Happy Cookah Recipe Reviews (Pg. 1) - Allrecipes.com (10935437)

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Irish Soda Bread

Reviewed: Mar. 18, 2008
I love baking breads of all kinds, and this is one of the best ever! I tried this bread yesterday (St. Pat's Day) to accompany my traditional boiled dinner - fare that we grew up on in Massachusetts. Followed the recipe exactly as written, except that I used a couple extra T. of flour, since my eggs were X-large and made the batter too sticky. Used those lovely, extra plump raisins that Trader Joe's carries. I can't imagine making this bread without ALL of the raisins -- and ALL of the caraway! A delightful combination of flavors. Next time, I will try a springform pan, because the cooled bread didn't want to wriggle out of the cast-iron skillet. My husband is still raving about this bread after polishing off 4 big pieces for dinner and a bedtime snack. UPDATE 03/17/11: I brought an impressive-looking loaf of Irish Soda Bread to work this morning, and my co-workers loved it. I've had many requests for the recipe. I now make this bread in a 9-inch springform pan for about 60-65 minutes, and it's a cinch to get out of the pan (which I grease and flour first).
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Pesto Chicken Florentine

Reviewed: Sep. 10, 2008
Wondering what to do with a giant bag of spinach from Costco, I came upon this fabulous recipe. One particular reviewer's note stuck with me as I embarked on this cooking project: "One should absolutely add as much spinach as one can get one's hands on." It’s so true -- I cannot imagine using the two measly cups called for in the recipe. When I saw how the spinach reduced to practically nothing, I easily added another 4 or 5 fists of spinach (I used half the huge bag!!) When starting out, I sautéed one large onion and a healthy bunch of sliced mushrooms for several minutes, then added the garlic and sliced chicken. While stirring, I added about 1/3-cup of dry sherry and let it all cook for about 8 minutes. Added all of the spinach for several minutes more. Meanwhile, I heated the Alfredo sauce (with a few TBS. milk) in a small sauceppan with the pesto (use double-to-triple pesto), and then added the sauce and the pasta to the chicken mixture. Also added a bit of salt, pepper, marjoram and fresh parsley. Because we weren't ready to sit down for dinner right away, I let it sit on the stove (warm) for about 20 minutes. Turned out great, and I topped it off with cotija cheese, which is a Mexican cheese but has a lovely, pungent flavor that is perfect for this dish. Served with sliced lemon cucumbers and tomatoes from the garden.
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Swedish Meatballs

Reviewed: Nov. 22, 2008
IMPORTANT NOTE: There is a significant error in the ingredients. The recipe calls for 1-2/3 cup milk at the beginning of the list, and then another 1 cup at the end of the list, equaling 2-2/3 cups. The directions, though, call for 1-2/3 cups total, or am I misreading it? I had the ingredients out, recipe printed, and ready to cook this when I noticed the discrepancy.
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8 users found this review helpful

Perfect Turkey

Reviewed: Nov. 27, 2008
This turkey was beautiful and moist, but I gave the recipe only 4 stars, because the salty taste was overwhelming in the turkey and gravy (and I love salt). I cooked a 14-lb. turkey (which is no doubt the reason for the salt issue) and brined it in a 5-gallon bucket overnight. Realizing my turkey was smaller than that called for in the recipe, I put as much water into the brine as I could. I might give this another chance, but even if I cook a much larger turkey, I'll definitely cut back on the salt.
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Chorizo Stuffed Bell Peppers

Reviewed: Jan. 17, 2009
Wow, fantastic recipe! I used a high-quality Portuguese Chourice (can buy hot or regular; I use regular). This sausage is dense and meaty, so I cut it into small chunks. With 6 huge peppers, though, there was no way one pound of meat would fill them, even with rice. So, I doubled the filling, using one pound of very lean ground beef with the one pound of sausage. Used diced canned tomatoes rather than whole, dried spices (added oregano, too), and extra Worcestershire sauce. I bake my peppers in a large Dutch oven with a lid. It perfectly holds 6 (semi-cooked) bell peppers upright. After you parboil the peppers for 5 minutes, place them (cooled) into your dutch oven. They’re so easy to fill this way. Any big, heavy pot will work. Triple the tomato soup, so that you have extra to serve on the side – and add about 1 Tbs. or more of Worcestershire sauce to the soup for better flavor. You only need about one-half inch of the soup mixture at the bottom of the pot when you bake the peppers (I baked mine for about 40 min). Next time, I will use 2 lbs. of the Chourice and omit the ground beef, to see which version we like better.
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Chicken Marsala

Reviewed: Jan. 23, 2009
After making this and re-reading the recipe, I'm confused about one point. The description of this recipe states, “Herbed chicken in a sweet Marsala and mushroom sauce ..." The recipe list, however, doesn't call for either sweet or dry Marsala. I used dry, because that's what I have in the house. It was definitely not a sweet Marsala sauce the way I cooked it, but we thought it was an excellent dish. I used 2.5 lbs. of chicken (5 breasts) and cooked it in two batches. Tripled the flour mixture. Kept the cooked chicken aside while I sauteed the vegetables, which consisted of extra mushroom (a must), to which I added shallots and fresh garlic. Added the chicken back in to the mushroom mixture with the Marsala. I'm not sure why this recipe calls for "cooking" sherry along with the Marsala. Perhaps it's to tone down the sweetness if you're using sweet Marsala. Nevertheless, use a good-quality dry sherry, if you use it at all. I added at least a cup of the Marsala and sherry, because I wanted more sauce, but next time I'll skip the sherry and add a bit of chicken broth rather than extra wine. At the very end, I added some FF half and half, more cracked pepper and salt. Served over angel hair pasta with a side of crisp, French-style green beans. Delish! P.S. If anyone can figure out the sweet vs. dry Marsala for this recipe, please advise.
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Impossible Pumpkin Pie

Reviewed: Feb. 9, 2009
The best thing about this pie is its very pumpkiny flavor and it's super easy to throw together. I love the concept of the "impossible" pies made with Bisquick, because it makes its own crust. There was no discernable crust in this pie though. Not even a tiny layer. The only change I made was to substitute the sugar with Splenda, and there was definitely a "Splenda" aftertaste. It's worth another try (with real sugar), but I sure miss the little crust at the bottom that many impossible pies produce. I used a small rectangular Pyrex dish, buttered, and it was perfect.
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Filet Mignon with Rich Balsamic Glaze

Reviewed: Feb. 15, 2009
Good thing I doubled the sauce. After removing the cooked filets from the frying pan, my husband immediately rinsed it out -- along with the sauce! Luckily, I had extra sauce kept warm on the stove. As for the cooking process, I got the sauce simmering first in a small pot and kept it on the side. I then seared the filets, one minute per side, in a bit of olive oil. Next, I added about half the sauce to the filets and continued cooking them, covered, for 8 minutes. The sauce reduced quickly and was not "too much liquid," as some reviewers feared. As the recipe title states, the sauce truly becomes a rich, dark glaze. The meat was so tender. Only change I made was added garlic. This paired well with the "Lobster Tails Steamed in Beer" recipe from this site. The lobster did not conflict with the richness of the filets, because there was no real beer flavor in them. A Valentine's Day treat for sure! And, we had a bit of leftover filet and sauce this morning to go with eggs.
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Lobster Tails Steamed in Beer

Reviewed: Feb. 15, 2009
I paired these delicious lobster tails with another recipe from this site, "Filet Mignon with Rich Balsamic Glaze." I was worried that a strong beer flavor would conflict with the richness of the steak glaze, but we actually didn't taste beer in the lobster tails. I added 1 Tbs. of Old Bay Seasoning to the beer. Used at least 16 ounces of beer, because we needed an extra large, deep, frying pan for our four very meaty tails. I didn't measure -- just made sure I had an inch or so of beer in the pan. The tails fit fine, sort of draped over a vegetable steamer. I cooked them covered for 8 minutes, but they could have used another minute or so of cook time because of their size. Great, easy recipe. Valentine's Day treat for sure.
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Lobster Rolls

Reviewed: Feb. 15, 2009
I grew up on lobster rolls in New England. I was so excited about this recipe, which I followed to the letter. It didn't do much for me -- something just didn't seem right, and I'm not sure if was the lime, or perhaps not enough mayo. I'll try it again, with adjustments. I'm thinking plain ol' salt, pepper, lemon, and mayo.
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Peppered Shrimp Alfredo

Reviewed: Mar. 4, 2009
Outstanding! I wanted to use what I had in the house, which came very close to the called-for ingredients. I used white mushrooms, and although I didn't have a red pepper, I happened to have a jar of sun-dried tomato alfredo sauce. In addition to sauteeing the onion mixture in butter/olive oil, I added about 1/4 cup of good quality dry sherry (I do this often, and it adds a nice dimension to many saucy recipes). Also added a handful of fresh spinach and a couple of Tbs. of pesto -- this added beautifully to the color, taste, and texture of this recipe. Oh, 1/2 tsp. cayenne is plenty "hot" for us. We'll make this often.
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Banana Cake X

Reviewed: Apr. 21, 2009
Delicious and moist cake. My husband is going bananas over it. Didn't change a thing, except that I used a white cake mix. As a side note, I topped this cake with banana butter icing from this site, and it is much too sweet for my tastes. Next time I'll try a cream cheese frosting, or better yet. the frosting from the Southern Red Velvet Cake recipe from this site. I call it "boiled frosting" which is the most delicious recipe for frosting I've made in 30 years.
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Nany's Cheesy Cauliflower Casserole

Reviewed: May 3, 2009
I've made this recipe twice. The first time, I didn't have canned milk, so I used regular milk. I had a runny sauce, but it was still very good. This time, I had the correct ingredients, but I took the advice of another reviewer and added curry powder (1-1/2 tsp. rather than the reviewer's recommended 1 T). I steam the cauliflower until it's crisp-tender, then baked it (covered) in a 350-degree oven for about 25 minutes, and another 5 or 10 uncovered. It really is very tasty. I used Ritz buttery crackers and cut the butter in half. I also add some canned French Fried Onions to the cracker mixture, and it adds excellent flavor. We love this dish !!
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Brazilian Passion Fruit Mousse (Maracuja)

Reviewed: Jun. 20, 2009
I have been on the hunt for passion fruit after seeing this recipe, because I want to impress my friend from Brazil who is coming for dinner tonight. (I've dipped a pinky into the refrigerated finished product a couple of times, and already, after chilling for only an hour, it's an out-of-this-world dessert!) Did not change a thing, except that I added half a pkg of gelatin, as one reviewer suggested. The mousse is of perfect consistency, but I also whipped the cream for a long time, as someone else mentioned. I feel that the 1 TBS of sugar is perfect too, because I used only fresh fruit (not frozen concentrate). Later, I will transfer the mousse to individual dessert cups and garnish with fresh mint from the garden. Now for the best part -- I spent half of today combing my city for passion fruit pulp, passion fruit frozen juice, passion fruit anything, to no avail. I finally found the fruit itself at a high-end grocery store and purchased 8 of them for $12. Pricey, and will need to locate more economical sources. The 8 fruits equalled almost 1/2 cup of juice. I had some fresh mangos on hand, so squeezed part of one mango to make a tad over 1/2 cup of juice. I will try other juices in the future as well, to experiment. BTW, the main dish will be Picadinho'A Brasiliera, a rather rich Brazilian meat dish, so this light and fluffy mousse will be perfect! Thank you VALERIEKOOKA! Update: I now use the Goya brand of frozen Passion Fruit Pulp. Search in local Hispanic markets.
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Terry's Texas Pinto Beans

Reviewed: Jul. 4, 2009
Today is the 4th of July and I tried these beans. From now on, it'll become annual fireworks fare for us. Not that the beans are firecracker hot. They're just so good! To the pound of soaked-overnight beans, I added 32 ounces of water and 2 tsp. of Beef flavor Better Than Bouillon (comes in a jar) and 2 tsp. of Chicken flavor Better Than Bouillon. Also used extra cumin and garlic, an extra onion, and lots of freshly ground black pepper. The beans were perfect after 5 or 6 hours in the crockpot. At the end of cooking time, I was going to add a can of diced tomatoes and chili powder, as suggested by other reviewers, along with the green salsa. But after one big taste of the beans, I couldn't take time out to finish those steps. The beans are absolutely delish, and no salt was necessary after adding the Bouillon. My husband and I had some for a mid-afternoon snack, and now I have more beans soaking for tomorrow. BTW, I did add 2-3 slices of bacon to the beans while cooking. 3 MONTHS LATER: I've made these beans so often now that I can do it in my sleep. As stated above, I've used bacon for flavor, but I now sometimes use meaty hamhocks. When I couldn't find hamhocks, I had the butcher cut up a nice ham so that I could use the bone and big chunks of ham. I do add tomato sometimes -- good with or without. I could live on these beans!
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Hoot-n Holler Baby Back Pork Ribs

Reviewed: Aug. 13, 2009
"These are the best ribs I've ever had," were the first words out of my husband's mouth. I had almost 4 pounds of baby backs, and I went with the 12-oz. bottle of Lawry's Mesquite Marinade. I added an extra onion, quartered, to the par-boil liquid. The onions were so delicious at the end of cooking, that I served them as a perfect side dish with a pat of butter, S&P. I also added a few extra bay leaves and one Tbs. of minced garlic-from-the-jar to the par-boil liquid. Omitted the brown sugar, because I didn't want sweet ribs, but I'll try the sugar another time. Grilled the ribs 7 minutes per side. Tender and moist results -- outstanding! Thanks for this simple, yet over-the-top delicious recipe -- fit for a king!! P.S. It's now July 5, 2010, and this is still my go-to recipe for babyback ribs. Everyone loves them. I now throw in about 4 onions to serve as a side dish. I think that the sugar can make these ribs too sweet, compromising the good "barbecue" taste. Lastly, the leftover broth is delicious, so I chill it overnight, skim the solidified fat layer, and then use it for other dishes. For example, I cook Italian sausages in a cup or two of the rib broth to make subs. I also make a huge pot roast in the crockpot with the rib broth mixed with half pkg. of dry onion soup and sometimes throw in a can of mushroom soup. You can think of all sorts of uses for the broth.
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Quiche Lorraine II

Reviewed: Aug. 23, 2009
Lovely quiche -- I changed very little by using 5 eggs rather than 3, and I used half and half instead of milk, because that's all I had on-hand. Added some white pepper, but I omitted salt from the quiche, because the bacon and cheese carry enough sodium. We thought it was perfect. I used a ready made pie crust, but I must say that next time I'll make my own so that it will hold its shape and give me a more substantial crust. The ready made crust shrinks a bit too much during the initial baking time. As a side note, I wanted to experiment with some new small casserole dishes (about 1 quart size from Sur La Table). So I've also made this quiche without a crust and cooked it in the small bowls without oiling them first. They came out great, though next time I will oil the dishes a bit. Now I know I can make this for company in pretty casserole-type single serving dishes -- and without having to make crust if I don't have tine. Lastly, maybe it's just my oven, but it took a lot longer than 40 minutes to bake this. Just keep an eye on it. Great recipe, LADYNUSS.
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Chicken Crescent Casserole

Reviewed: Sep. 3, 2009
My sister surprised us tonight with this delicious casserole for dinner -- we loved it and think one could easily substitute the chicken with pork, beef, or even scallops and shrimp!
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Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies III

Reviewed: Sep. 17, 2009
I needed cookies for a bake sale tomorrow at work and wanted pumpkin for fall. I tried this divine recipe and feel so good about displaying these beauties at the bake sale. Holy Moly, I will keep this recipe for the rest of my life. I let my husband have one out of the batch, and now he's begging for more. "Best cookie in the world!" he said. My only change was to cut back on cinnamon by 1 tsp, and I added 1/2 tsp allspice and 1/4 tsp nutmeg. NOTE: Make sure your oven is hot enough. If it isn't, your cookies will come out flat, not plump the way they should be. I concur with another reviewer who suggested a 375-degree oven, and it took longer than 10 min. My batch yielded close to 3 dozen. Thanks for saving the day Jennifer.
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Amber's Devils on Horseback

Reviewed: Oct. 18, 2009
I wanted a scallop recipe that is super diet conscious (no breading, butter, wine, etc), and this was absolutely perfect. I used about 10 sea scallops. In addition to the lemon juice and fresh garlic, I added some Italian seasoning to it. And because I am into sprinking everything with a touch of vinegar right now with my diet, I decided to add a little bit to the small casserole dish rather than butter or canola spray. I will make this often -- my husband and I both loved it, and it cannot get any easier to prepare. Highly recommended. P.S. I think this would work well with extra large shrimp as well, but with less cooking time.
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