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Thanksgiving Refreshment

Reviewed: Dec. 2, 2014
Very refreshing! I made this using a cranberry-pomegranate blend because that's what I had on hand. I was tempted to add more sparkling water since I didn't think 2oz would be enough to be noticeable, but it's perfect as is! Just a very nice, light fizz. The lime really kicks it up a notch too. Thanks for the fabulously simple and tasty recipe Jacqueline!
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Photo by LilSnoo

Cooking Level: Expert

Home Town: Terrace Bay, Ontario, Canada
Living In: Aurora, Illinois, USA

Toffee Bars

Reviewed: Dec. 2, 2014
This has been one of our family favorites for many years. I like a chewier cookie, so I use a smaller pan and cook a few minutes less. Easy.
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Photo by cheryl

Cooking Level: Beginning

Home Town: Chicago, Illinois, USA

Broccoli Cheese Soup V

Reviewed: Dec. 2, 2014
I halved recipe, used butter, added garlic, red pepper flake and used half velveeta half sharp cheddar. Very good soup, my husband loved it.
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Photo by mklausing15

Cooking Level: Expert

Home Town: Schaumburg, Illinois, USA
Living In: Lake Bluff, Illinois, USA

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Snickerdoodle Sandwich Cookies

Reviewed: Dec. 2, 2014
HEAVENLY! I made these for a party and all the guests were impressed. These are a little time-consuming, but totally worth it. My cookies ended up rising way more than in the pic, so the final product was more rounded that flat, but still tasty. I do have to point out that the recipe makes WAY too much frosting. You could easily get away with cutting the frosting recipe in half. It also is really thick and hard to beat, so you'll likely need to add in additional milk. The icing is also very sweet, so you don't want to overdo it. Using parchment paper really simplified the baking process. I followed the recipe exactly (well, except I used freshly grated nutmeg in a slightly reduced amount because of its potency) and I made sure I rolled each ball the same size (they were 30g each raw, and yes I'm crazy!). This ended up making 36 cookies, so 18 sandwiches.
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Photo by LilSnoo

Cooking Level: Expert

Home Town: Terrace Bay, Ontario, Canada
Living In: Aurora, Illinois, USA
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Easy Roasted Broccoli

Reviewed: Dec. 2, 2014
Very tasty basic recipe. Much better than steaming or boiling your broccoli! Easily customizable to your family's preferences by using different seasonings. The only thing I suggest is using more oil since 1 tbsp wasn't nearly enough. The pan dried out quickly. This would be excellent using flavored olive oils.
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Photo by LilSnoo

Cooking Level: Expert

Home Town: Terrace Bay, Ontario, Canada
Living In: Aurora, Illinois, USA

Veggie Pot Pie

Reviewed: Dec. 2, 2014
I follow the recipe exactly as it was and my husband (a meat eater) loved it! So did I! Best vegetarian dish I have ever had.
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Photo by IteachK1

Cooking Level: Expert

Home Town: Downers Grove, Illinois, USA
Living In: Amissville, Virginia, USA

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Country Fried Steak and Milk Gravy

Reviewed: Dec. 2, 2014
I like a little more salt and pepper on the meat before coating in flour, but this is really tasty. I sometimes make this with just the flour (skipping the eggs) for a quicker, lighter dish. "Lard" is a scary word. I just use vegetable oil.
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Photo by Allrecipes

Cooking Level: Expert

Home Town: Peoria, Illinois, USA
Living In: Saint Louis, Missouri, USA

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Parmesan Crusted Tilapia Fillets

Reviewed: Dec. 1, 2014
Fantastic! Tried it as written, using smoked paprika and it was delicious. We do like a little kick, though, so did it the next time using Penzey' s half-sharp paprika.... You won't need quite as much, but the flavor is superb! This is a dinner fave here!
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Cooking Level: Intermediate

Home Town: Chicago, Illinois, USA
Living In: Shelton, Connecticut, USA

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Deep Fried Jalapeno Slices

Reviewed: Dec. 1, 2014
This was great! Followed the recipe to a T. The batter was the perfect consistency, not too thin, not too thick. Next time, I'm going to fry some regular bell pepper rings and some onion quarters to make onion petals. My husband and I both loved this batter!
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Photo by Sarah Dice

Cooking Level: Intermediate

Home Town: Smithton, Missouri, USA
Living In: Pocahontas, Illinois, USA

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Ruth's Grandma's Pie Crust

Reviewed: Nov. 30, 2014
Awesome recipe. I substituted butter for shortening, cutting into small pieces and followed the rest. It was best crust I ever made and it was gone too fast to take a picture??
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Photo by Shakeel Syed

Cooking Level: Intermediate

Home Town: Round Lake, Illinois, USA

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Copycat Panera® Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Reviewed: Nov. 30, 2014
I made this soup for supper tonight. It was delish! The only thing I did differently was left out the carrots and diced four small red potatoes to add to the soup. Thanks for sharing gildawen!
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Photo by Jen

Cooking Level: Intermediate

Living In: Rochelle, Illinois, USA

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Emily's Pickled Eggs

Reviewed: Nov. 30, 2014
I really enjoyed these eggs. I grew up on pickled eggs, and have made at least 7-8 recipes from this site, and dozens from other sites. I do know my pickled eggs! This recipe is very good. The only thing I'd suggest is to use less salt as these are on the salty side. Otherwise, they look great (no weird "spots" like others have mentioned, and yes I left the clove in mine). The pickling spice does give the liquid a very slight yellow-brown tinge, but who cares!?!?! Is there a rule out there that picked eggs have to be pure white? I'll be making these again. Thanks Cheryl!
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Photo by LilSnoo

Cooking Level: Expert

Home Town: Terrace Bay, Ontario, Canada
Living In: Aurora, Illinois, USA

Grandma's Lemon Meringue Pie

Reviewed: Nov. 30, 2014
We made this with limes that were leftover from a margarita-making party. Excellent! Used the juice from 4 limes. Not too tart, not too sweet! Perfect.
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Photo by JOYCE LITOFF

Cooking Level: Expert

Living In: Chicago, Illinois, USA

Chef John's Caramel Apple Pie

Reviewed: Nov. 30, 2014
Absolutely awesome! I used Honeycrisp and Granny Smith apples, and it turned out amazing! I highly recommend this recipe!
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Photo by Mrs. K
Home Town: Chicago, Illinois, USA

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Cheeseburger Soup I

Reviewed: Nov. 30, 2014
Tried this as written and it was pretty good but it needed a teaspoon of salt and a quarter teaspoon of pepper. I wasn't crazy about the sharp cheddar but then that is just my taste I guess. I'll probably try mild cheddar next time and then possibly velveeta another time to see which everyone likes better.
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Photo by FatBoy

Cooking Level: Beginning

Home Town: Fairmount, Illinois, USA
Living In: Ligonier, Indiana, USA

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Grandma's Green Bean Casserole

Reviewed: Nov. 30, 2014
This was soo good. I used fresh french green beans instead of canned. It was hard to get correct measurements for fresh green beans. I ended up buying too many (two bags of 32 oz, thinking I'd use one and half, but one and half was too many for the small amount of sour cream mixture it made). Next time I will double the mixture. I also added the dried crunchy onions to the top mixture.
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Cooking Level: Intermediate

Home Town: Chicago, Illinois, USA

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Caramelized Brussels Sprouts with Pistachios

Reviewed: Nov. 30, 2014
I thought these were okay. I had high hopes. I used others recommendation and did not add vinegar to onions, only after added sprouts. I found the brussels sprouts never really caramelized. Taste was decent, nothing special.
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Cooking Level: Intermediate

Home Town: Chicago, Illinois, USA

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Chef John's Make-Ahead Turkey Gravy

Reviewed: Nov. 30, 2014
This was just wonderful. Included the 2 cloves of garlic. Instead of 10 cups cold water, used 4 cups turkey broth and 2 cups of of water. (added more broth, depending on thickness and taste in the end). I seasoned the wings before roasting with salt pepper and poultry seasoning I did not include extra salt and pepper while simmering.
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Cooking Level: Intermediate

Home Town: Chicago, Illinois, USA

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Best Spinach Dip Ever

Reviewed: Nov. 30, 2014
Only item changed is used the entire 10 ounce package of spinach. Made the night before.
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Cooking Level: Intermediate

Home Town: Chicago, Illinois, USA

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Roquefort Pear Salad

Reviewed: Nov. 30, 2014
Excellent doubled everything in the dressing ingredients besides the salt, used country dijon mustard. Also doubled the pecans and cooled on parchment paper. We used a cranberry covered goat cheese which was excellent in substitution for blue cheese (which I do not like).
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Cooking Level: Intermediate

Home Town: Chicago, Illinois, USA

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