Valerie's Kitchen Recipe Reviews (Pg. 11) - Allrecipes.com (18744468)

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Valerie's Kitchen

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Cranberry Bars

Reviewed: Feb. 28, 2008
These were well liked in my house but personally I felt they were a little dry. The recipe calls for 2 cups of cranberries but one bag has about 2-1/2 cups. Next time I would just use the whole bag since I felt the filling was a bit thin anyway. I would adjust the filling ingredients up a bit to compensate. I would also like to try adding in some frozen blueberries. I only used about 1 tsp. orange rind and it was plenty. I think the orange flavor would be overpowering with a full tablespoon. It was good served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side.
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Tex-Mex Turkey Soup

Reviewed: Feb. 25, 2008
This turned out okay although there was a lot leftover so I don't think it was a huge hit with the family. I subbed chicken which was good in this dish. I used a 14-1/2 oz. can of diced tomotoes and think the larger can would be far too much. Pretty much followed as written otherwise. I think it was very "tomatoey" which may have been why the kids didn't go for seconds. Topping it with cheese and sour cream do help tone that down a bit.
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Photo by Valerie's Kitchen

Sticky Buns I

Reviewed: Feb. 24, 2008
One packet of yeast contains 2-1/4 tsp. This recipe calls for 2-1/2 tsp. I just used one packet and it worked out fine. I used my Kitchenaid stand mixer instead of kneading by hand. I was concerned on the first rise because it didn't really rise much but I went ahead and rolled the dough out and it was beautiful! After slicing and placing in the pans they rose really well and were practically popping out of the pan. I almost rated 4 stars because there is NOT enough sticky stuff in the bottom of the pan to properly coat the rolls so you really need to increase by 1-1/2 or 2 times the butter/sugar mix. I'd be concerned it would bubble over if you doubled it though so you might want to put foil under the pans while baking. Next time I will also increase the sugar/cinnamon in the center. I'm still rating 5 stars because the dough is just so wonderful. I think the buttermilk makes them so silky. I will definitely make again with changes.
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Almond-Topped Fish

Reviewed: Feb. 18, 2008
I used Dover Sole for this but I think it would be best with a meatier fish since sole is a bit delicate. It was, however, very tasty and quite easy to prepare.
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4 users found this review helpful
Photo by Valerie's Kitchen

Chocolate Cupcakes

Reviewed: Feb. 17, 2008
These turned out so good! I had some buttermilk to use up so I subbed that for the regular milk. I recommend it if you've got some on hand. I frosted with a rich semisweet/bittersweet chocolate frosting.
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Artichoke Chicken

Reviewed: Feb. 16, 2008
I used the marinated artichoke hearts as suggested by other reviewers. I also used a combo of light sour cream and mayo to cut some fat. The end result was fantastic! Everyone loved it and the leftovers were scrumptious. Thanks!
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Whiskey Chicken

Reviewed: Feb. 15, 2008
This turned out well although I changed the baking method. I cooked my chicken on a griddle in some EVOO just to get it browned up and then transferred to a 13x9 pan. I stirred about 2 Tbsp. cornstarch into the sauce mixture and poured this over the chicken and baked it at 350 until the chicken was cooked through, about 30 minutes. The sauce thickened up nicely in the oven. You can definitely pick up the whiskey flavor a bit but it was not too overpowering even for the kids. served with mashed potatoes and peas.
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Photo by Valerie's Kitchen

Cream Puffs

Reviewed: Feb. 15, 2008
These turned out so well for me. I read many of the reviews but did not find that I needed to follow much of the advice by other reviewers and it worked fine as written. You can add a bit of sugar to the pastry dough but go easy on this because the puff is not supposed to be sweet, the sweetness comes from the filling and topping if you make a glaze. I did notice that the oven temp was a little high. Luckily I was keeping an eye on them and turned the oven temp down to 400 about midway through the baking or they would have burned. I did heaping tablespoon sized puffs and I think 20-22 min. at 400 would work best. I also chose to use parchment paper instead of greasing the pan to keep them nice and evenly baked, instead of crisp on the bottom. I filled some puffs with vanilla and some with choc filling by putting the pudding into ziploc bags and cutting of the tip to make a piping bag. I think it's best to just poke a small hole in them and fill them up. You can do this right in the top of the puff. I melted 2 squares semisweet and 2 squares bittersweet chocolate on the stove with about 1 tsp shortening and drizzled this over them. Beautiful and so tasty!
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Photo by Valerie's Kitchen

Chocolate Covered Cherry Cookies II

Reviewed: Feb. 11, 2008
This is one amazing tasting cookie!!! I recommend doubling the cookie ingredients so you can make use of all the frosting this recipe makes. Even then I had some frosting left. Just make sure you get a larger jar of cherries because the 10 oz. size only has enough for about 20 cookies. Keep the cherry juice on hand. I had to add quite a bit more to keep the frosting a good spreading consistency throughout the process. I made them for Valentine's Day and not only are they very festive looking, they taste amazing! They did not last long in my house.
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Photo by Valerie's Kitchen

Urban Legend Chocolate Chip Cookies

Reviewed: Feb. 4, 2008
These turned out great! I think running the oats through the food processor first is a great idea. The finely processed oats add nice texture without making it seem like an oatmeal cookie. Very good.
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2 users found this review helpful
Photo by Valerie's Kitchen

Blueberry Pound Cake

Reviewed: Jan. 28, 2008
Wow was this good! I used frozen blueberries with a great result. You will notice that the batter is VERY thick but don't be concerned. This is a very rich, moist, and flavorful cake. I topped with a simple powdered sugar glaze after it cooled.
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Spicy Bean Salsa

Reviewed: Jan. 27, 2008
I subbed a couple of fresh tomatoes for the canned and diced nacho rings for the canned jalapenos. They add a nice flavor and just a little heat. I made my own dressing with 2 tsp. evoo, 2 tsp. red wine vinegar and just a little garlic salt. I do think it would be good with Italian dressing but would use far less than 1 cup so it wouldn't be too soupy. The black eyed peas added such a great flavor. I'm hooked!
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Toll House Crumbcake II

Reviewed: Jan. 27, 2008
This turned out well. It makes a large 13 x 9 pan of coffee cake so it would be good for a larger group or to bring into the office.
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Oatmeal Pancakes II

Reviewed: Jan. 21, 2008
A+++++ I just made these for breakfast for dinner and my family devoured them. I followed the recipe exactly as written except mixed it up in my blender which made it very easy to pour out onto the hot griddle. The recipe states it will serve 4.....not in my house! I doubled the recipe and ended up with 14 pancakes. I will make often. Very good served with a blueberry compote.
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Blueberry Sauce

Reviewed: Jan. 21, 2008
I rated 4 stars since I modified. I scaled in half with the exception of the water. I used the juice I got from one orange which ended up being a little less than 1/2 cup based on other reviewers mentioning the overpowering orange flavor. With these mods it was fantastic served over Oatmeal Pancakes II from this site.
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Boilermaker Tailgate Chili

Reviewed: Jan. 18, 2008
Loved it! I made a few changes based on personal pref. I used only 1/2 lb. Italian sausage to try and cut a bit of fat. Used only 1 can of diced tomatoes and subbed a can of tomato sauce for the other. My kids prefer more sauce and less chunks of tomatoes. I used one can of kidney beans in place of one of the cans of chili beans to just add some texture and color. Omitted the celery, red bell pepper, chile peppers, bacon bits and tobasco (sorry we are wimps). Reduced the chili powder to 2 Tbsp. (holy cow 1/4 cup is A LOT!). With these changes everyone at my table loved it. I served it with shredded cheese, chopped green onion, chopped tomato, sour cream, and tortilla chips. I think the leftovers will make great nachos. Important note - with my mods it fit perfectly in my dutch oven which is what I always use to make chili. If you make it as written be sure to use a stock pot as directed or it will never fit. It will make a very large amount.
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Awesome Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Reviewed: Jan. 15, 2008
What a great method. Easy and clean. You can get at least 6 to 8 grilled cheese sandwiches at once (depending on the size of your baking sheet) without lugging out the electric fry pan or griddle. I had some deli ham I wanted to get rid of so actually ended up doing "Awesome Grilled Ham and Cheese Sandwiches". I didn't need to cook for as long as stated. I did on one side for 5 minutes and then flipped and only had to cook about 2 more minutes before they were very toasty and melted. I used Promise spread instead of butter with a very good result. Next time I might turn the oven temp down to 425 and see if the cook time would be closer to what the recipe calls for. I'll definitely use this method again.
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Exquisite Pizza Sauce

Reviewed: Jan. 9, 2008
I followed the recipe as written except reduced the amount of honey to 1 Tbsp. and left out the cayenne pepper. This is a great pizza sauce. I had enough for 2 large calzone but would recommend scaling up if you plan to make more than 1 large pizza.
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Photo by Valerie's Kitchen

Cranberry Chutney I

Reviewed: Jan. 8, 2008
I made this in addition to the Blue Cranberry Sauce (also on this site) for Thanksgiving this year. It was really good. As per other reviewers I reduced the amount of vinegar to 2 Tbsp. (plenty). I also chose to omit the raisins and instead added 1/4 c. diced dried apricots. Just before serving I mixed in some chopped walnuts. It was wonderful!
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Asian Sugar Snap Pea Appetizer

Reviewed: Jan. 7, 2008
I love sugar snap peas and was so happy to come across this recipe. Usually we just have them with ranch dip at parties, etc. I wanted to serve this as a side dish veggie so here's what I did. I didn't have garlic flavored olive oil so I put the peas in a bowl, drizzled them with some EVOO and mixed in a couple tsp. of minced garlic. Then I transferred this to a rimmed baking sheet that I had coated with cooking spray. I baked them at 400 for about 10-12 minutes, just till slightly tender when pierced with a fork. I used 1/2 tsp. of both the sesame oil and brown sugar and omitted the chili oil (personal preference). They were great as a side dish for baked salmon. Thanks!
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