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Sausage, Spinach and Ricotta Calzone

Reviewed: Jan. 29, 2013
We have a great pizza dough recipe we make in our bread machine. It can easily make two medium size pizzas. Since our children were more interested in pizza I had enough dough left over for two large calzones. It was great. My husband has a nitrate allergy, found in most sausage, so we used Al Fresco brand Sweet Italian Style Chicken Sausage (with red and green peppers in it). It comes in links pre-cooked so I diced up two links and warmed them up on the stove. Made the spinach and cheese mixture as directed, except I eliminated all the Italian type seasonings since the sausage already was very flavorful. I added the toppings as directed but sprinkled a tiny amount of mozzarella on top before folding over. Using a fork to pinch the edges works great and looks professional. I baked them on our pre-heated pizza stone for about 18 min and they were perfect. Put pizza sauce on the side. Delicious.
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4 users found this review helpful

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Photo by Alison Alfredson

Cooking Level: Intermediate

Home Town: East Lansing, Michigan, USA
Living In: Lansing, Michigan, USA

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The Best Thai Curry-Peanut Sauce

Reviewed: Jan. 20, 2013
I've made this recipe a few times and it is AMAZING!! Perfect for Chicken Satay, but also great for dipping bread, apples, carrots, or other veggies (or just my fingers). Try making the recipe with the original proportions at least the first time, then adjust to your personal taste. I think the amount of peanut butter is fine as is.
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6 users found this review helpful

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Photo by Toytle
Home Town: East Lansing, Michigan, USA
Living In: Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA

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Slow Cooker, Easy Baked Potato Soup

Reviewed: Jan. 18, 2013
Great tasting soup! I made this yesterday in my crock pot on the high setting and it was done in easily 4 hours. I opted to make it completely vegetarian so I left out the bacon and used vegetable Better Than Bouillon (a concentrated paste vs. a bouillon cube). I also added finely diced carrot for color and used one medium shallot instead of red onion. And I didn't have half & half so I replaced it with whole milk. I kept to the spices list exactly and it turned out delicious. I think the recipe is a great base. I can see other vegetables being added or meat variations. Don't be shy to swap the chicken base for vegetable. It really was delicious. I also saw some people mentioning the use of Velveeta. In my opinion, if you are going to make soup from scratch, best to use "real" food as much as possible. The traditional cheddar cheese I grated was perfect. Thank you for the recipe.
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53 users found this review helpful

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Photo by Alison Alfredson

Cooking Level: Intermediate

Home Town: East Lansing, Michigan, USA
Living In: Lansing, Michigan, USA

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Fluffy Carrot Muffins with Cream Cheese Frosting

Reviewed: Jan. 15, 2013
Mine just came out of the oven. I used unsweetened applesauce as the oil substitute. The only other change was using 1 cup white flour and the 1/3 cup ww and a sprinkling of nutmeg. They looked great coming out of the oven. They rose well and were completely done in 25 min. Though they are moist, and not dense, there still seems like there's a little lacking without the frosting. But once the cream cheese frosting is on, they taste great. I made one batch of 12 regular muffins and then another batch of 12 mini muffins and the batter gave me 8 additional regular size muffins. One batch of frosting covered 12 reg and 12 mini. The 8 remaining I will freeze. Thanks.
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1 user found this review helpful

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Photo by Alison Alfredson

Cooking Level: Intermediate

Home Town: East Lansing, Michigan, USA
Living In: Lansing, Michigan, USA

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Ham with Honey and Brown Sugar Glaze

Reviewed: Dec. 24, 2012
This was really amazing! I have always been a honey baked ham kind of girl, but this was so good, and so easy, that I'll never have to buy one of those expensive hams again! My sauce glaze didn't thicken too much, but that was fine. I basted the ham with it several times while it cooked.
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1 user found this review helpful

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Photo by MeanOldMom

Cooking Level: Expert

Home Town: Metamora, Michigan, USA
Living In: East Lansing, Michigan, USA

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Scented Applesauce-Cinnamon Ornaments

Reviewed: Dec. 4, 2012
I think the ornaments turned out nice, but the amount of cinnamon it took to make them filled the air like dust and made me sick to my stomach. Maybe I'm just really sensitive but the quantity of such an aroma was too much for me.
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2 users found this review helpful

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Photo by Alison Alfredson

Cooking Level: Intermediate

Home Town: East Lansing, Michigan, USA
Living In: Lansing, Michigan, USA

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Broccoli Potato Bake

Reviewed: Nov. 23, 2012
It sounds like I am the only one who used Monterey Jack cheese instead of Swiss or Cheddar. I really should have added more spices to it, like garlic and onion at the very least. I wanted it to stay a vegetarian meal so left all the meat options out. I did however slice up my russets into gratin style and layered them individually. This took a bit more time but what's an extra 2 minutes. Then, because I couldn't "pour" half of the potato mix in (as suggested) I ladled the cheese mixture on. Added steamed fresh broccoli, then the last layer of potatoes with the bread crumbs. Because the potatoes were thicker than the recipe called for it was not fully cooked in 35 minutes. I decided to pour some vegetable stock in the dish to speed up the cooking time and keep the potatoes from drying out. Added 15 more minutes in the oven. Each serving will need to be doctored up with some s&p and maybe some garlic powder. I don't mind trying it again but will need to make some variations.
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3 users found this review helpful

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Photo by Alison Alfredson

Cooking Level: Intermediate

Home Town: East Lansing, Michigan, USA
Living In: Lansing, Michigan, USA

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Manda's Seven Layer Taco Dip

Reviewed: Oct. 22, 2012
We use this as a main dish! Omit the cream cheese and sour cream, and add the seasoning to the refried beans. We prepare a bed of lettuce on individual plates and top it with the remaining mixture. So, if we don't eat it all, the lettuce doesn't wilt. Had to search for the pickled jalapeno pepper slices, but well worth it. So unique and fresh tasting. Love it!
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7 users found this review helpful

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Photo by Jan

Cooking Level: Intermediate

Home Town: Wichita, Kansas, USA
Living In: East Lansing, Michigan, USA

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Citrus Glazed Banana Squash

Reviewed: Sep. 20, 2012
I made this last night and it was SO easy and DELICIOUS! This is going to be a regular on our dinner menu. Thanks for sharing it!
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Photo by Karen

Cooking Level: Expert

Home Town: East Lansing, Michigan, USA
Living In: Salt Lake City, Utah, USA

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Peanut Butter Chip Chocolate Cookies

Reviewed: Sep. 18, 2012
Amazing! Used a combination of dark cocoa and the traditional kind. We also used 1/2 peanut butter chips and 1/2 milk chocolate chips (due to what we had on hand). We also had farm eggs so they were very small. Decided to use 3 to make up the difference. Perfect!!! Thank you.
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8 users found this review helpful

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Photo by Alison Alfredson

Cooking Level: Intermediate

Home Town: East Lansing, Michigan, USA
Living In: Lansing, Michigan, USA

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Nana's Slow Cooked Meaty Tomato Sauce

Reviewed: Sep. 12, 2012
I followed this to a "T" and my husband says it is the best sauce he's ever had. Second time I made it I cut way back on the meat and just used Italian Sausage. It turned out just as good! This freezes great, and now we have it on hand all the time.
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41 users found this review helpful

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Cooking Level: Intermediate

Home Town: East Lansing, Michigan, USA

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Tomato, Basil, and Feta Salad

Reviewed: Aug. 22, 2012
Perfect as is. We don't change a thing unless we don't have an ingredient. Just the usual substitutions: cherry tomatoes, any kind of basil (in jar or dried). The cucumbers don't stay fresh very long, so I usually add them about 30 minutes before serving. One of our favorites.
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2 users found this review helpful

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Photo by Jan

Cooking Level: Intermediate

Home Town: Wichita, Kansas, USA
Living In: East Lansing, Michigan, USA

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Dried Cherry Muffins

Reviewed: Aug. 6, 2012
I found a buttermilk substitute which I will use for this recipe. Others may want to try it when they don't have it on hand. 1. Place a Tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice in a liquid measuring cup. 2. Add enough milk to bring the liquid up to the one-cup line. 3. Let stand for five minute. Then, use as much as your recipe calls for.
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8 users found this review helpful

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Photo by Alison Alfredson

Cooking Level: Intermediate

Home Town: East Lansing, Michigan, USA
Living In: Lansing, Michigan, USA

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Taco Seasoning I

Reviewed: Jul. 23, 2012
Delicious. I omitted the pepper flakes because chili powder is enough heat for me. I added 1 Tbs + 1 tsp to approx 1 lb of ground turkey. Perfect for nachos, burritos, and of course tacos. I could just eat it with a spoon. I didn't have to add any water since the turkey is so lean and creates just enough juice to mix the seasoning in perfectly. Thanks for the recipe.
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5 users found this review helpful

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Photo by Alison Alfredson

Cooking Level: Intermediate

Home Town: East Lansing, Michigan, USA
Living In: Lansing, Michigan, USA

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Butter Chickpea Curry

Reviewed: Jul. 10, 2012
This is 5 stars with some modifications: cauliflower is WAY better. A little more curry powder and some more heat is good. I use diced tomatoes instead of soup. Cream or coconut milk is a must. Also, there are tons of different kinds of garam masalas out there so you should add that based on how it tastes.
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Photo by thugglife

Cooking Level: Intermediate

Home Town: East Lansing, Michigan, USA
Living In: Bucharest, Bucuresti, Romania

Thai Green Curry Chicken

Reviewed: Jul. 10, 2012
This is my junk! I make it just as directed except I add 1/4-1/3 cup of peas at the end and a little chilli powder to the sauce while cooking. I think next time I'll try it with thighs and breasts. Also, if you can find unrefined sugar (brown sugar that's not THE brown sugar) it's much better and not as sweet as using white sugar. I guess if anything, I would reduce the amount of chicken by a few grams.
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5 users found this review helpful

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Photo by thugglife

Cooking Level: Intermediate

Home Town: East Lansing, Michigan, USA
Living In: Bucharest, Bucuresti, Romania

Greek Grilled Cheese

Reviewed: Jul. 10, 2012
A good twist on the classic grilled cheese. I make this every now and again, as directed, and it's always good.
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1 user found this review helpful

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Photo by thugglife

Cooking Level: Intermediate

Home Town: East Lansing, Michigan, USA
Living In: Bucharest, Bucuresti, Romania

Slow Cooker Texas Pulled Pork

Reviewed: Jul. 10, 2012
Decent recipe, but I felt that the sauce was too spicy and watery. I wound up just saving the sauce for later and using BBQ sauce on top of the pork. After about a week, I reduced the original sauce, added a drop of liquid smoke and added some honey and then used as a wing sauce which turned out awesome.
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3 users found this review helpful

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Photo by thugglife

Cooking Level: Intermediate

Home Town: East Lansing, Michigan, USA
Living In: Bucharest, Bucuresti, Romania

Garbanzo Bean and Sausage Stew

Reviewed: Jul. 10, 2012
Really good, but definitely highly dependent on the flavor of the sausage. I used "ardelenesc" sausage that you can find here in Romania and it was awesome. I don't think it would be as good with italian sausage, but maybe that's just a personal thing. It probably would be really good with kielbasa.
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Photo by thugglife

Cooking Level: Intermediate

Home Town: East Lansing, Michigan, USA
Living In: Bucharest, Bucuresti, Romania

Lentil Soup

Reviewed: Jul. 10, 2012
Good stuff. Good for you too. Can't wait until it's not so dang hot out so I can make it again.
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Photo by thugglife

Cooking Level: Intermediate

Home Town: East Lansing, Michigan, USA
Living In: Bucharest, Bucuresti, Romania

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