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, May 30, 2010

Rasperry Cookie Bars

I adore dessert. Sweets call my name. I try to find healthy alternatives… but the full fat and sugar versions are so tempting. I got a cookbook called “Baking Without Fat”. The muffin recipe immediately preceding this recipe was from the same book. The muffins were fantastic. These raspberry cookie bars are equally tasty, and wonderfully sweet. My favorite sweets are chocolate, lemon and raspberry. So – these bars are a treat! The raspberry goodness smells so wonderful while they’re baking.


1 ¾ cups oats
2 cups brown rice cereal (I couldn’t find brown rice, so I used Rice Krispies)
1 ½ cups whole wheat pastry flour
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp cream of tartar
1 cup honey
¾ cup frozen apple juice concentrate (I used 100% juice concentrate with no added sugar. The brand that I found didn’t have plain apple available, but they did have apple raspberry. That’s what I used. Delish!)
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp almond extract
1 jar (10oz) fruit juice sweetened raspberry preserves (I used Smucker’s Simply Fruit)


Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl, combine oats, cereal, flour, baking soda and cream of tartar. Set aside.

In a small saucepan bring hone and juice concentrate to a boil over medium high heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and simmer for 1 minute. Remove from heat; cool for 5 minutes. Add vanilla and almond extracts. Gently stir into cereal mixture.

In 8 x 11 x 2 inch ovenproof glass baking dish, press 2 cups of cereal mixture in bottom of pan; reserve remaining cereal mixture. (It’s easier to press the mixture if your hands are damp.) Melt preserves, pour over mixture and spread evenly; top with reserved cereal mixture.

Bake at 350 for 30 minutes, or until nicely browned. Cool on wire rack for 20 minutes. Cut into 24 bars.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Apricot filled Banana Muffins

Oh My! These are so tasty. I found this recipe in the “Baking without Fat” cookbook. They smelled so good while baking that I couldn’t even wait for them to completely cool down before I ate one. Fabulous. I love the texture of using the oats and oat bran, instead of flour. Very sweet and moist. Almost like having a delicious bowl of oatmeal in muffin form.


1 ¾ cup rolled oats
½ cup oat bran
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cream of tartar
¾ tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
¾ cup pureed bananas (approximately 1 ½ large bananas. It took three bananas for me, but mine were fairly small)
1/3 cup honey
2 Tbls pure maple syrup (I didn’t have pure syrup and decided to omit this ingredient. The muffins still turned out fabulously without it.)
1 tsp vanilla
½ cup non-fat milk
3 egg whites, lightly beaten
¼ cup fruit-juice sweetened apricot preserves (I used “Simply Fruit”)


Preheat oven to 350. Pulse rolled oats and oat bran in a food processor for 10 seconds. In a medium bowl combine the oat mixture, baking soda, cream of tartar, cinnamon & nutmeg. Mix well and set aside.

In a small bowl combined the pureed banana, honey, maple syrup, vanilla and milk; pour into oat mixture. (I used my food processor to puree the banana, then added the other ingredients to the bananas and pulsed for a few seconds to combine.) Stir until just blended. Gently mix in egg whites. Do not over mix.

Using a nonstick muffin pan, fill each muffin cup with approx. 1/3 cup of the batter. (Makes 12 muffins) Top each with 1 tsp. preserves. Bake at 350 for 20 – 25 minutes. Cool on wire rack for 10 minutes, and remove muffins from pan.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Barley Jambalaya

I got this recipe from a friend. It’s super yummy – and very healthy! Barley is one of my favorite things! I don’t really measure anything in this recipe. You can use as much or as little of any of the ingredients. Make this to your liking. Jambalaya should be a big party in your soup pot! Tasty, delicious, and good for you.

1 Onion, chopped
1 Bell pepper, chopped
1 Celery heart, diced
8 oz Mushrooms, rough chop/sliced
2 Zucchini, with skin, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 ½ Tbls Old Bay Seasoning
9 cups water + 4 chicken bouillon cubes (or 4 cups chicken broth + 5 cups water)
Tomatoes, ready-cut 29 oz
1 – 4oz can Tomato paste
1 ½ cup Pearl Barley, pearled
1 can pitted Black Olives, sliced in half lengthwise
1 cup frozen Corn
1lb pkg frozen Green Beans, French style
12 oz pkg Hormel Diced Ham
1 lb cooked frozen shrimp, tail off
Olive Oil


Drizzle a little olive oil in a large soup pot. Add onion, celery, mushroom, zucchini and garlic and sauté until just beginning to turn brown.

Add tomatoes, paste, water, chicken broth or chicken bouillon cubes, Old Bay Seasoning and barley. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, stir, simmer, covered, for 1 ½ hours.

Just prior to serving, stir in cooked ham, green beans, corn, shrimp and olives. Heat through and serve

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Tomato-Poblano Soup

I love taking soup and a salad or sandwich to work for lunch. Tomato soup is one of my favorites; it brings back happy childhood memories and thoughts of my Dad. He loved Campbell’s Cream of Tomato soup. Well, this is a wonderful meld of flavors from the Cooking Light 2009 cookbook. I really enjoyed the combination of the tomato and chili flavors. I couldn’t find poblano chilies so I substituted pasilla chilies. I read online that this was an acceptable substitution. This is not a spicy-hot soup. It does have a very mild chili taste, but you won’t be running for water to cool your taste buds with this bowl of deliciousness.


4 poblano chilies (or pasilla)
2 tsp olive oil
1 chopped onion
1 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp ground coriander
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 – 28oz can whole peeled tomatoes, undrained
4 cups chicken broth
2 Tbls. Fresh lime juice
¼ tsp kosher salt
6 Tbls chopped fresh cilantro
6 tsp sour cream
6 lime wedges


Preheat broiler.

Cut chilies in half lengthwise; discard seeds and membranes. Place pepper halves, skin side up, on a foil lined baking sheet; flatten with hand. Broil 18 minutes or until blackened. Place in a zip top plastic bag; seal. Let stand 10 minutes. Remove from bag; peel and chop.

Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add onion to pan; sauté 3 minutes. Add cumin, coriander, and garlic to pan; sauté 1 minute.

Using kitchen shears, coarsely chop tomatoes in can. (Alternately you can pour into a bowl and break apart with your fingers.) Add tomatoes, chilies and broth to pan; stirring to combine; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes. Remove from heat; cool 5 minutes.

Place half of tomato mixture in a blender. Remove center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape); secure blender lid. Place a clean towel over opening in blender lid (to avoid splatters). Blend until almost smooth. Pour into a large bowl. Repeat procedure with remaining tomato mixture. Stir in juice and salt. Ladle about 1 cup soup into 6 bowls; top each serving with 1 tablespoon cilantro and 1 teaspoon sour cream. Serve with lime wedges, if desired.

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