ManassasMa Recipe Reviews (Pg. 1) - Allrecipes.com (10181522)

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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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906 users found this review helpful

Split Pea and Ham Soup I

Reviewed: Jan. 2, 2008
Split pea soup is a staple in our home (at least once in any 2 week cycle, especially during the winter) and this is a good "core" recipe for it. I generally use dried beans (usually 1 lb.), chicken bullion cubes (6-8) and just about any kind of pork, bacon, sausage or frankfurter (which I sautee in butter and with onions first) I have on hand. I usually cook the soup in my crock pot -- to which I add either (fresh or dried) parsley, oregano, basil, coriander; you know, whatever I like/whatever I feel like -- on "low", so that it REALLY slow cooks, adding carrots during the last hour (when I raise the temperature to "high"). I rarely include potatoes, but if/when I do, they are "pre-cooked" and added along with the carrots. Prior to serving, I emulsify at least PART of my "batch" (perhaps 1/3rd) in my blender and return it to "the pot". I serve it with a "side salad and either a loaf of "really heavy" and "crusted" bread (an Italian loaf or a French "bagette" is good, but my family favors either Sour Dough or Pumpernickel) on the side, or refrigerated biscuits or homemade dumplings "on top". Cheese helps as a "garnish" here. While my personal preference is Parmesan, some of my family members prefer American while others prefer Swiss. I also put out a container of Sour Cream for anyone (such as myself) who wants to "dollop" it. A meal onto itself! And HEALTHY! NOTE to "newbies" (or to others who have never experienced the WONDER of Split Pea Soup): it is THICK. Especially "t
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247 users found this review helpful

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

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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129 users found this review helpful

Cucumber Sandwiches III

Reviewed: Jan. 29, 2008
I make these substituting 1/2 cup of Vanilla yogurt for the Mayonnaise (more carbs but significantly less fat). If you don't like using packaged salad dressings, try adding 1-2 Tbls. lemon juice and 1/8-1/4 tsp. each garlic powder, basil, oregano, parsley and cayenne pepper to your cream cheese and then "drizzle" olive oil (approx. 1 Tbls. at a time) -- stirring/mixing between "drizzles" -- until you attain your desired consistency (I usually need 4-6 Tbls.). SO Good!
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92 users found this review helpful

Pasta Lasagna

Reviewed: Jan. 12, 2008
Recipe needs a lot more flavor (oregano, parsley, basil, cayenne pepper flakes), unless, of course, those ingredients are included in the sauce you use. In addition, I usually add cook at least 1/2 lb. Sweet Italian Sausage (casings removed) along with my chopped beef. For easier "layering", I'd suggest using Rigatoni pasta in place of the Penne. Just a personal preference.
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49 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

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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31 users found this review helpful

Tapioca Rice Pudding

Reviewed: Jan. 11, 2008
This is a good Tapioca pudding recipe. But it doesn't need baking. Simply prepare it on your stove-top as indicated in the recipe, allow it to cool for perhaps 10-15 minutes then cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate it for an hour or more. Delicious! Great with whipped cream or CoolWhip on top.(want it creamier? fold in 1/2 cup heavy/whipping cream just prior to refrigerating it)
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31 users found this review helpful

Senate Bean Soup

Reviewed: Jan. 8, 2008
I make a similar version of this soup for my family. The major differences between this one and mine are that, once it has cooked (and cooled off a bit), I: (1) emulsify approximately 1/3rd of my pot with my immersion blender and (2) add 1/2 cup of milk or half-and-half to give it a creamier texture.
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31 users found this review helpful

Lentil Barley Soup

Reviewed: Jan. 27, 2008
When I think "soup", I think onions, celery and carrots. They're in here. When I think "winter", I think barley (or rice). In here. And when I think "favorite family foods", I think lentils. In here, too. I can my summer tomatoes so I substituted 4 pints of my "homegrown" for the canned. I used butter instead of margarine and I flavored my water with 10 Low Sodium Beef Bullion cubes (instead of the vegetable soup mix), additional garlic, a Bay Leaf (which I removed prior to serving), tarragon, parsley, cayenne pepper and basil. During the last 10 minutes of cooking, I tossed in the meat (diced) from 5 pre-cooked pork chops. Garnish with either Swiss, Cheddar, Parmesan or Provolone cheese and serve with a loaf of crusty bread and a fruit bowl and you've got yourself one of the heartier, healthier and most economical meals you'll ever enjoy. (Oh, yes, almost forgot: salt and pepper to taste)
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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

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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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

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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26 users found this review helpful

30-Minute Minestrone

Reviewed: Jan. 25, 2008
This soup was fast, flavorful and economical. Can't ask for more that that! I doubled the recipe, used Ditalini pasta (we don't like elbows; Acini di Pepe, Orzo or even Alphabets would work well, too), added a can of Cannellini beans for a heartier soup and topped it with Parmesan cheese. Served it with heated Italian bread, a tub of butter and a fruit bowl. In all, a very satisfying meal.
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26 users found this review helpful

Bacon Pie

Reviewed: Jan. 2, 2008
I prepared 3 different variations of this recipe (1. as written, 2. with ham instead of bacon, and 3. meatless) and served them as appetizers at my New Year's Eve gathering, and I'd score each variation with a 5. I used Bisquick as my baking mix (no fail; puffed up perfectly!) and baked them in mini-muffin pans (yield: 24 appetizers per recipe). I used more onion (probably closer to 1/2 cup per recipe) and distributed 2 green and 1 red pepper (finely chopped) throughout the 3 different "batches". Delicious. My guests raved. And I will be making this again (and again and again).
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26 users found this review helpful

Easy American Potato and Tuna Casserole

Reviewed: Feb. 24, 2009
I, personally, have never used potatoes in my tuna casseroles (never thought to; DUH!) but my Daughter used this recipe as a base for a cooking class she's taking at our local CC. She "tweaked" it by using 4 cans of albacore tuna (it was on sale/50% off) rather than 3 and adding 1 Knorr's vegetable boullion cube to the "potato water". She added 1/2 stick of butter and 1 T. fresh chives to the potatoes when she "mashed" them (with our hand mixer) and tossed the tuna with 1/2 tsp. fresh dill, 1 tsp. ReaLemon, 1 stalk of celery (chopped fine), 1/2 medium zucchini, 2 carrots (she used our "vegetable peeler" to give them a "julienned" look) and some mushrooms (whatever I had in the refrigerator). Then she "layered" it: bottom layer - potatoes with parmesan cheese (all 3 T.); middle layer - the tuna mixture; top level - more of the potato mixture (no parmesan, but 3 slices of Mozzarella "folded" in). She TOPPED her "presentation" with 3 slices of Provolone (a little bit more of a "kick" but not overpowering) and baked it for 25-30 minutes. HER recipe made 2 "presentations", so she used 4 eggs, 3/4 cup of 2% milk and 1 cup of vegetable boullion (for moisture). My Daughter got an "A" for her assignment and I've been delegated to making no fewer than 6 of "her creations" for a Lenten "pot luck" at our Church. In brief: we felt this was a good basic recipe but only with her/our added "tweaks" would we give it 5 stars.
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22 users found this review helpful

White Bean 'N' Barley Soup

Reviewed: May 19, 2008
This is a wonderful soup. I've made it a number of times and each time not a drop has been leftover. My family loves barley, so this was an easy recipe for me to try (works well with rice, too). I use canned Cannellini beans when I cook it "stovetop" because I don't think the cooking time is long enough to soften dried Great Northerns (which I LOVE) and I use dried Great Northerns when I used my crockpot/slow cooker. I omit the red peppers (too pricey these days) and substitute zucchini. I also smash it up a bit with my immersion blender (to give it more texture) and put out grated parmesan cheese when serving. My husband and I add salt, my daughter sprinkles hers with red (cayenne) pepper and my sons seem to enjoy it "just as is". In other words, a genuine "family favorite".
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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

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