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Beef Pot Pie III

Reviewed: Jan. 30, 2014
Loved this. Did not use the canned beef broth. Since the roast is getting cooked in water, it's easy to make gravy from this rather than canned broth. I threw in bay leaves, some dry onions and garlic (the last 2 cook down to mush, pretty much, but help flavor the meat as it simmered.) When I made the gravy, I removed the bay leaves. You could strain the liquid and remove fat, if you like. Figure a thin gravy ratio of 1 TBL cornstarch to thicken each cup of roast-cooking water you'd like to turn into gravy. Once the gravy thickens and I salt/pepper/season it to suit us, I combine with the meat and vegetables so I can make sure I have enough gravy before putting it in the shells. I follow another poster's suggestion to make from-scratch crusts and to pre-bake the bottom shell. I like to make this as a multiple-meal dish (ie Once a Month Cooking.) It can be done without crust if you can't be bothered, or with biscuit for a top crust. When freezing this for later meals, I PRECOOK until crust just starts to brown before freezing. This means that I only have to bake until hot (165 degrees in center) before serving. This also allows me to use the dish from frozen if I need to. There is some time penalty from frozen, but nothing like it would be if it had to COOK as well as thaw in the oven. Thawing first works better, but life is busy. Note: a layer of parchment paper under your bottom crust will allow you to remove the frozen pie from your baking dish for storage.
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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

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

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

Ultimate Lemon Cake

Reviewed: Apr. 25, 2013
We enjoyed this cake. I lined the (glass 9x13) pan with parchment paper. I cooked it for 45 minutes at 350. I used juice from fresh lemons and used 4 eggs rather than 8 yolks. I was after well-flavored and not-overly-sweet...so I did not add the second round of glaze. I was well pleased with the results and will make it again. If you don't have a Costco-sized bag of lemons and are shopping just for this recipe, it took me almost 1 & 1/2 fist-sized lemons to get each 1/4 cup of lemon juice. Thanks for the recipe AND for not using artificial lemon flavoring!
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1 user found this review helpful

Whole Grain Waffles

Reviewed: May 8, 2012
This is one of those delightful recipes that is healthy, versatile, tasty, and LIGHT in texture. I get 5 Belgium waffles out of the original recipe. (wheat germ and flax seed are not the same. One is from the outside of the wheat kernel, the other is ground flax seed. They are similar in texture.) The flax seed gives some oil to help with crispness of the baked waffle. The oil and applesauce lend themselves to substituting other things (banana, sweet potato, potato, etc.) I've substituted the a.p. flour with other flours (including whole wheat)...if i'm short, but I use 1 cup white ww or plain ww as a rule as that's sort of the point of this recipe. I sub ingredients for variety or if I'm short, but this recipe needs no modifications or improvements in our opinion. I use my Misto to prep my waffle iron for the first waffle...then nothing further. No sticking problems. My go-to recipe.
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7 users found this review helpful

Peanut Butter Noodles

Reviewed: Sep. 24, 2012
Enjoyed very much. The chili paste is listed as optional, but I think it would have been too sweet without it. I also started with half the recommended amount (of chili paste), then had to double the rest of the recipe as it was HOT to my taste. I've also added ~1/4 tea. of sesame oil at times. This lists as a kid friendly recipe...perhaps WITHOUT the chili paste. Final note: I've doubled this with a bit of flour to thicken for a great sauce for vegetables (kid friendly with cautious use of the chili!). It does okay without soy for those allergic (step up the sesame oil and add a sprinkle of sesame seeds if you wish.) Thanks for the recipe!
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5 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

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

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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9 users found this review helpful

Slow Cooker Oats

Reviewed: May 24, 2012
This is an easy way to go and customizes easily with what fruits/flavors you like and have on hand. I was surprised to see some of the neg. reviews didn't appear to have actually read the directions. Steel-cut oats are NOT rolled, quick, or instant. They really do take about 3 1/2 to 4 cups of water per cup of oats (and if you cook them on the stovetop, they take about 30 minutes!). I tried this the first time during the day on a weekend so that I could keep an eye on it. Every crock pot is not created equal. I have one crock pot that likes to burn this. I have to use the 'warm' setting or cook a double batch. It freezes fine. Will defrost for me (in MY microwave) on 5 min defrost cycle--no hot/cold spots. (Flattened food thaws more quickly) TY very much BrandySue
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23 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

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

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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847 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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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

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

Kelli's Baked Halibut

Reviewed: Jan. 31, 2013
Started with mayonnaise for the Miracle Whip as we aren't fans. I found myself with too much saltine crumb. Larger fillets will require more, of course...I eyeballed it, but not until I'd crushed the saltines. Pulled all but 1/2 a cup out. Added a bit (perhaps 1/4 tea) of powdered garlic, a pinch of pepper, and half a tea of dill (this wasn't enough IMO). I had mayonnaise leftover which wasn't a problem. This particular fillet was 1/2"-2/3" thick and it took quite a bit longer than indicated to bake. I added almost 10 minutes to the bake time (and let it rest 5). It was not overcooked. I suspect this recipe would be more dependable using a flake test for the fish rather than a time. Many fish recipes are this way. The spices could easily be varied with moist and flavorful results. I didn't get a particularly crispy coating, but it was good and I'll make it again. My husband went back for seconds and requested the leftovers for lunch. Thank you for the recipe!
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4 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

Baby Food Cake III

Reviewed: Jan. 15, 2013
I cooked it at 350 (by mistake) and it took 55 minutes. I used mixed fruit and prune baby foods, because that was what I had. This is a quick work-day dessert that goes together quickly and can bake during dinner or dinner prep. I suspect any fruit baby food would work. The texture was okay (not as dense as I expected) and the fruit made it moist. Great with whipped cream, ice cream, or a drizzle of icing. Frosting would be too much, IMO. This is quite a sweet cake. Next time I will reduce the sugar by at least half, but I will certainly be making it again. Once we no longer keep baby food in the pantry, I'll sub frozen fruit (thawed) with a splash of water and run through the food processor or blender...or just increase the applesauce. Thanks for the recipe.
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4 users found this review helpful

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