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

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MelissaLee

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Adrienne's Cucumber Salad

Reviewed: Aug. 6, 2013
This was fantastic. I've grown up on a couple different versions of cucumber salad (love the sour cream/dill version as well but trying to cut back on the calories!). Prior to making the salad - per my usual procedure - the cucumbers were sliced, salted with kosher salt, weighted with a plate and left to drain in a wire colander for at least an hour. I always rinse and let drain after (pressing with a clean dish towel), because I'm pretty sensitive to salty tastes. I always use English cucumbers, as well. The salad was GREAT, and has turned out equally well with both vidalia and red onions. I cut the sugar back to 1/2 cup, which to my tastes was perfect.
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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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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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Cajun Crawfish and Shrimp Etouffe

Reviewed: Jun. 12, 2013
This recipe is FANTASTIC! Made it for The Hubbs (a Cajun food fanatic) and he absolutely loved it. Like most, I used shrimp (about 2 lbs or approx 6 dozen large) and made shrimp stock using the shells (with celery, onion, carrot, bay leaf, thyme, a touch of garlic, S&P - start with 3.5 qts water and reduce to 1/5-2 qts). I also used 1.5 sticks unsalted butter with about 1 to 1.5 c flour to make my blond roux. I used the 2 tbs Old Bay, 2 tsp home-made blackening seasoning, and 2 tbs Franks Hot Sauce (would have used Lousiana but used the remainder up last week on eggs!). All-in-all, it was not too hot/spicy, but left a nice low "burn" after swallowing. Up front, it's just all flavor. I must say, this is a definite keeper. We'll be making it with fresh crawfish after our next fishing trip. Don't ruin it with using frozen, peeps. If you can't get fresh, use shrimp. You won't be disappointed.
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Firecracker Grilled Alaska Salmon

Reviewed: Jun. 19, 2013
FABULOUS redipe. Even my 18-month old son ate a huge portion. I used olive oil rather than peanut, and reduced the amount to 1/4 cup. Additionally, I increased the sesame oil - which I always have on hand since I cook Korean food at least once a week! - to approximately 1 tbs. I used sriracha sauce instead of crushed red pepper, and did not use the green onion at all, since I don't care for their texture when cooked. I did use a dash or two of onion powder, however. I cooked this under the broiler rather than the grill because of a storm, but it came out perfectly. I also recommend bringing the leftover marinade to a boil to use as a sauce afterward. This was served with steamed rice and Korean cucumber salad. Perfect dinner!
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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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Janet's Rich Banana Bread

Reviewed: Aug. 9, 2013
BEST banana bread ever. I've made it a couple of times, and like most others have made my own MINOR changes: I use mashed bananas, rather than sliced, using a potato masher so there is some texture rather than a paste of banana. I use 1/4 c less sugar than the recipe calls for (a total of 1/2 less, since I double it) and use more ripe banana. Sometimes I add finely chopped milk chocolate instead of the walnuts (The Hubbs loves chocolate-chip banana bread). And, lastly, I use reduced-fat sour cream. I tend to bake this as a "banana bread cake" in a sprinform pan, since it's gobbled up so quickly. I have to say this is the most moist, flavorful and delicious banana bread I have EVER made. Thank you!
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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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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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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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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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Spinach Stuffed Chicken Breasts

Reviewed: Aug. 7, 2013
Good recipe! Like most others, I made some changes to fit my tastes and health goals. I used a 10-oz box of spinach, 1/4 c crumbled feta, NO MAYO. I sauteed half an onion, finely chopped, in olive oil, added 2 cloves of garlic (minced), thawed & well-drained chopped spinach when onions were clear, a pinch of crushed red pepper, a dash or two of black pepper and approximately 1/2 tsp kosher salt. I cooked this for about two to three minutes on medium-high heat, then dumped it into a mixing bowl. I mixed in the feta with a wooden spoon until well blended in but not melted through. I cut a large pocket in two large boneless and skinless chicken breasts, and tightly packed in the spinach filling, sealing the opening with a toothpic. I sprinkled the breasts with salt, black pepper, thyme and then dusted them heavily with bread crumbs. I melted 2 tbs unsalted butter and added 2 tbs olive oil and poured that over the breasts, then dusted with about a tsp of grated parmesan. Baked in the oven at 425 for 35 minutes: golden brown, juicy, flavorful - totally delicious. This will be a recipe we use over and again. Thanks for the "menu idea" - it was quick and something new.
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German Style Kielbasa

Reviewed: Aug. 6, 2013
This is a really good one-pan recipe that I grew up on. In our family, we add cubes of potato and onion as well (sometimes skipping the apple), and a splash of apple cider vinegar, and the sauerkraut is always the "Bavarian-style" with caraway seeds.
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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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Corn Fritters

Reviewed: Jun. 29, 2013
Very good recipe. Like many others, I have my own preferences, but the changes I made were few: I used Bisquick, only because it's my go-to for pancakes, drop biscuits and things like fritters and potato pancakes. I also doubled the amount (2 c rather than 1). I added 2 tsp sugar, 2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, 1/4 tsp onion powder, 1/8 tsp garlic powder and I minced half a red jalapeno into it. Cooked til golden brown and served with ranch dressing. I think next time I'll give something like sweet chili sauce a try for a dip, and increase the jalapeno.
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'Momma Made Em' Chicken and Sausage Gumbo

Reviewed: Aug. 9, 2013
Very good base recipe for gumbo. I always make mine with shrimp, chicken and andouille - and ALWAYS sliced okra. I use chicken thighs to make my broth, and add my family's homemade blackening seasoning. Since I use shrimp (you can also add crab meat or oysters or crawfish), I also add Old Bay seasoning to taste. BIG TIP: definitely cook the roux until it's either the color of milk chocolate, or at least a deep reddish brown. If you see black flakes in it, it's burnt and you have to start over. Also, it's really important to cook the gumbo for at least a half-hour after adding the okra, so it loses that slimy/stringy aspect that makes a lot of people dislike it. Also, LOVE that you didn't add file powder to a recipe with okra. I see this a lot and YUCK!!! But I do know some that like to sprinkle a bit on top for flavor before eating.
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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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