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Squash-Apple Bake

Reviewed: Nov. 16, 2007
Oh, MAN! If I could give this more than 5 stars I would! I made it and by mistake doubled the amount of butter / sugar blend on top. (I started out doubling the recipe and then decided it wouldn't all fit in my pot!) I used a covered ceramic crock so I wanted everything to fit. I was skeptical when I put it in the oven as it looked a little weird - chunks of dry squash and apple with globs of oily sugar on top is what I thought. But it turned out SO GOOD, if a little wet! I spooned out the squash and apples and served them in a dish and my family inhaled them! It was sweet and a great texture, a nice presentation, and really lovely flavor. Intensely good and satisfying. I will be making this - in the correct proportions - for Christmas with the extended family and I am sure it will be a big hit!
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141 users found this review helpful
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Hong Kong Sweet and Sour Pork

Reviewed: Jul. 12, 2008
We moved to the midwest from CA some years ago and get serious unfulfilled cravings for decent Chinese food - finally I decided I would just have to learn to cook it myself. This recipe was my first attempt and it was actually very good! It was all the wonderful flavors I remember from Chinese restaurants on the coast and WAY better than any of the slop they sell out here. I made some minor changes depending on what I had to work with. I couldn't find potato starch to save my life, so I used tempura flour / rice flour. It seemed to fall off a bit during frying so I'd try the potato starch if you can get it, but the pork still turned out great and what remained of the batter was delicious. I added in baby carrots with the other veggies as I love carrots in my sweet and sour pork - they were great! I thought the sauce needed a little extra citrus kick, a little perking up and brightening, so I added about 1/4 cup of grapefruit juice that I had in the fridge and it was just awesome and perfect. Finally I couldn't find any hot peppers at any grocers here (you see what I mean about where I live) so I went with dried ground cayenne. It was a bit too spicy, not quite the right flavor... but still good. If you have to use the dried spice stuff instead of fresh, it will work and be tasty, just make sure you don't overdo it. As far as the recipe goes, it was delightful! It was a lot of work to do but none of it was difficult to manage. The pork turned out WONDERFUL, crunchy on the o
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39 users found this review helpful

Beef Barley Soup

Reviewed: Jan. 22, 2008
My family and I were actually moderately disappointed in this recipe, given the outstanding reviews. We thought it turned out lumpy, grey, bland, and a bit greasy. The flavor was good, however - it just needed a bit more kick! I had made a big double batch so after having some for dinner I doctored the rest. I took veggies (2 leeks, 4 carrots, 3 zucchini, 1/2 green bell pepper, and a 6oz package sliced baby portabello mushrooms) and sauteed them in a bit of butter until tender crisp. Then I added enough water and simmered them 20 minutes. I added this to the soup along with a dash or two of cayenne, 2 tsp dried parsley, and a couple cloves of garlic. It turned out quite good! I would make this again, but I would make it the 'doctored' way. I would also definitely use cubed meat or stew meat instead of ground, to avoid the lumpy grey look. It is great as something quick and easy on a hectic winter evening; but if I'm bothering to make soup I would rather take the time and make it really great instead of tasting no better than prepackaged. Thank you for sharing it!
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12 users found this review helpful

Irish Soda Farls

Reviewed: Mar. 6, 2009
Gorgeous!! They are somewhat similar to Aussie damper. They are a delightful flavor and texture and so, so easy to make. I don't keep buttermilk on hand so I use regular milk with a Tbsp of vinegar or lemon juice and it works just great. My kids and husband adore this recipe and we could eat it every night!
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8 users found this review helpful

Beef Stew VI

Reviewed: Apr. 21, 2011
I made this tonight following "Chuck's" alterations and flouring/seasoning the meat first, plus adding extra veggies with the exception of onion, which my husband dislikes. It gets 5 stars for a truly tasty, and truly EASY beef stew! Fantastic! The one thing I would note for the future is that the recipe as written comes out too dry - I needed to more than double the amount of beef stock. But that wasn't a problem, and the recipe is absolutely a keeper. Thank you!
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7 users found this review helpful

Jim's Cheddar Onion Soda Bread

Reviewed: May 1, 2012
INCREDIBLE!! Now, I did make a few very minor changes because of what I had in the house, like using all purpose flour. I used dried white / green onions, I doubled the baking powder, and I used about 3/4 c. milk with vinegar in it to sour it. But all those substitutions are basic and should not change the flavor or texture much. This bread is AWESOME. It came together so easily! Puffed right up, took 5 minutes to throw together, and baked while I made dinner. Everyone loved it. I love that it uses things I normally have in the house and is so quick and easy, not to mention delicious. A winner for sure! I let my dough sit for 5 minutes on the tray before baking to help it rise, I don't know know if that makes a difference but it can't hurt. Definitely try this. Yum!
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6 users found this review helpful

Charline's Sweet Potato Casserole

Reviewed: Nov. 24, 2011
I'm trying to find words for how incredibly, amazingly scrumptious this is. Maybe this will explain it: It's Thanksgiving evening, and this afternoon my husband literally ate himself sick on food. Now, only a few hours later, he is begging me to make another pan of these sweet potatoes, because he can't get enough! I followed other suggestions to cut down the sugar (I used about 1 cup, also I used canned yams so they were already sweet) and the butter (I used 1 stick in the casserole and 1 in the topping for a total of 1 cup.) I also followed the suggestion to make it the nght before, put it in the fridge overnight, then top it and warm it the next day. The flavor and consistency was *amazing.* Everyone at Thanksgiving dinner raved about them. This is truly a super-star recipe!
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5 users found this review helpful

Arroz Tapado (Rice-On-Top)

Reviewed: Mar. 19, 2011
I loved this recipe, hubby and kids only liked it, so 4/5 from me. It sure is easy, and I think the flavor is excellent! Plus it is a fun presentation and something really different for a weeknight. I often have hardboiled eggs ready to go in the fridge and that cuts prep time down to 'long enough to cook rice and smash it in a bowl,' about 30 minutes. Hubby found this dish to be on the plain side for his taste and ended up adding fish oil and chili oil and stirring it in (ew, but whatever, he had to eat it) and said that made it fantastic. I appreciate the opportunity to try this out and I will love eating the leftovers!
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5 users found this review helpful

Oyakodon (Japanese Chicken and Egg Rice Bowl)

Reviewed: May 26, 2010
Awesome! Looks kind of goofy in the pan but tastest heavenly. It is perfect as is - however if you are pressed for time / ingredients, consider making the broth with packets of veggies and soy out of packaged udon soup. It has a pretty good flavor too, and you can eat the oyakodon over the udon!
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5 users found this review helpful

Blue Ribbon White Bread

Reviewed: Dec. 16, 2009
I MADE BREAD! I have been trying to make successful yeast bread for 17 years with no luck at all. With this recipe, it worked. Two big poofy loaves, like magic! And the taste, oh my, HEAVENLY. It was so decadent with dinner. Wonderful!
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5 users found this review helpful

Chicken Satay with Homemade Peanut Sauce

Reviewed: Oct. 1, 2010
YUM! Made this exactly as directed - including the fish sauce! - and it was heavenly. Very authentic, very mouthwatering satay. All of us here, we couldn't get enough! I halved the amount of sauce, which in a normal recipe would have been perfect, but we were fighting over the last drops for rice. Add in some big juicy chunks of pineapple and oh! What a dinner!
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4 users found this review helpful

Butternut Squash Bisque

Reviewed: Nov. 16, 2007
I messed around with the recipe a bit and the results were terrible! Here is what I did so you can avoid the mistakes I did. I had only one butternut squash, so I used it and rounded out the recipe with an extra carrot (I used a total of 4 smallish ones) and a large potato. I used 1/2 a white onion, and chicken stock instead of veggie because that is what I had on hand. I added about 1/2T of chopped garlic, a dash of cayenne, and a couple good pinches of curry spices (one custom blended called kashmir krush, it's kind of like garam masala.) I also used almost a full cup of half and half in place of the cream. The result was a gloppy, tasteless mess! It was way too thick, salty, and had heat without any real flavor at all. You could taste the curry, and taste the nutmeg, but it is like the spices were competing and canceling each other out. Mostly it was bland and flavorless, except a bit salty! I'd try it again I think without the garlic / curry / cayenne, and go for a sweeter soup. Maybe a dash of molasses or something to brighten it. But as I made it it was pretty blech (and we normally LOVE squash and LOVE curried anything.) Don't mess it up like I did!
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4 users found this review helpful

Chicken Stew with Dumplings

Reviewed: Jun. 8, 2010
Made this tonight adding a sprig of fresh rosemary that I needed to use up and it was divine comfort food. I have a cold, and it's been raining for days, and this stew was just the thing to make it all better. Everyone in the family loved it, and although it was a bit time consuming it was super easy. One thing - you really do need to at LEAST double if not triple the amount of liquid. I added the same amount of chicken broth again as water and ended up adding a couple extra cups of water with the veggies to get everything covered. Otherwise it's fantastic just as written!
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3 users found this review helpful

Parmesan Sage Pork Chops

Reviewed: Jan. 31, 2012
YUM! I made this with thin cut chops and they only took about 7 minutes in the oven. Enough time to whip up some stuffing and steam some veggies and presto! Dinner was ready in 15 minutes flat! Plus it was really SO good. A nice change of pace and very moist and tender. We'll be adding this to the rotation for sure! Edited to add: I've made this several times now and it's still always great. I'd suggest always using thin cut, boneless chops for ease and speed. You can also add a dash of lemon JUICE to the egg if you have no zest, and I have used lime zest instead of lemon when I have none with yummy results too. (Plus, hey, lime for your drinks!) This is a really fab go-to recipe! Edited 5/21/12 to add: try this substituting 1/4c. corn meal for some of the bread crumbs! To DIE for!
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2 users found this review helpful

Grandmother's Buttermilk Cornbread

Reviewed: Dec. 9, 2011
I think I might have died and gone to food heaven. For 20 years now, I've been making cornbread by the recipe on the back of the cornmeal canster. And it turs out pretty good, I mean hey, homemade cornbread, what's not to love right? But tonight I wanted something different to mix it up a little and thought I'd try this recipe. OH. MY. SWEET. LORD. I practically sat in the kitchen licking the bowl like a toddler. The taste of the batter is somewhere between cornbread and yellow cake and the bread itself warm from the oven is heaven! It's incredible! I made 12 super huge (1/2c. of batter each) muffins from this recipe and they took 22 mins to cook at 375, exactly as stated. I also did away with the skillet and just microwaved my butter until it was hot in a big ceramic bowl and went from there. Otherwise the only substitution I made was souring my own milk with lemon juice rather than going out to buy buttermilk. No other changes, make it exactly as stated. It's to die for! You will NOT be disappointed by this recipe!
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2 users found this review helpful

Sweet and Sour Chicken I

Reviewed: Jul. 21, 2011
Fantastic recipe, we all loved it, even my 5 year old exclaimed, "I pronounce this dinner delicious!" :) What helped me during cooking: *Unlike other commenters, I did not find this took long to cook at all. All up it was 40 minutes start to finish. ** I had trouble thickening the sauce. I had just enough cornstarch, so couldn't add more, so I used a thickening trick from making gravy. When I sauteed veggies (bell pepper, carrot, onion) to add to the sauce I threw a handful, maybe 1/3 cup, of regular flour over them at the last minute. I brought the whole thing to a boil again after adding the veggies. *** I do not have a thermometer for oil, so I had no idea what temp to turn my stove to. On MY stove, the right temp for this turned out to be MEDIUM. I started at med-high and it was too hot. I went just below medium for about half the time and halfway through turned it up to just above medium to keep the temperature constant. Each piece of chicken (about 1"X1"X0.5") took only approx. 2 minues per side. ***That's it! I think beyond that everyone's tastes are slightly different. I added veggies, and a bit of ketchup to the sauce, and spiced the chicken before battering; but none of that is necessary. This is still a great recipe with or without accessories.
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2 users found this review helpful

Buttermilk Syrup

Reviewed: Jan. 24, 2011
Delicious!! I added a touch of cinnamon too and I could have slurped it right out of a mug until I went into a diabetic coma. It's that good!
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2 users found this review helpful

Grilled Swordfish with Rosemary

Reviewed: Sep. 27, 2010
Fantastic, just as described!
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2 users found this review helpful

No Bake Chocolate Oat Bars

Reviewed: Dec. 13, 2009
We loved these! My kids and I devoured them and I brought a second tray-ful to a work party where everyone enjoyed them. I do find them just slightly "buttery" on the bottoms, but not too bad. The oats cooked fine and soft for me, and the flavor and texture of the 'fudge' in the middle is terrific!
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2 users found this review helpful

Peppermint Meringues

Reviewed: Dec. 1, 2009
My only complaint would be there is no WAY this makes 48 meringues. I *doubled* the recipe and got about 30 silver dollar sized meringues out of it. However, yield issues aside, I think this is a great recipe! The instructions are clear, the flavor is good, it's simple and easy and makes great meringues. I made it several times and each time, the egg whites fell when I added the sugar, but it didn't seem to affect the finished product. The 'batter' got thick, smooth and glossy like taffy, and it was ready to go. They turned out perfect!
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2 users found this review helpful

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