Holiday Baker Recipe Reviews (Pg. 14) - Allrecipes.com (10115384)

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Holiday Baker

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Asparagus with Junk

Reviewed: Apr. 23, 2014
If looking for a fresh way to cook asparagus, this is definitely not it. I wish I would have read through the introduction. As I was eating it, I kept thinking this taste more like part of a casserole then anything I think of as asparagus. The boiling and then baking made the asparagus reminiscent of something I would get from a can in color and texture. Also, no way this amount of asparagus could be 6 servings unless eating only 3 pieces. I recalculated the 6 servings to 4, which was more realistic, and it went from 343 calories per serving to 514.5 per serving. I wanted to try this, so I just did 1/4 of the topping and calculated it as the 4 servings and it came to 137 calories per serving. Surprisingly, the asparagus was still loaded with a hefty layer of mayo, bread crumbs, and parmesan.
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Avocado Blueberry Smoothie

Reviewed: Apr. 21, 2014
This is definitely more of a breakfast type smoothie. It has almost no sweet flavor other than the blueberries. I followed the recipe exactly, except I had a 1/2 an avocado left about to expire. So, I just used the whole half. It gave the smoothie a silky like texture. It was a filling meal replacement and worked fine for me. Not something I would recommend, as a blueberry smoothie, for a beginner smoothie drinker though. Might be better with vanilla or a sweet yogurt and a couple of ice cubes. As is, I rate this about 3.5 stars.
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Bacon Cheddar Deviled Eggs

Reviewed: Apr. 21, 2014
I thought these were okay. I decided to test a few eggs, because I had some leftover bacon. I can't see me making bacon just for deviled eggs. I am a purist when it comes to the deviled egg. The bacon was a little chewy and I couldn't taste the cheese. I ended up adding a little more mayo, as it was kind of thick, and some salt and pepper. I am certain, though, they will all eaten. ty
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Photo by Holiday Baker

Pineapple Creamsicle® Smoothie

Reviewed: Apr. 20, 2014
Yum, this did taste like a pineapple creamsicle! I used all of the ingredients but changed up the amounts due to what I had and what I knew would work best. I got about 3 servings. I used 1 large frozen sliced banana, 1 1" thick slice of fresh pineapple I had in the freezer. I just cut it in half for easier blending. 1 6oz container of Greek non fat vanilla yogurt (Kroger brand), 3/4 cup of homestyle orange juice, and 8 ice cubes. Will definitely make this again. TY
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Photo by Holiday Baker

Robin's Nests

Reviewed: Apr. 20, 2014
These were cute and the fondant like eggs really looked the color of a robin's egg. The cookies were easy to make and using a standard cookie scoop, did yield the suggested amount. I just made a 1/2 recipe to test them. The cookies I had to leave in a little longer than suggested and a minute or so before removing I had to repress the centers as they had puffed up some. The cookies kind of tasted like a soft pecan sandy. Where I had trouble with was the eggs. They actually taste good with the cookie because eaten with the cookie it is like added frosting. However, I mixed the dough and it wasn't coming together completely. Then, I ended up adding about 1/4 tsp. of water. That made them too soft and flatten some after shaping. I think, next time I would just keep kneading or even try some jelly beans with a little icing to make them stick to change it up. After finishing the cookie I put them on a tray with plastic wrap in the fridge and they held up nicely. They were fun to make and were a nice and different Easter treat.
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Lentils and Rice with Fried Onions (Mujadarrah)

Reviewed: Apr. 18, 2014
I was hoping this would be really good with how affordable it is to make with cabinet staples. However, it really just did not have any flavor. I also had to stand over the stove watching it, making it time consuming. I like lentils, but guess I just prefer them in soup. My recommendation if making this dish is to cook the rice separately, so as to not over cook the lentils. I added a little garlic salt to season and it helped some.
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Carrot Cake Smoothie

Reviewed: Apr. 18, 2014
Whoa, this is a little strange. It was kind of more like carrot cake batter than carrot cake. The spices even turn it that dark batter color. I really liked though how healthy it is with the cinnamon, ginger, carrots, and fruit. I only had frozen fruit, so I had to use an additional 1/2 cup non dairy milk. I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk.
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Delicious Spinach Manicotti

Reviewed: Apr. 16, 2014
I thought this was pretty good, but just had to change it some based on what I had in the house. I only had about 2/3 of a container or ricotta and it worked fine. I also cut back the mozzarella by about half. I couldnt find my Italian seasoning and just sprinkled a little Goya adobo seasoning on the filling for flavor with some additional black pepper. I do not care for jarred sauce, so I just put some unsalted canned tomatoes in my blender with a pinch of garlic sauce and used that. Only other change was using just 1 egg. I only baked it about 20~25 minutes , added a little cheese then 5 or so minutes more.
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Potato Latkes from Simply Potatoes®

Reviewed: Apr. 15, 2014
These turned out pretty good. I have made other potato latke/pancake type recipes and I noticed they were a tad more crisp than this one. These were a little on the dry side but good flavor nonetheless. I mixed it up and had planned to make one pancake and cut it into wedges. However, after I blended all of the ingredients, it didn't seem like a lot of batter. I used a muffin or #16 scoop and got 11 pancakes. I liked the green onion flavor as opposed to white onion which I typically have used in these recipes. I also used 1/2 tsp. of baking powder as opposed to the 1/4 of a tsp. as it just seemed like very little, for the purpose of making the pancakes rise a little. I didnt have egg product, so I whisked 3 eggs and it equaled the 1/2 cup. I would rather use fresh anyhow. For the whole wheat flour I used King Arthur white whole wheat and cooked each batch in about 1-2 tsp. of corn oil. ty
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Cannoli Dip

Reviewed: Apr. 15, 2014
I made 1/4 of the recipe. That still yielded well over a cup. It just wasn't quite sweet enough and the texture of the ricotta was just sort of unpalatable to me. In the real dessert, the filling always seemed creamier to me also. Are they using heavy cream, mascarpone, not sure. It was also missing a hint of fruit flavor maybe lemon or something that I have tasted in cannolis. I don't think it is this recipe as I have tried similar desserts and dips that play on the cannoli theme, just eliminating the shell, and felt the same way about the ricotta taste and texture. It does taste better after it is refriferated though.
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Quick and Healthy Turkey Chili

Reviewed: Apr. 14, 2014
This chili was insanely hot. I am rating it a 3 and that is only because I do have a pepper lover in the house. Personally, I could not eat it. I realized I just do not care for the chipotle chilis in a can. They have a very dominant taste in food they are added to and I am not sure if some in a can are hotter than others, but I apparently bought the hottest kind sold. In the end I added a can of diced petite tomatoes for color and to cut through some of the heat. Lastly, I just ended up adding cheese and an avocado directly to the chili to see if that would also help with the heat. It helped some and mellowed out the chipotle flavor a little too. We topped it with lime flavored tortilla chips. I couldn't finish mine, even with 2 large iced drinks, but it will get eaten in another person's packed lunches.
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Avocado Aioli

Reviewed: Apr. 11, 2014
I thought this was okay. I would reduce the garlic and salt by half. Both were very overpowering. As it is so salty, I am going to use it in a wrap or sandwich with fresh grilled chicken or other toppings that don't have salt and see how that works. Only change I made was using 1 tsp. of dried basil for the 1 Tblsp. of fresh. That worked fine. However, after a day in the fridge even the basil was very dominant. I definitely consider this more of sandwich or wrap spread than a dip, though, imho, with it being a thick consistency. Still prefer just a little mashed avocado on a sandwich or a simple guacamole.
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Photo by Holiday Baker

Easy Mango Banana Smoothie

Reviewed: Apr. 11, 2014
I thought this tasted pretty good. It is not real sweet like many smoothies. I would consider this more of a breakfast smoothie with the dairy products. The dairy products also made it more creamy. I used organic vanilla bean yogurt and reduced fat milk. I like my smoothies extra cold, so I made 2 servings and added 2 ice cubes along with the banana being frozen. ty
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Classic Italian Pasta Salad

Reviewed: Apr. 11, 2014
I had some cooked noodles leftover from another dish and found this recipe. I just had to about cut it in half. It was quick to mix together. My mom made something similar but added salad surpreme seasoning. As this was not going to a pot-luck, and I wasn't concerned about appearance, I just added some shredded cheddar instead of the cubed. It was what I had. For the veggies, I used a bag of steamed Normandy vegetables. I am not a fan of raw broccoli and similar vegetables. Only wished it refrigerated well. It was good fresh, but got mushy by the next day.
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Photo by Holiday Baker

Blueberry Squares

Reviewed: Apr. 9, 2014
For being a vegan dessert, this recipe was nearly as good as the buttery fruit bars. Only real change I made was using Mazola corn oil, mostly, as I only had about 2 Tblsp left of olive oil. I like that this had a lot of fiber with the beans, rolled oats, and all of the blueberries and it used oil instead of butter or shortening. Although, I could slightly taste the garbanzo beans. They do have a distinct taste. Also, the crust starts to get soggy by the 2nd day in the fridge. So, consider that with 24 bars, even if they are on the small size. Also, with the fruit, a large pack of blueberries, or whole sales club size, is really needed to get 3 full cups unless lucky enough to have a blueberry bush with abundant berries available. I used a 12 1/2 x 8 1/2 x 2-inch disposable pan sprayed with PAM. The bars cut out very nicely, but the topping is a little lose. Freshly made it was rather tasty with a little whipped topping or vanilla ice cream.
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Prego® Now and Later Baked Ziti

Reviewed: Apr. 8, 2014
I thought this was okay. This did all fit in the pan size suggested. I purchased a cheap disposable pan exactly that size to test it. I just placed it on a baking sheet to make it extra sturdy. I followed the recipe exactly as is, pinched for time, however this recipe really should have other ingredients added, as desired, onions, peppers, fresh mushrooms, seasonings, etc.
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Photo by Holiday Baker

Asparagus, Avocado and Slow-Roasted Tomato Salad

Reviewed: Apr. 6, 2014
I thought this was a different type of recipe to try for roasted vegetables. I have never roasted tomatoes in an oven for a long period of time and may do that again for another salad. When I went to make it I then realized the tomatoes needed to roast for a full 2.5 hours. I planned to make this at lunch time and decided to put them under the broiler on low, on a foil lined sheet sprayed with some PAM. It took 45 minutes, instead, with the rack placed in the middle of the oven. They still got a nice slow roast. I followed the rest of the recipe exactly just reducing the green onion some and subbing red wine vinegar, because my grocer did not carry the sherry vinegar. That seemed to work fine. Personally, I know this recipe is all about the avocados presenting, but I kind of liked it all stirred up. I thought the other vegetables picked up some of the flavors from the tomatoes which I really liked. That is how I served it after taking the photo. This does take a little time to prepare with 3 separate components, but I like the mix of 3 vegetables anyhow in the dish. ty
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White Bean Dip

Reviewed: Apr. 3, 2014
I thought this tasted okay for a quick healthy snack dip. It doesnt have a bunch of spices like similar dips. My only issue is, I made it for a lunch and the herb turned it a mint green color for some reason. Mine was also slightly on the thin side. It's okay just made, but get acidic tasting after a day or two in the fridge. I definitely suggest making it just fresh.
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Chicken Alfredo with Plum Tomatoes

Reviewed: Apr. 3, 2014
This just did not taste good to me. The tomatoes tasted very acidic with the sauce unless it was the wine. The basil, like in most dishes I have tried it in, was just a really dominant flavor. It looked really simple, but the combination just did not work for me. The sauce might work with a more mild vegetable. I think I tried something similar with just broccoli and chicken that worked well.
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Photo by Holiday Baker

Green Grape Salad

Reviewed: Apr. 3, 2014
This recipe was completely not what I expected. It kind of reminded me of a better quality, much less sweet version of apple and other fruit type salads with boxed pudding and whipped topping. Its almost like grapes in a light cheesecake coating. I made 1/4 of the recipe and got 4 large servings. With grapes at 4.00 dollars a pound, I decided to test the recipe with that much first. Have a hand blender ready, because it will be necessary to make the filling smooth before adding the grapes. If grapes become cheaper I would consider this for a summer pot luck, but would definitely add a little more chopped pecans to the top. They add extra flavor, texture, and a nice simple garnish.
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