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Easy Shepherd's Pie with Garlic Romano Potatoes

Reviewed: Mar. 9, 2014
I LOVED this! I didn't feel like putting in the effort to make the potatoes from scratch, so I did as another reviewer suggested and prepared two packages of "Simply Potatoes," mixing in the cheese, a couple splashes of half and half, garlic powder, chopped chives, and a few shakes of Italian seasoning. My oven doesn't have a broiler, but it turned out just fine, even though I'd have liked a browned crust. I put some of the excess cheese on top and it melted nicely! I also used one bag of frozen veggies instead of canned. When prepared with ready-made potatoes, this is SUPER easy and quick to put together. I'll make this again and again. Thank you!
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Photo by sporkism

Tiramisu Layer Cake

Reviewed: Jan. 28, 2010
I'm commenting again because this cake deserves it. It's seriously my favorite cake ever, and everyone who tries it can't get enough. I just made it again the other day, and my boyfriend said "WOW. That settles it... I have to marry you." Other comments include "This cake is amazing," "This cake is love," and "I just finished my last piece, and now I feel like crying." You don't even have to pour the coffee/liqueur over the cake layers (I usually don't 'cause I'm lazy) and it will still taste fantastic. I double up on the frosting AND filling -- good stuff.
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3 users found this review helpful

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

Reviewed: Dec. 7, 2009
These were a pretty big hit. I made them "mini" style for more snackability.
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1 user found this review helpful

Italian Chicken Marinade

Reviewed: Oct. 9, 2008
Holy . I had no idea that marinating could be so easy and awesome! I marinated some chicken strips with my favorite Italian dressing. I didn't feel like I needed anything else to add to the dressing, but maybe it depends on your personal tastes and the brand. I also didn't use the entire bottle - I used about half, but it probably depends on how much chicken there is. I also was short on time, so only marinated 1.5-2 hours, and it was still so flavorful and tender! I grilled them on the Foreman grill for 7 minutes. Seriously, I've never had chicken this easy AND delicious. Try this. I command you.
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5 users found this review helpful

Penne Russo a la Vodka

Reviewed: Oct. 9, 2008
I didn't change anything. Only problem was I thought I had a little too much penne so I didn't use all of it with the sauce. I also thought the sauce could have been thicker, so maybe I'll add a little cornstarch next time. I was skeptical about the flavor with so few ingredients, but it turned out pretty good! I might add onions next time, or do half vodka, half white wine - just something to add more flavor. To really complete this dish, add chicken! I marinated some chicken strips in Italian salad dressing for 1-2 hours, put on the Foreman grill for 7 minutes, and placed the strips on top of the bowls of pasta. It was a great meal!
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Chicken Cordon Bleu II

Reviewed: Sep. 16, 2008
This was just SUPER DUPER. I used italian seasoned panko crumbs in addition to the flour/paprika mix, and I coated the entire chicken breast before rolling them up. I used half olive oil, half butter, and added a little chopped garlic. I didn't have problems with the toothpicks, but I couldn't get them to roll up, so it was more like "folding" them and sticking in the t-picks to close up the ends. I accidentally started cooking the chicken in a pan that didn't have a lid to fit over everything, so after browning, I transferred the chicken to my little Oster oven and baked for about 15 min at 250 F to make sure it cooked all the way through. The last few minutes while baking, I cooked some asparagus in the wine/butter/olive oil and removed them before adding the cream/corn starch to the pan to finish the sauce. I had doubts about the sauce, but wow... it was so good.
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Photo by sporkism

Tiramisu Cheesecake

Reviewed: Feb. 17, 2008
My first cheesecake ever. I'm still in awed disbelief that I could make something that tastes this good! No cracks, turned out perfect - used the water bath technique. Increased liquor in the crust/filling as many suggested, but I'm still going to add even more to the crust next time - maybe some espresso too. I used nilla wafers for the crust. The recipe calls for 12 oz of ladyfingers, but a whole 12 oz box of wafers would have been way too much. I used about half that and still had to increase the butter to a whole stick. Topped with Ganache I (I halved that recipe and still had a ton, so be careful) and made my own frosting: 1 C hvy cream + 1 tbsp kahlua + 1/8 C confec sugar. Perfection!!! You'll swear this is something straight out of Cheesecake Factory, if not better! Pretty easy to prepare, too! I will make this again and again.... Thanks!!
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Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes

Reviewed: Nov. 22, 2007
This is a good recipe. I left the red skins on, mostly because I'm lazy but it ended up looking and tasting great this way. Used the towel trick to cut down on moisture. I drained all but maybe 1/4 cup of the water and that was plenty, I didn't need to add any more water/milk. Also, I didn't want to boil the garlic with the potatoes because I didn't want to lose any in draining (garlic lover), so I tossed the garlic in some olive oil, wrapped in tinfoil and threw in my toaster oven for like 10 min at 250 f. Then I chopped it up and threw it in after everything else was mashed together. Got lots of compliments at Thanksgiving. Will make again!
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Dump Cake I

Reviewed: Nov. 22, 2007
I just had this for dessert at Thanksgiving. When my step-grandma told me the ingredients, I was skeptical. But when I tasted it, I devoured it and didn't even bother finishing my piece of pumpkin pie! She used pecans instead of walnuts. All the ingredients go so well together, you really do have to try it to understand. However, it IS deathly sweet as others have mentioned.
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World's Best Lasagna

Reviewed: Nov. 10, 2007
Great recipe!! My first time making lasagna - my boyfriend and I were very impressed! I took a lot of suggestions from here, but I think the most important is DON'T ADD THE SALT! Instead, I took another tip to sub the water with red cooking wine - all the salt you'd need is in there, and adds great flavor too. Just as important: do as many suggest and prepare it a day ahead so the flavors can come out and party in the fridge. SO worth the wait! Last but not least - DOUBLE the cheese! You will not have enough otherwise!
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5 users found this review helpful

Key Lime Pie I

Reviewed: Oct. 9, 2007
Maybe I'm doing something wrong, or maybe I'm not used to "real" Key Lime pie. It wasn't "light" to me at all - too rich for my tastes. I couldn't get over the fact that I was essentially just eating eggs, condensed milk and lime juice. Doesn't sound appetizing when you put it that way - haha. Maybe I'm a wuss, but I'm going to try again later with pudding or something mixed in to give it more substance. Also - after only a day or so, it started "oozing" which looks REALLY gross.
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Apple Crisp III

Reviewed: Apr. 30, 2007
I made this for my family last night, and the unanimous opinion was that this is the best apple crisp we've ever had in our collective lives. Only thing I changed was go halves on white and brown sugar as one user suggested, sprinkle a little bit of oats on top (I like em, just not a ton), and dotted the crumble with little bits of butter on top before baking. I also used Golden Delicious apples. Served hot with vanilla bean icecream and it was heaven on earth. Thank you!!
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4 users found this review helpful
Photo by sporkism

Fettuccini Tomato Rustica II

Reviewed: Apr. 28, 2007
I give this a 5, because it was amazing, even though I made some changes. First, I took some suggestions and cut way back on the oil. I also incorporated some white cooking wine when frying the chicken. I did the chicken different too: bought in already cut stir fry strips, dipped them in egg, breaded with italian bread crumbs & basil, then fried in a couple tbsp of olive oil and white wine. DELICIOUS! They fried up with a slightly crispy golden brown and it was amazing. As for the pasta, I used shredded parmesan instead of ricotta and I cooked the garlic and some pine nuts in the leftover oil from cooking the chicken and tossed it in. It was incredible.
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Baked Potato Soup

Reviewed: Jan. 7, 2007
This was AWESOME. Here are the changes I made: 1. Halved the basil. 2. Added 1 tsp sugar. 3. Added a pinch of thyme. 4. Doubled the bacon, threw most in the soup and saved some for garnish. 5. Used chopped green onion instead of parsley (personal pref.) 6. Added a few more tbsp of flour since it was pretty runny. 7. After my attempt to cheat and microwave the potatoes didn't cook them very well, I decided to just throw them in anyway and simmer the whole thing on low for an extra 30 min, stirring occasionally. Next time I will either a) cook the raw potatoes in the soup to begin with or b) do as another reviewer suggested and bake them, then fridge overnight, then cut & add. Thanks again for an awesome recipe. It looks very pretty too!
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Quick Fried Rice

Reviewed: Dec. 6, 2006
I was about to post a similar recipe to this when I noticed your entry. I learned this recipe in my Home Ec class all the way back in middle school and I've cooked it ever since. Here are some important modifications I've learned that will solve some complaints about flavor problems. 1. Cook the peas separately and set them aside. 2. Cook the bacon in the pan, remove the bacon, and crumble. Leave the bacon grease in the pan. 3. Add ONIONS! I don't measure, just use common sense and add a proportional amount, chopped. 4. Fry the onions right in the bacon grease until they start to turn clear and slightly browned. Then add the (raw) chopped carrots and cook those for a few minutes. 5. At this point, I shove everything to one side with a spatula and cook the eggs right in the pan on the empty side. Less pans to deal with later and it's easy/fast. Scramble them in a separate bowl first, then pour in the pan. 6. Once the eggs are scrambled and chopped up, add the peas, bacon, and rice. 7. I don't measure the soy sauce I use, but it’s probably more than 2 tbs. I pour on until everything is well coated. This way you don't need to add salt - the soy sauce takes care of that. Hopefully these suggestions help. It's not authentic fried rice but it tastes awesome. I used to use vegetable oil but the bacon grease is already there and it tastes great (if a bit unhealthy... ah well).
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