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Mexican Pumpkin Empanadas

Reviewed: Dec. 28, 2010
I added some ground cinnamon to the flour mixture like a couple of other reviewers, 5 tsp. of it. I used butter instead of shortening and I used 4 cups of sweet potato that I wanted to use up, instead of pumpkin. Sweet potato and pumpkin taste the same to me anyway. Don't forget the 1/4 tsp of baking powder which is omitted in the directions. When the empanadas first came out of the oven the taste of ginger was over powering, but by the next day the flavors had melded and the flavors were just right.
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Chicken Enchiladas I

Reviewed: Nov. 29, 2010
Great enchiladas, with a little adjustment. I've made these twice and both times the chicken filling came out a wee tad bland. In order to fix that, I added the optional 1/2 tsp salt. Defenately include the optional salt. I also added an additional 1/2 TBSP chili powder to the 1 TBSP the recipe already calls for to make it 1-1/2 TBSP chili powder. In addition, I added 1/2 tsp of cumin. That helped give it more flavor. Due to recommendations, I skipped out on the 1/2 cup of water and used an 8 oz. can of tomato sauce instead of 15 oz. so it wouldn't be too mushy. Finally, I used enchilada sauce instead of taco sauce and dipped the the tortillas in the enchilada sauce before rolling, in addition to just topping the enchiladas with the sauce before going in the oven. The enchiladas won't be "dry" that way and will be more flavorful having sauce smothered all over the tortilla. Also, I used corn tortillas instead of flour to make them more authentic and so there would be more smaller enchiladas instead of fewer of the bigger flour ones. Overall, good enchiladas with those few minor adjustments.
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Egg Rolls

Reviewed: Nov. 29, 2010
Good egg rolls, but would be restaurant quality with a few minor changes. 3 TBSP of oyster sauce was way too much; made the rolls taste too fishy. Next time I'd try 1-1/2 TBSP or less. Also, 5 TBSP of soy sauce was a little too much in the sense that it made the egg roll filling (still in the wok) a little too soggy. Next time I'd try 3 TBSP of soy sauce and add more if necessary at the end during the taste test before rolling. I also added 1/4 tsp of ground ginger because it's a flavor usually found in egg rolls. I used a 1 LB. bag of cole slaw mix (without dressing) instead of a head of cabbage for convenience. Use ground pork instead of beef, and next time I might skip out on shrimp because I don't think it added much to the egg rolls, but I'll have to see about that. With those changes, these egg rolls should be better next time around.
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Wonderful Meatloaf

Reviewed: Dec. 3, 2010
I thought it was OK. I found the amont of onion to be a little too much. I followed recommendations and added 1/4 cup bread crumbs and one egg, but it was still falling apart a bit, so next time I might add less onion or 2 eggs. Also, I might add a bit of salt and pepper and possibly 1/2 TBSP of worcestershire sauce as it was lacking a bit of flavor.
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Linda's Lasagna

Reviewed: Dec. 10, 2010
Good lasagna. My changes were to add 1 TBSP sugar to counter the acidity. I also added 1 tsp basil and 1 bay leaf and used ricotta instead of cottage cheese. Yum.
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Sweet Potato Pie I

Reviewed: Nov. 29, 2010
Made this for Thanksgiving. It was the first time I've made sweet potatoe pie and it turned out very tasty; obviously way better than the kind you would buy at the grocery. My tweaks for the recipe (per other's suggestions) were to use 1/2 cup brown sugar and 1/2 cup white, add 1-1/2 TBSP lemon juice, and 3 TBSP of flour to thicken it up. Adding the flour defenately helped because the pie set well. After those changes, I followed the rest of the recipe as written.
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Chicken Tikka Masala

Reviewed: Dec. 9, 2010
Good base recipe, but with changes based upon a few suggestions, it became as good or better than the one at the restaurants. My changes consisted of less salt, and the addition/substitution of garam masala. For the marinade my changes were to only use 1/2 tsp of salt, 1/2 tsp cayenne for less spice, and only 1 tsp cumin because I also added 1 tsp garam masala which already contains cumin. I left the rest of the amounts the same for the marinade. For the sauce my changes were to use only a mere 1/4 tsp salt, and again reduced the cumin to 1 tsp because I added 1-1/2 tsp garam masala. Also, I used 1/2 cup heavy cream, and 1/2 cup of half & half instead of 1 cup heavy cream. I left the other ingredients for the sauce the same. This became restaurant quality or better (depending on the restaurant, of course) it wasn't salty, and the spicyness was a notch over mild.
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Cream Cheese Frosting II

Reviewed: Dec. 9, 2010
I made the chocolate variety. I started by adding 1/4 cup Nestle Toll House cocoa powder but ended with 1/2 cup cocoa powder and powdered sugar to taste (1 cup and 3 TBSP). I left the amount of cream cheese, butter, and vanilla extract as the recipe states.
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Old Fashioned Potato Salad

Reviewed: Nov. 29, 2010
Three years ago someone gave me a big plastic container of brand name potatoe salad which I found to be very good and probably the best I'd tasted. Unfortunately, I could never find it at grocery, but when I made this recipe, I found it again! Tastes exactly like it after some changes. 1/4 cup of mayo is a ridiculous amount, way too dry. I added about 1-1/2 cups. Also, I didn't add the sweet pickle relish just because I didn't have any on hand but will include it next time. I added about 2-3 TBSP of mustard instead of just 1 and I seasoned with plain salt and pepper to taste. I made this for Thanksgiving and it was great.
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Basic Flaky Pie Crust

Reviewed: Nov. 29, 2010
Easy and quick pie crust. Made this for a last minute sweet potatoe pie on Thanksgiving. I too, used chilled butter instead of shortening. Though I don't know how it would have tasted with shortening, with butter it was nice and buttery. Nice flaky crust too. I prebaked it for 15 minutes then per another reviewers suggestion, I brushed it with some egg white and baked an additional 2 minutes for a moisture seal. I'm not sure if that really made much of a difference, so next time I will try without the egg white to save time. I will also try this crust for a double crusted pie and see how that turns out.
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