Kate Recipe Reviews (Pg. 1) - Allrecipes.com (10808597)

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Caramel Pecan Turtle Cookies

Reviewed: Dec. 21, 2011
I liked the idea of recreating the pecan turtle into a cookie so I added this to my Christmas cookie line-up this year. Since I was preheating the oven anyways I took the opportunity to toast the pecans on a baking sheet for 5-10m which really brought out the flavor and gave them crunch. Knowing I wouldn't have enough pecans I set out to only place one in each cookie center. For the cookie dough, I reduced the white sugar by 1/2 cup as one reviewer stated they were too sweet alongside the toppings. I wished I had also reduced the flour by 1/2 cup as they did not turn out as soft and chewy as I had hoped. I didn't see that comment until it was too late. The dough was remarkably easy to roll out and work with. I'm used to butter based recipes so it was nice not having to rush thru and continual chill the dough scraps. I rolled my second batch slightly thicker and baked exactly 5min because the first were not only dry and very crisp. I didn't have too much trouble with the caramel running off but next time I would wait for it to set a bit before placing the pecan in the center. They had a tendency to get dragged off to the side. Just don't want too long so the caramel isn't too hard. All and all definitely a good looking cookie that will round out my Christmas platter. Next time I'll heed this advice to improve the cookie texture.
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Photo by Kate

Pumpkin Cake III

Reviewed: Nov. 27, 2011
Wow, this one surprised me. I was expecting a nice moist cake that many would enjoy. But I didn't think I'd receive so many rave reviews for what I figured was a simple cake. I frosted with cream cheese II frosting so it was very similar to a carrot cake IMO. I opted for no nuts because I wasn't sure of possible allergies but some chopped walnuts would have been great on top or on the sides. I used 1 1/4 cups white sugar and 3/4 cups brown sugar. And also took the advice of using only 3/4 cup oil and 1/2 apple sauce instead. I baked two 9" rounds at 375 for 15 minutes and then dropped to 350 and continued for another 12-15 minutes. They came out a lil too brown on top because my kitchen timer failed me but were still very moist. First time using "bake even cake strips" and I'd highly recommend to any cake baker. They help distribute heat throughout the pan so no hard crusty edges or domed centers. Made it much easier to decorate since no leveling was needed. A great Thanksgiving dessert cake!
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6 users found this review helpful

Red Cabbage and Apples

Reviewed: Nov. 8, 2011
Good but not as great as I was hoping. It made a ton and the leftovers weren't very appealing so I felt guilty for being wasteful.
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3 users found this review helpful

Curried Butternut Squash and Pear Soup

Reviewed: Nov. 8, 2011
Wow, can't agree more with other great reviews. I was excited to make this soup but wasn't expecting it to be this good! I had a very large butternut squash so in addition to the two pears I also added a diced Granny Smith (to the sautee) to offset the sweetness. To keep the texture from ending up like baby food, I only blend two or so batches in my blender on high. The rest I lightly pureed with my stick blender on low. That gave it a smooth creamy base along with some small bits of squash/fruit. I wouldn't rule out blending in the blender completely. The squash has a stringy consistency on its own. I only added a splash of half & half and it was just right for me. My boyfriend and I taste tested two samples with added 1/2 tsp of spice; one with cinnamon and the other with pumpkin pie spice. We preferred the cinnamon. The result - a wonderfully flavorful soup with a touch of sweetness and cream. Not too heavy but it will fill you up!
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Chocolate Chiffon Cake

Reviewed: Nov. 8, 2011
This was fairly easy to make but I should have followed my instinct instead of reviewers...I baked for 60 min and while it didn't spring back I considered it done. It needed another 5 minutes at least. The top wasn't cooked thru. Luckily, I was just cubing the cake to use in a dessert recipe so I trimmed the top and edges off. The side stuck horribly to the flute pan. I don't know if I would try greasing lightly as some did even if it would affect rising. All and all a good recipe though with just the right amount of chocolate flavor. For those chocolate lovers I would increase cocoa or add a tsp or two of instant coffee/espresso.
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4 users found this review helpful

Pumpkin Pancakes

Reviewed: Oct. 29, 2011
I've been on a pumpkin kick and was wondering what to do with my leftover puree from my last baking adventure. These pancakes were the perfect solution! I used a lil over 1.5 cups of buttercream instead of the milk+vinegar combo. The batter was a lil thick so I add a splash more of buttercream at the end. They baked up thick but fluffy. I topped with warm maple syrup, toasted pecans and nutmeg whipped cream. I wanted to make whipped cream from scratch but the pancakes came together so quickly that I just ended up sprinkling some nutmeg in Cool Whip...worked great. The flavors were the epitome of fall with just the right balance of spice and sweetness. I only cooked a half batch so I'm already looking forward to tomorrow to whip up the rest. Thank you Ruth!
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Pork Marsala

Reviewed: Oct. 18, 2011
This did not work out well for me. I was pretty disappointed. The sauce needs something else like stock because the wine overpowered the dish. My pork turned out tough but that is my fault. I've made chicken marsala many times before and I was excited to try it with pork. Unfortunately, it didn't work out.
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2 users found this review helpful

Evin's Indian Apricot Chicken

Reviewed: Oct. 18, 2011
This did come together very quick and easy. About ten minutes into making I started cooking some basmatic rice and everything finished at once. To the onion saute I also added thin slices of green pepper and fresh minced garlic. I used a lil less garam masala (1 3/4 tsp) and added some curry (1/4 tsp). I added some diced dried apricots to the preserves since mine was more jelly than fruit. I also used apple cider vinegar and a splash of balsamic instead of white vinegar. The only thing I'd change is using less vinegar next time (1-2 Tbsp) because it was a lil too tangy for me. I had to add more chicken broth and some brown sugar to even things out. It still came out great and I'm looking forward to making again soon.
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3 users found this review helpful

Sage Pork Chops

Reviewed: Oct. 16, 2011
I was very excited to make these but sad to say it didn't turn out well. I bought two double thick bone-in chops that looked perfect for the ocassion. I seared the meat for only 3-4 minutes each side getting a nice brown but trying to avoid over doing them with heat. They ended up chewy and hard to get through. The sauce added a strange element of flavor that we did not enjoy. Wished I could have had great results as others but don't think I'll be trying again.
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3 users found this review helpful

Turkey Veggie Meatloaf Cups

Reviewed: Sep. 27, 2011
Love the idea of making into cups but the recipe itself could use more flavor. I used cooked quinoa and added extra Worchestershire, lots of garlic and s/p to the mix. I subbed a small green pepper for red and threw in some carrots as well. I didn't liquify the veggies but next time would keep them a lil large for texture (esp carrots for crunch). For the topping I used bbq sauce, tomato paste and chili pepper sauce. I made a dozen large cups and cooked 30m at 400. They were moist but still a lil bland. Next time I'll add some more seasoning (onion/garlic powder, basil perhaps) and definitely more sauce on top. Made with sweet potatoes and sweet and spicey green beans from AR. The sauce from the grean beans was great with the meat. Will do again soon and make adjustments!
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26 users found this review helpful

Sweet and Spicy Green Beans

Reviewed: Sep. 27, 2011
Really good green beans! Definitely the best recipe I've made with them if not the best I've ever tried. I used more honey then called for and regular chili pepper sauce with just extra garlic. I had these as a side with with turkey meatloaf and was dipping forkfulls of meatloaf in the sauce. Glad I found this and will be making again and again!
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2 users found this review helpful

Peppercorn-Seasoned Steaks with Mustard-Wine Sauce

Reviewed: Sep. 7, 2011
I made a crucial mistake and continued to simmer the sauce for well over 10 minutes. Too much water evaporated and left me with a very salty sauce. I even added unsalted butter at the end and then some water but there was no cutting the concentrated taste. Using a beef boullion cube dissolved in water instead of stock was also a mistake. Next time I'll use real beef stock and make sure not to reduce too long. While it was very salty it was still edible drizzling the tiniest bit on top the steaks and letting it mix with the meat's juices. No one's fault but my own so I'm rating a four because I'm sure I would have liked it if done properly.
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Eggplant Mixed Grill

Reviewed: Sep. 5, 2011
I really liked this marinade. I just used eggplant and yellow squash. I was also out of fresh oregano so I used 1 tablespoon of dried. I let the veggies marinate in a ziplock baggie for about 2.5 hours. The squash really absorbs the juices and flavors well. The eggplant was also good but not as flavorful.
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5 users found this review helpful

Pesto

Reviewed: Sep. 5, 2011
Four cloves of garlic was too much for me. It over-powered all the fresh basil and stood out very strong, almost spicy. My cloves weren't even big. I tried adding more basil and olive oil but the garlic still overwhelmed the entire sauce. Next time I would add the garlic last; one clove at a time; and taste test as I go. Still a good recipe and worth playing around with to suit personal tastes. I used it to make Pesto Cheesy Chicken Rolls and as an element baked inside this dish it worked very well.
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8 users found this review helpful

Pesto Cheesy Chicken Rolls

Reviewed: Sep. 5, 2011
This was a good dish but mine came out a lil dry. I think my lack of moisture came from using prepacked thin sliced chicken breast meat which resulted in smaller sized rolls. I baked for 40 minutes uncovered and topped with extra cheese the last 8 minutes. It was difficult to roll and keep the pesto/cheese inside. I think shredded fresh mozzarella may work better than slices. I also dipped the rolls in egg batter and bread crumbs. Next time I would either reduce the cook time to 30-35 minutes if using thin sliced chicken or pound thick pieces of breasts down by hand as directed in the recipe. Lesson learned! Definitely worth another try. The combination of fresh pesto and fresh mozzarella were great. I served with Quick and Easy Grilled Potatoes (with dill) and Eggplant Mixed Grill from AR.
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Lemon Zucchini Bars

Reviewed: Aug. 25, 2011
Yes, this is definitely a cake especially when you bake in a bundt pan as many did. I used 1/2 cup oil and and 1/2 cup applesauce. I used half white and half brown sugar. I also added a lil extra lemon juice and extra zucchini to the mix. I partially peeled the skin from the zucchini so there was just a bit of greenness flecked throughout. The cake baked up in about 40 minutes in my bundt pan (make sure you grease/flour it well). This morning I made a glaze out of confectioners sugar and the juice/zest of half a lemon. I drizzled on top of the cake and let it seep down into the cake adding extra flavor and moisture. The results were a great balance of sweetness; tartness and wetness. My coworkers are thoroughly enjoying.
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7 users found this review helpful

Ali's Greek Tortellini Salad

Reviewed: Aug. 24, 2011
I love all kinds of pasta salad and couldn't stop eating this! It's easy to modify to suit your tastes or the ingredients you have on hand so I basically used this as a jump off point. I didn't include the eggs or spinach. I also used "absolutely fabulous greek/house dressing" instead. Kalamata olives (1/4 cup; sliced), red onion (only 1/4 cup), pasta, and dressing (1/4 cup) were tossed together and allowed to marinate all day. Before serving I mixed in feta (1 1/2 cup), grape tomatoes (1/2 cup; halved) and more dressing (another 1/4+ cup). Make sure to cook your pasta al dente or it will become too soft.
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13 users found this review helpful

Blueberry Zucchini Bread

Reviewed: Aug. 24, 2011
This bread was really good but I admit I didn't make as directed. I used 1/2 cup oil and 1/2 cup applesauce; 1 1/2 cup white sugar and 3/4 cup brown sugar; 1 tablespoon vanilla extract and 1 tablespoon lemon extract. I know that might seem like too much extract but the flavors weren't overpowering. I also used cookiequeen's topping (butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, flour, and walnuts) before baking. It makes a lot but I was able to pack almost all of it on between the two loaves before baking. The lemon flavor was a refreshing addition and went very well with the blueberries of course. Very moist and delicious!
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Tangy Cucumber and Avocado Salad

Reviewed: Aug. 23, 2011
Make the dressing first. I add a tablespoon of olive oil and sometimes a tiny bit of honey if its too tart...not enough you would actually taste sweetness. Add the cucumber and toss thoroughly. Then gently fold in the cubed avocado; in two batches if necessary. I used two forks to do the job. Using a medium sized bowl is also helpful as it gives you plenty of room to toss together with ease. This is best when served nice and chilled. A summertime favorite for me and my boyfriend. Thank you Jessie.
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Beef Yakitori

Reviewed: Aug. 22, 2011
This came out very good. I used two nice pieces of top sirloin that I left whole. I marinaded all day (10 hours) and was glad I hadn't cut the meat because the flavors had penetrated entirely thru the meat. I did use reduced sodium soy and subbed a lil teriyaki sauce (maybe 2 TBSP). I also used fresh ginger and a touch less sugar (brown, not white). I think next time I would take the advice of JC Perez and add a splash of water. The meat was very flavorful but any longer in the marinade and it would have been too overwhelming. I served wtih grilled pineapple and AR's tangy avocado cucumber salad. Next time I'll try this out with chicken!
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3 users found this review helpful

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