Welcome to my site!

Welcome to my site!
I'm Cindy, and I love to cook! And, I love to eat... hence the size of my rear end! I come from a long line of cooks. My great great Grandmother was a cook in the original Harvey Houses. My grandmother Julia was an awesome cook, and my mom was incredible. I owe my skills to these great women. Especially my Mom who said this to me about making gravy... "Cindy Lynn, wallpaper paste is wallpaper paste & gravy is gravy. Never the two shall meet!" Shall we say my first experience at making gravy left a little bit to be desired! Thank the high heavens my cooking skills have improved since then! Enjoy!

Thursday, July 31, 2008


This is a refreshing citrus cocktail for summer. Very easy and VERY yummy!

Ingredients: (Serves 2)

4 oz. Citron Vodka
2 oz. defrosted limeade concentrate
1 oz. orange juice
lime wheel for garnish


Combine vodka, limeade, and orange juice in a cocktail shaker filled with ice.
Shake vigorously.
Pour into two martini glasses. Garnish with lime wheel.
Sit back, relax, and ENJOY!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

BBQ Ribs

Making ribs can be a little intimidating. I know that many people rely on boiling their ribs, prior to bbq'ing. I tried that method one time. To say my ribs were tough would be an understatement. (I'm pretty sure I didn't cook them long enough!) Once I heard someone say that it's better to bake the ribs prior to putting on the grill. So, I tried it. Easy and Delish! Enjoy this recipe - they come out perfect EVERY time!


Slabs of baby back ribs ( I buy them at Costco, where they come three slabs to a pack)
Crushed garlic (you can use fresh, but for convenience, on this recipe I buy it in the jar.)
Sweet Mesquite Rub (also purchased from Costco)**
Lawry’s Seasoning Salt
BBQ Sauce of your choice (my recipe below)
If you prefer to not use a rub, you can use just the seasoning salt and pepper. In this case, I would add a small amt of liquid smoke.

Here's a picture of the prep process ~


Preheat oven to 350°

Line a large shallow pan with aluminum foil. This will help with cleanup. (I use a very large cookie sheet that has 1” sides. A lot of juice will be produced during the cooking process.)

Wash the ribs and pat dry.

Place the ribs in the foil lined pan

Sprinkle the underside of each slab with the seasoning salt and pepper; turn slabs over.

Sprinkle approximately 1 tsp of mesquite onto the ribs and rub into the meat.

Add the minced garlic (about 1 tsp to each slab) to the top side of the ribs and rub in.

Tightly cover the pan with more foil. Place in oven and cook for 2 hours.

Remove ribs from oven. The meat should easily come off the bone.
Place on barbeque grill to brown, coating with bbq sauce of your choice. Make sure to save some sauce to serve with the ribs.

Here's the grilling process ~

BBQ Sauce Recipe

1 bottle of BBQ sauce of your choice (I use Kraft)
Juice of 1 lemon
1/3 cup brown sugar
½ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp seasoning salt
¼ tsp cayenne pepper – use less, or omit, if you don’t like spicy
About 1/2 cup of the juice from the pan of cooked ribs.
Whisk well.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Creole Chicken

Well, with a blog name like "Gumbo Ya Ya", I guess it's about time I put a New Orleans inspired recipe on my blog. This is another "quick and easy" recipe... and it will have you in that Nawlin's mood in no time! Enjoy!

8 chicken thighs, skin removed
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely minced
2 tsp olive oil
1 Tbls butter
Creole Seasoning
Salt & Pepper to taste

  1. In a non-stick skillet warm the olive oil and add the butter.
  2. When butter is melted, add the onions and then the garlic. Add salt & pepper. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Sprinkle Creole Seasoning on both sides of the chicken thighs.
  4. Add chicken thighs to skillet, right on top of the onion and garlic mixture. Cover with lid and cook for 8 minutes on first side.
  5. Remove lid; turn chicken and continue cooking for 10 minutes on second side.
  6. Make sure chicken is cooked through - remove from skillet and serve! YUM!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Sloppy Joes - A Classic!

We've all had them... hectic nights where you don't know WHAT to fix for dinner - much less the energy or time to make it. Here is my quick and easy recipe for Sloppy Joes. Enjoy!

Ingredients: (Serves 4)

1 lb of lean ground turkey (If you prefer ground beef - it works just as well)
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
8 oz. can tomato sauce
1/3 cup catsup
1/2 cup bbq sauce
1/2 cup water
1 Tbsp chili powder (this gives the sloppy joes a little spicy kick. Adjust chili powder down if you prefer less spicy)
pinch of salt and pepper
cooking spray
1 tsp olive oil
Large hamburger buns - I use wheat, but your favorite bun or roll will do.


Heat a non stick skillet; add cooking spray and olive oil.

Saute onion for 3 minutes; season with salt and pepper.

Spray skillet with cooking spray again. (make sure to remove skillet from heat before spraying) Add turkey and cook until turkey is completely cooked through.

Add tomato sauce, catsup, bbq sauce, and chili powder; cook for several minutes until liquid is combined.

Add water and continue cooking for approx 5 minutes. You want the sauce to be "just sloppy enough" - but not watery.

Spoon sloppy joe mixture onto buns and Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Fun Food Facts

I found these food facts on the internet. I thought they were fun - and curious. I have no idea if they are "for real" or not. You be the judge. Here goes:

  • Lemons contain more sugar than strawberries
  • The onion is named after a Latin word meaning large pearl
  • Half of the world's population lives on a staple diet of rice
  • "Fast Food" Isn't New! The remains of fast-food shops have been found in ancient ruins! Even ancient Greeks enjoyed take-out. The only thing that is new is the mass production, standard menus and recipes of fast-food "chains."
  • Ice Cream Is Chinese Food! When the famous explorer Marco Polo returned to his homeland of Italy, from China in 1295, he brought back a recipe (among other things). The recipe was a Chinese recipe for a desert called "Milk Ice." However, Europeans substituted cream for the milk, and voila..."Ice Cream."
  • In France, people eat approximately 500,000,000 snails per year
  • Carrots Really Can Help You See In The Dark! Vitamin A is known to prevent "night blindness," and carrots are loaded with Vitamin A. So, why not load-up today!
  • The first breakfast cereal ever produced was Shredded Wheat
  • There are about 100,000 bacteria in one litre of drinking water. (Cindy says “YUCK!”)
  • The Word "Salary" Comes From "Salt!" Salt, our oldest preservative, was extremely rare in the past. So rare, in fact, that it was often used as pay. Imagine...earning a couple of tablespoons of salt for a hard-days work. Today, salt is so common that restaurants give it away for free, and packaged food contains so much that it's far too easy to eat too much salt (salt is also known as "sodium"). Ever heard the saying “worth his salt”?
  • Over 1,000 litres of beer are drunk in the House of Commons each week
  • Sometimes frozen fruits and vegetables are more nutritious than fresh! The longer that fruits or vegetables sit around waiting to be sold or eaten, the more nutrients they lose. But fruits and vegetables grown for freezing are usually frozen right after they're picked. Therefore, they have less time to lose their nutrients.
  • Instant coffee has been in existence since the middle of the eighteenth century
  • The dish chop-suey does not come from China. It was created by Chinese immigrants in California
  • Within 2 hours of standing in daylight, milk loses between half and two-thirds of its vitamin B content
  • Have A Tomato With Your Burger! When a source of Vitamin C (orange, lemon, grapefruit, strawberry, tomato, potato, etc.) is eaten with meat or cooked dry beans, the body makes better use of the iron in the protein food.
  • Bakers used to be fined if their loaves were under weight, so they used to add an extra loaf to every dozen, just in case -- hence, the expression "baker's dozen"
  • It has been traditional to serve fish with a slice of lemon since the Middle Ages, when people believed that the fruit's juice would dissolve any bones accidentally swallowed.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Savory Mexi-Corn

This is a quick and easy side dish. Most of us have probably had "mexi-corn" from the can. This recipe is fresher - and I think more tasty!


16 oz package frozen corn (I use white or yellow)
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 red pepper, seeded and chopped
1/2 white onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 tsp cumin powder
1/8 tsp cayene pepper
Cooking spray
1 tsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. butter
Salt & Pepper to taste


1. Spray pan with cooking spray and add olive oil. Saute onions, garlic, and peppers until slightly cooked. Add cumin powder and cayene pepper.

2. Add frozen corn; continue cooking until corn is defrosted and vegetables are cooked. Should still have a slight crunch to them.

3. Add butter and stir until melted. Add salt & pepper to taste.

4. Serve & enjoy!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Sri Lankan Beef Curry

Those of my friends who have ever asked me for a recipe know that I don't

things. Nor do I really follow recipes. I tend to change and meld to suit my tastes. This makes it difficult to share recipes. That said, here's another recipe that I have "adapted" from the Cooking Light 2007 cookbook.


1Tbls. ground cumin
2 tsp. ground corriander
1 tsp. ground fennel
1 tsp. ground black pepper
1/4 tsp cayene pepper
2 tsp. salt
2 1/2 lbs premium stew beef, trimmed and cut into 1/2 pieces
Cooking Spray
1 tsp. Olive Oil
2 medium white onions chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced
2 " piece of ginger, trimmed and minced
3 cups lite coconut milk
2 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
2 (1" x 3") lemon rind strips


1. Cook first 4 ingredients in a small skillet over medium low heat for 4 minutes, shaking/stirring occasionally.

2. Combine toasted spices with the black pepper, cayene, and salt. Put beef in a large bowl and add the spices. Mix well to cover the beef with the spices. Set aside for about 10 - 15 minutes.

3. Heat a large pan over medium high heat. (I use a large teflon coated skillet) Coat pan with cooking spray and olive oil. Add onion, garlic, ginger, and jalapenos. Saute until onion becomes translucent, about 10 minutes. Remove from pan.

4. Recoat pan with cooking spray. Add half of beef; cook 6 minutes, browing on all sides. Remove beef from pan. Repeat procedure with other half of beef. Remove from pan.

5. Add milk, vinegar and rind to pan, scrapping to loosen any browned bits. Add beef and onion mixture back to pan. Combine well. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for approx. 2 hours - or until beef is very tender. Discard rind before serving.

6. Serve over cooked basmati rice. Enjoy!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Spicy Tomato & White Bean Soup

To coin a phrase from Rachel Ray... Yum - O!
This is such a yummy soup. I can't take credit for the recipe though. It comes from my Cooking Light 2007 cook book! Give it try. It's easy - and Oh! So YUMMY!


14 oz can of low sodium chicken broth, divided
2 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. cumin powder
16 oz can of navy beans, rinsed & drained
1 poblano chili, halved and seeded
1/2 onion, cut into 1/2' thick wedges
1 pt. grape tomotoes
1/4 c. chopped cilantro
2 Tbls. fresh lime juice
1 Tbls. extravirgin olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt
cilantro for garnish

1. Combine 1 cup of chicken broth, beans, chili powder and cumin in pot. Place remaining broth, onion, and poblano in food processor. Pulse until vegetables are chopped. Add onion mixture to pot.

2. Place tomatoes and chopped cilantro in food processor. Pulse until coursely chopped. Add tomato mixture to pan. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes, or until vegetables are tender.

3. Remove from heat; stir in juice, oil, and salt. Garnish with cilantro sprigs, if desired.

Yields 4 servings - 1 cup each. Calories: 157; Fat 4.3 grams
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Regrets... I've had a few....

Kitchen Disasters! We've all had them. Like the time I made my very special Lemon Cake for a party... and when I turned it out of the pan half the cake (the top half) stayed stuck like glue in the pan. Fun! Or, the time I made a meal for my friend Jamie after she had surgery. I cooked a fantastic Indian Chicken dish. Placed it into a bag for a my "seal a meal". Sealed it - picked it up - and the bottom fell out of the bag. Chicken Curry - all over the floor, sliding the down the cabinets, stuck in the carpet. We won't discuss my language that night. Yes, it happens to the best of us. But, those are the times you have to just pick yourself up - dust yourself off - and start all over again. (And, if you're asking yourself what Jamie got for a meal that night - I don't remember... but it wasn't the Chicken Curry a la carpet & cabinet!)
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