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Annie's Fruit Salsa and Cinnamon Chips

Reviewed: Aug. 12, 2012
THIS IS SOOOOO GOOD – reading a PILE of the 3000+ reviews here are a few things I learned and did – one woman stated stale tortillas worked – she was right! Whole wheat tortillas need a little more time. Baking these 10-12 minutes worked. The fruit salsa – someone spoke of using none of the sugar the preserves used would be enough and YES preserves do the job. Looking at ALL the photos – I got a lot of ideas and used a lot of fruit. One woman used an hard boiled egg slicer to slice fruit with – as soon as I read that I started slicing strawberries for my husband rite away – WHAT A TIP – then with the salsa – any fruit soft enough to go through the egg slicer – got the slicer – it made slicing so much quicker. The additional fruits I cut up to use were frozen peaces, mango, frozen blueberries, some black and green grapes, and mint from my garden as part of the visual embellishment. I also cut the apples last and added to the mix so there’d be no browning My son’s girlfriend loves it – everyone loves the chips.
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14 users found this review helpful

Ham and Cheese Pasta Casserole

Reviewed: Aug. 8, 2012
I purchased a pile of cheese on sale that needed to get cooked up. I also had left over frozen ham from a family event – so I was looking for a ham and cheese macaroni dish. This was the simplest. I boiled the left over ham – got all useable meat off of it then boiled the noodles in the ‘ham’ water (we had rotini). Added picked off bone bits of lean ham to the rotini and mixed. Instead of using mayonnaise (didn’t have any) I heated about 2/3 cup milk – melted the cubed cheese - used a whip utensil to blend– then added cornstarch mixed in water first I used 1 teaspoon, thickened a little more – it seemed to need more so added another teaspoon – it was thick and saucy. Mixed all ingredients in big bowl – put in a casserole dish – then it seemed the sauce was too thick, it looked a little dry. I did maybe a third to a half cup of milk – maybe 1 ½ oz. more cheese and a little more of the cornstarch and water – made a little more sauce a little wetter than the first batch – poured it over the casserole – had left over small amount of Monterey jack (no bread crumbson hand) – sprinkled it intermittently on the casserole – covered lightly with aluminum - baked at 325 about 30 minutes - turned out good! I baked at 325 as I also baked a cake that was needing 325 temp - both worked out fine.
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11 users found this review helpful
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Cake Balls

Reviewed: Oct. 13, 2012
I don't remember WHEN I learned of this recipe - these sell well at bake sales and also no problem to make ahead of time. They keep well at least a week. One thing I also do is make LITTLE cake balls using pretzels instead of pop sticks - great for smaller portions. Pretzels are earth freindly so to speak. I will be making the little ones and big ones for my son's wedding reception. Recently I found a recipe using cream cheese - will try that this week. The book "Cake Pops: Tips, Tricks, and Recipes for More Than 40 Irresistible Mini Treats" adds a lot of fun.
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7 users found this review helpful

Bev's Orange Chicken

Reviewed: Sep. 10, 2012
This is a great dish - a different take on chicken. Reading reviews I made a few adjustments – I used one tablespoon of the onion soup mix, doubled the rest of the ingredients – cooked it the first time with chicken thighs, for myself . . . (husband doesn’t do chicken thighs!). Then took the chicken out - with the liquid - following one of the reviewer’s advice – used a cornstarch slurry to thicken the sauce – that made the sauce ‘stick’ so to speak. Very tasty. I am actually making the same dish tonight with chicken breasts (my husband likes) for our dinner tonight! I did everything about the same – added about a teaspoon of honey this time.
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6 users found this review helpful

Strawberry Oatmeal Breakfast Smoothie

Reviewed: Sep. 6, 2012
Read a few reviews so I chopped up the oats 1st - didn't have a banana - but had some frozen watermelon I used with frozen strawberries - used almond milk (Silk bran only 30 calories) stevia extract and almond extract (only because I have a lot of almond extract!! What a great deal - fast - filling and low calories! THANK YOU ASTROPHE!
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5 users found this review helpful

Honey Chicken Stir-Fry

Reviewed: Jun. 25, 2012
LOVED THIS - my husband left NOTHING on his plate after his 2ND serving! I used chicken billion cube in the rice as well as using trimmed chicken fat off the breasts in the rice – unbeknown to my husband I do a half brown rice (brown rice I cook first as I start the whole process- it takes lot more time) then do half white rice - simply adding additional water with white rice - in a few minutes rices have 'merged'. So far he has not caught on he is eating healthier! The 'most helpful' reviews I used what they suggested with what I had on hand in my kitchen (red pepper flakes, a little rice vinegar, and fresh ginger). In my freezer I had some ‘in the freezer a long time’ frozen green and red sweet peppers I added to store bought frozen stir fry package. I doubled sauce ingredients – one reviewer stated there wasn’t enough sauce - she doubled it. This stir fry turned out WONDERFUL – look forward to cooking again. Next time I hope to have an orange or juice on hand – I see how orange added would bump up the ‘yummy’ factor! One thing I LOVE about this Allrecipe website - are all the reviews – rated by most helpful. What a delightful way to share fun food experiences so easily!
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5 users found this review helpful

Amazing Oven Roasted Potatoes

Reviewed: Oct. 15, 2013
I just tried this - using 2 wooden spoons with potato in the middle then cut like a fan - wow - this was good. I covered a baking dish bottom with enough olive oil nothing would ‘stick’. Initially placed fan cut potatoes in lightly oiled dish, pieced olive oiled fresh rosemary and sea salt in between every slice, a little pepper then poured small amount of olive oil maybe ½ teaspoon per potato. Then turned potatoes upside down – uncut ‘bottoms up’ and baked 30 minutes. Then removed from oven – using tongs turned all potatoes ‘sliced side up’ baked another 30 minutes. About 10 minutes before removing – turning the oven light on – I could see these would be great. Next time (soon) I’ll take a photo.
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4 users found this review helpful

Mexican Rice II

Reviewed: Aug. 19, 2013
I made this as core recipe for making twenty five servings of Spanish rice for our Silver Anniversary dinner. This rice was first to vanish. I also used taco seasoning from this site too as many others. Cumin is not enough. Also I had on hand and used crushed tomatoes instead of tomato sauce. I added green onion, green sweet peppers, and jalapeños at the end. I had 2 cups of left over Mark’s Chili con carne I also added. The hot peppered chili made this rice have a hot bite! This is a great start recipe.
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4 users found this review helpful
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Caramel Pecan Pie

Reviewed: Oct. 2, 2012
First pecan pie I made was a corn syrup style from Betty Crocker’s cookbook summer 1969. Pecan pie is my dad’s favorites. In the mid 80’s I GOT THIS RECIPE – my next-door neighbor from Michigan had NEVER seen a pecan pie (I am from where pecans grow!) I jokingly called it cockroach pie, as pecans can look like roaches if you wear heavy eyeglasses, and he does! We are now married –24 years later THIS is his favorite pie – AND the review to use Smuckers caramel ice cream topping- OMG that will make it so much easier THANK YOU restaurateur FLORENAS –for your great review- I also understand why this pie is your best seller – it outshines all - one time using caramels -all other ‘types’ of pecan pie making starting more than 40 years ago – I abandoned! Occasionally I send this pie by mail to my dad in Tampa FL - it holds up pretty well. NEW EXPERIENCE- I accidentally over cooked this at least 20 minutes. The custard was solid enough when cutting pieces - they held together GREATLY - good for giving to guests as a take home with only saran wrap. I did use aluminum on crust edges to keep from burning.
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4 users found this review helpful

Pumpkin Ginger Cupcakes

Reviewed: Sep. 26, 2012
THESE ARE A HIT - even with ½ the sugar - no white sugar, and applesauce cutting the butter in half (made for a goofy looking mix -as applesauce does not ‘whip’ like butter at ll.) I did not have crystallized ginger but had dried solid ginger from spacesage.com, ground up – put it in a blender getting it to powder- it was SO STRONG – so good – I think this ginger made the cupcakes. I also ground cinnamon from sticks and the cloves. I did not have allspice on hand. The spice was NICE. I used Rick’s Special Butter cream Frosting on half for a birthday party – these don’t need frosting – look forward to the next time. I did get some candied ginger from King Arthur Flour Company – I’ll put ginger in a frosting and cut the cupcake sugar in this more. Cupcakes were very sweet even with ½ called for sugar. Follow up: Reading reviews cutting sugar with dry ginger ground up I think kept mine from being gummy or too sweet. Butterscotch pudding, especially for butterscotch affectionados adds added flavor dimension. Fresh ginger would add intensity grinding dry ginger adds, however fresh ‘wet’ ginger might add to gumminess. I learned about the ‘Ginger People’ here and how to purchase candied ginger for lower price. I use very tasty candied ginger in garnishing & frosting. This makes superior cake balls.
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4 users found this review helpful

Garlic Chicken Stir Fry

Reviewed: Jun. 1, 2012
When I make this the sauce is the most consistent thing I follow. I do add a little honey in the skillet when it's almost ready to serve instead of sugar in the cornstarch mix. Vegetables I use are generally what I have on hand. I don't use cabbage or sugar snap peas when cooking for my husband. When cooking for friends who like them - I add peas and cabbage. Sometimes I have this on rice, sometimes on chow mien noodles, sometimes all by itself (avoiding starch calorie load). Of the chicken things I make, this is one of the better picks that works for my picky husband who is not such a fan of vegetables. My husband wants more sauce – so I will make a note to help me remember - more sauce, cause so far I haven’t’ remembered!
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4 users found this review helpful
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Carrot Bars

Reviewed: Jun. 6, 2013
A while ago I started looking for low calorie stuff to loose weight. This was one of the selections coming up. I read the reviews, followed others and made a few changes to bring calories down. Sweetening with stevia extract I’ve been doing for a few years. There is no bulk in the extract, I used ¾ C applesauce which is also a ‘switch’ used in baking for oil or fat, so I also passed on the butter. Recently read an article about health benefits of pineapple. Someone chose to drain pineapple and add to this. I didn’t think to look at the size of can the person used, I had a 20 oz. can (ugh a lot to add!) When draining it – the pineapple juice = I cup SO I used the juice instead of water. No raisons in the house–dried cranberries that are sweetened. The extra volume with the 20 oz. Pineapple – I used 1 ½ C oat flour and 1 ½ c oat bran. These turned out good, not too sweet, texture like a brownie. The cranberry carrot combination is very good. Next time I will double the spices. About losing weight – eating no dinner or very little has shed 10 pounds in 3 weeks. These will make good breakfasts.
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3 users found this review helpful

Broccoli Chicken Divan

Reviewed: Mar. 20, 2013
Following some of the other reviews I steamed the broccoli then cooked cut up chicken in garlic powder, poultry seasoning and roasted garlic seasoning (what I had on hand). I didn’t have any cream soups available – so made rue, added chicken billion powder, made a gravy with milk and almond milk – added a little sharp cheddar cheese too. Then combined chicken and broccoli to the sauce – put in a baking dish – topped with shredded cheddar and bread crumbs (did not add butter to bread crumbs – we don’t need extra calories!) baked at 350 for 10 minutes – this took a little less than an hour from beginning to end. My picky husband had two platefuls!
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3 users found this review helpful

Cookie Balls

Reviewed: Jan. 29, 2013
I started making cake balls a while ago. I liked especially with this recipe – cream cheese instead of massive cake frosting – THEN cookies over baking a cake – SO MUCH EASIER. I took the cream filling out of half – just to cut down on the sugar, and added a little Hershey’s cocoa powder just to bump up chocolate. I added Kahlua to those for adults! These were great fun. The white coating I used half of the candy coating with half Ghirardelli white chocolate . . . rich and so good, but the big pay pack with these balls over so many other balls – EASY and fast.
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3 users found this review helpful

Chicken Breasts Pierre

Reviewed: Sep. 4, 2012
WOW - this is good! Reading a few others I made a few adjustments. Some used red wine instead of water, didn’t have red – used white. What I had on hand, used a little fresh ground caraway instead of celery seed (out of celery seed). I had some ground chipotle pepper on hand – used 1 teaspoon of the chipotle and 1 teaspoon regular chili powder (instead of 2 chili). Some added red, yellow and green sweet pepper toward last 15 minutes, along with onions – I did that, ,but used frozen had on hand. Taste testing - recognized why another person put a little frozen corn in theirs -corn adds a soft balance. We served this sauce over rice, the chicken was juicy and oh so tender. The ‘Nobody's Strawberry Watermelon Shakedown’ smoothie I made – a perfect contrast to the meal. My husband ate quite heavily. I also did the salad and French bread - Nancy – thanks – what a WOW meal!
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3 users found this review helpful

Chicken Monterey

Reviewed: Aug. 5, 2012
My husband does not 'do' mushrooms - so I did not use -I only cooked for two breasts the first time - I can see why many suggested doubling the sauce if serving for eight. The sauce is very good, however I added maybe a half a cup of milk to the sauce after adding the cheese, what I'd made turned out a bit heavy and more chicken stock would have made it too salty (I used a bullion cube for stock with the ½ cup water it was strong) I did not have any white wine on hand – but boy I will add wine the next time making this (next weekend!) I breaded the chicken with bread crumbs – but next time will use flour, as baking the breasts in the sauce – crisp of bread crumbs is neutralized. I look forward to using mushrooms when having family enough over to make more than one main dish!
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3 users found this review helpful

Too Much Chocolate Cake

Reviewed: Jun. 25, 2012
I played with this to bring calorie count down - one reviewer used applesauce instead of oil. Works great. I also used 60% dark chocolate chips - they were a bit large so I gave them a little time in a food processor to wittle them down in size - this turned out wonderful - made into mini cupcakes (baked about 11-14 minutes) to share with a few dozen people - they were rich and there were no left overs. This is a great recipe.
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3 users found this review helpful

Delicious Ham and Potato Soup

Reviewed: Jun. 1, 2012
This is a great recipe -the addition for us - I added sharp cheddar cheese to the thickened milk - it was soooooo good!
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3 users found this review helpful

Whipped Cream Mousse Frosting

Reviewed: Dec. 5, 2013
I've made this a few of times, one carrot cake with a butterscotch pudding - really great. Made the vanilla version for a white cake with raspberry jam topping cake - the inside frosting filling I mixed with the jam/jelly and fresh raspberries, then the OH SO white frosting with fresh raspberries on top - disappeared QUICKLY (I got an itsty bitsy piece!) UPDATE - this also is EXCELLENT on tiramisu, on final frosting. I found a Hershey white chocolate pudding - amazing flavor. This frosting holds up with a cake to 'take' to a gathering. The tiramisu frosting recipe Tiramisu Layer Cake on this site – that frosting is delicate, not portable. When finishing my written ‘touches’ on adaptations – I’ll add to blog I have on this site if you are interested.
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Black Bean and Corn Salad II

Reviewed: Aug. 19, 2013
Reading 6 green onions – in my mind registered 6 ‘bunches'. Made 50 servings for 25th anniversary. Prepared layers days ahead, put all together hrs. before serving. Started onions, thinking bunches purchased 20 bunches (8 onions /bunch) Some added red onion, cutting red onion easier than green onions. ½ through green onion cutting–REALISED 6 GREEN ONIONS–not 6 bunches! 80 green onions were a little more needed plus red & white onion added. Assembling layers, next-cut up peppers. Mild chili red peppers more cost effective red sweet peppers (@$1.89 each vs. $1.99 lb. chili) used 1 red sweet pepper, lb. mild red chili peppers, + couple green peppers. Next made dressing. Initially got bag of limes. Realizing needed more, purchased several individual limes. Individual limes juiced easily. Bagged limes pain juicing. Lesson learned - higher quality limes difference was pennies, labor juicing – BIG DIFFERENCE. Now I’ll buy limes individually Purchase garlic bulk cloves then freeze. Pureed frozen garlic w/ lime juice & cayenne. Many reviewers 2x lime juice & dramatically reduced oil. So did I. Recipe 50 servings = 4 cups oil I used 1 cup. Cilantro, tomatoes & avocado last, day serving put all together. I’ll include recipe in thank you cards. Modest amount left over, many stated this does not store well, they were certainly not as wonderful as initial serving – but a great left over. This was a huge hit.
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