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, August 27, 2009

Vodka-Thyme Lemonade

Well, I must confess that I haven't made this drink yet. I just found it on MarthaStewart.com. But, it sounded so fabulous - I just had to share. I am definitely going to give it a try. Sounds so yummy and refreshing. I can't hardly wait!

Serves 8
2 cups sugar
12 sprigs fresh thyme, plus more for garnish
4 cups freshly squeezed lemon juice, about 24 lemons
2 cups vodka

In a small saucepan, combine 2 cups water with the sugar and thyme; bring to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat; let cool to room temperature.

Pour mixture through a fine sieve into a large glass measuring cup; discard thyme. You should have 2 cups syrup. Cover with plastic; chill.

In a large serving pitcher, stir together lemon juice, vodka, and chilled syrup; garnish with thyme. Divide evenly among eight tumblers filled with ice; serve immediately.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Chicken with Mushroom Cream Sauce

One of the recipes that we watched Julie Powell prepare in the movie, Julie & Julia, was Chicken Supremes in Mushroom Cream Sauce. Butter, and mushrooms and heavy cream – oh my! It looked wonderful in the movie; I could almost smell the aroma wafting off of the screen. This recipe was definitely one that I wanted to make from “Mastering the Art of French Cooking”, by Julia Child. I served it for dinner Thursday night – and let’s just say I was quite tempted to lick the remaining sauce directly from the pan!

I have adjusted the original recipe, omitting the cream and 1 tablespoon of the butter. This is definitely a “keeper”!


4 Tbls. Butter
2 Tbls. White onion, finely chopped
¼ lb. fresh mushrooms, sliced (I used 3 large caps and didn’t bother measuring)

4 chicken breasts, boneless/skinless (Julia refers to these as “Supremes”)
Lemon juice
Salt & White Pepper
Butter for one side of wax paper circle

¼ cup chicken broth
¼ dry white vermouth (you could also use white wine)
½ cup milk
2 Tbls. Flour
2 Tbls. Fresh parsley, chopped
Dash lemon juice


Heat oven to 400 degrees. Cut a wax paper circle that will fit inside the casserole you choose; butter one side of it.

On top of stove; melt butter in a covered casserole/pot that has a lid and can be placed in the oven. Add onions; cook for about 1 minute. Add sliced mushroom; cook for about 1 or 2 minutes, but don’t brown.

Rub the chicken breasts with lemon juice and season both sides with salt and white pepper. Place chicken breasts in the casserole and turn in the butter, coating both sides. Place wax paper circle (butter side down) on top of chicken. Cover the pan and place in oven.

Julia Child says to cook the chicken for 6 – 8 minutes. I removed the pan from the oven after 6 ½ minutes. The breasts were not quite done. I did end up placing them back in for another 1 ½ minutes. Remove the pan from the oven. Remove the wax paper circle and place the chicken on a serving plate.

Place pan on stove and turn heat on medium. Bring the mushrooms and butter to a “sizzle”. Add the flour and stir for a minute to “cook” the flour.

Add the chicken broth and vermouth; whisking until well combined. Add the milk and whisk. ½ cup was plenty for my sauce… you can always add a little more if necessary.

Finish off with a few drops of lemon juice and the fresh chopped parsley.

Serve the chicken with a serving of the mushroom cream sauce on top. Sit back and wait for the accolades. This one is out of this world!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Curry Sauce

My plan was to make a wonderful chicken recipe of Julia Child’s last night for dinner. Well, the best laid plans and all… someone forgot to take the chicken out of the freezer to defrost – so when I got home and realized we didn’t have the chicken ready I sent “someone” to the store to buy a rotisserie chicken. Now, what to do with it? As I mentioned in Tuesday’s blog – I am inspired to make some of the recipes from Julia Child’s “Mastering the Art of French Cooking”. So, I decided upon her Curry Sauce.

Now, I’m sure Julia would disapprove, but I’ve adapted this recipe. As much as I love lots of butter and cream… my thighs and hips don’t enjoy them quite as much. And, Richard and I have been really trying to watch our weight and get a lot of extra exercise… so while still not “low calorie” – this is definitely a lighter version of Mrs. Child’s wonderful recipe.

I served this curry sauce on chicken. Julia suggests it on chicken, fish or veal. It was delicious! Thanks for a great inspiration Julia Child!


1/3 cup white onion, finely chopped
2 Tbls butter
1 Tbls curry powder
2 Tbls flour
½ cup chicken broth
½ cup milk (possibly a little more depending upon your desired consistency)
Salt to taste


Melt the butter in a saucepan; add the onions and cook for about 10 minutes. They should be nice and soft.

Add the curry powder and mix well. Add the flour and cook for about one minute. Slowly add the chicken broth; whisking well to combine the liquid with the flour/onion mixture. Slowly add the milk, whisking in between additions. I like to add a little liquid, whisk and then evaluate if more liquid is needed. Adding the liquid in small amounts like this allows you to control the thickness of the sauce, and will ensure that you do not add too much; thus making your sauce too runny.

After all the liquid has been added; cook for about one more minute allowing the sauce to continue to thicken. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Place sauce in a small blender (I use my Bullet blender) and blend until the onions are incorporated into the sauce.

Return sauce to pan and reheat.

Click here for printable recipe.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Roasted Beets

Do you like beets? Have you ever tried roasting fresh beets? They are DE-LI-CIOUS. Beets are good for you; sweet and tasty and fantastic. Last week I bought some fresh beets from our weekly farmers market. On Sunday I prepared them; roasting their garnet goodness in the oven for about 1 hour. I devoured them. My poor husband only got a few of the quartered tasty morsels. Thankfully my son wouldn't even try them. I was happy with that, although I tried to entice him to taste them, because it meant more beets for ME !! Gotta run, must go back to the farmers market today!!
Fresh beets, peeled and quartered
Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Using a paring knife, peel the beets. Quarter them and place on a large piece of foil on a baking sheet. (Larger beets may need to be cut smaller. You want the pieces to be of similar sizes so they all bake the same length of time.)

Drizzle olive oil over the beets; season with salt and pepper. Toss the beets to combine the oil and seasoning over all.

Loosely wrap the beets up in the foil, creating a pouch; make sure to leave space around so the beets so they have room to steam.

Place in oven for 45 minutes. Open foil pouch so the beets are exposed to the heat, return to the oven for 15 minutes more.

The most difficult part of this recipe…. Waiting for them to sufficiently cool before taking a bite of their deliciousness!

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Roasted Beets

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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Ode to Julia Child

I just returned home from seeing the movie "Julie & Julia". Delightful film. Of course, being the "foodie" and fan of Julia Child that I am, I sat in the film salivating over the recipes, the food, the wine. I am inspired - although not to the extent that Julie Powell was. She set out (on a blog) to cook her way through Julia Child's "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" in 365 days. She was successful in meeting her deadline. I am not thinking about trying this, however it did prompt me to lift my copy of Julia's book off the shelf and begin to page through.

I haven't made anything out of this book in quite a few years. I think I may just have to dog ear a few pages and share some of the recipes with you. Although, being the foodies that I know many of you are... I'm sure you probably have a copy of this masterpiece on your own bookshelves. Perhaps it is well worn, or perhaps is it sitting neglected - as was mine. We should all honor Julia Child and prepare one or two of her recipes soon! I hope to have some posted within the next week.

Happy cooking - and Bon Appetit!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Spinach Pie

Well, in the words of Popeye... "I yam what I yam." I have no idea what I really mean by that - but any time I eat spinach, Popeye cartoons come to mind.

In any case, this is a very tasty and low in fat recipe from the "Diabetics for Dummies" cookbook. I feel incredibly healthy with every bite. Enjoy!

(Serves 4)

Nonstick cooking spray
1 pkg (10 oz) frozen chopped spinach, thawed
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 medium carrot, peeled and grated
1 cup chicken broth
¼ tsp dried marjoram, crumbled
2 egg whites
1 whole egg
1 cup skim milk
1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
¼ tsp black pepper


Preheat oven to 350. Coat a 9” pie pan with nonstick cooking spray. Squeeze all the water out of the thawed spinach; set aside.

In a small saucepan, cook onion and carrot with chicken broth and marjoram, uncovered, at low boil, stirring occasionally, until all liquid has evaporated and vegetables are nearly glazed. This will take about 20 minutes. Spread vegetables out on a sheet pan to quickly cool.

In a bowl, whisk egg whites and whole egg. Add milk, spinach, cheese, pepper and the cooled vegetable mixture. Mix well.

Pour mixture into pie pan; bake uncovered for 25 to 30 minutes, until filling is set. Remove and cool.

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Spinach Pie

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Thursday, August 6, 2009

Shrimp Ceviche

This one is a winner. I found the recipe online and have adjusted it slightly. I love ceviche - especially in the warm summer months, but the ceviche I have had in the past usually uses white fish and scallops; and I'm not particularly fond of scallops. When I saw this idea for Shrimp Ceviche - I pounced on it. We brought it to some friends home and had it as an appetizer to dinner. Enjoyed it whole heartedly with tortilla chips. You're going to love this one!


1 ½ lbs fresh raw shrimp; shelled, cleaned and deveined
2 large tomatoes; seeded and chopped
3 limes
2 lemons
1 cup cilantro, chopped
1 serrano chili, seeded and finely chopped
½ medium cucumber; peeled, seeded and chopped
½ cup red onion, chopped
3 Tbls tomato sauce


Juice the lemons and limes. Place the cleaned shrimp into a glass dish. Pour juice over the shrimp. Cover and place in fridge for 3 hours. I turned the shrimp over about half way through so they would “cook” on both sides.

After 3 hours, prepare remaining ingredients and place into a bowl. I cut the shrimp in half length wise so they would be thinner and tossed them (along with citrus juice) with the vegetables and tomato sauce. Place back in fridge for at least one hour.

To serve; I poured about two-thirds of the liquid out and placed into a serving dish. You could serve this on lettuce (as it is shown in the picture) or leave in the dish and let everyone scoop some out and eat with tortilla chips. It’s delish!

Shrimp Ceviche on Foodista

Shrimp Ceviche

This one is a winner. I found the recipe online ...

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Saturday, August 1, 2009

White Chili

I've adapted this from the Cooking Light 2009 cookbook. I made it last weekend and put it in the fridge so we could have it for dinner one night this week. Given the high temperatures in Salem this week - I'm so glad I had a meal ready to go and not have to worry about "what's for dinner!"


2 tsp olive oil
1 White onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups chicken broth
5 tsp green Tabasco sauce ( or to taste)
½ tsp salt
1 ¼ lb boneless skinless chicken breast
3 Tbls cornmeal
2 cans Cannellini beans, rinsed and drained (15 oz size)

Heat oil in soup pot, add onions and garlic and sauté for about 5 minutes. Add the broth and next 3 ingredients to the pan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cover. Simmer for 15 minutes. Remove chicken and cool.

Add cornmeal to broth mixture; stirring with a whisk. Add beans to broth mixture and simmer for 15 minutes. Mash some of the beans into the mixture to help it thicken.
Cut the chicken into bite sized pieces; add back into bean mixture; simmer for 5 more minutes.

Serve in bowls with desired toppings – Suggestions: green onions, cheese, sour cream or yogurt.

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White Chili

I've adapted this from the Cooking Light 2009 cookbook ...

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