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Recent Reviews

Re:Mocha Cinnamon Chocolate-Chip Cookies

Cloyingly sweet, even with the espresso powder, and waaaay too greasy, even after 2 rounds of paper towels. I couldn't even bring myself to bring these to the guinea pigs at work. :(

Posted: 04:18 pm on January 1st 2009

Re:Boston Cream Candy

Fabulous. Detailed instructions are terrific and help the novice candy maker (me) anticipate situations and judge timing. Consistently turns out well in texture and flavor. I make this every year!

Posted: 10:15 am on December 20th 2008

Re:Brown-Sugar Caramel Sauce

OK, the picture looks a heck of a lot lighter in color than the sauce I ended up with. By the time I got to 265F, I could smell the caramel starting to burn despite continuous swirling (my arms and shoulders hurt)so I had to take it off the stove, and I could tell it had a slightly burnt taste after. I don't think this was the intent here. I am at sea level, so shouldn't have needed to make any adjustments. I think I will pick a different recipe - this one too cumbersome and results not great. For anyone who plans to try this, I'd advise wearing long sleeves and gloves or mitts - the cooking caramel really hurts when tiny drops hit your arms and hands. :((

Posted: 09:42 pm on December 11th 2008

Re:Sautéed Swiss Chard

Nice & simple. Good for first timer cooking chard - allows flavor of vegetable to come through as well.

Posted: 05:40 pm on November 27th 2008

Re:Bourbon Sweet Potato Pie

Although I love sweet potato pie and was anxious to try this recipe, this version fell flat. The flavor was very bland apart from the overpowering bourbon taste (I love bourbon, too, but there was just too much in this recipe.) Serving it chilled improved its flavor marginally, but then the crust is hard and unappealing. Also, if there is a better way (i.e. speedier) of mashing the sweet potato, I'd love to hear about it. For now, I'll stick to pumpkin pie for the holidays :(

Posted: 02:15 pm on November 18th 2008

Re:Mediterranean Kale & White Bean Soup with Sausage

Easy and relatively quick to make with outstanding flavor. Substitution of various sausage (andouille, ex) and adding pimenton or other spices is easy. Various types of beans also work well. Great for learning new technique to work with kale - it's challenging to find recipes that make good use of this good-for-you winter green while not being over the top with delicious but decadent ingredients (with cream in a yummy gratin, for example)! Thank you Ruth - this one's a keeper!

Posted: 02:17 pm on November 15th 2008

Re:Fastest Cinnamon Buns

This is a super recipe. It lives up to its billing in terms of speed once you've done it once or twice. It tastes terrific, and lends itself to multiple adaptations. It is quite tasty with a substitution of almond frangipane for the filling, and a touch of cardamom in the batter. Fabulous for a quick bite with friends on short notice, or for sucking up at work. :))

Posted: 05:29 pm on November 10th 2008

Re:Leek & Potato Soup with Garlic Toast

Has potential but lacks flavor. Texture is good. Instructions were clear. To help liven this recipe up, I found it made a huge difference to start with a saute of bacon or pancetta (about 4 slices, possibly more), add a shot of tabasco, and some white pepper. I also substituted a half cup of a nice Sauvignon Blanc for the same amount of broth. In the future, I would also consider adding another aromatic, like garlic or shallot, to the base. Finishing with a sprinkling of fresh Italian parsley also helped. Garlic toast, of course, is always amazing; I found simply laying some sliced, lightly smoked Provolone on top of the bread slices and broiling lightly added some character to the meal, although some might find this a bit over the top. Recipe needed tweaking, but I found it very helpful for basic technique.

Posted: 05:16 pm on November 10th 2008

Re:Caramel Pumpkin Pie

The making of the caramel was frustrating. I had to do it several times over, and it was a mess. Every time I went to add the cream to the hot, melted sugar, it would aggregate into this huge, viscous blob, even though I went slow and stirred vigorously. I had (some) dilute caramel with a giant, solidified blob of caramelized sugar that wouldn't dissolve. I finally had to combine several batches and strain out the blobs, if they weren't solidly adhered to the bottom of the pan. I'm sure there's some fine point of my technique that is off, but after reading over the instructions multiple times, I can't figure out what it is. The end result was tasty, but not worth the frustration.

Posted: 08:05 pm on November 9th 2008