SPARKLER8666 Recipe Reviews (Pg. 1) - (18354524)

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Simple Scones

Reviewed: Jan. 30, 2007
Excellent basic scone recipe. It allowed for substitutions nicely. I used half white and half whole grain flours to up the nutritional value (1/2 cup oat flour and 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry four plus 2 TBSP ground flax seed.) I divided the dough in half and put chocolate chips in one half (alas, I hate currants and raisins!)and unsweetened finely shredded coconut & chocolate chips in the other half. Mmm, yummy, and halfway healthy too. Some other suggested "additions" are: craisins and white chips, lemon zest and orange flavored craisins, hazelnuts and toffee chunks, walnuts and chopped dried apricots, coarsely chopped candied ginger and cinnamon, pecans and Kraftmaid caramels cut into fourths... use your imagination and create scones to die for!
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269 users found this review helpful

No Fail Pie Crust III

Reviewed: Jun. 7, 2006
Most of you know this, so ignore me if you do. But the complaints about the dough being too sticky are simply the result of flour that has absorbed some moisture from the air. With all pastry crusts you have to be judicious, adding half the liquid, then half of what is left, etc. until the dough has the "right consistency." I live in Oregon where it rains most of the year, so our flour may absorb extra moisture, but you can't tell how much until you are working it. In a really dry climate you might have to add a little extra water, but with this recipe that is unlikely. Anyway, it isn't the recipe folks; this crust is terrific!
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152 users found this review helpful

Hashbrown Casserole

Reviewed: Oct. 16, 2005
Use real onion 1/2 to 1 c diced and sauted in small amount of oil or butter until transparent (quantity depends on how much you like onions, I like a lot and I also add a clove of crushed garlic to the onions in the last 2 minutes of sauteing.) The recipe needs a lot more cheese than that in my opinion, I put in at least a cup and a half (I like cojack best.)Also I like this best with chopped ham added. When I make it my way it gets raves at our church breakfast potlucks...
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101 users found this review helpful

Donna's Cheesy Quiche

Reviewed: Jan. 11, 2007
This is an excellent basic recipe for quiche BUT for us it is just a tad too rich without quite enough protein, so I always double the eggs and sometimes substitute part half and half or milk for some of the cream. I have made this with many different cheeses and additions. But I always decrease the basil by 1/2, substitute savory for the oregano decreasing it a bit, and add a dash or two of nutmeg. I personally like it with gruyere, spinach and a bit of good ham. My kids like it best with cheddar, spinach and ham or bacon. My husband likes it mediterranean style with artichokes, spinach and feta. I buy pillsbury already made piecrust and cut out smaller circles to fit our muffin pan. Then I put the toppings (different for everyone) in each cup and pour the egg mixture over all. Then everyone gets a quiche they like. (oh and if you add the spinach make sure you precook it and squeeze most of the moisture out of it or you'll get a mess.)
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81 users found this review helpful

Chocolate-Zucchini Cupcakes

Reviewed: Jul. 30, 2007
Absolutely terrific! Per the other reviews I doubled the chocolate and reduced the oil to 3/4 cup (didn't need to add any applesauce to make up for it, but there is additional fat in the extra 2 squares of chocolate.) I grated golden zucchini with the skin on and used white whole wheat flour because I try to get as much fiber in as I can for my kids. I used white chocolate chips instead of nuts because my kids won't eat nuts. They turned out GREAT! Oh, and get this, I was gonna' make frosting, but my 11 year old son (who normally thinks frosting is the best part,) told me not to. I made a batch of mini-muffins with the batter first and sprinkled them with powdered sugar because the kids were hungry and I was running out of time. My son had one and said the powdered sugar was perfect, and frosting them wouldn't make them any better! Try them; you'll like them.
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72 users found this review helpful

Spinach Dip II

Reviewed: Jan. 23, 2007
OK, this recipe is a 5 with some important modifications. No canned slimy spinach; I use a 16 oz. bag of frozen and cook it in the microwave and squeeze the excess moisture out. I use a giant skillet and saute the onion first in a tiny bit of olive oil, adding at least a TBSP of crushed fresh garlic near the end of the sauteing. I like artichoke hearts in mine, coarsely chopped, and add all the rest of the ingredients except the parmesan and cheddar in and heat stirring until incorporated and bubbly. (Also, I like to use a sundried tomato alfredo sauce, but the bechamel will work ok.) Finally I add the last cheeses in, though usually my proprotions are more like 1 cup of parmesan, 1 cup of cojack, and 1/2 cup of mozzarella. Sea salt to taste and it might need a little more cayenne if you want a more significant kick. However, this is not a BAD recipe as it is, just doesn't quite have enough oomph without the above modifications. And my way the recipe is completely cooked on the stovetop, no lengthy stays in a crockpot or extra baking in the oven.
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52 users found this review helpful

Mini Meatloaves

Reviewed: Jan. 14, 2008
I have tried several highly rated meatloaf recipes on this site, but this is my new favorite. It produces a tender and tasty meatloaf. I made the following modifications. I tripled the recipe and substituted 1 lb of ground lamb for 1 lb of ground beef. I made one batch of mini's in a muffin tin and instead of adding the cheese into the meat I formed the ball of meatloaf around a chunk of cojack cheese. Yummy, yummy! The other two loaves I mixed the cheddar cheese into and baked them regular size. Finally, I did not add the mustard to the topping; I don't like mustard. So I added a bit of onion powder and cut back on the sugar a bit. Anyway, awesome recipe!
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46 users found this review helpful

Fettuccini Carbonara

Reviewed: Jul. 12, 2008
Too much grease and oil, so with some modifications this was a 5 star recipe. I cut the bacon back by 1/3 and fried it first (set it aside.) Then I drained off more than half the grease and sauteed the onion in it. (Didn't have a shallot so skipped it.) When the onions were almost done added 3 crushed cloves of garlic and a couple tablespoons of chicken broth. Used 3 eggs instead of 4 egg yolks and whipped them into 1 and 1/2 cups of heavy cream. Then when pasta was done I tossed it with the onion/garlic mixture and added the cream/egg mixture to it, cooking and tossing until it started thickening. Then I added 1 cup of parmesan and 1/3 cup mozzarella and tossed. Then seasoned it with a little nutmeg, black and cayenne pepper, and salt.
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38 users found this review helpful

Mama Bear's Porridge

Reviewed: Jul. 1, 2006
This recipe requires a little modification if you like your porridge thick instead of runny, that is why 4 stars instead of 5. I added 2TBSP more oatmeal, and then still had to continue cooking on low after the addition of each of the eggs to reach my desired consistency. However, at that point I was very pleased with the overall product. I knew it wouldn't be sweet enough for my family, so I substituted 3 TBSP of brown sugar for the honey and mixed it in with the eggs. Then we sprinkled brown sugar on top... oh, and I used just a TBSP or so of half n half on top of each bowl instead of the quarter cup of milk. Didn't have vanilla, so used a few drops of almond extract... and omitted the raisins as we don't like them. It turned out delicious and I agree with the other reviewers, it packs an oatmeal breakfast with an extra protein punch so it sticks to your ribs! Thanks.
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38 users found this review helpful

Split Pea Soup

Reviewed: Mar. 7, 2009
This is a terrific "basic" pea soup recipe. Here are some modifications you might want to try to get "beyond basic" to "golden." 1. Use a honeybaked hambone for a delicate, slightly sweet flavor and plenty of meat. 2. Simmer the hambone with a cup of chopped onions, 3 bay leaves, 1.5 tsp basil, the marjoram, double the black pepper, 1/2 tsp thyme and 1/4 tsp oregano in a mixture of water and chicken stock for only 20 minutes. Then take hambone out and let it cool... remove meat and replace hambone in still simmering pot. (The meat will become tasteless if you cook it too long so just remove the fat then chop and reserve.) 3. Brown (there should be crispy browned edges to the veggies) a mire poix mix in a tiny bit of butter then stir in 2 Tbsp broth and 2 tsp crushed garlic at the end just for a minute. 4. Add the mire poix, split peas, and a cup of sliced carrots to pot. I use yellow split peas because they look more attractive, "golden." Simmer until the peas begin to change (about 20-30 min.) 5. Remove hambone and add 1 large baked potato diced small. Simmer, stirring often (likes to stick and burn at this point) until potatoes are cooked through and soup is thickened (about 12 min, just add a little more stock or water if it is too thick.) 4. Stir ham back in one minute before serving and remove bay leaves.
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35 users found this review helpful

Stovetop Granola

Reviewed: May 23, 2007
This tastes a lot better to me than most granolas. My kids really like it, and one of them is really not thrilled with oats generally. It is also easy to make. I added a little bit of vanilla to the honey and brown sugar... Also, just an FYI - it is a bit oily. But I think that is why the kids really liked it; it is rich and tasty because of that oil. I am going to try substituting coconut oil for the olive oil and adding a little coconut to the mixture. (Did the coconut thing! MMMMMN - GOOD!)
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33 users found this review helpful

Tartar Sauce I

Reviewed: Aug. 14, 2007
I was looking at the top 100 recipes and came across this one for tartar sauce; it is the same basic recipe I've been making for years. Everyone has their own taste about proportions for this, but Diane's is pretty close to mine. The only differences are: I only use 1 TBSP of freshly squeezed lemon juice, I finely grate a TBSP of sweet onion (it is more subtle and kid friendly that way and unless you use fresh onion you are really missing out,) and I use a little more pickle relish than that. I also like to add a pinch or two of turmeric; it perks this up just a bit, by adding a little bite, richness and yellow color. Sometimes I make this without the pickle relish, but then I use freshly chopped dill or dried dill weed (if you use fresh it must sit for "awhile" to infuse,) a little grated lemon peel and then I DO use the full two tablespoons of lemon... you could add a bit of dill relish to the second version, but I don't like dill pickles very well so I don't. I don't like the turmeric with the dill, but it is great with the sweet pickle...
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27 users found this review helpful

Carrot Patties

Reviewed: Apr. 2, 2007
I hesitate to give this a 5 star because I changed it so much... but what I did end up with was excellent. I didn't have even a half pound of shredded carrots so subbed in some potato. I shredded 1 large potato, then rinsed it in cold water, & squeezed out the excess water. Next I took about 3 cups of shredded carrots and put them in the microwave for 30 sec bursts three or four times (until they seemed to soften some... I wanted them to be done when the potatoes were done,) stirring between each burst. Then I mixed the potato and carrot together with seasonings (salt, garlic, onion powder, salt, a dash of cayenne and black pepper.) Added 1/3 cup barely cooked finely chopped onions (again I used the microwave) and a couple of tablespoons of flour mixing well. I molded them into patties as firmly as I could and fried them in an oiled pan over medium heat(I brushed my nonstick pan with oil.) Just before I turned the patties over I put about a 1/4 tsp of butter on top of each patty, which gave them excellent flavor and kept them from burning. (No eggs and no crumbs at all.) HINT: Like hashbrowns they stick together best if you wait until the bottom is somewhat crisp before you turn them, and don't keep turning them over and over again.
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26 users found this review helpful

Baked Ham and Cheese Party Sandwiches

Reviewed: Aug. 23, 2011
First of all I modified the recipe greatly because I didn't have a few of the ingredients and I had eaten a sweeter version of these in the past and loved them. I also didn't want all that butter, so I used 1/3 cup of butter, 1 tbsp dijon (I'd add a little more next time), no worcestershire, no poppy seeds, but added 1 tsp of splenda brown a sprinkle or two of tarragon and a pinch of onion powder. I used honey maple ham and muenster cheese and only 16 tea rolls. The tea rolls were great because they were stuck together so I cut all of them in half as one block and assembled the sandwiches in one great square. I put the ham down first, then the cheese and spread a thin layer of may on the top inside so it would melt into the cheese. Then I sliced through them and placed them 1/2" apart on a foil lined pan. I drizzled each one with a scant tablespoon of the sauce and covered them lightly in with foil because I wanted the rolls to steam a bit. It turned out amazing! The rolls were nicely browned on top and slightly crunchy on the edges and bottom. The sauce flavor was slightly sweet and tangy but not overly rich, perfect! So feel free to reduce the butter :)
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20 users found this review helpful

Cauliflower Au Gratin

Reviewed: Oct. 2, 2013
This is an excellent basic recipe to riff on, which really are the best kind. It is flexible, stands up to changes and substitutions. The results are creamy, cheesylicious cauliflower that you might even get your picky eaters to try. Here are the changes I made, just to give you an idea of what can be done. I had a huge head of cauliflower (purchased for $1 at produce stand) and 3 smallish heads of broccoli veronica. Seemed like I needed more cheese sauce as a result, so I increased the sauce by 1/2 (3 Tbsp Butter, 3 Tbsp flour, 1 and 1/2 c. of milk, etc.) I had only scallions so I chopped up 1 and 1/2 c. of them. I had only 1/2 c. sharp cheddar so I subbed in colbyjack (obviously used more of that as well.) I love nutmeg in my cream sauce so I tripled the pinch of nutmeg and ground some fresh black pepper in there (definitely more than a few pinches.) This recipe is fairly low sodium, a little too low sodium for my tastes so I added about 1/2 tsp sea salt. So I followed the steps for the white sauce and kept the proportions except for seasoning, followed the cooking instructions including steaming until veggies were tender and baked it off with extra cheese on top. It was beautiful, tasted wonderful, and I got no complaints at all from the 18 year old, 12 year old, 98 year old, hubby or myself. (Do you know how rare it is to find a recipe they all like? lol, good job Amy W.)
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19 users found this review helpful

No Fail Pie Crust I

Reviewed: Jun. 7, 2006
Excellent Recipe! I used butter flavor shortening for a little more richness and color, and it turned out beautifully. (Gets raves!) Also, as reported it is enough for a double crust pie and an additional single (I used the extra to make a quiche.)
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16 users found this review helpful

E-Z Drop Biscuits

Reviewed: Sep. 12, 2011
I followed the recommendations of others and deleted the cream of tartar. However I also substituted 1 cup of the all purpose flour for a cup of whole wheat white flour and in my experience you need a little extra leavening when you do that, so I added about 1/3 of a tsp more of baking powder. I dropped teaspoonfuls of the dough over a homemade simmering berry/apple compote to make berries and dumplings. I left the lid off for a few minutes to promote lightness then put the lid on, turned it down to very low and simmered for about 12 minutes. (You check them with a fork to see if the insides are cooked yet.) Mmmmm, they turned out great! (Drop biscuits generally make fabulous dumplings. I use them for chicken and dumplings too, but today we wanted something sweet.) I wasn't sure about the melted butter thing, but I was in a hurry to feed the kids before school so I tried it and I'm glad I did. Oh, and I baked up about 1/3 of the dough as biscuits because I didn't need it all for the dumplings. They also were lovely. TIP: if you smooth over the bumpy lumpies on the drop biscuits before baking with a silicone brush dipped in melted butter, people won't even know you used a drop biscuit recipe AND the butter makes the outsides crust up a teeny bit and sooo yummy!
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15 users found this review helpful

Affy Tapple Salad

Reviewed: May 25, 2005
I love, love, love this salad. My kids love it too (but I have to make a bowl with peanuts for me and without for them.) I make it with all granny smith apples to get a contrasting tartness to the sweetness, and good unsalted peanuts are hard to come by, so I go ahead and use salted and it comes out really good anyway. Also, I use about double the pineapple and extra creamy cool whip...
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15 users found this review helpful

Blueberry Blintz Souffle

Reviewed: Apr. 24, 2007
This recipe is very good. I did modify it a bit, but am giving it the benefit of the doubt (perhaps it would have been just as good without my modifications.) I thought the "crepe" layers would be a bit too eggy, so I added slightly more than a half cup extra flour to the "crepe" mixture. I accidentally forgot to add the orange juice. I blended the cottage cheese smooth before using it (though perhaps ricotta would have worked without blending) and mixed the entire filling in the blender, nice and easy. I omitted the cinnamon and added a couple of dashes of nutmeg instead. Also, didn't bother with the blueberry syrup, just used cherry pie filling because that was my preferred topping at the restaurant where I used to eat blintzes. I have to say, this tasted like blintzes to me and was only slightly different texture-wise. Thanks.
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13 users found this review helpful

Spinach and Potato Frittata

Reviewed: Apr. 5, 2011
First, I modified the recipe, so take my rating for what it's worth. However, it did turn out really well. I used half butter half grapeseed oil to cook the potatoes and added 1/4 cup of frozen chopped onion to the potatoes as they cooked. I let the potatoes start to brown and get crispy edges over medium high heat with a little sea salt. My spinach was already cooked and seasoned leftovers, plus added a bit of paprika, cayenne pepper, basil and nutmeg. I was short one egg so added a little more milk and used fat reduced colby jack cheese. Also I also baked it off in the oven at 350 degrees rather than trying to get it cooked right on the stovetop with a lid. Everyone really liked it and my family of five include children and a 95 year old, so we're talking about some very diverse food preferences. I served this for dinner with the cinnamon pumpkin waffles from this site. It was a good combo.
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9 users found this review helpful

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