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Ginger Veggie Stir-Fry

Reviewed: Jan. 9, 2014
Best stir fry I've made in a long time. In the past I've used frozen vegetables and packaged sauce mixes, but NO more! A goal for this year is to eliminate processed foods in my home and do more scratch cooking with more vegetables. And boy, this recipe fit the bill and was SO tasty. Lots of flavor and lots of crispy fresh veggies. The least healthy part was the jasmine rice I served it with, but that's a must have. I made this recipe pretty much as written. I did toss the veggies in the cornstarch mix but didn't have a problem with gumminess. However, I did make more sauce (extra 2T soy and 4T water) so perhaps that helped. I also added 1T hot szechuan marinade to give extra flavor without making it too spicy for any family members. We like a little extra sauce with the rice so those amounts worked well. I used reduced sodium soy sauce and did not add the extra salt. However, since I made extra sauce the dish had plenty of salt. More would have probably been too much. I used all fresh ingredients: ginger(half amt), garlic, broccoli florets, julienned carrots, sugar snap peas, green onions, and sliced red cabbage. What a yummy and healthy meal. Definitely a do-again!! Thanks, Veggigoddess. :)
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3 users found this review helpful

Spicy Sausage Quiche

Reviewed: Nov. 19, 2013
Thank goodness this tasted better than it looked! Mine came out very thin using the listed amounts of egg and cheese. I don't know if it'd have puffed up more if I'd added milk? Also, it seemed that my eggs separated as the whites were identifiable. The finished dish looked quite strange! I was looking for a basic, traditional, country kind of quiche or casserole to use up some plain sausage. Had trouble finding what I was looking for so I thought I could tweak this one appropriately. I swapped out seasonings since my family has had a lot of mexi dishes lately. Left out the hot peppers and used green bell pepper instead. Left out the chili powder, cumin, and garlic. I doubled the black pepper and added a pinch of cayenne pepper to add flavor and a little kick to an otherwise basic egg and sausage dish. The flavor did turn out pretty good; hubby and teens liked the taste even though it didn't look great!
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Slow Cooker Chicken Marsala

Reviewed: Sep. 11, 2013
Next time I will do the following: Add a lot more salt and pepper to the flour mixture. Also add some italian seasoning and garlic powder to the mixture. Dip chicken in egg before coating, brown chicken before placing in crock pot. Saute onion along with garlic before adding to crock pot, then use marsala to deglaze the pan. Those steps will increase prep time, but hopefully it'll positivelly affect the outcome.
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16 users found this review helpful

Awesome Pasta Salad

Reviewed: May 9, 2013
I was introduced to this type of pasta salad about 20 years ago and have been making ever since. It's a fantastic summer side or lunchtime meal. I prefer to make it without any meat or cheese so it's really a light and healthy dish. I typically add a variety of veggies (celery, carrots, red onion, red bell pepper, small broccoli florets) in addition to those mentioned here. I learned over the years to stick with crunchy type veggies as they hold up better in the dressing. I usually cook the pasta while chopping the veggies and then rinse the pasta well in very cold water to stop the cooking and remove the starch. I put the pasta and veggies in separate bowls to marinate in the frig overnight. That's REALLY necessary in order for the flavor to be absorbed. Then before taking somewhere or serving at home I mix the two and add additional dressing. I use at least a bottle of dressing for each batch. Preparing as I mention definitely results in a flavorful, crunchy, colorful salad that's hard to resist. My kids have always loved this dish and are thrilled whenever I make it. The recipe makes a very large bowl of pasta salad which is good for pot lucks but also is good for large families or even small families with teens who like to gobble up a veggie pasta salad!
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Slow Cooker Chicken Taco Soup

Reviewed: Mar. 20, 2012
Loved it! This dish was easy to prepare and a hit with the whole family. It's really a "chicken" chili, but just a bit lighter and just enough variation to alternate with other Tex Mex menus. It'll definitely be in our rotation, especillay for the winter months. I made it using a 2.5 lb bag of frozen chicken tenders. I doubled everything else except the diced tomatoes since my son doesn't like too much chunky tomato. I put the frozen tenders in after everything else was mixed in the crockpot. The chicken was ready to shred after 5 hours on low. My crew was so anxious to eat that we only let it simmer another 1 hr before eating and everyone enjoyed. I used the homemade taco seasoning recommended below and it was plenty tasty and spicy. We'll use it going forward rather than pre-packaged stuff. BTW, I DID include the beer....happened to have a local brew on hand, Billy's Chilies (from Boulder, CO) which turned out to be the perfect complement. But, just in case, I only added one bottle along with 12 oz water. I'll definitely use beer again, but then I've been adding beer to my chili for many years and folks have always loved it! I do think, however, that the beer you choose will either work with the soup OR stand out unfavorably, so choose carefully. I keep a few varieties on hand to use in Tex Mex dishes and BBQ pork. Anyway, don't give up on the can enhance!!
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Chicken and Wild Rice Slow Cooker Dinner

Reviewed: Mar. 19, 2012
Very disappointing. I didn't read the other (few) reviews before making. Thought the ingredients would make for a good basic dish that all in my family would like. The only changes I made: used 2 large turkey breasts rather than the chicken breasts, and used vegetable broth instead of plain water. Still, my 6qt crock pot was full to the brim. I was hopeful as it cooked, but ended up disappointed in many ways. The turkey was tender and tasted fine, actually did have a seasoned taste. However, the overall dish did not look appetizing and was certainly not satisfying.... and my family loves both rice and carrots. The rice was just rather strange tasting and the bottom was overcooked, some of it burnt. The carrots seemed out of place, adding nothing to the dish. In hindsight, I'd prefer to cook the meat in the crock pot and prepare the rice and carrots separately. I think all would turn out better that way and look vastly more appealing.
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8 users found this review helpful

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

Reviewed: Feb. 9, 2012
I made this for a Super Bowl gathering last week and it turned out great. I'd never made pulled pork before, so I was eager to try, but a bit worried about this unusual recipe. Like others suggested, I used a cheaper/fattier cut of meat and cooked it in the crockpot. I put the 4+ lb butt in the crockpot along with a 2L of rootbeer and cooked it on low overnight as one of the previous reviewers did. It was bubbling and fully cooked the next morning (8 hrs). I then removed the meat, cleaned off as much fat as possible while shredding the meat, and strained the liquid. After cleaning the crock pot (messy from bubbling soda), I put the meat back in, added a bottle of barbecue sauce as well as plenty of the reserved rootbeer to fully cover the meat. After stirring to mix the liquids, I put the crockpot in the frig for about 6 hrs to let it marinate further (as another reviewer suggested). I then pulled it out, turned it on low for 2 hrs and high for 1 hr to thicken up the liquid some. The meat was tender and flavorful and all of us enjoyed it. I'll definitely make this again and do it more often, keeping some for leftovers and maybe freezing some. I may experiment with barbecue sauces in the future but this basic, easy recipe is great is a winner as is!
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Serbian Ground Beef, Veggie, and Potato Bake

Reviewed: Feb. 4, 2012
I've tried lots of new recipes lately without much success. Finally a winner....last night's Serbian Beef w/Veggies turned out great. Hubby loved it and suggested it for future potlucks. Picky teens loved it and even went back for seconds. Great option for ground beef with a tasty, unique flavor! I followed the recipe fairly closely, only omitting the cream since others said it mattered little and we don't usually add those extras anyway. I did dice up the celery really small so it would be more akin to the diced peppers & onions. Since I didn't have green pepper, I used 1/2 red and 1/2 yellow which was actually nice since the celery already contributed a green color. I also added minced garlic to the sauteed veggies, onion salt & garlic powder to the browning beef. The other spices I used as suggested except probably only about half the crushed red pepper (and the dish was spicy enough). I dissolved the boullion in the water before adding to the mix to make sure it wasn't still lumpy. I doubled the wine to make sure there'd be enough broth to keep the dish moist and cook the potatoes. As for the potatoes, I sliced 6 medium size red potatoes, with skin on, for the the top and bottom layers (1/2 each). I also peeled and cubed 2 medium size yams which I added to the beef & veggie mixtures. However, I sauteed/steamed them with the carrots for a bit before adding them since to make they'd be cooked enough. Baked 50 mins w/cover, 10 mins without. Delicious!
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