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Kale and Quinoa Salad

Reviewed: Mar. 26, 2015
This is a GREAT base recipe. The dressing is light so for those who want a heavy dressing - perhaps you'll want to spice it up but our family prefers the "touch" of flavor. Do salt and pepper to taste as I found the salt to be a bit much but taste it by dipping a leaf or two of kale; off the spoon it's VERY salty but with the kale it goes perfectly. I preferred about 1/2 the amount the salt and 1/4 the amount of pepper as the dijon is already peppery. The garlic was way too overpowering for me. 1/4 the amount as well, if at all. I actually preferred it with garlic powder.
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2 users found this review helpful

Slow Cooker Chicken and Dumplings

Reviewed: Oct. 25, 2014
Good Base but need to make several adjustments. 1) On the verge of too salty (get reduced sodium soup if you can) 2) Used 5 breasts of chicken (thawed) and still a bit soupy consistency 3) Seasoning - I just added 1/2-1 tblspn of sage for some wholesomeness. Might have been bland without it. Obviously based on your preference. Thyme might have been yummy too! 4) Onion was too much/strong. Either need a very small onion or stick to half an onion. 5) Dough = yuck. When I put the dough in (1 small canister), half of them plumped up maybe 30% and the others disintegrated and were mush which would have grossed out others I was cooking for so I just removed the dumplings and served the chicken (I still ate some of them). However, I did cook the meal on low, as it cooked while at work (8 hours) so I'm thinking maybe, had I thrown it up to high and then did the dough it might have worked out better (that or cooked them in a separate pot w/the crock pot juices) . . . but I feel like the attraction to these meals are the idea you can leave them on while at work and eat readily when you get home. 5-6 hours requires a half day of work or weekend meal which defeats the purpose for me. I'm being a bit critical here but crock pot meals are pretty straight forward so I expect to not have to make so many adjustments. I think my adjustments were necessary and not just preferences.
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Slow Cooker Chicken and Dumplings

Reviewed: Oct. 25, 2014
Good Base but need to make several adjustments. 1) On the verge of too salty (get reduced sodium soup if you can) 2) Seasoning - I just added 1/2-1 tblspn of sage for some wholesomeness. Might have been bland without it. Obviously based on your preference. Thyme might have been yummy too! 3) Onion was too much/strong. Either need a very small onion or stick to half an onion. 4) Dough. When I put the dough in (1 small canister), half of them plumped up maybe 30% and the others disintegrated and were mush which would have grossed out others I was cooking for so I just removed the dumplings and served the chicken (I still ate some of them). However, I did cook the meal on low, as it cooked while at work (8 hours) so I'm thinking maybe, had I thrown it up to high and then did the dough it might have worked out better (that or cooked them in a separate pot w/the crock pot juices) . . . but I feel like the attraction to these meals are the idea you can leave them on while at work and eat readily when you get home. 5-6 hours requires a half day of work or weekend meal which defeats the purpose for me. I'm being a bit critical here but crock pot meals are pretty straight forward so I expect to not have to make so many adjustments. I think my adjustments were necessary and not just preferences.
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Portobello Mushroom Burgers

Reviewed: May 15, 2014
I thought this was pretty amazing. I used Sharp provolone from the deli. Whole wheat buns from the bakery, smeared left over marinade on the bottom bun and made a avocado mash (avocado, diced red onion, ez pepper, ez cajun seasoning, lemon juice to taste) for the top bun. Added tomato, red onion and spring greens mix. Delicious! I think the guac (or mash as I call it), really adds depth and flavor that others seem to suggest is missing.
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Portobello Mushroom Burgers

Reviewed: May 15, 2014
I thought this was pretty amazing. I used Sharp provolone from the deli. Whole wheat buns from the bakery, smeared left over marinade on the bottom bun and made a avocado mash (avocado, diced red onion, ez pepper, ez cajun seasoning, lemon juice to taste) for the top bun. Added tomato, red onion and spring greens mix. Delicious! I think the guac (or mash as I call it), really adds depth and flavor that others seem to suggest is missing.
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5 users found this review helpful

Broiled Tilapia Parmesan

Reviewed: Mar. 22, 2014
This dish melts in your mouth! So delicious.
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3 users found this review helpful

Slow-Cooker Corned Beef and Cabbage

Reviewed: Mar. 22, 2014
I was cooking for a large party (12) and didn't have room for the cabbage and carrots. Instead I just put in the water, Guiness beer and 1 1/2 yellow onion cut into fourths. After the 8 hours I pulled the corn beef out of the pot, put it in a metal bowl with foil to keep it hot and added the cabbage into the slow cooker juices, letting it cook for about 20 minutes. I just cooked the carrots on the side. Don't add extra beer. Though you might think the more the merrier, it might make your meat tough or not cook as tender.
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7 users found this review helpful

Chef John's Colcannon

Reviewed: Mar. 22, 2014
These were a huge hit at my St. Patrick's Day Pot Luck Party! Something different, fun and festive green! Kids love mashed potatoes and since the kale is put in the blender, there is nothing for the little one's to stick their nose up at. Just tell them it's food coloring! I did a triple batch to accommodate 12 people and it was just enough.
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3 users found this review helpful

Lemon Cheesecake

Reviewed: Mar. 22, 2014
I didn't necessarily want a low-fat lemon cheesecake, but rather a recipee to work with. Based on reviews I came up with this: CRUST: 8 graham crackers, 1 tblspn melted butter, 2-3 tblspn white sugar (taste for desired sweetness). Lightly spray spring pan w/butter flavored Pam, add crust mixture and toast in oven just until light brown, 3-5 min. (NOTE: Don't use any other flavor pam as it will absorb into the crumbs and give it an odd flavor). FILLING: I used regular cream cheese, 2 eggs instead of substitue, 1 tspn vanilla, dbl REAL lemon juice, 2-3 tablspn lemon zest, 1 greek oiks lemon meringue container. I think greek yogurt compliments the cream cheese texture better. Have cream cheese at room temp or throw in microwave 40 seconds. 1. cream the cream cheese and sugar. 2. Blend in yogurt, lemon juice/zest and 1 tspn vanilla extract 3. Blend eggs, one at a time, just until incorporated. 4. Blend in flour. 5. Pour into pie crust and tap pan on counter to losen any air bubbles. BAKING: Bake with water bath method (wrap bottom of spring pan with foil - I double it. Place in center of pan with about 1/2 inch to inch of water). I think this way is best, as when I put the pan of water a rack under the pie it seems to crack. I use a knife for doneness as a topping goes on this anyway. FINISHING: Sour Cream topping: 1/2 cup sour cream, 1-2 tspn sugar, real lemon juice, lemon zest. Taste as you go for desired sweetness/touch of lemon flavor.
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Buffalo Chicken Dip

Reviewed: Feb. 17, 2014
Used 1 lb of white chicken breast, boiled for about 20 minutes or just until cooked through, shredded and then recipe as follows. Used 1 1/2 packages of cream cheese instead of 2 per others feedback. You could easily use 1/3 less fat cream cheese. So many flavors, no one would know the difference. I used Franks hot sauce but ran out. Luckily had some texaspete hot sauce in the fridge so finished off with that. All your personal preference. Easy hit, hard to mess up. Celery and chicken crackers made for the best scoopers. I wouldn't mess with the hot sauce much, as if you have guests, it would easily get too hot for some. Perfect at this amount.
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4 users found this review helpful

Parchment Baked Salmon

Reviewed: Feb. 17, 2014
I used Dill instead of basil. You could exchange so many herbs in this dish - dill, basil, parsley.
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3 users found this review helpful

Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

Reviewed: Feb. 17, 2014
These were more cake like to me and not the caramelized/browned edges with soft gooey center I was looking for. If you do use this recipe, I suggest adding more choc chips. These might be good for an ice cream sandwich recipe though. Disappointed. Maybe smaller chunks of dough or the type of cookie sheet makes the difference? I used a stone and metal cookie sheet and both turned out the same.
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Easy Gravy

Reviewed: Nov. 25, 2012
This was just what I was looking for. My family's preference is a smoother thin gravy so I went for that consistency. I used flour instead of corn starch (none in the pantry) and it didn't thicken nearly as fast with the measurements of corn starch but if anything, it just allowed more time to cook down the potential flour flavor and for the other seasonings I added to marinade into the gravy, giving it a possibly more enriched flavor. Of course you could just add a bit more flour to the mixture if you don't want to give it time to thicken. I used reserved turkey fat, I added a pinch of thyme (turkey), 2 dashes of poultry seasoning and a small dash of white pepper. No salt needed. My non-gravy loving guest enjoyed this gravy. It added a bit of flavor and moisture without over powering the dish you pour it over.
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