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

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Pecan Pie III

Reviewed: Apr. 28, 2010
This is my second failed pie. I made this exactly as written, but added a little more time at the end. I'm not very experienced at baking pies, and I live at a high elevation - I wish I knew how to fix "soupy" pies. I used a store-bought refrigerated crust, put it in a disposable metal pie tin, and used sea salt. Testing at 45 minutes, the center was quite liquid and the crust wasn't even browned. So I added 5 minutes, which barely improved things - but I heeded the warning to "not overbake". I wonder what would happen if I cooked it a lot longer - would the filling finally "set" sometime? As it is, this was disappointing - the taste was good, but appearance- and texture-wise it was a gloppy mess. (I usually read all previous reviews before posting my own, but I'm skipping all 129 this time.)
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Eggs with Tomatoes

Reviewed: Apr. 26, 2010
This was a bit of a disappointment. A few previous reviewers had the same problems I did. I made it exactly as written, using sea salt and sunflower oil (which was a new ingredient to me). My cooking times were 10 minutes each time - I didn't gauge them as was hinted at, but I probably should have, in retrospect. The results looked nothing like the picture - they were a gloppy mess. (This lasted me for three breakfasts, and the leftovers were a bit more solid.) Definitely no extra points for visual/textural appeal. On the other hand, the taste was somewhat good - I like cumin a lot. I agree with a previous reviewer that the proportions were off - I would add more eggs, or cut down on the tomato ingedients, if I made this again. I'd probably give this a 2-star rating, but I guess I'll add an extra star for taste/ease/healthiness.
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5 users found this review helpful

Peanut Crunch Cake

Reviewed: Apr. 19, 2010
This was very tasty. I had it all to myself, and polished it off in 8 days (that's about 900 calories a day!). One thing I'm not used to yet in baking recipes is what kind of peanuts to use when a recipe calls for "chopped peanuts" as this one does. Does that mean raw, or dry-roasted? Salted, lightly salted or unsalted? For this recipe I used dry-roasted salted nuts, which I chopped myself, and they worked out fine. Beyond that, I made the recipe exactly as written (except that I baked it for 42 minutes total; I live at altitude and a toothpick test at 40 minutes showed it wasn't quite done yet.) I enjoyed this quite a bit - thanks!
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Black Pepper Rings

Reviewed: Apr. 9, 2010
The good news is that these taste pretty darned good, for a fairly simple biscuit. Slightly eggy, nice and peppery, big and fairly dense. They definitely taste better warmed, though I didn't try them with the suggested coffee or espresso. The slightly bad news (which a previous reviewer ran into) is that they are kind of difficult for inexperienced bakers to make. I consider myself a low-intermediate baker by now, but I've never made anything like this. I was pretty sure I measured 6 cups of flour, and not 5, and the dough was quite wet and sticky. I slightly panicked and tossed in another cup or so, and tried to continue. The dough was still fairly sticky, such that I didn't think it possible or worthwhile to do the "scoring the perimeter" step, so I skipped that. I baked the first half-dozen for 20 minutes; then I added another half-cup of flour or so to the remaining dough, and baked the second half-dozen for 22 minutes. The second batch turned out better, being slightly browned on top. Lastly, I guess I was expecting these to look somewhat like bagels, if not pretzels, but the outside texture was slightly bumpy and irregular. As I said, these did taste pretty good, but the recipe threw me some curves along the way. I just hope the results I got were close enough to what I was supposed to get.
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6 users found this review helpful

Sausage Pasta

Reviewed: Apr. 5, 2010
This was a very good dish - I give it a strong 4-star rating. I wasn't sure what form of sausage to use (sliced? ground?), and wound up using ground "hot italian sausage". Likewise the pasta offered a lot of choices; I had only spaghetti on hand, so I used 3/4 pound of it, broken in half to make it easier to handle. After that, I made this exactly as written. With my choices, this was pretty easy to make, tasted great (even as leftovers), and moreover looked very visually appealing - a great dish to share with others. Thanks!
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Thirst Quenching Lemonade

Reviewed: Mar. 24, 2010
This lemonade tasted awesome to me! I'd never really thought much about how I like lemonade, though I've had a lot of it over the years. But I guess I do like it on the sweet side, and this delivered - not too sweet, but definitely not on the tart side. And the density is near-perfect too; not on the weak, watery side, but nice and "solid", for lack of a better word. I followed the recipe to the letter, and though I've squeezed fresh lemons before, this recipe didn't specify, so I just used bottled lemon juice. The recipe is a tiny bit time-consuming, with the boiling and cooling steps, but then again this is far better than just mixing a glass of lemon-flavored powder with a glass of water. This might not be the best lemonade recipe ever, but it's right up there in my book, so I'll give it 5 stars.
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6 users found this review helpful

Homemade Apple Cider

Reviewed: Mar. 22, 2010
This was an exciting new technique and recipe for me. I'm hardly an apple cider aficionado (and had to look up the difference between "juice" and "cider"), but this tasted really good, and the bottle of store-brand cider in my fridge couldn't compare. I followed the recipe exactly as written. It didn't say what kind of apples to use, but I did a tiny bit of research and decided to mix 5 Cameos and 5 Granny Smiths. I also presumed I didn't need to bother removing the stems, cores or seeds; I just quartered the apples and tossed them into my stockpot. This also marked only the second time I'd ever used cheesecloth. I was a bit careful with the two sieving steps, but overall the recipe is quite easy, even though it stretches out over 3 hours, plus more time to chill. I've already told people about how easy and tasty this is, and I plan to make another batch this coming weekend. Thanks for opening up a new dimension for this intermediate cook, and such a delicious taste too!
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18 users found this review helpful

Parmesan Chicken II

Reviewed: Mar. 22, 2010
This was a pretty good dish; I'm pretty sure I'd never cooked chicken drumsticks before. The taste per se may not be quite 4-stars in my opinion, but I bumped my overall rating up because the recipe is so easy and makes a lot of servings. I made this almost exactly as written; I used freshly-ground black pepper, and sea salt. Instead of dipping the drumsticks in the egg mixture, I brushed it on liberally. I tried to roll the pieces in the cheese mixture well, but I guess I'm still not very good at coating things, as only about half of the cheese got used this way. The baking dish wasn't specified, but I barely managed to cram everything into a 9x13 Pyrex dish, and sprinkled the rest of the cheese on top of it all. 45 minutes wasn't quite enough, in my case, to cook the chicken thoroughly "or until brown", so a couple of more minutes were needed. (I usually read all previous reviews before posting my own, but there are 300! already, so I'll skip that.)
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Brussels Sprouts Bake

Reviewed: Mar. 18, 2010
This was a pretty tasty dish and it made for fairly big portions at three consecutive dinners. It'd been years since I'd had Brussels sprouts, and I'm pretty sure I'd never cooked them, even from frozen. I always try to make recipes exactly as written, and almost did here. I used up all the dry bread crumbs I had on hand, and it measured to a little less than the half-cup specified; no big deal, though, as I thought there were plenty to go around. I see that several other reviewers mentioned using halved or quartered sprouts; I assumed I was supposed to keep them whole, and that worked just fine, in my opinion. I might've given this dish a 3 or 3.5 rating for flavor alone - it's good but not great - but I bumped it up to 4 stars because the simplicity of the dish takes ordinary Brussels sprouts to another level, without much effort.
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2 users found this review helpful

Jill's Sweet and Tangy Meatloaf

Reviewed: Mar. 11, 2010
This was a good recipe. It's different from the usual, and the technique (e.g., step 2 in the directions) was interesting. It was even unusual to use an 8x8 instead of a 9x5 loaf pan (I used a Pyrex dish). I made it pretty much exactly as written, using a good-sized white onion. In my case, 1 hour of baking left it slightly underdone in the center, so I should have opted for using a meat thermometer as suggested. Also, it was a little weird that there was a good amount of water (not fat, although there was a little of that too) in the bottom of the dish - I was surprised it didn't evaporate away. But the meatloaf itself was tasty, and held together pretty well, despite the lack of breadcrumbs/egg/etc. It lasted me for three pretty big dinners' worth.
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10 users found this review helpful

Waffles II

Reviewed: Mar. 5, 2010
What a great recipe - so glad I gave this a try. I helped make waffles when I was a kid, but in the decades since, I've had nothing but store-bought frozen waffles. Even though I got a second-hand waffle iron a couple of years ago, I hesitated to use it until now. This was so easy and it was exciting to finally make waffles from scratch. I made it exactly as written; the flour I used was unbleached, and the salt was sea salt - the only kinds I had on hand. I had a little trouble with beating the egg whites "until soft peaks form". I was using a fork, and don't think I quite achieved it, but I'm sure a hand blender would work much better for this. My waffle iron has nice non-stick plates, so after one waffle, I realized I could skip spraying them with non-stick cooking spray. This made 6 big waffles for me, and they froze well so I could have a waffle almost every morning for a week. I can't say that these are the best waffles ever - I'm not a waffle connoisseur - but I'll make these again and again, and I'll give this recipe 4 stars. (I usually read all prior reviews before posting my own, but I'm skipping the 235 prior reviews here.)
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Buffalo Chicken Rolls

Reviewed: Feb. 28, 2010
This was a very tasty dish. I made it exactly as written, except I didn't serve it with ranch or blue cheese dressing, as I don't really like either. I think this was the first time I'd ever flattened chicken breast halves - I'm not sure I got them as thin as they should've been, but they were able to be rolled up well enough to be secured by toothpicks. I also freshly shredded the provolone from a block I had on hand. The heating instructions seemed a little confusing though - the part about letting it brown 8 inches from the heat. Was this intended to mean switching to the "broil" oven setting? Placing the dish closer to the bottom of a bottom-heating oven wouldn't make much difference, I wouldn't think, so my rolls didn't really get browned. All in all, though, these were great to eat, and a pretty good approximation of a full-fledged buffalo chicken sauce, given the simple list of ingredients. (I usually read all prior reviews before posting my own, but I'm skipping the 116 prior reviews here.)
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2 users found this review helpful

Savory Chicken Breasts

Reviewed: Feb. 24, 2010
This was a great dish. I made it exactly as written, and it lasted me for two fairly big dinner portions. I usually read all previous reviews before posting my own, but I'll skip all 387 of them this time. It's already very well-reviewed, but I'll throw in my two cents. The taste was great, but if I might quibble a little, I think the amounts of the sauce and the bread crumbs were too much - if I make this again, I'd cut those amounts by 1/3 or even 1/2. And after the fact, it occurs to me that the recipe is light on spices; I'm not good at deciding what to add, but perhaps adding a little bit of one or more herbs or spices would make the taste even better. Lastly, I should mention that the leftovers, reheated 24 hours later, turned out just fine. Thanks for an easy, tasty dish!
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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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