Vida St. John Recipe Reviews (Pg. 1) - Allrecipes.com (11179151)

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Wheat Crackers

Reviewed: Jan. 9, 2010
AMAZING BASE RECIPE! I did a few things differently : 1) I used cold butter instead of oil. I chopped in the butter into the flour, to make a coarse crumb mixture, as if making a pastry dough. 2) I rolled it out extremely thin. The rye flour that I used was so amazing at making it NOT sticky at all, so it rolled out paper thin, almost like a tortilla. The crackers came out amazingly crispy and buttery, without the greasy texture. In fact it was a rather dry texture, but it tasted buttery and crispy. I will definitely make this recipe again...and this time I will add fresh chopped rosemary, with a bit of garlic powder and heaps of black pepper for a kick and boost.
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2 users found this review helpful

Strawberry Meringue Cups

Reviewed: Jan. 4, 2010
I have to say that this is a VERY EASY recipe indeed...and it formed EXTREMELY WELL. I used to think that meringues would be daunting, but these are not at all ( and this is my first time making meringues of any sort ). Follow it to a tee. The measurements are correct. However, the only thing I would change in it is that instead of 4 cups, I would yield it to 6 cups. The smaller cups are prettier, easier to bake and also cuts the calories if you are going to serve it with whipped cream and strawberries. I would not put anymore sugar in the whipped cream...but I would drizzle it a bit with strawberry sauce once the strawberries are on top for a better, tangier finish.
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10 users found this review helpful

Strawberry Cheesecake

Reviewed: Jan. 4, 2010
Thanks to this recipe, I became as the " cheesecake expert " in my little town. Everyone DEMANDS for this cheesecake, everytime we have dinner, a potluck or a party! It's so easy to make ( after the 2nd or 3rd time ), because you tend to get used to the steps that are necessary to make it just like a cheesecake that is bought at gourmet bakeries. This cheesecake is extremely beautiful and it has a very smooth, wonderful texture. I have always sworn by the water bath method though, when making cheesecakes, bc it gives it that smooth, creamy texture, without browning the top. The best way to achieve this is put very hot water into a metal bowl, then place the spring pan carefully ( while wrapped in foil at the sides ) in the metal bowl. I bake it at the required temperature for only 30 mins and leave it overnight in the oven, to set. In the morning, I see the sides of the cheesecake separating from the spring pan, so it's easier and prettier to spring out. I also learned that overbeating the cheesecake creates cracks. DO NOT OVERBEAT! You can avoid this by making sure that the cream cheese is at room temperature. Also, once you put the eggs in, you can forego the electric mixer and mix by hand for a few seconds, so bubbles won't appear. You will end up with a very smooth finish and a creamy cheesecake!
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92 users found this review helpful

Cheese Garlic Biscuits II

Reviewed: Jan. 4, 2010
These are very good ( in terms of a simple, base cheddar garlic biscuits ). These do not taste like the Red Lotbster biscuits ( as claimed by the author ), but they are close. If you don't have Bisquick ( which seems to be the magic ingredient to all light, airy, buttery biscuits ), add a bit of pancake mix / buttermilk mix to it. I added some dried parsley to mine, to give it a prettier look. It's nice to see the bright green flakes in the biscuit as you bite into them. These are so easy to make...which makes them a keeper in my books.
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1 user found this review helpful

Thai Crab Rolls

Reviewed: Jan. 4, 2010
This is such a great party appetizer, side dish or main dish item. I am definitely keeping this in my recipe books bc it is so easy to whip up. Some of the changes I added are : 1) If fresh crab is too expensive or unavailable, canned crab, mixed with shredded " imitation " crab ( usually made of fish ) can be used. However, it is better to use fresh crab. 2) I added some finely minced green onions, to add some more flavour and variation to the colour of the mix. 3) For a different twist, you can add cayenne pepper ( to make it spicy and biting ).....or in my case, a teaspoon of Thai red curry paste for a very authentic taste. If you do add Thai red curry paste, it would be wonderful to also add some minced fresh basil leaves to the mix.
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7 users found this review helpful

Jamaican Beef Patties

Reviewed: Jan. 4, 2010
This is a good BASE recipe for Jamaican beef patties. However, I did a fair bit of modifications to it, to warrant a 4 or 5 stars in my book. 1) Never make the mistake of just using butter in the pastry. You need shortening to keep it flaky. I made a mistake of just using butter bc I am not too fond of shortening in my diet, and well, the pastry sunk and was very greasy. 2) I added turmeric to the dough, to give it that famous, distinct colour. 3) I added chopped scotch bonnet peppers ( for that wonderful kick ) and some allspice, in order to give it that distinct flavour that is found in most Jamaican dishes. ( If you don't have scotch bonnet peppers readily available, you can substitute with cayenne red pepper )
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13 users found this review helpful

Chicken Pot Pie IX

Reviewed: Jan. 4, 2010
The reason why I am giving it a 3-stars rating is because it is ULTIMATELY an EXCELLENT BASE for a chicken pot pie. However, to warrant a 4 or 5-star, it would have to be amazing as it is without any modifications and I did A LOT of modifications. The main problem with this recipe is that it is quite bland ( which makes it an excellent BASE ). To boost the flavour, I did the following modifications : 1) I sauteed the chicken first with garlic and fresh herbs such as rosemary, thyme, sage, cumin powder, celery seed spice, salt and pepper. 2) When I added the vegetables and water, I added 2 cubes of chicken bouillon. 3) I also added 1 tbsp of flour into the butter, as I was slowly sauteeing the onions, to thicken it up a bit. Future modifications : - Add a little bit of cayenne either to the pastry dough or the actual mix itself, to give it a bit of a surprise twist to an old traditional favourite.
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4 users found this review helpful

 
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