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

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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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Deep Dish Brownies

Reviewed: May 22, 2008
HELPFUL TIPS NOT MENTIONED: So many reviews complained about the brownies sticking that I did what I do with my other recipes & that's line with nonstick foil & then lightly spray PAM on bottom (the regular foil is fine too but I do think you have to lightly spray sides of foil!!). That way when it cools COMPLETELY, you just pull up, and slide the entire brownie out & cut! No more issues w/trying to pull brownie out w/o it falling apart! This recipe is the only one I've tried on this site that fits my definition of the perfect brownie "rich, dense, fudgey, and holds together!" Here's how to achieve that: Double the recipe b/c you're kidding yourself if you think the original amounts will last more than a day! Use a 9X13 baking pan (not glass), omit the baking powder, so it won't turn cakey, BUT DO include the salt. It's greasy w/the amount of butter stated (like I've had toss outs), but when I use 1 1/4C (when doubled) ...it comes out perfect with a 35 min bake time (fast oven). Use 4 eggs (again, if you're doubling) and 1.5C of unsweetened cocoa. When tops looked done and toothpick came out clear..it was done! I had to bake mine about 10 min. longer in my older oven, but just insert a toothpick and if batter is on it, stick it back in for another 5 minutes! UPDATE: This time I tried it in a cupcake pan like another reviewer (350 for 13 min), and they were so cute! Just be sure to include the PAM!
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Scott's Buffalo Wing Sauce

Reviewed: Mar. 16, 2009
HELPFUL TIPS THAT MAKE THIS WORK FOR ME: Say NO to BUTTER!!! lol After trying the most popular wings recipes on this site, I got the baking down (350 for 45 min, take out and re-spray w/pam to make crispy, then 375 for 15 min) .........but I was not satisfied w/the hot sauce! No matter what I added or reduced, it still tasted too buttery. I also didn't want hot because we have toddlers in the house who eat them. Well, this recipe was a hit BUT with some minor modifications like NO BUTTER!!! Even when you cut the butter in half, you still can taste it. Plus it makes the sauce slide off the wings. I add about 2T ketchup or a tad more to the 2T honey and 1/3C hot sauce of any kind. The ketchup and honey really cut down on it being hot ...like the butter would but w/o adding the unneeded GREASE! They stick real nicely too! I love them!!! So if you keep thinking something is just not right, try my suggestions!
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Cream Cheese Cookie Cups

Reviewed: Aug. 7, 2009
TIPS NOT MENTIONED & HELPFUL ALTERNATIVES: These are soooo good & everyone is so impressed you made them. The forming them into the mini muffin pans is the most time consuming part but make sure the dough is close to room temp for easy handling. Use smallest cookie scoop (1in balls) for each tin THEN mold. Perfect amount & suggested by a similar recipe. Which brings me to the ALTERNATIVES: During the holidays, nestle tollhouse had some Christmas ideas that would go GREAT along side this one esp. if they're like my husband who doesn't like cream cheese mixture (rich), BUT you do. I make it along with one made of sugar cookie dough (1 1/3C dough mixed with 1T flour for better consistency). Bake at 325 for 9-10 min. THEN add a mixture of craisins and chocolate chip OR white chocolate chips inside. The wives at our coffee think I'm Martha Stewart. lol The color is beautiful and it is always a festive hit!
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Mint Chocolate Chip Pie

Reviewed: Jul. 16, 2009
CHANGES I MADE: Instead of using mint ice cream, I used oreo because more people tend to like it more. Filled the pre-made oreo crust, let it freeze again, then took it out and piped on cool whip. Followed it up with some crushed oreos since I thought it was not only taste better but look better (just my opinion of course) than chocolate drizzled!! Plus it went with the theme of the pie. I gave this 5*'s b/c of the endless possibilities you can use with this simple LAST MINUTE dessert! I love how fast it is, yet you get the praise for it as if you spent all day on it!
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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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Frosty Strawberry Squares

Reviewed: May 22, 2009
HELPFUL DETAILS/STEPS MISSING: I think if the recipe was more detailed for first timers, there wouldn't be so many mistakes in consistency. Definitely take note to reviews saying egg whites should be mixed SEPARATELY. Should mix with mixer until stiff which takes several minutes so don't give up on it! Then mix in strawberries, lemon j, sugar until strawberries are all blended. PUT IN SEPARATE BOWL and then insert HEAVY whipping cream found next to milk in store. Use mixer for a good 3-5 min. until this gets very stiff so when you pull mixer up, it sticks to mixers/handles. I use 2/3C pecans because they taste better as a crust than walnut and so there is enough to spread on top. I did use a pan A TAD smaller than 13X9 so it would be thick, but there is plenty filling IF whipped up properly. Form crust by patting lightly. Definitely cut, and plate after the 6hrs in freezer, BUT do not serve until 10 minutes later so it doesn't take icy.
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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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Chex® Muddy Buddies®

Reviewed: Dec. 17, 2008
HELPFUL TIPS IF THIS IS YOUR FIRST TIME: 1st, someone mentioned doubling the chocolate and peanut butter because there wasn't enough to coat the 9C. I got worried since I always like to overcoat, but so thankful I didn't automatically double the ingredients. My sweet tooth would have decayed!!!!! The amount listed is PERFECT if not a tad on the heavy side. Try it the way it's stated first before adding more. Trust me!! 2nd, something I DIDN'T see mentioned is, you only need 1 box. While most people probably knew this ...I didn't, and bought 2 boxes. Which of course didn't go to waste since this is so good, but my husband prefers sweet & salty over chocolate, so I had to make him a batch of Cinnamon-Apple Chex® Mix on this site with that second box! Both are out of this world! ...and last, I got worried this would be a gooey mess after I mixed in the powdered sugar, but it hardened just perfectly when left on wax/parchment paper for awhile. No powdered sugar on my fingers when I ate them! ...although my husband says I eat them so fast that I wouldn't notice even if there was any! hehe
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Pork Chops with Raspberry Sauce

Reviewed: Jun. 24, 2008
HELPFUL TIPS NOT MENTIONED: I'm giving this 5* for the raspberry sauce, which I think you have to add a T more raspberry to for it to not only taste perfect, but to drown out the wine & create the perfect thickness! I just wanted to say that this sauce goes great with another amazing dish from this site ("Pistachio Crusted Chicken"). If you haven't tried nuts and chicken before, this is the best!!! We also like to serve this dish with mashed potatoes since everyone wants a reason to use more sauce! I HAVE made this recipe as state several times, and each time my husband says not to make it with pork again and rather eat it with chicken. I agree, so I fry some seasoned chicken until browned then add the sauce! Give it a whirl, you'll thank me!!!
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Southern Moon Pies

Reviewed: Jun. 30, 2008
HELPFUL TIPS NOT MENTIONED: If you do only use 1C of marshmallow creme, make your kids a pb&marshmallow sandwich with the leftover creme as they wait for the pies to cool to apply the filling. This ensures you don't eat all the same hour you made them! However, you really should use the entire 7oz jar of creme but keep the other amounts for the filling the same. I didn't even put thick amounts of filling in-between nor can I imagine it because it's very rich, BUT my husband who hates SWEETS says this is the best dessert ever! Brags to his coworkers. hehehe Some complained about a "butter" taste to it, but I think that's from not blending well & using room temp butter. As far as the crust/pie part, I used a mixer for the butter and sugar then dumped the rest of the ingredients on top. Doesn't effect taste & you save yourself a bowl! HOWEVER, DO NOT OVER MIX!! This is why I mix everything AFTER all the ingredients have been added. Too much = liquid dough & you will have pancakes instead of beautiful puffed cakes. Speaking from experience! Stick in the fridge between batches or even before baking. For best results, don't flatten or touch the rounded medium scoop (what I use) after it hits the cookie sheet. Then you'll have perfect puffy pies like you see in everyones picture! After I take it out, I use my spatula to cut around any pies that didn't come out perfectly round. Works great instead of trying to do it w/your hand (which makes it obvious)!
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Half and Halfs

Reviewed: Jul. 29, 2008
HELPFUL TIPS NOT MENTIONED: Be sure to put together both batters at the same time. No sense in getting the flour& other ingred. out twice! I like using 1/8t of baking powder in each batter b/c it allows you to shape it to the thickness you want because when it bakes, it will not flatten much at all but stay how you want. Great way to ensure your cookies won't go flat! Also, I take my smallest scooper and drop one on the cookie sheet, then combine the FLAT/BOTTOM sides together. Easiest way to mold the two together. If you use the baking sheet as your surface then FLIP the cookie over ...the side that was touching the sheet will be nice and smooth. Definitely raise your temp to 350. What's nice about this recipe is each cookie cooks at the exact same consistency so one side never turns out flatter or overcooked!
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Fry Bread Tacos II

Reviewed: Jan. 29, 2009
HELPFUL TIPS: This makes 3 (using the suggested 3/4C dough) & I can't imagine ANY adult eating more than 1 since they take up the entire plate (as my pic shows). It's necessary to make this as PAPER THIN as possible as they thicken up a lot. I like to make this for company & use a little less than 1/2C so they're the perfect portion size. I fry these about 2-3 min. on each side. By the time you flip it, it shouldn't sink into the oil. I also used a knife to pop any bubbles that formed so there would be a nice flat surface. You can make these ahead, and heat up in oven (temp 200) for guests or even microwave! I layer mine w/refried beans, then the ground beef, lettuce, tomatoes, green/red/AND white onions diced, followed by cheese, salsa, sour cream. This is truly the best and as mentioned, wonderful w/ice cream.
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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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605 users found this review helpful
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Salsa Chicken

Reviewed: Jul. 27, 2009
WHY THIS IS 5 STARS: Simply because you can make something that is CHEAP and SURPRISINGLY delicious in 5 minutes ...and that's going really slow! Don't bother looking at the specifics as far as amounts. Or even what it will taste like with "ick" taco seasoning on it... first off, you won't taste the taco seasoning and that's with putting a large amount over entire breast. To finish this in 25 min at 375, you should pound these to 1/2" thick (basically take one breast and cut in half). Put pam in a 13X9, breasts, seasoning (again, don't be shy), then put any salsa on. I fit as much as I can fit on each breast. Even using hot, the cheese really subdues the hotness so don't worry about it. My toddlers eat it and they typically don't like MEAT (guess the key is all the cheese lol). Bake, and then as stated, sprinkle as much of any kind of cheese on top for the last 5-10 min. So simple. If you want an equally simple and QUICK mexican rice, try "BEST SPANISH RICE" ...you'll be shocked by the taste!
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Whit's Chicken Enchiladas

Reviewed: Apr. 20, 2008
HELPFUL TIPS NOT MENTIONED: My husband is extremely picky about his Mexican food due to where he grew up, so I tried each of the enchilada recipes that rank higher than this 1st. He was sadly disappointed w/each as was I since I like to impress him w/my cooking, but then I tried this w/much hesitation due to how easy it was & what do you know ...simplicity was the winner! 1. put green or red enchilada sauce on the bottom (enough to ONLY lightly cover the bottom) but PAM works too 2. Change it up by/adding chopped green peppers or mushroom in the mix, and sliced olives ON TOP after adding heavy cream. 3. use 1 pkg of tysons/oscar meyer already made fajita or grilled chicken to save time (1 heaping cup) 4.make in the morning BUT add heavy cream JUST before baking it! I still add a little taco seasoning to the chicken for added spice BUT NOT necessary. 5 Bake until it looks golden all over with a little crispy look from the heavy cream so it's not soggy inside. I eye the amount of heavy cream for this reason too ...just drizzle enough for the amount I want & I use a smaller glass dish (making 6) since that's how many we will eat but makes (8-9 heaping amounts). My husband likes soft enchiladas and not crispy like me, so we put foil over it while baking if he's eating. Eat with "Best Spanish Rice!" So easy & with ingred. always on hand, not to mention better than complex recipes! Again, simplicity proves to be the best!
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Colleen's Slow Cooker Jambalaya

Reviewed: Jun. 17, 2009
AFTER READING ALL THE REVIEWS: I wanted to say Andouille Sausage is REAL easy to find esp. for the user in Houston b/c that's where I live. MOST major chains (HEB, Fred Meyer, Carrs, Kroger, Randalls) carry it but you have to ask if you're unfamiliar with it. It tastes SOOOOO much better than the terribly suggested kielbasa/polish and should be a crime to add that as a substitution. lol I personally think plating rice THEN the jambalaya is your best route so you don't add all those unnecessary sodium/calories from the soup. Had no celery so didn't add or miss it. Definitely drain the tomatoes b/c I heavily drained mine & still had plenty of soup. I added enough chicken, sausage and OPTIONAL shrimp (cut tails while frozen, rebagged so I can just add in the end but raw can be used if you put it in a tad earlier than suggested) for our family ...doesn't have to be exact at all. Using 1/4t cayenne gave it just the mild taste we wanted since kids were eating. I've made this w/o onion or celery & it's fine! You can't screw this up & best of all... you do it all in a crockpot. Try Bourbon Chocolate Pie (a cajun dessert) with this dish and you're family will all be wearing sweats and loosening up their belts!!
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Swiss Chicken Casserole I

Reviewed: Jul. 7, 2009
COLLECTION OF REVIEWS: So many reviews, who to go with?!? I tried this many of the suggested ways, and this is what tastes best for the company I've served it to many times now... 1) definitely melt the UNSALTED butter (way too salty if salted butter is used) in a bowl and then add plain or my preference of any flavored uncooked stuffing. 2) Spray with PAM then add pounded chicken or thin breasts. Add some seasoning on the chicken such as Mrs. Dash. 3) Add mozzerella chicken on top of each piece 4) Add the soup, 1/8C milk & 1/8C wine mixture (or all milk but the wine really does bring out the flavor) into the 13X9 pan. 5) Press the stuffing down with your fingers so all is covered is soup. 6)COVER with foil as directed and bake for 50 min uncovering the last 15 so stuffing isn't soggy! This is great to make ahead of time and keep in the fridge.
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Sweet and Sour Chicken I

Reviewed: Aug. 11, 2009
HELPFUL TIPS IN PREPARING: 1. Make the chicken ahead and save for whenever you will eat this dish. Heating in oven at 350 for 15 min. really does work and chicken is really crispy but that's really b/c the batter is so dang perfectly thick. DEFINITELY start with making the chicken batter, as described like pancake mix. When cutting recipe in half, ALSO cut in half the chicken batter (1C water, flour, 1T cornstarch&oil, 1/2t salt, 1/5t baking powder, egg). I never have self-rising flour, so that's where the baking powder comes in. 2. The sauce is only good for about 4 chicken breasts, otherwise double the sauce. It thickens up REALLY well, but as mentioned ...make sure the cornstarch is completely dissolved in water before adding it. I keep the sauce on lowest setting until ready to eat. 3. Take some frozen veggies, fry in pan with some soy sauce for a great side dish! 4. My kids love the chicken w/o sauce, so they think it's chicken nugget night w/ketchup. 5. Tastes better to coat the chicken in sauce rather than dumping over, but only use the chicken you plan on eating so you can save the rest for leftovers. Otherwise it gets mushy the next day when mixed in with sauce. I just reheat sauce while chicken is in oven for 15 min.
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Peanut Butter Cookie Cups

Reviewed: Feb. 15, 2009
HELPFUL TIPS: Very funny someone would post this because this is what I've been saying in reviews for the same recipes that require more steps. One very important thing to note is to unwrap all the butter cups ahead of time, and I place them on a cookie sheet inside the freezer. That way they don't melt when I place them in the cookie. I find that using the betty crocker mix next to the cake mixes (Comes in red plastic bag) works great, and they stay fresher unlike the homemade ones that go "soft" after a day.
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