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

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Quick and Easy Refried Beans

Reviewed: May 5, 2013
As I prepared this tonight I was thinking our enchiladas would end up served with just rice. I wasn't hopeful about them at all. First, I meant to add some bacon - and forgot. I figured this was now going to be hopelessly non-flavorful without it. I did add half a tomato (peeled, seeded and chopped) I needed to put to good use and that proved to be a nice addition. After I mixed this up I gave it a taste and thought it had too predominant a taste of cumin. To top that off, the beans were soupy. But I kept simmering and stirring, reminding myself that the beans I get in Mexican restaurants are sometimes kind of soupy! They did thicken up after 10-15 minutes of simmering, and Hubs remarked that they were pretty "D" good. And I didn't even miss the bacon!
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Fresh Guacamole

Reviewed: May 5, 2013
Ultimately Hubs and I loved this - but that wasn't without playing with the amounts of certain ingredients significantly. I used twice as many avocados, for instance, while at the same time cutting back on the onion and chilies (I used jalapeno). Six cilantro leaves seemed like kind of an odd measurement so I disregarded it and just used what looked right. Worcestershire sauce was a new and different addition for me. I've noticed it in other guacamole recipes so I thought what the heck, I'll give it a try. The flavor it gave the guacamole was interesting and just slightly different. All and all, if you add the ingredients "to taste" rather than following the recipe precisely, this is a pretty darned good guacamole recipe.
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Enchiladas Verdes

Reviewed: May 5, 2013
We enjoyed these but they were a little too hot for Hubs. The sauce is nice and makes you feel good you made it from scratch, but I must say a quality jarred salsa verde is as good or better, minus all the prep!
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Grandma's Moist Cake

Reviewed: May 1, 2013
Hubs and I agree - this is excellent. It's quick and simple to mix up but that isn't even its strongest selling point. It's beautiful, rises nicely, not too sweet, and refreshingly moist for a yellow cake. Supports a rich, sweet frosting well. I made this as cupcakes, baking about 20 minutes, and frosted them with White Cake Frosting II, also from this site. This will, for sure, be one to go back to.
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Simple Banana Coffee Cake

Reviewed: Apr. 29, 2013
I wasn't a big fan of this cake, not because it was bad, but because it's so nondescript. It's not particularly flavorful or even pretty or interesting to serve. Adding a teaspoon of vanilla and a lemon buttercream frosting did little to overcome that. Simple it is, I'll give it that, but unfortunately this cake is completely forgettable.
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15 users found this review helpful
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Mexican White Rice

Reviewed: Apr. 27, 2013
Loved this! Creamy, colorful and tasty, this was a welcome alternative to the traditional tomato-based Mexican rice. Hubs and I are not big fans of cooked carrots, but because I wanted the color it lends, I substituted orange bell pepper instead. It, along with the poblano peppers, peas and corn, made this "confetti" rice very visually appealing. I also gave the rice a pinch of saffron for added color and flavor, tho' it wasn't necessary and certainly no criticism of the recipe. A great accompaniment to our Grilled Tequila-Lime Shrimp and Easy Grilled Zucchini, both recipes also from this site. I would make this again in a heart beat. My only criticism is that it needs salt and pepper, big time!
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Italian Potato Salad

Reviewed: Apr. 26, 2013
Delicious. I used lemon juice in place of the vinegar, and teeny-tiny unpeeled new potatoes. Also added chopped green onion along with the parsley and served this at room temperature. Easy to make a habit of.
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8 users found this review helpful
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Grandma M's Raisin Cookies

Reviewed: Apr. 26, 2013
I wanted a sugar cookie that called for cream of tartar specifically, as I like the light, sandy texture it imparts to cookies. I also wanted butter, not shortening, but not a combination of butter and vegetable oil. The helpful ingredient search identified this recipe and it was exactly what I was looking for. For what I had in mind I skipped the raisins, used vanilla instead of lemon extract and, in keeping with spring, added a cup of pastel-colored sprinkles instead. As I mixed up the dough I found I could easily do without 1/2 cup of the flour, so I used 3 c. flour rather than 3-1/2. I used a medium-sized scoop, probably about 2 T., and baked the cookies at 375 degrees rather than 400, until set but before they began to turn brown. Given variances in size and individual ovens, I'd say 8-9 minutes. The cookies are pretty and crackly, soft (like Hubs likes 'em) but still a little chewy (the way I like 'em!). Bottom line? This was just what I was after, a quick and simple, attractive, soft, buttery sugar cookie!
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Zesty Lemon Loaf

Reviewed: Apr. 25, 2013
There are 5-star recipes, and then there are FIVE STAR recipes. This is a FIVE STAR recipe. Oh my goodness, what a treat! Moist and lemony and exquisitely delicious. I used a combination of lemons and limes to use what I had on hand and Limoncello for the Grand Marnier (Triple Sec would have been a fine substitute too!) I did add the ginger as directed, but quite honestly neither Hubs nor I could detect it. As for the syrupy drizzle, I boiled the lemon juice/ sugar mixture for a couple of minutes to make sure the sugar was dissolved. Man oh man, that cake soaked that right up! (I brushed it over the cake, little by little, with a pastry brush) No wonder it was so good and sweet and sinfully moist and lemony! But I didn't stop there. The cake looked half-dressed, and looked like it could use some accessorizing. So I made a powdered sugar glaze with about a cup of powdered sugar and enough lemon juice and milk to make it about the consistency of thick Elmer's Glue, and then gave it a few shavings of fresh grated lemon zest. I swear that took it right over the top. Hubs and I had a little taste of the cake and I was proud to give the rest away to some friends in Naples. We were told it completely disappeared in a matter of a few minutes. I promised those who weren't lucky enough to get any I'd be back with more.
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Stir-Fry Chicken and Vegetables

Reviewed: Apr. 22, 2013
I went about this a little differently. Rather than mixing the chicken with the soy sauce/broth mixture I reserved it until the end. I quickly stir-fried the thinly sliced chicken (easy to thin-slice if you partially freeze it first), then the vegetables. (Leaving on a jet plane day after tomorrow and this was the perfect recipe to clear out the fridge: broccoli, zucchini, onions, mushrooms, baby bok choy, red bell pepper and bean sprouts). I mixed it all together then and thickened it with the broth mixture, heating just until thickened. Additional cooking at this point is not required. We enjoyed this, tho' Hubs liked it more than I did. Purely subjective, but given the stronger tasting broccoli and bell pepper, I think beef would have been a better choice over the mildly flavored chicken. Again, just a matter of different taste buds! Most important with stir fries, where the ingredients are cooked quickly over high heat, all ingredients should be of similar size and thickness so that they all cook quickly and evenly at roughly the same rate.
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Old Fashioned Apple Pie

Reviewed: Apr. 21, 2013
Hubs and I agree this is a darned fine pie. While I made a couple of minor modifications, none were necessary. I most frequently make my apple pies with just white sugar, but this time I wanted a little “caramel-y-scotchy” taste so I used half white and half brown sugar –just fun for something different. The amounts of cinnamon and nutmeg were just right. I typically don’t care for nutmeg in apple pies, but the little bit of it that was indicated here enhanced rather than dominated. As for the flour, I’m always nervous about that – 2 T. is a common amount used in apple pie recipes but you can never know exactly if that will be too much or too little. The Fuji apples I used were very juicy so I used two HEAPING tablespoons and so far I’m happy with that. I’ll be interested to see tomorrow morning, however, once the pie has set overnight, if I’m still as pleased! I’m hoping it won’t have turned to paste! I used a rich pie crust, “Never, Never Fail Pie Pastry,” also from this site, and brushed it with a mixture of one egg yolk and 1 T. half-and-half before baking. I baked the pie at a consistent 375 degrees – 25 minutes with the crust uncovered, then another 25 minutes or so with the crust edge covered with foil. This pie recipe and the pastry recipe I chose was a winning combination and lived up to its name. This was indeed a good “Old Fashioned Apple Pie.”
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Never, Never Fail Pie Pastry

Reviewed: Apr. 21, 2013
Given that I’ve tried a VERY popular pie crust on this site with this same 2:1 ratio of flour to fat and it was a complete disaster, I preempted that same experience with this recipe by reducing the lard to 3/4 cup. Perfection. With the exception of the “too much fat” issue, all remaining ingredients in this recipe, from the egg yolk to the vinegar, indicated it was designed for full, rich flavor and tender flakiness. It delivered just that (and worked well taking the easy way out with the food processor to boot!)
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Enchiladas Suizas

Reviewed: Apr. 20, 2013
I can’t remember the last time I put so little effort into a dish and was so rewarded. This was just delicious. I did make a number of changes to simplify this but preparing the recipe as is or with the shortcuts I took will make this equally delicious. Rather than preparing the salsa from scratch I used my favorite commercial salsa verde (it contains a higher proportion of tomatillos and dang it, I can’t find it anymore!). I used a prepared rotisserie chicken, which not only is super convenient, but it has so much more flavor than the typical poached chicken breasts. When it came to filling the tortillas ((I used flour tortillas because I just don’t like corn tortillas), I warmed them briefly one at a time in a skillet with a little oil, then filled them with the chicken that I had mixed with some sour cream and some of the salsa till good and creamy. And then the cheese of course! I measured nothing – just filled and rolled, then poured over the salsa, then the cream, until it looked right. I topped them with more cheese during the last 5 minutes of baking and served them with MORE cheese, chopped tomatoes, black olives, chopped green onion and sour cream. Beautiful. And so delicious you can’t help eating more than you should. Side dishes of Maria’s Mexican Rice and Rush Hour Refried Beans, both recipes also from this site, completed the meal.
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Maria's Mexican Rice

Reviewed: Apr. 20, 2013
Whoa, did I ever eat this right up! This is not your everyday, ordinary, boring Mexican rice! For once I enjoyed something with real flavor rather than the nondescript stuff I’ve pretty much learned to expect. I don’t know, maybe it’s because I used a good squirt of concentrated tomato paste from the tube because I didn’t want to open up a can of tomato sauce for the couple of tablespoons I needed for the half recipe I made. I also used chicken stock instead of water and chicken bouillon but I don’t think that can account for how flavorful this was. I didn’t use the Serrano pepper in deference to Hubs’ sensitive innards but it truly wasn’t missed. Maybe it’s because the rice is browned before simmering. Whatever the case, viv85e has come up with a Mexican recipe that’s well worth repeating.
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Rush Hour Refried Beans

Reviewed: Apr. 20, 2013
In my experience whenever I go out for Mexican food the ubiquitous rice and beans are generally left on the plate. They’re not very appetizing looking and neither taste very good either. But not this time! While these still leave a lot to be desired in terms of eye appeal, the flavor is startlingly better than most. I reserved and crumbled the bacon I fried to create the required bacon grease and I think the addition was a bold flavor contribution, as was the chopped green onion I garnished them with. This takes the lowly Mexican bean side dish to an elevated level. Just needs salt and pepper.
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Crazy Good Stuffing and Baked Chops

Reviewed: Apr. 9, 2013
Pretty darned good! I did play with this some, but the recipe and its directions are fine too, just as is. This is an ideal dish for you to put your own spin on and I'll bet the same cook probably wouldn't make this the same way twice! In my case, I did NOT brown the chops first. These boneless chops are so lean I didn't want to risk overcooking them. I put them in a foil-lined plan for easy clean up that I had oiled lightly with olive oil. I seasoned the chops with salt, pepper and poultry seasoning (a good place for your own spin here in terms of seasonings!) To the stuffing itself I added chopped celery cuz Hubs likes it. I found it kind of drab looking and seriously in need of some color, easily rectified with a little chopped parsley. To the sauce I added a good glug of white wine (Chardonnay) as well as a couple of shakes of Worcestershire sauce. Perfectly baked, juicy and tender, after 30 minutes and, like meatloaf, good comfort food. Bonus for calling for boneless chops – good, clean eatin’ with no bone to have to work around!
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Boiled Potatoes with Chives

Reviewed: Apr. 9, 2013
Novice cooks in particular will appreciate this recipe for its simple and reliable instructions. While experienced cooks may not need these instructions, they'll nevertheless appreciate it for its delicious inspiration(as in "Oh, yeah, why didn't I think of that?"). I'm happy I came across this today for my own inspiration and to use the first of this spring's chives in my garden! This was just what I was after for our stuffed pork chops tonight, tho' I can't imagine any meat or fish entree these potatoes wouldn't complement well.
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Southern Fried Cabbage with Bacon, Mushrooms, and Onions

Reviewed: Apr. 9, 2013
Can't imagine using a pound of bacon for a head of cabbage. That said, cabbage cooked with bacon is an old classic, consistently popular because it's delicious - no doubt because of the bacon! So... cut waaaay back on the bacon, add some minced garlic, and we've got something pretty good here.
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Big-Batch Butterscotch Cookies

Reviewed: Apr. 9, 2013
In reviewing this recipe I didn't see much in the way of butterscotch going on here, so rather than struggle to make this cookie live up to its name I just worked with what I believed to be a nice cookie dough more interesting. (Butterscotch flavor, in my mind, might have meant one of more of the following ingredients: browned butter, scotch, dark brown sugar, or even butterscotch extract) I reduced this to a one egg recipe by scaling it down to 40 servings. I added 1/2 tsp. of cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon of salt, then stirred in one cup of cinnamon chips. Cookies that have cream of tartar in the ingredients list always catch my attention because I like the cookie it produces and this one did not disappointment. It is a wonderful cookie - sort of crunchy on the outside and sort of soft on the inside - and definitely cinnamon-y with good buttery flavor. While I added cinnamon and cinnamon chips, I think other flavorings (like maple extract) or chips (chocolate,of course!) would be fine additions too. Plain or with additions, this is a good, old-fashioned cookie jar cookie.
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Best Buttermilk Biscuits

Reviewed: Apr. 5, 2013
I don't make biscuits often, tho' curiously I've made them twice this week. Both these and Kentucky Biscuits, also from this site, were winners. Tender, fluffy and light, these are equally as good warm with butter as they are without. This recipe, unlike the other, did not call for any sugar - I didn't miss it, so why add it? Rather than shortening I used cold butter from the fridge and grated it into the flour with a box grater. That made quick work of blending it! I do have self-rising flour, but I was too lazy to dig it out from the pantry. A cup of all-purpose flour mixed with 1-1/2 tsp. baking powder and 1/4 tsp. salt did the trick. I did NOT knead for two minutes - just a few turns is what I did, because I did not want to overwork the dough. I swear, THAT and buttermilk, are the secrets to a fine biscuit! Once again, I regrettably only made a half recipe. Thankfully, another half recipe can be mixed up in a jiffy! Note: I was also too lazy to dig out my rolling pin and roll them out. Patting the dough out with my fingers seemed to work just fine.
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