wisweetp

I'm a born and bred Southerner now living in the Midwest (temporarily!). I learned to cook by watching and helping my grandmother and great-grandmother, both of whom were wonderful Southern cooks who cooked by "feel" rather than by measuring. And that's how I cook now, too. Recipes are more of a suggestion than instruction for me. I love to garden and use my fresh veggies in my creations, especially salsa and hot sauce, which are my specialties.
Brick-Oven Pizza (Brooklyn Style)
Rating: Unrated
wisweetp's rating

I first made this about 3 years go, and it's still in my regular rotation. This is the perfect pizza crust! The dough freezes beautifully. I use crushed tomatoes usually. This is a phoenomenal recipe!01/13/11 UPDATE: I decided last minute to make this yesterday for dinner last night. I had 4 hours. I made the dough adding about 1/4 cup semolina for a little of the bread flour and adding a pinch of sugar to the yeast mixture. I left on the counter to rise for about an hour then moved to the garage (very cool there!) and left for 2 hours before bringing back to the kitchen for the last hour to warm up. It turned out fantastic. While the flavor may not be quite as full as an overnight rest, it's possible to make this same day and still have the same great crispy-chewy texture and very good flavor. DH said last night's was the best crust ever in fact! This recipe truly makes a superior crust.

Melissa's Green Chile Stew
Rating: Unrated
wisweetp's rating

Even with my changes to the recipe, this was just ok. We were disappointed that it was so bland. I used 2 14 oz cans of diced tomatoes and 1 14 oz can of crushed tomatoes and 1 14 oz can of beef broth and omitted the water. I also increased the amount of chopped onions to 3/4 cup, added 2 cloves of minced garlic and a TBSP of worcestershire sauce. I used a combination of chopped hot peppers, and the stew is still only mildly spicy. We will try one more time with more revisions like using stew meat rather than ground beef and more peppers and onions and garlic. Hopefully, this will be a keeper after our next try.

Peppery Cheese Bread
Rating: Unrated
wisweetp's rating

Delicious and very easy! I did make some changes. Living in Wisconsin, we have access to a huge variety of cheeses; I substituted Asiago with Red Pepper for the cheddar, and I used cubes of it rather than shredded, because we like the pockets of warm, gooey cheese in the bread--used about a cup and a half of cubed cheese. I used the dough hook of my mixer to incorporate the flour, and it worked great. I also omitted the pepper from this batch. I did not divide the dough in half, I just spooned it into the loaf pan. It took about 2 hours for my dough to fully rise, and I drizzled a little melted butter on the top before baking. It made one perfect loaf of bread that we devoured warm from the oven! My mind is already racing with the possibilities this recipe has....

Pasta Lasagna
Rating: Unrated
wisweetp's rating

This is a pretty good basic recipe. I took the advice from other reviewers and added a pound of ground beef that I browned with onions and garlic. I added only half the ricotta mixture and used a shredded mozzarella/provolone mixture, also. I also used 2 jars of highly-flavored pasta sauce and whole-wheat rotini pasta. My family and I did enjoy it made like this, and it's certainly easier than regular lasagna, but we prefer the traditional.

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Chicken Katsu
Rating: Unrated
wisweetp's rating

The coating is very crispy, which we loved, but it's bland. Even after seasoning liberally with salt and pepper, it does not have enough flavor. I'd suggest either marinating the chicken breasts in your favorite marinade or sprinkling with additional seasonings. We will make again but definitely kicked up with more flavor next time! If you want classic fried chicken (like I grew up with in the South), you'll need to search for a different recipe.

Old Fashioned Sicilian Succo
Rating: Unrated
wisweetp's rating

I first made and reviewed this in January 2007, and I have made many, many times since. It is our absolute favorite meatball and sauce recipe. However...I do not like this made with tomato sauce, and I also bake my meatballs for a few minutes to brown rather than fry. I use crushed or ground tomatoes, and I always add chopped onion. Sometimes I add chopped roasted red peppers or carrots for a little sweetness if my tomatoes are particuarly acidic. Leftover sauce, makes a great pizza sauce. We used it on the Brick-oven pizza from this site (another favorite of ours), and it's wonderful--try adding thin slices of the meatballs to the pizza before popping in the oven--fabulous! We sometimes double the meatball recipe and make meatball sandwiches. It's also fantastic in lasagna. We love this sauce and the meatballs, too.

Vegan Red Lentil Soup
Rating: Unrated
wisweetp's rating

I'll admit, I didn't make the recipe as vegan, but it's delicious! I used chicken broth instead of water and substituted garam masala instead of curry, because I don't like curry. I cooked this in a slow cooker for several hours, and it's wonderful.

Curried Lentils
Rating: Unrated
wisweetp's rating

Very good recipe. I used chicken broth in place of water and added about 1 1/2 tsp of curry paste. The broth was fiery while it was cooking but it's a bit more tame now. My hubby loves it. It's great served over Jasmine or Basmati rice. Very easy to make, too.

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Chocolate Earthquake Cake I
Rating: Unrated
wisweetp's rating

Wow, is this cake rich! I made this for my husband's son's birthday. He did not want the coconut or pecans, and we added a cup of dark chocolate chips to the cream cheese mixture. It has a very good taste, but I think, as some of the other reviews suggested, I'll use less sugar next time and perhaps another 3 oz of cream cheese, also. The taste is very good, and I think this one has definite possibilities for future experiments.

Blazing Brisket
Rating: Unrated
wisweetp's rating

This was ok. It wasn't nearly as flavorful as I expected it to be, and the garlic flavor just seems to disappear. I added one onion, cut into eight pieces along with the sweet potatos and left off the fatback and reduced the butter by half. It is still quite heavy on the grease. Thanks for the recipe to try, but this one probably won't be one we make again.

Diane's Colcannon
Rating: Unrated
wisweetp's rating

This is delicious. I usually make colcannon without bacon, and this added a nice touch. Even my husband and his son, who normally won't touch cabbage in anything, loved this. I used the packaged partially-cooked bacon and added a bit of olive oil to the pan to cook the cabbage and onion.

Best Ever Cinnamon Buns
Rating: Unrated
wisweetp's rating

Delicious. I made the dough and cut the rolls last night, covered them, and refrigerated til this morning. I took them out an hour before baking and let them come to room temperature. They rose in the oven beautifully, with a light and fluffy texture. I did make a couple of changes; I substituted melted butter for the oil and I used half water and half milk for the liquid and added 1 tsp vanilla to the dough before adding the flour. Thanks to the other reviewers who noted that more flour was needed--I ended up having to add another 2 cups. My whole family loved these buns, however. These are the permanent recipe for cinnamon buns at my house from now on. So much better than the ones that taste like bread with cinnamon. The cake mix is a wonderful addition. Thanks for the fantastic recipe.

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