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Caprese Appetizer

Reviewed: Jan. 1, 2015
These are perfect appetizers which are easy for guests to eat and quick to make. I use marinated mozzarella balls that I cut in half.
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Photo by Talena

Cooking Level: Intermediate

Home Town: San Diego, California, USA
Living In: Santee, California, USA

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Clone of a Cinnabon

Reviewed: Jan. 1, 2015
Love this recipe! These are now a holiday breakfast staple. I make the dough the day before and let them rise for 30 mins before placing them in the fridge overnight. They continue to rise in the oven the next morning.
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Photo by Talena

Cooking Level: Intermediate

Home Town: San Diego, California, USA
Living In: Santee, California, USA

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Basic Sourdough Bread

Reviewed: Dec. 31, 2014
I do have a bread machine but this recipe did not work in it. With bread machines you add all the ingredients at the same time. When making handmade bread, you begin with the wet ingredients and add the dry slowly as needed. I made two loaves. The first one, I added everything at once (thinking it would work in my machine). But once I realized there was too much volume for the container, I took it out to knead it, and there was way too much flour so I had to add more liquid, which is not the way you make bread. It was a hard lump and difficult to knead. I made a second loaf because I had lots of starter, so I did it the proper way and it was a lovely dough by only using about 2 cups of flour. I let it raise til doubled, punched down and let it rest for 15 minutes before making into a loaf with slices across the top. Let it double again and baked at 400 for 35 minutes and brush with butter upon cooling. both loaves turned out great!
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Photo by Allrecipes

Cooking Level: Intermediate

Home Town: San Diego, California, USA
Living In: Portland, Oregon, USA

Monster Cookies VI

Reviewed: Dec. 30, 2014
I used crisco butter flavored instead of butter this seems to make any cookie much better, I also used Christmas M&M's because it's close enough to the past holiday and these are as ever always amazing. Thank you
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Photo by Ms. Mattson

Cooking Level: Expert

Home Town: Plymouth, Minnesota, USA
Living In: San Diego, California, USA

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Cheesy Broccoli and Vegetable Soup

Reviewed: Dec. 30, 2014
I followed the basic recipe because I needed a place to start, I didn't make it exactly the same because I only had fresh veggies to work with. Milk,onion, garlic, half a head of cauliflower and a few heads of broccoli, broth, cheese and flour I mashed the veggies with a potato masher though I didn't add the butter. I also added some seasonings like cayenne and thyme. Not bad, I don't think I would have liked it much exactly as described. Thanks for a good starting point. Guess I should enter my own version as a new recipe.
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Photo by Dairy Princess

Cooking Level: Expert

Home Town: San Diego, California, USA
Living In: Dallas, Texas, USA

Gary's Stuffed Mushrooms

Reviewed: Dec. 30, 2014
This recipe calls for 12 large mushrooms. What it really means is 12 jumbo bowl size mushrooms for the ingredient sizes to make sense. I bought 24 large mushrooms, so naturally, I doubled the ingredients. I ended up with a huge mixing bowl full of the filling left over. The actual filling is quite delicious, but if you want to make a normal restaurant bite sized mushroom, the amount of ingredients can probably be cut in half, maybe even by 1/3. You definitely don't need 2 whole cups of butter to just drizzle over your mushrooms, unless you want them swimming in butter. Otherwise, the actual mushrooms taste great, I just wish I didn't waste so much money on all of the ingredients. I eventually just threw the left over filling away because I didn't have time to go out and buy more mushrooms.
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Photo by Adrianne Hildenbrand

Cooking Level: Intermediate

Home Town: San Diego, California, USA
Living In: San Jose, California, USA

Sweet Coconut Rice

Reviewed: Dec. 28, 2014
EXCELLENT recipe - only thing I added was salt. I like sweet rice, so I used two tsp of sugar. Added the coconut just before serving and it was terrific. We served it as a side dish with BBQ brisket, steamed broccoli and a green salad. Will make it with chicken curry next time. Two thumbs up!
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Photo by Allrecipes

Cooking Level: Intermediate

Home Town: San Diego, California, USA
Living In: Portland, Oregon, USA

Old-Fashioned Pancakes

Reviewed: Dec. 28, 2014
KEEPER! I have tried a lot of pancake mixes but this one is the best!
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Photo by SoCalFam

Cooking Level: Intermediate

Home Town: San Diego, California, USA
Living In: Phoenix, Arizona, USA

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Chicken Tortilla Soup I

Reviewed: Dec. 27, 2014
I tweaked the recipe a bit, as I love a lot of flavor in my tortilla soup. First of all I doubled the recipe, then I minced 6 jalapeños (no seeds) to the onion instead of using the green chiles. (Now I'm not one for HOT flavor at all but without the seeds, the jalapeños are just a nice bell pepper-type taste.) I saved the cilantro to be served on the top of the soup. I used 2 cans of corn, 1 can of black beans, 1 can of pintos and 1 can of sliced olives along with 3 cans of the tomatoes. I used two large cartons of chicken broth. Instead of using the hominy, I used 6 corn tortillas and minced them (in the Cuisinart) together with the seasonings, and then added the tortilla mixture to the tomato vegetable mixture to thicken it which worked very well. I sautéed the chicken separately and added it to the soup at the very end just before serving, so as to keep it soft and tender. I set out crunchy tortilla chips, grated cheddar cheese, sour cream, minced cilantro and chopped avocado to add to the top of the soup as it was ladled into the bowls. The soup turned out absolutely magnificent!
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Photo by Allrecipes

Cooking Level: Intermediate

Home Town: San Diego, California, USA
Living In: Portland, Oregon, USA

Chicken Tortilla Soup II

Reviewed: Dec. 27, 2014
I had to do a lot of doctoring of this recipe as there was just not enough complexity for our family's taste. First of all I doubled the recipe, then I minced 6 jalapeños (no seeds) to the onion. (Now I'm not one for HOT flavor at all but without the seeds, the jalapeños are just a nice bell pepper-type taste.) I saved the cilantro to be served on the top of the soup. I added 2 cans of corn, 1 can of black beans, 1 can of pintos and 1 can of sliced olives along with 3 cans of the tomatoes. I used two large cartons of chicken broth. I used 6 of the tortillas and minced them (in the Cuisinart) together with the seasonings. I added the tortilla mixture to the broth to thicken it which worked very well. I sautéed the chicken separately and added it at the very end just before serving, so as to keep it soft and tender. I set out crunchy tortilla chips, grated cheddar cheese, sour cream, minced cilantro and chopped avocado to add to the top of the soup as it was ladled into the bowls. With all these changes the soup was absolutely magnificent!
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Photo by Allrecipes

Cooking Level: Intermediate

Home Town: San Diego, California, USA
Living In: Portland, Oregon, USA
Photo by Talena

Superb Cranberry Sauce with Apples and Pears

Reviewed: Dec. 26, 2014
This cranberry sauce is amazing. It is now served at every Christmas dinner. I will remember to keep corn starch or gelatin on hand though, as this year the sauce didn't set. The flavor was still a hit but had to be served in separate bowls. I also halved the recipe since this makes an entire stock pot.
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Photo by Talena

Cooking Level: Intermediate

Home Town: San Diego, California, USA
Living In: Santee, California, USA

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Soft Oatmeal Cookies

Reviewed: Dec. 26, 2014
I followed the recipe, but mine didn't come out soft and the color seemed to light. I'll try again to see if I did something wrong. The flavor was good and the family still loved them.
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Photo by Talena

Cooking Level: Intermediate

Home Town: San Diego, California, USA
Living In: Santee, California, USA

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Frog Eyed Salad

Reviewed: Dec. 25, 2014
I love this! I begged the woman that used to bring this to family funtions for the recipe. She said "NO!! It's a family secret!!" After a few years of driving her nuts. She relented. The only difference between my version and this one is the eggs. My recipe calls for 2 whole eggs. Just thought I'd pass that on in case someone out there only had 2! Cuts down a little on the bad cholesterol! Ha! Ha! Ha!---But the Carbs really make this a YUMMMYYY TREAT!!! We All LOVE IT!!!WHOLE FAMILY!!!! Merry Christmas from Ramona, CA
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Photo by JMommaT
Home Town: San Diego, California, USA
Photo by BonisMama

Slow Cooker Egg Brunch Casserole

Reviewed: Dec. 25, 2014
I've never made a casserole successfully in a crock pot/slow cooker, so I was leery to try this one. I swapped bacon for ham, and parsley for dill, and didn't spend the time sauteeing the garlic, onion, and peppers. (It was Christmas Eve! Had to get to bed before Santa arrived!) After reading a lot of the comments and reviews, we reduced the milk to 1/2 a cup, and only let it cook for 5 hours on low. (That was PLENTY!) While setting an alarm was a bummer, if we make it for a brunch, starting it when we get up at 5 is perfect timing. SUCCESS! The kids ate it up, the husband said it was delish, and even I was happy with the taste and texture. I may make it with less tater tots next time, and more cheese! Definitely going to try the sausage or bacon version next time! Thank you for sharing this! A new Christmas Morning tradition is born!
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Photo by BonisMama

Cooking Level: Expert

Home Town: San Diego, California, USA

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Homemade Horseradish Sauce

Reviewed: Dec. 25, 2014
This is exactly what I wanted it to taste like. The right amount of horseradish to sour cream. I didn't change a thing. When I served it with the prime rib, my guests wanted to know what restaurant I got it from. Enjoy!
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Photo by Dairy Princess

Cooking Level: Expert

Home Town: San Diego, California, USA
Living In: Dallas, Texas, USA

Lime Cilantro Rice

Reviewed: Dec. 24, 2014
This is an EXCELLENT recipe. I made this exactly as written and have made it many times for potlucks and picnics. Goes wonderfully with ham or BBQ'd meats. Great served cold too.
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Photo by Allrecipes

Cooking Level: Intermediate

Home Town: San Diego, California, USA
Living In: Portland, Oregon, USA

Salted Caramel Pecan Sticky Buns

Reviewed: Dec. 24, 2014
THESE ARE ABSOLUTELY PERFECT! I have made A LOT of cinnamon rolls in my life, but I wanted to try the salted carmel sauce with pecans. Boy am I glad I did. This is my 'go to' recipe from now on and I'll pass this recipe onto future generations. (Note: I needed to put foil on the lower shelf of the oven, as my pans bubbled over with goodness :) Be sure to tip the pans onto a plate IMMEDIATELY out of the oven, as the sauce cools very quickly.
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Photo by Allrecipes

Cooking Level: Intermediate

Home Town: San Diego, California, USA
Living In: Portland, Oregon, USA
Photo by House of Aqua

Three Cheese Tortellini with Traditional Sauce and Parmigiano Cheese

Reviewed: Dec. 24, 2014
This was a great basic recipe that we use as our go to meal when we are unsure what else to make. I added arrabiatta sauce to spice it up.
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Photo by House of Aqua

Cooking Level: Intermediate

Home Town: Dubuque, Iowa, USA
Living In: San Diego, California, USA

Spicy Hot Chicken Legs

Reviewed: Dec. 23, 2014
This was good, but not as great as I expected. Just a bit lackluster in flavor after cooking that long. I followed the recipe exactly except I added a lot of red chili flakes as we like spicy stuff at our house. I did what most others said and put them in the crockpot for 2 1/2 hours, then in the oven for 30 minutes, then back in the sauce in the crockpot for a couple minutes on warm. We're kind of foodies in our house so maybe that's why we weren't that impressed. Great in concept though and the meat was super tender! This cooking process gives me other ideas for cooking drumsticks!
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Photo by sdcyclone

Cooking Level: Intermediate

Living In: San Diego, California, USA

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Photo by Talena

Fudge

Reviewed: Dec. 21, 2014
An easy recipe that can be customized to make different types of fudge. I lined the pan with foil to make it easier to remove.
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Photo by Talena

Cooking Level: Intermediate

Home Town: San Diego, California, USA
Living In: Santee, California, USA

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