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, June 29, 2014

Potato Leek Soup

I owe the inspiration for this recipe to Stephen.  He made us an amazing dinner last night, and one course was a super delicious Potato-Leek soup, that had just the right amount of spicy and was incredibly satisfying!  I didn’t ask him for the recipe… I decided to “wing it”.  But, I think I made a pretty good imitation and I and owe it all to him.  So, thank you Stephen!  (But I am going to have to get the recipe for that Lemon Vinaigrette you served with the salad!!!)
2 large leeks, cleaned and sliced
Olive Oil
2 Tbls butter
3 russet potatoes, peeled and cut into pieces
4 cups chicken stock (I used Rachael Ray’s brand, have also used Swanson’s)
¾ tsp white pepper
¼ tsp nutmeg
6 – 8oz. cream
Chopped chives for garnish
Black Truffle Salt to taste on individual servings

Optional: Drizzle with Truffle Oil just before serving.
Clean and slice the leeks, using mainly the white parts.  Heat a soup pot and drizzle olive oil into it.  Add the leeks and cook on low to sweat them; you don’t want them to brown.  Continue cooking on low until soft.  Add the butter and allow to melt.
Add the chicken stock to the pot and add the potato pieces, along with pepper and nutmeg.  Bring to boil; reduce heat and cover.  Simmer until potatoes are cooked through. 
Place the soup in a blender in batches, making sure to get enough of the chicken stock added to allow the soup to blend easily.  Blend until smooth.  Repeat until all soup is smooth.  I was able to do this in two batches.
Return blended soup to the pot; turn on heat and add the cream.  Heat until it begins to bubble.  Taste for seasonings.  Garnish with  a sprinkling of Black Truffle Salt, chopped chives and enjoy!  Can also drizzle a bit of truffle oil as a finishing touch.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Jamie Oliver's Pork Medallions with Jerk Sauce

I have always loved Jamie Oliver.  He makes delicious food – that is both visually and taste appealing.  Plus, his recipes are full of healthy fresh ingredients.  Last week I was flipping TV channels and I came across his new (to me) series – “15 Minute Meals”.  I have already made this recipe two times in the past week.  It is DELICIOUS!!!  Quick, Easy, Healthy and Delightful.  I served it over some fragrant basmati rice.  Fabulous!
2 pork tenderloins, each cut into 4 – 5 medallions – depending on size
Coriander powder
For the Jerk Sauce
Half a bunch of Cilantro
4 green onions, torn into two or three pieces
2 bay leaves
1 tsp allspice
Thumb size piece of ginger, peeled
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ scotch bonnet pepper, these are incredibly hot.  I used a jalapeno instead and stripped the seeds out of half of it.  That was spicy enough for me.
1 heaping Tbls. Honey
5 – 6 small tomatoes, not cherry tomatoes.  I use the Campari tomatoes on the vine from Costco.
1 Tbls. soy sauce
Dash hot water
2 Tbls. Red Wine Vinegar
Whirl the jerk sauce ingredients in your blender until fully combined and smooth.  It takes a bit of time for everything to whirl together nicely.  Be careful not to add too much water in an effort to get it to whirl together.  I will stop the blender periodically and smash everything down into it with a wooden spoon.
Cut Pork Tenderloins into four - five pieces each, depending upon size of the tenderloin.  Pound each down piece down with your fist.  Sprinkle with Coriander and a touch of salt.
Heat a frying pan and add olive oil.  Flash fry the pork medallions in the pan 2 ½ minutes each side.  Remove to a plate.
Add the jerk sauce to the hot pan the pork cooked in.  Bring to a boil.  As it gets thick add the pork medallions back in; reduce heat.  Cover with a lid and cook for 3 – 4 minutes more.
I like to serve this with rice.  But, you could serve with whatever you desire.  Jamie dressed the dish with some fresh plain yogurt.  Looked very yummy.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Lemon Almond Cake (Gluten Free)

I made this cake for my friend, Brenda.  It was her birthday – and as I’ve posted before, she needs to stay away from gluten.  I made her a gluten free coconut cake (click HERE for that recipe) last year for her birthday, but this year we decided to try something different.  Viola!  I found this recipe on Pinterest.  The measurements were all metric.  GAH!  I didn’t realize there would be math involved in this cooking project.  But, with the help of the miraculous internet (and my husband, who for some strange reason understands the metric system) I think I made the cake according to the instructions.  It was super good!  Very lemony and delicious with the almond flavor and glazed with powder sugar and fresh lemon juice.  Cooking the lemons first was really interesting!  The consistency is unique and the flavor is wonderful!  I would totally make this cake again.
3 large lemons
1 cup Bakers (superfine) Sugar (250g)
2 cups Almond Meal (250g)
6 eggs
1 tsp. baking powder
Place the lemons in a medium saucepan and cover them with water.  Bring the saucepan to a boil and then reduce to a simmer; cooking the lemons for about 1 to 1 ½ hours until they are soft to the touch and a spoon goes through the skin easily.  Keep an eye on the saucepan and top off with boiling water from a kettle when necessary.
Once the lemons are cooked, remove them to a bowl and let them cool. It works well to cook the lemons the night before making the cake and simply leave them at room temperature overnight.
Preheat the oven to 375°.  Grease and line the base of an 8” cake tin.  I used an angel food cake pan.
Place the cooked lemons in a food processor and process until you have a fine puree.  Remove any seeds that remain.  Add the sugar, almond meal, eggs and baking powder.  Blitz again until everything is well combined. 
Pour the batter into the cake tin and bake for 1 hour, until a metal skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.  At about 40 minutes check to see if you need to place a sheet of foil on top of the cake to prevent it from browning too much. 
Remove from the oven and allow cake to cook in the cake tin on a wire rack.
Once cooled and placed on a serving plate, I combined powder sugar and fresh lemon juice to make a glaze (kind of on the thick side) and glazed the cake with it.
Serve with ice cream, if desired and enjoy!
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