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Cavatelli and Broccoli

Reviewed: Apr. 12, 2013
Here's wha6t I did, cobbling together from the other comments... Bring chicken stock (about 2 qts) and about 1/4 cup of salt to a boil to blanch your broccoli. Get it to a boil, then submerge the broccoli for 2 minutes AT MOST. Remove it and shock it in cold/ice water. I usually separately cook a package of frozen chopped broccoli (cooked just enough that its not a brick anymore) to add to the mix later. DON'T DISCARD the water. Set the broccoli aside. Put 1 lb (2 if you're adventurous) of frozen cavatelli in the broccoli water. Bring to a boil, then boil for about 5-7 minutes (don't cook it till its floppy. It'll continue to cook while you prep the rest of the meal) Set aside. Heat 1/4 cup of olive oil in a frying pan. Add to that 3 (hugely heaping) T of minced garlic. Also add 1/4 to 1/2 C of chopped red onion. Sautee over low heat for maybe two minutes, then add the broccoli (and the previously frozen stuff) and sautee for another 4 minutes. Add 1 cup of the broccoli water (do this earlier if the broccoli or garlic is burning) and sautee. Sautee for 4 or 5 minutes. Add the pepper flakes. Or don't. It's already good by itself. Right before serving, add the parmesian cheese and toss. Enjoy
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Hearty Vegetable Lasagna

Reviewed: Oct. 25, 2012
Absolutely terrific. Only made a couple changes, mostly to the vegetables used. 1) I used olive oil instead of vegetable oil. 2) I skipped the mushrooms, substituted red pepper instead of green, and added a package of thawed chopped spinach, 3/4 C of chopped zucchini, and a couple handfuls of chopped baby carrots. 3) I was making this for later in the week so I only cooked it for half the time suggested, then popped it back in the oven for 25 minutes when we were ready to try it.
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Pressure Cooker Beef Stew

Reviewed: Oct. 25, 2012
Very simple recipe for a quick beef stew that leaves open a lot of room for customization. I followed the recipe almost exactly, but for the following changes: - Replaced water with a can of beef stock - substituted equivalent amount of baby carrots to replace "grown up" carrots. - Added about 4 stalks of celerey (2" pieces) with the carrots - Added some fresh ground pepper (a couple turns of the grinder, maybe 1/4 tsp), and a couple shakes of crushed bay leaves (about two whole leaves) - Didn't cook the potatoes seperately (why dirty another dish??) Cooked with lid on for 10 minutes. Cooled the pot and released the pressure, then added 4 peeled potatoes, halved, along with a 10 oz package of frozen peas, stirred and coated everything. - Replaced lid, cooked for another 10 minutes. Cooled pot and released pressure. - Served over egg noodles. So in essense, added more vegetables, a tiny bit of spice, and cooked the potatoes right in the pot. Simple!
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7 users found this review helpful

The Best Vegetarian Chili in the World

Reviewed: Jan. 31, 2011
This really was an amazing vegetable chili. I omitted the burger crumbles, the chiles, and the jalapenos and added additional vegetables (1 cup chopped baby carrots, 1 chopped red bell pepper, a 16 oz bag of frozen broccoli and cauliflower, a chopped head of broccoli, and an additional can of kidney beans), then let everything simmer for nearly two hours. Like others, I drained and rinsed all the beans before adding them. The flavor was terrific, and there was still enough spice and heat from the cumin and the chili powder. Made for a ton of leftovers as well. Great recipe.
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Jimmy's Mexican Pizza

Reviewed: Apr. 25, 2010
This was amazing. If nothing else, the spice mixture makes for a perfect taco seasoning. I used ground turkey for mine, but the seasoning tasted exactly like the store-bought packets of seasoning, without any of the extra stuff they put in the packets (maltodextrin, sugar, etc). I made the recipe as stated with the exception of the jalapenos because my 5 year old isn't a fan. In their place I added some sliced black olives. You can seemingly add anything to this and it'll be great. Super recipe. It's definitely a keeper.
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Turkey Bake with Whole Wheat Pasta

Reviewed: Apr. 19, 2010
Not bad, but not exciting either. I normally believe that when people change a recipe and then rate it, it provides an inaccurate report. However, the changes I made did not help, nor would they hurt my rating. I made it as prepared, with the exception of adding about 2 tablespoons of sauce to the cheese mixture, since it was way too dry to mix, and added some chopped broccoli to the cheese mix for color, texture, and flavor. I also added a dash of Italian seasoning to the turkey as it cooked. I halved the pasta and turkey, yet used a full 25 oz jar of sauce and it was still rather dry. Overall, this is a bland dish. I'd certainly be more generous with the spices to try and give it some character. There are some very good baked ziti dishes on here to which one could add some cooked ground turkey and have a much more flavorful and satisfying version of this meal.
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Laura's Quick Slow Cooker Turkey Chili

Reviewed: Dec. 27, 2009
Very good basic chili. Like many others, I only used one can of tomato soup, and I added 2 cans of diced tomatoes with the juice. My beans were 1 can black beans, 2 cans red kidney beans, drained. I also added half a bag of frozen corn, which added nice color and texture. Spice-wise I only did 1 tablespoon of chili powder since my 5 year old doesn't like spice. I also forgot to add the onion in the crockpot, but I chopped it up and added it to the top of my individual bowl, along with shredded cheddar cheese and some crumbled Fritos corn chips. I'll definitely make it again, although I'll be hunting for something to add to give it a little more flavor.
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Grandma's Corn Chowder

Reviewed: Dec. 21, 2009
5 star dish, no question. The only change I made was to substitute equal amounts of canned chicken stock in place of the water. The only change I will make next time is to not add the crumbled bacon before the liquid and subsequent simmer, as it makes the bacon sort of soggy, and doesn't add much (since the veggies are sauteed in bacon grease to start with). In turn, I will crumble the bacon and add it atop each bowl at serving. A wonderful dish, which I served with canned flaky biscuits, perfect for dunking and sopping up.
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Garlic Crab Legs

Reviewed: Dec. 21, 2009
NOTE: I didn't do the corn with this. Just did the crab in the measurements as listed, but that shouldn't alter the recipe enough to taint the rating. It tasted like buttery crab with a hint of garlic. Which, on the surface, is exactly what the recipe calls for. So I'll average it out on 3 starts. However, it's nothing to write home about. With the work and prep, it'd just be easier to make a drawn garlic butter out of the ingredients, steam the crab as per normal, and just use the crab meat as a Buttery Delivery System. Less buttery shells, less of a mess of your larger pots, and just easier all around.
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Feta Chicken Salad

Reviewed: Nov. 30, 2009
This is an unbelievable twist on chicken salad. I'm going to 5-star this recipe because its worth it as is, however I made the following changes out of necessity: * 2 cups of chicken (I didn't have 3) and it was the perfect consistency for chicken salad as I'm used to. * Next time I will cut back on the sour cream and add more mayo. It was a little watery and a tiny too different for me. I'll try 6 T mayo/4 T sour cream. * I didn't have any bell pepper, so I used 3/4 if a kirby cucumber (seeded and diced). I figured it was close enough to a Tzatziki sauce to make it work, and I was right. If I'm going to make chicken salad and I have the ingredients, I'll find the extra 15 minutes it takes to make this. SUPERB.
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Barbecued Beef Brisket

Reviewed: Oct. 3, 2009
I need to 5 star this one, as it's my go-to recipe for crockpot/slow cooker brisket. I follow the recipe to the letter, except that I cook it on low for 8-9 hours and it's perfect every time. The sauce is unbelievable. The leftovers make for wonderful sandwiches with some sauce and some jalapenos. Everyone I've cooked it for has loved it, and I'm going to double this recipe next weekend to bring camping and fool everyone that I'm an amazing cook.
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