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Bake Sale Lemon Bars

Reviewed: Mar. 7, 2011
It is rather misleading to try a highly rated recipe when there have been so many changes. I followed the changes that apparently everyone said makes it a 5 star recipe. Way too much flour in the filling, and maybe even too many eggs. It was rubbery and pasty. I've had WAY better lemon bar recipes. And I'm not even sure whether to rate the original recipe poorly or the modifications. I figure if the modifications were supposed to make it better (and the modifications were not good), the original was worse? Again, just misleading.
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6 users found this review helpful

Thanksgiving Sweet Potatoes

Reviewed: Nov. 29, 2009
Thought this was way too sweet, and more like a dessert than a side dish with the crumb topping. It was very sweet and a little tangy, without any depth in flavor or spices. This would've passed more as a sweet potato pie or cobbler. It definitely needed more herbs or spices to make it a side dish. Candied yams have more depth of flavor, in my opinion, and the crumb topping just totally classified the dish as a dessert.
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2 users found this review helpful

Zucchini Corn Fritters

Reviewed: Jul. 12, 2009
These were very good, but I think they needed more spice or a sauce topping to go with it. They did absorb a lot of oil, but I don't think anyone expected something fried to be healthy. My batter was initially very doughy before adding the vegetables but became quite watery afterwards, which worried me, but it turned out fine b/c they flatten to make easy silver dollar pancakes. I used whole wheat flour which tends to be drier, but with all the oil and veggies it turned out fine. I actually used a little more than 2 cups of zucchini and a whole can of corn. I think it could've used more zucchini. I'll definitely make this again w/ some tweaks.
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2 users found this review helpful

Best Big, Fat, Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie

Reviewed: Mar. 24, 2009
I made these with chopped kit kat bars and added about 1/2 cup of peanut butter - great taste + texture!! I did make slightly small cookies, so I got 23 cookies. I also cut both sugars in half and it was plenty sweet with my kit kat bars. It would be interesting to try other chopped candy bars!
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1 user found this review helpful

Thai Green Curry Chicken

Reviewed: Jan. 20, 2009
This was my first attempt at making Thai green curry, and this recipe was a good base. I think it heavily depends on the curry paste you have, b/c they vary significantly by flavor and heat. My green curry paste was not very hot, but was flavorful, so even though I increased the amount of curry paste, the dish was missing heat for me. Next time I'll add Thai chili peppers with this particular curry paste. I added lemongrass (cut into large pieces so you can easily remove them before eating), Thai basil (totally essential!!), carrots, and red pepper. I also tried making coconut rice by putting coconut milk into the rice cooker. It was mildly fragrant with coconut, so I might tweak with that more. With the added ingredients I think the curry had a lot more dimension, texture, and flavor, but needed more spicy/heat boost to compare to the Thai curries I had in Thailand! Will add more curry paste and chili pepper next time... or try a different brand of curry paste.
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24 users found this review helpful

Oatmeal Toffee Cookies

Reviewed: Dec. 22, 2008
I made these last night and they are really delicious. I don't know about everyone else, but the toffee cookies I've had were always flat and thin so they'd be crispy, yet chewy from the toffee. That's exactly what this was! I baked it at 300 for about 14-15 mins, which got it to spread out so it was nice and crispy. I didn't add pecans b/c I usually don't like nuts in my cookies, but I can imagine it would add a wonderful buttery taste to them. I'll add them next time. I also used irish oatmeal instead of rolled oats (it was an accident b/c I thought I had rolled oats), but I still liked them. They turned out extra nutty and crunchy, giving it a nice contrast to the chewy sweet toffee, but I don't think that texture is for everyone.
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0 users found this review helpful
Photo by w

Easy Batter Fruit Cobbler

Reviewed: Aug. 25, 2008
This isn't the tastiest cobbler I've had, but it was definitely the easiest! It was unbelievable how fast and easy this was. This recipe does create a nice crust on top and around the edges, but I think it was more like a bread pudding w/ large chunks of fruit than a true cobbler. While mine did not turn out greasy, I do think the butter can be halved. I made mine to fit a ceramic oval dish that's approx 9x13, so I sort of doubled the recipe to fit the dish. I had at least 4 cups of freshly picked organic nectarines from my friend's garden, and I literally eyeballed the batter to fit b/c I wanted more fruit than batter. I used whole wheat flour which usually requires more liquid than all-purpose flour, and it gave the cobbler a nutty taste which I really enjoyed. Otherwise I think the batter might have needed more spice since it's really only flavored with butter and sugar. Firm nectarines that are still tart are the best to use for baking, in my opinion. They turn out perfectly sweet, tender, and flavorful. Ripe nectarines tend to get way too soggy and syrupy sweet after baking, for my taste at least.
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1 user found this review helpful
Photo by w

Rhubarb-Raspberry Crunch

Reviewed: Aug. 13, 2008
I made this today for a friend's bday picnic and it was a HIT! Gobbled up with no leftovers. I cut the sugar in half b/c I added very ripe, fragrant strawberries and blueberries instead of raspberries. I still found it VERY sweet. I probably could've added a third or quarter of the white sugar. I didn't have instant tapioca so I added 3 tablespoons of cornstarch, which turned out to be the perfect consistency. I modified the topping, doubling everything except the butter, which was a mistake. You need the butter in the topping to really make it crisp. Mine turned out kinda of soggy where there wasn't a pea-sized chunk of butter, b/c I guess the dry ingredients without sufficient butter would just "dissolve" into the wet filling. Tasted delicious, but didn't have the contrasting crunch texture from the sweet filling. I also added cinnamon to the topping, but I didn't really taste it.
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13 users found this review helpful

Eclair Cake

Reviewed: Apr. 21, 2008
I'm giving this 4 stars b/c I thought it was ok, but my guests loved it. I had a version of this before that was absolutely delicious, but I don't think this recipe was as good. Part of it may be that it was barely fridged for 4 hours, so possibly if it had "sat" longer, it would've tasted better. I also used cinnamon graham crackers b/c that's all I had, and I personally didn't like the cinnamon flavor in the cake, but other people thought it was a great touch. I think some great variations would be to make it like tiramisu with some coffee flavoring, b/c overall it just tasted plain to me - sweet - but plain in flavor. The version I had eaten before had vanilla and chocolate layers. I may try that next time, maybe even add some coffee into the mix. UPDATE: I made a variation with chocolate graham crackers and Fat/sugar free cheesecake pudding w/ dark chocolate frosting. It was REALLY good. The tip to heat up the frosting is a must since it's SO much easier that way and you end up getting a nice smooth, shiny coating just like an eclair. Also, I would recommend making this in a big rectangular tupperware so that you can just snap the lid on top. I kept finding my saran wrap would "suction" itself to my frosting when I made it in a pan and not look as pretty. It's also essential to let the cake sit for at least overnight. This version sat for 2 days and the texture was just WAY better than the first one I made which barely sat for 4 hours as the recipe stated.
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339 users found this review helpful

Simple Scones

Reviewed: Mar. 28, 2008
I just made these and couldn't wait for them to get to room temperature. I ate them warm, so I don't know if the texture hadn't "set" yet, but I'm used to my scones being a little more crumbly. Mine turned out a LITTLE bit cakier than crumbly, but it could be the changes/mistakes I made. First of all, I totally forgot baking powder, so I only had baking soda in the mix (still puffed up fine). I subbed fat free greek yogurt for sour cream. Instead of white flour, I used 2 c whole wheat flour, which made the mix drier since it absorbs more liquid, so I did have to add about a tablespoon more yogurt. My flavor variation was that I added a 1/2 cup of chopped assorted dried berries and 1 tsp of almond extract. The taste is really delicious; aromatic, lightly sweet, nutty from the whole wheat, airy/light, not too heavy or dense, moist... yum! The texture is not bad, just not what I expected from a scone, but let's see what it's like when it's cooled down.
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Big Soft Ginger Cookies

Reviewed: Feb. 26, 2008
These cookies are very close to my neighborhood bakery's ginger molasses cookies (which I still think are the best). I used full-bodied molasses, which gave it a richer color and taste. Even cutting back on the butter (to 1/2 cup) and sugar, the cookies turned out very moist, soft, chewy, and sweet, baking for 8 mins on the dot. I actually would put more ginger in next time. In my batch I made them extra decadent by adding in chopped dark chocolate-covered candied ginger from trader joe's... really rich and yummy! I'm sure it would be great with just chopped candied ginger, or plain, as it is in the recipe. Sometimes I'm in a mood for a crispier cookie so one pan I made the cookies smaller and baked them for a full 10 mins - they turned out like gingersnaps!! YUM! Fantastic how one recipe can give you big, soft, chewy ginger cookies and also crunchy, crispy gingersnaps!
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1 user found this review helpful

Beth's Spicy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Reviewed: Jan. 6, 2008
I make oatmeal cookies all the time, and these are one of my favorites. I can easily make them chewy or crunchy; whichever I feel like. I always cut either the butter or shortening in half, cut either the brown or white sugar in half, and double the spices! I also soak my raisins in some warm water for a few minutes before mixing it in. From my experience with this recipe, the dough balls don't flatten out much when you bake them, so I flatten out my teaspoonful balls of dough before baking to get the round, flat chewy cookies. Otherwise they come out as chewy mounds of cookies (not bad either, just not as pretty).
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1 user found this review helpful

Snowballs II

Reviewed: Dec. 18, 2007
PERFECT!! I wouldn't change a thing. This cookie just melts in your mouth and it is SO easy to make. A little messy with the confectioner's sugar + candy cane powder, but once you establish a system, it's not as awkward. I felt it was easiest/cleanest to do it with tongs. I even made a batch with white whole wheat flour, and it tasted wonderful; just added to the nutty buttery taste but made it just a tad healthier! =P I found smaller balls baked more like balls. If the ball was too large, it would start to flatten slightly into a mound.
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24 users found this review helpful

Jo's Rosemary Bread

Reviewed: Dec. 18, 2007
I made this by hand, and followed a previous review on how to make it by hand. However, I think at some point the yeast must have died b/c my bread didn't rise at all. I ended up with a giant breadstick that tasted and smelled WONDERFUL. I chopped it up into breadsticks and had it with soup. The taste is just really delicious. I'm definitely going to try again and hope my yeast doesn't die, b/c I can only imagine how heavenly this bread is with a fluffy doughy texture instead of a crunchy breadstick texture. But if you want to make tasty homemade rosemary breadsticks... use this recipe without yeast, I guess!
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1 user found this review helpful

Chocolate Mint Candies Cookies

Reviewed: Dec. 18, 2007
So I made this recipe exactly as stated except instead of the chocolate mint candy, I mixed in crushed candy canes. The cookie part was absolutely delicious, but the only thing wrong with my variation was that some of the candy cane chunks were too big and melted all over the place. It wasn't a mess to clean up after it cooled, but it looked messy. Otherwise taste and texture were great. Next time I might add some peppermint oil to make it even mintier.
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1 user found this review helpful

Frosted Cranberries

Reviewed: Dec. 18, 2007
A very impressive + easy treat to make. It makes a great gift and snack! I'll be making this next holiday season for sure.
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1 user found this review helpful

Playgroup Granola Bars

Reviewed: Nov. 22, 2007
I kinda mixed it with another granola bar recipe. Here are the changes I made: added additional 2 cups of bran bud cereal, substituted oil with 3/4 cup peanut butter (heated/melted), substituted the honey w/ 1/3 cup corn syrup, substituted wheat germ for 1/2 cup flax seed, and added an additional egg to bind it together. Instead of using simply raisins, I used a mix of dried fruit bits. I baked for about 20-25 mins and it produced crunchy granola bars. If you want something chewier, probably 15 mins will do it. I can't imagine the baking time being 30+ mins - at 20 mins the edges were already tasting a bit burnt. Really delicious nutty, spicy, slightly sweet flavor. I think I'll always make my own granola bars now - I'm tired of the ultra sweet and gooey ones from the store!
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Spiced Pumpkin Seeds

Reviewed: Nov. 13, 2007
These were really easy and delicious right from the oven, but after I stored them, they seemed too salty. I think next time I would cut back on the plain salt, since the garlic salt is already salty.
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2 users found this review helpful

Cranberry-Pumpkin Cookies

Reviewed: Nov. 13, 2007
I kinda tweaked it to make it more like a cake-like cookie rather than a scone just b/c that's what I was looking for. I reduced the butter by half, added an extra egg, added 1/2 tsp pumpkin spice, and substituted orange juice for orange zest. The result was a VERY cake-like, light, fluffy cookie (a little too cakey, so I overcompensated) but the taste is fantastic!! This was my first time baking with fresh cranberries, & they are SO good. I also used fresh pumpkin b/c I had some. Next time when I'm in the mood for drier, denser, more scone-like cookie, I will follow the recipe exactly. I think my changes only changed the texture, not the taste, which is just delicious.
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2 users found this review helpful
Photo by w

Una's Cheddar Beer Bread (bread machine dough cycle)

Reviewed: Oct. 29, 2007
So I don't have a bread machine. And I used self-rising flour, so no yeast. My bread didn't rise that much, but it was really delicious. I basically just tossed in a bunch of leftover shredded cheeses that I had: mexican mix, parmesan, asiago, and romano. I topped it with some shredded asiago cheese. The crust was the best. It was a great dense, savory bread. Next time I will get yeast and see if I can make the bread "chewier." I personally liked the taste very much, but my coworkers thought it was ok.
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5 users found this review helpful

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