Starlet Recipe Reviews (Pg. 3) - Allrecipes.com (13766706)

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Restaurant-Style Zuppa Toscana

Reviewed: Jun. 15, 2010
Pretty darn good, and easy peasy. I used spinach for kale, and Aidell's Habanero Chicken Sausage. BF loved it.
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Strawberry Spinach Salad I

Reviewed: May 8, 2010
AMAZING salad, and couldn't be simpler... dressing uses ingredients I always have on hand, so this is going to be made A LOT around here during strawberry season, which happens to be RIGHT NOW!!! I did cut the sugar to 1/4 cup and added a good glob of yummy local honey, and still BF said "it's like a dessert salad" so would cut sugar even further back next time... I'll add feta next time too, and maybe avocado (which might balance out all the sweet some). This is my go-to new spring salad!
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Delicious Raspberry Oatmeal Cookie Bars

Reviewed: May 1, 2010
SO EASY and pretty darn good!!! Kinda tastes like a much better version of a Nutri-Grain Bar, which I don't actually care for, but these are good. Mine came together just fine, and came out of the pan fine as well. I did crank up the heat to 450 for the first half of baking since I was trying to make dinner at the same time, but it didn't affect it at all. We were wishing we had vanilla ice cream, and if we had I may have rated it 5 stars... =)
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Slider-Style Mini Burgers

Reviewed: Apr. 7, 2010
Ok, but not great. I did change to suit us, pepperjack for cheddar, homemade msg-free seasoning for onion soup, but that doesn't change what ruined this for me- I had a problem with the SLOPPINESS of these... Let me be clear- these are NOT burgers, they are mini burger flavored sloppy joes. I had planned on grilling mini burgers but was foiled by a downpour and gave these a shot... Not gonna make this again, sorry. Too sloppy joey, not burgery enough.
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Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

Reviewed: Mar. 31, 2010
UPDATE: Try Dr. Pepper & Chiles in Adobo, or Jalapenos if you like heat. VERY GOOD! Country Ribs work well too. ORIGINAL REVIEW: This... was... AWESOME!!! I did marinate it over night in about a TB of cider vinegar and a rub of chipotle powder, onion powder, brown sugar and salt & pepper. Used Virgil's (microbrewed) root beer, and needed 2 bottles to cover- I've had bad experiences with pork loin/slow cooker and not fully covering with liquid- After 3.5 hrs on low it was fully cooked so I proceeded with finishing the recipe and then left it on warm for another 3 hours til it was time to eat. I used Sweet Baby Ray's Chipotle Honey, and it is quite good for a bottled sauce... There's a bit of a kick to that one and that MADE it by perfectly balancing out the sweet. Served on fresh Kaiser rolls with a broccoli/cabbage slaw and loaded baked potato salad with a lovely basil gin fizz my pro-bartender friend whipped up and it was a flippin' FANTASTIC meal- The PERFECT meal for having guests b/c everything was done when they arrived (house smelled GREAT!) and I was able to visit and not be busy in the kitchen other than merely slicing the rolls! A TRUE KEEPER!!! I would NEVER have thought of root beer, but it works!
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Cheesy Potato Salad

Reviewed: Mar. 31, 2010
A good jumping off point, but I had to jazz it up... With my additions, it is REALLY GOOD!!! I added 1 ts onion powder, 1/4 ts paprika, 1/2 ts each salt and pepper, plus I cut the sugar to 1 TB. Mixed the "sauce" first, then just added in the "solids." 10 minutes was too long to boil, next time I will do 8-9... I can NEVER seem to get the potatoes cooked right for potato salad for some reason, I usually under-do them but this time they were slightly over-done. I also used 6 slices of bacon crumbled rather than the bits, and subbed pepperjack cause I have a brick of it right now and also thought it needed the kick. With these switcheroos it was awesome, but I think without the addition of, at a minimum, SALT and pepper this would be rather bland, even with all the yummy stuff in there... Bottom line, cut (or omit) the sugar, add seasoning and you've got a WINNER!!!
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Swedish Pancakes

Reviewed: Mar. 20, 2010
I just did as some reviewers did and mixed the eggs in whole- I don't have the patience to do the egg whites on a Saturday morning. They came out GREAT though. Mine came out less like crepes and more like really thin pancakes, but it's not supposed to be as paper thin as a crepe anyway- if you want crepes, look up a recipe for crepes, and make CREPES, but don't make a Swedish Pancake recipe and then be disappointed b/c it's not a crepe! Consider the Swedish Pancake a middle ground between crepes and regular pancakes. To me the batter consistency is PERFECT because they were super easy to flip and I've gotten frustrated with crepes before, but these were no more difficult than "regular" pancakes, and not as heavy to eat. I had mine with a little bit of sour cream and blueberry preserves, rolled it up, and Mmmmm!!! We made these with Dutch Babies II and although that one was better IMO, these were stil 5*s all the way. Seriously, if you love pancakes YOU MUST try the Dutch Baby. I might not make "fluffy" pancakes for a long time, I think I'm more partial to these "flat" ones now =) Update: Wanna know the BEST thing ever? these Swedish pancakes with Bluberry preserves and sour cream rolled up inside and then topped with LEMON CURD... OMG!!! A-MA-ZING!!!
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Dutch Babies II

Reviewed: Mar. 20, 2010
OK, even though I altered this a bit I'm giving it 5*s cause it's so delicious!!! I did add 2tb powdered sugar and a 1tb of lemon juice to the batter. I did it in a Dutch Oven b/c that's the only cast iron I have and even though it stuck to the bottom a bit, even with all the butter somehow, it tasted SO GOOD that it didn't matter that it was a little bit mangled. The crispy buttery edges were THE BEST!!! Used fresh grated nutmeg and really good quality organic butter that tastes SO BUTTERY and I think that truly MADE this so superior. Only needed maple syrup, and not much at that because it was so flavorful on its own! Made with Swedish Pancakes for a Pancake-O-Rama and these were the favorite =) Will make TIME AND TIME again!!!
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Corned Beef and Cabbage I

Reviewed: Mar. 17, 2010
I got mine at Costco, did it in the slow-cooker on low for 7 hours and it came out really good!!! I added carrot, celery and potato and in place of water I used beef broth. Skipped the cabbage, what kind of Irish girl doesn't like cabbage??? Me. Anyhoo, the meat was rather fatty, but I know that fat=flavor so I just trimmed it all of after it was cooked and before I sliced it. Surprisingly, BF didn't like it as much as I did, I though for sure this would be a man-pleaser-meal... Oh, about halfway through cooking, I ladled out about a cup of the liquid and mixed in about 1/4c cornstarch, then added it all back in and this made it into more of a gravy than a soup... good addition.
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Baked Potato Skins

Reviewed: Mar. 12, 2010
These were pretty darn good! The only reason I docked it a star is because they are mega-greazy!!! If you blot it at the end, the paper towel is DRIPPING with red oil, but I guess that's how they get nice and crispy... I made it as written, BUT added sauteed onions and mushrooms to the skins just before the cheese and bacon. Will DEFINITELY make again, but will experiment to find a way to reduce oil but still get a crispy result... MAybe bake on a rack or broiling tray above a sheet pan so the oil has somewhere to go instead of puddling under the skins...
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Gourmet Mushroom Risotto

Reviewed: Feb. 26, 2010
I think I screwed this up a bit, but the actual recipe was outstanding, PLUS even scaling it down to 4 servings we got 2 dinners out of it, so I liked it. I think I know what I (and others who say it takes longer) did wrong- I had it on medium heat b/c my stove tends to run hot, and because of that it took nearly a half hour on the stove and the rice was overdone for risotto, not inedible, just didn't have that 'bite' anymore. Gonna try upping the heat to med-hi as written and I think that will make it better becuase it will cook faster and hopefully not have time to get overdone. AWESOME mushroom flavor, although I sauteed them longer than 3 mins cause I like them completely cooked. THANK YOU!!! ans I can't wait to mess around with this, I was always afraid of Risotto, but now I'm excited to try it again and get it right! BF said 'It tastes just like it smells... GOOD!' UPDATE: I've messed with this several times now and the MEDIUM-HIGH heat is the KEY!!! For those who said it took longer to cook- you don't have the heat high enough. My stove runs hot so I was apprehensive to go that high of a heat the first time around, but EXACTLY following the instructions produces a PERFECT risotto that is not over- or under-cooked in the amount of time listed. I added some lobster tail meat once for a main-dish meal and was surprised that it wasn't as good as I though it'd be... I'll stick with it as written or just add other veg from here on out.
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Chicken Makhani (Indian Butter Chicken)

Reviewed: Feb. 17, 2010
This is my absolute FAVORITE Indian dish, but this one is just OK for me, but not great... Followed recipe tp a T, measuring EVERYTHING even, but end result was not what I had in mind. Maybe because I set the bar at the Chicken Makhani at the Indian restaurant in our old neighborhood (Qazi's in Freemont for any Seattleites looking for AWESOME Indian lunch buffet!!!), which years later I will drive an hour to get it at least once or twice a year, I just can't forget it no matter how hard I try, but this version here didn't even come close... lacking the rich, smooth, "buttery" flavor that I expect from Chicken Makhani. As far as Indian food in general, it was decent, but not good enough for us to have it 2 nights in a row and we are leftover lovers... I'll keep looking for 'The One,' but this isn't it.
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To Die For Blueberry Muffins

Reviewed: Jan. 24, 2010
These are quite good! The only thing I did differently was to add 1/2 ts vanilla, and use 1/2&1/2 for the milk. Also used frozen berries, about 1-1/2 c and tossed them in flour but they still bled like mad, which is fine. Got 6 rather large muffins, but had to bake nearly 35 mins! TIP: Make crumble topping FIRST by melting the butter in micro, add in sugar, flour, cinnamon and mix well with a fork. press mixture down firmly into the bowl and set in the frige or freezer while you mix up the batter (about 10-15 mins). Then take it out and break it up with a fork. Allowing the butter in the mixture to reharden a bit is what gives you a super crumbly crumble rather than a sandy crumble as some have decribed... TRUST ME, I have figured this method out after MANY years of trial and error with recipes that require a "crumble" of any kind, and this works for me EVERY TIME! Oh, and the amts listed for the topping are too much! I cut it in half and it was perfect.
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Bacon Wrapped Smokies

Reviewed: Dec. 27, 2009
These are DELICIOUS as written, but I've been working to tweak/perfect this recipe here and there over the years and after several "lessons learned" this is what I do now... Put them all in rows in either a 9x13 pyrex, or a 3" deep broiling pan. When skewering, DO NOT push toothpick so that smokie is centered on the toothpick- if you JUST push it through (start on the seal end) so it's still quite secure, but there's more of a "handle" they're SO much easier to eat later. Once the br.sug.'s on, I pour GENEROUS stripes over each row, of molasses, honey, maple syrup and the piece de resistance... Spicy Brown Mustard. Put in a cold oven set at 375 for one hour. During this hour, baste them with the bubbly sugary bacon fat syrup every 10 mins. Good in a Crock Pot on low for 3-4 hours, but obviously best fresh... Let cool 7-10 mins or you WILL burn your face off... The waiting is the hardest part, harder than the skewering =) We LOVE them dipped in my homemade BBQ sauce =) I buy the big pkg of smokies and bacon at Costco in Nov and it's exactly the right amount to get us through Thanksgiving, Christmas and then Super Bowl Sunday. Indulgence at it's finest!
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Kris' Lentil Sausage Soup

Reviewed: Dec. 3, 2009
Fantastic basic recipe, but for us needed adjustments to be as awesome as it turned out. Did everything the recipe called for and added 1/4 ts each cayenne and liquid hickory smoke + 1/2 ts cumin + 1 ts each onion powder, corriander and apple cider vinegar. And a shake of worcestershire. Also, used the larger can (28 oz?) of organic fire roasted crushed tomatoes. We topped it with sour cream, parsley and tabasco and crunched up blue corn chips... SO GOOD!
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Caribbean-Spiced Roast Chicken

Reviewed: Nov. 23, 2009
I quadrupled the recipe for 2 chickens, and took the advice of reviewers to let it marinate. I rubbed the birds down with the seasoning, made sure to get lots in between the breast and skin, and refrigerated apx. 24 hours before cooking. After that first baste, going in for the second I got hit with a waft of alcohol vapors opening the oven, so don't stick your face right in there like I did! Also, added ground corriander and a dash of allspice to the seasoning mix. The whole thing was AWSOME! However, I can see how not everyone would like this taste, if you're not familiar with caribbean flavors it may seem odd, but I thought it was YUMMY!!! Oh, I also added a bit of Kitchen Bouquet to the rum/lime baste to give better color and it came out gorgeous golden brown. The pan drippings caramelized and as it rested I kept basting. REALLY good recipe, well recieved by my family! PS THX to tat2whttrsh's review, served with Byrdhouse Mushroom Barley Pilaf and it went wonderfully if you're looking for a side...
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Byrdhouse Mushroom Barley Pilaf

Reviewed: Nov. 23, 2009
Very good! I used low sodium better than bouillon, and barely added any salt so I didn't find it too salty at all. Forgot to buy sherry so used a dry white wine instead, but will do sherry next time for sure. THX! to tat2whttrsh's review mentioning this on the Caribbean Spiced Chicken review, that's how I found this one, and the 2 dishes did go perfectly together as she said... even though they're very different tastes, the thyme ties it together and it's a nice balance. Also made with roasted beets and sweets (my fave!) and a big salad and it all made a FANTASTIC fall Sunday family dinner! Will DEFINITELY make this one again, maybe turn it into a one dish meal as suggested. Also, when I'm having people over I try to 'prep' as much as possible so I'm not cooking too much when I could be visiting, so I sauteed everything, added the wine, set it in the frige for about 2 hrs., just before guests arrived I boiled the barley in the broth apx. 5 mins, mixed it all together and left in the frige another hour before baking one hour... Came out PERFECT!!! THNX Sunny Byrd!!!
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Chicken Piccata with Artichoke Hearts

Reviewed: Nov. 20, 2009
This came out really good! I made a few minor substitutions, one accidental =) Realized once everything was already cooking that I only had limes, no lemons! It worked though, and I'd actually do it again on purpose... Maybe add a dash of cajun seasoning... I think I'm onto something! Anyway, didn't cook 20 mins, more like 10, then mixed with the twist twirly pasta. SO yummy! Glad there was enough to have again tonight, I get the feeling it's one of those things that tastes even better the next day. Will definitely make again!
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Yummy Sweet Potato Casserole

Reviewed: Nov. 20, 2009
This is EXACTLY the recipe my BF's Mom uses EVERY T'giving & Xmas and it's everyone's favorite dish at holidays. I've made it a few times and it's sooo good, but somehow always tastes better when she does it... How do Moms do that? Follow the recipe EXACTLY, don't change a thing- It's PERFECT just like this!
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Baked Ziti I

Reviewed: Nov. 7, 2009
SO GOOD!!! I used my own homemade mushroom red sauce sauce, skipped the meat all together, and it came out delicious! The sour cream is the most important part, and I never would have thought of adding that on my own, but it just adds a richness that makes this dish perfecto =) Still good the next day too!
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