Susan Parran Recipe Reviews (Pg. 5) - Allrecipes.com (18981907)

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Susan Parran

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Spanakopita

Reviewed: Nov. 17, 2008
Here's what I learned from making this dish: I wanted to cut the saturated fat (a cup is A LOT of grease!); I did this by mixing 1/4 each melted butter and olive oil. Also added about 1 scant tsp. nutmeg (the traditional Greek seasoning for this dish). I never use eggs in mine, as they make the mixture too wet, and the lovely phyllo gets soggy as a consequence. Nothing worse than soggy phyllo! I also only used half the phyllo and 2 10 oz. frozen packs spinach for the same reason. Kept the parm and swiss cheese and that was a really nice touch. I used only half the package of phyllo and baked in a 9 x 13 Pyrex dish until golden. Make sure you roll the edges and butter them (it makes a nice pizza-like crust). I serve this with a large Greek salad, and, on special occasions, get to serve it with the homemade baklava that my next door neighbor Georgia -- who is Greek -- brings by during the holidays. Good times.
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Tempeh Reuben

Reviewed: Nov. 13, 2008
I have a piano-wire cheese slicer which I use to slice the tempeh lengthwise into thin "meat like" slices. I then rub with a Kentucky dry rub and let stand for an hour or two before skillet-frying in a little olive oil. I do everything else as the recipe states, but instead of a thousand island dressing, I chop Harvard beets into a little Hellmann's mayonnaise, and sometimes I just use KFC coleslaw. It's yummy!
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Molasses Bran Muffins

Reviewed: Nov. 12, 2008
My mom makes a very similar bran muffin, using All-Bran cereal and blackstrap molasses. She replaces the raisins (or adds to) with sultanas, and also adds walnuts. I think she may also add a dash or two of nutmeg, or allspice. I imagine these would be good replacing some, or all, of the oil with butternut squash or pumpkin puree. Nice autumnal touch anyway. Thanks for sharing the recipe!
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Hungarian Mushroom Soup

Reviewed: Nov. 3, 2008
Good mushroom stew. This is the standard recipe from Mollie Katzen's Moosewood cookbook. I always omit the soy sauce - it doesn't need it. Instead, I add a nice dry but slightly sweet sherry (not cooking sherry! - make it something you'd actually drink, ok?). Add it during the roux-mushroom saute step. This addition really makes the recipe - trust me! Before serving, throw some nice fresh, chopped chives along with a sprinkling of dill seed on top of the soup after you've added the sour cream. A key to this recipe is also the paprika. If you cheap-out on it, you'll notice. Instead of smokey-sweet you'll have bitter. I like the Hungarian brand paprika, personally. It costs more, but it's worth it.
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1 user found this review helpful

Apple Pie by Grandma Ople

Reviewed: Oct. 20, 2008
Very good recipe. Started with a standard veg-shortening & butter crust, but found it was much better with a pate brisee all-butter crust brushed with a little cream for luster. Added dried cranberries in one version.
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The Best Vegetarian Chili in the World

Reviewed: Oct. 10, 2008
Good, but too salty. Here's what I learned: use less salt. Next time will use less. Added 2 tsps black-strap molasses and hickory smoke, as I usually do. One thing I changed was that I used white canneloni beans and lentils, along with the kidney beans, instead of garbonzos. Also, I would have typically added a little ketchup in the final stage, I didn't do this time because I thought might add too much salt.
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Restaurant-Style Potato Skins

Reviewed: Sep. 26, 2008
I made this recipe a while back and just never commented. They were just ok. Here is what I learned: Use a Yukon Gold or Red Skin potato, not russet. (The recipe doesn’t specify type of potato). I scoop the potato from the skins, whip it in a mixer with a little butter and milk. Then I dressed the potatoes with a layer of sautéed onions and mushrooms, top that with Longhorn cheddar and then a half-rasher of bacon. As other's did, I also baked these; I don’t fry anything (it’s too much trouble, not to mention the fat). Take the skins out when the cheese melts, put the mashed potatoes into a funneling bag and squeeze out in equal portions onto each baked potato skin. Put the oven’s broiler on and let the potatoes cook until just lightly browned and crisp (like twice-baked potatoes). When they come out, serve with a bowl of sour cream or thick double cream on the table, extra cheese, and fresh chives. These are equally good using sweet potatoes, just use a good Swiss in place of the cheddar, and don’t broil, as the sweets just turn runny for some reason. Also, as I’m now no longer eating meat, the version I make these days has Baco-Bits instead of bacon. (I just sprinkle them on top of the mashsed potatoes). With a little sautéed seitan or tempeh (or meat) and some veggies, this dish really makes a complete meal.
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3 users found this review helpful

Apple Squares

Reviewed: Sep. 22, 2008
Four stars good. I wasn't as impressed with these as some of the reviewers who rated it more highly. They were good, but I doubled the recipe (as is just doesn't make enough). Even doubling, I thought it necessary to add an extra 2/3 cup of chopped apple (I used Braeburns). 1 cup of apples (1/2 cup in the original recipe), just didn't seem enough. And still the squares came out on the dry side. Maybe the poster should ammend her advice about waiting until they bounce back before taking out of the oven, or perhaps oven temp is too high? They can probably come out a few minutes earlier, and next time (yes I will make these again, they were, overall very good, just not what I expected) I will add more apples also. The recipe doesn't specify whether apples should be peeled first before chopping. I peeled mine, maybe that's the issue?? Did anyone else find these a tad on the dry side?
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Chicken Spaghetti

Reviewed: Sep. 22, 2008
This was EXCEPTIONAL!!! My requirements were: Something FAST...Something that could be converted to vegetarian...Something that had flavor...Something down home that everyone would like...And lastly, something I didn't feel guilty serving as leftovers the next day. To make this into a vegetarian dish, (I am a vegetarian, and two of my guests are also vegetarians, however the other two are not). I was able to divide this into two smaller casseroles, using Quorn chicken alternative for one, and regular chicken for the other. Very simple and delicious. I served it the first day of our vacation with a roasted vegetable melange of carrots, zucchini, onion and red pepper. The next day, I had less left over than I expected, so for our lunch, I boiled up more spaghetti, and just added an extra half-can of soup to stretch it to serve three people. It was just as good as the first meal!
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Creamed Cabbage

Reviewed: Aug. 28, 2008
Very good side dish for a chilly night. Used finely shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese instead.
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10 users found this review helpful

Hearty Hot or Cold Roasted Tomato Soup

Reviewed: Aug. 26, 2008
Five stars actually, but I made changes based on my preference for a hearty cream of tomato soup. Doubled the quantity of romas, added roasted garlic, and replaced the oil with light cream (2/3 cup), and the chicken stock with water. I've made a similar italian vegetable soup that calls for no cream or garlic, but a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar, added at the last moment before serving.
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Playgroup Granola Bars

Reviewed: Aug. 20, 2008
Added extra wheat germ, ground flax, and used slightly less honey, and added coconut based on other reviewer comments. Used tongs to dip into a mixture of bittersweet chocolate and natural peanut butter. My friends jokingly refer to these as "colon-blow" bars. But in all seriousness, they're really very good. Thanks for the recipe!
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Faken (Veggie Bacon)

Reviewed: Aug. 18, 2008
Desperation inspires all sorts of creativity! As is, this is good and tasty marinated tofu. This is going to sound strange, but do yourself a favor and make this one a little fatter (just a little!). Once you have sliced the tofu (and buy firm so that you can get it into very small slices - dry out the pieces on a clean kitchen towel for about an hour, flipping once. (Do the evening before if you prefer, then wrap and store in fridge). Next lay tofu in single layer on jelly roll pan - or any pan with sides. Brush each piece with vegetable oil, then flip the pieces over and do the same on the other side, using about 1/2 cup oil, in all. I have also used Earth Balance vegetable shortening for this step by brushing it, softened, onto each tofu piece. (Earth Balance is an all-natural, non-hydrogenated form of vegetable shortening). Let the tofu pieces soak up the fat, then continue with the other steps. For Fakin Bacon salad crumbles, bake in the oven until tofu is hard, but not yet all the way dry (about 40 minutes to 1 hour on moderate, 300 degree heat). Remove from oven and let set out for an hour. Once cool, crumble with a fork into bits and sprinkle on salad. Very good with a nice meatless Cobb salad (with avocado, radish, onion, yeast or soy cheese, etc.), and with eggs, nuts, and cheese (if your an ovo-lacto vegetarian).
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Grandma's Green Bean Casserole

Reviewed: Jul. 23, 2008
Lovely recipe. This is also good with brussel sprouts, or broccoli crowns. If using brussel sprouts, first trim and then halve, and replace half the quantity of onion with shallots first sauted in a pot deglazed with madeira.
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Alfredo Sauce

Reviewed: Mar. 2, 2008
This was a nice sauce for a basic meal of homemade spinach fettucine and pork medalions simmered in a tomato-apricot and white wine reduction. I suggest that anyone having trouble with the strong flavor of the Parmesan cheese look specifically for COW's milk Parmesan, which is not as tangy as sheep's milk parm. Also, stay away from any Parmesan cheese that states a long aging process on its label. The rennet in the cheese may go "off," and the longer the cheese sits, the more likely it is that you get that intense "tang" of the increased microbials - akin to the process for bleu-veined (moldy-looking) cheeses. With this recipe, I added cumin and just the smallest dash (seriously, like less than 1/8 tsp.) of fresh grated nutmeg. I was also liberal with pepper because I like it that way.
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Photo by Susan Parran

Best Brownies

Reviewed: Feb. 29, 2008
Tasty and moist! Warning: Wrap any remaining brownies tightly in saran wrap and tin foil. They dry out in a day or two if left just covered in baking dish.
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Cinnamon Nut Coffee Cake

Reviewed: Feb. 29, 2008
This is very close to a recipe I used to make for a coffee cake. It's delicious; light, yet substantial.
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Eggless Pasta

Reviewed: Feb. 22, 2008
Good basic, eggless recipe. I keep concentrated vegetable pastes in my freezer that I make myself from scraps. I made this recipe with 1/3 cup water and two tablespoons of sundried tomato paste, and also added two teaspoons of olive oil. I dressed the pasta with a very light cheese sauce made with light cream, romano, and nutmeg, and topped with a spinach and walnut sauce. This was a very good dish.
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48 users found this review helpful
Photo by Susan Parran

Sausage Gravy II

Reviewed: Jan. 27, 2008
I wasn't happy with this recipe. For one, it needs more milk. The correct ratio is 1/4 cup flour to 3, or 3-1/2 cups milk. The onion, garlic and parsley are odd pairings for a milk gravy; so in my second try I left these out and added 1/4 teaspoon ground sage and a dash or two of fine ground white pepper, to boost the sausage flavor. No salt necessary; guests should be allowed to salt according to taste. My personal preferance for sausage is Jimmy Dean Regular flavor in the bulk roll. It works best for sausage gravy.
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Baked Cod with Boursin Herb Cheese

Reviewed: Dec. 20, 2007
Very tasty and quick to put together. When served with wine and appetizer, this dish presents like an expensive, gourmet meal that took time to make. Drawback: Cheese and butter amounts make it not so heart healthy. I think next time I will choose a lighter cheese alternative, and use half the butter.
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7 users found this review helpful

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