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Turkey Pot Pie I

Reviewed: Jan. 2, 2012
What a great way to deal with those post-holiday Turkey leftovers. I didn't have any chicken bouillon, so I improvised with cream of mushroom soup, extra salt, and added in some garlic and onion powder. Even after all of that, the filling was still the tiniest bit "blah" so I mixed in about a half cup of leftover turkey gravy (made from the turkey drippings), and added more veggies (frozen corn and peas). I also ended up having to bake the pot pie longer than the recipe calls for. Still, the filling was the perfect amount of creamy, without being runny. The bottom crust could've been more crisp--I might pre-cook that a bit next time--but the store-bought crust held up well. This definitely does make enough to feed 8 people, and I ended up with almost half a pot pie leftover. Next time, I might halve the recipe and use actual pie pans, or even make individual servings that I can freeze. Oh, as a warning, I tried reheating part of the pot pie in the oven set at 350 and, while the top of the crust was still crisp, the flavor of the pie wasn't great--it was good, but not great--and the bottom crust was a gluey mess. Still, I'd make it again; if only to try it with the chicken bouillon included.
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Mom's Macaroni and Cheese

Reviewed: Nov. 25, 2010
This recipe surprised me! The sauce is smooth and creamy, and it actually sticks to the pasta (which is a big deal, since I've made recipes before where it was basically macaroni swimming in cheese "soup"). Anyway, overall, this was a great recipe that I'll definitely make again, with the following adjustments: scale the proportions UP. I used a little more than 1 c. of pasta (that's all I had in the house), thinking I'd at least get 4 or 5 servings, but it barely gave me 3 modest-sized ones. If you're making this as a side dish, then go with the proportions given; if you're making it as a main dish--or you want enough for seconds or leftovers--then you probably want to double the recipe. It needs a bit more salt, and next time I might add a little mustard to the sauce. Speaking of which, I'm not a fan of Velveeta, so I broke up 3 slices of American cheese and mixed those into the sauce along with the Cheddar. I used Panko crumbs for the topping, which turned out perfect--I made a small portion, so it only needed 10-15 mins in the oven, and I broiled it for the last 2 or 3 minutes, just to get a good, golden crust on top. All in all, it was gooey, golden goodness. :)
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Cajun Chicken Pasta

Reviewed: Apr. 6, 2010
Okay, this is an awesome recipe! I noticed that a lot of other reviewers cut the heavy cream, but I really feel like that's a cornerstone of this dish. Here's my take on this recipe: I cubed three boneless chicken breasts, tossed them with 2 tbsp of cajun seasoning. I then sauteed the chicken (in olive oil) in a deep skillet, along with about a tbsp of minced garlic, a pinch of salt, and half of a slivered onion. To this, I also added about 1/4 c. of chardonnay, and let it reduce for approx. 10 mins, until the chicken is cooked through. After that, I followed the recipe, added in the bell pepper (omitting the green onion and mushrooms), as well as the listed seasonings. Prior to adding the cream, I added a pinch of salt and about 2 tbsp of lemon juice. Next, came the cream. In retrospect, I'd probably only go with about 1 c. of cream, since the additional 1/2 c. seemed slightly excessive, but if you like a rich cream sauce, by all means, go for the whole amount. With the cream, I added the suggested seasonings (minus the black pepper), and a bit more lemon juice. As the sauce simmered, I also added--to the whole mixture--a half cup of grated parmesan cheese, which, I think, helped slightly thicken the sauce. Next time, I'd use another tbsp of cajun seasoning in the sauce itself, since it was "spicy" but seemed to be missing that big Cajun kick that I expected. And, also, I'd reduce the cream to 1 c., since it was a bit heavy, and I added wine. All in all, an A+ recipe!
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Seven Layer Taco Dip

Reviewed: Jul. 6, 2008
Well, this didn't blow my socks off, but it's still a very good recipe. I added in an easy guacamole and omitted the peppers from the recipe (personal preference). It turned out good, but the bean layer was a bit too salty for me. It was partly my mistake (I used 1.5 oz instead of just 1 oz of taco seasoning), but next time I make this, I'll only use 0.5 to 0.75oz of taco seasoning. One can of beans just can't stand up to that much taco seasoning, in my opinion.
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Baked Teriyaki Chicken

Reviewed: Jan. 28, 2008
I used about 10-12 chicken tenders for this, because I wanted to make teriyaki chicken skewers. I followed the directions for the sauce, marinated for 8 hours, then cubed the chicken. I put 4 or 5 pieces of chicken on each skewer, along with some pineapple chunks. Set the oven to broil, lined a cookie sheet with foil (crucial!), and poured 1/3 of unused marinade on top. Broiled for 5 minutes. Turned, added more sauce, and broiled again. I ended up cooking these for something like 20 minutes. I served them at a cocktail party, but I got distracted and left them in the oven too long. I was afraid they'd be tough or dry, but people literally devoured them. I wish I'd made more--10 chicken tenders made about 20 skewers. Be sure to marinade for at least a few hours, so the flavor will really get intot the meat.
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Mouth-Watering Stuffed Mushrooms

Reviewed: Jan. 4, 2008
At first, I thought I'd missed something in the recipe. But I double-checked, and I followed everything as written, and was unimpressed. These aren't bad by any means, just not great. Made these for a NYE party: my parents both thought they were a bit spicy; guests eventually ate them, but there were leftovers (which rarely happens at my house, lol). Personally, it tasted like there was something missing from the recipe, but I'm not sure what. The flavors just seemed a bit flat. Maybe I'll try again with crab meat, as other have suggested.
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The World's Best Turkey

Reviewed: Nov. 24, 2007
This recipe wasn't as amazing as I was expecting it to be. For personal preference, I didn't use the champagne, but followed everything more or less. I added a few more spices inside and outside the bird, and added some onion and carrot to the apples inside and outside (used cider instead of champagne). Given, the turkey was just as moist as all of the other reviewers said it would be, but the flavor wasn't remarkable. It wasn't bad, just not "the world's best." Sorry to give a low rating--it wasn't a bad recipe (in fact, I'll probably be using the oven bags more often now), but it just seemed like effort for nothing out of the ordinary--with no apple flavor, at all.
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Cranberry Sauce I

Reviewed: Nov. 21, 2007
It's a definite keeper. I ended up making this ahead of time because I've NEVER made cran. sauce before and I didn't want to end up with a disaster. My roommates ate some of the oranges I was going to use, lol (I used fresh juice), so I only had 1/4 c. orange juice. To make up the difference, I added in 3/4 c. of a sugar-free cranberry-raspberry sparkling water we had in the fridge. Also used 1/4 c. brown sugar and 3/4 c. white. Followed directions: dissolved sugar in orange juice/water mixture and tossed in the cranberries. They started to pop almost immediately. I tasted it, then added in a sprinkle of cinammon and a splash of vanilla. I think it'd be beneficial to mention that the cranberries were popping and splashing me with hot juice, so I started smooshing them up right then. I probably won't strain the mixture (as some people suggested) but I'll probably give it a few pulses in the food processor, just to get rid of the bigger clumps. I kinda like a lumpier sauce, anyway. :) Anyhoo, thanks for a great recipe--I know I tweaked it a bit, but it's a great base, if anything else.
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Cheddar Bay Biscuits

Reviewed: Feb. 28, 2007
Yum. I followed the advice of others and added all of the herbs to the melted butter AND I brushed the biscuits twice: once halfway through the baking and again when they're finished. All of my college friends LOVE these biscuits and they ask for them whenever they come over for dinner. Great recipe!
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Banana Banana Bread

Reviewed: Feb. 28, 2007
While I wasn't completely blown away by this recipe, it did turn out a moist banana bread that was, overall, pretty simple to make. I doubled the recipe (I have 3 roommates!) and added in some vanilla and cinammon. Good recipe that I'll probably use again.
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Chicken Florentine Casserole

Reviewed: Jan. 8, 2007
I doubled this recipe for a casual dinner party with my college friends and they loved it. Of course, anything home-cooked is better than the food they serve at the campus cafeteria, but this recipe was easy and delicious. I took some advice from fellow reviewers and cut up the chicken into bite-size pieces and cooked it on the stove top with some onion and a pinch of salt. For the sauce, I put all of the cheese in the pot (instead of sprinkling on top) and I used 3/4 cup 2% milk instead of a whole cup so it wouldn't be too runny. I also only added one tablespoon each of the garlic and Italian seasoning (again, I doubled the recipe). Either way though, I think that if I made 4 servings, I'd still use a little less Italian seasoning, because 1 tbsp was plenty. In the end, I sprayed the pan and put cooked penne on the bottom, topped that with chopped up broccoli, then the chicken. Since it was already done, I put it, uncovered, in a 350 degree oven for 15 min. just to heat it through. Served with the Cheddar Bay Biscuits from this site...awesome! Great recipe; thanks!
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