Constant Growing Amazement Cooks!

Monday, October 29, 2018

Cheesecake Factory Chicken Madeira

One of the Charm Girl's- Fay- loves to cook as much as I do.  She mentioned she made Cheesecake Factories Chicken Madeira yesterday for her family Sunday dinner- and so since I was out, running errands, I thought I needed to get all the ingredients RIGHT THEN!  I hustled home and was so surprised how quickly this meal came together.  Since I am having surgery next week, and will be out of commission for a bit, I think I can freeze the chicken and the sauce minus the mushrooms- buy pre-made mashed potatoes (isn't it wonderful that they are so good now!)- and just add fresh mushrooms and have an easy fabulous dinner! 

I used Stephanie Manley from CopyKat's recipe:


Cheesecake Factory Chicken Madeira

1 pound chicken breast    1
/2 teaspoon salt         
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon butter
8 ounces mushrooms (white or baby Portobello mushrooms)
8 ounces beef stock
2 cups Madeira wine
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon corn starch
1 tablespoon water
6 ounces Mozzarella cheese (fresh is best)
8 asparagus spears or  fresh green beans or whatever you like         


  1. Slice chicken breasts in half horizontally. Place cut chicken breast onto a sheet of plastic wrap, and cover the chicken with plastic wrap, use a meat pounder to flatten out chicken to 1/4 inch thickness. Flatten out remaining pieces of chicken with a meat pounder. Season chicken with salt and pepper. In a large skillet over medium heat add butter and vegetable oil. When the butter begins to foam slightly add chicken. Be
  2.  careful not to overcrowd the pan. You may need to cook the chicken in batches. When the chicken's edges turn white, flip over, and cook chicken on the other side. The chicken should be slightly browned. Remove chicken from the pan. Add 1 tablespoon of butter to the pan, and add mushrooms. Cook the mushrooms for a couple of minutes. The mushrooms will begin to brown and sear. Remove mushrooms from the pan.
  3.  Add 2 cups of Madeira wine in the pan, scrape the browned bits up from the bottom of the skillet. Add beef broth to the wine, stir to blend well. Cook the sauce until it reduces by 1/3. When the sauce has reduced add a slurry of 1 tablespoon cornstarch and 1 tablespoon water. Stir to blend well cook for about 2 minutes. Add two tablespoons of butter to the sauce and stir well. Return mushrooms to the sauce. To serve: place chicken breast on a pile of mashed potatoes. 
  4. Spoon sauce over the chicken, and add a slice or two of the Mozzarella cheese on top of the chicken. Place the chicken under the broiler until the cheese browns if desired. You can place the chicken with cheese in a hot oven to warm the cheese. Garnish with Asparagus spears.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Pumpkin Pie Cake

I ran into my good friend (that lives in another Stake now) Marilynn at the grocery store and she said she had just made two of these cakes for their Halloween party- so I am making two for mine tonight!  Brandi is hosting our 2nd annual costume party tonight and I've got dessert.  Yum!


1 yellow cake mix
1 15 oz. can pumpkin
1 small pkg. instant vanilla pudding
2 eggs
3/4 cup water
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. cloves
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. lemon flavoring

Mix together and spread in a greased 15" (the half size) cookie sheet.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.


1 small whipping cream, whipped
1/2 cup brown sugar, lightly packed (I actually whipped the brown sugar with my beaters to make sure there weren't lumps)
1-  8-oz Cool whip, thawed

Whip one small whipping cream with 1/2 cup brown sugar.  Add 1 - 8 oz. Cool Whip.  Blend together.  Frost

Frost with peaks and sprinkle with colored sugars or candy sprinkles.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Summer Radish and Cucumber Salad

           This is so refreshing- make sure to serve it chilled!        

Radish and Cucumber Salad
Recipe gleaned from


  • 2 cups sliced radishes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sliced red onion
  • 1 cup seeded and sliced cucumber
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh dill


  1. Toss radishes with salt; let stand for about 10 minutes. Drain any liquid and transfer radishes to a large bowl. Add red onion and cucumber slices.
  2. Whisk olive oil, vinegar, sugar, garlic, and dill in a small bowl until well mixed; pour over vegetables and toss to combine. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.

Norma's Donuts (Sophia's Recipe)/ with Apple Cider Glaze

I've been on a quest to find the perfect homemade donut recipe for me- and I loved this one of friend, Sophia's.  I was taking dinner to someone special and certainly didn't need 60 donuts so I cut it in two and still had way more than I needed.  What I meant was- way more than I could possibly consume in one sitting.  Really, making homemade donuts is not for the faint-hearted or anyone dieting!  When the donuts came out of the oil, after draining on a rack, I dunked them in a reduced Apple Cider glaze - the recipe from my neighbor and friend Amelia that just hosted an Apple Cider Press party- with homemade apple cider and you guessed it- homemade donuts with glazes.  I had the Cider glaze at her party but she said the Maple glaze was even more popular.  I haven't made it yet but I will soon and add it!

Sophia's Recipe for Norma's Donuts  (Spudnuts!!!!)

1 cup shortening (I used butter flavored)
2 Tbsp. yeast dissolved in 1/2 cup warm water

5 eggs

1 cup sugar

1 Tbsp. salt

1/2 tsp lemon extract

2 cups mashed potatoes (she recommends making them from instant potatoes)

4 cups luke warm milk

5 pounds of flour (about 10 cups)

Scald milk with shortening, add salt, sugar and enough flour to the batter about the consistency of cake batter. Add the potatoes, beaten eggs and dissolved yeast, extract and enough flour to make a soft dough. Let raise twice and roll out flat. Cut into donut shapes. Let raise until light and fluffy (about fifteen more minutes.) Cook in hot oil (375°), turning as they become golden brown. Glaze or frost or dip in cinnamon sugar, plain sugar or powdered sugar. Enjoy!  I served them with Apple Cider glaze- recipe to follow.

A few tips:
  • each batch makes about 60ish doughnuts
  • used one gallon of Wesson Oil
  • from the rolling out to eating point, it took one hour
  • don't forget to cook the doughnut holes, toss them into a zip-lock bag of sugar and shake.
  • Store them tightly once completely cooled
  • Share some with a neighbor or friend!

Apple Cider Glaze

1 cup apple cider
2 cups powdered sugar
1 Tb. light corn syrup

Cook and reduced the cider by half- about 7-10 minutes.  Stir in the powdered sugar and beat until smooth and then stir in corn syrup.  Good warm or cold.

Monday, September 24, 2018

Hungarian Goulash

 So, I just got home from our Charm Girl's trip to Washington- and after our class reunion in Moses Lake, we headed to a Bavarian village called Leavenworth in the beautiful mountains of Washington.  Here in Utah we have our Midway, Ut but Leavenworth is like Midway on steroids!  Such a beautiful place!
I actually didn't get my fill of Bavarian food so I headed to the grocery store and picked up the makings for Hungarian Goulash.  I grew up on my mom's American version of goulash which is basically hamburger, tomatoes and noodles.  This dish doesn't have a tomato in it!  It was so delicious!  I used's recipe with a few variations.


Easy Hungarian Goulash
Let's just start out by saying I am attention deficit- so meals that take hours to simmer lose my attention.  I had this meal prepared in less than an hour because I use a pressure cooker. (No, they AREN'T scary anymore!)  I had my butcher dice up the chuck roast at the grocery store into the chunks, sautéed them in a little oil. I then added about 1 cup of beef broth and turned on the pressure cooker.  When it came up to full pressure, I cooked it for about 25 minutes, stirred in about 1/2 cup of flour and coated the meat and then turned off the stove to combine the other ingredients. I sautéed the onions and garlic until golden, added the mushrooms and rest of the spices and liquids (I actually used 1/2 cup of the Hungarian paprika and it wasn't even spicy!) and then poured this divine mixture into the meat with juice mixture.  I then stirred it all together....the meat was tender all apart!  Go ahead, choose your way to cook but this is soooo good.  Don't forget the sour cream and the buttered noodles.  If you are planning on freezing some, don't add the sour cream until you serve it.


  1. Place beef chunks in a large bowl. Sprinkle liberally with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper.
  2. Toss with the flour.
  3. Heat a heavy Dutch oven over medium high heat and add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Swirl to coat the bottom of the pan. Place beef chunks in a single layer and brown on two sides. You will probably need to do this in batches. Do not crowd the meat or it will boil instead of brown. Remove browned beef chunks to a bowl.
  4. Reduce heat to medium-low. To the drippings in the Dutch oven, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil, sweet onion rings, mushrooms, and garlic. Toss to coat with the olive oil. Cover tightly and sweat the vegetables, stirring occasionally, until onions are limp but not browned and mushrooms are releasing their liquid, about 10 minutes.
  5. Add red wine to the vegetables and cook 2 minutes. Add beef broth and paprika. Return beef to the pan. Stir until well-combined. Cover tightly, reduce heat, and simmer on low heat for 1-1/2 to 2 hours, stirring occasionally, until beef is fork-tender.
  6. Remove Dutch oven from heat and wait for boiling to subside. Taste and add additional salt if necessary. Stir in sour cream until completely incorporated into the gravy.
  7. Serve Hungarian gulash over hot buttered noodles with chopped parsley.
  8. Note: The amount of paprika is correct. Please do use it all. If you cannot use the wine, use an equal amount of additional beef broth.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Cauliflower Rice with Coconut Turmeric Relish

 1 small or 1/2 large head of cauliflower, coarsely shopped (about 7 cups) or you can usually buy cauliflower riced in your vegetable department which makes this quick and easy!

4 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided

  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
Saute cauliflower in oil and add salt.
top with:

Coconut- Turmeric Relish
2–4 servings

The sweet, spicy, and tart flavors in this coconut-turmeric relish recipe make it a perfect match with cauliflower (any way you like it). Use it on top of cauliflower rice, cauliflower steaks, a crunchy shaved cauliflower salad, or simple roasted cauliflower.

  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 Fresno chile, seeds removed, finely chopped
  • 1 ½" piece ginger, peeled, finely grated
  • 1 Tbsp. mustard seeds
  • ½ tsp. ground turmeric
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper


  • Combine raisins and lemon juice in a small bowl; let sit 15–20 minutes for raisins to plump.
  • Meanwhile, combine garlic, oil, and coconut in a small saucepan and set over medium-low heat. Cook, swirling pan often, until oil is bubbling and garlic and coconut are golden, 6–8 minutes. Remove from heat immediately and stir in chile, ginger, mustard seeds, and turmeric. Transfer to a heatproof measuring glass and let cool.
  • Add raisins and lemon juice to garlic mixture and toss to coat; season relish with salt.

Fresh Lemon Cake

This is a repeat recipe from me.  My favorite lemon cake.  I put bottled lemon curd between the two layers and topped with raspberries.  I usually drizzle with raspberry jam but I was out.

Fresh Lemon Cake

 Bake 28-32 min @ 325
Grease and flour pans. Makes 2- 9" round cakes.

2 sticks butter softened
2 c sugar
3 eggs
3 c sifted flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 c buttermilk
2 tbsp tightly packed lemon zest
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice

1-lb powdered sugar
1 stick butter melted
3 tbsp tightly packed lemon zest
1/2 c fresh lemon juice

Cream butter and sugar in large bowl. Crack eggs in smaller bowl and wisk a few minutes so that they are a little frothy and add to sugar mixture and mix well. Mix flour in a little at a time and then add baking soda, salt and buttermilk and mix well. Fold in lemon zest and lemon juice. Split mixture into 2- 9" round pans and bake as directed above.

Icing-mix all ingredients together. It should be a little runny so that it drizzles and spread well over cake.  (note: as I mentioned above, I usually dollop mine with fresh raspberry jam.)

(and I might add, my cakes took longer to bake.  I even turned my oven up to 350....just watch and test close to the end, using the toothpick test!)