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Slow-Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup

Reviewed: Mar. 18, 2013
Very nice base. I added chipotle pepper (dried), a half cup of black beans (left over from another recipe) & garnished with cilantro, avocado, and a lime wedge. I will definitely make this again.
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Chocolate Beer Cupcakes With Whiskey Filling And Irish Cream Icing

Reviewed: Mar. 13, 2013
So far, folks love these...a perfect Patty's Day treat. A few notes on prep: FILLING: Melting chocolate is tricky business. Heat the cream slowly on low heat but make sure it is really simmering before adding the chocolate. If you end up with a chunky, greasy mixture it means the chocolate didn't temper and you'll need to start over. FROSTING: I agree that the frosting as written isn't quite right and adding more Bailey's is not the best solution for making it fluffier. While it may seem like adding more confectioners sugar would stiffen it (like adding flour), it actually makes the frosting runnier. I increased the butter to 3/4 cup and it was perfect: both in quantity and in consistency.
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Cajun Shrimp

Reviewed: Mar. 3, 2013
It was quick and easy, but there wasn't much depth to the flavor. The spice was nice but next time I may add something to round out the flavors like a smoked olive oil or - like another reviewer said - grill/broil the shrimp instead. We served it with oven roasted brussels sprouts and a barely chilled NZ sauvignon blanc.
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Too Much Chocolate Cake

Reviewed: Mar. 3, 2013
Excellent and very easy. If you add mini chocolate chips the toothpick test really isn't helpful - it will come out gooey with melted chocolate even if the cake is finished. Know your oven, trust the time and as long as the top is springy you'll be good. Rather than a glaze I combined this with a homemade amaretto whipped cream (heavy whipping cream + a dash of amaretto liqueur or almond extract + 1 TBS of confectioner's sugar + tsp cream of tartar for stiffness). It was a nice complement.
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3 users found this review helpful

The Best Lemon Bars

Reviewed: Jan. 16, 2013
Simple ingredients and a really nice outcome. Based on suggestions I made a few adjustments. CRUST: I used only about 2/3 of the crust in a smaller casserole dish (1/4 -1/3 inch thick). Make sure to really get the crust golden otherwise it won't hold together well. I also used my hands to mix the crust and kneaded it like pie dough to create "streaks" of butter/flour to increase flakiness. CUSTARD: I used a little more than 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice & the zest of 2 lemons to really boost the pucker factor. Because I used a smaller dish I had to cook it a bit longer. With less crust & thicker lemon custard they're very gooey but they got rave reviews from family & coworkers. I my cut a little sugar out next time - even with the added lemons they were too sweet for my taste. Also- don't use Meyer lemons. I tried this before with Meyers and the result was not tart. Meyer lemons are an orange hybrid and much less tangy than a regular lemon.
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Cornucopia

Reviewed: Dec. 2, 2012
First the cons: 1) It was hard to keep the sticks on the foil. they kept sliding or dripping off the cone. 2) I had trouble keeping all the ends pinched together and some curled away from the cone when it baked. 3) I'd cover the top with foil from the begining to keep it from browning too fast. 3) the foil was a pain in the arse to get out of the cone after it was finished baking. I lost 3 nails and had a few foil cuts by the time i finished. DESPITE all that, my family was flabbergasted at the result. No one really noticed the curled ends and were ultimately really impressed with what a nice appetizer plate it made. I'll probably do it again next year, though I'll try to tuck in the ends rather than just pinch them (that egg wash does nothing to keep things sticking together) and I may keep the dough really cold to keep it all from dripping & dropping off the cone. Worth the effort. I would have given it 5 stars had it been easier to make.
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Pumpkin Cheesecake II

Reviewed: Dec. 2, 2012
I've made this before with great success, but tried it again - followed the recipe exactly (except for a gingersnap crust) and it turned out a runny mess. No idea what went wrong. I used a water bath to prevent cracking and sealed the springform in foil. Anyone else have trouble? Ideas?
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Almond Shortbread II

Reviewed: May 5, 2012
Blah. I had high hopes for this recipe because of the almond meal, but I think the cornstarch gives them an almost dusty mouth-feel. I wouldn't waste your time with this; traditional shortbread is much better and simpler.
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1 user found this review helpful

Cornish Game Hens with Garlic and Rosemary

Reviewed: Apr. 19, 2012
They were cute, but had very little flavor.
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2 users found this review helpful

Roast Leg of Lamb with Rosemary

Reviewed: Apr. 9, 2012
very nice flavor. Be sure to follow others' suggestions re: cooking temp/time and putting water in the pan. I seared at 450 for 20 minutes and then slow-roasted at 325 for another 2 hours or so under a foil tent (I had a bone in leg, so mine took longer to cook). I checked every 20 min or so near the end with a meat thermometer and basted each time. For that last 10 min I removed the foil tent and it browned up nicely without drying out. The drippings + the water at the bottom of the pan made a perfect au jus. We didn't bother making it into gravy. We served it with strawberry spinach salad II & deviled eggs for an appetizer.
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6 users found this review helpful

Turkey Brine

Reviewed: Feb. 26, 2012
This is a classic. We've used it for three years and our roast turkey comes out moist and tasty every time.
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2 users found this review helpful

Beef Tenderloin With Roasted Shallots

Reviewed: Feb. 26, 2012
tasty but takes time to prepare the sauce
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2 users found this review helpful

Pumpkin Apple Streusel Muffins

Reviewed: Dec. 5, 2011
I'm fairly certain I owe my PhD to this recipe. I've made them 3 times: once for my Mom, a second time for my committee when I proposed my study, and a third time yesterday when I (successfully) defended my dissertation. Always wonderful, and I always get requests for the recipe. I make only 1 change: whole wheat flour instead of white flour gives it a REALLY nice texture. Nutty almost, which pairs very well with the earthy pumpkin. For those of you worried about the thick batter &/or the quantity of apple: they balance each other out. The batter is thick compared to your typical muffin, BUT the apple adds a great deal of moisture. It's no wonder that the very few people who had trouble with the recipe messed with one or both of these factors. Don't mess with it. DO use a good cooking apple. I found Honeycrisp worked well. You can trust me on this.. I'm a doctor! ;)
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Spicy Spaghetti Squash

Reviewed: Dec. 5, 2011
This has become a staple in our household. The flavors are amazing. I've tried a few variations: I use diced tomatoes instead of crushed which makes it less saucy. Ground beef overwhelms it, so stick with turkey. You canmake a vegan version easily with TVP instead of turkey. I use the TVP "crumbles" and add extra oil and an extra half can of diced tomatoes to compensate for the absence of juice from the turkey.
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3 users found this review helpful

Easy Garlic Broiled Chicken

Reviewed: Dec. 5, 2011
5 Stars for flavor, 3 for the cut of chicken. We loved the preparation on chicken breast, but it was much too oily when paired with chicken thighs (even without the skin). My family was grossed out by the thighs the first time I made it and I was asked not to make it again....ever. Convinced that the flavors should work, I tried it again (without telling them) with chicken breasts and it was lovely. The fam had no idea it was the same dish.
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Mashed Chipotle Sweet Potatoes

Reviewed: Dec. 5, 2011
What a fantastic alternative to sugary sweet potato preparations! My family has avoided sweet potatoes for years because they are so often dripping with sugar or marshmallows (they are called "sweet" potatoes, after all, do they really need to be sweeter?!) but we love LOVE this recipe. It goes in a flash at my department's holiday potluck. At home we really like things hot & spicy, so I add another pepper for extra kick. I've also substituted olive oil for the butter to make it vegan friendly and it makes almost no difference. Thank you SUBEAR!
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Vegan Corn Muffins

Reviewed: Oct. 31, 2010
I was glad to have these for my vegan friends but there was an odd aftertaste.
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6 users found this review helpful

Cha Cha's White Chicken Chili

Reviewed: Oct. 31, 2010
A lovely white chicken chili. Based on others' comments, I only added about 1/3 -1/2 of the broth to make it less soupy. A few comments: the jalapeno bite was very nice but the flavor behind it didn't offer as much depth as I like in my chili. The added cheese and cilantro (both as garnish) helped but it was still one dimensional. I made this and the "meatiest vegetarian chili" for a crowd and the flavors in my vegan option beat this chili hands down. A nice alternative, but not a blue ribbon option.
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Meatiest Vegetarian Chili From Your Slow Cooker

Reviewed: Oct. 31, 2010
A wonderful balance of flavors that pleased my mix of meat and non-meat eaters. I was worried about the size of my slow cooker but everything just fit into my 6QT crock. Like a few others I used veggie crumbles rather than tofu. I was worried they would disintegrate over 6 hours of cooking so I added them in the last hour and they maintained they're ground beefy texture. This is not a spicy chili but those who wanted to crank up the heat could easily add cayenne. Bravo, Simone.
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16 users found this review helpful

Autumn Acorn Squash

Reviewed: Oct. 29, 2007
The squash was undercooked and the cardamom was much too strong. My husband said it smelled like a Christmas candle. It doesn't surprise me that two reviewers liked their versions without the cardamom. If I try it again I'll pre-bake the squash face-down in the pan before stuffing it, and drop the cardamom completely. Substituting quinoa and lentils for the wild rice adds a nice nuttiness.
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8 users found this review helpful

 
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