naples34102 Recipe Reviews (Pg. 14) - Allrecipes.com (18863788)

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New Year's Fried Rice

Reviewed: Dec. 16, 2013
Nearly identical to Kikkoman's "Classic Fried Rice," also from this site. For the most part I followed the recipe as written (there are infinite variations you could try) except for cooking the egg separately, like a crepe, then rolling it up like a cigar and slicing it, chiffonade-style, for a more authentic presentation. Just as it is used in "Classic Fried Rice," this could benefit from the addition of some fresh minced garlic.
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10 users found this review helpful
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Spinach and Mushroom Salad

Reviewed: Dec. 16, 2013
Not bad - the salad itself is a great start but the dressing had its flaws. In a nutshell it was too watery, too sweet and lacking any real depth or complexity of flavor. This could be improved by eliminating the water, decreasing the sugar and considering using honey instead, and adding a smidge of Dijon mustard.
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4 users found this review helpful
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Frozen Peanut Butter Cheesecake

Reviewed: Dec. 14, 2013
Hubs rates this four stars, which in any one else' rating system would most likely mean a five. He is a huge fan of rich, decadent desserts, anything peanut butter/chocolate being one of his favorites. Me, not so much, so it's difficult for me to review this with a whole lot of enthusiasm. He liked the contrast between the sweet, crunchy chocolate crust and the rich, but not too sweet, creamy peanut butter filling. I questioned the addition of the lemon juice, which just seems wrong with both peanut butter and with chocolate and even tho' neither of us could taste it, I still do. I thought perhaps it was maybe to temper the sweetness of the filling, but I actually thought it could have been a little sweeter. I did not freeze the pie, preferring it simply chilled instead. Tho' I could take it or leave it, Hubs called this a "make again," and if I do I would prepare it the same way - but probably without the lemon juice.
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6 users found this review helpful
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Mediterranean Bean Salad

Reviewed: Dec. 13, 2013
Fresh and flavorful, and I love the light, refreshing dressing. I used all ingredients to taste and a 2:1 ratio of olive oil to lemon juice. I added some finely chopped green pepper for a contrast in flavor, color and texture. Very festive as well as delicious.
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3 users found this review helpful
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Easy Mac and Cheese Muffins

Reviewed: Dec. 13, 2013
Maybe it's because I like my macaroni and cheese creamy that I wasn't a big fan of this. It is anything but, but then I guess it would have to be on the dry side in order to keep its shape. I noted some of the reviewers' comments that this was bland, lacking flavor. Normally I dismiss comments like that, thinking that some people forget or don't appreciate what simple fresh flavors are or taste like. And in this case, I wondered how this could be any more bland than any other basic macaroni and cheese recipe, since the ingredients were essentially the same. But curiously this WAS bland, and it WAS rather flavorless, and I had even given it a good shot of King Arthur's Vermont Cheese Powder! And again, this was dry, all the sauce absorbed during baking, which won't appeal to others like myself who prefer creamy macaroni and cheese. So for me the macaroni and cheese itself was mediocre, forgettable. But I'll give it five stars for presentation and cuteness. Overall, I'll rate this four stars and call it a day.
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4 users found this review helpful
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Honey Mustard Dressing II

Reviewed: Dec. 13, 2013
It's Stone Crab Claw season in SW Florida and we are really taking advantage of it! These delights demand a classic honey mustard dipping sauce and I was in the mood to try something different than what I usually make, "Honey Mustard Sauce," also from this site. This recipe, "Honey Mustard Dressing II," calls for yellow mustard rather than the Dijon in the other recipe, and this recipe calls for a little lemon juice, where the other does not. I loved this! It's neither too sweet, mustard-y nor mayonnaise-y. Just perfect. Hubs, however, wasn't quite as enthusiastic. He said this wasn't bad, but he prefers the other. In the final analysis, both are very good.
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13 users found this review helpful
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Chewy Brownies

Reviewed: Dec. 12, 2013
These were just good enough. I prepared them in mini muffin pans with the intention of prettying them up with a rosette of vanilla buttercream frosting, festive Christmas sprinkles and a Hershey's mint truffle kiss. Good thing. On their own the brownies are fairly nondescript -more cake-like than chewy (reduce or eliminate the baking powder next time) and not deeply chocolate enough (next time substitute a couple of tablespoons of cocoa to replace same amount of flour and maybe add a teaspoon or two of espresso powder or instant coffee granules to intensify the chocolate flavor). This in spite of the fact I'm sure these were improved merely because I used (melted) butter instead of the vegetable oil. The frosting and mint truffle kiss gave the impression then, that these brownies were much better than they really were.
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11 users found this review helpful
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Cranberry Orange Cookies

Reviewed: Dec. 11, 2013
Five stars for flavor, for sure! Bright, fresh flavors of orange and cranberry that need no additional flavorings to mask it! The cookie itself, however,I'm not nearly as enthusiastic about - too soft, almost bendable, and for me anyway, a little on the greasy side (which is probably why they're so, I mean TOO, soft). I think you could work with this to correct it - perhaps adding another 1/2 of flour might be a good fix. But as it stands I cannot vouch for the dough as is. The flavor of the cookie coupled with the delicious. refreshing orange glaze, however, is worth toying with the dough a little to get it just right.
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11 users found this review helpful
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Easy Eggnog Cupcakes

Reviewed: Dec. 10, 2013
This review is for the cupcake only, as I chose to use another frosting, "Smooth Buttercream Frosting," also from this site. I thought I might like this cake mix eggnog cake recipe better than the one I tried yesterday, as this one included butter and the other did not. I did not find this greatly improved - even with a 1/4 cup of butter and four eggs the cake was dense, but wimpy and spongy. Further, I found 1 tsp. of nutmeg in addition to what is probably in the eggnog, to be overkill. Half that much would have done nicely. The cupcake, unfortunately, was probably saved by the excellent buttercream frosting I chose to use. As this recipe's first reviewer, I wish I could have rated it higher.
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5 users found this review helpful
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Eggnog Cupcakes

Reviewed: Dec. 9, 2013
Okay, I'm convinced - these cupcakes are fragrant with the aroma of eggnog as they bake and when you bite into one you are most definitely tasting eggnog as well. The flavor is delicious but I am not a fan of the cupcake itself. Clearly the reason these are so flavorful of eggnog is because so much of it is used in the batter. Unfortunately, however, I missed the butter that was cut from the package directions in order to accomplish that. The texture is just off. Yes, they are dense like a pound cake, but there is no crumb to speak of and they're not tender - just dense with the texture resembling that of a sponge. There simply is not enough fat in the eggnog to eliminate the butter that otherwise would have, and should have, been included. Now the frosting, on the other hand, is perfect and beautiful. The proportions of each of the ingredients is spot on, right up to and including the eggnog - and I enthusiastically rate it five stars. Still, the frosting cannot make up for the cupcake underneath it, so overall, I unfortunately cannot rate this any higher than 3 stars.
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15 users found this review helpful
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Nicoise-Style Tuna Salad With White Beans & Olives

Reviewed: Dec. 8, 2013
Satisfying. Flavorful. Nutritious. Delicious. Beautiful. And perfect as is (except I prepared this as a composed, rather than tossed, salad over romaine lettuce). That about covers it.
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5 users found this review helpful
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Creamy Garlic and Onion Spaghetti

Reviewed: Dec. 4, 2013
Other than omitting the sugar, which I didn't find necessary to caramelize the onions at all, I prepared this as written, just eyeballing the ingredients rather than measuring (thereby also getting more enjoyment out of the cooking experience itself). This is simply prepared and decadently delicious. And I do mean decadent - it is heavy, creamy and rich, and I enjoyed every last bite of this right down to the last drop of sauce on my plate. As it turned out, the sugar, small amount that it was, was indeed not necessary - the onions provided sweetness of their own, so adding any extra sugar would not have benefited the dish at all. As the sauce was simmering those last few minutes, I added in some frozen, raw shrimp, not because I felt the dish required it but just because I felt like it. To give it some color and freshness I gave it a sprinkle of fresh parsley. I’ll fret about all the “bad” things I ate tonight (calories, fat, carbs) tomorrow. For now, I’m just gonna revel in the fact that I just enjoyed a very good meal.
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22 users found this review helpful
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Slow Cooker Baby Back Ribs

Reviewed: Dec. 3, 2013
This is an excellent "cheater" recipe for the most part. Still, it fell from perfection because the cooking time was too long. Hubs and I do far too much rib eating in our travels and one thing we've learned from the experts is that, contrary to popular belief, you don't WANT your ribs to fall off the bone. If that's the state they end up in they've been cooked too long (or stewed). We like our ribs tender, yet with the meat still clinging to the bone. I cooked them just short of 4 hours on high, and if I do this again I'd shorten that by an hour. The finish in the oven, however, was just right - 15 minutes at 375 degrees resulted in a sticky, caramelized, glazed exterior. I didn't bother with either the onion or garlic, but I did season them with a good rub seasoning a few hours before I started them in the Crock Pot. The bottom line? In spite of not being smoked or grilled, and in spite of too long a stint in the Crock Pot, these were some "D" fine ribs.
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Easiest Mac-N-Cheese Ever!

Reviewed: Dec. 3, 2013
The few weeks prior to Christmas, especially when I'm traveling, is a time when I welcome fast, easy recipes, but I still want a good meal. Mixing up some Velveeta with cooked noodles is a no-brainer, really, but it was a real inspiration and time-saver for me tonight. Skipping the steps of a roux and/or a period of time in the oven simplified this macaroni and cheese, and in my opinion didn't really compromise it. In all fairness, however, I couldn't resist adding a good blob of butter and a couple tablespoons of Vermont Cheese Powder (King Arthur Flour's). This was so convincing compared to the "real deal" that Hubs didn't even know the difference - and had I not cooked it myself, I'm not sure I would have either. It just goes to show you that a dish being labor intensive doesn't necessarily make it that much better - if at all.
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Broccoli with Buttery Crumbs

Reviewed: Dec. 2, 2013
What a way to put silk stockings and high heels on broccoli! The croutons (I pulsed them in the food processor to rough crumbs) add great flavor and the broccoli (I used fresh and blanched it for just a couple of minutes) stayed a vibrant green. Since my croutons already had sufficient butter in them I didn’t add the second drizzle of butter the recipe called for. Rich and flavorful, this dressed up broccoli is worth the extra preparation it requires.
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12 users found this review helpful
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Quick and Easy Parmesan Noodles

Reviewed: Dec. 2, 2013
I knew I was sticking my neck out tonight when I made this, knowing Hubs doesn’t like Alfredo sauce. “You know,” he said while we were eating supper, “I usually don’t like Alfredo sauce, but I like THIS.” How ‘bout that. Must have been because I prettied it up with a sprinkle of chopped fresh parsley. Note: Be sure to reserve some of the pasta cooking water. Add it to the finished pasta as necessary to keep the sauce creamy.
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Dreamy Nighttime Drink

Reviewed: Dec. 2, 2013
Fond memories of warm milk and honey served to me by my beloved grandmother at bedtime prompted me to give this a go, particularly since I was curious about the addition of cinnamon. I hadn't had this in probably 50 years! It was ok, but the cinnamon and vanilla kind of got in the way for me, perhaps only because my memories bias me. Whole milk, as I enjoyed this in my childhood, makes this particularly rich, creamy and satisfying. In addition, just warming it was more appealing, easier to drink (and safer for children!) than heating it to piping hot. This is a wonderful, comforting drink, especially for children, and especially if your grandma brings it to you in bed.
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9 users found this review helpful
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Amena's Triple Chocolate Chip Cookies

Reviewed: Nov. 24, 2013
I am not bashful about calling it as I see it, assigning a low star rating to a recipe if I feel it warrants it. I know Chef John has quite an avid following but frankly, I don’t get it. I’ve tried a few of his recipes (which are fairly basic and generic in most instances anyway) and have been less than impressed every time, particularly since he is a “professional” and not a home cook. In this case, I found these cookies, simply put, greasy and unattractive. Further, they are only a very slight variation of the Toll House Cookie, the only difference being that he slightly increases the ratio of white sugar to brown sugar, a very negligible difference in the overall outcome. I took a bite out of fairness for the purpose of this review but did not continue – then again, if you like the greasy and sort of flattish Nestle Toll House cookie, you’ll like this one too as it’s essentially the same recipe. Hubs was a little more favorable than I, saying they were edible, but “not like your grandma makes.” Note: also, for the purpose of submitting the best possible photo of these cookies, I selected a few of the better looking ones. Most did not look as good as the picture.
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Rich Pasta for the Poor Kitchen

Reviewed: Nov. 21, 2013
Easy, simple and humble, a “take for granted” pasta dish that has been a staple in my diet my whole life. (And, I suspect, that of many other Italians as well) I like a combination of olive oil and butter and don't find it necessary to measure anything. Cook to taste, adding some reserved, starchy, pasta cooking water if necessary to make this creamy and moist, particularly if you toss the pasta with the cheese before serving rather than sprinkling it on upon serving.
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13 users found this review helpful
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Parmesan Asparagus

Reviewed: Nov. 21, 2013
The concept was good, but I do have some criticism of this recipe. Suffice it to say olive oil is a better option than cooking spray, fresh minced garlic preferable to garlic salt, and the Parmesan tossed with the asparagus before roasting rather than sprinkling it on afterward much tastier. I found 10 minutes was adequate, and didn't bother turning it mid-way. A little drizzle of fresh lemon juice and a light sprinkle of grated lemon zest make this particularly fresh and lively. Small changes easily elevate this to a 5-star rating.
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