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Chef John's Macaroni and Cheese II

Reviewed: Apr. 21, 2012
My family really loved this dish. The only changes I made was 1/8 cayenne (because of kid), made only 12 oz. of macaroni and used black pepper. I didn't have panko crumbs so I made my own crumbs with leftover bread. To be honest, I can live without the topping so I'll leave it out next time. This will be my go-to mac and cheese recipe for now! UPDATE: This time I left out the thyme and worcestershire. I added 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder and 1/2 teaspoon of onion powder to the roux. I used 10 oz. of macaroni. I didn't add the breadcrumb topping. I covered the dish with foil and baked it at 375° for 30 minutes, then uncovered and baked for 15 minutes more. Nice and creamy and so delicious. But I'll have to leave out the cayenne next time due to picky kid (although I love the kick of the cayenne). How anyone can say this macaroni and cheese is bland is beyond me. Perhaps you used cheap cheese which tends to be oily and doesn't have the best flavor and texture. And BTW, if your dish turns out grainy, you probably didn't take the roux off the burner and SLOWLY (1/4 cup at a time) add cheese to it while mixing gently. Dumping all the cheese at once to simmering roux that is still on the burner will result in a grainy texture.
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Chef John's Macaroni and Cheese

Reviewed: Feb. 20, 2012
My family really loved this dish. The only changes I made was 1/8 cayenne (because of kid), made only 12 oz. of macaroni and used black pepper. I didn't have panko crumbs so I made my own crumbs with leftover bread. To be honest, I can live without the topping so I'll leave it out next time. This will be my go-to mac and cheese recipe for now! UPDATE: This time I left out the thyme and worcestershire. I added 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder and 1/2 teaspoon of onion powder to the roux. I used 10 oz. of macaroni. I didn't add the breadcrumb topping. I covered the dish with foil and baked it at 375° for 30 minutes, then uncovered and baked for 15 minutes more. Nice and creamy and so delicious. But I'll have to leave out the cayenne next time due to picky kid (although I love the kick of the cayenne). How anyone can say this macaroni and cheese is bland is beyond me. Perhaps you used cheap cheese which tends to be oily and doesn't have the best flavor and texture. And BTW, if your dish turns out grainy, you probably didn't take the roux off the burner and SLOWLY (1/4 cup at a time) add cheese to it while mixing gently. Dumping all the cheese at once to simmering roux that is still on the burner will result in a grainy texture.
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58 users found this review helpful

Dark Chocolate Cake II

Reviewed: Feb. 20, 2012
This is one delicious cake! It's moist, rich and flavorful. The only change I made was to add some vanilla. For Valentine's Day, I made half the recipe in an 8 X 8 glass pan because I didn't want too much cake around to destroy my diet. It wasn't a high cake - it only rose to about halfway up. But man, topped with chocolate buttercream frosting, was it to-die-for!
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2 users found this review helpful

Ranch Hamburger Buns

Reviewed: Feb. 20, 2012
This recipe didn't work very well for me. They were heavy (I called them buns of lead!). We also didn't care for the taste. Since others had success with them, I'll chalk it up to the many variables of breadmaking that can go wrong. I'll look for another recipe.
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1 user found this review helpful

Cream Soup Base

Reviewed: Feb. 19, 2012
This is quite thick which is what I wanted for my mini chicken pot pie filling. I made half a recipe which is pretty much equal to one can of cream of "whatever" soup. I kept the ratio of butter to flour equal. I added finely diced celery and onion to the butter. Then I added the flour seasoned with garlic powder and poultry seasoning. After I made the roux, I thinned it out to the consistency I was going for. For those complaining about the thickness, this recipe is exactly what the author intended it to be - a soup base. You can add more milk, seasonings, meat, vegetables or herbs to make it to your liking. It is outstanding!
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7 users found this review helpful

Buttery Rolls

Reviewed: Jan. 30, 2012
Stellar recipe. These delicious rolls are soft and tender. Easy to make and they bake beautifully. I used a bit less butter and sugar and they were still wonderful. My family thoroughly enjoyed them with homemade chicken soup.
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1 user found this review helpful

Mama's Asian Chicken and Rice by Marilyn

Reviewed: Jan. 9, 2012
This is really simple yet wonderfully delicious. I doubled the sauce ingredients but quadrupled the orange juice (used Passion Orange Guava). Didn't have a fresh orange so I left out the zest. I've made this twice - once with chicken and once with shrimp. Both were super yummy. This recipe would be great with pork as well. Served over steamed basmati rice and asian vegetable medley - it was better than take-out!
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3 users found this review helpful

Easy Shake and Bake Chicken

Reviewed: Nov. 13, 2011
This is sooooo good! I use 1/2 butter and 1/2 olive oil. I also add additional spices such as onion/garlic powder, extra paprika, cayenne and some Penzey's Northwoods seasoning. The family devoured it - thank you for posting this recipe!
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7 users found this review helpful

Garlic Lover's Pizza Crust for the Bread Machine

Reviewed: Nov. 8, 2011
I love this recipe! The crust is so light and tasty especially if I use 1 cup bread flour and 1 cup type "00" flour which seems to give it that airy texture. I definitely reduce the water by a few tablespoons or so to prevent the dough from being sticky. If I have the time, I roast the garlic ahead because I don't like the idea of raw garlic otherwise I leave it out. I also add some garlic and onion powder for extra flavor. I've yet to be disappointed making pizza with this recipe.
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2 users found this review helpful

Mama's Asian Chicken and Rice

Reviewed: Nov. 8, 2011
This is really simple yet wonderfully delicious. I doubled the sauce ingredients but quadrupled the orange juice (used Passion Orange Guava). Didn't have a fresh orange so I left out the zest. I've made this twice - once with chicken and once with shrimp. Both were super yummy. This recipe would be great with pork as well. Served over steamed basmati rice and asian vegetable medley - it was better than take-out!
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3 users found this review helpful

Iowa Pork Steak

Reviewed: Feb. 20, 2011
This is a wonderful and easy recipe. The only changes I made were: used 8 oz. fresh mushrooms and did not add Worcestershire sauce. I also added a splash of skim milk to the soup/water mixture. Delicious comfort food to warm up the house on a cold winter day!
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3 users found this review helpful

Indian Chicken Curry (Murgh Kari)

Reviewed: Dec. 18, 2010
Really delicious Indian dish. Here are the small changes I made: 1. One pound chicken breast cut into bite size pieces. 2. Added powdered ginger (instead of fresh), fenugreek and cardamon to the spice mix. Used only 1/4 tsp. turmeric due to the strong taste. Sauteed all the spices in the oil together (including garam masala) along with 1 TBS. vindaloo paste. 2. Used only 1/2 teaspoon of salt in entire recipe to reduce sodium. 3. Did not add the 1/2 cup of water. 4. Used 1/2 yogurt and 1/2 cup half-n-half. 5. Did not use cilantro because I didn't have it. 6. Added 3 TBS of honey to balance the acidity of the tomatoes. Served this frarant dish with basmati rice and naan. We enjoyed this so much - thanks for the recipe!
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1 user found this review helpful

Indian Chicken Curry (Murgh Kari)

Reviewed: Dec. 18, 2010
Really delicious Indian dish. Here are the small changes I made: 1. One pound chicken breast cut into bite size pieces. 2. Added 1 teaspoon powdered ginger (instead of fresh), fenugreek and cardamon to the spice mix. Used only 1/4 tsp. turmeric due to the strong taste. Sauteed all the spices in the oil together (including garam masala) along with 1 TBS. vindaloo paste. 2. Used only 1/2 teaspoon of salt in entire recipe to reduce sodium. 3. Did not add the 1/2 cup of water. 4. Used 1/2 cup yogurt and 1/2 cup half-n-half. 5. Did not use cilantro because I didn't have it. 6. Added 3 TBS of honey to balance the acidity of the tomatoes. 7. Added one cup of frozen peas. 8. Simmered uncovered to make the sauce thicker. Served this fragrant dish with basmati rice, California medley and naan. We enjoyed this so much - thanks for the recipe!
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6 users found this review helpful

Simple Hamburger Stroganoff

Reviewed: Nov. 16, 2010
Delicious! I made 10 oz. of noodles, used 4 oz. light cream cheese, 4 oz. light sour cream, 1 can of soup and used over 1 cup of milk to thin it down because it was pretty thick. Sauteed onions with the hamburger and added frozen peas for extra nutrition. This made plenty and son and hubby ate it up!
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5 users found this review helpful

Tuna Noodle Casserole II

Reviewed: Nov. 10, 2010
This was on the dry side even though I added extra milk. I used Amish noodles, only made 10 ounces and didn't use them all since there was too much. Added 2 cups of Colby/Jack and frozen peas. I had French's onions on hand so I topped the casserole with that. Hubby told me not to make it again.
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3 users found this review helpful

Spinach Brownies

Reviewed: Oct. 31, 2010
Very good recipe. I cut the butter down to 1/4 cup, sauteed the onions along with red pepper and mushrooms. I also added more baby spinach which I sauteed in olive oil and then drained on paper towels. That eliminated the excess moisture. I read one reviewer who said she did not put the salt in. Don't do that since that made it bland (I had to sprinkle garlic salt on top to compensate). I added pepper and Penzey's Arizona Dreaming spice. I used whole milk. Baked it for 35 minutes in a glass dish and it was perfect. After it cooled, I cut it into two-bite pieces for a Halloween party. It was a hit because we have many vegetarians in our circle of friends and family. Next time, I'm going to make it with Swiss and Gruyere - I think it will be fabulous.
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2 users found this review helpful

Blueberry Crumb Bars

Reviewed: Jul. 6, 2010
Excellent bars for a picnic. Not too sweet so if you are a sugar fanatic, you probably won't like it. I used all butter and even cheated by cutting 2 tablespoons out to lower the calories a bit. I also used 2 pints blueberries, 1 tsp. of vanilla, and some fresh lemon juice in the blueberry mixture. For the flour mix, I used 1-1/2 cups all purpose white and 1-1/2 cups white whole wheat for added nutrition. 1/2 cup white sugar and 1/2 cup brown sugar was just right for flavor. These are even better the next day so in the future, I'll make these a day ahead. You could easily add more blueberries to make this extra fruity and delicious.
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Fluffy Peanut Butter Frosting

Reviewed: May 15, 2010
Excellent frosting - not too sweet. Recipe works as written. I added a teaspoon or two of vanilla. I made sure to soften the butter and Jif Natural peanut butter and creamed them together. I didn't measure the half-n-half, just added a bit at a time until I liked the consistency. It spread beautifully. If you like very generous frosting on your 9 x 13 cake, I would scale this recipe to 1-1/2 times (24 servings).
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4 users found this review helpful

Incredibly Cheesy Turkey Meatloaf

Reviewed: Sep. 11, 2009
Excellent! Since the point of making turkey anything is to cut fat and calories I made some changes. Used ground turkey BREAST, eggs, 2% Kraft cheese crumbles, extra skim milk, sauteed onion, garlic clove and celery, fresh bread crumbs, and a packet of low sodium onion soup mix. Eliminated the salt and used some Mrs. Dash and dry parsley. Covered the roasting pan and baked at 375° until the internal temp reached 165°. It was moist and flavorful with a lower calorie and fat count. Thank you for a great recipe! I noticed some people had problems with spillovers in the oven. I used one of those deep speckled enamel roasting pans with a cover, sprayed it with Pam and it was perfect. Easy clean-up with no oven mess.
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5 users found this review helpful

Pizza Crust for the Bread Machine II - My Version

Reviewed: Jun. 19, 2009
This is a fabulous pizza crust. It is very similar to a hand-kneaded recipe I've used in the past but this one is even better. The bread machine makes the crust much lighter and airy, if that makes sense. I added some onion and garlic powder, ground rosemary and used olive oil instead of vegetable oil. Also, I only had powdered buttermilk on hand and used that instead. It has a slight tang so I eliminated the lemon juice. The dough does come out slightly sticky but it's nothing a gentle dusting of flour won't fix. I bake my pizza in an electric oven at 425° for about 12-14 minutes which is perfect. Nice and brown on the bottom, soft, chewy and delicious. This is the only pizza crust that I will eat the whole piece including the edges. Thank you very much for this excellent recipe - it's a keeper!
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1 user found this review helpful

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