Crystal Russell Recipe Reviews (Pg. 1) - Allrecipes.com (13365765)

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Crystal Russell

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Banana Sour Cream Bread

Reviewed: Nov. 27, 2013
I did not read any other reviews prior to making this Banana Sour Cream Bread or prior to writing this review. I only utilized 5 bananas as that is what I had on hand, and that was perfectly appropriate. I used real vanilla extract with the actual vanilla beans in it, which gives the bread tiny bits of crunch (much like poppy seeds). I did use walnuts. I did not have 7 x 3 bread pans, so I used Wilton Professional 9 x 5 pans. I did have to bake the loaves for approximately 40 minutes longer (nearly 1.75 hourS) to get them to come out appropriately at the same temperature setting. I should have turned up the heat. Regardless, the bread was absolutely wonderful, moist, tasty and I will make it again, likely in 9 x 5 loaves. I took it to a potluck, and it was a hit. The recipe makes a large volume of bread (Two huge, very full 9 x 5 loaves).
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Italian Bread Bowls

Reviewed: Sep. 18, 2012
I generally cut this recipe in half and make 3 bread bowls instead of 4. This creates bread bowls of a more suitable size for our tastes. I prepare the dough in the bread machine (using olive oil in place of other oils), utilizing the 1.5 hour "dough" cycle. I then form the bread bowls and let them rise on the stove top (with the oven on) for about an hour. The dough itself as it stands is a bit bland for my taste... I generally add a handful of fresh rosemary and a tablespoon or so of garlic powder. Instead of an egg wash, I use a butter "wash", which complements the rosemary and garlic nicely. These also require a longer baking time than mentioned in the recipe to crisp the outside of the bowl (25 - 30 minutes). I just play it by ear (or eye) and watch for the bowls to begin to brown. With those changes, this is my "go-to" bread bowl recipe. :)
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Apple Brownies

Reviewed: Jul. 23, 2012
I always make a recipe exactly as it stands the first go 'round, and this one sure didn't turn out like expected. As is, the taste is absolutely excellent. It took me about 45 minutes to bake, and even then I had an overly-moist apple cake that had to be eaten in a bowl - definitely not a "brownie" or "blondie". It seems there are *way* too many apples in this (I used 3 medium Granny Smiths) - next time I'll double everything else or half the apples. There's not enough batter to hold it all together!
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Roasted Potatoes with Rosemary

Reviewed: Jun. 3, 2012
Simple, yet elegant. A perfect side to any number of dishes. Didn't (and wouldn't) change a thing.
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Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon-Mustard Dressing

Reviewed: Jun. 3, 2012
This is, hands down, the best warm salad I've ever had. My husband and I are vegetarian, and I just substitute a fake bacon product (on their own, fake bacon products are relatively nasty, but crumbled into this salad and dressing? Amazing.). This salad is diverse enough for a main dish, and cut down to two servings is the perfect side. Let the dressing cool slightly before pouring it into the salad, or your cheese will turn into a gloppy mess (still good. Just rather clumpy).
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Homemade Black Bean Veggie Burgers

Reviewed: May 18, 2012
These are ridiculously delicious burgers - even my carnivorous friends couldn't get enough of them. Five stars for taste, four stars for the recipe as it stands. As is, the patties are pretty loose and fall apart, even after baking or grilling. I ended up adding an entire cup of bread crumbs and a half cup of oats. The egg held up, and I didn't have to add any more spices (well, maybe cumin, says the cumin addict...). I also used black beans that I had previously cooked from dried stock and frozen. A great way to use up left-overs! These will definitely become a staple in our home.
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Dark Chocolate Cake I

Reviewed: May 18, 2011
I too believe that this cake is far too dry, dense, and lacking in flavor. It does hold together very well and is great for layering. I poured half of the batter into a 9 X 9 rectangular dish and frosted with a coconut/semisweet ganache - far too dry. I mixed the remaining batter with a half cup of raspberry preserves and made 16 medium cupcakes. Still a bit dry, but very pretty. Won't try this one again.
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Clone of a Cinnabon

Reviewed: May 8, 2011
These are by far the best cinnamon rolls I have ever made. Be warned - the dough is VERY sticky. I had a heck of a time rolling the dough and getting it into a log. Next time I will try the butter cooking spray as another reviewer suggested - flour doesn't cut it.
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Fudge Puddles

Reviewed: Jan. 23, 2011
Excellent cookies and so easy to make! I used a 1 ounce cookie scoop, which only made 24 cups. I used the back of the scoop to make the wells. I simply poured the chocolate filling into each cup directly from the pan (it takes a little finesse and a spouted pan). Each cup was filled to the brim, with only an ounce or so of fudge remaining. Definitely a favorite!
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Soft Christmas Cookies

Reviewed: Jan. 1, 2011
These are by far the best sugar cookies I have ever made! I did have to increase the cook time by several minutes. If you make them too big (I had 4 inch trees), the outsides get crispy and the insides undercooked. I solved by cooking 4 minutes longer at 25 degrees less. They stay soft for 4 or 5 days in a sealed container. Will definitely add to my Christmas baking rotation.
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Coconut Macaroons III

Reviewed: Jan. 1, 2011
These coconut macaroons are so simple, yet so sinfully tasty. Fresh out of the oven, they are crispy and warm, almost pastry-like. After a few days, they are gooey and sweet, like candy. Next time, I will add a bit more flour hoping to cut down on some of the stickyness. A 1 oz. scoop is a must.
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Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

Reviewed: Oct. 31, 2010
Quick and easy peanut butter cookies. I doubled the ingredients, used 1 1/3 cups brown sugar, 2/3 cups granulated, 2 eggs, 2 cups of peanut butter. My biggest complaint is that the dough is SO sticky. So very, very sticky. I had to keep dusting my hands in sugar to get them out of my hands. I couldn't press them with a fork, so had to flatten in my sugar-crusted hands. Cooked for approximately 12 minutes. THESE ARE DONE BEFORE THEY SEEM DONE! The tops will still be very soft when you take them out. 3 stars due to ridiculously sticky batter.
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Cheesy Potato and Corn Chowder

Reviewed: Oct. 4, 2010
I left out the celery, used 1 cup of frozen corn and 1 15 ounce can of creamed corn, and added 2 cups of carrots. Also used vegetable stock instead of chicken broth and added basil and thyme (discretionary to taste - did not measure). I added cayenne as well, approximately 1/2 tsp to kick it up a notch. With the changes, this was an absolute favorite for my vegetarian boyfriend and I. It will become a dinner staple for sure.
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Downeast Maine Pumpkin Bread

Reviewed: Oct. 4, 2010
This is by far the best pumpkin bread I have ever made. It's dense and perfectly spiced. I used 2 cups of granulated sugar, one cup of brown sugar, added 1 tsp of vanilla to the batter, and doubled the ginger. I also extended the cook time by 20 minutes and topped with a melted butter, brown sugar, cinnamon glaze. It is absolutely wonderful and a recipe I will make again and again. Thanks!
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Spiced Applesauce Bread

Reviewed: Jul. 19, 2010
This bread is just okay. Like many others, I doubled the spices and used 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 1/2 cup brown sugar. I think it would be far better with bits of apple in it, but I don't intend to make it again. It's still quite bland with doubled spices. Even with 20 minutes added to the cook time, it is still far too moist (read: wet). Not a keeper.
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Vegetarian Korma

Reviewed: Jul. 18, 2010
I use half of the tomato paste and 1.5 cups cream; otherwise I end up with a very tomatoey, pink (despite extra curry and turmeric) not-quite-Indian dish. After 4 different tries, I think I've finally got it. The potatoes and carrots need to be cut into very small cubes or you end up with crunchy veggies!
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Lemon Blueberry Bread

Reviewed: Jul. 18, 2010
Absolutely wonderful. Sweet, dense, cake-like. I omit the walnuts and the glaze (which is too confectioner's-sugary for me), but otherwise don't change a thing. A favorite sweet bread!
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