a cook from New Jersey Recipe Reviews (Pg. 1) - Allrecipes.com (10609302)

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Black Beans and Rice

Reviewed: May 16, 2014
Five star only because it's a great starter recipe. That said, it cries out for embellishments. Think chopped cilantro, avocado based salsa and some sour cream served on the side. A splash of lime here or there? I haven't read the reviews, so hope I'm not being redundant. Black beans and rice is one of those dishes you can't ruin. You can make it your own. Just always use fresh ingredients. I would be blown away if I got this at a tail-gate party before a Giants game! All you need is tacos or tortillas, lots of beer, And LUCK.
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Crispy Gingersnaps

Reviewed: Dec. 20, 2013
Substituted butter for the shortening. Doubled the ginger. Didn't dip in sugar. Rolled into balls, then smashed them down flat on a cookie sheet lined with Silpat and baked at 350 in top third of oven for 10 minutes. Crispy on the outside and a hint of chewy on the inside. Perfection! Time to buy a stand-mixer.
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Dijon-Tarragon Cream Chicken

Reviewed: May 15, 2011
I'm always looking for new ways to use tarragon because it takes over my herb garden. I love this recipe, but be careful with this herb. It is very sweet and can overpower a recipe, so resist the impulse to throw a bit more in just because you have it. (I hope I don't have to say to use only fresh, and only French tarragon). The mustard balances the tarragon beautifully. Next time I'll change the proportions and use just a bit more of it. There is almost never a reason to use heavy cream in any recipe. Light cream will do. And sour cream would be equally as good. Definitely double the sauce. I try to watch my weight, but it's hard with this one, especially when served over my favorite wide egg noodles. I want seconds and thirds and keep sneaking just another spoonful of the sauce before refrigerating leftovers. Leftovers??
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Szechwan Shrimp

Reviewed: Jan. 25, 2011
I hate to say this...I really do...but today's high-end sauces are so delicious, diverse, and easy that it's just a lot more time-friendly to use one instead of putting together this admittedly great recipe. Homemade is always best, especially when you can control the ingredients and avoid preservatives. Not to mention the usually superior taste and the satisfaction of presenting a dish you are proud of having put together yourself. But since this isn't really all natural anyway...I say go with the best of the best jar stuff added to raw shrimp sauteed in garlic and oil. I love cooking. But sometimes it's not the best use of my time for the relative trade-off in taste.
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Black Bean and Corn Salad II

Reviewed: Nov. 4, 2007
Make this YOUR way, and it will be equally delish! So much goes into how a recipe tastes..do you like cilantro? How much? Garlic? Again, how much? And are your taste buds normal, or are they diminished by nasal congestion issues, or age, or whatever (because taste and smell are closely related? All of this affects how you taste food. Just add more of what you like if this is the case). This said, I have to say, I've made this recipe exactly as it is written for many people, and I've never had anything but raves.
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