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

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Apple Crisp - Perfect and Easy

Reviewed: Sep. 24, 2013
This is a remarkably quick, easy and satisfying dessert to make. If you have a couple of apples on hand you could have dessert on a whim! I loved that it didn't contain oatmeal or water and the topping was excellent - buttery with a nice crispy crunch as it should. But... there was too much of it for the amount of apples, which made it seem much too sweet. Unfortunately there was no way I could use it all and I discarded the excess. I think adding half again as many apples would be an improvement that would elevate this to 5-star status.
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31 users found this review helpful
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Old Charleston Style Shrimp and Grits

Reviewed: Sep. 23, 2013
Shrimp and Grits - a dish that has been nagging me for years to try it. Last week, while in Memphis, I finally tried it and fell in lust. But the dish was VERY spicy and on the greasy side and I knew I could do better. I researched Shrimp and Grits on my flight home and learned a lot, not the least of which was that it was originally a breakfast dish. I also learned there are as many ways to make it as Mama makes her meatballs, and everyone thinks theirs is the true and only way to make it. I say bah! Make what appeals to you - wine, no wine, tomatoes or not, okra, no okra, cream or no. The variations seemed endless. Make what appeals to you - and this recipe appealed to me. It ran circles around the dish I had at a popular restaurant in Memphis (clearly they do much better with barbecue!) and both Hubs and I thought this was "lick-your-plate-clean good." Because it is my preference I used polenta rather than grits, but the difference, really, is marginal. I used chicken broth in the polenta/grits rather than the water simply so as not to waste what I had left. It just contributed a richer flavor anyway! The recipe itself is perfect in my mind. I can't say enough how blown away Hubs and I both were over this. It is traditionally a humble dish, but it is also quite elegant - something I will be sure to keep in mind when I want to impress. Once again, this version of Shrimp and Grits is a real "beaut" and I would suggest following it to the letter. A+
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53 users found this review helpful
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Quick Cheddar Garlic Biscuits

Reviewed: Sep. 23, 2013
Hate to say, but I gotta say it...I made from-scratch biscuits yesterday and these Garlic Cheese Biscuits, that begin with baking mix, beat them hands down. Not even close. Never mind the complete ease in making them (you could probably even make these blind-folded) - these are just fabulously light, fluffy, and flavorful, not to mention gorgeous. Didn't, wouldn't, change a thing.
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29 users found this review helpful
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Mom's Baking Powder Biscuits

Reviewed: Sep. 22, 2013
While not my favorite biscuit (I tend to prefer buttermilk biscuits) this is a decent biscuit nonetheless. Not that I had any problem using shortening, but I used butter instead - mainly because I already conveniently had a 5 T. stick cut in the fridge. Grating that with a box grater into the flour mixture made this come together lickety-split. I did find I had to add a little extra milk to make the dough come together. I did not dip the biscuits in melted shortening. Rather, I brushed them with melted butter once they were hot out of the oven. Both butter and the right amount of salt resulted in good flavor, and I really loved the sort of crispy/crunchy bottoms. Nice and soft, but perhaps not as fluffy as they could have been.
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9 users found this review helpful
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Tennessee Meatloaf

Reviewed: Sep. 17, 2013
Not outstanding, not extraordinary, but good and satisfying. Flavor is good – I used fresh thyme (the equivalent in fresh is three times that of dried) and added some celery just because I generally do. I didn’t bother cooking the vegetables first just because I generally don’t. There is minimal filler and I appreciated that. I like the brown, crusty exterior on meatloaf so I shaped this as one loaf on a cookie sheet and baked it for 1-1/2 hours. I did not use the brown sugar glaze as the sugar did not appeal to me so I served this with a simple brown mushroom gravy. As this recipe’s first reviewer I’m happy to report that while there is much wiggle-room with this recipe to make it “your own,” this basic, old-fashioned meatloaf is good just as it stands.
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40 users found this review helpful
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Garlic Brussels Sprouts with Crispy Bacon

Reviewed: Sep. 17, 2013
Vegetable of choice (in this case Brussels sprouts) + bacon + garlic = you can’t go wrong.
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26 users found this review helpful
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Pumpkin Gingerbread

Reviewed: Sep. 17, 2013
Take the ever popular, wildly popular Downeast Maine Pumpkin Bread, and just vary the spices a little bit, most importantly with a heftier measurement of ginger, and you've got this Pumpkin Gingerbread. The recipes are essentially the same. But would I like the added ginger in this recipe? Yes I do! This is moist, pleasantly spiced and, just as I enjoy with the Downeast Maine recipe, includes no nuts,raisins, applesauce or...whatever. Just plain ol' darn good pumpkin bread. So if you're torn between the two recipes make either one and you'll be happy and equally satisfied.
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29 users found this review helpful
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Hummus III

Reviewed: Sep. 11, 2013
I have limited experience with hummus both with eating it and with making my own. I’m not sure if there’s a particular way it’s SUPPOSED to taste. What I do know, however, is that it contains just a few fundamental ingredients, but even something so simple can be ruined with too much or too little of this or that. I added slightly less than a half teaspoon of cumin, some reserved liquid from the beans to thin it out some, and a drizzle of olive oil (as well as an additional drizzle to finish). For my palate, this was some pretty good hummus.
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16 users found this review helpful
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Garlic-Herb Roast Pork

Reviewed: Sep. 9, 2013
Cutting this recipe in half worked well with a one pound pork tenderloin. I just had to adjust the cooking time - 425 degrees for 25 minutes. It was simply excellent. Tender, juicy, perfectly cooked and deliciously flavored with an ideal blend of seasonings – proof that Chef Aidells knows what he’s doing.
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6 users found this review helpful
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Shells with Cherry Tomatoes, Basil and Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese

Reviewed: Sep. 9, 2013
Nothing special about this recipe – except that it’s especially delicious. I used San Marzano tomatoes from my garden and added fresh minced garlic. This recipe perfectly illustrates how a dish needn’t be particularly involved or include a lot of ingredients to be awesome good.
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8 users found this review helpful
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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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7 users found this review helpful
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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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17 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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13 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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6 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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19 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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