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Blueberry Gems

Reviewed: Jan. 23, 2015
These are good, but don't add the vanilla. I learned from another recipe that adding vanilla with orange substantially detracts from the orange flavor. Sure, you can add imitation orange extract or zest to compensate (maybe); but leave it out & you have a subtle real orange flavor muffin with just the right amount of blueberries. I increased sugar to 1/3c (but with homegrown berries, increase wasn't really necessary), upped oil to 3T (due to reviews. 'Think 2T would be fine) & sprinkled a little panko on before baking 'cause I'm a wild thing. ;D This made twelve regular size muffins that were just a little short so maybe eleven is a better number.
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World's Best Biscuits

Reviewed: Jan. 21, 2015
Kitten! What an awesome recipe you shared with us! :D Thank you! I tend to cheat a bit when it comes to firsr-time-making-recipes. What I mean by that is, use white sugar instead of brown, vanilla flavoring instead of the real deal, margarine or butter-flavor shortening instead of butter, etc. I guess cheating isn't the right term. I go cheap! That's what I do! 'Save some pennies & see if I like it that way. If I do, I'll go for the higher priced ingredient(s). With these delicious biscuits, I subbed butter-flavor shortening. I chilled (actually stuck the half cup in the freezer while I mixed the dry) it first then chilled the mix after adding the milk, which was 2%. 'First time using butter-flavor crisco. I'm very surprised it didn't taste butter-flavor - meaning it was good, not artificial tasting. Who knew?! ;D These biscuits are good-good! I made two batches. One plain, one I added 1/4# cooked crumbled sausage. The sausage ones weren't as pretty; but oh, well. :D Kitten, you're about to get more reviews because I'm sharing this news on the Buzz! :) ... So good I made them again the next day. I forgot the "chill ten minutes before rolling". Still good, but much, much better yesterday (when chilled).
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Blueberry Banana Nut Bread

Reviewed: Jan. 21, 2015
Good. I subbed plain yogurt & sour cream for the Greek yogurt & applesauce; regular flour, same measurement. The brown sugar & butter topping is a nice addition. It doesn't fall off like usual toppings that have flour. 'Only issue I might have is that if it doesn't get eaten soon, it will be moldy. It's very moist with all those berries. I baked it 15 minutes longer. 'Thinking I might try subbing with some cranberries next time. The brown sugar topping was fine day one & two, but just added more sugar after that & less would be fine. I'll do without next time.
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Oyster Stuffing

Reviewed: Jan. 21, 2015
First time making oyster dressing. First time having it, too! 'Made "Southern Cornbread Oyster Dressing" by Barrett, too. They are both good. With this one, the oyster flavor isn't as prominent. 'Still good though. The spices don't overpower it, but lessen the oyster-ness. :D I was expecting the dressing to be uniform in moistness before baking, but it wasn't. I poured it in a 9x13 & crossed my fingers, baking at 350 for half an hour. It was bubbling still, but it was done. I had a 12 ounce container of oysters. 'Added the whole thing. :) 'Think I'd go for a smaller pan next time. Oh, no turkey giblets. :) A nice surprise was that this wasn't very dense as I thought it might be - using all cornbread, nothing else.
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Southern Cornbread Oyster Dressing

Reviewed: Jan. 21, 2015
First time making oyster dressing. First time having it, too! 'Made "Oyster Dressing" by Erika Michael, too. Both are good. I like this one a bit better because it doesn't have any ingredients to detract from the oysters - 1t salt, 1/2t black pepper. It's subtle, but so good! I subbed a regular "ole yella onion" here. Also added half cup chicken broth since I'm one of the group that likes moist dressing as compared to the crouton type. :D My container of oysters was 12 ounces. I poured the whole thing in - didn't reserve & measure. This fit in a 9x11, but could've gone smaller. Moistness thing again - I covered half an hour then uncovered for fifteen more, 350. 'Really glad I tried it. Thanks.
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Cheesy Thumbprint Appetizers with Hot Pepper Jelly

Reviewed: Jan. 20, 2015
K liked these a lot - more than anyone else. I used part Cabot's extrasharp white cheddar & didn't like it as much as Kraft sharp that I used the first time.
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Grandpa's Oyster Stew

Reviewed: Jan. 15, 2015
Really like the addition of sherry to seafood. Simple, but on the elegant side, too. I added a stalk of celery, minced.
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Chef John's Scalloped Oysters

Reviewed: Jan. 15, 2015
We liked this, but would reduce the butter &/or heavy cream amount.
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Cherry-Blueberry Pie

Reviewed: Jan. 7, 2015
A nice combination of flavors, but didn't "wow".
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Exquisite Pizza Sauce

Reviewed: Jan. 6, 2015
While I liked it more than Easy Pizza Sauce I, it didn't grab me. I had high hopes. 'Started with 1T honey then added one more. 'Think the right amount is in between. 'Nice & thick, & not too tomato paste-y. That was a big surprise. 'Not "the one" for us, but still glad I tried it. Btw, after making both recipes seperately, combined the two & still three star.
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Aussie Chicken

Reviewed: Jan. 6, 2015
While those that tried it, liked it; the leftovers weren't a big hit. No one attempted them, but me. Weird, huh?! :D I thought it was still fine. Also, we didn't use additional honey mustard so, for us, a quarter recipe would've been fine. 'Wasted ingredients there, but now I know. 'Didn't add the onion to it, but sauteed on top under the bacon sounds delicious!
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Oregano-Lemon Chicken

Reviewed: Jan. 6, 2015
'In agreement with the less-than-positive reviews: Bland. I'll use the leftovers in something else; but, as is, it's not oregano-y or lemon-y. I had my hopes up, but this didn't do it for us.
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Aloo Phujia

Reviewed: Jan. 6, 2015
Yup, I liked thee potatoes. 'Even followed he directions except didn't add tomatoes. Spicy enough to last through a bite, but not lingering too long. Potatoes were half inch cubes & they were done according to directions. :) Oh, I added a cup, & then some, green peas to pretty it up.
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Baked Oatmeal

Reviewed: Jan. 4, 2015
On behalf of Weeble & that I can't copy & paste her comment from the Buzz in my notes: "mmmmmmm....i looove my steel cut oats! i eat them every morning. i'm the only one that eats so i make enough for four or five days. pour one cup of steel cut oats into three and a half cups of boiling water. i add a little salt to the water. let it come back to a boil and boil for a min. turn off the heat, put the lid on and leave overnight. in the morning take your portion and put the rest in the fridge for the rest of the week! i add nuts, brown sugar, maple syrup, a couple shakes of apple pie or pumpkin pie spice,chopped up apples, blueberries, anything goes!" 'Don't think she'll mind. :D :)
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Pineapple and Cheese Spread

Reviewed: Jan. 1, 2015
I started to drain the pineapple, as suggested by the other two reviews, but I bought Dole & there wasn't much to drain. I just mixed it in with the cream cheese then added the cheese; then, green onion & 1/8t cayenne. 'Thinking sour cream or half sour, half cream cheese would be better. It's heavy & on the bland side. Maybe subbing & less is the key. 'Glad I tried it, but it barely got touched.
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Antipasto Squares

Reviewed: Dec. 31, 2014
'Probably less than four star, but more than three. I did like it, but those canned cresent rolls not-so-much. At first, I thought it was all the cured meat; but it's the cresent rolls that give an off flavor. I even bought Pillsbury. Huh. 'Think pizza crust would be much better. Once I get that down, I may try it again with it. I prebaked 5 minutes, as suggested. I only used the amount of pepperoni you'd put on a 9x13 pepperoni pizza. A quarter pound of that would be overwhelming, I think. Soooo, really like the idea & it was good, just wish I'd used different bread. 17 year old boy went for two servings ... hmmm ... it is deserving of four stars. Of course, you can put anything in or around a cresent roll or biscuit & "those kids" will try it! Ha! :) Oh, my 12oz jar of roasted peppers only had one huge pepper in it. That's fine, just surprising - to me, anyway. :)
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Easy Pizza Sauce I

Reviewed: Dec. 31, 2014
Easy, but - well, just easy. Even with all that water (less 1/4c), it still tasted tomato paste-y. I added the 1t sugar suggested, but that & less water are my only changes. Adding more spices would help for sure, but I'm not going to play with it. Very disappointed.
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Leftover Pizza Breakfast Casserole

Reviewed: Dec. 26, 2014
Oh, wow! 'Tried this for Christmas 2014. 'Had leftover yuck-$5 pizza & thought it wouldn't be much money wasted if it wasn't good - & then, the dog would be happy to help out; BUT ... what a surprise! It's good! 'Sure with better pizza, it would be better (better sauce mainly); but even with omly-okay-the-first-day pizza, it was good. I think that 8 ounces of cheese is supposed to be one cup though. I used almost all of the 8 ounces & it was quite cheesy. With better pizza, it might not have been too much. 'Just a thought. I didn't add the onion, since it got used up in the cornbread dressing, so added 1/4t onion powder. Added 1/4t granulated garlic (laziness). Since it was cheapo pizza (did I mention that?!? :D), I added 2T melted butter. 'Didn't need it. I oiled, not sprayed the pan. (I'm not into scrubbing cooked-on eggs.) I assembled this the night before & I'd recommend that. If ya didn't, I think the crust would be a problem. Mine was hard so it softened up overnight. :)
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Pasta Lasagna

Reviewed: Dec. 24, 2014
'Made this out of desperation - desperately didn't want to go to the grocery store! :D 'Had the ingredients - why not?This is one of those recipes that you can make as ho-hum or as fab as you'd like.Ho-hum with straight-from-the-jar sauce; better with your talents. :) I used a 29oz can tomato sauce,I only had rotini.Ya know, corkscrews.'Don't remember why I bought those,but half the box was gone.Anyway, 'thought I'd thicken the sauce since rotini wouldn't hold much sauce. We-e-ell, I'm glad I wrote down what I did because those kids want more.Surprised me!Yeah,I'm always up for Italian; but those kids? Food critics.Soooo,I sauteed 1 medium onion a few minutes then added 3 cloves minced garlic.A few minutes later, added 1T basil, 2t oregano, 1t sugar, 1/2t salt, 1/8-1/4t black pepper, 1/8t cayenne.Stirred to heat the spices then added 29oz tomato sauce.I let that simmer a while then thickened with 1 1/2t cornstarch & water. I put some of the sauce in with the cooked rotini.Half the rotini in an greased 8x8.Mixed together the 24oz lowfat cottage cheese (less 1c - It looked good since I was hungry. :D), the egg, the 1/4c parmesan & most of the 8oz Italian blend cheese.Put half that on top of the rotini, remaining rotini, the rest of the cottage cheese mixture & the reserved Italian blend cheese. Baked at 350.Covered till hot, then uncovered till bubbly.Well, the 8x8 was a little too small.It didn't overflow, but liquid splattered/dripped out.A smoke alarm may have sounded. :)
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Molasses Cake

Reviewed: Dec. 5, 2014
Almost made as listed! Reviews had me reduce molasses to 3/4c & tried 1c whole wheat, 1 1/4c ap flour. Baked in a 8x11.5, 30 to 35 minutes. I'd like to find a 9x9. With the pan I used, it was about right; smaller might have been iffy. :D 'Didn't remind me of gingerbread, more what is is - molasses. Whipped cream on top. It's a bit dry, but "no points off" since I subbed some whole wheat flour, reduced molasses & may overbaked. Quick to make. If I remake, I'll use the full cup molasses, stick with the whole wheat/ap combo & not overbake it. :)
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