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Minnesota Pork Chops

Reviewed: Aug. 12, 2008
This is a wonderful pork chop dish! The first time I made it the chops came out tender but rather dry, so I tried brining the pork chops and it makes all the difference. However, this means that you have to be careful how much salt you add--I only seasoned my chops with pepper before browning them and the dish still came out on the salty side. I would recommend making this with two cans of low-sodium cream of mushroom soup and using low-sodium chicken broth instead of the water and chicken bouillon granules (I also added extra canned mushrooms). Since I couldn't find wild rice, I used a box of Rice-a-Roni wild rice and added another 1/2 cup of white rice. This dish is the very definition of comfort food! I served it with orange-glazed carrots and it made for a very simple and satisfying meal.
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Chicken Breasts with Lime Sauce

Reviewed: Aug. 11, 2008
The flavors of this recipe were okay, but nothing special. The sauce was too thin and the flavors were flat, and it was impossible to get the chicken breasts to 1/4 inch thin, so by the time I had cooked them until they were done the breading had burned. The chicken was also underseasoned, probably because I used panko. Bottom line, I probably won't make this again.
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Chicken with Herb Sauce

Reviewed: Jun. 8, 2008
Like other reviewers, I added a splash of white wine vinegar and used lemon juice instead of lime juice. I also find I like the taste of this sauce better with spicy brown mustard than with dijon mustard. I also used dried herbs rather than fresh, and I let the sauce simmer for a while to reconstitute the herbs and reduce the sauce. This is a very easy and tasty chicken recipe that uses ingredients most people already have on hand. I've made this several times and it always hits the spot.
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Perfect Crab Cakes With Green Onions

Reviewed: Jun. 8, 2008
This is a good starter recipe for adding other ingredients that suit your taste. I ended up using more mayo to hold everything together and more like 1 tsp. of Old Bay seasoning. I also added more green onions, and in the future I'll add more crunchy green veggies like chopped celery or green bell pepper. I used breadcrumbs instead of crushed saltines (panko would also be good), and I coated each crab cake in breadcrumbs before I fried it. With some homemade tartar sauce and lemon juice, these were excellent. Make sure not to break up all the lumps in the crabmeat, or the texture will be all wrong.
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Mouse's Macaroni and Cheese

Reviewed: May 27, 2008
This recipe was 4 stars as is--5 stars with a few alterations. The first time I made it I used Cheddar cheese instead of American and the sauce came out grainy. I've used only Velveeta since then. I also omit the breadcrumbs, as I've found they're not my cup of tea. Depending on how much of a sauce fan you are, you can use up to double the macaroni the recipe calls for. I wouldn't do any more than double, though, because that would make it too dry. I also use the larger elbow macaroni, as it makes for a nice texture. With these fairly minor changes, this is a dish that I get cravings for all the time. This will definitely become one of my staples!
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Quick Sausage and Bell Pepper Calzones

Reviewed: Sep. 25, 2007
I made these for a dinner group of 8. I doubled the filling and used frozen rolls for the crust (I thawed them and used two rolls to make one calzone). These were definitely not quick, though. I have a lot of time in the evenings, so I assembled the calzones over the course of a couple of days (made the filling one day and refrigerated overnight, stuffed the calzones the next, baked on the third). I served them with a green salad and jarred spaghetti sauce. Even though it was time consuming, the finished product got rave reviews. I would probably make again, but enlist some help in the future.
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Rotini with Shrimp

Reviewed: Dec. 29, 2006
This shrimp dish was a nice change from my usual recipes. I did make a couple of changes, though. Since we're not big rotini fans, I used bow tie pasta (gemelli would have worked nicely, too). Also, the lemon zest wasn't quite lemony enough for me, so after I zested the lemon I squeezed 1/4 of the juice into the sauce (next time I'll do more). I also would have maybe halved the dill. I'm not sure why the recipe says to use a Dutch oven; using a saucepan to cook the pasta and shrimp worked just fine. With these changes, this dish went over very well.
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Yummy Lemon Bread

Reviewed: Nov. 26, 2006
Given that I love lemon, I really wanted to like this bread. It ended up tasting fine--not five-star delicious, but good. However, it really came out as more of a cake. It barely rose at all in the oven, and the loaf really only ended up about two inches thick. I followed the recipe exactly, except for omitting the nuts and sweetening the lemon juice more at the last step. Maybe next time I'll make a double batch and make it a 9x13 cake. But as a loaf of bread, this just doesn't cut it.
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Oatmeal Butterscotch Cookies

Reviewed: Sep. 21, 2006
A few years ago I dug a very similar cookie recipe out of the back of my mom's recipe box (the only differences are using 1 cup of flour and 1 cup of butter and greasing the cookie sheet), and just a couple days ago I decided to make these for some friends who came over for dinner. They were a *huge* hit, and everyone asked for the recipe. These cookies are very simple to make, and the dough refrigerates well, too. The batch I made only made about 36 cookies, though. Still, worth making again!
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BBQ Chicken Pizza I

Reviewed: Jul. 25, 2006
Tastes exactly like the pizza I get from my favorite pizza place! It looks gorgeous coming out of the oven. I made it for my roommates and they were so impressed that they even cleaned up the dishes afterward. This is a great starter recipe that can easily be adjusted to suit individual tastes. The crust and the sauce are the most important parts--I used an easy homemade pizza crust recipe instead of storebought (worth the extra time), and used Stubbs BBQ sauce. I would add the honey, molasses, and sugar to the sauce a little at a time and taste after each addition to avoid oversweetening it. Also, next time I don't think I'll use quite as much cilantro as called for. I used mozzarella instead of Gouda, and it tasted fabulous. Will definitely make again!
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