Rock_lobster Recipe Reviews (Pg. 1) - Allrecipes.com (11170677)

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Mom's Easy Chicken Divan

Reviewed: Nov. 21, 2014
Mom's Easy Chicken Divan Haiku: "Why is it layered? Mixing would've been better. Taste was pretty good." This recipe of "Mom's" would've been much easier had the ingredients all been combined (other than the breadcrumb/butter topping) b/c the rice at the bottom tasted like ... rice. The chicken and broccoli layers were just that ... chicken and broccoli. Why wouldn't I have just prepared rice, broccoli, and chicken separately and served them that way on a plate, b/c this required a thorough stirring upon serving to give all the separate "layers" more FLAVOR. There are plenty of other similar recipes on here for the same ingredients, requiring one to mix them all together, so I can really only give this particular recipe a 2-3 for its method, but not necessarily the taste of everything when it mixed together.
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Johnny's Spice Rub

Reviewed: Nov. 21, 2014
Johnny's Spice Rub Haiku: "Too much cumin here. But otherwise, this is great! Used on some chicken." I made the recipe as directed, putting half in a small tuperware for another day, and rubbing the other half liberally on two chicken breast halves that I quickly browned over hi heat in 1 tsp butter and 1 tsp olive oil, then finished off in a 350 deg oven. A really nice rub that would complement any protein, and any method of cooking, but the cumin came through way too strongly, and I LOVE cumin. I'll definitely be hanging onto Johnny's recipe and saving it in larger tuperwares (or giving as little spice-rub-jar gifts), but scaling the cumin way back.
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Zucchini-Chocolate Chip Muffins

Reviewed: Nov. 21, 2014
Zucchini Chocolate Chip Muffin Haiku: "Do not look elsewhere. This is THE only muffin, recipe you need!" I can't believe I haven't gotten around to reviewing this one as I've been making this muffin recipe for several years, albeit, with the occasional modifications here or there. As written, it doesn't need any adjustments; it really is a perfect zucchini muffin. Many of the reviews have helpful suggestions, and any customizations, while not necessary to a terrific original recipe, certainly can put one's spin, healthy or taste-wise, onto the muffin. For instance, I add 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, I sub in 1/2 c. oats for 1/2 c. flour, 1/4 c. apple sauce and 1/4 c. coconut oil for the veg oil, more than 1 c. zucchini (not measured, just whatever I grate off one medium zucc), 1 TB ground flax mixed w/ 2 TB water for the egg, and most recently, adding in 1 TB brewer's yeast (for increased lactation.) Sometimes I use the walnuts, sometimes not, but always chocolate chips! Out of the oven - heavenly!! I make double batches and freeze some, which always works out well too.
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Bowties and Italian Sausage

Reviewed: Nov. 21, 2014
Bowties & Italian Sausage Haiku: "Taste was way too 'beige', no sauce to cling to pasta, would need additions." I made this as directed (except used a frozen bag of tri-color bell pepper/onion blend), and we felt that the bowties tasted just like ... bowties, they didn't really absorb flavor, or allow any of the flavors to adhere to their surface. And cutting Italian sausage links into bite-sized pieces is very time-consuming; I would recommend browning the links whole, then removing to cut, b/c I think it took me longer than the suggested prep-time to cut them, even having removed the casings as well. The 1/2 tsp of Italian seasoning and sausage just didn't provide enough flavor for us, so we used crushed red pepper, parmesan and salt at the table. My husband said "this 'feels' like a healthy meal, but I don't think it really is, so it's fooling me into eating more than I should", whereas my daughter said "it needs tomato sauce." I think I agree w/ both of them. Enjoyable to try, but not necessarily one that I'd make again.
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Spinach Beef Macaroni Bake

Reviewed: Nov. 21, 2014
Spinach Beef Macaroni Bake Haiku: "Nope, won't make again. Vegetables were too 'crunchy', too much pasta too." I drastically scaled the servings back to just feed my family, and also reduced the pasta because I'd rather get a mouthful of spinach than a starch, otherwise, didn't alter anything. The carrots and celery never got a chance to get beyond "al dente" so they provided a peculiar crunch to the finished product, whereas the pasta got overly-squishy after the recommended 25-30 min. We felt that mozzarella on top would've made more sense than parmesan, and we would've just added additional parmesan at the table. The seasonings were also way on the skimpy side and needed to be amped up significantly; overall taste was nothing extraordinary, and if I were to make it again, I would make too many changes for it to even qualify as this recipe anymore.
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Lee's All-Purpose Dry Rub

Reviewed: Nov. 17, 2014
Lee's All-Purpose Dry Rub Haiku: "Halved the recipe. Used it on two chicken breasts. It was WAY too sweet." Hovered on giving this 3 stars based on its being entirely too sweet, but I knew that I would make it again due to its ease of prep (measure, stir, put in tupperware, or rub on meat!) and having had all of the seasoning on hand; however, next time I will reduce the brown sugar quite a bit. I rubbed this on two chicken breast halves which I then refrigerated for 3 hrs. Heated 1 tsp butter and 1 tsp EVOO over med-hi in cast-iron skillet, browned the breasts (@ 2 min. each side) then transferred to a 350 deg. oven to finish up in 15-20 min. The rub was flavorful, but like I said, entirely too sweet for us; however, eating the chicken sliced over a salad helped cut some of the sweetness, rather than just eating the chicken as a "main."
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Cowboy Skillet Casserole

Reviewed: Nov. 17, 2014
Cowboy Skillet Casserole Haiku: "Used Ranch-style beans, but did the rest as written. Daughter liked, not me." I'm glad that I used Ranch-style beans instead of baked beans b/c the cornbread topping was sweet enough as it was that I wouldn't have wanted the additional sweetness of the baked bean-ey sauce too. Daughter was having a cowboy-themed week at school so this seemed an appropriate recipe to make, and she thought it was great, well, she loved scraping off the cornbread topping, so maybe not. I think I would've preferred a bowl of chili and cornbread on the side.
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Quinoa Jambalaya

Reviewed: Nov. 17, 2014
Quinoa Jambalaya Haiku: "I thought this was great. (Husband, daughter, not so much. I'd still make again!" I did everything as instructed; however, I had a bunch of Costco's frozen quinoa/kale blend, so I mixed that into the jambalaya near the end b4 serving. (Since I had to zap it 1st, I reduced the chicken broth to 1/2 c. knowing that I wouldn't need the liquid.) Kielbasa always adds such great flavor to anything it's prepared w/ and I adore quinoa, so I was delighted w/ this entree, but my husband and daughter prefer the texture of rice in jambalaya to that of quinoa I suppose!
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Heinz® Classic Meatloaf

Reviewed: Nov. 16, 2014
Heinz Classic Meatloaf Haiku: "Total fall-apart. Sauce nothing special either. Guess I'm glad we tried!" We love meatloaf, and also love (if there are leftovers), making meatloaf sandwiches. This particular meatloaf totally fell apart, so we ate meat-crumbles w/ the ketchup-ey 1/2 reserved "sauce" over baked potatoes and broccoli. I liked the sauteed veggies that went into the meatloaf, but w/o additional seasoning/spices, this just had very little flavor, and a far cry from a meatloaf texture.
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A Good Easy Garlic Chicken

Reviewed: Nov. 16, 2014
Good Easy Garlic Chicken Haiku: "Made it exactly - used all powders, nothing fresh. That made it 'easy.'" So many reviews used fresh garlic and onions rather than the dried powders, which really does make it a different recipe; I did as written, and it was entirely too salty. The timing was accurate, and I'm glad that I ate it w/ a green salad b/c the ranch dressing helped cut some of the saltiness. My 3-stars were for the no-fail easiness of the recipe, but it's unlikely that I'd make again.
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Quick and Easy Chicken

Reviewed: Nov. 16, 2014
Quick & Easy Chicken Haiku: "Way too peppery. I also doubled the sauce, didn't change a thing." Scaled the ingredients up to twice the amount so there would be additional sauce to spoon over rice and veggies, but it was way too peppery; daughter wouldn't touch it, and as far as hubs and I were concerned, it might as well have just been BBQ sauce, which would've been alot easier to prepare (as in, open bottle, pour.) Looks like alot of the reviews have changes for this, but I made it as written, and wouldn't make it again w/o significant changes, although I will say that the method and timing resulted in a rather moist chicken which was nice, but texture doesn't win points over flavor for me.
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Simply Parmesan Chicken

Reviewed: Nov. 14, 2014
Simply Parmesan Chicken Haiku: "Breading slid right off. Didn't get very crispy. But texture was good." Best part about this chicken was the inside texture was perfectly moist. I didn't change a thing about the recipe, despite reading many additions and adjustments in reviews, and we found that the breading didn't stick well at all, and the flavor was kind of the "needed-jazz" spectrum. Still, we spooned marinara sauce on top and that helped.
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Butter-Roasted Cauliflower

Reviewed: Nov. 14, 2014
Butter Roasted Cauliflower Haiku: "Simple, roasted vegg. (But it's not 'unusual', just nice and easy.") Not sure why CJ would say this is an unusual method for roasting cauliflower, or any vegg for that matter, but hey, I followed his foolproof directions and the only thing that I found it benefited from at serving was a small sprinkle of parmesan cheese and crushed red pepper, otherwise, we liked this side dish quite a bit.
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Best Marinara

Reviewed: Nov. 14, 2014
Best Marinara Haiku: "Woah, this makes a ton! And it's very thick as well. I froze half of it." I only used one 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes, and was fine that way b/c the sauce was really thick as it was, and I didn't want to open up another can just for half. Better than a jarred sauce, absolutely, but still needed ... something. I let is simmer for several hours, and checked on its flavor around 2 hrs., thinking it needed a bit of sugar, which helped cut the acidity. Served it w/ garlic breadsticks, parmesan chicken, and Chef John's butter roasted cauliflower, and it complemented everything nicely, so I'll look forward to thawing the other frozen half of it for use on just about anything.
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Pot Pie Cupcakes

Reviewed: Nov. 13, 2014
Pot Pie Cupcakes Haiku: "Forgot to review! Made these awhile ago, but we liked alot!" From what I can recall when we made these, they were fantastic, but too salty, super-cute to eat, but according to my husband "too biscuit-ey". I agreed w/ him in as much as I would've preferred mouthfuls of more vegg/chick than biscuit. But just like meatloaf "cupcakes", they really are fun to make and serve, especially when you have young children.
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Chef John's Salmon Cakes

Reviewed: Nov. 11, 2014
Chef John's Salmon Cakes' Haiku: "Not very impressed. 5-star reviews added things. Maybe I should too?" Followed the recipe exactly, other than not having capers, and found the lemon to be overpowering, and the mixture too wet (resulting in fall-apartey patties) despite refridgerating it for the recommended 24 hrs. Perusing reviews finds me seeing many folks swapping saltines for panko, or adding onions, celery, mayo and a variety of other mix-ins. I usually use panko, along w/ onions, and only 1 egg, in salmon patties, so maybe I should've stuck to our traditional method, but CJ's recipes are usually spot-on. Sorry, this one just wasn't to our liking.
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Baked Zucchini Squares

Reviewed: Nov. 11, 2014
Baked Zucchini Squares Haiku: "Sweat the zucchini, to avoid the sogginess. Skipped pepperoni." Halved this recipe as a side dish for 4 salmon cakes (Chef John's recipe), and prepared it in an 8" square dish, and my zucchini was large-ish. I let the grated zucchini and chopped onion drain in a dish towel-lined colander for a few hours, squeezing out excess moisture b4 mixing it into the other ingredients. Other than that part of the preparation (and not using pepperoni), I stuck to the recipe. It was a nice, light side dish, and honestly, tasted better the following morning re-heated for breakfast. I think making it again, I'd add a shake of crushed red pepper and some mushrooms (that I would lightly-sautee w/ the onions b/c the one thing we didn't care for in this was the raw onions.)
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Beef and Bean Chile Verde

Reviewed: Nov. 11, 2014
Beef & Bean Chile Verde Haiku: "This was just okay. Barely made enough for three. And looked like cat food." This must be 4 servings for dainty eaters, or as a "soup/salad" combo, b/c 3 of us(1 being a 7-year old!) got very wimpy bowls, although that wasn't entirely disappointing as we didn't like the taste so much that we would've liked our bowls to have been even more full. Something about the color and texture resembled cat food, and we really missed the tomatoes, or sauce, or something else to amp it up. Used green enchilada sauce, and had to use a different color bell pepper than the red called for in the ingredient list, but otherwise stuck to the recipe as written, and we were just not all that impressed.
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Spicy and Thick Turkey Chili

Reviewed: Nov. 11, 2014
Spicy & Thick Turkey Chili Haiku: "there's just too much stuff. A good chili nonetheless. Yup, spicy & thick." We liked this chili, but I just felt the ingredient list was unneccessarily long, but to save on time, I mixed all of the dry ingredients together in a small tupperware the night b4 (still not sure how a mere tsp of cocoa powder is the "secret ingredient" according to the recipe submitter, but I included it too.) I prefer to have my chilis going in the crockpot all day, so my family was surprised to come home to see chili in a large pot on the stovetop rather than chirping in the slow-cooker, and as thick as it was, I'm glad that it WAS in a pot so that I could keep my eye on it and stir it frequently. I won't lie - it was a delicious chili, but not so earth-shattering that I'd follow the ingredient list to the letter next time I make it.
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Rempel Family Meatloaf

Reviewed: Nov. 11, 2014
Rempel Family Meatloaf Haiku: "texture's the best part. The flavor's just not all there. Needed some more oomph." We were most delighted w/ the perfectly-moist, yet not fall-aparty texture of this meatloaf, which sliced nicely, and translated into a tasty leftover sandwich the next day. That was the recipe's 1st ding against our rating though, the fact that there WERE any leftovers at all. Usually we obliterate an entire meatloaf at one meal, but this one wasn't finished due to it just not being flavorful enough. I followed everything as written, except using Heinz Chili Sauce instead of ketchup, but it's pretty much a more seasoned version of ketchup anyways. I thought for sure w/ the buttery Ritz crackers, the cheese, the packet of onion soup mix, and the hundreds of glowing reviews that we were in for meatloaf-nirvana, but unfortunately, this just wasn't our loaf.
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