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Cream Cheese Frosting II

Reviewed: Nov. 18, 2006
This recipe has both an unusually high proportion of cheese and low proportion of sugar (IMO). I like the resulting flavor, but it isn’t for everyone. For a less 'in your face' cheese flavor, I halve the cream cheese (8 oz instead of 16), add 1/4 cup of butter, and one more cup of powdered sugar. The final thickness tends to vary on several factors (brand/type/temperature of the cheese and butter) so I add milk/powdered-sugar to give me the 'spreadability' I want. I use this as a 'base' recipe for frosting many baked items, changing thickness and flavoring to suit my current use. It isn’t a decorator frosting for the real fancy stuff, but it isn’t meant to be.
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855 users found this review helpful

Carrot Cake III

Reviewed: Nov. 18, 2006
We liked this so much that I didn't frost it the first time I made it! I didn't have quite enough carrots, so I added a cup of crushed pineapple. I also substituted walnuts for the pecans. It was delightfully moist and flavorful. I added a large pinch of nutmeg and a small pinch of allspice to the listed cinnamon. I rarely give top rating to recipes (as how can you show what you consider 'best' if you give them all top ratings?) This one deserves it, IMO.
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3 users found this review helpful

Beer Bread I

Reviewed: Nov. 18, 2006
Have been making this bread for years. I prefer it made with a good wheat beer (weizen-bier). It is best warm (rub with butter when hot-out-of-the-oven). Cut in thick slices with a serrated knife. Once it cools, cut thinly and toast for marvelous flavor. The only problem with this bread is it tends to dry out quickly. It's easy to make from memory:3 ingredients, 3 tablespoons of sugar, oven at THREE-fifty...one of everything else (including 1 hr cooking time.) You can vary this receipe by adding some cheese, diced onion, etc.
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4 users found this review helpful

Old-Fashioned Vanilla Pudding

Reviewed: Dec. 13, 2006
Was looking for a quick and easy substitute for boxed vanilla pudding, and found it. I added a generous dash of cinnamon, mixed dry ingredients first, and stirred constantly until it just reached a boil. (Is quite thick at this stage, just like the boxed stuff.) I also added egg yolks, to enrich not thicken, as the mixture bacame 'hot'. I’d have added them sooner, but I didn’t have a chance. As soon as it reached 'boiling' I pulled from heat and added vanilla and let it cool. I like 'skin', so I don't put plastic wrap on surface of pudding. Some say with these types of puddings that they are 'creamier' if you do the plastic wrap or stirring-as-they-cool thing, and are 'firmer' if you just let 'em cool until thoroughly 'set', but I've found if they are a bit too firm or 'lumpy', just stirring them before serving smoothes things out quite a bit. Very good-better than boxed, as you'd expect. Boyfriend liked it and he says he doesn't often like pudding (smile).
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22 users found this review helpful

Homemade Vanilla Pudding

Reviewed: Dec. 13, 2006
Better than boxed, almost as quick, and certainly cheaper than those little boxes of store-bought. I doubled the recipe, but added two yolks to enrich it a little (adds a bit of color, as well.) I also added about 1/8th teaspoon cinnamon. If you substitute or omit the butter and don't add seasoning or enrich it SOMEHOW, it is rather 'thin' in FLAVOR, not texture--sort of like the 'instant' puddings are (to my taste buds, anyway.) Has a smoother texture than instant boxed puddings, however. Good recipe to use when eggs aren't available or a 'lighter' filling is desired rather than a full-flavored 'pudding'. I let it come to a full boil (JUST) rather than as directed and added the yolks from the beginning with the milk, then added the mixed dry ingredients to the milk mixture. Vanilla was added after removing the completely-cooked mixture from heat.
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3 users found this review helpful

Egg in a Boat

Reviewed: Dec. 16, 2006
This is a classic. It is good, too simple to be 'great'...but one of the first foods my kids learned to make. We knew it as egg-windows or Holey-toast. The circles that are removed from the bread toast nicely in the pan with the egg/bread and are part of the ‘fun’ of this particular treat. You can, with little effort, customize the egg centers; I'm fond of soft yolks and plain eggs. My kids prefer a seasoned 'scrambled' center. You can add grated cheese on the top after you’ve flipped them. You can also…if bored and cooking for someone who demands you break the yolk…write with the yolk on the ‘toast circle.’ It cooks into a visible ‘picture or letter.’ It can encourage reluctant eaters not only to eat...but to try 'different' breads, such as wheat (or anything not tasteless-white-LOL)
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3 users found this review helpful

Cream of Mushroom Soup I

Reviewed: Dec. 17, 2006
This soup will be on my ‘MAKE OFTEN' list from now on. I had half a Costco-sized box of mushrooms that needed “using up.” We were having beef steaks for dinner, but I wanted to try something different than the usual 'fried-mushroom & onion garnish', so I was out looking for a new recipe. This mushroom soup recipe worked up quickly, and tasted great. I didn't have any sherry, so I omitted it without a qualm. I didn't have dried thyme either, but I had an 'Italian blend' that included rosemary, marjoram, and thyme that I substituted in its place. To make a long story short, it WAS popular with everyone (hurray.) Since it has a pretty bland base, I’ll work up some variations that should make some of the ‘less popular’ vegetables palatable with younger eaters. I wouldn’t want to put something on my ‘Do Often’ list if it wasn’t popular with everyone eating at my table. Thanks for the recipe. It WILL be visiting our table regularly. I hope it does yours.
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5 users found this review helpful

Best Peach Cobbler Ever

Reviewed: Feb. 4, 2007
Followed exactly and it ended up being consumed in 6 servings. I found the flavor not too sweet (a plus, IMO) The 'crust' rose to the top and crusted over okay, but I think it was just a bit 'too thin'. I'll increase the flour next time to 1 1/3 cups. The peach mixture was too thin. I think the sliced peaches with juice was too much liquid. Next time I'll decrease it to 1 cup and consider increasing the cornstarch by 30 to 50%. I'll also increase the seasoning in the peaches somewhat. I don't think the 'pinch' of cinnamon and nutmeg was enough. The final change I'll make next time will be to heat the peach & cornstarch mixture so it thickens. That way I'll know if it the amount of thickening is correct and I won't have to worry about the cornstarch not blending evenly or lumping. The servings listed was 18. I think this is greatly overstated. I served it as dessert after dinner and got 6 servings out of it. We might have managed 8 without having people feel neglected, but there is NO WAY we'd have gotten anywhere near the recommended servings. These changes are minor; I am happy to have found a quick and easy recipe that uses canned peaches (this IS Alaska, after all).
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7 users found this review helpful

White Bread I

Reviewed: Feb. 24, 2007
Very good Basic Bread recipe. I made in OVEN at 350 for 40 minutes. Needed a bit more flour, but that's probably due to not using a bread machine; besides one always has to judge the flour 'as you go' as it's never exactly the same twice. Listen to your fingers. Thanks for the recipe.
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4 users found this review helpful

Spiced Applesauce Bread

Reviewed: Apr. 4, 2007
I made a number of changes to this recipe. First, I substituted 1 cup of whole wheat flour for 1 cup of the 'regular' flour. I was delighted to find that this didn't give it a heavy 'healthy' taste. I did find it a bit drier than I expected. Based on earlier reviews, I decreased the oil to 1/3rd of a cup (I'll leave it alone next time!). I added a half cup of walnuts and a half cup of raisins-putting the raisins in a 1c measuring cup and heaping the walnuts over the top so once I put them in a zip-lock and pounded them into smaller pieces...it works out to a good half cup for the nuts. I mixed the nut/raisins into the flour mixture (i.e the dry ingredients) that way the raisins stay where they belong in the loaf (evenly distributed) rather than sinking to the bottom. The last change was that I used the 'chunky' applesauce in place of the regular. It left pieces of apple spread through the loaf. The last change I made was to decrease the sugar to 2/3rds of a cup--this worked out fine for me/us. It might have been the addition of the raisins, golden raisins at that, but it was plenty sweet. All and all, a very nice recipe. I'll certainly make it again.
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4 users found this review helpful

Apple Pie IV

Reviewed: Jan. 28, 2008
Precooking the apples allows you to get the crust to fit the pie! It also allows you to adjust the sugar/spices to fit the sweetness of the apples you use. The only disadvantage is that it is very easy to overcook the apples. I find cooking apples by 'number' a bit strange as it depends on size of apples. I used about 8 cups of sliced apples for a 9" pie, 1/4 cup butter and 1/3 cup sugar (my apples were sweet) It could have used another 1/2 t of cinnamon and 1/4 t of nutmeg in my opinion. I also thickened the apples with 2T of rice flour (dissolved in about 1/4c water) and stirred into the apples at the end of precooking period. I want to experiment a bit more and try precooking the bottom crust, at least partially, to help prevent the 'soggy' and/or 'undercooked' bottom crust problem sometimes encountered--but that must wait for another day.
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19 users found this review helpful

Simple Beef Stroganoff

Reviewed: Apr. 12, 2008
This gets 4 stars for what it is... a simple stick-to-your-ribs meal-especially over mashed potatoes(yes, throw in a veg side). I've been making it for years. Substantial improvement is made by taking the time to brown the meat and onions (some garlic is nice too). If you have real mushrooms it helps as well. I've used cream cheese at times to sub for the sour cream and tomato soup is a nice change for the canned 'cream of whatever' generally used. This is a starter-recipe to be varied with 'what have I got in the cupboards/fridge'. I don't think mine has ever been the same twice, and I can't recall anyone throwing it away. No, it is NOT steak and you wouldn't take it to the company pot-luck, but it is a keeper due to it's ease and flexibility, low-cost, and widespread appeal.ymmv
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10 users found this review helpful

Pebber Nodder (Danish Christmas Cookies)

Reviewed: Dec. 8, 2008
I tried it initially exactly as written. The dough was sticky, so I chilled it for several hours before rolling it into 'fingers' as directed. I did not add more flour, though it was sticky to work, it was not unmanagable. I did most of the rolling by wrapping the segments of dough in the lg ZipLoc bag i'd chilled the dough inside. I will add a bit more flour next time (perhaps a half cup) My cookies, though I cut them as directed, did 'soften' when baked into small 'coin' shapes. Making them as directed is (IMO) faster than trying to drop them onto sheet. Cookie has a crisp bottom and a softer top (but not at all 'chewey' when sized and baked as directed) Flavor is mild, but nice. The Cardamom tastes ginger=like to me. I will have NO trouble using this spice in other recipes. I will make this cookie again with additional flour, a bit (1/4-1/2 t) more of the spices, and bake them a bit longer (1-2 min) for more 'crisp'. This will be a nice 'light' summer cookie, perhaps with fruit, or crushed as topping or crust.
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2 users found this review helpful

Old-Fashioned Chocolate Fudge

Reviewed: Dec. 13, 2008
I can count on one had the number of times I've made 'real' fudge...but this time I was in the mood for 'real', so I did it. Followed the recipe EXACTLY (which means I used a thermometer) didn't stir after boil, let it cool (took a good half hour to cool enough to add butter and vanilla). When I started to beat it (thank heavens for mixers) it took no more than 5 minutes to lose gloss and stiffen up. I almost didn't get the nuts (oh, guess I did change the recipe, sorry) stirred in. No sugar crystals. Just smoooooth chocolate goodness.
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3 users found this review helpful

Texas Deer Chili

Reviewed: Dec. 22, 2008
I took the TEXAS DEER to literally be 'deer from Texas'...which are usually corn-fed critters...almost farmed. They are excellent eating, and far more tender than the average 'deer'. Recipe has nice flavor. I made with ground moose as that was what I had. A bit thin. I thickened with some flour. Will probably mash the beans next time-and there WILL be a next time. Thanks for the recipe
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5 users found this review helpful

Japanese-Style Sesame Green Beans

Reviewed: Dec. 27, 2008
An excellent recipe and one I'll use often. I will try with less oil, though the liquid that cooks out of the beans makes things seem 'greasier' than they really are. I always thicken with a sprinkle of flour or cornstarch to make the seasons cling to the vegetables rather than sitting in the bottom of the bowl. Nice flavor and easy to make as I've always got at least frozen green beans available at home. Thanks for the recipe!
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2 users found this review helpful

Plain Cake Doughnuts

Reviewed: Dec. 28, 2008
Recipe was okay. I formed a log 1/2" thick and about 3" wide then cut 'fingers' to fry. I got about 30 of them...and a few 'bits' to test the grease temperature with. I added a tsp of dried orange peel and a half tsp total of cinnamon. Next time I'll add a full tsp of cinnamon, I think. My one reservation for this recipe is the frying in oil. I'd never done this before (so followed the temp guidelines in the recipe) It seems to absorb more fat then when fried in shortening (my 'usual' method). A quick and easy recipe that I'll use, with the above changes, again. Thanks.
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4 users found this review helpful

Quick and Easy Pizza Crust

Reviewed: Dec. 29, 2008
This was a boon as it was too close to dinnertime for most crust recipes today. Following the reviews, I added seasonings (1/3 tsp garlic powder. 3/4tsp Italian Seasonings.) I microwaved the dry flour/salt/seasonings before adding the liquid/yeast as my pantry is very cool and the flour is too cold to rise this time of year otherwise (30 seconds was plenty). I precooked the crust for 8 minutes before topping, and baked another 15 after topping. A bit bland for my tastes, will increase seasonings next time. Crust crunchy at edges, golden on entire bottom with a chewier texture under toppings. This is a very good recipe for the time involved!
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2 users found this review helpful

Honey Butter

Reviewed: Dec. 31, 2008
I found the half and half a bit sweet. I used 3/4 butter to 1/2 c honey, then added a half tsp ground ginger because my husband likes it that way.
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3 users found this review helpful

Bill's Sausage Gravy

Reviewed: Apr. 22, 2012
A good 'core-recipe'. Thank you. Have been making this with moose sausage in recent years. It tastes great, but moose tends to need some fat to brown nicely, even as sausage. Butter doesn't like the heat from browning, so I use bacon grease if I've got it and a high-smoke-point oil if I don't. (I omit the butter when I do this as it isn't needed.) If you try this, watch the salt when seasoning your gravy; bacon grease is quite salty. A half teaspoon (more/less to taste) of sage adds variety, too. YMMV
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2 users found this review helpful

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