ShandeeV Recipe Reviews (Pg. 1) - (11193137)

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Homemade Vanilla Extract

Reviewed: Jul. 19, 2015
This is a good starting point, basic recipe. However, there is no mention of the quality of beans, other varieties of beans, and other alcohols. I've been making this for years, and have made many varieties... Tahitian beans, Mexican beans, as well as Madagascar. I've also used light and dark rums. Madagascar are what you would expect for vanilla. Mexican beans are a bit earthier, with a little smokiness. Tahitian are a bit brighter, with a little florally note. Through trial and successes (because really, there's no going wrong), I've found my preferred mix is 1/2 vodka, 1/4 light rum, 1/4 dark rum as the base. The rums give it a richer flavor in my opinion. For the beans, I use about 10 Madagascar, 5 Tahitian and 2 Mexican beans per 750ml of alcohol. MINIMUM wait time is 6 months. Leave the beans in for up to 18 months, then use the beans for ice cream. Vanilla extract is like wine, and will continue to mature for years, and will never go bad. So make large batches!
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Festive Fresh Blueberry and Cranberry Relish

Reviewed: Nov. 27, 2013
This is the second year I've made this for Thanksgiving, and it is fabulous! The first year I made it as written, and it was great, however it was a little more runny than I would have liked, as most other people commented on. So this year, since I wanted a larger batch I decided to use two bags of fresh cranberries (12 oz each) and two packages of fresh blueberries (6 oz each. I kept the OJ at only 1 cup, left out the orange zest, and doubled the vanilla. The result was a very jellied cranberry sauce that was perfect! I also added a few sprinkles of cinnamon, which complements it very well. I am not a fan of cranberry, but this is just awesome! Especially on Vanilla Ice Cream!
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Pumpkin Toffee Cheesecake

Reviewed: Dec. 20, 2011
This... is... outstanding!!! I am NOT a fan of pumpkin anything, and only recently have begun to apprecitate cheesecake. But this is an amazing dessert! I was reading through recipies for something to take to my Boyfriend's parent's house for Thanksgiving, and once I read this recipie to him, he was hooked on this one. And when I made it? Thankfully, I made 3 cheesecakes, because no one could get enough of it. It has now been requested for my work party, my family Christmas party, and Christmas at my boyfriend's house. I made two varieties... two pies with the sour cream topping, and one without. I preferred the one without, but my boyfriend preferred with. Definately worth every last sparkle of those 5 stars
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Whipped Cream

Reviewed: Oct. 5, 2010
SUPER easy! And it really did only take about 5 mins (after chilling the bowl and whisk for 10 mins) We had a "Whipped Cream Bar" for a coworker's birthday... AngelFood Cake and Pound Cake with strawberries and 6 different flavors of whipped cream. They all turned out AMAZING! Here were the flavors I made: (add in amounts are approximate, and can be increased/decreased to control for flavor intensity and texture) Regular - as stated in recipie Strawberry - mixed in about 1/2 cup of sliced and sugared strawberries Banana - add 2 tbs Banana pudding mix Chocolate - add 2 1/2 tbs Chocolate pudding mix Butterscotch - add 2 tbs Butterscotch pudding mix & 4 crushed Werther's hard candies Sweet Almond - add 2 tsp Almond extract and 1 cup slivered almonds The flavors were a HUGE hit ... I got proposed to TWICE because of it! hahahaha!
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Rice Cereal Energy Bars

Reviewed: Jul. 2, 2010
PEANUT FREE VARIATION!!!- We have a very sensitive peanut allergy in my family, so I substituted sunflower butter in place of peanut butter. Because sunflower butter is much more liquid than peanut butter is, I decided to use melted marshmallows (a la rice crispie treats) instead of corn syrup, to sticky it up more. Unfortunately, I didn't use enough marshmallows, so the bars didn't stick together as bars. But it did make a great granola! We just crumbled it up and ate it like trail mix. It tasted great!
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Home Made Top Tarts!

Reviewed: Apr. 22, 2010
Everyone I work with LOVED these! I made some with Strawberry Preserves, and some with Apricot Preserves, both were fabulous. I also left the pie crust round and just cut these into wedges, which works just as well, and everyone thought the pie slice shape was cute. On the frosting... I did some major tweaking. I made more of a glaze then a frosting, after people said the frosting was a little too sweet. I used milk, powdered sugar, almond extract & some Sweet Cream flavored coffee creamer, plus a small dab of butter. I brought all of this to a roiling boil, stiring constantly so the milk wouldn't scald. Let it boil for a few minutes to thicken... it gets to a light syrupy texture. I put a thin coat on each pastry. This glaze never hardened, and was a little sticky, even two days later, but everyone liked that about it. I think the almond toned down some of the sugary sweetness, and because it was a glaze only it was more of a compliment to the fruit flavor, it didn't compete at all. I tried making a maple brown sugar... but the mixture melted out in the baking... will report back if I figure out how to make this flavor correctly. (was a really yummy oops though!) Will DEFINATELY be using this recipie again.
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