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Mom's Zucchini Bread

Reviewed: Jul. 6, 2014
It always drives me crazy when people change the recipe and give it a less than stellar review. This recipe is perfect just how it is. You wont find a better bread recipe. My family begs me for this recipe.
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Photo by Jennifer Tabaka McRoberts

Cooking Level: Intermediate

Living In: Saint Louis, Missouri, USA

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Moussaka Cottage Pie

Reviewed: Jul. 2, 2014
I browned and drained the meat before transferring it to a casserole dish to bake in the oven. I also made my own mashed potatoes rather than instant, and added a layer of mozzarella cheese. This dish was a first for our household and it was enjoyed. It has been added to the rotation.
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Photo by KMcBeath

Cooking Level: Expert

Home Town: Bloomington, Illinois, USA
Living In: Saint Louis, Missouri, USA

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Rainbow Pasta Salad II

Reviewed: Jul. 1, 2014
Great basic pasta salad recipe. Your dressing choice obviously plays a big part in the flavor of this. Be mindful of that when selecting. I chose a restaurant's dressing that I really like that is sold in the grocery store.
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Cooking Level: Expert

Home Town: Saint Louis, Missouri, USA
Living In: Austin, Texas, USA

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Judy's Strawberry Pretzel Salad

Reviewed: Jul. 1, 2014
This is just too awesome for words. I don't like the taste of frozen strawberries, so I always use fresh. The crust is definitely hard, but who cares, it tastes great!
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Cooking Level: Expert

Home Town: Saint Louis, Missouri, USA
Living In: Austin, Texas, USA

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Busy Day Barbeque Brisket

Reviewed: Jul. 1, 2014
For brisket cooked inside, this was good. I don't have a slow cooker; so I cooked covered in the oven at 275 degrees for several hours. To me thyme is a strong spice; so I used about half of what was called for.
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Cooking Level: Expert

Home Town: Saint Louis, Missouri, USA
Living In: Austin, Texas, USA

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Chicken Parmesan

Reviewed: Jul. 1, 2014
I followed the recipe except that I fully baked the chicken. The chicken itself was quite bland - next time I will stick to my seasonings. Also, it calls for 1 cup panko/parm for each breast. That is entirely too much as I expected! I had half a bowl of the breading left. Otherwise, it was very crunchy and the left overs were just as good. Definitely adding this to the rotation.
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Photo by KMcBeath

Cooking Level: Expert

Home Town: Bloomington, Illinois, USA
Living In: Saint Louis, Missouri, USA

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Savory Crescent Chicken

Reviewed: Jun. 18, 2014
I have been making this for years, but it is starting to fall out of favor with my family. It's pretty bland and good for the kids, but for more "grown up" food, I would think you might need to add a little something extra.
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Cooking Level: Expert

Home Town: Peoria, Illinois, USA
Living In: Saint Louis, Missouri, USA

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Fried Round Steak | The Pioneer Woman Cooks | Ree Drummond

Reviewed: Jun. 18, 2014
Super good, really tasty and easy but a little messy.
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Cooking Level: Expert

Home Town: Peoria, Illinois, USA
Living In: Saint Louis, Missouri, USA

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Onion-Roasted Potatoes

Reviewed: Jun. 18, 2014
I make these with just straight regular potatoes (red potatoes), about 2 lb. Have never tried with the sweet potatoes but interested in giving it a try. I have discovered that if I peel the potatoes before roasting, they tend to fall apart more and leave more of a mess in the pan. I line the pan with foil to help with clean up.
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Cooking Level: Expert

Home Town: Peoria, Illinois, USA
Living In: Saint Louis, Missouri, USA

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Parmesan Asparagus

Reviewed: Jun. 18, 2014
We really liked this recipe. The only difference for us was we put the asparagus on the grill. I used Mrs. Dash Garlic and Herb along with olive oil. After it cooked half way through, we added the parmesan (had them in a shallow aluminum dish) so that we could grill them with the parm. Turned out really good. We will be making this one again.
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Cooking Level: Intermediate

Home Town: Saint Louis, Missouri, USA
Living In: Springfield, Illinois, USA

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Grilled Sweet Potatoes with Apples

Reviewed: May 26, 2014
I made this today with my grilled steaks for lunch. The recipe is kind of open ended, so it's hard to rate on the seasonings. After reading a couple reviews, I went with 1/2 tsp. cinnamon and I eyeballed the brown sugar. I used 2 tablespoons of butter in each pack and split the potatoes into 3 packets. I use 1 large Macintosh Apple and wished I had used 2. I started the packets in the oven because the grill was pretty full and only had the packets on the grill for about 10 minutes as the steaks came off. Overall a very nice change from the usual grill vegetables and very tasty. Thanks for the idea! Next time I want to grill longer to caramelize the sugar a bit more.
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Cooking Level: Expert

Home Town: Peoria, Illinois, USA
Living In: Saint Louis, Missouri, USA

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Pico De Gallo

Reviewed: May 25, 2014
I make a variation on this using all of the ingredients here plus lime. Fresh garlic is best, but I have used the powder before. I think the more you refrigerate the pico, the better it is. I know a lot of people who absolutely hate cilantro. If you are one of them, leave it out. Add more or less of the main ingredients to make the recipe yours. Use the freshest ingredients available to impart the cleanest flavor.
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Cooking Level: Expert

Home Town: Saint Louis, Missouri, USA
Living In: Fort Worth, Texas, USA

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Chef John's Stuffed Peppers

Reviewed: May 25, 2014
My initial review is "just ok" but I need to try again to make sure. I prepared these as directed, but I froze them right after baking to use as lunches, so I didn't eat any fresh. When thawed, they were fine but bland and needed lots of salt and spaghetti sauce to give flavor. I have to try again to see of this was due to the freezing or the recipe. I do know that there wasn't enough sauce or cheese for my preference, so I will double the tomato sauce and add some extra cheese to the topping, probably mozzarella.
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Cooking Level: Expert

Home Town: Peoria, Illinois, USA
Living In: Saint Louis, Missouri, USA

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Banana Banana Bread

Reviewed: May 17, 2014
So very good! I have made this numerous times as written and it never fails to be the best banana bread recipe out there! Today I used coconut oil in place of the butter and white-wheat flour (3/4 cup for every 1 cup all purpose flour). It was delicious!!! Thank you for a great recipe.
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Cooking Level: Expert

Home Town: Longview, Texas, USA
Living In: Saint Louis, Missouri, USA

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Stuffed Peppers

Reviewed: May 14, 2014
Absolutely delish! I made just a couple of changes: chopped onion, instead of onion powder and minced garlic, instead of garlic powder. The rest of the recipe was spot on. I might have added a pinch or two extra of something, but the base was perfect. Thank you BDEGER
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Cooking Level: Expert

Home Town: Brookhaven, Mississippi, USA
Living In: Saint Louis, Missouri, USA

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Old Fashioned Potato Salad

Reviewed: Apr. 29, 2014
I liked this and I was relatively easy since the pototes were boiled whole and cut up later. It was a little too much celery and not quite enough sweet relish for me. I also think it needs a little zing, maybe some vinegar to tang it up a bit. Very good, just like you remember it, old fashined style potato salad. Thanks for the recipe!
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Cooking Level: Expert

Home Town: Peoria, Illinois, USA
Living In: Saint Louis, Missouri, USA

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Mongolian Beef and Spring Onions

Reviewed: Apr. 23, 2014
I made this recipe pretty much as written, as far as amounts go. I used some different variations on a couple of items. I used reduced-sodium soy sauce, I'm glad I did. I used a natural form of sugar called sucanat instead of brown sugar and used London Broil steak instead of flank steak. I tripled the recipe and it took me three times as long to make too. :-) My family loved it though. One commented that it tasted a lot like a Pei Wei dish. That's compliment enough I think. If I were to change anything next time, I might tenderize my meat beforehand; although it was mostly quite tender. If I made this for company, I think I could make the sauce and fry the meat earlier in the day and keep in the fridge. Then it wouldn't take long to complete the final steps of chopping the onions and mixing it all together in the end. This way I could clean up the big frying mess on the stove ahead of time. All in all, it was a big success.
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Photo by Lisa Annette

Cooking Level: Intermediate

Home Town: Saint Louis, Missouri, USA
Living In: Hillsboro, Missouri, USA

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Mom's Fabulous Chicken Pot Pie with Biscuit Crust

Reviewed: Apr. 7, 2014
I made this this weekend and it was really good. With the ingredients listed by # of items insead of cup measures, it's hard to be precise with measurements. I think my "3 celery ribs" must have been larger than the average, because mine was very celery heavy. Other than that, the filling was very creamy, homey, and tasty. I did add a few shakes of poultry seasoning when I tasted it before adding the biscuits to give it a little oommph. Also, I made a quick homemade stock with the rotisserie chicken parts after I picked the chicken for the meat and used that in place of chicken broth. Oh, and I skipped the egg wash (lazy). My biggest issue with this recipe should have been obvious before I started. I made the full recipe for my 4 person family and we had about 1/2 the dish left over. The biscuits would have disintegrated if I put it away all together. I had to remove the biscuits, scrape off the sauce, throw them in the cooling oven upside-down for a bit to dry up, and store them separately so the leftovers would be edible. How dumb am I? Next time I will either make a half batch for my light eating family OR just make the biscuits separately and pour the filling over "a la king" style. Oh, and I like some potatoes in my pot pie, so I'll probably add just a couple small cooked potatoes next time.
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Cooking Level: Expert

Home Town: Peoria, Illinois, USA
Living In: Saint Louis, Missouri, USA

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Broccoli Casserole

Reviewed: Apr. 5, 2014
I made a half recipe (thank goodness) and used brown rice, but otherwise I followed the recipe as written, including the cheez whiz (because I remember that's what my Aunt used) and the frozen broccoli. It was bland. Not bland like a little salt will fix it (it didn't) just bland like there isn't anything going on. I think part of the problem was the frozen broccoli. Anything I ever make with frozen broccoli just doesn't taste right. I never use frozen broccoli unless a recipe specifically calls for it. I think I need to just stop. I'm up in the air on whether I will ever make this again, but I would 1) make a fresh cream sauce instead of using cream of mushroom soup 2) use more onion and 3) use fresh broccoli. I'm on the fence on the cheez whiz. That is what gives this recipe it's "kitsch". It's what takes you back to your childhood.
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Cooking Level: Expert

Home Town: Peoria, Illinois, USA
Living In: Saint Louis, Missouri, USA

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Angel Chicken Pasta

Reviewed: Mar. 29, 2014
I was really happy with this recipe. I followed the recipe this first time and it turned out well. I think the 60 minute cook time may be high for chicken breasts. Mine were a little dry. Since you are pouring the sauce over raw chicken, though, it may be necessary to get the sauce hot enough to kill the cooties. The recipe did not specify covered or uncovered so I opted for uncovered. I used some leftover champagne that I had frozen for the wine and it was a great flavor. Pros: good sauce, I had plenty of sauce, chicken was tasty, prep was minimal. Cons: lots of processed ingredients, chicken a tiny bit overcooked, long cook time. I think next time I will try cutting up the chicken into bite sized pieces and use the skillet preparation method and see if the chicken stays juicier, but may lose some flavor in the chicken if I don't cook as long. Plus more time standing over the stove instead of letting it cook itself in the oven. I think I will also add a touch of cream to maybe cut a tiny bit of the "condensed soup" texture. A big batch of sautéed fresh mushrooms would also freshen this up a bit. Thanks for the recipe!
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Cooking Level: Expert

Home Town: Peoria, Illinois, USA
Living In: Saint Louis, Missouri, USA

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