Valerie's Kitchen Recipe Reviews (Pg. 7) - Allrecipes.com (18744468)

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Valerie's Kitchen

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Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies

Reviewed: Apr. 10, 2009
I noticed when adding in my dry ingredients that this recipe does not call for any baking powder/soda. I did not want flat cookies so I added in 1 tsp. of baking powder. I like the simplicity of the instructions and the fact that you use only 1 bowl. Many other reviewers mentioned increasing the amount of cream cheese which would really make this a completely different cookie. Even with just 3 oz. it adds quite a bit of richness and softness to the dough. The end result is quite soft so if you are using it for cutouts some shapes may have a tendency to break if you stack them. The flavor is very good however but I think there are better, more sturdy sugar cookie recipes out there for cutouts.
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BBQ Glazed Homemade Meatballs

Reviewed: Apr. 1, 2009
Yum! These are so easy and really good. I didn't want a ton of grease in the finished product so I cooked the meatballs without the sauce for about 30 minutes or till most of the grease had cooked out and then pulled it out of the oven and drained off the grease. At this point I poured the sauce over and continued cooking another 20-30 minutes or till cooked through. Some important notes about the sauce. I reduced the amount of brown sugar to 2 Tbsp. and it was plenty sweet. A little liquid smoke goes a long way so be careful with how much you use. I wouldn't use more than 1/2 tsp. at the most for this amount of sauce. It's good with a little worcestershire (about 1 tsp.) added in. Served with mashed potatoes. I will make this again for sure.
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Uncle White's Bread Machine Rolls

Reviewed: Mar. 22, 2009
Yum SO good! I ended up adding a bit more buttermilk than called for (about 1-1/4 cup) because it appeared to be a little dry after my bread machine got it all mixed up. Also, next time I will just go ahead and add the oil with the rest of the wet ingredients into my machine before beginning the dough cycle. I don't see any point to adding it later. Instead of using a whole stick of butter I just melted about 2 Tbsp. and brushed it on with a pastry brush during and also after baking. Instead of rolls I chose to make the dough into a loaf by rolling it into a rectangle and rolling it up from the long side, tucking ends under. The result was beautiful! Sliced beautifully, smelled wonderful and tasted even better. I will definitely use for rolls next time I need them. Thanks so much!
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Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins

Reviewed: Mar. 21, 2009
I'm always looking for ways to use up old bananas. Subbed sour cream and added a little extra cause my mixture seemed just a bit dry. Followed as written otherwise. The kids loved them!
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Perfect Berry Shortcakes

Reviewed: Mar. 18, 2009
I used my food processor which to me seems easier. I just cut the butter into small pieces and it worked great. I baked them on parchment paper and lowered the oven temp to 400. I think it could even come down to 375 to avoid getting too dark on the bottoms. I like that you can make it ahead and put the shortcake squares in the fridge till ready to bake. We served with fresh lightly sugared strawberries and cool whip. The kids added vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce to theirs.
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Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies I

Reviewed: Mar. 14, 2009
Very good. I like to refrigerate my cookie dough. It seems like they always turn out looking nicer and it makes them hold their shape really well. Just scoop out a spoonful of cold dough and roll into a ball. Also, baking on parchment paper ensures they won't get too brown or overcooked on the bottom.
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Spicy Baked Sweet Potato Fries

Reviewed: Mar. 10, 2009
I'm rating this on method only. I reduced the oven temp to 400 for about 20 minutes and then raised the oven temp to 425. Within minutes of raising the oven temp the fries became black on the side that was down. They were still edible but not very pretty. If you started them at 425 as written I think they would be ruined. I will try again with a lower temp (375-400) and then to crisp up I will broil for just a few minutes before serving.
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Kalacs (Hungarian Cinnamon Swirl Bread)

Reviewed: Mar. 9, 2009
I'm rating 3 stars because the dough was just so difficult to work with. The end result was pretty good although a little on the dry side. If I tried again I'd be inclined to add a bit more liquid and I might try it in my bread machine. My son is gobbling it up but I wasn't thrilled with the end product.
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Flank Steak a la Willyboy

Reviewed: Mar. 7, 2009
I'm rating 4 stars only because I have another recipe very similar to this that I like better. If you add the full amount of honey you really need to watch it closely as it grills because it will likely get a little too charred and you don't want a black piece of meat. Also, no oil in the marinade so definitely get some on your grill. My other recipe calls for dry sherry so if you don't have a bottle of red open you can sub this and it works well.
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Barbeque Chicken

Reviewed: Mar. 1, 2009
I'm rating 4 stars because of the issue with the sauce becoming too runny after cooking. Here's how I dealt with it. I omitted the water from the sauce but put it in a measuring cup and mixed it with about 2 Tbsp. corn starch. After cooking I pushed the chicken aside and stirred the cornstarch mixture into the sauce in the pan and, spread the chicken back out and placed the pan back in the oven for about 10 minutes. This thickend it up. I think another way to deal with this is to double the sauce and only pour half over and save the other half to pour over the chicken for the last 10 minutes it's in the oven. The flavor was great and the chicken was tender and really good.
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Refried Beans Without the Refry

Reviewed: Mar. 1, 2009
I love the idea of making refried beans from scratch. I used a weak chicken broth instead of water and added a bit of chili powder (1 tsp.) and doubled the cumin. Only added a little salt while cooking so I could taste and add as needed after. We don't like things too hot so I used some pickled jalapeno rings diced up in place of the fresh jalapeno. I think green chiles would be good too. The only reason I'm rating this 4 stars is because I felt the beans needed to cook WAY longer than stated here. I started it at 8:30 in the morning thinking I'd be ready to mash them up by 4:30 that evening. Luckily, I didn't need them that night because they needed more time. At that point I turned my crockpot down to low and let them go overnight. After cooking all night the color had deepened and they were a nice texture. I didn't get around to mashing them till that afternoon and they were perfect. They are in the fridge now to be used in a recipe later this week so I saved some of the cooking liquid to thin them if necessary on the reheat. They tasted really good!
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Bread Machine Challah II

Reviewed: Feb. 28, 2009
I've never braided a bread dough but was inspired by this recipe to try it out and it worked great! I was thrilled with the end result. Not only is it beautiful, it was fun to make and the flavor and texture are fantastic. It slices up beautifully. I'm glad it made two loaves since I'm hoping to try making french toast out of any that is left tomorrow. Many reviewers mentioned the dough being too sticky so I added about 1/4 cup additional flour. I think it would have been fine without it though. You just need to flour your board while you are working it into ropes. You don't want it to be too dry. I'll make this again for sure.
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Chicken Enchilada Soup II

Reviewed: Feb. 23, 2009
I've never found a recipe that came out tasting so much like a restaurant item before. This is exactly like Chili's enchilada soup. Here's what I did. To make sure my chicken was nice and moist I cooked it in a bit of oil, seasoned with some garlic powder and onion powder and then added a cup of chicken broth, brought to a boil, reduced heat and simmered for about 20 minutes. You should use a good quality or homemade enchilada sauce since it is so much part of the flavor of this recipe. I like the McCormick seasoning packet and it makes just a little more than needed for this. I reduced the amount of masa to 3/4 cup for a better texture and it was perfect. I used about 12 oz. velveeta and then about 1/2 cup shredded cheddar. The only other change I made was to double the chili powder (2 tsp.) and add in about 1/2 tsp. each of garlic and onion powder to the soup mixture. Taste before you add the salt, it probably won't need a whole teaspoon depending on what type of chicken broth you used. If I didn't know that I just made it, I would believe it was from Chili's. We topped with a bit of shredded cheese and some crushed tortilla chips. It's very filling and a small amount goes a long way. Good to serve as a side dish to sandwiches.
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Black Magic Cake

Reviewed: Feb. 23, 2009
Great! I used cake flour but followed exactly as written otherwise. I used this batter to make cupcakes. Since it is so thin I poured it into a 2 cup glass measure with a pour spout so I could pour it into my cupcake liners. Frosted with Creamy Chocolate Frosting from this site. This is a dark, rich cake. Yummy!
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Cottage Pudding - Upside Down Cake

Reviewed: Feb. 20, 2009
This is perfect when you just don't feel like going to the trouble of putting together an apple pie. I noticed many reviewers mentioned cutting down on the sugar in the cake batter but then doubled the sugar topping which means you end up with the same amount overall! I went with it as written with the exception of adding a 1/2 tsp. cinnamon over the apples. Had to scrape some of the apple topping out of the pan after inverting. It was really great warm with vanilla ice cream.
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Lemon Blueberry Bread

Reviewed: Feb. 20, 2009
I had a tons of meyer lemons to use up so I searched up bunch of lemon recipes, this is one I decided to make. It turned out really nice, moist, and tasty. Meyer lemons are milder and sweeter than normal lemons so I went ahead and used the juice from one lemon instead of just 3 Tbsp. I also used powdered sugar for a little more substantial glaze. Very nice!
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Cuban Pork Roast I

Reviewed: Feb. 17, 2009
I did a quick version of this using regular cumin and just mixed it all together to marinate a pork tenderloin. My husband was craving a cuban pork sandwich so after cooking (20 min. per lb.) we sliced it up and served it on some nice rolls with a touch of mayo and melted meunster cheese. It was great!
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Garlic Potatoes Gratin

Reviewed: Feb. 15, 2009
I used this recipe for method and used the ingredients I had on hand. I had yukon gold potatoes and I used a mixture of cheddar and jack. I think it works well with any time of milk or cream you have on hand as well. I followed the recipe as written other than my substitutions and it was great. A nice change from typical au gratin potatoes. Good for a special occassion meal. I served this with flank steak and roasted asparagus for Valentine's Day dinner.
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Sweet and Spicy Green Beans

Reviewed: Feb. 12, 2009
I made these last week and they were so good that they were on the menu again this week. Great way to get your kids to eat veggies. All my boys loved them. A touch of sesame oil is a nice addition but perfect as written.
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Avocado, Tomato and Mango Salsa

Reviewed: Feb. 2, 2009
This stuff is so good. I changed up the ratios just a bit and added 2 avocados and only 3 tomatoes since it's not tomato season right now. I mixed it all together and realized I forgot the olive oil but I tasted it and it was SO good I decided it didn't need it. It's super simple and really healthy. Make sure you make it just before you want to serve it cause it won't keep well at all. That doesn't matter though because it will be eaten very quickly.
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