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Home Town: Sacramento, California, USA
Living In: New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
Member Since: Feb. 2002
Cooking Level: Intermediate
Cooking Interests: Baking, Grilling & BBQ, Slow Cooking, Asian, Mexican, Italian, Southern, Healthy, Vegetarian
Hobbies: Photography, Reading Books, Music
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Recipe Reviews 19 reviews
Spinach and Orzo Salad
This recipe was fantastic. It was very simple to make--less than half an hour from prep to putting it on the table. The pasta salad was light and fresh tasting, a nice change from all the heavy winter foods. It would be great on its own for a light lunch, or paired as a side dish for dinner. I chopped a 6 oz package of fresh, pre-washed spinach, and it didn't take long and the flavor and texture were great. Also, as for the half an onion--I had a pretty large red onion and chopped just a touch more than half. I personally LOVE onion, but it was still too much. Be really careful of how much you add, because too much is overpowering. Try using a small onion. I used a smaller portion of tri-color fusilli (corkscrew) pasta. I cut back on the olive oil because it's so fattening. Also, I thought the balsamic vinegar should be used sparingly. It adds a nice flavor, but I would recommend going with a little less until you taste it and see how you like it, then cautiously adding more. I liked the suggestion of using some sun dried tomatoes in this dish and the fact that you can play around with different flavors in the feta. I'll use those tips myself the next time I make this dish!

12 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Feb. 1, 2008
Creamy Vegetable Chowder
The recipe was good, but just not great. I stuck to the basics of the recipe. I left out the celery (which I hate) and added zucchini and yellow squash towards the end. I also added a little bit of white wine to the base. As others have mentioned, the cheese did turn out rather chunky, and I used cream cheese! I expected it would kind of blend in with everything else once it got hot enough, but that never seemed to happen. The vegetables were good, because they were just the right consistency--neither soggy nor super crunchy--although I felt I should've added the potatoes to the carrots sooner, because those took a while to cook on their own. All in all, the recipe was good, but again--it just wasn't great. It didn't have that something special to make my taste buds sing. I was a little surprised, because I love potatoes and all the veggies. I might make this again, but I'm just not sold on it.

1 user found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Jan. 30, 2008
Quick Black Beans and Rice
I agree this was quite a good basic recipe. However, as some reviewers have noticed, it does need a little bit of tweaking for extra kick. I sauteed half an onion and a clove of garlic with some crushed red pepper. Just the juice from the tomatoes was not enough to cook the rice, so I also added half a can of chicken broth. Then, for extra flavor, I added half a cup of white wine. I added frozen corn, more crushed red pepper, some parsley, italian seasoning, a little Cajun seasoning, and about two scoops of light sour cream. It turned out very flavorful, with some bite to it, but still healthy. With the modifications it was very good.

2 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Jan. 29, 2008

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