken since it was a side salad for our Go Figgy Bon Appetit dinner.


  • 1 lb chicken breast
  • salt & freshly ground pepper
  • 4-5 figs sliced
  • 2 peaches rinsed and sliced into bite size pieces
  • 1 package blackberries rinsed
  • 1/3 C sliced almonds
  • 2 oz feta cheese
  • 1 head butter lettuce rinsed and sliced into bit sized pieces
  • simple balsamic dressing


  1. Rub chicken with salt and pepper and cook on a medium-high heated grill until cooked through.
  2. Take chicken off of grill and let rest on a plate covered in foil while you prepare the rest of the salad.
  3. To prepare salad add butter lettuce, figs, blackberries, peach slices, almonds and feta to serving platter or bowl.
  4. Cut chicken into pieces and top salad with grilled chicken pieces.
  5. Dress salad using a simple vinaigrette. (I made a pomegranate vinegrette.)
  6. Enjoy!

Easy Baked Key Lime Pie

Valene made this delicious baked Key Lime Pie for our Bon Appetit.  It has the texture of pumpkin pie but the taste is pure key lime.  One of David's favorites!


Easy Key Lime Pie          

Recipe By:DINNER2
"This is the 1999 American Pie Council 's National Pie Championship's first place winner in the Quick and Easy Category. Garnish each piece with a slice of lime and a dollop of whipped cream or whipped topping if you like."


  • 5 egg yolks, beaten
  • 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup key lime juice
  • 1 (9 inch) prepared graham cracker crust


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  2. Combine the egg yolks, sweetened condensed milk and lime juice. Mix well. Pour into unbaked graham cracker shell.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes. Allow to cool. Top with whipped topping and garnish with lime slices if desired.

Late Summer Risotto with Roasted Tomatoes, Corn and Figs

 This was my favorite dish I made for Go Figgy Bon Appetit.  I loved the risotta with fresh corn and roasted tomatoes (with or without figs).  Wonderful summer/fall dish!


Late Summer Risotto with Roasted Tomatoes, Corn and Figs

recipe by


  • 2 pints cherry tomatoes (I used an heirloom variety), sliced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups arborio rice
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 4 to 5 cups low-sodium chicken stock, warmed
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, plus more for topping
  • 2 ears sweet corn, kernels cut from the cob
  • 1 pint figs, sliced or quartered
  • a handful of fresh basil, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons freshly snipped chives


Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Like a baking sheet with foil. Add the tomatoes and toss with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, salt, pepper and thyme. Roast for 45 to 60 minutes, until the tomatoes are deep in color and caramely and crumpled. Remove from the oven once finished.
While the tomatoes are roasting, heat a large pot or saucepan over medium heat and add the remaining olive oil with the butter. Add the rice and stirring often, toast the rice until it's somewhat translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for another minute. Stir in the white wine, constantly stirring or at least stirring every minute or so, until the rice absorbs the wine. Once the wine is absorbed, add in 1 1/2 cups of the stock, stirring until the rice absorbs the liquid like it did with the wine. Repeat this 2 to 3 more times, until all stock has been added and the rice is al dente. You want it to appear "hydrated" - and want there to be some liquid left when serving. This process should take about 15 to 20 minutes.
Just before the risotto is almost finished, stir in the parmesan cheese. Stir in the tomatoes, fresh corn and figs. Stir in most of the chives and basil. Taste and if desired, add a bit of salt and pepper (this will depend on the saltiness of your cheese and the taste of your tomatoes). Serve immediately with the remaining chives and basil. Top with freshly grated parmesan.

Balsamic Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Grapes & Figs

 I thought I would try this new Brussel sprouts recipe for our Go Figgy Bon Appetit.  I thought it was good but my husband  isn't a Brussels fan so it wasn't a favorite part of the meal.  I had never roasted grapes before and we really liked those.


Balsamic Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Grapes  and Figs

Author Abbey Sharp (


  • 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cups of Brussels sprouts trimmed and halved
  • 1 cup seedless red grapes
  • 8 figs halved
  • Leaves from 6 sprigs of thyme
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp aged balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup candied pecans chopped


  1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  2. Toss the Brussels sprouts, grapes and figs with the olive oil and lay on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle with thyme leaves, salt and pepper.
  3. Roast for about 30-35 minutes, turning the Brussels sprouts at least once to evenly roast.
  4. Once the Brussels sprouts are caramelized, and the grapes and figs are slightly shriveled, remove from the oven, and coat with the aged balsamic vinegar.
  5. Top with the candied pecans and serve warm.