Sue Recipe Reviews (Pg. 8) - Allrecipes.com (15129009)

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Vodka Pasta a la Guido

Reviewed: Oct. 8, 2013
As written, kind of blah and not worth the trouble. But it goes quickly to five stars if you . . . skip the butter all together. Instead, saute some onions and garlic in olive oil. Add the tomatoes, but don't drain them. That liquid will be great in your sauce! To thicken your sauce, skip the heavy cream and use 8 ounces of neufchatel cheese (which is just low fat cream cheese). Add basil and oregano to taste with a little fresh ground pepper. I cut back the vodka to 1 cup and it was plenty and I only used 1 teaspoon pepper flakes and it was plenty spicy for us. I know this is a huge change to the recipe, but I'm sorry to say it was just so bland as written. Oh, and I also often add some sauteed mushrooms to this sauce - super yummy!!! And I use bowtie pasta. It's just a fun way to serve pasta!
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Pasta Pomodoro

Reviewed: Oct. 8, 2013
As delicious as it is simple. BUT... when you are sauteing the onion and garlic, first, high heat (as called for) is too much, especially for the garlic. Instead, heat up your olive oil over medium high heat, add onion and saute for a few minutes. When almost done, reduce your heat to medium and add garlic and gently saute for a minute or two, then proceed with directions. Also, if you cook angel hair pasta for 8 minutes, I guarantee it will not be al dente. Watch it carefully and test frequently. It will only need to cook for about 4 minutes. Other than these changes, I added a few extra cloves of garlic and a bit more basil and even a dash of oregano. Super yummy!!
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Grilled Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich

Reviewed: Oct. 6, 2013
For the sake of rating this recipe, I did try it as written. It was good, that's for sure, but really unnecessarily complicated. You can get almost the same results a lot easier (and with a few less calories and fat) by simply toasting your bread in the toaster, then proceeding to make your PB&J as usual. Ta da! A warm PB&J that is delicious (the toast warms the peanut butter making it super gooey and yummy!). But if you just love buttered, grilled sandwiches, then you will probably love the original recipe as written. It really was pretty good, but for me, just not worth the extra time, effort and calories.
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Fast and Friendly Meatballs

Reviewed: Sep. 27, 2013
I would rate this even lower as a finished recipe, but I'm going to be generous and give it three as a good base. You MUST add some herbs to this for flavor (I used basil and a bit of oregano and some ground black pepper). I also added 3 cloves of minced garlic and half an onion, very finely diced. I upped the parmesan cheese as well. I used my hands to mix it and to form it into balls. I baked them approximately 30 minutes, but did not turn them. It's really not necessary and a waste of time and energy for no gain. With these modifications, the recipe turned out great - 5 stars for sure! I tripled the recipe, used some right away and put the rest into the freezer for future use.
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Beef Stew VI

Reviewed: Sep. 25, 2013
Mmmmm . . . yummy! I followed the recipe pretty close, but I am baffled by the use of water and then so many bouillon cubes. I simply omitted the cubes and used low sodium beef broth in place of the water. I also left out the rosemary (never could acquire a taste for that herb) and added in three cloves of minced garlic that I sauteed with the beef along with the onion. Once in a while, for variety, I will also add a can of fire roasted tomatoes and then I will also add in some basil. Yum!! The amount of corn starch you add is up to you. If you like your stew a bit on the thin side, then use the amount called for. If you like it a bit thicker, add more corn starch. Easy peasy!! :-) But I do not add my corn starch until about the last fifteen minutes of cooking time, not one hour before as stated in the recipe.
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Easy Beef Stroganoff

Reviewed: Sep. 3, 2013
Super delicious as is! But . . . want to make it lighter but still just as delicious? Skip the butter and use 1 Tablespoon olive oil, use low sodium beef broth, low fat sour cream and ground turkey. This version has all the flavor without so much fat and calories!
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Marinated Flank Steak

Reviewed: Sep. 2, 2013
Pretty good as written, but the second time I made it, I used low sodium soy sauce, 4 cloves of garlic, lime juice instead of lemon, half of an onion, diced, and balsamic vinegar in place of red wine vinegar. Loved this version!!
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Roasted New Red Potatoes

Reviewed: Sep. 1, 2013
Love this recipe! I've made them this way many times over the years. You can also use regular potatoes. Just cut them in half length-wise then each half, cut length-wise again into three or four long wedges. Proceed with tossing them in the olive oil and seasonings. I like to mix it up by adding garlic powder sometimes and even old bay seasoning for a bit more zip. Just go with the herbs and/or seasonings you and your family enjoy!
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Chicken Parmesan

Reviewed: Sep. 1, 2013
It was superb! I didn't change one single thing and it was a huge hit at a small family gathering! Thanks Chef John - you rock, as always!!
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Rotisserie Chicken

Reviewed: Aug. 27, 2013
Ummm . . . no. I am a 'from scratch' kind of cook most of the time, but even I realized early on that this was a huge waste of time, money and effort. Rotisserie chicken from the supermarket is fairly inexpensive and quite juicy and delicious. From now own, that's where I'll get my rotisserie chicken and spend my time in the kitchen on recipes that I can make better than the local supermarket.
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Easy Slow Cooker Meatballs

Reviewed: Aug. 25, 2013
Four stars as written (as everyone has repeatedly said, waaaaay too much bread crumbs called for in original recipe!). I cut the bread crumbs down to 1/2 cup and added another 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese. Also, any dish with tomatoes screams for basil. It must be used in this recipe. I added 1 1/2 teaspoons of dried basil (fresh would be even better!), a DASH of oregano (this herb is very overpowering, so unless you really love it, only add a dash or you will be unhappy). The parsley called for is also a bit excessive. I cut it down to 1/8 cup. I doubled the garlic and onion and used lean, ground turkey. One last thing, add a dash of sugar or a cap full of whiskey to your tomato sauce. (If you use whiskey, remember it is a CAP full, not a cup full! lol. I hate the smell and taste of whiskey, but it blends in with the sauce and you will never know it's in there, but it does mellow out the sauce beautifully!) Okay, I know this was a LOT of changes, but this recipe as written has not gotten glowing reviews, and these are some changes that will take the whole dish from a bit bland and mushy to tasty and delicious with a fabulous texture to the meatballs.
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Orange Smoothie

Reviewed: Aug. 24, 2013
As written, it has too much vanilla extract (and I love that stuff!), but cut that back to 1/2 tsp. and you will have it just about right. Also, if you have it, use Mexican Vanilla in place of the stuff you buy in the grocery store. You will not believe the difference that will make in ALL your recipes. I also used an overripe banana in place of the sugar and I used almond milk. Kept the whole thing light and guilt-free while be very refreshing and delicious!
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Apple Cinnamon White Cake

Reviewed: Aug. 24, 2013
I made two batches of this recipe. One I made just as written and it was delicious! The second one I made exactly as written with one substitution: I used 1/2 cup of unsweetened apple sauce in place of the butter. It too was absolutely delicious and the butter (and all those extra calories) was not missed one little bit. So I give this two thumbs up whichever way you choose to make it, but I will be making it with the apple sauce to keep it healthy and light but just as delicious!! If you want to take this recipe uptown just a bit, add some chopped walnuts - yum!!
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Easy Lemon Bars

Reviewed: Aug. 19, 2013
These are excellent lemon bars! But after making them per the recipe, I did tweak future batches. First, I now leave out the cream cheese filling and substitute lemon curd. Adds a great burst of lemon to this bar and makes this easy dessert even easier since I use jarred lemon curd! Second, please don't let this try and brown on top, even slightly. You will have dry bars. Just bake until the top is set, and you are good to go! Moist, delicious and super lemony!
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Blueberry Sour Cream Coffee Cake

Reviewed: Jul. 29, 2013
Unfortunately, I did not like this very much when made exactly as written. But the second time I made some adjustments and LOVED it. Instead of 1 cup of butter, I used 3/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce and 1/4 cup softened butter. Instead of 2 cups white sugar, I used 1 cup. I kept the brown sugar amount the same. I used double the amount of blueberries called for and used a dash of nutmeg along with the cinnamon. I also added 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. Oh, and I also used walnuts in place of pecans, but that's just because that's all I had on hand. Delicious!!!
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Amazing Slow Cooker Chocolate Cake

Reviewed: Jun. 29, 2013
Moist and delicious exactly as written! You can tweek this a bit if you like with chocolate chips (or peanut butter chips - yum!) or even some nuts. I substitute unsweetened apple sauce for the oil and I use almond milk in place of the regular milk. It comes out so moist and delicious!! It helps to put a paper towel over the crock pot top (don't let it fall down onto the batter) and let the lid of the crock pot hold it in place. This will absorb excess moisture and keep your cake perfect.
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Simple Garlic Shrimp

Reviewed: Jun. 6, 2013
Delicious!! You don't have to change a single thing (but I did! haha - I just added a bit less butter, no biggie!). I served this over angel hair pasta and it was fantastic. Next time, I'm going to throw in some steamed broccoli and maybe some mushrooms just to jazz it up a bit. It doesn't need it really, but I think most dishes are better with mushrooms! haha
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Oh-So-Good Chicken

Reviewed: Jun. 2, 2013
This is such a yummy dish! And it's just perfect for "customizing"! For instance, we love black beans, so I added some to the dish. If you don't like them, don't add them. Do you like diced chiles? Throw them in! Don't like mushrooms? Leave them out! :-) Make this YOUR dish by adding (or even subtracting) from the ingredients list. In addition to adding the black beans, I also used a bit less sour cream, added a can of southwestern style corn (by Green Giant) and used brown rice instead of white. Yum!!
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Perfect Breakfast

Reviewed: Jun. 2, 2013
Pretty good! If you want to cut calories, simply eliminate the butter and spray your pan with either butter flavored or olive oil cooking spray. If you don't like cooking spray, simply use about a half teaspoon of butter. Give this one a try - I made mine with honey wheat toast and it was very good, healthy and nutritious!
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Famous Pork Chops

Reviewed: May 30, 2013
Love these! Been making them for years! You can use the breading of your choice (bread crumbs, Ritz cracker crumbs, saltine crumbs, etc. - don't be afraid to experiment!!), and I would suggest the following simple changes: Use garlic POWDER instead of garlic salt (more garlic flavor, less unneeded sodium), and for the butter part -- take 3 to 4 tablespoons of butter and place in an oven proof dish. Place in hot oven and allow to melt completely and even begin to sizzle a little. THEN add your breaded chops to melted butter, flip over (so both sides are "buttered" and bake as recommended. This will give you a nice, crunchy coating when done baking and avoid the sogginess some folks have mentioned. (Part of the reason some of you are finding your chops are coming out soggy is because of the way the original recipe states to add the butter, but even more so, it's how much butter is called for - wayyyy too much, causing your chops to simmer in butter instead of browning in it.)
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