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Creamy Cream Cheese Frosting

Reviewed: Jul. 16, 2008
WOW! This frosting came out great! I used about 5 oz of cream cheese (that's what I had on hand), just under 1 c. of regular sugar and beat the crud out of it for about 3 min, adding about 1 Tbsp of Hershey's syrup for color/flavor, then I gently folded in 1/2 container of Cool Whip (didn't need a lot of frosting). The texture is smooth, light and super creamy. I've got it in the fridge for a few minutes right now, before I frost the cake (Choc. Choc. Chip Dream Cake, from this site), but it came out with a perfectly ready-to-frost texture. It is not overly-sweet and I can't wait for the Birthday Boy (my hubby) to get home so we can eat this...maybe tonight is the night we have dessert before dinner...I will definitely use this recipe in the future because I can tell that it will be very versatile and not too sweet. Thanks everyone!
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Cherry Pie I

Reviewed: Jul. 13, 2008
Super great taste, so the 4 sars are only because of my own fault...this is the first cherry pie I've tried making, and, well, I should not have tried to improvise. Here's what NOT to do: don't use a graham cracker crust, it absorbed all of the gelatin mixture and became mushy. And speaking of the gelatin mixture--don't use regular jello; I guess plain gelatin sets up differently, huh? And/or, I didn't let this cool enough before pouring it over the cherries in the shell. Any-who, it still came out tasting great, and I'm going to have to make this again (following the recipe EXACTLY!), so that I can update my rating to a 5-star. At least it was only an "experiment" on my family, and not for guests :-)
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9 users found this review helpful

Low-Fat Orange Dream Cheesecake

Reviewed: Jul. 6, 2008
Well, I made the HIGH-fat version of this dessert and, boy, does it ever rate 5 stars!! I'm not sure how the low-fat one will turn out, but the ingredients I had on hand were not calorie counters! I actually used berry fusion flavor jello and I think you could use any flavor you wanted for this one. It set up very well and is the creamiest tasting cheesecake dessert I think I've every had. Note: if you're not pinching calories, go ahead and make a regular graham cracker crust, this idea of the cooking spray and sprinkling of the crumbs stinks--most of it stayed on the pie plate. This would also be great without the crust, chilled in individual cups. I'm guessing the "lighter" version is pretty good, too :-)
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18 users found this review helpful

Strawberry Pina Colada Pie

Reviewed: Jun. 29, 2008
Sooo yummy and not too sweet--we love it! Based on some of the other reviews, I made the following changes: used a 9" cake pan (deeper), made my own graham crust, used a six serving size pudding mix, and the whole tub of cool whip; I also put this in the freezer for about three hours and then transferred it to the fridge for the remaining few hours before serving. This set up and served very well. I think next time, though, I will just put the coconut (untoasted, maybe?) right into the pie mixture and use a little more pineapple. This pie was really easy to make and made for an excellent summer dessert.
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10 users found this review helpful

Roast Beef with Coffee

Reviewed: Jun. 17, 2008
Truly delicious! This recipe made an inexpensive cut of beef taste like it belonged in an upscale restaurant. In addition to the coffee, I added about 1-1/2 c. beef broth (made from powdered boullion), 1/2 sliced onion and rubbed roast with blk pepper and chili powder. In 6 hours we had a very tender, very tasty dinner. I used the liquid to make gravy and served with garlic mashed potatoes, corn and homemade bread--how much more of an all-American meal can you get? Tomorrow the leftovers will become tacos to honor the hispanic side of my heritage :-) Thanks for the terrifically easy and tasty recipe!
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28 users found this review helpful

Maple Sausage Skillet

Reviewed: Jun. 17, 2008
This is my son's new favorite. Last night was the second time I've made this in two weeks!! 1st time I used 1 lb of sausage for the three of us and had a little left over--last night I used 2 lbs for five people, two of them kids (4 & 6) and had NO leftovers! The only thing I did different the 2nd time was to use a bag of frozen (thawed) stir-fry veggies and added a little extra bell peper. This is a very yummy, very inexpensive meal--thank you!
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2 users found this review helpful

End of the Line Ham Casserole

Reviewed: Jun. 17, 2008
This is a great change-of-habit recipe for ham. I used the Tyson "heat-n-eat" ham, which is in a maple glaze sauce, and that added a nice sweetness that the kids liked. I also added about 1 c. mixed frozen (thawed) veggies and used minced garlic and finely chopped onions, which I sweated first. I made this up ahead of time to be able to pop into the oven later...I even pre-cooked the potatoes, but they came out a bit "al dente" (I probably will slice them, like it calls for, instead of cubing next time!). I had to use a 3 qt dish, as the recipe was greatly increased by the veggies and potatoes. Served with fresh bread, this was a VERY hearty meal and I'm sure I will make it again. It would even make an excellent pot pie by adding a crust :-)
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Sarge's EZ Pulled Pork BBQ

Reviewed: Jun. 8, 2008
I've never attempted pulled pork before, so I was amazed at how great this came out. I've only ever cooked tenderloin, so I had some fear about the butt/shoulder roast. I cut a 4 lb roast in half, followed the recipe (well, I didn't have as much time as suggested, so I did 2 hrs on High and 4 hrs on low) and after "pulling" half of the roast, I realized I didn't need to shred the other half--I could actually save it to use for another meal! How awesome is that?? The roast came out so tender and half of it (2 lbs) fed 3 adults and 2 kids. Served with Restaurant-Style coleslaw and Chip Truck fries (both from this site), this was a terrific summer-time meal that I will definitely make again and again. I'm still so excited about the idea of getting two meals from a $7 roast, I can hardly stand it!! Now I just have to decide what to do with the other half...tacos, enchiladas, hmmm...Thanks Sarge!
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2 users found this review helpful

Chip Truck Fries

Reviewed: Jun. 8, 2008
These came out fantastic! I SOOO didn't want to fry potatoes tonite and I only had 30 minutes until I wanted to be serving my bbq pork sammies and cole slaw, but needed something else for a side dish. I used my apple corer to make some quick potato wedges, covered 'em in water and threw 'em in the microwave for 5 min. I sprayed the baking sheet with oil, dried the taters with a paper towel and sprayed again with oil after putting them on the sheet, then sprinkled on the season salt. 25 min at 400 deg made these nice and crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. I WILL NEVER FRY POTATOES AGAIN!! Thanks so much :-)
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157 users found this review helpful

Sensational Steak Sandwich

Reviewed: Jun. 3, 2008
These are great! I used red grape juice because we don't drink alcohol & never keep it on hand and I substituted the Garlic Butter recipe from this site for the horseradish/mustard sauce. I would suggest using that garlic butter everytime, it worked out really well. I also added a pack of au jus mix to the liquid. I used a very good cut of sirloin, so I didn't need to cook it for so long to be tender, but next time I think I could use a less expensive cut and get equally great results. My 4-yr-old commented, "very tasty" and his 6-yr-old friend gobbled it right up. I used 1-1/2 lbs of meat and there was just barely enough left over (3 adults, 2 kids) to make a sandwich for my husband's lunch. I will be making this often, as we love french dip sandwiches, but deli counter roast beef is rather expensive (1 lb of steak costs less!).
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4 users found this review helpful

Watermelon and Strawberry Lemonade

Reviewed: Jun. 1, 2008
This is SOOO good! I'm not sure what size blender you have, but I had to half this recipe for it to fit in mine :-) What a great fruit drink--I didn't even wait for any type of "special occasion" I just served it with dinner, but I'll be sure to make it for the next family get-together. My kiddo will eat watermelon every day and now that it's in season, I've got a great new way to use it before it goes bad. Thanks!! UPDATE: I finally got the chance to serve this at a family BBQ--this time made three blender-fulls (1-1/2 times the recipe) and it just about disappeared as dinner was being served up! Great complement to grilled burgers and macaroni salad. This is a summer "keeper".
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Enchilada Casserole III

Reviewed: May 29, 2008
Delicioso! I used shredded beef (heated up a Tyson microwave roast beef dinner in the skillet), chopped green chilis and a good amount of cumin and some hot sauce while cooking the meat. I stirred the refried beans right into the meat. I also doubled the amount of corn tortillas and cheese, and about 1/2 lg. can of Las Palmas sauce. I actually assembled the casserole and refrigerated it for several hours before dinner time, popped it in the oven (covered with foil) for 20 min and the removed the foil and cooked for another 5 min til cheese melted. I'm looking forward to eating the leftovers for lunch today :-) Served with corn and mexican rice, this was a very filling meal!
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Fresh Apricot Pie

Reviewed: May 29, 2008
What a great, super-EASY way to use fresh apricots! My mother is, traditionally, the pie maker, but if I keep finding recipes like this, that may change :-) The apricots I used were not overly sweet, so I should have used more sugar. Home-grown fruit is probably sweeter than store-bought and I'm guessing this recipe is for fresh-off-the-tree. The overall taste, though, is really good, especially if you prefer a little tang in your pie. I used cinnamon instead of nutmeg and I dotted the top of the fruit with about 2 Tbsp of butter before topping with the crust (used 2 whole refrigerated crusts and slitted the top one). This cooked up beautifully firm--make sure to remove foil from the edges about 10 min before end of cook time.
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23 users found this review helpful

Grilled Sea Bass

Reviewed: May 28, 2008
Great taste! My husband caught a giant sea bass on Memorial Day, so I had a bunch of fresh fish to oook. He doesn't normally even think of eating fish but he loved this recipe. The only change I made was to drizzle the butter/garlic mixture over the fillets right before turning them. I cooked this on a grill/gridle on the stovetop (set off the smoke alarm, but it worked great!). I served the fish with coconut rice, garlic lemon green beans and homemade coleslaw. I think my husband will be eating fish again in the future with this recipe--I'm guessing it will taste just as great with any type of white meat fish--thanks!
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Quick and Easy Lemon Pie

Reviewed: May 26, 2008
Whoo-hoo! First time ever making lemon pie--you guys are going to turn me into a baker, yet! I got the 10-serving pie shell and (oops!) 2-pkgs of 2.9 oz pudding, so I used 1-1/2 pkgs. Really important to cook the pudding until it is super thick and boiling. I used about 1 tsp of zest while stirring the pudding, and 4-1/2 Tbsp of fresh lemon juice for the stir-in. Having the crm cheese at room temp was a great suggestion and I ended up using about 3/4 of the can of cond milk. Chilled overnight, this pie set up really well. It was devoured in under 5 minutes--it took me longer to serve it than it took my family to eat it! Kids loved this, too :-)Next time I will use reg whipping cream instead of cool whip, as I never defrost that stuff the right way. The pie is actually superb without any topping at all. It was a great wrap up to our Memorial Day BBQ.
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30 users found this review helpful

Strawberry Whipped Sensation

Reviewed: May 18, 2008
I made this a few weeks ago for a family BBQ and it was a BIG hit! I used graham cracker crumbs to make the crust. Make sure to line the loaf pan with foil, as this helps it to come out easily. I quickly figured out that you could use almost any type of fruit to make this and it would still be super yummy! I'm going to make it again for Memorial Day, but I think I'm going to use peaches or mandarin oranges, with the graham crust. UPDATE: Me & my big ideas! I made this for a third time, using mandarin oranges as I had threatened to do before. It didn't come out so well, but I think I know why: using a lg. can of the oranges, I did drain the liquid but I think they needed to be drained AGAIN after mashing. The flavor was terrific and after about a full day, it was completely frozen, but that was just the leftovers--we ate it without the fancy topping, anyway, and it was a bit more like a really oold, yogurt consistency but still very, very tasty. So, I think I will do it again, with a double draining for any type of canned fruit that I might use.
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26 users found this review helpful

Hamburger Potato Casserole

Reviewed: May 2, 2008
As I was making this, I remebered that a former "friend" of mine used to make this all of the time with ground elk and tater tots. This casserole has an amazing flavor considering the simplicity of ingredients. I used cream of celery, sauteed finely chopped onions and garlic with the hamburger and I cut the potatoes into small cubes. I also added some cumin and chili powder while browning the burger, and mixed the potatoes in evenly right before transfering to a 2 qt round dish. I also covered it for about 50 min and then cooked uncovered for about another 10. No cheese this time, and I didn't even miss it. This is such a great tasting, inexpensive and EASY dish to make--I'll be making it again and again. Thanks for the walk down memory lane, too! :-)
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5 users found this review helpful

Ground Beef Wellington

Reviewed: May 2, 2008
Because we don't eat mushrooms (allergy), I had to change this up a little bit. I sweated finely chopped onions, green chili and garlic, and then added a can of beef gravy. I thought it was a nice, different way to use some ground beef, and the flavor was really good, but my husband said it was just meatloaf in a biscuit. Ah, well, the finer things are often lost on him...
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17 users found this review helpful

Pear Bread I

Reviewed: Apr. 24, 2008
Taking suggestions, I used all applesauce (no oil) and rather than decreasing the sugar, I used 1/2 white, 1/2 brown. I also chopped/diced the pears. This just cooled off enough for a taste--and it's just right--not too sweet, perfect amount of moistness/firmness. Others said this was too "light" for a bread, but I think it came out perfect. I mixed this by hand, so maybe that's why? The cinnamon is the main flavor, so next time, I think I'll use more pears (maybe 1/2 again as much). Thanks for a new and easy way to use pears!
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1 user found this review helpful

Meatloaf with Italian Sausage

Reviewed: Apr. 24, 2008
Great flavor! I love the idea of using cream of wheat--I never would've thought of that on my own :-) I used one lg green chili instead of bell pepper, added 2 cloves of garlic and I didn't have Italian sausage on hand, so I used regular ol Farmer John (8 oz pkg--NOT maple flavored). I always "sweat" the onion/garlic/pepper in a little olive oil before adding to any recipe, to soften them up first--I hate the texture but love the taste of real onion, etc. My husband put in his request to have this as a sandwich for lunch, tomorrow, before we were even half-way done eating dinner. This is a keeper!
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5 users found this review helpful

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