Award-Winning Recipes? Hmm.

Sometimes award-winning recipes don’t win awards in my book.

This is the case for a recipe I made recently from my “Taste of Home Winning Recipes” book (volume 2).  I have to first say that this is a very nice cookbook with lots of actually good recipes, but I don’t think it should have included this recipe.

I did a little digging online and found this recipe posted on the Taste of Home website, with the same misleading photo that is in my recipe book – right next to a “first place” ribbon.

See?  It is a little blurrier online than in my book, but it looks pretty tasty nonetheless.

Well, I am here to tell you that this recipe has a few major pitfalls.


Refrigerated butter-flavored spray

4 large tomatoes, sliced

3 tablespoons mayonnaise

2 tablespoons half-and-half cream

1 tablespoon prepared horseradish

Minced fresh parsley


Coat a large skillet with refrigerated butter-flavored spray. Heat skillet over medium heat. Add tomato slices; cook for 2-3 minutes on each side or until edges begin to brown. In a small bowl, whisk the mayonnaise, cream and horseradish. Spoon over tomatoes. Sprinkle with parsley.

The low-down:

All right, so this recipe now seems both easy and delicious.  But I’ll let you in on a few little secrets.

1. When you cook tomatoes over medium heat even for just 2 or 3 minutes on each side (even just to warm them!), the juice runs out a bit and they get limp.  It’s just how it is, and if you know a way around this, I’d love to hear it.

2. There is no salt in this recipe, and I think there ought to be.  Lightly cooked tomatoes with just a little bland sauce over top need some salt!  Maybe that’s just me, though.

3. I still don’t like horseradish, even disguised as it is in this recipe.

My husband did say that this recipe was “ok,” but definitely not award-winning!

Here’s how mine looked:

There is juice all over that plate!


About recipeshappen

I'm Bonnie. I'm a pharmacy technician and new wife to Bogdan. I love cooking, usually without recipes. I love good sales and coupons, but haven't quite figured out the best way to find them. I make the typical new-wife mistakes and have burned my share of cookies. I like a cold house and a hot shower all year long.
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16 Responses to Award-Winning Recipes? Hmm.

  1. Eww. That seems icky? Butter flavored spray??

  2. Rhetta says:

    Glad I’m not the only one who’s had that happen. Love that you post the good, the bad, and the ugly–very helpful to your readers. You’d think I’d have learned over 34 years of cooking that if the recipe doesn’t sound quite right, don’t try it no matter how good the picture looks. Alas, I still get taken in every now and then.

  3. Healthy Glow Nutrition says:

    I think it looks great! I think if you add some cornstarch to soak up the liquid? I don’t know? It’s silly that they didn’t mention that in the recipe. So much for award winning recipe right? 🙂

  4. thecleverspender says:

    I agree with Rhetta! Glad you post the good, the bad, the ugly. Keep it up! Makes us wanna-be’s in the kitchen feel better! =o)

  5. babso2you says:

    Butter flavored spray is disgusting. Use real butter. What temperature did you cook these at? Tomatoes will give off juice. No way around that….your dish does resemble the one in the photo, and just based on the ingredients I would not think that the recipe is award winning.

  6. I think using the sprays is ok for a baking sheet, but kind of odd for a skillet?! Too bad it didn’t turn out. 😦

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