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Italian Sausage Soup with Tortellini

Reviewed: Dec. 25, 2013
Yum! Yum! Yum! Great recipe. I am making more broth so that I can easily complete the soup for future dinners. I have a lot of extra red wine to use up and don't drink it! (Migraines unfortunately!) I had a soup night party and served this along with two others, it was a huge hit! A couple of things I will adjust next time, I won't cook the tortellini in the soup but will likely do it in water and beef broth so it still has the flavor it would have cooked in the soup. I will keep the two separate and put them together for each bowl. When the tortellini sits in the soup it starts to swell and soften, absorbing too much broth over time, it was also hard to divvy out the sausage with the big tortellini getting in the way. Not great for leftovers or when you have a soup pot on the stove for seconds (and thirds). I also added extra veg because that is what I always do and may add even more variety next time. I added green beans and a yellow squash but plan to add some chard and maybe some mushrooms). I used fresh tomatoes as the recipe calls for, tomato paste and water instead of canned sauce (better flavor) a big spoonful of sun-dried tomatoes from a jar I keep in the fridge and some additional herbs - bay leaf and rosemary. I didn't have wine so asked my sis to pick up a bottle on her way over. The soup was pretty bland without it and I was shocked at how much richer and more complex it was from this small addition. My suggestion, don't leave the wine out!
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Living In: Centennial, Colorado, USA

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Italian Almond Cookies II

Reviewed: Dec. 25, 2013
Just took a test batch of four cookies from the oven and have eaten two! They are yummy. However, I made my own almond paste - very simple to do and fresh, flavorful and frugal! Anyway, because the highly rated recipe called for egg whites as does this one, my dough is more like a batter, about the consistency of a cake batter. For my test batch I just dribbled some into the almonds and scooped the mess onto a greased parchment paper. They didn't stick however they are not a nice enough presentation to make it into my "Grown-up Christmas Cookie box". I am refrigerating the dough and will see if I can resurrect this one. The reason for three stars is because until you read about thirty of the reviewers you don't get all the tips and tricks to adjust the recipe and handling of the dough. One reviewer said to make almond paste with corn syrup instead of egg whites so you don't get a flat cookie! Well, who knew I should read back a decade to figure this out! There are a lot of other good tips in the reviews. So, I basically think someone should repost this recipe and incorporate the tips. Since homemade almond paste is so simple and a nice touch, the new recipe should be based on that as well. If I figure all this out maybe it will be me! If you are planning to make this recipe, do your self a big favor and spend about twenty minutes reading the reviews and taking some notes! By the way, I am not a novice baker so this critique is not pique!
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Living In: Centennial, Colorado, USA

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Drunken Mussels

Reviewed: Dec. 22, 2013
This recipe is divine! I felt like I was eating this at a "Legal Seafood" restaurant in Boston. Anyone that loves seafood, has traveled some and has experienced a "Legal Seafood" restaurant in Boston knows what I'm saying. I only made half of this recipe. I live in Colorado at an elevation of 6,800 feet and it only took 2 minutes for the mussels to open, I expected that it would take much longer than that yet the mussels were done perfectly. Being that I only made half of the original recipe amounts, I found that 1 cup of a nice white wine was too much. I suggest that anyone that makes this entree as written for 2 servings to only use 1 cup of wine instead of the 2 cups that is called for.
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Home Town: Alexandria, Minnesota, USA
Living In: Centennial, Colorado, USA

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Chef John's Chicken and Dumplings

Reviewed: Dec. 8, 2013
I've made this recipe once as stated and I was disappointed with the results except for the dumplings. I make my chicken soup from a roasted chicken and I make my broth from the bones from the chicken and roast them with some root vegetables.
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Home Town: Alexandria, Minnesota, USA
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Spiced Banana Bread

Reviewed: Nov. 27, 2013
this is very good very moist, I will make this again
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How to Make Homemade Pizza Sauce

Reviewed: Nov. 20, 2013
I made this recipe a second time exactly as written with San Marzano tomatoes this time. It was perfect using San Marzano tomatoes and didn't need the addition of wine as I had added the first time. I used 1-1/2 Tbsp of anchovy paste this time, my preference. This pizza sauce recipe is my mainstay from here on.
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Home Town: Alexandria, Minnesota, USA
Living In: Centennial, Colorado, USA

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Emily's Famous Hash Browns

Reviewed: Nov. 1, 2013
Great! Seldom do I see the proper instructions to make crispy hash browns. Rinsing to remove all of the starch and thoroughly drying the potatoes is the kicker to achieve mom n pop restaurant breakfast hash browns.
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Home Town: Alexandria, Minnesota, USA
Living In: Centennial, Colorado, USA

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Beef Roast in Red Wine (Carni Arrosto al Vino Rosso)

Reviewed: Oct. 17, 2013
its ok, its missing something
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Breakfast Casserole III

Reviewed: Oct. 10, 2013
This was very good, I will make it again
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Hash Brown and Egg Casserole

Reviewed: Oct. 10, 2013
This was very good, I will make this again
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Living In: Centennial, Colorado, USA

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Absolutely the BEST Rich and Creamy Blue Cheese Dressing Ever!

Reviewed: Sep. 24, 2013
It is a very good recipe.
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Home Town: Alexandria, Minnesota, USA
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Easy Turkey Tetrazzini

Reviewed: Sep. 19, 2013
This was ok, not sure I will make it again
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Blueberry Bread I

Reviewed: Aug. 13, 2013
I had a large amount of blueberries that needed to be used. First I made To Die For Blueberry Muffins on AR that I had made previously and added an additional cup of blueberries. That is a really fabulous recipe. I still had quite a few loose berries and a plastic bag full that had been beat-up some and were sitting in alot of blueberry juice. I decided to double this recipe and used one 9 x 5 loaf pan and one 8 x 4 loaf pan. I subbed some applesauce for most of the oil and stirred some greek yogurt into the applesauce/oil mixture, as well. Because of other reviews I decided to dump both the smushed-up blueberries and the loose ones into the batter at the end. With all the extra juice the batter was not stiff or hard to stir. It did make the batter blue, but once baked the color wasn't noticeable. I didn't have nuts, so didn't add, but did add a couple of teaspoons vanilla. This came out really moist and sweet and super delicious with the large amount of blueberries. Because of the unsweetened applesauce it was sweeter than it would have been without. It was probably an additional 1 and a half cups of blueberries. I froze the large loaf and the smaller one is quickly disappearing. :-)
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Home Town: Littleton, Colorado, USA
Living In: Centennial, Colorado, USA

Chicken Breasts in Caper Cream Sauce

Reviewed: Aug. 12, 2013
I haven’t made this recipe yet but the seasonings (minus the garlic powder) plus the creamy caper sauce sound perfect for a mild white fish such as bass or walleye.
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Home Town: Alexandria, Minnesota, USA
Living In: Centennial, Colorado, USA

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Mango Bread Pudding

Reviewed: Aug. 11, 2013
I have made both this recipe and the one from which it derived which is made with sugar. They are both very good. I made once using cinnamon and another time using the cardamom that the recipe calls for. Again, both were very good. I used leftover multi-grain hamburger buns and the second time leftover challah bread. A really simple, yet versatile recipe. Several other reviewers noted that very ripe mangoes should used and I agree. Really great bread pudding!
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Home Town: Littleton, Colorado, USA
Living In: Centennial, Colorado, USA

Baked Pasta

Reviewed: Jul. 31, 2013
this was ok, it was missing something
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To Die For Blueberry Muffins

Reviewed: Jul. 31, 2013
Obviously this recipe has been around a long time with many reviews too. I doubled the recipe, using an extra cup of blueberries. I substituted unsweetened applesauce for half the oil and also used orange juice in place of some of the milk as I wanted a bit of tang. I also saw Chef Joy's suggested topping in her review from 2009 and used her version instead. These were really good and a bit sweet, but others in my house thought they were perfect. I had to add more blueberries as they needed to be used, but was glad I did as these were just full of blueberries. Made in the jumbo muffin tins I have resulted in 13 very large muffins. Super recipe and I think it does outshine most bakery muffins!
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Home Town: Littleton, Colorado, USA
Living In: Centennial, Colorado, USA

Lemon Glazed Date Sticks

Reviewed: Jun. 29, 2013
I liked the idea of this recipe better than the finished product. I also agree with Ralwattar's review that there isn't enough batter to fill the pan adequately. Maybe that would help. I ordinarily love dates, so I will try to make this one work. Did like the tartness of the lemon.
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Home Town: Littleton, Colorado, USA
Living In: Centennial, Colorado, USA

Berry Oatmeal Muffins

Reviewed: Jun. 29, 2013
Overall a good recipe. Used fresh raspberries and got a nice, tasty muffin. I do agree with some other reviewers that the topping was the best part of the overall taste. Will try again and make some of my own refinements.
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Home Town: Littleton, Colorado, USA
Living In: Centennial, Colorado, USA

Peruvian Style Beer Can Chicken

Reviewed: Jun. 24, 2013
Excellent! I love Peruvian style chicken and this hit the mark. The ingredients as listed were perfect as was the lime water wash. I didn’t cook a beer can chicken, rather I direct grilled a cut up chicken on the grill after marinating the chicken as described in the recipe. DO NOT skip the lime water wash step because I think that it moistens and tenderizes the chicken. For the person that said that the marinade didn't penetrate the meat very much - pierce the meat thoroughly with one of those needle style meat tenderizers such as a 24 pin meat tenderizer tool, I have the Deni brand. I grilled it over mesquite coal of which added another dimension of flavor. Thanks ricfera for sharing this recipe!
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Home Town: Alexandria, Minnesota, USA
Living In: Centennial, Colorado, USA

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