Alaena39 Recipe Reviews (Pg. 4) - Allrecipes.com (13204757)

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Pumpkin Pie I

Reviewed: Oct. 14, 2009
The buck stops here folks. I don't think I will even bother to try other pumpkin pie recipes! So mouth watering and my house smelled like fall. It does taste better the day after, but even chilling it for a couple hours before serving was still tasty. I had real pumpkin, so I chopped and cooked it at 350 for 45 minutes, took the skin off, then put it in the blender and measured it out. It did make the task more tedious so I don't recommend it. Also, lol, I didn't know pumpkin shrinks while being cooked SO I only came up with half the amount needed. I just wanted to practice this for Thanksgiving and make sure this recipe was a winner. I made a "skimpy pie" and it cooked at the time it said so for everyone using the full amount of ingredients, you do need to double the time. I also tried this with a graham cracker crust and was rather yummy. Update 11/24/09: It tastes SO much better with real pumpkin, but honestly its expensive and a lot of work. Also the graham cracker crust tastes good with it but it loses its crunch, I assume, because the contents are rather wet and it spends a lot of time in the oven. Regular pie shell might be the way to go.
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Zippy Summer Shrimp

Reviewed: Oct. 14, 2009
This dish quickly became one our favorite shrimp meals. My hubby now requests this pretty often. I've tried this with both large and small shrimp and the large shrimp is definitely the way to go. The smaller shrimp SEVERELY dumbs down the flavor and nobody wants that. Also, it was a tad too spicy for me (perfect for my husband) so I now use 1/4 tsp of pepper flakes and he can pour on as many as he likes on his plate afterwards :). For shrimp, we also always buy deveined and preferably with tails off for less work and its perfect if you're short on time. Also, for us, there wasn't enough sauce to really seep into the pasta, so I kept all as is except used 1 pound of shrimp instead of 2 and poured it over 1 pound of pasta (equivalent to doubling the sauce). Don't be scared with so many seasonings in this...it works beautifully. Delicious, easy and is ready in such a short time it deserves all 5 stars.
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Best Ever Jalapeno Poppers

Reviewed: Oct. 9, 2009
I wish I had known beforehand that the membranes on these suckers pack heat as well. Ty Rich, for your review. I might as well have left the seeds in! However, I won't blame the recipe for my mistake. These were pretty good but take forever to make so I would suggest you prepare these suckers hours before serving. To make sure the seeds are out, rinse the jalapeños or dump them in a bowl and fill with water and pick them out because seeds could have tacked back on in the handling process. I will definitely try these again but NO membranes. If you want to leave them on, I have to say beware. Not even my husband, who adores spicy food, could wolf these down. Overall though, great recipe. If you follow as is, you'll get it right every time.
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Orange Glazed Carrots

Reviewed: Oct. 8, 2009
These were, as best as I can describe it, "blah". Edible, but didn't do anything for me. I used regular carrots instead of baby carrots (which are supposed to have more carrot flavor) and still hardly had any flavor. I used a little bit more carrot to soak up the juices, so I didn't need the corn starch. Since it was pretty bland I added cinnamon as others suggested and I added a touch of nutmeg as well and STILL had me thinking, eh, I'm leaving my carrots for stews and soups until I can find a better way to use them up. Don't think I'll be making these again. Sucks, I was excited about these too.
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Downeast Maine Pumpkin Bread

Reviewed: Sep. 28, 2009
FANTASTIC. I had never had pumpkin bread before and now I'm hooked! I had so much leftover pumpkin, I decided to make this because it seemed so popular. Next time I will halve this recipe because it was way too much bread. I ended up handing out some but my neighbors sure didn't mind! Also, I did not have cloves on hand, so I looked up substitutes and used equal parts cinnamon, nutmeg and black pepper. I did buy cloves recently since so many recipes seem to call for em. I own no loaf breads, so instead I used a 9 x 13 dark metal coated baking dish/pan. It tastes like cake, sort of, and it smells so good. My husband asked me to try it with some carrot cake icing, and a neighbor suggested maybe cream cheese frosting. Oh, the possibilities! Though the toppings may change, I won't be messing around with the base of this recipe, its just too good.
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Chinese Chicken Fried Rice II

Reviewed: Sep. 28, 2009
This recipe tasted ok, my main problem is that it is so bland as is, and not even extra veggies could revive it. I also think that using the amount of pepper it says is way too much so I used half. Its a good recipe to be able to say, hey, I made fried rice! But its not the recipe that would make you want to go through the effort instead of making the phone call to your local Chinese restaurant. Yes, its vital that you use cold rice. What I did was that same week I made rice for another dish, and made double the rice. I put the extra rice into a ziploc bag, then froze it. At the time of making the chinese rice, I put it into a bowl, sprinkled some water and microwaved until it was cold but no longer frozen. The rice itself and everything came out great, its just now I'm at the point where I know I can make the fried rice, I just need a recipe that makes me say "wow" and this is not it.
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Tostones

Reviewed: Sep. 28, 2009
This is very similar to the steps I take to make my own tostones, even though my family is Cuban. I believe the steps do need a little tweaking because as is I think you could burn the tostones. Ok, if your tostones are not fully submerged in oil, fry for 2-3 minutes on one side then flip to submerge the other half. You can also use a Fry Daddy and have it all submerged for 3 minutes. ONCE THEY COOL OFF, THEN you mash them with something with a flat bottom. A mug or a cup will do nicely. Make sure they're cool or it might come out mushy. I hate to go against tradition but my tostonera is going to waste because it provides a sideways mashing ability and the tostones come out lopsided. For tostones, also make sure your plaintain is green. If its got more yellow than green, it might be too soft for this and is best to be held off for platanos maduros once they darken. Lastly, I know this may sound weird however, I'd say skip the garlic powder and go with real minced garlic from a jar. Pour it on the tostones with some juice. Yes, its raw but the plantain kills its pungency and all you taste is yummy goodness. Salt to taste (light sprinkle will do) and you've got a wonderful side dish on your hands!
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Pico de Gallo Chicken Quesadillas

Reviewed: Sep. 26, 2009
For the pico de gallo on its own, it gets a sure 5/5. It smells and tastes fantastic. With the quesadillas its just good. I used just one onion and that was more than enough, using about 1/4 of it for the pico. I also think the chicken would probably be best off baking so that you can cook the onion and bell pepper quicker. I baked the quesadillas as well to make the process go quicker. The recipe needed a little something extra, I just can't put my finger on it. Perhaps its the fact that the pico de gallo is the only thing that brought flavor to the mix, the chicken, the tortillas...these were pretty bland. I will probably make these again for my husband and myself, I just won't pull out this recipe for company. Although...that pico was so delicious I might just use that on its own for a chip salsa. I cheated and used canned tomatoes (our garden is out) and dried cilantro and it was still drool worthy. Imagine if it was all fresh!
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Chris' Bay Area Burger

Reviewed: Sep. 20, 2009
This was definitely drool worthy. Now I know why people come over to his house! I'm not a BBQ type person and propane scares me so I just used our George Foreman grill and kept cooking em til the sides were no longer pink. I made them into mini burgers. The only change I made was to drastically downsize the amount of salt and pepper. It did seem like a bit much so instead I used 1/2 tsp of salt and 1/4 tsp of pepper for the pound. Oh, I did add one extra thing and thats poking a hole in each patty, throw in some cheese and close it off so its all ooey gooey and yummy when you bite into it. Other than that, no changes. I love this recipe because you don't have to let your meat marinate and can make em immediately, its incredibly easy and its SO flavorful that honestly, condiments are not even really necessary. My husband and I loved em. I will definitely make this again and again. Thank you for the post!
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Mexican Rice II

Reviewed: Sep. 17, 2009
This is an incredibly easy, delicious recipe. I can't think of anything to give it other than 5 stars. I did add 1 tsp minced garlic and since I did not have garlic salt, I used 1/2 tsp garlic powder and a dash of salt with delicious results. I do recommend the rice cooker for rice dishes. If you have one, try it. I love the rice cooker because its easy and fool proof. Sometimes rice can be a pain, so if you are looking to impress, take no chances...just don't eat the thin, scorched layer on the bottom! If you do prefer the stove, here are some tips. 1. Your rice is NOT going to "puff" while being sauteed. I don't know why it said that. Rice will puff, or cook rather, when its completely submerged in liquid. Instead, the first step is meant to give it a more golden color in the end. 2. If you find your rice more "wet" than you'd like, leave on simmer but take off the cover. It will evaporate the extra liquid. 3. To make rice soft: Don't take off the cover while cooking, let your rice stand for about 10 minutes after cooking, then fluff with a wooden spoon, and let stand again for 5 more minutes. 4. If its still not soft enough to eat after cooking, re-cover and cook another 5-10 minutes and refer back to #3. Hope this helps!
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Sarah's Applesauce

Reviewed: Sep. 15, 2009
Ok I'm changing my review based off of trying both stovetop and slow cooker. I stand corrected on the stovetop, I even did some research into the Joy of Baking book, the mother of all cookbooks and even it says anything above simmer is too harsh for applesauce. The stovetop on medium didnt provide super soft apples and browned them a bit on the bottom. It seemed more like a rush job. The slow cooker on high for about 2.5 hours instead provided an incredibly soft and beautiful consistency to the applesauce. Using a potato masher, it was a breeze to turn into applesauce. Also, I halved the sugar and left out the cinnamon. It tastes way better and more natural that way. I noticed the applesauces are more dark than storebought but then my husband reminded me that apples turn darker when exposed to air. Adding anything acid to it to prevent the discoloring, I think, would change the flavor too much. If you do prefer the stovetop, I'd recommend putting on simmer and triple the time to cook. It will be so much better! This is a good recipe, its WAY tastier than storebought. Also, I was thinking, if you skip the sugar and cinn, this recipe would be perfect for babies starting on solids, just put through a blender before serving :).
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Hasty Chocolate Pudding

Reviewed: Sep. 13, 2009
This is so easy and delicious I have to give it 5 stars. I have made this many times, both by microwave and by stovetop and here is what I found. Microwave is the way to go overall. Its great because 1. You don't have to keep an eye on it, so if you're expecting company or are just busy doing other things, its fool proof against burning. 2. No constant stirring and 3. Better overall look and texture. The stovetop's main problem for me was that even on low heat, its on the stove so much that by the time I'm ready to serve, its hardly a serving because a lot of it evaporated. Oh, and don't try anything above low to speed up the process...it will burn! The only thing stovetop does for you is give you more of a feeling that you actually cooked something, but since the microwave is better for every other reason, I'll stick to the microwave only from now on. Company doesn't have to know it was so simple!
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Fried Mozzarella Cheese Sticks

Reviewed: Sep. 12, 2009
This was a pretty good recipe. I tried one batch using the information as is, and the mozzarella sticks did not hold their shape too well as there was leaking. The second batch I double coated and they came out so much better. I didn't have garlic salt, so I used 1/2 garlic powder and 1/2 salt, although I think I will just use garlic powder next time because they didn't need the salt in my opinion. I also didn't have a mess, I picked up the sticks and dipped them in all the ingredients carefully using tongs and none of the coating was removed...easier to take care of my 4 month old when I don't have to constantly wash my hands! All in all, good recipe, fun to make and the best part...a great way to use up leftover mozzarella!
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Chicken and Pasta in a Mango Cream Sauce

Reviewed: Aug. 30, 2009
I made this because I love pasta and mango so I thought hey maybe I would like this. I don't mean to sound mean or anything but this was pretty gross. My husband thought it was "ok." I'm always up for trying new recipes, even out of the ordinary ones but this blend of ingredients didn't taste good to me. I'm really sorry but I won't be making this again. I'll stick to mango for desserts from now on.
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Blackberry Cobbler II

Reviewed: Aug. 25, 2009
This is a perfect recipe. Thanks so much for the upload! Not only does this taste like heaven, but I had to make no modifications whatsoever. I have made this 2 times, at my husband's request. The only thing I do is use frozen blackberries instead of fresh since they are a bit hard to find sometimes AND I don't like that fresh berries tend to go bad a lot faster than I'd like. I read past reviews and I don't think this is too sweet. With any sweet kind of fruit I would have been scared to put in that much sugar but blackberries tend to be quite sour and need a lot of sugar to balance them out. I would make as is first, then if it is too sweet I'd lower the sugar amount next time. Better it coming out sweeter than sour but that's just one girl's opinion :). Oh and on another note, I usually tend to substitute spread for butter for a healthier version of my recipes, however I noticed with spread the dough came out fluffier and didn't taste as good as when I put regular butter in. Usually we don't notice the difference but in this one I did. I think I will stick to butter for this one. Oh, and no iron skillet for me, I just used a 7x11 baking dish w/ perfect results!
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Parmesan Chicken

Reviewed: Aug. 25, 2009
Easy and delicious! I did make one change and that is...I didn't fry it! Instead, I baked it at 400 degrees for 20 minutes (as per the Shake n Bake box instructions for boneless chicken)...no flattening, no mess, no extra pans, its healthier, less work and best of all, I don't have to worry about the chicken not cooking properly! Unless it's completely submerged in oil (aka deep frying) I always bake my chicken for safety reasons. Also, the oven will cook your chicken to perfection, so there will be no risk of burning and your chicken will look beautiful everytime! For that golden brown look, drizzle melted spread over the chicken before putting it in the oven. I use Italian bread crumbs and it works perfectly. This is even more delicious over pasta and topped with melted cheese. Yum!
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Fresh Tomato Shrimp Pasta

Reviewed: Aug. 25, 2009
This is really good stuff. I did make some changes, however. Four tomatoes was quite a bit of tomato for us, so I just used 3. I also used 1 tbsp of dry oregano and used frozen spinach. I read the reviews and I know why some people think its great and others bland. If you want an authentic recipe, leave as is. However, for many Americans especially, authentic Italian food can be bland. Even my husband who is part Italian said it could use some more taste so I sprinkled in some crushed red pepper flakes and added a bit of Cajun seasoning. If you don't like spicy, add very little and it will just provide flavoring. I gave it 5/5 stars because I loved both the authentic and the "kicked up" versions.
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Baked Honey Mustard Chicken

Reviewed: Apr. 14, 2009
Overall this is a pretty good recipe. It tastes good as is, directions were clear and it's pretty much fool proof. This is perfect for any beginner. I followed one suggestion and marinated this for about an hour and worked perfectly. The reason why I didn't give it five is because it did not have any wow factor for me. I think I know the culprit...and that is using regular mustard because it was a bit overpowering. I think next time I will try Dijon mustard like others suggested and see if it bumps this recipe up to five stars.
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Carne Con Papas

Reviewed: Mar. 18, 2009
This recipe won me over with its authenticity to a Cuban dish. Very good stuff, however, I did make some changes because some things were strange to me and I can see how one person thought the potatoes came out overdone. Ok, first of all...cannot find achiote powder? Why not try this. Skip the salt and use Sazon Goya (Cuban seasoning packets) that include Azafran (food coloring). If your local supermarket carries it, you will find it in the ethnic isle. I halved the recipe and used about 1/4 of the packet, given it can carry a kick. Feel free to add more or less to suit your taste. Use food coloring when all else fails. Ok, now here are the changes. 1. The pressure cooker time given here and in my instruction booklet I felt was too much so I put in the water, meat and bullion cubes (given that bullion cubes are different, make sure to use as much as it indicates for the water you put in)into the pressure cooker for 20 min. and it was already cooked throughout. You can always add more water and put it back on if its not done. 2. While the meat was cooking, I diced the bell pepper and onion and sauted in a small frying pan with the olive oil until it was soft. I put on simmer and added the tomato sauce, minced garlic (I use pre-minced garlic in a jar) and the spices. 3. When the meat was done, I added in the cooking white wine and potatoes that I cut up in small chunks so that they are ready quickly. Now its a 5/5!
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