Constant Growing Amazement Cooks!

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!)

Lemon Pistachio Rice Pilaf

Lemon Pistachio Rice Pilaf-

Bon Appetit recipe (with picture) that Valene served on August 2018 Bon Appetit - Really good!

  • 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 large shallots, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups long-grain white rice
  • 8 tablespoons chopped unsalted pistachios
  • 1 14-ounce can (or more) low-salt chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons 1x1/8-inch strips lemon peel (yellow part only)

Recipe Preparation

  • Heat oil in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add shallots and sauté 3 minutes. Add rice and 2 tablespoons pistachios; stir 2 minutes. Stir in 1 can broth, lemon juice and salt; bring to boil. Reduce heat to low; cover and cook until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender, about 20 minutes. Mix in 4 tablespoons pistachios and 2 tablespoons lemon peel. Season with salt and pepper. DO AHEAD Can be made 2 hours ahead. Spread rice out onto baking sheet; cool. Before continuing, drizzle with more broth and rewarm tightly covered with foil in 400°F oven until heated through, about 10 minutes. Transfer rice to bowl. Sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons pistachios and 1/2 tablespoon lemon peel.

Spice Rubbed Chicken Breasts with Lemon Shallot Sauce

Valene made this for our August 2018 Bon Appetit dinner.  She wanted a change from chicken breasts and made hers with skinless boneless thighs.  We both think we might like the breasts better but the thighs were excellent.


Spice Rubbed Chicken Breasts with Lemon Shallot Sauce

1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 8 skinless boneless chicken breast halves
  • 8 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup canned low-salt chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallots
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/4 tsp. allspice     
  • 4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

  • Mix salt, pepper and 1/2 teaspoon allspice in small bowl. Rub spice mixture over both sides of chicken. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in each of 2 large nonstick skillets over medium-high heat. Divide chicken between skillets and sauté until cooked through, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to work surface. Tent with foil to keep warm. Add 1/4 cup wine to each skillet and bring to boil, scraping up any browned bits. Combine wine in 1 skillet. Stir in broth, 1 tablespoon lemon juice and lemon peel. Boil until reduced to 1/2 cup, about 5 minutes. Whisk in shallots, thyme, 6 tablespoons oil, 2 tablespoons lemon juice and 1/4 teaspoon allspice; season sauce with salt and pepper. Cut chicken crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices.
  • Divide chicken among plates. Spoon sauce over. Sprinkle with parsley.

Shrimp and Cucumber Salad with Dill Vinegrette

Bon Appetit this month was so fabulous!  Valene hosted and this was the complete menu: 
Shrimp and Cucumber Salad with a Dill Vinegrette  (I think my favorite dish of the night.  I'm craving it as I type.)


Smoked Salmon Rolls
Sourdough bread

Main Course:

Spice rubbed Chicken Breast (Valene did thighs)

Lemon Pistachio Pilaf

Fresh Corn on the Cob

Bake Fresh Tomatoes with Mozzerella

Riced Cauliflower with a Chutney topping

I made a fresh Lemon Cake with Lemon Curd and Raspberries


Shrimp and Cucumber Salad with Dill Vinegrette

  • 8 cups water
  • 5 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 24 uncooked large shrimp, peeled, tails left intact, deveined
  • 1  
  • 3 large English hothouse cucumbers
  • 1/3 cup safflower oil or grape seed oil
  • 1/3 cup Champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • 2 medium shallots, minced
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 1  
  • 8 large butter lettuce leaves

Recipe Preparation

  • Combine first 4 ingredients in large saucepan; boil 10 minutes. Add shrimp; cook just until opaque in center, about 1 minute. Drain. Transfer shrimp to bowl. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover; chill.
  • Peel cucumbers and cut lengthwise in half. Using spoon, scrape out seeds and discard. Coarsely grate cucumbers. Transfer cucumbers to bowl of ice water. Whisk oil, vinegar, shallots, dill and sugar in medium bowl; season with salt and pepper. DO AHEAD Cucumbers and vinaigrette can be made 3 hours ahead. Cover; chill.
  • Drain cucumbers well. Transfer to paper towels; pat dry. Return cucumbers to bowl. Add 1/4 cup vinaigrette to bowl with shrimp and toss. Add remaining vinaigrette to cucumbers; toss to coat. Arrange 1 lettuce leaf on each of 8 plates. Using slotted spoon, divide cucumbers among lettuce leaves. Top each serving with 3 shrimp.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Mexican Pasta Salad

This is the pasta salad I made for Doug's surprise party.  It feeds 25 (and I made 4 batches!)

Mexican Pasta Salad

1 box penne pasta, cooked according to directions on box (6 cups cooked)
1 can black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 small cans sliced olives
2 c. corn
1 jicama, chopped or julienned
1 white onion, chopped
1 red and yellow bell pepper, chopped
1 T. minced garlic
Cilantro, finely chopped
4 diced tomatoes (I used cherry tomatoes)
Greens of choice (6 cups; Brandi used romaine and spring mix- I didn't use any!)
3 avocados, chopped
Grated Parmesan

Balsamic Vinaigrette dressing (I used approx. 3/4 of a bottle for this recipe, but use to taste)

Combine pasta with first set of ingredients. Add greens, avocado, tomatoes, Parmesan, and dressing prior to serving. Serves ~ 25.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Barbecue Green Beans

Who would have thought????  I was looking through my Pinterest pins and found this recipe that looked intriguing.

We love BBQ beans...but BBQ Green Beans?

FABULOUS!!!!  Easy recipe and so, so good!  Good enough for Bon Appetit!!!!

Barbecue Green Beans

     2 cans cut green beans, drained
    1/4 - 1/2 cup onion, diced
     5-6 slices bacon, chopped
     3/4 cup Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ sauce
or whatever BBQ sauce your like
or make your own with-
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • 1 Tb Worcestershire sauce
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • a titch of Dijon mustard
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place green beans in the bottom of a casserole dish and set aside.
  2. Cook onion with the chopped bacon in a skillet over medium-high heat until bacon is crisp. Drain most of the fat.
  3. Stir in BBQ sauce of choice and simmer for an additional 2-3 minutes.
  4. Pour the sauce over the green beans and gently mix. Bake green beans in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes.