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Mexican Rice I

Reviewed: Apr. 16, 2012
My rice came out tasting sweet for some reason. I used brown jasmine rice and followed the recipe exactly, except that I used fresh tomatoes, diced jalapenos and garlic salt. I also used chicken stock instead of water. I made these few changes because many others who posted comments about the recipe also did the same things. Maybe the fresh tomatoes were too sweet. I will add more salt next time, but I'm still not sure what went wrong. Still a good recipe, though.
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1 user found this review helpful

Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake

Reviewed: Apr. 18, 2012
Wonderfully moist cake! The easiest to make ever. A one bowl sensation that took about 10 minutes to get into the oven. I did add 5 tablespoons of cocoa instead of 3, so the chocolate flavor was more intense. Very delicious. The frosting was way too sweet. I should have stopped at 3/4 cup confectioner's sugar for the frosting because it was really delicious at that point, but I continued to add the full amount just to give the recipe a fair try. Next time I will stop at 3/4 cup. Otherwise the flavor was fantastic. However, if you do decide to make it "full strength" prepare yourself for an instant sugar rush.
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1 user found this review helpful

Quick and Easy Brownies

Reviewed: May 7, 2012
They were easy and very fast to make, but they lacked the right texture for some reason. More like chocolate cake with a brownie top. I followed the advice of other reviewers and used less flour and more chocolate. The taste was good, but not fudgey or decadent like a brownie. Turned out like very sugary chocolate cake. Maybe even less flour next time? I'll try this again some other time and see if they turn out better.
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2 users found this review helpful

Slow Cooker Tapioca Pudding

Reviewed: Jun. 22, 2012
I prepared a double batch of this pudding and it was pretty good. When it was warm, the texture was like scrambled eggs. I believe that adding the eggs later in the process and also tempering them will make it better next time. When it was cold, it hardened so that you could cut it with a knife and serve it by the slab. However, it no longer had a scrambled eggs texture. I added some vanilla at the end which was nice. The flavor is good overall, but I would also use less sugar next time. The tapioca pearls don't stand out from the pudding and the pudding isn't creamy in texture. These are the two main reasons I like tapioca pudding. Regardless, I would try it again with the suggestions mentioned above. Some reviewers indicated that they would rather just make it the old fashioned way standing over the stove for 30 minutes. If I want it to be perfect, I would also do this. However, I was cooking up a week's worth of meals this evening and the ease of simply checking on the pudding for a few seconds every half hour made it possible for me to make it in the first place. Although it requires this periodic babysitting, it's better than strictly spending 30 minutes on pudding alone. It's a pretty good recipe overall if you just want pudding and aren't terribly picky. I do believe that with the proper modifications it could be very good.
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5 users found this review helpful

Chocolate Eclair Cake

Reviewed: Jun. 26, 2012
Don't make this unless you want to become very, very fat! It's like heroin. I'm telling no lies. It's really wonderful,especially the chocolate topping. I used Ghirardelli cocoa powder and that's the only way to go. It only takes a few minutes to make the topping, so please don't use store bought frosting. The topping is the best part. I also omitted the cool whip and made fresh whipped cream with heavy cream. This helped to cut the sugar and all the other junk in cool whip. However, it made the cake a little too soft this way. In my opinion, if you serve it for company, use the cool whip so that it holds together better. But if it's for home, then make it with the real stuff. I need to wait at least another month before making another one unless I want to buy new jeans! Everyone else, enjoy!
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1 user found this review helpful

Mediterranean Lentil Salad

Reviewed: Jul. 5, 2012
I made this using all the ingredients as listed, but I didn't cook all the veggies with the lentils. I only cooked the garlic,half of the onion, bay leaf and thyme. The rest was raw, which I think is best for this salad. I tripled the fresh parsley because it needed it. It also needed a lot more lemon, so I added the juice of one whole lemon. I tried it at room temp and it was very good. I'm looking forward to trying it tomorrow once the flavors meld.
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2 users found this review helpful

Fresh Broccoli Salad

Reviewed: Jul. 10, 2012
This is such a great salad. I made it with light mayo and 1/4 cup sugar. I also used apple cider vinegar because it was all I had. I added about a teaspoon more of the vinegar for more zing.Used golden raisins as well. Even with the light mayo it tastes quite rich. Maybe I'll use half yogurt half light mayo next time. It is truly the best way to eat broccoli, hands down.
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Apple Yogurt Muffins

Reviewed: Jul. 12, 2012
I couldn't find my muffin pan (recently moved) so I used a 9 inch cake pan and made one gigantic muffin! It looks gorgeous with a huge rounded top. I did make a few modifications based on other reviewers. I used half whole wheat pastry flour and half white whole wheat. Also, 1 teaspoon each baking soda and baking powder instead of 3 teaspoons of the powder alone. It rose sky high. I only had plain yogurt, so I added 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Instead of vegetable oil, I used 1 Tablespoon olive oil and 1/4 cup apple sauce. I tried using only apple sauce to replace the oil completely, but the batter was too dry that way. Therefore, 1 Tablespoon of olive oil was just right in my particular situation. Also, the apple sauce was a nice compliment to the rest of the recipe since it adds more apple flavor. My apple was a bit small, so I added both 1/3 cup golden raisins and 1/3 cup walnuts. For the topping, I added 2 Tablespoons of oats and only 1 Tablespoon of flour. I would have used brown sugar if I had it, but the white worked just fine. I have yet to taste it because it's 2:30 AM and like a crazy person I decided to start baking because I couldn't sleep. The flavor of the batter was wonderful and the finished product looks great. If it's anything less than a 5 star rating, I will add to this review. However, I think it's going to be pretty amazing. Thank you for the recipe.
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Overnight Coconut Pecan Steel Cut Oats

Reviewed: Jul. 22, 2012
Wonderful flavor, but not with steel cut oats. I soaked them for two days and they were still hard and very chewy, but not in a good way.I put the whole thing in a pot on the stove, added some water, and cooked it for 20 minutes. It still wasn't cooked thoroughly. Old fashioned oats would be fantastic though. I look forward to trying it that way next time.
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4 users found this review helpful

Tropical Muffins

Reviewed: Aug. 2, 2012
Really delicious. My husband said that I "hit a home run." I made a phone call and he ate half of them when I was chatting in the other room! Maybe I'll add a little less sugar next time because they were plenty sweet. Not too sweet, but whenever I can cut back I always do. I doubled the vanilla and almond. For some reason I don't use almond extract all that often, but that's changing now. Loved the flavors and textures. Very unique and worth a try.
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2 users found this review helpful

Mrs Espy's Enchilada Sauce

Reviewed: Aug. 2, 2012
I had no idea it would be so easy to make my own enchilada sauce from scratch! While I keep away from cans and mixes for most everything else, I always use canned enchilada sauce. Not anymore! Within 3 minutes of starting it on the stove, my husband commented that it smelled really good. It was then that I knew it would turn out well. Our enchiladas are in the oven right now, but the spoon of sauce I tried was amazing and quite spicy. Instead of regular tomato sauce I used the El Pato yellow can and some pureed tomatoes since I was tripling the recipe and needed more tomato. I also added some cumin and paprika just for good measure. The flavor was so much more complex than canned sauce and worth the few extra minutes to put together. I can't wait to try the enchiladas! I know that I probably should have waited to write the review until AFTER eating the finished dish, but what I already tasted was incredible, so I can only imagine how great dinner's gonna be!
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1 user found this review helpful

Jacky's Fruit and Yogurt Muffins

Reviewed: Aug. 15, 2012
Very good. The recipe is wonderful as is, but I made some changes based on my family's dietary needs and preferences. I made these using all white whole wheat flour, coconut palm sugar and plain yogurt. I also used 2 Tablespoons of butter and 2 Tablespoons applesauce instead of 4 Tablespoons butter. I used 2 cups blueberries, 1 banana mashed, 1 Tablespoon almond extract in addition to the vanilla, and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. I also made a crumb topping with whole wheat flour, oats, coconut palm sugar, 1 T butter and cinnamon. The topping was a nice addition, but not entirely necessary. These muffins make a sweet hearty breakfast or snack. Thank you so much for the recipe.
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4 users found this review helpful

Raspberry Lemon Muffins

Reviewed: Aug. 23, 2012
I made these muffins using 2T. butter + 1T apple sauce, plain yogurt, juice and zest from 1 lemon and a splash of vanilla. Since I didn't make the recipe as written, it isn't fair to give it a bad review. However, these were not very good. I didn't have oil in the house, so I used butter thinking it would be ok. NOT! The muffins taste like greasy butter and they are hardly edible. They did not rise and were weird and flat. I guess oil is really a non-negotiable in this case. Perhaps I could have replaced all the oil with applesauce, but I didn't want them to be rubbery. I will try them with the oil next time and see if they are any better.
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Whole Wheat Blueberry Muffins

Reviewed: Aug. 27, 2012
These were wonderful. I made changes only because I didn't have blueberries and I wanted to cut down on fat. This is what I did: I used dried cranberries and some mini chocolate chips in place of blueberries. I used plain yogurt in place of the oil (since there's fat in the chocolate chips). I also subbed some of the flour with wheat germ and flax meal, which I always do in every muffin recipe for extra nutrition. I also added a touch of vanilla and cinnamon for extra flavor. And also an oatmeal crumb topping with 1 T sugar, 1 T butter and cinnamon. OK, so I basically made ENTIRELY different muffins, but I used this recipe as a base to work with. When I get some blueberries, I will most certainly try the recipe as written. However, I think this is a great base for all sorts of fruits/nuts/etc. Thank you for the recipe!
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Raspberry Almond Coffeecake

Reviewed: Aug. 28, 2012
Wonderful. Not too sweet, so it's especially wonderful with the glaze. I made a little less of the glaze for the sake of cutting back on sugar and that was fine. I doubled the recipe, used white whole wheat flour, coconut palm sugar and almond extract in both the cake and glaze. I really like using various extracts, even when the recipe doesn't call for it, because it's the way my mom always baked. She's old world European and her cakes are the best! Don't mean to ramble, but this cake rocks, especially with the flavors of the almond and raspberry. Thank you for the beautiful recipe!
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6 users found this review helpful

Lighter Banana Muffins

Reviewed: Oct. 13, 2012
I've made these at least a dozen times and they are great! They are great as is, but even better with vanilla, dash of cinnamon and some chocolate chips. I also add 1 T of coconut oil which makes them a little less "rubbery." However, it's not really necessary if you don't want the fat. If you want to take things even further, top each muffin with a sprinkle of walnut, cinnamon and cocoa powder. Excellent! Thanks for a great recipe.
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Waldorf Salad II

Reviewed: Oct. 15, 2012
Very good as is. Even better with a mixture of tart and sweet apples, cranberries, shredded coconut, red grapes, and half plain yogurt replacing half the mayo in the dressing.
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Real Strawberry Cupcakes

Reviewed: Oct. 27, 2012
These are fantastic! They have a nice crisp outside and a fluffy inside. I added more strawberry, but a little too much so they had to bake for 15 more minutes. However, they were wonderful. I also added chocolate chips and skipped the frosting just to cut back on some of the sugar and fat. But I'm sure the frosting would be great. I will make these with raspberries next time since I have some in the freezer. Thanks for the outstanding recipe!
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English Royalty Chocolate Chip Scones

Reviewed: Nov. 11, 2012
These are fabulous! I've never made scones before and I'm so glad they aren't brick-like. In spite of my worries I decided they were worth a shot and I'm so glad I made them. I added the juice of two small oranges and some zest since the dough was very dry. Since I've never made scones, I didn't know if I was just supposed to work with the dough and that it would still work out, but I simply added more juice. I also added some sliced almonds because I wanted some protein in them. This is a very good recipe. Thank you!
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Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

Reviewed: Dec. 5, 2012
I don't have a lot of cookie baking experience because I generally bake muffins and cakes, but these turned out great. I used an ice cream scoop and left them untouched, which resulted in fat cookies. From that point I decided to flatten them out before baking and this resulted in a much better cookie. I like crisp, flatter cookies rather than thick,cakey ones and this recipe allows you the option of making either one. This recipe is straightforward and fantastic.
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