MelissaLee Recipe Reviews (Pg. 1) - Allrecipes.com (188064330)

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MelissaLee

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Smooth Sweet Tea

Reviewed: Jun. 21, 2014
I did not like the aftertaste the baking soda left. The key to a non-bitter tea is not to let the tea bags steep too long. I made a second half-gallon: 3/4 c sugar in bottom of pitcher with 1 c HOT water stirred to make a simple syrup. Bring 2 qts water to boil, place 5 tea bags in HEAT PROOF glass bowl and pour water over them. Allow to steep for 10 minutes. Pour into the half-gallon pitcher containing the simple syrup, stir well and top with cool water to fill. Let sit to come to room temperature before putting in fridge so you don't get cloudy tea.
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Indian Chicken Curry (Murgh Kari)

Reviewed: Jun. 8, 2014
As written, it was okay, but not very flavorful. I had to increase all of the spices and did not care for the lemon juice and sour cream. Maybe a plain yogurt or coconut milk would have been much better.
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Baked Salmon II

Reviewed: Jun. 8, 2014
The recipe, as written, leaves the fish overcooked, oversalted, over-peppered and overly oily. However, the ingredients listed are some of my favorites for salmon. SO, yesterday, when I found my grocery store had large salmon filets on sale, I decided to try it again, with adjustments. I used 1.5 Tbs parseley, 1 tsp dill, 3 cloves of garlic smashed with 1/2 tsp salt, 1.5 tsp dijon mustard, 1/8 tsp pepper, 2 Tbs white wine, 1 Tbs lemon juice and only 2 Tbs (1/8 c) olive oil. I also decided to add 1 med green onion, chopped finely. I mixed all of the ingredients, poured/patted it over the top of the salmon, then let it sit in the fridge for about an hour or so until dinner time. I placed a a few thin slices of lemon down the length of the filet and put it into a 450 degree oven (in an oiled pan!) for about 25-30 minutes (the majority of the filet was a little over an inch thick). It was moist and very flavorful. Thanks for the "bones" of a delicious salmon marinade.
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Simple Deviled Eggs

Reviewed: May 6, 2014
My grandmother is in the hospital and so I was unable to reach her for my lost copy of her recipe for Easter Dinner. This seemed similar, so I gave it a shot. I doubled the recipe, as my family are fans of deviled eggs and it's a big part of dinner. As written, the recipe is rather bland and has too much salt. I remembered my grandmother's recipe uses mayo, yellow mustard, white vinegar, sugar, Worcestershire, salt, pepper and the juice from sweet pickle relish. The changes I made are (for 12 eggs): 1/2 c mayo, 1.5 tsp Worcestershire; 1 tsp vinegar; 1/2 tsp sugar; 2 tsp juice from sweet pickle relish; 1 tsp yellow mustard; 1/2 tsp salt; 1/4 tsp pepper; 1/2 small onion finely minced; 1 stalk celery, finely minced. Blended all together, added a dash of hot sauce (GREAT addition) and filled the whites. I topped with our standard sweet paprika dusting and on a whim a sprinkling of dried dill. *As stated, using the recipe as written was too salty for our tastes, so the adjustments I made take that into account
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Amazing Italian Bread Using a Bread Machine

Reviewed: Apr. 10, 2014
I've made this recipe at least once per week, with and without "additions". It's made fabulous garlic bread, herb bread, olive bread and just "plain old" hot bread perfect for dipping in olive oil. I couldn't be happier - it's not failed once.
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Eggplant Parmesan II

Reviewed: Feb. 6, 2014
Made it tonight, very good. As per my usual, I sliced the eggplant (wipe the knife off after cutting the stem and end off - that's where the bitterness comes from and will "spread" to the rest of the slices if you don't). I placed a single layer in a deep wire colander, salted each layer, and then placed a plate weighted with a bowl of water on top for about a half hour. Rinsed and dried well after. I dipped each slice in flour, then egg, then bread crumb mixture and baked on a greased cookie sheet for 10 minutes each side. I always save leftover homemade sauce in the freezer, and just defrosted a few containers to use for this recipe. Takes some time to prep, but we like it so much better than fried and using a low-fat Italian cheese blend gives lots of flavor. As does adding salt, pepper, garlic and onion powder and 1/4 c parm to the bread crumbs. We will deinitely be making this again.
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Dutch Apple Pie with Oatmeal Streusel

Reviewed: Jan. 27, 2014
This is a good pie. I've used all types of apples with success, and like many others, found myself increasing the flour to no more than 1/4 cup to combat the sogginess - though to be honest, scooping out the apples into the pie crust and leaving the juice at the bottom is the smart thing to do for any pie using fresh fruit that's not being cooked on the stove first to create a thickened filling. I've made the pie with a frozen crust, but prefer the standard brushing with egg white and allowing to dry or baking for 10 minutes then cooling prior to filling. I used McCormick apple pie spice - my normal go-to - rather than the separate spices listed. The only thing I did NOT like was that the amount of sugar in both the pie filling and the topping is excessive. In my opinion, it could be cut to 1/2 c in the filling and 1/4 c in the topping. Good recipe, though and I appreciate your posting it. I will bake this pie again.
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Restaurant Style Beef and Broccoli

Reviewed: Jan. 27, 2014
VERY good. I've made it as written, and again using black bean with garlic sauce rather than oyster with equally delicious results. The veggies can be added to with success (sliced onion, carrot and bell pepper) as well. We will enjoy this recipe again.
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It's Chili by George!!

Reviewed: Jan. 27, 2014
This was really very good, and as written, something you could serve anyone - child or adult. We prefer a little more spice and flavor, and so I kicked up the cayenne, cumin and chili (etc) seasonings by half. I also added a small seeded, diced jalapeno and about a half teaspoon of chipotle poweder. I used dried beans I'd done a quick-soak method on, so that could be why the chili wasn't as flavorful as we personally prefer. AGAIN, though, as written it is a GOOD chili recipe.
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Halupki (Stuffed Cabbage)

Reviewed: Jan. 27, 2014
This recipe was okay but probably the least flavorful I've ever had. Having grown up in a diverse family (Russian, Polish, Hungarian and German family members), I've had a LOT of "Galumpies" as I called them. Our Russian family added shredded carrot and sauerkraut to the meat mixture, along with onion and rice. This had crushed tomatoes seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic, brown sugar and a little lemon or vinegar. The German recipe was similar, only no sauerkraut and shredded carrot. The Polish family had a sweet/sour tomato sauce made by adding raisins (not a big fan). Our Hungarian family used paprika (1 tbs or so) along with sauteed onion to the meat, again no egg. They were placed on a bed of sauerkraut with Hungarian smoked sausage chunks or kielbasa tucked around. I tend to make the Hungarian version, without the smoked sausage but with a can of crushed tomatoes seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic, brown sugar, vinegar and paprika. I put the unused cabbage, chopped, around the rolls (seated on Bavarian-style sauerkraut) before I pour on the tomato sauce and bake.
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Mark's Shrimp

Reviewed: Jan. 5, 2014
We really liked this - it was a great appetizer. I only had large shrimp on hand, not the smaller ones that Bonefish uses, but they turned out just fine. The shrimp were VERY crispy outside, so the cornstarch is an excellent "foil" to the usual soggy mess saucing a battered & fried food produces. I didn't have the sweet chili sauce on hand, and so had to use tuong ot toi and mix it with 2 or 3 tbs honey. It really came close, but there was something missing we couldn't quite identify - maybe lime? Thanks for the recipe!
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Seven Layer Dip I

Reviewed: Nov. 13, 2013
Really good recipe. The Hubbs mentioned a layered taco dip he'd make when entertaining (especially in college), and I'd only used the recipe that uses cream cheese and gets baked in the oven before topping with the "cold stuff". I was glad to find this, and The Hubbs said it seemed pretty much to have the same ingredients as he remembered using in the past. Minor changes made: used a packet of Taco Seasoning when browning the ground beef. I also found sliced black olives that had diced ripe (red) jalapenos in them (by a company called Lindsay). I'd picked them up accidentally, but they worked out great with this recipe. I used a multi-cheddar blend as well (I think it contained 4 different types of Cheddar Cheese). No other changes except to use shredded lettuce on top rather than green onion. Delicious.
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Fish Tacos

Reviewed: Oct. 8, 2013
Tried this recipe last night, nearly as written. It turned out really well. VERY MINOR CHANGES: 1) I seasoned the flour I use to coat the fish prior to dipping into the batter with a tbs of Badia Sazon Tropical (a blend of salt, black pepper, garlic, onion, oregano, paprika, and cumin). 2)I also substituted sour cream for yogurt in the sauce. I also added 1 tsp cilantro, changed the tsp of cayenne to 1/2 tsp cayenne + 1/2 tsp ground chipotle, added a pinch of sugar since not using yogurt, and salt & pepper to taste. 3) I made the batter a bit thinner by adding more beer, so that I had less of a thick pancake coating. It was almost the consistency of gravy, but made for a light, crispy coating. 4) I did not fry my tortillas, but wrapped them in a damp paper towel and warmed them in the microwave. Also did not use cabbage, but had shredded lettuce, diced tomato and diced avocado, as well as pico and salsa verde for toppings 5) For this go-round, I used tilapia filets (I'd already used my cod for fish-n-chips). They worked out REALLY well. First time cooking tilapia, and pleased with results TIPS: drain the cooked fish on brown paper bags set on cookie sheets. It absorbs the oil and helps it from getting soggy. You can also keep them in a warm oven on the brown bags while cooking in batches. The fish stayed crispy and did not overcook. You can reheat leftover fish on greased cookie cooling racks and it turns out crispy and delicious (same as with other fried foods).
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Beth's Spicy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Reviewed: Oct. 3, 2013
This is a very good recipe. As others have noted, it's nearly identical to the Quaker Oats recipe - but that doesn't mean it's not good! My changes were VERY minor: 1) I used margarine instead of the butter/shortening combo (just my preference. I use all butter when I want a crisper cookie) AND 2) I used 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice rather than the cinnamon and cloves. Other things I found helpful to make a perfect batch of these cookies: I whisked the eggs before pouring them into the butter/sugar/vanilla mix, and then blended THAT with a whisk (gently) until smooth. No hand blender. I also folded in the dry ingredients in order using a wooden spoon until just incorported. I soaked my raisins in hot water while prepping the batter (makes for a much better raisin texture/taste). I refrigerated the dough between batches, and let the baked cookies cool on the pan a minute or so to set up before moving them onto a cookie rack to cool. NOTE: This recipe works just as well with fast-cooking oats as it does with regular rolled oats. It's even good with the multi-grain oats. Adding some walnuts and even pumpkin seeds tastes great too - especially when using pumpkin pie spice!
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Mama Chiarello's Stuffed Eggplant

Reviewed: Sep. 28, 2013
Honestly, the house smelled DIVINE while making this recipe. I had really big hopes, but was severely disappointed. The Hubbs liked it but didn't give his normal rave reviews over one of my meals. For me, the texture was the deal-breaker. I absolutely LOATHE "mushy" and this - though cooked completely as directed with no variatioin - was way too mushy. Then again, I'm the person who won't eat the stuffing from within the Thanksgiving turkey, because I don't like the soft texture. The flavor was great, the house smelled great, the eggplant "shell" was delicious. If I could have cooked the filling separately and/or had it set up more firmly, I'd have loved it. As it is, I definitely will NOT be making this recipe again.
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Boilermaker Tailgate Chili

Reviewed: Sep. 28, 2013
We love chili, but NOT this recipe. Followed the recipe exactly. And so, the recipe is totally disappointing. Way too many flavors "fighting" each other, and really didn't mesh well together. I don't mind putting a lot of work into a meal, but all these ingredients did nothing for one another. Odd flavor, didn't taste like chili at all. I'm thinking the bacon bits and beef boullion as well as the Worcestershire, celery and basil (along with the seasonings normally found in Italian sausage such as fennel seed) were big culprist.
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Spaghetti and Meatballs with Tomato Sauce

Reviewed: Aug. 28, 2013
I am always asked to make these meatballs for parties or family get-togethers. They'll hold up all day in a crockpot full of sauce, and make phenomenal meatball subs. I even freeze them and slice them to make my lasagna. They are so easy and so delicious. You won't regret making this meal!
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Teena's Spicy Pesto Chicken and Pasta

Reviewed: Aug. 24, 2013
Made this tonight. As have others, I made minor adjustments: I sauteed half a large sweet onion (diced) and 3 large cloves of garlic (minced) in 2 Tbs olive oil + 1 Tbs butter. I added the cubed chicken when the onions were translucent, sprinkled with S&P, and added 1-1/2 Tbs Sriracha when cooked through. Into that went 1 jar Classico basil pesto and 1/2 jar (about 5) sundried tomatoes in oil, diced, and 1 c white wine. That simmered while the pasta (ziti) cooked and tossed all together with a palm-full of Pecorino Romano. DELICIOUS.
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Grammy's Overnight Lasagna

Reviewed: Aug. 17, 2013
This method has always helped me to make the best lasagne. Granted, I made a few changes, but not to the method itself. I tend to freeze leftovers of my homemade sauce and meatballs. When I have enough to put together a lasagna (about every 6 months), I make this one. I put all the defrosted leftover sauce into a pan, heat it, adjust the seasoning, then let it cool. I cook regular Barilla lasagne noodles 8 mins til al dente, then lay them on a baking sheet sprayed with cooking oil. I slice my meatballs into 3rds while half-frozen. I take one 2-lb container of ricotta, add 2 beaten eggs, 1-2 tbs dried parsely and about 1/2 tsp black pepper. I shred about 2 c mozz, and get out pecorino romano. I spray a 9x12 pan with cooking spray and make 3 layers over a cup of sauce spread on the bottom: noodles, ricotta, meatballs, sauce, mozz, grated cheese. The top (3rd) layer of noodles gets the remaining ricotta, mozz and grated cheese. Cover tightly with oiled tinfoil, then in the fridge til the next afternoon. Extra sauce reserved for serving. Let pan come to room temp 1-2 hrs before cooking. Cook covered 25 mins, uncovered 25 mins, with a pan underneath. Let sit about 15 mins and PERFECTION - turns out with perfect texture to noodles, not dry, and completely set up for cutting.
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Shrimp Lemon Pepper Linguini

Reviewed: Aug. 9, 2013
Good recipe. I added a small crate of halved grape tomatoes to the olive oil and garlic, and a minced shallot. I also added a can of whole baby clams and a pinch of crushed red pepper. Like many others, I doubled the broth ingredients, with the exception of the butter and herbs. I also reduced the black pepper by at least half if not more, because I found the red pepper to be an excellent addition to the flavor of the dish. I wanted to taste the seafood, and didn't want those flavors overwhelmed by either the lemon or the pepper. They were noticeable, but were complimentary rather than overbearing. Will definitely make this again.
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