Holiday Baker Recipe Reviews (Pg. 1) - Allrecipes.com (10115384)

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Holiday Baker

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A Firefighter's Meatloaf

Reviewed: Jun. 1, 2015
I really liked this meatloaf. I found the ingredients amounts sort of odd, esp. the onions though. I only had 1 lb of ground beef, so I could only make 1/2 recipe which was fine. I used Trader Joes 96% lean ground beef and their Kansas City BBQ sauce. I think the salsa was ChiChis brand, just a simple basic salsa. I finely minced the white onion, being as there wasn't much. I am glad I did, because after one hour of baking they were still oddly sort of crunchy. Unless, that was the salsa. I didn't have wheat bread, but I had parmesan bread sticks from Sam's club. For 1/2 the recipe I just used 1/2 of a bread stick. I didn't soak it in water. I just poured the salsa on top while I measured out the rest of the ingredients. I didn't have to do the draining part as my ground beef was so lean. I baked it in an oval shape in a foil lined pan I sprayed with cooking spray. It seemed done after an hour. I sprinkled it with a little garlic salt and topped with the bbq sauce. I probably added a bit more bbq sauce than suggested. I have never added that, that I can think of to a meatloaf, and liked that. I put it back in the oven for 5-7 minutes with the oven turned off. This was easy for a last minute meal. I would make it again. A nice change to salty seasoning packets. With the salsa and bbq sauce it is a little bit different though than the usual beef gravy type meatloaf. 1/2 the recipe, made as written here, yielded 4 good sized servings at about 220 calories each. ty
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Banana Wake-Up Bars

Reviewed: Jun. 1, 2015
I should have read the reviews on this. I was expecting more of a dense breakfast bar. This sort of reminded me of a muffin in a bar shape. My only changes were doubling the recipe and baking in a rectangle pan, using half whole wheat, using wheat bran instead of germ, and adding a pinch of salt. Its fine as a different shaped muffin with coffee. Its also not very sweet, almost bland, and I think most things with sugar are too sweet. The main photo is beautiful, but looks more like a peanut butter cookie bar dense, buttery, and sugary. Mine looked more like the photo posted by the submitter of the recipe. Since I doubled the recipe I may search the site for some type of a glaze, since this is kind of like a very unsweet cake.
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Mediterranean Snow Peas

Reviewed: May 30, 2015
I thought these were okay. The Italian seasoning was a bit strong for me on snow peas. I have only really had Italian seasoning on root vegetables. It was a little over-powering on such a light vegetable. This side dish is definitely something more for an Italian meal with such a distinct taste. I used the microwavable fresh snow peas in a bag. It still took the 2 minutes to cook them after an initial steaming in the bag. So, I suppose the actual recipes would take 5-7 minutes to cook.
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Springtime Spaghetti

Reviewed: May 26, 2015
I thought this was okay. It was a little heavy for my taste. It didnt seem to have much flavor. I added a little garlic salt and Adobo seasoning which improved it. I also added extra zucchini and carrots and added cooked chicken sausage, at the end, to make it a complete meal.
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Easy Chicken Enchiladas

Reviewed: May 22, 2015
I liked this. I dont cook with canned soup much anymore, but this made for an easy sauce compared to my scratch recipe. I used Trader Joes Homemade tortillas, their 12 oz salsa verde, and sharp cheddar. I had 2 large chicken breasts, instead of 3, but it was 1 1/3 lbs. I sprinkled them lightly with garlic salt and onion powder and broiled them on a foil lined sheet. They were done in the time it took me to mix up the rest of the ingredients. I used all the ingredients, but the green chilis as the salsa verde already included them and was 12 oz. I covered and baked as suggested, but didnt do the second bake uncovered. I baked the after preparing instead of 12 hours later. I am glad, because the bottoms were already slightly soggy. That wouldnt have been good. I think these taste similar to the pulled chicken enchiladas at Chuys. They are a little salty, but not unexpected with the soup. I would make these again when wanting to save time. I recalculated the calories, as made above, and it came to 216 calories each.
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Photo by Holiday Baker

Layered Pea Salad

Reviewed: May 22, 2015
I liked this. I only had fresh English peas I bought from Trader Joes which came in a 14oz bag. As a result, I made 1/4 of the recipe and layered the salad in 4 small glass dishes creating mini arranged salads. I cooked the peas in the microwave for 10 minutes in some salted water. I used regular mayo and sugar in the raw. I like something crunchy in my salad. I didn't have any croutons, but added some corn chips. This really did work well. ty
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Ranchy Fruit and Nut Salad

Reviewed: May 22, 2015
Jason, your salad has potential but there is a major error on the lettuce amount! I think it should be closer to at least 8 cups of lettuce. A typical salad has 2 cups of lettuce per person. 1/4 cup of dressing, 3/4 cup of dried fruit, and 1/2 cup of nuts is incredible for the amount of lettuce. As a result, I kept the lettuce the same, maybe adding a little more, and did about 1 tblsp of each topping. Still 4 Tblsp of dressing was a bit much. I used a lighter yogurt ranch. Unless, this is supposed to mainly be fruits and nuts mixed with ranch dressing? With the added garlic and parmesan, it reminded me of a ceasar salad with added nuts and fruit. Add more lettuce and add the other ingredients to taste and this is not too bad, if one loves ranch dressing. I also would only make this right before serving. The lettuce starts to break down from the dressing as most lettuce salads with the dressing mixed directly in.
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Easy Turkey Chili

Reviewed: May 19, 2015
I thought this tasted good. The chili powder taste is a little strong. I also didnt find it quite as thick as most chilis. I added extra flavorings with some garlic and onion powdered seasonings. I also used white meat ground turkey. It yielded 6 servings at 375 each when calculated.
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Chocolate Peanut Butter

Reviewed: May 17, 2015
I thought this was pretty good. It had a grown up taste to choc pb. It also didnt have that waxy after taste like the store bought stuff. I used dark choc chips and natural pb with honey. With the honey already in the pb, I cut it back to a 1/3 of the amount suggested. I used the change servings button to make 8 servings, or 1/4 of the recipe.
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Apple Muffins

Reviewed: May 2, 2015
I thought these were okay. I did like that they were not too sweet. My only change was subbing 1/2 the flour with white whole wheat. I think these might be better with some walnuts.
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Pizza Spaghetti Casserole

Reviewed: Apr. 29, 2015
I thought this was okay. I also got 8 servings, but 582 calories per serving is crazy high. I was able to bring it down to 415, but still not a lite dish obviously. I used all reduced fat dairy products, leaner beef, and turkey pepperoni. I also sautéed green pepper, onion, and mushrooms (per suggestion that additional pizza toppings can be added) before cooking the ground beef. The flavor was okay, but it was just a bit to salty to me. I don't know if it was the pepperoni, cheese, and other canned or jarred items in combination. Not something I would make again, but it was interesting to try a different baked spaghetti recipe. I might just not prefer spaghetti this way as I have always felt it made it a little on this dry side. This one had just enough sauce, but the top got rather dry in the oven. I will see if others like this combination.
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Minestrone Soup I

Reviewed: Apr. 25, 2015
I thought this was okay. I followed the recipe exactly, except for not having the small amount of cabbage. I ended up having to add a cup of water. It was still rather thick for this type of soup as it cooled down. Some people may like that though. I had recently made this type of soup from another Italian recipe, and think I may have been spoiled. This didn't have quite that same fresh taste. I am sure it will be eaten, but it is just a little salty and slightly canned soup tasting, to me, for some reason.
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Goulash Supreme

Reviewed: Apr. 23, 2015
I made this recipe today after seeing it in the Allrecipe's magazine. I almost had trouble finding it. The magazine titled it: Cheryle's Goulash. I noticed they also added 1 cup chopped green pepper. I think that was a good addition. This made a quick and easy meal. Being more familiar with the classic goulash recipe on the site, I did let it cook for about 30 minutes after the noodles were added. I just covered it with a lid and turned it to low half way through. I sauteed the vegetables, until softened, in a tblsp of oil. I then cooked the meat and once done, added the rest of the ingredients. There was a suggestion, in the magazine, that the tomato paste was too strong. As a result, I used a half sized can of tomato sauce. The pasta also required an additional 1 1/2 cup of water. For the tomatoes I used 2 cans of stewes sliced tomatoes. I also used 96% lean ground beef, Barilla vegetable elbows, and added a sprinkle of onion powder and garlic salt . The recipe yielded 6 servings, at 240 calories, plus the grated parmesan added as a garnish from another reviewer. ty
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Photo by Holiday Baker

CHOCOLATE CHIP OATMEAL COCONUT COOKIES

Reviewed: Apr. 22, 2015
This is a really good cookie. I always tweak recipes, but this one I pretty much followed completely. As others said it does make a chewy, yet just slightly soft too. The taste and texture, still slightly warm, reminds me of a mall cookie. My only changes, if they can be called that, were cutting the recipe in half, using sugar in the raw (what I had on hand), and finely mincing the coconut being so little (using Tj's brand). For the chocolate chips I used Ghiradelli dark chocolate chips (1 cup for half the recipe). Half the recipe, using a cookie scoop, yielded 26 cookies. I am putting this one in the recipe box. ty
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Rice and Lentils from a Rice Cooker

Reviewed: Apr. 20, 2015
I like all of these ingredients, but I just didnt love them together. The lentils fell apart, almost acting like a binding to the rice and bulgar. I had to add so many seasonings and flavorings to get this to work. Not a repeat dish, but interesting to try the rice cooker beyond brown or white rice.
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Photo by Holiday Baker

Sandy's Simple Spring Lettuce Salad

Reviewed: Apr. 19, 2015
I really liked this dressing. We made a salad with what we like with butter lettuce and ridichio. I was not familiar with shallots and I liked the way they flavored the dressing without being over-powering like raw onion or garlic. My only changes to dressing were using a different oil, not having olive oil. Also, believe I used white wine vinegar instead of rice. Unfamiliar with shallots, I just minced about 2 tsp. When done, I also added a sprinkle of garlic salt. Already planning this dressing again.
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Photo by Holiday Baker

Quick Taco Salad

Reviewed: Apr. 15, 2015
This was yummy, I have not had a taco salad in forever. I only had 1 lb of beef and so I made 1/2 recipe. I am not a fan of raw onions, so I decided to chop the 1/2 onion and sautee it in 1 Tblsp of safflower oil until transluscent. I then added the beef and an addition of 2 minced garlic cloves and a dash of garlic salt and black pepper. For the taco seasoning I used Penzeys Brand. It is more natural and less sodium than the packets. I used 96% lean ground beef from Trader Joes. I layered the bowls with torn lettuce from a bag of butter lettuce and radicchio mix also from TJ's. Then added about 5 broken ranch flavored tostado rolls chips, 1/4 chopped tomato, a tblsp or so of lite sour cream, 2-3 sliced olives, about 2 Tblsp of sharp cheddar cheese, 2-3 tblsp of medium Chi Chis brand bottled thick and chunky salsa. After that I layered 1/6 of the cooked meat and onion mixture, then topped that with about a tblsp more sharp cheddar and 2 tblsp more med salsa. This was so delicious. I did have to write down all of the precise measurements because I calculate calories currently. Made as is 1 bowl came to about 305 calories. That is fantastic. Thanks
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Ham Salad Spread

Reviewed: Apr. 14, 2015
I thought this was pretty good. I made it to use up the last of the Easter ham. I liked that it had just a small amount of celery and onion. I minced them and small chopped the ham. I liked the addition of the eggs and relish in this. I used full fat mayo, but cut the mustard and mayo in half and it was plenty. The full recipe makes about enough for 8 sandwiches.
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Homemade Turkey Breakfast Sausage

Reviewed: Apr. 12, 2015
I thought this turned out good. My only changes were cutting the recipe in half as I only had 1 lb of ground turkey. I also just did a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes and at the very end added about 1 Tblsp of maple syrup. I just prefer sweeter sausage. I have found that if I use lean turkey, which I typically do, the dark and white meat mix works best for turkey sausage. It does come in lean also. For convenience sake I also made turkey crumbles and sautéed it in about a tsp of veg oil. It made about 7 servings, made as written here, at 100 calories each using 93% lean ground turkey. It worked well for breakfast burritos this morning.
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Photo by Holiday Baker

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Brownies

Reviewed: Apr. 9, 2015
I thought this recipe turned out really well. I have been looking for recipes to use this PB2 I bought. I originally bought it for peanut butter smoothies, but found they also used it in commercial baked goods to up the peanut butter flavor without the greasiness. I followed the recipe exactly only subbing Jiff Whipped peanut butter for regular. I lined my square baking pan with heavy duty foil and sprayed it well with Bakers Joy. It lifted out of the pan and cut into such nice perfect squares. Using the slightly lower calorie Jiff PB Whipped peanut butter and cutting it into 16 pieces, instead of 12, the calories count equaled 165 calories per brownies.
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