Nanc_b Recipe Reviews (Pg. 1) - (10214716)

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Homemade Vanilla Extract

Reviewed: Oct. 7, 2010
I've been making vanilla extracts and sugars for many years. Here are a few tips: You want to purchase the grade B beans not because they are cheaper (which they are) but because they have a lower water content. That is the grade used commercially. By splitting your beans, or snipping into small bits, you expose more surface area, which makes a better extract. Commercial V.E. is macerated. Since my big pantry bottle of extract contains lots of chopped beans, I strain what I need into a smaller bottle for my cupboard, and for gifts. Don't be afraid to add more beans. I prefer a double-strength extract myself. When your extract runs low; no need to toss your beans out. You can continue to use them by adding more vodka and beans to the existing batch if desired. If you feel your vanilla extract is too weak, just add a few more beans (the drier grade B beans). Go ahead and experiment. Madagascar a.k.a. Bourbon beans provide the traditional vanilla scent you are probably expecting. Tahitian vanilla beans are softer and more floral. Mexican vanilla extract pairs very well with chocolate. Hope that was helpful! Want to learn more? Search Wikipedia, or check out the FDA quidelines for making commercial extracts which are posted online fda_dot_gov.
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Mom's Ginger Snaps

Reviewed: Jan. 5, 2010
I wasn't impressed with the dough. It seemed way too soft and I thought the cookies would spread too much. But they didn't. When I pulled them from the oven, they were so beautiful! Great texture and flavor (yes, I boosted the spices according to the other reviews). I'll make this again for sure.
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Chicken with Mushrooms, Prosciutto, and Cream Sauce

Reviewed: Sep. 27, 2009
Very nice! My family loved it. I used chicken thighs, bone in, but removed the skins. Bought some lovely Prosciutto di Parma from Whole Foods and a very good quality Chardonnay (used 1/2 c). I used clarified butter, roasted garlic, cremini mushrooms (doubled the amount), pure sour cream and fresh parsley. Also tossed in some leftover sliced onions (1/3 c). The meat was meltingly tender and the sauce rich yet not too heavy. I'll make more sauce next time but other than that, will keep everything the same. For those that didn't care for the recipe, make sure you are using quality ingredients. In other words...a decent drinking wine. It really does make a difference. Thanks Tiffuhny, nice recipe!
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