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…)

Italian Frittata

Frittatas are one of the most deceptive weapons I have in my culinary arsenal. They look super fancy and never fail to impress, but no one needs to know that they can be easily made from almost anything you have in your pantry. A kind of ‘Choose your own adventure” – with eggs! You can take almost any savory flavor combination and frittata-cize it, like the frittata I based on my favorite bagel combination. This morning I decided to riff off of a frittata I used to make when I worked in a pastry shop: an Italian frittata with Italian sausage, sautéed veggies, and double the cheese for double the flavor (Read more… )

Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Cookies

Who would’ve guessed that a pandemic could inspire so much creativity in the kitchen? Every Saturday, I send The Boy off to work in the emergency room with a treat for the staff. I want to make them something to thank them for all their hard work, but sometimes I just can’t think of what to make. Other times, I just really don’t want to enter the chaos that is my local Mega Market. Luckily, a lack of creative drive and no desire to mask up and venture the Mega Market aisles can sometimes pay off. This was definitely one of those times! My Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Cookie is what some might call a “kitchen sink” cookie: I took what was left at the bottom of a box of Rice Krispies, the last of The Boy’s peanut butter stash (don’t worry hon, it has since been replenished), and half a bag of chocolate chips to make an amazing, crave-worthy cookie. This cookie is so good that The Boy “complained” they everyone at work is bugging him for the recipe.  (Hot tip: The Boy is the last person I’d ask for a recipe. That’s why I’m here.) (Read more…)

Chicken Chilaquiles Verdes

I grew up in San Antonio, Texas and lived for many years in San Diego and I never once came across the common Mexican breakfast of chilaquiles. How did that (not) happen? The first time I had ever even heard of the dish was when I was watching The Best Thing I Ever Ate on Cooking Channel. Marcella Vallodolid described chilaquiles she ate at Talavera Azul in Chula Vista, Ca (a town where where I once lived) and I was obsessed. Tortilla chips for breakfast? Tortilla chips bathed in a zingy tomatillo salsa with chicken and cheese? Tortilla chips FOR BREAKFAST?! So obsessed was I, that most of a vacation that The Boy and I recently took to San Diego centered around going to the same restaurant and eating the same chilaquiles as Marcella. True story.

Today, The Boy and I are 2,807 miles away from the Chicken Chilaquiles Verdes of our (my) dreams and I have no choice but to recreate them. The recipe is easier than you’d think and can be on the table in 60 minutes, start to finish. Let’s do this!  (Read more… )

Black Pepper Caramel No-Churn Ice Cream

Hi 👋 It’s been a while, huh? I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but the world (and America in particular) has been in a lot of turmoil recently. I don’t see it letting up soon, and there are many reasons why that’s both a good and a bad thing, so… Here we are. I try to stay away from intense topics in this blog, but I just want to let you know that I’ve been spending a lot of my time in the past month educating and examining myself, and how I relate to and interact with others. I thought that I needed to take time off from blogging, and most social media, to do that properly. That being said, preparing food and sharing food, with my loved ones and with you, is my primary way of relieving stress. And… there’s been some stress, you know? I figured if I need some stress-relief, then you probably do as well. I recently eased back into sharing pictures of the food I’ve been preparing on Instagram, and I’ve received a lot of DMs asking me for the recipes of the things I’ve posted. I want to thank all of you for your patience, and I’d like to reward you with the most-requested recipe from this last month: My delicious Black Pepper Caramel No-Churn Ice Cream! I mean, I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream, right? (While we all scream for ice cream, we can also all scream that Black lives matter while we’re at it. Right? Right.)

So… Who wants ice cream?  (Read more…)

My Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie

I have a story for you today. A story about a cookie. No, not a cookie. THE cookie 🍪 Cue the lights. [The lights dim.] Thank you.

Before I even started this recipe, I thought to myself: does the InterWeb really need another chocolate chip cookie recipe? Was I bringing anything new to the table? Was there a unique spin or a new flavor combination that I felt the world needed to hear about? Can a chocolate chip cookie even be perfect? Everyone has different taste and texture preferences, so how can I call one chocolate chip cookie perfect? That’s when it hit me, I didn’t need to figure out what the best chocolate chip cookie in the world was. I just needed to make my perfect chocolate chip cookie. The perfect cookie for me and my tastes. See, here’s the thing: The only chocolate chip cookie experiences I’d had as a child were store-bought, and, no offense to cookie manufacturers, I hated them. They were too hard, too crunchy, and too sugary. Thus, I found a goal for my chocolate chip cookie recipe development: I needed to figure out how to make a chocolate chip cookie that I loved, one that was the exact polar opposite of those store-bought cookies. I wanted a crispy edge, but a chewy middle. One that held together when it went for a swim in milk, but fell apart when I took a bite. Not too sweet and just a little bit salty. So, I got to work. And I did it.

Okay, you can turn the lights up again.

Pardon the dramatics, but this is truly My Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie. This is a cookie that I absolutely love and I hope this is a recipe that will intrigue you and make you want to bake some for yourself! Because you really should.

Now seriously, you should turn the lights back up. Reading in the dark is bad for your eyes. Besides, you can’t bake cookies in the dark (Read more…)