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!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Italian Meatloaf - Individual Size

My husband and son really enjoyed my Cajun Meatloaf creation, click HERE for recipe, so I decided to experiment with Italian Meatloaf.  My twist was instead of making one or two giant meatloaves – I would portion them into individual serving sizes.  These turned out GREAT.  The kiddo really loved these – and being the carnivore that he is – he wanted two the first night we had them.  They are savory, a little bit spicy, and can be warmed up in the microwave for dinner in a flash.  Enjoy with some pasta or a salad – and dinner is served!


Olive Oil
1 ½ white onions, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 ½ tablespoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons red pepper flakes (can use less or none – depending upon your taste and tolerance for “spicy”)
½ cup – ¾ cup beef broth
1 cup tomato-basil spaghetti sauce (I like Trader Joe’s brand, or Classico)
1 ½ cups Italian bread crumbs (I use Progresso)
2 – 2 ½ lbs ground beef (I used 85% lean one time and 93% lean the other.  Turned out great both ways)
2 eggs, beaten
Handful of chopped flat leaf parsley
Additional spaghetti sauce to spread on top of the meatloaves


Heat a large skillet; drizzle olive oil into it. Add onions and garlic; sauté until translucent – but be careful not to burn.  Add beef broth as needed to keep onions from sticking and burning.

Add basil, oregano, pepper flakes, remaining beef broth and 1 cup of spaghetti sauce.  Bring to a simmer.  Remove from heat and allow to cool.

In a large bowl combine bread crumbs, eggs, flat leaf parsley and onion mixture.  Thoroughly combine. 

Add ground beef to the onion/breadcrumb mixture.  Using a large spoon – or your hands – mix well.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil for easy cleanup.  Form the meat mixture into 8 individual meat loaves. 

Bake at 350 for 25 minutes.  Remove from oven.  Top each meatloaf with 2 -3 spoons of spaghetti sauce.  Return to oven and continue cooking for 30 - 35 more minutes.

Remove from oven and enjoy immediately. Or, these can be refrigerated and heated in the microwave (approximately 1 minute) for lunch or an easy dinner on a busy weeknight. 

Monday, May 21, 2012

Shrimp & Chicken Paella

This is another great recipe from Cooking Light – with adjustments a la Cindy!  Serve with a salad and you have a delicious savory meal.  I wasn’t sure the kiddo was going to like it… but he did.  He had two servings the first night – shrimp and all.  Normally I can’t get him to go near shrimp.  He was picking them off the plate as I was trying to take the photos!  I hope you enjoy this as much as we all did!


Olive Oil
1/2 of a red onion, chopped
1 celery head, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 1/2 cups uncooked basmati rice
1/4 teaspoon saffron threads, crushed (If you don’t have any saffron or prefer to use a less expensive option, substitute ½ teaspoon of turmeric)
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces (I used chicken tenders)
3 cups chicken broth
1 cup frozen whole-kernel corn
15 oz can redi-cut diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon salt
1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and excess liquid squeezed out
1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined (I use cooked, tail-off and add during the last 5 – 7 minutes of cooking)


Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, celery, garlic and oregano; sauté 4 minutes.

Add chicken to the pan; sauté approximately 4 minutes.  Add rice and saffron; sauté briefly. 

Add broth and remaining ingredients except spinach and shrimp (if using already cooked); bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer approximately 10 - 15 minutes or until rice is done.  Add shrimp & spinach during the last 5 – 7 minutes of cooking.

Fluff with a fork and serve!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Spicy Coleslaw with Cumin Lime Dressing

I found this recipe on the internet many years ago. I've made it numerous times, and it always receives rave reviews. Not like the mayonnaise based coleslaw's that most of us are used to. Perfectly piquant and excellently tasty!

1/3 cup fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 cloves garlic, chopped
Few dashes of Tabasco
1/2 cup olive oil

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

3 carrots, peeled and shredded
1 medium head green cabbage, shredded
1 red bell pepper, julienne style
1 red onion, thinly sliced
one bunch of fresh cilantro - chopped
Salt and pepper

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl, toss with the dressing and season with salt and pepper, to taste.

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