Holiday Baker Recipe Reviews (Pg. 15) - Allrecipes.com (10115384)

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Holiday Baker

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White Bean and Tomato Salad

Reviewed: Mar. 18, 2014
I liked this. It was simple and quick and easy to make as a side dish with protein and filling. I only had cannellini beans, but I believe they are basically the same. I cut up all of the green onion, I had left, and it ended up being a little over 1/8 of a cup and that worked fine. Only problem with the recipe, is there isn't enough! lol Next time, I will double the recipe.
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Peanut Butter-Pretzel Bonbons

Reviewed: Mar. 18, 2014
I thought these were okay. I wasn't real fond of the slight after taste of the cream cheese, compared to regular peanut butter bonbons. I also didn't much taste the pretzel like I expected. I blended them in my Vitamix, on speed 3, for about 15 seconds or so. That's a huge time saver. There were plenty of 1/4" sized bits after doing that. I didn't think the filling was really sweet, nor did I get that sweet salty balance. The main flavor was pb and cream cheese. I changed the servings to 4 to try the recipe, since I had the ingredients in the house, and I got 9 bonbons as the yield would suggest by making 1/4 of the recipe. For ease I had to dampen my hands to work with the pb filling and I used a cookie scoop to shape them, which worked well. From a taste stand point, I will have to see what others think. I am always looking for new holiday candy ideas. ty
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Fast Rice Pudding

Reviewed: Mar. 17, 2014
Despite following the recipe as is, it never thickened up. The flavor tasted like rice in sweet cinnamon milk.
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Fresh Israeli Salad

Reviewed: Mar. 17, 2014
I would rate this about 3.5 stars. The green and red pepper taste is just so dominant. I even used only about 1/3 of each pepper vs. a whole one. I couldn't find radishes at the 2 grocery stores I went to and finally found the sumac. It can be bought at Whole Foods. I believe this would be best when vegetables are at their freshest in the summer. Definitely consider if raw peppers are a favorite, when making this salad. It made for a quick, easy, and healthy addition to dinner tonight though.
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Grandma's Stuffed Celery

Reviewed: Mar. 16, 2014
Well, I wish we could say we liked this as I don't like rating recipes low. However, 3 of us tried it and no one cared for it. I used the change servings option and made only 4 servings, so it wasn't a huge waste. I just have a small container of the cream cheese mixture leftover. I thought the mixture looked festive with the red and green pieces. I didn't expect that from the main picture. I would consider this more of a holiday appetizer. However, I ended up using a block of lite cream cheese and didn't care for it before even adding the other ingredients. So, that may have not helped. I normally buy regular cream cheese or regular whipped style. The lite had a really off taste. The other 2 that tried the recipe, couldn't get past the olive taste, which didn't seem to bother me at all. I can see olive and garlic lovers possibly really liking the combination though. Just didn't work for us as a snack idea, I guess.
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Heart Healthy Blueberry Smoothie

Reviewed: Mar. 16, 2014
Okay, this was interesting. It was not quite thick like other smoothies I make. It tasted like blueberry yogurt juice. Only changes I made was using frozen blueberries and cutting the amount of sweetener in half and it was plenty. Not a smoothie I would make again, as it was too thin for my taste and I am just not a fan of smoothies with more than a couple of Tablespoons of yogurt. However, it's healthy enough to get me through the afternoon. ty
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Ashley and Whitney's Popcorn and Pretzel Sweet Snack Mix

Reviewed: Mar. 15, 2014
Wow, this was really good. Not what I was expecting. I decided to make it, after reading the comment that this was like Harry & David popcorns. However, I have to say, I thought it was better. It is much more fresh tasting. I also used real white chocolate, which I now realize they do not use more likely. I remembered at the grocery store I wanted to make the recipe, but didn't have it with me. I ended up buying the 4oz real white chocolate bar over the 12oz bag of white chocolate chip coating made from powdered milk and not real chocolate. So, I made a 1/2 recipe. I was still short 2 oz of white chocolate, but it was plenty. I used a bag of Orville Redenbacher gourmet natural lightly salted. It worked fine as the saltiness, made it overall not too sweet as opposed to plain popcorn. As I was short some of the white chocolate, I cut the cinnamon back to 1/2 tsp for 1/2 the recipe. I followed the rest of the recipe as is, just breaking up the regular sized pretzels. This was a fun recipe. I had more than half the ingredients already in the house. Just never would have thought to put them together this way. Interesting recipe. ty
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Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies

Reviewed: Mar. 14, 2014
I thought these were an interesting cookie. It tasted like the marriage of banana bread and a chocolate chip cookie. I saw it posted on the newest review and decided to give it a try, as I have always wanted to know what banana chocolate chip cookies taste like. I made a 1/2 recipe, and using a cookie scoop got 2 dozen as suggested by the recipe.
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Tonya's Terrific Sloppy Joes

Reviewed: Mar. 13, 2014
I thought this was pretty good. I have another go to recipe, I like, that tastes a little more like traditional sloppy joes but decided to try a different one. I did use ground turkey, instead of burger, it was what I had. I sautéed the onion in a couple of spoons of vegetable oil and added about a 1/3 of finely minced green pepper. I noticed it was an ingredient in similar recipes. I also didn't have the celery. I felt like my sloppy joes were a little dry compared to the other recipe, I use, but wasn't sure if it was due to using the turkey or the amount of sauce. For seasonings I added a sprinkle of salt and pepper, garlic and onion powder, and of celery seasoning due to not having any celery. I also opted for a couple of tsp. of Dijon over the dry mustard, as I just don't care for the taste of the dry. After adding the sauce, I only had to heat the sloppy joes for about 10 minutes. It made for a quick meal this evening.
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Pork Carnitas with Cilantro Tomatillo Sauce

Reviewed: Mar. 8, 2014
This was a little too hot for my tastes. However, it was quite easy to make and the overall flavor was pretty descent. I followed the meat recipe except I used pork tenderloin. That is what my grocery store had. I think cutting up the pork, was the most time consuming part. I thought I had the chipotle powder or something similar. When I realized that was not the case, I used 1 Tblsp. of minced chipotle peppers in adobe sauce. So, that may have contributed to the heat, not sure. I wanted so badly to tweak the topping by adding avocado, and avocado sauce, or some type of white spicy sauce, to give a creamy like topping to the tacos they needed In my opinion. I did like the flavor of the base salsa though. I don't typically make salsas or sauces with tomatillos. I suggest playing with the toppings, though, as almost anything can be added and would go nicely with the pork and tomatillo salsa.
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Photo by Holiday Baker

Sweet and Spicy Salmon with Grapefruit Salsa

Reviewed: Mar. 8, 2014
I actually really liked the salmon on this with the rub. Based on reading the other reviews, and about the heat with the rub, I only did a pinch of cayenne. I just don't care for hot food. It seemed like a lot of seasoning, but it was a nice amount after it was baked. I also made sure to do a packed but leveled amount of brown sugar, so it wasn't too sweet either. I lined a baking sheet with heavy duty foil, sprayed it with PAM well, and baked it on that. I didn't precisely measure the corn oil. I just drizzled it. I liked the mild taste of the corn oil compared to others I typically use. I think the extra amount may have given it a nice crispiness. I have never baked salmon in the regular oven and really liked the ease of this method. I usually use a broiler or sauté pan. I kept it in for 30 minutes and it seemed like a good amount of time. 1 lb is really not a lot of salmon. I got 4 really small pieces. So, I would make more next time. I used skin on salmon, but might try the skinned kind next time. The salsa, I was really not excited about. I made 1/2 recipe of it and it was plenty. It makes an interesting combination when a bite of it is eaten with the salsa. Grape fruit has also really gotten sweeter from what I remember as a kid. I bought what my local grocery store had, called cocktail grapefruit. I made sure to cut off all of the outer peel, the white pith, and seeds before chopping, to help with bitterness. I am rating this a 4, as I plan to make the salmon again. ty
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Blueberry Buttermilk Coffeecake

Reviewed: Feb. 27, 2014
I though this tasted good, although I dont have a lot of experience with crumb cakes. I was kind of surprised with how dense the batter was that the actual cake was so soft. I found, I preferred this better the next day as the texture was more sturdy. Overall, this tasted like a mix between cake and a blueberry muffin to me. My favorite part was the fresh blueberries I had to use for it. Only change I made was making 1/2 recipe and baking in my Nordicware 9x9 sized pan. It worked perfectly. I cut it into 12 muffin sized square pieces of cake. The serving size was plenty and it cut the calories in half.
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Chocolate Spread

Reviewed: Feb. 26, 2014
Hmm, I don't know what to think about this? I used the change servings button to make a very small serving to try it out of curiosity. It is missing the nuts to be like nutella, as suggested. Could there be a misprint here? I then thought maybe it would be like a chocolate flavored honey butter, and unique tasting. However, it just tasted like butter with a cocoa after taste. To make things worse it doesn't spread, once chilled, as assumed by the recipe title. I am curious to see what others think?
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Beef and Wine Soup with Dumplings

Reviewed: Feb. 13, 2014
I really liked the broth on this. Based on a reviewer saying it had a strong wine taste, I did half velvet moon cabernet and half water. I mixed up broth using broth paste. I didnt have any V8 like juice, so I used some canned diced tomatoes, water to equal 2 cups, a few slices of yellow pepper, parsley, celery seed, and some garlic and onion powder I blended in my vitamix. I didnt have celery, but it was fine. Only issue with soup is it is slightly thin for having dumplings and the dumplings were extremely bland. I would use like a Bisquick type dumpling biscuit. It is softer and has more flavor. The soup is also on the acidic side with the tomatoes and wine, so something to consider. It has a bolder flavor than typical soups.
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Photo by Holiday Baker

Butternut Squash Bisque

Reviewed: Feb. 9, 2014
I thought this tasted pretty good. I only have one more recipe that I like more, because it has an apple added to it giving it a slightly sweet bite. It was so quick and easy to make though. All of the ingredients fit into a pot I have with 3" sides. I used 2 (12oz) packages of peeled and cubed butternut squash I bought from Trader Joes. When I measured both bags, together, they pretty much equaled the 4 cups. I have no patience to peel and cube a fresh squash. I used no-salt vegetable broth cubes. Once I added the broth, I cooked the vegetables for 15 minutes on medium high or approximately 7 on my stove. Then I turned off the heat and let it sit 5 more on that burner. I ladled it into the blender and processed about 30 seconds on speed 10 and then about 2 minutes on high. I tasted it and decided to add garlic salt, to taste, or about 1/2 tsp., and a dash extra of black pepper. I didn't add the optional heavy cream and it did not need it. I recalculated the calories without it and it came to 182.5 per serving. Thank you!
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Slow Cooker Beef Pot Roast

Reviewed: Feb. 7, 2014
I though this turned out well. I didn't even have the mushrooms or celery and it was still fine. When it was done, I removed the beef. Then, I poured the liquid in a gravy separator which I then strained. The liquid was between and au jus and a thin gravy. It worked well with the meat and potatoes. I also really liked the carrots, wish it had a little more of them. I also liked that it wasn't as salty as using packaged seasonings or canned soups like so many pot roast recipes utilize today.
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Photo by Holiday Baker

Whipped Cream Filling

Reviewed: Feb. 2, 2014
This tasted and worked great. I made a previous almost slightly similar recipe from this site that ended up having gelatin beads in the whipped cream. For some reason, that was not the case this time. I just heated some water in the microwave, measured out the 1 Tblsp., and then stirred in the gelatin in the separate bowl. I poured it in quickly while blending. This will be my new go to for stabilized whipped cream. Although, this holds up like a frosting it still is whipped cream. So, I would use it in conjunction with a sweet filling on cake or cupcakes or as a filling and a sweet glaze, ganache, or something similar on top. It works for me, but I know most are accustomed to commercial cakes and cupcakes which are extremely sweet. It makes enough whipped cream for 1 cake or 15 cupcakes, and it holds up well in the fridge until serving time.
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RITZ Push-Cart Hot Dog Bites

Reviewed: Jan. 31, 2014
I am giving this a 5, because I absolutely loved the onions on this. I even realized I was out of hot sauce after starting the onions, and subbed 2 Tblsp of chili sauce and 2 small pinches of cayenne for half the recipe. I followed the rest of the ingredients as is. I used cooked and sliced Trader Joes all-beef hot dogs and yellow mustard as suggested. I am looking forward to making hot dogs over the next summer holiday with these onions. Having it all on a cracker was fine, but the cracker just seemed somewhat dry and on the butter side to me with this combination. Maybe, if they sat a little longer the cracker would start to soak up some of the yummy cooked onions. I plan to make more of these as an quick appetizer for Super Bowl. They do present well because of the onions. ty
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RITZ Pastrami and Corned Beef Mini Sandwich, created by Carnegie Deli

Reviewed: Jan. 31, 2014
This was an interesting combination for a Ritz cracker. I have never had pastrami before and only corned beef a few times. The dressing was on the thin side but had a nice taste. The meat and dressing would make much better grilled sandwiches. Ritz crackers have a very distinct taste, and are heavy tasting, that seem to over-power many of these oderbs. Maybe, with a different style of Ritz, possibly. I also thought it badly needed some swiss cheese to give it that deli sandwich taste to me.
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Peanut Butter Strawberry Smoothie

Reviewed: Jan. 29, 2014
This was an interesting combination. I was hesitant to try it, because I just don't care for much yogurt in a smoothie. 2 Tblsp to 1/4 cup maximum. The calories were also quite high, but figured I could split the servings. Either way, I tried the recipe as is but cutting the yogurt amount in half. I thought it had a pretty bright red color and actually tasted like a pb&j. I could taste the peanut butter. Then, for some reason, I tried it with the additional 1/4 cup of yogurt, as suggested, and it lost the peanut butter flavor and the red color turned to pale pink and making it a little more artificial looking. I would definitely try it with half of the amount of yogurt suggested. I liked the idea anyway.
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