NMChef1 Recipe Reviews (Pg. 4) - Allrecipes.com (18077969)

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Taco Seasoning I

Reviewed: Nov. 6, 2013
I loved this - mainly because I love the idea of this. I'd been buying packaged taco seasoning for many years, but now that I've actually been cooking for a while, I love the idea of cheaper home-made equivalents to packaged food products. I looked up the directions on McCormick's own website, and basically used the whole batch (I made it exactly as written) for one pound of ground beef. (I actually made burritos with this instead of tacos.) My palate's not too sensitive, but this tasted just like the real thing to me. I always have these spices on hand, so I'll never go back!
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Strawberry Limeade

Reviewed: Nov. 6, 2013
I wasn't all that impressed by this. I'm not a huge fan of lime juice, and probably would have liked the lemon juice equivalent a lot better. I made it exactly as written, except that I used whole frozen strawberries (I've never seen sliced ones sold). The mixture separates kind of weirdly after a while, so I re-blended it a little before pouring subsequent glasses. It was worth a try, and I'm sure some people love it, but I'll move on to something else now.
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Triple Fruit Drink

Reviewed: Nov. 3, 2013
I made this several times, exactly as written. (I guess Jumex had shrunk their cans of Apricot Nectar down from 12 ounces to 11.3, but since I had multiple cans, and I was already measuring out the 1-1/2 cups of orange juice, I also measured out 12 ounces of nectar.) I liked it, but I guess my palate wasn't discriminating enough to appreciate the combination of juices. It just wasn't anything special, to me.
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White Chili IV

Reviewed: Oct. 30, 2013
I thought this was just okay. I've made a couple of other white chicken chili recipes, and one of them was better than this. I made it exactly as written, but I found the addition of mushrooms, and especially the whole bunch of parsley, to be too unusual in a "chili" for my taste. It was good enough, mind you, and probably fairly healthy with the lean protein and all the veggies, but it just didn't wow me. It lasted me for 4 days, but I probably won't be making this again.
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Old-Fashioned Pink Lemonade

Reviewed: Oct. 27, 2013
This was great stuff. I made it exactly as written. My pitcher wasn't big enough for everything, though, so I used a stockpot! It occurred to me that it's probably hard to find actual cranberry juice, and the recipe probably meant "cranberry juice cocktail" (I used Ocean Spray's "original"). I like it, but I wondered if it would work well in this recipe. It was a great surprise how the sugar mellowed out the tartness of the lemon and cranberry juices. I'd never thought about how pink lemonade "should" be made, but this tasted pretty authentic to me!
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Lemon and Cilantro Shrimp

Reviewed: Oct. 26, 2013
I actually made this twice - the first time, the shrimp I had on hand were 26-30 count, hardly "jumbo", and the proportions seemed off, of course. The second time I used 13-15 count shrimp, and it worked much better. This was also the first time I had ever zested lemons, which I'd been avoiding it for a long time (and I even bought a Microplane grater). The results grew on me with the second batch. It's a somewhat elegantly-tasting dish, and looks attractive. I served it on a bed of pasta (angel hair the first time, I think, and fettucine the second time). So much lemon zest is a little bit unusual to have in a dish, but it worked for me. And I thought 2 cups of cilantro was a lot (I used lightly-packed cups, so one bunch covered both preparations), but it does "cook down" a little. Aside from the slightly-tedious step of zesting 6 lemons, this was a pretty nice recipe!
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Blaine Pizza Sauce

Reviewed: Oct. 19, 2013
This was a great sauce. In fact, I made it three weekends in a row, paired with a pizza dough recipe from this site. Sure, there are fancier recipes, but this turned out very nicely for such a simple-to-prepare recipe with so few ingredients. I made it exactly as written. (I'm not sure why the "chill in refrigerator" step is needed, but I always refrigerated it for at least an hour.) One of my big concerns was the texture/spreadability of the sauce, and it totally met my expectations. The first time, using a 14-inch pizza pan, the sauce was a bit too thick. After that, the whole batch sufficed nicely for a 16-inch pizza. I may go on to try fancier pizza sauce recipes, but this one is highly recommended.
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Pizza Dough I

Reviewed: Oct. 19, 2013
I liked this quite a bit - in fact, I made it three weekends in a row, exactly as written. It's indeed a basic-tasting pizza crust, but it's also very easy. (Actually, the first time, the dough was sticking to my hands and making a mess. After that, I found that a non-stick spatula worked like a charm to mix the dough.) The first time I made this, for a 14-inch pizza pan, it was much too thick for my tastes. After that, using a 16-inch pan, it worked out very nicely.
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Brown Sugar Brownies

Reviewed: Oct. 16, 2013
These were nicer than I expected, but not totally awesome. I wasn't sure what "blondies" were, but I did a little looking, and that's pretty much what this recipe was. I'm not sure I'd ever had blondies before, and I still love brownies more, but this was nice. I made it exactly as written, and the batch lasted me for about a week. When reheated slightly in the microwave, they were slightly melt-in-your-mouth. I'm not sure I'll make these again, but they were definitely worth trying.
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Zesty Quinoa Salad

Reviewed: Oct. 13, 2013
This was a great salad. I made it when some friends asked me to bring a salad to dinner. All three of them said they liked it a lot. I made it exactly as written, but using just the 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes. I'd never cooked quinoa before, but I found it in my store, and it was a nice way to try it for the first time. I had a little left over the next day, and it was just as good. This is well worth making again.
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Leftover Ham -n- Potato Casserole

Reviewed: Oct. 4, 2013
I thought this dish was OK, but nothing special. I pretty much made it exactly as written, except that I bought "new" ham instead of using leftovers, and I shredded my own Cheddar from a large block. I should note that a 1.5-quart baking dish would not have sufficed for me. I only had a 2.5-quart dish, and it was nearly filled. (I think that maybe my "small" potatoes were larger than they should have been.) I thought the cheese sauce was nice, and I ate it all over several days, but it just wasn't exciting, sorry.
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Home-Style Vegetable Beef Soup

Reviewed: Oct. 1, 2013
I liked this, but it could be improved on. I made it pretty much as written, using 85% lean ground beef, a yellow onion, and a slightly larger can of corn (15.25 ounces). I found that in my case, the cooking times needed to be longer, for cooking "until beef is no longer pink and potatoes are tender". This makes a lot of soup, and it's probably pretty healthy with all the vegetables and vegetable juice, but I thought it was maybe too chunky, and perhaps additional spices or herbs could jazz it up. Still worth making, though!
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Italian Sausage, Peppers, and Onions

Reviewed: Sep. 22, 2013
This wasn't quite as awesome as I'd been hoping for, but it was still very nice. I made it exactly as written, though my sausages were a little smaller than 4 oz. each. (There was still plenty of sausage in proportion to the other ingredients, though.) The wine I used was a Pinot Grigio, and I wound up cooking everything for about 20 minutes. This is a very colorful dish too. I was a tiny bit baffled about having this as an entree; I wondered if it should be on a bed of spaghetti, or with a side of risotto, or what - It seemed a little incomplete as is. Despite those minor quibbles, this is well worth making again, perhaps with some hot sausage as suggested.
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Pasta Pizzaz

Reviewed: Sep. 20, 2013
This was a decent, fairly filling, and probably healthy recipe, but it didn't wow me. I made it exactly as written, except that I forgot my store sells farfalle in 12-ounce packages, so instead of going back to the store for more, I made up the rest of the pound of pasta by using penne. I cooked everything for the full 20 minutes. I ate it all over 2 days, but I found the seasonings to be kind of blah. Worth trying, but I probably won't be making this again.
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Marinara Dipping Sauce

Reviewed: Sep. 19, 2013
I don't think I'd ever made my own marinara, and gave this a try. My big complaint was that the results were too watery. Probably either the "1/4 cup water" should be omitted, or the simmering time should be uncovered instead of covered. As it was, I simmered for maybe another 20 minutes and it was still watery. It might just be a factor of what "low heat" is on my range compared to the recipe submitter's. Also, I thought the results were a little too chunky for a marinara, but perhaps my tomatoes weren't "finely chopped" enough. I consumed this with a lot of slices of asiago-topped baguette, as a true dipping sauce. This was a nice introduction to making a marinara, and I liked it, but I wasn't too impressed - I've had much better versions.
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The Best Lemon Bars

Reviewed: Sep. 18, 2013
These were good, but not great - I know I've eaten (if not made) better Lemon Bars. I did make this recipe exactly as written, except that it needed to be baked longer, about 22 minutes, until it seemed done. I ate the whole batch over about a week, and they tasted pretty good, but the top layer seemed a little odd - maybe too many eggs? One thing that wasn't elaborated on, in preparing the bottom (crust) layer, was using a pastry blender. Were I a beginner, I wouldn't have know about it, but I worked the pastry blender, and firmly pressed the crust, and I really thought that the crust was deserving of "The Best" title; it's just that the top layer needs a little tweaking.
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Angel's Pasta

Reviewed: Sep. 10, 2013
This was very nice. I'll give it 5 stars for ease of preparation, healthfulness, and attractiveness. I like veggies, but don't have fresh ones all that often, so this recipe was a nice improvement on plain old spaghetti. I received 3 lovely tomatoes from the garden of a friend-of-a-friend, and this recipe was just the ticket. I made it exactly as written, and the results reminded me of how nice fresh basil is to have in a dish. One minor note: sometimes dishes taste just as good the next day, or even better (e.g., chili), but I ate this whole thing over two days, and it was definitely not as good when the leftovers were reheated on the second day. But eaten right after it was cooked, it was wonderful.
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Mediterranean Potato Salad

Reviewed: Sep. 8, 2013
This was a pretty nice dish. I made it for a potluck, and a number of people had small portions, and I received a number of compliments for it. There was a little left over and I had it myself, and I agree. I made it exactly as written, using red potatoes, except I boiled them for 23 minutes until a fork test indicated they were done enough. For the dressing, I used some made with an Italian Dressing Mix (also on this site), so I served up two recipes in one. I had thought that 1/2 cup of dressing wouldn't be enough, but as it turned out I thought it might even have been a little too much. I did serve it with the optional pita wedges, so they served for mopping up extra dressing.
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Brownie Cupcakes

Reviewed: Sep. 6, 2013
These were pretty nice, and I didn't really know what to expect - it was sort of a random recipe pick. I made it exactly as written, with the butter being unsalted, and the chocolate chips being semi-sweet. They turned out to be just like the title, brownies in a cupcake form. For brownies, they were a little on the basic side, though, so I won't give this a full 5-stars, but I managed to eat all 18 cupcakes in about 8 days, and I liked them all. I'm thinking that maybe I should make these again, share them, and see what my friends think.
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Ranchero Catfish

Reviewed: Aug. 13, 2013
I thought this was just OK, but that's just my personal tastes. I made it exactly as written, except using a little less catfish. I had two huge filets totaling about 1 2/3 pounds, so I cut each of them in half. I wound up baking the fish for 15 minutes. Breaded/coated dishes don't usually turn out well for me, but this one did - the coating adhered and baked well. It's just that "ranch" flavored chips are hardly my favorite, so the flavor was just OK to me. I love the spicy nacho flavored chips though, so perhaps I'll try again with those.
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