ZeldaSayre Recipe Reviews (Pg. 8) - Allrecipes.com (1870970)

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Irish Chicken and Dumplings

Reviewed: Mar. 15, 2010
This isn't going to be the world's most helpful review, because I departed from the recipe in several key ways. (I normally try to follow them as written, at least the first time. Sigh.) Anyway, I used all of Clairellen's proportions - carrots, spices, etc. - but substituted one sweet potato for the white potatoes, because it was all that I had. I also used homemade chicken stock instead of the water. The big difference, though, was that I didn't use the condensed soup. Instead, I added the equivalent amount of water (about 20 oz), simmered everything for a half hour, and then whisked a few tablespoons of flour into a cup of half-and-half, added that to the stew, and cooked until thickened slightly. The result was probably a little thinner than Clairellen's original, but still very tasty - a credit to her flavors, because I didn't use the condensed soup! I'm giving this one four stars because the cooking time seems long for skinless, boneless chicken breasts. Thanks for the recipe and the inspiration!
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Dijon-Tarragon Cream Chicken

Reviewed: Mar. 13, 2010
Out of this world. I made it exactly as written, except using half and half instead of heavy cream and only three chicken breasts; the chicken was moist and delicious, the sauce was perfect. I used a really robust dijon, which I'd absolutely reccommend. My sauce only needed to reduce for a minute or two before thickening. The part that really amazes me is how easy this recipe is! Really fabulous, thank you so much.
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Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes

Reviewed: Mar. 5, 2010
I made a LOT of ingredient substitutions on this one (last minute decision, had to go with what we had), so this review is mostly for the method used here, and not the flavors. I was really pleased with how these came out! I didn't add as much milk as recommended and was worried that they'd dry out in the oven, but they didn't; they were a little more solid than my regular mashed potatoes, but far from dry. So I'd advise making them to your desired consistency and flavor before baking, or just a tiny bit wetter. (FWIW, I used goat cheese instead of cream cheese, reduced fat sour cream, kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper instead of onion salt, and a big spoonful of whatever psuedo-butter-in-a-tub is currently in our fridge. I'd totally recommend any of those changes, but I'd also like to try the recipe as written.)
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Sausage-Stuffed Eggplant

Reviewed: Mar. 3, 2010
I followed the recipe as closely as I could; used turkey sausage instead of pork and a mozzarella/provolone blend (it was what I had), but other than that, I didn't change much. I hollowed my eggplants to a 1/4 inch thickness instead of 1/2 inch thickness, because I've had trouble with the eggplants cooking thoroughly in stuffed eggplant dishes before, and this worked well. I would have liked one more ingredient in the stuffing, since it was a bit sausage-heavy and the eggplant kind of got lost; then again, it's "Sausage-Stuffed Eggplant," not "Sausage-And-Some-Other-Stuff-Stuffed Eggplant." A little on the heavy side, but tasty and super easy! If I'd planned a little better, it would have been fast, too; roasting the eggplant and browning the sausage ahead would have definitely cut down on the evening prep time.
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Butternut Squash and Turkey Chili

Reviewed: Feb. 25, 2010
I tried my darndest to actually follow the recipe on this one, but some substitutions ended up being necessary. Nothing too detrimental, I think: I used yellow hominy instead of white (I've never had white and neither has my store; yellow was fine) and pureed squash (also an availability issue). I think the recipe would probably be better as originally written, with chunks of squash, but the puree worked in a pinch. I used the full amount of all spices and found the seasoning right on, although I did add a pinch of salt to the turkey as it cooked. I do think the chili could have been a little thicker, and might try cooking it uncovered for part of the time on the next go-round; I also think it could have been a bit spicier, but that's a personal preference issue. Next time, I'll probably substitue jalapenos for the green chili. All in all, good, easy and healthy - thanks for the recipe!
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Orange Cilantro Rice

Reviewed: Feb. 15, 2010
Loved this. Made it mostly as written, but didn't brown the rice (lacked both time and patience) and used 1 cup of orange juice and 1 cup of stock, because my husband tends not to like things too sweet. I kept all of the spice proportions the same; even though it seems like 2 tsps of cumin would be overwhelming, you need that much to cut through the sweetness of the OJ. Like others, my rice could have used another minute or two, but I was being pretty casual about timing so that could have been my fault. Thanks for the recipe!
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Keon's Slow Cooker Curry Chicken

Reviewed: Feb. 14, 2010
I have to admit, when I mixed the sauce for this dish together, I was pretty skeptical. Two cans of condensed soup and a packet of onion soup mix is a lot of processed food, and mixing it with coconut milk just seemed . . . odd. Odd and a little wrong. But I'm always on the lookout for interesting slow-cooker meals, so I gave it a shot. Really, it's not half bad. Completely unlike any curry I've ever had, except for the curry powder, but not half bad. Taste-wise, it probably deserves four stars, but I'm giving it three because I still find the heavy reliance on processed ingredients disturbing (as well as the sodium content - yikes!) That said, it was easy and my husband liked it, so I might make it again. Definitely doesn't need that extra 1/2 tsp of salt, though; there's plenty in the three soup products.
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Broiled Tilapia Parmesan

Reviewed: Feb. 8, 2010
Not bad, and an excellent way to add about three billion calories to an otherwise healthy protein! What with the butter and the mayo and the cheese, this is very, very rich. I didn't have onion powder or celery salt, but the recipe called for such small amounts that they probably aren't key to the recipe. I used about 1/4 tsp of garlic salt with herbs.
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Swedish Meatballs I

Reviewed: Feb. 7, 2010
This review is just for the sauce - and actually, it's for Jimmy 78's version. As written, Jessica's sauce gets three stars, which is perfectly respectable, but it's basically canned soup. Jimmy 78's version is inspired. Loved the horseradish; it gave the sauce a zip that plain condensed soup wouldn't have. Worcestershire sauce would probably do the same thing. I might play with this a bit more and find a way to make the sauce without the cans.
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Easy Vegetarian Red Beans Lasagna

Reviewed: Jan. 31, 2010
Oh, I was so excited for this - and, alas, kind of disappointed. The flavors are good and it's a wonderful idea, but there was way, way, way too much white sauce. The Gruyere vanished into the sauce and never turned brown, and the end result was like mac and cheese with beans, tomatoes, and not much mac. If I make it again - and it's worth working on to get right - I'll decrease the white sauce and increase the bean/tomato mixture; I'll also add half the white sauce in the middle, and maybe another layer of pasta. I'd also add a bit of nutmeg to the white sauce; I almost did this time, and wish I had. I loved the use of Gruyere, though - a nice variation! Fontina would have been tasty, too, and I might try that.
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Spinach Salad with Pepper Jelly Dressing

Reviewed: Jan. 31, 2010
Great concept; I love pepper jelly and will happily put it on anything I'm allowed to. And the spinach/goat cheese/walnut combo is always a winner. For me, personally, I thought the proportions in this particular dressing were a bit off; there's either too much oil or too little of everything else, and the result was that the zing of the pepper jelly was more muted than I would have liked. Next time I'll try adding half the oil and twice the mustard. EDIT: Made it again, with the called-for amount of mustard and a very scant tablespoon of oil, and the pepper jelly was still drowned out. More mustard would just have made it taste more like mustard. I still love the idea of a dressing with pepper-jelly flavors, but I think for me, it's back to the drawing board. Thanks anyway, though!
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Slow Cooker Sausage with Sauce

Reviewed: Dec. 31, 2009
True, more of a method than a recipe, but still very tasty - and it's certainly not like I thought of it! I played a little fast and loose with amounts - one and a half huge onions, 2 fresh red peppers plus the remnants of a bag of frozen ones, an entire jar of pasta sauce and a bit of water. I used hot turkey Italian sausage and two pre-cooked chicken ones that I had leftover. I didn't brown any off the sausage first, although I considered it, and it turned out to be fine that way. Made a ton with all my additions. We ate it on hoagie rolls with shredded mozzarella tonight and will eat it again over pasta in a few days. Thanks! EDIT: Less good over pasta; the sauce was a little thin. Soaked wonderfully into hoagie rolls but didn't do much for penne. We'll stick to the sandwiches.
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Buffalo Chicken Wraps

Reviewed: Nov. 8, 2009
Great idea! We really liked these. Use whole wheat wraps to try and make it a little healthier.
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Greek Lemon Chicken Soup

Reviewed: Oct. 15, 2009
We really liked this. I used a red onion because I was out of white, but I doubt that made a difference; I also used low-sodium broth and reduced-sodium chicken base, and can't imagine doing it any other way as the results were plenty salty. (I was actually a bit concerned about the salt level after the first tasting, but in the finished soup, the egg yolks and the lemon juice go a long way toward mellowing out the saltiness.) The lemon and the chicken, combined with the egg yolks, make for a hearty but somehow light meal. I know other people complained about it being too thick, but that wasn't a problem for us; maybe because my egg yolks were on the small side. The only reason I gave it four stars instead of five was the chicken base, which was definitely a dominating flavor. It was by no means a bad thing, but I'd love to find a recipe that resulted the same depth of flavor without resorting to using such large quantities of such a processed ingredient. I'm not above using a bouillon cube or two, but six tablespoons was almost 2/3 of the jar I used, and . . . it just seemed like a lot.
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Frosted Cake Brownies

Reviewed: Aug. 25, 2009
These brownies were definitely tasty, but it's hard to find a bad brownie! Canned frosting isn't quite as yummy as I remember it being when I was a kid, so if I make these again I'll try to make my own, but I wasn't exactly overwhelmed with time and it definitely did the trick. The sour cream is really what makes these different; I do think it made them a bit tangier, but to be honest I'd have to do a side-by-side comparison to see if the tanginess was enough of an improvement to justify the additional fat and calories from the sour cream. I do think it might have cut the "mix-y" taste and they were definitely moist and deliciously dense. Thanks for the recipe!
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Slow-Cooked Oriental Chicken

Reviewed: Aug. 25, 2009
This has potential. I used BleuBelle's sauce suggestions (more or less: 1/3 C soy sauce, 1/3 C brown sugar, 2/3 C water, 3 big cloves of minced garlic, 1 T jarred minced ginger and 2 T Thai fish sauce, plus some crushed red pepper flakes) with 3 lbs of boneless, skinless thighs (more moist than breasts). I was in a rush, so didn't brown the thighs as thoroughly as I could have; the dish would have been tastier if I'd done that. I used the sauce mixture to deglaze the pan before adding it to the slow cooker, and cooked for 7 hours or so on low. I'm still not quite happy with the sauce; it was indeed very salty, although not inedible. I never have low-sodium soy sauce around, though. When the cooking time was over I tasted the sauce and thought it was a bit watery; I think that the water should definitely be replaced with something more flavorful, either fruit juice (pineapple, maybe, as other people have suggested, or fresh-squeezed orange; not sure I'd add actual chunks of fruit) or chicken stock. I took the meat out and reduced the sauce in a pan on the stove, which definitely boosted the flavor but left me with not as much sauce as I would have liked. I added steamed green beans and toasted slivered almonds, then served it over white rice. (The name has to go, though. "Oriental" went out of use about twenty years ago.) Not bad, but I think I'll keep looking. Thanks though.
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Butter Bean Burgers

Reviewed: Jul. 27, 2009
Great, and so easy! Most veggie burger recipes have twenty ingredients and require tons of prep, but these came together in 15 minutes. I added extra jalapeno - all of a large one, seeded - and it was delicious. I'd suggest doing as another reviewer did and covering them as you cook to help them hold together better; mine did fall apart a bit but they were fine in the end. I served them on Portuguese rolls with avocado, red onion and tomato. The fella ate two! EDIT: I still love these, and the fella asks for them often. I always add the whole jalepeno, and contrary to what I said before, the secret to getting them to stick together is to use a lot of oil and fry the heck out of them (uncovered). Which is how Silverwolf recommended they be made in the first place, after all!
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Classic Macaroni Salad

Reviewed: May 16, 2009
I was really impressed with this recipe! It was very flavorful even though we started in on it early (after one hour instead of four). I mostly followed the recipe; as other reviewers suggested, I added some frozen peas (nuked for 2 minutes with a little water, because I forgot to drop them in with the pasta for a minute's worth of boiling), cubed cheddar, and sunflower seeds. Also, when I made the dressing, I used white wine vinegar (it was what I had, plus it has more flavor than white distilled) and added sugar to taste (honestly, probably only a tablespoon or two). I halved the recipe, so that could have affected the ultimate outcome, but one of the things that I really liked about this salad was that it wasn't super mayonnaise-y. The dressing was just enough to moisten it without making it heavy. Excellent!
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Easy Salsa Meatloaf

Reviewed: May 7, 2009
Tasty enough, but super easy - no chopping involved! I used ground turkey, baked at 375, and covered the top halfway through with a little spicy barbecue sauce. Don't think I made any other changes. ETA: I just made this again after a year, and am not sure why I waited so long! Used bison this time and it was a bit mushy, but that might be because I baked at 350. Flavor was great though and it's still crazy easy.
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Cheddar Bay Biscuits

Reviewed: Apr. 30, 2009
Very good! Like many others I added half (roughly) of the spices to the biscuits themselves, and added the other half to 1/2 stick of melted butter to brush over the top. Took another reviewer's advice and added just a pinch of Old Bay. Also, I didn't have a "small scoop" so I used a 1/3 cup measure; the biscuits were the perfect size.
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