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Cocktail 707

Reviewed: Jan. 29, 2011
oh dear GOD, this is amazing.
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23 users found this review helpful

Peanut Butter Chip Cookies I

Reviewed: Jan. 29, 2011
This recipe is nearly exactly the same as Toll House cookies. TH's recipe calls for the very same proportions of sugar, egg, and fat as this recipe, PLUS an additional 1/4 cup flour, which would be helpful to those ending up with super-flat cookies. I think I may have stuck closer to TH's recipe anyway - used butter instead of shortening, and equal amounts brown and white sugar. It needs at least 1/2 tsp. salt. I also chilled the dough for several hours before rolling into balls and baking. They turned out fine. Not mind-blowing; just "eh."
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8 users found this review helpful

Mushroom Spinach Soup

Reviewed: Jan. 29, 2011
To address the concerns about straining out the vegetables: The submitter’s description of the soup as a “first course” clears up the confusion, for me. If a light soup is served as part of a formal multi-course meal, it’s often a soup prepared just like this – a very light broth-based soup without much substance before the "real" food hits the table. You know the method for making chicken broth/stock, where the vegetables are simmered to add flavor, then strained out to preserve the texture of the broth? Same principle at work here. That said, there’s no reason to strain out the veggies if you’re not concerned about the texture, or just don’t feel like messing with it. I’m hunting around for a good first-course soup and tried this one today according to the directions (only with a little extra garlic - personal preference) and I thought it was delicious both ways.
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10 users found this review helpful

Whipping Cream Pound Cake

Reviewed: Jan. 23, 2011
EXCELLENT cake. Perfect texture, dense, moist, held up well for a sculpted wedding cake. I creamed the butter and sugar mixture for a good 6-7 minutes in my stand mixer, then beat the butter/sugar/egg mixture for another 4-5 minutes before adding the remaining ingredients. I also added a scant teaspoon of almond extract. Since this cake is so deliciously rich, I'm not sure I'd want to serve it with a typical amount of buttercream frosting. I covered the cake with a very thin layer of buttercream and fondant; any more than that would've been too much, to me.
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15 users found this review helpful

Green Chile Cheese Beer Bread

Reviewed: Jan. 23, 2011
I had good results with this bread. Note for those using canned chilies: If you use a brand that's watery mush, the flavor will be fine, but your bread will be soggy unless you compensate by decreasing the beer a bit. Mine were watery, mushy chilies, and I decreased the beer by about 2-3 ounces. I'd also suggest using extra-sharp Cheddar cheese and drizzling the top with about 2-3 tbsp. melted butter before baking. The recipe doesn't state this, but one of the most important things about making beer bread is not to overwork the batter - just stir gently until there are no dry spots remaining. Let the batter be lumpy and it'll come out great.
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11 users found this review helpful

Beer Bread II

Reviewed: Jan. 22, 2011
The bread has a nice, moist texture, and I liked the flavor of the green chilies. However, the chilies didn't contribute much flavor, and I even doubled them. The cheese's flavor was also indiscernible. The bread was quite bland and actually didn't taste much like beer; it could've used at least 1/2 tsp. salt in the batter. But the biggest problem I had was that I ignored my instinct to use only 3 tbsp. butter; I used the full 6 tbsp., and sure enough, half of the butter overflowed out of the pan and ended up on the bottom of my oven. What remained of the butter seeped through the top, side, and bottom crusts to form an oily ring around the outside of the bread. Probably won't be making this again, at least not without significant tweaking.
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3 users found this review helpful

J.P.'s Big Daddy Biscuits

Reviewed: Jan. 18, 2011
Love these biscuits. They're great with the shortening, but I often use butter instead. I also sometimes decrease the flour by 1/4 cup to make a dumpling/biscuit topping for chicken casserole. It's delicious, no matter what you use it for.
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0 users found this review helpful

Olive Cheese Bread

Reviewed: Jan. 8, 2011
This idea has been a (very!) occasional guilty pleasure treat for me for years. I use about half a can of finely-chopped black olives. I also omit the butter and use enough light mayo to lightly moisten the mixture, probably close to 2/3 cup (I'm not fond of light mayo, but this is one recipe where you can get away with it). Still nice and creamy, and still not health food, but a lot less greasy.
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5 users found this review helpful

Glazed Almond Bundt Cake

Reviewed: Jan. 6, 2011
I’m so pleased with this! It’s dense, fluffy, moist, and overall lovely. Despite what looks like a lot of sugar, it’s not very sweet, and it really does need a glaze, but I didn't use the glaze in the recipe because of the ambiguity about what kind of sugar to use. I improvised a bit – halved the recipe, used 1 tsp. vanilla and ½ tsp. almond baking emulsion, since that’s what I had (which is, I think, a little weaker than almond extract), added a tablespoon of poppy seeds, and baked it in a loaf pan. I sprayed my loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray instead of following the instructions to grease and flour the pan, and I won’t do that again, haha – definitely grease and flour! For the glaze, I combined 1 cup confectioner’s sugar with 2 tablespoons of beer – sound weird, I know, but it SO works.
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10 users found this review helpful

Mulligatawny Soup II

Reviewed: Jan. 4, 2011
This is an excellent recipe. I wanted more of a curry and rice intead of soup, so I tweaked this in ways that don't really matter, so I won't bother to list them here. The recipe on its own is a great one. My observations: 1) it NEEDS salt, about 2 teaspoons; 2) if you don't want a spicy soup, be sure to clean all of the ribs and seeds out of your chilies before mincing them; 3) if you don't cook the spices in the beginning of the recipe as directed, the flavor will be good, but will be different than if you'd cooked them; 4) The flavor of cardamom pods differs from that of ground cardamom, and the pods are easier to find than the curry leaves, so do hunt them down if you can - I bought a jar of cardamom pods at Cost Plus World Market for $3. FYI, Indian grocery store items are a GREAT deal, as their items tend to be very inexpensive, which helps when you're taking on a recipe full of strange ingredients you don't normally have on hand. I went to an Indian grocery store in our area and asked about fresh curry leaves. The store didn't sell them, but the proprietor gave me a handful for free (they have a small homemade frozen food section and had the leaves on hand). So if you can't find the leaves, it's worth it to ask around, even at Indian/Asian restaurants. If you ask where they get the curry leaves, they might slip you some just to be nice (and garner your future business). :)
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15 users found this review helpful

One-Dish Chicken, Vegetable and Rice Bake

Reviewed: Dec. 31, 2010
Though I’m not normally a huge fan of dishes prepared primarily with processed ingredients, and this didn't suit my tastes, I needed something super-quick to feed hungry people tonight, and this fit the bill; everyone else loved it. I used chopped leftover broccoli, and doubled the cheese. I had to bake mine for an additional 20 minutes, though.
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10 users found this review helpful

Joey's Peanut Butter Cookies

Reviewed: Dec. 20, 2010
In light of all the glowing reviews, I'm sort of baffled at my own results. I followed the recipe exactly and ended up with a dough that was more like a batter - nearly too soft to "roll" into balls without it nearly oozing from between my fingers - had to work super quick and super light. The resultant cookies were way too flat with a gummy, sticky texture, so I added nearly a full cup of flour to the remaining batter and ended up with cookies that were just okay.
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4 users found this review helpful

Egg Jelly

Reviewed: Dec. 19, 2010
I remember a friend’s mother making this with breakfast when I’d spend the night at her house.. ah, memories. But she added vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg to hers, as well as using milk instead of water. We used it for dipping biscuits and French toast sticks; her dad ate it on his pancakes with butter and salt. (And just as a btw, although eggs are often kept in the dairy section of the grocery store, they’re not a dairy product. They’re actually considered an animal byproduct. A yummy one, though.)
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22 users found this review helpful

Eggnog Quick Bread

Reviewed: Dec. 17, 2010
Love love love this. I suspected that whisking softened butter into that liquid mixture would result in little lumps of unincorporated butter (it did), and I feared this would result in funky-textured bread with holes and greasy spots, but it’s perfect – perfect balance of dense and fluffy, and it’s perfectly moist. I didn’t have eggnog on hand, so I substituted a half-and-half mixture of milk and cream, since the eggnog doesn’t contribute much in the way of flavor anyway; the bread’s flavor comes from the rum extract and nutmeg. In fact, I'd suggest this swap to anyone getting dry results; mine really is fantastically moist. The bread wasn't overly sweet, which I loved, and I suspect using eggnog would've made it sweeter. Definitely a keeper.
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10 users found this review helpful

Greek Seasoning

Reviewed: Dec. 14, 2010
This is EXCELLENT. I made about ten times the recipe and am planning to include this in foodie Christmas gift baskets, but I can't wait to play around with it myself - in vinaigrette, rubbed on meat a few hours before roasting, as a bread dipping oil... yum! Only change: used granulated dried garlic and onion powder instead of the minced.
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10 users found this review helpful

Jif® Peanut Butter Granola

Reviewed: Dec. 13, 2010
I'm a little confused that there are two Jif-sponsored Peanut Butter Granola recipes on the site, but I'm not too torn up about it, either, because frankly, neither of them are very good. This one is not very sweet, which is fine with me, but it's also not nearly peanut-butter-y enough. It might be better if I experimented with doubling the peanut butter mixture, but the flavor just wasn't good enough to bother with.
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4 users found this review helpful

Jif® Peanut Butter Granola

Reviewed: Dec. 13, 2010
Hmm. On one hand, the recipe's written with only 1 cup of oats; on the other hand, as many people have correctly pointed out, the recipe on Jif's site calls for 4 cups of oats - big discrepancy. I first tried the Jif site's recipe (4 cups oats), and found the mixture not unpleasant, but neither sweet nor PB-ery enough. Then I tried this one, and while it delivered much more PB flavor, I found it very sloppy and prone to burning in the oven. So I give up, and I'll just keep looking for a better recipe. I believe if the reviews for this recipe reflected the fact that many people used 4 cups of oats instead of 1, the overall rating would be much lower, so proceed with caution.
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15 users found this review helpful

Creamy Au Gratin Potatoes

Reviewed: Dec. 5, 2010
Simple and delicious. The only things I'd add would be 1) a few dashes of hot sauce to the cheese sauce; and 2) Remove the foil after an hour so the top browns nicely. But those are just personal preference nitpicky thingies. This is great just the way it is.
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3 users found this review helpful

Crazy Good Stuffing and Baked Chops

Reviewed: Dec. 2, 2010
I made these for supper last night, and I thought they were, in fact, CRAZY good. Based on what I had on-hand, I had to rearrange things a little, but I tried to keep as close to the recipe as I could. I browned the chops first, then made the sauce and stuffing mixture. I didn't have cream of mushroom soup on hand, so I nearly tripled the sauce recipe (actually used 1/3 cup sherry, 1/3 cup flour, and about 3 cups milk), and seasoned with No-Salt Seasoning, also from this site, plus a little salt and pepper. I removed about 1 1/2 cups of the sauce from the pan before stirring in the stuffing mix. Topped the chops with the stuffing mixture, one slice of provolone cheese, and the remaining gravy. It was absolutely WONDERFUL, and as much as I hated to deviate from your father's recipe, I'm so glad you shared it, and I'm glad it led to such a great meal for us. Can't wait to try the original version, too - hopefully next time I'll be better prepared and have all the stuff ready! Thanks for sharing, Pam!
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13 users found this review helpful

Peanut Butter Bars I

Reviewed: Dec. 1, 2010
Oh, this is bad. I hate peanut butter, but somehow, I flippin' LOVE these things. Made them for lunchbox treats around here, yet I just had to resist eating half the pan by myself. I used 10 tablespoons of butter (just over 1 stick) and used an extra few tablespoons of peanut butter. I also added 1 tsp. vanilla extract.. definitely recommend this. I wasn't crazy about the topping, so next time I think I'll just melt the chocolate with a few tablespoons of butter instead.
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3 users found this review helpful

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