Savory Oatmeal

You’ve probably figured out by now that I like switching things up. So when the idea came to me to rethink one of my breakfast favorites — oatmeal — I jumped on it.  Savory oatmeal. What is this madness, you might ask? But think about it. Sometimes you wake up and don’t want sugary toast, sweet…

15-Minute Vegan Beef Tacos

As much as I love spending time creating in the kitchen, I simply don’t have time these days to explore as much as I’d like to. What happens to your diet when you don’t have time? Some might resort to fast food. Some might befriend their neighborhood vending machine. Some might eat copious amounts of…

Crispy Crunchy Wraps

You take a bite. The warm tortilla crunches soundly against your teeth, breaking into brittle shards as the delicious contents reveal themselves to your taste buds. This is the ideal wrap—crunchy and light, simple enough to make on a weekday but good enough to bring to a potluck. The best part is this: all you need…

Vegan BBQ Pulled Pork

    This. Is. Amazing. And also one of my favorite food hacks. Who knew that jackfruit – a spiky-looking fruit thing – could be used to make a nice, hearty barbecue? Obviously, this won’t be the exact same as pulled pork. But it does have way fewer calories if that’s what you’re into, and is also way better in…

Baked Honey & Soy Sauce Chicken Thighs

  Astoundingly tender. Sweet like warm honey, yet dangerous like an addiction. If you have chicken thighs in the freezer, thaw them now. Break out the honey left over from the No-Oven Honey Roasted Almonds. If you don’t have soy sauce, go buy some right now. If you’re going to try one main dish from anything on…

Vegan Mashed Potatoes & Gravy

A real thing that happened recently, while planning a Friendsgiving: Friend: “We still need someone to make mashed potatoes and gravy…” Me: “Ooh I could do it! I could make vegan mashed potatoes and gravy!” *collective “uhhh” around the room and frowns of disgust* So apparently I’ve been living around such a bubble of tree-hugging millennials that I…

Try This: Baking Powder + Pancake Mix

Sometimes, you need pancake mix. It’s for those mornings when you don’t feel like beating together this many eggs and this much flour, then mixing (but not over mixing!) and then eating pancakes 20 minutes later, after which most have already cooled since you cooked them in separate batches. But the other option, pancake mix, gives…

Vanilla Crème Brioche

Perhaps the most fascinating thing about French cooking is the artistry. It’s all about the quality of ingredients, the slow simmers, the nuances of flavor. In a rushed world that often treats cooking as a chore, French cooking reminds us to pause and savor. And this is the perfect thing to savor – it’s buttery and…

Actually Healthy Greek Yogurt Potato Salad

What’s the secret ingredient in this little potato salad? Well, sit down, kids, and let me tell you a story. Once upon a time, there lived a Potato. Now, this Potato was a kind and easy-going fellow, and he easily made friends with some other little foods. Some of his friends were bad apples, though….

Current Obsession: PB2

The three certainties in life are death, taxes, and the universal human experience of spooning peanut butter straight from the jar at 1:00am. And although peanut butter is packed with energy and “healthy” to people with self control (read: no one), it still has a lot of saturated fats and unnecessary calories. Which is why PB2…

Try This: Toasted Croissants

I realize that French food connoisseurs might have something against this, but for me, this is a way of living. I will never eat croissants the same way again. A flaky, buttery, warm, crunchy, delicious start to the day. It’s especially delicious when you use a big fluffy croissant, snatched right out of the glass…

Healthy Marinated & Steamed Tilapia

My mom is a seasoned veteran of the home cooking world, but even she raved over this recipe. “Cici,” she said excitedly on the phone. “You have to try this out.” “Oh, okay, yeah,” I replied, hoping she wasn’t using her mom senses to detect what I was eating at the moment. “What are you doing…

Simply Crispy Asparagus

I was really excited about having my own apartment kitchen this year, but then I realized something: I actually don’t eat a lot. For example, one day I raided the bulk foods section of my local grocery store. Among my digs: precisely $0.21 worth of black rice. Not that I counted the grains, but there were 132 of…

Molten Chocolate Cobbler

Oh my goodness. The bliss you experience with this cobbler is greater than any bliss you have ever experienced. That is no exaggeration.  I’m not lying. I’m still not lying. It’s not opposite day. It’s still not opposite day. But seriously. This piping-hot mess, with its gooey ooey center that slowly oozes a streak of…

Baked & Breaded Fish Fillets

  Don’t get me wrong, I love my deep-fried fish fillets—preferably wedged between two sides of a warm and soft taco shell, embedded between a sprinkling of vibrant vegetables and topped with some form of zesty sauce.  But we can’t always have what we want. Sometimes we have to (try to be) somewhat (kind of) healthy….

Try This: Easier Hard-Boiled Eggs

Have you been overcomplicating hard-boiled eggs? Probably. At first I thought Martha Stewart’s recipe was complicated just because she’s Martha Stewart. But then I found other recipes that called for the same kind of method: cover the eggs with one inch of water, leave on stove for exactly this many minutes, drain carefully, la la…

20-Minute Lentil Soup

Ah, is there a food as comforting as soup? Warm, savory, aromatic. The perfect adieu dish for a cold cold winter that is soon to be over (tomorrow, in fact!).  The problem with soup is that it’s often unhealthy. Now, I’m certainly not opposed to the occasional splurge on cheese and butter and sugar, but soup is one…

Crunchy Chewy Kitchen Sink Cookies

Oh wow.  These turned out way better than I had anticipated, and I couldn’t wait to share this recipe with you!  These cookies ate the perfect balance between crunch and munch: they’re crispy and golden brown on the edges, and melty-gooey in the center. Absolutely stunning, and absolutely killer with a glass of cold milk….

Two-Ingredient Microwave Fudge

Seriously, if this isn’t the simplest fudge you have ever encountered, I don’t know how I can help you.  This one recipe inspired me to think about starting up a new section of this blog, called Kitchen Easy.  Get it? It rhymes and it sounds like Kitchen Cici! Oh come on, don’t be stingy with…

Easy One-Step Pumpkin Cake

It’s perfect timing, really. Now that Thanksgiving and the holidays are over, it’s high time to load up on some of those delicious grocery store sales. You know: the $1 festive cake mix, the 50¢ box of candy canes. This time, though, it was the $1.24 canned pumpkin that caught my eye. And then I wondered…

Scrumptious Oatmeal Carrot Muffins

Do you fear the muffin man? I used to. But these simple little muffins changed everything. Now, you might recall that in the Kitchen Cici episode “Seriously Amazing Blueberry Muffins,” there were quite a few careful steps. I mean, those amazing blueberry muffins took some real deep-seafood-fried cooking patience. I have no idea what I just said….

Savory Profiteroles

The perfect appetizer, the cutest little bundle of joy, a savory-delicious mid-afternoon snack. Ladies and gentlemen, may I present to you: a savory take on the classic chocolate-and-whipped-cream French profiteroles. These are inspired by stuffed mushrooms, but they come with a bit more novelty than their American fungus counterparts.  These are fantastic made just for…

Sweet ‘n Buttery Carrots

What can you do when you wake up one day and find that 6 pounds of carrots have found their way into your fridge? Well, you could make carrot muffins, carrot cake, and carrot soup, but that will only get you so far. What you need to do is eat straight carrot. I’m sorry, there…

Quick Caramel Pastries

This is so decadent yet so simple, I’m literally speechless. Which is why I’m literally still talking. But humor me for a second and close your eyes and just imagine. Delicious, golden-brown sweetness. Glorious, warm-and-sticky caramel. It’s like all of your sweet pastry dreams in one fantastic breakfast pastry. Now open your eyes. Ignore the paradoxical nature…

Seriously Amazing Blueberry Muffins

If you’re going to save one muffin recipe, let this be it. Okay, that doesn’t quite cover my excitement. Hold on. (OH HEAVEN THESE ARE THE BEST MUFFINS I’VE EVER MADE NOM NOM NOM OH NO I JUST ATE THREE MUFFINS AND NOW I HAVE TO MAKE MORE GAH MUFFINS MUFFINS MUFFINS THEY’RE LIKE FINS…

Salt & Vinegar Potato Stir-Fry

This is like salt and vinegar potato chips, except Asian and way healthier. The best part, though, is that this won’t make you feel like you’re pregnant with a seven-month food baby, as potato entrées usually do. Unless you’re already seven months pregnant, in which case stir-fried potatoes won’t help either. Potatoes are commonly stir-fried in China, but…

Delicious Steamed Eggs

Eggs are amazing, don’t get me wrong. But sometimes you run out of stuff to do with them in the mornings. You’ve scrambled them, fried them, baked them, omeletted them. You need something else in your life. Something Asian-inspired. Kinda savory, kinda salty. Me. Ha! No. You need these … Asian Steamed Eggs Taste &…

Two-Ingredient Chocolate Syrup

Oh. My. Goodness. Throw out your corn syrup. Throw out your heavy whipping cream. Throw out your condensed milk. Forget it all. Today is the day that we found out chocolate syrup is just “chocolate + liquid.” And today, that liquid was good old, regular 2% milk. Here’s the story of how I came across…

Sweet & Sour Ribs

This ain’t your cheap take-out version of sweet ‘n sour. No “all-you-can-eat,” MSG BS. This is authentic Chinese sweet and sour, applied to spare ribs. These are the best. I know, because my Asian granny taught me how to make this, and my granny is more Asian than yours. Note: This recipe can be applied…

Woke Up Feeling Like Paula Deen

… Found out I wasn’t Paula Deen. This morning at least. Maybe tomorrow will be better. Does that there cake look delicious? Yes. Was it? No. See, I thought I could wake up, throw together some eggs, some flour, some sugar, some ripe bananas, and come out glorious with a dense and delicious banana bread. I…