Kim

Vietnamese Fresh Spring Rolls
Rating: Unrated
Kim's rating

Spring rolls are my absolute favorite Vietnamese food. Apparently, people have different versions of the dipping sauce. In our family (and yes, we're Vietnamese), we make a peanut-hoisin dipping sauce. We NEVER use a fish sauce for spring rolls. In a sauce pan, heat up one can of coconut soda (don't worry if you can't find this, I've subbed a can of 7-up or Sprite with the same result albeit with a slightly different taste), about 3 tablespoons of creamy peanut butter, and about 6 tablespoons of hoisin sauce. Whisk until all the peanut butter melts. Simmer. (Taste it & add more hoisin or peanut butter to suite your tastebuds.) Put a tablespoon of cornstarch into a mug, add water, & mix. Slowly add this to the simmering pot to thicken the sauce to your desired consistency - the sauce should have a consistency like gravy. This will make lots of sauce. Cool before serving. Top with crushed peanuts. In our family, 8 spring rolls does NOT equal 8 servings. Seriously, we each eat 3-4 of these as a meal. So that's enough sauce for everyone (well, sometimes, because some of us like the sauce so much, we practically drink the sauce!) UPDATED NOTE: I made 40 of these today for our party. When we make lots of these, it helps to take all the greens and chop it all up together; then I can grab 1 handful and get all the veggies at once. Also, we use slivered cucumbers - adds an extra crunch. Cucumber slices + peanut-hoisin sauce = heaven! Trust me on that one.

Banana Crumb Muffins
Rating: Unrated
Kim's rating

Wowsers! Great muffins. I tried out a banana bread once (it was way too dense) but I've never made muffins before. This recipe was great (I did add some vanilla and cinnamon to the batter like others suggested). Moist muffins with a great topping. I'd happily stock up on bananas so I can make more of these next time! Next time, I'll try baking this as a loaf.

Linda's Cranberry Cookies
Rating: Unrated
Kim's rating

Oh-so-delicious! I baked a batchful, gave half to my sister, and the rest were on my mother's kitchen counter. Her friend popped by for a visit, tried one, and then proceeded to eat like four more. We gave her the rest of the batch. This is a woman who never eats sweets!

Best Turkey Burgers
Rating: Unrated
Kim's rating

Pretty tasty burgers! The only things I changed was dry parsley instead of fresh, and I added extra garlic. My mom, who never finishes any kind of hamburger, devoured the whole thing. I was tempted to add W-sauce or soy sauce as some others recommened, but I didn't. Too many people in our family watching our salt intake. Maybe next time I'll add just a splash to see if it's worth the sodium.

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Chocolate-Covered Strawberries
Rating: Unrated
Kim's rating

Who knew these would be so easy? Such an elegant dessert. I'll be making these often!

Aunt Anne's Coffee Cake
Rating: Unrated
Kim's rating

Here's a helpful tip: use a food processor. I don't have a food processor, but I do own a mini-prep processor, and it works really well for this recipe. I just work in smaller batches for both the streusel and the cake batter. It's still faster using the pastry cutter without my hands cramping up, and the results are the same: deliciously moist coffee cake with the perfect crumb texture. This cake is all about texture! Every time I make this coffee cake, it disappears so quickly that I get requests to make it again. Per other reviewer's recommendations, here are some things I do with the recipe. When I make a 9x13 cake, I double the entire recipe & add just a bit of of extra vanilla. For the streusel, I use 2/3 C each: flour, brown sugar, white sugar, 3 tsp cinnamon (I love cinnamon) with 1/2 C butter.