ManassasMa Recipe Reviews (Pg. 6) - Allrecipes.com (10181522)

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Brown Rice Breakfast Porridge

Reviewed: Sep. 10, 2007
This tremendously SIMPLE recipe was a real and true "find" for me. I don't like Oatmeal but I do enjoy some of the other hot breakfast cereals (e.g., farina, cream of rice, cream of wheat, etc.). At the same time, it just never occurred to me (after 35+ years of cooking for a family of 5!!!!) to use my own rice (or last night's leftovers, even) in order to "present" a nourishing breakfast. This recipe is GREAT !!! You start with the rice and then add whatever else you (and/or your family members) enjoy (for instance, banana, strawberries perhaps even grapes or raisins instead of blueberries; dried apricots, peaches or prunes are also considerations, also). IMHO, the VANILLA and CINNAMON are "MUSTS". As is the BUTTER. But, after that, just "fly" (molasses, white or brown sugar, maple -- or any other flavor -- syrup rather than honey; homogenized milk, heavy or light cream, half-and-half etc. rather than 2%, etc. etc. etc.). My family members are Ruby Red Grapefruit Juice drinkers, so that's what I've been using as our "side". But orange, apple, grape, prune juice, etc. or any one of the available "blends" would be appropriate, too; as would be a glass of milk. Thank you, thank you, thank you, cherry007, for your contribution. My family is eating BREAKFAST again!
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27 users found this review helpful

Restaurant Style Egg Drop Soup

Reviewed: Aug. 31, 2007
This was very simple to prepare and quite good. I doubled the recipe (using scallion tops instead of chives and 2 slices of fresh gingeerroot) and had some for lunch. At dinnertime, I added a cup of frozen early peas and 1/4 lb. of sliced, firm Tofu. My husband and 2 sons literally devoured it; not a drop was left.
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Bacon Cheddar Deviled Eggs

Reviewed: Aug. 25, 2007
I LOVE eggs -- especially when they are "deviled" -- so I used this recipe as the base for a chopped egg salad hors d'ouerve I made for a group luncheon. My personal tweakings: a tad more mayonnaise, a squirt of ketchup, 1/8 tsp. horseradish and 2 shakes of tabasco sauce. I used 18 eggs (1-1/2 dozen) to present to 8 women and, when spread rather generously on 36 toasted triangles (9 slices of bread) and topped with a tiny slice of cherry tomato, they simply disappeared! :) I, personally, attribute my "pretty platter presentation" with the success of this recipe, but, more than likely, the BACON (and 2 T. of bacon drippings which I added to the mixture) may have had something to do with it, too :). I will DEFINITELY make this again.
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136 users found this review helpful

Nana's Mashed Turnip

Reviewed: Aug. 19, 2007
A very good recipe for (as others have stated) Holiday dinner gatherings. I usually "drape" my turkey with bacon slices so once the turkey's cooked, I simply crumble up the bacon slices and add them (with 1 T. of the turkey drippings) to the root mixture. Turnips are bland, so for simpler occasions (such as a normal family meal), I slice up a yellow onion and cook it along with a couple of bacon slices. I've also been known to toss in some chopped scallion greens OR parsley OR chives OR cilantro just before serving to give it both some added flavor and some color (garlic lover that I am, I do NOT recommend adding garlic to this; too overpowering even for my tastes). This dish goes very well with a beef roast, pork chops and roasted chicken, too. Also, carrots can be substituted for the turnips and you wouldn't necessarily need to add any sugar. All in all, a good, hearty side addition to any cold day meal.
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27 users found this review helpful

Steak n Ale Pie

Reviewed: Aug. 18, 2007
I usually chose my recipes and cook with my family in mind, but this time I made this recipe just for me (I had a craving for beef stew meat). I browned my meat in butter and olive oil rather than lard, parboiled the vegetables in beef stock before adding them to my "stew", and baked up a container of refrigerated sourdough biscuits. I add garlic to just about everything, and so I added some chopped garlic to this; I also added a couple of cilantro leaves and some dried thyme. I did not bake it as a pie, but rather served myself the prepared meat/vegetable mixture/gravy mixture with 2 of my biscuits (which I buttered) on the side. TOTALLY DELICIOUS. A phenominal COMFORT FOOD experience; an absolutely "guilty pleasure" that I will definitely make again (and keep to myself).
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7 users found this review helpful

Rump Roast Au Jus

Reviewed: Jul. 31, 2007
This was OK. I had cooked chuck roasts in my crock pot/slow cooker before, but I was looking for something "different" when I attempted this recipe. And I don't feel I really got it. The meat was tender (not surpising to me, and as other reviewers suggested it would be) and quite flavorful. But the vegetables I added (fresh carrots and potatoes after 5 hours, 3 whole stalks celery after 6 hours, and a small can of peas 45 minutes before "done") ALL either shriveled up until no one would have even known they were there (carrots and celery), got both tremendously mushy and/or and unappealingly grainy (potatoes), or simply LOOKED absolutely and totally unappetizing (peas). What hurt the most, though (specifically because I came to this site in search of an "Au Jus" recipe), was that the juice/sauce -- even when warm -- had GOBS and GLOBS of fat so totally evident that I chose not to even attempt to "tweak" it. Instead, I prepared a sandwich dressing we like (mayo/ketchup/mustard/worcester/horseradish, cayenne and sour cream), pulled some tomatoes out of my vegetable bin and some rolls out of my freezer and made sandwiches. And we had a GREAT meal. Except that it wasn't anything CLOSE to the meal I THOUGHT I was going to prepare.
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1 user found this review helpful

Microwave Corn Bread Casserole

Reviewed: Jul. 22, 2007
This recipe was disappointing. It was dry and, IMO, unappetizing (I think it may have been the stuffing mix; just too bland). While it may take more time, I'd suggest using crumbled homemade (or even store bought) cornbread or corn muffins as the "base" and I'd use pre-cooked sausage meat rather than ham for flavor. I, personally, use either Half & Half or Heavy Cream rather than "just" milk whenever I make a dish of this sort, so I'd suggest/recommend that. I'd also add at least 2 Tbsp. of Butter and AT LEAST a 1/4 cup of white granulated sugar (unless the sugar is already included in your cornbread/muffin recipe). With apologies, this recipe took too much "tweaking" for me. I probably won't attempt it again.
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Quick and Easy Alfredo Sauce

Reviewed: Jul. 21, 2007
I'm not sure I would classify this as an "Alfredo", but it sure is YUMMY! The first time I made it, I poured it over a chicken/pasta/spinich/mushroom dish and it was a big hit. But last night, I used it (instead of red sauce) over eggplant parmegian and even my teenaged sons went back for seconds (a FIRST in my house -- the eggplant, NOT the "seconds" :)). I included fresh parsley (dried would be OK, too, as would cilantro) and a shake or two of cayenne pepper. A genuinely WONDERFUL recipe and a REAL keeper!
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3 users found this review helpful

Ginger Carrot Soup by Jean Carper

Reviewed: Jul. 21, 2007
I liked this soup well enough, but my family was not particularly impressed. I didn't use OJ but rather peeled and quartered 2 seedless oranges and cooked them along with the carrots (removing their remnants before pureeing the soup). I also used 1/2 tsp. of cinnamon and 1/2 tsp. of nutmeg and heavy cream rather than Half and Half. I used chicken boullion cubes to make my broth (3 cubes to 2 cups of water) and fresh ginger, grated. I did use 2 onions, but think, perhaps, 1 or 1-1/2 even would have been better. Overall, a "successful" recipe but not the best this site (or my personal recipe box) has to offer.
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Cream of Carrot Soup

Reviewed: Jul. 21, 2007
This is a good basic recipe for one of my favorite soups. I like to serve this cold, garnished with cucumber slices, on a hot summer's day.
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14 users found this review helpful

Unbelievable Spinach Calzones

Reviewed: Jul. 19, 2007
Our local "pizza guy" is going to be very upset because he just lost my family's standing order for no fewer than 10 of his calzones each and every week. I made these last night for dinner, following the recipe exactly (except I brushed the tops with olive oil and adjusted the fillings to accommodate family member preferences: I like spinach, my husband likes ham, my boys pepperoni and my daughter requested sausage; I will definitely experiment with other stuffings in the future). In my family, it's all about the cheese, and the proportions indicated here were near PERFECT for our purposes. Slitting the tops before baking was a great suggestion, and made for an attractive presentation. In addition, I was VERY (and most pleasantly) surprised when I compared my cost to make these vs. the price we USED to pay to have them delivered (less than $25 vs. approx. $75 -- when you include taxes and tip). I always thought calzones should be easy to make, but for some reason, it never crossed my mind they could be baked in anything but a pizza oven. My infrawave oven cooked 2 at a time in 22 minute "sessions" so I simply reheated the 4 I had cooked first in my microwave before serving (with cups of marinara sauce, ranch and blue cheese dressings as side accompaniments). A real keeper of a recipe. I believe I will be making these AT LEAST once a week from now on.
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Mom's Chicken Cacciatore

Reviewed: Jul. 17, 2007
This recipe is very similar to the one my Italian Grandmother taught me to make. Here's what she would do: (1) used a large Dutch Oven (the "spaghetti pot") rather than a skillet; (2) always used Olive Oil as her "vegetable oil"; (3) dipped the chicken pieces in egg prior to dredging them in flour; (4) used parsley and/or basil rather than oregano; (5) never used mushrooms; (6)pierced the onion and put it in whole (and then discarded it before serving the stew); (7) sliced the green peppers in strips rather than chopping them; (8) used red wine rather than white; (9) added carrots and potatoes (which she had cleaned, peeled, quartered and par-cooked) to the pot half-way through the cooking time (which was more like 45 minutes than 30). We used to eat this right from the pot when we were kids it was so delicious. I tend to remove the pieces from the pot first to a serving dish or salad bowl, let them sit for a while (perhaps 10 minutes), and then remove them, the vegetables and as much of the "sauce" as I want to yet another serving dish (less greasy that way). My family loves this dish, and prepared this way, there's no need to serve it "over" or "alongside of" anything.
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938 users found this review helpful

Yummy Quiche

Reviewed: Jul. 17, 2007
I absolutely love making quiches (they're quick, versatile and ALWAYS well received), and this one is particularly "yummy". When I make quiche, I use homogenized milk when it's just the family, half-and-half if it's a "company over for dinner" occasion, and heavy cream for holiday hors d'ouerves. With this quiche, I also put out sour cream, a mild salsa, and some quacamole -- just in case someone (like myself) wants to "dress it up" a bit. I use store bought pie crusts and have never put flour in my egg mixture. In my infrawave oven, it takes just 5 minutes to pre-bake the pie crust and 17 minutes to bake the quiche -- with perfect results just about every single time.
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6 users found this review helpful

Sweet Potato Potato Salad

Reviewed: Jul. 13, 2007
This is a good recipe, but since yams are not a big favorite in my household, I think I'll just stick to using russets and red potatoes when I make potato salad. Adding sour cream to any mayonnaise dressing is, IMHO, always a good idea. Tossing in other vegetables (e.g., fresh green or red peppers, radishes, zucchini, frozen peas and/or canned corn) and meats (e.g., bacon or bacon bits, ham, cooked chicken or turkey, etc.) also serves to "boost" the salad, transforming it into a genuinely good luncheon meal. A bit more spice (perhaps a sprinking of paprika and/or a 1/2 teaspoon of horseradish) and some herbs (e.g., parsley, cilantro, basil or dill) and this recipe -- with or without the yams -- becomes simply GREAT!
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Flat Dumplings

Reviewed: Jul. 13, 2007
My family really liked these. So much lighter (and better tasting) than the "baseball" shaped dumplings I USED TO make.
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2 users found this review helpful

A Plus Fair Corn Dogs

Reviewed: Jul. 13, 2007
I, too, shallow pan fried these (using Crisco vegetable shortening). My 21 year old daughter -- who loves corn dogs, but who has always felt somewhat "culturally deprived" because I did not buy them often -- absolutely LOVED these. While my own personal "technique" may need some adjusting, I will definitely make these again.
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Hawaiian Chicken II

Reviewed: Jul. 12, 2007
This is a good "starter" recipe for Sweet and Sour ANYTHING (chicken, shrimp, pork, etc.) you may choose to make. But it DOES seem to need ajustments in order to be palatable. I, personally, reduced the sugar, omitted the wine and added pineapple chunks. I whisked the sweet and sour sauce with about 2 or 3 T. corn starch (I do it "by hand", so my measurements are not always precise), the pineapple juice (from the can) and a bit (perhaps 2 T.) butter (we use the SALTED kind in my house). My family liked it well enough. And it looked REALLY pretty (quite a lovely presentation when served over white rice). But I'm not sure I will attempt to follow this recipe ever again. NOTE: I forgot to mention that I used skinned chicken thighs rather than skinless chicken breasts when I prepared this dish. Two thighs per serving and snap peas on the side and (as I said), it looked really pretty.
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5 users found this review helpful

Alfredo Mostaccioli

Reviewed: Jul. 10, 2007
This recipe is a KEEPER. A genuine GREAT "base" for dressing pasta dishes. I've been using it for years (just never knew -- or even thought about -- the proportions). Thank you. ******* Given this SAUCE tossed over pasta, you can decide about your accompaniments (chicken, beef, seafood, vegetables, etc.). Add whatever you like (cooked onions, peppers, peas, corn, carrots, zucchini; cooked beef, poultry, seafood or whatever) to your PASTA. If you feel like it, add (fresh is preferred, but dried is OK, too) Tarragon, Dill, Marjoram, Basil, Oregano, or Cilantro. Got a man (or older boy teen) in your home? Think about incorporating bacon and/or one or more "shakes" (approximately 1 T.) of Worcester Sauce and/or Hot Sauce and/or prepared Horseradish) into the SAUCE. Use ANY pasta of your choice. IMO, the "thicker ones" (e.g., rigatoni, rotini, gremeli, penne, etc.) are preferred (they're more prone to absorbing the SAUCE, as well as the flavor(s)). Use THIS SAUCE and your own preferred "accompaniments". It's unlikely you'll go wrong! ***** We use SALTED butter in my home. Therefore, I do not add salt during preparation of ANY dish I prepare (the shaker is on the table at all times, but no one seems to notice). At the same time, this recipe seems to "work better" when UNSALTED/SWEET butter is used. My advice: start with this SAUCE (it's really good) and "run with" the rest of your mral.
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44 users found this review helpful

Potato Soup a la Inge

Reviewed: Jul. 2, 2007
I liked this soup. To my mind, ANY soup that includes GARLIC in its ingredient list is fine with me. And, to my mind, its consistency was better than good if you followed the recipe. You didn't like it? Too bland? Then ADD what YOU like (corn, carrots, peas, potatoes, beans, celery, onions, etc.; salt, pepper (red, black, white), bay leaf, tarragon, thyme, cumin, marjoram, sage, etc.) I, personally, liked the effect the NUTMEG had on this recipe. I've been cooking for over 40 years and I LOVE making soups (reduce the liquids and call it "stew"). And one of the things I have learned about cooking (and making soups/stews) is that if you like what you put into it you will like what you get out of it. JMHO.
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28 users found this review helpful

Ground Turkey Soup

Reviewed: Jul. 2, 2007
This is a delicious, versatile and very satisfying soup. I rarely use cabbage, but, in this instance, it actually "made the meal". A sprinkling of Parmesan cheese upon serving made it perfect (shredded cheddar, mjack or colby, or a slice of American melting in each bowl would go well, too). Beef cubes (or canned broth) will make this soup "heartier" than its chicken counterparts, but either will produce a great soup. Leftover cooked turkey or chicken can be substituted for the GROUND poultry. One of the things I REALLY like about making soups is that, if you actually think about it, "anything goes". And, in most instances, whatever you do, the end product will taste WONDERFUL! (reduce the liquid and call it a STEW)
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