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Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore

Reviewed: Jul. 21, 2013
This was good and I will make it again, but it will need some tweaking. The biggest change I will make is to switch out the breasts for thighs. I used big beautiful chicken breasts, and the were kind of wasted in this dish. They didn't come out with any real flavor and they were kind of dry from cooking for 7 hours. I think thighs would at least be more tender and not feel like such a waste because they are cheaper. I think they are actually more traditional in cacciatore anyway. Other than that, I agree with others that it was a little watery, so next time I will cut back on the spaghetti sauce and use a can of tomato paste as recommended. I will also add more herbs (oregano, basil, pepper flakes, etc.) to kick up the flavor, and I will probably add a little red wine close to the end of cooking to add a little extra body. I also think this needs more vegetables, so I will probably add some zucchini, eggplant, carrot, something, to make it more robust. All in all, this is a nice slow cooker option that is great to dip into at the end of the day. 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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Greek Couscous

Reviewed: Jul. 17, 2013
great summer recipe. I added sauted and diced seasoned chicken along with softened onion garlic and pepper. Mixed everything together at the end.
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Cooking Level: Intermediate

Living In: Saint Louis, Missouri, USA

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Quick and Easy Alfredo Sauce

Reviewed: Jul. 16, 2013
I had some issues with this and can't tell if it was user error. First, my sauce never really thickened. The cream cheese and butter mixture didn't look too promising, but when I poured in the milk it immediately smoothed up and looked beautiful. As I poured in more and more milk, it got too soupy and not saucy any more. I wished I would have stopped when it looked right but I wanted to follow the recipe. After that, I didn't know if it was ruined or if I just needed to keep cooking until it thickened, so I stirred and stirred and nothing happened. I eventually mixed in some flour paste in hopes that it would thicken. I finally gave up and took it off the heat, and it promptly began to separate. It is possible that I overcooked it waiting for it to thicken, but the instructions are too vague to know how long to stir or what to expect to see. The end product was tasty even though it was a little oily. It was VERY rich! I think it had too much Parmesan. I served it over sautéed chicken, broccolini, and rigatoni. No one had seconds. It did have a restaurant quality flavor, but I won't probably make this again, especially not for my kids.
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Cooking Level: Expert

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

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Slow-Cooker Pepper Steak

Reviewed: Jul. 14, 2013
This did not turn out well for me. I prepared it as written. My first issue was browning the beef. I know that it adds flavor, but when I make something in the crock pot, I don't want to cook everything first. By the time I was done browning, I could have just thrown in the peppers and onions and had it done in 20 min. I cooked on low for 6 hours. By the time it was done, the peppers were disintegrating and the beef was no longer strips, it was shredded. The flavor was very bland. I had to add a good glug of soy sauce to give it ANY flavor at all. I had to add more cornstarch to thicken, and by the time I was done, I pretty much had stew. Only not very tasty stew. I won't make this again.
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Cooking Level: Expert

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

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Easy Oven Brown Rice

Reviewed: Jun. 23, 2013
I eat brown rice a lot and have traditionally used a rice steamer to do this. My rice steamer is not a very expensive one so the bottom of the rice tends to burn. I hate using pots simply because you constantly have to watch it. This is a perfect solution. I basically just cook rice for the week to use in different dishes but I do think I am going to try cooking it with different veggies and/or broth as others have suggested. And the quantities and time listed worked perfectly.
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Cooking Level: Intermediate

Living In: Saint Louis, Missouri, USA

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Bay Scallops with Garlic Parsley Butter Sauce

Reviewed: Jun. 20, 2013
This was fantastic. Prepared exactly as stated, the scallops are delicious. In order to prevent super soggy bread, use a dense bread, and make sure it is well toasted. I highly recommend this recipe, either as an appetizer, or a meal.
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Cooking Level: Expert

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

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Blueberry Crumb Pie

Reviewed: Jun. 20, 2013
The recipe tasted great, but it was complete soup. I used frozen fresh blueberries. I let them thoroughly defrost to eliminate any extra moisture. I added a bit extra flour to the filling per suggestion, and I still ended up with blueberries floating in liquid with a crumb top. I don't think it will be a small fix, but when I figure out how to adequately thicken up the soup, it will be great.
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Cooking Level: Expert

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

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Old-Fashioned Beef Stew

Reviewed: Jun. 19, 2013
Delicious beef stew! I added celery into the vegetable mix and omitted the cornstarch step. The meat was tender and flavorful. Served on a bed of white rice, it was a hit with my family.
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No Bake Sugar Free Strawberry Cheesecake

Reviewed: Jun. 8, 2013
Very tasty, very easy. I'm going to try this idea with other fruits as the season progresses.
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Cooking Level: Intermediate

Home Town: Breckenridge Hills, Missouri, USA
Living In: Saint Louis, Missouri, USA

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Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad

Reviewed: Jun. 2, 2013
Good when fresh, but it doesn't hold up after the next day. Needs to be scaled to smaller amount.
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Cooking Level: Intermediate

Home Town: Breckenridge Hills, Missouri, USA
Living In: Saint Louis, Missouri, USA

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Marinated Grilled Shrimp

Reviewed: Jun. 2, 2013
Originally gave these a lower rating because I neglected to adjust the amount of basil from 2 tbsp to 2 tsp when I used dried basil instead of fresh. I tried again with my mistake corrected and now give them a well deserved 5 stars!
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Cooking Level: Intermediate

Living In: Saint Louis, Missouri, USA

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Grilled Marinated Shrimp

Reviewed: May 12, 2013
Liked it, didn't think it was anything too earth shattering.
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Cooking Level: Expert

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

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Kris' Amazing Shredded Mexican Beef

Reviewed: May 12, 2013
Holy schnikes, honking hot! I didn't even use the cayenne. It was super good but no way could I serve to the kids. Next time I will try half the can of chipotle peppers or maybe I will try to seed them since I know the heat is in the seeds. Update: I tried this again with 1/2 can chipotle and I seeded and chopped the chilis. The heat was much more contained but I discovered that the flavor was all in the heat. Without the heat, it was kind of bland and watery from the crock pot. Since the heat makes it impossible to feed to most humans and the lack of heat makes it plain shredded beef that isn't really tasty on a taco, I have to downgrade my rating. I won't be trying this a third time.
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Cooking Level: Expert

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

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Key Lime Pie VII

Reviewed: May 12, 2013
Super good and super easy! I did the math badly and bought 2 cans sweetened condensed milk which actually works out to 2 1/2 c, but it worked out fine and I didn't have to waste half a can. I used Mexican limes because no way was I juicing 200 tiny key limes. The bake time was a little off. I kept waiting for the bubbles to pop but they didn't, so I gave up at 12 min. Chilled overnight then served with homemade whipped cream. No leftovers!
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Cooking Level: Expert

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

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Stuffed Peppers

Reviewed: May 7, 2013
Great, simple stuffed pepper recipe. A throwback to the version my mom always made.
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Cooking Level: Intermediate

Home Town: Saint Louis, Missouri, USA
Living In: Cincinnati, Ohio, USA

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Waffles I

Reviewed: May 6, 2013
I made this recipe as written and I'm sorry, but I wasn't terribly impressed. I have been making my waffles using a hungry jack mix and I didn't think this recipe was any better. If you are looking for a healthier and probably cheaper version of a box mix, this will work for you. If you are looking for exceptional waffles, you will need to either tweak this recipe or look elsewhere.
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Cooking Level: Expert

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

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Mexican Rice II

Reviewed: May 5, 2013
Fabulous compliment to my beef enchiladas.
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Cooking Level: Intermediate

Home Town: Saint Louis, Missouri, USA
Living In: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA

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Italian Wedding Cookies II

Reviewed: May 2, 2013
I love this recipe! So much fun to make! Everyone is always pretty impressed with them. I would advise keeping an eye on them in the oven, mine usually need a little less time than recomended. Also I highly recomend lining you pan with foil or parchment paper, I have no idea how you would get it out in one piece otherwise! Last but not least, as a few others I use the almond filling instead of paste, they always come out great!
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Cooking Level: Expert

Home Town: Saint Louis, Missouri, USA

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Broccoli Cheese Pie

Reviewed: Apr. 29, 2013
Very easy and tasty. I will have to try this again to get it completely right because I discovered that my onion was rotten about halfway through prep and had to use dried minced onion instead. I think this would be even better the right way! I think the cook times were off, my pie was fully solid after only 10 min at 375 (after 15 min at 400).
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Cooking Level: Expert

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

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Vidalia Onion Pie

Reviewed: Apr. 24, 2013
The hot sauce totally ruined this dish. Otherwise, you've basically got an onion quiche. Too bad.
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Cooking Level: Intermediate

Home Town: Breckenridge Hills, Missouri, USA
Living In: Saint Louis, Missouri, USA

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