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Banana, Chocolate, and Almond Breakfast Oatmeal

Reviewed: Jun. 7, 2014
I gave this 3 stars because I think a recipe should be rated AS IT IS, and as it is it's too sweet and rich for most people. I tweaked it a bit and thought it was great, and if you want to make it healthier, you can make these changes: reduce the sugar to 1 T as it is really way too sweet otherwise, and sub the sugar for artificial stevia-based sweetener; reduce cocoa to 1 teaspoon and add a scoop of chocolate whey protein. That will give you the right macronutrient balance between carbs and protein, in case you are like me and oatmeal without more protein will leave you with low blood-sugar or hungry within an hour or two. Use skim milk or almond milk ---- it works just as well. In sum, here is what worked for me: old-fashioned rolled oats: 1/2 cup with 1 cup skim milk, mixed with 1 teaspoon cocoa, the almond extract, and 1 T Truvia (Krisda is the same thing if that's what you have in your area). Mixed together and microwaved on medium for five minutes. Stirred in 1 scoop of chocolate protein powder and the banana afterwards, along with the almonds. If the oats seem watery add a bit more whey protein. Ate with 1/4 cup almond milk and it was soooo good.
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Grilled Rosemary Pork Chops

Reviewed: Aug. 12, 2013
Turns out great as long as you add about 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger. One fat garlic clove, pressed, also enhanced it. With those changes it's super good, and the soy sauce is not at all overpowering; for those who found this too salty, I used low-sodium soy sauce and that worked just fine. I did not add any extra salt, but it was not too salty either. Just right. Marinated three hours.
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Pretty Chicken Marinade

Reviewed: Aug. 7, 2013
I don't get it. The pepper way overpowers everything if you follow it as written. It was so, so bitter from the pepper and I did everything exactly as written. Cutting the pepper in half and adding one T of honey made a huge difference, and with those changes it is a good marinade. Pretty and tasty. You can marinate chicken overnight. It is fish that should not be marinated long, no more than two hours.
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Quiche Lorraine II

Reviewed: Oct. 17, 2012
To everyone who thought it was missing something---it is. Nutmeg. A French reviewer noted on this site that you're supposed to add "muscade" but she didn't know what that was called in English. It's nutmeg. About 1/4 tsp adds a lot. A combo of leeks and onions is better than just onions. Also add about 1/2 tsp white pepper, and don't add the salt if you're using smoked bacon, which is usually salty enough. Use half & half for a better texture, and feel free to use Gruyere cheese, or to mix Swiss and Gruyere. You may need to cook longer than stated, up to about an hour to firm up the filling. The colder the quiche going into the oven, the longer the bake time, so I leave everything out to room temperature and it bakes in about 45 mns. The low temperature is a must because the eggs are meant to cook slow and low.
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14 users found this review helpful

Crustless Cranberry Pie

Reviewed: Oct. 17, 2012
Outstanding exactly as written. You can reduce the berries to 1.5 cups if you're really not fond of tartness or if your berries aren't quite ripe. Leave everything else the same. I have always used frozen cranberries (not defrosted) and had no problems, but yes, the batter is very thick. It isn't a pie, but a sort of torte made in a pie dish. Don't do the cinnamon or strudel topping thing, it doesn't go with the almond flavor at all, and the almond flavor is the whole point of this dessert, which has the wonderful consistency of a (non-chocolate) brownie. If you like the flavor of marzipan then you will love this dessert. And honestly, can people stop giving negative reviews to recipes they did not even make? If you made this with blueberries and lemon extract and Egg Beaters, then you can't say the recipe is bad! You did not make the recipe!!!
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81 users found this review helpful

Sauteed Swiss Chard with Parmesan Cheese

Reviewed: Oct. 10, 2012
I make this at least once a week. It's a great way to eat chard. If you want to adjust it for kids, just substitute broth for the wine. It's still really good. Also: if you stir the parmesan in after you're done cooking and have transferred the chard to a serving bowl, the parmesan won't stick to the bottom of the pot---which it otherwise wants to do.
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1 user found this review helpful

Smoky Grilled Pork Chops

Reviewed: Oct. 3, 2012
This is a terrific recipe, but I deducted a star because I and my guests all felt it was a bit too salty---and I am a major salt lover. The second time I made it I cut the salt in half, and it was great. There is no need to do the liquids and the spices separately. Just follow the instructions and it turns out absolutely perfect and rubs easily into the meat without being too pasty or sticky. A really delicious way to make pork chops.
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1 user found this review helpful

Quinoa and Black Bean Chili

Reviewed: Sep. 30, 2012
I rate this four stars because while it's good as is, there's something missing. I played with it and feel these changes improve the outcome. When you're putting in the tomatoes etc. add the following: 1 tbsp cocoa (I know it sounds weird but it's really good in chili and you won't think it's chocolatey---it just adds some depth and body to the flavor); 1 1/2 tsps liquid smoke (this made a very big difference, highly recommend using); 1 tsp white sugar; 1 tsp brown sugar; 1/4 tsp cayenne; 2 tsps coriander. I also use just under 1 tsp salt and about 1/4 tsp black pepper. A great, healthy meal that goes a long way and costs little.
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8 users found this review helpful

Award Winning Peaches and Cream Pie

Reviewed: Sep. 15, 2012
Terrific dessert, easy to make, and unusual. A lot of reviewers have had trouble because it's hard to find a 10" deep-dish pie dish, and the pie really doesn't work well in a regular pie dish. I found the recipe works perfectly in one of those pie dishes that is 10" at the top but only 9" at the bottom. So the bottom is just 9" just like regular pie dishes, but it's deep, and the top is 10". I was so worried it wouldn't turn out, but it was truly perfect. I've made it three times now, and it is even better with canned apricots. The only thing is that this pie is a bit sweet for some people, so now I reduce the sugar to 1/3 cup. The pudding mix is plenty sweet enough. If you're not a fan of very sweet desserts, you can even reduce to 1/4 cup and it will still be good. But do NOT skip the cinnamon/sugar topping. It is a very important part of the pie.
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1 user found this review helpful

Triple Berry Crisp

Reviewed: Aug. 27, 2012
This is an excellent recipe. I've even forgotten to add the cinnamon and nutmeg and it was still great. I've made it with blueberries only, with three berries, and with peaches and blueberries. All were excellent. I've tossed the fruit with Splenda instead of sugar and couldn't tell any difference. I've also used whole wheat flour instead of regular---also just as good. Do grease the baking dish with Pam or the bottom crumble will stick! And don't press the bottom crumble in too hard, for the same reason. Also definitely toss the fruit with 1 TBSP of instant tapioca or cornstarch to thicken the filling a bit, otherwise it can be runny or loose. You can also use almost double the fruit for a 9x13 dish; if you use the amount stated in the recipe, you end up with too much topping in relation to fruit. I suggest using cold butter cut into small cubes, not melted butter, to make the topping. Use a pastry cutter and if your hand gets tired of that, alternate with quickly pinching the mixture with your fingers. You get a much better consistency to the topping with cold butter. Also, I know some people reduce the butter, but I've made it both ways and the full amount of butter is really part of what makes this recipe so exceptional. This crumble is better the next day, so I always make ahead if I'm serving it to guests. Enjoy. :-)
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24 users found this review helpful

Shrimp Lemon Pepper Linguini

Reviewed: Feb. 11, 2009
Honestly, I found the proportions in this recipe inexplicable. First, the ratio of broth to wine and lemon juice seems so off. It tasted awful when I followed those directions: way too much wine and juice, so it tasted very sharp and acidic. I ended up having to add a tbsp of sugar to counteract the acidity. The perfect ratio is 2 cups broth to 1/2 cup wine to 2 tbsps lemon juice. That is more classic and turns out far better. Let that boil down until only half remains. Second, the pepper is great, but the amount is absurd. It is supposed to taste peppery, not set your mouth on fire. I found 1/2 tsp pepper enough to provide a great bite and rich flavor. You can stir in a little cream at the end to make the sauce 'saucier'; it is very runny as written. With the changes, it's good, and it's easy to make.
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16 users found this review helpful

Garden Fresh Tomato Soup

Reviewed: Dec. 23, 2008
This is really wonderful. The cloves make the recipe. Without the cloves, it's just a good tomato soup, nothing out of the ordinary. With the cloves, it's a unique treat. I used two 28 oz cans of whole tomatoes, and just put a submersible hand-blender right into the pot. It worked great. I made this twice, and the 2nd time, I did not even make the 'roux'. The consistency is lovely without it, just thick enough. And it's healthier without the butter, so now I can make this often and feel great about it. You can throw in a half-cup of cream of half-and-half, but I did not find this to make a big difference. One word of advice: do 'not' add basil to this soup. While most tomato soup is better with basil, it doesn't work here because of the cloves. Cloves and basil just do not go together. Trust me... I tried. :-)
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4 users found this review helpful

Swedish Sticky Chocolate Cake (Kladdkaka)

Reviewed: Jul. 9, 2008
Absolutely terrific. I am Swedish and have been looking for a way to make Kladdkaka on my own. This is it. I only had a 9" glass pie plate (rather than 8" as the recipe calls for) and it worked perfectly. You get a crisp/gooey crust and a sticky, moist inside. Note that the top will sort of collapse and crack as the cake cools. This is normal and authentic! Also, you must let it cool completely or it will just seem runny. Most importantly, for those of you who felt the cake was too liquid: it is all about how you mix the batter. Beat the egg/sugar mixture for a good 5 mns with an electric beater. But stir just a little with a spoon when you mix in the flour mixture and the butter. A total of 30 strokes should do it and it should be by hand. This way, you'll get just the right consistency. Awesome with a bit of freshly whipped cream and a cup of coffee.
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97 users found this review helpful

Very Best Blueberry Cobbler!

Reviewed: Apr. 22, 2008
Very tasty, but I ran into a few problems. For one thing, you must halve the sugar unless you want it reeeaaaally sweet. Also, I used frozen berries and I think that may have caused problems: the whole thing was too 'juicy' even though I added some cornstarch to the berry mixture; and the batter, while really tasty, never set properly in the middle, but got almost too brown on top. I had to bake it longer to get the batter to set at all, which is probably what made the top too brown. The batter just wouldn't cook evenly. Next time, I would use fresh berries for sure, or thaw the berries first and let excess juice run off. I think the proportion of batter to berries is just right, though -- most cobbler recipes I see do not have enough batter to really cover the fruit properly. This is very good. But if anyone else has suggestions about making it less runny and making the matter set properly, please let me know!
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3 users found this review helpful

Blueberry Crisp II

Reviewed: Mar. 28, 2008
I actually think you can definitely taste the mayo in this, which I did not like at all. Also, the crisp part never turned crisp enough in the oven. It sort of stayed mushy. Not a fan. There are much better blueberry crisps out there, with just a little bit of extra work to make a proper topping.
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Coconut Curry Fish

Reviewed: Mar. 20, 2008
I agree with some other reviewers --- this is a decent recipe, but it really does turn out lacking in flavor. It's spicy, but does not have any really distinct flavor to me other than somewhat curry-ish. Oddly, I really couldn't taste the coconut milk at all. Something is missing, but I am not sure what. Adding more salt does not do it. That said, it was pretty good, if you use a good quality fish, and the spice is tasty enough. Just not something I would take the time to make again, since I think there are better fish recipes. I made this exactly as directed, by the way.
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Best Ever Blueberry Cobbler

Reviewed: Mar. 20, 2008
Great recipe. I used frozen blueberries, right out of the freezer. As suggested by another reviewer, I tossed one and a half tbsps corn starch into the berries to help thicken, and also added 1/2 tsp of ground cinnamon, and a few dashes of nutmeg. I baked about 10 mns longer than directed. It was absolutely delicious. Even better the next day. BUT, I definitely suggest making double the batter. I made the amount stated in the recipe and thought the recipe could definitely use more to make it like a standard cobbler.
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Lemon Rosemary Salmon

Reviewed: Mar. 20, 2008
Fantastic. I expected it to be a bit bland, given how few ingredients/spices are used, but wow, it was far from it. I prepared and baked exactly as directed, and it was delicious. Incredibly quick and easy to make. A real winner.
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1 user found this review helpful

Chocolate Cherry Cake III

Reviewed: Feb. 27, 2008
Absolutely fantastic. Most importantly, it does not taste like a packaged cake. It's absolutely delicious --- moist, flavorful, festive but still simple. I baked it in a 10" Bundt pan for about 40 mns and it came out perfect. The almond extract makes a big difference, so do not skip or substitute it. I suggest following the recipe exactly as is. The frosting is fudgy and fabulous. The cherry flavor is subtle, but still definitely there. The whole thing is much better the next day, however. You might not be that excited about it if you eat it when it's just out of the oven. Make the cake, pour the frosting on it per directions, and serve it the next day. It's a major hit!
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31 users found this review helpful

World's Best Lasagna

Reviewed: Feb. 18, 2008
There is a mistake in this recipe and that is why I deducted stars: do NOT use the 1 Tablespoon of salt. It just cannot be right, and if you read all the reviews you will see that almost everyone adjusted the salt and if they made it as stated, it was way too salty. This recipe was inedible because of the tablespoon of salt. Very sad the first time I made it for friends. Next time, I reduced to 1 teaspoon---way better, and the flavor of this lasagne really is great. Now I use only 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1 + 1/2 T sugar, and I think that way it is perfect. I agree with other reviewers that the tomato paste flavor is a bit too overwhelming; I find it's better with just one can of paste. If you use regular noodles that you presoak (instead of boil) for 30 mns in very hot water, you get the perfect texture to the final dish. It holds together beautifully and the flavors are fantastic. I make the meatsauce the night before, let it sit overnight in the fridge, then just assemble the whole thing before putting it in the oven the next evening. Very important: spray the foil with Pam or it WILL stick to the top-layer cheese and ruin the presentation! This is the recipe I turn to most often when I am having dinner company of six people or more. Yes, you may have meatsauce left over. I have it on its own for lunch. :-)
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5 users found this review helpful

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