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, July 27, 2013

Dragon Noodles

OH - EMM - GEE!!  I saw this recipe on Pinterest and haven't been able to get it out of mind ever since.  (Click HERE for original recipe.) I've changed the recipe a little bit - and I've added an optional idea at the end.  This was SUPER easy and very quick to put together.  It's full of flavor and just the right amount of spicy.  You're going to LOVE it!
½ a package of linguini (to make gluten free you could use Asian rice noodles – or your favorite gluten free pasta)
4 Tbsp butter
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 large clove garlic, finely minced or grated
2 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons Sriracha (rooster sauce)
1 handful fresh cilantro leaves
2 green onions, sliced
Begin to boil water for the noodles. Once the water reaches a full boil, add the noodles and cook according to the package directions (boil for 5-7 minutes).
While waiting for the water to boil, prepare the sauce. In a small bowl stir together the brown sugar, soy sauce, and Sriracha.
In a large skillet melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add the red pepper flakes and garlic to the butter as it melts.
When the noodles are tender remove from the water and add directly to the skillet.  Toss to coat with the butter.  Add the prepared sauce. Turn the heat on low to evaporate excess moisture, and stir until everything is coated well with the sauce.  If necessary – you can add a little bit of the pasta water to help pull it all together.  (Which is what I do any time I’m making an Italian pasta dish.)
Sprinkle the sliced green onions and cilantro leaves on top and serve!
Optional – when I make this again… and I do mean WHEN because THIS was DELICIOUS!!!!  I’m going to add some shrimp or chicken. Or, if you’re vegetarian you could add tofu or egg.  (The original recipe did call for an egg to be scrambled in the melted butter before adding the noodles.) I can’t wait until the next time we have this…. I’m thinking lunch tomorrow might not be soon enough!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Cucumber Martini

This is a wonderfully refreshing martini for summer.  And, with the addition of fresh cucumber juice and mint – almost seems like it would be healthy for you too! Tee hee hee…  This takes a little time to make, but it’s very much worth the extra effort.  Cheers!
3.5 oz. Cucumber Vodka
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
Juice of half a lime
0.75 oz fresh cucumber juice
0.75 oz simple syrup
Make the simple syrup by bringing ½ cup water to a boil; add ½ cup sugar.  Stir until completely dissolved; allow to cool.
If making the cucumber juice yourself – peel the cucumber and put through your juicer.  I used an English Cucumber for a more delicate flavor.  Strain juice through a sieve to make sure there are no seeds.
In a cocktail shaker – combine everything with crushed ice.  Shake vigorously and strain into two martini glasses.  Garnish with a slice of cucumber or lime.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Ham & Cheese English Muffin Strata

I found this recipe in one of my Cooking Light Cookbooks, and true to form I’ve altered it just a little bit.  This is WAY yummy and makes the perfect breakfast when you’re on the go.  Make it ahead and then warm the individual servings in the microwave.  But, it’s equally delicious and fancy enough to serve when company is coming.  Just remember to leave at least 8 hours for it to set in the fridge – prior to cooking.
4 Sourdough English Muffins
Cooking Spray
5 slices of Canadian Bacon, finely chopped
½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 ¾ cup unsweetened soy milk
4 teaspoons Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon dry mustard
¾ teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons fresh basil, finely chopped
¾ teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 eggs
2 egg whites
Split the English muffins and then slice each half into 6 wedges.  Arrange half of the muffins into a 8” square baking dish that has been generously sprayed with cooking spray.  Top with chopped Canadian Bacon, half the cheese, red pepper flakes and basil.  Add some salt and pepper.  Top with other half of English Muffins and remaining cheese.
Whisk the egg whites and eggs along with Dijon mustard, dry mustard and garlic powder. 
Add the soy milk and beat to combine.  Pour over muffin mixture.  Cover and place in fridge 8 hours  to overnight. 
Bake uncovered strata at 325 for one hour.  Let stand for 15 minutes.  Serves 4 to 6 depending on how large you’d like the servings.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Easy Chocolate Croissants

I thought I was being extremely original by thinking about making Chocolate Croissant’s with puff pastry.  I Googled "chocolate croissants with puff pastry" and realized I’m neither original nor ingenious… MANY others of have thought of this before me!  Sad face.  LOL…  But, they’re easy and delicious, nonetheless!
1 sheet of Pepperidge Farms puff pastry
Chocolate chips – about 8 heaping tablespoons  (I used Guittard chocolate)
Egg – for egg wash
Defrost puff pastry for about 40 minutes on counter.  Unfold and lightly roll out on a floured board.
Cut across and then the other way to make four squares/rectangles.  Cut each rectangle across diagonally to make triangles.
Take each triangle – wide end toward you – and place about 1 heaping tablespoon of chocolate chips on it.  Roll into crescents and place on greased baking sheet.
Bake at 400 for 15 minutes.  Let cool – just a bit – because you don’t want to burn your tongue… but the delicious smell of chocolate and pastry will make it difficult to wait!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Pizza Meat Loaf

I saw a recipe for this in one of my Cooking Light cookbooks.  I’ve altered the recipe a little bit and these turned out FANTASTIC!  Very easy – and extremely delicious!
1 lb. ground beef (I used 93% lean)
1 lb. ground turkey
4 oz. pepperoni, finely chopped
1 white onion, chopped
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
12 oz. jar red peppers
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup pizza sauce
1 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
2 eggs
Olive oil
Heat a skillet; drizzle Olive Oil into it.  Add chopped onion and garlic and red pepper flakes.  Sauté until translucent. 
Drain the red peppers; place in bowl of food processor and process until finely chopped.  Add the cooked onion mixture and pulse to chop and combine.
In a bowl, add beef, turkey and pepperoni.  Add egg, bread crumbs, salt & pepper; mix to combine.  Add the onion/red pepper mixture – mix to combine.
Form into 8 – 10 individual meat loaves.  Cook at 350 for 30 minutes.  Remove from oven; spoon the pizza sauce onto each loaf, and spread.  Return to oven and cook for an additional 30 minutes.  Fantastico!
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