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Cider Cheese Fondue

Reviewed: Jan. 24, 2009
We just made this, following the recipe exactly, and while the flavor was great, it was really stringy. So, we put it back on the stove (double boiler) and added more apple cider, which I had heated in the microwave per another reviewer's suggestion, and that did the trick. The 3/4 cups of cider just wasn't enough to make the fondue creamy, but it turned out perfect after I added about 1/4 cup more. I would suggest starting with the 3/4 cups and slowly incorporating more heated cider if the texture does not seem right. Next time, I will try some of the other suggestions, such as rubbing the pot with garlic first and using flour over cornstarch; however, all of us really enjoyed the flavor as is. Had the texture been perfect without adding more cider, I would have given this 5 stars. It truly was wonderful to find a cheese fondue that did not call for alcohol, so this recipe is definitely a keeper!
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Cream Cheese Cookies I

Reviewed: Dec. 31, 2008
Five stars when using 8 ounces of cream cheese instead of the 3 ounces noted in the recipe. Because I did not have a cookie press and wanted to do something a little different (other than simply making drop cookies), I chilled the dough for about 1 hour and then rolled the dough into small balls, pressed a Hershey's kiss in the middle, and sprinkled the cookies with colored sugar. They turned out great. I will definitely be making this again. I believe another reviewer said she added some Jello mix to her batter with great success. I think I will try doing that next time--maybe use strawberry Jello for Valentine's day when I have to make cookies for my daughter to bring to preschool.
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Quinoa and Black Beans

Reviewed: Dec. 31, 2008
This was my first time trying Quinoa and I am so happy that I used this recipe; it was simply delicious. I did have to make some changes based on what I had on hand. I only used 1 can of black beans (19 oz can), and as others have noted, I do think 30 ounces would have been too much; substituted the veggie broth for low-fat/low sodium chicken broth; and used 1/4 tsp chili powder instead of the cayenne. I also did not add cilantro because I don't really care for it. Last, I ended up adding some leftover chicken, which I needed to use up. I will definitely be making this again. It is a nice and hearty protein-packed dish, yet it does not feel heavy. I went back for seconds, and am trying to resist thirds. This is definitely a keeper!
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Addictive Pumpkin Muffins

Reviewed: Jul. 26, 2008
This is one of the best muffin recipes I've found. They are so simple to make and came out perfect. I did not want to make 36 servings, so I did the recalculation for 12 servings and then followed the advice of some of the other reviewers by replacing some of the white flour with whole wheat (1 cup whole wheat and 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp AP). I also added 1 tbsp of flaxseed oil and then replaced the nuts and raisins with chocolate chips to make them appealing to my little ones. Because I knew I wanted to use chocolate chips, I also cut the sugar down to 3/4 cups. My toddler enjoyed mixing the ingredients and filling the muffin tins, and we had a lovely tea party when the muffins were done cooling. This recipe is definitely a keeper. Also, with my modifications, I determined that each muffin has about 200 calories--would be quite a bit lower without the chocolate chips, but they were so tasty that even my husband enjoyed these and he is not a huge fan of muffins.
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Homestyle Turkey, the Michigander Way

Reviewed: Nov. 24, 2007
I just used this recipe for my first Thanksgiving turkey and the flavor was great. We had a 20-lb bird (the recipe is for a 12-lb bird), but I kept the same quantities of butter and broth solution. I did add some celery, onion, and carrots to the pan and in the cavity. I roasted the turkey breast side down at 425 for the first hour and then turned it down to 325, covered the bird with foil, and occasionally basted it until my meat thermometer registered 180 for the breast--this baking method was the recommendation in "The America's Test Kitchen: Family Cookbook." The only "issue" we had was that the bird generated so much liquid that I actually had to extract some from the pan while it was cooking because it was literally swimming in juices. While this was not necessarily a bad thing--lots of great broth for soups, moist meat, and a golden bird--next time I will follow the cooking instructions in this recipe exactly. I am definitely looking forward to making this turkey again and may try it with a chicken too.
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