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, January 20, 2013

Pork Carnitas

I found this recipe on the FoodNetwork website.  It’s from Melissa D’Arabian.  I don’t often use my crock-pot. Perhaps because I don’t have a lot of great recipes for it, at least what I would deem “healthy” recipes.  This one not only fits the healthy billing – but it is DELICOUS!  The flavors were so perfectly melded and the pork was super tender.  I didn’t fry the meat after it was cooked and shredded; rather I used it in soft tacos with my homemade Tomatillo Salsa.  Click HERE for that recipe.  Next time I may try frying – but for this time I was opting for the healthier version. 
2 pounds boneless pork shoulder (or 2 1/2 pounds bone-in)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, coarsely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno, seeded and ribs removed, chopped
1 orange, cut in half
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
Rinse and dry the pork shoulder. Salt and pepper liberally. Mix the oregano and the cumin with olive oil and rub all over pork. Place the pork in a slow cooker and top with the onion, garlic, and jalapeno.
Squeeze over the juice of the orange and add the two halves. Cover and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours or on high 4 hours.
Once the meat is tender, remove from slow cooker and let cool slightly before pulling apart with a fork.
In a large sauté pan, heat the vegetable oil over high heat. Press the carnitas into the oil and fry until crusty on one side.
Serve on with choice of tortillas and toppings.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Chicken Tortilla Soup with Lime

This is a Rachel Ray recipe.  I really didn’t change it very much – surprising, I know!  It’s quick and easy and VERY delicious!  Enjoy!

2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil 
1 ½ - 2 lbs chicken tenders 
salt and freshly ground pepper
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 green bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped 
1 large onion, chopped 
1 jalapeno, minced 
1 quart chicken broth or stock 
2 celery ribs, finely chopped 
1/2 Tbsp ground cumin 
1 Tbsp ground coriander 
Zest and juice of 2 limes 
2 cups yellow corn tortilla chips 
2 tsp Tabasco 
1/2 cup sour cream, for garnish 
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped 
4 scallions, white and green parts, thinly sliced
Preheat a medium soup pot over medium-high heat and add the extra virgin olive oil.
Chop the chicken tenders into bite-sized pieces.
Season the chicken with salt and pepper and add to the hot soup pot. Lightly brown the chicken, 3 to 4 minutes; add the garlic, bell pepper, onion, jalapenos, celery, cumin, coriander, salt and pepper.  Continue to cook for 3 minutes, stirring frequently.
While that is cooking, crush tortilla chips until well ground. Add the ground tortilla chips to the soup pot and stir to combine. Add the chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 15 minutes.  Add the lime juice just a few minutes before the soup is finished.
Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with sour cream.  Garnish with lime zest, chopped cilantro, and sliced scallions.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Jean's Reuben Spirals

These were EASY and DELICIOUS.  Great little treat to serve at a cocktail party, or as appetizers prior to dinner.  This was another great find on Pinterest - I definitely AM becoming addicted to it.  Hope you enjoy these as much as we did.  The original recipe can be found at this website:
I haven't altered the original recipe.


1/2 package of frozen puff pastry, thawed
1/4 cup dijon mustard
3/4 cup shredded swiss cheese
6-8 slices of deli corned beef
1 egg, beaten
1/2 tsp caraway seeds, as garnish


On a floured surface, roll puff pastry to a 12"x10" rectangle.

Spread 1/4 cup of Dijon mustard over the pastry and top with Swiss cheese, then corned beef. Cut crosswise in half, making 2 rectangles.

Roll up one rectangle from the short end, jelly roll fashion into a log shape and seal seam with water. Repeat with the other rectangle.

Freeze if desired by wrapping each roll in cling film. Then thaw at room temperature 30 minutes before needed. Cut each roll into 1/4"-3/8" slices, place cut side up, on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Brush with beaten egg and sprinkle with caraway seeds.

Bake at 400° for 10-12 minutes until golden brown. Jean likes them served with a martini!
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