Erimess Recipe Reviews (Pg. 7) - Allrecipes.com (1486835)

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Ranch, Bacon, and Parmesan Pasta Salad

Reviewed: Jul. 26, 2010
I made this as is except the Parmesan was grated, and I used only a bit over half the onion. I like a lot of onion in pasta/potato salads but the whole thing just seemed a bit much. (Maybe mine was big.) I doubled the ranch dressing, and that was before it sat around soaking it up because it was already on the dry side. Looks like a lot of folks increased and even doubled the ranch. It's just dry as is. And I couldn't taste the Parmesan nor the bacon (even subtly). So all in all it was like having pasta with a few crunchy things and only a bit of flavor, sorry. (A shame since this is the kind of thing I would like. And I don't rate for doctoring up.)
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Dry Buttermilk Ranch Mix

Reviewed: Jul. 20, 2010
I don't think I've ever seen dried celery flakes, so I ended up using 1/4 t. celery salt. That was a bit much so I may reduce that further, or use a bit of celery seed. I had to experiment a bit. I've only made dressing out of it. Used it on a pasta salad, which I thought was bland, and wasn't sure what to blame. So I used it on a chicken recipe I'd already made and the dressing I'm happy to say was fine. (It was the salad's fault. :-)) There is a slight difference in flavor from the packaged, and I haven't quite put my finger on what, but it's close and does taste like ranch. This is about half as flavorful as the packaged kind, but the volume is twice which makes up for it. So treating this as one regular package works. For anything calling for dry mix, I'd use double the volume of this. For dressing, about a 1:4 ratio with whatever "gunk" used works pretty well. That is, like 1/4 cup of the mix and 1 cup of gunk - for dressing that's 1/2 c. mayo and 1/2 c. milk and then let it sit in the fridge a bit. (Haven't used it as a dip yet.) I like that I can make up just enough to use for a recipe. As a side note, it says to store in a cool dry place, but my buttermilk mix requires refrigeration so this would too.
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Banana Berry Smoothie II

Reviewed: Jul. 20, 2010
I have to agree with Chelsea and spoiled. Made as it, this is pretty bland. I noticed half the people leaving 4-5 made some changes that would really make a difference and are not really this recipe. Noticeably using a whole container of yogurt, or a flavored yogurt, adding more berries, cutting the milk in half, all of which I think would make a big difference in the amount of flavor. And there was barely any flavor at all.
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Delightful Cherry Berry Milkshake

Reviewed: Jul. 8, 2010
I've made this at least 5 times now. First I had to try all the fruit combinations. My least favorite was the strawberry/raspberry, and honestly, that probably would've been a 3. The strawberry/blackberry and blueberry/raspberry were both fairly good. But my favorite, and what I'll continue to use, is the blueberry/blackberry. And it's such a pretty dark purple. :) (OK, purple is my favorite color, but is food supposed to be purple? LOL) There are two things that bug me though. One is that the seeds in raspberries & blackberries are just bothersome and I was even getting seeds stuck in my teeth. Also, this is so thick it's very hard to blend well. I once tried adding the milk before the ice cream, but that was actually worse. Milkshakes are thick, granted, but I like seriously getting the fruit blended and the thickness makes that difficult. If you like little pieces of fruit in there, you won't have this problem. I've used frozen yogurt instead of ice cream, and the milk I use either 1% or nonfat dry, and I don't really notice the difference. I've also used mostly frozen fruit.
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Apple Oatmeal Bar Cookies

Reviewed: Jul. 8, 2010
Sorry, but these just absolutely did not work. I don't usually read reviews before making something, unless the average score is low and I want to find out why. But I printed this off a long, long time ago and didn't even know until I got into the middle of it that there was a problem. What I got of this was just a very dry "bowl of crumbles" as someone put it. I see people referring to them as being like a granola bar. Perhaps this is how granola bars would be made and if I judged it based on that, I might feel differently. However, there's two issues with that. One is that they are called bar cookies, not granola bars. I wasn't looking to make granola bars. Two is that I first noticed a problem when it said to add the vanilla. I looked in the bowl at what was a lot of dry stuff, and realized there was no way I could add vanilla to that, which is when I realized that something just seemed wrong, and came and checked the reviews. OK, great. With the advice of some other people, I added more applesauce to get some moisture and an egg to help bind it. It at least did stick together instead of crumbling, but were still kinda dry and just not much flavor. They were edible and I did eat some. (Maybe I should dump the pic since that isn't really the way the recipe is.)
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Catherine's Spicy Chicken Soup

Reviewed: Jul. 8, 2010
Great stuff! The only things I did to it were my typical little personal tweaks like pureeing tomatoes since I don't like the hunks, but that doesn't change the flavor any. (Meaning, in fact, I just used all whole tomatoes.) But all the spices, beans, etc. I did as is. I cooked the chicken originally in the crock since that's the easiest way to shred chicken, something I dislike doing. (And seem to do a lot anyway.) After that I transferred to my Dutch oven which fits more easily in the fridge. A good thing since there was plenty. I halved the recipe and I doubt the whole thing would've fit in the Dutch oven. This is easily at least 12 servings for the whole recipe, and I'm one who thinks a serving is a good big bowlful. I like the level of spiciness just fine. It was much like a tortilla soup. Blopped on some extra sour cream on top. I do have one issue, however: the prep time. It's like the first step doesn't exist, so if you think you're going to start this recipe and have it ready in 45 minutes like it says, think again. It doesn't say "cooked" chicken in the ingredients, so step 1 absolutely counts!!
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Cozy's Summer Splash

Reviewed: Jul. 8, 2010
I had a tough time deciding how to score this. I did not like the mint in it at all, even when I tried just 1/4 tsp. I don't now how fresh would be (CC, are you following me around again?), as I used the extract called for. I love mint in nearly everything, but I guess not in fruit. So I started making it without the mint and have made it probably four times now. It's pretty good without it. What I pondered was, there's the part of me that says it's just a little extract and such a minor thing, but it's also such a strong flavor that without it, is it really this recipe?? But I keep making it... I use frozen yogurt instead of ice cream. I also normally use vanilla yogurt instead of plain. This recipe is what made me try yogurt again after many years. I've discovered I do still dislike plain yogurt!, but now they have all these different flavors and I've been getting the light versions and just snacking on them. So thanks for making me try yogurt again. :-)
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Honey-Mustard Baked Chicken

Reviewed: Jul. 8, 2010
This was OK but certainly nothing exciting. I was afraid of the honey or mustard being too central to the flavor, but neither was "too much." Perhaps the soy covered that a bit. Unlike some of the reviews, I do like curry as long as it's not ridiculously strong, but I really couldn't even taste it. (There was a hint of it in the leftovers heated up.) It's a bit of an odd blend of ingredients, but nothing seemed to predominate at all - so there was nothing about it that really "made it" for me. It's very easy and I give extra credit for that; however, it's not a "last-minute" kind of easy for when I just want something easy and quick, because of the marinating time.
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Donut Muffins

Reviewed: Jul. 7, 2010
I don't think they tasted quite like the sugar donut holes - they were actually better. They were easy and were good, but too sweet for my tastes. (Sugar donut holes are even more too sweet and denser.) I kept eating the silly things, but that's just too much sweet for me. If I make them again (I think my brother would love them, after the way he was spying the too-sweet baked goods in the grocery the other day), I would only dip the tops. As it was, there was too much of the cin-sugar, though I accidentally found a recipe calling for some and was able to use it up. I didn't think the nutmeg was over-powering at all - maybe the cinnamon covered it up. Really, everything was good except for being just "too much." Made them exactly as is, using butter inside and a spread for the tops. Even melted the butter as it says and it worked fine. I have 2 sizes of mini muffin pans, and I used the smaller, which is the size I see the liners in the grocery, about the size of a donut hole. Filled them 3/4 full as it says and they puffed over the top a bit (not like a mushroom), and I got 16 of them. My other pan is bigger, and very old that I got from my mother and I never see that size. This was the christening of my new mini pan. :-)
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Kiwi Strawberry Smoothie

Reviewed: Jul. 7, 2010
I really didn't like this too much the first time around, but smoothies were fairly new to me at the time and I learned a little and made it again to give it a chance. So I used a riper banana, all frozen strawberries since the so-called 'fresh' around here isn't so good, and a riper kiwi. Definitely better but still just wasn't my favorite. I love most fruit juices and have liked other smoothies with strawberries. I'm guessing it was either the kiwi I wasn't fond of (and I totally cut out the core so no seeds), or perhaps just too much banana for something that's supposed to be "kiwi strawberry," as someone else suggested.
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Pan-Fried Steak with Marsala Sauce

Reviewed: Jul. 7, 2010
This was OK, nothing special, sorry. I would not have really been able to say why until I started reading thru the reviews. My printed copy (May 2010) says chuck steaks both places, nothing about any ribeye. I am not a steak expert, and have to just trust the recipe, and I used the chuck steak called for (though a thin one). So that may have been part of the issue. I followed this exactly (except perhaps used a spread instead of butter, I don't recall). I generally love rosemary and Marsala is fairly good (though I cook with Burgundy more). So I'll blame it on the cut of steak it calls for. I know the former reviewers won't see this, but for future reference, don't rate a recipe based on the picture - members just put their own pics up of how they made it. Interesting to see what people did, but don't rate it based on that. (A lot of folks added onions and mushrooms.) I also noticed several people who really didn't even make this recipe at all, and that's not even counting the changes of steak cut.
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Strawberry Oatmeal Breakfast Smoothie

Reviewed: Jul. 2, 2010
Sorry but I just don't like the oats in there. It wasn't the texture. I tend to give a little whir to anything frozen first, then add other stuff and add only enough milk at a time to be able to blend, so that everything gets blended as smoothly as possible. (Don't like ending up with 'pulp'.) So the oats just blended fine with everything else. Granted it was more filling than some smoothies but I didn't like the taste of the oats in there. It wasn't bad - just not great. I've actually made it several times trying to play with it (but still mostly sticking to the recipe), like I've used both fresh & frozen, and 1% milk and nonfat dry milk (don't have soy). I also reduced the oats by half and it still tasted too much like oats. (And I'm sorry, but adding things like blueberries would so incredibly change the taste that it wouldn't be this recipe anymore.)
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White Bean Chicken Chili

Reviewed: Jun. 21, 2010
I cheated a couple of things but got the gist of it I think. I've never bought tomatillos and used just regular tomatoes, as it seems many people did. I also did my usual of not using pieces of onion, but use onion powder, onion juice or pulverize them. (And don't usually remember which.) And I pulverized the tomato as well. (I don't like pieces of stuff like that.) My Good Cooks Handbook says an ear of corn is ~ 1/2 cup so used 1 cup frozen corn. And when I see "white" beans I think of cannellini which is what I also see for most white chilis. Used all the spices and such as is. Used a fair amount of pepper & just a little salt. I then put some sour cream, cheddar cheese and tortilla chips on top. Can't say as the chips did anything for it. This was very good - not a super hot spicy but flavorful and good. Unfortunately I'd bought a new brand of sour cream that wasn't that great, and I think this could be more fabulous with a good sour cream. I do agree with the reviewer that said it's more of a tortilla soup than white chili. As for the recipe, WHY can't ingredients be put in order of use - that's just confusing. And why ears of corn? With all that other junk in there I can't see noticing whether it's fresh or frozen but that's just me.
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Chocolate Mint Milkshake

Reviewed: Jun. 21, 2010
I had a tough time deciding on the score for this. I'll admit I'm not a chocolate "freak." However, I do generally love MINT chocolate. I don't like chocolate ice cream because, well, it tastes *nothing* like real chocolate. (I'd rather put syrup on vanilla ice cream.) So this seemed like the thing cause it has mint and uses syrup instead of chocolate ice cream. It was good, but it didn't really quite hit the spot the way I expected. Maybe cause it's peppermint instead of just mint??
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London Broil

Reviewed: Jun. 21, 2010
Where to start? Directions are bit confusing. It lists MSG in the ingredients but does not mention it in the directions. The directions say "meat tenderizer" which is not listed in the ingredients. I'm no expert on MSG and saw someone say they used meat tenderizer "instead" of MSG, so I drew the conclusion the MSG is a tenderizer. It would help if it were called that in the directions. So I made it under that assumption, as is, with canola oil, and I "made" tarragon vinegar by adding some tarragon to distilled white vinegar. (I see many people used red wine vinegar but I looked it up and seems tarragon is made from either malt or distilled white.) The flavor was good, but it didn't appear to do anything wonderful to the meat cut. It's possible I screwed up on thinking MSG was going to be a tenderizer, but if so, that's the recipe's fault. I also read (after I made it) NOT to score a tough cut cause it makes it worse, tho I can see the logic of it allowing the marinade to get INTO the meat. It's not that it was bad (or it wouldn't have been a 4), but it also wasn't good & tender.
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Leslie's Salty Grilled Potatoes

Reviewed: Jun. 20, 2010
These were pretty good and a different way of making them for variance on a potato. (And definitely better than a plain old boring baked potato.) I put the stuff on the foil in a big + shape and then folded up those sides first and it got all over the potato evenly pretty well - then I just packed in the rest of the foil around that. I also did poke the potatoes first cause it just seemed the stuff would leak out if I didn't. I used the Italian seasoning and I chickened out on the salt. I'm a saltaholic and they are called "salty" so what would I expect? - but even I chickened out on it and used about half. I tried to "trust" the recipe but it just looked like SO much salt. I think after the requisite hour they were done but not really quite as done as I'd expect a baked one to be - but it worked nonetheless.
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Chocolate Syrup

Reviewed: Jun. 16, 2010
I made this simply because I rarely use chocolate syrup (in fact, I don't think I've EVER bought a jar myself) and I needed it for a recipe. I wanted to be able to make a smaller portion and not have that jar going to waste. (I scaled it down.) What I did like about it was that it seemed to have more of the dark chocolate taste instead of being so sweet. However, I don't know what effect that had on the recipe I was trying to make. (I used the rest up on ice cream.) And it never thickened. Cook time, 5 minutes? I stood there and stood there and stood there, stirring and stirring. It never really did a thing. I didn't want to end up with burnt chocolate flavor so I just gave up and took it off the stove. Tossed it in the fridge to use the next day and that's when it thickened up. Would've saved a lot of time (and my feet and arm) had I not tried getting it to thicken on the stove like it was supposed to.
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Corny Beef Brunch

Reviewed: Jun. 13, 2010
Pretty decent stuff really. Certainly nothing gourmet - it's hash after all. It does perk up the hash a bit, and definitely easy. I made it for dinner - wouldn't want to wake up my cholesterol too early in the day. :-)
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Ham and Cheesy Potatoes

Reviewed: Jun. 10, 2010
I liked this OK, but nothing extra special. This is what I call a mac n cheese kind of meal, i.e. just a casual mid-week family type meal, what one reviewer called "homey." (Someone else said it was like glorified potatoes au gratin - good description really.) I followed the recipe exactly. As to the undecided-if-its-a-white-sauce: I had absolutely no trouble with it. I really didn't "get" the toasting the flour thing, but sorta did it anyway. Didn't have any trouble adding the milk to just the dry stuff with no butter, and with no lumps. (You must take that word "gradually" quite literally and add just tiny bits of milk at a time, make sure it's mixed well, etc. You have to do this even with butter. When it's more liquidy you can dump in the rest.)(For the self-proclaimed "expert" to be unable to do this strikes me as amusing.) I have a cool little slicer thing that does julienne, as well as thin slices, and it's easier and faster than a food processor, and easier to clean. I don't recall if mine was done in an hour, but I'm sure I would've made note had it been ridiculously longer than that. And I didn't find it salty, but I'm a salt-a-holic so I guess I didn't notice.
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Ranch Oyster Crackers

Reviewed: Jun. 10, 2010
These were OK to snack on. I would probably only make them again if I had oyster crackers to use up. I included the optional ingredients - did not find them over-powering or too salty or some of the other comments I've seen. I do see the baking time as way too long. I went to stir them at 10 minutes and they were already over-done and had gotten a bit dry & bland. They were very strong before baking, so they do need baked, but I just can't imagine 15 or especially 20 minutes. (And my oven does not run hot.)
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