Chef Joy Recipe Reviews (Pg. 5) - Allrecipes.com (1471447)

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Deep Dish Brownies

Reviewed: May 22, 2008
HELPFUL TIPS NOT MENTIONED: So many reviews complained about the brownies sticking that I did what I do with my other recipes & that's line with nonstick foil & then lightly spray PAM on bottom (the regular foil is fine too but I do think you have to lightly spray sides of foil!!). That way when it cools COMPLETELY, you just pull up, and slide the entire brownie out & cut! No more issues w/trying to pull brownie out w/o it falling apart! This recipe is the only one I've tried on this site that fits my definition of the perfect brownie "rich, dense, fudgey, and holds together!" Here's how to achieve that: Double the recipe b/c you're kidding yourself if you think the original amounts will last more than a day! Use a 9X13 baking pan (not glass), omit the baking powder, so it won't turn cakey, BUT DO include the salt. It's greasy w/the amount of butter stated (like I've had toss outs), but when I use 1 1/4C (when doubled) ...it comes out perfect with a 35 min bake time (fast oven). Use 4 eggs (again, if you're doubling) and 1.5C of unsweetened cocoa. When tops looked done and toothpick came out clear..it was done! I had to bake mine about 10 min. longer in my older oven, but just insert a toothpick and if batter is on it, stick it back in for another 5 minutes! UPDATE: This time I tried it in a cupcake pan like another reviewer (350 for 13 min), and they were so cute! Just be sure to include the PAM!
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Adrienne's Cucumber Salad

Reviewed: Apr. 29, 2008
HELPFUL TIPS AFTER MAKING THIS SEVERAL TIMES: These tips are just a reminder for my old age what I did after so many test trials. The person who recommended using an english cucumber hit the key!! We wondered what was different about our recipe than the person we were trying to copy and that was it!! BUT... normal cucumbers also taste great, I just could tell a difference. Then the person who said for 1 cucumber, 1/2C white vinegar, 1/4C sugar, 1/4C water, sprinkle salt lightly after you've sliced them, and then 1/2t dill got it right! With 4 large cucumbers,, I'd definitely double the liquids or there would not be enough liquid to soak this all up. I always omit the onions! I think you have to kind of know what you're about to make to really appreciate this recipe b/c before I had this... this would have tasted and looked gross on paper. I knew what I was looking for, so there were no surprises. It's our favorite! ...or at least my husband's. It's my favorite just b/c he thinks I'm the best now that I can make his mom's "secret" cucumber dish ;) His mom also does the salt with a T in Tupperware for 2-3 hrs, rinse the 2/3C+ of water you'll have left, and then continue with recipe. Also better to marinate overnight.
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Curried Coconut Chicken

Reviewed: Apr. 28, 2008
HELPFUL TIPS AFTER READING ALL THE REVIEWS: UPDATED If you've never had an Indian type cuisine, this is a GREAT one to start with because you can't screw it up! The hardest part is just finding these items at the store if it's your 1st time. Know you have to buy sweetened coconut milk, not the unsweetened kind & "lite coconut milk" for those weight watchers works well too! When I add the stewed tomatoes, I use my spatula and cut them into smaller pieces. Who wants a big chunk & who wants to end up w/nothing? I find cooking it uncovered is your best bet unless you want it simmering FOREVER. Uncovered at a steady med. will still takes 50-60 before the sauce thickens. Any rice goes well with this, so just choose the kind you like. I also only use 2 chicken breasts (1 pound), but keep all the other amounts since this is just for a family of 3. If I used 2lbs, I'd definitely have to use more sauce if cooking uncovered. Note: Expect your house to smell like curry 24hrs after you fix this (in case some of you have company coming over the next day). We have this regularly, so I know!!! ;) This is truly the best!
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Glazed Meatloaf II

Reviewed: Apr. 23, 2008
HELPFUL TIPS AFTER READING ALL THE REVIEWS: The idea of putting 2 pieces of bread on the bottom of the pan before cooking to soak up the grease is GOD SEND! Works like a charm, and you can remove it when you slice everyone their piece. BUT I also take it out at the 1hr mark and drain the excess liquid. I double the sauce, but only to drizzle on top of everyone's slice since my kids&husband like to slather their meatloaf w/ketchup. When I do double the topping, I add 1T lemon juice OR 1T balsamic vinegar for yummiest topping! Substitute bread for 3/4C oats & use green onions instead of onions if you've got picky eaters. Sometimes I dice green peppers too for more flavor. If you haven't tried "Honey Roasted Red Potatoes" I'd recommend trying them along side, and you're sure to be everyone's best friend. All my picky eaters tell me I'm the greatest cook ever due to everyone's great reviews! This meatloaf was liked by everyone over the two other top rated ones on this site! I also make them in muffin cups and just baked at 375 for 30 min.
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Strawberry Romaine Salad I

Reviewed: Apr. 23, 2008
HELPFUL HINTS NOT MENTIONED: I'm really giving this 5*'s because of the dressing. It's been something I've made for almost a year now & I always have a batch ready to use. I use soy milk or lactaid because the expiration date for the milk tend to be a month away from the day I bought it which means the dressing lasts longer! I take a lock-n-lock & double the ingredients for the dressing. Mix everything but the poppy seeds (or sesame seeds) b/c they tend to just stick to the lid or bottom, so you never get the portion you want. Instead I just sprinkle it over the actual salad (any works) when I'm ready to serve, and give my lock n lock a shake before pouring over the salad! I prefer using Almond Accents found in salad section because they're already toasted, sliced, and have different flavors. Also sprinkle cranraisins or dried blueberries along with fresh strawberries. Delish!
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Coconut Shrimp I

Reviewed: Apr. 22, 2008
TIPS NOT MENTIONED AND SECRET TO COCONUT STICKING: The chilling is a must, but what goes with that from my experience making this is ...after you take it out, use your fingers to mold/glue on the coconut to the shrimp after it's been in the fridge for at least 15 minutes (but put back in fridge so it can continue to meld together). Just press down on each shrimp that is covered with coconut & the batter that has had time to meld onto the coconut will catch any lose flakes. I do this each time and never have any problems. Coconut burns easily, so I only cook about a small batch at a time so I can monitor their progress and flip faster. The dip posted by the first review is EXCELLENT (1/2C orange marmalade, 2t mustard, 1t prepared horseradish, dash salt & honey to taste). Fancy dinner to impress your family and guests yet so easy! What's even better is you can prepare ahead, and then cook the shrimp right before you eat since it's finished in a matter of minutes! FWIW, I hated shrimp before I had this recipe. ;)
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Best Spanish Rice

Reviewed: Apr. 20, 2008
HELPFUL TIPS NOT MENTIONED: I've tried all the other recipes on this site & decided this is the best! I like using salsa more than diced tomatoes b/c it has more flavor and spice ...and it doesn't taste like you just dumped salsa in it like I expected. This is only for my family of 4, so I use 3/4C of uncooked rice, definitely a little more than half a tablespoon of olive oil (full recipe calls for too much), with 3/4 of the can of chicken broth (approx 1 1/2C), BUT still use 1C of salsa as I feel it's necessary, as well as a few dashes of pepper. I only brown rice a few minutes longer after it's turned WHITE (very apparent white color). Being Asian myself, I could cook rice w/my eyes closed it seems. lol Many times we don't add onions b/c I'm too lazy to dice them. If we do, it definitely needs more than suggested or it's pointless adding. It's even better when you add diced green & red peppers to the rice you are browning or use green onion instead of white/red. We eat the rice every time we make "Whit's Chicken Enchiladas" which is SUPER EASY and YUMMY! This takes less time than indicated for the rice to be done. Also great to put in baking dish, add cheese, and bake at 350 until it melts! :)
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Whit's Chicken Enchiladas

Reviewed: Apr. 20, 2008
HELPFUL TIPS NOT MENTIONED: My husband is extremely picky about his Mexican food due to where he grew up, so I tried each of the enchilada recipes that rank higher than this 1st. He was sadly disappointed w/each as was I since I like to impress him w/my cooking, but then I tried this w/much hesitation due to how easy it was & what do you know ...simplicity was the winner! 1. put green or red enchilada sauce on the bottom (enough to ONLY lightly cover the bottom) but PAM works too 2. Change it up by/adding chopped green peppers or mushroom in the mix, and sliced olives ON TOP after adding heavy cream. 3. use 1 pkg of tysons/oscar meyer already made fajita or grilled chicken to save time (1 heaping cup) 4.make in the morning BUT add heavy cream JUST before baking it! I still add a little taco seasoning to the chicken for added spice BUT NOT necessary. 5 Bake until it looks golden all over with a little crispy look from the heavy cream so it's not soggy inside. I eye the amount of heavy cream for this reason too ...just drizzle enough for the amount I want & I use a smaller glass dish (making 6) since that's how many we will eat but makes (8-9 heaping amounts). My husband likes soft enchiladas and not crispy like me, so we put foil over it while baking if he's eating. Eat with "Best Spanish Rice!" So easy & with ingred. always on hand, not to mention better than complex recipes! Again, simplicity proves to be the best!
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Banana Pudding III

Reviewed: Apr. 20, 2008
HELPFUL TIPS NOT MENTIONED: My extremely picky never satisfied husband loved this as well as my toddlers, so what more could I want! I wanted to note for those making this for the 1st time that this calls for heavy cream aka heavy whipping cream which is not whipping cream (cool whip) in the freezer section. I believe THIS is why people complain about this being too sweet b/c quite frankly I CHOSE THIS RECIPE because it was the least sweetest of ALL the recipes on here which I DID try. Heavy Whipping Cream doesn't have that nice sugary taste as the frozen whipped creams you put on top of desserts nor is it something people can eat right out of the carton w/o adding something else. Outside of that, I just eyeball the amount of nilla wafers or Pepperidge Farm Chessmen cookies (try it!), and set it in the fridge for a few hours (necessary) to allow them to soften up. THIS ALSO allows the lemon taste of bananas to go away! It also helps delay browning. 3 THINLY sliced Bananas with 1/4C lemon (used my measuring cup to place juice&dunked the slices as I put it on the layer) was the perfect amount w/o letting anything go to waste. I chose this recipe b/c unlike others, I didn't have to wait for my cream cheese & frozen whipped cream to soften at room temp. UPDATE: To cut down even more on the sweetness, this works better with just ONE CUP of heavy whipped cream. Tastes more like pudding instead of "whipped" and I use fat-free condensed milk
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Curried Rice Pilaf

Reviewed: Apr. 16, 2008
HELPFUL TIPS: A can of broth has 2C and since this is usually for my husband & toddlers, I halve the recipe using 3/4C rice and 3/4th a can of broth. That way I don't have to open up a second can. For 2 picky toddlers, they give this 2 thumbs up! What kid can resist rice (which is a lot like their baby food) if it contains craisins! I like them better than plain ol raisins. Also, instead of going through trouble of toasting almonds, I use "Almond Accents" found next to salads or dressings at the store. Any flavor (they have ranch, honey flavored, etc) works very well and they're already toasted and sliced! Not to mention you can use the rest of the bag to top your salads. Outside of that, this definitely needs a T of curry (used almost 2tsp if you halve the recipe), and I prefer using half oil, half butter b/c the rice turns out better and cooks the curry like other indian dishes require (for 5 minutes constant stirring). Also can do this in one pot by adding it all in while browning rice except broth, almonds, craisins.
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Best Big, Fat, Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie

Reviewed: Apr. 16, 2008
HELPFUL TIPS NOT MENTIONED: This is very forgiving! Just keep baking until it becomes golden brown around the edges. If they cool COMPLETELY & they're not done..put back in for another 5 min. Can't go wrong! I promise they'll be super chewy although they must sit (set) for awhile as they won't appear it. I've had to bake for 20 min. several times! Everything is dependent on if you put in fridge & for how long (i've left overnight or for DAYS). But if you don't refrigerate long enough or at all, they'll be flat! It has nothing to do with using margarine or butter. I've done it both ways ..same exact results! 1st: Sift the dry ingredients. Melt the butter in microwave then mix in sugars. DO use the room temp. yoke of one egg & 1 other egg. Dump rest of ingredients on top. Mix by hand until blended. Make sure butter isn't hot or it'll melt chocolate chips! Refrigerate batter for 1hr then preheat oven. Drop 1/4C scoop (should make 16-18) & bake! If I use a med. scoop, I just bake 2 min less. UPDATE: My husband thinks these are sweet so I only use 3/4C b.s. and a TAD under 1/2C of white sugar. 1C chocolate chips is PLENTY! Never grease pan! Melt in your mouth results if you use a combination of milk chocolate& semi-sweet like bakeries AND a touch of andes mint baking chips! Update2: Just tried "Blonde Brownies I" and it's IDENTICAL, but a yummy brownie! Try it!
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Erica's Delicious Slow Cooker Beef Roast

Reviewed: Apr. 7, 2008
HELPFUL SUGGESTIONS NOT MENTIONED: If you're cooking this for 8+ hours with a 2lb chuck roast and adding potatoes, celery and carrots, I suggest adding 1C of beef broth or the whole can (2C). A beef bouillon diluted in 1C of hot/boiling water also works. I cooked the garlic in the oil that I browned the meat. Have no idea why 16 was the magic number of carrots for her recipe, but I just put as many as I feel my family will eat. Sometimes we add some onions ...sometimes we don't if our guests don't like them. It makes no difference. I definitely recommend adding a 1.5T of Worcestershire sauce and a bay leaf. I also sprinkle some McCormick's Slow Cookers Hearty Beef Stew seasoning package like other reviewers recommend when making other recipes on this site. Big difference! This finished sooner than I thought (4hrs - 2lb meat), but I continued to cook it until we ate dinner (10-12 hrs), and it just got better with time (but needed more liquid). While there was still gravy in the end, there wasn't that much. I spray PAM along the sides if it looks like it's burning, and it works like a charm! If you use this for beef stroganoff over some noodles, you must add 4oz of cream cheese right before serving for it to truly taste like traditional stroganoff! When I feel like having potatoes on the side, I use the honey potato recipe (1 lb red potatoes quartered, 1T butter, 3T honey, and 1t dry mustard - bake 40 min). My toddlers love this!
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Honey Roasted Red Potatoes

Reviewed: Apr. 6, 2008
HELPFUL TIPS THAT WORK: I've made this exact recipe for several years now, & have learned a few things. They take me 40-60 min in the oven. I just take a fork & occasionally poke it to see if the fork slides in easily. I use 6-8 med red potatoes, 4 large (baseball size), or about 11-12 if they're the really small (little bigger than golf ball) ones. After I quarter the potatoes, I cut those in half again to make them more bites-size esp. for my toddler who LOVES these. I find NO NEED for butter outside of PAM to grease my dish. Otherwise, it turns out GREASY! ...and I use 3T of honey and sprinkle some parsley for color. No onions if my husband is eating. Sometimes I line w/foil too because it can get sticky, otherwise a good soaking gets it all up quickly. UPDATE: It's perfect (nice glaze) w/o being too sweet, but you should mix it a few times while baking so what has become a liquid can be reapplied and the potatoes on the top aren't dry. Be sure to line these on a sheet instead of layering too because the top ones will be dry. I ALSO have to use more than a pinch of salt. Sprinkle enough so there's a little on all the potatoes or it's too bland. Broiling for the last 2-3 min. caramelizes the honey nicely. My husband & kids like ketchup on these which surprised me since they taste divine with nothing on them.
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Annie's Fruit Salsa and Cinnamon Chips

Reviewed: Apr. 6, 2008
HELPFUL TIPS AFTER READING ALL THE REVIEWS: If you're in a crunch, try some cinnamon wheat thins or cinnamon pita chips down the snack aisle. The tortillas tend to take some time to make, so I'd get started on them first so you're salsa doesn't get all soggy if you're making a big batch of chips! And use 1C sugar&1tsp cinnamon. They're addicting & can see why so many people (including myself) eat them "as is." I wasn't sure I'd believe that you don't have to over drench your tortillas in cinnamon, but it's true. One quick dip & there's plenty of yummyness. I've NEVER had any problems w/the apple (fuji) browning, but if you do ...dip the slices in lemon juice to prevent it. I just eye the amount I want to add for everything to suit the number of people we are feeding. There's no need for adding sugar b/c the fruit preserves & the fruit adds enough flavor. I have better luck w/finding fresh blueberries than I do raspberries, and I prefer them! People are always impressed with this dish & you really are a hero to all the hungry tummies, so thanks for posting this recipe!
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Restaurant Style Mac and Cheese

Reviewed: Mar. 29, 2008
HELPFUL TIPS: If you like Velveeta from the box at the store then it may be better to just buy that b/c that's what you're getting here (exactly). I don't even think you'll get credit for making it yourself since I'd take the box over this. I told my husband what this was called (Restaurant Style Mac & Cheese), and he said "Whose restaurant?" lol If you're looking for restaurant style, you may want to consider something else. If you're in college and love your velveeta, this is it except a load more of excess cheese. I love cheese... heck, it could be my middle name, but even with 2C of macaroni... it was too much. Sorry!
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Pistachio Crusted Chicken

Reviewed: Mar. 29, 2008
HELPFUL TIPS NOT MENTIONED: I've made this a part of our regular cycle for over a year now & feel lucky to have found it. Please do not substitute all cashews for this dish. I love cashews to death, but it doesn't nearly taste as good. In fact, I rated a cashew chicken recipe here worse b/c it doesn't compare. I use a full Planters Pistachio Lovers (6oz) can found next to the other peanuts at any grocery store and just remove the almonds (which makes a good snack while you make this quick dish..lol). I was skeptical about turning my oven to 500 & then moving the temp down, but it's amazing! Outside of that, I use italian breadcrumbs for all my recipes. Also, if you use the raspberry sauce from the "Pork Chops with Raspberry Sauce" recipe, be sure to add an additional T of raspberry to thicken it (on stove and simmer until half evaporated: 1/4C seedless raspberry jam, 2T orange juice, 2T white wine vinegar. Then take off stove & add a dab of butter to make silky).
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Cashew Crusted Chicken

Reviewed: Mar. 29, 2008
While this wasn't "bad," my company & I all thought the "pistachio chicken" and "bourbon pecan chicken" from this site were both 10x better ...and a better choice of nut w/chicken. I highly recommend trying them if you like nuts! They'll leave your tastebuds tingling! This is coming from people who prefer and love cashews the most!! So, we won't be putting this on our regular cycle of dishes for our weekly get-togethers. Didn't pass the taste test in our cooking club that meets monthly either. I tried several times to give this a chance. It's just okay at best. Sorry!
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Mom's Island Treasures

Reviewed: Mar. 28, 2008
HELPFUL TIPS AFTER TRYING SEVERAL TIMES: What a unique twist and pleasant change to a traditional chocolate chip cookie (which Best Big, Fat, Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie is the best). This is definitely chewy due to the coconut which adds to the pleasure of eating this. I recommend 1.5C of coconut, 3/4C butter (the 2 extra T isn't necessary), 1/2C of pecans (they're softer than walnuts which is why I wouldn't substitute), and I used a medium scoop which produced 30 cookies at 10 min. I am not sure why some users had trouble with the oven temperature because it's perfect. I'm thinking they cooked a lot longer or made teeny weeny sized cookies.
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Caramel Bars

Reviewed: Mar. 27, 2008
HELPFUL TIPS: First off, oh my gosh!! I'm not a caramel fan AT ALL, but tried this b/c of the 5* rating. So glad b/c this is out of this world! I love the idea of lining your 9X13 pan with foil. This allows you to just pull it out of the glass dish after it's cooked AND COOLED & cuts down on crumbling. Makes slicing easier. ...just don't rush the cooling process in fridge or caramel will harden! This is a recipe where eyeballing is your best bet. You MUST double the flour, oats, sugar, baking soda & salt, but TOTALLY not necessary to double the chocolate chips & walnuts (sweet overload). I found 1C of butter to be perfect to make the crust stick together. In fact, the second & third time I made this, I didn't bother using a small portion of the crust b/c if you put too much on top, it just falls right off (as excess crumbs). To solve this, when I put the top layer of crumbs on, I press gently into the caramel layer as if I'm making another crust. Makes everything stick together nicely! Used an entire bag of Kraft caramels (14 oz) OR already unwrapped bag (11oz) & 7T of heavy cream was the perfect consistency and enough to cover a thin layer. Caramel takes a little while to melt, so be patient if it's your first time :) Oh, I've baked this for 25-30 min. depending on oven. Just take out once the top (crust) turns a nice golden brown. Update: I noticed someone said not to use 1min oats. It's ALL I use & everyone always LOVES THIS!
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Caramel Popcorn

Reviewed: Mar. 27, 2008
HELPFUL TIPS NOT MENTIONED: I was doubtful about this recipe but let me tell you that my husband's soldiers went bonkers over something that was SO QUICK to make! If you have trouble mixing in the caramel that I do recommend just dumping it on top instead of trying to keep a thin stream ...just stick it in the oven for a few minutes for it to get hot again & then you can finish mixing! :) As mentioned, the caramel will become foamy so don't worry, and do not try adding the vanilla PRIOR to taking it off the oven! I use two disposable foil pans for turkeys side by side in the oven. Always have one in the oven while mixing the other! Use enough butter so the caramel doesn't get too sticky (1/2C). I used 3 bags of buttered popcorn (brand REALLY isn't important), and I also don't find using cheap no-brand brown sugar to be a problem. Really! I've used all kinds of combinations of nuts and prefer macadamian and/or almonds. I like using 2 pans b/c it gives you room to stir comfortably. Be sure when you take out the pan to stir to get the bottom REAL well or you'll have one solid layer of caramel on the bottom. Also, be sure to let this cool before breaking as directed in the recipe but stir one last time when you take it out of the oven. You must put this back in the oven when the caramel begins to stiffen up b/c continuing to stir at this point is pointless as it breaks pieces of popcorn. Store in giant ziplock bag at room temp!
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