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, February 19, 2012

Garlic Chicken

I love trying new dishes and am extremely interested in international cuisine. Being part Spanish I’m surprised that I don’t have more Spanish dishes in my repertoire. I felt it was time to remedy this! Here is the first of three recipes that I will be adding in the coming days. I served this chicken for dinner, along with Patatas Bravas and Spinach with Pine Nuts and Raisins. The entire meal was spectacular. Each dish will definitely be making return appearances to our dinner table. Even the kidlet enjoyed everything. Well, he wouldn’t try the spinach – but that’s OK!


8 chicken thighs, boned & skinned and cut into 2 pieces
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1/3 cup brandy
½ cup chicken broth

3 cloves garlic
2 Tablespoons chopped parsley

Parsley for garnish

Additional brandy or chicken broth


Sprinkle salt and paprika over both sides of chicken pieces.

Drizzle 1 tablespoon olive oil into non stick skillet – cook ½ the chicken 2 minutes per side. Remove to plate. Repeat with other tablespoon olive oil and remaining chicken pieces.

Pour brandy and chicken broth into pan to deglaze. Return chicken and juices to the pan. Cover and cook for 10minutes.

Finely mince the garlic and parsley together. Use a fork to further mash the garlic. Add to pan and cook for an additional 10 minutes.

Optional: I wanted the sauce to be thicker, although I believe traditionally this a more of a “soupy” sauce. So, I mixed about 1 tablespoon of cornstarch and some additional brandy in a small bowl. I removed the chicken from the pan and placed on a serving plate. Then, I poured the cornstarch mixture into the juices to make more of a gravy consistency. Now, spoon the gravy over the top of the chicken.

Sprinkle chopped parsley over the top as garnish.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Chicken Tortilla Soup

There’s something about a steaming bowl of chicken tortilla soup that is so comforting. The warm broth is made even better by the combination of spices and various toppings. I think tortilla soup is kind of like gumbo… everyone makes it just slightly different. Here’s my version. Feel free to “mix it up” and make your own adjustments. Enjoy!


1 1b chicken tenders
Chili powder
Garlic salt
Cumin Powder
Olive Oil

1 white onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
Olive Oil

1 quart chicken broth
2 cups water
1 can Mexican style stewed tomatoes – break the tomatoes apart
3 tablespoons tomato paste
3 teaspoon chili powder
1 ½ teaspoon cumin powder
Salt to taste
Cayenne or Red Pepper flakes - optional

Corn tortillas or tortilla chips
Optional toppings: Sour Cream, Cheddar Cheese, Avocado


Sprinkle seasonings on both sides of the chicken tenders. Drizzle olive oil in a non-stick pan, heat and cook tenders approximately 3 minutes per side. Remove from heat. Allow chicken to cook; shred with two forks.

Drizzle some olive oil in a soup pot. Heat and add onions, peppers and garlic. Sauté for 7 - 10 minutes. Deglaze pan with chicken broth and water.

Add can of stewed tomatoes, after breaking the tomatoes apart. Add tomato paste, chili powder and cumin powder. (and cayenne or pepper flakes if desired) Bring to a simmer; return shredded chicken to soup. Cook for 10 – 15 minutes. Taste for salt and seasonings and adjust to your liking.

Serve with any or all of the following toppings: Corn tortilla strips, crumbled corn chips, sour cream, cheddar cheese or avocado.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Vegan Cuban Black Beans and Rice

While I’m not vegan – or gluten free – I have four dear friends who are. They recently made their respective switches due to health reasons and have been enjoying experimenting with various recipes. Two of these friends were at my home for a dinner recently, and I wanted the main course to be able to serve them both. So, this is what I came up with. I have to say I wasn’t thrilled at the prospect of making beans without meat of some sort – or without chicken broth… I just didn’t think they would be that tasty. BOY! Was I SURPRISED! These were outstanding – and I’m pretty sure they will be making returning guest appearances to my dinner table, even when it is just for my family and me.


2 tablespoons olive oil
1 ½ white onions, chopped
2 bell peppers, chopped
1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped

2 – 15oz cans black beans, drained but not rinsed
2 – 14oz cans diced tomatoes, including liquid
2 tablespoons oregano
2 tablespoons ground cumin
1 cup vegetable broth, plus a little extra if beans begin to dry out

Cooked White Rice


Drizzle the olive oil in pot; sauté onions, peppers, jalapeno and garlic until onions are translucent.

Add the beans and tomatoes to the onion mixture. Stir to combine. Add spices and vegetable broth. Bring to a simmer; reduce heat, cover and cook for 1 ½ - 2 hours. Check liquid level frequently so that the beans don’t burn.

Taste for seasonings. Add salt, oregano and cumin as needed.

Note: Since you will serve over white rice you want the beans to have enough liquid that the rice will soak the liquid up – but you don’t want the beans to be so soupy that the liquid runs all over your plate.
Related Posts with Thumbnails

Blog Archive