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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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234 users found this review helpful

Blueberry Stuffed French Toast

Reviewed: Aug. 4, 2012
Good dish in need of some tweaking I think. First of all, this recipe screams for cinnamon. Add it to the whisked milk and egg mixture before pouring over bread. I used about a teaspoon, but use the amount that you and your family enjoy. Use whole wheat bread for a better texture, flavor and to make it healthier, making sure all the bread is saturated in the egg mixture before covering and refrigerating overnight. Add a bit more cinnamon to the sugar you sprinkle on top right before baking. I also double the blueberries in this recipe. It will be mostly bread if you don't. Nothing wrong with that, but I adore blueberries and can never have to many of them! The compote should also have double the blueberries, but I did cut back on the sugar to 3/4 cup. It would be just too cloyingly sweet to me using the full cup. And you can add the blueberries as soon as the sugar and cornstarch dissolve in the water. I like my blueberries cooked into the compote, not just warmed up in the sugar water. You will get a much nicer flavor and consistency this way. Also, add a teaspoon of lemon juice right before the blueberries - it will really make a nice difference to your compote. Bake approximately 40 minutes. With a few (okay, a lot!) of changes, this is a stellar dish! This would also work wonderfully with apple or peach slices sauted in some butter and cinnamon in place of the blueberries and compote. Yum!
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96 users found this review helpful

Million Dollar Chicken

Reviewed: Nov. 23, 2013
OMGosh, this is truly the best roasted chicken I have ever had! I too left out the Aleppo pepper and used dried thyme.
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48 users found this review helpful

Broccoli Chicken Casserole I

Reviewed: Jul. 12, 2012
Delicious with a few 'tweaks'. I don't add the mayo, but I do add a bit of milk to the soup to make a nice casserole sauce. I also do not boil my chicken. I like the flavor and texture of either baked or grilled chicken much better. Also, I just mix everything except the stuffing mix in a large bowl then place in a casserole dish that's been sprayed with cooking spray, then add the stuffing mix on top. Yum!! And may I address the reviewer who criticized those of us who tweak then rate a recipe? This is the part that helps me the most when reading reviews - those who have taken the original recipe and made changes that steps it up a notch. And if I read reviews on a recipe that have almost no one making changes in their review, I know the original is about perfect as is. It helps, not hurts to see these things in the review section! :-)
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45 users found this review helpful

Baked Penne with Italian Sausage

Reviewed: Feb. 22, 2013
This recipe is missing two key ingredients - garlic and basil. Once you add those, it takes this up to five delicious stars! Also, when browning the sausage and onions (and this is the time to add the garlic, mince two or three cloves and saute with the meat and onions), you do NOT need to do this in the oil called for. The sausage will provide more than enough fat for the saute without adding more. It's a waste of your olive oil, so just leave it out. When you add the tomatoes to the pan, that's the time to add about a teaspoon of dried basil (and even a 1/4 teaspoon of oregano if you like, that adds a nice flavor to the dish too!).
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44 users found this review helpful

Easy and Delicious Chicken and Rice Casserole

Reviewed: Jun. 14, 2012
This really is a good dish, it just needs a few tweeks to bring it to five stars. First, substitute chicken broth for the water (and really, 1 and 7/8's?? Let's not split hairs and just say 2 cups). Then, cut chicken into bite size pieces, mix all ingredients together in a bowl, then proceed as written by placing in casserole dish, covering and baking. I love this with cream of chicken soup, but it's even better with cream of mushroom soup. Try a variety of 'cream' soups to change it up and make it equally as delicious!
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39 users found this review helpful

Healthier Apple Crisp II

Reviewed: Nov. 6, 2013
Oh wow! Best apple crisp ever! I made it as written first time and it was good, but the second time, it was even better when I made these changes: I omitted the white sugar and subbed in brown sugar, doubled the cinnamon, added some ginger (a healthy dash) and some nutmeg (a regular dash). I also omitted the water, it was not necessary and my second batch without the water was a much, much better consistency. (The apples are juicy and release that juice when baked, so go ahead and skip adding that water.) Oh, and in both batches, I used old-fashioned oats, not the quick cooking kind and I subbed corn starch for the flour in the filling, something I always do for fruit pies, cobblers, etc... :-)
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34 users found this review helpful

Baked Brunch Omelet

Reviewed: Sep. 1, 2012
Hmm, I really debated whether to give this 4 or 5 stars. It's actually pretty good but I think with a few tweaks it really does become a five star recipe. First, I strongly suggest you go with a heartier bread than just plain, doughy white bread. A nice honey wheat bread works great and gives better texture and taste. Also, to cut down on some calories and cholesterol, use 4 whole eggs and 4-6 egg whites. You will still get a very rich egg taste, but in a much healthier way. And last, this dish screams for some freshly ground pepper in the egg. Just whisk it in and pour over as directed. I love this made vegetarian style by leaving out the ham and adding sauted mushrooms, green peppers and onions. Switch up the cheese as well to make it different each time. Like it zesty? Add some pepperjack. Like it a bit more mellow? Try some shredded baby swiss. It's a very versatile recipe and super delicious with some simple changes.
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31 users found this review helpful

The Best Meatballs

Reviewed: Apr. 27, 2012
I only gave this four stars because I feel the olive oil and the water are so unnecessary. If you are using ground pork in your meatballs, trust me, there will be plenty of grease to keep them moist and delicious. No need whatsoever to add additional oils. And the water? That I truly don't understand at all. I make these without either the oil or water and they are super moist and extremely delicious!! Without those two unnecessary ingredients, and the addition of basil this easily goes to five stars and above!! Oh, I also do not fry my meatballs. I use a cookie scoop to make them a uniform size and drop them onto a cookie sheet lined with no stick foil (for super easy cleanup and easy removal from thee pan). I bake them for 40 minutes at 350 degrees F. Then I add some to my sauce and freeze the rest for another day, another meal. These are GREAT for meatball sandwiches!!
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29 users found this review helpful

Bread Pudding in the Slow Cooker

Reviewed: Dec. 7, 2013
I knew I had to try this recipe, but I also knew I would make a few changes right off the bat. I used 1/2 cup brown sugar in place of the white sugar, I added 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon and a dash of nutmeg, and I upped the vanilla extract to 1 teaspoon. So, so good!!! I did use the raisins (a must for me in bread pudding!), but because this was going to be a dessert for us, I soaked the raisins in rum for about 1/2 hour before adding to the crock pot (SO good!). But next time I might also throw in some chopped apples just for variety. Anyway, this is a great recipe (that I tweaked to my personal preference, but I bet it is also great as written). Oh, and I also sprayed my crock pot with butter flavored non-stick spray prior to adding ingredients and cleanup was a breeze!
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28 users found this review helpful

Slow Cooker Beef Stew IV

Reviewed: Jul. 19, 2012
I did have to tweak this recipe a bit, but I still believe it's worthy of a five star rating. I could never make a stew without adding some garlic, and so 5 minced cloves went into the crock pot. I also added some celery chunks and replaced the water with a hearty red wine. Super delicious, warming and hearty! And please remember, you don't have to follow recipes to a T. If you have a little cooking experience under your belt, then use your own instincts to make these recipes yours. For instance, some reviewers gave a lower rating to this recipe because they thickened the stew too much. But that's completely avoidable. Simply add the water/flour mixture slowly, stir and see how thick it gets. If it's thick enough before you use it all up, stop. You're done. Oh, and using red wine in place of the water for thickening will give a deep, layered flavor to your stew this is fabulous. If you don't like cooking with wine, then I would advise using beef broth in place of the water in this recipe.
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23 users found this review helpful

Microwave Cracker Pizzas

Reviewed: Mar. 8, 2012
Relax Angela, not every recipe has to be gourmet or take hours to prepare to be a recipe on this site. :-) This is a simple, easy snack for kids (and adults too!) and something I would not have thought of on my own. Thanks for posting this recipe - I'm going to make them for my kids later today. And I love another posters idea of putting carrot puree into the sauce to "veg it up"!!
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23 users found this review helpful

Honey Glazed Ham

Reviewed: Aug. 26, 2012
I thought this was excellent with just a few changes for personal preference. First, I use brown sugar instead of corn syrup. Second, I use 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves in place of whole cloves. And lastly, I cut down on the amount of the other ingredients. So for me, I mix together 1/3 cup melted butter, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup of honey and 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg. I'm not a fan of cooking bags (just personal preference), so I triple line a 9X13 pan with foil and baste every 15 minutes. Super yummy! No more expensive honey baked hams for me!
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22 users found this review helpful

Easy Devonshire Cream

Reviewed: Apr. 15, 2012
Simply delicious and so very easy to make! I find it interesting that those who didn't rate the recipe very well either didn't even try it or did give it a go, but still complained that it isn't exactly like real Devonshire cream and clotted cream. That's nitpicking and it's not rating the taste of this recipe. I would ask that each of you simply try the recipe and rate it on it's own merits whether it's 'exactly' like the real deal or not. This recipe is meant to be an easy, delicious substitution, not an exact replica.
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22 users found this review helpful

Basic Baked Spaghetti

Reviewed: Mar. 6, 2012
As written, this would actually be quite bland. But with a few modifications, this is easily a five star recipe. Just add chopped onions, minced, fresh garlic, basil and oregano (to taste) to the ground meat while your browning it to infuse the flavors. Once browned and drained, add sauce (you'll need more than the recipe calls for unless you like your spaghetti rather dry, I used two jars because my family loves to sop up extra sauce with garlic bread!) Also, I would suggest using mozarella cheese in place of cheddar, much more traditional and I believe more delicious! The original recipe is a good starting point, but you can (and should) be creative and make this your own signature dish by adding the things you know your family will enjoy like mushrooms, sausage, green peppers, etc.
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22 users found this review helpful

Homemade Flour Tortillas

Reviewed: Apr. 22, 2012
Excellent taste and far easier to make than you might think. They are also not all that time consuming and are a lot of fun to make. I make three modifications to the recipe as written. I use warm water, shortening instead of lard, and I let my dough rest about ten minutes before rolling it out. This makes rolling much easier and the dough will keep it's shape much better once rolled.
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20 users found this review helpful

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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19 users found this review helpful

Chef John's Beef Goulash

Reviewed: Jan. 12, 2014
Another winner from Chef John! . It is simply delicious with many layers of flavor and interest. I left out the cayenne because I didn't want it spicy. And really loved the flavor. Thanks Chef John for another fabulous recipe to add to my repitoire.
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18 users found this review helpful

Homemade Melt-In-Your-Mouth Dark Chocolate (Paleo)

Reviewed: May 14, 2014
Delicious just as written! But I have also played around with the recipe and I think it is much better with a bit of sea salt added (salt really brings out the sweetness in candies and chocolates!). I used 1/8 of a teaspoon. I also have made this with almond extract and even coffee extract and I've added nuts and coconut. It is a great recipe that easily allows you to add your own special touches, or just make as written for a simple, delicious treat.
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17 users found this review helpful

Roasted Garlic

Reviewed: Aug. 26, 2012
The recipe as written really should only get three or four stars for being to poorly explained. Just cut off the pointy part of the garlic, drizzle with olive oil (and pepper, if you like pepper), wrap loosely in foil (keeping the cut side UP) and bake at 350 degrees for 45 min. Peel back the foil to expose the tops of the garlic and bake another 15 minutes or so. Lots of ways to use roasted garlic, but my favorite way is to add it to my potatoes while I'm whipping them. I always get rave reviews for my whipped potatoes, and roasted garlic (along with some chives) is my secret ingredient. :-)
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17 users found this review helpful

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