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Chicken Noodle Soup

Reviewed: Sep. 28, 2006
THE VERY BEST!!!! I've made this several times and it is always delicious. I made it last night for my parents and they couldn't stop raving. My mom is an awesome cook -- most everything is made from scratch -- and both my mom and dad said this was the BEST SOUP they've EVER had (they are in the 60s-70s). I think my dad ate four huge bowls and he asked for some to take home!!!! That is the highest compliment!! I make a few minor revisions -- I double the onion, butter, carrots, black pepper and bay leaf and add minced garlic. I also make the Boiled Chicken recipe from this site (using 4 lb. raw chicken) and use all of that chicken PLUS part of that broth instead of all water (probably 2-3 cups of the broth and 9-10 cups water). I also cook it alot longer -- a couple of hours -- before adding the noodles. I also use frozen noodles (Reames brand). These noodles are thick and hearty and really make for a delicious, homemade taste and presentation. Thanks Sherry for an awesome recipe!!! Now, I'm off to have a bowl for lunch. I'm glad I didn't give all of the leftovers to my dad to take home!!! ha ha
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458 users found this review helpful

Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars II

Reviewed: Aug. 24, 2008
When I was in elementary school (30+ years ago!) these were a favorite treat served with our school lunches. They were called Hollywood Squares. Somehow my mom snagged a copy of the cafeteria's recipe which is identical to this one EXCEPT it also calls for a 1/2 cup of sweet crumbs. For years, I left this out because I wasn't exactly sure what that meant. I later discovered that it meant finely crushed cookie or graham crackers. I use graham cracker crumbs (make sure they are really fine!) and it makes this recipe. It gives the peanut butter layer some substance (without making them dry or crumbly) which makes for much easier cutting. For those of you who have trouble with the chocolate layer cracking -- let the bars chill until firm, then remove from the frig and let warm up a tad before cutting. No cracks and smooth cutting. I also add a couple tablespoons of margarine to the chocolate chips before melting. ENJOY!
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178 users found this review helpful

Bow Tie Pasta with Sausage and Sweet Peppers

Reviewed: Oct. 9, 2007
WOW! The first time I tried this recipe I thought it was way too simple to be a 5-star recipe, but boy, was I wrong! DELICIOUS and SO QUICK! It is a welcomed change from pastas with tomatoes and/or red sauce. UPDATE 1/03/09 -- I've made this recipe SO many times now; it's a favorite with hubby and all three kids. They actually get excited when I tell them we're having this for dinner. Here's how I've come to modify this recipe: I use half hot Italian and half sweet Italian sausage with casings removed (about 4 links each); I fry this in a little olive oil until browned, then add sliced onion and both red and green peppers for color; I continue cooking until sausage is done and veggies are tender; then I add one full can of College Inn beef broth plus 1-2 T beef base, plus 2/3 lb. cooked pasta (we like Cavatelli and bow ties), and also add a sprinkling of crushed red pepper flakes, about 1 tsp. black pepper and salt to taste. TIP: For lots of flavor, DON'T drain the sausage. Sure, it's not good for your hips or heart, but boy does it kick this up! After making this dozens of times, I really think this is key to great flavor. Afterall, if you're serving sausage for dinner, you're really not expecting a healthy meal, right? LOL
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178 users found this review helpful

Italian Salad Dressing

Reviewed: Nov. 20, 2008
How does this classify as a recipe if you're using packaged dressing mix? Next, we'll see a recipe for boiled water...
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124 users found this review helpful

Sweet, Sticky and Spicy Chicken

Reviewed: Apr. 17, 2009
I try lots of new recipes and this is the best one I've tried in a long time. It scored a huge homerun with hubby and all three kids (5, 8, 11). It is a rare feat to find something that everyone raves about. Just the right mix of sweet and spicy. So quick, simple and made with ingredients I always have on hand. I'll be making this over and over again. FYI: I doubled the sauce and dredged the chicken in flour, salt and pepper before frying. I cooked the chicken in two batches, cooked it until completely done, then added 1/2 of the sauce. It "stickied" up quickly and I didn't need to cook it the extra 8 minutes the recipe calls for. I think it might have burnt if I had done that. My 11-year old couldn't stop raving - "Mom, this is like the stuff you get at the Chinese restaurant only 10 times better!" Give this one a try! UPDATE: My kids asked for this a second time this week and I obliged! I tripled the sauce this time thinking I'd like some extra sauce to serve over rice. BIG MISTAKE - it thickened up too much and wasn't saucy enough to serve over rice. AND it also completely changed the taste and texture - the sauce was overwhelming and the chicken was "goopy" rather than "sticky" like the last time I made it. We were all disappointed with the way it turned out tonight. I will stick with the way I made it the first time.
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65 users found this review helpful

Ukrainian Apple Cake (Yabluchnyk)

Reviewed: May 14, 2009
I made four of these for my son's school project on Russia. I sampled the cake immediately after baking it and was not impressed. It was dry, not very flavorful and hard to cut through the apples. Fortunately, however, there was way too much food brought in to school, so my son brought home some leftovers. Let me just say, this cake definitely improves with age!!!! On day 2, the cake was so moist and flavorful, and the apples softened nicely which made for easier cutting. Yummmmm!!!! I think I've gained 5 pounds. If you're looking for a simple dessert, that's not overly sweet and has a nice presentation, try this one. I followed the recipe exactly, using a mix of Granny Smith and Jonagold apples. I baked two cakes for 35 minutes and the other two a little longer. Next time I'll stick with 35 minutes. They were just right.
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62 users found this review helpful

Rich Chocolate Frosting

Reviewed: Dec. 3, 2007
My family of chocoholics really enjoyed this frosting on a Duncan Hines Butter Recipe cake. Yummmm! It has a very distinctive cocoa taste, but that's what we like. I also really liked the texture. I scaled the recipe to work with 2.5 cups of powdered sugar (that's all I had) and it was sufficient for a 9x13 cake. Since the frosting is so rich, you don't need to go overboard on it. Oh, one last thing, I didn't have real butter so I substituted Land of Lakes margarine and it was just fine. Perhaps I'll try real butter next time just to see what the difference is, but don't let the fact that you don't have real butter on hand keep you from trying this recipe. We thought it was great!
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51 users found this review helpful

Reheating Pasta

Reviewed: Jun. 30, 2009
OK, I don't see the huge timesaver here. What takes so much time is bringing the water to a boil. With the reheating part, you're bringing the water to a boil a second time. In my opinion, you're better off just to boil the pasta when you need it.
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37 users found this review helpful

Cinnamon Griddle Cakes

Reviewed: Apr. 27, 2008
My kids' breakfast of choice is pancakes so we are always looking for new pancake recipes. These were a HUGE hit! Typically, my kids each eat most or all of one plate-size pancake. This morning, they each ate TWO each! I asked if they were especially hungry and they replied, "No, these were just extra good!" Per the suggestion of other reviewers, I omitted corn syrup (didn't have)and added an extra teaspoon of cinnamon. I made the icing and was glad I did. The kids really enjoyed the change from regular maple syrup. Be careful though, you don't need to use much. Try this recipe; you'll be glad you did.
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34 users found this review helpful

Chocolate Pretzel Rings

Reviewed: Dec. 2, 2007
The hit of the party! Kids and adults alike couldn't stop raving about these. Everyone was disappointed when they were all gone (which didn't take long!) I made the first batch with Hershey Kisses but felt the chocolate was overpowering -- the taste of the pretzel was lost. I had a huge bag of the milk chocolate disks (Merkens brand bought in bulk)and used these instead. They provided the right mix of chocolate and pretzel and looked so pretty! I baked each batch for two minutes and found that if I left them on the baking sheet for 30 seconds before pressing the M&Ms in, they came out perfect. I slipped each tray in the refrigerator until the next batch was ready, and they set up beautifully and could be stacked right away. I've already been asked by everyone at the party to bring them to the next function. I will be making these as XMas gifts for teachers and neighbors.
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31 users found this review helpful

Luscious Slush Punch

Reviewed: Jan. 1, 2007
I honestly didn't have high expectations when I decided to try this recipe. Afterall, it's just a punch, right? I was thinking what's all the hoopla and five stars rating for something as simple as a punch... Well, I was wrong. This punch is fabulous. I'd give it ten stars if I could. It was the hit of the party for both kids and adults. EVERY PERSON who tried this punch said it was awesome. There were no negative or even mediocre comments. We whizzed through a full batch in a couple of hours and everyone was asking for more. For the next party I'll double the recipe. Per the suggestion of other reviewers I decreased the sugar to 1.5 cups and it was just right. I also used sugar-free jello and diet Sprite. The results were fantastic. I also followed the advice of others and froze the mixture in two one gallon ziploc bags. I think I'll make another batch soon and freeze it in quart size bags so the kids can enjoy an occasional treat. With a recipe this good, it's a shame to save it for special occasions only. Give this recipe a try; you won't be disappointed!
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30 users found this review helpful

Chocolate Chip Mini-Muffins

Reviewed: Nov. 3, 2006
For whatever reason, these muffins had a strange smell and taste after they were baked. I couldn't detect it in the batter; it seemed to develop during the baking process. The texture was also weird. I was very careful not to overbake, but they still turned out hard and firm. I've made lots of muffins (both homemade and packaged), but I won't be making these again. I'll keep looking for a better recipe. Until I find the perfect recipe, I'll stick with the cheap packet mixes you buy in the grocery store -- they're even better than these. Sorry!
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28 users found this review helpful

Pasta with Hot Sausage Sauce

Reviewed: Aug. 7, 2007
YUMMMMMM!!! Husband and kids couldn't stop raving or eating! (And let me add that spaghetti is NOT on the list of favorite meals in our house!) I made a few minor revisions based on ingredients I had on hand-- eliminated red wine and capers, used petite diced tomatoes instead of crushed, added a small can of tomato paste and a tad of sugar, used half hot sausage and half sweet. DELICIOUS!!!! This is the sauce we've been looking for. Thanks for sharing!
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20 users found this review helpful

Cream Cheese Mints

Reviewed: Dec. 26, 2010
These were the talk of the party! So pretty, yummy, and easy to make. I rolled the mixture into small balls and then rolled them in granulated sugar before flattening them with a fork. Gave a slight sparkle and kept the fork from sticking. People actually thought I had purchased them. Especially good when dipped in melted dark chocolate!!!!! Better than a York! Just be sure to refrigerate them well so they are nice and cold before dipping. Otherwise, they will lose their shape. FYI: I did not use the butter as my recipe (given to me by a friend) did not call for it. Definitely not necessary. I used an 8 oz. package of cream cheese, 8 cups of powdered sugar and 1/4 tsp of peppermint OIL. Perfect!!!!!!
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18 users found this review helpful

Super Swiss Steak

Reviewed: Dec. 21, 2006
Cloves? Seemed odd and I wish I had listened to my initial instinct. This ingredient does not belong in this dish. It gave the dish an odd taste and smell that was overpowering. I just couldn't get past it. I started putting the steak on plates and decided I couldn't serve it to the family if I couldn't eat it myself! Sorry!
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17 users found this review helpful

Valentine Heart Necklaces

Reviewed: Feb. 17, 2009
Very good! This was a very nice change from our traditional sugar cookie recipe. We liked the subtle lemon flavor (I used fresh lemon peel). The texture was nice, too. I rolled them to about 1/4" and they stayed soft. We tinted the dough and icing pink and made some with icing and some without. We preferred the iced ones but the plain ones were delicious as well - and I can't say that about my traditional cut-out recipe as they are NOT good without icing. We will definitely make this one again. FYI: We didn't bother making them into necklaces, but we might try that sometime for a special treat. FYI: Chilled dough and it was very easy to work with which is a nice plus.
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11 users found this review helpful

Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad

Reviewed: Sep. 17, 2010
This is one of the best recipes I've tried on this site (or any site for that matter!). So easy, with so much flavor. I used 8 oz. of penne pasta, added three cubed chicken breasts, and eliminated the olives and cheese (personal preference only). I also mixed up a little extra dressing because it was too dry to begin with. AWESOME!!! My hubby and son ate it for a main meal and then came back later for a "snack." Definitely something I'll be making alot. Tip: For additional bacon flavor, I took the cooked and cubed chicken and sauteed it briefly in a little of the bacon grease before adding to the pasta. Yummmmm!!
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9 users found this review helpful

Best Grilled Margarita Chicken... Ever!

Reviewed: Aug. 26, 2010
I followed this recipe to a tee, and I was a little disappointed. It was just too bland for my family. With the wide array of ingredients, I was really expecting a huge pop of flavor, and it didn't deliver. I did think the flavor was much better the next day when I ate the chicken cold in a salad. Perhaps, I'll give it another try and let it marinate overnight.
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7 users found this review helpful

Frozen Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls

Reviewed: Feb. 14, 2011
These were a huge hit with my kids who all prefer to eat unbaked cookie dough over baked cookies! I omitted the nuts and dipped the frozen balls in melted semi-sweet chocolate chips and sprinkled with Valentine's sprinkles. So easy and cute! Very dangerous to have on hand, especially if you're watching your weight :) We actually prefer them refrigerated vs. frozen. Don't want to worry about breaking a tooth, plus we always eat the dough out of the refrigerator, not the freezer. Fun new recipe!
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6 users found this review helpful

Buster Bar Dessert

Reviewed: Aug. 1, 2010
Five stars for ease and rave reviews from family and guests. Next time, I might add more chocolate chips to make the fudge sauce "fudgier." It wasn't as fudgey as I had hoped it would be. Otherwise, it was very good and everyone really liked it.
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6 users found this review helpful

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