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Fast and Easy Tofu Lo-Mein

Reviewed: May 7, 2010
Eh, my husband really enjoyed this. I did not. It was really dry (don't fry the tofu for too long...and use more water when cooking the ramen and then DON'T strain it!) and without the soy sauce was rather bland. I did use a bag of "Fiesta Mix" which was veggies (broccoli, carrots, peppers, etc) and beans. Next time I would definitely use a stir-fry mix instead, but I don't like onions, which those mixes always have, which is why I tried the other instead. The beans definitely don't help with the dryness though. Not sure I'd make it again, although changing it up some has potential.
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Feta Eggs

Reviewed: Apr. 30, 2010
These are delicious! As many others have said, I don't know why I never thought of adding feta to my scrambles! I've ordered scrambles with it, but have never done it at home for some reason! It's SO perfect with the egg...the saltiness with the blandness of the egg. Mmmm. I used red pepper in place of tomatoes (what I had on hand/prefer), onion powder in place of onion, added some chopped spinach, and doubled the feta (would add even more next time as the flavor is still faint). Very good though. Definitely a keeper.
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Hot Pink Lemonade

Reviewed: Apr. 25, 2010
This was okay, but I was in one of those "want it NOW" moods and I didn't have any lemons or fresh blueberries. So I used bottled lemon juice (Minute Maid, which is not near as good as Real Lemon) and frozen wild blueberries. I can totally taste the "fakeness" of the Minute Maid lemon juice. I think if it were real lemon juice it would be delicious! Definitely trying this again when I have the right ingredients...or at least the bottled Real Lemon, which is a great substitute! I did add the frozen berries to the simple syrup while boiling, which helped break them down. Yum!
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Beer Bread I

Reviewed: Apr. 18, 2010
This was good, although definitely not as good at Tastefully Simple's, in my opinion. I used the exact same beer as I always use when I make TS's (Oberon) but it turned out kinda bitter in this recipe, which was odd. I didn't have self-rising flour, so I used the following, as suggested by reviewers: 1/3c. sugar, 3 cups all-purpose flour, 3 teaspoons baking powder, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. And I of course added 2T melted butter on top before baking, which is a delicious addition. I'd like to try a different recipe next time due to the bitterness.
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Waffles I

Reviewed: Apr. 10, 2010
These were great! We doubled the sugar and vanilla (would like to try doing that with half white and half brown sugar next time) and we added 1/2t. cinnamon. We also beat the egg whites separately and added them at the end, which worked great. They don't have a TON of flavor, but they are a great basic recipe and got nice and crispy on the outside and soft on the inside which we love. Made about 12 waffles for us.
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Brooke's Best Bombshell Brownies

Reviewed: Apr. 8, 2010
I am going to eat the entire pan before my husband arrives in a half hour. YUM!!!! It's been a long week and I was craving brownies and thankfully had the ingredients to make this recipe, which I've been wanting to try. It's just the two of us so I halved the recipe (that's called discipline-I was tempted not to) and baked them in a glass 8x8 for 25 minutes. They turned out perfect!! I did not have chocolate chips so I used 3/4 of a bittersweet Ghirardelli bar that I chopped into small pieces about the size of a chocolate chip. The only other change I made was to use 1 1/4c. sugar instead of 1 1/2c. just to decrease it a tad. Definitely will be making this again and again. Delicious, quick and easy with ingredients I typically have on hand. My husband is going to love me when he walks in the door because I don't make sweets that often.
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Chicken Tortilla Soup V

Reviewed: Apr. 7, 2010
We did not care for this and I probably wouldn't make it again. I did substitute Rotel for the salsa, which could be part of the problem, but even so it just seemed kind of blah. Bummer!
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Baked Potato Skins

Reviewed: Apr. 4, 2010
YUM! These were excellent!! Very flavorful! Made one potato per person and followed the recipe exactly. We did bake them quite a bit longer in order to get them to our desired crispiness, but other than that the recipe was perfect as is! I baked the potatoes up the night prior, let them cool and stored them in the fridge overnight. I also cooked and crumbled the bacon the night before. Doing these two things ahead of time saved a lot of time the day of. Definitely my new go to recipe for potato skins!
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Broccoli and Tortellini Salad

Reviewed: Apr. 4, 2010
I'm giving this *** because I did not care for this, at all. No one loved it, but some of the fam said it was "good." The only thing I did different was omit the onion, but I do that all the time in our favorite broccoli salad, which is amazing and still taste great without the onion. I'll definitely be going back to that recipe.
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Mouse's Macaroni and Cheese

Reviewed: Mar. 29, 2010
The flavor of this is de-licious and it was rather quick to pull together!! It did turn out quite thick and lumpy instead of creamy, but I'm assuming it was because of the cheese I used. I only had some sharp cheddar and some Velveeta (Mexican-which was great for flavor!) so that's what I had to use...half of each. I'd definitely use the Mexican Velveeta again, but for consistency, I'd stick with the recipe and use American for the other half, because I'm pretty sure the cheddar is what made it thick/lumpy. I used small shells too, which we loved. I would not change the sauce to noodles ratio as some suggested. I think it's perfect as is. And I don't think I'll cover it next time, as it just caused the breadcrumbs to soak down into the mac instead of brown on top. In fact, this is so good it doesn't even necessarily need the breadcrumbs, and could really even just be eaten without baking first. Definitely a keeper. EDIT: Made this again for company, including kids. Used half American and half Mexican Velveeta. The Mexican Velveeta gives it amazing flavor but is a tad too spicy for kids and those who don't like spice. Next time for company I'll do 12oz. American and 4oz. Mexican Velveeta. For those who love spice though...half of each is the way to go. SO good! EDIT: Added some frozen peas (thawed under cold water first) this time...so good!
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To Die For Blueberry Muffins

Reviewed: Mar. 24, 2010
I cannot decide whether or not to thank Colleen or take her down for sharing this recipe!! The batch has been out of the oven for 5 minutes and I am already about to devour a second muffin. SOOOOOO GOOD!!!!!!!!!! This has definitely become my blueberry muffin recipe and I am dying to try it with a few variations (other fruit variations, part whole wheat, etc). The only things I changed: used brown sugar instead of white for topping and added 1/2t. vanilla to muffins. I was almost forced to use frozen blueberries due to a horrible selection of berries this time of year, but I decided to check the berries while at the store today and was shocked to find some with amazing flavor...SO glad I did. I don't think frozen would have been near as good! So, reluctantly, I say THANK YOU COLLEEN!!! ;-)
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No Bake Peanut Butter Pie

Reviewed: Mar. 16, 2010
Delicious!!! My only "complaint" is that it was WAY too rich for me. I cut it in 8 pieces and at least half of us could not finish our piece. I made an oreo crust with 35 oreos and 5T. melted butter which filled my large pie plate and one of my small pie plates. I froze the crust for 30 minutes then spread a thin layer of hot fudge on the crust and then used neufchatel cheese instead of cream cheese and lite cool whip, using only 12oz...and it was still so very rich. I topped the pie with chopped up peanut butter cups and drizzled chocolate syrup. The flavor was wonderful, but next time I will play around with it to decrease some of the richness. I also would love to add more chocolate somehow, to have a good chocolate/pb combo instead of such a strong pb flavor...but that's just personal preference! EDIT: I have officially perfected this recipe for both flavor and richness. I now do an Oreo crust that I bake, which molds it together better. I lessened the sugar (1/2c. for the 8 serving ratio), used natural PB (JIF is my favorite PB but was WAY too sweet for this. Smuckers Natural was perfect!) And I halved the whipped topping and added 3 diced PB cups into the pie and topped the pie with another 3 diced PB cups. This was truly restaurant quality!
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Breakfast Kolaches

Reviewed: Mar. 11, 2010
These were wonderful! When reading the reviews that they were "just like the ones I had in Texas," I was skeptical, but these are indeed very similar to my favorite Austin kolaches. I divided my dough into 18 oblong (2"x4") flattened pieces and let them rise, as directed. Then brushed each with some melted butter, sprinkled with a few pinches of shredded cheddar, added 3 jarred jalapenos (drained well), some more cheese, and a pre-cooked smoked breakfast sausage link. Rolled each up tightly and pinched together the top and ends well, facing them seam side down for baking. If desired, brush each with a little melted butter for the last 5 minutes of baking time. I also prepared them all the night before, brought to room temp in the morning and baked the ones we were to eat that morning as directed on my pizza stone. The rest will keep in the fridge for a couple of days so we can bake them fresh each morning, and we'll freeze whatever we have left. Perfect!
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Triple Berry Crisp

Reviewed: Mar. 6, 2010
Delicious!!! I was craving a berry crisp and this definitely hit the spot. I did halve the recipe for an 8x8 pan and the measurements were great, as is. Although I did use frozen fruit since the fresh we have available right now is not great. I used 3c. (2 bags) thawed/drained mixed berries and it was a perfect amount. I did follow some recommendations and sprinkle the fruit with 1t. cornstarch since it was so wet. Definitely a keeper!
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Chicken Stir-Fry

Reviewed: Feb. 4, 2010
This was great, although I did take a lot of advice from others and tweak a few things to my preference. Most importantly, I doubled the sauce, adding half when directed and half at the end with the water/bouillon. I also added the cornstarch at the end with the water/bouillon/sauce mixture to help thicken. I'm glad I did both things. I still would like to see it make a little more sauce. It wasn't saucy at all, just wet. Served over white rice. Will definitely keep this recipe and keep playing with it until it suits our taste perfectly. Used veggies I had on hand-broccoli, cauliflower and baby carrots. A bag of mixed frozen veggies would be even easier/quicker, but even without it was a quick and easy meal!
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Spiced Honey Pretzels

Reviewed: Jan. 12, 2010
I planned to substitute cayenne for the chili powder (per suggestion of a friend) but forgot that we were out of it, so I used chipotle powder instead and it was still delicious. Next time I will definitely try it with cayenne though! I also let them cool on the baking sheet and just stirred them a few times while cooling so they didn't all stick together. EDIT: Used cayenne this time and was delish. I think any of these hot spices would be good. I would only do 1/2tsp. of the spice though. Plenty for non-spicy eaters. Also used pretzel twists, which worked just as well.
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Savory Crescent Chicken

Reviewed: Jan. 5, 2010
Not sure what the deal was, but I typically LOVE most of the high star recipes. Did not dig this one.
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Black Bean and Corn Salad II

Reviewed: Oct. 5, 2009
This was really good!! We had it with quesadillas and they were delicious with a big scoop of this salad on top. It's also great as a salsa. Definitely a recipe I'll make a lot, especially for summer BBQs.
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Cajun Chicken Pasta

Reviewed: Sep. 25, 2009
This was SO delicious and full of flavor!! I was a bit confused by the "2 chicken breast halves" and assumed that meant one full breast...? I did not change anything, except that I omitted the onions (don't like them) and mushrooms (forgot to buy them) and I was short on heavy cream, so I supplemented the rest with Vitamin D milk that I mixed 1tsp. of cornstarch into to help keep it thick. Worked perfectly. Next time I will probably cut down on the butter a bit I would definitely say to tone down the cajun a bit if cooking for those who don't like spicy. We LOVE spicy and it was perfect as was for us. Definitely a keeper recipe!!
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Layered Chicken and Black Bean Enchilada Casserole

Reviewed: Sep. 15, 2009
As I was dishing this up I plopped it down on the table, frustrated that I had just spent precious time making this dinner, because it did not look very good and looked very dry. Then I tasted it! YUM!!!! It was delicious and very flavorful and my husband and I both loved it. I will definitely be adding it to my rotation. The only things I did different was add a bit of chili powder and garlic powder to the chicken mixture and I used flour tortillas that I crisped a bit in the oven first.
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