ellenz Recipe Reviews (Pg. 1) - Allrecipes.com (10923732)

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Christmas Cake

Reviewed: Nov. 8, 2013
I made this recipe today and loved it. However, I admit I did change what fruits I added. I left out the citron instead adding a cup of dried cranberries and a cup of candied pineapple that I snipped into smaller pieces. I also add a lot of nuts in addition to the almonds. I added 1/2 cup each of pecans, chopped walnuts and chopped hazelnuts. I added the zest of a lemon to the dry ingredients, and to the apple juice mixture I added a tsp of vanilla, and 1T of Grand marnier. Because of the extra ingredients, I added an extra 1/4 cup of flour to the flour that was mixed with the fruits and nuts. I did not change the batter quantities at all except I used extra large eggs instead of large eggs. Finally, while it was baking, I opened the oven door at every 1 hour interval or whenever the top looked dry, and brushed on a Basting liquid of 1/2c of apple juice plus 2T of Brandy +2T of Grand Marnier and 1/4 cup whiskey. This cake looks and smells delicious, but I will not taste it until a month from now. I have looked online at many other recipes, and I think this is the best. Thanks for submitting!
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Photo by ellenz

Cream Cheese Squares

Reviewed: Oct. 19, 2013
I made this wonderful recipe today and it was just delicious. I did make a minor adjustment. I only used 2/3 cup of sugar instead of 1 cup when whipping the cream cheese layer. I also adjusted the recipe by adding 1/2 of a 12oz can of Solo brand Poppyseed Filling, spread in a thin layer on top of the cream cheese layer before adding the top layer of dough. The resulting coffeecake was fabulous. I have added a photo.
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3 users found this review helpful
Photo by ellenz

Thanksgiving Pumpkin Slush Cake

Reviewed: Oct. 4, 2013
My Family loves this dessert. My daughter and her husband have requested I make this for Thanksgiving instead of Pumpkin Pie. I always use real whipped cream, and I also make sure to use 3 half pints of whipped cream, one for each of the creamy layers and topping. If you find the crust to be too thick, reduce the flour to 1 cup.
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Bowties with Italian Sausage in a Cream Basil Sauce

Reviewed: Mar. 13, 2013
This is a recipe I have used for years, except we use heavy cream, it is richer. It is a family favorite and I highly recommend it. We also add 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat leaf parsley and instead of fresh tomatoes, we use 1 11oz. can of petite diced tomatoes. Anyway you do it, you will love it. (We also use 1/2 cup of parmesan instead of what the above recipe states)
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Banana Cream Pie I

Reviewed: Nov. 11, 2012
I use this recipe every time I make banana Cream pie, it is a family favorite. There is no other recipe that can match the flavor of the pudding. Cornstarch and packaged puddings are not nearly as flavorful in my opinion. I give it 5 stars, for the flavor, but I do not understand why you added the step to bake the pie for another 15 minutes. It is not necessary. Instead make sure you cook the pudding for a full 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly, then pour it into the pie shell, cover with a layer of plastic wrap as you would for pudding and let it cool in the refrigerator. I remove the plastic wrap and then cover the whole pie with whipped cream and serve. For those that had a runny pie, it is probably because raw egg yolks have an enzyme that breaks down the thickener. That is why you MUST heat that pudding for the recommended 2-3 minutes in order to kill the enzyme in the egg yolk or they will destroy the thickener and it will be runny. One final note, make sure you use REAL Vanilla extract, not imitation. I use one and a half teaspoons when I make this pie.
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Carrot Cake

Reviewed: Sep. 9, 2012
I began to put this cake together and realized I did not have enough pineapple, nor did I have any coconut! I had already mixed the the sugar oil and eggs, so I had to do something. I had 2/3 cup of pineapple, and knew I needed at least 1.5 cups. So, I peeled a juicy pear, chopped it up really fine, and did the same with a very fragrant sweet apple. Together it made another 2/3 cup of fruit. I also decided to soak a cup of raisins in 2 tablespoons Grand Marnier and 2 tablespoons boiling water. When they had plumped up, I added them with the other fruit too. To the dry ingredients, I also added 1/4 tsp of grated nutmeg, along with 1 tsp grated orange zest and 1 tsp grated lemon zest. This cake was absolutely delicious! I will use this recipe over and over. Since my husband hates coconut, he appreciated it not being there, however, I think it would only have enhanced this recipe. I strongly urge anyone to try this cake. My only criticism is that the frosting was a little bit too sweet, and I would look for a different cream cheese recipe for the the frosting.
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Photo by ellenz

Premium Pizza Crust

Reviewed: Sep. 1, 2012
I have made this recipe using both methods. The sponge method works great and if you want same day pizza, don't worry, it comes out FABULOUS! My family loves the tender crust. The dough is a little sticky, but try to use a bench scraper and dust your hands and counter well with flour. I do not knead it very long, maybe just two to three times, and try to just form it into a ball with floured hands. After the dough has risen and it has been divided in half, I put the toppings on the pizza once I have stretched the dough into the pan. Then I let the pizza rise for about an hour before I bake it. Just really try to avoid adding too much extra flour. I then crank the oven up and preheat it to 450 degrees F and bake the pizza for 7 minutes, turn it around and bake another 3-5 minutes. I check it often at the end so I do not burn it. My Hubby and daughter call it Crack Pizza! My daughter told me it is totally addicting, she tries to eat one piece, but the smell and flavor call to her and she can not stop herself from eating more. Thank you for this wonderful recipe, I will never use any other!
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Photo by ellenz

Eggplant Lasagna

Reviewed: Aug. 22, 2012
My pictures show a single layer because I only had a medium size eggplant, so I did not have enough eggplant to make two layers. It is Ok if you do that, but in the past when I have a larger one, I get two layers, which I think looks prettier. Any way you make it is really really tasty-one of hubby's favs
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Photo by ellenz

Key Lime Daiquiri Pound Cake

Reviewed: Jun. 23, 2012
I love the looks of this cake, I love the taste of the batter, and love the taste of the glaze. I posted two pictures. One of the cake with the glaze, prepared and baked exactly as instructed. The only thing I changed was to use regular limes instead of key limes. The second picture is after I added my own frosting because I decided it looked to bland and may have tasted too dry without some sort of frosting. I used 2 Tablespoons of softened butter creamed into 1 cup of confectioners sugar and then added the zest of one small regular lime along with 1 Tablespoon of rum and the juice of that same lime. I added 1 tsp of vanilla also. I then drizzled it over the cake. It looks prettier and should add to the moisture. We ate it, it was delicate, and delicious. Not dry at all. Everyone else loved it, I liked it but would have liked a little more lime flavor. Next time I will try adding a teaspoon of lemon extract, to give more flavor. It is a good recipe though, and would be great if leftovers are cubed and layered with lemon curd or pudding in a trifle. I will certainly make this again. If you like poundcake, this is a good one.
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Corned Beef and Cabbage

Reviewed: Mar. 14, 2012
Thanks for posting this recipe. I have been looking for a long time for an easy way to "corn" my own! I think those reviewers that want a pink color and not gray, need to look into recipes that add "Prague Powder". It is a pink salt plus preservative often used in sausage, and it is what turns the commercial corned beef pink. I also want to ask those that have tried this recipe, if they found their beef a little too salty, because the amount of salt is much higher than the other recipe, Kosher style Corned Beef. I tend to think the amount is correct, because some say that the meat was bland, but others say it is too salty?! Does that mean the salt does not get into the meat? I rated it 5 stars because it looks like a great recipe and I cook commercially prepared corned beef with the same veggies and it is awesome.
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Nanny El's Tiramisu

Reviewed: Dec. 20, 2011
make two layers in the pan either with hard, soft ladyfingers or cake. I do not think the recipe makes that clear. Otherwise it is a really good recipe
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Lemon Square Bars

Reviewed: Nov. 28, 2011
I made this recipe as recommended and reduced the butter in the crust to 3/4 cup. I also reduced the confectioners sugar to 3/4 cup. When I added the butter, it WAS NOT melted, instead it was very cold and I cut it into the flour mixture to get crumbs, then pressed them into a foil lined pan. I then baked the crust as directed. When it came to the filling I added lemon zest along with 3/4 cup of fresh squeezed lemon juice. The bars came out wonderful. I think this recipe could probably be followed without any changes except not melting the butter, and cutting it in instead, and they would come out great. I did not give it 5 stars because of the butter issue, but otherwise it is a really good recipe. It is very similar to Better Homes and Garden's Luscious Lemon Bar recipe with minor changes. Good Cookies, and a family favorite! Thanks for submitting!
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Jif® Peanut Butter Blossoms

Reviewed: Nov. 16, 2011
I made these today and they are the best, easiest cookie for Christmas! The cookie was extremely tender and not hard. The only adjustments I made to the recipe were 1. I added 3/4 cup peanut butter (I like a stronger peanut flavor) and 2. I baked them for 8 minutes instead of 10 because the sugar started to get slightly dark, and I didn't want it to burn. They came out great!!! I will make them every year!
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Cream Cheese Cut-Outs II

Reviewed: Nov. 16, 2011
I made these and I have to say, without icing, they are very bland. Also the dough was very sticky, and I refrigerated it overnite. I had to work VERY quickly and in VERY small batches. I did not want to make the dough tough, so I lightly floured the rolling pin and the rolling surface which was a parchment paper covered counter top. BUT I gave it three stars because the cookie was tender and soft, which is what I prefer. Also, when I frosted them with anise and vanilla flavored butter cream frosting, they were very good tasting.
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Photo by ellenz

Cream Cheese-Filled Coffeecake With Fruit Preserves and Crumble Topping

Reviewed: Jun. 12, 2011
I made this today, adding optional ingredients of chopped almonds in the crumb topping, cream cheese filling and raspberry/strawberry fruit and preserves. I did not understand why the recipe did not call to add the yogurt and all the other wet ingredients to the creamed butter/sugar/egg mixture, so I did it anyways. Then I mixed all the dry ingredients together and added them to the wet ones. There didn't seem like there was much of a batter layer, but it fluffed up very nicely once baked! I thought this was tasty but could have been better if there was some sort of spice added to the batter. The toppings were good, but the cake while light and fluffy, was kind of bland. I will make this again, but alter it by adding sour cream instead of yogurt, and I will make sure I add cinnamon, nutmeg, and maybe some candied minced ginger.
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Creamy New Red Potato Salad

Reviewed: May 17, 2011
this is a great recipe that is very flavorful! The key is to add the Italian dressing when the potatoes are hot and then let them marinate in the refrigerator until they are completely cooled. An optional additional ingredient is a couple of tablespoons of crumbled bacon. My husband's family has made many types of potato salad for years, and this recipe is his favorite!
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Spicy Black Bean Soup

Reviewed: Jan. 14, 2011
I made this recipe today and my husband and I loved it. However, I reduced the salt by more than 1/2 so that is why I only gave 4 instead of 5 stars. I modified the recipe, based on most other reviewers comments and my own personal tastes. I only used one chicken bouillon cube, I reduced salt to 1/4 tsp., I used 1/4 tsp of celery seed instead of 1 tsp celery salt. I do not like Bay leaves so I omitted them. I also added ham and 1/2c chopped chiorizo sausage. Because of the spicy sausage and the fact that we like a little bit of heat, and not a lot, I only used 1/8 tsp of cayenne. I soaked the beans in water for 6 hours before using them also. I think this is a wonderful recipe, even though I made those minor changes, I was really impressed with the aroma and complex flavors of this soup. Thanks for submitting it!
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Tuscan Kale, Bean, and Sausage Soup

Reviewed: Dec. 6, 2010
My husband and I love the red pepper zing, but if you don't like the heat, don't add it. I try to let it only simmer, because I do not want the potatoes to fall apart, yet I want them to absorb the broth flavor. This is even better the next day. Just make sure to cook it long enough for the veggies to cook thoroughly. Also, I cut them small enough to have more than one fit on a soup spoon as they cook faster that way! They are actually about the same size as the ditalini pasta
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Bow Ties with Sausage, Tomatoes and Cream

Reviewed: May 25, 2010
I made this recipe many times when my children were young. They loved it. When my now grown daughter mentioned she made it for her husband, I found that I missed making it. I lost the recipe so I found this one. It is almost exactly as I had made it, however, mine called for the addition of 1/2 c grated parmesan cheese when adding the cream and just before folding in the cooked pasta. I followed this recipe and added the parmesan as I had done before, and it was ABSOLUTELY the most delicious dish!!! It is easy, flavorful and not something you want to have if you are worried about calories. If you are worried about calories, only have a tablespoon, but be careful, you will be tempted to eat a whole bowl. It is tough to resist. Thanks so much for posting this wonderful recipe. Originally I found it in Gourmet Magazine in the early 1970's. Obviously it is a family tradition at this point.
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Rocco's Olive Bread

Reviewed: May 11, 2010
So I made this bread today, & it was Awesome!! I made a couple of changes,but do not know if they made much of an impact. I cut the butter down to a little less than a Tblespoon, melted it, and combined it w/extra virgin Olive oil to total 1.5 Tblsp. Then I sauteed 4 small cloves of fresh finely minced garlic in it. I combined that with 8 ozs. chopped, pitted Calamata olives. I let the olive/garlic cool before adding it to the flour and yeast mixture. I did not have a bread machine so I took the other reviewer's advice and used my dough hook and my Kitchenaid mixer. First I added 1 envelope of rapid rise yeast to the slightly warm water in the bowl along with the brown sugar. I let the yeast mixture get frothy before I added the flour. Also, since I did not use garlic salt, I added only 1/4 tsp of garlic powder to the flour and then added 1/4 tsp of salt, because I felt the olives added enough salt flavor. I have also had problems in the past with doughs not rising, I suspect due to the salt in the dough killing the yeast. I let it rise twice, and finally shaped it into a round loaf and baked it in a 375 degree F preheated oven for 30 min. I also threw 1.5 cups of ice cubes onto the floor of the hot oven at the same time I put the dough into the oven to create some steam while it baked. IT WAS DELICIOUS! Crusty on the outside, tender and wonderful on the inside. I highly recommend it.
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