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Chunky Monkey Pancakes

Reviewed: Jul. 10, 2010
The flavour was really good. Just the perfect level of sweetness (I usually have to half the amount of sugar called for in a recipe, but the 1 tbsp called for in this recipe is just right for my taste). I also used 1-1/2 bananas (instead of 1 banana) for an extra kick, and mashed them (instead of dicing). If you are new at making pancakes, I would definitely recommend being generous with the cooking spray! It makes flipping the pancake a lot easier. Also, do not spread the batter into a very thin layer on your skillet. Not only will you smear your chocolate chips everywhere (giving your pancakes a burnt appearance), it will make the pancake-flipping process very difficult (makes them break more easily)! Just spread out your pancakes a little and it will cook thoroughly (without burning) if you cook it for long enough, which for me, was about 3 minutes for the first side, and about 1 minute for the other side (after flipping). Another piece of advice for flipping pancakes: I would not recommend using a plate to cover the pancake in your skillet and flipping the skillet upside, because the side that comes in contact with the plate is still RAW, so it sticks to your plate (very messy)! All in all, a good recipe - a little bit too hearty for me, as I prefer plainer pancakes, but my chocolate- & banana-loving family enjoyed it so I will be making these again.
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Coconut Shrimp I

Reviewed: Jun. 23, 2010
Wonderful! I made this for my family, and even my mom, who is very picky, loved it! I used bread crumbs instead of all-purpose flour for the beer/egg mixture.
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1 user found this review helpful

Pasta with Scallops, Zucchini, and Tomatoes

Reviewed: Jun. 21, 2010
Oh my!! This was fantastic!! I have tried countless pasta recipes, and my family and I all agree that this is our favourite! I did, however, make a number of changes: I (1) halved the recipe, except for the pasta, which I used 1/3 pound, (2) used angel hair pasta instead of fettuccine, (3) used paprika instead of red pepper flakes, (4) sauteed half a minced onion and half a cup of sliced mushrooms along with the garlic, (5) added 5 jumbo shrimp sauteed in margarine, (6) did not used Parmesan (my family is not a fan), (7) added a couple dashes of ground black pepper, and pretty generous helpings of garlic powder (not garlic salt) and roasted red pepper powder, (8) used 1/4 cup fresh basil and 1 tsp pesto instead of 1/2 cup fresh basil, (9) used 1 large tomato, minced/pureed instead of 2 chopped roma tomatoes, (10) added 1/2 tsp brown sugar, and (11) sauteed the scallops before adding to the pasta. These changes made this dish out of this world!! I highly recommend this!
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Baked Scallops

Reviewed: Jun. 21, 2010
Followed recipe exactly, except I baked mine in a convection oven. My scallops turned out to be slightly overdone (I guess I should have reduced the oven temp & cooking time to account for the fact that I was using a convection oven). Flavour was okay, but I think it could use more herbs. Also, mine turned out soggy from the butter. Sorry, will not be making again.
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Portobello Penne Pasta Casserole

Reviewed: Jun. 15, 2010
I followed the recipe exactly, except I used white mushrooms instead of portobello, which I didn't have, and doubled the garlic. I thought this was quite good. The soy sauce gives it a nice touch. Nice, thick consistency. The only problem was I thought it lacked a deep, rich flavour. Maybe I shouldn't have substituted the mushrooms? I will make again, but will tweak the flavours a bit. Note: for those of you who like to eat pasta cold, this dish does NOT taste very good cold. Much better heated.
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Cheddar Chicken

Reviewed: Jun. 8, 2010
Oh my goodness! So simple and easy, yet so tasty! Didn't change a thing. Will definitely be making again and again and again!
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5 users found this review helpful

Risotto with Tomato, Corn and Basil

Reviewed: Jun. 6, 2010
I made the following changes: 1) used chicken stock in place of the water, 2) used white grape juice in place of the white wine (didn't have any), 3) used 1 cup fresh corn kernels (which was plenty), 4) omitted the Parm (to cut down on the calories), 5) added about 1 cup sliced mushrooms (for a richer flavour), and 6) used used 1 tbsp pesto in place of the fresh basil (didn't have any). Like another reviewer said, this was pretty good, but I've had better risotto. I may make again, with my changes plus a bit more tweaking, including reducing the liquid by 1/2 to 1 cup, as mine turned out rather 'saucy'. Also, I think using chicken stock was a good idea, but I will not add extra salt at the end next time. My biggest issue was the consistency: as mentioned, there was too much sauce, which was very thick, and the rice itself was a little mushy (maybe I overcooked?). However, flavour was good and overall, a good basic recipe.
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Maple Salmon

Reviewed: Jun. 3, 2010
Easy and delicious! I will make again, but will cut down on the syrup, as it was a little too sweet for our taste.
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Eggplant Parmesan II

Reviewed: Jun. 3, 2010
I made this dish for my friend and I, and I thought it tasted great. Even my friend, who doesn't care much for eggplant, thought it was pretty good. My only criticism is the sauce made the bread crumbs a little soggy, but the flavour was good.
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Baked Ziti II

Reviewed: Jun. 3, 2010
Okay, I have to admit I cheated. To save time, I combined all the ingredients in a skillet over medium heat instead of baking. But it turned out amazing! And I'm sure that baking would be just as good (just more time-consuming). I usually chop and saute half a medium-sized onion, and add it to the mixture, as well as a bit of pesto and a few sprinkles of garlic and roasted red peppers, for extra zing. Thanks, Buchko!
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Seven Layer Taco Dip

Reviewed: Jun. 3, 2010
Oh my goodness, this is heavenly! I added a layer of guacamole, and omitted the olives (not a fan) and bell pepper. You can definitely play around with the different layers and ingredients to adjust to your own taste.
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Toasted Garlic Bread

Reviewed: Jun. 3, 2010
This was absolutely wonderful! I followed the recipe as written, except I topped mine with halved bocconcini balls instead of the shredded mozzarella. A must try!
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Fluffy Pancakes

Reviewed: Jun. 3, 2010
Wow, simply delicious! I used buttermilk (in place of the vinegar and milk) and let my batter sit at room temperature for about half an hour before cooking (helps to make the pancakes fluffy).
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Baked Potato Dip

Reviewed: Jun. 3, 2010
I, like some reviewers, used real bacon in place of the bacon bits. I used about 12 strips of bacon and chopped them up. I also added about 1.5 tablespoons of mayonnaise, and used fat free sour cream. My mom, who is a very picky eater, loved it!
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Artichoke & Spinach Dip Restaurant Style

Reviewed: Jun. 3, 2010
Amazing!! So easy and delicious, AND at a fraction of the cost of what restaurants charge!
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Spinach and Orzo Salad

Reviewed: Jun. 3, 2010
This was the first time I had orzo, and I loved the texture of it. I also added some dried cranberries and sliced sun-dried tomatoes, used ground black pepper (instead of white) and omitted the spinach (I didn't have any). Quite good, but I found the balsamic vinegar to be a little overpowering. I will probably make again with a tad less balsamic vinegar.
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Butternut Squash Soup II

Reviewed: Jun. 3, 2010
Perfect as written! I have also made this without celery, since I don't always have it on hand, and the soup still turns out fantastic. I have tried making various kinds of soup for my family, and this is their favourite!
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Creamy Carrot Soup

Reviewed: Jun. 3, 2010
What a wonderful recipe! My family loves this soup and there are never leftovers when I make this. I have made this numerous times now. The first time, I made it as written except I used light cream in place of the heavy whipping cream, and already, it was very flavourful. After reading some reviews, I tried using sweet potato in place of regular potato, which enhanced the flavour (not that it needed any flavour enhancing!). I also use 2% milk (instead of light cream) and use about a tablespoon of olive oil instead of the 1/4 cup butter the recipe calls for. I think the ground ginger gives a nice kick.
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Guacamole

Reviewed: Feb. 3, 2010
I've made this numerous times now, both as written and with some modifications. It always turns out perfectly! When I have time, I'd make the recipe as written along with some frozen corn and a dash of chili powder if I am in the mood for it. When I'm short on time, however, I make a more basic version, using just avocados, onions, corn and S&P. I always, always use purple onions.
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Holiday Chicken Salad

Reviewed: Feb. 2, 2010
Yum! Made a few changes: used KFC chicken, omitted green bell peppers, and used pine nuts in place of pecans. Quite possibly the best chicken salad I've had!
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6 users found this review helpful

 
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