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Baked Potato Soup V

Reviewed: Feb. 2, 2004
AWESOME! I served this for Bunko and the ladies all loved it and asked for the recipe! The first batch I made I followed recipe exactly except for leaving out the bacon cuz we have a vegetarian in our group, and made some changes for the 2nd batch which made it even better (I think!). I reduced the milk to 3 cups whole, 2 cups 1% (cuz that's what we have on hand), and 1 cup chicken broth. (Because the soup is so darned thick and extremely rich!) I also sauteed 1 finely minced carrot for a minute or two, then added 1 minced onion and 1 minced celery stalk til all was soft and tender, then put in a minced garlic clove and sauteed for about another minute. Pureed the entire thing in my Cuisinart and stirred it into the soup along with the cheese, et al. Gave it even MORE flavor--totally over the top! I then ended up stirring the two batches together and dumping the entire thing in my crock pot! I put chopped green onion, bacon, cheese and sour cream in little bowls for everyone to top as they wanted. Yum!
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236 users found this review helpful

Angel Food Cake III

Reviewed: Feb. 7, 2005
Totally awesome! I just made it for the 2nd time this weekend, and it turned out perfectly without any changes. As for baking time, you can never go totally by any recipe. Always deduct 10 minutes, set your timer and go from there. Every oven is different, as most are not calibrated exactly. If you follow this recipe exactly, your cake will rise above the level of the pan and have excellent flavor and texture. Note the recipe tells you to add the sugar gradually (no need to process if you do this!), and then later to FOLD in the flour, etc. This means to use a spatula and fold from top to bottom--don't use your mixer and no stirring. If you don't fold, or if you overfold, you will loose your volume for the cake! I sliced this into 3 layers and filled with lemon curd and white chocolate buttercream, then frosted w/the buttercream! Everyone totally loved it and raved about how incredible the cake was!! This is a GREAT recipe!
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159 users found this review helpful

Scallops Poulette

Reviewed: Nov. 5, 2007
This was very good, but I substituted fresh mushrooms for canned and I didn't use the microwave. Instead, I made the roux in the frying pan, and while I was doing that, I sauteed the mushrooms seperately. Then I added them to the roux (thickened butter/flour mixture), along with the half & half, wine, etc., and let that reduce a little while I sauteed the scallops, adding one small garlic clove to the scallops when they were almost done. The sauce was a little too thick, so I added addt'l wine and lemon juice to thin it out a little, and then added the scallops to the cream mixture. I served them over angel hair pasta, along w/fresh asparagus and a warmed baguette. It was very good, but I wished I had some chicken broth to thin it out and lighten the sauce a little. (I don't like heavy cream sauces, so it might be perfect for someone who does.)Next time, I will reduce the half & half to 1/4 cup, and use 1/4 cup chicken broth, having more on hand to add if needed. Also, I didn't add in the bay leaf.
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57 users found this review helpful

Lemon Curd Bars

Reviewed: Apr. 14, 2008
This was good, but like a few others said, I thought the crust was too buttery/greasy. If you're expecting a "lemon bar", this isn't it at all. A very different version--think lemon dessert bar. Ours wasn't too sweet at all, so it really depends on what kind of lemon curd you use. Homemade vs. several different brands out there= different levels of tartness. I used Trader Joe's curd and would've like it a little more lemony, so would use some lemon zest in the curd or the topping. I'd also cut the butter down by at least 25%. I'd also be interested in trying the crust w/baking powder as one reviewer mentioned. It's a good dessert bar but I think it could be excellent with some changes.
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35 users found this review helpful

Chicken Fried Steak

Reviewed: Nov. 13, 2007
We thought this was awesome! We don't eat a lot of red meat and very little in the way of fried foods, but oh my gosh---yum! I used a pre-tenderized cube steak, and probably less oil then called for in the recipe. Time was short, so I also cheated and used Williams Country Gravy packet mix. (If you've never used it---it's better than most homemade country gravies!) I just made it in the pan I cooked the steaks, so got all the browned bits and little bit of grease left in the pan into the gravy. Served it w/mashed potatoes and ceasar salad. Triple yum. My 10 yr. old asked why we've never had this before! I'm going to have to double my work out tomorrow.....
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33 users found this review helpful

Persimmon Cookies II

Reviewed: Dec. 15, 2005
I thought these cookies were just okay. Not was I was looking for--not that it stopped us from eating them! They are a cake-like cookie and have a nice spice taste in the mouth. If I try them again, I might tweak the recipe a bit with 1/2 brown sugar, some vanilla flavoring and maybe the addition of some oatmeal or dates. I felt they needed something to make them really good.
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26 users found this review helpful


Reviewed: Oct. 9, 2009
I agree it's not my family's Polish recipe, but who's to say it's not polish? Many cooks change and adapt recipes, and this could have been the same. You can stuff these, like any dumpling, with a variety of different fillings. Sauteed mushrooms and onions, stewed prunes or other fruits, a slightly sweet filling made from hoop cheese (can be special ordered from many delis or can use farmers or ricotta cheese for a similar taste), sugar, cinnamon and raisins (my favorite), etc. We always served our pierogis with melted butter. They are a little on the bland side, but you can jazz them up to your own preference.
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23 users found this review helpful

Aunt Teen's Creamy Chocolate Fudge

Reviewed: Dec. 1, 2011
This was amazingly good and easy. I browsed a ton of the reviews and here are some of the tips I used that made it so easy: pre-measure everything and have it all lined up and ready to go. Butter the sides of your saucepan. Reduce the butter to only ONE TABLESPOON (trust me on this, you don't need any more!). Zap the Fluf in micro for 12 seconds and it comes out much easier. Don't use generic Fluf. Use best quality chocolate chips...you are making FUDGE---this is not the time to buy generic, you want to taste quality chocolate! If you can, use a candy thermometer to make sure the sugar mixture reaches 234 degrees. STIR THE ENTIRE TIME! I cooked this in a heavy stainless pan on LOW and it came to a boil in a few short minutes (maybe less), then I started timing right at a full boil and it took about 5 1/2 minutes. Keeping it on low stops the bottom from burning, but it still boils mightily, that's for sure. Once it reaches 234 degrees, follow the recipe directions, BUT WORK QUICKLY. (It was a light brown color, btw.) Dump your chocolate in and beat like crazy to get it soft and shiny. Then add in your vanilla and nuts (if using). Again work as quickly as you can and beat like a maniac....you definitely need upper body strength for this one!
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22 users found this review helpful

Easiest Peanut Butter Fudge

Reviewed: Dec. 1, 2011
After reading many reviews, the first time I made this I started the 2 minute timer well before the rolling boil but after the first bubble. I also stirred it frequently, as per the directions. However, that was obviously NOT the way to do it, since mine also turned out to be a bowl full of pebbles, even after mixing the holy heck out of it with my kitchen aid for more than 5 minutes. So I tried again w/these changes: 1/ I DID NOT STIR THE MIXTURE during the 2 minutes, and 2/ began the 2 minute timer at the first bubble. It went totally against my grain because at the end of 2 mins. it was barely a rolling boil. However, I soldiered on and it turned out very nice. And yes, the p. sugar lumps did beat out and it ended up very smooth. Not quite pourable, however, and I had to spoon it into my pan. I also used the suggestions made by many reviewers, reducing sugars and increasing peanut butter. It is still pretty darn sweet, but maybe when it's completely set and firm, the sweetness will dissipate somewhat. Also, the peanut butter taste is not very strong, but that's how I like it. Thinking about why some people couldn't successfully cook it for 2 minutes after the rolling boil, the only thing I could think of was the type of pot used and the stove top temperature. My pot is a very good, heavy stainless steel and I have a gas stove, so "medium heat" is pretty subjective. I hope this helps you.
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20 users found this review helpful

Orange Tapioca Salad

Reviewed: Nov. 19, 2007
This was so yummy! I took it to a church potluck and everybody loved it, even my 10 year old who normally doesn't like jello salads! This is really sweet, so be prepared for that. I used fruit in its own juice, but put in some marshmallows, which might have made it sweeter. You can't tell there's tapioca in here, so don't let that scare you away. The marshmallows gave it a little texture which we all liked, and I'd consider adding some chopped walnuts or pecans if you like nuts. Anyway, it was really good, and it'd be easy to sit and eat a bowl of it!***I just made this for the 3rd time (for Easter) and couldn't find instant Tapioca anywhere, so used the Jello cook and serve, and it was just as good. If I hadn't added the marshmallows (about 2-3 cups)it might've been too runny, but w/marshmallows it was perfect. As for the reviewer that said hers was too runny, I wonder if she forgot to drain her fruit? That extra fruit juice would definitely make it too runny!
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15 users found this review helpful

Grilled or Fried Skirt Steak

Reviewed: Apr. 16, 2007
This turned out very good. I grilled it on a hot grill and it took about 10-15 minutes for medium rare. My husband and son thought it was perfect just the way it was, but I thought it was a tiny bit too tangy. Next time I'll mix a little worcestershire sauce into it too tame the mustard flavor a little.
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14 users found this review helpful

Baby Back Ribs

Reviewed: Jun. 27, 2010
Delish!! I've made these 3 times now to rave reviews! I used the dry rub from Cathy M's review (1/4c. brown sugar, 1 1/2 Tbsp. paprika, 1 Tbsp. kosher salt, 1 1/2 Tbsp. black pepper, 1 tsp. garlic powder, 1 tsp. onion powder, 1/4-1/2 tsp. cayenne red pepper), put them on a baking sheet and cover very, very tightly with foil for 1-3/4 hours at 300 degrees. If they're not yet falling off the bone, I pour off the juices, pour some BBQ sauce over, cover back up and cook a bit more. Then I cut them into serving sized pieces, slather with sauce, and put them on the grill for about 5-10 minutes! To die for!! I have never marinaded them....they are always fall-off-the-bone tender anyway and full of flavor!!
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13 users found this review helpful

Simple Strawberry Sauce

Reviewed: Jun. 23, 2011
This is really good. I do this all the time when I'm making strawberry shortcake. And like many other reviewers mentioned, if you don't know that sugar over berries pulls out a lot of juice to make a wonderful sauce, you need a recipe. Grandma was just one rude lady, and if she felt that way, she should have made her own recipe and posted it. Honestly, you just can't please everybody.
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11 users found this review helpful

Baked Brunch Omelet

Reviewed: May 5, 2009
For my tastes, I'd add some bacon (it amps up the flavor along with the ham), tobasco or pepper jack cheese and mushrooms to make it perfect!
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8 users found this review helpful

Spinach Brownies

Reviewed: Apr. 14, 2008
I couldn't help but smile at some of the comments. This recipe calls for a 10 oz. bag of FRESH spinach. Once cooked, that reduces down to.....I don't know....about one cup of spinach?? You can't use two boxes of frozen and expect this recipe to turn out the way it's supposed to!! One box would be too much---follow the recipe and use the fresh spinach, and it will taste much, much better!
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5 users found this review helpful

Texas Brownies I

Reviewed: Feb. 1, 2004
I made these for Super Bowl and we were all a bit disappointed in them. Nothing like brownies! It made a moist cake, but the flavor was weak, almost like I had omitted something or done something wrong. (I bake a great deal, however I did double-check myself and to the best of my knowledge, followed the directions exactly.) The chocolate flavor wasn't very strong at all, and was almost over powered by the cinnamon. In my opinion it needs more cocoa powder, and possibly some other adjustments. If you are looking for a fudgy brownie or a texas-style chocolate cake, this isn't it! The frosting was very good, however I had to add more milk to make it thin enough to pour/spread over the cake and everyone agreed the frosting was the best part!! I won't make this again.
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5 users found this review helpful

P.J.'s Fresh Corn Salad

Reviewed: Aug. 20, 2010
This was delicious! I read many reviewers who said they blanched the corn, but there is definitely no need to do that at all! When you're eating it, you don't realize that the corn is raw, so it's just a waste of time and nutrients, imo. I didn't have all the ingredients so did a little substitution and still delish! I also added a little chopped jalapeno per someone's suggestion and that was good, too. Go easy on the salad dressing if you don't want a mushy salad, because the veggies exude juices as they sit and will add to the liquid. I didn't measure the salad dressing, but don't think I used more than 1/2 cup. Also, keep in mind that the KIND of Italian salad dressing that you use will have a huge impact on your salad. If it's not a good one, your salad won't be, either!
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4 users found this review helpful

Irish Soda Bread

Reviewed: Oct. 17, 2008
This was excellent! I just want to warn that the dough, for me, was extremely wet....beyond sticky! So wet, the X I tried slashing didn't quite work. However, the bread was totally awesome.....moist, fragrant, a lovely compliment to our corned beef dinner!
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4 users found this review helpful

Fluffy Whole Wheat Biscuits

Reviewed: Apr. 1, 2013
I used 100% whole wheat pastry flour (pastry flour is the key ingredient), no white flour at all, barely mixed these together before I patted them into a rectangle and cut them with a knife. They rose beautifully, were tender and delicious. They were pretty bumpy on the top since I barely kneaded them and too sticky to pat down, but they were so good nobody cared. You can get away w/all whole wheat flour, but be sure it's pastry flour or they can get pretty tough.
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3 users found this review helpful

Almond Pear Muffins

Reviewed: Oct. 14, 2009
These muffins positively need more sugar, at least for our taste preferences here! I would increase it to 3/4 or even 1 full cup of sugar, if you like them sweeter. (And our pears were very ripe and sweet---but they still need more help.) When I made them, I added an extra 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, added 1/4 tsp. ginger and doubled the nutmeg and cloves. I THINK with added sugar they might be pretty good. I was in a huge hurry, trying to get them made in time for my son to have with his smoothie before school, so cut the pear up in too large of chunks. I'd recommend to dice it in small cubes---and I used 2-1/2 small pears to make a heaping one cup. We didn't find them dry at all, the texture was nice. I did use King Arthur white whole wheat flour, which might have helped with the nice texture. I only used 3/4 tsp. almond extract, but could easily have used the full teaspoon, since I didn't taste the almond at all. Didn't add the chopped almond--and if I did, I would definitely use the blanched almond slices and chop them finely. Otherwise, like another reviewer said, you're going to have little rocks in your muffins.
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3 users found this review helpful

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