Nicolette Recipe Reviews (Pg. 1) - (18633235)

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Pizzelles III

Reviewed: Mar. 9, 2006
Ever since misplacing my original Pizzelle recipe, I've been on the lookout for a suitable substitute. While this one is a bit different, it's been requested as a 'cookie jar staple' by my husband ever since first tasting them at Christmastime. A few tips I've stumbled upon while making these: The recipe doubles easily (triple it and the batter gets stiffer as it sits). Fill a large pastry bag (or even a large zip-top baggie) with batter to squeeze desired amount onto iron (eliminates the sticky spoon-fingers situation). The vanilla is interchangeable with other extracts; I've tried almond, black walnut, lemon, orange and rum. Also, additions of nuts can be sprinkled on the raw batter just prior to baking; I've used sliced almonds with almond extract, pecans with rum extract and walnuts with black walnut extract. And yesterday I added a few mini chocolate chips to an orange-flavored batter. Delicious!
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317 users found this review helpful

Crunchy Oven Fried Tilapia

Reviewed: Mar. 4, 2006
As written, the coating seemed bland, so I tweaked it some (ok.. a lot, but the original recipe is still a great concept). After briefly soaking the fish in lemon-water, I dredged the fillets in a mix of 1/2 C flour, 1/4 C cornmeal, a few heaping tbs of grated Parm, ample cayenne and hefty dashes of dill, garlic powder, thyme and salt. Placed the fish in a broiler pan which was lined with crumpled foil, then misted the fillets with butter spray (no additional fat) to moisten the coating. Broiled for about 7-8 minutes and the coating browned nicely without drying out the fish. Thanks for a good 'starter' recipe!
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311 users found this review helpful

Bean with Bacon

Reviewed: Oct. 26, 2010
A good solid basis for a hearty bean soup -- just a few minor adjustments and it's darn near perfect. An entire pound of bacon isn't necessary for such a small amount of soup; crisping 4-5 slices (still use rendered fat to saute veg) will provide enough porkiness to permeate the beans (I promise). And since celery and onion are being sliced and diced, why not add carrot and garlic to the party? -- they bring lots of flavor and a little color interest as well. I found I needed to add about double the listed liquid to retain a soup-like consistency, but that was just a personal preference. Next time, I'll be sure to double if not triple this recipe as it freezes and reheats beautifully.
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202 users found this review helpful

Butternut Squash Cajun Fries

Reviewed: Oct. 27, 2011
I've made 'fries' from sweet potatoes, but I'm glad to try it using butternut squash, especially since it's so inexpensive this time of year. After many, many trials (but mostly errors) resulting in soggy, limp 'fries', here are my little hints: Cut the squash thin and narrow, kinda like 'fair fries'. If a mandoline is available, by all means, now is the time to break it out. If possible, let the squash strips air dry for a bit... just let them hang out on the kitchen counter on some paper towels while doing other things. Unlike potatoes, cut squash doesn't need to soak in water to prevent discoloration. Lastly (and this is my 'ah-ha' moment), bake the seasoned 'fries' on a parchment paper-lined sheet pan. By doing this, the need for oil or cooking spray is eliminated, allowing moisture in the squash to evaporate while baking rendering the 'fries' crisp and not soggy. This method of preparing butternut squash has quickly become the most requested among my crew ... and I'm pleased to give them good food that's good for them.
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144 users found this review helpful

Fried Rice Restaurant Style

Reviewed: May 18, 2006
This is my default fried rice recipe as I like the carrot/pea combo, but any meat/veggie can be added to make it a meal in itself. Usually I use leftover rice, shred the carrots and leave the peas frozen as they thaw rather quickly. For the eggs, I don't scramble them; instead I mix the eggs with a bit of water/pepper/soy then leave them to cook flat in the pan. When cooked through, I roll the circle o' egg up and cut chiffonade-style, adding the shreds to the pan after seasoning the rice and veggies with soy sauce. Any way it's made, it's all good... thanks!
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125 users found this review helpful

Happy Roast Chicken

Reviewed: Oct. 7, 2011
Having only one lemon, I squeezed the juice over the well-seasoned skin before applying the Dijon, then added an onion half and thyme sprigs to the cavity as well. Roasting in cast-iron seems to be the key to delicious pan juices, not to mention that clean-up is a breeze in a well-seasoned pan (why didn't I think of that ??). Without a doubt, this is the epitome of roasted chicken perfection.
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91 users found this review helpful

Fresh Apple Cake II

Reviewed: Apr. 15, 2006
Yum-eee. I switched this up a bit by reducing the sugars to 1C br. sugar and 1/2C white sugar (as I was going to add a glaze to the finished cake), replacing 1C of the flour with whole wheat flour and adding 1/4 tsp cardamom along with the cinnamon. And as dense as the batter was, it baked evenly and was done at 35 min (in a glass pan). Then, to gild the lily, I poured Caramel Frosting VI on top. Moist, apple-y... just plain delicious. Thanks!
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81 users found this review helpful

Oil Pie Crust

Reviewed: May 9, 2006
I tried this recipe using skim milk and olive oil for the top crusts of individual chicken pot pies. Even after freezing, the crusts baked evenly w/o shrinking. Will use again... thanks!
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78 users found this review helpful

Homemade Black Bean Veggie Burgers

Reviewed: Apr. 22, 2010
While these burgers don't quite have the same 'mouthfeel' as store-bought veggie burgers, these are so much better (not to mention cheaper) because YOU control the ingredients. A few tricks to keep the patties together ~ as a few reviewers have mentioned, make sure the beans are dry; even though the directions call for mashing the beans until thick and pasty, I've had better success when the beans are roughly smashed; briefly saute the chopped veggies to rid of excess moisture before adding to the beans; using only the egg white will help bind the patties together without increasing the amount of bread crumbs ~ hope that helps. And thanks, LAURENMU, for the delicious post!
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75 users found this review helpful

Pear and Blue Cheese Salad

Reviewed: Oct. 24, 2010
Essentially this salad is all about the dressing, the toppings are just delicious accessories. Having no walnut oil, I used pecan oil, but kept all other ingredients the same. Once emulsified, I found the dressing too sweet, but didn't want to add additional vinegar, so I squeezed in about a tsp. of grainy dijon mustard. By doing so, the sweetness was reduced and it perfectly balanced the brown sugar/ maple notes. I tossed red leaf lettuce in the dressing, added sliced pears and topped with crumbled goat cheese. Simple, a little different and even holiday-table worthy. Thanks.
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74 users found this review helpful

Apple Avocado Salad with Tangerine Dressing

Reviewed: Apr. 20, 2010
The citrus vinaigrette is a nice counterbalance to the salad, providing just a touch of needed acidity to the richness of the salad componets. I did add a pinch of sugar despite having used a meyer lemon (could have been the oranges that were less sweet than expected), but otherwise followed the recipe. ~Tip to take the 'bite' out of raw red onion : Blanch sliced onion 15-20 sec in boiling water, then shock in ice water; chop as needed~. Thanks Donna.
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61 users found this review helpful

Easy Tilapia with Wine and Tomatoes

Reviewed: Apr. 26, 2006
It was too chilly outside to grill, so I made this on the stovetop, poaching the fish in a covered saute pan. Used about a 1/2 can of drained petite diced tomatoes since fresh tomatoes sold at the grocery are still not-so-fresh in the taste department. Doubled the garlic and basil amounts, but reduced the butter by half. Once the fish was done and plated, I reduced the poaching liquid by half and poured on top. Very light entree which was enjoyed by all. Thanks for an easy recipe!
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55 users found this review helpful

Sunday Morning Lemon Poppy Seed Pancakes

Reviewed: Dec. 10, 2010
I'm always on the lookout for lemon-flavored ANYthing as I (heart) lemon. When I tasted the raw batter, yowza -- it packs some serious zing! And even cooked, there is no doubt you are dining upon light and fluffy lemony pancakes. While maple syrup is the standard accompaniment for such breakfast fare, I opted to guild the lily and use homemade ginger preserves... Good Morning! Thanks so much TTV78.
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48 users found this review helpful

Mandarin Chicken Pasta Salad

Reviewed: May 30, 2011
Love, love, love the salad portion of this recipe -- so colorful, it's like eating the rainbow :) ... Unfortunately though, did not love, love, love the dressing. The onion soup mix tries to mimic a soy/umami component, but it's too salty and too freeze-dried-oniony.... hence the excess liquid of the oil, juice and vinegar is needed to compensate, but it just ends up pooling at the bottom of the bowl. Will use this same concept again, just with a different dressing.
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47 users found this review helpful

Mediterranean Tilapia

Reviewed: Apr. 28, 2006
Loving all of the recipe's ingredients, I made this with slight modifications. By poaching the tilapia in white wine/veggie stock/lemon juice with the chopped sundried tomatoes, olives, capers and garlic, the fish retains that wonderful Mediterranean flavor. After the fish is done, just reduce the sauce and spoon over top. I served this with a side of orzo. Very good -- thanks for the inspiration!
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47 users found this review helpful

Asian Grilled Chicken

Reviewed: May 14, 2011
Forget about bland or mild tasting grilled chicken; this piquant marinade hits all the right savory, sweet, zesty and spicy notes. I used the proportions listed, save for the fresh juice -- I zested and used the entire lime and orange (no measuring). Left bone-in chicken breasts to marinate overnight, then grilled over med-low heat to flavorful perfection. Served with a ginger dipping sauce alongside...but the sauce was barely touched.
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45 users found this review helpful

Cajun Style Baked Sweet Potato

Reviewed: Apr. 24, 2006
Sweet potatoes with a kick - yum. Mixed some of the dry spice mixture into f/f mayo and used as a dipping sauce. The whole family loved it. Thanks!
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44 users found this review helpful

Roasted Garlic Peppercorn Sauce

Reviewed: Jun. 1, 2006
This sauce was quite tasty on Gnocchi I. To begin any white sauce, I always cook the butter with the flour for a few minutes to eliminate that floury taste sometimes associated with white sauces, then add the liquid. This sauce thickened a bit more than I wanted, so I thinned it with a splash of white wine. Also, I didn't use measure the peppercorns, just used a few good turns of the pepper mill. Omitted the nutmeg, but used cayenne instead. Very good with freshly grated Parm... thanks!
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42 users found this review helpful

Zucchini Boats on the Grill

Reviewed: May 13, 2011
With their high water content, zucchini are more flavorful and less mushy if the boiling step is eliminated. Just start with raw zucchini then slice, scoop, chop, fill and grill. The filling itself is very flavorful -- just keep tasting as more ingredients are added to maintain balance. Once filled, I chose not to wrap in foil since I prefer the slight char-grilled taste on the zucchini, but this recipe would just as easily work in the oven if grilling wasn't an option. A good solid recipe which leaves room for many, many variations.
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41 users found this review helpful

Stuffed Pepper Soup II

Reviewed: Oct. 4, 2010
While this stuffed pepper soup recipe does include a generous ratio of peppers to ground beef (it is stuffed pepper soup after all...), I found it required a lot of additional seasoning and sodium to make this soup ~taste~ like a stuffed pepper soup. Plus, cooking raw rice directly in the soup left an unpleasant starchiness which required more liquid in the form of beef stock to remedy. And as much as I enjoy and appreciate using cinnamon outside of typical sweet dishes, it, unfortunately, just did not work in this recipe. This recipe does produce a good soup -- it just takes a little extra help to get there.
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32 users found this review helpful

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