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, February 16, 2013

Cajun Bloody Mary

We recently had brunch at the Screen Door restaurant in Portland – home of the famous waffles and fried chicken.  Everything we had was AMAZING, including the Bloody Mary’s.  I liked those because they had horseradish in them and it really added a wonderful kick to the cocktail without the spicy heat that my other Bloody Mary recipe has.  So, when I came home I ventured to the internet to find recipes that would duplicate our brunch experience.  This is one of Emeril Lagasse’s creations.  I didn’t “change” the recipe per se.  I did double the ingredients so that I could use an entire large can of tomato juice.  And, I substituted green olives instead of the okra.  But, other than that – I stayed true to Chef Lagasse’s creation.  Enjoy!


3 cups tomato juice
3 tablespoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce, or to taste
1 teaspoon minced garlic
3/4 teaspoon hot sauce, or to taste (recommended: Tabasco)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Premium vodka


Small jar pickled green beans
Small jar pickled okra (I used green olives instead of the okra)


In a blender combine the tomato juice, lemon juice, lime juice, horseradish, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, and hot sauce and process until smooth. Transfer to a nonreactive container and add salt and black pepper, to taste. Refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, at least 2 hours and up to overnight.

When ready to serve, fill each glass with ice. (Before filling with ice - I ran a lime wedge around the rim of the glass and then dipped the rim in a bit of seasoning salt.)

Add 1 ounce of vodka to each glass, and then fill the glass with the Bloody Mary mix. Stir well, and garnish each glass with the green beans and okra (or green olive).

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Chocolate Guinness Cake

I have a very dear friend who carries on a wonderful love affair with Guinness.  She really does love it! So, when I saw some recipes for Chocolate Guinness Cake – I immediately thought of her and suggested I make it for dessert the night she came over for dinner.  She agreed immediately… Shocker!  LOL… and it was a HUGE hit.  I combined a couple of recipes for this version which is really decadent and delicious.  I like that the cake is not overly sweet – but has a fantastically full chocolate flavor – and the cream cheese frosting makes up for the less sweet cake.  A perfect combination!

1 cup Guinness
10 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup sour cream
2 eggs
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

In a large saucepan place the beer and butter. Cook over medium-high heat until the butter has melted. Add the cocoa powder and sugar and whisk together. Take off heat and allow to come to room temperature.

Sift the flour, salt and baking soda into a large mixing bowl and mix together well. Pour in the Guinness/cocoa/butter mixture, lightly combine, add the vanilla, eggs and sour cream and beat everything together until well combined. The batter should be thick and dark chocolate in color.
Pour into a greased and lined 10″ angel food pan (or another straight-sided tube pan) and cook in the oven for 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean from the center of the cake.
*Note: This cake is very moist inside, so use your judgment regarding the skewer test. Do not leave in the oven until the cake has totally dried out — cook long enough so there is no uncooked cake on the skewer but there may be a few moist crumbs sticking to it after an hour of cooking. You should start checking for doneness at least 15 minutes early.
Spread frosting on the cooled cake and serve.
Cream Cheese Frosting:
1 1/3 cup cream cheese
1 ½ cup powdered sugar, sifted
2/3 cup heavy cream, whipped
Place the cream cheese into the bowl of a mixer and beat on a low-medium speed using a whisk attachment. Whisk until the cheese is smooth and there are no big lumps remaining.
Gradually, using a large spoon, add in the sifted powdered sugar and beat gently to combine. After 2 to 3 minutes, stop the machine, scrape any excess frosting from the sides of the bowl and beat on medium speed until lump free.
Remove bowl from mixer and gently fold in the whipped cream, mixing to fully combine.
Place cooled cake on a cake stand and add the frosting, spreading out just to the edge without going over the side (never go over the sides of the cake) until the cake resembles a pint of Guinness! The idea is to capture the essence and simplicity of a perfect pint!
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