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Italian Cream Cheese and Ricotta Cheesecake

Reviewed: May 12, 2014
This was my first attempt at making an Italian cheesecake. I placed a pan of water above the baking cheesecake; I must say this is the first time I have ever made a cheesecake in a spring-form pan that did not have cracks! Does it really matter if the pan is in the water or not? I provided a humid baking environment and it turned out awesome. I used marscapone cheese instead American cream cheese, to make it even more Italian. I baked at 475 for 10 minutes, reduced oven to 325 and let it bake for an hour. I then shut off the oven and let it rest for three hours in the oven before even attempting to open the door. I took it out, let it cool further before putting into the fridge uncovered. The flavors were subtle, so I think next time I may add lemon zest in addition to the lemon juice and vanilla. Or maybe even lemon extract. I won't say this cake has a gritty texture but more of a, maybe, curdled texture. After conferencing with my 84 year old mother, she told me that when adding the melted butter to drizzle it in as opposed to dumping it all in, to better incorporate it. I read elsewhere to drain the ricotta cheese in a sieve and then run through a food processor to make it more smooth. I will definitely make this again!
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Cooking Level: Intermediate

Home Town: Corry, Pennsylvania, USA
Living In: Beaumont, Texas, USA

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Asian Style Country Ribs

Reviewed: Mar. 12, 2014
This was not a hit at my house. I decreased the soy sauce and it was still too salty. I also added more brown sugar and it still needed more.
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Cooking Level: Expert

Home Town: Beaumont, Texas, USA
Living In: Dayton, Ohio, USA

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Creamed Spinach with Onions and Bacon

Reviewed: Mar. 4, 2014
Great recipe! I used coconut oil instead of butter, and fresh garlic, also added about 1 tbsp of balsamic vinegar and it was rich and very tasty!
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Cooking Level: Beginning

Home Town: Edmond, Oklahoma, USA
Living In: Beaumont, Texas, USA

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Taco Dip

Reviewed: Jan. 18, 2014
Made exactly as described and it was fabulous, although a bit runny from the picante sauce. This recipe made me realize I would prefer meat so I guess mine will have 8 layers :)
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Cooking Level: Intermediate

Living In: Beaumont, Texas, USA

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German Pancakes II

Reviewed: Jan. 11, 2014
I love this recipe for it's simplicity and visual presentation. Recently I cut this recipe into a single serving and baked in a ramekin. Although not as thin as when baked in a larger pan, the taste was just the same and it was still visually appealing. I am now thinking that even when making for more guests, that I will make individual servings baked in ramekins, dusted with powdered sugar and topped with either a warm apple compote or maple syrup.
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Cooking Level: Intermediate

Home Town: Corry, Pennsylvania, USA
Living In: Beaumont, Texas, USA

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Gingerbread Boys

Reviewed: Dec. 12, 2013
This recipe is delicious. I made two sheet pans of gingerbread last year and build an incredible gingerbread house. eating all the construction scraps was delicious. Never been a big fan of gingerbread, but this recipe changed my mind.
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Cooking Level: Professional

Home Town: Beaumont, Texas, USA
Living In: Lusby, Maryland, USA

Garlic Mustard Ground Beef

Reviewed: Oct. 30, 2013
I left out the honey and added about a tablespoon of curry powder and a tablespoon of worcestershire. Which probably covered up some of the other tastes, but it was REALLY good.
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Cooking Level: Beginning

Home Town: Beaumont, Texas, USA

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Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies III

Reviewed: Oct. 28, 2013
I made this with the ingredients stated, except that I added the vanilla with the egg, pumpkin, et cetera. I used a small cookie scoop which produced small little button like cookies; these cookies do not spread much, if at all. The texture of the dough is wet and is not suitable for pressing down with glass or fingers. I tried to refrigerate dough, hoping to firm it up, but to no avail. When I made the recipe I thought the ratio of chocolate chips seemed high and I was correct. After baking and sampling I thought there were way too many chocolate chips; next time I will halve the amount. The chips seemed to distract away from the pumpkin flavor. I do like the suggestion I read in one of the other reviews of slamming the baking sheet down on the counter a few times to spread them out a bit. Next time I will use a larger scoop. These definitely are more cake like in texture; I would store them with the lid off, or refrigerate, or they will turn to mush. This was my first attempt at a pumpkin chocolate chip cookie and it won't be my last. These were good, maybe great, but not exactly what I was looking for. I may even suggest adding some rolled oats to give a more substantial texture.
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Cooking Level: Intermediate

Home Town: Corry, Pennsylvania, USA
Living In: Beaumont, Texas, USA

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Kool-Aid® Pie

Reviewed: Oct. 28, 2013
A friend of mine taught me this recipe in the military 28 years ago in the mini graham cracker cups when we lived in the barracks and could not have a lot of groceries and did not have cars to go anywhere :-). I still make it today using the individual crusts (they come with little tops). An entire pie is too enticing, and I only use lemonade. Glad to see this recipe on here, it brought back memories.....
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Cooking Level: Intermediate

Living In: Beaumont, Texas, USA

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To Die For Blueberry Muffins

Reviewed: Sep. 29, 2013
No cinnamon used, everytime a recipe calls for sugar I use Splenda, no 1 notices. Also added raspberries and few strawberries. Good antioxidants. Never enough to take to work the next day when these are made.
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Cooking Level: Intermediate

Living In: Beaumont, Texas, USA

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No-Cream Pasta Primavera

Reviewed: Sep. 29, 2013
I used angel hair pasta and ommitted and deleted various vegetables as I saw fit. Used sun dried tomatoes, mushrooms, yellow/orange peppers as well as shrimp because my husband has to have MEAT. Also added worchestheshire sauce. Great dish.
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Cooking Level: Intermediate

Living In: Beaumont, Texas, USA

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Mountain Dew Apple Dumplings

Reviewed: Sep. 21, 2013
Great recipe! Make this for special functions and holidays. It is easy and great with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. YUMMY!
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Home Town: Beaumont, Texas, USA

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Healthy Chicken Gumbo

Reviewed: Sep. 9, 2013
I made this using Rotel mild diced tomatoes in place of the diced tomatoes. It gave it more spice. Browning the flour in the oven is easy, but flour needs to be stirred often. It has a tendency to be lumpy when add to liquid, so it needs whisking a lot before adding the gumbo. I love vegetables, so the flavor is good. The amount of seasoning is a preference to each person.
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Cooking Level: Expert

Home Town: Beaumont, Texas, USA
Living In: Vidor, Texas, USA

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Fresh Orange Juice

Reviewed: Jul. 24, 2013
Best orange juice I've ever tasted. I used a citrus juicer, it was fairly easy. Nothing else is needed. The only problem one might encounter is the number of oranges you need to make enough for several people. With 10 oranges I made about 3 cups of juice.
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Photo by julianrdunn

Cooking Level: Intermediate

Home Town: Beaumont, Texas, USA
Living In: Houston, Texas, USA

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Lemonade

Reviewed: Jul. 15, 2013
Simple. Easy. Tastes great!
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Cooking Level: Intermediate

Home Town: Beaumont, Texas, USA
Living In: Houston, Texas, USA

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Onion Chicken in Balsamic Sauce

Reviewed: Jul. 15, 2013
Everyone chowed down on this recipe! I will definitely be adding this to one of my favorites. I did not change it an anyway in terms of ingredients, but my method was a bit different. After sauteing the onions and garlic, I removed them from the pot. I figured to try and brown the chicken along with the onion and garlic would result in the vegetables being burned. I reintroduced those two ingredients when I combined the chicken stock and vinegar. I also added the sun-dried tomatoes at this time because it seemed to make more sense to add them to the sauce, then pour over the chicken. It was great!
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Cooking Level: Intermediate

Home Town: Beaumont, Texas, USA
Living In: Houston, Texas, USA

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Tortilla Soup II

Reviewed: Jul. 15, 2013
I followed the recipe exactly. The soup is good (too spicy for my child), but it either calls for too much chicken or too little soup juice. The suggestion to add a 10 oz can of tomato soup seems weird. Wouldn't that change the flavor?? Either way it should have been added to the original recipe. I will try it next time.
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Cooking Level: Intermediate

Home Town: Beaumont, Texas, USA
Living In: Houston, Texas, USA

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Alfredo Sauce

Reviewed: Jun. 12, 2013
Made this recipe for the first time tonight and added some Cajun blackened shrimp. I can honestly say this is one of the best recipes for Alfredo sauce that I have ever tried. My picky 7 yr old son had it without blackening spice on the shrimp, and finished his entire plate and then asked if we could have it again for dinner tomorrow night.
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Cooking Level: Expert

Home Town: Beaumont, Texas, USA
Living In: Cabot, Arkansas, USA

Cornbread Muffins II

Reviewed: Jun. 8, 2013
These were really really good. I did not have any buttermilk so I used 1 c. heavy cream and 1 c. water. They turned out so moist and delicious. They were just sweet enough and were exactly what I was looking for. Thanks for sharing. I will be making this again!
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Cooking Level: Intermediate

Home Town: Buna, Texas, USA
Living In: Beaumont, Texas, USA

Creamy Ham and Potatoes

Reviewed: May 24, 2013
I was surprised at how good this turned out to be. I will make it again. I didn't change anything except for the ham, we used ham from our own pig.
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Cooking Level: Expert

Home Town: Beaumont, Texas, USA
Living In: Dayton, Ohio, USA

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