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Homemade Sweet Italian Sausage (Mild or Hot)

Reviewed: Mar. 6, 2014
Just did up 12 pounds of this. I decided to no add the salt for a few reasons...including but not limited to my husbands high BP and I tend to run on the side of dehydration..which can cause all foods to taste salty. I found this recipe to be VERY mild. I did a taste cook and then added more seasoning including anise and it still is not spicy. No matter, this is a good recipe. If you want hot you need to add a lot more red pepper...or your choice of heat...and add anise and fennel. Without 'beefing it up' you have a great mild Italian sausage with this recipe.
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Strawberry Shortcake

Reviewed: Jan. 23, 2014
Strawberry season here, near Plant City Florida. I love shortcake made with old fashioned shortcake (basically a biscuit with extra sugar added). I increased the shortening and added more sugar. I could eat the dough raw! Did my own thing with the berries (I boil some in sugar and use about triple the amount boiled strawberries fresh with confectioners and balsamic vinegar. I prefer to make the shortcake with cold butter but am out of it. I do not feel the recipe is perfect due to needing more fat and sugar in it.
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Chocolate Cappuccino Cheesecake

Reviewed: Feb. 13, 2013
I have made this about a dozen times...I am a novice baker and have never had an issue with it...other than it does need to cook about 5 to 10 minutes longer. In the past, I have forgot the coffee and water, I have forgot the coffee brandy and have over mixed etc. It still comes out great. I also make a chocolate graham crust instead. For those of you who have an issue with melting the chocolate, the recipe says to melt it over boiling water. To melt the chocolate over water, boil the water then turn it down low. The water should not touch the top pot/bowl nor bubble out. (I use a Pyrex dish over a pot) Break the chocolate into tiny pieces, put it into the bowl, put it on the simmer pot, with a whisk keep moving/stirring it and add the cream just as it starts to soften. Once melted, lift out the bowl (have a towel handy to quickly wipe the moisture off the bowl exterior, put it into your batter and mix in. DO this quickly, then immediately add the 1/4 water with instant coffee already mixed into it to the batter...make sure the instant coffee mixture is HOT... it will finish melting any tiny bits of chocolate that did not totally melt. You can work on perfecting your cheesecake making if you are going after presentation..but this recipe is fantastic no matter what....and if you mess up...no ONE will know the difference! The taste hides newbie baking! DO NOT BE AFRAID!!!! Even with my mess-ups, this is often requested, also been offered $$ to make it for others!
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Mac and Cheese II

Reviewed: Oct. 29, 2012
Great basic recipe! If you are a blander eater it is fine as is. If you want to kick it up...go for it. We like it kicked up....I seldom make mac n cheese due to mac n cheese not being a healthy meal no matter the recipe. When I do make it I do it the same as this recipe however add things I have on hand. Tonight I did a mirepoix of celery, red pepper, jalapeno pepper and the white parts (base) of a few green onions. Then did the roux. I added garlic powder, dry mustard, pepper (no added salt), and a splash of Worcestershire....plus a little Parmesan. I topped with the only thing I had on hand...which was Cheese-its. Enjoy, it is a comfy food recipe that you can eat as is...or build it to you desire...don't be afraid. BTW, served with leftover smoked root beer can chicken and peas YUM!
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Simple Beef Stroganoff

Reviewed: Oct. 16, 2012
I gave this a 4 due to it being a little bland...but overall, this is a good recipe for those on a budget, tight on time and beginner cooks. I have done similar to this for years using ground beef. It is fine as is...if you want to kick it up some read through the reviews for ideas...or use my years of experience. I cook a mirepoix (chopped onions, chopped celery and chopped garlic) along with 90/10 ground beef. Add beef broth (be it canned or bullion with water), a little worcestershire, cream of mushroom soup, mushrooms cut in thicker pieces, sour cream and add more water if needed (or a white wine/vermouth)....basically adjust the liquid to accommodate your needs. Keep the salt content in mind when using canned soups, beef broth, worcestershire and bullion cubes....taste before adding additional salt. Serve over noodles. I often add diced carrots to my mirepoix and/or add peas into the mix. Just a nice basic meal that has always been a comfort food for us. As a side note.... I often make it very 'wet' and add my noodles right into the pot.
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Grilled Pork Chops with Balsamic Caramelized Pears

Reviewed: Oct. 4, 2012
Had pears to use and a few self butchered loin chops in the freezer. Turned out great. For those who commented that this was too salty....the type of salt used in the brine makes a big difference....not all are created equal. Look up the type of salt you are substituting in comparison with kosher salt. I am a briner (do your next holiday turkey with a brine!)...I have been producing great meals for over 35 years... I found no problem with this using the kosher salt at the amount called for..HOWEVER it is common practice to ALWAYS rinse the brined meat then pat dry...which this recipe neglects to mention. May not be needed...just something I was taught and always do. I find dishes salty even if I do not add any salt...and this brine did not 'offend' me...most likely due to my rinsing habit. BTW...want to cut down on sugar?...substitute light Agave Nectar for the sugar. Only changes I made was to rinse the meat after the brine...and I am a tosser...so did not measure the called for ingredients...I go by sight,taste and smell....plus I pan fried the pork, after coating in freshly ground pepper. I added the leftover marinade at the end of cooking the pork. (NOT the brine...always dispose of your brine).
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Corned Beef and Cabbage

Reviewed: Mar. 15, 2012
Not enough room in a regular crock pot. I have a huge one...so it worked well. Instead of water, I use equal amounts of beer (better quality, better flavor) and vegetable broth. I leave out the vinegar and sugar. The vinegar will act as a tenderizer for this tough cut of meat if you choose to use it....especially if you use the less fattier Flat Cut. I find I do not need it when there is enough liquid to cover (add more as it cooks if needed) and a long enough slow cook time. I DO serve Malt Vinegar at the table...nothing like boiled/ cooked cabbage topped with butter, vinegar and juices from the pot :-) . My DH is Boston Irish...always have to have the beer and spices in the pot...no matter which method you choose to cook it. Don't forget to drink some of that beer as you put it in the pot...makes cooking it so much more FUN LOL!
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Basic Quiche by Shelly

Reviewed: Feb. 27, 2012
I find this is a PERFECT basic for all my quiches. I omit and change the herbs/spices and cheese accordingly. Take note of the picture, this is done NOT in a pie plate, but a quiche pan. The recipe as is...added with my ingredients of choice, fits perfectly in any of my 3 quiche pans. Tonight I used this adding sausage, cheddar cheese, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder and a little cayenne pepper. Topped with left over chili and jalapenos. I have used this recipe for quiches made with just veggies, ham, burger etc. Again, just change the spices and cheeses accordingly.
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Baked Sweet Potato Sticks

Reviewed: Jan. 10, 2012
I have been making these for years. Typically I do peel them. I add the spices of choice (usually paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, salt, pepper). No matter how you spice them, they are good. If you do not want a 'soggy'fry...then you need to find a recipe that uses a deep fryer. These are 'limp'...but they are not flash froze, deep fried and full of chemicals. Enjoy them as is.
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