Rachel M. Recipe Reviews (Pg. 1) - Allrecipes.com (18428257)

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Rachel M.

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Cold Roasted Moroccan Spiced Salmon

Reviewed: Apr. 9, 2009
This has become my favorite way of preparing salmon. I skip the lime (since I almost never have limes on hand), and the high-temp cooking method works wonders on the texture. If my filets are thick I cook it for a minute or two more than it says, and the result is a salmon that almost MELTS in the mouth. I've had it hot, cold and room temperature. My favorite is room temp. Great do-ahead recipe for guests.
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Thin Mint Crackers

Reviewed: Dec. 15, 2008
Gee...this tasted like a mint-chocolate covered cracker to me. Maybe with a chocolate cookie base it would be like a thin mint, but not as-is, in my opinion. But maybe I'm just picky.
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Easiest, Most Delicious Meringue Buttercream

Reviewed: Oct. 3, 2008
Wonderful! I just made a test batch since I'm auditioning frostings for a wedding cake, and it came out fabulous! I actually halved the butter fearing it would be too "buttery" as some of the prior reviews mentioned, but I think I might add more (if not all) next time. Besides, when reducing the butter, you'd have to cut the sugar a bit in order to account for the lesser volume. I put a little aside, and added a little espresso powder and a little cocoa powder for a mild mocha, and that was great too. I used it for piping, and it piped well. This recipe is the one I'm using for the wedding cake; chocolate cake, mocha buttercream filling, vanilla buttercream frosting and decoration. This is a Swiss meringue buttercream, and I think it's much easier than the Italian buttercream that I tried making before. Oh, I also heated the egg whites to 160*F to eliminate salmonella concerns; recipe turned out fine for me. I used an electric hand mixer, not a stand one also; took a little longer, but the results were good. ****Voice of Experience- DO NOT USE PRE-PACKAGED LIQUID EGG WHITES. They will NOT work (or not well).
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Beef Stroganoff III

Reviewed: Jul. 22, 2008
My family really liked this. I did make changes (I always do), so here goes. First, I halved the recipe and used a sliced top round steak for the meat. I used about a tablespoon of ghee (clarified butter) in lieu of the butter to prevent burning, and I used high heat for the initial meat searing. I took another reviewer's advice, and plated the meat after the browning, and I used a white onion instead of the green ones. I also added fresh mushrooms after the onions started to soften. I didn't have condensed beef broth, so I reduced some regular broth with some red wine in the pan with the onions and mushrooms before putting the beef back in to simmer. I put in a little garlic powder, and used cornstarch mixed with a little broth instead of flour since I didn't have pan juices from the high heat. Skipped the white wine 'cause of the red wine reduction. Served over buttered egg noodles, and my family really liked it. I think it's pretty versatile, too.
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Beth's Spicy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Reviewed: Jul. 21, 2008
I took the advice of another reviewer and added more cinnamon, some nutmeg and some ginger. I used King Arthur's White Whole Wheat flour (which I LOVE; I can put it in almost anything and hardly tell the difference from white flour-try it in chocolate cake!), and added extra raisins and a few tablespoons more oats. Instead of the white/brown sugar mix, I used all white sugar and added a little molasses (I didn't measure, but it was probably close to 2 tablespoons) We really liked them a lot, though next time I think I'll cut the sugar a little bit if I increase the raisins.
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Banana Crumb Muffins

Reviewed: Jul. 21, 2008
I've made this twice now, once with minimal changes, once with major ones to "healthy" it up. First time: made according to recipe, except for adding cinnamon. Verdict? Tasty. Light textured and moist. A little greasy. Too sweet. Ok, so Second Time: added an extra banana, used 1 tablespoon of oil in place of the butter (substantial fat difference), cut the sugar almost in half and used white sugar plus molasses to make brown, added cinnamon, used white whole wheat flour (from King Arthur), added vanilla, added a splash of skim milk. Verdict? A little denser (not much), moist (though not quite as much as the original), not greasy, still tasty, just sweet enough (with the topping). I'd surely make 'em again, but with my changes. I find that my version is best warm.
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Authentic French Meringues

Reviewed: Jun. 7, 2008
Made these to give away as Christmas gifts. My husband had never had meringues, and he was very reluctant to try them. Well, he ended up eating half of them. :) I piped them, and they (most of them, anyway) were very pretty. I used toasted coconut in half of the batch; I liked them, but my husband didn't. Personally, I don't think I would pair these with chocolate. The chocolate could easily overwhelm them. If I have occasion to make them again, I might try finely chopped toasted nuts or bits of candied cherries. If I did the cherries, I might add a little almond extract. I'd better stop before I get too hungry. :) Thanks for the recipe, they were super!
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Homemade Ice Cream Cones

Reviewed: Jun. 7, 2008
I had similar problems as other reviewers getting these to firm up. I suspect it has to do with the heat, but that's tricky; too low and it stays soft, too high and it burns (ask me how I know). I'm probably going to experiment a little bit to see if I can get a more consistent product. The taste is great, but I'd like to make the texture perfect too. Because I burned the first one, I turned the heat way down. I have an electric range, though, and it can be difficult to get good control. I ended up keeping the heat just a bit below medium to keep mine from burning, but they were still soft. I'll post again if I can get this to be perfect. Worth it, though; very tasty (even if a little greasy). My kids loved them.
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Sunday Brunch Casserole

Reviewed: May 26, 2008
I thought I was going to like this more than I did. I didn't put in the dill (don't care for it), subbed a red pepper for green, used a little extra bacon. I think it was the shredded potatoes that did it for me; I didn't like the texture it gave the casserole. I was looking for it to be a little smoother. I assembled it, then let it sit overnight before baking; I doubt that had any effect on it, though. My mother loved it, so I'm giving it four stars. On my own, it'd probably be 3; I was a little disappointed since I love eggs, bacon and breakfast potatoes on their own. For myself, I guess I'll settle for keeping 'em separate. :) All in all, a good brunch dish, though. I'd consider making it again.
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Italian Spaghetti Sauce with Meatballs

Reviewed: May 20, 2008
If I hadn't made changes to the meatballs, I don't think they would have had much flavor, and I think they would have been too bread-y. I used a little over a pound of ground beef, added some water, used a little UNDER a cup of seasoned breadcrumbs, added much more garlic powder and cheese. I broiled them for a little over ten minutes before putting them in the pot because we like the flavor. They tasted pretty good with my changes, but they were right on the cusp of being bland. The sauce was good with the addition of oregano, garlic powder and a little extra sugar. I didn't have/use the tomato paste, but found it thick enough if I mashed the tomatoes. Used one can whole peeled tomatoes, one can diced. Replaced onions with onion powder and used jarred minced garlic. I liked the sauce a lot with the changes, and I'll probably make this again if I jazz up the meatballs a little more (probably with more garlic; we like garlic). Thanks for the recipe!
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Mexican Whole Wheat Flour Tortillas

Reviewed: May 16, 2008
These were great; I had homemade quesidillas on the table in less than 1/2 hour from concept to completion. Like a previous reviewer, I used olive oil instead of shortening. I also used all whole wheat (King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour), and didn't use a resting time. I eyeballed the ingredients (made about 4 tortillas), and didn't use a rolling pin. I usually don't make so many changes to recipes, but I had a hungry husband and so was seriously pressed for time and had to use what I had on hand :). With the olive oil, I didn't heat the pan on high, though; it might have burned. I used medium instead, and they came out just right. Thanks!
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Taco Seasoning I

Reviewed: May 7, 2008
Wonderful substitute for the packets, and it's all fresh! No artificial anything. I plan to use this again tonight, but when I used it last time, I didn't change a thing. Followed the tip from a previous reviewer about using a little cornstarch mixed with water to make a sauce; it's fantastic. Looking forward to dinner tonight!
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Baked Teriyaki Chicken

Reviewed: Mar. 27, 2008
These were really good. I made a little extra sauce, and used thn boneless breasts. They cooked in 20 mins, so that didn't give me many bastings. I did line the pan with foil, but I don't know if I'd do it again; I know it helps in cleaning up (and how!), but the juices accumulate more when a pan is lined, and that dilutes the sauce. I added about a teaspoon of toasted sesame seeds to the sauce, and that worked really well. Might add tahini next time for an added flavor boost. I think this sauce would work REALLY well on salmon, and probably beef, too.
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Raspberry-Coconut Bars

Reviewed: Mar. 24, 2008
I made this recipe for Easter. I should have gone with my instincts while making it, but I decided to try the recipe "as-is". Well, first of all I should have used unsalted butter for the crust, because it came out too salty. I don't fault the recipe for that, but anyone else making these might like to know. Second, there isn't enough raspberry to even make its presence known. Third, the coconut topping comes out a little funny; "froth" is not at all how I would describe it. Next time (f there is a next time), I will use unsalted butter for the "crust," maybe add a little (teaspoon or so) of powdered sugar to the crust, double (or almost) the raspberry filling, and use 3 egg whites instead of the whole eggs to make a meringue topping for the coconut. Or maybe I'll use 2 eggs separated, then fold in the yolks with the coconut. In any case, this recipe seems to need a lot of work, and I might just look elsewhere (or invent my own). Kind of disappointing, because the flavor combination sounded wonderful.
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Syrian Bread

Reviewed: Feb. 1, 2008
Delicious! Made it to go with Hummus III on this site. I used Rapid-Rise yeast, and it worked just fine.
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Mini Cheesecakes

Reviewed: Jan. 27, 2008
Oh, wow. Like many others, I used a graham crust for this (couldn't tell you proportions, I made it on the fly). I halved the recipe, used neufchatel cheese (1/3 less fat than cream cheese), a drop or so of vanilla extract, and used a little less lemon juice than called for. I also added about a tablespoon of light cream, and about 1/4 teaspoon of flour. I didn't use the cherry pie filling and I didn't use paper liners, just greased the cups really well. No problems with sticking. My cakes cracked a tad, but that's my tempermental and inaccurate oven. My advice: DO NOT try or rate these until after you have chilled them overnight. I had some the night I made them and was at first disappointed since they tasted eggy and the texture was way too soft. HOWEVER, I put the rest in the fridge, and the next morning they were fantastic; better (in my opinion) than the Cheesecake Factory in terms of taste AND texture. I ate some plain and some with a little raspberry preserves. I was very pleased, and my husband has requested them again.
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Braised Balsamic Chicken

Reviewed: Jan. 26, 2008
Very tasty! I scaled it down to four servings my first time, two servings my second time. I've served it over buttered spaghetti and whole wheat linguini; I personally think the linguni holds up a little better for it. I put a little splash of maple syrup in to cut any vinegary-tang, but I did use the full amount of vinegar. I think I'll try doubling the sauce, because it's so darn tasty! Might pound my breasts thin, too; I had to add a little water to the pan because my really thick chicken still needed cooking while the liquid was almost gone. A company-worthy dish that earned a thumbs-up from my husband.
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Mother's Day Pie

Reviewed: Jan. 18, 2008
Eh...this went kinda weird on me. The coconut sunk to the bottom and the whole thing was a little too sweet for my taste. That could be my fault though; I DID use sweetened coconut and I toasted it first. Flavor was really good, though.
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Old-Fashioned Vanilla Pudding

Reviewed: Jan. 18, 2008
I wasn't very excited about this. I doubled the recipe, but it turned out tasting too...buttery. It wasn't the cool, refreshing pudding I was looking for. Maybe the recipe should specify to use unsalted butter; I used salted, and that's what might have done it. I *might* try again, although I'll either use unsalted butter or cut the salt in the recipe by 1/2. I'll update if I get around to making it. Texture was perfect though, so I hope I can tweak it to get the flavor I'm looking for.
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Lemon Square Bars

Reviewed: Dec. 30, 2007
These were really good, although I did follow some suggestions of other reviewers. First, I halved the recipe and used a 8x8 pan. I didn't reduce the butter for the crust, but I should have; it was a little greasy. I tried baking the crust at 325 rather than 350, but it took 20 minutes and wasn't browning, and I didn't want my lemon mixture to need to wait too long to go in. Next time I'll probably use the recommended temp, or only go 10* lower. I remember making these a while ago using BOTH extra lemon juice AND grated zest. That was too much by waaaaay far. This time I just grated a little zest (probably 1/8 teaspoon for my halved batch) and it was perfect; just the right amount of tartness to balance the sweet. In the 8x8, I baked at 350 for about 25 minutes total; after 15 minutes of bake time, I needed to cover the pan with foil so that the top wouldn't brown. They were delicious; just what I was hoping for in a lemon bar!
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