Baricat Recipe Reviews (Pg. 14) - Allrecipes.com (131039)

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Tomato Soup I

Reviewed: Apr. 22, 2008
Lovely, simple flavor. I omitted both the margarine (and if I had wanted the extra calories, I would have used butter for its superior taste) and sugar, which is unnecessary in properly prepared tomato recipes. Also cut the soda to a mere sprinkle. The result was perfection. I incorporated milk instead of cream for a lighter, fresher flavor. For those of you who have had problems with the cream curdling, try tempering the cream. After heating it, add a spoonful of the hot soup into it and stir it in. Add another couple of spoonfuls and stir. After adding about a cup of hot soup this way, whisk your cream mixture into the pot of hot soup. The soup should be at the barest simmer, not a rippin' boil. Possibilities for garnishes of your bowls of soup include julienne strips of fresh basil leaves, a tsp of freshly grated Parmesan or Asiago, or finely minced pepperoni.
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93 users found this review helpful
Photo by Baricat

Asparagus Lasagna

Reviewed: Apr. 3, 2008
Wonderful, imaginative recipe. A few minor tweaks, however, improved it. Used butter in place of margarine for flavor, then sauteed the garlic a little longer, until golden. Since some other reviewers thought the sauce too bland, I made a simple change which helped a lot in the flavor department. I used only half the milk, and replaced the other half with concentrated chicken stock and a couple of tablespoons of dry white wine. Simmered the sauce until the vapors from the wine ceased to tingle the nose, in order to be sure all the alcohol was burned off. When sauce was finished, I stirred in some freshly grated Asiago and Parmesan. Used fresh, peeled asparagus, lightly pre-cooked by boiling 2 minutes then shocking, cut into bite-sized pieces. Layered with a mixture of cheeses, including Jarlsberg, Parmesan and Gruyere in addition to some mozzarella. The type of cheese isn't so much of consequence as getting in some more flavorful types - mozzarella used alone doesn't have a high degree of discernible taste. You could combine it with Swiss, Gouda, Laughing Cow, Monterey Jack, or Brie, as well, or anything else that happened to be in your fridge. So spread your wings and try some combinations. Sumptuous!!! It received rave reviews. Be sure to allow sufficient time for all the various steps. This isn't a quick, easy recipe, but can be assembled up to 3 days before, then finished in the microwave when you want it. Some preparation at your convenience yields stellar results later
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126 users found this review helpful

Creamy Rice Pudding

Reviewed: Apr. 3, 2008
Simple to make and awesome to eat! Why would anyone buy that junk from the supermarket that is just thickened goo with a few grains of rice floating around in it when, in under 45 minutes, you could be eating this?? Perfect in both flavor and texture, it's the ultimate comfort food. I used 1/2 cup Splenda (only because I'm diabetic)in place of the sugar, because 1/3 cup didn't give the requisite sweetness, and used dark raisins. Also added a dash of lemon extract, because that's how my mom made it, and the lemon points up the other ingredients. This is the first time I ever made rice pudding on the stove top (always baked it in the oven) and the texture is every bit as creamy. Much better when using a medium or short grain rice. However, if you only have long grain, increase the water in the initial cooking, i.e. with the 3/4 cup of dry rice, cook in 1-3/4 cup of water, and the rice will be less al dente, contributing to the soft creamy texture later on. You'll need to add a few minutes onto the initial cooking time in order for the additional water to be absorbed. Thank you for the easy, perfect recipe!
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67 users found this review helpful

Focaccia Bread

Reviewed: Jan. 9, 2008
Quite simply put...wow! Left out garlic powder, because 1) it's not an authentic Italian ingredient (only fresh garlic is used in Italy) and 2) it would give an ersatz flavor. Doubled the basil and used milk for the liquid, to give a moister crumb. The result was a soft, perfectly chewy bread. Dimpled the dough deeply with my thumb after rolling out. Then, sprinkled the top liberally with chopped fresh rosemary leaves from the garden and lightly with coarse kosher salt, after painting with extra virgin olive oil. Then applied a mix of mozzarella, Parmigiano, and genuine imported Italian Asiago halfway through baking time so the cheese would not become overly brown. The result was ambrosia, a golden feast for the eyes and a delectable treat for the mouth. This is the real deal. Outstandingly simple and simply outstanding! To those who had trouble with the texture of the dough, either it's your yeast or your rising technique. Make sure to use only yeast that's new or that has been stored in the fridge/freezer. Also, do not dissolve in hot water, only lightly warm to the inside of your wrist. If the yeast has been stored in the freezer or is new, proofing is an unnecessary step. Proofing yeast does nothing magical like people think - it just "proves" that it's still good by bubbling. Do not allow the dough to overrise, (in other words, to rise so high that it sinks back down on itself) and ferment. Set a timer so that you don't forget to check on it. Light dough rises quickly.
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1008 users found this review helpful
Photo by Baricat

Eileen's Spicy Gingerbread Men

Reviewed: Dec. 20, 2007
This recipe barely misses a 5 star rating for one reason only. The cookies are not "spicy" as the title promises. They have a pleasant, mildly spiced flavor, but this recipe lacks the "bite" usually associated with genuinely spicy gingerbread. For those, however, who have palates that appreciate milder spices, this recipe is perfect. If you long for a spicier kick to your gingerbread, double the listed spices except cloves, and add a liberal dash or two of cayenne. The dough was very easy to work with, after chilling. I made it before going to bed, then rolled them out the next morning, taking only what could be rolled and cut at one time out of the fridge. The dough is, like any recipe made with a large quantity of any syrupy substance (i.e. molasses, corn syrup, honey,) sticky if not adequately chilled. Sticky dough is impossible to work with. The temptation is to add more flour to the dough, but resist it! More flour toughens your product. In fact, when rolling, it is always advisable to use a pastry cloth on your board and pastry sock on your rolling pin. This enables you to incorporate the least amount of flour possible, yet still work easily with the dough. Another good quality is that these don't puff up and lose their shape when baked. In fact, what you see when on the sheet before baking is just about what you get. They're good keepers, still soft a week after baking (kept in an airtight tin.) Excellent recipe, but some tinkering with the spices could improve it.
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516 users found this review helpful

Butterfinger Chunkies

Reviewed: Dec. 1, 2007
If you're a peanut and/or Butterfingers fan, you're going to love this one! I used creamy peanut butter, because that's all we ever have in the house. Added some chopped peanuts, however, to live up to the "Chunkies" name. I made no other substitutions, however, and used the exact proportions listed. When I first looked at the recipe I thought that one cup of flour must be a misprint. However, once the Butterfingers were crushed, they took on a mealy texture that helped add body to the dough. Don't add any additional flour to this recipe, or you'll mess up the lovely, chewy texture. Your product will become hard and dry. We have a few left over, and I can vouch that they age well. In fact, they became a little chewier the next day. Perfect taste and texture, making for an extremely satisfying cookie. Excellent recipe - thank you for sharing.
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2 users found this review helpful

Mom's Zucchini Bread

Reviewed: Nov. 2, 2007
Delicious, dependable recipe. Made as written, except I substituted 1 cup of whole wheat flour for one of the cups of all purpose flour in order to increase fiber content. No discernible difference in texture or taste. The loaves remained moist for the 5 days it took to eat them. Since you can't have too much of a great thing, I added a crumble topping, made with 1C brown sugar, 3/4C flour, 2 tsp cinnamon, mixed together, then 3 Tb soft butter cut in. Sprinkle on top before baking.
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0 users found this review helpful

Simple Baked Apples

Reviewed: Jun. 26, 2007
Absolutely YUMMY! Made it with Splenda in place of the sugar because I'm diabetic and my daughter is always on a diet. Used a handful of frozen cranberries for color and tart counterpoint. Makes a lovely dessert. This would be wonderful served hot with a scoop of vanilla ice cream melting on top. It's a keeper!!
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156 users found this review helpful

Mock Cherry Pie

Reviewed: Oct. 24, 2006
Awesome recipe concept! If you have a tough time finding canned TART cherries (or worse yet, fresh, which only seem to be in season on or about June 17 each year, for about an hour and 13 minutes - what? You missed it?!) this is perfect! Cherry pie is my husband's favorite, and so I'm stocking the freezer with cranberries while they're in season. For a more authentic cherry pie taste, I skipped the vanilla and used 1/2 tsp almond extract, plus 1 Tb fresh lemon juice. This gives it a great tart kick, which is what DH loves about cherry pie. I also used 2/3 Splenda and 1/3 white sugar in place of all sugar, which is now standard practice for me when making any pie. No one is any the wiser, but it allows the diabetics in the bunch to partake without guilt, plus everyone is happier to have skipped the carbs. Thank you for posting this recipe, which will no doubt be requested on every major holiday in this house, until I reach the end of my pie-baking days.
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16 users found this review helpful

Tandy Cake

Reviewed: Oct. 16, 2006
Mixed feelings about this one. Loved the flavor, but the texture left something to be desired. Now mind you, I never grew up with tandy cakes, and had never heard of them before finding this recipe, so I have nothing with which to compare, nor anything that can say this is authentic or not. That said, the cake has a somewhat chewy texture, which I found off-putting. I followed the cake recipe exactly as written, but used only half the chocolate as others recommended. Also, applied the peanut butter when the cake came out of the oven, followed immediately by the melted chocolate. Those ingredients combined when spread, and they tended to separate from the cake top when cut (yes, I did score the topping as suggested.) The flavor is wonderful, but just can't get past that somewhat rubbery cake texture. I even made sure not to overbeat after adding the flour. I would not make this recipe again as written, however, substituting any other conventional yellow cake recipe or even a boxed mix would represent a substantial improvement, in my purview. Anything that gets you away from that chewy cake would and allows you to enjoy the chocolate/peanut butter combination, while giving you a tender cake as a vehicle, should be a winning combination. Good theory, not so hot in practice, so only 3 stars.
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10 users found this review helpful

Chocolate Lovers' Favorite Cake

Reviewed: Sep. 4, 2006
You're gonna think you died and went to heaven when you taste this! I used sugar-free chocolate fudge pudding mix, because that was all I had. No one could tell. The butter makes it incredibly, satisfyingly rich. The sour cream makes it a great keeper, but I doubt you'll have any hanging around. I made it in my new castle-shaped bundt pan, drizzled it while still warm with the Satiny Chocolate Glaze from this website, and it looked like it belonged on the cover of Bon Appetit. Deep, coal-dark chocolate that will satisfy the cravings of your most ardent choco-holics.
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4 users found this review helpful

Satiny Chocolate Glaze

Reviewed: Sep. 3, 2006
Yummmmmm. This was nirvana drizzled over Chocolate Lovers' Favorite Cake from this website. Not overly sweet. Dries shiny and firm.
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2 users found this review helpful

Buttermilk Pancakes II

Reviewed: Aug. 10, 2006
Superb, light texture! Made the whole recipe and froze individually on a tray, then bagged. It's easy to remove as many as wanted and pop into the microwave for a quick breakfast treat. Be careful not to overheat the griddle. These brown faster than some because of the buttermilk.
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3 users found this review helpful

Barbara's Golden Pound Cake

Reviewed: Aug. 8, 2006
A beautiful, high, moist cake. I made a substitution of sour milk for the milk in the recipe. Because of this, also added 1/2 tsp baking soda to offset the acidity of the sour milk (Wouldn't normally have done this, but we had about a quart of milk that had gone sour, and I can't bear to waste.) Also substituted 1-1/2 cups Splenda for 1-1/2 cups of the sugar (This one is because I'm a diabetic.) So total 1-1/2 cups sugar plus 1-1/2 cups Splenda. The outside was a dark brown with a slight crunch, the inside was moist and tasty. The results were phenomenal! Dense and fine grained, but never heavy. The soupcon of lemon is just perfect - very subtle, but just enough to point up the butteriness. It's a tie for the Cream Cheese Pound Cake I recipe on this site. Different, in that it doesn't have the tang that cream cheese imparts, but equally good. Served with a puree of fresh strawberries sweetened with (yup- you guessed it!) Splenda.
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3 users found this review helpful

Easy Sugar Cookies

Reviewed: Aug. 6, 2006
Oh, MY!!!! These are addictive! The best recipe of its type on this site. I used an extra egg, as suggested by an earlier reviewer, and I used a scoop to ensure uniform size. Dropped the scoops into a small bowl of sugar, and rolled them around. Although the dough was soft, with the sugar adhering to it, you could easily pick up the balls and put on the baking sheet. A hint for quick (as in NO) baking clean-up: line your cookie sheets with foil, shiny side DOWN. No grease. Just place dough on the foil. Allow to cool about 10-15 minutes, or until close to room temperature, then use a spatula to transfer to a rack. They release easily. Ten minutes yield a barely colored cookie that is chewy and delicate. An additional 2 minutes makes for a golden color and a little more crunch. They look like the cookies you bake from the Pillsbury slice-and-bake rolls that you find in the dairy case at the grocery store, but with a far superior flavor. Nothing better than a cup of tea and a few of these! I just made a batch this afternoon, and only 8 are left. Everyone in this family absolutely loves them. Thank you for a superb, versatile recipe!
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72 users found this review helpful

Caramel Filled Chocolate Cookies

Reviewed: Jul. 1, 2006
Part drop cookie, part chewy brownie, 100% fabulous!! Could not find Rolos at my grocery store, so used the caramel-filled Hershey's kisses with great results. For those who find the dough too sticky and difficult to work with, keep a small dish of water close by your work area, and dip the tips of your fingers in the water, shaking off excess, before molding the dough around the candy piece. The dough won't cling to your fingers then, and it makes refrigerating unnecessary. Be sure not to overbake, and make sure you calibrate your oven, because unless the temperature is accurate, you won't get the endorphin-inducing chewy chocolate fix you crave. I skipped the nut/sugar dip because I wanted to finish them another way. Although it was unnecessary for texture or flavor, I frosted them for looks, making these "Triple Threat Fudge Cookies" as I billed them. Nice frosting that sets up unsticky in about 2 hours: Mix together 3 Tb soft butter, 3 Tb unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Hershey's), a pinch of soda, 1 tsp vanilla, 1 Tb light corn syrup, and 1 cup powdered sugar. Added in, tsp by tsp, enough milk to make it spreadable. Frost cookies while still a little warm (about 8-10 minutes after removing from oven.) I got rave reviews all around, with one fan giving them a "10 on the swoon meter." Thank you for the phenomenal recipe.
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80 users found this review helpful

No Bake Peanut Butter Pie

Reviewed: Jun. 5, 2006
About as easy as an elegant, "wow" dessert can get! Cut the recipe in half to make only one pie. I made an Oreo crust for this one, using 1-1/2 cups Oreo crumbs and 2 Tb melted butter. Used low fat whipped topping and 1 cup Splenda (as no matter what it says on the package, I find that it takes more Splenda to equal the required amount of sugar.) Still, it was not overly sweet. Diced up Reese's Peanut Butter cups and sprinkled on the crust before adding filling, then garnished the top with PB Cup quarters, standing up, which dressed up the presentation of this deceptively easy dessert, making it look "gourmet." The slightly salty counterpoint of the PB Cups was the perfect foil for the sweet filling. I was going to make hot fudge to serve with it, but because of the excellent flavor and texture, this pie can easily stand on its own, without any embellishment. It set up very firmly in about 2-1/2 hours. Easier cutting if you let it stand for 10 minutes out of the freezer. Be sure to set an alarm so you don't overthaw it. A++
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28 users found this review helpful

Old Fashioned Raisin Pie I

Reviewed: Apr. 11, 2006
Good as is, but adding finely grated lemon zest and lemon juice (instead of vinegar) makes for more depth of flavor. Once I did this, my mother-in-law (whose family was Pennsylvania Dutch) thought the taste was "just right."
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80 users found this review helpful

Applesauce Oatmeal Cookies

Reviewed: Apr. 9, 2006
Good premise, but needs a lot of "tweaking." Bland, "cakey" and dry in texture. They were OK the first and second day, but were so dry as to be inedible by the third, and that should not be with a product made with applesauce. Not very sweet, which might appeal to some, but to our palates, it was lacking expected and needed sweetness. Sure, they're somewhat "healthy" compared to other cookies like chocolate chip, but many recipes have even more healthful ingredients and taste a lot better, so I didn't find this to be extraordinary in that way, either. In any case, these fell way short of expectation, and need enough experimentation to make the recipe right that I'll just keep looking.
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4 users found this review helpful

Cheesy Ham and Hash Brown Casserole

Reviewed: Apr. 9, 2006
Superb! Made with a combination of colby and Monterey jack cheese in place of cheddar, only because it was dinner time and I found that the cheddar had been eaten. Still, no problem with the substitution. No doubt this recipe is very adaptable to whatever kind of cheese you have around. I've also made this with Campbell's Cream of Chicken With Herbs, and it was even more flavorful than with the Cream of Potato.
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3 users found this review helpful

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