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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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Best Big, Fat, Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie

Reviewed: Apr. 16, 2008
HELPFUL TIPS NOT MENTIONED: This is very forgiving! Just keep baking until it becomes golden brown around the edges. If they cool COMPLETELY & they're not done..put back in for another 5 min. Can't go wrong! I promise they'll be super chewy although they must sit (set) for awhile as they won't appear it. I've had to bake for 20 min. several times! Everything is dependent on if you put in fridge & for how long (i've left overnight or for DAYS). But if you don't refrigerate long enough or at all, they'll be flat! It has nothing to do with using margarine or butter. I've done it both ways ..same exact results! 1st: Sift the dry ingredients. Melt the butter in microwave then mix in sugars. DO use the room temp. yoke of one egg & 1 other egg. Dump rest of ingredients on top. Mix by hand until blended. Make sure butter isn't hot or it'll melt chocolate chips! Refrigerate batter for 1hr then preheat oven. Drop 1/4C scoop (should make 16-18) & bake! If I use a med. scoop, I just bake 2 min less. UPDATE: My husband thinks these are sweet so I only use 3/4C b.s. and a TAD under 1/2C of white sugar. 1C chocolate chips is PLENTY! Never grease pan! Melt in your mouth results if you use a combination of milk chocolate& semi-sweet like bakeries AND a touch of andes mint baking chips! Update2: Just tried "Blonde Brownies I" and it's IDENTICAL, but a yummy brownie! Try it!
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Asian Beef with Snow Peas

Reviewed: Jun. 23, 2008
HELPFUL TIPS AFTER MAKING THIS ALL MY LIFE: Being Asian, I love running into recipes that remind me of things I already make. The most important thing to take from these reviews is to DOUBLE THE SAUCE. My relatives would not want to eat any of these that have made this as is. ...just doesn't taste like anything you'd have at a good restaurant (as this is american chinese, not authentic). Doubling the sauce ingred. was just the right amount of sauce to accompany a side of rice. Don't overcook the steak. Frying until you get a nice brown color is the perfect way to tell if it's done & the estimate times on the recipe are pretty accurate assuming your slices are thin. Any mixture of veggies work (mushrooms, carrots, frozen peas, red peppers, sliced zucchini, water chestnuts) ...or just grabbing a frozen stir-fry bag of veggies. I add half a bag, and use the other half for the crispy orange chicken from this site that I also make when I'm making oriental food for guests. Red Wine VINEGAR is an acceptable substitution, but I'd encourage you to try more recipes on this site using rice vinegar!
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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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Best Spanish Rice

Reviewed: Apr. 20, 2008
HELPFUL TIPS NOT MENTIONED: I've tried all the other recipes on this site & decided this is the best! I like using salsa more than diced tomatoes b/c it has more flavor and spice ...and it doesn't taste like you just dumped salsa in it like I expected. This is only for my family of 4, so I use 3/4C of uncooked rice, definitely a little more than half a tablespoon of olive oil (full recipe calls for too much), with 3/4 of the can of chicken broth (approx 1 1/2C), BUT still use 1C of salsa as I feel it's necessary, as well as a few dashes of pepper. I only brown rice a few minutes longer after it's turned WHITE (very apparent white color). Being Asian myself, I could cook rice w/my eyes closed it seems. lol Many times we don't add onions b/c I'm too lazy to dice them. If we do, it definitely needs more than suggested or it's pointless adding. It's even better when you add diced green & red peppers to the rice you are browning or use green onion instead of white/red. We eat the rice every time we make "Whit's Chicken Enchiladas" which is SUPER EASY and YUMMY! This takes less time than indicated for the rice to be done. Also great to put in baking dish, add cheese, and bake at 350 until it melts! :)
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Honey Roasted Red Potatoes

Reviewed: Apr. 6, 2008
HELPFUL TIPS THAT WORK: I've made this exact recipe for several years now, & have learned a few things. They take me 40-60 min in the oven. I just take a fork & occasionally poke it to see if the fork slides in easily. I use 6-8 med red potatoes, 4 large (baseball size), or about 11-12 if they're the really small (little bigger than golf ball) ones. After I quarter the potatoes, I cut those in half again to make them more bites-size esp. for my toddler who LOVES these. I find NO NEED for butter outside of PAM to grease my dish. Otherwise, it turns out GREASY! ...and I use 3T of honey and sprinkle some parsley for color. No onions if my husband is eating. Sometimes I line w/foil too because it can get sticky, otherwise a good soaking gets it all up quickly. UPDATE: It's perfect (nice glaze) w/o being too sweet, but you should mix it a few times while baking so what has become a liquid can be reapplied and the potatoes on the top aren't dry. Be sure to line these on a sheet instead of layering too because the top ones will be dry. I ALSO have to use more than a pinch of salt. Sprinkle enough so there's a little on all the potatoes or it's too bland. Broiling for the last 2-3 min. caramelizes the honey nicely. My husband & kids like ketchup on these which surprised me since they taste divine with nothing on them.
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Slow Cooker Chicken Pot Pie Stew

Reviewed: Feb. 16, 2010
HELPFUL HINTS TO MAKE THIS 5 STARS: This is a recipe that can be changed 100 different ways and still turn out good. Important thing to note is you absolutely positively do not need to add the bouillon cubes. Well, let me rephrase... 1 chicken bc does taste fine w/o being salty when you add the potatoes. If I use grand biscuits which I recommend to serve with this, I do not add potatoes. Kinda overdone on the carbs. If I do add potatoes, DEFINITELY add 1 can of chicken broth and this is the only time I would consider adding a tsp of garlic salt to flavor the potatoes a bit. I added lots of fresh garlic. You also can omit the celery and baby carrots if you don't have them. My bag of mixed veggies always have carrots in them. The black pepper should really be reduced to 1/2t unless you like tasting black pepper in every bite. I also recommend adding 2-3t of mrs. dash or equivalent or it will be very bland as the chicken has no flavor. If you use frozen chicken breasts, just add 1 more hour to the cooking time. This tastes wonderful. Can also be served over noodles. :) Oh, and I always cook this in the crockpot on low not high. My thawed chicken is always done in 4-5 hours on low, and I found the frozen veggies needed 1.5 to get soft.
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Blonde Brownies I

Reviewed: Jun. 13, 2008
HELPFUL TIPS NOT MENTIONED: I've been on a brownie rampage for the past month,and have made 10 recipes! THIS is the only one that consistency comes out the same!!!! What's best about it is, ...there aren't 100 reviews changing how to do it b/c it's good as is! What's not mentioned is, the exact same recipe (taste, chewy, big) is on here, but in cookie form!!! How wonderful is that esp. if you love this recipe like my family and husbands soldiers we send this to do?! You can find it under "Best Big, Fat, Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie" ...the title is exactly how they always turn out. I love this in brownie AND cookie form, so try both!!! Also, I prefer the chocolate chips to be mixed IN instead of on top, but it's all about preference! It would be overkill to add more than recommended though. When I double the recipe, I still only put a heaping 2/3 C of cc, and it's MORE than enough. TWICE I have won best chocolate chip cookie on our military base due to this recipe.
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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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Erica's Delicious Slow Cooker Beef Roast

Reviewed: Apr. 7, 2008
HELPFUL SUGGESTIONS NOT MENTIONED: If you're cooking this for 8+ hours with a 2lb chuck roast and adding potatoes, celery and carrots, I suggest adding 1C of beef broth or the whole can (2C). A beef bouillon diluted in 1C of hot/boiling water also works. I cooked the garlic in the oil that I browned the meat. Have no idea why 16 was the magic number of carrots for her recipe, but I just put as many as I feel my family will eat. Sometimes we add some onions ...sometimes we don't if our guests don't like them. It makes no difference. I definitely recommend adding a 1.5T of Worcestershire sauce and a bay leaf. I also sprinkle some McCormick's Slow Cookers Hearty Beef Stew seasoning package like other reviewers recommend when making other recipes on this site. Big difference! This finished sooner than I thought (4hrs - 2lb meat), but I continued to cook it until we ate dinner (10-12 hrs), and it just got better with time (but needed more liquid). While there was still gravy in the end, there wasn't that much. I spray PAM along the sides if it looks like it's burning, and it works like a charm! If you use this for beef stroganoff over some noodles, you must add 4oz of cream cheese right before serving for it to truly taste like traditional stroganoff! When I feel like having potatoes on the side, I use the honey potato recipe (1 lb red potatoes quartered, 1T butter, 3T honey, and 1t dry mustard - bake 40 min). My toddlers love this!
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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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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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Curried Coconut Chicken

Reviewed: Apr. 28, 2008
HELPFUL TIPS AFTER READING ALL THE REVIEWS: UPDATED If you've never had an Indian type cuisine, this is a GREAT one to start with because you can't screw it up! The hardest part is just finding these items at the store if it's your 1st time. Know you have to buy sweetened coconut milk, not the unsweetened kind & "lite coconut milk" for those weight watchers works well too! When I add the stewed tomatoes, I use my spatula and cut them into smaller pieces. Who wants a big chunk & who wants to end up w/nothing? I find cooking it uncovered is your best bet unless you want it simmering FOREVER. Uncovered at a steady med. will still takes 50-60 before the sauce thickens. Any rice goes well with this, so just choose the kind you like. I also only use 2 chicken breasts (1 pound), but keep all the other amounts since this is just for a family of 3. If I used 2lbs, I'd definitely have to use more sauce if cooking uncovered. Note: Expect your house to smell like curry 24hrs after you fix this (in case some of you have company coming over the next day). We have this regularly, so I know!!! ;) This is truly the best!
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Asian Coconut Rice

Reviewed: Jun. 24, 2008
HELPFUL TIPS NOT MENTIONED: Being Asian, cooking rice is a skill I guess you're born with because I totally don't see why ANYONE had issues with burning the rice, it being uncooked, soggy, or whatever. I cook rice the same way each time, and it comes out perfect. In saucepan, combine rice, coconut milk, water, sugar & salt. Basically the liquids should reach the area RIGHT BEFORE your cuticle (middle of the white semi-circle on your finger nail but not reaching your cuticle). This is also assuming you've got the rice in the pot leveled, and the tip of your index finger is touching the top of the rice NOT the bottom of the pan. This is at least how I was raised to always know how much water to put in rice for it to always come out right. Bring to boil then simmer covered for 20 min. You cook until rice is tender. After 20 minutes, if there is still liquid or a bit soggy, I turn up the heat a tad, cover, and cook until absorbed and fluffy. It's not rocket science! Always works! Nothing difficult! Then mix in almonds accents (found in salad section, basically a bag of seasoned almonds to top salads) which adds the right amount of flavor to accompany the coconut taste. BTW, my husband was not a big fan of this. I was, but I LOVE rice and the coconut flavor. We ate it with some japanese wings.
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Magic Cookie Bars II

Reviewed: Jul. 14, 2008
HELPFUL TIPS THAT HELPED ME: If you're like me, you'll probably be thinking "this is way too sweet" while you put all those chocolate chips on top of the crust & YOU'LL BE RIGHT! LOL I think 1/2 cup of one or a little less than 1/2C of each is perfect!! If you do chocolate chips only, try using a mixture of semi-sweet and milk chocolate. It's an amazing blend that I always get comments on!!! Second, mine turns out perfect using just a 14oz (1 cup) can of fat-free sweetened condensed milk. Thought that may help someone when trying to decide what can to buy w/o pre-measuring. I just drizzled all over, and it covered it perfectly! Lastly, when I don't have a box of graham cracker crumbs, I just use quick oats, and it still turns out good! I like to individually wrap these in plastic wrap so the kids can just grab and go. I'd say "grab and share" but they'd prefer eating the whole thing themselves!
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Adrienne's Cucumber Salad

Reviewed: Apr. 29, 2008
HELPFUL TIPS AFTER MAKING THIS SEVERAL TIMES: These tips are just a reminder for my old age what I did after so many test trials. The person who recommended using an english cucumber hit the key!! We wondered what was different about our recipe than the person we were trying to copy and that was it!! BUT... normal cucumbers also taste great, I just could tell a difference. Then the person who said for 1 cucumber, 1/2C white vinegar, 1/4C sugar, 1/4C water, sprinkle salt lightly after you've sliced them, and then 1/2t dill got it right! With 4 large cucumbers,, I'd definitely double the liquids or there would not be enough liquid to soak this all up. I always omit the onions! I think you have to kind of know what you're about to make to really appreciate this recipe b/c before I had this... this would have tasted and looked gross on paper. I knew what I was looking for, so there were no surprises. It's our favorite! ...or at least my husband's. It's my favorite just b/c he thinks I'm the best now that I can make his mom's "secret" cucumber dish ;) His mom also does the salt with a T in Tupperware for 2-3 hrs, rinse the 2/3C+ of water you'll have left, and then continue with recipe. Also better to marinate overnight.
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Glazed Meatloaf II

Reviewed: Apr. 23, 2008
HELPFUL TIPS AFTER READING ALL THE REVIEWS: The idea of putting 2 pieces of bread on the bottom of the pan before cooking to soak up the grease is GOD SEND! Works like a charm, and you can remove it when you slice everyone their piece. BUT I also take it out at the 1hr mark and drain the excess liquid. I double the sauce, but only to drizzle on top of everyone's slice since my kids&husband like to slather their meatloaf w/ketchup. When I do double the topping, I add 1T lemon juice OR 1T balsamic vinegar for yummiest topping! Substitute bread for 3/4C oats & use green onions instead of onions if you've got picky eaters. Sometimes I dice green peppers too for more flavor. If you haven't tried "Honey Roasted Red Potatoes" I'd recommend trying them along side, and you're sure to be everyone's best friend. All my picky eaters tell me I'm the greatest cook ever due to everyone's great reviews! This meatloaf was liked by everyone over the two other top rated ones on this site! I also make them in muffin cups and just baked at 375 for 30 min.
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Real Sopapillas

Reviewed: Oct. 30, 2008
HELPFUL TIPS THAT WORK FOR ME EACH TIME: It's very true that to get these to by puffy, you must get the dough as thin as possible. I just make sure the oil is at a temp that if you enter something, it sizzles. Never need a thermometer :) Mine are super puffy if I let one side cook for 2 min, flip ...then another 2 min. They taste exactly like they do at restaurants, and enough of a pocket inside to insert that warm honey. And why stick to squares? I found a star shape cookie cutter & used them. Thought they were cuter. Don't overload your fryer though because you have to leave time to hurry & flip. Also, be sure to wipe off extra oil w/ paper towels!!! Mine didn't taste greasy AT ALL doing it this way. :)
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Heavenly Halibut

Reviewed: May 26, 2008
HELPFUL TIPS NOT MENTIONED: This simple dish always makes people think you've got MAD cooking skills which is great if you're trying to impress the in-laws. I bake this at 375 for 15 min., check on it with a fork (to see if it flakes easily), and follow it up with a few minutes under the broiler. Perfect every time and as you can tell from my picture, I had no burning! Served it with another easy but impressive dish "Colleen's Potato Crescent Rolls." Many people think Pillsbury crescents are the best and should not be substituted ....until they try these. ;)
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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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