Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Hi Everyone

Patti, Ruby and I met on March 20th.  We had some really good food.  Here are the results:

Patti used Valerie Bertinelli's One Dish At A Time cookbook.

1. Lasagna Alla Besciamella on Page 133- recipe was easy to follow, not expensive and taste was VERY GOOD.  The recipes for the meat ragu and besciamella were on page 134.  Patti did say that the Pomi Strained tomatoes were a bit expensive but well worth using.  She would not change anything in the recipe.  I tasted the lasagna and I would say the taste was WOW.

2. World's Easiest Quickbread on page 82- recipe was easy to follow, not expensive and taste was VERY GOOD.  Patti said that she thought you could add rosemary or herbs of your choice to bump up the flavor if you wished.

3. No Crust Quichettes on page 13- recipe was easy to follow, not expensive and taste was VERY GOOD.  Patti said that she used olive oil like the author said to coat the muffin tin and that she would never do that again.  The quichettes stuck to the pan, making the pan very hard to clean.  She would try solid shortening instead.

4. Chicken With Prunes and Olives on page 141- recipe was easy to follow, expensive to make and taste was VERY GOOD.  She said she used green olives instead of the garlic stuffed olives because the garlic stuffed olives were very expensive.

All in all, she would use this cookbook again.

Ruby used Olivia Newton John's Livwise.

1.Mushroom Soup With Lemon on page 124- easy to follow, not expensive and taste was VERY GOOD. She would add a teaspoonful of salt to the recipe.

2. Red Kidney Bean Dip on page 72- easy to follow, not expensive and taste was GOOD.

All in all she would use this cookbook again.  She said it had unique wholesome recipes that are healthy and worth the time.

I used Mr. Food Test Kitchen-Just one More Bite:

1. Blueberry Cheese Breakfast Tartlets on page 13- easy to follow, not expensive and taste was GOOD.  Just make sure you really stretch the dough in the cupcake pan, otherwise you will not be able to fill the tartlet with the best part, the cheese filling.  Don't buy the jumbo biscuits if your pan is a regular sized muffin pan.

2. Rolled Italian Meatloaf on page 72- easy to follow, not expensive and taste was GOOD.  I would not use mozzarella in the loaf, I would use cheddar cheese and I will try using spinach in place of the basil next time.  Also, I would use a mixture of beef broth and tomato sauce to cover the loaf instead of just tomato sauce.  When tomato sauce is cooked down on the loaf for an hour it tastes like tomato paste, a little to strong for me.

3. My Mom's Stuffed Cabbage on page 70- easy to follow, not expensive and taste was VERY GOOD.  I used red cabbage and though the taste was good it was a pain to wrap around the meat mixture.

4. Easy Friendship Bread on page 20-easy to follow, not expensive and taste was VERY GOOD.  All in all, I would use this cookbook again. 


Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Our last meeting was on February 20th.  Dealing with all the snow that we have had put a cramp on our cooking.  However, we did manage to do some recipes.

Ruby did Better Homes and Gardens 75 Years of All-Time Favorites.

Maryland Fried Chicken on page 175.  She said the recipe was easy to follow, not expensive and taste was VERY GOOD.  Her comment was "The chicken was very tasty and low fat."  She said she would use the cookbook for more recipes.

I did Cooking Light-Lighten up America.

Cranberry Orange Scones on page 33- easy to follow, not expensive and taste was NOTHING SPECIAL.  I would add a little more sugar and maybe some cinnamon.  I had to substitute lemons for the oranges because my stomach objects to oranges quite vehemently.

Butter Crunch Lemon Bars on page 299- easy to follow, not expensive and taste was GOOD.  When doing the recipe I forgot to whirl the cottage cheese before adding the other ingredients, so they turned out a bit grainy.  I will attempt to do it again the proper way and see how it turns out then.

Chicken Diva on page 143- easy to follow, not expensive and taste was VERY GOOD.  I had to use baby bella's instead of the cremini's and it still turned out very good.

Meatballs and Spaghetti on page 137- easy to follow, not expensive and taste was VERY GOOD.
My husband loved the meatballs and he is a tough critic.  The spaghetti part was just regular spaghetti that you buy in the store. 

I will definitely use this cookbook again.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Hi Again

Our meeting was held on January 16th.  It was just Patty and me. 

I used The Pioneer Woman Cooks a Year of Celebrations.  My critiques are:


1. Spicy Barbecue Sliders on pages 40-41:  Recipe was easy to follow, not expensive and taste was GOOD.  I wouldn't make this recipe again, but, if you want to try it , I suggest you add less barbecue sauce and more whiskey.

2. Turkey Tetrazzini on pages 297-299: easy to follow, not expensive and taste was VERY GOOD.  As suggested, I substituted chicken for the turkey and chicken broth for the wine.  My only criticism would be that I did not particularly care for the panko on top- I would mix the panko or just unseasoned bread crumbs with a lot of parmesan cheese and put that on top.  I would make this recipe again.

3.No-Knead Cloverleaf Rolls on page 278: easy to follow, not expensive and taste was VERY GOOD.  My comment would be to have some oil or flour nearby- the dough is extremely sticky.  I would make the rolls again.

4. Toasted Ravioli's on pages 180-181:  easy to follow, not expensive and taste was VERY GOOD.  My comments would be to make sure you have casserole dishes to put the flour , egg wash and breadcrumbs in.  Also, I would probably use the small ravioli even though it would be more work.  I would not make this recipe again because it was so messy and I don't like using all that oil and deep frying.

Patty  used One Big Table and the following are her critiques:

1. Transylvanian Goulash on page 455- easy to follow, not expensive and taste was WOW.  She commented that she would cut down a little bit on the broth-start with 2 cups instead of 3.

2. Creole Shrimp on page 260- easy to follow, not expensive and taste was VERY GOOD.

3. Butterscotch Pie on page 729- easy to follow, not expensive and taste was GOOD but very sweet.

4. Pie Day Committee's Crust on page 693- easy to follow, not expensive and taste was GOOD. Patty said it had good flavor.

5. Croatian Venison Gulas on page 471- easy to follow, not expensive and taste was GOOD.  She commented that she could not find the Vegeta seasoning and she added some garlic powder.

Patty said she would use this cookbook again.

That's it for this month.  We meet again on February 20th.   

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Hi All,

The Cookbook Recipe Critiquers met on Thursday, December 19th.

 At our last meeting in November, we all brought in our favorite Thanksgiving recipes.  We had stuffed rolled turkey breast with gravy, mashed red potatoes, breaded broccoli and cauliflower, mashed parsnips and carrots, yellow pepper soup, fresh tomato soup and pumpkin ginger bread trifle. we were all stuffed and very happy.

At our meeting this past Thursday it was just Ruby and Barbara (me).  Patty and Kay (our newest member) could not make the meeting this month.

Our theme was Christmas recipes.

Ruby took out a cookbook titled Cookies for Christmas.  Mmmm.

The following are her critiques:

1. Kourabiedes on page 149- easy to follow, not expensive to make and she gave it a WOW.  Her comment was "awesome".
2. Brandy Snap on page 158- easy to follow, not expensive to make, rated Nothing Special and she would use more extract and bake for less time than is printed.
3.Sesame Cookies on page 104- easy to follow, not expensive, rated Very Good and she would not change a thing.
4.Cornmeal Shortbread on page 62- easy to follow, not expensive, rated Good and she would not make any changes.
5.Orange Snowball on page 41- easy to make, not expensive, rated Very Good and she suggests that you roll them in sugar before baking not after as recipe says.
6. Macadamia Nut Cookie with Pineapple Cream Cheese on page 31- easy to follow, not expensive, rated WOW and she would not change anything.  Her comment on the cookbook was "very tasty, very nice following recipes, inexpensive ingredients".

I (Barbara) took out Celebrations Sumptuous Meals for Festive Occasions.

The following are my critiques:

1.Wild Mushroom Soup with Thyme on page 98- easy to follow, a bit expensive to make, rated WOW and I would not change a thing.  However, I must tell you that I did not use the shitake or chanterelles that were in the recipe.  I could not get them so I used baby bellas for the shitake and/or chanterelles.  Also, the soup is very thin but you can just use more cornstarch dissolved in water ( I used chicken stock instead of water)  if you like a thicker soup.

2.Basil Tomato Tart on page 128- easy to follow, not expensive, rated Very Good.  You may have to use more ice water in the pastry and I would use less mustard or substitute a milder mustard but otherwise I would not change a thing.  This recipe does take some time, the pastry needs to be refrigerated for at least an hour.

I would use this cookbook again.

Our next meeting will be January 16th, 2014.   Merry Christmas and Happy New Year Everybody.

   

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The monthly Cookbook Recipe Critique Club met on October 17th.  Our next meeting is November 21st. and we decided to bring in our own time tested recipes.

we did several recipes for October and these are the results:

Patti used Taste of Home-Dinner on a Dime cookbook.  The following are her critiques:

1. Chicken and Bows- Easy to follow recipe, not expensive to make and taste was GOOD.  Patti said she would substitute low fat soup and use less pasta than called for.  She only used 1 can of chicken and 1 can of mushroom soup in the recipe.

2. Garlic Salmon Linguine- easy to follow, not expensive and taste was NOTHING SPECIAL.  She would substitute canned salmon with fresh salmon and use half the amount of linguine called for.

3. Country Fried Steak- easy to follow, not expensive and taste was NOTHING SPECIAL.  Her comment was that she just would not make it again.

4. Jumbo Banana-Carrot Muffins- easy to follow, not expensive and taste was GOOD.  She used orange extract instead of orange peel.

5. Creamed Chicken Over Beans- easy to follow, not expensive and taste was GOOD. She suggests using leftover chicken.

Patti decided she would use the cookbook for more recipes.

Ruby used Cooking With Two Hot Tamales.  The following are her critiques:

1.Pompope- easy to follow, not expensive and taste was GOOD.  She suggests using less sugar.

2. Spiced Red Sangria- easy to follow, not expensive and taste was WOW.   She wouldn't change a thing.

3. Sally's Oatmeal Cookies-easy to follow, not expensive and taste was GOOD.  She wouldn't change anything.

4. Grammy's Hot Chicken Salad Casserole- easy to follow, not expensive and taste was WOW.  No changes needed.

5. Granny's Black Berry Cake- easy to follow, not expensive and taste was GOOD.  The icing recipe was not enough to cover the cake, should probably double it.

Ruby also used recipes from AT MY Grandmother's Table.  The following are her critiques:

1. Grammy's New Orleans Shrimp- easy to follow, not expensive and taste was GOOD.  She says ti is a delicious recipe.

2. Grammy's Cheese Grits- easy to follow, not expensive and taste was GOOD.. She would use less salt.

3. Kentucky-Style Southern Tea- easy to follow, not expensive and taste was GOOD. Very refreshing beverage.

Ruby said the recipes are affordable and some can be tweaked to your taste.  She would use the cookbook again.

Barbara used The Healthy Heart Cookbook.  The following are her critiques:

1.  Easy Pastry Crust- easy to follow, not expensive and taste was NOTHING SPECIAL.  She would not use this recipe again.

2. Old Fashioned Apple Pie- easy to follow, not expensive and taste was NOTHING SPECIAL.  She would not use this again.

She would probably try this cookbook again.

  Barbara also used A Return to Sunday Dinner.  The following are her critiques:

1. Baked Pacific Halibut- easy to follow, expensive to make and taste was GOOD.  She could not get Halibut so had to substitute Barramundi.

2. Tangy Cheese Broccoli- easy to follow, not expensive and taste was GOOD.

3. Rustic Village Bread- easy to follow, not expensive to make and taste was GOOD.  She said it took a long time to make and would change the way the last rising was done.  She would not put the dough on a lightly floured surface and then move, after rising, to a pizza stone.  For the last rising simply dust the pizza stone with cornmeal and put the dough on that, cover , Not letting the cover touch the dough, and let it rise.

4. Ranch Dressing- easy to follow, not expensive and taste was GOOD.

Barbara said she would use this cookbook again.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Hi Everyone,

Summer is over and the Cookbook Recipe Critiquers are meeting again.

At our last meet Ruby did recipes from Around my French Table.  Here are her critiques:

1. Creme Fresh- the recipe was easy to follow, not expensive but rated the recipe as NOTHING SPECIAL.

2. Caramel topped Semolina Cake- the recipe was easy to follow, it was cost prohibitive and rated the recipe as GOOD.  Ruby would change the dried fruit in the recipe.

3. Citrus-Berry Terrine-the recipe was easy to follow, not expensive to make and Ruby rated it GOOD.  Ruby suggested using a different flavored gelatin.

4. Salted Butter Break-up- the recipe was easy to follow, not very expensive to make and Ruby rated it GOOD.  Ruby commented that it was a very nice cookie.

5. Savory Cheese and Chive Bread- the recipe was easy to follow, not expensive to make and Ruby rated it GOOD.

Ruby said she use the cookbook again.

Barbara used recipes from Live, Love, Eat The Best of Wolfgang Puck

1. Hearty Potato and Cheddar Soup with Bacon-  recipe was easy to follow, not expensive to make and Barbara rated it WOW.  Her comment was- be ready to chop alot and it makes a big batch of soup.  It also freezes well.

2. Buttermilk Biscuits with Parmesan- easy to follow, not expensive to make and rated GOOD.
 it freezes well, however if you are going to freeze the biscuits before they are baked omit the thyme, it seems to increase in flavor.

All American Pot Pie-easy to follow, not expensive and rated NOTHING SPECIAL. I wanted more of a chicken flavor and the crust was awful.

Barbara also did recipes from a child's cookbook called Knead It, Punch It, Bake It.

1. Baked Doughnuts- easy to follow, not expensive and rated VERY GOOD.

2. Baking Powder Biscuits- easy to follow, not expensive and rated GOOD.

3. Pretzels- easy to follow, not expensive and rated UGH.  Her comment was- dough was sticky and remained sticky after adding more flour it was also extremely hard to make into a rope and shape- it took forever to bake after the baking soda water bath- not kid friendly at all.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Hi Everyone,

The Cookbook Critiquers met on May 16th and we had a feast of tasty morsels.  The following is what was said about the recipes we all did.

Ruby did recipes from Pioneer Woman Cookbook by Ree Drummond and here are her critiques:
     1. Chicken Fried Rice- The recipe was easy to follow, didn't cost much to prepare, taste was GOOD.  Her comments about the recipe were "Love the recipe.  Steak more juicier. Love the gravy over it."
     2. Red Velvet Cake- The recipe was easy to follow, didn't cost much to prepare, taste was NOTHING SPECIAL.  Her comment was "Cake was a bit dense and dry, I would add more buttermilk and one more egg."
     3. Angel Sugar Cookies- The recipe was easy to follow, didn't cost much to prepare and taste was GOOD.  Her Comment was "Love the dessert, easy and yummy."
     4. Creme Brulee- The recipe was easy to Follow, didn't cost much to prepare, taste was GOOD.

Ruby's overall opinion was "This cookbook was absolutely delicious." She will use this cookbook again.

 Patti did recipes from The Best Skillet Recipes cookbook and her critiques were:
     1. Peach Crisp- The recipes was easy to follow, didn't cost much to prepare and taste was WOW.
Patti's comment was "Add one more pound of peaches since they cooked down somewhat."
     2. Spring Vegetable Pot Pie- The recipe was easy to follow, cost was prohibitive and taste was VERY GOOD.  Her comment was "I didn't use vermouth- used chicken broth."
     3. Indoor Barbecued Chicken- The recipe was easy to follow, cost was prohibitive, taste was GOOD.
     4. Pan Seared Turkey Burgers- The recipe was easy to follow, cost was prohibitive and taste was GOOD.

Patti's overall opinion was that she would use this cookbook again.

Barbara did recipes from Fix it and Forget it Cookbook and her critiques were:
     1. Busy Day Beef Stew- The recipe was easy to follow, didn't cost much to prepare and taste was UGH. Her comment was "Taste was awful- had to doctor it up by adding wine and vegetable broth and then thickening it with flour and water."
     2. Tracy's Italian Meatloaf- The recipe was easy to follow, didn't cost much to prepare and taste was NOTHING SPECIAL. Her comment was "Taste was okay but extremely dry.  Recipe just said to use Ground beef- it should specify the fat content of the ground meat- I only had 90% on hand and since there was no specification I used that, even though I knew it was not a good idea."
     3. Michelle's Barbecued Ribs- The recipe was easy to follow, didn't cost much to prepare and the taste was WOW.  Her comment was " I would double the recipe for the spice rub, otherwise this was really great."
     4. Baked Chicken Breast- The recipe was easy to follow, didn't cost much to prepare and taste was GOOD.  Her comment was "needed a little salt and I would have added pearl onions and maybe some baby carrots.  Possible stick one pearl onion with whole cloves and don't cook for the amount of time stated.  If possible check the chicken for doneness after six hours.  Next time I will put it on for only the six hours and keep it on warm until I get home."
     5. Scalloped Pineapple- The recipe was easy to follow, didn't cost much to prepare and taste was GOOD.  Her comment was "I would use less butter and more pineapple."

Barbara's overall opinion was that she would use this cookbook again.