Even though I have a cupboard full of cookbooks, I often end up turning to the Internet when I want to make dinner. I go to one of the recipe sites, plug in what I have on hand, such as “chicken” “mushrooms” and “basil”,  and track down a recipe that sounds good.  I print it and I’m good to go. It’s so easy, although it usually takes me a while to get from the computer to the kitchen, because I get so caught up reading the recipe’s reviews. They never fail to make me laugh. They go something like this:

(First, this is NOT a real recipe! Don’t make it. I’m only using it as an example. I mean who likes their potato leek soup spicy?)

Spicy Potato Leek Soup

Ingredients

3 cups peeled and diced potatoes

2 cups leeks, cleaned and chopped

½  cup diced celery

1 cup chicken broth, low sodium

½ cup finely chopped onion

2 cans condensed milk

½ cup ham, chopped

2 tablespoons chicken bouillon granules

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground white pepper

1 teaspoon cayenne

3 tablespoon Italian seasoning

1 teaspoon cumin

¼ cup chopped parsley

4 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

Directions

  1. Combine the potatoes, celery, onion, leeks, ham and water in a large pot. Bring to a boil, then cook over medium heat until potatoes are tender. Stir in the chicken bouillon, salt and pepper, herbs and spices except parsley.
  2. Melt butter in a small pan over low heat. Whisk in flour with a fork, and cook, stirring constantly about 1 minute. Slowly add the milk and continue stirring over medium-low heat until thick.
  3. Add the milk mixture into the pot and simmer ten minutes. Top with chopped parsley and serve.

Five Star Review 

OMG my family devoured this soup! And they all hate soup so I was amazed. I had to make a few changes though. I didn’t have any leeks, so I used carrots. I only had black pepper, so I used that. I didn’t have any ham so I fried some bacon and crumbled it into the soup at the end. I don’t know what cumin is, so I added some thyme and ground rosemary. I tripled the cayenne because my family likes things HOT! (and wow, was it ever!). My flour didn’t smell right, so I used cornstarch. I can’t wait to make this soup again!

One Star Review 

Honestly, this was the worst soup!  It was totally blah and watery. My husband actually fell asleep while he was eating it! I didn’t have any white potatoes so I used sweet potatoes (the soup was a pretty color,  that’s the best I can say). I used regular milk since I didn’t have any of the canned stuff. I left out the cayenne and cumin, because we both hate them and left out the salt (I never cook with salt) and I didn’t have any white pepper so I left that out. I wish the person who posted this recipe could taste how bland the soup was! She should stop posting recipes and just get take-out from now on.

Five Star Review

Thank you thank you thank you for sharing this recipe! They should let me give it SIX stars! It was amazing. I made it exactly as written, except I left out the cayenne and cumin and Italian seasoning and used Mrs. Dash’s Salt-Free Greek Seasoning instead. I added a half cup of wine to the flour and butter before pouring in the milk. My whole family loved it and are already begging me to make it again. Thanks for an awesome recipe!

One Star Review

Warning! This is a life-threatening recipe. Seriously, if you could give zero stars, I would have or even negative stars! I’ve never eaten a leek in my life, so obviously I didn’t have any lying around so I just doubled the onions. I put in a lot more ham…Maybe three or four times as much, because my sons need a lot of protein (they’re football players in middle school). I love Mexican food so I doubled the cumin and cayenne and added half a cup of hot salsa. My youngest son got literally so sick  from this soup and we ended up in the EMERGENCY room! We are seriously thinking about suing. There should be some quality control of these recipes!!!!

The reviews need quality control, if you ask me.  I’m not sure I’ve ever read one written by someone who followed the recipe to the letter, but they are entertaining reading for sure.

So, are you making recipes from Internet sites these days? Do you read the reviews? (almost as much fun as reading book reviews. . . ) Tell me I’m not the only one who finds them hilarious!

6 Comments

  1. Andrea Stapleton on January 16, 2012 at 10:41 pm

    Diane, I totally agree with you on this. I have found it much easier to whip out the laptop to find that certain recipe for tonight’s dinner. The reviews on several websites are absolutely hilarious. I mean how can you give a true review if you didn’t even follow the instructions? It blows my mind when people then rate said review as worthwhile. Makes me wonder about the state of most people’s mind.

  2. Karla on January 16, 2012 at 10:49 pm

    Oh yes THANK YOU!! I totally agree. I love the judgmental reviews too where people complain about the fat and sodium content in the recipes. So don’t make it. Problem solved.

  3. Sheree Gillcrist on January 17, 2012 at 6:10 am

    I love the reviews where everyone says ‘This was so easy to make’ and then I manage to turn out something that a mix between a dog’s dinner and a cat’s lunch lol.

  4. Diane Chamberlain on January 17, 2012 at 10:29 am

    I know what you mean, Sheree. I blame it on my stove.

    By the way someone said I shouldn’t have used these reviews without the permission of the authors. I should have made it clear in the post that these are MADE UP reviews just as the recipe is made up. However, the real reviews are just as bizarre.

  5. Virginia on January 23, 2012 at 11:03 am

    My favorites are the first example review where the reviewer says its 5 stars BUT! they have changed this or changed that, essentially it’s not even the same recipe anymore! I am a very awkward chef; I need it spelled out right in front of me, and it soemtimes still goes awry! I don’t tinker with anything because if I did it would turn out worst!

    I am so blessed my husband loves cooking and being creative!

  6. Rachel Ropper on January 28, 2012 at 2:57 pm

    This made me laugh! I’m one of those people who has to change recipes, invariably because the ingredient is American and doesn’t exist in Britain. Like, what on earth are “Italian Seasoning Mix” and “Ranch Dressing Mix”? Or “Miracle Whip”? Google is amazing at informing me that I can substitute various herbs or just use mayonnaise when any of these strange ingredients turn up in a recipe. But if I do have to substitute something, I try not to give it five-stars. Like another commenter said, it’s not entirely truthful of the original recipe 🙂

    I try to read the highest rated reviews on places like allrecipes.com because generally they include some sort of clue as to whether there IS something you need to change in the recipe. For example, one recipe for macaroni salad said to use 3/4 of a cup of sugar and the top rated reviews said they’d reduced it to 1/4, or that they’d used 3/4 of a cup and it was too sweet. I was glad I read those reviews!

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