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!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

New Orleans Vacation

You may have noticed that I haven’t posted in a while. That’s because we just returned from a wonderful trip to our favorite destination – New Orleans.

The Crescent City holds so many treasures. It’s a wonderful tourist destination, especially if you’re a foodie. We have our tried and true favorite restaurants – but this time we tried several new restaurants and thoroughly enjoyed them. If you are thinking about a trip to NOLA here are some great suggestions for places to eat. If you click on the names you will be directed to the restaurant website:

Commanders Palace

Emeril’s Delmonico
Crescent City Brewhouse
Court of Two Sisters
Café du Monde

There are hundreds of other restaurants in New Orleans to choose from, but these are some of our favorites. We love New Orleans SO much. We're already planning our next trip to the beautiful city that holds our hearts.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Shrimp & Grits

Nothing says southern cooking like grits. Throw in some succulent shrimp and you’ve got a feast. I made this casserole and took it to work for lunch a few days that week. I have to say it doesn’t heat up in the microwave at work so well. If you decide to do this with your leftovers I would add some milk or chicken broth. But it’s a fine line between moist and mushy. So, this one may be best for a meal where most, if not all of it, will be eaten at one sitting. (Oh, and it’s another new favorite from the Cooking Light 2009 cookbook.)


2 cups 2% milk
¾ cup chicken broth
1 cup uncooked, quick-cooking grits
¼ tsp salt
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
2 Tbls. Butter
3 oz - 1/3 less fat cream cheese
3 Tbls. chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
1 Tbls. fresh lemon juice
2 large egg whites, lightly beaten
1 lb. peeled and deveined medium shrimp, coarsely chopped
Cooking spray
Hot pepper sauce (optional)


Preheat oven to 375.

Combine milk and broth in a medium heavy saucepan; bring to a boil. Gradually add grits and salt to the pan, stirring constantly with a whisk.

Cook 5 minutes, or until thick, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Stir in Parmesan cheese, butter, and cream cheese. Stir in parsley and next 4 ingredients.

Spoon mixture into an 11 x 7 inch baking dish coated with cooking spray.

Bake at 375 for 25 minutes, or until set. Serve with hot pepper sauce, if desired.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Truffled Polenta

I really love polenta. It’s a fabulous side dish, but in the past I’ve only made it with tons of butter, cream and gorgonzola cheese. It’s beyond delicious that way – but not so calorie friendly. I found this recipe in the – you guessed it – Cooking Light 2009 cookbook. I served it with steak one night. This extremely tasty and wonderful accompaniment will serve 2.

Truffle oil has an earthy fragrance and taste. It’s not inexpensive, but a little goes a long way. According to the recipe, it can also be drizzled over mashed potatoes or risotto. Mmm Mmm good!


1 cup fat-free milk
½ cup chicken broth
1/8 tsp salt
1/3 cup dry instant polenta (I don’t think I used instant, just took a couple extra minutes to cook)
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
1 ½ tsp white truffle oil


Combine first 3 ingredients in a small saucepan; bring to a boil. Gradually add the polenta, stirring constantly with a whisk. Cook 1 minute or until thick, over medium heat – stirring constantly so that you don’t develop lumps.

Remove from heat, stir in cheese. Drizzle with oil. Serve immediately. (I garnished with a bit of fresh chives for color)

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

New Mexico Chili Verde

Here is another fabulous dish from the Cooking Light 2009 cookbook. I’ve been on a bit of a roll lately! Of course, in my usual way I’ve adjusted it slightly. Ah, I wonder what it is like to actually follow others directions. Guess we’ll never find out. Must be why I don’t like baking as much as cooking. With baking you HAVE to follow directions – exactly. I never WAS a follower.


14 Anaheim Chilies, halved and seeded
1 Tbls. Olive oil
2 onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 cups chicken broth
1 pkg pork tenderloins, approx 2 – 3 lbs, cut into 1” pieces
1 Tbls. Cumin
2 tsp oregano
Salt & Pepper
Large can white hominy (approx 28 oz), drained


Preheat oven to broil. Place halved and seeded chilies on foil lined baking sheet – skin side up. Broil for 6 minutes, turn and continue broiling for 3 more minutes. Remove from oven and wrap chilies up tightly in the foil. Allow to cool. Once cooled, peel the chilies and chop them.

Heat olive in a pot fitted with a lid. Add onions and garlic to pot and sauté for approximately 10 minutes, until onions are translucent and soft. Add the chopped chilies and pork, continue cooking for a 4 or 5 more minutes.

Add the chicken broth, cumin, oregano, hominy, salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat and cover. Cook for 25 - 30 minutes – or until pork is cooked through. Don’t over cook or the pork will become tough.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Lemon-Chive Roasted Vegetables

This recipe is in the Cooking Light 2009 cookbook. I’ve adapted it slightly. The recipe called for fingerling potatoes – which were not available at the market the day I went. So I used a combination of red and white potatoes. This was really good and a great lemony side dish for the Chimichurri covered steak that we had that night. (See recipe in the post below for Chimichurri Sauce)


3 lbs of assorted potatoes – quartered (I used red and white – but you could use Yukon gold or fingerling as well.)
1 lb baby carrots
2 sweet onions, cut into 8 wedges each
Olive oil
Salt & Pepper
Fresh chives chopped, use an amount to your liking – I used about ¼ cup
Grated lemon rind from one lemon
Juice of one lemon


Preheat oven to 425.

Combine the potatoes, carrots, onions with a drizzle of olive oil. Toss to coat. Arrange vegetables in a single layer on a jelly roll pan that was coated with cooking spray. Season with salt & pepper.

Bake at 425 for approximately 45 minutes, or until potatoes are tender. Turn after 20 minutes.

Remove the jellyroll pan from the oven; sprinkle the chives over the top of the vegetables. I grated the lemon zest right over the vegetables, and then squeezed the juice of the lemon over all.

Place everything into a large bowl and toss to combine. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper if necessary.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Chimichurri Sauce for Meat

I always thought the Chimichurri Sauce was Argentinean. However, some friends were recently telling me of a trip they took to Key West. While there they ate at a fabulous Cuban restaurant – and chimichurri was served with the steak they ordered. They loved it and found this recipe from Three Guys from Miami. I served it with steak this week – but I think it would be fabulous with chicken or fish as well. I even read that it makes a fabulous dipping sauce for toasty warm bread. Mmm... Enjoy!


1 large bunch of cilantro leaves
8 cloves garlic
1/4 cup vinegar
Juice of one lime
2/3 cup olive oil (When I make this again I will use less oil; maybe a dash over ½ cup)
1/2 cup onion
Dash or two of red pepper flakes
Salt and Pepper to taste
Directions from the Three Guys:

We like to make it the easy way. Put everything except the olive oil in a blender and using the "chop" setting, click on and off until you have a thick mixture. Do not over process! This is the kind of dish you need to taste and adjust so that you get just the right flavor! So taste it! (The best way to taste it is with a piece of bread.) Whisk in the olive oil. (If you use the blender to incorporate the oil, the oil and liquids will emulsify, giving your chimichurri a white, paste-like texture.)

Add salt, pepper, more vinegar and lime juice as needed. The flavor should be very intense with garlic and cilantro. Don't be stingy with the salt either!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Pork Vindaloo

This recipe is from the Cooking Light 2009 Recipes book. I’ve adjusted it a bit. But, for the most part stayed pretty true to the original recipe. If you prefer chicken, you could substitute chicken thighs for the pork. Serve this piquant dish over steaming basmati rice. Indian food in a flash!


1 Tbls. Olive oil
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
1 pkg of pork tenderloin, cut into 1” chunks (there are usually 2 tenderloins in a pkg. Use about 2 – 2 ½ lbs of meat)
2 tsp garam masala**
2 tsp garlic powder
1 ½ tsp mustard seeds
1 Tbls jarred ground fresh ginger (not the powder, this is fresh ginger already prepared)
¾ tsp cayenne pepper
¼ c chicken broth
1 (14.5oz) can diced tomatoes
1 (15oz) can tomato sauce
3 Tbls chopped fresh cilantro
1 ½ Tbls corn starch
2 Tbls red wine vinegar

** *Garam masala can be made fresh, or can be purchased from an Indian grocer. It contains many spices and is usually added about 15 – 20 minutes before cooking is finished. Click here to view one recipe that I found on the internet. However, for convenience sake, I have always purchased the ready-made garam masala.


Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion to the pan; sauté until translucent. Combine pork and the next five ingredients in a large bowl. Toss well to coat pork with the spices. Add pork to the pan and sauté for 5 – 7 minutes.

Add broth to the pan, scraping bottom of pan to loosen browned bits. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Mix the cornstarch and vinegar together in a small bowl. Add the cilantro and vinegar mixture to the pan. Continue cooking just a couple of minutes more for the sauce to thicken. Be careful not to cook too long. The pork tenderloin is very tender and cooks quickly. If you over cook, your pork will not be as tender and could end up being tough.

Serve over steaming rice – I would recommend basmati.

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Blog Archive