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Janet's Rich Banana Bread

Reviewed: Jul. 25, 2012
this is one of the best banana breads i have tasted- it absolutely was devoured by my hubby and all his friends who were visiting. i ended up having to make this three times in one week! however, i can only give it 4 stars because i don't like the idea of slicing the bananas. from my mother's teachings as i grew up and would help her bake, the bananas that were starting to go bad would be put in the freezer and taken out, thawed then mashed to make banana bread. i think mashing them turns out much better so you aren't biting into one chunk of banana and instead get the flavor in the whole loaf by mashing them and mixing them in. so that is my suggestion- mash instead of slice. the sour cream makes a HUGE difference in how soft & moist the bread turns out. i did not use walnuts because a friend has allergies, but did add some chocolate chips. top the baked bread with some cream cheese and this is a total treat!
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Photo by angelinamarie3

Cooking Level: Expert

Home Town: Palmer, Alaska, USA
Living In: Wasilla, Alaska, USA

Pizza Pinwheels

Reviewed: Jul. 25, 2012
WAY easy, and super quick appetizer or quick side to take to a pot-luck or serve at home for hungry people that can't wait for the main dish, haha. this one is also easilly modified to suit anyone's taste. pizza is something you can add anything you prefer to. although i did not add any extra ingredients the first time (aside from extra cheese), next time around i am going to throw some diced onions, green peppers & olives in. i also used the "mini" pepperoni slices so it rolled easier. the bake time (maybe my oven isn't as hot or something) did not seem to get them cooked all the way through, so i had to throw them in again...just watch the bake time and make sure they don't end up doughy! but this is a cool twist on pizza-like appetizers and one i will continue to make.
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Photo by angelinamarie3

Cooking Level: Expert

Home Town: Palmer, Alaska, USA
Living In: Wasilla, Alaska, USA

Roquefort Pear Salad

Reviewed: Jul. 25, 2012
phenominal salad! this has awesome flavor. i used feta cheese (and added a little extra because we love it) so that flavor along with the sweet pear & candied pecans was so good! the dressing was a perfect compliment. when i made this the second time, i used fresh spinach instead of lettuce, and i think that version was even better. next time i will try a mix of both spinach and lettuce. either way, my husband nearly cleans the bowl before anyone else can get any! absolutely a salad worth making on a regular basis!
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Photo by angelinamarie3

Cooking Level: Expert

Home Town: Palmer, Alaska, USA
Living In: Wasilla, Alaska, USA

Sweet Restaurant Slaw

Reviewed: Jul. 25, 2012
great recipe! it got devoured at our housewarming pot-luck i made this for. i followed instructions and chilled it for at least two hours before serving, which did make a big difference. but i was a little unimpressed with how runny it became after a bit. i ended up having to drain it some so it still looked appealing and had to stir it often. one suggestion i will make is to omit using miracle whip (being as how that has a more "sweet" taste) and use regular mayo- with the amount of sugar the recipe calls for, miracle whip would have been too much on the "sweet" side. i think the sugar could still be cut down just a bit. and i also did not use poppy seeds. i have never had a slaw with poppy seeds and saw no use or appeal for them. maybe i did something wrong with mine being runny, but otherwise, this is an excellent recipe and i will make it again.
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Photo by angelinamarie3

Cooking Level: Expert

Home Town: Palmer, Alaska, USA
Living In: Wasilla, Alaska, USA

Seven Layer Taco Dip

Reviewed: Jul. 24, 2012
this was a great recipe, similar to one my mother-in-law makes. it was raved about at several gatherings i have taken this to. but the second time around, along with following occasions, i did make some modifications (which is why i give this 4.5 out of 5 stars). i don't think the green bell peppers fit at all. green chiles or jalapenos might be a nice substitute, but i went without. i also opted to mix the taco seasoning in with the cream cheese & sour cream- that was more flavorful than mixing it with the beans. also added a layer of guacamole on top before the salsa. 1 small head of lettuce was overkill, didn't feel like it was necessary to complete the dish after the first round making it. omitting it made no difference to anyone and the dish was still gone each time it was served. but a great dip, super easy and i would highly recommend it.
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Photo by angelinamarie3

Cooking Level: Expert

Home Town: Palmer, Alaska, USA
Living In: Wasilla, Alaska, USA

Guacamole

Reviewed: Jul. 24, 2012
i'm one who generally prefers to make simple recipes (such as this or hummus) based off taste preference from scratch, but i decided to give this one a shot based off the awesome reviews and ratings. i never have thought to add lime juice to the guac i usually would make- that was a nice, zesty touch! but i have to give it 4 instead of 5 stars because i don't think the onion really fit in with it. next time i will use onion powder instead of diced onion- i think it was a texture issue but i think the powder would fit better for the flavor. i also was not a huge fan of diced tomatoes in this. i thought it took away some of the appeal. oh, and a touch of cumin made it perfect! otherwise, great recipe and glad i tried it out! one i will make again with some modifications... thanks for sharing!
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Photo by angelinamarie3

Cooking Level: Expert

Home Town: Palmer, Alaska, USA
Living In: Wasilla, Alaska, USA

The Best Potato Salad

Reviewed: Jul. 15, 2012
I now have the recipe for potato salad that I've looked for all my life. This was fantastic!!! Thank you SO much for sharing. All those who ate it, loved it! Use a red onion to add color. Don't do the potatoes as recommended, rather peel potatoes and cube, then boil. Cooking time takes less and they cook more thoroughly. Put in the fridge to cool as well as the eggs. Then assemble ingredients.
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Photo by Jamala

Cooking Level: Intermediate

Home Town: Palmer, Alaska, USA
Living In: Columbia, Tennessee, USA

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Baked Yam Fries with Dip

Reviewed: Jul. 11, 2012
My husband has never been a fan of yams, but this is one that lured him in. I think a lot of that had to do with the dipping sauce (he is a condiment lover). I had to adjust a couple of things the second time around on this- first, I found that bigger wedges took a lot longer to cook and weren't as crisp on the outside as we prefer and a little too thick, not done well enough on the inside (even with an extended baking time). So I cut them a lot thinner the second time around, more like a smaller french fry would look. Those turned out much better with less cooking time. I also adjusted the mayo and sour cream the second time around because it seemed like one would overpower the other and my husband agreed the adjustment by taste was better. Overall, this is a hit in our house and requested often.
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Photo by angelinamarie3

Cooking Level: Expert

Home Town: Palmer, Alaska, USA
Living In: Wasilla, Alaska, USA

Easy Decadent Truffles

Reviewed: Jul. 11, 2012
I LOVE the simplicity of these! I also tried this with regular chocolate chips instead of semisweet. Both turned out really well. Then I took the advice of rolling some in some coconut, and some in crushed walnuts and almonds- they were all very good. Makes a great, easy treat to give out in small gift bags on holidays or special occasions or even for a dessert platter at a potluck. Thanks for sharing!
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Photo by angelinamarie3

Cooking Level: Expert

Home Town: Palmer, Alaska, USA
Living In: Wasilla, Alaska, USA

Cream Cheese Squares

Reviewed: Jul. 11, 2012
Made these once for a small gathering and they were a HUGE hit! So I made them again for our housewarming party and the dish was literally gone before anyone even got past the main course and on to the sweets! Everyone was asking what they were and how to make them. Super simple to throw together- my only issue was the amount of butter. By the time I poured that on top, it pretty much was a pool of butter. The second time I made them, I only brushed the butter on top (less than half the amount called for) with a pastry brush and they turned out a lot better. The next time I make these, I will also mix a smaller amount of cinnamon & sugar together to sprinkle on top so it won't look so dark after baking. The lighter color look was more appealing to guests. Great recipe, and thanks for sharing!
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Photo by angelinamarie3

Cooking Level: Expert

Home Town: Palmer, Alaska, USA
Living In: Wasilla, Alaska, USA

Quick and Easy Pizza Crust

Reviewed: Apr. 16, 2012
Very impressed with how quick & easy this was, and how well it turned out! I was skeptical on having a dough crust that did not involve rise time with yeast, but it was delicious and used simple common ingredients in our kitchen. One thing I had to opt for was regular white flour because I did not have bread flour on hand. I also added some italian seasonings, garlic, etc.. to the dough and brushed it with some olive oil topped with fresh grated parmesean for a twist before baking the second time i made it. That turned out great! I have yet to use a pizza stone because ours is packed away but have a feeling it would be even better of an outcome. But everyone has loved it and it has been devoured. Guests have told me it is better than the Digiorno or other frozen pizzas. Thanks for sharing this! :)
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Photo by angelinamarie3

Cooking Level: Expert

Home Town: Palmer, Alaska, USA
Living In: Wasilla, Alaska, USA

Simple White Cake

Reviewed: Feb. 28, 2012
I made this when I had to make some cupcakes. I followed the recipe exact, except I thought the batter was too thick. So I added about 1/4 cup more milk. This made about 12-14 cupcakes, so I would suggest doubling the recipe if you need 24 cupcakes or a larger cake. They baked up wonderfully, it was a dense, moist yummy cake. I hand mixed this in a bowl because I did not want to over mix the batter, which can produce a tougher cake. It tasted like a sugar cookie in cake form, delicious.
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Photo by cakesnthings

Cooking Level: Intermediate

Home Town: Palmer, Alaska, USA
Living In: Idaho Falls, Idaho, USA

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Old Fashioned Potato Salad

Reviewed: Jan. 19, 2012
We love this recipe, I have made it several times. The only thing that I do different is use sweet pickles chopped up instead of using sweet relish. I really like the flavor that the celery salt gives this dish, I would not leave this spice out.
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Photo by cakesnthings

Cooking Level: Intermediate

Home Town: Palmer, Alaska, USA
Living In: Idaho Falls, Idaho, USA

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Angela's Awesome Enchiladas

Reviewed: Jan. 18, 2012
This recipe is AWESOME! Everyone ate it up the minute it came out of the oven & begged for seconds... I had to make a second batch for leftovers! Only thing i did different was substitute lemon juice for lime since i had no lime & we are cheese lovers, so i put a bit of jack cheese in with the cheddar. This is one I'm asked to make all the time... We love it!!
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Photo by angelinamarie3

Cooking Level: Expert

Home Town: Palmer, Alaska, USA
Living In: Wasilla, Alaska, USA

Sweet Potato Bread I

Reviewed: Jan. 15, 2012
I cut down on the sugar and used the left over sweet potatoes from Christmas!
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Photo by Allrecipes

Cooking Level: Intermediate

Home Town: Palmer, Alaska, USA

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Foolproof Chocolate Fudge

Reviewed: Dec. 6, 2011
The silkiest, yummiest fudge ever. Followed recipe and melted it in the microwave. To keep it from sticking just butter the dish before filling with fudge. I will add some peanut butter next time to half of it. My mom always made it with peanut butter.
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Photo by theresa

Cooking Level: Expert

Home Town: Palmer, Alaska, USA
Living In: Apache Junction, Arizona, USA

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Sausage Stuffed Jalapenos

Reviewed: Dec. 6, 2011
I made this for my Husband's Birthday Party last Friday. Based upon the reviews I doubled the batch. I bought exactly 2 lbs. of peppers, which gave me 64 halves. I still had some stuffing left over, which we (the bakers) snacked on with tortilla chips while we finished cooking. This was the hit of the party! They were all gone within the first hour. My Brother and his wife are planning on bringing them to our family Christmas Party. I didn't have 2 cups of shredded parm, I only had 1 1/2, and this still turned out amazing. We did not use ranch, why cover up this perfect pepper? Thank you Merlot! This will be a MUST HAVE at all of our future functions!
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Photo by mints98

Cooking Level: Intermediate

Home Town: Palmer, Alaska, USA
Living In: Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA

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Eileen's Spicy Gingerbread Men

Reviewed: Nov. 14, 2011
I only had 1/3 cup of molasses, and made up the difference to 1/2 c with water to make sure the cookies were moist enough. I also omitted the nutmeg and used whole wheat flour ,and 3/4 cup of brown sugar ( loosely packed). They were amazing~! We used them to make a gingergread house , and they held great, while still being moist and soft.
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Cooking Level: Expert

Living In: Palmer, Alaska, USA

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Salsa Chicken

Reviewed: Nov. 10, 2011
I love this!~! This is the only way we make our baked chicken ... served with a spanish rice, and a creamy cucumber salad. You cannot go wrong! Be sure to top with sour cream if using a "hot" salsa :) I've passed this on to others ... you won't be disappointed.
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Photo by mints98

Cooking Level: Intermediate

Home Town: Palmer, Alaska, USA
Living In: Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA

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Debdoozie's Blue Ribbon Chili

Reviewed: Oct. 20, 2011
used 1 pound ground beef, i can rotel, and chili beans in sauce. Still in crockpot, waiting to see how it turns out.
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Photo by AlaskaMama

Cooking Level: Intermediate

Home Town: Tucson, Arizona, USA
Living In: Palmer, Alaska, USA

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