ManassasMa Recipe Reviews (Pg. 3) - Allrecipes.com (10181522)

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Slow Cooker Chicken Stroganoff

Reviewed: Nov. 15, 2008
This was really quite good. The Italian dressing adds a LOT. I TRIPLED the recipe using the meat from chickens I had cooked (boiled) previously rather than the chicken breasts. Also, I NEVER use condensed soups in recipes so what I did instead was toss 3 celery ribs (chopped) and 3 T. of butter into the crockpot along with 3 chicken bouillon cubes, "some" dried parsley (probably about 3 T.) and 3/4 cup of water at the onset. When I added the cream cheese (2 12 oz "blocks") I also added 1/2 lb. container of (fresh) sliced mushrooms, approx. 2 T. Cornstarch and 1 cup of milk (Half&Half would work well, too). Upon serving (over 2 pkgs. BROAD PD egg noodles, cooked separately), I made salt, black and cayenne pepper, paprika and sour cream available for "takers". We are 6 pretty "averaged size" adults -- but when dinner was over and I set the leftovers down for my dogs, both of them looked up at me with kind of an "is that all that's left?" expression on their faces. [I gave this a 4 on account of the changes I made, but given my changes, I'd rate it a 10+ and a definite keeper.]
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Creamed Cabbage Soup

Reviewed: Nov. 9, 2008
I make Cabbage Soup for my adult family (myself, DH, 2 sons, daughter, son-in-law and Angelica on the way) fairly often and it's always a hit. This version is particularly good and even better if left to "sit" for an hour or two before serving. I would recommend chopping the celery and onion particularly thin/small and making sure that the carrots are no larger than "bite-sized." If you need to "stretch" it (as I often do), serving it over white rice works well as does adding a can or two of white or pink beans before adding the cream or milk (sometimes I omit these all together and simply throw in a large can of diced tomatoes or tomato sauce). Other great additions include green beans and mushrooms. Finally, this works very well meatless or with ground beef, turkey or chicken or smoked turkey sausage or kielbasa, too. Adaptable, economical and delicious. Who could ask for more?
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Creamy Carrot Soup

Reviewed: Oct. 6, 2008
Oh, my goodness! This soup is DELICIOUS! I used "crystallized" ginger instead of powdered, bouillon cubes instead of broth, fresh basil instead of Rosemary (didn't have any) and 2% Evaporated Milk instead of Heavy Cream (which would have been my preference, but we're trying to "diet"). I also topped each bowl with some crusty bread and a thick slice of PepperJack cheese (any "hard" cheese would work equally well). We're a family of 5, and there wasn't a drop left. NOTE: next time I make it (and there WILL be a "next time"), I think I'll include some sliced up turkey sausage or kielbasa and serve it over pre-cooked rice or barley. What a meal THAT will be!
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Old World Escarole and Beans

Reviewed: Oct. 4, 2008
My grandmother used to make this (using any kind of pork she happened to have on hand, or meatless) all of the time and -- specifically because escarole is too bitter for my taste -- I never liked it and have always "adapted" her recipe by substituting spinach for it. But my husband likes escarole (he orders it every time we go to dinner at a local Italian restaurant), so the other day when escarole was on sale for $0.79 per pound and a bag of spinach was selling for $2.99, I thought I'd give him a thrill. I par-cooked 3 boneless pork chops (instead of the bacon) in a little bit of butter and a splash of olive oil, added a handful of baby carrots and a T. of granulated sugar to my pot and cooked everything together for 45 minutes. My husband loved it, and promised that if I would make this for him at least "sometimes", he'd never ever again spend $6.95 for a bowl of escarole soup (sounds like a plan). As for me? I still don't like escarole, but prepared this way, I had to begrudgingly admit that it was at least "quite edible".
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Cream of Celery Soup

Reviewed: Oct. 4, 2008
I've been trying desperately -- for both nutritional and economic considerations -- to all but eliminate meat from my family's diet. And especially because this soup used all of the same ingredients I've always used when making my "meaty" soups (celery, carrots, onions, pepper, flavored stock, butter flour, etc.) I thought I'd try it. And I'm glad I did. I scaled the recipe to 10 and added a potato (as a thickener). After about 45 minutes, I pureed all of the vegetables. Even with the added potato, the soup was a bit thinner than we would have liked, so I lined all of our bowls with some PepperJack cheese, added a couple of crackers to mine and served my husband's and grown son's over some leftover Barley. Once we adjusted to "all that celery" (but, then again, isn't celery what a cream of celery soup is supposed to taste like?), we all agreed that if this is what it's going to be like being a vegetarian, it's OK by us. (PS: I made half the recipe in my soup pot for "immediate consumption" and tossed the rest of the ingredients into my CrockPot. BY REQUEST, I will be filling all lunch thermoses with this soup and serving it again tomorrow night. Now, THAT's a 5!)
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Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo

Reviewed: Sep. 23, 2008
I have a large family (often 6 adults, one of whom is eating for 2 :)), so I make "Something Alfredo" (chicken, turkey, ham steak, shrimp, scallops, etc.) and "Something Tetrazzini" pretty often. I saw this recipe and thought I would try it -- as written -- if only to see how it stacked up to my own. And it was good (which is why I gave it a 4). But it was good in the way, for instance, that my daughter, a new cook and soon to be new Mom would appreciate better than I. I printed this recipe for her. I'm going to keep making "mine" my way.
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Chive Mushroom Soup

Reviewed: Sep. 15, 2008
I use Vegetable Bouillon (either granules or cubes are OK; no additional salt is necessary that way) and fresh Portabella mushrooms when I make this soup, and I thicken it with Corn Starch instead of flour. If you don't have (or can't get) chives, scallion (spring onion) TOPS are a great substitute. YUMMY year 'round!
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Pollo a la Crema

Reviewed: Sep. 14, 2008
I scaled this recipe down to 2 and made it for my personal lunch. I thought it was DELICIOUS. I particularly liked the bit of "zing" the ketchup added. (I don't think that just because a dish is intended to be "presented" in a tortilla it has to taste Mexican. And since this used very similar ingredients as those I use to make my "Alfredo Sauce Rose", I didn't expect it to.) I'm actually thinking right now that when I make my pasta with veggies (including a couple of quartered tomatoes) this weekend, I'll use this recipe as a base, add a couple of spices and a mixture of cheeses (to further thicken the sauce) and see how my family responds. I'm guessing they're all going to love it, too.
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Chicken a la King II

Reviewed: Sep. 14, 2008
I had not thought about Chicken a la King since my college days (almost 30 years ago), when it was a staple. But earlier this summer we had a family event and my sister-in-law requested that I "cook up some of that chicken thing you used to make when we were kids". This recipe came pretty close to how I remember making Chicken a la King, so I followed it to a "T" (except quadrupled) and presented it to 4 generations of skeptics and critics. It was good -- very good, as a matter of fact -- and to my surprise, very well received. A couple of weeks ago, my elder son asked me to make it again. Which, naturally, I did -- except that time, I reverted to my old recipe, using chicken boullion cubes instead of broth, frozen peas instead of green pepper (canned peas get too mushy) and canned mushrooms instead of fresh. In addition, I stirred a generous sprinkling of high grade Hungarian paprika and a couple of Cayenne pepper flakes into the pot at the same time I added the chicken and pimentos. Fortunately, I had doubled the recipe because we all had seconds. (I always liked Chicken a la King over rice, but next time I think I'll serve it over egg noodles for greater "density").
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Argentine Lentil Stew

Reviewed: Sep. 13, 2008
I had some leftover homemade applesauce (prepared with apple pie spice and brown sugar, so I omitted the BBQ sauce) that needed to be used, so I decided to try this recipe. And I'm glad I did. I used chicken boullion instead of vegetable, scallions instead of yellow onion, a can of green beans instead of the peas and a small can of diced tomatoes instead of fresh. In addition, I added 3 "all purposed" potatoes and added additional spices (peppercorns, rosemary and tarragon leaves and some fresh basil). Topped it with parmesan cheese and served it with Saltine crackers. Both my husband and I liked it a lot.
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Beans, Greens and Garlic Soup

Reviewed: Sep. 12, 2008
This is a good soup. But (of course), I made a few changes: (a) instead of tiny pasta, I used Pearl Barley; (b) instead of Baby Spinach (which I love and use a lot), I used fresh green beans (not a particular family favorite, but they were on an INCREDIBLE sale; I mean $0.59/lb.); and (c) I quartered 3 medium sized tomatoes and "tossed them into the mix". Spiced to our liking, topped with a "cheese of your choice" (I usually keep at least 5 different varieties on hand) and served with a buttered "dense" bread (I used a SourDough loaf), we had no leftovers. I consider that a SUCCESS! Will make again (with Spinach. though).
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Spiced Slow Cooker Applesauce

Reviewed: Sep. 11, 2008
A REAL KEEPER. Last night, I added water to my Crockpot, cut up my apples (a combination of Granny Smith's and Gala's), used Apple Pie Spice (a combination of Cinnamon, Nutmeg and Allspice)(a generous "sprinkling"), tossed in the Brown Sugar (what I would call a "handful"), added a handful of raisins and "short sprinkle" (perhaps 8-10) of "Hot Dots", and turned the appliance on (LOW). This morning, I made our Oatmeal (a regular occurrence in our household -- except that no one really likes it; sometimes it's Cream of Wheat -- which is better received, but not loved) and topped each bowl with a GENEROUS/HEFTY spoonful of this Applesauce (which had been cooking for no less than 10 hours). Not only did no one (1 DH and 3 adult "children") complain, but my DH and BOTH of my sons (aged 20+) actually refilled their Oatmeal bowls so that they could have more of the "topping". Better than this it rarely gets.
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238 users found this review helpful

Zucchini and Pork Soup

Reviewed: Sep. 8, 2008
This is a GOOD Soup. Better than a "base" but definitely amenable to variation(s). The first time I made it, I doubled the recipe in the hope of having leftovers after serving my (adult) family of 5 (giggle, giggle; not a drop leftover). The second time I made it, I omitted the flour (which I perceived as being simply a thickener in any event) and, in order to "stretch", tossed 1/2 cup of PEARL BARLEY into the mix (rice would work equally well, as would a potato or 2 and/or certain tiny pastas). I used pork chops (as specified) because that's what I had on hand, but YES, I can see how sausage (in any form) would work here, too. I left out the salt (but left the shaker on the table) but did use black pepper, basil and oregano (while cooking) according to the recipe because that is how I cook, but I would understand if others chose to spice and/or flavor theirs differently. I, personally, am so sick and tired of sprinkling parmesan (and/or romano and/or locatelli) cheese over EVERYTHING that (second time around) I served the soup over SWISS cheese and it was a MAJOR hit in my household. In this regard, I'd suggest using ANY at least FLAVORFUL cheese (for instance AMERICAN, CHEDDAR, PEPPERJACK, GOUDA (especially SMOKED) etc.) I gave this recipe a 5 because, even after "adapting" it to my family's tastes as well as our BUDGET, this is, indeed, a keeper.
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Citrus Infused Guacamole

Reviewed: Jul. 5, 2008
I made this (with "tweaking") for a July 4th pot luck and it was a major hit. (I'm certain that the novelty of the juices added to it's "mob appeal".) This made a lot, but I came home with an empty bowl. :) Tweakings: 1. I began by using 10 avocados (because of the anticipated crowd) and adjusted the other ingredients accordingly. 2. To stretch it, I blended the avocado with 2 8 oz. pkgs. cream cheese. 3. I used bottled lime juice concentrate, fresh squeezed orange juice and the syrup from a can of pineapple chunks. 4. I substituted a sprinkling of chili powder and some cayenne flakes for the cumin (personal preference). 5. Lastly, I added 2 Tbls. Worcestershire sauce. My intention was that my offering be used as a topping for the burgers, but some of the "guests" topped their hot dogs with it, too.
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21 users found this review helpful

Beet, Walnut and Prune Salad

Reviewed: Jun. 11, 2008
DELICIOUS. I included some sliced Vidalia onion, but other than that followed the recipe exactly. DEFINITELY in my luncheon rotation; I'll be making this regularly.
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9 users found this review helpful

Apple Beet Salad

Reviewed: Jun. 11, 2008
I made this a while back "my way" and it was delicious (see review, below). Last week, I made it according to the recipe as presented (using sliced Harvard beets which I halved and Miracle Whip as the "creamy dressing") and it was excellent. ************* First review: I LOVE beets. So I made this (kind of) last night for lunch today. I say kind of because, instead of fresh apples, I used 4 heaping Tbsp. of unsweetened Applesauce to coat the beets (mine were sliced, rather than diced) and instead of "creamy salad dressing", I used my own buttermilk/sour cream based dressing. I also included a handful of sliced yellow onion and a handful of sliced green grapes. To my mind, the walnuts (I used pre-packaged, chopped) "made" the dish. I think this is a REAL KEEPER -- especially if allowed to chill and "meld" for at least 4 hours.
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21 users found this review helpful

Bacon, Potato and Cheese Tart

Reviewed: Jun. 11, 2008
I pre-cooked and mashed the potatoes before mixing in the other ingredients (specifically the cheese) and baking. I also used HAM instead of bacon. The FLAVORS melded wonderfully. Turned out to be a genuinely nice side dish to my Porterhouse Steak (my husband's boss, his wide + 2 others) presentations.
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Potato Dumplings

Reviewed: Jun. 11, 2008
This recipe (as written) is DELICIOUS. Except I have to admit, I am a DUMPLING ADDICT. Therefore, I am continuously "on the hunt" for a perfect dumpling. To this end, I'd suggest adding more spice and herb to the basic recipe (my choices: dried garlic, parsley, basil, oregano and cayenne pepper). I've also been known to add shredded carrots, bell peppers (choose your color) and/or zucchini (green or yellow) to the "mix". My advice: cook (stew or boil) your chicken first (along with all of the requisite vegetables). Set it aside and THEN (given the broth it's generated), drop your dumplings. Serve topped with cheese (my preferences: parmesan, velveeta and/or swiss) and you've got a wonderfully "comfortable" mid-afternoon snack, sidedish or (dare I suggest?!) dinnertime main meal.
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27 users found this review helpful

Chicken and Dumplings III

Reviewed: Jun. 11, 2008
I don't cook Chicken & Dumplings (in any form) too often for my family. Specifically because I consider "it" to be one of my nominal "guilty pleasures". After having been eating Chicken & Dumplings for over 50 years and having been cooking it (primarily for myself) for 35+ years, I think this is the BEST Chicken & Dumplings recipe I've ever come across. Sorry Nana.
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Salmon and Garbanzo Bean Soup

Reviewed: Jun. 11, 2008
Made this (absent the bacon) for a Good Friday dinner. No one in my family (5 adults) was tremendously impressed. Made it again (again, absent bacon) the following weekend using Tuna steak and Cannellini beans and -- while not especially embraced -- was better received. In the VERY unlikely event I ever attempt this recipe again (regardless of the fish/seafood I attempt), I think I'll attempt adding some rice and some salt to the general recipe and sprinkling either grated Parmesan and/or Cheddar Cheese over each individual serving. My family (4 adults + me) did not care for this recipe.
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7 users found this review helpful

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