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Mom's Oatmeal Blueberry Pancakes

Reviewed: Mar. 28, 2015
I think the submitter meant to use quick oats and not regular rolled oats. But this is easily fixed by soaking the oats in the buttermilk first. I soaked the oats for 1/2 an hour in half the buttermilk. And when I added everything else I just added extra flour until I got the consistency I liked (I like thinner pancakes) I used a porridge oat blend that has flax seeds, wheat germ, oat bran and large flaked oats. It definitely helped to soak them first so everything softened. This could be a 5 star raving recipe if the proper oats were specified in the ingredients, or if the instructions called for soaking first. So with that, I'll give it 4 stars because the whole family loved them!!
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Photo by westcoastmom

Cooking Level: Expert

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Hamburger Steak with Onions and Gravy

Reviewed: Mar. 27, 2015
The best Salisbury steak on here! I love that it doesn't use any canned or boxed soups and gravy. I used a cornstarch slurry instead of flour, and doubled the recipe. I didn't have the cooking sherry, but I used a couple drops of soy sauce just to add the browning flavor, so I left out the salt and just used garlic and pepper in the gravy for seasoning. This reminds me of the old tv dinners we had as kids, so I served them in retro divider plates with mashed potatoes and corn. My kids loved it!
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Photo by westcoastmom

Cooking Level: Expert

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Asian Glazed Chicken Thighs

Reviewed: Mar. 26, 2015
Like others, I thought there was way too much sesame oil so I only added a few drops. I decided to marinate this longer so I left out the vinegar and marinated for a few hours. I scored the chicken thighs with a knife to let the marinade seep in. I added the vinegar when I made the sauce on the stove, and cooked the marinade from the chicken as well. I used far less chili oil as my kids were eating this, so we just served it with hot sauce on the side for us adults! My husband and I loved it, my picky kids not so much but they ate most of it! ;) I think next time I'll add a bit of ginger since I left out most of the chili oil, to make even more delish!
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Photo by westcoastmom

Cooking Level: Expert

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Fruit of the Forest Pie

Reviewed: Mar. 13, 2015
Right off the bat, I saw that this pie had no flour or starch and knew there must have been a mistake in not listing it. As an experienced baker I thought I could save this recipe. I used 3 Tablespoons of cornstarch, and a 1/2 cup of sugar (the recipe calls for 2 T of sugar or to taste) If you're using really tart apples you'll probably want to up that amount as a 1/2 cup wasn't very sweet. The baking temp. is off too. I cooked it at 375 for 45 minutes then turned the heat up for the last 5 minutes to brown the top. 350 is not hot enough to cook this pie! Alas, even the cornstarch I added was not enough, the pie is swimming in liquid. I used all fresh berries and fruit too. Next time I would add at least a 1/3 cup of flour. I really wanted this recipe to work, the flavours are there, it just needs better cooking time and an accurate amount of thickener.
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Cooking Level: Expert

Chef John's Smothered Pork Chops

Reviewed: Mar. 13, 2015
Absolutely delish! My kids even gobbled it up and they are not onion lovers! I served this with an Asian inspired rice with sesame oil and peas, so with that in mind I used a good quality low sodium chicken broth and added a few dashes of soy sauce to the gravy.(and no added salt)I used olive oil instead of butter and skipped the buttermilk because of dairy allergies (just added extra broth), the gravy/sauce was still rich and delicious and everyone had seconds! A perfect weeknight meal!
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Photo by westcoastmom

Cooking Level: Expert

Soft Sugar Cookies IV

Reviewed: Mar. 10, 2015
Disappointed. Followed the recipe exactly and found them salty and hard to put together. 11 minutes isn't enough time for the bulk of the cookie but any longer and the bottoms burn. Very disappointing.
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Photo by devoncarruthers

Cooking Level: Expert

Loaded Cauliflower

Reviewed: Mar. 6, 2015
This was delicious, fast and easy too.
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Photo by murr

Cooking Level: Intermediate

Home Town: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Carrot Oatmeal Muffins

Reviewed: Mar. 3, 2015
This is my recipe, it is a very old recipe now! My original recipe said to use unsweetened coconut and unsweetened pineapple, so that is what I use! I have also been making it with 3/4 cup of oil. You would not need all the oil if you use all white flour, the whole wheat flour absorbs more moisture so it needs the extra oil (or oil substitutes) as well as the unsweetened coconut being drier and absorbing more moisture. I came up with the cream cheese on the inside so that I can pack it in lunches and get a carrot cake type snack that was easily transportable! Thanks to all who have tried this over the years!
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Photo by westcoastmom

Cooking Level: Expert

Baked Mushroom Thighs

Reviewed: Mar. 1, 2015
I just tried this recipe and was not happy about it at all. I would recommend not using bone in chicken. It was messy to eat. I added garlic and poultry seasoning as suggested by others to add extra flavour but still wouldn't make it again. It was quite bland and I am going to throw out 95% of it.
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Photo by Sue

Cooking Level: Expert

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NO YOLKS® Chicken Noodle Soup

Reviewed: Feb. 27, 2015
I followed the recipe exactly, and it turned out perfectly! Our family of four enjoyed this soup for lunches over a few days of "at home sick time". Perfect comfort food!
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Photo by westcoastmom

Cooking Level: Expert

Stephanie's Freezer Spaghetti Sauce

Reviewed: Feb. 20, 2015
I suggest using shredded carrots, (2 or three of them), to replace the sugar. I have also added mushrooms (a pound of sliced white mushrooms is nice for most people, but I would put in 3-4 if I could being a BIG mushroom lover) and 2-3 diced zucchini. This adds more veggies to the sauce and makes moms happier when their kids eat veggies. Who's gonna tell the kids right? I also cook this in a big pot on the stove, putting the tomato paste in at the beginning. My sister bakes hers in the oven. This is an all day thing, cutting veggies at 6 to get the sauce on the stove at 8am in time for dinner at 6 pm. The house smells great, and the sauce freezes well in single portions, (1 cup), or multiple portions 4 or more depending on who is at the table and portion size. Can throw meat in or veggie ground round, and adjust for spiciness.
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Cooking Level: Intermediate

Home Town: North Bay, Ontario, Canada

Banana Cake VIII

Reviewed: Feb. 20, 2015
This should be called "The Best Ever Banana Cake". It is the best Banana cake on this site! Others masquerade as banana bread, but this is a light airy cake, perfect texture! Great if you have a ton of bananas to use up, I used 6 bananas in this. The only thing I didn't do was add the peanuts and sugar to the topping. Looking at reviews it didn't seem to go over well with some people, but the cake portion is absolutely perfect and deserves 5 stars!!
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Photo by westcoastmom

Cooking Level: Expert

Surprise Banana Cake

Reviewed: Feb. 18, 2015
I have to completely disagree with Krizia's review of this recipe. Krizia says the baking soda is useless in this recipe because it needs an acid to react with. Well, bananas are acidic!!! Butter is acidic also. That said I think Krizia was expecting a light cake, and probably thought the cake needed baking powder to help with the rise. This recipe is not a true cake, it is more like a banana bread(most banana breads only use baking soda as a chemical leavener)It is still a delicious cake/loaf, and as long as you don't over mix the batter you should end up with a moist banana-bread-type snacking cake.
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Photo by westcoastmom

Cooking Level: Expert

Photo by Amber Spencer-Gardner

Tasty Shepherd's Pie with Mashed Cauliflower and Ground Turkey

Reviewed: Feb. 15, 2015
I made this recipe for the first time and it turned out beautifully. I didn't have any frozen peas so I substituted with a can of corn. A friend of mine doesn't like cooked cauliflower but really enjoyed the new twist on an old favorite. I will definitely make it again.
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Photo by Amber Spencer-Gardner

Cooking Level: Intermediate

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Sweetheart Cupcakes

Reviewed: Feb. 13, 2015
Fantastic! I used a cherry chip cake mix and did a chocolate filling by adding a little cocoa powder to the remaining batter. That taste combo is great!
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Photo by westcoastmom

Cooking Level: Expert

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Pan-Seared Chicken Breasts with Shallots

Reviewed: Feb. 11, 2015
Quick, easy, simple, delicious! I used extra garlic because we love it. I usually have a good organic chicken stock on hand; but I happened to have the little tubs of knorr homestyle concentrated chicken stock, it was perfect in this as it has a little herb flavor to it. Perfect weeknight meal!
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Photo by westcoastmom

Cooking Level: Expert

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Heavenly Lemon Cake

Reviewed: Feb. 10, 2015
This is a wonderful lemony pound cake! I highly recommend that you mix the lemon zest with the sugar first, stirring it together with a fork so the lemon oils get fully incorporated into the sugar. This makes a more even lemon flavor throughout the cake as well as dispersing the zest more evenly. I like to let the zest and sugar hang out while the butter is softening. I only used one cup of sugar and it worked out perfectly for me. I used an 8 inch square cake pan and checked the cake after 35 minutes and it was fully done (it could have been ready earlier then that so I would check on it around 30 minutes next time). I also would not skip out on the lemon syrup, this dense cake would be very dry without it! I dusted the cake with powdered sugar to make it a little prettier and cover up the holes from the syrup. This is great served with some blueberry sauce and dollop of whip cream!
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Photo by westcoastmom

Cooking Level: Expert

Ciabatta Bread

Reviewed: Feb. 2, 2015
Recipe works perfectly. Great for sandwiches!
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Photo by Deborah

Cooking Level: Intermediate

Home Town: Seattle, Washington, USA
Photo by westcoastmom

Banana Peanut Butter Muffins

Reviewed: Feb. 2, 2015
Great Muffins! My kids loved them! They are light and airy, not heavy like most peanut butter muffins. I used all natural peanut butter and 2 large bananas. Because I have a newer Baker's Secret dark coated muffin tin I find I have to bake with it at a lower temp., so I cooked them at 375f for 20 minutes and it was perfect in my oven. Thanks for sharing your recipe Ann, delish!
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Photo by westcoastmom

Cooking Level: Expert

Deborah's Chocolate Cake

Reviewed: Jan. 28, 2015
This is my go-to recipe for chocolate cake.
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Photo by Deborah

Cooking Level: Intermediate

Home Town: Seattle, Washington, USA

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