Lauren Recipe Reviews (Pg. 1) - Allrecipes.com (10784536)

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Red Velvet Cake III

Reviewed: Feb. 11, 2007
At first, I was unimpressed by this cake recipe. I tripled the cocoa powder, as one reviewer suggested, and the result was gorgeously dark red cupcakes (baked for 15 minutes at 350). I also used half butter, half vegetable oil to encourage moistness. Unfortunately, the flavor was very bland. It tasted just like boxed cake mix, except not as good. But my co-workers did like the cake, so I tried it one more time, this time with the original vegetable oil but FOUR tablespoons of cocoa. I really liked how this picked up the flavor a bit for me, and it was more moist this way.
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Photo by Lauren

Cream Cheese Frosting II

Reviewed: Feb. 11, 2007
I doubled the vanilla in this recipe, added 1/3 cup powdered sugar and substituted 1/2 cup of (whipped) heavy whipping cream for the butter - sort of a variation from the "Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting" recipe. The frosting piped well when cold, but softened up whenever it was out of the fridge for long. Regardless, the taste was pure heaven. Delicious! The photos here look great, so I might try it with the butter next time.
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Penne with Spicy Vodka Tomato Cream Sauce

Reviewed: Jan. 15, 2007
This was really delicious. The sausage really added a punch. Use as spicy of an Italian sausage as you can handle to add to it even more! I had no vodka on hand and made it without, and it was great anyway. Added about a tablespoon of sugar to get rid of some of the tartness of the tomato. The penne will absorb all of the sauce, so don't mix the two if you're planning on keeping this for leftovers.
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Grandma's Green Bean Casserole

Reviewed: Jan. 3, 2007
Simply THE best green bean casserole, ever. I didn't measure any of the toppings, just topped the sour cream-green bean mixture with enough of a shredded Mexican cheese combo to cover it generously, subsituted bread crumbs for the crushed crackers and also covered generously, then tossed as many onions as would fit on top. Watch closely in the oven! Within 15 minutes, mine was browned on top, so I covered loosely with foil and let it warm up in the oven for the remaining 15.
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California Grilled Veggie Sandwich

Reviewed: Nov. 22, 2006
Possibly one of the only ways to get me to eat and enjoy my veggies! BUT I would definitely recommend substituting either herb-y or plain goat cheese for the feta. The taste is absolutely phenomenal. Don't worry - the goat cheese isn't too strong when matched with the veggies. I also usually add peeled, roasted eggplant as my main vegetable and ditch the onion.
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Puttanesca I

Reviewed: Sep. 24, 2006
Yum! A huge hit with the family. I added about 10 oz. sauteed ground turkey because I'm a meat-lover, half a small onion, and a tbsp+ each of basil and oregano. I also substituted about a tbsp anchovy paste for the anchovies. It was a beautiful, impressive dish, but next time I'll chop the olives finely instead of coarsely. My little brother didn't like the bitter taste the big chunks gave off.
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Avocado Salsa

Reviewed: Sep. 3, 2006
An appetizing and colorful recipe, and a great alternative to regular tomato-based salsas! I made a lot of the suggested adjustments to this salsa (added diced tomatoes, subbed drained black beans for olives, subbed cilantro for oregano, lime juice for lemon [it was all I had]) and it was quite good. The guy loved it w/ tortilla chips. Oh, except for the fact that it made my fridge smell like a million onions had rained down on it. I'll use less of those next time.
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Brie Cheese Appetizer

Reviewed: Sep. 3, 2006
This is SO easy to prepare, but it looks impressive and tastes divine! Everybody will love it -- and you, for bringing it. A few changes: CHEESE - I always use brie wedges because they're more readily available than the circles. They work fine. Even though I don't LOVE the rind when I eat the cheese raw, I leave it on in this recipe and it all just tastes delicious when cooked. Also, the technique of freezing the brie before you cut it in half works splendidly. PRESERVES - Don't hold back. I use about half an 18 oz. jar per recipe and, like I said, it tastes SO good. ALMONDS - Yes! Add the shaved almonds in between the sandwiched halves of brie and preserves. You'll love it! TEMPERATURE - 400* F works well for me.
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Cheesy Salmon Pasta

Reviewed: Aug. 9, 2006
I used the Simple Garlic and Basil Pesto recipe, as one reviewer suggested. Using the canned salmon made the recipe taste a little too fishy, not to mention time-consuming since I had to pick out fat, skin and bones from the meat before adding it in. I would use fresh grilled salmon in the future. Still, the recipe was a big hit and reheated well. Very onion-ey, but I liked it that way. Using all that cheese made it especially yummy.
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