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Amazingly Easy Irish Soda Bread

Reviewed: Mar. 17, 2014
I've tried this twice. The first time was exactly as written and directed and it came out fine, though I thought it was too crumbly and didn't think it would hold together. It did tend to fall apart while cutting and while trying to put butter on it, but it still tasted fine. My husband declared it the best bread he's had in years. Also, the cooking time is WAY off. Not sure who was able to get it done in 30-45 minutes. Mine took well over an hour before it was a lovely crusty color on the outside and done on the inside. I did continue to baste the butter/buttermilk mixture onto the bread every 15 minutes or so. Keep in mind that if you continue to baste then you'll probably get a burnt crust around the bottom edge of the bread where it drips down. My husband called it "caramelization", god bless him. I also added a sprinkle of turbinado sugar ("Sugar in the Raw") to the top to add some extra crunch. The 2nd time I made it I also used the KitchenAid stand mixer which really assists with making it easier and less messy to prepare. I also added an extra 1/2 an egg, which I thought would help hold it all together better. That worked but it changed the color to a slightly more yellow color from the bready white I had before. No matter because in both cases (even with the "caramelization" on the bottom) the bread disappeared before I knew what hit me. Definitely a keeper!
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Asian Coconut Rice

Reviewed: Sep. 27, 2013
I followed the directions exactly, because it's pretty much the same way I make my perfect rice: Mix rice and water, bring to boil, give it a stir, cover it, let it be for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes this was just a gloppy mess with crunchy rice. I guess the coconut milk doesn't allow the rice to cook.
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5 users found this review helpful

Hawaiian Coleslaw

Reviewed: Aug. 10, 2013
I'm not really a big fan of cole slaw in general so the addition of these extras (mandarin oranges, pineapple, ginger, and nutmeg) sounded like a good version that was perfect for a luau themed pot luck coming up. However I must really be used to the taste of ginger and nutmeg because I could barely taste either one! But overall it was a good version of cole slaw that disappeared quickly and I would definitely make it again. The oranges and pineapple are really what makes it special. I used a bag of pre-shredded cole slaw mix, which I highly recommend doing, unless you enjoy the act of shredding cabbage. I also added about a tablespoon more mayo than the recipe calls for since it seemed a tad lacking when I mixed it up at first. Next time I'll use a touch more ginger and nutmeg too.
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2 users found this review helpful

Tomato Pork Loin Chops

Reviewed: Mar. 28, 2013
We really liked this. Though I will admit I made a few changes. I had large, thick bone-in chops and I kept them that way, so of course the cooking time was longer. I omitted the fennel since I don't have any, nor do I really care for it enough to buy any just for this. I did add some fresh rosemary, which is always a nice addition, imo. I used brown sugar rather than white, halved the amount of chili powder since it's a tad strong and overwhelming, and doubled the red pepper flakes (we like it hot!). Oh, and I used diced tomatoes. Whew! Still, I think I was able to capture the gist of this lovely recipe. The thick chops came out so juicy and tender and the overall flavor was fantastic. I think the brown sugar really made a big difference. I served it all over fries and realized this was like a lot of the meals I had in Spain. Definitely a keeper in our kitchen!
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4 users found this review helpful

Garlic Prawns

Reviewed: Aug. 15, 2012
Not wanting to bother with the grill I decided instead to try this as a sauté to serve with pasta. The only thing different I did was add a little salt and pepper, red pepper flakes, a pinch of orange zest (I was juicing it anyway...waste not want not!), and some fresh rosemary and basil to the mix as written. Oh, and probably more wine than was called for. :) I then let the shrimp marinade in it all for about 20 minutes before sautéing. I cooked the marinade until it was nice and bubbly while the pasta was cooking, then added the shrimp until they were done. I also cooked asparagus in the sauce for a side. Initially I thought it would be too mustardy (not my favorite) but that overpowering flavor seemed to cook out a little so it was fine. I think this recipe as is makes a pretty good marinade, and not only for shrimp. Just a note in general: When marinating something light like a fish filet or shrimp I wouldn't marinade for longer than one hour tops as it tends to make the fish or shrimp mealy. As for this recipe, when sautéing again, I'll do it like I did this time, only cut back at least half the oil as I thought the sauce it made was just too oily. Good as is for a marinade though. However that didn't stop me and my husband from scarfing it all down! We'll diet when we're dead....
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14 users found this review helpful

Great Easy Waffles

Reviewed: Sep. 5, 2011
I can only rate this the way I made it: I used orange zest rather than lemon and added just a bit more sugar, maybe about a tsp. Otherwise it was the same and I thought they were fantastic! It made enough batter to last my husband and I 3 days and each day they seemed to taste better than the day before! Though I have to wonder if it would really make much difference whether or not I separated the eggs and added the beaten egg whites at the end. It wasn't *that* much of a hassle, though I think next time I make these (and I most definitely will!) I'll just mix the eggs in whole rather than bothering with separating them and see how it goes.
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6 users found this review helpful

Beer Cake I

Reviewed: May 25, 2011
This cake is yummy, though like other reviewers I found it tastes just like a very nice basic yellow cake. Even though I used a dark beer (Shiner Black) and even added some cinnamon the flavor just didn't come through. I will make this again, though I'll try with a Guinness, a coffee porter, or a chocolate stout to see if using a heavier and more flavorful beer will help. I may also try making a glaze or frosting of some sort for the cake using the beer.
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4 users found this review helpful

Too Much Chocolate Cake

Reviewed: May 6, 2011
This is a great doctored cake. Sorry to the author but I make it a lot better in several ways: 1) halve the oil to 1/2 cup, 2) add 1/2 cup Kahlua (instead of that other 1/2 C oil), 3) adding about a tsp or so of cinnamon, and 3) adding 2 tablespoons of finely shredded orange rind. This cake gets raves and demands for more wherever I take it.
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20 users found this review helpful

Garlic Prime Rib

Reviewed: Nov. 9, 2010
This is now the only way I'll make a prime rib--it's that perfect. The only differences I make is I use fresh rosemary rather than dried thyme (though I suppose using both would be doubly good!) and I also rub a little extra of the mix over the sides of the roast after I've smeared the bulk of it on the fatty part . Every time I make it it's perfect and it's now expected of me to make this for special occasions. I've also used the same recipe for a leg of lamb and a pork roast and it's just as good. It's pretty much become my go-to recipe for roasts in general. :)
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5 users found this review helpful

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