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Banana Muffins with a Crunch

Reviewed: Aug. 18, 2008
REALLY GOOD and quite easy! I cut the recipe in half to make 12 muffins and they came out perfect after exactly 25 mins in the oven. A few small changes though, used 1/2 brown sugar and 1/2 white, just prefer brown with bananas. Had some toasted coconut left over from a cake, so threw that in instead of plain. And added a sprinkle of cinnamon. Also, used pecans, cause that's what I had on hand. Didn't have banana chips, but pressed a whole pecan on top and it added a nice touch. Bonus: My house smells heavenly :)
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Big Al's K.C. Bar-B-Q Sauce

Reviewed: Feb. 6, 2009
Wanted grilled BBQ chicken, didn't have BBQ sauce, but had the ingredients for this. I've made BBQ sauce before, but never from a recipe...just added things til it tasted right. This is FAR better than any attempt I've ever made! Made 1/2 batch, used apple cider vinegar for most of the red wine vinegar about a 2:1 ratio. Did half honey and half molasses. Subbed celery salt for celery seed. Also added about a TSP or 2 of light corn syrup- I've found that gives BBQ sauce a nice 'shine'. Simmered 20-30 mins. Once cooled, I funneled it into an old ketchup squeezy bottle. This sauce is the perfect mix of BBQ flavors...smoky, tangy and sweet with a kick... A little thin though. Made FANTASTIC Grilled chicken breasts. I don't think I'll ever buy BBQ sauce again, and next time I'll make the full amount! UPDATE: I wanted to do a whole BBQ chicken on the grill- put bird in a roasting pan, doused in this sauce and put the pan on the grill for 2-1/2 hrs, basting throughout. AWESOME chicken and the leftovers made the BEST chicken salad EVER with black beans, corn and cumin/chili powder/mayo/chive sour cream 'sauce'. The BBQ sauce flavor really came through in the chicken- can't wait to do it again! ***3RD REVIEW: Made full recipe amount & added 1TS cornstarch + 1TB h20 mixed, 1/2 molasses 1/2 honey, simmered 2 hrs...PERFECTION!!! Nice & thick, PERFECT flavor. Big Al, YOU ROCK!
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Overnight Coffee Cake

Reviewed: Feb. 1, 2009
This was great! And SUPER easy. Took less than 10 mins to prepare and used ingredients always on hand. I halved the recipe and did it in an 8X8. I did fresh ground nutmeg and just grated it right into the bowl, didn't measure, but definately used less than called for due to the reviews of it being too nutmegy. Used slivered almonds and a dash of allspice in the topping. The topping coats it well and once coated I pressed it flat.It kind of melts into the cake, but stays nice and crisp. Next time I might make individual muffins. I skipped the icing and it was plenty sweet without it, but it would probably look fancier with it. It was a wonderful desert, but could also be used for a breakfast or brunch dish.
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2 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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26 users found this review helpful

Heavenly Angel Food Cake

Reviewed: Dec. 26, 2008
This Angel Food Cake IS Heavenly... Absolutely divine! In fairness, I did alter it a bit and used it to make Tiramisu Layer Cake From this site and it came out beautifully. It was fairly easy to make, just a bit of patience required for the meringue part, but aside from that really quite simple. Baked it in 2-9" round pans and they were perfectly cooked at exactly 30m. Loosened the edges, turned upside down onto plates and chilled in the freezer about 20m before removing them from the pan. They came out perfectly! I will make this many many times in the future. Can't wait til strawberries are in season!
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3 users found this review helpful

Pineapple Fried Rice II

Reviewed: Nov. 15, 2011
YUM! I skipped the sesame oil as I find it overpowering. I added celery, carrots, and mushrooms. And for the "sauce" I did soy sauce plus hoisin, and garlic and ginger pastes. I forgot to add the peas and missed them dearly.
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4 users found this review helpful

Ranch Dressing II

Reviewed: Dec. 6, 2010
This was fantastic! I did use fresh parsley, dill, chives and upped the onion powder and salt after tasting. I actually thought it was better after 2-3 days and in the future will make several days ahead of when I plan to serve. VERY good dip... would cut with buttermilk for more of a "dressing" than a "dip" though as it is rather thick as written, but PERFECT veggie-tray dip consistency and flavor.
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5 users found this review helpful

Garlic Cheddar Chicken

Reviewed: Nov. 3, 2010
The first time I made this my Husband said this was "the best chicken" I'd ever made... and I've made A LOT of chicken over the years!!! I wouldn't personally call it the end-all, be-all BEST-chicken-ever, but it's soooooo EASY, uses ingredients always on hand, and it is quite good, so I still give it 5 stars. This is a FANTASTIC weeknight staple around here. And I use my handy-dandy Martha S. digital meat thermometer and remove it from the oven at 165d... (Depending on how thin you pound it) 30m cook time is usually too long and will result in dry chicken, 22-25m usually works for me.
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1 user found this review helpful

Sausage, Peppers, Onions, and Potato Bake

Reviewed: Jul. 28, 2010
Quite good and will definitely make again. Even though I scaled it down to 2 servings, I doubled the wine & stock and used a lot more seasoning than called for (we like things well seasoned!)... I do see why the sausage is done separately to brown properly, but didn't see any reason to separately cook veg, so I just put potatoes alone for a few minutes, added onions and cooked a few minutes more, then peppers for a few minutes and then used the liquids to quickly deglaze the pan, then poured the whole thing into a baking dish. Hubby didn't even make it all the way in the front door before remarking on how good dinner smelled =) DEFINITELY serve with some kind of yummy bread or roll to sop up the juices with!
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3 users found this review helpful

Roasted Carrot Salad

Reviewed: Jun. 27, 2010
I am IN LOVE with this salad!!! I made the carrots earlier in the day, refrigerated them, then mixed the salad all together and served it cold. Had to use spinach since my store was out of arugula, and I used gorgonzola since I prefer the milder flavor as opposed to blue cheese, and used dried cherries for cranberries due to one guests allergies to cranberries... Minor changes, but end result was AWESOME and guests raved about this salad... Will DEF make again, and again...
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2 users found this review helpful

Blueberry Pie

Reviewed: Jun. 16, 2010
Even though I made some minor alterations, I am still giving this 5*s because it is probably the easiest pie I've ever made. It helped that I was lazy (ok, busy...) and used pre-made pie crusts (USUALLY make my own). I also did about 3 cups blueberries and 2 cups fresh cherries (pitted!), 5 TB cornstarch, zest and juice of 1 lemon. I scaled it up this way a bit because I was using a deep dish pie pan and didn't want it to fall short. Once cooled COMPLETELY (frige 2 hrs MINIMUM!!!) it cut like a dream and was WONDERFUL with gourmet vanilla ice cream. Great the next day too. We LOVE fresh fruit pie and this one was a WINNER!!!
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Halibut with Zesty Peach Salsa

Reviewed: Apr. 7, 2011
This was AWESOME!!! I used all jalapeno for the pepper part, but it would have been prettier with the red pepper though! Definitely let it all sit in the frige for several hours for the flavors to mingle. I did the fish in the oven this time, but will grill next time. This would make awesome fish tacos too, just sayin!
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7 users found this review helpful

Microwave Oven Peanut Brittle

Reviewed: Nov. 2, 2009
I'm just rating the microwave method since I used cajun seasoned pumpkin seeds instead of peanuts- it came out sweet and spicy and SO good!!! I will definitely do again with peanuts! I've had mixed results with candy making, but this is fool proof! Just have to adjust time to your micro wattage, and keep an eye on it THE WHOLE TIME. I did the whole thing in my big pyrex measuring cup, easy to measure and micro in one container, it's easy to watch since it's clear, plus the handle doesn't get hot. My microwave is 1600w... full power, I did sugar + syrup for 3.5 mins, stirred in pumpkin seeds and micro 2.5 mins more, added butter and vanilla micro 2.5 mins, then removed and stirred in baking soda. Took the advice to spread out onto the back side of a buttered cookie sheet and this worked great! Let sit 5 mins, then in frige for 5 more and broke it up. The hardest part about this recipe is not eating it all in one sitting!
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Sean's Falafel and Cucumber Sauce

Reviewed: Mar. 26, 2009
This is a GREAT recipe for falafel! I followed the recipe to a T and it came out delicious! I think I made my patties a little too big though cause I only ended up with 6 and they fell apart a little while frying, but it didn't affect the flavor. Next time I'll make them a little smaller. I served them in pita halves with lettuce, cucumber and tomato slices, feta and tzatziki. Due to some of the not so great reviews of the 'cucumber sauce' I skipped it and made AR's Tzatziki Sauce I which went perfectly. I've been trying to make at least 3 meat-less meals a week lately and this one's definately going to be a regular! Cheap, easy and delicious, what more could you want?
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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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37 users found this review helpful

Cucumber-Watermelon Salad

Reviewed: May 8, 2011
This was great! Used Kosher salt, included the sugar, and used superb quality vinegar. Also added an avocado. Very nice brunch salad! The only thing I might change next time would be to use a white balsamic, as the brown masks the vibrancy of the melon and cuke colors together...
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10 users found this review helpful

Best Lemonade Ever

Reviewed: Apr. 22, 2009
This really is the 'best lemonade ever'... Although home made lemonade is only 3 simple ingredients, this is just the right proportions... Sweet and tart, not too watery. My favorite is to use Meyer (sweet) lemons. Also, I've put sliced fresh strawberries with sugar, let sit in frige overnight or longer, then add to lemonade for the 'best strawberry lemonade ever'!
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1 user found this review helpful

Meatball Nirvana

Reviewed: Sep. 16, 2010
PHENOMENAL!!! I did change it a tad though... doubled everything except red pepper flakes but used 1# beef and 1# pork. LOVE these meat balls! If you're reading these reviews wondering "what makes these meatballs different from all the other recipes?" I'll tell you... No EGG. Soooo.... it doesn't have the "spongy" texture that some meatballs do, but rather a more meaty texture. Do not over mix. And once browned, I like to finish them off IN the sauce for a half hour or so. I know some purists may find this a sacrilege, but I think it makes them moist and flavorful.
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David's Yellow Cake

Reviewed: Oct. 9, 2010
WOW!!! I have been looking for a long time for a good "basic" homemade cake that is NOT heavy and dense and I've finally found it. I did change two things based on personal cake baking experience/preference: I used half butter/half butter-flavored shortening, and I used 2 less eggs but whipped the all of the egg whites to peaks with a dash of cream of tartar, and then folded them in at the very end... LIGHT, perfect moist crumb, baked up evenly. Popped it in the FREEZER for 15 mins to cool (TIP: this makes your cake super moist). This time I did a nice dark chocolate cream cheese frosting, but from here on out I will forever use this recipe in place of a boxed cake mix for so many different kinds of cakes... total keeper!!!!
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4 users found this review helpful

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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15 users found this review helpful

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