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Spinach and Orzo Salad

Reviewed: Feb. 1, 2008
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!
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13 users found this review helpful

Creamy Vegetable Chowder

Reviewed: Jan. 30, 2008
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.
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1 user found this review helpful

Quick Black Beans and Rice

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

Crispy Rosemary Chicken and Fries

Reviewed: Jan. 18, 2008
This was the first recipe from this site I've used that has turned out to be so disappointing. I followed the recipe almost exactly, although I didn't add as much olive oil after reading previous reviews. I pan-fried the chicken a little bit to brown it, and I baked the potatoes for about 25 minutes before adding the chicken on top. I marinated the entire thing all together overnight to let the flavors of the rosemary, garlic, and oregano soak in. The dish smelled delicious while baking. However, when I tried one of the potatoes, they were so--BLAND!! I was really excited about this recipe, because it sounded fantastic. I enjoyed the flavor of the rosemary, but it made the whole dish a little sweet without adding any real kick to it. I sprinkled some seasoning over the whole dish, and added way more salt, but it just did not turn out well. The recipe had no bite to it, was very bland, and I would NOT recommend it. My dad, who loves just about everything and is the least picky person I know, added salt, seasoning, and then BBQ sauce to his chicken--which tells me it was really horrible. The next night, he had a few of the potatoes, but he wouldn't touch the chicken. One thing I thought might've improved the recipe was if I'd added some breadcrumbs to the potatoes, and if I'd used white wine as a base for the dish--but even then I'm just not sure. There are way better recipes on this site...I'll just keep looking.
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6 users found this review helpful

Cajun Barbecued Chicken

Reviewed: Mar. 4, 2005
Truly excellent recipe. I marinated this in the fridge for about 8 hours before I cooked it. I also added some red pepper to the mix, because we're from Louisiana and love spicy food. Still didn't turn out too spicy, so I think next time I'll add more (just a matter of personal taste). I really wanted to grill it, but unfortunately it was rainy so instead I pan-fried it. The chicken was delicious! I really cannot believe it was so completely simple to make! I highly recommend you use drinking wine rather than cooking wine, because otherwise it may turn out too salty (prob depending on what kind of Cajun spices you use, but still, cooking wine has a lot of salt in it already). Can't wait until the next time I make this--and grill it!
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5 users found this review helpful

Broccoli Cheese Cornbread

Reviewed: Mar. 4, 2005
I'm sorry to say I was disappointed by this recipe. I thought it sounded great, especially when I was reading all the wonderful reviews which were so complimentary. I followed the recipe nearly exactly (except that instead of the self rising cornmeal, which I hadn't heard of either, I used the previous reviewers' suggestions of cornmeal, flour, salt, etc). Everything else was just the same. However, the dish turned out bland. I love broccoli and onion and thought it would be great, but it was just pretty tasteless. My Dad and brother liked it well enough, but my Dad has a sinus infection and can't taste much of anything right now, hehe. My Mom agreed with me that it was pretty bland. I won't try making it again. For anyone who does, I suggest taking the recommendations of a few of the other reviewers and adding some cheddar cheese or something sprinkled on it. I think that would've made it a little better.
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4 users found this review helpful

Butternut Squash Soup

Reviewed: Feb. 4, 2005
I was surprised and pleased by this recipe. I love squash, but am not a huge fan of butternut squash. However, this recipe was a definite winner with me. The soup was creamy but not too rich. I did have a little difficulty pureeing everything after I cooked it, because I had to use a ladle to transfer the soup to a blender, which was a messy process. I also added about half the cream cheese, and used low fat to decrease the calories. It still had fantastic flavor. One thing I would recommend that really helps cut down on the prep time is if you buy the butternut squash already diced, then just cook it with the chicken broth. I've found it pre-diced at Trader Joe's.
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1 user found this review helpful

Pork Chops with Apples, Onions, and Sweet Potatoes

Reviewed: Jan. 8, 2004
I had just cooked another pork chop recipe from this site--"Broiled Pork Chops"--a few nights ago, which was received with raves by my family, so this recipe had a lot to live up to! Fortunately everyone liked it very much. I didn't modify the recipe by much. I cooked 6 chops instead of 4, and only used 1 apple (that was all we had). I chose to use 1 onion as that seemed like more than enough after I'd arranged it all on the plate. The only thing I would recommend to anyone else is that you may want to add an extra bit of brown sugar--the consensus was that it could've used a bit more. Also, it took about an hour and a half to cook instead of an hour (oven is new, so probably related to the altitude) so for anyone who's going to make this, you may want to start it a little early just in case! I served it with Mexican Corn, also on this site, and it was a nice complement to have something spicy with the sweetness of the brown sugar and yams.
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3 users found this review helpful

Chicken Breasts with Herb Basting Sauce

Reviewed: Jan. 6, 2004
This is a very basic recipe. I didn't use this exact thing, although I used a couple of the ideas in the recipe to make my own chicken. I took five or six boneless chicken breasts, salted & peppered them, then placed them in a pyrex baking dish. I just sprinkled herbs over the chicken, (dried thyme, basil, a little sage & rosemary, etc.) plus fresh garlic and about a half a cup of white wine (NOT cooking wine). Chicken was EXCELLENT--you really can't go wrong when you flavor the chicken with herbs! As other reviewers have noted, this is a great one to play around with. The wine and herbs smelled divine while cooking. Fail-safe, wonderful chicken!!
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42 users found this review helpful

Broiled Pork Chops

Reviewed: Jan. 6, 2004
I made these for dinner tonight and they came out very well. My older brother, who is a notoriously picky eater and rarely will try anything I make, ate two pork chops! I consider that a definite sign of success. I was a little skeptical about the recipe after reading other reviews, but was very pleased with the way they turned out. Very simple and easy to prepare. I didn't have any paprika OR chili powder, so I used cayenne and parsley instead. I also substituted 1/3 of the ketchup for BBQ sauce after reading other reviewers' complaints. Thanks for the recipe!!
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12 users found this review helpful

New Year's Day Black-Eyed Peas

Reviewed: Dec. 15, 2003
I modified the recipe by adding: nearly a cup of rice for a heartier meal, half a chopped bell pepper, and a sprinkling of parsley. Also, we didn't have ham so I cut up some sausage for seasoning and added flavor. I didn't soak the beans overnight--just used two cans of black eyed peas that were pre-soaked. It really cut down on the prep time. The recipe is excellent, and highly recommended!
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78 users found this review helpful

Best Marinara Sauce Yet

Reviewed: Dec. 8, 2003
I also was very surprised by how much I liked this recipe. I was a little suspicious of marinara sauce requiring so little time and so few ingredients, but it was very good. I'm definitely keeping this recipe to use again!
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1 user found this review helpful

Beef Tenderloin with Horseradish-and-Roasted Garlic Crust

Reviewed: Oct. 1, 2003
This recipe was very unique and turned out well. It was easier to make than I would've thought, and had great flavor to it.
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0 users found this review helpful

Broccoli with Rigatoni

Reviewed: Oct. 1, 2003
What a sad disappointment!!! I made this recipe with high expectations...I absolutely LOVE broccoli, and I thought the combination of broccoli and pasta would be a sure hit. Unfortunately, I was so disappointed. I followed the recipe to the letter, even added some extra italian spices to give it more flavor, but even that and the fresh basil could not save this pasta. It turned out very bland--only remedied by adding a ton of parmesan cheese on the pasta. I wish this had been better; I have still to find an excellent pasta and broccoli recipe. Although it was easy to make, I unfortunately don't recommend this recipe.
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72 users found this review helpful

Mexican Corn

Reviewed: Oct. 1, 2003
The ultimate test--my DAD!! He raved over this recipe. I used frozen sweet white corn (I find that it's not as crunchy and tastes much more fresh than canned, which I just refuse to make) in a heated skillet, no olive or vegetable oil, no butter. Just cooked the corn, added 3/4ths of a thing of cream cheese, and added the jalapenos. My family is from Louisiana (Cajun, baby!) so we like spicy things--I added all the jalepenos the recipe called for, and kinda wish I'd added more. I love that spicy kick to it. Anyway, was extremely unique--nothing I EVER would have thought to try, so I really enjoyed making it and serving it to my family. I will definitely give this a try again, although next time will use reduced fat cream cheese to cut out those unnecessary and unhealthy extra calories. I highly recommend giving this a shot! Thanks so much for the unique recipe!
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88 users found this review helpful

Feta Chicken

Reviewed: Sep. 30, 2003
The recipe was good, but I think would have been better with some other herbs and spices added to enhance the flavor. I agree, the chicken and the feta was an unexpectedly nice combination. My guests DID like the chicken, but no raves over this one. I wish I had taken the suggestions of some of the others who marinated the chicken first--I'd advise anyone thinking about trying this recipe to do that, too.
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23 users found this review helpful

Cranberry BBQ Chicken

Reviewed: Sep. 26, 2003
A truly excellent recipe. It's very simple to make--mostly just the cranberry, BBQ sauce, and onion (I hate celery, so I left that out)! The only part that's a bit tedious is the basting every 15 minutes, but it's worth it in the end. I've made this chicken twice so far, and have had guests and family raving over it. I think my Dad's hooked on it...I'm hoping I can find another chicken recipe that will live up to the success of this one! Thanks so much for a wonderful, delicious recipe--this one is a real keeper.
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4 users found this review helpful

Asian Asparagus Salad with Pecans

Reviewed: Sep. 26, 2003
Absolutely excellent recipe. I do not normally even particularly like asparagus, but this recipe was a tremendous hit with both me and my family. My parents both loved it...in fact, my dad raved about it for the entire weekend. I only marinated it for a couple of hours, and it still was divine. The next day, I'd left it in the bag with the marinade, and it was even better. Will be making this recipe again and again--a permanent favorite.
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24 users found this review helpful

Cheesy Potato and Corn Chowder

Reviewed: Feb. 6, 2002
This soup is absolutely delicious!! It is very simple to make; you basically just throw everything together in a pot and let it cook. I also was extremely impressed by the short, uncomplicated list of ingredients. My whole family loved this soup; I will continue to make it again and again. Thanks so much for the recipe!
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5 users found this review helpful

 
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