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Country Fried Steaks with Sweet Onion Gravy

Reviewed: Apr. 16, 2013
This is a good recipe. I made a few changes to it but not much. First of all, I adjusted the recipe for 6 serving and used 6 top blade steaks (that I pounded out). Then I seasoned the meat on both sides with a little garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne and salt before dredging in the flour mixture. I didn't have sweet onions, so I used 3 large yellow onions instead. Because I adjusted the servings I reserved a 1/2 cup of flour mixture instead of 1/3 cup. Followed the recipe as stated from the flouring to the return of the steaks to the gravy. Because the meat was almost done, I only simmered in the gravy for about 20 minutes. The gravy was a little bland so I added a few extra shakes of salt to it. Turned out great! I will definitely make this again. Thanks for the recipe!
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Mini Cheesecakes II

Reviewed: Apr. 15, 2013
At first, the flavor wasn't right and the texture was weird. I followed the recipe to the letter, with the exception of using a real graham cracker crust instead of vanilla wafers. I almost threw the minis out but hubby convinced me to do otherwise. So, I just wrapped the pans and put in the fridge. After sampling one this morning, I have to say they taste much better. Still not the flavor I was looking for (so can only upgrade this to 3 stars) but the texture isn't weird anymore. I guess it needed time to fully set.
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Photo by patticakes43

Huli Huli Chicken

Reviewed: Apr. 12, 2013
For Recipe Group 4/8/13 - This chicken was very, very tasty. I usually only do the least amount of marinade time possible but I'm glad I went with doing it overnight. Totally worth the wait. I made some minor changes but nothing too out there. First of all, I adjusted the recipe for 6 servings but only used 6 chicken breasts. I didn't have sherry, so I used extra pineapple juice instead. When it came to cook time, I preheated the oven at 425* F, but instead of putting it in the broiler right away, I put it in the oven. Let it cook 10 minutes, flipped it, basted it with the marinade and let it cook another 10 minutes. During that 10 minutes, I thicken the rest of the marinade with 1 tbsp of cornstarch on the stove-top. Then I flipped the chicken, basted it with the thickened sauce, moved the pan to the broiler and cooked for another 10 minutes. Finally, I flipped it again, basted it and broiled for another 5 minutes to get nice char on top. Once out, I basted it a final time and let it rest for about 5 minutes and then sliced. My family absolutely loved it. Usually, they hate when I make back to back chicken recipes but there wasn't one grumble or complaint. I will definitely make this again.
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Photo by patticakes43

Thai Orange Chicken

Reviewed: Apr. 9, 2013
Simply delicious! A change in plans brought me to this recipe and I am so glad it did. Easy to make and full of flavor. The aromas emanating from this recipe were a clear indication of how yummy this recipe was going to be. I was a little worried about whether it was going to be too sweet because of two things, that were totally on me. 1) I had to use squeezed tangerine juice, instead of orange juice. And 2) had to use honey roasted peanuts. Suffice it to say, this was a non issue. The only changes i made to the actual recipe was I only added a few pinches of the red pepper, to cut down on the heat. And I only needed 1 tbsp of cornstarch, which was enough to thicken the sauce to my liking. Great recipe that will definitely go into my dinner rotation.
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Boiled Water

Reviewed: Mar. 20, 2013
What can I say about this recipe that already hasn't been said. Such an easy and versatile recipe. I did want to kick it up a notch so I dropped in some lemon slices in it and let it cool down. Then I put it in the fridge overnight. It was too bitter the next day, so I had to add sugar to it. That fixed it right up! Thanks for the great recipe Seth.
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Garlic Brussels Sprouts with Crispy Bacon

Reviewed: Mar. 18, 2013
Like making these sprouts. I usually double the recipe but only cook 13 pieces of bacon. Then I omit all the butter/olive oil and just cook the sliced garlic in the drippings. I cook the broth down, instead of draining, and then stir in the crumbled bacon. My man, who isn't a fan of Brussels sprouts at all, loves them prepared this way.
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Pork Medallions with Balsamic Vinegar and Capers

Reviewed: Mar. 18, 2013
I made this with 9 pork chops so had to adjust the recipe. The flour coating was a bit frustrating because it didn't stick to the chops well. This was the first time I had capers. I thought they were tasty but my family not so much. Not sure if I used 1 tbsp of zest because I just zested one lemon and tossed it into the sauce. The flavor combos I got from the reduction was great. Next time I make this, I will omit the flour and just season the meat with the garlic salt and pepper and go from there.
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Pan Seared Salmon and Scallops with Macadamia-Cilantro Pesto

Reviewed: Mar. 12, 2013
This salmon was flaky and flavorful. I seasoned with salt, pepper and garlic powder. I couldn't get the large scallops so I used a bag of frozen mini scallops (thawed) instead. I just sauteed them in one of the pans with a little salt and garlic powder. Unfortunately, I used up ingredients making the pesto because my family didn't like it at all, but I think it was worth the try.
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Lobster Mashed Potatoes

Reviewed: Mar. 12, 2013
This isn't so much of a review than it is a thank you to Mauigirl for giving me a new way to make potatoes! I couldn't follow the lobster part of the recipe because I used frozen chopped lobster tails. I did, however, use the russet potatoes, instead of my usual red, and cooked according to recipe. Then I just sauteed the tails in butter and garlic powder and stirred them into the potatoes. Anyways, I gave this recipe 4 stars only because I didn't follow it completely. But I think it would definitely be worth that extra star!
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Green Bean Bundles II

Reviewed: Mar. 12, 2013
I really like these string beans. Unlike others, I loved the tangy-ness of the beans and so did everyone else. I used fresh beans and let them marinate in a covered container overnight, shaking it up occasionally. I found that if you just lay the beans down over the flap, there was no need for the toothpick. Once the top side was crisp enough, I flipped it. Just be careful to keep an eye on them because the tips will start to burn. I will definitely make these again, and this time I will make extra. Everyone agreed that they went too fast.
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Fast, Fresh Grape Tomato Salad

Reviewed: Mar. 4, 2013
These are some very tasty tomatoes. I did have to modify it a little because I didn't have any sweetened rice vinegar. I used red wine vinegar instead and added 1/2 tsp of sugar to the recipe. Turned out beautifully. My man even likes it. He said it tasted like they were marinated in italian dressing. He loves italian dressing. I will definitely make these again.
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My Dirty Diapers (=

Reviewed: Feb. 28, 2013
These were a big hit with the family! My daughter ate 8 of them without blinking an eye. The only changes I made were only using 4 Tbsp of relish and ground beef instead of turkey., but that was it. Thnx Gammaray for the new twist on the empanadas I usually make. Delicious!
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Barbara's Cookie Crumbs

Reviewed: Feb. 28, 2013
Very easy and tasty cookie crumbs. I loved it, especially the way it melted in my mouth, but my daughter said it tasted like a health-food cookie. Might have been the wheat flour. Will make again with reg flour when I get a chance.
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Photo by patticakes43

Bacon Cheese Muffins

Reviewed: Feb. 28, 2013
OMGoodness!! Can I just say that these are the most delicious savory muffins! I made two batches of minis and had already had 3 before the second batch was in the oven. I will be making these over and over again. Thank you, LaurasFavs, for such a yummy recipe!
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Photo by patticakes43

Polish Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

Reviewed: Feb. 26, 2013
For Recipe Group 2/23/13 - This is one of the best cakes I've ever made. I don't bake often but when I do, I try to do it from scratch. I've had some epic failures but not with this coffee cake. The only sub was I used almonds instead of pecans. This cake baked up so fluffy and moist, which baffles me because of how sticky and flat it looked in the pan. And the stickiness would be my only complaint. It was hard to work the first layer of batter into the bottom of the pan. So, I knew there was no way I could spoon drop method top layer of batter. Luckily, I read that one of the other reviewer's hubby suggested using wax paper. I did and it worked, for the most part. Next time, I'll spray a little cooking spray on the paper first, so it can peel off easier. Definitely a keeper.
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Orange Cornish Hen for Two

Reviewed: Feb. 23, 2013
This was the best orange chicken I have ever had! I over cooked it a bit but that didn't stop us all from having more, more, more! And can I just say, the aroma that filled the kitchen and even wafted up the steps to the third floor!?! Simply hypnotic! Thnx Misty!
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Photo by patticakes43

Pork Chops Over Rice

Reviewed: Feb. 13, 2013
Let me start by saying that the rice was very, very flavorful. It's an easy to follow recipe but I did do a couple of things differently. First of all, I used 8 chops but only doubled the recipe ingredients. Which might explain why the chops were a little bland. Well either that or I didn't salt and pepper enough (no clear measurements to go by). After browning the chops, instead of putting them on a paper towel, I put them on a plate and covered with foil. This way I could add the juices that settled at the bottom of the plate to the rice when I put in the chops. I used 1 cup white and 1 cup brown rice and I gave a large onion a rough chop and sliced four large pieces of garlic, instead of dicing and mincing them. I added 1 cup of broth to scrape the pan then added the rest of the broth to the rice. Because I doubled the ingredients, I used 2 tsp of cayenne (even though I read a lot of other reviews saying that even 1 tsp seemed to be too much). By the end of the final 20 minute cooking time, the rice tasted fiery hot and wasn't even close to being done. So, I added 1 more cup of broth (5 altogether) and let the dish cook for another 20 minutes. Some of the pieces of rice were still stiff and the chops were somewhat dry but the extra cup of broth toned down the fire a bit. Because the chops were a bit bland/dry and the rice was stiff after 40 minutes, I can only give this 3 stars. But I would still give this another try.
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Ham Steak with Apple Glaze Recipe from Betty Crocker

Reviewed: Feb. 7, 2013
I chose to broil the ham. It was my first time broiling anything, so needless to say it didn't come out perfectly. I will admit to over cooking the ham but gave it 4 stars because the flavors I got from the glaze made up for that. My family loved it! More importantly, my pickiest eaters said they would definitely eat it again. I'll pay closer attention to the directions next time. Just a note. I doubled the ingredients with the exception of the chives. I only used 1 tsp of dried chives. It's equal to 2 tsp fresh but it was just enough.
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Sunflower Chicken Salad

Reviewed: Feb. 6, 2013
UPDATE: 2/22/13 - Tried this recipe again because I wanted to give it another review when I had the actual ingredients listed. Well I did today, with the exception of the fact that I used canned chicken again(couldn't be helped), so it was only about 1 1/2 cups worth. My original concern about this was how it would taste because I/we don't ever use mayo. Well, this recipe is truly the exception to that rule. It's still delicious and definitely still a five star recipe in my book. Thnx Brenda because now I have two new ways to wow people with chicken salad.
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Marinated Baked Pork Chops

Reviewed: Jan. 29, 2013
Made this tonight. It was good but we were not wowed. I decided to marinate the chops even though the recipe didn't specify a time for that. I intended to marinate for a couple of hours yesterday, but a different dinner plan arose so I ended up marinating 24 hours. Glad I did because the meat took on the flavors of the marinade quite nicely. The only other changes I made were, I used Red Wine Vinegar and EVOO like someone suggested. I upped the ingredient proportions with the exception of the chops. And finally, I cooked them in a lightly covered pan for 40 minutes straight and they was done. I only flipped them after they were cooked and let them set for about 5 minutes.
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