naples34102 Recipe Reviews (Pg. 1) - Allrecipes.com (18863788)

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Neiman Marcus Chocolate Chip Cookie

Reviewed: Jun. 29, 2015
Generally I prefer a chocolate chip cookie with equal measures of brown sugar and granulated sugar; and I particularly don't care for cookies with more brown sugar than white. While they do impart more of a butterscotchy flavor (especially if you use dark brown sugar), they also make the cookie softer, a characteristic more beloved by Hubs than myself. I guess you could say that's exactly why I tried this recipe - to please Hubs... and curiosity too, I admit. What a surprise! And what a way to wake up your taste buds! Outside of there being too many chocolate chips for my chocolate taste buds anyway, these are quite possibly one of the better chocolate chip cookies I've ever made and, having baked for decades, I've tried many. First, they are an inviting delight to the eye, just a beautiful cookie. Not flat (hate that) and not little balls (hate that too). Just a nice, thicki-ish, hearty looking cookie. Reach for one and after one bite you're sold. One hundred percent sold. You get everything here that's most desired in a chocolate chip cookie - they're crispy, chewy and soft and gooey all at the same time. They're rich and buttery, and the espresso makes them taste even more chocolaty. Feel confident to bake these at 375 degrees as directed. Absolutely no reason to do otherwise. As for the authenticity of their being the genuine Neiman Marcus cookie? I don't know. And I couldn't care less. (Update: Hubs said he'd have preferred these without the espresso)
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Warm Blueberry Cobbler

Reviewed: Jun. 26, 2015
After reading a couple of reviewers' remarks that this was too liquidy, too juicy, I took that as a heads up. Because of previous experience with blueberry cobblers, however, I knew this needed no flour or cornstarch and was just fine without. But given the experience of some others, I took heed and baked it a little longer (than I should have) to make sure I would not have that problem. Yes, others' experiences can give us insight into how a recipe performs, but in addition to that we must not forget to use and trust our own judgment. The recipe, as I see it now, is perfect as written. Just right sweet with a rich and buttery crackly topping unlike a true cobbler, but just delicious no matter what you want to call it. I have no doubt it was because of that decadent drizzle of melted butter before baking. Seriously, I tried a little dish so as to review this recipe beyond what I already knew about it from preparing it - and I had to stop myself from eating my fill. My attempts to correct a problem that proved to be non-existent caused more of the juices to evaporate than should have been. So aside from, in this case anyway, using the tips provided by others, this would have been a 5-star recipe. My suggestion? Prepare this recipe just as written.
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White Chocolate Pound Cake

Reviewed: Jun. 16, 2015
Hubs and I agree this was not the finest pound cake I ever made. Whatever white chocolate flavor there might have been was completely masked by the almond extract. Hubs even inquired what the “weird flavor” was, and that it had an “unpleasant aftertaste.” I decided the idea of putting the chopped chocolate in the center just didn’t appeal to me so I didn’t use it, and I’m glad for that. Also, I’m thinking that four ounces of white chocolate in the batter in place of the extra cup of sugar and additional 1/2 cup of butter that would typically be there wasn’t exactly the perfect trade-off. It was neither as moist nor as sweet as a good pound cake should be. A good dousing of Easy Chocolate Bundt Cake Glaze, also from this site, was this cake’s salvation.
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Jesse and Steve's Fresh Strawberry Cake

Reviewed: Jun. 16, 2015
My experience with this cake does not reflect the submitter’s description. (I did not make the frosting) It was not “light.” It was rather tough with an odd texture, more like a muffin than that of a cake – but not exactly like a muffin either. It was neither “sweet-tart” nor “berry-infused.” In fact, uninformed partakers would have difficulty identifying it as a strawberry cake were it not for the 1-1/2 tsp. of pure strawberry extract I added to the batter. And it was just barely sweet, again, more suitable as a muffin (quite suitable actually) than a dessert. It also had a brownish color, not necessarily what I’d expect for a strawberry cake. (Dare I say it again, that it was more like that of a muffin?) Still, it was pleasant enough. Mild flavor, mildly sweet, but greatly improved and enhanced prepared like strawberry shortcake – with sweetened fresh strawberries and whipped cream.
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BLT Linguine

Reviewed: Jun. 14, 2015
I love bacon as much as the next person and frequently find that a dish that includes it is better because of it. Here as well – but for us the amount of bacon called for would have been a case of bacon overkill. Half the amount was perfect – its presence was known, but it served as an enhancement, not a main ingredient that would dominate. Too much of a good thing… is not good. One other thing – you know how it is when people come over, you’re in the kitchen cooking and you’re talking and trying to follow a recipe at the same time – and if you notice you messed up at all it isn’t until after the fact and it’s too late. Well, it was because of gabbing in the kitchen that I forgot the lemon juice. And I think the omission made this so much better. The bottom line? This was just excellent, a hit at the dinner table. But next time I make it I will do it the same way, with half the bacon, no lemon juice (and a good dab of butter).
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Poulet de Provencal

Reviewed: Jun. 9, 2015
Man, what a dinner tonight! First, let me say I didn't measure anything, just kind of winged it according to the directions in the recipe. And I did finish the dish at the end with a couple of good swirls of butter to enrich the sauce, making it all luxurious and velvety. This has all the flavor you'd expect from a braised meat, yet it takes a fraction of the time. The combination of the balsamic vinegar, Dijon and Herbs de Provence obviously work together to create something pretty extraordinary. I served this tonight with Parmesan Garlic Orzo (tho' it was a toss up with just a pasta with garlic and olive oil) and fresh green beans sauteed with red bell peppers. It was a beautiful plate and a truly delicious meal. (Note: Don't have provolone? No worries! Any good, semi-soft cheese will work just fine!)
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Parmesan Garlic Orzo

Reviewed: Jun. 9, 2015
A lot of bang for your buck on this one. Packed with creamy, buttery, Parmesan-y flavor and couldn't be easier to prepare. Not that it makes a huge difference, but I chose to use half-and-half (and might have even used heavy cream if I had some open) rather than the milk. This is an ideal side dish for practically any meat - beef, veal, chicken, pork - I can think of.
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Simply Egg Salad

Reviewed: Jun. 8, 2015
Maybe the reason I enjoyed this so much was because it was “simply” egg salad. No frills. I do love variations of basic egg salad with different and even unusual add-ins. But it was nice this time, to stick to a more pedestrian version. I did make the basic recipe, including the green onion, but substituted sour cream for the plain yogurt, which I have never used. It was delicious! I do have to say, however, that the best part for me was to use the ingenious suggestion of the potato masher! I’ve never done that before and now that I have I won’t forget it! Makes quick work of chopping the eggs! Finally, all of the listed variations sound interesting and delicious as well. I look forward to trying them all.
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Red's Potato Salad

Reviewed: Jun. 7, 2015
Despite a great ingredients list we still found this a little on the “blah” side. I used fresh herbs rather than dried, and increased the amount accordingly for substituting one for the other. We’re thinking perhaps cutting the potatoes into smaller chunks would give them a better coating of all that other good stuff and less like eating hunks of plain, undressed potato. Some sort of all-purpose seasoning salt would be good too. Still, as this recipe’s first reviewer, I must say that with some tweaks to adjust for personal taste this is a good, basic potato salad with the potential to be great.
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Chewy Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Reviewed: Jun. 2, 2015
After so many glowing reviews and beautiful photos, I don't know what more I can add to this except for another thumbs up, assuming I have a fair amount of credibility. These. Are. Awesome good. Thick and plump with appealing raggedy edges and tops. Gooey, chewy, peanut buttery and sinfully chocolate. Just looking at them makes you want to grab one and wolf it, and once you do, you're glad you did. None of the regrets you thought you might have if you did. These are the cookies GOOD, talented, old-fashioned home cooks used to make (and some of course, still do) and come with all the wonderful memories of some of those cooks, times, tastes and aromas associated with those days. I can't say enough about these. You want to know what I changed about the recipe? Absolutely nothing. Know what I'll change when I make them again? You're right - absolutely nothing. I know some peeps here in Naples who will have very appreciative, chocolaty, smiling faces tonight. And that makes me happy.
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Seared Scallops with Spicy Papaya Sauce

Reviewed: May 31, 2015
I struggled rating this recipe since there were two of us eating this, each with different opinions. First, the preparation: Hubs did flour the scallops, under protest, in the interest of experimentation and for purposes of rating the recipe as written. He still prefers searing the scallops without flouring them. You can use higher heat and he prefers to season the scallops directly. I prepared the salsa, and as I was doing so, was not impressed. Red pepper, red papaya and red onion provided little variation in color, therefore making it look particularly uninteresting. Thank goodness for the flecks of cilantro and jalapeno for the little contrast in color they provided. As for taste, you can't go wrong with seared scallops, really, unless you overcook them. Hubs did a good job. Odd, he liked that papaya salsa much better than I did, and he doesn't care for cilantro! He found it subtle in flavor, which he appreciated as it didn't compete or distract from enjoying the delicate flavor of the scallops. I, on the other hand, found it relatively flavorless save for the cilantro. Overall I found the dish ok, I guess, but definitely not a "make again." For a tropical salsa, I would prefer something brighter, fresher, and more interesting. Mango and pineapple, or even just pineapple, would have been ideal additions. Hubs says "a four," I say "a weak three." I served this with fresh Florida sweet corn and Rick Bayless' Green Poblano Rice (excellent, by the way).
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Lemon Zucchini Bars

Reviewed: May 30, 2015
Dee-licious. Moist (a cup of oil makes that a no-brainer), lemony, but not too lemony, and prettily flecked with green zucchini. I omitted the nuts because I didn't want their distracting flavor here. Good call, for us anyway, as this cake has a very delicate flavor, because it's not burdened with spices typically associated with zucchini breads/cakes. I baked this as little cakes in small Bundt pans and gave them a lemon glaze of a cup of powdered sugar and 2 T. lemon juice - perfect to enhance that fresh, tart lemon flavor. (Important note: there is NOT enough batter here for a standard size Bundt pan. I know, because I tried - then dumped it out and filled small Bundt pans 2/3 full instead)
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Princess Cookies

Reviewed: May 28, 2015
Good enough as is, better with the lemon juice glaze suggested by the submitter. Still, even tho' I reduced the eggs called for by half for a crisper cookie as another reviewer did, I still found these too soft for my liking. In addition, even tho' I doubled the amount of lemon zest called for, I can't say these had a bold lemon flavor. In fact, I have to say that these actually had kind of a doughy, or floury taste. On the plus side, they turned out perfectly round and cute.
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Bacon Wrapped Hamburgers

Reviewed: May 28, 2015
I mixed this up early in the morning with all ingredients as listed, even tho' I lied to Hubs and told him I would honor his request not to include the Parmesan. (As an Italian who pretty much uses Parmesan cheese like salt and pepper, I've been lying like that to him for years. He's never noticed, unless he's lying to me too) After spending much of Memorial Day (my birthday) planting our garden and preparing to head out of town early the next morning, I finally sat down to enjoy My Favorite Chocolate Martini and didn't notice that when it came time for Hubs to grill the burgers he had forgotten to wrap them in bacon. And then he overcooked them to boot. But guess what - in spite of omitting a key ingredient, BACON of all things, and in spite of a rare instance where he did not grill something perfectly, these burgers were perfectly delicious! Even more evidence to support that was that my "keep the beef pure and simple with just salt and pepper" hubby thought they were pretty "D" good too! WITH the egg, which he opposed. And WITH the Parmesan, which he was clueless about. I'm thinking the Worcestershire sauce had a lot to do with that. I am looking forward to trying these again, with the bacon and cooked to a perfect medium-well. And when I do, I'll again follow the ingredients list exactly. (By the way, I had mine with a Sriracha mayonnaise I ordered online. Awesome good)
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Scrambled Eggs a la Charlotte

Reviewed: May 25, 2015
Good recipe for scrambled eggs ruined, in my view, with the inclusion of tarragon. Dried tarragon no less. Strong stuff. Fresh chives and fresh dill is the way I chose to go. Nice. As for the vegetables, I cooked them first – all but the tomato which I sprinkled over the finished eggs upon serving. Substitute another herb for the tarragon, preferably fresh, or leave it out completely, and you’ll have some pretty darned good, 4-star scrambled eggs. Rating this recipe just as written, however, I’ll give it three stars.
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Watermelon Delight

Reviewed: May 25, 2015
Five stars all the way around, for simplicity and ease of preparation, for presentation, and for pure, refreshing deliciousness.
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Joe's Homemade Mushroom Soup

Reviewed: May 23, 2015
Good job Joe! This was great stuff that Hubs and I thoroughly enjoyed! I added minced garlic to the mushroom onion mix tho’ I’m not sure I’d say it was a critical addition. Only because the milk I used was reduced-fat, I compensated by using equal parts half-and-half and milk to give it a little more richness. Loved the hint of nutmeg– it was a distinct but subtle touch. Mainly because I had them to use, I threw in some fresh chives along with the parsley – I liked the little bite of flavor they added. Had I not added the chives or the garlic, however, I doubt I would have enjoyed this any less.
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Jacolyn's Herbed Vinaigrette

Reviewed: May 23, 2015
While the herbs in this dressing were not my fav, I still liked that feature of the dressing well enough. The apple cider vinegar, on the other hand, I didn’t tolerate nearly as well as I found it too harsh. Given the boldness of the herbs, a more subtle acid like lemon juice or white wine vinegar would have been better suited here. Also, I found this on the oily side - I still prefer the 3:1 ratio of oil and vinegar.
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Low Sugar Strawberry Rhubarb Crunch

Reviewed: May 23, 2015
Disappointing. Soupy, not sweet enough, and certainly not picture worthy. Adding sugar and a thickening agent (cornstarch or flour) would be simple and necessary improvements.
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Creamed Cabbage

Reviewed: May 21, 2015
Smooth and creamy with just the slightest bit of tang from the sour cream. I really enjoyed this, but then I guess you have to like cabbage in the first place to like this because it didn't make a convert out of Hubs. If it wasn't for him and his durned pickiness I wouldn't hesitate to make this again. Pan browned brats and AR's Garlic Dill New Potatoes completed the meal.
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