MAS13 Recipe Reviews (Pg. 1) - Allrecipes.com (18371393)

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Rice Stuffing with Apples, Herbs, and Bacon

Reviewed: Nov. 24, 2011
I found this a little too heavy on the dried fruit and herbs, plus it needed a little something to bind it together better. Next time I will make only with apples alone or with cranberries alone and maybe just two tablespoons of dried herbs. Also need to figure out something to hold it together, maybe some cream or soy milk mixed in. Nevertheless, I thought the overall product was worth four stars, particularly because this is a wonderful Thanksgiving table alternative for those allergic to wheat. The bacon is really necessary to balance the sweet with the savory and in my opinion should definitely not be omitted!
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3 users found this review helpful

Scrumptious Penuche Frosting

Reviewed: Nov. 25, 2010
Made exactly as written with no experimentation or variations. Very good taste. The texture is really dependent on cooling the cooked mixture adequately. I made one batch and thought it was lukewarm when it was not; it went from thin to hard without a good spreading phase in between. For the second try I took a reading with my instant read thermometer and held back on beating until it was just 104 degrees. That batch had a much better spreading consistency. It still tended to want to slide down the sides of the cake and then surface harden fairly quickly, which didn't make for a completely attractive final product. You can't work and rework the surface like a buttercream. One more thing, it is a heavy icing and needs a sturdy cake to support it. My little yellow cake layers got somewhat compacted under the weight. But we all enjoyed the taste. It never became piping consistency as some others have written, so if that's important to you, think twice about this recipe. Maybe there are some tricks to making it pipe worthy that I just don't know yet.
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Whipping Cream Pound Cake

Reviewed: Jan. 18, 2010
This is a tasty cake, heavy but with a fine crumb when sliced. I used a serrated knife and a sawing motion for best results. The recipe as written did not seem to have enough vanilla flavor so I added a whole lot more, about 4 Tablespoons of pure extract, and it was still understated. I don't know where that flavor went, maybe it just bakes out after such a long time in the oven. There's no specification for salted versus unsalted butter; I used unsalted but after a quick batter taste I felt I had to add a half teaspoon salt to balance some of the sweetness. I guess if you used salted butter, you could leave that out. I did not reduce the amount of sugar becaue I have found that it sometimes affects the structure and tenderness of the finished product by altering the end result of the creaming process. Overall I'm pretty happy with this recipe after ramping up the flavorings. A good post!
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1 user found this review helpful

Absolutely Fabulous Greek/House Dressing

Reviewed: Sep. 4, 2009
Great basis but a little too tart without some adjustments. I dropped the wine vinegar to equal proportions with the olive oil, and added a little sugar to taste in order to balance the flavors. That being done, it was perfect.
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Greek Orzo Salad

Reviewed: Sep. 4, 2009
Delicious side dish, thank you so much for sharing it with us. I added more cucumber and tomatoes in order to emphasize the salad quality, and I used the Absolutely Fabulous Greek/House dressing from this site. You can hold the olives and feta cheese until just before serving if you don't want the feta to dissolve in the dressing too much. Orzo is a wonderful pasta for salads because its compact shape seems to keep it from tearing or disintegrating.
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2 users found this review helpful

Shepherd's Pie II

Reviewed: Apr. 6, 2008
Good but slightly bland. Could be given more flavor with some additions, including minced garlic, diced green bell peppers, and diced celery. Simmering after adding a half cup of inexpensive red wine can also give an added dimension to the flavor if you do not object to cooking with wine.
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7 users found this review helpful

Date Nut Bread

Reviewed: Feb. 15, 2008
This is a wonderful quick bread recipe. It is good on its own but it also lends itself to embellishments. Sometimes I add more vanilla, a teaspoon of cinnamon, and a half teaspoon of allspice, for a hearty spiced date flavor. You can also add an extra tablespoon of butter and/or replace 1/2 cup of the water with buttermilk, which is often a good thing to do anyway when the leaven is baking soda, since the buttermilk provides the necessary acid. When I first made it, I was afraid it would be too salty, but the salt blended right in and balanced the sweetness of the sugar and dates. You can use pecans if you have no walnuts, too. The texture is not too heavy, not wet, and the batter is thick enough to support the dates and nuts so that they do not sink to the bottom. I do usually beat the eggs well, then add the sugar to them and beat some more for added lift. Thanks, Janet, for a great recipe!
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100 users found this review helpful

Honey Bun Cake I

Reviewed: Feb. 1, 2008
Good as far as taste, but not the best in terms of overall results. I made the cake without any ingredient changes at all, used all 1 cup of brown sugar, 1 T cinnamon, full fat sour cream, all the oil, etc. The only difference was that I made it in a 12 cup Bundt pan which was well-greased and floured. It took 55 minutes to cook in the Bundt pan and it rose nicely but the sugar filling sunk in several places, with the result that the top stuck in the pan even after allowing for cooling time. I had to piece it together and cover the wounds with a different, thicker and whiter glaze (1 cup confectioners sugar, 2 teaspoons vanilla powder, 4 TEASPOONS half and half, drizzled on while cake was still warm, so it could flow down the sides a little). It tasted nice, moist but not wet, but it really is more of a breakfast/brunch cake. I will try again in the Bundt pan with same ingredients and a slightly different technique. If it still sticks, I probably won't make it again, as there are more predictable cakes out there.
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Texas Sheet Cake V

Reviewed: Jan. 23, 2008
I thought this was a 5 star finished product, but it takes way longer than 10 min. prep time, melting the butter/cocoa to a boil takes at least that. Make this your first step, so it can be cooling while you deal with the dry ingredients, etc. Rather than struggling to blend eggs and sour cream into a lot of dry stuff, whisk them together separately, and add gradually while running the mixer on Stir for very short periods of time, then add the lukewarm cocoa mix (too hot and you might curdle the batter). Finish by hand. All told, it took 30 to 40 min. to get it in the oven, which is really where the ease begins. It cooks quickly and you don't have to stay up all night waiting for it to cool so you can ice it. Take the time to scale it if your pan is bigger, it is tricky to do the math but it will make a difference, you won't end up with a big flat chocolate cracker. The pan size in the text is 10X15 but the pan size in the header is different; use the 10X15 size. Multiply pan dimensions to give you sq. in. (150 for this recipe; my pan was 192). Divide your pan area by 150, and multiply the result by 35 servings. This tells you what number to plug into the servings box; hit scale and it will automatically do the conversion for you. Odd stuff like 2 1/2 eggs can be rounded to 3 without catastrophe (I did it). Or just go buy a new 10X15 pan.:)PS-sift the sugar for the icing after measuring and before mixing, for no white lumps.
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285 users found this review helpful

Grandma's Sour Cream Pound Cake

Reviewed: Jan. 20, 2008
I was very pleased with this recipe. It gave me a cake that had a good texture and taste. I did make two technical adjustments and one based on personal preference. I added the 1/4 tsp. baking powder mentioned by other reviewers, and I added 3 Tbsp vanilla because mine is weak (if you have stronger extracts, this would probably be too much. I like a more pronounced vanilla flavor). After reading how quickly this cake browned at 350, I decided to try starting it in a cold oven. I set it to 325 after the pan was in place and did not open the door for 60 minutes. It rose well and browned golden, not dark, with a nice crust, taking a total of 70 minutes. The recipe didn't specify type of butter, so I used 2 sticks salted and 2 sticks unsalted; the full 3 cups of sugar; and 1/4 teaspoon mace. I use Baker's Joy Spray in my pan, and it popped out easily and intact. After it was cool, I brushed it with a glaze made of softened cream cheese, unsalted butter, half and half, glazing sugar, and vanilla and lemon extracts. This does make a large amount of thick batter, so make sure you have a true 12 cup Bundt pan, use a larger Angel-food type pan, or plan on making a second smaller cake that will have to come out of the oven sooner. I will definitely make this recipe again.
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39 users found this review helpful

Roast Sticky Chicken-Rotisserie Style

Reviewed: Dec. 29, 2007
I gave this recipe 5 stars because it taught me a different technique and it had me successfully using a spice I haven't had much use for until today (paprika). I used an almost 9 pound capon, which actually required an extra 30 minutes, for a total of 5-1/2 hours. I didn't have white pepper and am not fond of cayenne, so I used only finely ground black pepper and increased the amount to compensate for the others missing. I thought I'd see if a little brown sugar in the rub would make it sticky (it didn't, but it did balance out the pepper). I took others' advice and reduced the salt to 1 tablespoon, using coarse kosher salt. I was so nervous with such a long cooking time that I kept checking every hour, but it was done perfectly. I had cool broth from boiling the giblets and I mixed in some cornstarch and deglazed the pan with it, creating a tasty gravy, as others suggested. I will definitely make this recipe again.
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Double Chocolate Brownie Cake

Reviewed: Dec. 18, 2007
Used chocolate fudge pudding, canola oil rather than vegetable oil (more neutral taste), brewed coffee instead of water, 1 cup semisweet and 1 cup milk chocolate chips, and added hazelnut and vanilla extracts just before stirring in the chips. Greased my bundt pan with shortening, sifted 1 cup flour with 1 cup cocoa, and used this to dust the greased pan. Let the cake cool in the pan a full hour before trying to unmold. Popped out intact and with a beautiful dark color, no white residue. Took longer to bake (about 70 minutes), oven temp was correct per my thermometer. Will melt the chips next time before adding, didn't care for the lumps that much. Will report back how this works. Very rich cake!12/29/07 UPDATE: Melting chips produced a finer cake, but now I am wondering if a can of chocolate syrup wouldn't work just as well.
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Ganache I

Reviewed: Dec. 18, 2007
First time I've made ganache, and it was perfect. I used semisweet instead of bittersweet chocolate, simmered the (whipping) cream just a little longer (1 minute, with only tiny bubbles staying around the edges and watched like a hawk), poured over the chocolate and let it sit about 5 minutes, then slowly stirred until blended, to avoid bubbles. This can take a while. It was pouring consistency after about 15 minutes and held its shape well over the Double Chocolate Brownie bundt cake from this site. Beautiful sheen, tastes like hot fudge, in fact we reheated the leftovers in a microwave (carefully) and poured some over vanilla ice cream. The recipe makes quite a bit, I had at least 1-1/2 cups leftover. Solidified like fudge in the fridge. Will try it with white chocolate next time. Now in my recipe box!
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23 users found this review helpful

Turkey in a Bag

Reviewed: Nov. 22, 2007
In 20 years of Thanksgiving dinners,I've never had a bad Thanksgiving turkey when using these bags. Browning has not been a problem for me, I brush the whole turkey with melted butter beforehand and I haven't needed any colorants. In fact, I sometimes still have to put a little foil tent over the breast about 2 hours into the cooking, to keep it from over-browning. The largest bird I've bagged was 22 pounds and the hardest part was the heavy lifting. I use a few tricks to get a turkey that size into the bag. I spread a very clean old towel over my work surface, which protects against juices drooling over and contaminating things, and also reduces slipperiness. I slide the bag halfway over the turkey, baste that half with butter, then pull the rest of the bag over the turkey, reach in, and baste the rest. I reach in again and spray the top of the bag with non-stick cooking spray, which prevents any sticking to the skin. I put a little chopped onion, celery, apple, and rosemary in the cavity. This year's 21 pounder was done in a little over 4 hours at 350 degrees. I really like that the juices and drippings don't evaporate and are perfect for the gravy. I'm definitely a bag fan.
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57 users found this review helpful

Baby Carrots And Brussels Sprouts Glazed With Brown Sugar and Pepper

Reviewed: Oct. 21, 2007
I cut this recipe in half because I didn't need so many vegetables, but I forgot to halve the brown sugar. It turned out great anyway. It did take much longer to acheive the glaze consistency - about 30 minutes of simmering uncovered. Judging by some of the other reviews, this might have been needed regardless of whether I had used 1/6 cup of brown sugar or not. I did cut the Brussels sprouts in half, but that likely wasn't necessary given the cooking time. I also heeded the other reviewers' ideas, and ran the vegetables through the microwave to soften them a little. I used care not to dump any extra water in when I transferred them to the cooking pot. Like the other reviewers, I found that signficantly less pepper was needed - for one pound of Brussels sprouts and one pound of baby carrots, I used only 1/2 teaspoon of finely ground black pepper, and it had just the right bite for us. I think maybe the recipe needs a little more brown sugar than is called for if you are using the full four pounds of vegetables. I plan to make this as a full recipe at Thanksgiving for a side dish, and I will definitely add 2/3 cup of brown sugar, not just 1/3.
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Baked Yam and Potato Casserole

Reviewed: Oct. 17, 2007
I substituted cream for half the broth, and added one teaspoon of dried thyme leaves and 1/2 teaspoon of finely ground black pepper. I had Swiss cheese in my refrigerator so that is what I used, and sprinkled a little in amongst the potato layers. It had a nice flavor, not bland, and wasn't soupy or dilute. With the cheese added, a small portion of leftovers served as lunch the next day. The sweet potatoes also give a tang to the taste so that it is not just all starch-flavored. I liked this variation, not sticky or candy-sweet.
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