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Recent Reviews

Re:Summer Corn Chowder with Scallions, Bacon & Potatoes

This soup couldn't be quicker or easier to make. It's not the most spectacular corn chowder I've made, but I'm not sure why people are adding cheese and more bacon; hello, it's a vegetable soup and presumably good for you. Since I hadn't shopped with this recipe in mind, I had to sub a Vidalia onion for half of the scallion whites, and was one ear of corn short, but it was still good. My only additions were the juice from a quarter of a lime, and a dollop of sour cream in each bowl for garnish. And, as I often do, I used an immersion blender instead of the mess of transferring to a blender or processor bowl.

Posted: 07:07 pm on September 1st 2011

Re:Garlicky Chicken Thighs in Red Pepper Sauce

I had doubts about this recipe, but tried it because of the overwhelmingly positive reviews. Though I followed the recipe to the letter, I found it just so-so -- decidedly lacking in flavor, despite the amount of garlic. Maybe it's just that because of the influx of so much Thai, Indian, and Mexican cooking over the past few years, my palate has been too accustomed to high-spice foods.

Posted: 11:58 am on May 17th 2011

Re:Pecan Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

As a nut case (so to speak) who objects to pieces of nuts in baked goods, I'd been searching for a long time for a cake with ground pecans in the batter. And, for years I've tried making a satisfying pineapple upside-down cake. This recipe filled the bill on both counts, and I really like it. The cake itself is far more interesting than the usual bland one that makes up pineapple upside-down cake.Even though I knew from experience that the pecans could turn to butter, mine were just marginally dry enough, and I didn't want to start all over with the toasting, so I went ahead. That may be a reason that a very small center portion of the cake (1-1/2 inches in diameter, perhaps) didn't seem as done as I'd liked. But the rest had a great texture. I used fresh pineapple slices and in hindsight probably should have paper-toweled them dry before using. That little wetness may have caused the center to seem a little underdone.I thought at first that I didn't have a 10-inch pan, but then realized that I have a pretty scalloped 10-1/2-inch pan from Ross that I use for flan, and it was perfect -- and made a very pretty cake.I think next time I'll try making the same cake with a caramel icing and without the pineapple topping.

Posted: 03:23 pm on May 12th 2011

Re:Spicy Seared Chipotle Shrimp with Zucchini & Chorizo

Love the complex flavors of this dish, its beautiful appearance, and ease of preparation. Wish there were more recipes like this! Would not make the green rice suggested again. It tasted soapy. Did enjoy having tortillas with it, but may make jalapeno cornbread with it next time.

Posted: 10:01 pm on May 10th 2011

Re:Asparagus, Ham and Mushroom Strata

I've made this as a pretty luncheon dish, along with a salad, for eight women (made 1-1/2 times the recipe and a larger baking dish), who thoroughly enjoyed it. Great chick food, but also was nice to cut the recipe in half for an 8x8-inch baking dish for supper for husband and myself. Didn't change a thing first time out, though creminis -- or the wild mushroom mix when they're on sale -- were a good sub for the oyster mushrooms.

Posted: 12:50 pm on April 22nd 2011

Re:Black Bean Soup with Sherry

This recipe came in today as I was wondering what I was going to make for supper, so I made it -- with one substitution. Since I didn't have any sherry on hand, I added a spoonful or two of rum at the end. The soup really is pretty bland before any booze is added. Also, instead of messing with the food processor, I simply used a stick blender to puree half the beans after adding them to the pot. And, like another reviewer, I added a pinch or so of ground chipotle pepper. Together with cheese and corn quesadillas from epicurious.com, it made a nice supper on one of those nights when the fridge was kind of empty. Not great, but I'd probably make it again in another "emergency." Oh, yes, and I did serve it with a lime-juice- and cumin-flavored sour cream garnish.

Posted: 07:06 pm on March 4th 2011

Re:Cod with Mushrooms, Garlic & Vermouth

Except for adding more mushrooms, because I had them and like them a lot, I followed this recipe to the letter, using cod and mahi fillets that were extras from our Christmas Eve cioppino. I've also made the dish with tilapis fillets, cutting down on cooking time accordingly, and liked it a lot better -- simply because it's my own preference over the other types of fish. This is a great go-to recipe with plenty of flavor when you want something nice without a lot of labor or extra shopping. We like it with boiled parsley potatoes, a green veggie, and a salad. It's good with papardelle, too.

Posted: 07:58 pm on December 28th 2010

Re:Turkey Cutlets and Black Beans with Tangerine-Habanero Mojo Sauce

On a night when I craved a Latin-inspired meal, this dish filled the bill. I followed the recipe pretty faithfully other than subbing chicken cutlets for turkey, flat parsley for cilantro (husband hates cilantro), and jalapeno for habanero pepper. People who change recipes completely then review them irritate me, but I feel these alterations did not change the character of the recipe. I love the combination of tangerine and lime, as well as the slices of garlic, in the mojo. I plated it up with homemade guac and mango salsa on a bed of mixed greens. It's a keeper.

Posted: 07:51 pm on December 28th 2010

Re:Farmers’ Market Quesadillas

After much searching I finally found ancho chili powder at T.J. Maxx and made this recipe exactly as instructed. I found it surprisingly bland, despite the poblano peppers and the ancho chili. It had no kick, and none of the flavors came through; they were all as one. Serving it with sour cream flavored with cumin and lime juice didn't even help. One thing I did like was the idea of reserving some of the veggie filling to serve atop the quesadillas -- very pretty.

Posted: 02:18 pm on June 30th 2010

Re:Summer Corn Soup

Great summer soup. Fresh corn in season makes it very sweet; fresh marjoram was the perfect seasoning; and the sour cream, tomato, and basil garnishes are essential to add wonderful layers of flavor as well as a really pretty presentation. My husband loved it. I also used an immersion blender to save clean-up effort. The only change I made was adding red pepper flakes to the onion saute and omitting the cayenne pepper -- just a personal preference.

Posted: 11:42 pm on September 10th 2009