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!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Cilantro Rice with Chicken

Here’s another of my favorites from the Cooking Light cookbooks. I’ve adjusted the process slightly and added more chicken and chicken broth. But, the recipe remains pretty much the same as the original. This is one of our favorites. Often times I will make this on a weekend for a weeknight when I know I will need dinner in a jiff. This warms up beautifully in the microwave. Just sprinkle a little water on individual serving sizes and microwave for about 1 ½ minutes. The combination of cilantro, ginger and garlic makes this a very tasty meal! Sometimes I even squeeze a bit of fresh lime or lemon juice over it just before serving. Gives it a little extra kick and adds a freshness to it.


Olive Oil
2 cups quartered shiitake mushroom caps (about 6 ounces – I use dried and reconstitute with boiling water. Drain thoroughly)
1/4 cup chopped green onion bottoms
1 (1/2-inch) piece peeled fresh ginger, grated or minced
1 garlic clove, minced
2 cups uncooked long-grain rice
2 teaspoons ground cumin
8 skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
4 cups chicken broth


2 cups loosely packed cilantro leaves
1/2 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons chopped green onion tops
1 teaspoon chopped peeled fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 garlic clove, peeled


Drizzle olive oil in a large non-stick skillet or soup pan. Add mushrooms, green onion bottoms, ginger and garlic; cook 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

Add chicken to the pot and cook until no longer pink. About 5 minutes. Stir in rice and cumin; cook 1 minute. Stir in broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 20 - 25 minutes. Turn off heat and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes. Make sure the liquid has be completely absorbed into the rice.

To prepare sauce, place cilantro and next 5 ingredients (cilantro through peeled garlic clove) in a food processor or blender; process until smooth. Stir into rice mixture.

Serve and enjoy! It’s delish!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Israeli Couscous with Hazelnuts

I’ve never had Israeli Couscous before.  On a recent trip to Trader Joes I spotted a box of it on the shelf and thought let’s give it a try.  On the back of the box was a recipe to prepare it with Pine Nuts and Parsley.  Being that I didn’t have any pine nuts, I decided to substitute hazelnuts and adjust a few of the other ingredients as well.  I will definitely make this again.  It is sweet and savory at the same time, full of flavor, and delectable!  Give it a try – quite different from regular couscous; almost more pasta like. 


3 tablespoons butter
½ white onion, finely chopped
3 bay leaves
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
1 ½ cups Israeli Couscous
2 cups chicken broth (for vegan/vegetarian recipe substitute vegetable broth)
¼ cup raisins
Handful of chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Handful of chopped fresh basil
1/3 cup hazelnuts, toasted and rough chopped
Zest of one lemon
Salt & Pepper to taste


Melt the butter in a soup pot; add the chopped onions and sauté until almost translucent. 

Add the bay leaves, cinnamon and couscous.  Sauté until the couscous just begins to brown. 

Add the chicken broth, parsley and raisins.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer until the chicken broth is absorbed. 

Add the basil, hazelnuts and lemon zest.  Salt and Pepper to taste. Serve and enjoy as a side dish or as your main course with a salad.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Creamy Soy Dressing

This recipe is from the Cooking Light cookbook; although I’ve adjusted the measurements a bit.  I imagine you could add a drop or two of anchovy paste if you wanted it to be more like a Caesar Salad dressing.  But, I wanted to make it Vegan for my Vegan friend Laura.  So, I stayed true to the ingredients called for in the recipe. 

I served this over a combination of Hearts of Romaine and Red Leaf lettuce and added sun dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts and olives.  It was a HIT !  Everyone loved it – especially Laura.


Juice of whole lemon
4 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon sea salt
4 ounces firm silken tofu
3 garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil


Put everything except the olive oil in a food processor; process until smooth. With processor on, slowly pour oil through food chute; process until well blended.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

"What's in the Pantry" Soup

Last week I wasn't feeling well.  I wanted something to eat - but nothing sounded good.  Well, let me restate that.. the only thing that sounded delicious was soup.  However, I'm not a "soup out of the can" kinda girl - and there isn't anyone else in our house that knows how to make soup.  And, I also didn't want to spend all day cooking it.  SO, I took a look in the pantry and in the fridge and freezer.  Here's what I call my "I feel like some homemade soup but it has to be from my pantry" soup.  


1 white onion, chopped
1 celery heart, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1 can diced tomatoes
1 carton of chicken broth
2 large soup spoons of "Better than Bouillon" Beef
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
20 - 25 Costco Beef Meatballs, warm in microwave and cut into quarters


Drizzle olive oil in a soup pot, heat.  Add onion and garlic, saute for 4 -5 minutes.  Add celery and continue cooking until the onions are translucent and the celery is cooked.

Deglaze the pan with the chicken broth.  Add the kidney beans, garbanzo beans, tomatoes, meat balls, "Better than Bouillon" and oregano.  

Heat through, salt and pepper to taste, enjoy!

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