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Roasted Beets 'n' Sweets

Reviewed: Jan. 19, 2009
This is so good- If you think you don't like beets, you're wrong! Make them this way and you'll be a beetaholic! This recipe make A LOT as written- for 4 adults I use 2 beets and 1 good sized yam and it's exactly the right amount. I do it in bowls, no need to waste a bag. I cut down the oil and use just enough to coat. I use brown sugar too, but either way it's delicious and healthy! I bake beets alone 20m, add yams and seasoning and red onion, then bake add'l 40m. LOVE this dish! FYI beets do turn your pee a bit pinkish the next day, so don't panic =)
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176 users found this review helpful

Apple Crisp II

Reviewed: Oct. 3, 2008
This recipe is nearly the exact recipe I've been using for years, so I had to add my review to the pile. It is my favorite way to get rid of an apple surplus (I ususally use about 7 good sized apples of mixed variety, minus what I snack on while I make it). The only things I do differently are: 1) I use 1/2 brown sugar and 1/2 white for the apple mixture. 2)I add fresh ground nutmeg, vanilla extract, and often raisins. 3)I omit the h20 and 4)I always add a heaping spoonful of gourmet butterscotch caramel ice cream topping to the apple mix-TRUST ME on this one! In the begining, I had a hard time with my crumble mix being 'crumbly' until I figured out to lightly press it down into the bowl, chill it for at least 30m and then break it up with a fork. Letting the butter in the mix re-harden really makes a BIG difference in the final crumble factor. Also, you must use real butter, margarine won't have the same effect for this recipe. I'll often assemble this earlier in the day and leave it in the frige, then just before dinner, break up the crumble, top and bake while we eat. I always serve with vanilla bean ice cream and have ALWAYS gotten rave reviews with this one.
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172 users found this review helpful

Baked Mac and Cheese for One

Reviewed: Aug. 14, 2009
Awesome! I get a hankering for mac and cheese every once in a while, and BF detests it (what's wrong with him?!?!) so I can never make it for dinner. I make this for myself for lunch now to cure my craving. Any pasta will do really, penne/ziti is actually my fave, but I use whatever's on hand. I adjust if a bit by adding a sprinkle of smoked paprika, and prefer to use a non-vinegary hot sauce, not tabasco for this one. Instead of breadcrumbs I sprinkle french fried onions on top, then the cheese and bake... SO GOOD!!! Be sure, as with any roux based sauce, that you let it thicken properly (before adding the cheese), otherwise you will end up with it 'soupy' as one reviewer described... Use the 2 minutes as a guideline, but if it's still thin, give it another minute or 2 til it looks right. Would definately scale this up and serve to guests, especially around the holidays! UPDATE: I now use the cheesy sauce (double amts) in my tuna casserole and it's AWESOME... try it! DOUBLE UPDATE: I don't suggest making this ahead of time... I scaled it up and made it an hour or so before baking and it wasn't as smooth as it is when you bake it right away, the sauce kind of starts to coagulate... I did however adapt the recipe to be gluten free for a friend with celiacs by using brown rice macaroni and white rice flour (just know that a gluten free roux is thinner, but it bakes up ok in the end). She said it was really good and hadn't been able to have mac N cheese for a looong time.
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39 users found this review helpful

CCRyder's Smoker Rib Rub

Reviewed: Jul. 17, 2009
AWESOME!!! Made a few adjustments based on preference and what I had in my spice cabinet... VERY forgiving :) Instead of ancho chile powder (only had regular), I put a large whole dried ancho chile, used fresh rosemary, cut nutmeg and allspice to 1 TS (instead of 1 TB) each and added 1 TS corriander... Not sure why thyme's listed twice...? I just put the 1st amt since too much thyme can be overpowering, maybe the 2nd was supposed to say oregano??? Anyhow, just skipped that part... everything else according to recipe. Blended it all in the food processor til it was even, makes A LOT! I only used 1/2 of it on a full rack of ribs; peeled membrane, soaked 30 mins in apple cider vinegar + worcestershire + splash of liquid smoke (DO THIS! makes ribs super tender and juicy!), then patted dry and rubbed GENEROUSLY. Wrapped in foil, only marinated 4 hours, will do overnight next time! Baked them at 200 for 2 hours (meaty side down!), removed from foil and finished off on the grill with a bourbon molasses glaze and it was SO GOOD!!! LOVE the herbiness of the rosemary & thyme with the sweet of the sugars and glaze... GREAT alternative to standard BBQ ribs. Thanks CC Ryder!!!
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39 users found this review helpful

Creamy Au Gratin Potatoes

Reviewed: Feb. 6, 2009
I've made this recipe MANY times and although it is good as written, I find it a bit bland. For people who like very plain food, make it as written. If not, add a lot of seasoning. I sprinkle saesoned salt, onion and garlic powder and pepper on top of each potato layer. Also, I've mixed 3/4C chive sour cream into 1-1/4C 2% milk and slowly mixed it into the roux and it came out VERY good this way. I like doing a swiss/cheddar mix too and prefer it with red potatoes, but I use whatever's on hand. I'll usually make it several hours in advance and leave in the frige until baking. And although 1-1/2 hours seems like too long to bake, it's actually just right- take the foil off last 20 mins or so. One year for X-mas Eve, I did this in the slow cooker (maybe 5 hours on med.) with Gruyerre and Havarti in between each layer and that was the best ever, but was expensive, time consuming and calorie-packed so haven't done it again since. Next time I think I'll add spiral ham and Jalapenos for a one dish dinner, with a salad. I would consider this a 'Very Good Basic Recipe' but for our taste, needs to be jazzed up. Bonus: Re-heats well too.*****UPDATE: I added a layer of chopped broccoli florets in the middle and it was really good. Probably too long to cook broccoli, it was really soft. Reminded me of broccoli cheese soup, in casserole form.
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38 users found this review helpful

Wally's Rib Rub

Reviewed: May 23, 2009
AWESOME!!! I did cut the paprika and salt down to 1/8c each, just seemed too much to me. And I did 3/4c brown and 1/4c white sugar. Rubbed on flank steak 20 mins before grilling last night and it was sooo good. Prepped ribs by peeling membrane, rubbed with 1/4c apple cider vinegar and 1ts liquid smoke... This really tenderizes the ribs. Then, rubbed GENEROUSLY with Wally's Rib Rub, double wrapped in foil, in frige overnight. Cooked according to AR's Scott Hibb's Amazing Whisky Grilled Baby Back Ribs from this point on. BEST RIBS I'VE EVER HAD IN MY ENTIRE LIFE!!! I'm gonna repeat the process exactly tonight with a pork loin for tomorrow's Sunday family dinner... I have no doubt it too will be extraordinary =) ***UPDATE: Pork loin came out GREAT! Did everything exactly the same (Wally's Rub, then Scott Hibb's sauce and method). Gonna do it again tonight with chicken breast. That makes 4 nights in a row we've used this rub! Steak, Ribs, Pork Loin, and now Chicken... Maybe Salmon tomorrow...? =) P.S. ONE batch has sustained us all of these meals.
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35 users found this review helpful

Cream Cheese Squares

Reviewed: Oct. 13, 2008
Great recipe! I made these for a big brunch this weekend and they were a HUGE hit! I used frozen puff pastry instead of crescent rolls and poured an entire jar of pumpkin butter (from TJs) over the cream cheese mix. I put them in the fridge for 30 mins to set up before slicing into triangles. I served them at room temp and they were phenomenal! I snuck one into the fridge for a selfish little snack for myself later and was surprised to find the filling still soft when it was completely chilled. Not cheesecake-y at all as some described, but maybe that was because of my pumpkin butter addition. For me, this recipe was a wonderful inspiration that I'm looking forward to experimenting with. I keep thinking of different flavor ideas... How good would hazelnut cream cheese be in there? Or even skip the sugar and do something savory like chive cream cheese and smoked salmon? Caramellized onions and bacon? Love, love, love this recipe! Try it! You too will be inspired!
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32 users found this review helpful

Autumn Glazed Pork Chops

Reviewed: Oct. 7, 2009
Very good and super quick, easy and inexpensive! I did sprinkly the chops liberally with salt, pepper and onion powder before cooking, then followed the recipe as written. The only thing I would suggest is letting them rest a few minutes before serving. Will definitely make again! Went GREAT with homemeade sausage, apple, golden raisin stuffing... Nice alternative to the same old pork chops and applesauce!
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27 users found this review helpful

Eat Michigan Salad

Reviewed: Jan. 19, 2009
I LOVE this salad!!! I've made it many times and always forget to review it... I ususally use feta and slivered almonds. I've subbed craisins for the dried cherries and it's still good, but the dried cherries are sooo much better- they add a nice tartness that's very complimentary to the dressing. Fresh strawberries might be good too. Sometimes I've also added a bit of yellow mustard and onion powder to the dressing and that's quite good as well. I've found the dressing is better when run through the food processor a minute- it really gives it a much smoother consistency- I've tried to cheat and skip this step, but it's kinda clumpy even if you whisk it good... still tastes good though! And like the submitter says in their review, it is better if made the night before, or even that morning. I use whatever salad veg I have on hand at the time. Make sure you use a good crisp apple like a honeycrisp, braeburn or fiji, cause that is really the star of this salad. I've also added chunked up chicken breast to make this a main dish salad and that is wondewrful as well. To sum it up, this recipe is filed in my recipe book under 'Best Salad Ever'!
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Clone of a Cinnabon

Reviewed: Mar. 14, 2009
No bread machine, SO... 1 packet of instant yeast into warm milk for 10m. Added sugar, then melted butter, eggs, salt, mixed well, then added ap flour and kneaded by hand 5m. Lg ceramic bowl, coated the inside w/melted butter. Put the dough ball in there- turned it once so it was nice and greazy :) Covered w/a damp towel and set on top of warm oven. 1 hr later it was puffy, punched it down, let sit 10m, then cut dough ball in 1/2 and rolled out w/floured rolling pin on a floured cookie sheet- made it evenly shaped SO EASY! Buttered & sprinkled w/half of cinn/sug and 2/3c chopped pecans. Rolled and sliced, then repeated the process with the other 1/2. Ended up w/21 buns. Put 7/ea in 3 pans. Refrigerated one for next a.m. Froze the other 2 pans. Put frige ones in cold oven and they rose while it preheated, 15m later turned upside down on plate and iced. SO...FLIPPIN...GOOD... ******UPDATE: 1 week later, they froze well! Last night I left them frozen on counter a few hrs to defrost, they rose a tiny bit, then in frige overnight, put in cold oven, they puffed right up while it preheated. Oh, I didn't have cream cheese this time around so used the AR Sour Cream Frosting recipe (more of an icing really) and it was phenomenal with these- a little tangy-er than the cream cheese one- Not as Cinnabon-y, but still YUMMY!***2 WKS frozen, not so good :(
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25 users found this review helpful

Baked Asparagus with Balsamic Butter Sauce

Reviewed: May 6, 2009
SO GOOD!!! After reading reviews I did change it up a bit though... Did 1ts soy and 1tb balsamic. Also, browned the butter first as others did and this provided a much richer, nuttier butter flavor than just melted butter would've. If you're not used to doing a brown butter, all you have to do is put it in a saucepan over medium low (4 on my stove) for about 5 minutes or until it's nutty and brown. Then spoon off the milk fat (butter foam) and discard. What you're left with is a clear, rich brown butter. Because you lose a little volume by discarding the foam, I always do a little bit more butter than called for in the original recipe. And I personally don't think this recipe needs ANY added salt and actually think it would take away from the delicate balance of the flavors. SO YUMMY!
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19 users found this review helpful

Scrambled Eggs Done Right

Reviewed: Apr. 25, 2009
This is THE recipe for perfect, fluffy, yellow (not browned!) scrambled eggs. Mayo is the key! I often put a splash of milk instead of h20, and don't measure so I may not be exact, but it's pretty hard to screw up scrambled eggs! I've tested so many different ways of making them over the years- in the grease from the bacon, with sour cream added in, just milk, seasoned, etc. but a glob of mayo and a splash of h2o/milk, cooked in butter, produces PERFECT scrambled eggs! And they're right about putting the salt & pepper on at the end, I always added it into the raw eggs, but I was doing it wrong! It's better just on the finished product. I'm a pretty darn good cook and never thought I'd need a recipe for something as simple as scrambled eggs, but I guess I've still got a few things to learn :) TIP: Whisk/fork the mayo and liquid (h2o or milk) together FIRST, then add the eggs... This results in a smoother, creamier mixture without the chunks of mayo.
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Easy Garlic Broiled Chicken

Reviewed: Dec. 2, 2010
This recipe is not fussy or complicated, seriously a monkey could make it, but it IS simple, FAST, cheap, and DELICIOUS. Follow the instructions EXACTLY--- DO micro the sauce... do it in a pyrex pan (just one dish for it all!)... something magical happens in there... don't be afraid of the bubbling action, it is GOOD action! And it's best with FRESH parsley (2-3x the dry amt) and fresh cracked pepper. When broiling, get your oven nice and hot and when you put the chicken in keep oven CLOSED while on high broil (not propped open how you might sometimes on broil), and put the chicken on a middle to lower rack. I always have these ingredients on hand and love chicken thighs so this will go down on my permanent record... actually, it's so simple I think I have it memorized after making it a few times now!
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16 users found this review helpful

Caramelized Baked Chicken

Reviewed: Nov. 11, 2010
OK, so I always read the recipe, then a few reviews and make changes if I feel like it, I know this irks some reviewers, but here's what I did differently... We have VERY strong flavored local honey, and 1 cup would've been overpowering (and expensive!)... So I did a half cup honey and half cup brown sugar, added a good glug of molasses, and I used butter instead of oil. My thought process for this substitutions was to create more of a "caramel" on the stovetop by simmering (almost boiling!) for about 10 mins. When I still wanted it thicker, I added a slurry of 1ts cornstarch + 1Tb h2o and continued simmering a few mins more... This worked beautifully. Flavor-wise, the only thing I added was the juice of 1/4 lemon and a squeeze of ginger paste which I feel really brightened the flavors. I have been on a teriyaki/kalbi kick lately and this fit right in! Will def make again, but only with my changes or it would've been way too thin and liquidy rather than as caramelly as it turned out. I used boneless thighs this time, and would definitely recommend this but I will surely try it on wings as called for very soon. Oh, and I like things super saucy so I made the full amt for 1.5# chicken and it was way too much sauce... I refrigerated half... so FYI proportions given are plenty generous.
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16 users found this review helpful

Orange Cream Fudge

Reviewed: Dec. 13, 2010
Grainy, grainy, GRAINY and I used a superfine sugar and stirred away trying to disolve the sugar, but end result was still grainy. Used a candy thermo AND a digital, and did measurements by weight so I was accurate and still it was grainy. And I didn't find it as orangey as it could have been either, but it was sickeningly sweet. It was however the right consistency, hence the 2 stars. What a waste (of ingredients AND time!). Did NOT make the cut for my holiday treats baskets... too bad, so sad.
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14 users found this review helpful

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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14 users found this review helpful

Marshmallow Popcorn Balls

Reviewed: Nov. 1, 2008
After a conversation about days of yore when you'd go trick or treating and get a few yummy home made treats along with the standard candy, I couldn't stop thinking about popcorn balls! Made this to cure that craving and all I have to say is YUMM-MMY!!! I cut the recipe in half for 2 of us and I'm actually glad I did since we ate nearly the whole pan last night and would have done the same with twice the amount! I used 1 bag micro butter popcorn which gave it the perfect salty/sweet combo you might not get with air popped corn, but obviously adds extra calories (pour into a bowl to pick the unpopped kernels out unless you want a trip to the dentist with a broken tooth!). 3 tb butter, and 1/2 bag of marshmallows. Added a splash of vanilla to melted mallow mix once removed from heat. Rather than shape into balls, I pressed them into a square pan and cut into bars once cooled, more out of laziness than anything else. Made this Halloween night and we barely even touched the candy we were handing out cause these were soooo good! I will make these year round as a 'olden timey days' alternative to rice crispie treats... I think I might even like this better!
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Ken's Kickin' Posole

Reviewed: Oct. 24, 2010
AMAZING!!! Made almost as written and this just may be my new favorite soup recipe, definitely makes the top 10 at least! I let it cook on low for 2 hours before adding the hominy, and then another hour on med-low and the pork was melt-in-your-mouth-fall-aparty!!! Next time I'll cut the recipe in half though cause it makes a VAT, I froze half but it won't be in there long =) Seved it with sliced radishes, avocado, sour cream, a lime wedge and fresh fried tortilla strips. I know some people like cabbage in Posole, but I prefer it without... Heck, some people put pig's feet in there too but I won't be making that addition either! I just LOVE this recipe, and it is authentic enough for this Gringa =)
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J.P.'s Big Daddy Biscuits

Reviewed: Jan. 12, 2011
PERFECT basic biscuit. I've done them with shortening, and with butter and both are good. 20 minutes from biscuits in brain to biscuits in MOUTH--- not much longer than using store-bought dough and HIGHLY SUPERIOR! I could tell they were "right" when I pulled them out of the oven the first time, and they were layered and had formed a natural "split" to pry open and slather with butter and jelly. They make AMAZING bacon egg and cheese breakfast biscuits (think fast-food-style, but GOOD). Total keeper! NOTE: They don't keep that well past a few hours imo, so only make what you plan to eat right away.
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Cajun Spice Seasoning Mix in a Jar

Reviewed: Jun. 1, 2009
OK, this is HOT!!! And I love super hot food, but man, is this HOT! Halfed it, but made as written except for I did add oregano, as a lot of cajun sesonings contain it and I like the herby flavor it adds. Used it in jambalaya- That was SO GOOD but borderline too hot... BF actually broke a sweat and had to add sour cream and drink milk to calm it down. Used it again on my Breakfast Hot Potatoes instead of my own seasoning blend, but used more sparingly now that I knew what fire power I was dealing with, they were fantastic. Then rubbed it on flank steak (again sparingly) that had soake 30m in apple cider vinegar and liquid smoke, cooked on the grill with corn and baked potato, made a salad... AWESOME dinner and I never turned the stove or oven on! Makes A LOT... we'll be using this for weeks to months... Good thing it's so yummy and versatile! UPDATE: Used this on my pumpkin seeds after carving this year... Oh my goodness, they are TASTY... didn't rinse just removed chunks/strings from about 3 cups seeds, tossed in 3-4 good shakes worcestershire, 1 tb melted butter, about a TB of this seasonong mix and baked spread out on a cookie sheet 50 mins 325 tossing every 10-15... SO GOOD!!! Tastes like spicy chex mix in punkin seed form if that makes any sense...
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