naples34102 Recipe Reviews (Pg. 12) - Allrecipes.com (18863788)

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Oatmeal Spice Cookies

Reviewed: Sep. 8, 2013
As this recipe’s first reviewer I wish I could rate it higher to give it a better start but neither Hubs nor I cared for these much. I had my concerns about these from the beginning but I resisted the urge to tinker with the recipe because in this case I thought it important to make these as is (except for using butter rather than margarine) and not put my own spin on them. First, I’m always a little skeptical of a basic cookie dough that calls for milk, or any liquid for that matter. It generally isn’t necessary. Also, I was afraid I wouldn’t like the spices as listed. I generally don’t like any spice with oatmeal cookies but a little cinnamon is fine. This recipe, by contrast, had no cinnamon, but rather a little nutmeg and quite a substantial amount of cloves. I doubted I would be a fan of that but I kept an open mind. My concerns, however, bore out on both issues. The milk wasn’t necessary at all – in fact, it made a dough too loose and sticky and a cookie much too soft - and kind of unattractive too I might add. As for the spices, the taste of cloves is overbearing, even off-putting. I’m afraid I can’t recommend this recipe.
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Stir-Fry Chicken and Broccoli

Reviewed: Sep. 7, 2013
Alas – if it weren’t for the fact that this is too heavy on the soy sauce this would have been a 5-star recipe. (See the overly brown chicken in my photo!) Seasonings otherwise delicious and spot on (except I used extra garlic and a pinch of ground ginger instead of fresh). For flavor and color contrast I went a little skimpier on the broccoli and added red bell pepper strips, sliced sweet onion and sliced mushrooms. This is a beautiful and deliciously flavored dish, one I’m certain to make again…with about half as much soy sauce.
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16 users found this review helpful
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Cranberry Pumpkin Muffins

Reviewed: Sep. 5, 2013
In my mind, this is a perfect pumpkin muffin – perfectly domed, perfectly risen, perfectly sweet and moist and perfectly spiced. The batter was a little on the thick side but I just thinned it out with a little extra buttermilk; I’d say 1-2 T. ought to do it. I used dried cherries rather than the cranberries (a little sweeter and not as tart) and topped the muffins with some turbinado sugar (aka raw sugar or demerera sugar) before baking.
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9 users found this review helpful
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Chocolate Chip Coffee Cookies

Reviewed: Sep. 5, 2013
A soft dough produced a soft and chewy cookie. From other reviews it seemed the coffee liqueur wasn't apparent anyway, so I thought I'd try another liqueur I don't use often - Tres Leches. Frankly, I don't know if it would make any difference to the cookie whether you used your liqueur of choice (Frangelico, Amaretto or Bailey's maybe?) or even just milk - or no liquid at all, for that matter, which would result in a sturdier dough. While maybe not my favorite, it is nonetheless a respectable chocolate chip cookie.
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6 users found this review helpful
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Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes

Reviewed: Sep. 3, 2013
Before I tasted these but after I had them mixed up and in the oven, I looked over some of the reviews. “Oh, no!” I thought to myself. “Maybe I should have used more spices. Less spices. Oil instead of butter. A different baking time or temperature! Not to worry. The recipe as is, which is how I made it, is just right. The cupcakes are pretty, moist, tender, definitely spicy, with good flavor. If I have any criticism at all, it’s that if you like a fair amount of frosting, the yield is inadequate as written - were I do make this again, I’d double it. Also, as I always do, I took the cupcakes out of the oven a few minutes sooner than the recommended baking time and I’m glad I did. At 22 minutes I don’t think they could have stood one more minute without being overbaked – not a good thing, especially for butter cakes.
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12 users found this review helpful
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Avocado Green Goddess Dressing

Reviewed: Sep. 1, 2013
If I had prepared this exactly as the recipe directed I know I wouldn't have liked it. All mayonnaise (no buttermilk or sour cream) and five anchovy filets did not appeal to me. That was easy enough to fix, however, by using equal parts mayonnaise, sour cream and buttermilk, then thinning it out with more buttermilk until it was the consistency I desired. A dab of anchovy paste rather than five anchovy filets worked better for me. Finally, 2-3 tablespoons of a mixture of parsley, green onion, thyme, tarragon and dill gave this a more complex, full-bodied flavor. With these changes, I loved it.
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5 users found this review helpful
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Chewy Cinnamon Cookies

Reviewed: Sep. 1, 2013
This is a soft cookie, which I knew it would be because of the higher ratio of brown sugar (which lends softness) to white sugar (which lends crispiness). While I knew this would not appeal to me, as I like my cookies crunchy, I knew Hubs would like them - and he did. Neither of us could taste graham cracker flavor – I, of course, knew it was in there but Hubs did not. In addition, I found them a tad on the greasy side. A bag of cinnamon chips (roughly 2 cups) boosted the cinnamon flavor. As I do with all my cookie dough that begins with butter, I gave it a stint in the fridge for an hour or so until it was semi-firm. So between the softness, the somewhat greasiness and the fact the graham cracker flavor was barely apparent, these were not my favorite cookie. Hubs, on the other hand, loved them, so I’ll use his rating of four stars.
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6 users found this review helpful
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Baked Corn on the Cob

Reviewed: Aug. 31, 2013
Whether you use this method because it’s an easy, no-fuss method of roasting corn or because you want to free up space on your grill or stove-top, you won’t end up with a more perfect ear of corn cooked any other way. The recipe doesn’t indicate this, but since you’re directed to bake the corn for an hour, and since corn is generally soaked in its husks, I assumed the husks were meant to be left on. Two ears fit perfectly in a 2-quart beverage pitcher. This corn was, in a word, simply excellent - sweet, juicy, delightfully “seasoned” because of the salt/sugar brine. Time and temperature were both spot on. Hubs and I couldn’t stop commenting all through dinner on how good this was!
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18 users found this review helpful
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Patty Melt on Pumpernickel

Reviewed: Aug. 31, 2013
While I found #5 in the directions off putting (“Cleaning tip: Once the stove top is cool, wipe up any oil splatters or spills with Chlorox Disinfecting Wipes), it wasn’t enough to dampen my enthusiasm for this recipe. It is, of course, “only” a classic patty melt sandwich, but I was particularly intrigued by the steak sauce (I used A1) mixed into the meat. It was just barely noticeable, and pleasantly so. I could not bring myself to add the oregano. The instruction to cook the onion over low heat for a good 20 minutes was important. As the onions cooked down, caramelizing in their own sugars, they reduced into something smooth and richly flavored, a major contribution to the sandwich. The step of melting the butter before spreading it on the bread wasn't necessary – softened butter works just fine! Hubs likes neither rye bread nor Swiss cheese but agreed to tolerate this sandwich. He “suffered” through it with some homemade Thousand Island dressing on the side – a nice complement I must say! This sandwich, along with a bowl of “Winter Leek and Potato Soup,” also from this site, made for a delicious and satisfying meal.
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10 users found this review helpful
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Winter Leek and Potato Soup

Reviewed: Aug. 31, 2013
This is a simple, basic leek and potato soup, unencumbered by a lot of unnecessary and distracting extra ingredients. Leeks, potatoes, chicken broth and a little milk or cream is really all you need and that’s what you get here. Still, I wanted a more pronounced leek flavor so I doubled up on that. While the potatoes were cooking I threw in a bay leaf and a good pinch of fresh thyme just to brighten the flavor. I used fresh minced garlic rather than garlic powder and skipped the parsley and cheddar cheese. When the soup was done I pureed it in a flash with my immersion blender. A drizzle of good white truffle oil took this soup from excellent to sublime.
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41 users found this review helpful
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Sweet and Chunky Tomato Soup

Reviewed: Aug. 28, 2013
I followed the recipe loosely. Very loosely. “Eight tomatoes” was too vague for me. Eight large tomatoes? Eight medium or eight small tomatoes? When I brought in a big bowl of tomatoes from my garden today, they ranged in size from teeny to behemoth. (I grow several different varieties) The size of the tomatoes used for the recipe would definitely affect the outcome. So I kind of winged it, but weighed what I used for purposes of this review – I used just a tad over three pounds and ran them all through a food mill before proceeding with the recipe. I found the directions to cook the peppers “until slightly charred” a little confusing. I’m not sure how you’d do that with them chopped, in a pot, with a teaspoon of butter. When I think of charred I think broiled or roasted, in the oven or over a flame. Suffice it to say I sweated out the peppers and onions and added the garlic during the last 30 seconds or so before adding the tomato puree and the chicken broth. I used no sugar, cloves, oregano, basil or cornstarch – I wanted nothing other than the rich, sweet, red-ripe tomato flavor enhanced by that of the bell peppers. When it came time to add the milk, I used a combination of milk and heavy cream for extra creaminess and richness. Upon serving I gave each bowl a small dollop of pesto, which complemented the tomato like brown mustard does a brat. This soup, along with BLTs, was homegrown tomato nirvana.
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7 users found this review helpful
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Kristen's Parmesan Roasted Potatoes

Reviewed: Aug. 27, 2013
A good and reliable roasted parmesan potato recipe, and there are a million of ‘em. I chose to roast mine at 425 degrees and, because I wanted them super golden brown, didn’t turn them half way through the cooking time as would generally be recommended. Half an hour for teeny, little new potatoes, cut in half, was just right. Also, just as a matter of personal preference, I used fresh rosemary rather than thyme, tho’ any herb or your spice of preference would work.
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12 users found this review helpful
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Double Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Reviewed: Aug. 27, 2013
Like most of us, I don’t eat cookies much because I’m trying to watch my girlish figure. But HUBS likes to have a cookie now and then, something he usually likes to hunt for and grab from the freezer. In the interest of maintaining that girlish figure I had every intention of trying just a sample of these cookies – strictly for rating and reviewing purposes of course. But a bite of the cookie (pretty darned good) led to finishing off the cookie (so chocolatey and gooey and rich) and by that time I admitted my weakness and surrendered to another, which I scarfed down nearly as fast as it took me to take my next breath. I challenge any of you to be any stronger when it comes to these cookies.
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11 users found this review helpful
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Chicken Breasts with Lime Sauce

Reviewed: Aug. 22, 2013
Excellent, tho’ I didn’t follow the recipe precisely. Hubs and I try to watch carbs where we can, so I coated the chicken breasts in almond flour rather than bread crumbs. (I’m relatively new to this but it’s delicious!) Not called for in the recipe, but I seasoned the chicken as well as the flour well, with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Lemon juice was more compatible than lime with what I was serving with the chicken, and I deglazed the pan with some white wine in addition to the juice. Reduce that to just a couple/few tablespoons (for 2 servings), then over low heat swirl in the butter (little by little or your sauce will break) for a luxurious sauce. Couldn’t ask for a lovelier, more inviting presentation or a more delicious entrée.
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13 users found this review helpful
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Onion Pasta

Reviewed: Aug. 22, 2013
Hubs called this “a solid performer” but said he wouldn’t call this memorable. While there is no right or wrong on this, all things being subjective, I have to disagree. Taking the time, over low heat, to adequately caramelize the onions gives the dish a rich and assertive flavor with a hint of sweetness. I didn’t bother with the bouillon and I didn’t miss it. Those beautiful, golden onions, the basil and a little garlic provided all the flavor I needed.
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9 users found this review helpful

Shredded Beef Tacos with Lime

Reviewed: Aug. 20, 2013
I’m glad I doubled this, using a 3-pound roast, because now we can enjoy this again! The recipe has immediate appeal; still, I found I was going to play with it. Chuck is a fatty cut so I didn’t see the need to add ANY oil, let alone so much. In fact, I trimmed the roast of a good deal of the fat before throwing it in the Crock Pot (rather than the oven). I used no oil, and only one cup of beef stock, even tho’ I doubled the recipe. I couldn’t see adding what would have been two cups of stock only to “drain and discard 80% of the liquid” as the recipe directs! In addition to doubling the remaining ingredients for my 3-pound roast, I added a teaspoon each of Mexican oregano and salt, and a good handful each of chopped Poblano peppers and onions. Since it would spend 8-10 hours in the Crock Pot, I skipped the marinating process, simply putting all ingredients in the Crock Pot from the start. This was excellent; tho’ I must stress that the oil can/should be eliminated and only use half as much stock so you don’t need to discard any! I used this to make shredded beef enchiladas and we both loved it and are looking forward to enjoying this once again as tacos.
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32 users found this review helpful
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White Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

Reviewed: Aug. 20, 2013
Me: So can you provide a little commentary on these cookies other than that “they’re good?” Hubs: Sweet, chewy, gooey, yum.
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14 users found this review helpful
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Risotto with Truffle and Parmesan

Reviewed: Aug. 14, 2013
Excellent. Even Hubs, who is not a fan of either risotto or Parmesan scarfed this right up. Patience is key to a great risotto in my opinion. Low, slow cooking, adding the broth ladle by ladle, allows the beautiful Arborio rice to release all its starches and get all lovely and creamy. The wine, Parmesan, truffle oil and butter make this rich and intoxicatingly aromatic and decadently delicious. Not a grain of it was left.
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9 users found this review helpful
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Eagle Brand® Lemon Cream Pie

Reviewed: Aug. 14, 2013
A delicious lemon version of Key Lime Pie and just as delicious. Just a couple of tips – beat your egg yolks until thick and lemon-colored. Add 1-1/2 tsp. of grated zest (I also used fresh lemon juice). Baking this for 30-35 minutes is not necessary and may even be too long - 15 minutes is just fine. I also used my own graham cracker crust: 1-1/4 c. graham cracker crumbs, 2 T. sugar and 5 T. butter, melted. Pat into pie dish and bake at 350 degrees, 7-9 minutes.
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31 users found this review helpful
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Bahamian Style Peas and Rice

Reviewed: Aug. 12, 2013
I read some, but not all, of the reviews and stopped, realizing I really didn't care whether this was the "authentic" way to make this, especially since the submitter titled her recipe Bahamian "Style" Peas and Rice. After reading the directions again before writing this review, I found I did not prepare this as the recipe directed, but only because I was careless in following the directions. I had drained the pigeon peas (which I found in an international market) and cooked the rice separately, both of which were contrary to the directions. The dish didn't seem to suffer for it. I did deliberately add the ketchup but skip the tomato paste. I also added some minced fresh garlic, basically because I had some left over from a dish Hubs was preparing and we liked that addition (authentic or not). When I first read the list of ingredients I knew this was bound to be a winner, and I was right. This is an interesting rice dish with a well-balanced array of ingredients and flavors. It does, indeed, have Caribbean flair, but we served this with grilled skewers of steak and shrimp, "Surf and Turf for Two," also from this site.
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