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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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105 users found this review helpful

Homemade Chicken Broth

Reviewed: Dec. 13, 2009
I've been making this for as long as I can remember. My freezer is always stocked with chicken broth. The type of chicken you use doesn't really matter -- just make sure it's bone-in. I always drag out a huge pot, because I add about 5 lbs. of chicken pieces (or one whole chicken) and lots of extra goodies. My broth is similar to this recipe, but I've perfected it over the years to make it even heartier. To a large pot, I add 6 to 8 scrubbed carrots, cut in half; leafy tops from 6 celery stalks (and the ribs too); green tops from one large bunch of green onions; and one large onion, quartered. Add the chicken and water to cover. Add a palmful of black peppercorns; salt to taste; and 4 bay leaves. Sometimes I add herbs. Simmer for 1 to 2 hours. I then place the whole pot in the garage or back porch (if it's winter) and forget about it until the next day. Then, skim off the fat. Remove the chicken and carrots and set aside. Strain the broth and remaining vegetables through a colander into a large bowl. With clean hands, squeeze the vegetables from the colander into the broth until the vegetables are "dry." You'll get more nutrients, delicious flavor, and less waste by doing this. Freeze the broth in containers. Now debone the chicken and use it right away or freeze it in baggies for later use. Use the carrots for soup or your evening meal, heated in the microwave with a pat of butter and seasonings. So good!
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79 users found this review helpful

Barbequed Steelhead Trout

Reviewed: May 2, 2010
Outstanding taste and very simple to prepare. I had the butcher remove the skin and purchased one pound for the two of us. I'm headed back to the market today to get more, now that we know how delicious it is! Followed the recipe to the "T" except that cooking time was 10 and 5, rather than 10 and 2. I created a "boat" with the foil to keep the extra juices from spilling out. Thanks for introducing us to this fabulous fish!
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51 users found this review helpful

Apricot Chicken I

Reviewed: Jan. 26, 2011
This is such great recipe. "What tender chicken!" everyone moaned -- with full mouths. So I made this "as written" the first couple of times and served it over brown rice. Always one to experiment, I added a few touches the third time I reached for this gem-of-a-recipe. Here's what I did: Lots more chicken (family pack). Used only one pkg. of dry onion soup mix, to which I added: the apricot preserves; 1/3 C. good-quality DRY Sherry (please, not "cooking Sherry"); 1 tsp. DRY mustard; 1 tsp. ground WHITE pepper; and 1 C. raisins. Also, I used "Light" Catalina Dressing. The beauty of this, though, is that Shirley's recipe is delicious as it is. But if you have some extra time and want to add a bit of flare, the sky's the limit! Cook time can be less, like 45 min., so be careful or chicken will dry out. Thank you Shirley.
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29 users found this review helpful

Sausage Smothered in Red Cabbage

Reviewed: Feb. 2, 2011
Better give this 5 stars, because my husband informed me that he wants to have this for breakfast, lunch and dinner from now on. I took the great advice of others and made just a couple of minor adjustments. I had a fairly large head of cabbage, so I doubled the recipe. But I, too, reduced salt. I added about 1 tsp. of caraway seed (really "makes" it)! Also, I used a large green apple, unpeeled and diced. I would use more apple next time. I added the apple when I put the cooked onions into the pot of cabbage. I used homemade broth instead of water, which added more flavor, and since I doubled it, there was lots of good juice to pour over our baked potatoes. Oh, and I used more vinegar. Delish!
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26 users found this review helpful

BBQ Pork Salad with Summer Fruits and Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette

Reviewed: Aug. 29, 2010
"This is by far the best salad I've ever eaten," said my husband, halfway through dinner -- and several more times after that. I was stunned, because he dines at our city's best restaurants every day for lunch. Everyone commented on the way the flavors come together in this elegant salad. I grilled thick, marinated chops the day before. For the fruit, used peaches and plums. Sprinkled lemon juice on the avocado. Pan roasted the almonds in a bit of oil, and toward the end, I added a little sugar to the almonds. Tomatoes were fresh out of the garden. I doubled the dressing and added a T. of red wine vinegar (in addn. to the balsamic) because it was quite thick. This will be on my menu when company arrives next week.
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21 users found this review helpful

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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17 users found this review helpful

Easy Creamy Peppercorn Chicken

Reviewed: Nov. 18, 2010
My nephew and I had a fabulous time making this dish. Some reviewers mentioned its lack of flavor but liked its simplicity. Others say it’s perfect for a family meal but not for a dinner party. If you have the time to experiment, this basic dish lends itself nicely toward gourmet modifications. We used one pkg. of Country Gravy mix (as did other reviewers), but with 1-1/2 cups of water, rather than the one cup called for in the recipe, and lots of fresh cracked pepper. What really made it over-the-top delicious was adding about 1/2 cup of a high-quality dry sherry to the gravy mixture, along with about 1-1/2 tsp. poultry seasoning. We sautéed one large sliced onion and a lot of sliced fresh mushrooms in butter and sherry until golden. We then layered the sautéed onion/mushroom mixture over the chicken pieces, and topped it off with the COMBINED mushroom soups and gravy (thus eliminating the need to drag a hot dish out of the oven halfway through cooking time). Our chicken was very thick, so cooking time was extended. This is definitely the most tender chicken you could ask for! Served atop white rice with a crisp green vegetable on the side. Everyone raved.
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13 users found this review helpful

Two Step Creamy Cheesecake

Reviewed: Jul. 11, 2012
This recipe knocked our socks off, and it was a snap to make. My husband had to force himself not to eat the entire pie. After one bite, he said, "This is the very best dessert you've ever made!" It’s so light and fresh tasting with nice summer fruit in the markets right now. Here’s what I did: Used 8 ounces of lite whipped topping rather than 12 oz. Added 1/3 C. of instant vanilla pudding to a brick of cream cheese, along with 2 T. of white sugar, 2 tsp. lemon juice, and a bit of vanilla. (The pudding was a worthwhile experiment!) Next time, I’ll add more lemon juice. I used fresh blueberries for the topping. My graham cracker crust was leftover from another recipe, and it only covered the bottom of the pie plate, which was fine. Didn't take long at all for the filling to "set up" before I topped it with fruit. Also, note that it was very easy to slice – it stayed firm while slicing. What a fantastic summer recipe! Thanks Anne-Marie!
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11 users found this review helpful

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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10 users found this review helpful

Buttermilk Chess Pie

Reviewed: Apr. 25, 2011
I'd eat the entire pie at once, if it didn't make me feel guilty. I cut both the butter and sweetener in half: I use 1/4 butter, 1/2 C. sugar, and 1/2 C. Splenda. I also use heaping tablespoons of the flour. This recipe is perfect for a 9-inch Pyrex pie plate, and the cooking time is as stated (45 min.) in my oven. It's one of our favorites. UPDATE 12-29-11: I made the most outstanding topping for this recipe. I needed a filler for my pie, which rattled around in a 10-inch pie pan: Whip together 1 8-oz. tub marscarpone cheese; 1 cup whipping cream; a few T. sugar; and 1/2 tsp. vanilla. Spread this topping on the cooled Chess Pie and refrigerate. I happened to have those extra ingredients in the fridge to use up after Xmas, and this equates to one rich (and deliciously decadent) pie -- only to be consumed on special occasions. The way I make it, it's not too sweet at all. Cut back on all that butter and sugar!
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9 users found this review helpful

Chocolate Zucchini Cake II

Reviewed: Aug. 2, 2010
Oh my goodness, this is heavenly. I have an abundance of zucchini in my garden, so am always searching for good zucchini recipes. This one is outstanding along with a nice buttercream frosting. Went out on a limb and reduced the sugar in this cake by 1/2 cup, and I completely replaced the vegetable oil with applesauce -- all with fantastic results. I used sour cream in lieu of sour milk. Added 1/2 cup chocolate chips to the batter, and sprinkled about 3/4 cup on top. (Definitely squeeze the water out of your zucchini, as other reviewers have said.) Give this a try!
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9 users found this review helpful

Easy Shrimp Dip

Reviewed: Aug. 16, 2010
I chose this recipe because it's a standard that everyone loves. I had the cream cheese spread out on a pretty glass dish, getting ready to head to a friend's for dinner, when I realized the frozen shrimp I had purchased was BAD. I quickly stopped at the market on the way to our friend's house and bought the best (1-lb.) can of lump crab that I could find (it's usually in the seafood department and is chilled). To prepare this, I used a hand mixer and whipped up 2 pkgs. of light cream cheese with a bit of sour cream, parsley, and about 1/2 tsp. of Old Bay seasoning. Spread this in a large, 1-inch-deep glass serving dish. Poured the cocktail sauce over the cheese, and then layered the full pound of crab (rinsed first) over the top. The crab with the cream cheese and cocktail sauce (with wheat thins) was outstanding. l'll make this "mistake" from now on!
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8 users found this review helpful

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

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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8 users found this review helpful

Baked Pork Chops I

Reviewed: Apr. 14, 2012
With 3200-plus reviews already, my input will get lost. Still.... am feeling compelled to boast about this recipe. I hardly ever fry meat. I've attempted frying with a coating in the past (and then finishing in the oven), but the coating always falls off. Not this one! The secret was the flour/egg/breadcrumb step. I used four boneless loin chops, and they were huge, so I followed the instructions for baking. For the sauce, I sauteed onion and fresh mushrooms in the same pan in which I fried the chops (adding a few cloves of minced garlic the last minute of sauteing). Then added a couple cans of cream of whatever soup, 1/2 cup good quality dry sherry, and about 1/2 C. fat-free half and half. Everyone raved.
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7 users found this review helpful

Impossible Coconut Pie II

Reviewed: Mar. 4, 2012
We love this pie and have made it countless times. I usually use 3 eggs, because I buy x-large or jumbo size. I made a big mistake with my last pie and had to throw it in the garbage, so I'm writing to tell everyone NOT to use Splenda. I tried it this time with all Splenda (no sugar), and it was almost inedible. The Splenda aftertaste was terrible! Stick to the recipe, as written, and you'll have the best results. Oh, Bisquick or Pioneer baking mixes work well with this in place of flour. UPDATE 3/16/12 -- I wised up and started mixing the ingredients in a blender (as recipes states) rather than with a mixer. Makes the coconut a finer texture for the pie, which we like. Love Love Love this pie, because it cannot get any easier than this, and it's so yummy.
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7 users found this review helpful

Easy Batter Fruit Cobbler

Reviewed: Jul. 28, 2011
I love the simplicity of this recipe and have made it twice now with fresh rhubarb (once with peaches mixed in). Yum. Based on reviews, I add about 3 C. of the fruit and a bit more milk, flour, and sugar -- about 1 C. each. Watch the butter -- I'm going to try 3 T. next time instead of 4. Can hardly wait to try different fruit. Oh, I've successfully used both a large pie plate and a 9-inch square dish (lightly buttered).
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7 users found this review helpful

Chicken In Sour Cream

Reviewed: Apr. 7, 2013
I needed a make-ahead dish, and this was perfect! I didn't even brown the boneless-skinless thighs. They went right into a glass baking dish, with carrots and sliced red potatoes. For the sauce, I didn't have lemon juice, but about 1/3 C. of good-quality dry sherry, mixed with the sour cream mixture, made this dish over-the-top delish. I used a whole pkg. of the onion soup mix, but didn't add any salt, as others suggested. The chicken was so tender, and everyone raved. As a side note, though, the vegetables were not done, even after baking well over an hour, covered with foil. Next time I'll cook those on the side, bake the chicken for one hour, and serve over rice.
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6 users found this review helpful

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