Chef Joy Recipe Reviews (Pg. 1) - Allrecipes.com (1471447)

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To Die For Blueberry Muffins

Reviewed: Dec. 7, 2003
HELPFUL TIPS: Vanilla isn't needed for this recipe (as some have suggested). Makes no difference ,and i put a heaping overflowing tsp. Neither my husband or friends can tell a difference, & I've made this 50+ times. Other than that, this recipe makes my husband a hero at his office! They say BETTER than any bakery! I use BROWN SUGAR instead of white for the topping. When I have buttermilk, i use that in place of milk. It's important to use butter at room temp (to a point that if you put a fork through it, it would smush). This makes it a lot easier to put on top. You can substitute blueberries with any fruit & it turns out great! Be sure to use PAM on the pan or they may stick. Also, frozen blueberries do not turn out the same. Fresh Fresh! Regular size tins make 12 at 18 min. Giant tins as recommended make 5-6 so double recipe! (Update 7/08): I noticed a lot of people had trouble w/their muffins sinking. You're over mixing or it's from adding TOO MUCH topping to 1 muffin using the given one. If you must drown yourself in topping, try this fail proof one I use that has less butter (perfect amount if doubling recipe): 2/3C brown sugar, 1/4C flour, 1/4 tsp cinnamon, 2T butter. Use fork to mix and has nice coarse texture. Just as crunchy & delicious w/the perfect muffin EXCEPT it doesn't cause the muffins to sink!
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Mrs. Sigg's Snickerdoodles

Reviewed: Dec. 14, 2003
HELPFUL TIPS: Bake for 8 min exactly! ...and you can even wait a few min. for it to cool on the cookie sheet just get it out of the oven! Either way, the critics (my family & friends) RAVED about these yummies, and I've never left w/o someone asking for the recipe! 1st: Use butter AND eggs that are room temp. I've used all butter w/excellent results. 2nd: Mix dry & wet separately. 3rd: Hand mix or you'll get a different result. Do not overmix. I never have cream of tartar, so I use 2 tsp. of white vinegar OR lemon juice. Lastly, I used a medium scoop. For the topping, I used 3T. sugar & 3.5 tsp. of cinnamon dumped in ziplock bag. Do not be afraid to over coat. It will NOT turn out too sweet (and I'm not a fan of sweets)!!!! Coat well. :) If your cookie turns out flat, I'd check to see if your baking soda has expired. To test, it should fizzle the second you place it in water. I've never had issues w/these turning out flat OR dough being sticky (which was really confusing to me to hear from others); just keeping them in our lock n lock container long enough before husband comes home. They store great, & I didn't have any of the problems many others did! I never need to put these in the refrigerator first either!
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1401 users found this review helpful

Cinnamon Bread I

Reviewed: Dec. 14, 2003
HELPFUL TIPS AFTER MAKING THIS FOR SEVERAL YEARS: Worried that other reviewers said this was bland but needed to rid of the buttermilk, so i tried it anyway. Here's what I did & it came out w/much love from my family! 1st, Grease pan! Definitely mix dry FIRST then liquids in separate bowl. Hand mix only until ingredients are mixed!!!!!! For topping: I double it replacing white sugar with brown sugar. Put half of it in the middle, swirled that w/fork. Put the rest on top. GREAT STUFF esp. when you run into one of the swirls. Next time I will DEFINITELY triple the topping (half in middle, rest on top). My husband HATES sweet things (never eats frosting or sweets), and think it will by no means make it sweet but give a NORMAL amount of swirl in a "cinnamon type bread" you get at the store. Update: I ran out of buttermilk & instead used 1T of lemon juice & filled the rest of the cup with milk & it came out the same (also an acceptable substitution). Raisins also work well in the recipe but not needed.
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280 users found this review helpful
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Debdoozie's Blue Ribbon Chili

Reviewed: Dec. 14, 2003
HELPFUL TIPS: I halved the recipe because it's just for my husband and 2 toddlers (although one eats like a monster!), and we still had leftovers :) Put the normal amount of onion and black pepper. One 10oz. of diced tomatoes w/green chiles and one 14oz of tomato sauce because it needed it. HALF a jar of chunky salsa (although I will do a taste test an hour in to see if I need more), half a jar of each DRAINED kidney bean, and half a can of ranch style chili beans (pinto beans). They are the best beans on earth. Added one can of drained mushrooms and 3/4 a can of drained corn. After I browned 1 lb of meat, I put it in the crock pot for at least 2.5hrs. Grrrreat! We have it at least once every few months for the past several years! Update: I now add things like diced green, yellow and red peppers which really adds to the taste (and gives it color). Season with a few dashes of garlic, oregano, paprika, basil, sugar, and we're talking a real winner! Our family eats it with rice the first night (fri), sat is "let's be lazy day," so we eat it over hot dogs, and sun ...can you say football and fritos and chili over cheese!! We're not obsessed w/this recipe ...really ;)
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Mrs. Sigg's Peanut Butter Cookies

Reviewed: Dec. 14, 2003
HELPFUL SUGGESTION AFTER TRYING THIS SEVERAL TIMES: This one is okay, but nothing like the rest of her recipes that I have tried ...which ROCK your tummy!!! I tried this trusting I'd make my many guests happy. They ate a few but weren't impressed. Made a different one from this site for a potluck of 300 people, and they said they were SO MUCH better (joey's)! Update: Following the suggestions of others below, I did this again because I'm always wanting to bake ...and it's still nothing special and not the desired consistency I like in a pb cookie.
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Original Nestle® Toll House® Chocolate Chip Cookies

Reviewed: Jun. 15, 2004
HERE'S HOW TO MAKE THE PERFECT COOKIE: First off, make sure the eggs and butter are at room temperature before using. Big difference. Second, add 2 heaping tsp. of vanilla. Third, add 1.5 tsp. of cinnamon. Add the nuts or don't. HAND MIX EVERYTHING AT THE VERY END. Seems like the majority of the time, these recipes call for too much mixing! If you've taken forever to do this, set it in the refrigerator for 10 minutes. Bake for the 9 minutes. Put the remaining dough back in fridge. Very easy and you will have everyone in your house loving you. :)
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Mexican Beef Supreme

Reviewed: Feb. 22, 2006
HELPFUL TIPS THAT HELPED ME: If this is your first time working with beef stew meat, look for beef stew meat that is already cubed and packaged. You may want to cube them even smaller if you plan to use the meat for tacos, etc. I've done this both ways & using a FRESH jalapeño tastes a lot better. Don't be afraid to use a lot more green salsa!! I used a lot more than 7 ounces. Use what's necessary to cover all the meat ...and then more as you see it soak up. You don't want your beef stew to turn out dry! Lastly, to make this 5-stars, simmer it for an hour. This is very quick. I never saw my husband and kids eat so much. They usually only eat chicken.
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Jet Swirl Pizza Appetizers

Reviewed: Mar. 3, 2006
HELPFUL TIPS THAT WORK: 1st, this recipe is the only one that my husband doesn't just LOVE, but brags to all his friends about coming over to try. lol It's so simple! I always find that I have to bake it for 28 min, flipping it the last 5 minutes to help the dough cook inside (basically I cook until both sides are golden). I've made this 50+ times & anything less.. the dough in the middle sometimes comes out uncooked which is embarrassing. Also, it's best to not try to stretch out the pizza dough. Just open it, stretch to only flatten it & use. Making it too thin only breaks the dough & the pepperoni juices will leak out. I'm always about adding MORE to things, but remember "less is perfection" in this case. The more you stuff into this dough, the less appetizing it tastes. Trust me, I've tried several times & it's the reason only "I" make it right in my family! Just sprinkle the ingredients, roll it, and bake. Adding some sort of italian seasoning really adds a nice touch. We use ranch or marinara sauce to dip, and people are begging for the recipe! UPDATE: The frozen philsbury french loaf works wonderful w/this recipe too! Another poster recommended microwaving the pepperoni for 30-40 sec before cooking, and what a great idea! I then bake until brown on each side (as I mentioned above).
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Gyros Burgers

Reviewed: Jun. 13, 2006
What sort of Greek restaurants are people eating at if they think this is even remotely authentic OR taste like gyros. I've NEVER had problems with 5-star recipes. If our family disagrees about it being 5-stars... it still turned out to be a decent dish (just not our thing). Please consider a different Gyro recipe. I'll report back when I've discovered a better one, but this doesn't taste like gyros at all esp. if you're spoiled and have a good restaurant near you. I'm VERY easy to please, and my husband... not so much. Either way, we both didn't want to eat this. Followed the recipe exactly and even included the sauce people recommended. FWIW, the sauce tastes better w/o blending it. Blending it makes it too thin.
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26 users found this review helpful

Chili Dog Casserole II

Reviewed: Jun. 13, 2006
TO PERFECT THIS RECIPE: This one has a lot of potential. When I told my picky husband that we were having a hot dog casserole, he made gagging motions. Who would have thought this was decent. A BIG...HUGE... thing that I'd change for next time was cooking the hotdogs PRIOR to putting it in the oven. ...unless of course you like that straight out of the fridge taste, which most people don't. I put it in for the set amount of time and even cooked HALF the amount, and the hot dogs were still not cooked. We had to put them in the microwave. There's always using your favorite sausage link or my favorite andouille sausage instead. Also, even after halving the recipe, we thought it needed more chili. We've used homemade chili too. Don't be afraid to add that cheese too and being creative and adding things like onions, etc. It won't be gooey (a worry I had). We also put the tortillas on the stove to cook them a little before baking. Will do it again with these corrections.
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Simple Tuna Melts

Reviewed: Apr. 12, 2007
Helpful Tips: I prefer adding 1/4C of mayo, 1/3C of chopped celery, and maybe some finely chopped pecans or water chestnuts to make it crunchy. Fry on each side like a grilled cheese or wrap in a tortilla. This recipe has a good idea behind it, but I didn't care for it as written. Sorry!
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Mini Spam Sandwiches

Reviewed: Apr. 18, 2007
I like the idea of pineapple with spam which I wouldn't have thought of myself, so I gave it 3 stars, but I didn't care for it. I made it again after I fried the spam on each side until lightly browned, and then grilled like a grilled cheese sandwich. Cut in half. All the kids I had over that day said it was the best, so I will make it again for them! Cooked slices of ham would taste better with pineapple though. I generally fry (drained well) pineapple with cubed ham, and then place on top of crescent for the adults. ;)
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Blueberry Salad

Reviewed: Dec. 2, 2007
HELPFUL TIPS TO MAKE 5*: This is how I made this into a prize winning dessert on our military base! You can easily make 2 pies w/graham cracker crusts w/this recipe. The times I make two pies, I put the unused jello in a individual sized teddybear pan, so my toddlers can have a snack later w/o the fattening cream cheese mixture. They love it!! Anyway, I filled w/enough cream cheese topping to cover the bottom & sides of the pre-made crust. ...waited about 5-10 min. for the jello to cool from boiling (necessary), and then placed it on top until it reached the rim of the crust. Be sure you're still able to carry it to the fridge w/o the blueberry mixture spilling over ...making the crust look not as presentable (speaking from experience). lol The next morning, the texture was so nice, and there was a beautiful layer of cream cheese on the bottom. Plenty of extra that I put in a Tupperware for those piggy's in my family to add more on top if they wanted. I am always thrilled to show off this recipe, so thanks for the user who published it! People always say it's the best!!
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Gobble Up Granola Snacks

Reviewed: Dec. 2, 2007
HELPFUL TIPS AFTER READING ALL THE REVIEWS: I found it easier to use my hands and not a spoon to flatten and pack together in a pan. Honey makes all the difference instead of the oil. Then I placed it in the fridge for an hour, cut in squares, and placed each one in plastic wrap for easy grabbing. Store at room temperature as they get dry/not chewy if left in the fridge. I can't believe how good these are. I do agree with the poster who used 2/3 C of everything (raisins, brown sugar, honey, pb) instead of 1/2 C. Makes a huge difference!!!! I also sprinkled some pecan pieces (NOT crushed, just chopped a tad) OR sliced almonds ...about 1/4 - 1/3 a cup, & it was the perfect combination! I used a bag of raisin/cranberry mix instead of JUST raisins. You can really make this colorful w/your choice of fruits for the holiday season! I don't allow my kids to have chocolate, but I can easily see why others insert m&m's in these. Just be sure to add them last so they don't melt!
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180 users found this review helpful

Chewy Coconut Cookies

Reviewed: Dec. 18, 2007
HELPFUL TIPS AFTER MAKING IT SEVERAL TIMES: I only tried this because I had all the ingredients and wanted something different. Well, I've now made it 20+ times, and it's always what people rave about at parties. It's amazing how good this tastes. Most adults I know DO NOT like these dunked/topped with chocolate. They taste good and have a classy look just as is. Baking for 11-13 minutes seems to work better and don't get scared off by how dry the mix appears when you add the flour. Will mix just fine... consistency of any cookie dough (butterscotch color & moist). If your dough comes out flat, your baking soda has expired or you need to put dough in fridge for an hour. As long as my butter isn't almost mushy from being room temp, I never have to put it in the fridge! Two thumbs up and toddler approved!
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654 users found this review helpful
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Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cookies III

Reviewed: Mar. 5, 2008
This doesn't make a lot (approx. 15 cookies when put together, 22 using my smallest scooper), so when you double this, don't double the filling. It's more than enough ...trust me if you don't want to go into a sugar shock!!! lol A thin layer is plenty sweet. Thought this was useful to know, so ingredients aren't wasted. Also, when applying the filling especially when you get anxious like me, it's easier to do it while the cookie is on a flat surface instead of trying to hold it in your hand or raised. The cookie will break in half. 10 min. was perfect baking time. It helps to refrigerate for a little while to ensure cookies aren't flat, but definitely flatten w/fork. While it does flatten, to get that perfect cookie as pictured, it requires you to flatten a little. Using ingredients that are room temperature helps w/the overall consistency of the final product. These were a hit, and people are always amazed these were baked not bought!
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340 users found this review helpful

Chicken Jerusalem I

Reviewed: Mar. 25, 2008
HELPFUL TIPS NOT MENTIONED: I've read all the reviews, have made this myself for several years now, and have learned a few things. When using ranch packages, the sooner you mix, cook, and eat ...the more you "taste" the ranch. The longer it has to blend into the rest of the ingredients, the more it'll taste like a traditional chicken jerusalem. I make mine in the morning (mix ingredients on stovetop then onto the chicken) & cook when husband comes home (only needs 45 minutes)! With that said, it is wise to only use half a package of ranch. Cutting down the white wine to 1C makes it perfect for us. While quality of the wine makes a difference, I use dirt cheap and have wonderful results. It's great to have a recipe you can put together so quickly and make all in one casserole dish! Perfect for those days you're very busy or not wanting to make a big fuss over dinner. The chicken comes out so super tender! Great with stuffing and salad, or sometimes we serve with diced potatoes, and there's plenty of sauce to serve it over pasta and rice! Another recipe that is very similar and quick (and not as powerful) is: Wine Sauce Chicken from this site! I prefer that one and my husband prefers this one! So they're both keepers!
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Burrito Pie

Reviewed: Mar. 25, 2008
HELPFUL TIPS AFTER MAKING THIS FOR YEARS: Halve the MEAT but used 3/4th a can of the olives, whole can diced tomatoes & entire can of chiles (can't cut too much out or you won't be able to stack your pie). Sometimes I add chopped red/green peppers and cut out onions. Eyeball the salsa (use enough to coat the meat) which I use instead of taco s. Don't be afraid to layer this with 2-3 tortillas starting at the SECOND layer b/c it makes it taste just perfect (like taco bell mexican pizza)! I sprinkle taco seasoning over the beef while it's cooking (awesome flavoring) but not necessary. It helps tremendously to let it simmer as long as it says because the ingred. start to stick together for a nicer consistency. Apply a THIN layer of refried beans on the bottom of each new tortilla (i submitted pic), THIN layer of meat, & buy extra mexican cheese b/c you tend to use a lot to layer perfectly! This made 3 thin layers of meat, cheese, refried beans w/just the right amount to add the last amount of meat on top & have enough refried beans to serve as a side (b/c you only use 1/4th of it). If you make the full amount, it freezes well, so you can use it for a quick meal! Update: I cook until edges of tortilla are not soft (almost crisp so never soggy) & people go nuts over this!
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170 users found this review helpful
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Caramel Popcorn

Reviewed: Mar. 27, 2008
HELPFUL TIPS NOT MENTIONED: I was doubtful about this recipe but let me tell you that my husband's soldiers went bonkers over something that was SO QUICK to make! If you have trouble mixing in the caramel that I do recommend just dumping it on top instead of trying to keep a thin stream ...just stick it in the oven for a few minutes for it to get hot again & then you can finish mixing! :) As mentioned, the caramel will become foamy so don't worry, and do not try adding the vanilla PRIOR to taking it off the oven! I use two disposable foil pans for turkeys side by side in the oven. Always have one in the oven while mixing the other! Use enough butter so the caramel doesn't get too sticky (1/2C). I used 3 bags of buttered popcorn (brand REALLY isn't important), and I also don't find using cheap no-brand brown sugar to be a problem. Really! I've used all kinds of combinations of nuts and prefer macadamian and/or almonds. I like using 2 pans b/c it gives you room to stir comfortably. Be sure when you take out the pan to stir to get the bottom REAL well or you'll have one solid layer of caramel on the bottom. Also, be sure to let this cool before breaking as directed in the recipe but stir one last time when you take it out of the oven. You must put this back in the oven when the caramel begins to stiffen up b/c continuing to stir at this point is pointless as it breaks pieces of popcorn. Store in giant ziplock bag at room temp!
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Caramel Bars

Reviewed: Mar. 27, 2008
HELPFUL TIPS: First off, oh my gosh!! I'm not a caramel fan AT ALL, but tried this b/c of the 5* rating. So glad b/c this is out of this world! I love the idea of lining your 9X13 pan with foil. This allows you to just pull it out of the glass dish after it's cooked AND COOLED & cuts down on crumbling. Makes slicing easier. ...just don't rush the cooling process in fridge or caramel will harden! This is a recipe where eyeballing is your best bet. You MUST double the flour, oats, sugar, baking soda & salt, but TOTALLY not necessary to double the chocolate chips & walnuts (sweet overload). I found 1C of butter to be perfect to make the crust stick together. In fact, the second & third time I made this, I didn't bother using a small portion of the crust b/c if you put too much on top, it just falls right off (as excess crumbs). To solve this, when I put the top layer of crumbs on, I press gently into the caramel layer as if I'm making another crust. Makes everything stick together nicely! Used an entire bag of Kraft caramels (14 oz) OR already unwrapped bag (11oz) & 7T of heavy cream was the perfect consistency and enough to cover a thin layer. Caramel takes a little while to melt, so be patient if it's your first time :) Oh, I've baked this for 25-30 min. depending on oven. Just take out once the top (crust) turns a nice golden brown. Update: I noticed someone said not to use 1min oats. It's ALL I use & everyone always LOVES THIS!
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