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Carrot Cake I

Reviewed: Aug. 31, 2014
This is a good recipe, probably the best carrot cake that doesn`t use pineapple. I didn`t make the frosting and cut the cake into squares. Based on the previous reviews I used 3/4 cup vegetable oil, white and brown sugar (just 1 1/2 cup, it was enough for us) and soaked raisin. Added coconut flakes too. I baked it for 45 minutes. Came out moist and tasty.
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Photo by DiamondGirl amanecer

Cooking Level: Intermediate

Tomato Almond Pesto (Trapanese)

Reviewed: Aug. 24, 2014
I almost fell right into the trap of giving this recipe fewer than five stars, and self-promoting by mentioning how I would change it to suit my tastes. This is a solid recipe, with great ingredients, using sound cooking practices, and while my tastes differ somewhat, the original contributor should enjoy kudos for introducing me to something I hadn't otherwise experienced before. Thank you Casual Cook!
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Bistec Encebollao

Reviewed: Aug. 20, 2014
3,5 stars. This isn`t a bad recipe, but not a great recipe for us. Maybe I had a strong vinegar but the taste of vinegar was overpowered. The meat had a tangy flavor although it was very moist. Very easy to make too. Probably won`t make again.
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Photo by DiamondGirl amanecer

Cooking Level: Intermediate

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Skillet Apple Brownie

Reviewed: Jul. 27, 2014
This brownie was very good, tasty and nutricious with the great texture. Very easy to make. I added a little less sugar and used walnuts instead of pecan, but it will definitely be great with any nuts or even raisins. I will make this very often in apple season.
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Cooking Level: Intermediate

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Sicilian Easter Pie

Reviewed: Apr. 20, 2014
This is a good, nice, but not a rich pie. Delicious on its own, but the taste is not very festive. I agree with other reviewers that the dough is very difficult to work with. 2 cups flour is too much, I added 1 3/4 cups and it was plenty. The dough is crumbly and it is imposible to cut it. I put it into baking springform and pressed with my fingers. It is the only one that I could do with it. I didn't have enough of the dough to make the lattice strips. So I ended up making crumble topping. The recipe makes too much filling, so be sure to make large edges. The filling is a little runny but it sets quickly in the oven. I think the pie has too much rice, 3/4 cup would be enough.
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Photo by DiamondGirl amanecer

Cooking Level: Intermediate

Chicken Tagine

Reviewed: Jan. 26, 2014
very tasty. was able to freeze half for another night. probably don't need to brown the chicken or eggplant but will try that next time.
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Photo by CAROLYNBASS

Cooking Level: Intermediate

Home Town: Palo Alto, California, USA
Living In: Moscow, Moscow (Federal City), Russia

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Meatball Nirvana

Reviewed: Jan. 26, 2014
awesome. have never made meatballs before and followed the recipe to a T. froze half of them and definitely plan to make these again. delicious.
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Photo by CAROLYNBASS

Cooking Level: Intermediate

Home Town: Palo Alto, California, USA
Living In: Moscow, Moscow (Federal City), Russia

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Easy Caramelized Onion Pork Chops

Reviewed: Jan. 26, 2014
overall pretty good, and certainly easy. followed other suggestions to remove chops and add sugar to better caramelize the onions on their own. then put the chops back to simmer for roughly 30 minutes. then added corn starch to thicken the sauce. removed lid after 10 min because it wasn't reducing or thickening. eventually gave up on "gravy" but flavor was fantastic and we just poured the onions and sauce on top of the chops.
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Photo by CAROLYNBASS

Cooking Level: Intermediate

Home Town: Palo Alto, California, USA
Living In: Moscow, Moscow (Federal City), Russia

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Best Bread Pudding with Vanilla Sauce

Reviewed: Jan. 13, 2014
This was very good, nutricious and delicious. I followed the recipe exactly, but used a little less sugar. This makes a great breakfast. Definitely will try this again, playing with other dried fruits.
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Cooking Level: Intermediate

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Grandma's Lemon Meringue Pie

Reviewed: Jan. 1, 2014
This is a very good recipe. The pie is lemony, delicious and very refreshing. The perfect balance between sweet and sour. The curd concistency is perfect. I used just 3 egg whites for the merengue because egg yolk dropped into egg whites and realized with four whites it would be better. Will use this recipe again especially in the summertime.
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Cooking Level: Intermediate

Slow Cooker Tamale Pie

Reviewed: Dec. 24, 2013
Loved this recipe! Did modify a bit, as others have. Sauteed onion, red bell pepper and half a fresh jalapeno pepper until translucent. Added beef to pot and browned. Added several shakes of Mrs. Dash Spicy. When browned, put beef mixture in crock pot, added a can of medium spicy enchilada sauce and one small can tomato paste. Also added half a bag of frozen corn and a small can of sliced black olives. I used 2 boxes of Jiff cornbread mix, 2 eggs and 2/3 cup of milk mixed, then added 1 cup cheddar cheese. I poured that on top of the beef already in the crock pot and put it on low for 4 hours. When it was done, I topped it with more cheddar cheese and more black olives and then put it under the broiler just to melt the cheese.
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Photo by Michele Lagueux

Cooking Level: Expert

Home Town: Alexandria, Virginia, USA
Living In: Moscow, Moscow (Federal City), Russia

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Avocado Paletas

Reviewed: Dec. 5, 2013
I have a very similar recipe, I just use 2 avocados. This is a great summertime dessert, avocado and lime make a wonderful combination. Not too sweet, but you can definitely use less sugar if desired.
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Photo by DiamondGirl amanecer

Cooking Level: Intermediate

Russian Cabbage Borscht

Reviewed: Nov. 22, 2013
Being Russian myself I have the courage to say this is a great borscht recipe with Russian flavor. Believe me. Remember the main thing: there is not the one authentic borcsht recipe, every single family make this dish her own way. There are thousand variations and interpretations of this dish. We have the main ingredients - beets, cabbage (not exactly red, you can easily use a regular white cabbage), potatoes, carrots and onions. And then use your imagination. Some people make meet borscht using pork or beef, some add mushrooms, I`ve heard of even adding prunes. As to this recipe I would change the proportions a little just for my taste. I would use 1 1/2 cup beets, only one large onion and less tomato puree (tomatoes are optional but make the borscht tastier). Don`t substitute cumin for caraway seeds. Cumin has an oriental flavor that can ruin Russian flavor in borscht. If you don`t have caraway seeds just omit then, they are optional. And definitely serve the borscht with sour cream, very traditional. The borscht consistency depends on your personal preference, if you prefer thick, add less water or more vegetables, if you prefer watery, add more water. So if you want to try Russian borscht, this is a great recipe to start.
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Cooking Level: Intermediate

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Pumpkin Spice Hot Chocolate

Reviewed: Nov. 2, 2013
Thank you very much for posting this recipe. I can`t believe the pumpkin/chocolate combination is so good. This hot chocolate is just fabulous. I have never thought it has pumpkin in it.
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Cooking Level: Intermediate

Pasta Isabarte

Reviewed: Oct. 29, 2013
This is a great idea, but I had problems with this recipe. At first, all the sauce evaporated in the oven and the final dry was dry like pasta a little coated with the sauce. At second, the dish didn`t hold its shape and looked like a regular boiled pasta. I don`t know what exactly happened, I made a similar dish before and everything was good with it. But I liked the idea and the ingredients and I would play with the proportions to make it right for myself.
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Cooking Level: Intermediate

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Pasta Fazul

Reviewed: Oct. 6, 2013
This was very delicious. I used just a little more than one cup of beans and think it was enough. I am glad I found this recipe, it makes a great vegetarian and nutricious pasta dish.
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Cooking Level: Intermediate

Winter Solstice Soup

Reviewed: Sep. 5, 2013
Was looking around for a simple soup to go along with lunch today and found this. Very simple, especially if you like the taste of carrots and potatoes. Didn't have parsley and thyme on hand, used fresh coriander instead. My mother didn't particularly care for this soup, but my sister and I really enjoyed it. Added a healthy pinch of chili to suit our tastes. Will make again using the reccomended herbs, and then again following a suggestion of one of the reviewers to add curry. Oh, didn't read the exact instructions before making, and I tossed in the onions, potatoes and carrots all at the same time. Used a mixture of butter and olive oil, and reduced the quantity too. Lovely golden color.
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Photo by Kiren K

Cooking Level: Intermediate

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Costa del Sol Barbeque Sauce

Reviewed: Sep. 2, 2013
This is a delicious sauce. For the first time I added less sugar and honey than the recipe calls for because I am afraid of extra sweetness. But these ingredients work well and give a right sweetness for barbeque sauce. Although I used the sauce over pasta. Definitely will try this sauce exactly for barbeque someday.
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Cooking Level: Intermediate

Buttercream Icing

Reviewed: Aug. 27, 2013
It's came out pretty good, but as others recommended here I used shortening, but I replaced half shortening with cream cheese as we love it. So I ended up with 50/25/25% butter/ shortening/cream cheese. I also used half sugar (and for me it was still soooooo sweet:) ), and doubled vanilla extract. As I was going to decorate my cake with grass, I also found that adding 1 tsp of cream of tartar helps my cream to hold better.
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Photo by MercyRenee

Cooking Level: Intermediate

Home Town: Moscow, Moscow (Federal City), Russia

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Dreamy Nighttime Drink

Reviewed: Aug. 27, 2013
I just have realized I know this drink and make it often, so decided to review it. This is a great way to drink milk. I added nutmeg along with the cinnamon.
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Cooking Level: Intermediate


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