Marcy in MD Recipe Reviews (Pg. 1) - Allrecipes.com (11823157)

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Roasted Garlic Bread

Reviewed: Feb. 12, 2012
Loved it when I made it the first time following the recipe exactly. Here are the changes I've made since in the several times I've done it: (1) Made several times w/regular garlic but yesterday did it with 2 heads of elephant garlic. This makes it milder and happily, less messy: instead of roasting in the skins, I peeled and sliced the cloves, then baked, covered. at 350, for about 90 minutes, drizzled with about 1/4 c. of olive oil, which foamed up, until very soft. (2) Omitted the rest of the butter (cholesterol reasons). (3) added about 1 TBS of dried rosemary, more parmesan, and at the end, some cracked sea salt. (4) Toasted about 1/2 c. of pine nuts and blended the whole deal in the food processor. This greatly changes the nature of the final product, adding a nutty taste and some good protein. (5) before broiling, I topped the bread slices with some shaved asiago cheese. This is seriously delicious and I love the way the house smells during and after I bake the garlic! It's been a big hit with visitors as well as my 19-year-old daughter.
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Russian Mushroom and Potato Soup

Reviewed: Feb. 12, 2012
I looked long & hard for a non-blended soup because in several years, my 19-year-old daughter hasn't liked any I've made . I made changes to control for cholesterol and gluten and tweaked the spices. I used olive oil rather than butter (butter would be far better; next time I'll reduce olive oil to 3 tablespoons total). Instead of flour, I 1/4 c. gluten-free instant mashed potato flakes. This doesn't make the soup thick but adds body. I used 2/3 low sodium chicken broth & 1/3 regular, because that's what I had on hand; I found it needed a hair more salt, more black pepper, a couple dashes of white pepper (because I love it), & upped the dill weed to 3 tsp. I used yellow potatoes w/the skin on. Next time, I'll use a little less potato and a little more mushroom (my daughter's suggestion after she enjoyed a large bowl) and 3 leaks. Finally, I cut up about 1/4 of the mushrooms (I used portobello) and cooked them with the mirapoix so the broth would pick up more mushroom flavor. When I make it again, I'll saute the mushrooms longer and add them all to the broth sooner. I topped with a small dollop of nonfat Greek yogurt and a sprinkle of toasted pine nuts. The soup went together easily, relatively quickly, and is tasty and quite hardy. Thanks for sharing!
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Ceil's Cucumber Slices

Reviewed: Jun. 12, 2011
I've been making a variation on this recipe for years. I use apple cider vinegar instead of white vinegar; I also add a teaspoon of mustard seeds and a dozen whole allspice. I find that bell peppers don't absorb the solution, but zucchini cut in strips and whole mushroom caps are wonderful in the sauce. I like to let the veggies soak for a good 4 hours before I serve them, but add the mushrooms right at serving time or they'll make the solution cloudy. With cukes only, I actually prefer this the second day, but the other veggies aren't as good. This is always a huge hit at summer pot lucks & picnics, a great cool side dish with anything you barbeque.
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Slow Cooker Lasagna

Reviewed: Apr. 7, 2011
I took a lot of liberties with the given recipe. First and foremost, I made it gluten free--and it was GOOD! Based on intuition, taste, and previous reviews, here's what I did: I used 1 lb of ground pork instead of beef, sweet onion, about 2 tablespoons of minced garlic. I used about 1-1/2 jars of meat-flavored Ragu (would not have been my choice, but my daughter works in a grocery store and sometimes her choices prevail). I omitted the salt but added about 1 teaspoon of garlic powder, 2 tablespoons of dried basil, about 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary and a few shakes of powdered thyme and about half a cup of white sugar to the tomatoa sauce. I used ricotta instead of cottage cheese, 1 cup shredded parmesan mixed with the ricotta (plus more on top), and two slightly beaten eggs to lighten the ricotta. I used a whole 10-oz box Tinkyada lasagna noodles and a whole 26-oz jar of hot tap water poured overall. I sprayed my 6-qt slow cooker with olive oil spray, layered starting with the tomato sauce on the bottom, and added about 24 oz. shredded cheese on top about 4 hours in. It was perfectly done in about 5 hours. It's really good the next day (and the day after) reheated in the microwave. My daughter, who needs the gluten-free diet because of celiac disease, didn't like it (decided she doesn't like ricotta), but my GF neighbor raved and I love it. Gluten-free, short-cut, show-cooker? To me, it's just shy of miraculous.
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Absolute Mexican Cornbread

Reviewed: Jun. 23, 2010
I've been using this recipe for years. My recipe card, which I copied from my mom's massive collection, credits a friend of one of my aunts. I make this recipe to serve as a side. It's also good toasted. It's rich like cake and doesn't need any added butter at the table. I've also adapted it for gluten free for my celiac daughter by substituting an equal amount of gluten-free flour blend (usually a mix of rice flour, tapioca, potato starch, bean flour, and corn starch) and adding 1/2 tsp. of xanthan gum. I've never made it with the chiles. I've also made it gluten free, cut into cubes and let it dry out for a few hours (or toasting it in the oven for 10-15 min @350) and made it into fabulous turkey stuffing by adding chopped, sauteed onion, celery, dried cranberries or cherries, chicken broth, and sauteed turkey sausage. Our non-GF friends rave about it. I'm perplexed by the reviews that say this is overly greasy. Mine has never turned out that way, but it is super moist and never gritty (not even the GF version!).
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Marinated Mushrooms

Reviewed: May 25, 2010
I rated this a 4 as is, but I make a version that my family & friends give a 5 with giant portobello caps, which I marinate and then grill. My 17-year-old daughter asks for them about 3 times a week! I eliminate the salt, sub honey for sugar, use fresh oregano, omit the msg, use 1 tablespoon minced garlic, sub balsamic vinegar, reduce the pepper to 1/8 tsp and add about 1/4 c. soy sauce (hence the omitted salt, tho I add fresh-ground sea salt at the table), about 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh ginger, and a Tbs or so of chopped scallion if I have any on hand. I haven't marinated as long as 3 days; 24 hours seems plenty. I've also thrown in large pieces of bell pepper and chunks of zucchini, all of which have been a big hit among family & guests (including a lot of my daughter's teenaged friends).
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Apple Cole Slaw

Reviewed: Mar. 24, 2010
I first found this recipe about a year ago and have made it since several times. It's a huge favorite with a couple of small tweaks: (1) add a couple tablespoons of lightly salted sunflower seeds (the salt-sweet combo is heavenly), and (2) increase mayo to 1/2 c. and add 1/4 c. apple cider or balsamic vinegar. I've made it this way and brought it to several gatherings, and it's always one of the first dishes to disappear. I'll be making it even more now that I've acquired a good food processor. Aunt Mamie, you're my hero!
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Whipped Carrots and Parsnips

Reviewed: Mar. 22, 2010
I love both parsnips and carrots and imagined this would be a delicious way to combine them. I followed the directions exactly, but when I tasted it, it was bland mush. I started doctoring, using some of the suggestions in other reviews (I added a little brown sugar, kosher salt, a little pepper, a dash of allspice, and some ground ginger). That improved the flavor but not enough, so I tried adding a little honey and more ginger, and it was still not good.
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Zucchini Egg Bake

Reviewed: Mar. 4, 2010
Made this for cast & crew of my daughter's high school theater production. It won a resounding thumbs-up on "breakfast night" in part because it's meatless. I made 15 servings and baked it in a large roasting pan with the temp dropped a bit. I also couldn't get fresh marjoram OR basil at my pathetic local grocery store, so I used fresh rosemary with ground thyme and ground white pepper. I also increased the cheese a little and used a cheddar/monterray jack blend. I served with a dollop of sour cream. Will definitely make again and, depending on who's coming for brunch, may add some bulk italian sausage (lightly sauteed first) or crumbled bacon (as if my poor old arteries needed all that!). Fabulous!
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Homefried Potatoes with Garlic and Bacon

Reviewed: Mar. 4, 2010
The low rating could be my failed adjustments: I used 3 potatoes and 9 strips of bacon. The potatoes were a little dry. If it really needs that much bacon fat, I won't be making this one again. I might try a modified version mixing my own garlic pepper with a ratio that favors the garlic more and the pepper less, using olive oil with just one or two bacon strips crumbled on top. My daughter didn't care for the dry consistency.
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Slow Cooker Thai Peanut Pork

Reviewed: Mar. 4, 2010
I halved the red pepper flakes because of my daughter's dislike of hot food, but for my own preferences, I would use 3/4 tsp. instead. I happened to have boneless tenderloin, and the meat was very tender. I used a gluten-free teriyaki. I also squeezed the juice of one lime into the sauce when I added the peanut butter and the rest when I served. My daughter suggested cashews if I make it again. Next time, I'll add either a squirt of honey or a couple tablespoons of brown sugar, 1/2 tsp. ground or 1" grated fresh ginger root, and though it's pretty, I won't necessarily spring for the red peppers but go with green instead. The fresh scallions on top and the lime really give this dish a kind of subtle complexity that I don't usually find in slow-cooker recipes. A definite keeper!
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Sausage-Stuffed Eggplant

Reviewed: Feb. 18, 2010
Nice, very easy. My daughter doesn't care for eggplant, but she loved the filling. I added about a tablespoon of minced garlic and quite a bit more Italian seasoning (I used basil, oregano, thyme, and marjoram, totalling about 1 teaspoon) and still thought it could have used more. Also used gluten-free breadcrumbs. Next time, I'll put the filling over white rice for my daughter.
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White Chocolate Blondies

Reviewed: Feb. 18, 2010
Lovely! I was out of vanilla in the midst of the 2010 Snowmageddon, so I used hazelnut liquor instead and added 1/2 cup. choppped hazelnuts. Since I was on a roll, I made a drizzle of hazelnut liquor, a bit of lemon juice, and 10x sugar. Totally wowza!
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