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Make-Ahead Sour Cream Coffee Cake

Reviewed: Apr. 13, 2012
This is the second coffee cake I've made, and the second one that tasted awesome but had a really over-moist texture. Considering it's a totally different recipe than the last one I made, I know it's something I did, not the recipe itself. I did use plain yogurt instead of sour cream, but it definitely wasn't that that screwed it up, since I swap yogurt in recipes all the time with great success, and the other recipe for coffee cake I used didn't require sour cream to begin with. The biggest change I made was scaling it down to an 8x8 pan, but yet again, I'm sure that's not the problem. I've really got to figure out what I'm doing wrong here! Either way, the flavor was awesome, just like I wanted, but again, something I'm doing is giving me a slightly more bread-pudding-like texture than I'd like.
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10 users found this review helpful

Whole Wheat and Honey Pizza Dough

Reviewed: Dec. 17, 2011
I didn't have any wheat germ, so I just followed another reviewer's tip to just replace it with an additional half cup of whole wheat flour. It worked really well! One thing I must say is that if you follow the serving size of a 12" pizza it will be on the thicker-crust side, and I had to bake it for about another 10 or 15 minutes. If I had made a 14" or 16" pizza I think it would have been more accurate to the instruction's bake time. Either way, great recipe. I'll definitely make this again! Update: Made this again only I used a 24 inch pizza stone rather than the 12". Perfect! The baking time is accurate to that size and the crust was the perfect thickness. Even the anti-whole-wheat family members went back for seconds... and thirds!
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7 users found this review helpful

Cheddar Crackers

Reviewed: Dec. 15, 2011
I followed the other reviewers suggestions by cutting the butter to 1/2 cup and doubling the cheese. I used whole wheat flour too, and my allergic-to-health-food husband and picky son didn't notice. They turned out fantastic! Really addictive, and taste so much like cheese-its! The thinner they're rolled the crispier and better they are. Update: so many people complained this was too much like a pie crust, so I decided to utilize that idea. However, I made a pot pie and had a lot of trouble getting this dough to become crispy as a crust should. It was tasty, but I will stick to using this for crackers.
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7 users found this review helpful

French Bread Rolls to Die For

Reviewed: Jan. 25, 2012
Wow! I've made bread many, many times before, but had never gotten around to making dinner rolls. I thought I'd shake things up today and whip some up, and this recipe seemed easy enough. What great results! I don't keep bread flour on hand, so I just used all-purpose, and I used olive oil rather than vegetable. They were light and fluffy, with a nice, chewy crust, and so easy to make. They look like they came from a bakery too! So smooth and keep a nice shape! I tried using whole wheat flour for a batch, but they were a bit dense and didn't rise as nicely or look as professional, so I'll probably find a different recipe for whole wheat. But for white this is definitely gold! Update: I made another 100% whole wheat batch with this recipe, but I added an additional 1/4 cup warm water to the yeast/sugar mixture to proof, and sifted 2 1/2 tablespoons of vital wheat gluten with the flour. They rose quite nicely and are no longer dense. Still, it's obvious this was a recipe made for white flour, but with the extra liquid to moisten it and wheat gluten give it the extra oomph I'd say it's a decent way to go.
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6 users found this review helpful

Quinoa Porridge with Cinnamon Apples

Reviewed: Jun. 9, 2012
Just polished off this dish for breakfast about five minutes ago. Very good! This was my first shot at quinoa, and thanks for making that new experience a pleasant one! It's similar to how I cook oatmeal sometimes (though I do that sans milk and cream; just water). I don't usually keep random things like Almond milk around, so I just used skim, and also fat free half and half. I also used a light butter spread and cut the amount in half, as I only really wanted a little butter flavor for the apples. To saute the apples with the reduced amount of butter, I just used cooking spray to keep it from sticking to the pan, and added just that little bit of butter spread for flavour. I also swapped the almonds for chopped pecans. (Apples and cinnamon just seem to pair up so nicely with pecans!) I will certainly be making this again.
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5 users found this review helpful

Honey Butter

Reviewed: May 23, 2012
I had honey butter at work (I work in a kitchen) and when I made popovers I knew honey butter was just what I wanted for them! I saw a few recipes for it, and picked this one. Glad I did, as it's just like the honey butter our head cook makes. The other recipes seemed to use a lot more honey, but this is plenty sweet, and the perfect compliment to wheaty breads, toast, English muffins, or popovers... or really just about any bread! My father loved maple butter on popovers (we're New Englanders, after all!), so I may try swapping that for the honey.
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5 users found this review helpful

Carrot Cake Oatmeal

Reviewed: Apr. 11, 2012
Really good and really filling. It needs a little something I can't put my finger on, so I'll peruse the other reviews and see if someone has already found the answer. I may even need to double the carrot! Next time I'll also add a little less apple. It tastes fine, but it overpowered the carrot. I also cut the raisins. It was nice and easy to make it the night before, and reheat it for about a minute and half the next morning.I just have rolled oats instead of steel-cut, and halving the recipe and adjusting a few ingredients yielded me a nice, full breakfast. I dolloped it with nonfat Greek yogurt, and it was a nice touch. I'll certainly make this again, but try - just for fun - using instead a dollop of nonfat cream cheese! Both option sound awesome to me. I cut the ginger in half, cause even though I love ginger, it seemed like a bit much, and the ginger flavor I got was perfect! Subtle enough that it wasn't overpowering, but as a ginger-lover strong enough to give a tasty zing to the dish. Once I find what this needs, I'll update and re-rate this review accordingly. Until then, I still say this is a great addition to my breakfast rotation! UPDATE: Definitely double the carrot! Also, the tip of adding a little pineapple juice is a small change that makes a great difference! Highly suggested. I also tried topping with nonfat cream cheese that I whipped with a few drops of vanilla. That was SO good! Fat free whipped topping prepared the same way would be good too!
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5 users found this review helpful

Popovers

Reviewed: Sep. 18, 2012
My mom used to make popovers as an occasional dinner treat. We all loved them, but I try to make things whole wheat if possible. I knew it was going to take more than just swapping the white for wheat when it came to this more delicate recipe. But try number 2 yielded great success! My brother-in-law - who makes a point of avoiding health food - wasn't told that these were 100% whole wheat, and had several! These are the ingredients I used for making them whole wheat (This makes 1 dozen): 3 Eggs, 1 cup and 2 Tbsp white whole wheat flour (like king arthur brand) 1.5 cups skim milk, 1.5 tsp salt, 1.5 tsp vanilla extract. I'm not sure if egg beaters would work, but I'll give it a try sometime to see if I can lower the fat and calorie count, which to be honest if they don't work isn't a huge deal since the recipe as I made it is pretty low fat/cal anyway.
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4 users found this review helpful

Apple Scones

Reviewed: May 13, 2012
I followed some other reviewers' advice and added a second apple, plus 1/2 tsp cinnamon mixed in with the batter along with 1/4 tsp allspice and 1/4 tsp nutmeg. I also used Splenda in place of sugar, whole wheat flour in place of all-purpose, and margarine in place of butter and had no issues. I then sprinkled the top of the 6" circle with a tablespoon of splenda and additional cinnamon, and cut it into 8 scones. I think I might swap some of the flour for oats next time, just to shake things up, but they're still delicious without that particular extra touch. Also, I was in a bit of a fluster when I was making these (long and unrelated story) and added the liquids before I realized I had not yet cut in the margarine. So I cut it in as I simultaneously mixed in the liquids, just moistening the dry. No problems came of my err. A nice, simple recipe, and my kitchen smells so wonderful!
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4 users found this review helpful

Grandma VanDoren's White Bread

Reviewed: Apr. 18, 2012
This was the first time I ever baked something that looked so bakery-perfect that I took a photo of it. I got a lot of facebook 'likes' on that picture! The dough was pretty sticky, so I added a little more flour. It was still more sticky than I usually let yeast dough stay, but I went with it and got a beautiful result.
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4 users found this review helpful

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

Reviewed: Apr. 8, 2012
I made these for a friend who is a Reeces cup addict, and he said they were 'two thumbs up.' I took the suggestions of other reviewers by greasing a silicone muffin sheet instead of using liners, and added 1/4 cup crushed graham cracker and about 1 tsp vanilla extract to the peanut butter mixture. When they were done the top layer was a bit patchy, and some of the filling was exposed, so I used a pastry brush to smooth the top layer with some additional melted chocolate. It made some really pretty brush strokes, and I'm a bit of an artist, so I'm planning on getting some butterscotch and white chocolate chips - which I can then color with food-dye, and do some nice pictures on the cups for festive treats and gifts to give away.
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4 users found this review helpful

Soft-N-Fluffy Hamburger Buns

Reviewed: Mar. 16, 2012
They turned out just as fluffy and soft as described, but pretty tiny. The batch I just made are big enough to be rolls, but not buns. I'll definitely make them again, but I'll be making fewer buns with this amount of dough. Either way, nice texture. I don't have a bread machine, so I just proofed the yeast with the water and sugar, then used my Kitchen Aid mixer to mix in the flour, Vital Wheat Gluten, salt, and oil (I used olive), and used the dough hook for about 5 minutes, then let them rest about 45 minutes before shaping them. Update: I made a half batch and got 4 standard sized burger buns. Ps; when these are fresh out of the oven they melt in your mouth! Wow! Can't get the tops to brown like I want, but it's not like the uniform whiteness compromises the flavour or anything, so I'm not too worried about it. But next time I'll try brushing them with a little milk to see if I can get the look I want. (new update: the milk hardly browned them at all. But I'm fine with white buns. No biggie!)
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4 users found this review helpful

Zucchini Pasta II

Reviewed: Aug. 21, 2012
This was a realy simple and tasty recipe! Ever so slightly spicey, but still mild. I used leftover Thanksgiving turkey instead of chicken (simply to use it up) and doubled the amount. I also threw in another tablespoon of cream cheese, and I totally forgot about the basil. Not a huge deal, as I only had dry basil anyway. I used whole wheat bowtie pasta, but shells would've been fun. Anyway, the only thing I want to say is that the recipe calls for 'one zucchini'. Unfortunately Zucchini comes in all shapes and sizes; from six inches to the size of a baseball bat. I put in one cup of chopped zucchini, but I think it needs two cups at least. And the same goes for the onion; the recipe calls for half an onion, and those aso vary greatly in size. I used a quarter cup, and that seemed perfect. Will DEFINATELY make this again, but I will add more zucchini than I did the first time.
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3 users found this review helpful

Broccoli With Lemon Almond Butter

Reviewed: Aug. 13, 2012
This was a nice change from the usual as far as cooked broccoli goes. I love it plain with maybe just a little pepper and garlic and a sprinkle of Parmesan, but I liked this recipe fairly well. I'll definitely make this again. I simplified it a bit though. I used three tablespoons of low-calorie butter spread, and about a tablespoon of lemon juice (I skipped the zest), and I toasted the almond slices. I just cooked the broccoli, then threw all my ingredients in and stirred. Very nice recipe!
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3 users found this review helpful

Overnight Cinnamon Rolls I

Reviewed: May 26, 2012
Like many others, I had trouble getting these to rise. I proofed the yeast 10 minutes in the milk mixture, but it didn't 'bloom' very well, and I threw it out and started over, but had the same issue. I've never had a problem proofing yeast, and I figured maybe it just looked different in milk as I've only proofed it in water before. I went ahead and continued the recipe, and had to add over a 1/2 cup of flour in order to work with the dough. It hardly rose in the greased bowl, but I continued on. I brushed the rolled out dough with 1 tbsp of butter total, doubled the brown sugar, added nutmeg to the filling, and took away the raisins. I cut 24 smaller rolls out of the batch - as we don't like giant rolls - and froze them immediately. When I prepared them, I let a few thaw in the fridge overnight, first spraying them with PAM and covering them with plastic wrap. They didn't rise much in the fridge, so I followed another reviewer's advice on this and covered them with a damp cloth and let them sit in my oven at 170F for about 20 minutes. They looked good at that point, so I baked them at 350 and pulled them out after about 10 min as they were more than done. They were about Pillsbury cinnamon roll size when complete. I made a cream cheese frosting which I loved, but my husband said he'd prefer the traditional glaze made from powdered sugar and water. They had nice flavor, but could be moister. I'll follow the tip of putting a small pat of butter on them before baking.
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3 users found this review helpful

Chocolate Cheesecake

Reviewed: May 23, 2012
I myself don't care for chocolate, but I wanted to make a chocolate and a regular cheesecake for a friend's birthday. I used this recipe for the chocolate one, and after stirring in the chocolate chips I suddenly thought to myself, "wait a minute... I bet anything I was supposed to melt these." Yep. So I ended up with a chocolate chip cheesecake rather than chocolate batter. That mishap not withstanding, it got great reviews from the birthday boy, and also my brother said it was - hands down - the best cheesecake he had ever had! I made a different crust than directed only because I prepared two crusts before picking the recipes. I also had only reduced fat cream cheese on hand and everyone said it was still very, very rich. I topped it with a cup of cool whip beaten with a tablespoon of chocolate milk mix... mostly to disguise the crack that formed on the top of the cake, but it complimented the flavor of the cheesecake nicely. I'll definately try this again and MELT the chocolate, but if I want to make a chocolate chip cheesecake again I'll use this recipe and 'forget' to melt the chips! Perhaps I'll also try melted butterscotch or white chocolate chips! That's a flavor I could go for!
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3 users found this review helpful

Cold Oven Popovers

Reviewed: May 23, 2012
I added a dash of vanilla extract to the recipe. My Popovers REALLY popped! I turned on the oven light with 5 minutes left, and they were 5 inches out of the pan! I'm glad I peeked, because they would have burned if I left them in even another half a minute. Great with honey butter!
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3 users found this review helpful

Mango Lassi II

Reviewed: Apr. 24, 2012
I made these to go with an Indian-themed dinner, and I always liked lassis whenever I went out to the local Indian restaurant. These were really superb, and perfect for cooling off the tongue after a mouthful of curry-smothered meats or veggies. I cut the sugar amount in half, and it was PLENTY sweet! I haven't had a lassi - or even mango - in years, and this brought the memories back on in full force. Thanks for the recipe!
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3 users found this review helpful

Easy Garam Masala

Reviewed: Apr. 24, 2012
I didn't have any garam masala on hand for a recipe yesterday, and this was a great find! Thanks for the recipe!
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3 users found this review helpful

Indian-Spiced Roasted Chickpeas

Reviewed: Apr. 24, 2012
I made these because I had a ton of chickpeas to use up from the leftovers of the salad bar at work, and I was making an Indian-themed dinner anyway. They weren't bad; in fact they were quite good, and made a nice side to my Indian dinner, but they're not something I'd make again. I just wanted to do something with chickpeas other than hummus, cause I already know I like that. It was worth a shot, and I'll certainly polish off the leftovers with gusto, but I think I'll stick to hummus for my go-to on chickpea recipes. I suppose they weren't as crunchy as I'd have liked, and I baked them for quite some time too. Still, nice blend of herb flavors!
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3 users found this review helpful

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