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Original NESTLE® TOLL HOUSE® Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies

Reviewed: Dec. 6, 2011
Really good cookies! I doubled the vanilla and chilled the dough to prevent the cookies from spreading too much. I used my smallest cookie scoop. I stirred in the entire bag of dark chocolate chips and then pressed an extra 3/4 cup chips on top of the cookies right out of the oven. The cookies definitely needed extra chocolate chips! (I finally was able to locate the Nestle Dark Chocolate Chips at Target.)
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Photo by Dianne

Cooking Level: Intermediate

Home Town: Iowa City, Iowa, USA
Living In: St. Cloud, Minnesota, USA

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Jumbo Dark Chocolate Cookies

Reviewed: Dec. 2, 2011
Very good cookie. I love double chocolate cookies. I couldn't find the dark chocolate chips, so I used semi-sweet. These have a nice texture, light and crispy, yet still a little chewy. I wanted to make them more festive for the holidays, so I added 1/2 tsp. peppermint extract and about 10 peppermint candies, crushed. I saved the pretty pieces of peppermint to press onto the top of the cookies after they came out of the oven. It added a nice little crunch. No complaints here about being too salty - I used unsalted butter and 1/2 tsp. salt and they are fine. ***Update: I first reviewed this recipe when they were right out of the oven. I really liked them then. But now it's a couple days later and they are really dry and crunchy.
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Photo by Dianne

Cooking Level: Intermediate

Home Town: Iowa City, Iowa, USA
Living In: St. Cloud, Minnesota, USA

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Blueberry Pumpkin Muffins

Reviewed: Nov. 27, 2011
These muffins are great! Very moist, hefty, and delicious. I made them into five larger muffins and they did take quite a bit longer to bake--more like 35-40 minutes.
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Photo by Jcrossy

Cooking Level: Intermediate

Home Town: St. Cloud, Minnesota, USA
Living In: Appleton, Wisconsin, USA

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Sloppy Joes II

Reviewed: Nov. 16, 2011
Tasty, easy recipe for sloppy joes. Perfect for a busy weeknight.
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Photo by Dianne

Cooking Level: Intermediate

Home Town: Iowa City, Iowa, USA
Living In: St. Cloud, Minnesota, USA

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Beet Salad with Goat Cheese

Reviewed: Nov. 9, 2011
Beets and goat cheese are an awesome combination. And with the addition of the maple walnuts, I'm in salad heaven! I've never used orange juice concentrate in a dressing, but it came out very tasty. I did add a little extra balsamic vinegar because I like my dressings zippy. I found crumbled goat cheese, which is perfect for salads. You can count on me making this salad again!
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Photo by Dianne

Cooking Level: Intermediate

Home Town: Iowa City, Iowa, USA
Living In: St. Cloud, Minnesota, USA

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Golden Chicken and Autumn Vegetables

Reviewed: Nov. 9, 2011
This recipe is easy, healthy and tasty. I knew just by looking at the recipe that it would be wise to season the chicken with salt and pepper before browning. I used EVOO instead of veg. oil and I used yams instead of sweet potatoes. I deglazed the pan with about 1/4 cup dry white wine before adding the broth. I just might make this again as a quick and healthy weeknight meal.
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Photo by Dianne

Cooking Level: Intermediate

Home Town: Iowa City, Iowa, USA
Living In: St. Cloud, Minnesota, USA

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Amish White Bread

Reviewed: Nov. 7, 2011
This is a wonderful bread. Great texture and flavor, and slices so easily (also makes delicious toast!). I used my KitchenAid mixer with the dough hook to incorporate all of the flour. I had to let the bread rise for about an hour on the second rise to get it high enough. It was worth the wait because the result was one of the most beautiful loaves of yeast bread I've ever made!
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Photo by Dianne

Cooking Level: Intermediate

Home Town: Iowa City, Iowa, USA
Living In: St. Cloud, Minnesota, USA

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Slow Cooker Beef and Mushroom Stew

Reviewed: Nov. 7, 2011
We liked this. It was easy and the meat came out very tender. My only complaint is that it was a bit bland. This was easily remedied by adding salt (about 1/2 tsp). After browning the meat and removing it from the pan, I deglazed the pan with some of the wine and scraped off the fond, then poured this into the slow cooker. Don't want to waste those flavorful brown bits! We served this over egg noodles, but it would be good with mashed potatoes too.
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Photo by Dianne

Cooking Level: Intermediate

Home Town: Iowa City, Iowa, USA
Living In: St. Cloud, Minnesota, USA

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Glazed Mint Brownies

Reviewed: Nov. 4, 2011
I'm giving this recipe the benefit of the doubt and giving it 5 stars. I followed the top reviewer's advice and doubled the mint filling, but I wish I hadn't, it was way too much. The advice I do recommend following is increasing the chocolate glaze by using 3/4 cup choc. chips and 3 Tbps. butter. This made the glaze very easy to spread over the mint layer. I sprinkled some Nestle mint and chocolate chips in the brownie layer and on top. Very pretty and tasty! I can imagine making these during the holidays, coloring the mint layer pink and sprinkling crushed candy canes on top.
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Photo by Dianne

Cooking Level: Intermediate

Home Town: Iowa City, Iowa, USA
Living In: St. Cloud, Minnesota, USA

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Banana Crumb Muffins

Reviewed: Oct. 30, 2011
Great! Easy to make and it tastes great!
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Cooking Level: Intermediate

Home Town: St. Cloud, Minnesota, USA
Living In: Chicago, Illinois, USA

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Banana Muffins with a Crunch

Reviewed: Oct. 29, 2011
I've been wanting to try this recipe for quite a while, but have never found myself with the right ingredients on hand. I finally did and made them, with a few changes. I made them healthier by replacing half the flour with whole wheat flour and half the butter with organic canola oil. I reduced the sugar by 1/2 cup and added 1 tsp. ground cinnamon. I love the crunchiness of the banana chips on top!
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Photo by Dianne

Cooking Level: Intermediate

Home Town: Iowa City, Iowa, USA
Living In: St. Cloud, Minnesota, USA

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Pumpkin-Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Reviewed: Oct. 28, 2011
They are a little cake like but I love them! I did add ginger and nutmeg as well as chocolate chips instread of nuts. Mmm Will make again! They do not thin out when baking so they can be placed fairly close together.
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Photo by Summer Rose

Cooking Level: Expert

Home Town: Traverse City, Michigan, USA
Living In: St. Cloud, Minnesota, USA

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California Crescent Sandwiches

Reviewed: Oct. 20, 2011
I love any sandwich with bacon and avocado! Using the crescent rolls as bread is a neat idea. A nice change from standard sandwich bread. To make the guacamole, I simply smashed 1 avocado and mixed it with a couple pinches of salt and a splash of lemon juice. Sliced tomato and mayo were my own personal touches.
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Photo by Dianne

Cooking Level: Intermediate

Home Town: Iowa City, Iowa, USA
Living In: St. Cloud, Minnesota, USA

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Best Brownies

Reviewed: Oct. 18, 2011
These brownies are pretty awesome. The brownie part is definitely five stars - rich, moist, fudgy and great chocolate flavor. I didn't care for the frosting as much. I had to add some milk to make it spreading consistency and the next day it was quite crumbly and grainy. I did add some mini chocolate chips I had leftover from another recipe, which was a great addition. I probably will make this recipe again, but use a different frosting recipe with it.
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Photo by Dianne

Cooking Level: Intermediate

Home Town: Iowa City, Iowa, USA
Living In: St. Cloud, Minnesota, USA

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Zesty Italian Crescent Casserole

Reviewed: Oct. 16, 2011
Since I've made an effort to cook more naturally and less processed the past few years, I was a little apprehensive about trying this recipe for the Brand Ambassador program. I was pleasantly suprised however. I used the reduced fat cresent rolls, grass-fed beef and organic pasta sauce. I added a couple of cloves of garlic while browning the beef and some salt and pepper (about 1/2 tsp. each) to the beef-tomato mixture. I used shredded Colby-Jack cheese. With my doctoring, I give this recipe 5 stars and hubby says I should make it again!
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Photo by Dianne

Cooking Level: Intermediate

Home Town: Iowa City, Iowa, USA
Living In: St. Cloud, Minnesota, USA

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Cranberry Pumpkin Muffins

Reviewed: Oct. 16, 2011
These are lovely muffins. I soaked the cranberries (I used 1 cup) in hot water too plump them while I mixed up the batter. I also increased the spices to my liking. The batter was a little too dry, so I added an extra 1 Tbsp buttermilk. I got about 14 regular-sized muffins. They are delicious warmed up with a cup of hot tea.
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Photo by Dianne

Cooking Level: Intermediate

Home Town: Iowa City, Iowa, USA
Living In: St. Cloud, Minnesota, USA

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Chocolate Chip Pancakes

Reviewed: Oct. 15, 2011
Love, love, love these pancakes! They would be delicious even without the chocolate chips, but with them they are over the top! I followed the recipe exactly and they came out fluffy, delicious and perfect with a touch of maple syrup. My batter was actually kind of thick and I added just a touch more milk to make it the consistency that I like. It's worth buying real buttemilk for this recipe. I was worried the chocolate chips would melt and make a mess of my griddle, but they didn't. I highly recommend this recipe.
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Photo by Dianne

Cooking Level: Intermediate

Home Town: Iowa City, Iowa, USA
Living In: St. Cloud, Minnesota, USA

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Quick and Easy Chicken Noodle Soup

Reviewed: Oct. 13, 2011
This is a great soup and just what I needed to help me get over my cold. It's so easy and so much better than canned soup. I doubled the celery and herbs. I didn't have already-cooked-chicken, so I added the broths and brought it to a boil, then added the raw chicken, noodles and seasonings. The chicken cooked in no time. I used organic 'homemade' noodles purchased at the store to make it taste even more homemade.
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Photo by Dianne

Cooking Level: Intermediate

Home Town: Iowa City, Iowa, USA
Living In: St. Cloud, Minnesota, USA

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Italian Cream Cheese and Ricotta Cheesecake

Reviewed: Oct. 10, 2011
Followed Recipe exactly, then chilled in fridge overnight. Thank you so much, this was my first cheesecake and I was hesitant, however your recipe worked out fantastic, thank you, thank you!
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Photo by Blondezilla

Cooking Level: Expert

Home Town: Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
Living In: St. Cloud, Minnesota, USA

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Peanut Butter Chip Chocolate Cookies

Reviewed: Oct. 7, 2011
These are excellent cookies. I used 1/2 butter, 1/2 shortening and subbed 1/2 cup of the sugar with brown sugar. I set aside about 1/2 cup of the pb chips to press into the top of the cookies right out of the oven. Soft and fudgy, and you can't beat the chocolate-peanut butter combo.
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Photo by Dianne

Cooking Level: Intermediate

Home Town: Iowa City, Iowa, USA
Living In: St. Cloud, Minnesota, USA

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