Baricat Recipe Reviews (Pg. 13) - Allrecipes.com (131039)

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Easy Lemon Cookies

Reviewed: Aug. 20, 2008
VERY good! I added the finely grated zest of one lemon to bump up the lemon flavor, but I'm sure they'd stand just as is. I baked for 10 minutes, actually, because after the first batch at 8 minutes came out with doughy middles. The last batch got left in the oven by accident for 15 minutes, and they were quite brown. The middles were baked through all the way, and they were somewhat hard. But by the next day, all that had changed to a respectable chewiness, and you couldn't tell that they weren't intended to have been baked that way. Now that's what I like - a recipe with a lot of "wiggle room" that's forgiving, no matter what!
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3 users found this review helpful

Chocolate Fudge Buttercream Frosting

Reviewed: Jul. 30, 2008
Scrumptious when made with my own home made hot fudge sauce and when shortening is replaced with an equal measure of butter (so 3/4 cup butter in all.) The type of hot fudge sauce you use will drastically affect the final flavor, so be certain of the quality of your selection, or make your own. The frosting goes on smooth as glass. Very easy to work with, and pipes well, but be sure to go easy on the milk. I added only half of the amount called for, and the texture was perfect. I would not describe it as "fudge," however, which was surprising with the inclusion of hot fudge sauce. Be aware that it's actually a medium chocolate, rather than a deep fudge in either texture or color, which accounts for the 4 stars. The recipe makes a generous amount, sufficient to fill and frost a 2 layer cake thickly.
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17 users found this review helpful

Hot Cocoa Mix

Reviewed: Jul. 23, 2008
I scaled this back to make only 2 portions so that I could try it before investing in making such a large amount. Please note that in place of the confectioners sugar I used Splenda, as I'm diabetic. This, however, had no effect on the taste, which was overwhelmingly dominated by the unpleasant flavor of powdered milk. I'm not sure there's any way to get around this, since it's the main ingredient. As it stands, I'd much rather have the just-add-water packets made by Swiss Miss, which has a far superior flavor to this stuff.
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3 users found this review helpful

Hot Fudge Sauce

Reviewed: Jul. 22, 2008
Actually, I would rate this a 4-1/2 if possible. It just misses getting 5 stars from me because the flavor, while good, isn't blow-your-mind fabulous. Whereas I used good chocolate, the sweetened condensed milk contributes its own, unmistakable taste and over-the-top sweetness. We prefer something that doesn't have a tendency to induce diabetic coma! That's why I never buy commercially prepared hot fudge, which is so sweet as to be nauseating. I have a recipe that has a far superior flavor, which uses Dutch cocoa. That said, the texture of this is silken and creamy, the color is coal-dark and when it makes contact with something cold, it becomes properly thick and fudgy. Try serving refrigerated strawberries for dipping if you're looking for an elegant but very easy dessert. That's the other virtue of this recipe. By storing just a couple ingredients, you're always just minutes away from a taste treat. Even if like most people you don't use butter often, consider keeping a stick, cut in quarters (a quarter stick is what you need to make this,) in your freezer. In order to remedy the excessive sweetness, the next time I make this, I will use 1 or 2 oz unsweetened chocolate in place of an equal measure of semisweet, which should make it more palatable for us. Will report the results when I do.
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8 users found this review helpful

Golden Rum Cake

Reviewed: Jul. 6, 2008
What could I possibly add that hasn't already been said? Dynamite flavor, moist texture makes this irresistible! The rum can't be discerned in the cake, so it depends entirely on the glaze. If you like the alcohol to shine through, just dump in the rum at the very end. If you like a more subtle alcoholic flavor, simmer for 2 minutes more after adding the rum. Either way, EL YUMMO MUCHO!!!!! BTW, I like to make a chocolate variation as follows: use a chocolate cake mix and chocolate pudding mix in place of the yellow cake and vanilla pudding. For the glaze, melt 1 stick of butter in a small saucepan. Add 1 cup sugar, 1 cup whipping or heavy cream, 1/3 cup cocoa (strained to remove lumps,) 1 Tb rum. Bring to a light boil and keep it at that boil for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in 1 Tb instant coffee granules and 1 tsp vanilla. If you want more alcohol flavor, add 1-2 Tb of extra rum when the sauce is finished. I call this "Hot Buttered Rum Sauce" and it keeps well in the fridge for a couple of weeks (if it lasts that long.) Super over ice cream, too. Update 8/08: Baked in two 9" layer pans, then split to make 4 layers. The layers were done in about 32 minutes, and they were very easy to split accurately with virtually no "crumbing." I did put the layers in the freezer for an hour before splitting.
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27 users found this review helpful
Photo by Baricat

Frosted Cinnamon Zucchini Bars

Reviewed: Jun. 30, 2008
These bars were not nearly as moist as I expected, since they contain zucchini. Surprisingly dry and crumbly. My oven has been calibrated within the last few days, and I baked for the shortest time possible, so it can't be blamed on the baking. The flavor was merely OK. It could benefit by adding a tsp of cinnamon to the batter, not just the frosting. The frosting saved them, but for me to rate a bar cookie/cake as 4-5 stars, they'd better be pretty darned awesome all on their own; these aren't anywhere near that. Such a disappointment - I really wanted these to be as good as they sounded. Sorry, but this recipe's just not a keeper in my book.
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10 users found this review helpful

Greek Chicken

Reviewed: Jun. 28, 2008
Make this another FIVE STAR review! I had to make a few subs because we don't like olives, so subbed mushrooms, chopped and cooked before adding to the stuffing spread. I used mostly feta, but also some Asiago and about 2 oz of Port du Salut cheese that needed to be used up immediately. Also used lemon juice in place of the balsamic vinegar, as lemon is almost synonymous with Greek cuisine. Used dry white wine and a splash of chicken stock, as well. The flavors meld and marry in the oven and the result is an explosion of taste. I spooned the cooking juices over the chicken and served with Greek pilaf on the side. The only change I would make the next time is to drop the temperature to 325 degrees - not that the chicken meat was dry, but I believe that this small change will result in a more moist texture still. Thank you for an outstanding recipe that one can serve with pride. Get ready for all the praise when you make this one!
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23 users found this review helpful

Glazed Apple Cream Pie

Reviewed: Jun. 27, 2008
Another 5 stars for this incredible recipe! I was a little apprehensive about making it, since we're apple pie purists in this house. But I really wanted to try it after reading the reviews, and I'm so glad I did; everyone loved it. Refrigeration is the key to keeping the creamy layer separate from the apples. The presentation is just lovely when cut and the taste is a knock-out! My son especially loved the glazed crust and said I should do that with every pie I make from now on. I used 3 very large Granny Smith apples and it baked up impressively high, although I wanted more in the apple layer and will add another apple (for a total of 4) the next time I make it. This will be a holiday tradition from now on. Thank you!
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10 users found this review helpful

Lemon Drops

Reviewed: Jun. 27, 2008
On their own, these cookies were a failure. I iced them with the lemon cream cheese frosting on this website (see link on recipe page) which is incredible. It gave a much-needed flavor boost and made the cookies tolerably moist for the first day. The frosting was good enough to raise these to a 3 star rating. However, the texture of the cookies in this recipe is extremely dry and crumbly. After only 2 days, they were so dry as to be almost inedible. My advice is to save the lemon cream cheese frosting recipe and apply it on some better lemon cookies. I will not make this recipe again, as it was a disappointment.
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6 users found this review helpful

Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

Reviewed: Jun. 26, 2008
Lovely, luscious and perfectly lemony ambrosia. Applied this to the lemon drop cookie recipe on this website. The cookie was OK without the frosting, but was just devine with this frosting. It's nice and tangy with the fresh lemon. Much better than using lemon extract only. The cream cheese imparts a perfectly compatible tang. Could be used to dress up a plain vanilla cake or on an orange cake. Can be used as a glaze by thinning it out a bit with drops of milk. Versatile and delicious.
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27 users found this review helpful

Teriyaki Sauce and Marinade

Reviewed: Jun. 23, 2008
Hands down the very best teriyaki sauce I have ever had, and that's saying a lot, coming from this 20+ year veteran chef! The only change I made was to add 2 tsp cornstarch dissolved in a small amount of cold water, added to the final simmer. This gave the sauce a little body and helped it cling to the meat. Marinated a top round steak in it for about 4 hours. Teriyaki lovers, take note. Be sure to bookmark this recipe, as it's absolutely phenomenal! Many thanks for posting it.
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64 users found this review helpful
Photo by Baricat

Egg Fried Rice

Reviewed: Jun. 22, 2008
Very good. It can be made much better with a few substitutions. I used short grain Asian rice for a more authentic result. Cooked the rice in chicken stock (1 part rice to 2 parts stock) laced with the soy sauce. Great touch for even flavor penetration - much more effective than sprinkling on the soy sauce at the end and stirring in. Added a tsp of very finely chopped ginger which lent a lovely fragrance and taste. Stir fried everything using a touch of sesame oil. Minced scallions were subbed for the onion. Skipped the green beans and subbed baby peas. Some water chestnuts adds a nice crunch. All of these "subs" were pretty simple and gave a deeper, more authentic Asian flavor. This recipe is, however, an excellent basic spring board for countless variations.
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8 users found this review helpful

Marinated Greek Chicken Kabobs

Reviewed: Jun. 21, 2008
Oh, my freakin' WORD!!!!! What a fabulous flavor! This takes chicken over the edge of extraordinary taste. I would have never thought in a gazillion years of using yogurt as a marinade vehicle, but it's nothing short of genius. Maybe this hyperbole is owed, in part at least, to the wonderful fresh herbs I grow. One of the fringe benefits of living in Florida - they grow like weeds, so there's always plenty to be used. I only had straight feta, so laced it liberally with fresh minced basil from the garden and a spoon of tomato paste. It lent a lovely, light salmon-pink blush to the chicken. Added chopped fresh rosemary, oregano and parsley leaves which, together with the basil, punctuated the pinkish marinade profusely with flecks of bright green. I was going to add some crushed garlic, but knowing that garlic is such an assertive flavor that can tend to take over, I wanted to give this a shot first [almost, that is, since I didn't have the basil and sun dried tomato feta] as written. So I stuck to the ingredients in the recipe, and was richly rewarded. No garlic needed, and the verdict is I don't even want to add it in subsequent efforts. I found the lemon flavor to be the perfect foil for the yogurt, and it played off the oregano masterfully. We're not big pepper people, so I substituted mushrooms on the skewers. Thank you for an absolutely stupendous recipe. Edited: Subbed lime zest and juice for the lemon - spectacular!
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265 users found this review helpful

Asian Beef with Snow Peas

Reviewed: Jun. 19, 2008
Four stars as written, 5 when made with my substitutes. Instead of doubling all the sauce ingredients to increase the volume (which would add a huge amount of sodium,) I added a cup of beef stock (canned may be used) and increased the cornstarch to 2 tsp, which I dissolved in the stock before adding. The result was a very tasty, appetizingly brown sauce to spoon over the veggies and beef. Be sure to mince the garlic and ginger root very finely. Used lean top round steak which worked very well. Added a small can of sliced water chestnuts, drained. Also used 1 Tb rice vinegar and 2 Tb mirin (rice wine) at the same time as the other liquid ingredients. This resulted in plenty of very flavorful sauce to go over 1/2 cup rice cooked with 1 cup water. Every morsel was inhaled. Absolutely rockin'!!
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5 users found this review helpful

Honey Of An Oatmeal Bread

Reviewed: Jun. 16, 2008
4-1/2 stars for this. Lovely flavor and moist texture. I did not find it to be a "sweet" bread as some earlier reviews said. Perfect for sandwiches or toasting, and a good keeper. After 3 days it was better for toasting, just too crumbly for sandwiches, so use it as quickly as possible, or freeze slices for later use. Will keep well frozen for up to one month if wrapped securely (I put two slices in one sandwich sized ziploc bag.)
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5 users found this review helpful

Gramma Bertha's Banana Cake

Reviewed: Jun. 16, 2008
5 stars made with the following alterations: an extra banana, 2 mashed and 2 diced, 1 tsp of vanilla, 1/2 tsp baking powder (to lighten) and 1 tsp cinnamon. The texture is dense and intensely moist. The sliced/diced bananas make for a nice burst of banana flavor, and set this cake apart from the norm. Be aware that this recipe does not rise very much. Essentially what you see when you turn the batter into your pan is what you'll get. But the flavor is satisfyingly homey and it will keep for at least 3 days. Be sure to cover with an inverted bowl to keep it airtight.
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2 users found this review helpful

Restaurant Style Mac and Cheese

Reviewed: Jun. 11, 2008
Good premise. I made it exactly as written, and found it wanting a bit in the flavor department. The addition of 3 Tb Parmesan and 1 Tb sour cream helped make for a cheesier flavor. Also a judicious sprinkling of salt is in order. Go easy, then taste as cheese has a lot of sodium in it to begin with and it's easy to go overboard fast. After those additions the flavor went from bland to sublime. Note that as this dish cools or if there are any leftovers, you will want to add a Tb or two of milk before reheating and stir to blend well (more may be needed,) as the cheese will cause the sauce to tighten up.
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3 users found this review helpful

Applesauce Bars

Reviewed: Jun. 10, 2008
Outstanding! I doubled the recipe per earlier reviews and it needed to be baked for 45 minutes. I don't use compound spices like pumpkin pie spice, so I incorporated 1-1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, 1 tsp ground nutmeg, 1/2 tsp ground allspice and 1/2 tsp ground cloves. I wanted to make them easy to pack in a lunch so when I removed the baked bars from the oven, I turned on the broiler and poured a mixture of 1/4 cup (half a stick) of melted butter, 1/2 cup packed of brown sugar and 2 Tb milk over the top and broiled until the topping was bubbly. The result was nice and spicy, plus wonderfully moist, with a slightly crunchy top. My son couldn't wait until they were cool and cut himself 3 huge bars, devouring them immediately. This one's a keeper.
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16 users found this review helpful
Photo by Baricat

Joey's Cheesecake

Reviewed: Jun. 8, 2008
The flavor and texture was just OK. I made it with strawberry yogurt, homemade graham cracker crust and Splenda. Also pureed fresh strawberries, sweetened with more Splenda and a dash of Grand Marnier, and served on the side as a fresh compote-type sauce (see picture) which helped the presentation. ALTHOUGH I KNOW THIS RECIPE DOESN'T CLAIM TO BE NY STYLE CHEESECAKE, I found it to be nothing more than a wannabe. So sorry, but it's hard to get all excited about this one. A Jello cheesecake mix scores higher for flavor and texture. I had expected a whole lot more from reading previous reviews. I found its main virtue to be that it's easy, although truthfully not all that much easier than making the real thing. I won't be making this again because to me, I'd rather spend the very little extra time to make the real thing which always yields spectacular results, even when substituting Splenda for the sugar. This dessert was so aggressively mediocre that we didn't eat anymore after trying our first slice - we ate the strawberry coulis over fruit salad, since that part was wonderful, but the rest got thrown out. To make a long story short, it's passable, at best.
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11 users found this review helpful

Banana Crumb Muffins

Reviewed: Jun. 5, 2008
Very good! I used vegetable oil, as suggested by earlier reviews, but used the butter in the topping, where it could be tasted. Made with that one substitution, the muffins are quite moist, as banana baked products usually are. The texture is somewhat dense,which causes this to just miss a 5 star rating. The topping added a delightful crunch the first day, which contrasted with the softness of the muffin. The topping on the leftovers however, which were sealed in Tupperware, absorbed the banana moisture from the muffins, and became soft. Delicious just the same, but a difference of which you should be aware, as some might be disappointed that the crunch is gone by the next day. This recipe made a full dozen for me, so I'd suspect the difference was the size of the bananas. I used 3 fairly large pieces. Even so, the topping was sufficient for 12 muffins. The shorter baking time of 18 minutes was just right in my perfectly calibrated oven. Thank you for a lovely recipe!
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4 users found this review helpful

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