labella

My Husband and I recently got married and moved to Europe 2 days after the wedding. Now, we are constantly looking for ways to incorporate the new dishes that are native here with the dishes we grew up eating in Canada. It's an adventure and sometimes very challenging but that makes the results that much more satisfying when they turn out.
Janet's Rich Banana Bread
Rating: Unrated
labella's rating

This recipe is fail-proof. I've made it twice within three days and it is gone in no time. I made a couple of changes. First, DEFINITELY mash the Bananas. Second, we live in Germany and have yet to find anywhere to get Vanilla Extract so I used vanilla sugar (at a 1/2 teaspoon = 3/4 Tablesoon ratio). Then I had a lack of sour cream and so I added just under 3 Tablespoons of milk to adjust the consistency to where I wanted and I also nixed the nuts (I've never been a fan of them in Banana Bread). I baked it for one hour and it turned out perfectly. It was very moist without being mushy. This would be a great recipe to add chocolate chips to!

Broccoli with Garlic Butter and Cashews
Rating: Unrated
labella's rating

We really loved this recipe. I cut back on the butter, and I am glad that I did. We ate it as a side tonight which is great but next time I think I will try it over some Shanghai Noodles or rice. NOTE: Since I first reviewed this recipe I have used the sauce (without the cashews) for the House Fried Rice recipe on this site. It turned out fantastic!

Bread and Celery Stuffing
Rating: Unrated
labella's rating

Great Recipe! I will admit that this was my first attempt to make stuffing WITHOUT Stovetop and I loved it! I dried the bread over night and added Sage. Remember to bake in oven covered if you like your stuffing moist and only uncover for the last 5-10 minutes if you want it a little less so. My husband and I both enjoyed it and I made extra to use in a Shepherds Pie. Delish! I will no longer be needing the assistance of Stovetop. This is much better!

The Best Rolled Sugar Cookies
Rating: Unrated
labella's rating

A great recipe! If you want to make them a little different, sprinkle cinnamon on the cookies before you place them in the oven. It will give them a personal touch and once you ice your cookies it will be a pleasant surprise for others when they take a bite. And just a note (as some other reviews mentioned) the dough is a little tacky. It's best if the dough is chilled over night and then just keep sprinkling with flour as you roll.

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House Fried Rice
Rating: Unrated
labella's rating

As some others have said, this is a very good base. I followed the recipe (leaving out the ham) and then used the sauce recipe from Broccoli with Garlic Butter and Cashews (leaving out the cashews). The different sauce was just what this recipe needed to give it a little pizazz. Also, using leftover rice will fry up much nicer.

Quick and Easy Chicken Noodle Soup
Rating: Unrated
labella's rating

My husband and I both LOVED this soup (a rare thing with soup). I used a cup of onion just to add a little bit more bite. Also, if you like your soup with more liquid try cooking your noodles in a separate pot. I like hearty soups so cooking the noodles in the broth worked great for us.

Italian Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
Rating: Unrated
labella's rating

Great recipe for adding a little kick to boring 'ol Grilled Cheese. It still seemed to lack something to me though. Next time I will try adding some sundried tomatoes or Capicolla Ham or even some spinach to give it more of a Panani flavor burst. That way, it feels a little more substantial.

Flatlander Chili
Rating: Unrated
labella's rating

LOVE this recipe! I am done searching for a Chili recipe. I made this recipe without make any changes for lunch one day. My Husband and I decided to try out how different the taste would be if we left it simmering until dinner time. The taste was so much better with time. I highly recommend making this ahead of time and allowing to simmer at least 3 hours to really make the flavors pop.

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J.P.'s Big Daddy Biscuits
Rating: Unrated
labella's rating

A good, basic recipe. Nice if you want your biscuits a little larger. Next time I will definitely leave the dough to chill overnight.

Five-Veggie Stir-Fry
Rating: Unrated
labella's rating

LOVE this recipe. After making it once and eating it over rice I changed that the following time to eat with Chowmein Noodles. That was definitely the change that it needed. Be careful not to add too much Orange juice though. Since the taste and strength of Orange Juice can vary depending on the brand, sample it before adding it. If it has a stronger punch try adding a little less so that it blends instead of overpowers. This has a great flavor for those who don't like plain 'ol veggies.

Pasta Salad with Homemade Dressing
Rating: Unrated
labella's rating

I used this recipe just for the sauce (like a few other readers) to add to a pasta salad mix that had things we had on hand. It was a great addition to spruce it up with a little bit of kick. I made to modifications; 1) I used Balsamic Vinegar instead of Red Wine and 2) used a bit of Dijon Mustard instead of mustard seed to add that extra kick. The result was very tasty! Make sure you add the vinegar in stages and test as you go to make sure it doesn't become too strong for your liking.

Apple Crisp
Rating: Unrated
labella's rating

Great recipe. I have made this twice now. The first time I made no changes and used a mix of Pink Lady apples and Granny (half and Half). With the tartness of the granny the amount of sugar was not too bad, but still too sweet for me. I did (as my mom always did when I was growing up) make extra topping. The second time I only had enough apples on hand to make it half batch. It still turned out great (using the same mix of apples), but I did make sure to cut the sugar back more than half. I didn't have any problems with the amount of water in the recipe as some other reviewers mentioned. However, I have an OLD oven that uses a fan and usually dries food out. So I think the water helped to keep it moist. I will definitely use this recipe as a base from now on. It's flexible and hard to go wrong!

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