Valerie's Kitchen Recipe Reviews (Pg. 2) - Allrecipes.com (18744468)

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Valerie's Kitchen

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Chiliville Chili

Reviewed: Mar. 15, 2013
I made this with a few modifications to suit our taste and we loved it! Instead of the 3 cans of diced tomatoes I just used one can of Rotel tomatoes and a 28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes. I did one can of kidney beans and one can of pinto beans for a little variety. Based on the comments from other reviewers, I omitted the brown sugar and I'm glad I did. Italian sausage has a bit of sweetness so unless you like your chili very sweet, I would not add it. We topped our bowls of chili with sour cream and chopped avocado and scooped it up with tortilla chips. Yummy!
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Braised Italian Sausage Stew

Reviewed: Mar. 10, 2013
My whole family loved this one. I made some substitutions to use what I had on hand (Yukon gold potatoes for the parsnips and fresh spinach for the swiss chard) but followed as directed otherwise. I loved the addition of barley which acts as a thickener and gives the stew a nice consistency. Comforting, hearty, and wholesome!
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Grands!® Monkey Bread

Reviewed: Jan. 27, 2013
All I've got to say is YUM! Actually, I have a little more to say. This is a fun and easy recipe to make with your kids. Little hands will have fun tossing the biscuit pieces in the sugar mixture and they will feel like accomplished bakers when they taste the finished product. You can change it up with different nuts, or other add-ins. It is a winner!
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Golden Rum Cake

Reviewed: Jan. 3, 2013
I made this cake for my stepmom's birthday, at her request. I'm not one who typically bakes a cake from a boxed mix but I've go to tell you, this went over extremely well with the group who devoured it. I used pecans instead of walnuts (stepmom's request) and used Captain Morgan spiced rum which was just fine in this. Very moist and flavorful cake!
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Jumbo Dark Chocolate Cookies

Reviewed: Jan. 1, 2013
They taste as good as they look! Be sure not to over bake. Get them out of the oven when they still appear to be a little under done and they will continue to set up and be just perfect after they sit on the cookies sheets for 5 minutes. Delicious!
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Swanson® Ultra Creamy Mashed Potatoes

Reviewed: Nov. 17, 2012
Cooking the potatoes in chicken broth added a depth of flavor you don't get in plain old mashed potatoes. I used reduced fat milk in place of the cream with a great result. These taste great all on their own without gravy. Loved them!
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Chocolate Scotcheroos

Reviewed: Oct. 24, 2012
These are very sweet and therefore a very kid-friendly treat. The adults were also happy to indulge.
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Breakfast Quiches to Go

Reviewed: Oct. 15, 2012
These were very tasty with a couple additions. The garlic butter variety of crescent roll dough was not available at my store so I just used the standard variety. I used reduced fat cream cheese to cut the fat content a little. I felt some seasoning was needed so I added 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder to the mixture, along with some sea salt, and fresh ground pepper. I cooked up some bacon and crumbled the pieces over the top of the quiches before baking. They are delicious!
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Chocolate-Filled Crescents

Reviewed: Oct. 11, 2012
These are fabulous! I mixed up a lightly sweetened mascarpone cheese and added a dollop to each crescent along with the mini chocolate chips. They are dangerous! Incredibly fast easy with such an elegant result.
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Italian Chicken Sausage Risotto

Reviewed: Sep. 30, 2012
I subbed the garlic chicken sausage since that is what my local store carried and I think it was great in this. Risotto typically takes a little more time to absorb the liquid and get nice and creamy so you may need to add about 20 minutes or so to the cooking time. It's better if you don't rush it.
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Basmati and Snow Pea Stir Fry with Teriyaki Chicken Meatballs

Reviewed: Sep. 13, 2012
I made this for my teenage sons and it was gone in a flash. Simple and absolutely delicious!
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Cheese-Stuffed Giant Meatballs

Reviewed: Sep. 10, 2012
I used more ground beef than called for because I could not figure out how you could fill 12 muffin cups if you only used 1 pound (16 oz.) of meat. I used just over 2 pounds of meat and ended up with 14 which was perfect for us. Based on all the other helpful reviews, I decided to add about a teaspoon of garlic pepper and I used fresh mozzarella instead of the sticks. Unfortunately, even with the additional spice, we felt it was bland. Young kids might enjoy it but my 17 and 19 year old thought it was just okay.
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Easy Weeknight Bacon Mac 'n Cheese

Reviewed: Sep. 9, 2012
I went ahead and used an entire box (1 lb.) of penne which is about 1 cup more than called for here. I hate to open a box and not use it all. For us the pasta to sauce ratio was just right with this change. I also cooked up a batch of bacon instead of using the packaged variety. I find it difficult to shred processed cheese because it is very soft so instead, I cubed it and dropped it into the sauce mixture while it was simmering and allowed it to melt. I LOVE the Progresso Italian style panko bread crumbs and they are a staple in my pantry. They add nice texture to the dish and the red bell pepper adds nice color contrast. I made this for my two teenage boys and although it isn't the same as "from scratch" they seemed pleased. Especially with the bacon :)
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Potatoes Supreme

Reviewed: Aug. 8, 2012
I've been doing a potato dish similar to this one for years. I lighten it up by using lite sour cream and reducing the cheese down to just one cup. Instead of topping with additional cheese, I sprinkle with a bit of paprika for color. It is still plenty rich and indulgent tasting. There is an error in that the ingredient list has both regular and green onions but the directions only mention the green onions. I think one or the other would be fine or you can omit them altogether.
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Simple Cucumber Salad

Reviewed: Aug. 8, 2012
This is a nice refreshing summer side. I used red onion for contrast and light sour cream to lighten it up. I felt it needed a touch of salt but otherwise it was good as written. I served it over a bed of greens with cherry tomatoes scattered around.
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Teresa's Hearty Chicken Cacciatore

Reviewed: Aug. 6, 2012
This was excellent! Rustic, Italian comfort food. I backed off the crushed red pepper, only using about 1 teaspoon and still got a nice little bite. I removed the skin from the chicken thighs which is what we prefer and I seasoned it with salt and pepper on each side while sauteing. Used 2 packages of thighs which gave me 8 pieces. Otherwise followed as written. You can sub any kind of pasta you've got in the pantry. Really good!
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Crab and Artichoke Tarts

Reviewed: Aug. 5, 2012
I loved the list of ingredients but was not happy with the result. I used frozen mini phyllo pastry shells because I searched high and low for the frozen tart shells to no avail. I think ready made pie crust cut into small circles and placed in a mini muffin tin would work as well. The filling was bland. I think it needs more seasoning or some fresh garlic to liven it up. Not great.
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Seven Layer Magic Cookie Bars

Reviewed: Jul. 30, 2012
These are classic and always so good! You can switch it up and use whatever baking chips you have on hand. This time I'm using milk chocolate and dark chocolate chips but it is excellent as written.
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Berry Best Blackberry Cobbler

Reviewed: Jul. 15, 2012
There is far too much liquid for the amount of dry ingredients and should be halved. Also, if you don't add some sugar to the berries, the result will be very tart unless you have some extremely sweet berries. I suggest adding at least a couple tablespoons of sugar to the berries. I could only give this one 3 stars taking these things into consideration.
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Sweet Basil and Oregano Bruschetta Chicken

Reviewed: Jul. 3, 2012
My family thought that this was another winner from McCormick. I will keep these mixes on hand to throw in on busy days cause they are incredibly easy and my boys are always very happy with the result. You could really make it your own by adding additional veggies but it is delicious as is!
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