Pecan Turtle Shortbread Bars

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Before I get to the delicious reason for today’s post, I’d like to take just a moment of your time to tell you how this year’s celebration will look a little different in our house. I know that we all want to be with our friends and family during the holidays, but that just isn’t a good idea for those of us living in the ol’ U.S. of A. at the moment. I have family members that I want to see (and hug) as well, so I know how you feel, but we’re all keeping this Thanksgiving small, in the hopes that I can spend many more Holidays with my extended family in the future, and I hope you will do the same. It’s not a lot to ask, and it’s nothing that hasn’t been asked of essential healthcare workers and military families most every Holiday. That being said, since  I am apparently incapable of cooking for less than a crowd, I will be offering curbside takeout to those loved ones outside of my immediate bubble!

Anyway, if you are anything like me, Thanksgiving has kind of snuck up behind you and yelled “BOO!”  I mean, I understand that 2020 has bent any and all rules of time, but I just didn’t expect to suddenly find myself facing both a turkey and a Christmas tree quite yet. (BTW, my tree is up. Is yours?) Well, my last-minute planning friends, I have a quick and easy Thanksgiving dessert recipe for you! Rarely straying far from my Southern roots, I’m bringing you yet another pecan treat. My Pecan Turtle Shortbread Bars are absolutely out of this world! Chocolate shortbread, topped with a rich caramel pecan layer, and finished with chocolate ganache and pecans, they’re unbelievably easy to make, feed a crowd, and pack beautifully for takeout or shipping! Just because our Thanksgivings have to be smaller, doesn’t mean they have to be any less delicious! (Read more…)

Chicken Parmesan Meatballs

Hi guys! I hope everyone is feeling a little bit less stressed than they were a couple weeks ago. I, for one, was feeling really great… until I asked Siri how long it was until Christmas. He (my Siri sounds like Hugh Grant) told me it’s only 37 days away. I was completely gobsmacked by that response (Hugh taught me that word). The only thing I’ve done in preparation for the holidays is to put up my Christmas tree. I decided to do it much earlier than I usually do, but I think a lot of us have decided it’s high time we added some joy to 2020.

The other thing I’ve been doing is seeing how many meals I can meatball. What? Yes, I’ve once again taken a meal that isn’t a meatball, and meatballed it. First there was my Chicken Piccata Meatballs (my most popular recipe to date!), coming soon are my Thai Coconut Curry Meatballs, and today I’m bringing you the recipe for my Chicken Parmesan Meatballs! Why? Because it’s 2020 and rules no longer apply. Anything can happen. Murder Hornets can be immortal and I can meatball an entire meal. How? (Read more…)

Ham and Swiss Buttermilk Biscuits

Hello biscuit fans and biscuit fans-to-be! I have created a variation on my Buttermilk Biscuit recipe that will get even those on the biscuit fence excited. Being a Southern Girl at heart (and by birth in Chattahoochee County, Georgia), it’s in my DNA to love biscuits, but it was the work of most-of-a-lifetime to get the recipe just right. And what do I do when I think I’ve mastered something? Mess with it, of course. Like most of my pandemic-era recipes, this new biscuit was developed when I wanted to make something for my family, in this case for breakfast, without having to go to the store. I looked in the refrigerator that morning and saw just a bit of leftover ham and Swiss cheese (not enough for even one sandwich) and that was all it took. These beauties were born. (By the way, no one understands how my brain works. Not even me. Science is baffled.)

These Ham and Swiss Buttermilk Biscuits are amazing on their own, or slathered in Sausage Gravy (hey, we all need more protein after 8 months indoors). Don’t let the idea of biscuit making intimidate you. With simple ingredients and simple directions, you’re going to make something amazing! (Read more…)

Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Brownies

At the time of this writing, it’s a few days after Halloween 2020. It’s also the day after Election Day 2020. The true All Hallows Eve. Oh, and I almost forgot, it’s also the Year of the Pandemic 2020. You know, THAT year. Yeah. Lots going on here. It’s all a bit overwhelming, so let’s escape for a moment. Let’s pretend that none of this is happening. It’s a peaceful November day. In this version of the world, Election Day was just the regular amount of stressful. In this version of the world, old people freely mouth-breathe on your neck in line at the Mega Mart. And in this version of the world, the interweb did a “which candy is your favorite?” contest and the loser was Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. The world said, “peanut butter and chocolate? I’ll pass.” In this world, all you find at the bottom of your kid’s orange plastic pumpkin, two days after Halloween, is a bunch of unwanted Peanut Butter Cups. In fact, there are so many Peanut Butter Cups that you are now looking for things to do with all your Peanut Butter Cups. In that unlikely scenario, I’ve got you covered. (Read more…)

Chicken Piccata Meatballs

First of all, I love chicken. I know, I know. A lot of people think chicken is boring, and that can be true. But fried or roasted, smothered or skewered, I really love chicken. And if a classic roasted chicken with lemon is good enough for Ina and Jeffrey, who are we to judge? Seriously. Adding the refreshing, acidic punch of lemon to my beloved chicken dinner? I swoon. No really, I’m actually in danger of swooning just thinking about it right now.

I don’t even know where my love of lemon chicken originated. I mean, as I’m sitting here writing this, I pause, wracking my brain, and I cannot think of when was the first time I had any type of lemon chicken. It certainly didn’t come from the Korean side of my family. And if my grandma Olga Mae did anything with lemons, it was probably in the form of a dessert (helloooo lemon pound cake). I can only guess it must have been at some Italian-American Banquet Hall function in New Jersey, when I first met my husband’s family. Silver rows of massive chafing dishes filled to the brim with steaming stacks of Chicken Française (Fran-cay-see in New Jersey speak) or Chicken Piccata. Can you picture it? The velvet-lined walls, for whatever reason? Classic Jersey Italian stuff. Wherever it was that my tastebuds first met lemon chicken, it quickly became a love everlasting. Swoon with me. Ahh. Over the years I have played around with various lemon chicken recipes, and I make a pretty great Chicken Piccata, but lately I’ve been seeing people turning a lot of things that aren’t meatballs into meatballs and I thought “Why not?” So, let’s make some lemon chicken meatballs! (Read more…)

Dark Chocolate Caramel Oatmeal Rye Bars

Hi friends! It’s been a while since I’ve checked in with you, and for that I apologize. I don’t know about you, but it has been pretty darn stressful around here. There are some days that I just want to hole up with my family and then there are some days that I hate absolutely everyone and I just want to lay in bed and binge an entire season of The Real Housewives of Anywhere Else. That being said, I’m still cooking most days and you can usually find my current creations on my Instagram Story, but actually writing up a recipe and posting it can be more than my brain can handle. I’m sure you all understand. I will try to do better.

One thing I haven’t slacked on is making some kind of treat for the Emergency Room staff who work with The Boy day in and day out. No matter what is going on with me, no matter how I’m feeling, whether I like The Boy that day or not,  I still push myself to make them something every Saturday to say “THANK YOU” for everything they do. It doesn’t matter how you feel politically, if you are an intelligent human being existing in 2020, you know that we are facing a serious health crisis, and these people put themselves on the line every damn day. Some days are worse than others, for sure, but they never know what is going to walk through those doors from one minute to the next. So if I can make them the best damn Dark Chocolate Caramel Oatmeal Rye Bars they’ll ever taste, by golly I will!!

You should go make some for someone you want to thank, even if that person is you. Especially if that person is you (Read more…)

Garlic Butter Naan

It’s the last day of Summer y’all and I’m finally finishing my Mediterranean Dinner series. We started with my Greek Chicken Skewers with Tzatziki Sauce, accompanied that with my Greek Salad with Herb Marinated Feta, and we’re going to “wrap” it all up in my Garlic Butter Naan. Wrap it up. Get it? I’m cracking up… I mean, I crack myself up 😳 (2020… ) I know, I know, Garlic Butter Naan is not a true Mediterranean flatbread (Hello Iran and India), but it’s the one I like the most. I use it instead of pita, in place of tortillas, and cover it in pizza toppings. I think once you try making my Garlic Butter Naan for yourself, you’ll find yourself making it naanstop.   (Read more…)

Greek Salad with Herb Marinated Feta

Hi guys! I hope everyone is having a safe and happy end of Summer! Last week I shared my family’s new obsession, Greek Chicken Skewers with Tzatziki Sauce, and I’d like to introduce it’s best friend, Greek Salad with Herb Marinated Feta. This incredible salad has been on repeat almost weekly (sometimes twice in a week) ever since we went into quarantine 865 years ago, and knowing that it’s on the day’s menu immediately brightens our mood. Who knew that a salad could make anyone so happy? Yes, it’s perfect with the chicken skewers, but it’s also amazing with some orzo tossed in for a filling main dish salad, and it’s customizable with whatever fresh vegetables you have on hand.

I know, I know, it’s almost Fall, so why am I posting a refreshing Summer Salad? Because, despite the oppressively rude heat and humidity, I can’t let go of the Summer and the safety of everyone staying home a little while longer, and also this salad is so dang good that sometimes I don’t care about seasonality. (Read more…  )

Greek Chicken Skewers with Tzatziki Sauce

Hey guys! How’s it going? I know haven’t checked in much lately, but things have been a bit chaotic in our little corner of the universe for a while now. Most days you’ll see me post something delicious on my Instagram account, and I try to get a recipe up on the blog once a week, but over the past six months it’s been progressively more difficult to keep up with that schedule. Even though I’m not out there with The Boy on the frontlines, it feels like I can never get a moment to catch my breath these days, you know? Regardless, The Boy has to eat, and so do I, so I’ve been cooking nearly every day and sharing our meals on my Instagram Story. Even if you haven’t been keeping up with me there, here’s some good news: I have a backlog of popular recipes that you’ve been asking for, and I’m ready to start sharing them! First up is a recipe that I’ve made at least half a dozen times in the past few months and have even shared with my daughters for recipe tests in their home kitchens.  Great reviews all around! My girls and The Boy are all over the moon for it, so now I’m giving it to you!

This is a good one guys! My Greek Chicken Skewers with Tzatziki has been on repeat all summer long. Tender yogurt-marinated grilled chicken, fresh summer veggies grilled to a caramelized golden brown, all served with a tangy tzatziki; we just can’t get enough! Let’s go!! (Read more…)

Cinnamon-Cardamom French Toast

French toast is one of the few dishes that evokes an image of my father in the kitchen. He didn’t spend a lot of time there (he was a mow the lawn, play the guitar kind of guy), so there aren’t many of those. But he had his specialties: Biscuits and gravy, hard seared slices of Jimmy Dean sausage with scrambled eggs, and French Toast with lots of Log Cabin Syrup. I hadn’t had French toast in years, when suddenly I found myself making the best French Toast I can ever remember eating. (Sorry, Dad.) The sudden appearance of French toast on this particular day came out of boredom. I needed an activity, I decided to make bread, I went fancy and made it swirly, thought about how that was too much swirly bread to “just eat”, made French toast. Welcome to Cynthia’s brain! It’s always buzzing in here. Mostly about food  (Read more…)