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Best Big, Fat, Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie

Reviewed: Apr. 2, 2010
This is the ONLY chocolate chip cookie recipe I ever use! My modification is to reduce the amount of brown sugar (to 3/4 cup) and choco chips (1/2 cup dark chips + 1/2 cup semisweet chips), otherwise it's way too sweet IMO.
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Quick Alfredo Sauce

Reviewed: May 1, 2011
Delicious! Made 4 servings of this (1 cup) with the Absolutely Fabulous Portobello Mushroom Tortellini (by Staceyo) and it was a restaurant quality meal. Replaced the garlic salt with 2 cloves of fresh minced garlic, which was browned in the butter over medium heat. Used 2% milk to reduce the fat content as well, and maybe about 1/4 cup parm cheese. It was so yummy and so easy to make! There's no reason to go back to prepared alfredo sauce again.
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Jacky's Fruit and Yogurt Muffins

Reviewed: Mar. 4, 2011
Really tasty and healthy muffins. Easy to make, too. :) My healthy/taste subs: 1 cup AP and 1 cup WW flour, 1/2 cup sugar, 1 cup fat-free blueberry yogurt, 4 Tbsp oil, 3 tsp vanilla extract. Other kitchen subs: additional 2 tsp baking soda because I had no baking powder. Topped with streusel made of: 5 Tbsp brown sugar, 2 Tbsp AP flour, broken pecans, 2 Tbsp butter. Baked as instructed and it yielded 12 regular muffins. Be warned, though, that the combined muffin mix is VERY THICK! Out of curiosity I did NOT add any extra milk or liquids to the mixture... and they turned out fine! Muffins rose as expected, plus they looked + tasted great (very fruity, but not excessively sweet/unhealthy, which is what I dislike about the ones in coffee shops). A+ in my books!
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Brownie Crackles

Reviewed: Nov. 30, 2010
5 stars for tastiness and simplicity! :) For Canadians like me: I used a 440 g (which is about 15.5 oz) package of Betty Crocker brownie mix, and followed the rest of the ingredient list with the exception of only adding 1/2 cup of semisweet chocolate chips. It was SO easy to make this recipe. Hand-mixed all the ingredients in a bowl, then let it sit for 10 minutes to thicken up. In a shallow dish of powdered (confectioners') sugar, dropped spoonfuls (using a regular spoon, not a cookie dough scoop) of dough into the dish. Piled sugar on top, picked up with my hands and juggled in my palms to (i) shape into balls, and (ii) shake off excess sugar. Very easy and not messy at all. Baked 27 of them on cookie sheets covered with wax paper at 350F for 12 minutes. Came out perfectly. Crispy-ish edges and soft gooey chocolate goodness inside! What more can you ask? :)
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3 users found this review helpful

Asian Lettuce Wraps

Reviewed: Sep. 19, 2010
Absolutely fantastic! We loved the flavour and simplicity of this dish. I used butter lettuce leaves for the wrapping; the filling consisted of 1 lb chicken (thinly sliced), 4 cloves of diced garlic, 1/2 onion diced, sliced cabbage (double amount as onion), 1/2 sliced yellow pepper, 2 handfuls of bean sprouts and 9 shiitake mushrooms thinly sliced. Sauce was 3 T light soy sauce, 1/4 cup hoisin, 2 T sesame oil and 3 T sriracha for spiciness. This portion was enough was two AWESOME sidedish meals (for 2 people). I totally recommend this recipe!
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Banana Banana Bread

Reviewed: Aug. 19, 2010
I prefer this recipe to other banana bread recipes out there -- it definitely deserves 5 stars! My subs: 5 medium bananas, 2 cups of whole wheat flour, 1/2 cup brown sugar and 1/4 cup white sugar. Also added 1 tsp cinnamon and 2 tsp vanilla for extra flavour. Very very yummy; we both enjoyed it very much! I baked it in two 8-inch cake pans to reduce the oven time to 30 minutes total. Will make again using the same changes. :)
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5 users found this review helpful

Chicken in a Pot

Reviewed: May 30, 2010
Excellent chicken dish! I used 5 bone-in, skinless chicken thighs, 1 container of mushrooms, 1 onion, 3 cups of chicken broth, 12 oz of tomato paste and adjusted the spices to taste. Dredged the chicken in a mixture of flour, salt, pepper and garlic powder before sauteing for 2 minutes per side. Added chopped mushrooms and onions halfway through to saute with the chicken pieces and yummy juices. Then added the tomato and broth mixture and simmered altogether for 15 minutes. Topped the chicken with mozzarella cheese and finished in the oven (350F) for 5 minutes. These measurements yielded plenty of sauce; great accompaniment to plain white rice or pasta. Will make again for an easy, tasty, satisfying one-skillet meal!
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2 users found this review helpful

Bananas Foster II

Reviewed: May 9, 2010
Favourite dessert ever!! Love how easy it is to make and it tastes GREAT with vanilla ice cream. Simple enough to make while tipsy (no measurements, of course) and it's ready to eat in less than 5 minutes, too.
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Turkey and Quinoa Meatloaf

Reviewed: Apr. 28, 2010
Tasty + very easy to make + healthy = 5 stars! Made the following changes: 2 packages of ground chicken (~20 oz total) because store didn't have turkey; 1/2 cup quinoa boiled in 1 cup chicken stock; 2 eggs; 2 tbsp homemade bbq sauce instead of hot pepper sauce; 1 tbsp ketchup instead of tomato paste; halved the salt and pepper measurements; topped with bbq sauce instead of brown sugar mixture. I prepped everything (in about 20 minutes) before beach vball and refrigerated the mixture. When I came home, I preheated the oven to 350F, sprayed a foiled lined baking sheet with PAM, shaped the mixture into a flattish rectangular loaf and topped with bbq sauce, then popped in the oven for 50 minutes. We ate it with mashed potatoes, yum! Makes 4 generous servings. I love how easy it is to prep and the great taste! Will definitely make again.
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6 users found this review helpful

Mocha Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins

Reviewed: Apr. 6, 2010
Fantastic recipe! Don't have instant coffee, so ended up with chocolate chip banana muffins. Healthy substitutions: 4 bananas, 1 cup applesauce, 1/4 oil, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup white sugar, 1 cup WW flour, 1-1/4 cup AP flour, 2/3 cup semisweet choc chips, 1/3 cup dark choc chips; everything else the as written. Makes 17 medium YUMMY muffins. Next time, will try subbing 1/4 cup ground flax seed for a nuttier flavour!
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3 users found this review helpful

Baked Asparagus with Balsamic Butter Sauce

Reviewed: Jan. 18, 2010
Wonderful sidedish! Paired this with oven baked ribs tonight, and fiance and I both loved it. Cooking notes: used 12 asparagus (medium thickness) baked for 10 minutes in toaster oven at 400F as directed. For the sauce, I used 2T margarine, 1t soy sauce and 1T balsamic, simmered for 8 minutes until reduced. Fantastic -- will definitely make it again!
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Nana's Barbeque Sauce

Reviewed: Nov. 22, 2009
VERY easy to make! Made a huge batch (36 servings). Modifications due to ingredient availability in the kitchen: - used 750mL (one large bottle) of Heinz Hot & Spicy ketchup. - omitted Worcestershire sauce and allspice. This tasty sauce keeps in the fridge for several weeks (in my experience) and is awesome with chicken. I'm glad I didn't use regular ketchup, as the Hot & Spicy version adds heat to this BBQ sauce, which I love!
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1 user found this review helpful

Roquefort Pear Salad

Reviewed: Nov. 22, 2009
Fantastic salad! Got rave reviews at dinner party last night. :) To serve 8, I used 2 packages of spring greens, 3 bosc pears (unpeeled and chopped), no avocado, 1/3 of a red onion (thinly sliced), and 5 ounces crumbled Gorgonzola cheese (on the side). Doubled the dressing and the candied nuts (walnuts, not pecans). The salad bowl was emptied -- it was that popular! Ate it again today for lunch, with addition of 1 diced avocado. This version tastes great as well. Will be making it many more times... Btw, I am definitely not a blue cheese or Gorgonzola fan, but even I enjoyed the cheese when mixed with the rest of the flavourful salad.
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Absolutely Fabulous Portobello Mushroom Tortellini

Reviewed: May 1, 2011
Superb meal, especially if you love mushrooms. Used 1 pound of fresh 4-cheese tortellini, 2 large sliced portobello mushrooms (gills spooned out), 5 sliced crimini mushrooms and s&p to taste. No parsley and no garlic, as I used the Quick Alfredo Sauce (by distasi) which already used 2 cloves of fresh garlic. Also did not need to top the finished dish with parm cheese because the yummy sauce contained enough cheese already (and it was relatively healthier that way). Made the pasta in a separate pot, made mushrooms in a frying pan and then mixed them into the pot that contained the alfredo sauce. Spooned the sauce mixture over the pasta to make a restaurant-quality meal. Delicious! My bf rated it 9.5 out of 10, and I would give it 10/10.
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4 users found this review helpful

Banana Crumb Muffins

Reviewed: Oct. 5, 2009
Super yummy muffins! Made them twice now. The second time, the crumb topping was not at all crumbly because I used soft margarine (no butter on hand) which ended up melting completely so I couldn't make it into the texture of oatmeal before spreading it on top of the muffins. So the topping failed in that respect. Therefore it's very important to make sure you cut COLD butter (or not-so-soft margarine) for the topping. Overall, the muffins are great! They keep well on the counter for 3-4 days.
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Breakfast Pies

Reviewed: Nov. 17, 2009
Super yummy, easy and convenient! :) Will definitely make again. My mods were: used Pillsbury reduced fat crescent rolls to make 8 pies (using a 12-muffin tin that was sprayed with Pam), 1/3 onion diced, 1/2 red pepper diced, and 2 spicy bratwurst sausages (about 300 g of sausages... removed casings and mashed into small chunks). Did not need to add any salt/pepper while cooking due to flavour of sausages. Omitted eggs and cheese to keep pies a bit healthier (fewer cholesterol/less fat) and also less messy overall. To make pies, I split each crescent triangle into halves, placed one half into muffin tin, spooned mixture into it, then covered with remaining half of pastry. Made 8 pies total. Baked at 375 for 15 minutes. They came out smelling great! Removed from pan, placed on rack to cool, then refrigerated them all. My fiance and I ate 2 pies (reheated at 325 for 8 minutes in toaster oven) for breakfast this morning. They were crispy on the outside and hot on the inside. We loved them! Will be making lots more of these tasty pies for sure.
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Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins

Reviewed: Nov. 14, 2011
Delicious, even with my healthy substitutions! They were light, moist, tasty, and had a yummy muffin top texture which reminded me of a chocolate chip cookie. SO GOOD. * Healthy subs: 1 cup WW flour + 3/4 AP flour, only 1/4 cup white sugar + 1/4 brown sugar, only 1/2 cup choco chips. * Additions: 1/2 cup broken pecan pieces, and used 3 overripe (frozen, then thawed) bananas. * Everything else was the same. * Yielded 14 medium muffins using bake time of 21 minutes. I can't wait to share them with my bf! Definitely will make these again - they make a perfect healthy breakfast paired with coffee and fruit.
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2 users found this review helpful

Easy Guacamole

Reviewed: Feb. 14, 2012
The one and only guac recipe I'll ever use. It's seriously dead simple. If I'm pressed for time, instead of chopping a small onion, I just use dried onion flakes, which rehydrate while the dip is chilling in the fridge. So easy, so fresh, so good! :)
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Mushrooms and Spinach Italian Style

Reviewed: May 21, 2010
Restaurant quality sidedish, definitely a keeper! Used 2 tbsp olive oil, 1 small onion (chopped), 3 cloves garlic (minced), 8 large mushrooms (sliced), 1/2 bag of spinach (not chopped), 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar, 1/4 cup white wine, s&p and no parsley. It only took about 20 minutes to make, too! As per past reviews, I added the spinach last (after the vinegar and white wine had reduced), so that the greens wouldn't be overcooked. Also, next time, I will use 2/3 bag of spinach as 1/2 a bag was just barely enough for 2 servings.
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6 users found this review helpful

Thai Peanut Butter Sauce

Reviewed: Mar. 21, 2011
Delicious and simple to make using pantry staples. However, I had to make some substitutions, as I was missing some ingredients, so the 5-star rating is for my simpler, make-do version. I used all-natural peanut butter (with no sodium), 2 tbsp soy sauce, 1 to 2 tbsp red wine vinegar and a sprinkling of chili pepper flakes. Mixed it all up and added hot water as required to create the creamy consistency that I wanted. It's terrific as a veggie dipping sauce, and can be easily diluted to make it a more liquid sauce for noodles and chicken. Note to self: next time, try using sriracha sauce for the kick instead of chili flakes. Bet the results will be tasty too.
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9 users found this review helpful

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