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Charlotte, NC, US

Recent Reviews

Re:Pork Chops with Peach-Ginger Chutney

Maybe it was my peaches (it's early in the season) but I found the chutney to be pretty bland. Will probably add a splash of vinegar and maybe a dash of Tabasco to punch it up a bit. Pork chops are pork chops so the flavor will only improve based on how they are seasoned. I used S&P and Nature's Seasoning (my go-to all purpose seasoning) and they still needed a bit more flavor (or maybe more fat - today's pork chops are so lean they lack much flavor). Might follow other reviewers suggestions to brine the chops.Will review again after I make some changes.

Posted: 10:44 pm on May 23rd 2011

Re:Lamb Shanks en Papillote with Leeks, Carrots, Rosemary, and Orange

Agree with other review - outstanding! My lamb shanks were about a pound each as the recipes calls for and they were definitely "fall off the bone" tender. I thought the vegs got a bit overcooked so I would use larger pieces next time and maybe only 2 hours cooking time. I made one tiny change - I added a 1/2 clove garlic to each packet - gotta have garlic!Served with polenta (there's a recipe for baked polenta on this site - it's easy and comes out perfect.) It was wonderful; definitely a keeper!

Posted: 09:33 am on March 23rd 2011

Re:Braised Chicken with Gewürztraminer and Grapes

Good not great although my husband really liked it. I used both red (flame)and muscat grapes but didn't think they really stood out. The whole dish seemed a little bland.It is very time consuming so not a pick for a quick week night dinner. I probably will make it again but will punch up the spices.

Posted: 11:08 am on October 6th 2010

Re:Indian Summer Gratin with Butternut Squash, Potatoes, Corn, and Bacon

One word - fabulous! My husband hates squash and loved this dish. Flavors are great together. I transferred the leftovers into a smaller container this morning and just the scent of this dish made me want to eat it NOW!It really is a meal in itself - my husband and I split a apple/chicken sausage to go with this and it was not at all necessary. You won't be disappointed in this veggie recipe - and it's got bacon and cream; what's not to like?!

Posted: 11:28 am on August 3rd 2010

Re:Fresh Peas with Lemon & Chives

I so wanted this to be rich and flavorful...but it was just ok. If you managed to spoon up some of the cream, it was better, but still not great. A bit too bland and the cream really doesn't thicken enough to stay on the peas.That said: I used frozen peas because it's January - but I don't think even very fresh peas would have helped. Fresh peas have to be minutes from picking to be really great.I would up all the seasonings and find a way to thicken the cream sauce - maybe a litte cream cheese? I might make it again with some changes and re-review it.

Posted: 12:03 am on January 21st 2010

Re:Roasted Chicken Thighs, Baby Potatoes & Tomatoes with Olives & Mint

Let me start by saying I hate it when a reviewer rates a recipe, but then when you read the review it turns out they changed the recipe: didn't have that, used XX instead, don't like chicken so I used XX, etc.That said, first time I made the recipe as written, and made notes of what to change. My note said, "Excellent. Less capers and olives". I have made this several times and love, love, love it. I use the quantities of garlic, oil, thyme and bay leaves listed, but only use 4 thighs. I've scaled the rest of the recipe for 2 servings. After the first or second time I made this I left off the capers & mint - have also left off olives with no loss of wonderfulness.It's easy, tasty and used up my little potatoes from the farmers market and small tomatoes from my deck garden. Will make this over and over again. You may want to adjust timing - I find the potatoes can overcook if they are quite small. I deducted one star because this really messes up the oven!!! This time I'm doing it on the gas grill over med/low heat after getting grill up to starting temp. Seems to be working out just fine!Update 5/14 - Grill worked ok, but it is best to have one with an integrated thermometer.Have made this in the oven since and find the cooking times to be overly long. 15 min for the first pass, 7 for the second, then add tomatoes, etc and cook 5 min or less. Otherwise even large "cherry tomatoes" will become mush - grape tomatoes would totally disintegrate. Flavors are still awesome!

Posted: 11:19 pm on September 8th 2009

Re:Grilled Flatbreads

I can't believe no one else has used this as a base for flatbread pizzas! I've made this recipe twice and it's definitely a keeper. I used 1/2 the dough the day it is made and freeze the other 1/2 for another time. Works great both ways.I am not a bread baker - never felt I could get it right, but this recipe is pretty idiot-proof as I can attest. Very forgiving for a rookie - my husband got a 1/2 hr business call while we were in our last 5 min rest and it had no ill effect on the outcome. I will use this as a base for many yummy recipes to come - including the dipping sauce this is paired with!For our pizzas, a 1/2 recipe makes two nice sized flatbread pizzas. We have done them on the grill and in the oven. For the grill, we put the oiled and salted flatbread on the grill, oiled side down and grill until medium/dark grill marks show. Flip and repeat for light grill marks. We put marinara (Muir Glen organic Cabernet Marinara is an awesome pizza sauce!), chopped fresh rosemary and basil, and other toppings: mushrooms, onions, pepperoni, cheese etc. on the flatbread side grilled first (the darker grill marks)and return to a low/med grill heat. Watch carefully or it could burn.We have super sweet small tomatoes from our patio garden right now so we added those - the smokey grill flavor with the lightly roasted tomatoes made them even sweeter! Oh, and I inadvertantly added the 1 TBS sugar to the flour mixture so I had to add about 3/4 Tbs to the yeast mixture - made for a nice, slightly sweeter (but NOT SWEET) dough.Such a great recipe. I'm thinking - rubbed with roasted garlic, or dipped in hummus or red pepper spread, topped with feta and broiled for a side with Greek Salad Can't go wrong with this as your base recipe!

Posted: 12:56 am on August 15th 2009

Re:Oven-Roasted Polenta

First time making polenta - this was a snap. I may have used a bit too much liquid; it took a bit longer to cook than the recipe stated. I used mostly water with about 1/3 milk. I added some grated parmesan (nothing fancy, just Sargento) at the end. Also needed more salt, but that might just be me.Next time I'll add better quality cheese and will try some flavor variations. Served this with the Orange Braised Chicken with Crisp Prosciutto (on this site and FC Comfort Food). Perfect foil for the sauce and lovely with crisp salty prosciutto.

Posted: 12:35 am on July 9th 2009

Re:Chinese Pork & Mushroom Wraps

Had leftover pork roast and thought I'd try this. I have other Moo Shu Pork recipes, but this is by far the best. My husband gives it 2 thumbs-way up!I scaled it down for about 4 servings but kept the pork close to 2 cups (I had a lot of leftover pork). Had wonderful fresh, huge shiitakes (not like the usual flat grocery store variety) and very fresh ginger from the farmer's market. Only change was to add a few drops of oyster sauce to the hoisin/soy sauce/vinegar/oil mix.Will definitely make this again and again!

Posted: 11:40 pm on March 25th 2009

Re:Chicken Tikka Masala

This is a favorite at our house. I only use 6 thighs when I make the tandoori chicken, but use the full marinade recipe. In the tikka masala, I don't cut back any ingredients and it is still has plenty of chicken. I usually use less serrano or a jalapeno, since I don't want a real spicy dish. We always serve it on brown basmait rice, usually with fruit as a nice counterpoint. This freezes well and is a great leftover for a busy night - leave it to thaw in the fridge during the day and reheat as the rice cooks; couldn't be easier!

Posted: 12:44 pm on September 5th 2008