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Basic Bean Soup

Reviewed: Nov. 9, 2006
After reading the "most helpful" reviews, this was my approach: 1.) Subsituted 2 packets of ham bouillon (each packet=1/4 lb. of ham) 2.) Added chopped celery (carrot sticks and celery sticks were purchased together already cut at WalMart) 3.) Added 2 cups of diced potatoes 4.) Added two tsps. of garlic, and approx. 1 tsp. of the following: basil, oregano, thyme, black pepper and seasalt, as well as 2-3 bay leaves. 5.) Left out the ketchup, as I was confused as to "why" to use it 6.) Tossed everything in the crock pot with 8 cups of water (per the original recipie) and let cook (KEEP TEMP LOW!!!!)for 7 hours. ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS AND NUTRICIOUS!!!!!! However, the morning after eating the soup, I realized my system was apparently ill-prepared to break down the beans, so I decided to add 7 drops of BEANO to each new serving (which solved the problem...) Will probably make at least twice a month from now on!
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Chocolate Lovers' Favorite Cake

Reviewed: Sep. 17, 2006
5-STAR all-the-way! I followed the recipe exactly, except I made these subsitutions: *Mini dark-chocolate chips (tossed in 1 tbsp of flour) as opposed to the reg. choc. chips And added: *The "Satiny Chocolate Glaze" (recipe from allrecipes.com) and drizzled it on the cake *Mixed reg. and white choc. chips together (1 cup each) and sprinkled over the icing, before the glaze set *NOTE!!!!! I do not have a bundt pan nor an Angel food cake pan. INSTEAD-I bought a "Flex Form" silicone pinwheel cake pan from Walmart for 6.99. and thoroughly greased and floured it. After the cake cooled, the sides virtually rolled down and the cake was absolutely perfect. With or without the icing and choc. chips, this recipe is simply outstanding. VERY IMPORANTANT SIDE NOTES: I added sliced strawberries inside the middle hole of the cake, thus, refridgeration was required. This somewhat altered the texture and taste, which was very disappointing. Plus, the next day, the berries were wilting and obviously changed the appearance. Next time, I will not refridgerate the cake, and the berries will be kept separately and cut just before serving. DO NOT forget the powdered sugar, which adds class to every dessert. LOW FAT SUBSITUTIONS: I have tried this recipe one time with egg whites and low fat sour cream. It was decent, but not as decadent as with the real thing.
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