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Sonoma Hot and Sour Chicken Soup

Reviewed: Dec. 21, 2009
My family and I really loved this soup. I could not believe how healthy it was because it had such great flavor. I doubled the recipe and used napa cabbage instead of regular cabbage. I think this is key because the texture of the cabbage is much better than the hardier regular cabbage. I substituted cristini mushrooms for the shiitake as I wasn't able to locate them. I think any type of mushroom would work well in this. Also, I didn't have reduced sodium broth or soy sauce so just used the regular version. The end result was amazing and we will definitely be making this again - my husband raved about it and he is a picky person!
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Easy Decadent Truffles

Reviewed: Nov. 12, 2009
I thought this recipe was great and super easy to make. We rolled ours in nuts, unsweetened chocolate powder and sprinkles. They turned out wonderfully and our guests enjoyed them!
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2 users found this review helpful

Chicken Scampi II

Reviewed: Oct. 18, 2009
This is a great recipe. I have made this quite a few times. The differences I make are more for our own personal preferences and we like it better than the original, but we do add a green and red bell pepper diced, a can of corn, white wine - about a 1/2 cup and at the end, we toss in some parm cheese. I think the recipe is an excellent starter one that you can tweak very easily to your own liking. I also like to add in some red pepper flakes and some additional lemon juice. I end up heating up the oil and butter together with a diced onion garlic, tossing in the chicken breasts that I diced up, then a few minutes later add in all of the veggies, herbs/spices, lemon juice and white wine. I let it simmer for about 15-20 minutes while I get the pasta ready. When the pasta is ready, dump in the chicken mixture, toss in some parm cheese and serve. I highly recommend this to anyone!
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Brownie Batter + Cupcake = The SECOND BEST Cupcake. Ever

Reviewed: Sep. 10, 2009
I actually think these are better than the cookie dough filled ones but maybe it is because I made my cake batter from scratch. I think this recipe is great because it gives you infinite possibilities. You could use chocolate cake with chocolate/peanut butter brownies and PB frosting or anything else you can imagine! I do recommend, as someone else mentioned, using the Ghirardelli brand brownies as they have a much more "home made" taste as opposed to other brands. I did make a chocolate cake batter from scratch and that was the only change I made but these turned out so good! I will be posting pictures soon!
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1 user found this review helpful

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough + Cupcake = The BEST Cupcake. Ever.

Reviewed: Aug. 17, 2009
I am not sure what all the fuss is about. I didn't find these to be that great. I think the problem is that I am not a fan of boxed cake mixes and this is the major part of this recipe. I think if you used a recipe from scratch, then it would be much better. Definitely more work, but I think the end result would be tastier. I had to test this recipe out given all of the reviews but on a personal preference, just didn't find this recipe to be that great. I ended up throwing most of them out!
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2 users found this review helpful

Chocolate Truffle Cheesecake

Reviewed: Aug. 17, 2009
Wow this was great! I have never made a cheesecake before and this was so easy and turned out perfectly! The only change I made was increased the crust by half, using 27 Oreos (with chocolate filling instead of white) and upped the butter to 3T. I did this so that I could have the crust go up the sides of the pan rather than just the bottom. Everyone loved it! I did drizzle it with a little ganache for decoration purposes. Will definitely make again! I do recommend when the cake is done cooking, that you turn the oven off and let the cake sit in there for a few hours. This prevents cracks from forming. Highly recommend everyone to try this!
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5 users found this review helpful

Beef Bourguignon II

Reviewed: Aug. 5, 2009
I love dishes like this that are almost like a comfort food. This recipe is so easy to put together and the end result is an incredible surprise. I have made this several times and always get rave reviews about it. For those wishing to save a little bit of time, I can make a couple of suggestions. First off, I would cut the stew meat into smaller pieces. I do this anyways to remove a lot of the fat/gristle and make the bites much easier for the kids to handle. I NEVER use the stew meat as it comes in the package. The other thing is I made this completely on the stove and simmered it instead of doing the multiple steps of putting the beef in a pan, cooking it, putting it into a casserole dish and then cooking the veggies/wine mixture and baking. I just put the coated beef into the pan with butter, add the onions, garlic, cook for a bit, add the mushrooms, carrots, herbs, and then add the wine. Bring it to a boil, cover and lower it to simmer. This usually cooks in about 1-1 1/2 hours or so. The meat is nicely tender. We like to serve it over mashed potatoes!
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26 users found this review helpful

Soft Sugar Cookies IV

Reviewed: Aug. 2, 2009
These were outstanding! The texture and flavor were really good. Since I was being lazy and didn't want to measure out both the butter and shortening, I used 1 c (3/3 as opposed to 2/3) and lowered the amount of shortening to 1/3 cup. They turned out fine. Since these don't spread, be sure to use the back of a measuring cup to smash them down. We made 3 different batches, one with just plain sugar, one with the cinnamon sugar mixture and the last set using "Sugar Cookie Icing" from this site. All were amazing. I do suggest if you use the cinnamon sugar mixture, to roll them in it while it is a ball, then flatten it on the cookie sheet and then sprinkle some more cinnamon sugar on it. I highly recommend this to everyone!
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Mound Bars

Reviewed: Jul. 28, 2009
This is a great recipe, very easy to make. They are truly delicious. My recommendation for the coconut is to put the coconut and milk together in a bowl and then microwave it for about a minute, stir together and then spread over the coconut and bake! These were yummy but very rich!
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Italian Chicken Skillet

Reviewed: Jul. 27, 2009
This is a really great recipe. The only differences I made were to double the garlic, added 1-2 tsp of red pepper flakes for a little spice and at the end, we added a little bit of parm cheese. We didn't have red cooking wine so subbed white and it turned out fabulous. I have made this several times and used both red and white wines and prefer the white, though it is great with either one! If you can, adding a little bit of fresh parsley is great!
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4 users found this review helpful

Robbi's M&M Cookies

Reviewed: Jul. 25, 2009
This recipe is great! The only change I made was used 1/2 c butter and 1/2 c shortening. I have tried this recipe a few times using dark chocolate M&Ms as well as peanut butter ones and those turn out terrific as well. Very versatile recipe!
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Fudge

Reviewed: Jul. 18, 2009
This is such a great recipe - so easy and delicious. Since I only had one bag of chocolate chips on hand, I used that with 3/4 of the can of condensed milk and 3 T of butter as opposed to 4. It came out really well and was so good. You can try this also with the swirly mint/chocolate chips from Nestle. It gives it a minty flavor or you can always add mint extract. Either way, this recipe is so versatile and always comes out perfectly!
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Marshmallow Fondant

Reviewed: Jul. 17, 2009
I felt this was just OK as far as taste and ease! After the fact, I saw reviewers post how to put the dye into the hot marshmallow, which I didn't do. It doesn't look as pretty as Kiele's does. Either way, I will definitely do it again, but following the recipe to a T didn't produce a great product. Take the top reviewers suggestions to make it much better! UPDATE: Thanks HOLLY but she made beautiful cakes with pictures posted using this fondant.
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Crab and Orzo Salad

Reviewed: Jul. 13, 2009
I thought this was great. We had lump crab from Trader Joes (the canned kind) and decided to use it for this salad. The only difference I made was to add 1.5 tsp more of the chili powder and more lemon juice, about 1 T more. You can adjust the dressing to your taste while keeping the mayo amount the same. We loved this! Made it twice. Oh and on one occasion, we added a little bit of corn kernals. Another great addition is to add some Old Bay Seasoning. My husband preferred it this way.
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17 users found this review helpful

Eclair Cake

Reviewed: Jun. 26, 2009
I thought this was pretty good. I used French vanilla pudding instead of the plain vanilla. I also halved the recipe and put it into a smaller mini version of the 13x9 pan. I am not sure what size it was but it worked out beautifully and was more than enough. I used one 3.5 box of French vanilla pudding, 1/2 tub of 8oz fat free whipped topping and I also ended up with 3 layers instead of 2. I put one layer of graham crackers, pudding, crackers, pudding, crackers and pudding and finally the last layer of crackers. For the frosting, I used Baker's brand dipping chocolate and melted it as instructed and poured this over the entire dish. It worked out really well. I thought it was simple and good!
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Shrimp Gazpacho

Reviewed: May 12, 2009
This was WONDERFUL! I grew up eating this and it tastes just like my dad used to make. I scaled it down and used what I had on hand. I used a 46 oz of V8 vegetable tomato juice, 1 cucumber, 1 avocado, 1lb of cooked, frozen shrimp that I defrosted under cold water, half of a red onion, half bunch of cilantro, 1/4 lemon juice, salt, pepper and about 1/2 to 1 tsp of cayenne pepper as well as a tsp of worchestire sauce. It turned out so well. Be cautious if you choose to put cayenne in it. As I was making it, it didn't taste very spicy at all so I added a bit more but as it sat in the fridge to chill, the cayenne assumed its full potential and was hot. We love spicy food and it wasn't too spicy for us at all, but wanted to tell others in case they used it and couldn't taste the flavor as they were preparing it.
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32 users found this review helpful

Chocolate Ganache

Reviewed: Apr. 21, 2009
I just don't get it. Where is the sweetness to this? I realized after making this exactly as described and using Scharfenberger chocolate, that it was not sweet at all. When I looked at the recipe there wasn't any sugar called for. Is it supposed to be that bitter? Anyways, I definitely will not be making this again. I had to add powdered sugar to this in order to sweeten it up some and make a frosting out of it.
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6 users found this review helpful

Chile Colorado

Reviewed: Mar. 5, 2009
This recipe was really good. I grew up eating Chile Colorado and am happy to have found this recipe. The interesting thing is Chile Colorado is supposed to be meat with a red sauce, a traditional Hispanic dish. It isn't supposed to be made with beans thrown in it as a typical chili (not chile) would have so I am confused when people add beans to this dish. i come from a Hispanic family and they have all made it with the meat and red sauce. Anyhow, this recipe is perfect. I made it with pork roast instead, which I cut up. I also couldn't find any New Mexico chiles so used California chiles and added some New Mexico chile powder, about 1 tsp, to the sauce mixture. Since I used pork, I used chicken broth, 2 cups, to the pot. Served with rice, beans and tortillas. It was fabulous.
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28 users found this review helpful

Beth's Spicy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Reviewed: Mar. 2, 2009
These cookies are amazing! Didn't have the cloves so substituted that with allspice. Also, I added pecans to the mixture. These turned out really good. I had to bake them a little longer, more like 11-12 minutes and they came out perfect. As others suggested, I used 1 c of butter and omitted the shortening. Will definitely be making these again and OFTEN!!!
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Ground Beef Mexican Style

Reviewed: Nov. 20, 2008
This was really good. I used ground turkey instead and it turned out well. I had a can of Herdez green chile salsa (7oz) and used that and omitted the tomatoes only because I didn't have them on hand. Used fat free sour cream, added garlic powder and used a white onion instead of green due to preference. I will definitely make this again!
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1 user found this review helpful

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