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Pumpkin Flax Quickbread

Reviewed: Feb. 13, 2014
These were wonderful! I made muffins, using a total of 2 cups of flours, including the flax meal, coconut flour, rye flour and unbleached. I cut the sugar to 1/3 C per other recommendations. I used a total of 2 teaspoons of spices; the recipe calls for more, and next time, I'll make sure to do that. I had home-grown, pureed pumpkin in the freezer so I used a cup of that, and a 1/2 C plastic cup of applesauce. Because I was making these for coworkers and because I knew that "fat-free" would have a different consistency (sticky / gummy), I added 1 egg and 2 T oil. Once I started stirring and judging consistency, I knew that it would need a bit of liquid so I added 3 T cranberry juice (the straight stuff, NOT the juice cocktail!). I used 1/4 C batter and got 13 muffins (12 in paper liners in my muffin tins and the last in a silicon cup in the microwave like I do corn muffins...I would NOT recommend micro-cooking them in the future! that one WAS rubbery!). Coworkers loved them; boss, who makes whole-grain flax muffins, was impressed with the moistness (I'm crediting the pumpkin). I have a friend who's just been diagnosed with a number of food allergies (wheat, eggs, dairy...), and the recipe as written will work GREAT for her. Thanks so much for sharing!
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Creamy Au Gratin Potatoes

Reviewed: Feb. 13, 2014
Like others, I used this as a jumping off point. Sliced and boiled 3 potatoes 'til tender; sliced and sautéed one onion. Cut the cheese sauce recipe in half, and since DH is gluten intolerant, I subbed cornstarch for flour in the cheese sauce (note: use half as much cornstarch as flour or you'll have cheese-flavoured spackling compound!). Layered potatoes / onions / potatoes, and poured the sauce over. Baked at 350' for 30 minutes late in the afternoon so the toaster oven in my summer kitchen was free for baked chicken (which takes an hour and fifteen minutes itself, so many thanks to Katie K. for the par-boiling time-saving tip!). This would make a brilliant breakfast casserole with sliced mushrooms and crumbled sausage!
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Sally's Spinach Mashed Potatoes

Reviewed: Feb. 12, 2014
Put me down as another fan! I boiled 3 potatoes, and as they drained, sautéed about 2 cups of spinach in a little water and about 1/2 T butter, with about 1/4 tsp jarred roasted garlic. Once nicely wilted, I dumped the potatoes back in the pan and took the masher to the whole thing. Once mashied, I added about 1/4 C shredded cheese and stirred. I had no sour cream and DH hates dill, so I added about 1 tsp apple cider vinegar (hey, I'd always loved it on spinach and on my steak fries!) and stirred some more. The vinegar gave it just the right 'sour' note. I didn't add extra cheese or bother baking (though I will in the future, and I'll be usin' the ramekins to make 'em pretty!). I'll also be trying them with bacon (for me...DH won't eat it). This recipe is going into permanent rotation! Many thanks!
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Tender Potato Biscuits

Reviewed: Jan. 27, 2014
These were GOOD! I had half the amount of leftover mashies, so I halved the rest of the recipe. I did use a whole egg, so I cut the water. Made 4 HUGE drop biscuits; I baked for 20 minutes to assure that the centers were done but the tops got a bit dark. VERY fluffy -- can't remember the last time I had such a fluffy biscuit. Good with just butter, also good with stewed cherries! Gonna try leftover garlic cheese mashies next time.
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Spinach Stuffed Chicken Breasts

Reviewed: Nov. 12, 2013
I used chicken tenderloins, pounded thin. Fresh spinach, sour cream, feta (forgot the garlic!), pureed, spread over chicken, rolled up. Into the oven 25 minutes at 350 degrees -- used a cast iron skillet so the bottom browned. I was going to do as suggested and brush w/ olive oil but that too I forgot. DH licked his plate. The spinach mixture will now serve as a sandwich spread w/ deli sliced chicken or as a pasta topper, once I add the garlic. Too much good in here for one recipe! Thanks for sharing!
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Cream Cheese Frosting II

Reviewed: Nov. 7, 2013
This was PERFECT!!! Yes, it's tangy and not too sweet -- and that's what I want in a cream cheese frosting. I down-sized the recipe proportions to suit my needs and the amount of cream cheese I had (4 oz). I pulled the cream cheese right out of the fridge and accidently melted the butter but it worked fine anyway. I've used it on squash / walnut / Craisin muffins, and oatmeal / chocolate chip / molasses / walnut breakfast cookies, and I, too, have eaten it off the spoon. Mine was not runny, and set up even more after refrigeration; it's still spreadable. LOVE THIS!!!
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Chef John's Buttermilk Biscuits

Reviewed: Oct. 22, 2013
If these got any more perfect, I'd eat them 24/7. I was put off at first by the gooey dough but it worked up GREAT in the end. I used sour milk instead of buttermilk with obviously great results. I also mixed the dough in my food processor -- cuts the butter in wonderfully! I used the first batch to make breakfast pockets, patting blobs of dough onto the baking sheet into rounds, topping with meat / cheese then patting on another blob of dough until the edges sealed. I've used whole wheat flour as well -- a bit dry but good with jam. I've also used an ice cream scoop to portion the dough. Making a batch now, to see how it works into cinnamon rolls...
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Greek Stuffed Tomatoes

Reviewed: Oct. 10, 2013
I searched 'tomatoes' and 'feta', and this is what popped up on my screen. I cut the amounts down for one, subbed zucchini for cucumber and dried basil for fresh (cut the amount to just a sprinkle!) and omitted the sugar; I forgot the olives and added some cooked brown rice. Other reviewers thought the yogurt too much -- like most of what I cook from this site, I used the recipe as a guide and added yogurt to MY taste, so it wasn't too wet and the flavor didn't overpower. I microwaved the tomato for 1 minute, then stuffed it, then nuked it again as I'm not a fan of raw zucchini and I wanted the cheese melted. Lovely flavors; the tomato just collapsed, which I liked, tho it wound up on its side by the time I ate it! One of the fastest suppers I've had using just what I had in the fridge. Filing this one for future reference! Thanks for sharing!
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Vernita's Broccoli Casserole

Reviewed: Aug. 19, 2013
THANK YOU for a recipe that calls for REAL CHEESE and not process cheese spread or Velveeta or any other goo that's not real cheese! I had no crackers so I left them off (DH is gluten intolerant anyway). That said, I also had to make my own cream of mushroom soup (couldn't take the chance that Campbell's has wheat in it) but that was no problem. I had leftover rice, and broccoli flowerets and onion cook in minutes in the microwave, so I basically just stirred everything together and heated it up. Thanks for the inspiration!
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Fluffy Cake Doughnuts

Reviewed: Jul. 8, 2013
I don't like cake donuts -- I'm a Krispy Kreme girl m'self. So it was with some trepidation that I tried these, and I'm very glad that I did! I halved the recipe just to try it out, and because CHOCOLATE, I used 3/4 C flour and 1/4 C cocoa powder. I also took jmyslin's suggestion and made them in gem pans hit with a shot of Pam; I, too, used butter rather than shortening (HATE shortening!!!), and I used buttermilk in place of milk simply because I had it on hand. I only added a dash of the spices, and I used vanilla instead of almond extract in the glaze. They are nothing like the cake donuts from the bakery, more like a dense cupcake, which is probably why I like them. Once the rest of the world gets tired of their electric donut makers and starts donating them to Goodwill, I'll pick one up for cheap and make "official" donuts with this recipe.
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Refried Beans Without the Refry

Reviewed: Jul. 8, 2013
Came here looking for spice suggestions rather than technique. I dumped a can of Great Northern beans into my little Handy Chopper, then added jarred roasted garlic, cumin, salt and pepper (I have jalapenos but they're in the garden and I was pulling this together for a late, LATE night taco salad) and a bit of the canning liquid. Pulse 'til mushy. Easy-peasy. I usually cook beans in the slow cooker (according to Jacques Pepin, if you start out with cold water, you don't need to soak them beforehand), on High for 3 hours or on Low for 8 hours; after 8 hours on High as per the directions, I doubt much mashing would be needed. Might add some onion next time!
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Creole Seasoning Blend

Reviewed: Jun. 16, 2013
Outstanding! The recipe makes a good amount which I store in a Ziploc in the fridge. I used it on baked flounder and after reading reviews, will try it in a dip for veggies. Thanks so much for sharing this!
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Greek Lentil Soup (Fakes)

Reviewed: Jun. 16, 2013
I came looking for 'Greek' inspiration and found it, in the recipe and the comments. I'm a "short-cut chef" so I generally toss technique out the window and just focus on ingredients. I started with 1 C picked-over but NOT soaked black-eyed peas, 3 C water, in slow cooker for 2 1/2 hours on High; drain, rinse, return to cooker WHICH HAS NOW BEEN TURNED OFF. Add 6 thawed 'cubes' of tomato paste (large can of tomato paste previously frozen in ice cube trays that measure 2 T each) to cooker. Add approximately 1/2 t jarred roasted garlic, 1/2 t oregano, 1/2 t rosemary to cooker (I had no bay leaves). Chop 1/2 onion, sauté in a good drizzle of olive oil in cast iron skillet 'til soft and slightly caramelized. Add several big handfuls rough-chopped fresh spinach to skillet, cook and stir around 'til softened. Add onions and spinach to cooker. Peel and dice 1 large carrot, place in small Pyrex dish with 2 T water, cover with small plate, microwave on High for 3 minutes stirring once, drain, add to cooker. Stir all. Taste. Added 1 tsp apple cider vinegar (it's all I had...). LOVE!!! I'm not a 'bean soup' person so I didn't add additional water or broth; I just wanted me a tasty bowl o' beans, and now I have it. It doesn't taste like the lentils from our local Greek Orthodox church supper, but what do I know? This is REALLY GOOD! Thanks for sharing, Diana!
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Baked Scallops

Reviewed: Jun. 4, 2013
Oh, this was GOOD! I cut the recipe down and made just enough for a couple of 2-cup Pyrex dishes for lunch at work (so, about 1/2 C frozen, thawed scallops total). I used coconut oil in place of butter (I like the flavor!), skipped the minced garlic (it seemed a bit much with the powdered, but I might try it next time!) and used grated Asiago in place of the Parmesan. And honestly, I really didn't measure; I just sprinkled in what looked right. The cooking time was too long, but that stands to reason since I made 2 small bowls instead of 1 big one; I'll adjust it next time. I didn't dry the scallops well but it came out crispy anyway. GREAT flavor! My coworkers, with their microwave meals, will be SO jealous!
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Taco Seasoning I

Reviewed: Mar. 19, 2013
I've got to throw in with the lovers! I made the full recipe and added 2 t cornstarch to more equal the packet that I USED to use. Then I divided the mixture in half, and added it to 1/2 lb cooked ground beef (I was making a small batch of tacos for lunch) along with 1/3 C water (2/3 C for the whole batch as per other suggestions). It cooked up "saucy" as I'm used to, and I thought it had a nice kick -- not too spicy, tho we eat spicy in this household. And I, too, am never going back to packets! Thanks for this!
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Pesto Chicken

Reviewed: Dec. 11, 2012
I needed a recipe using chicken and pesto but NOT pasta (we're gluten-free around here). I used 2 frozen chicken tenders (the strip of meat off the breastbone, NOT the battered breaded stuff!), some pesto I'd made with basil from DH's garden, and thin-sliced Butterball turkey ham (I didn't have prosciutto). Spread the pesto on the frozen chicken, wrapped each in 2 overlapping slices of the ham, placed in an olive-oiled casserole dish, baked uncovered at 350' for 25 minutes. The ham was a bit tough (that's what you get when you go fat-free) but the flavor was good, and DH loved it with "his" pesto. Less salty than using prosciutto, but I think I'd like the flavor of the prosciutto better. Next time, I'll use the real thing, or did I hear someone mention bacon? Thanks for the inspiration!
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Italian Green Beans

Reviewed: Dec. 11, 2012
Cooking Italian for dinner, I needed a side dish that I could literally whip together in minutes. I used 2 cups of frozen green beans and a drizzle-drizzle-drizzle of Wishbone Romano Basil Vinaigrette in a Pyrex bowl covered with a Corningware luncheon plate. Microwave for 2 minutes, stir, microwave for 2 more minutes. Serve. Couldn't be easier, and no fat but for the oil in the dressing. Yes, it tastes like green beans in Italian dressing because THAT'S WHAT IT IS! But my family took about as much time to eat it as I did to make it, so it's all good. Thanks for the inspiration!
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Chicken Tortilla Soup V

Reviewed: Nov. 4, 2012
As stated, a GREAT jumping-off point and a fantastic way to use up leftovers! I used 1-32 oz box chicken stock, leftover turkey thigh meat (several handfuls), 2 C frozen corn, a small red pepper and 1/4 sweet onion. I nixed the garlic and forgot the salsa, subbed lime juice for lemon, added a good soup-spoonful of sour cream and a nice heap of shredded Cheddar on top of that. The spices seemed weak (I did use more stock than the recipe called for), but there's another couple of servings left over and I'm adding the salsa before I mess with the spices. Oh, I did add some oregano. And...I made the whole thing in the microwave! Cooked the frozen corn with the red pepper, and cooked the onion after that. Then I just stirred everything into the broth and heated it all up. I also made chips in my toaster oven, from corn tortillas (hey, I said I was using leftovers!) and served them on the side. This is going into my file for sure! Thanks, Betty!
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Chewy No Bake Granola Bars

Reviewed: Nov. 1, 2012
The syrup recipe echoes my ancient Betty Crocker caramel corn recipe exactly, and that covers 6 cups of popcorn and sets up IF AND ONLY IF it is allowed to boil to the soft-ball stage. I used Quaker multigrain cereal (like oatmeal but with more grains), steel-cut oats (I was leery of these uncooked but they worked!), Rice Crispies, 2 kinds of dried apples, walnuts, butter pecan pancake syrup in place of the honey and cinnamon chips (which I can only find in the fall, just before the holidays). Coworkers and my husband loved them. I'm planning on dried cherries, almonds and dark chocolate chips, and mixed dried fruit, macadamias and white chocolate chips. UPDATE: I've tried both of the other versions I mentioned and they were fantastic. This recipe lends itself to SO MANY variations! Making more tonight...I'll see what I have in the pantry...gonna try using instant coffee as someone suggested to make mocha bars!
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Baked Haddock

Reviewed: Oct. 7, 2012
Needed a baking time / temp guide for haddock and this did the trick. For the coating, I didn't bother with the milk, subbed potato flakes for bread crumbs (no gluten), subbed Italian seasoning for the thyme (DH doesn't like it!), subbed a drizzle of olive oil for the butter (again, DH insisted...cholesterol and all that...) and subbed Romano for Parm (that's what I had in the fridge). So, this recipe is a great basic to have in your files as there are SO many ways to tasty it up. For a single filet, I cut the baking time by just a few minutes, and as the filet had skin, I didn't coat the bottom (ergo, it didn't get soggy!). The fish can actually dry out fast so keep an eye on it, but the easy-peasy prep and high temp / short cooking time are a godsend when dinner's running late. This is a keeper! And next time, just for me, I might try using those bran flakes!
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