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!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Italian Meatballs

I love meatballs.  Of course I enjoy them prepared traditionally as in "spaghetti and meatballs", but these are baked and so delicious to eat as a snack.  I like that the outside gets so crisp and browned.  The flavor is really Spectacular!


1 lb. lean ground beef (I used 93% lean because I knew I would be adding fat back in with the ground pork and Italian sausage)
½ lb. ground pork
½ lb. Mild Italian Sausage  (You could use the hot sausage if you prefer a spicier meatball)
2 eggs
¾ cup Italian bread crumbs (I use Progresso Italian Seasoned)
¼ cup fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley
4 garlic cloves, minced or crushed
¼ cup chopped white onion
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Mix the meats together in a large bowl.

Add the remaining ingredients in a blender.  Blend until thoroughly combined to make a slurry.  This allows the flavors to be thoroughly combined in each meatball.  I start with already minced or crushed garlic to avoid the possibility that the mixer may leave large chunks of garlic.  Pour the liquid mixture into the meat.    Mix thoroughly.

Form into large meatballs, approx 2” and place on two baking sheets.  I like to line my baking sheets with foil to make clean-up easier.

Bake at 375 for 40 – 45 minutes.  Start checking them after 30 – 35 minutes to avoid burning and sticking to the foil. 

Serve “as is” for a delicious snack - or add to your favorite sauce to make Spaghetti and Meatballs.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Indonesian Beef Curry with Coconut Rice

Oh My Goodness!  We really loved this recipe – found in the Cooking Light 2008 cookbook.  I will say that this version was almost too spicy for us.  Next time I think I will use only one Serrano chili!  But, even with the “too much spicy” – we all loved the combination of the spice with the scented coconut rice.  This was super easy to make, fairly quick, and tasted exotic!  I’ll be making this recipe again in the near future.  My only complaint… there weren’t any left-overs!

Ingredients for the Curry:

Olive Oil
1 ½ lbs lean top round, thinly sliced across the grain
2 shallots, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 serrano chilies, thinly sliced
2 teaspoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon ground cumin
¾ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon black pepper
3 cardamom pods crushed
1 cinnamon stick
1 cup beef broth
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

Ingredients for Coconut Rice:

1 cup uncooked basmati rice (Basmati is a very fragrant rice and perfect for this dish, but you could use regular long grain rice if you don’t have any basmati)
1 ¼ cups water
1 cup coconut milk (I used lite-coconut milk)
¼ teaspoon salt


Drizzle olive oil in a large skillet; cook the beef in batches for 1 minute on each side.  Remove from skillet to a plate.  Keep warm.

Reduce heat to medium; add a bit more oil to the pan.  Add shallots, ginger, garlic and chilies.  Cook 4 – 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add the coriander and the next six ingredients. (cumin, salt, cloves, pepper, cardamom and cinnamon stick)  Cook for about 30 seconds, return beef to pan.  Add the broth and bring to a simmer.  Cover and reduce heat.  Simmer for approximately 35 minutes – until the beef is tender.

Uncover and cook for a about 10 more minutes, until the sauce thickens.    Discard the cinnamon stick and stir in the juice.

While the curry is cooking – start the rice.  To prepare the rice, bring the water to a boil.  Add the coconut milk, rice and salt.  Bring to simmer.  Cover and reduce heat.  Let simmer for about 15 minutes.  Turn off flame; let stand covered for 5 minutes.  Fluff with a fork – replace the lid and allow to stand for another 5 minutes.

Serve the curry over the rice… and let the flavors dance in your mouth!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Chicken Tagine with Lemon & Olives

I found this recipe in my favorite inspiration spot – one of the Cooking Light cookbooks!  Of course – I adjusted it – but only slightly.  This recipe calls for cooking the chicken in a Tagine, which is a Moroccan terra-cotta pot. However, since I don’t own a Tagine – I opted to use a large heavy non-stick skillet that has a lid.  Since I’ve never had anything prepared in a Tagine – I can’t say for sure that this was just as good.  But, I can guarantee you – this was DELICIOUS!  The flavorful combination of lemon, ginger, garlic and cinnamon is so fantastic and the aroma that it produces while cooking is completely enticing.  Give this one a try…  I think you’ll be happy!


Grated zest from one lemon
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
12 – 14 boneless skinless chicken thighs
½ cup flour
¾ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
¼ teaspoon turmeric
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium white onions, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh minced ginger
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup chicken broth
½ cup green olives, rough chopped – with or without pimento
2 cinnamon sticks
2 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro


Combine the juice and chicken in a large ziplock bag.  Seal and marinate for 30 minutes in the fridge.  Remove chicken from bag and pat dry.  Discard the marinade.

Dredge the dried chicken in flour.  Sprinkle with salt, pepper, turmeric and cayenne.  Heat ½ the oil in a large nonstick skillet with high sides.  Add half the chicken and cook 3 minutes on each side until lightly browned.  Remove from skillet and repeat with remaining chicken.

Add a touch more olive oil if needed to the skillet.  Add the onion, ginger and garlic  and sauté for 5 minutes or until tender.  Return the chicken to the pan.  Add broth, olives, lemon zest and cinnamon sticks to the pan.  Bring to a boil.  Cover and reduce heat.  Simmer for approximately 1 hour – or until chicken is tender.

Remove and discard the cinnamon sticks.  Stir in the cilantro.  Serve with couscous, rice or flatbread. I served with Zatarain's Yellow Rice.  Yum!

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