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!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Spinach Citrus Salad

Here is a recipe from one of Richard Simmons’ cookbooks. I love this one! It is very tasty and refreshing.

Salad Ingredients:

2 cups fresh spinach leaves, washed dried and chilled
1 small orange, peeled and segmented
2 tablespoons finely sliced red onion
3 walnut halves, coarsely chopped

Dressing Ingredients:

1 tablespoon natural rice vinegar
¼ tsp Dijon mustard
¼ tsp sugar
½ tsp olive oil
Dash of salt and pepper


Whisk the dressing ingredients together in a small bowl.

Arrange the salad ingredients in a bowl. Pour dressing over salad and toss.

Makes one delicious serving as a meal, or serves two as a side salad.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Herbed Cucumber and Yogurt Soup

This is a Weight Watchers recipe. I altered it slightly by using Greek yogurt instead of regular low-fat yogurt - and chicken broth in place of water. I also added the step of using a blender to more fully combine the ingredients. Very refreshing and delicious. I served it with a Greek chicken breast and some Quinoa Pilaf. The flavor is very similar to the Greek sauce, tzatziki. You could also take this for lunch with toasted pita pockets, or a pita sandwich. Yummy!


3 cups plain Greek yogurt
2 cucumbers, peeled, seeded and chopped
1 Tbls. finely chopped fresh dill, or 1 ½ tsp dried dill
1 Tbls. finely chopped fresh mint
1 Tbls. snipped fresh chives
1 garlic clove, minced (I put it through the garlic press)
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
½ tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. white pepper
1 cup chicken broth
Fresh mint, dill or chives for garnish


In a large non-reactive bowl, combine the yogurt, cucumbers, dill, mint, chives, garlic, lemon juice, salt, pepper and chicken broth. Thoroughly mix to combine well.

Place half of the mixture into a blender, and blend well. Return to bowl.

Place in refrigerator, covered, until chilled.

Serve garnished with the mint, dill or chives.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Lentil Salad

I based this salad off Richard Simmons’ “Yentl Lentil Salad”. I pretty much used the same ingredients (except I excluded the bell pepper, which you could add if you so desire) but I changed the measurements. I served this for dinner with pan fried boneless skinless chicken breasts. Tasty, AND healthy.


3 cups cooked lentils, rinsed and drained (I followed the package directions to boil them for about 15 – 20 minutes. You don’t want them to be too soft, so check on them often.)
¼ of a red onion, finely chopped
3- 4 celery ribs, finely chopped
¾ - 1 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
1 – 15 oz can diced tomatoes
¼ cup lemon juice
1 tsp cumin powder
¼ tsp garlic powder
Olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste


In a large bowl combine the lentils, onion, celery, tomatoes, parsley, cumin powder and garlic powder. Drizzle olive oil over all and toss. Pour lemon juice over all and stir to combine. Sprinkle with salt and pepper; mix to combine well.

Let stand for about 10 – 15 minutes. Toss one more time before serving.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Spicy Baked Chickpeas (Garbanzo Beans)

I saw Claire Robinson from the Food Network make these a couple of weeks ago. They sounded so wonderful and savory that I had to make them right away. We had them during “cocktail hour” and they were fantastic. What a wonderful addition to my repertoire. Different and unexpected – and quite delicious!


2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon Spanish smoked paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Pinch cayenne pepper, or to taste
Kosher salt


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Rinse and drain the chickpeas well. Dry by rolling them around in a kitchen towel.

Combine the oil, paprika, cumin, and cayenne in a large bowl. Add chickpeas and toss to coat evenly.

Transfer the chickpeas to a parchment-lined baking sheet and spread them out in a single layer. Sprinkle with salt.

Bake until golden and crispy, 25 to 35 minutes, shaking the tray to toss after 15 minutes.

Remove the baking sheet from the oven and transfer the chickpeas to a serving bowl.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Lamb and Spinach Curry (Lamb Saag)

Oh my!  Indian Lamb.  Probably my FAVORITE Indian meal.  So succulent and flavorful.  Serve it over fluffy aromatic basmati rice.  The perfect meal!  I use my large non-stick skillet with a lid from Costco for this recipe. It is about 3 – 4 inches deep. Perfect for a meal like this.


6 tbls Olive oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
6 cloves
6 cardamom pods, break open and remove the seeds
1 cinnamon stick
1 boneless leg of lamb, visible fat removed and cut into 1” pieces
2 onions chopped
5 garlic cloves, minced
2” piece of ginger, finely chopped
2 tbls ground cumin
2 tbls ground coriander
1 tbls turmeric
1 tsp salt
Cayenne pepper to taste
¼ - ½ cup water
1 tbls garam masala (A spice blend that is available in Indian food stores. If you can’t find an Indian food store, you can also make it yourself using common spices and a coffee grinder. Search the internet for the recipe. )
2 – 10oz pkgs frozen chopped spinach – defrosted and all excess water squeezed out
¾ cup half and half, or cream


Warm the skillet and add the olive oil. When heated, add the cumin seeds, cloves, cardamom seeds and cinnamon stick. Heat until the seeds begin to sputter. Add the chopped onions, garlic and ginger. Sauté for 4 – 5 minutes.

Add the lamb pieces and fry for a couple of minutes. Add the ground cumin, ground coriander, turmeric, salt and cayenne. Fry until you can’t see any pink on the outside of the lamb. Sometimes the lamb creates enough liquid on its own, so I don’t have to add any liquid. If it seems dry, add a little bit of the water. You can always add more if necessary.

Reduce the heat and cover with a lid. Cook for about 50 minutes. Check often to make sure that the mixture hasn’t dried out.

Remove lid; add the spinach and garam masala. Stir well to combine, and replace lid. Cook for about 10 – 15 more minutes.

Remove lid, increase heat. If there is some excess liquid you can cook for several minutes to let it evaporate. Add the half and half. Cook to heat through. You want the mixture to be creamy – not runny. If there is still too much liquid you can mix a little cornstarch with cold water and add to the lamb.

Serve over fluffy white rice – basmati is preferable.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Quinoa Pilaf

I love quinoa. It really is the perfect grain and incredibly delicious. I love the nuttiness of it and the texture. Here’s a wonderful recipe that was inspired by Aarti Sequeira on Food Network. She likes to use spices and put an Indian spin on many of her dishes. I enjoy her show “Aarti’s Party”. Enjoy!


1 ½ cup quinoa
2 ¼ cup chicken stock or broth
½ a red onion, finely diced
1 clove garlic finely minced
½ tsp. ground ginger
½ tsp. turmeric
1 tsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. garam masala
Olive Oil
½ cup chopped dried fruit (I used cherries, next time I am going to use apricots)
½ cup nuts (I used pine nuts, next time I am going to use cashews)
Salt & Pepper to taste
Juice of 1 lime


Quinoa must be well rinsed before using. I place it in a fine mesh sieve and run water over it for several minutes.

Place quinoa in a saucepan, along with chicken stock. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cover. Simmer for 10 – 15 minutes; until the liquid is completely absorbed. Fluff with a fork, replace lid and let sit for several minutes.

While the quinoa is cooking, drizzle olive oil in a non-stick skillet. Sauté the red onion and garlic until the onion is translucent. Add the spices to the pan and cook for several minutes.

Add the nuts and chopped fruit. Continue to sauté until heated through. If necessary, turn off heat while waiting for quinoa to finish cooking.

Add quinoa to the onion and fruit mixture. Stir well, well return to heat. Let the flavors mix well – sprinkle lime juice over all and continue to combine. Salt and Pepper to taste. Serve and enjoy this delicious combination of flavors.

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