Tuesday, January 26, 2010

What Would Cyndi Cook?

That seems to be a question I get asked a lot. Whether it's asking me to post a recipe for something I mention on Facebook or actually emailing me asking me for ideas, I don't think a day goes by that I don't help at least one friend out in the kitchen department.

For starters, let me say I'm not an expert by any means. Just because my FB status says, "Cyndi is making pot roast for dinner", it doesn't mean that mine will taste as good as your grandmother's or that you'll even like my recipe. I do have failures. I do have flops. I do quite often find out that one of my kids apparently doesn't like the same stuff they liked the week before. But I love to cook, so I keep on cooking. And when the house smells really good, I tend to let all of facebook know what I'm fixing.

The idea of a blog called "What Would Cyndi Cook" came from a conversation I had with a good friend, Sarah. It was on my FB wall, so some of you may have lurked as the conversation took place. Basically she told me what ingredients she had and asked for some ideas. I joked that if everyone saw it they would want me to start a website where they could ask me what they should fix for dinner. Now, as nice as it would be to be able to help everyone out like that, I can't risk getting 50 requests for a meal plan while I'm trying to simultaneously cook my family's dinner, referee for 3 hungry kids, observe homework, help put together a puzzle, and start another load of laundry. But the idea of having a weekly challenge or something is under advisement. We'll just have to see where the blog leads.

But if you find yourself in a serious bind, you can still always ask as you have in the past.

I don't really follow recipes, so don't always expect me to be able to give you perfect measurements. So don't be surprised if my entry doesn't always include a formal recipe (you can always respond and say, "Hey, give me the recipe!") Don't be surprised if you need to add more salt. As Rachael Ray always says, "this isn't a recipe, it's more of a method". I don't think I've ever followed a recipe to a T, unless it was something I was baking (I occasionally do stick to a cake or muffin recipe). So consider this blog more of a place to come for ideas - either for what to do with the chicken breasts you thawed out this morning or what to add to your shopping list for tomorrow.

But in order to make this a true cooking blog, I thought I'd share a meal plan from last week:

I was telling my husband what meat options we had in the freezer, and he thought a roasted chicken sounded good. So on Sunday, that's what I did. I didn't google any recipes, I just thought about different "methods" I'd seen on Food Network. I took about 1/4 stick of unsalted butter and heated it in the microwave for about 25 seconds. I basically wanted it the consistency of room temperature butter, but warmer. I added about 4 cloves of freshly chopped garlic, a couple pinches of Kosher salt, and several grinds of the peppermill. Then with my hands, I smooshed (yeah, not a word, but you get my drift) all over the chicken -- up under the skin and on the outside (trying to get all the garlic under the skin so it didn't brown too bad during the cooking process). Then I hit the outside with a little more salt & pepper. I baked it in the oven at 375 for about an hour & a half. The skin came out really crispy. Actually it came out TOO GOOD. I've never been a chicken skin girl, even when I wasn't watching my waistline, but I ate about 1/2 the skin while I was waiting for the chicken to cool off enough for the kids to eat it. It was THAT good.

I served it with roasted broccoli & roasted potatoes (both tossed with olive oil, salt, pepper & chopped garlic.......and the potatoes with some diced onion as well).

I also took advantage of knowing I'd have leftover chicken and planned ahead for Monday's meal. I bought some fresh pizza dough (or you could use the refrigerated in a tube if you want). I sauteed up some onions, garlic, & red bell pepper in olive oil. I rolled out the pizza dough, covered it with some pizza sauce, cut up left over chicken from the night before, the sauteed veggies & some mozzarella cheese, folded it over and made calzones for dinner. They were a huge hit with the kids, who needed a kid-friendly meal after humoring Mommy and pretending to love roasted broccoli the night before.

In the future if I'm actually posting a real recipe, I'll try to plan ahead and take pics as I cook. You know, so it looks like some of those more widely followed cooking blogs. :) But for now I just thought I'd throw out an idea, so you can see how easy it is to plan 2 meals from 1 chicken, and even get the chance to use up some ingredients from your fridge. After all, the calzone would be just as yummy if it had been a mushroom, spinach & cherry tomato one!

Happy Cooking!


  1. Great first post. Welcome to the blogging world, Cyndi!!

    You have talent if you can whip up something that delicious on your own.

    Can I be your fourth child?

  2. Yay!! I'm so glad to hear you have a blog. And I am one of those who loves to hear about what your cooking. So I think I will have to stop by from time to time to see what's up. WTG Cyndi!

  3. I'm so glad you started a blog! I'll be following!