Gwen on the West Coast Recipe Reviews (Pg. 7) - Allrecipes.com (11786415)

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Roasted Sweet Potatoes & Onions

Reviewed: Sep. 30, 2009
This was an awesome recipe! I loved the flavor created by cooking the onions with sweet potatoes in Amaretto. I pretty much stuck to the recipe with the one exception of tossing the slivered almonds into the dish twenty minutes before it was done cooking. The flavors in this dish are awesome! I am definitely making it again. Sooo goood...
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7 users found this review helpful

Port And Mushroom Sauce Chicken

Reviewed: Sep. 29, 2009
I feel like this was just okay. I added a little bit of sauce and included thyme instead of tarragon. I really like the taste of the sauteed mushrooms - I think that was a good tip, but I was expecting a sauce with a bit more flavor. The sauce just was not very flavorful but the chicken was quite tender. So I don't think I'll make it again but it was okay.
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2 users found this review helpful

Spinach and Leek White Bean Soup

Reviewed: Sep. 29, 2009
Well, I made the recipe as listed but for the fact that I waited until the end to pour the soup over the spinach in the bowl. The flavor is quite mild. I would say this recipe is just okay - clearly healthy and full of nutrition but too mild a flavor for my preference.
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3 users found this review helpful

Chicken Jalfrezi

Reviewed: Sep. 29, 2009
This was a good dish. As recommended by another reviewer, I added one red and one green bell pepper, which added a nice flavor. I also skipped the ghee (I don't have the wherewithal to clarify butter at the end of the day). I did not closely adhere to the recommended spice doses but I did add them at the times recommended in the recipe. I think the flavor was nice but it wasn't out of this world.
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3 users found this review helpful

Simple Baked Apples

Reviewed: Sep. 28, 2009
I liked the flavor of the apples but for me there was something incomplete about this recipe. I liked the spice flavor of the apples, and they did bake properly. Maybe the clove was a touch too strong. I think I just felt like there was something missing. I served with a scoop of ice cream, which worked nicely. I just feel like maybe they look like a bit of a mess. I think I could use this as a good filling for an apple pie.
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2 users found this review helpful

Coconut Oatmeal Cookies I

Reviewed: Sep. 28, 2009
Delicious cookies!! I made 3/4 the full recipe which yielded 35 full sized cookies. I read other reviews before baking these cookies and made some modifications that definitely improved on the original recipe: (a) I added about 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon; (b) I added just a dash of cream of tartar; (c) I added about a half a cup of chocolate chips; (d) I added just a dash of salt. I recommend that you keep an eye on the cooking of these cookies because I think if you allow them to cook too much that they will get too hard. I pulled them out when they looked slightly underdone and were just starting to turn golden - that was the right amount of time for them to cook because they firmed up to being chewy after cooling. So great - thanks for the recipe!
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3 users found this review helpful

Farmer's Market Vegetarian Quesadillas

Reviewed: Sep. 28, 2009
I loved these! What I really loved about these quesadillas is that they were very healthy. I mean, it is all chopped fresh veggies. I also added some fresh spinach, fresh basil, and then dusted it with garlic powder as the veggies were sauteeing - as another reviewer recommended and that really worked well. They have that warm, melty, texture of a quesadilla without the oil you might get if you went to a restaurant. I think the mixture of these vegetables is really great - creates a delicious flavor).
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6 users found this review helpful

Catherine's Spicy Chicken Soup

Reviewed: Sep. 28, 2009
This was great. As other reviewers have said, the good thing about this recipe is its basic flexibility. You can modify things and still keep the flavors you want. I cut the recipe in half and instead of shredding the chicken, I cut two breasts into bite sized pieces. I used fresh parsley instead of dry (I always prefer fresh herbs) and didn't add the salt (I took a queue from 'Uncle Ed's Nephew" about chili powder creating the sense of salt in a dish and held off until the soup was seasoned - in the end it didn't need the salt). I also didn't add the salsa - instead I used diced tomatoes with chilis in them. The flavors were really nice and hearty.
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2 users found this review helpful

Coq au Vin alla Italiana

Reviewed: Sep. 27, 2009
Great recipe. Has a nice flavor of coq au vin but with a twist. I used fresh tomatoes instead of canned tomatoes and put in a little extra by the way of mushrooms, since I like them in sauces. It came out great. Thanks for the recipe!
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2 users found this review helpful

Sour Cream and Chive Mashed Potatoes

Reviewed: Sep. 25, 2009
These potatoes are good. They came out creamy and smooth, which was great. The flavor was nice, but didn't blow me away.
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2 users found this review helpful

Pork Tenderloin alla Napoli

Reviewed: Sep. 25, 2009
I liked the flavor of the sauce in this recipe. I will say that my pork tenderloin came out undercooked after 1/2 an hour in the oven. I recommend cooking it for 45 minutes to avoid getting pink pork.
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14 users found this review helpful

Pecan Sandies

Reviewed: Sep. 24, 2009
I've been working on this recipe - I think that if you implement it as written, it's a four stars recipe but you can modify it to make it a five star recipe. Here are the things that I did to make the most of these pecan sandies: (1) For the sugar, I kept the confectioner's sugar the same but for the cup of white, instead I used 1/2 cup white and 1/2 cup brown sugar; (2) Instead of using 1 cup oil and 1 cup margarine, I used 1 cup unsweetened applesauce and 1 cup butter; (3) I doubled the vanilla extract; (4) I added one dash of cinnamon (who knows if this actually added anything to the flavor); (5) I did freeze the dough for a half an hour before trying to roll it because it is gooey; (6) I did use parchment paper on the ungreased cookie sheet as other reviewers have recommended; (7) Once rolled into balls, the way I flattened the cookies was by pushing a half a pecan into the center (they don't spread much in the cooking); (8) Instead of rolling the dough balls in extra sugar, I cooked them without and then once cooked and cooled for a bit, I took a queue from another reviewer and brushed a maple glaze on the cookie. The maple glaze recipe I used was to mix together the following ingredients: (a) 1 and 1/4 cups confectioner's sugar; (b) 1 tsp. vanilla extract; (c) 1/2 cup pure maple syrup. Once I made these changes, these cookies blew my mind. So delicious and different from a typical cookie. Thanks so much for the recipe and for all the comments from reviewers.
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296 users found this review helpful

Bow Ties with Sausage, Tomatoes and Cream

Reviewed: Sep. 24, 2009
Wow, I was so amazed by how well this came out. It was just delicious. It was so easy to cook that I wasn't expecting so much gorgeous flavor but it really tasted great. I only made a couple of changes: 1) I used sliced Trader Joe's sweet chicken sausage and it worked just fine; 2) I threw in a couple of fistfuls of fresh spinach and a yellow bell pepper to add color and health to the recipe. The other big thing that happened which really helped was, right as I was done cooking the sauce, my boyfriend called and said he would be home late from work. Thus, I let the sauce sit for a half hour before he got home. During that time, the sauce thickened and reduced a bit. I think this actually really helped with the consistency issue that other reviewers have mentioned. Plus, it is really important to mix the cooked pasta in with the sauce. The pasta will also absorb sauce. When my boyfriend got home, I just turned on the burner for a couple of minutes to heat it up and it was just delicious. My boyfriend usually doesn't provide much by the way of feedback but in this instance, he went out of his way to say how much he loved it. So great - thank you for the recipe!
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2 users found this review helpful

Big Soft Ginger Cookies

Reviewed: Sep. 23, 2009
I made these cookies this morning. Wow, they are super-tasty. I read a lot of the reviews before I cooked them and I did make a few modifications that likely added to the flavor of the cookies: 1) I substituted orange juice for water; 2) I did half a cup of white sugar and half a cup of brown sugar; 3) I put the cookie dough in the freezer for half an hour to make rolling the dough easier; 4) instead of rolling the cookies in sugar, I just lightly drizzled sugar over the top of the cookies after I had flattened them. I strongly recommend refrigerating the cookie dough before rolling it into balls. Towards the end of rolling them, the dough was softening and it was getting very very gooey. This makes for a tasty cookie but unless it's chilled, it will be hard to roll. I read a couple of reviews that complained about one flavor overwhelming the rest of the flavors (i.e. too strong a flavor of molasses, clove, ginger, etc.). I really disagree with this sentiment - I thought the flavors came out beautifully. I did not think any of the individual flavors overwhelmed the whole. Next time, I may try adding a dash of nutmeg or a tsp. of vanilla to see if that changes the flavor. Other possibilities that come to my mind include substituting orange liqueur or brandy for water, though the fresh squeezed o.j. is a hard flavor to beat. Thanks for the delicious recipe!
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5 users found this review helpful

Baked Asparagus with Balsamic Butter Sauce

Reviewed: Sep. 23, 2009
This is a good recipe though I think I feel like roast asparagus itself is delicious and I was interested to see how the sauce would add to that. It definitely does, I like the balsamic and soy sauce combination (I use reduced sodium soy sauce) but it didn't blow my mind or anything. But it was very nice. I think the sauce could also be drizzled over most proteins successfully.
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2 users found this review helpful

Roasted Garlic Bread

Reviewed: Sep. 23, 2009
This is great! I love fresh out of the oven garlic bread and this is just scrumptious. I did broil it for longer than five minutes because I like just a tinge of brown to my garlic bread. So I broiled it for about eight minutes. So so delicious! Thanks for the recipe.
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2 users found this review helpful

Sugar Snap Peas

Reviewed: Sep. 23, 2009
This is a great nice easy way to make snap peas. Takes ten minutes to throw together and they come out tasting really sweet and yummy. I used dried thyme because I didn't have fresh and it worked just fine. Definitely a keeper.
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3 users found this review helpful

Sicilian Lemon Chicken with Raisin-Tomato Sauce

Reviewed: Sep. 23, 2009
This is a really tasty recipe. I really like it because it has a quite different flavor from a typical tomato sauce. The cayenne pepper adds a real kick of spiciness and the raisins add a nice sweetness. After reading reviews, I made a couple of modifications: (1) I reduced the raisins to 1/2 a cup which I think was right; (2) I decreased the amount of pasta by about 1/3; (3) I added a couple of fresh small heirloom tomatoes to the can of diced tomatoes and like other reviewers, I did not drain the diced tomatoes. Other than that, I followed the recipe to a T and it really did come out very tasty. I like how different the sauce is from most other pasta sauces I've made. I'll be using this one again, definitely.
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3 users found this review helpful

Pan-Fried Asparagus

Reviewed: Sep. 22, 2009
As written, this recipe has way too much butter. I recommend what another reviewer did: sautee the asparagus in just a bit of butter and then put it on the pan and just drizzle a bit of olive oil over it. Do not use 1/4 cup of butter. That is just excessive. If you reduce the butter way down to about a tablespoon, this will be great.
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4 users found this review helpful

Pecan Pumpkin Biscuits

Reviewed: Sep. 22, 2009
A winner! I made these this morning. I had a can of pumpkin in the cupboard and had to figure out what to do with it. Due to the fact that I didn't have any half and half handy, I just used a couple tablespoons of reduced fat milk and it still worked fine. I added a dash of pumpkin pie spice. I don't have biscuit cutters so I just rolled the biscuits into balls and then flattened them down on the baking sheet. It worked! I did refrigerate the mix for a half and hour before baking. I recommend this because otherwise I think getting the biscuits into manageable balls to flatten into biscuits would be hard because the mixture will turn to goo in your hands if you don't chill it. But the final product tastes like a scone from a professional bakery. Soft, yummy, and with just the right taste of pumpkin and pecans. Would probably be best if served right out of the oven but I'm going to put them in a tin to take to my colleagues at work tomorrow. I think they'll keep just fine.
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5 users found this review helpful

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