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To Die For Blueberry Muffins

Reviewed: Jun. 6, 2008
These muffins were amazing! To make sure that I didn't overmix the batter, I folded the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients using scraping motions along the wall of the bowl into the center. Using the same technique, I folded the blueberries in, being careful not to pop the fresh berries. I made 12 regular sized muffins, which looked very pretty. To make everything easier for yourself, just use the paper muffin cups instead of greasing the pans and still getting frustrated over getting them out. It looks prettier that way anyway.
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Chicken Tikka Masala

Reviewed: Aug. 16, 2007
This recipe was delicious after a few modifications. 1. I decreased cayenne pepper in the marinade and jalapeno in the sauce because I can't eat really spicy food 2. I didn't follow the recipe's listed amount of salt. I just added it to my liking. 3. I marinated the meat for about 3 hours and broiled it in my oven. 4. I doubled the sauce. I served this on a bed of white rice, topped with sauteed julienned orange/green bell peppers, onions sliced into rings, and cubed zucchini. I have some left over- I can't wait to eat it for lunch tomorrow!
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Cream Cheese Pound Cake III

Reviewed: Aug. 16, 2007
This cake was absolutely phenomenal. I used two loaf pans. I mixed the sugar into creamed butter and cream cheese in a thin stream, then added one egg at a time (Make sure that the egg is at room temp). To freshen things up a little bit, I filled the loaf pan about a third way up, and sprinkled some raspberries. Then I topped more batter to completely cover the raspberries. The raspberries were a delightful surprise! Refer to my photo to see how it looks like. Not only does it add a refreshing touch, but also looks beautiful when sliced. Absolutely gorgeous cake!
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Best Bread Machine Bread

Reviewed: Aug. 13, 2007
This recipe is excellent because it is so easy and flavorful. The only changes I made were: 1. Use 2.5 unbleached white flour, .5 wholemeal. 2. Use 3 tablespoons of sugar 3. Add 3 tablespoons of gluten powder (found in WholeFoods and most grocery stores) for better texture. Gluten powder will create fluffier, softer and chewier texture. It's definitely worth it. Tip: You can add in Splenda for additional sweetness. It will sweeten without affecting the texture of the bread. This bread is fine as is though, in terms of sweetness.
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Green Bean Stir-Fry

Reviewed: Aug. 11, 2007
I was looking for new ways to cook my green beans, but I wanted to stay away from vegetable dishes that were smothered in bacon! This was surprisingly good, but I dunk the green beans in boiling water for a few minutes first. I added the sauce to the pan with my green beans and stirred it around with the heat turned off. The sauce came out a little too salty to my liking, but it was still good.
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Roasted Garlic Cauliflower

Reviewed: Aug. 10, 2007
It was easy and good, but not THAT special. Maybe I'll add in more flavoring next time I make it, and maybe a dash of white wine. Cauliflower is a pretty bland vegetable itself, but this recipe will be a good start.
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Angel Chicken Pasta

Reviewed: Aug. 10, 2007
Absolutely delicious! I used Neufchâtel cream cheese, which is lower in fat, a lot softer, but tastes pretty much the same as regular cream cheese. I used a splash more white wine than listed, added some chopped sun dried tomatoes in oil, freshly minced garlic while making the sauce, and in the end, stirred in fresh basil leaves. I couldn't find any golden mushroom soup, so I just used regular mushroom soup.
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Pizza Dough I

Reviewed: Aug. 10, 2007
What an easy recipe for pizza dough! I did take extra time to add some changes to the recipe. I proofed the yeast with the sugar and warm water, threw the rest of ingredients in along with some dried herbs (basil, thyme, oregano) and freshly minced garlic, formed a ball, covered with a plastic wrap, and let it rise for 30 minutes. Then I kneaded the dough, then rolled it out (it was pretty difficult rolling it out thin enough), poked holes with fork, baked for 5 minutes, topped it with chunky tomato sauce that I had improvised, sprinkled mozzarella cheese, brushed the crust with olive oil, and finished baking. I wasn't sure how thinly I was supposed to roll out the dough, or how much it will rise during cooking. Next time, I'll roll it out thinner, line the edges with some sticks of fresh mozzarella, roll up the dough around, to create cheese-filled crust. These will make excellent bread sticks!
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Creamy Blueberry Pie

Reviewed: Aug. 10, 2007
I baked this with my friends so that we could take it to our math teacher when we visited him during winter break. We used frozen blueberries, but other than that, we followed the recipe exactly as written. The pie was delicious, and we served it with vanilla ice cream. I also baked this again to give to my friend for her birthday. She absolutely loved it!
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Quiche Lorraine I

Reviewed: Aug. 10, 2007
I was desperately looking for a "finger food-main dish" for my potluck, and decided to make this. At first, I was slightly turned off by its high-fat content, but I knew that quiche is high in fat in nature. To make it healthier and also more flavorful, I made some changes: 1. Used only 4 slices of turkey bacon instead of 12 slices of regular bacon. 2. Omitted cheese (didn't have any) 3. Added about 6 mushrooms, sliced and sauteed in olive oil and garlic. 4. Threw in some frozen corn sitting in my freezer. 5. About two handfuls of frozen spinach, thawed and drained. 6. Some freshly diced tomatoes. People enjoyed it very much, and raved about how pretty it looked. I think I will keep the changes I made in the future, because I think it's definitely healthier and tastier.
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Flatlander Chili

Reviewed: Aug. 10, 2007
This was the first time I've made chili. It was pretty tasty, but it was on the meaty side for my family, which is just because my family isn't a big meat-eater. I was afraid that it would come out too salty, so I used low-sodium V-8 vegetable cocktail and added more salt to my liking later. I also used fresh garlic instead of powdered (I never use garlic powder), substituted 1 can of red beans with pinto beans, and substituted 1 can of diced tomato with juice instead of tomato sauce. I served this with homemade cornbread, and the meal was hearty. Next time, though, I will cut down on meat and add other vegetables, like more bell peppers, tomatoes and add zucchini, green beans etc.
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Empanadas

Reviewed: Aug. 10, 2007
The dough is extremely easy to make, and it also tastes delicious! I used Neufchâtel cream cheese, which is slightly lower in fat than regular cream cheese. You can find Neufchâtel in most grocery stores, including Safeway. Neufchâtel and regular taste very similar, and can be used interchangeably, but Neufchâtel is a lot softer (which makes it easier to work with). I filled the empanadas with canned pumpkin, but I accidentally forgot to add anything to it so I had to roll the empanadas in a LOT of sugar/cinnamon mixture when they got out of the oven. I also used one beaten egg to brush the tops before I put the empanadas in the oven. Oh, and I had no trouble with the dough being sticky or the filling seeping out. The key is not to be overly ambitious with the filling- fill in moderate amounts, seal the dough well, and press the edges with the fork to ensure that the edges stick well (also makes nice patterns).
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Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

Reviewed: Aug. 10, 2007
Excellent cookies! I did make some changes, though. 1. Used 1.5 c brown sugar, .5 c white sugar 2. Used bittersweet Ghiradelli baking chips (larger than regular choc chips) and 1 c butterscotch chips instead of nuts. 3. Baked at 325 for 10 minutes, then cooled for 1 minute on the sheet because they were too soft to transfer to the cooling rack right away. Here are some tips: When you're not handling the dough, keep it in the fridge. It will be easier to work with. Also, scoop a walnut-sized ball of dough, roll it slightly (won't stick to your hand because of the grease) and flatten slightly on the baking sheet to end up with lovely, well-shaped circles of goodies. Lastly, don't be alarmed if your cookies come out looking undone, puffy, and cake-like. If you look at my pictures, you'll see that cookies right out of the oven look puffy, but when they cool, they flatten and become chewy. Even though I thought these cookies were excellent, I'm giving them 4 stars because they tended to be slightly greasy. UPDATE: The next day, I realized these cookies taste a bit too sweet. I will just use 1 c chocolate chip and 1 c butterscotch next time, or investigate ways to reduce the sugar somehow without altering the texture dramatically.
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Cinnamon Bread I

Reviewed: Aug. 1, 2007
This was absolutely fantastic! I took the advice of other reviewers and 3x the cinnamon swirl mix using brown sugar, because I absolutely love cinnamon! I also added a little over a cup of chopped apple, which I believe made this even more moist. I wouldn't exactly call this bread... It felt more like cake. This felt a little bit greasy, but I loved it, and it looks and smells fantastic!
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Mrs. Sigg's Snickerdoodles

Reviewed: Jul. 20, 2007
I've made these several times (8 minutes, 400 degrees), and each time, they came out too puffy and dry. This time, I baked them for exactly 8 minutes at 350 degrees,and I got the soft, chewy texture I was looking for. TIP: Keep half of the dough in the fridge while you work with the other half, since the dough does get sticky. Use a tablespoon to scoop the dough, and roll/shape it on a plate filled with sugar/cinn. mixture to prevent it from sticking to hands.
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Best Brownies

Reviewed: Jun. 19, 2007
maybe this brownie lacks the fudgy, deep chocolate flavor, but i have to give this a 5 star because it is so easy to make. right afterwards, i made another batch with about 5 coffee beans finely ground to give it a mocha flavour. i am experimenting with different suggestions from other users, such as omitting baking p, using both brown and white sugar etc.
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Ratatouille

Reviewed: Feb. 4, 2007
Excellent vegetarian dish! Instead of cooking it in the oven, I just sauteed the whole thing. I first cooked garlic and onion in olive oil, added the rest of the ingredients, put the cover on and cooked until the vegetables were tender (about 30+ minutes). Some changes I have made: One large tomato and one can of diced tomato instead of 2 tomatoes, added some basil, pinch of red pepper flakes and a drizzle of olive oil at the end, and sprinkled freshly grated romano cheese right before serving instead of mixing parmesan into the vegetables. Will make it again!
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Jamie's Minestrone

Reviewed: Oct. 14, 2006
This soup was easy and wonderful. I'm a high school student, and although it was a busy schoolnight, I went to Safeway and bought ingredients so I could eat this! I ended up adding canned spinach, and half tomato sauce/half diced canned tomato, and omitted carrots. I used organic vegetable stock. I forgot to buy pasta, so left it out, but the soup was hearty enough to make a fine dinner. My family loved it, even my mom who had a stomachache ate seconds! Next time, though, I'll add more green beans and spinach, cut down on zuchinni, and add more diced tomatoes instead of sauce. I'll leave out kidney beans until the last 10 minutes or so of cooking because my kidney beans were so mushed up that they were nowhere to be found.
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Focaccia Bread

Reviewed: Sep. 24, 2006
What a recipe! I used the Dough cycle in the bread machine. Then I put parchment paper on the baking sheet, put generous amounts of yellow corn meal, and shaped the dough into a circle. 1 T of oil was plenty for brushing, and I topped it off with rosemary needles, tomato slices, garlic slices, sea salt and grated parmesan. It smelled beautiful while it was in the oven, and when it came out, it looked absolutely wonderful! My family said it looked like a professional bakery-quality bread! Will definitely make again, especially to potlucks and parties!
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Clone of a Cinnabon

Reviewed: Sep. 16, 2006
I loved the bread part, but wasn't too delighted with the filling. As the rolls were baking, the layers sort of "separated" from each other, and the sugar melted and caramelized at the bottom, so the bottom of the rolls were hardened with caramelized sugar. Does anyone have any idea why, or have the same problem?
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