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No Bake Rum Balls

Reviewed: Dec. 19, 2010
Yummy! Proportions were perfect. Was going to give them away on Christmas cookie trays but ended up eating them all ourselves. I used a good dark rum everything else the same. Only used the powdered sugar caoting but it added a nice dimension to the cookie. They get more addictively good as they age a few days at room temperature in a sealed container. They are an aquired taste, very sophisticated, children might not like them. I am going to make another batch, they are very easy, the only time consuming thing is rolling them in balls. Recipe states 2" balls, they are very rich, a 1" ball is plenty. As it was I only got about 3 dozen 1" balls out of the batter anyway. A new personal tradition for me, going to make these every year from now on. Want to try different coatings too.
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Apple Betty

Reviewed: Sep. 29, 2010
This was very easy and tasty. I didn't even peel the apples, was feeling lazy. (But I think I will next time, the skins in the dish are kind of unexpected texture that one doesn't think of in an apple dish.) I did do half brown sugar and half white sugar just because brown sugar just seems to go naturally with apples. And this seemed to make some of the topping crispy (the white sugar) and some of it gooey (the brown sugar). The time and temp were just perfect for me, and it had that very nice dual texture for the topping. The cinnamon and nutmeg were very subtle I might increase that a little for my taste. I will make this again and again.
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Garlic-Herb Roast Pork

Reviewed: Aug. 22, 2010
Different cuts of meat are so hard to judge in any recipe, I did use a pork loin roast but not one of those thin rolled pork tenderloin roasts. They do cook fast but my roast wasn’t anywhere near done and still red in the thickest part after the exact timing on this recipe. It was called a “premium pork loin roast” I think. I had fresh garlic, but did use dried spices and had to use vegatable oil because I was out of olive oil but after I got it cooked through, (and believe me I am not shy to eat pork that’s a little pink, but rare isn’t good) it was delicious. It was super easy. I made the paste and let it sit to marinate in the fridge for the afternoon. Just some philosophy; Seems to me that people don’t eat pork roast a whole lot. But they aren’t that relatively expensive per serving. They have some kind of reputation for being fussy and time consuming (and they’re not) and are a great treat to wow company like you slaved all day in the kitchen over a fancy, pricey piece of meat. In the end mine came out juicy, tender, and spiced just right to give it a real gourmet flavor infused in the meat. I had used another recipe in the past that I marinated overnight, but this one tops it and I will make this again. I think there’s something to that hot oven for a few minutes in the beginning and then turning it down to a lower temperature to finish cooking that really brings out the flavors in the paste rub.
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103 users found this review helpful

Meatloaf with a Ranch Twist

Reviewed: Aug. 19, 2010
I rarely vary from my tried and true sage, bell peppers and onions based family recipe but wanted something different today. I feel bad about rating this because I made so many changes. It’s one of those days I used what I had, and based it loosely on some recipe from some unfortunate submitter on AR. (Sorry, Chihuahua Girl) You know..the kind of dishes that never can be duplicated again, no matter how good it turns out? And mine turned out GREAT! I was into Southwestern but leary of it tasting like taco meat, as one review of a SW style recipe, mentioned. Wanted it more like my regular sage meatloaf (the sage addition is why I zeroed in on this recipe among the many) with a SW flare. Used real onions and garlic instead of powders. Used bell pepper (hark back to family recipe) and some pickled jalapenos for a SW kick…but still not a taco/salsa based flavor. For filler I used torn, stale hard rolls I had (family recipe stuff….I like torn stale bread for the texture instead of bread crumbs) and used a Salsa Ranch salad dressing I had, (oops…I did sneak salsa in there) instead of the dry mix. Omitted the milk because the dressing was already liquid. I made the sauce as written with V8 and doubled it. There’s some ketchup in my family recipe but I never put ketchup on top of it, didn’t bake any of the sauce on top of this either. This sauce was a nice compliment to the ranch flavor. Surprising how the sweet sauce toned down my SW spiceiness without being sour cream-like.
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15 users found this review helpful

Peach Berry Cobbler

Reviewed: Jul. 27, 2010
I enjoyed this very much. My peaches were not very soft and juicy so I decided putting them in a baked dish would be the best use. I had frozen blueberries too. Except for adding some cinnamon to the sugar topping I made this just as written. I have never been a big fan of cobblers because I think of them all as having that kind of doughy biscuit-like crust. I really loved this cakey crust. It changed my attitude about cobblers. My fruit was a slightly soupy and I think boiling down the fruit a bit more, or maybe a little less water, would have corrected this. My taste; I would add a little more sugar and less lemon juice to the fruit next time too. But then my peaches weren’t super sweet either. It seems like something that needs to be adjusted to the fruit you have on hand. I will make this again. And an added thought, to avoid the soupiness and obtain a gooeier fruit base; Originally I used a 9 x 9 glass baking dish and the fruit seemed a little deep and the batter kind of thick in spots. (I ended up adding more baking time to compensate too.) Next time I might spread the fruit and batter out more in a 7 x 11 glass baking dish that I have.
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Sweet Russian Cabbage Soup

Reviewed: Jul. 23, 2010
Okay, deducted a star because this is way more than 4 servings. Do the math…. 1 ½ lbs. of meat, a whole head of cabbage 2 quarts of water etc…!!!! I only had ½ a head of cabbage and 3 carrots and about a pint of grape tomatoes (I quartered) instead of canned. Used browned, lean, stew meat instead of hamburg. I used apple cider vinegar (about 1/8 cup like other reviewers suggested). It seemed like a lot of sugar but it wasn’t too sweet. Chopped up the cabbage to distribute it more evenly and shredding the carrots was different from the usual carrot slices or cubes in veggie soups, but nice. Be prepared for a unique international (Russian I guess) flavor. Not standard American comfort soup. Pretty tasty if it is to be just everyday nourishment food for the health or weight conscious folks. Probably would be shunned if compared and pitted against creamier, cheesier, yummier soups or foods…so definitely serve this as a stand-alone dish with only bread or something. It’s very peppery, go easy if you aren’t a fan. All the flavors, including the pepper, mingle well with nothing too overpowering, and in my opinion, that’s what a good soup is all about. Nice alternative to coleslaw when you have leftover cabbage and carrots around. Looking forward to the second day leftovers though and I will probably make this again. Oh..hate me if you will..I always add about a tsp. of Accent (MSG) to soups to give it a little kick.
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Baked Scallops

Reviewed: Jul. 19, 2010
I gave this 5 stars because my scallops came out so nice and tender. I melted the butter and garlic in the microwave, then just coated the scallops in the breading/cheese mixture. Then put the individually coated scallops in the baking dish. I did make the mistake of adding a little dribble of lemon juice in the baking dish after they baked and that did make them mushy. I don't think they were before I did that. Leftover, reheated in the oven, they were still tender and tasty. A good way to make scallops. I will make them again.
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3 users found this review helpful

Jim's Pineapple Cheese Pie

Reviewed: Jul. 4, 2010
Just the recipe I was looking for. My changes: Used a graham craker crust, and "whipped" a regular 8 Oz. block of cream cheese. Added, an oatmeal cookie crumb topping because I had a few stale cookies around. Delcious and I like the fact that it uses gelatin instead of pudding or condensed milk, the cream cheese (which I didn't use low fat)was enough dairy calories in this pie. My jello was tropical pineapple , so it had kind of a tropical summery tang.
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Byrdhouse Spicy Chicken and Peaches

Reviewed: Mar. 7, 2010
I made this almost to a tee, hubby raved about it, I thought it was so so. Stupid but, the phrase "bite sized pieces" reminds me of kiddie fare so I cooked large slices of the chicken breasts, kind of like medallions. Seemed like too much basil the first night but leftovers were better. Not sure peaches really go with chicken though. The red pepper flakes spice really jazzed it up, I liked that, chicken is so often bland. I served it with brown rice for a healthier version.
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Pork Fried Rice

Reviewed: Apr. 21, 2009
Along with everything else, I used frozen broccoli chops and some cooked but unseasoned pulled pork meat I had frozen. I pre-cooked the broccoli, peas and carrot shreds in the microwave. I guessed at the exact proportions making more than the recipe called for. Though it was good, even the recipe amounts seemed a bit heavy with the veggies (and mine with the pork as well) to the rice proportions. I guess homemade should be loaded. I covered this to keep warm in my cast iron skillet while I finished cooking other stuff and it seemed to steam more than be fried. Mine was very moist and pretty rich for fried rice. I blame my pork to some degree. The pulled Boston butt being a fattier meat than the loin would have been. As the recipe mentions it is good base recipe for chicken or shrimp too. However, restaurant style always seems drier, with more rice and only a few veggie accents. I would make this again but probably as an Aisan inspired, skillet entrée and not so much a sidedish. I know you can scale, but this recipe would be better written in family style or pot luck size proportions.
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Best Egg Rolls

Reviewed: Apr. 21, 2009
After fainting at the price of buying grocery frozen I am a first timer for making egg rolls. I re-rolled my first one several times before I got it right. I got faster after that. If you try to roll the filling up fairly tightly the first point of the wrapper (toward you) inevitably gets tucked and folded over (also toward you) inside. Your first roll over has to have wide coverage of the filling and the edges of the wrapper sides, the envelope style folds, must overlap the center somewhat to hold in the filling. I didn’t bother with the flour paste glue, just used a little water to stick the last point down. The wrappers are pretty easy to work with after you get the hang of it. I used pre-cooked pork butt I had (a lb. seemed like too much though, used about 1/3 lb. and mine still made 9 rolls in the end) and and added some sesame seeds to the filling and a little soy sauce to the rest of the basics (not enough to make it overly wet) and was impressed with the restaurant flavor of the filling. I rolled them ahead, covered and refrigerated them until time to fry. Edible but not restaurant suitable was the color and texture of my fried wrappers. Dark brown, not golden, and a bit chewy. I will tinker with my frying next time. Oil temp may have been too high. Used veg oil but I would like to try peanut next time. Those little extra special flavors make it truly restaurant worthy when it is not something you usually do at home. Not the recipe’s fault but didn’t care for my Kikko
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Cinnamon Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Reviewed: Apr. 13, 2009
Forewent the oil browning all together since I used already soft cooked canned yams. Even though the title of the recipe is about cinnamon I simply used brown sugar alone and didn’t think I would like cinnamon. To retain their moisture I baked the yams dotted with pats of butter with the brown sugar. Leary, I even did the drizzle of lime juice at the end just because I had some on hand. Didn’t think it did much for it either way. Hubby likes the buttery sugary yams and baking them was better than the microwave sugary version I usually do. I am not a health nut but this is an easier and healthier way to go than the cream and marshmallows loaded sweet potatoes. Leave out the oil bit and use healthy margarine and you’ve got something acceptably tasty and acceptably healthy.
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Pseudo Sourdough for the Bread Machine

Reviewed: Jan. 27, 2009
First of all Bill …LOL …terrible name for a recipe! I am no purist and will shamelessly sneak faux into just about any dish. But, my goodness, I do have my pride and couldn’t hardly get myself to try something that starts out with fakery blatantly advertised in the name! I think I will rename it to something more elegant for further personal use. I want to pretend to like sourdough bread but every time I buy store bought I am disappointed at the wang in it that isn’t that appealing to me. But I do always like the sourdough breads they often use, toasted, on pricey burgers. Couldn’t resist trying this since I didn’t need a starter. Used all bread flour, mixed sour cream with warm water to expedite, as someone else suggested, and added finely chopped onion at my BM “fruits and nuts” add beep, as another reviewer did. While it was in the machine I was anxious the bread wasn’t going to rise enough but slowly, toward the end of the cycle, it came to life and rose to a perfect size and height. I am always leery of recipes that use 1 ½ tsp of jar yeast instead of the equivalent of an envelope; RapidRise says this is 2-¼ tsp. But I did use exactly the amount in the recipe. It smelled great with the onions (don’t recommend adding them if you have French Toast in mind though, pretty strange) and recipe made great bread, but like others it wasn’t the sourdough I was hoping for. Nice and soft though. Putting this one in my BM recipes notebook to use often. By the way Allrecipes doesn’t
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Apple Crumb Pie

Reviewed: Dec. 4, 2008
Okay call me cheater. Instead of peeling and slicing fresh apples I used 2 cans of Lucky Leaf apple pie filling. Sure was a lot easier though! I adjusted the sugar and flour because it is already sweetened and thickened. I used about ¼ cup more brown sugar and only about 1 tbsp. flour. And I left out the lemon juice too because the filling evidently already has something like that in it to keep the apples from turning brown. There’s no cinnamon or nutmeg or any spices in this brand so I gather you are supposed to add your own anyway. In a bowl I stirred the brown sugar, flour, spices and sour cream into the apples. Ha, ha, I also melted the butter for the apples in the microwave and then forgot it was there so it got left out. Pie still came out great so I didn’t blab my mistake. I made the crumb topping with brown sugar and a dash of cinnamon and nutmeg. I watched my baking time since the apples were already mostly soft cooked from the can but it took about the same time until it was hot and I even added another 10 mins. to crisp up my topping a little more. I froze this pie for a few days while we finished another I had made and thawed it overnight in the fridge. Quite successful and just like fresh especially if you microwave the pieces to warm them a bit for serving.
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Slow Cooker Cranberry Roast

Reviewed: Dec. 4, 2008
Like the call that others heard, this recipe did whisper, “This sounds like it would be good with a pork roast.” After Thanksgiving our small, “just the 2 of us” turkey leftovers were gone but, as usual, the sides lingered. Half a can of jellied cranberry sauce is always a challenge to use. I used a little pork tenderloin roast from my freezer I could serve the leftover mashed potatoes and even the cornbread dressing. I started out with the pork mostly frozen, only thawing a bit to remove the vacuum wrap. I did slice the cranberry sauce and lay the slices over the top of the roast. It looked prettier loading the crockpot, but one lump or slices, if left in the pot undisturbed, the cranberry doesn’t really melt. It gets really soft though and is then easily stirred into the onion soup and meat juices in the bottom. I used the whole envelope of onion soup thinking that, with only ½ cranberry, it wouldn’t be as sweet as some who thought it too much. I thought the onion gravy was very tasty. Kind of tangy, but no one would guess the cranberry addition. I didn’t add the butter or any thickener at all, it was a pretty nice sauce / gravy consistency as it was. I wouldn’t buy cranberry sauce simply to make this recipe again, as I have other favorite ways of making pork roast, but I’d make it again with leftover cranberry.
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Classy Green Bean Casserole

Reviewed: Dec. 3, 2008
You really need the 3 cans of beans. The French cut style are more compact than the whole cut ones. To those who had a runniness problem I squeezed the excess water out of the beans in addition to simply draining them. I think I actually like them better than the whole cut green beans. I wanted to do something a little dressier with the GB casserole this holiday and I love sour cream so I figured that (1/2 cup) would be good. I used only 2 cans of beans and a whole can of mushroom soup since I hate using partial canned goods in recipes. I always end up wasting the unused portions. I used a tsp. of soy sauce because the traditional recipe uses it according to the Campbell’s site and I like soy sauce. I know the cracker topping is the highlight of this recipe but I had the FF onions (and no crackers) and I like them, so I used them. The sour cream and French green beans made this for me though. The casserole was eaten and was better this way but (personal opinion) I’m still lukewarm on whether this requisite holiday dish is as great as its reputation. I’ll make it again for regular fare but may try something snazzier next Thanksgiving.
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Sweet Potato Pie IX

Reviewed: Nov. 28, 2008
Had a bit of a menu malfunction the day before Thanksgiving. I had planned to use up an old can of pumpkin, for a pie, and it was ruined. Had a big 29 oz. can of new Bruces Yams for a casserole but most years I get lazy and never make the casserole or get the marshmallows and pecans bit together anyway, opting for a little butter and brown sugar on the naked yams. I decided to forgo my lackluster yams with dinner (all the other stuff would be plenty anyway) and use them for this pie. Never had it until I moved south, but I found I do like SP pie better than pumpkin anyway. (Sorry, lifelong comfort food friend but you’re history.) This made a very full deep dish pie with not enough left for another regular shallow pie. Cook time was fine with the deep pie so watch shallow ones from burning. Beware it is pretty sweet and I used only 1 cup white and ½ cup brown sugar. Hubby loved it that way. I think it’s the first SP pie I ever actually made and didn’t buy from the store. Texture is not as smooth as store bought but flavor is outstandingly homemade.
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Broccoli Cheese Soup

Reviewed: Nov. 22, 2008
Yummy and easy. This is a cinch if you pre-cook your broccoli and onions in the microwave and then finish up the simmering in the crockpot on High. Stir often though or thickener will settle on the bottom. You can even melt the cheese in the mike if you really want to speed this up more. I used a half recipe using a little extra cheese, butter and milk and an extra handful of shredded Mexican blend cheese I had. This gave it restaurant style flavor twist instead of ALL Velveeta. I did add some salt to this too. It would have been sinfully great with half and half! Tip: Velveeta slices and cubes better, without being as sticky, if at room temperature. (Aside: My dad, an avid cheese, and Velveeta connoisseur, always claimed the flavor was fuller at room temp too. He never refrigerated his Velveeta.) Reserved broth works or you can also dissolve the cornstarch in your cold milk to cut the water out. The intro mentions it is made with broccoli florets but the recipe calls for chopped broccoli. For those who may never have noticed, there are differences in broccoli. All frozen bagged versions are technically chopped up (not whole) but most stores carry 2 types: “Broccoli Florets” only and “Chopped Broccoli” (or maybe called” Cut Broccoli” or “Broccoli Cuts”). The Chopped, or Cut, is a little cheaper but includes the chunkier, less tender, stems. The Florets, in most circles, are considered the more flavorful, tender and desirable part of the broccoli. Incidentally, fresh broccoli
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Ting-Town Barbeque Beef Sandwich

Reviewed: Aug. 23, 2008
This makes a lot of beef barbeque. Mom never made it, but up North we used to have it every now and then for school lunch. I live in the South now, where pork barbeque is king and chicken barbeque comes in second and beef barbeque is rare. But I had a chuck roast I wanted to do something different with so I thought I’d cook some up. Southern hubby gobbled it up. It was great as sandwiches on hamburger rolls. I made this just as written (including open crock sauce thickening and dipping the bun tops) except left out the celery since I had none. I did add 1 tsp. celery seed for a touch of the celery flavor though. I used a good Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce. I only had a 3 ½ lb. roast, but even so, the recipe makes a lot of sauce even if it had been the 4 lb. one specified. Tasty and hearty beef barbeque, all around. Not too sweet, not too spicy. I thought, just about right for the beef. I might tweak it with a little liquid smoke next time. Not hard to make at all. Don’t let the long list of ingredients intimidate you. All are pretty common things you probably have on hand. It really only took me a few minutes to measure out all the stuff in the sauce and you only have to chunk / chop up one onion. I served this with my favorite “Taste of Home’s Creamy Coleslaw” (from this site) that I whipped up in no time. This is a good meal for a day when the family is on the run. Leave the slow cooker on warm, set the package of hamburger buns out on the counter, and let everyone serve them
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Cabbage and Kielbasa

Reviewed: Aug. 6, 2008
Had some good Nathan’s Kielbasa frozen and then cabbage went on sale. I used the regular kind of cabbage. Had this very dish a few months ago when a neighbor shared with us. Hubby gobbled it up, but probably wasn’t aware it was Kielbasa. He’ll devour any kind of sausage but wrinkles his nose at ones with foreign names like bratwurst and kielbasa. It’s a head thing, not a taste thing. Made this about as written except used only 1lb. sausage to 2lbs. cabbage. I like a lot of cabbage. Didn’t sauté the onions or brown a thing. (The kielbasa was fully cooked anyway.) Threw it all in the crockpot. I mixed up melted butter, the red wine vinegar the salt, pepper. The red pepper flakes as some others mentioned were a nice addition for a kick too. Poured the seasonings over everything in the crock. I added quite a bit more water for the crock to cook all day. Also I’ve got nothing against potatoes, but I left them out, cause try as I might, with corned beef and cabbage and the likes, I am always disappointed with the dratted starchy flavor, texture and taste they impart to my beloved, melt in your mouth, cabbage. Guess I’m a purist. It was easy and delicious. Hubby loved it too. Good comfort meal. Good with cornbread to sop up the juices.
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