Valerie's Kitchen Recipe Reviews (Pg. 8) - Allrecipes.com (18744468)

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Valerie's Kitchen

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Rigatoni with Spinach, Mushrooms, and Meat Sauce

Reviewed: Aug. 16, 2009
Everyone loved this.
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Chocolate Eclair Cake

Reviewed: Aug. 16, 2009
Had to bring 2 desserts to a gathering so since this looked so quick and easy I gave it a try. Although it seemed to go over pretty well at the party, I didn't care for the taste of it. It basically tastes like pudding and graham crackers. I don't think I'd make it again. OK I'm here updating my review because since I wrote it, my 14 yr. old son told me that he absolutely loved this dessert and heard many others at the party talking about it. He wants me to make it again. Well, what do you know??? :)
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White Rice for Burritos

Reviewed: Aug. 14, 2009
Connor likes even better than my Mexican Rice recipe. Great with Cuban steak burritos.
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Photo by Valerie's Kitchen

Cuban Ropa Vieja

Reviewed: Aug. 14, 2009
This was really good. After the meat got nice and tender I removed it to a cutting board to slice/shred it up. I poured the cooking sauce into a bowl and placed the meat back into the crock pot mixing in enough of the sauce just to get moistened. I served the remaining sauce on the side for people to add as wanted. I served with rice, black beans, and traditional burrito toppings on flour tortillas. Great!
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3 users found this review helpful

Blueberry Lemon Bread

Reviewed: Aug. 9, 2009
Very very good! I followed the recipe just as written and the result was fantastic. I made a simple glaze by mixing some powdered sugar with milk and then squeezed the juice from 1/2 of the lemon that I zested into it. Poured this over the top after it sat out of oven for about 10 minutes. So fresh, not too sweet, perfect!
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5 users found this review helpful

Mom's Chocolate Cake

Reviewed: May 30, 2009
A great birthday cake.
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Photo by Valerie's Kitchen

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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Steak Bites

Reviewed: Mar. 21, 2009
These are just as good as Capers. Unbelievable!
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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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Photo by Valerie's Kitchen

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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Photo by Valerie's Kitchen

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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2 users found this review helpful
Photo by Valerie's Kitchen

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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Val's Mexican Casserole

Reviewed: Mar. 4, 2009
Everyone including Jake liked it.
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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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3 users found this review helpful
Photo by Valerie's Kitchen

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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