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!

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Cream of Asparagus Soup

We had dinner at a new restaurant a while back.  The soup of the day was cream of asparagus.  I love asparagus – but had never had this type of soup.  So, I ordered it.  I wasn’t super impressed.  It seemed to lacking “something”, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on it.  So, as I’m prone to do, I began the process of trying to recreate the soup – only better.  After several attempts – this is what I’ve got for you today.  Mmm Mmm Good!
Drizzle of Olive Oil
1 small white onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, chopped
1 – 2 pinches red pepper flakes
1 – 1 ½ lbs. asparagus, ends cut off and then chop spears into chunks
1 quart chicken broth
2 chicken bouillon cubes
2 – 3 oz. fresh spinach
2 Tbls. Butter
2 heaping Tbls. Flour
1 cup milk
Drizzled the olive oil into a soup pot.  Sauté the onions, garlic and red pepper flakes for about seven minutes; until the onions are translucent.  Add the chicken broth, bouillon cubes and chopped asparagus.  Bring to simmer and cook until the asparagus is well cooked; about 25 minutes.  Allow to cool.
Place the soup ingredients in a blender and whirl until completed blended.  Add some of the spinach.  I add about a handful at a time.  You want to give a nice green color to the soup – but not too dark of a green.  So, I find adding a little spinach at a time allow you to control the color of the soup.
To the same pot in which you cooked the asparagus, make a roux by adding the butter and then flour.  Cook just a minute or two; add the milk and whish until well blended.  Now, add the soup mixture from the blender.  Whisk to completely combine.  Continue cook for just about five minutes.
Serve with a dollop of sour cream and garnish with chives.  FANTASTIC!

Monday, April 6, 2015

Quinoa Mac and Cheese

I really love quinoa – and for that matter I love mac and cheese.  This is a healthy and totally delicious compromise on macaroni and cheese.  It’s got fabulous texture – especially with the vegetables – and incredible flavor.  Unfortunately, there’s no picture today.  It’s difficult to get an appetizing photo of this dish.  None of the shots turned out appealing and quite frankly – I just really wanted to EAT. 
1 1/2 cups quinoa, rinsed and drained
3 cups chicken broth
Veggies of your choice (optional, I use onion, mushroom and zucchini)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 large eggs
A little seasoning salt
1 cup soy milk or non-fat milk
1 1/2 cups grated Cheddar cheese, more for sprinkling
Crushed Red Pepper, could be added to quinoa while cooking or to vegetables while sautéing
Panko Bread crumbs for topping while baking
Salsa, Hot Sauce, Sour Cream or Scallions for toppings
Lightly sauté any veggies you would like in this dish, season with salt and pepper to taste. 
Bring the chicken broth to a boil, add the minced garlic and rinsed drained quinoa.  Place a lid on the pot and reduce heat.  Simmer until fully cooked and all liquid is absorbed.  About 20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 F. Coat 13x9 inch dish (or 8 individual ramekins) with cooking spray.
Whisk together eggs, seasoning salt and milk in large bowl. Fold in quinoa, sautéed vegetables  and cheese. Stir very well and let some of the cheese melt. 
Transfer to prepared baking dish and if using Panko Crumbs or Bread crumbs sprinkle on top now and bake 30-35 minutes, until bread crumbs are browned. 
Serve and enjoy – using any of the optional toppings of your choice.  I actually didn’t use anything except the Panko Crumbs.  It was delicious just by itself.
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