NMChef1 Recipe Reviews (Pg. 13) - Allrecipes.com (18077969)

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Meat Lover's Pizza Casserole

Reviewed: Feb. 1, 2010
This was a pretty good dish. Nothing astounding, but I lean towards a higher rating because it's pretty easy to make and it makes a lot (it lasted me for three dinners). I made it exactly as written, using 93% lean ground beef, sea salt, and canola oil spray to grease the dish. I measured out about 3.25 oz. of sliced pepperoni from a larger package. Most notably, I think this was the first time I'd ever used purchased pizza sauce. There were a few varieties at the store, and I wound up using a same-sized squeeze bottle of sauce by Contadina. I should note that I think a 2-qt. dish is pushing it. I had only a 2.5-qt. dish on hand, and the whole shebang barely fit into it. Reading some prior reviews, I see some people complained about the dish being pretty dry. I'd agree, I guess, but I didn't notice it at the time. All in all, this is a quite tasty, easy casserole.
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2 users found this review helpful

Heart Attack Eggs

Reviewed: Jan. 29, 2010
I planned for a few days to make this, and frankly, I was nervous. But it wasn't really overwhelmingly greasy and heavy like I thought it might be. Fairly simple, but pretty good. I don't think I'd ever even fried eggs before, let alone in bacon fat. I used a pretty good quality bacon, so the results were pretty tasty. This is a good-sized, but not huge, breakfast for one person, and I just might make it again, once in a while. Thanks!
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1 user found this review helpful

Ham, Basil, and Feta Scrambled Eggs

Reviewed: Jan. 26, 2010
This is a great recipe. I'll give it a rare (for me) 5-star rating. Not that it's the best thing in the world, and I might give it only 4 stars for taste per se, but because it's so quick and easy to make, the whole recipe deserves 5 stars. I made it exactly as written, using a little sea salt and some freshly ground black pepper (I had some whole peppercorns on hand). I thought that 1 1/2 teaspoons of butter (i.e., 1/2 T.) was an unusual amount, but I measured it out and it indeed seemed to be the amount needed. I've already told a friend about this, and plan to make another batch tomorrow. It makes a decent-sized breakfast for one person (not a huge amount). Thanks!
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3 users found this review helpful

Sweet Baby Carrots

Reviewed: Jan. 26, 2010
Like many previous reviewers, I also thought this made a lot of sauce. But thanks, MrsAltmiller, for explaining why you make it that way. Overall, this was a very good recipe. I might have liked this even more if the sauce was more of a glaze (not sure how to do that) than a sauce. The sauce tasted kind of like something you might have for breakfast (on waffles?) or dessert (over ice cream?). A very tasty way to eat baby carrots thanks!
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Gramama's Great Black Berry Pie

Reviewed: Jan. 8, 2010
This was pretty disappointing. I must say that I think it was the first time I'd ever made a double-crust berry pie, so I tried to follow the recipe exactly. But when I cut into it after letting it cool for about two hours, the inside was totally soupy - not gooey, but quite liquid. I guess that thing about lacking thickeners (as a previous reviewer mentioned) was the problem here. The crust I used was a store-bought refrigerated one, not from scratch. I'm not very familiar with blackberries, but they looked nice and plump and ripe to me. I cut 6 slits in the top of the pie (does making "holes" as specified in the recipe really make a difference, i.e., better venting?) and baked it for 50 minutes. I will mention that I live at a high elevation (around 6200 feet), but I wouldn't think that would make much difference either. On the other hand, the taste per se was pretty good, and when I drained most of the liquid out after having the first half of the "pie", the remaining pie slices were a lot more like what I expected, although they were pretty flat. A hard lesson to learn - I'll know better next time - but this recipe just didn't work for me as is.
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4 users found this review helpful

Baked Macaroni with Pepperoni

Reviewed: Jan. 6, 2010
I enjoyed the flavors of this dish even though I agree with a lot of previous reviewers that there seemed to be too much tomato paste in it, and it was pretty dry inside. I made it exactly as written, using sea salt for the pasta water and sea salt and ground white pepper for seasoning the dish. It was "done" at 45 minutes, but the cheese inside wasn't quite all melted, and there was quite a bit of tomato paste that didn't disperse throughout the dish. I did enjoy the whole thing for meals over three days, but if I were to make this again, I'd skip one of the cans of tomato paste and/or add more tomato sauce or even just some water. It was pretty tasty, but not quite perfect as is.
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Shepherd's Pie

Reviewed: Jan. 3, 2010
This was very good. I'm not sure what a "real" Shepherd's Pie is supposed to taste like, but I made a different recipe from this site last week, which was fairly good, and this is even better. What made it better that the other was the addition of a good amount of vegetables, and the base was pretty creamy with the two cans of soup. I made this pretty much exactly as written. I used Russet Burbank potatoes, which were barely medium-sized, and cooked them for 15 minutes. (I did think the mashed-potato topping was a little skimpy in my case, so I'd recommend larger potatoes.) The mushrooms I used were "pieces and stems" instead of "sliced", but it tasted the same to me anyway. I baked the whole thing for 30 minutes, at which point it was bubbly but not golden at all - but I was pretty hungry by then. This was also a good recipe in which to use ground white pepper instead of black, and best of all I got to try out my brand-new masher. (I usually read all prior reviews before posting my own, but there are 238 of them now, so I'll skip that step.)
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Shepherd's Pie Daddy's Way

Reviewed: Dec. 31, 2009
I made this exactly as written, perhaps the first time I've ever tried to make a shepherd's pie. I used medium-sized "Russet Burbank" potatoes, and I think this may also be the first time I'd ever mashed potatoes (using a fork, which wasn't too tedious). I cooked the potatoes for 10 minutes, and the whole dish for 25, at which point the top was not even close to "golden brown". I ate this over 4 nights for dinner, and I thought it was pretty tasty for a fairly simple dish. It is kind of light on the spices (you only get what's in the soup), but I suppose this dish isn't supposed to be all that spicy anyway. I think that the reheated leftovers might have been even a little better than the fresh serving. This was a fairly nice dish to have.
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3 users found this review helpful

Potato Soup a la Inge

Reviewed: Dec. 28, 2009
This was a decent tasting soup, but a bit simple, and fairly watery. I used Russet Burbank potatoes, which were barely medium-sized, so if I made this again, I'd use 5 pretty large potatoes to get the proportions more to my liking. I made this exactly as written, although I took the suggestion to add bacon, and put some Oscar Meyer "Real Bacon Recipe Pieces" in the soup. Also, the serving count for me came out to 5 pretty big bowls. Lastly, my palate wasn't sensitive enough to detect the garlic and nutmeg, so I found such small amounts to be superfluous here (although I relished the chance to use my new "dash" and "pinch" measuring spoons!). Overall, this was a decent soup to have on snowy winter days, but nothing outstanding, in my opinion.
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15 users found this review helpful

Cheesy Ramen Noodles

Reviewed: Dec. 23, 2009
This is pretty simple, and tasted decent. Like some previous reviewers, I love cheese and ramen (only have the latter once in a while), but had never thought of putting the two together. I made this twice, exactly as written, using "oriental flavor" ramen. One minor complaint is that the cheese takes a long time to melt, and the results were pretty "sticky". So I can see why other reviewers either put this in the microwave for a little bit, and/or added a little dairy (milk, sour cream, etc.). Those finishing touches would give this a creamier consistency, and merit a better rating. This is a good starting point, but, as is, it's just okay.
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Mom's Gourmet Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Reviewed: Dec. 20, 2009
These are great sandwiches, but I must say that they're not the best grilled cheese sandwiches I've ever had. Still, I made this 8 times over several days, using up almost a whole loaf of sourdough bread. I made it exactly as written; the "outside" step is a little messy, but kind of a neat idea, and works well - the outside becomes golden and slightly cheesy. I'm not sure I'd ever made a grilled cheese sandwich in a skillet before (though I think that's the usual way), but it works well. I enjoyed this recipe and highly recommend it.
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21 users found this review helpful

Milky Tea

Reviewed: Dec. 14, 2009
I made this twice, exactly as written. I'd never had anything like it. It's deceptively simple, and was very tasty - a nice surprise. I think I might agree with the many reviewers who reduced the amounts of honey and perhaps the vanilla. I thought maybe those flavors were a little too strong. But overall I loved this drink. It served as a nice nightcap, with a taste reminiscent of white hot chocolate. I highly recommend this.
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Easy Black Bean Salsa

Reviewed: Dec. 10, 2009
I've made this twice, both times opting for parsley instead of cilantro, since I had some to use up. (I'm pretty sure that cilantro would taste better to me, although the parsley was an interesting, different taste.) I'd never bought them, but I did manage to find a can of stewed "Mexican style" tomatoes. So I pretty much made this exactly as written. It tasted OK, and to be sure, it's full of veggie goodness. But to my tastes, it's not the kind of salsa I like. I prefer hot and hotter salsa, and this was very mild. I like pretty liquid, or maybe slightly chunky salsa, and this is quite chunky. And I still haven't found a black bean salsa that's impressed me much. So I'll give this an "OK" 3-star rating, but it's far from the best in my opinion.
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5 users found this review helpful

Pasta e Olio

Reviewed: Dec. 1, 2009
I made this tonight and thought it was okay, but nothing special. I was pretty hungry so I ate all 4 servings myself. I did make it exactly as written. If anything, I'd say there was a bit too much butter and oil here. The other spices were kind of mild. I would've liked a much more savory, if not spicy dish. (I usually read all previous reviews before posting my own, but I'll skip all 125 previous reviews this time.)
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Cheddar Rice Casserole

Reviewed: Nov. 25, 2009
This is a pretty good dish - not my usual 4-star rating, but I didn't want to give it a 3 (meaning "average" or "just okay" in my book). I made it exactly as written, except that the baking time was a lot longer for me (since I live at a high elevation). Even at 70(!) minutes, the center was still a bit wet when I did the knife test, but I stopped at that point. This has a nice consistency, maybe like a soufflé or quiche (I'm not sure about the exact definitions of those). I can't say that I noticed the garlic or Worcestershire, but the onion was nice, and the parsley flavor surprisingly so. And for me, the cheese was the best part. Some previous reviewers have called this "bland". I might say that it's kind of mildly flavored, but it's supposed to be a side dish after all, and I think it can serve very nicely in that role.
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Pesto Pita Appetizers

Reviewed: Nov. 25, 2009
These are great appetizers (actually just a snack in my case), and very easy to make too. This was actually two recipes in one for me, as the pesto I used was homemade from another recipe (not from Allrecipes, I must admit). This was also the first time I'd ever bought pitas; I'm not sure I'd ever even eaten any before. I made this six times (once for each pita in the package). Splitting the pitas into two rounds was a little tricky for a beginner - perhaps mine were thinner than average - but I managed. I baked the first batch for 10 minutes, and the remaining ones for 12. At 12 perhaps they were a little bit too crispy, but they were all good. I gobbled each batch down with pleasure. I highly recommend this recipe.
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Skillet Sole

Reviewed: Nov. 18, 2009
This was kind of a disappointment, and I made it almost exactly as written. I don't know what went wrong. I couldn't find sole, so I used "arrowtooth flounder", and just under a pound (0.93) of it. I didn't think I had a skillet big enough (the fillets were long), so I used a "saucier" - the fact that it's a lot taller than a skillet wouldn't have affected the cooking, would it? I cooked the fish for the full 15 minutes (it didn't seem to flake well enough at 12 minutes) and it came out very mushy. And the sauce was pretty watery. Good thing I served it on basmati rice to soak up the juice. If I were to make this again, I'd try cooking it UNcovered - perhaps all the trapped moisture was what made things so wet. I've only cooked fish a few times so maybe I can do better, should I try this again.
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2 users found this review helpful

Sourdough Chipotle Chicken Panini

Reviewed: Nov. 2, 2009
This is a fabulous sandwich. I've now made it two days in a row. It's also the first time I've used my panini press, and perhaps the first panini I've ever eaten (I'm not sure). I made it exactly as written. I was lucky enough to find a "sourdough square" loaf whose label said "The perfect bread for paninis," so I knew I was on the right track. This was also the first time I'd used my bottle of "Ground Red Chipotle" (which tastes noticeably better than generic "chili powder"). This is a little messy to make, and even though my bread slices were fairly large, the sandwich was almost overstuffed, so I might use smaller chicken breasts in the future. Also, even though I like Caesar dressing, I think 1/4 cup (i.e., 4 T.) is too much, so I might cut it down to 3 or even 2 T. - the sandwich was a little too wet for my tastes. Still, and despite the fat content, this was a wonderful treat, and a great introduction to making my own paninis.
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Simply Marinated Mushrooms

Reviewed: Oct. 30, 2009
This was fairly good. It didn't wow me, but this was probably the first time I've ever eaten marinated mushrooms (I used to hate mushrooms, and even afterwards avoided this "weird" kind of dish). I made it exactly as written - though I didn't have freshly-squeezed lemon juice, but used the bottled kind. I'd also never stemmed mushrooms before - I just leveled them off instead of cutting into the mushroom caps. Perhaps there was too much parsley - not that I minded the taste, but it was more of an appearance/texture thing. But I don't agree with some previous reviewers' complaints about too much salt or lemon juice. I might not make this recipe again, but it was a nice introduction to this kind of dish, and since I like mushrooms a lot now, I'll probably eat, if not prepare, marinated mushrooms again.
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2 users found this review helpful

Peanut Butter Bars I

Reviewed: Oct. 26, 2009
These were great. I managed to make the 12 servings last for 11 days' worth of desserts (doubled up once!), and I didn't get tired of it. I usually read all previous reviews before posting my own, but seeing as there are 715 before me, I'll skip it this time. These were quick and easy, and I made them exactly as written. I used creamy (smooth) peanut butter; it didn't say whether to use crunchy instead, but I don't like that as much anyway. These also keep very well in the fridge. The graham cracker crust did have a slightly grainy texture to it; it was good, mind you, just a little unusual. I will recommend this recipe when I get the chance.
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