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Orange Sunrise Smoothie

Reviewed: Dec. 12, 2010
This was pretty good though it seemed the banana overwhelmed it a bit. It didn't seem very orange given its title, I think because there's not much of the juice relative to the other fruit. (Perhaps needs a bit of concentrate.) I think this is more 3 servings.
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Gordon's Berry Breakfast Drink

Reviewed: Dec. 9, 2010
Made this as is, except that my banana was also frozen. (All the better since I like them good and cold.) Most things with a fair amount of blueberry always taste sort of grapey to me so I tend to like them. This was good, though not necessarily my favorite. And it's very easy to mix up smooth, which is always a bonus. This will be going in my regular line-up. I have to agree that it doesn't really make the servings it says. I'd say more like 4, relative to what most recipes end up calling a 'serving' anyway.
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Basic Fruit Smoothie

Reviewed: Dec. 9, 2010
Sorry, but I thought this was flavorless. I even only used about half the ice cause I used mostly frozen fruit - all of it would just water it down more. I added an entire 1/2 cup of juice *concentrate* (and a squirt of honey) to make it taste like anything, and I thought that a pretty drastic move just to give it flavor.
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Berry Delicious

Reviewed: Dec. 7, 2010
The first time I made this I was ready to give it a 3, but that was mostly because it had too strong a banana flavor which I do not like - I want the banana more subtle. But, I had used an over-ripe banana and had left out the sugar, and thought it only fair to make it again. So I used a less ripe banana and did add the sugar, which unlike many people, I did think was necessary. (And I'm no sugar fanatic by any means. I think it had more to do with flavor than sweetening.) I'm sure it depends on the selected berries somewhat, and how good the fruit is. I used blueberries, strawberries, blackberries and raspberries. (Less strawberries the second time because I also like the strawberry flavor more subtle.) I don't like the seeds of black/raspberries, so I've started straining them. This can be quite thick and the only good way to strain them is put them and all the milk only in the blender, strain, and then add everything else.
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Kelly's Quick & Easy Egg Salad

Reviewed: Dec. 4, 2010
This was enough for about 3 sandwiches. I used about 1-1/2 t. celery salt, and a sprinkle each of onion powder and celery seed. I think I would prefer maybe 2 t. celery salt and no celery seed. This is some pretty decent stuff and I was in the mood for egg salad, something I don't make very often, but it wasn't a WOW. I was happy that it had enough mayo - many mayo-based salads have too little and are dry. This was about good.
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Honey-Mango Smoothie

Reviewed: Dec. 4, 2010
I used half fresh and half frozen mango. I still threw some ice in but don't think it was needed. I have to agree with gramcracr -- the bigger greenish/red/yellow type produce *twice* as much mango as the smaller yellow ones, so it's going to make a huge difference the type of mango used. I think this would be awful with one of the smaller ones. The larger ones are about 1-1/2 cups cubed. I used one small and then filled in the rest of that measurement with frozen. I tasted plenty of mango, and rather than thinking it was too sweet, thought it needed the sweetener cause mango isn't sweet. (Needs sugar or juice that's sweet, or something.) Using the bigger mango this was fairly good, though there are other mango smoothies I like better. But it's worth a try if you use enough mango. (Though blame can be put on the recipe -- when something varies in size so much, a measurement/weight needs to be given, not how many!)
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Very Berry Blueberry Smoothie

Reviewed: Nov. 4, 2010
In terms of ingredients, I made this exactly as is, using frozen blueberries. I tasted mostly the blueberry, which in smoothies seems to tend towards tasting like grape. I do like the blueberry ones. I have to agree that the kiwi didn't add a lot to it, but kiwi and banana both are ones I prefer to have as a more subtle flavor anyway. And purple drinks are always pretty. My only issue with this is that it's harder to mix smooth. I have to put ice in first or my blender doesn't handle it. But unless I just let the ice melt, there's no liquid at all. I just keep scraping the sides to try throwing that fruit down in the center and eventually it does mix up, and then I smoothed it out once the yogurt was added - but a bit of a hassle.
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Spiral Pasta Salad

Reviewed: Nov. 4, 2010
Only change was leaving out the green pepper as I don't care for it. This was some decent stuff with a bit of tang to it. I think it could have used a bit more vinegar and less oil, plus I added extra salt & pepper to the servings. It's a good way to use up left over stuff but I don't know if I'd want to make all the time. Don't get me wrong - OK, but just not any great wow. I also did not really find it all that "different" as I see in a lot of the comments, but maybe I've just made so many different pasta salads that it's hard to find something I'd think was really different. (And I agree with NJtoAL that this is not enough for 8 servings - they'd have to be small.)
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Best Macaroni Salad

Reviewed: Nov. 4, 2010
Sorry, but I have to agree with those who have said this was bland, and also dry. The only thing I changed was that I grew up with Miracle Whip being "mayo," but that actually should have given it more of a kick and did not. Once it was chilled, all I tasted was a vague vinegar taste and nothing else, except the ham when it happened to be in that bite. Interesting that someone said the cucumber 'makes it' when I couldn't even taste them.
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Mango Lassi II

Reviewed: Oct. 10, 2010
This was good, but I do not think I'd want to make this again, or at least very often, just because it's difficult to blend w/essentially no liquid. I had to do a lot of scrape/blend back & forth to get it to start mixing well, and I'd dumped the ice in first (only way my blender will crush it) which started getting liquidy as I went. In the end I managed to mix the holy heck out of it and not have even any fibrous stuff, but it took a while. I only had one mango - this was my first experience with fresh mango as well - so I filled in with 1-1/2 cups of Trader Joe's chunked frozen. (Cheaper anyway.) I used vanilla yogurt since I rarely have plain on hand. That's a lot of sugar. I didn't think it was too sweet. The fresh mango was very ripe but it still seemed to need sweetening. It's just more a matter of shoving that much sugar in me than a concern about the taste.
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Tarragon Stuffing

Reviewed: Oct. 10, 2010
Very good! I was leary of the tarragon... it gave it a very curious but good flavor that I didn't expect. I used half regular onion cause I ran out of green, so I cooked them a bit in the butter to soften them up. I also used Smart Balance spread, but would like to try the unsalted butter (didn't have any unsalted on hand). I used sherry, but only 1 cup as it seemed moist enough. (If I needed more, I think I'd fill in with chicken broth cause it had just a subtle sherry flavor and more would be too much.) I cooked it in the oven for an hour, with a lid, and it didn't need any longer than that, but I did remove the lid and cook a hair longer to crispy the top a bit. The only bad thing is I hate ripping up bread - might try getting the plain bagged croutons, and see if more liquid and cooking with the lid softens them up, cause I love the flavor. And I didn't make it for any holiday - don't feel like I need one to be allowed to eat something. :-) So it was just a chicken meal. (I do consider this is more like 8 servings, or 12 at most. It's only 24 if everyone gets only a big spoonful.)
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Berry Good Smoothie II

Reviewed: Oct. 9, 2010
I felt this had no flavor. Despite all the blueberries, which usually are the dominant flavor when mixed with other stuff, it just tasted like a slightly blueberry-flavored milk. (Like chocolate milk made very weak.) I didn't taste nectarine at all. I wonder if smoothies just go better when they have milk, yogurt or juice... something besides just fruit, cause the last one I made w/little liquid was very bland as well. I added a bunch of juice concentrate to it to get some flavor. And it badly needs some liquid. I don't see why not just add some milk instead of just powder. Because of the lack of liquid, it was also extremely difficult to blend. If you scrape the sides a lot and blend forever, it does finally mix (and the ice turn to water), but it was difficult. Sorry, won't be making again.
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Chicken Unitarian

Reviewed: Oct. 9, 2010
I made this as it, except I used low sodium soy sauce. (I also used Canola oil but I honestly don't consider that a "change.") It was pretty good, but there were a couple of issues. Perhaps a bit too much vinegar. Mine was also done in under an hour and I just can't see cooking it 1.5 hours, and I also don't think 165 degrees is high enough for chicken. It's pretty liquidy in the oven as well, I suspect cause the lid's on. (The up side of that is the chicken staying moist.) So I did attempt to thicken that up in a pan after. Tried this with rice and I don't think it matches very well.. oh well. And it didn't reheat very well.
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Summer Tomato Salad

Reviewed: Oct. 9, 2010
I'm leaning towards agreeing the pulleyheather (and SHarris's hubby) on this one. I love tomatoes, and I like a tomato salad with just herb and either no dressing or a bit of oil or vinegar. I did not like this at all. It just was like eating a bunch of leaves - the basil and cilantro were way overwhelming and all I tasted. I tried adding some balsamic vinegar as heather did, but that just didn't do it. I find it interesting looking at the pics that there seems to be little of the green stuff, so I have to wonder what's going on there. My pic had way more green as well and did not look good. (Although I did have the yellow tomatoes so it was colorful.) No, I didn't measure wrong, and I even looked up online what a dry pint would be (since I didn't use store-bought), which is just a hair over a liquid pint -- maybe many folks are tossing in way more than the 2 pints called for.
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Simple Summer Smoothie

Reviewed: Oct. 9, 2010
This had a good flavor, but a couple of points. One, it was a bit on the tart side, and therefore I don't really consider the honey optional. I'm not sure more honey would help. It seems to need more or less of... something else, don't know what. I notice many leaving out the cherries. The bigger problem is that it's hard to mix. The ice is needed since there's very little liquid. As to the person with the old blender - not sure it's the blender - there just isn't a lot of liquid to mix the fruit smooth. I managed, and the ice was pure liquid by time I was done, but it's definitely easy getting it smooth with more liquid.
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Creamy Mango Smoothie

Reviewed: Oct. 9, 2010
A little odd that I would have such a difference of opinion, but I just didn't feel this had any flavor at all. I didn't find the vanilla overwhelming, because I didn't taste it, nor did I taste much mango. It was a bit like just drinking water with a bit of mango flavoring. And I did make it as is. I ended up adding a bunch (about 1/3 to 1/2 cup!) of orange-mango-peach juice *concentrate* to give it some flavor. I don't know if it's too much milk or what. I do see the review of someone saying to refrigerate overnight to bring out the flavor - but if I want a smoothie, I'm generally wanting it now - not the kind of thing I'm waiting overnight for. Sorry.
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Chicken Vicious

Reviewed: Aug. 28, 2010
Wow, you weren't kidding. But I did like it. I mean, it's hot but good. I dislike mushrooms so dumped those, and used low-sodium soy sauce, but I didn't assume I needed to start changing everything. I ended up adding about 2 tablespoons more sugar, thinking perhaps I'd need even more. But once you get everything added, thickened, and put on rice, it does calm that heat just a little, so I think at the "taste test" point you can leave it just a hair on the "too much" side. (My opinion - don't hold me to it.) I did not find it in any way sweet even with a bit of extra sugar. It goes very well with the rice - and with rice, this might be double the servings. This was also a nice way to sneak in peas, as I don't like them cooked but don't notice them in something like this. The downfalls are all that sugar - for an otherwise healthy dish. And it also does not re-heat very well. Tolerable and I don't let leftovers go to waste, but certainly not the same. Oh, and this was not done in 45 minutes at all. For one, having to cut up raw chicken is not quick, and it took a while to thicken - noticed others having trouble getting it to thicken. Now while I understand, if you don't like hot, don't make this,
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Egg Rice Salad

Reviewed: Aug. 28, 2010
I have no relish around so just chopped up some pickle. I also didn't mold it or use the lettuce - I was going to use a little dessert dish to mold it and just thought it was pretty sitting in the dish and left it. This is pretty decent stuff but nothing to knock your socks off. It's different, and something interesting to throw into a luncheon. It's also pretty and fresh looking, with all the green and bit of yellow from the egg yolk... looks like spring. I do have to say these are awful small servings. I'd want to double it just to feel like it was worth making.
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Macaroni Salad I

Reviewed: Aug. 28, 2010
I used half gold tomatoes since my neighbor has a whole mess of them, and it added another color. This was OK but I'm mostly in agreement with those saying it lacks some flavor as is. Miracle Whip has a bit of a tang, but this did not come off in the salad. It took me a bit to figure out that I *think* it might be the milk just killing that natural tang and making it a bit of a dead mayo thing. It seems several are now adding ranch dressing mix to it, which would kick it up a bit, but that's not this recipe. I didn't think of that and had a hard time sprucing it up. As one person said, though, it is a good way to use up cucumbers and I didn't think it was too many but mine were smallish.
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Salt-Free Herb Blend

Reviewed: Aug. 28, 2010
I had no sesame seeds, but it's not my favorite thing so I doubt it made any difference to me. This does make for an added flavor for chicken, which is what I used it on, but I don't know that it really "perked." It was a bit heavy on the pepper. I'm thinking maybe a bit more on the marjaram, thyme, garlic and maybe even paprika, and less on pepper - possibly half as much pepper. It does come in handy when I want something easy and I've used it several times, but I'll mess with it some next time.
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