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, January 23, 2011

Chicken with Black Bean Sauce

Here’s another recipe that I discovered in a Weight Watchers cookbook. I’ve used all the same ingredients, but slightly altered the quantities. This was a winner! My son and I even took the leftovers for lunch the next day. I believe this dish will have a permanent place on our menu rotation. With my change in quantities this makes 5 -6 servings.

Note: Next time I think I will add some red pepper flakes, or some chili garlic sauce to give the dish a little "spicy kick".


3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut in half to make less thick, and then cut into thin strips
2 ½ tablespoons corn starch
1 cup chicken broth
4 tablespoons black bean sauce
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 ½ tablespoon minced fresh ginger
4 cloves garlic, minced
½ lb white mushrooms, cleaned and quartered
½ lb fresh snow peas, trimmed
2 carrots, thinly sliced


Combine the chicken with 1 tablespoon of the cornstarch in a medium bowl; toss well to coat and set aside. Combine the remaining 1 ½ tablespoons of cornstarch, broth, black bean sauce, soy sauce and ginger in a small bowl or measuring cup; set aside.

Heat a nonstick wok, or large skillet, over medium heat until a drop of water sizzles. Swirl the oil, then add the chicken. Stir fry until lightly browned, 2 – 3 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger; stir-fry until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the mushrooms, snow peas and carrots; stir fry until crisp tender, about 3 minutes. Add the broth mixture and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture boils and thickens, and the chicken is thoroughly cooked.

Serve over white or brown steamed rice.

Saturday, January 15, 2011


I found a recipe for baked Chimichangas in a Weight Watchers cookbook. I’ve altered this recipe considerably – but retained the portion where they are baked, rather than fried. These were fabulous. I had never even considered making Chimichanga’s before – and these were really wonderfulfull of flavor and quite easy to make. Serve with your favorite salsa, red or green, and a dollop of sour cream. You could even top with some guacamole if desired.


1 lb extra lean ground beef (7% fat)
1 white onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped
Drizzle of Olive Oil
3 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon cumin powder
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt
15 oz can tomato sauce
Shredded cheddar or jack cheese
6 - 8 flour tortillas, soft taco size (depending upon how full you want the chimichanga’s to be)
Salsa, Sour Cream and/or Guacamole for toppings, if desired.


Drizzle olive oil in a non-stick skillet. Sauté onions, jalapeno and garlic until translucent. Add a touch of water if the mixture gets too dry and starts to burn.

Crumble ground beef into the onion mixture. Add the chili powder, cumin powder, oregano and salt; continue cooking, breaking the meat up as you go, until meat is thoroughly cooked.

Add the tomato sauce and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat and simmer until slightly thickened – about 5 minutes.

Warm the tortillas in the microwave. Spoon about 1 /2 cup of the filling into the center of each tortilla. Add desired amount of cheese. Fold in the sides, then roll to enclose the filling. Place each Chimichanga seam side down on a baking sheet.

Lightly spray the top of each Chimichanga with nonstick cooking spray. Bake until golden and crisp, about 20 minutes, in a 400 degree oven.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Chocolate Chunk Bread Puddings

This recipe is from the 2004 Cooking Light cookbook. It yielded two servings, baked in 6oz ramekins. I wanted to make smaller servings in my 3.5 oz ramekins. I altered this slightly by adding more milk and eggs, an extra ¼ cup of bread – and I didn’t measure the chocolate. The recipe called for 1 oz of semisweet chocolate to be coarsely chopped. I opted to use chocolate chips – and I didn’t measure how much I used. I’d guess about 1 ½ tablespoons, per ramekin. (Original recipe – served 2 for 319 calories each. This serves 4)


2 cups (1/2 inch) cubed Hawaiian sweet bread
1 1/3 cup 2% milk
2 tablespoons
1 ½ tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
1 tablespoon Kahlua
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs, lightly beaten

Cooking spray
Chocolate Chips
Whipped cream – or whipped topping.


Preheat oven to 350. Spray each of the ramekins with cooking spray.

Arrange bread cubes in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake for 5 minutes, until toasted. Remove from oven and decrease temp to 325.

Combine milk and next five ingredients in a medium bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Add bread, tossing gently to coat. Cover and chill for 30 minutes, or up to 4 hours.

Fill each of the four ramekins half full with the bread mixture. Sprinkle some chocolate chips over each. Fill each of the four ramekins with the remaining bread mixture, and top with more chocolate chips.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Candied Walnut, Gorgonzola & Cranberry Salad

For my New Year’s Eve party, I was looking for a flavorful, but light, salad to serve between the soup and main course. This sounded perfect! I discovered it while searching the AllRecipes.com site. Here’s the link directly to the recipe. All of my guests LOVED the salad and raved about the flavor and combination of raspberry vinaigrette, Gorgonzola, walnuts and dried cranberries. It was delightful!

Note: The ingredients listed here will serve 4. I used the recipe calculator on their site to adjust it to serve 10. I was really only serving 8, but wanted to be sure I had enough. There was “just enough”. So, be aware if you follow the directions below “exactly”, it will be four small servings.


1/2 cup walnut halves
1/4 cup sugar
(I found sugared/spiced walnuts already made in the bulk bins at my grocery store. So I bought those. Cut out some of the prep time!)
3 cups mixed greens
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
1 tablespoon raspberry vinaigrette (I used Girard’s Light Raspberry. It was very good!)
1 tablespoon white vinegar (I substituted white wine vinegar)
1 tablespoon olive oil


Place walnuts and sugar in a skillet over medium heat, stirring constantly until the sugar dissolves into a light brown liquid and coats the walnuts. Remove walnuts from skillet, and spread them out on a sheet of aluminum foil to cool. (If you purchase them already sugared – you get to skip this step!)

Place in a large salad bowl the mixed greens, cranberries, cheese, vinaigrette, vinegar, and olive oil. Toss gently; add candied walnuts, and toss again.

Note: I combined the vinaigrette, vinegar and olive oil in a separate container and mixed it until well combined. I tossed everything together – with the exception of the walnuts. I sprinkled those on top of each salad. Very nice presentation.
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