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Coconut Poke Cake

Reviewed: Jun. 18, 2015
I have been making this cake for what seems like forever, only I much prefer using a yellow cake mix, much more flavorful. I toast the coconut before putting it over the top of the cake. Always a hit!
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Cooking Level: Expert

Living In: Debary, Florida, USA

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Strawberry Pretzel Salad

Reviewed: Apr. 3, 2015
I have been dreaming of this for about a month, and I jumped at the chance to make it at our next family gathering. However I was a little disappointed. The filling and topping was wonderful, but as good as I thought it would be I did not enjoy the taste of the pretzel crust with it. If I make it again I will try a graham cracker or cookie crust as some suggested. A splash of vanilla to the cream cheese layer adds more flavor and made it very yummy. I used frozen sliced strawberries w/ syrup, so I decreased the amount of water by about 1/2 cup to account for the liquid with the berries. It made the topping very good. I am looking forward to trying some other flavor variations.
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Cooking Level: Expert

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Slow-Cooker Pepper Steak

Reviewed: Mar. 24, 2015
Made this for dinner tonight and it turned out really well. After slicing, browning and putting garlic on the steak, I put it in the slow cooker with the other ingredients for about 5 hours on high which allowed the meat (I used filet mignon because we always keep it in the freezer) to tenderize very nicely. As many reviewers suggested, I waited until about 45 minutes until serve time to add the peppers - I used red, orange and yellow ones. Also, I omitted the stewed tomatoes because I was going for a more meaty flavor rather than a tomato-y one. I also quadrupled the water, corn starch and beef bouillon cubes so I would have plenty of gravy. I added a splash of Worcestershire sauce per some reviewers' recommendations. When everything was cooked perfectly tender, I served it over white rice and it was very good. I think that it would turn out just as well using a less costly cut of meat (such as sirloin per the recipe). Also, I would like to figure out how to make the gravy a little more flavorful; I felt like I needed to give it a stronger flavor but I am not sure how to do so.
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Baked Potato Soup I

Reviewed: Mar. 6, 2015
I made some minor modifications: I used 4 cups of chicken broth + 4 cups of whole milk rather than 7 cups of milk that is prescribed; I did not use the sour cream; I added several chopped up stalks of celery; I used real butter instead of margarine and I used regular yellow onion rather than green onion. The soup turned out great! The flavor and consistency were very good. I don't eat pork so I used turkey bacon rather than pork bacon. My only suggestions are: 1. Use the bacon as a garnish on top of the soup at the time that it is served so that it stays crunchy; and 2. Use more potatoes than the stated four (it needed about 2-3 more potatoes in my opinion).
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Cooking Level: Expert

Grandmother's Buttermilk Cornbread

Reviewed: Feb. 19, 2015
I used about 1/4 cup of sugar rather than the 2/3 cup it called for and that made it sweet enough for me. I don't like cornbread that is too sweet or cake-like; I prefer a little more of a salty, cornmeal-y taste in the balance. Otherwise, I followed the recipe exactly. My cornbread turned out just a little crumbly although really not too dry. It was good but I feel that I need to tweak the recipe some to suit my personal taste and expectations. Thanks for sharing your family's recipe, Bethany!
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Cooking Level: Expert

Banana Cake VI

Reviewed: Feb. 16, 2015
I followed the recipe exactly, including baking at 275 degrees. The middle of the cake was still runny after one hour, so I ended up leaving it in for a total of almost two hours. The banana flavor was very good. The cake is a little dense, but did not taste like banana bread to me. I used a 9X13 pan as prescribed, which caused the cake to be quite thick (about 2.75 inches tall). I used a metal Circulon cake pan and wonder how the composition of the pan (such as metal versus Pyrex) affects the cook time and final product. Most reviewers have not commented on this detail. My husband, who is not a big fan of bananas but loves sugar and sweets, liked the cake but would have preferred a shorter, sweeter cake with more icing (I only used 1/2 of the icing that this recipe made). I would definitely make this again. Next time I will probably make cupcakes.
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Cooking Level: Expert

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Apple Pie by Grandma Ople

Reviewed: Dec. 15, 2014
I made this recipe for Thanksgiving and it was quite a hit! I used piecrust cutters to top it off with decorative turkeys, acorns and leaves for the occasion. I followed the recipe very closely; I doubled it to allow for plenty of filling for my large pie dish. Although I boiled the liquid filling as dictated by the recipe, it never thickened enough and stayed somewhat runny even after it baked. When we cut the pie, which was still warm, it fell apart so it was scooped out in pieces rather than slices. Next time, I will boil the liquid filler longer to try to get it to thicken better. Nonetheless, it was a delicious dessert and every bite was eaten. We served it with a little ice cream on top and it was divine.
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Country Goulash

Reviewed: Oct. 12, 2014
This is NOT supposed to be "Hungarian" Goulash! It is an Americanized version as plainly stated in the recipe description.It is also the way I make mine, and it is very good! There are plenty of recipes on here for Hungarian Goulash if that is what you want. Sue...please don't review a recipe unless you have made it and tried it. If you have not done so, then your review is meaningless.
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Cooking Level: Expert

Living In: Daytona Beach Shores, Florida, USA

Simple Strawberry Sauce

Reviewed: Aug. 17, 2014
Needed something quick and easy and this seemed to work almost instantly. I used Ideal sugar substitute instead of sugar and the strawberries and sauce were perfect over a slice of pound cake with a bit of whipped cream. Thank you!
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Cooking Level: Expert

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Banana Pudding IV

Reviewed: May 15, 2014
Amazing! I love banana pudding and this is the best I've ever had!
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Photo by Carey Elizabeth Hanshaw

Cooking Level: Expert

Living In: Ocoee, Florida, USA

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Cream Cheese Pickles

Reviewed: Feb. 27, 2014
I have made a version of this for a few years now. My only tip is make sure that both your pickles and meat are as dry as possible. It will all stick together much better.
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Cooking Level: Intermediate

Home Town: Sod, West Virginia, USA

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Classic Waffles

Reviewed: Feb. 7, 2014
My first attempt at homemade waffles, and they were perfect! Great recipe.
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Good Old Fashioned Pancakes

Reviewed: Feb. 7, 2014
I have always been intimidated by pancakes. They always turned out tough, raw in the middle, etc. But these came out perfectly! I think the trick is to keep them small, not try to make them the size of the plate! They were light, fluffy, a little crispy around the edges - delicious!
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Honey Mustard Dressing II

Reviewed: Feb. 7, 2014
Excellent recipe. We use it for dipping fries, chicken tenders, etc. I thought Penn Station had the best honey mustard - now I prefer my own!
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Cooking Level: Expert

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Whoopie Pies II

Reviewed: Feb. 4, 2014
These little cakes are really good. They are very cakes, have a lot of chocolate flavor and are the perfect texture for whoopie pies. This recipe does make a lot, but that was fine for me. I used a small ice cream-like scoop, probably a tablespoon size and they were the perfect size for my needs. I baked them for 9 minutes and that was perfect, soft and cakey. I took them to a Super Bowl party this past weekend and they were a hit. I did not fill them with the filling from this recipe, instead used a filling from the Martha Stewart website, it was more marshmallow-like, which I liked. I will try the filling from this recipe next time because I had to make two batches of the other filling.
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Cooking Level: Expert

Living In: Debary, Florida, USA

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Apple Oatmeal Crisp

Reviewed: Jan. 26, 2014
I had no fresh apples so instead I used a 21 ounce can of apple pie filling. Put down first layer. Used a knife in the can to dice up the apple slices, then poured entire can over first layer. Sprinkled it with some cinnamon sugar I keep mixed in the spice cabinet, then put top layer on. Hit the spot! Wish I had a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
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Snowball Cake I

Reviewed: Oct. 5, 2013
Absolutely love this cake!! The only addition I made was 3/4 cup of chipped walnuts. My family are nut freaks!! It was a great cake to have as an alternative for the non chocolate lovers, since we were also serving the over-the-top rich Candy Bar Cake. I know, right--I didn't know there were actually people who don't like chocolate;). But, honestly it was truly a lite and refreshing cake, and as others have mentioned, even better the next day.
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Cooking Level: Intermediate

Black Beans and Rice

Reviewed: Oct. 5, 2013
Very Very Bland
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Cooking Level: Expert

Home Town: Hurricane, West Virginia, USA

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Cheesy Potato Soup

Reviewed: Aug. 31, 2013
You can freeze this too!
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Photo by Tara K. Farley Barton

Cooking Level: Expert

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No Fail Peanut Butter Fudge

Reviewed: Aug. 31, 2013
It is the same every time no matter what the humidity! It can also be done completely in the microwave if you are in a hurry
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