Showing posts from November, 2017

Blueberry Blintzes

Recipe courtesy of Tyler Florence
Total: 1 hr 50 min
Prep: 40 min
Inactive: 1 hr
Cook: 10 min
Yield: 5 servings
Level: Intermediate

1 cup milk
1/4 cup cold water
2 eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour
Pinch salt
1 tablespoon sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus more for sauteing the crepes
Cheese Filling, recipe follows
Blueberry Sauce, recipe follows

Cheese Filling:
1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese
4 ounces cream cheese
3 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
1 lemon, zested and finely grated
1 egg

Blueberry Sauce:
2 tablespoons butter
2 pints blueberries
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 lemon, juiced
Melted unsalted butter, for sauteing blintzes
Confectioners' sugar, for dusting

Combine the milk, water, eggs, flour, salt and sugar in a blender. Blend on medium speed for 15 seconds, until the batter is smooth and lump-free. Scrape down the sides of the blender and pour in 3 tablespoons of melted butter. Blend it again for a second just to incorporate. Refrigerate the batter for 1 hour t…

Apple Cider Doughnuts

Recipe courtesy of Food Network Kitchen
Total: 3 hr 10 min
Prep: 50 min
Inactive: 2 hr
Cook: 20 min
Yield: 12 doughnuts
Level: Easy

2 red apples, such as Cortland or McIntosh
2 1/2 cups apple cider
3 1/2 cups all-pourpose flour, plus more for dusting
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
3 tablespoons vegetable shortening
1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
Vegetable oil, for frying

Core and coarsely chop the apples (do not peel). Combine with 1 1/2 cups cider in a medium saucepan over medium heat; cover and cook until softened, about 8 minutes. Uncover and continue cooking until the apples are tender and the cider is almost completely reduced, about 5 minutes. Puree with an immersion blender or in a food processor until smooth. Measure the sauce; you should have 1 cup. (Boil to reduce further,…

Holiday Cheese Ball Wreath

Bring your outdoor holiday wreath inside with this festive and easy cheeseball. Use a small Bundt pan to form a wreath shape, or roll the mixture into a ball or log. For a cheeseball worthy of any big gathering, skip the Bundt pan and colorful garnish and roll the ball in toasted sliced almonds instead.

Total: 1 hr 15 min
Prep: 15 min
Inactive: 1 hr
Yield: 16 to 20 servings
Level: Easy

1 pound cream cheese, at room temperature
2 cups shredded firm cheese, such as Cheddar, pepper Jack or Colby
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup pickled piquante peppers, such as Peppadews, finely chopped
1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves, finely chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh chives
Crackers, sliced bread or crudites, for serving

Special equipment: A small (6-cup) Bundt pan.

Line the inside of a 6-cup Bundt pan with plastic wrap. Process the cream cheese, shredded cheese, Worcestershire sauce, 1/2 teaspoon salt and few grinds of pepper in a food p…

Life is Full of Pleasures: Cyndi's Top 3


Quote of the Day


Quote of the Day


Rosemary Roasted Cashews

This recipe is almost directly from the Bar Nuts at Union Square Cafe in New York City and its wonderful cookbook of the same name.

Recipe courtesy of Ina Garten
Total: 15 min
Prep: 5 min
Cook: 10 min
Yield: approximately 3 cups
Level: Easy

1 1/4 pounds cashew nuts
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
2 teaspoons dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon melted butter

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Place the nuts on an ungreased baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes until they are warmed through. Meanwhile, combine the rosemary, pepper, sugar, salt and butter in a large bowl. Toss the warm nuts with the rosemary mixture until the nuts are completely coated. Serve warm.

For more recipes visit

Life is Full of Pleasures: Cyndi's Top 3


Quote of the Day


Quote of the Day


Green Bean Casserole

Recipe courtesy of Ree Drummond
Total: 1 hr
Prep: 15 min
Cook: 45 min
Yield: 8 servings
Level: Easy

2 pounds fresh green beans, ends cut off
4 slices bacon, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 whole large onion, chopped
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups whole milk, plus extra for thinning if needed
1/2 cup half-and-half
Freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup grated sharp Cheddar
1 cup panko breadcrumbs

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Cut the green beans in half if you like the pieces to be a little smaller. Blanch the green beans: drop them into lightly salted boiling water and allow the green beans to cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Remove them from the boiling water with a slotted spoon and immediately plunge into a bowl of ice cold water to stop the cooking process. Drain the beans once they're cool and set aside.

Add the bacon pieces to a skillet over medium heat. Cook th…

Sweet Potato Casserole

Make this crowd-pleasing holiday favorite the classic way: with buttery mashed sweet potatoes and a crunchy pecan topping.

Total: 45 min
Prep: 15 min
Cook: 30 min
Yield: 6 to 8 servings
Level: Easy

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus more for buttering the baking dish
3 cups mashed sweet potatoes (3 to 4 large potatoes; about 1 3/4 pounds)
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 large eggs

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup chopped pecans

Special equipment: a 2-quart baking dish.

For the filling: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and butter a 2-quart baking dish.
Whisk together the butter, mashed sweet potatoes, milk, brown sugar, vanilla, salt and the eggs in a large bowl. Transfer to the prepared baking dish.

For the topping: Combine the flour, brown sugar, butter and salt in a medium bowl until moist and the mi…

Hitting the Reset Button

Grace is that thing that whispers, "it's dark and hard in there. I cannot make it hurt any less, I cannot make it go any faster, all I can do is remind you that you walked through this before.”BrenéBrown

I had so many setbacks during my first year of college, some self-inflicted, others were luck of the draw. If I missed points on a project, scored low on a test, or didn’t have enough time to finish my homework--whatever it was; I would go into full shut-down-darkness mode. The sun was shining and I’d walk in complete darkness because I had failed myself. Instead of finding ways to fix my errors and setbacks, I would mentally check out and do anything I could to push the whispers of grace, away. I hated feeling the sting of my mistakes, so I would refuse to get past them—it, they would immediately define me. I was a loser who couldn’t handle the pressures of college and who wasn’t brave enough to work through the discomfort of my mistakes and setbacks.

While growing up, my f…

Halibut Fish Tacos with Cilantro Savoy Slaw

Recipe courtesy of Food Network Kitchen
Total: 45 min
Prep: 25 min
Inactive: 10 min
Cook: 10 min
Yield: 4 servings
Level: Easy

3 limes
2 cloves garlic, quartered
1 small bunch cilantro, leaves and tender stems (about 2 cups packed)
1 bunch scallions, half coarsely chopped and half finely chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
Kosher salt
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound skinless halibut fillets, cut into 1-inch chunks
4 cups packed finely shredded savoy cabbage (about 8 ounces)
2/3 cup sour cream
8 to 12 corn tortillas, warmed
Prepared salsa verde, for serving

Finely grate the zest of one of the limes and add it to the bowl of a mini food processor. Squeeze in the juice of the lime and add the garlic, cilantro, coarsely chopped scallions, cumin and 1 teaspoon salt and pulse until roughly chopped. Add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and 1 tablespoon water and continue to pulse until the mixture becomes a chunky sauce.

Toss the halibut in a bowl with all but 1 tablespoon of …

Life is Full of Pleasures: Cyndi's Top 3


Quote of the Day


Quote of the Day


Meet people where they are…

While listening to another great meditation segment of Oprah & Deepak Chopra’s 21-day Meditation, I discovered a clue to one big dysfunctional piece in my relationships with friends and family! I have two younger kids and I’m in a different place than most of my loved ones are in their lives—most of my family and friends have older children so they expect my schedule to be as free, and unencumbered as theirs is, and as much as I try to cater to them, I just can’t make it work. My kids demand so much of my time and I spend most of my days trying to make sure that my family has clean clothes, a clean home, cooked food, and to be driven to and from their many school activities and functions. On the other hand, I have a hard time accepting when others refuse to adjust to my schedule. It’s a back and forth argument and dysfunction that is met with resentment and is a trigger to bringing out the tally sheet on how many times my friends and family have let me down and vice versa. This me…

Pumpkin Banana Mousse Tart

Recipe courtesy of Ina Garten
Total: 2 hr 35 min
Prep: 25 min
Inactive: 2 hr
Cook: 10 min
Level: Easy

For the Crust:
2 cups graham cracker crumbs (14 crackers)
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted

For the Filling:
1/2 cup half-and-half
1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree
1 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 extra-large egg yolks
1 package (2 teaspoons) unflavored gelatin
1 ripe banana, finely mashed
1/2 teaspoon grated orange zest
1/2 cup cold heavy cream
2 tablespoons sugar

For the Decoration:
1 cup (1/2 pint) cold heavy cream
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Orange zest (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350.

Combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, cinnamon and melted butter in a bowl and mix well. Pour into an 11-inch tart pan with a removable bottom and press evenly into the sides and then the bottom. Bake for 10 minutes and then cool to room tempera…

Pumpkin Roll

Recipe courtesy of Trisha Yearwood
Total: 1 hr 20 min
Prep: 15 min
Inactive: 50 min
Cook: 15 min
Yield: 16 servings
Level: Intermediate

Two 3-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
1 stick butter (1/2 cup), room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup canned pumpkin
1 teaspoon lemon juice
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 cup pecans, finely chopped
1 cup confectioners' sugar, plus more for sprinkling

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 17 1/2- by 12 1/2-inch jellyroll pan. With an electric mixer, beat the eggs, granulated sugar, pumpkin and lemon juice until smooth. Sift together the flour, ginger, salt, baking powder and cinnamon. Add the sifted ingredients to the egg mixture and blend until fully combined. Spread the batter in the jellyroll pan. Sprinkle the dough with the chopped pecans. Bake until a cake tester inserted…

Good Eats Roast Turkey

Recipe courtesy of Alton Brown
Total: 9 hr 45 min
Prep: 15 min
Inactive: 7 hr
Cook: 2 hr 30 min
Yield: 10 to 12 servings
Level: Easy

1 (14 to 16 pound) frozen young turkey

For the brine:
1 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 gallon vegetable stock
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1 1/2 teaspoons allspice berries
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped candied ginger
1 gallon heavily iced water

For the aromatics:
1 red apple, sliced
1/2 onion, sliced
1 cinnamon stick
1 cup water
4 sprigs rosemary
6 leaves sage
Canola oil

2 to 3 days before roasting:
Begin thawing the turkey in the refrigerator or in a cooler kept at 38 degrees F.

Combine the vegetable stock, salt, brown sugar, peppercorns, allspice berries, and candied ginger in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Stir occasionally to dissolve solids and bring to a boil. Then remove the brine from the heat, cool to room temperature, and refrigerate.

Early on the day or the night before you'd like to eat:
Combine the brine, water and ice in the …

Life is Full Of Pleasures: Cyndi's Top 3


Quote of the Day


Quote of the Day


Role Models At Work...

My stepdad had surgery this week and is recovering nicely but gets bored sitting around. My brother asked me to stop by to visit him while he’s out of town but I couldn’t get there that day, so I asked my dad to stop by to visit with him. This is where my heart melts--my dad went to visit his ex-wife’s, ex-husband after he had surgery! Practice what you preach is what my dad has always taught us and that’s exactly what he does, he leads by example to have empathy for the people in our lives and to live life with an open heart. After my parent's contentious divorce, my mother married my stepdad. My dad was always grateful that we got a good man as a stepdad to help care for his children. He never held a grudge and always treated him with respect when they interacted.

There’s something so admirable about two men who were once married to the same woman, and had children with her to become friends and count on each other, even after their ex-wife is no longer in the picture. My dad is…

Spinach and Cheddar Souffle

Recipe courtesy of Ina Garten
Total: 40 min
Cook: 40 min
Yield: 2 to 3 servings

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing the dish
1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for sprinkling
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup scalded milk
1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 extra-large egg yolks, at room-temperature
1/2 cup grated aged Cheddar cheese, lightly packed
1 package frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and squeezed dry
5 extra-large egg whites, at room temperature
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Butter the inside of a 6 to 8-cup souffle dish (6 1/2 to 7 1/2 inches in diameter by 3 1/2 inches deep) and sprinkle evenly with Parmesan.

Melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat. With a wooden spoon, stir in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Off the heat, whisk in the hot milk, the nutmeg, cayenne, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. C…

Pie Baked Apples

Recipe courtesy of The Kitchen
Total: 1 hr 55 min
Active: 25 min
Yield: 4 servings
Level: Intermediate

4 apples such as Pippin, Mutsu or Braeburn, plus 1 more if needed
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 store-bought refrigerator pie crust (half of a 14.1-ounce box)
1 egg, beaten

Cut the top 1/2 inch from the 4 apples. Using a melon baller or spoon, dig out the insides of the apples and reserve, leaving 1/4 inch flesh next to the skin. Remove the cores and seeds and discard.

Coarsely chop the scooped fruit and add it to a medium bowl; you should have at least 1 1/2 cups. If not, peel, core and dice the additional apple and add it to the bowl. Sprinkle the lemon juice over top and toss to coat. Add the brown sugar, granulated sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt to the bowl and mix. Divide the filling among the hollowed-…