Karen Martin Recipe Reviews (Pg. 3) - Allrecipes.com (18663042)

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Karen Martin

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Easy Bacon and Spinach Quiche

Reviewed: Feb. 4, 2014
This recipe worked well for my family. We prefer our quiche not so rich and custardy, and this was nice and "scrambled eggy". I used real bacon and added 1/2 package of thawed and drained frozen spinach. The only change I would make next time would be to pre-bake the crust a bit. It was kind of doughy. I also ended up baking it a bit longer because I used a probe thermometer to take it up to 170 - 180 degrees.
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Banana Crumb Muffins

Reviewed: Feb. 1, 2014
I had a hard time deciding between 4 and 5 stars on this. It is very good, but I think what makes it better than the average banana bread recipe is the crumb topping and not the bread itself. I have a really good family recipe for banana bread and I think this is close but I think I like my old recipe just a tiny bit better. The crumb topping is genius and really makes this recipe unique, as does the muffin presentation instead of bread loaf. I did not change the recipe (although I really wanted to add nuts). I did end up using 4 bananas because mine were small. I made 12 regular sized muffins, and I really filled the papers almost to the brim, so the recipe submitter must have a muffin pan with much bigger cups than mine. This is a great recipe and it is much appreciated!
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Quick Chicken Divan

Reviewed: Jan. 14, 2014
No one in my family would eat this. I didn't even like it and I like about everything. I gave it 2 stars because it was edible but that's about as far as I will go. It was bland and nothing about it tasted good. All of the good flavor of all of the component ingredients was somehow wiped out by the others. This one will be promptly deleted.
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Fabulous Beef Tenderloin

Reviewed: Dec. 26, 2013
I made a 6 lb tenderloin using this recipe for Christmas dinner. Although I was told it was good, I wasn't impressed. First, the recipe doesn't say to sear the meat before roasting, so I didn't. Searing would have drastically improved the taste and presentation. Also, since I doubled the meat, I doubled the "sauce", but it was so much that my meat was basically boiled in the soy/butter mix. This just didn't seem right. I basted every 20 minute but the sauce never thickened. It never seemed to "stick" to the meat. I don't think much of the soy flavor made it into the meat. It was just okay, I won't make this again.
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Roast Pork with Maple and Mustard Glaze

Reviewed: Dec. 26, 2013
AMAZING! For Christmas, I made this and Fabulous Beef Tenderloin (also from this site). This way by far my favorite! The glaze was fabulous and so full of flavor. I baked to 160 degrees but could probably have taken it out sooner. The "pork council" says you should cook pork to 145, but that seems a little too underdone to me. Maybe we could compromise and meet at 150 - 155! I made a 6 lb pork loin and doubled the glaze. I basted every 20 minutes, and the end result was beautiful. Since the pork was $4.99 a pound and the tenderloin was $17.99 a pound, this will be ALL I make next year!
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Butter Snow Flakes

Reviewed: Dec. 26, 2013
These were good but something went wrong. I think it might have been my fault (my flour was pretty old) but my baked cookies had a tiny bit of a sour aftertaste. My butter and other ingredients were fresh, but I don't bake a lot so the flour may have been past its prime. I am unfamiliar with baking spritz cookies and it didn't say in the instructions, so I cooled my dough like I do with sugar cookies. BIG MISTAKE! If you haven't made spritz cookies before, the dough needs to be sticky so it can stick to your cookie sheet (cookie sheet has to be cold, dough warm. Once I got the dough warmed up, it went fine. I also was unaware how tiny spritz cookies are. When I was reading the reviews about how you can make 6 dozen cookies, I was astounded. Spritz are one, maybe two bites, so 6 dozen doesn't last long. Anyway, they were good but I need to try again with fresher flour to see if the bitterness was the recipe or me. It might have also been the orange zest, but I WILL try again. Oh, and mine took EXACTLY 12 minutes to bake perfectly.
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Jalapeno Popper Spread

Reviewed: Dec. 6, 2013
Very good and always a hit. I make a half batch because it's not really good for you. I use a mix of fresh and canned jalapeno for a little fresh flavor. I have found that people like this better with toasted French bread or those tiny square cocktail toasts they sell in the deli. This just doesn't seem to go well with tortilla chips.
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Veggie Pizza

Reviewed: Dec. 6, 2013
This was not a hit at my party. Nothing wrong with the recipe, but no one really "dug" it. I probably won't make again. Make sure you dice your veg really fine. This is better when bites are easy, and big veg makes for difficult bites.
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Texas Caviar with Avocado

Reviewed: Dec. 6, 2013
This was ok but I think a really huge part of whether you will like this or not is the type of Italian dressing you use. I used regular Wishbone Italian and the resulting dip was almost sweet. It really needs a very vinegary, tangy Italian dressing to make it work (IMHO). I was making this for a crowd so I took it easy on the cayenne, but I kept adding more to the leftovers to help liven it up and counteract the sweetness of the dressing. I also used 1 can black eyes peas (in the canned vegetable section of my grocery store if you are having trouble finding them) and 1 black beans. Good, makes a ton, people liked it, but it would have been much better with a different dressing. I will definitely try again.
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Cranberry Sauce

Reviewed: Dec. 1, 2013
Turned out pretty good but was a little too sweet for my taste. I made it exactly as written. The "orangeyness" was perfect for me and the texture was great, really gelled. I read some other reviewers mention that the sugar is what makes it gel so I imagine that in order to get the sweetness down I may need to sacrifice some of the thickness but I think it would be worth it. I think I could always cut the sugar in half and then thicken if needed with corn starch.
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Easy Bacon and Cheese Quiche

Reviewed: Dec. 1, 2013
I made this for the second time tonight. The first time I rated it high and saved it as my "go to" quiche. I made it again tonight and didn't like it as much. I realized that my first attempt, I read the recipe wrong and left out the onion. When I made it tonight, I must have been more careful and included the onion. Even at 1/4 cup (I reduced it), the onion was too much for my family. This went from a pleasant, mild, "bacon and egg-y" dish to too heavily seasoned in just that one ingredient. I even like onion, never cook without it, but I will be modifying this from now on to leave it out. 3 stars, too much onion as written.
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The Best Chicken Salad Ever

Reviewed: Sep. 30, 2013
I am not sure on this yet. I think the way you prepare the chicken and the brand of cole slaw dressing make a big difference in this. I boiled/poached some chicken breasts to make this, so there was not much flavor to my chicken. I used regular marzetti's coleslaw dressing. Although this was a decent chicken salad, there wasn't much flavor beyond the expected onion/celery flavor. It seemed kind of ordinary to me. I will try a couple of things next time. First, I will cook my chicken with some salt and maybe a bay leaf to give some extra flavor to the chicken. Next, I will try another coleslaw dressing or maybe add a little more for more oomph. Also, I really like cranberries in my chicken salad, so I will add a handful to give a little extra sweetness. Overall, it was a very basic chicken salad, not much different than if you made with mayo and a little sugar like I usually do. *Update* I made this with diced grapes and increased the dressing and mayo to taste and I really liked it. 4 stars with my modifications, 3 stars without.
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Cola Pot Roast II

Reviewed: Aug. 27, 2013
Just finished making it, haven't even eaten it yet, but I can already say that all I can taste is CELERY!! I am preparing to thicken my gravy and I tasted the broth. Needs LOTS of salt and tastes like nothing but celery. Hope the family will eat it. I followed the directions! If we make it through dinner and I even try to make it again, I will leave out the celery entirely! Post dinner, the meat itself did not taste as strongly of celery as the gravy, but the gravy did not shake the strong celery flavor. With all of the highly flavored ingredients, to have this taste like celery is a big disappointment. It was okay enough to try again, and the basic ingredients should have been awesome. Will try again with NO CELERY!!
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Sour Cream Pork Chops

Reviewed: Aug. 16, 2013
This was super awesome! I hate crock pot recipes that make me cook before I put things in the crock, so I skipped the browning step like another reviewer did. Just threw my 6 frozen pork chops in the crock and put in some seasonings on top. I used a LOT of garlic salt, some pepper, and sprinkled in a little flour (although I doubt that made any difference). Followed all the other directions. The pork chops were very tender after 8 hours (shocker). I didn't have a lot of time to waste thickening a sauce in the crock pot, so after I removed the chops, I just poured the broth into a saucepan to thicken with the sour cream and flour. Served over rice, it was a perfect homey meal that my whole family (including my 19 month old) chowed down. Next time, the only change I make will be to cook maybe 2 - 3 more chops. I had lots of extra sauce and no chops to put them on. There was more than enough broth for a couple more chops.
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Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore

Reviewed: Jul. 21, 2013
This was good and I will make it again, but it will need some tweaking. The biggest change I will make is to switch out the breasts for thighs. I used big beautiful chicken breasts, and the were kind of wasted in this dish. They didn't come out with any real flavor and they were kind of dry from cooking for 7 hours. I think thighs would at least be more tender and not feel like such a waste because they are cheaper. I think they are actually more traditional in cacciatore anyway. Other than that, I agree with others that it was a little watery, so next time I will cut back on the spaghetti sauce and use a can of tomato paste as recommended. I will also add more herbs (oregano, basil, pepper flakes, etc.) to kick up the flavor, and I will probably add a little red wine close to the end of cooking to add a little extra body. I also think this needs more vegetables, so I will probably add some zucchini, eggplant, carrot, something, to make it more robust. All in all, this is a nice slow cooker option that is great to dip into at the end of the day. Thanks for the recipe!
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Quick and Easy Alfredo Sauce

Reviewed: Jul. 16, 2013
I had some issues with this and can't tell if it was user error. First, my sauce never really thickened. The cream cheese and butter mixture didn't look too promising, but when I poured in the milk it immediately smoothed up and looked beautiful. As I poured in more and more milk, it got too soupy and not saucy any more. I wished I would have stopped when it looked right but I wanted to follow the recipe. After that, I didn't know if it was ruined or if I just needed to keep cooking until it thickened, so I stirred and stirred and nothing happened. I eventually mixed in some flour paste in hopes that it would thicken. I finally gave up and took it off the heat, and it promptly began to separate. It is possible that I overcooked it waiting for it to thicken, but the instructions are too vague to know how long to stir or what to expect to see. The end product was tasty even though it was a little oily. It was VERY rich! I think it had too much Parmesan. I served it over sautéed chicken, broccolini, and rigatoni. No one had seconds. It did have a restaurant quality flavor, but I won't probably make this again, especially not for my kids.
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Slow-Cooker Pepper Steak

Reviewed: Jul. 14, 2013
This did not turn out well for me. I prepared it as written. My first issue was browning the beef. I know that it adds flavor, but when I make something in the crock pot, I don't want to cook everything first. By the time I was done browning, I could have just thrown in the peppers and onions and had it done in 20 min. I cooked on low for 6 hours. By the time it was done, the peppers were disintegrating and the beef was no longer strips, it was shredded. The flavor was very bland. I had to add a good glug of soy sauce to give it ANY flavor at all. I had to add more cornstarch to thicken, and by the time I was done, I pretty much had stew. Only not very tasty stew. I won't make this again.
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Grilled Marinated Shrimp

Reviewed: May 12, 2013
Liked it, didn't think it was anything too earth shattering.
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Kris' Amazing Shredded Mexican Beef

Reviewed: May 12, 2013
Holy schnikes, honking hot! I didn't even use the cayenne. It was super good but no way could I serve to the kids. Next time I will try half the can of chipotle peppers or maybe I will try to seed them since I know the heat is in the seeds. Update: I tried this again with 1/2 can chipotle and I seeded and chopped the chilis. The heat was much more contained but I discovered that the flavor was all in the heat. Without the heat, it was kind of bland and watery from the crock pot. Since the heat makes it impossible to feed to most humans and the lack of heat makes it plain shredded beef that isn't really tasty on a taco, I have to downgrade my rating. I won't be trying this a third time.
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Key Lime Pie VII

Reviewed: May 12, 2013
Super good and super easy! I did the math badly and bought 2 cans sweetened condensed milk which actually works out to 2 1/2 c, but it worked out fine and I didn't have to waste half a can. I used Mexican limes because no way was I juicing 200 tiny key limes. The bake time was a little off. I kept waiting for the bubbles to pop but they didn't, so I gave up at 12 min. Chilled overnight then served with homemade whipped cream. No leftovers!
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