Karen in DE Recipe Reviews (Pg. 1) - Allrecipes.com (18818356)

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Karen in DE

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Blue Cheese Crusted Filet Mignon with Port Wine Sauce

Reviewed: Aug. 13, 2010
This is a "less is more" recipe. I made the sauce exactly as written (x3 for 10 people), and I suggest a LOT less onion. Once the sauce reduces it became an onion sauce rather than a wine sauce. For the topping, I suggest as small of a crust as you can put, which was just right. I've had this in restaurants with a thick crust and it's MUCH better with a light crust.
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1 user found this review helpful

Lentil Soup

Reviewed: Mar. 12, 2010
My tips: - Lentils aren't usually soaked. You don't need to soak them if you wait to add the tomatoes and wine until after the lentils are cooked soft. (The acid prevents the lentils from softening.) This makes the recipe much easier with no sacrifice in taste. - I used smoked paprika, which gave the taste usually achieved by adding a smoked ham hock but keeps the recipe vegetarian and easy. (Veg broth or water can easily substitute for the chicken broth. I used beef broth myself.) - I used three kinds of lentils, and I don't think it mattered. Use whatever you like or have available. - If you're dieting you could add more carrots and celery. - I agree with the next day comment. Now is day 3 and I think I'll eat some more right now.
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51 users found this review helpful

Beef Fajita Marinade

Reviewed: Feb. 4, 2010
I marinaded 24 hours; a very short marinade might have been okay. With the tequila and lime combo it had a weird sour flavor.
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9 users found this review helpful

French Onion Soup III

Reviewed: Mar. 11, 2009
This recipe is missing something, and I think it's WORCHESTER SAUCE. I made it: - once as is (very bland); - second time adding white wine, thyme, and worchester sauce (good to very good); - third time adding leeks with the onions and worchester (out of white wine and forgot about the thyme (great).
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1 user found this review helpful

African Peanut Soup

Reviewed: Mar. 11, 2009
Followed the recipe closely so I could rate it. (One exception below.) I thought doubling the spice would have been an improvement as it was a bit bland; my husband doesn't like spicy food so he enjoyed it. I don't like rice in soup (it gets an unpleasant texture), so I substituted barley. I think barley for rice was a great substitution.
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1 user found this review helpful

Spicy Black Bean Soup

Reviewed: Feb. 17, 2009
I remembered (too late) the reason that tomatoes should be added at the END of the cooking: dried beans don't get soft if acid (vinegar, tomatoes, etc.) are added before the beans are soft. I thought it was odd, but followed the recipe almost exactly (no ham was wasted, at least) because of all the good reviews. When I re-read the reviews I noticed a lot of the reviewers mentioned using canned beans, and maybe others used them, also. So, important tips: Canned Beans - Use less water (go by looks, you can add more later if you need it) and a lot less salt. No need to cook 2 hours. Carrots - I followed the recipe and I thought the grated carrots looked very unappetizing in the cooked soup. Chopped work much better. Dried beans - Either soak the beans overnight, or quick soak (boil 10 minutes, then let sit covered for and hour). DO NOT ADD TOMATOES until the beans are soft. TOO LATE? If you've already been cooking the recipe as written for 2 to 3 hours when you read this, and still can't stomach the firm beans, you can put the beans in a blender if you didn't add the ham. I used some of the blended beans to make the Black Bean Vegetable Soup from the site. If I hadn't had those additional ingredients I would have had to order pizza.
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90 users found this review helpful

Roasted Chicken Noodle Soup

Reviewed: Feb. 1, 2009
I would describe this as "chicken-pot-pie soup" -- that same hearty, comforting taste (without so much fat). I would have never put evaporated milk in chicken noodle soup except for the reviewers who agreed that it was a great addition and I agree. I left out the potatoes because the noodles are plenty of starch for me.
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0 users found this review helpful

Garlic, Spinach, and Chickpea Soup

Reviewed: Feb. 1, 2009
I found this to be oddly bland, and my husband hated it. Since I had a LOT left over, I tried adding a lot more spinach and doubling the spices, which made it good enough to eat, but not really very good. I did, of course, know to use cornstarch. I also think the spinach needs to be cooked, rather than warmed. I did not serve the uncooked spinach, so that wasn't why my husband found it inedible.
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2 users found this review helpful

Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup

Reviewed: Feb. 1, 2009
Easy and good. I used canned tomatoes because it was winter, and that meant less cooking time. I was careful not to over blend so the soup had a nice texture. Instead of a flour roux I used cornstarch in a bit of cold water to save the calories of the butter.
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0 users found this review helpful

Mexican Wedding Cookies

Reviewed: Jan. 15, 2009
Thanks for the recipe -- it's just what I was looking for. I wanted a melt-in-your-mouth cookie and to enhance that I used all confectioner's sugar. I used pecans as they are softer and have the flavor I wanted. I toasted the pecans lightly and then chopped them finely. I also added a pinch of salt. I refrigerated overnight. After baking and cooling I coated them liberally with powdered sugar, a lot more than the recipe calls for, and let them sit undisturbed for awhile. That way the sugar sticks. One change I would make next time: They flattened rather than remaining as balls, so biting one causes powdered sugar to fly! I'll make them quite small next time so you can pop a whole one in your mouth.
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4 users found this review helpful

Anise Biscotti

Reviewed: Dec. 18, 2008
I was hungry for almond biscotti, so I TRIPLED the almonds to three cups of whole almonds, and that wasn't too much. The whole almonds slice nicely and look very appealing (to me, anyway). I used Amaretto in place of the brandy. TIPS: - The loaves spread a lot during baking. My loaves ran together. (I just cut them apart as soon as they can out of the oven and it was no problem.) The slices ended up traditional size, but if you want smaller I'd suggest 6 loaves on 3 pans. The wet-fingertip loaf smoothing worked nicely. - As the recipe states, cool completely before cutting into slices so they don't crumble. - After the suggested time for the second baking my cookies weren't close to crisp, so I turned the oven off and left them in to dry out. They turned out just right.
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8 users found this review helpful

Peppermint Meringues

Reviewed: Dec. 18, 2008
My best tip for an even easier recipe: Make these as the last of your baking at night. Preheat the oven to 350. Put the cookies in, shut the oven door, TURN OFF the oven, go to bed. In the morning they are perfect. I also recommend a large ziplock bag with the corner cut to squeeze out kiss shapes. Use a large bag because it's messy if you have to refill. I had soft peppermint candy that I crushed and folded in at the end, and it's delicious. I have also had this recipe with nuts and chocolate chips. You can mix in whatever you desire if you fold it in gently at the end.
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4 users found this review helpful

Original Chex® Party Mix

Reviewed: Oct. 29, 2008
I followed the directions exactly and was very disappointed. (After cooling and tasting, I put it into a pan and baked it at 250 for 45 minutes, and then it was much, much better.) The long, slow cooking of the old recipe blends the flavors and crisps the cereal and nuts into a snack mix rather than just seasoned cereal. The microwave version tastes as good as the bagged Chex mix, but if you want it better than that, bake it at 250 for about an hour, stirring every 15 minutes or so. Pecans are a great addition if you use the slow bake method.
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688 users found this review helpful

Potatoes Au Gratin with Fennel and Bacon

Reviewed: Oct. 19, 2008
Good, but not worth the calories and time involved for me. The fennel remained crisp, so the texture wasn't just right. The sauce didn't quite cover the top -- if using a 9 x 13 pan, use only 1/4 of sauce on layers one and two to cover completely with layer three. (I made it just as described except I parboiled the potatoes so I could peel them easily and slice then thin.) Update: A lot of leftovers as we didn't really enjoy this. I put the leftovers in a blender with some skim milk and then heated it for soup, and that was pretty good.
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2 users found this review helpful

Lowcountry Shrimp and Cheese Grits

Reviewed: Oct. 8, 2008
4 stars rather than 5 because of the garlic cheese roll. In 30 years of shopping I've never found it outside the southeast. AND I don't like processed cheese. Real cheese of your choice can be substituted. I wanted a recipe to make immediately, so I used ingredients on hand: - Precooked shrimp worked fine. I roughly chopped them (better for the bites with grits) and sauted with olive oil and plenty of garlic. I added drained diced tomatoes. (Good fresh tomato would undoubtedly be better, but the canned was fine.) I added a sprinkle of red pepper flakes, which I think was a great addition. - Grits: I'd never heard of using milk for part of the liquid. I tried it; it didn't seem to add anything and the milk scorched quickly.) I added the drained tomato liquid and it gave it a pretty color. I stirred in 3/4 of the grated cheese I had on hand (Emmentaler, which I thought I'd love or hate -- loved it).
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2 users found this review helpful

French Leek Pie

Reviewed: Aug. 5, 2008
Cheese suggestion: I agree--easy and delicious. My son doesn't like Swiss cheese, so I thought he wouldn't like the Gruyere. (It was also $16/lb.) I used Fontina instead. I was afraid that even it was a bit strong, but the flavors blended very nicely and there were no leftovers. A really mild cheese blended with some Parmesean would also work. For my taste, I think the original recipe with the Gruyere would be best, but if you also have picky eaters you can adjust. Changed my ranking to 3 stars as I liked it but my husband emphasized when I made it again that he REALLY didn't care for it.
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14 users found this review helpful

Pecan Pie IV

Reviewed: Nov. 22, 2007
Several commented that this was their first pecan pie, which caused me to realize I've made over 100 pecan pies! Here are a few tips: - This recipe is the classic variety, which is really the best. Slight changes in the classic recipe include using white vs. brown sugar, using dark vs. light corn syrup, using 2 vs. 4 Tbsp. butter. All are good, personal taste determines your choice. - Don't over beat the eggs; you don't want them frothy. Melt the butter in a measuring cup and then use the buttered cup to measure the corn syrup so it will all come out of the cup. - This recipe fills a deep dish pan. If you use a shallow pan then a double recipe will make 3 pies. - Mix the pecan in with the filling or put them in the pan before the filling. They float to the top. Mixing them in (rather than adding them on top) insures that they have a nice glaze on them. - Extra pecans may seem like a great idea, but they can't all get to the top. 1-1/2 cups may be too much depending on your pan. If I'm making several pies at once, I cover the bottom of the pans with pecans and then pour the filling on top. I use a fork to flip them over to look pretty after they float up. - Check to see if pie is done by shaking the pan - no jiggle and it's done. The depth determines how long it will need to bake. UPDATE: I just made 12 pies in a morning. I put the pecans in each crust, then mixed a double recipe in my food processor and poured the filling on top of each. Easier method for lots of pies.
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1864 users found this review helpful

Turkey Mercedes

Reviewed: Nov. 22, 2006
I usually cook my turkeys in a Reynolds bag, so I used the bag to hold the turkey while marinating. I think it made it much easier (but I didn't try it without the bag). This way I could turn to turkey in the bag as it marinated. Update: It was good, but I wouldn't make it again for Thanksgiving. (I'll go back to a simple brined turkey.) As a change of pace, the flavor was too mild for the extra trouble.
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30 users found this review helpful

Slow Cooker Stuffing

Reviewed: Jul. 18, 2004
I'm VERY picky about my dressing and this was great. Thanks for sharing--it also helped with my oven space problem. One important change to suit my taste: I substituted cornbread for all the bread and left out the mushrooms. (If you want good cornbread dressing, make your own cornbread a day or two in advance. You can use the recipe on the cornmeal package but don't add sugar. Do NOT buy those bags of cornbread mix--I tried them once and had to make if over after Thanksgiving because I was so disappointed with the original results.)
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5 users found this review helpful

Double Tomato Bruschetta

Reviewed: Jul. 18, 2004
Wonderful! I've been making it all summer with local tomatoes. I have varied the cheese with good results, but don't change anything else as the recipe is perfect as is. (I forgot the pepper and noticed the difference right away.) I used roasted garlic bread (from Costco). I made way to much the first time (4x the recipe) and cooked the leftover with tomato sauce for a terrific pasta sauce.
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4 users found this review helpful

 
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