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, October 30, 2011

Cajun Meatloaf - My 200th Post!

Welcome to my 200th post! Yay! I thought it appropriate it should be something Cajun, due to my love for all things New Orleans.

After reading several meatloaf recipes, I was in the mood to experiment. This meatloaf can be as spicy, or non spicy, as you would like it. When I make this again, I will “kick it up a notch” by adding some cayenne and/or red pepper flakes. My son loved the results. I wasn’t sure he would – he had never had meatloaf before! This turned out really yummy!


½ white onion, chopped
½ bell pepper, chopped
2 celery ribs, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 ½ teaspoon Tony Chachere’s seasoning
14 ½ oz. can diced tomatoes
1 lb. extra lean ground beef
1 lb. ground pork
2 teaspoon salt-free Spike seasoning
1 teaspoon Johnny’s Seasoning Salt
2 cups Progresso Italian Bread Crumbs
2 egg whites

¾ cup ketchup
½ teaspoon seasoning salt
1 Tablespoon Worchester sauce
¼ teaspoon cayenne


Drizzle olive oil in nonstick skillet. Add onions, garlic, bell pepper & celery. Sprinkle Tony’s seasoning over all. Saute until vegetables are cooked, about 10 minutes.

Take ½ of the tomatoes and whirl in the blender or food processor. Add all of the tomatoes to the vegetable mix. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Mix the beef and pork together thoroughly. Add the Spike and Johnny’s seasoning salt. Add the vegetable mixture and combine thoroughly.

Add the bread crumbs and egg whites. Mix well. Form into two loaves on a broiler pan.

Mix the ketchup, seasoning salt, Worchester and cayenne together. Spread over both loaves.

Bake at 350 degrees for 60 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand for at least 10 minutes before slicing.

Note: We enjoyed this the evening I made it, and we’ve completely LOVED the leftovers for lunch and one more dinner. The meatloaf heats up beautifully in the microwave. I think I see a meatloaf sandwich in my future this afternoon!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Thai Braised Chicken

I found this FABULOUS recipe in the Cooking Light cookbook – but of course I’ve altered the ingredients and directions a little bit. (This was originally a Crockpot recipe. And it called for cooking the carrots along with the broth. I choose not to do that, because I find it makes the broth too sweet.) When I made it the second time I cooked it as a soup, as opposed to a full meal. I really love this easy recipe that is so incredibly fragrant and FULL of amazing flavor. Give this one a try. I don’t think you’ll be sorry!


2 cups water
1 ½ cups chicken broth
1/4 cup rice vinegar
2 tablespoons Thai fish sauce
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons Thai curry paste (I used red curry paste)
1 white onion, cut vertically (like you would see in stir-fry)
1/3 cup julienne-cut peeled fresh ginger
4 garlic cloves, halved
3 (4-inch) stalk fresh lemongrass, cut in half lengthwise
8 chicken thighs (about 3 pounds), skinned

1 (1-pound) bag baby carrots

1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
2 cups hot cooked jasmine rice
1/2 cup sliced green onions
4 lime wedges


Place the first 11 ingredients into a soup pot over medium heat. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and place a lid on the pot – but don’t cover completely. Simmer for about 2 – 2 ½ hours.

Place the carrots with approximately 1 cup of water in a separate pot. Cover; bring to a soft boil and cook until tender – about 45 minutes. (I find that by cooking the carrots in the soup itself – they tend to leave a sweet taste in the broth, which I don’t really like. So, I prefer to cook them separate.) Drain the carrots and set aside.

After the soup has been cooking for about 2 hours, add the carrots and cook until they are heated through. This takes just a few minutes. Remove the lemon grass stalks and add the cilantro.

Place a half-cup of rice in a bowl; serve with two chicken thighs and the broth and vegetables. Garnish with green onions and a squeeze of fresh lime. Delicious!

Note: The second time I made this, I chose to make it more of a soup – as opposed to a meal. I used only four chicken thighs, and removed them from the soup after 2 hours. I removed the chicken from the bone and added it back into the broth. I followed all of the other directions with the exception of not using any rice, and I added some celery to the soup when I started cooking it. This made a deliciously fragrant chicken soup that we enjoyed for lunch.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Chicken Tamale Casserole

Oh... this ain't your Momma's old fashion tamale pie. (Although I do remember it fondly!) I made this on a Sunday afternoon, for dinners on a week that I knew was going to be busy. The individual pieces warmed up beautifully in the microwave – and dinner was ready in a flash!  It's  creamy, cheesy and so full flavored you would guess there were twice as many calories in it!

I slightly adjusted this recipe from the 2009 Cooking Light cookbook. The original recipe called for 2 cups of shredded chicken breast and ¼ cup egg substitute. I used 1 lb. of chicken tenders and 2 eggs instead. If you want to follow the original recipe – there is only 354 per serving. I don’t think these alterations increased the calories that much… maybe about 390 calories.


1 lb. chicken tenders
Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper

1 cup pre-shredded 4-cheese Mexican blend cheese, divided
1/3 cup fat-free milk
2 eggs
1 teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 – 14 ¾ oz can creamed corn
1 – 8.5 oz package corn muffin mix, I used Jiffy
1 – 4oz can chopped green chilies, drained

1 can of red enchilada sauce, not the biggest can – the normal size – about 12 – 14 oz
Cooking spray
Fat Free Sour Cream for garnish


Preheat a non-stick skillet; drizzle olive oil in it. Season the chicken tenders with salt and pepper. Cook tenders for about 3 minutes per side. Remove from skillet and allow to cool. Shred with a fork.

Preheat oven to 400. Combine ¼ cup of cheese with next 7 ingredients in a large bowl; mix until just moist. Pour mixture into 9” x 13” baking dish coated with cooking spray. Bake for 15 minutes, or until set. Remove from oven.

Pierce entire surface liberally with a fork; pour enchilada sauce over top. Top with shredded chicken; sprinkle with remaining ¾ cup cheese. Bake at 400 for an additional 15 minutes, or until cheese is melted and bubbly.

Remove from oven; let stand for 5 minutes. Cut into 8 pieces, top with 1 tablespoon sour cream.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Happy National Gumbo Day

Who knew... October 12th is National Gumbo Day! 

I love me some gumbo, y'all!  I think I may have to make a pot of this for dinner tonight.  Enjoy!

Here's my recipe for gumbo: http://gumboyaya2u.blogspot.com/2008/08/nawlins-gumbo.html

And here's a link to learn more about Gumbo and explore other delicious sounding recipes!  http://southernfood.about.com/cs/gumborecipes/a/gumbo.htm

Monday, October 10, 2011

Chicken Stroganoff

Here’s another recipe from the Cooking Light cookbooks, although it is altered and probably not quite as “light” as it started out to be. This was fairly quick to make and really scrumptious. Hearty, creamy and full of flavor. I think you’ll enjoy it!


5 slices of bacon
1 white onion, chopped
2 lbs chicken tenders, cut into bite sized pieces
1 ½ cups chicken broth
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon paprika
½ cup dry white wine
2 cloves garlic, minced
16 oz low fat sour cream
4 tablespoons flour
8 oz no-yolk egg noodles, cooked and drained
Flat leaf Parsley, chopped for garnish


Cook bacon in large non-stick skillet. Remove bacon from pan and drain on paper towels. Leave about 2 tablespoons of grease in pan. Add chopped onion and sauté for about 5 minutes. Add chicken tender pieces; sauté for another 5 minutes.

Add broth, salt, pepper, paprika, wine and garlic to pan. Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat; cook for 10 minutes.

Combine sour cream and flour, stirring until smooth. Add sour cream to pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 2 minutes. Add cooked noodles and stir to combine. Continue to simmer until some of the sauce is absorbed by the noodles.

Garnish with chopped parsley.  Serve this delicious meal and enjoy the creamy and decadent treat.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Greek Lamb Pilaf

The combination of lamb, mint and lemon is just amazing. This is a quick and filling meal that can be made easily on a weeknight. Add a side salad and dinner is served. This is another Cooking Light recipe… but I’ve altered it slightly. I don’t believe my alterations changed the caloric value very much. It serves four and according to the recipe - 1 2/3 cups of this contains 446 calories, 17.2 g fat, 26 g protein, 45 g carbs and 2.4 g fiber.

Note: I have made this twice.  The second time I couldn't find ground lamb, so I used beef.  It was still tasty - but for me I preferred it with the lamb.  However, if you're not a fan of lamb - try it with the beef and substitute beef broth for the chicken.


Drizzle of olive oil
1 large white onion, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped in small bite-sized pieces (about ¾ cup)
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 lb. (approximately) ground lamb
1 cup uncooked long-grain rice
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1 ½ cups chicken broth (recipe calls for fat-free, low sodium. I used regular)
3/4 cup water
1 can diced tomatoes
Good sized handful of chopped fresh mint
3 - 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (taste after adding 3 to see if you would like more)
¾ teaspoon salt


Drizzle olive oil in a heated large non-stick pan that has a lid. Add chopped onion and garlic. Sauté for a couple of minutes; add carrots. Continue to cook until onions are translucent – about 5 minutes. Add lamb; cook and crumble the lamb for about 5 – 7 more minutes.

Stir in rice and cinnamon. Sauté for about 2 minutes allowing the rice to absorb the juices in the pan. Add the chicken broth and water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cover with lid. Simmer for about 10 minutes, add the can of diced tomatoes; continue simmering for another 5 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and rice is cooked. Remove from heat; add the mint, lemon juice and salt. Cover and let stand for about 5 minutes.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Lemon Blueberry Muffins

I can’t even begin to list enough adjectives to describe these muffins. They are AMAZING! The recipe is from the 2004 Cooking Light Annual Recipes cookbook. Each muffin is 187 calories, with only 23% from fat (4.8g) I’ve never been a huge fan of blueberries, but there was something about reading this recipe that caught my eye – and taste buds. The combination of flavors, between the lemon and blueberries, is PERFECTION. Your taste buds will thank you for making these, as well as anyone that you share them with.


2 cups all-purpose flour
½ cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
¼ cup butter
1 ¼ cup low-fat buttermilk
Zest of one lemon
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 cup blueberries (I used the entire 6 oz package, which was slightly more than 1 cup)
Cooking spray
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
½ cup powdered sugar


Preheat oven to 400.

Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and nutmeg in a bowl. Cut in butter with a pastry blender or two knives until mixture resembles coarse meal.

Combine buttermilk, zest and egg; mix well. Add to flour mixture; stir just until moist. Gently fold in blueberries.

Spoon batter into 12 muffin cups coated with cooking spray. Bake at 400 for 20 minutes, or until muffins spring back when lightly touched. Remove muffins from pan immediately and place on wire rack to cool.

Combine lemon juice and powdered sugar in a small bowl. Drizzle glaze evenly over cooled muffins.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Maple-Sage Roasted Pork Tenderloin

This recipe came from the Cooking Light cookbook (2009). The pork was so savory and fragrant with the combination of the maple syrup and sage. It was perfectly delicious with mashed potatoes and the Brussel Sprouts I blogged about yesterday. Click HERE for recipe. This was easy and fast enough to make on a weeknight – and the pork made fabulous leftovers.


1 ½ tablespoon maple syrup
1 ½ teaspoon chopped fresh sage
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 pork tenderloin, approximately 1 pound

Note: The pork tenderloins come two to a package. I prepared both tenderloins and doubled the other ingredients above. It turned out perfectly.


Combine the first four ingredients in a Ziploc bag, mixing together. Add the pork tenderloin. Seal the bag and turn to complete coat the pork. Place in fridge and let marinate for at least 30 minutes. I think I left mine in the fridge for about 1 ½ hours.

Preheat the oven to 400.

Remove pork from bag. Place on a foil lined baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake at 400 for approximately 25 minutes, or until a thermometer reaches 155. I left mine in the oven for about 28 minutes.

Remove from oven, cover loosely with foil. Let stand for 10 minutes before slicing. Serve on a platter and pour juices over it. I hope you enjoy this mouth-watering meal.

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