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…

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…

Chocolate Biscotti

  I always thought making biscotti would be complicated just because they were so classy. In my mind, biscotti were in the same category as croissants – a coffee shop delicacy that I could never recreate at home. You can imagine my delight when I found that this wasn’t the case at all! I think…

Sweet ‘n Crunchy Toast

  If you haven’t had some version of sugary toast for breakfast lately, you’re missing out.  Because you know, nothing beats warm toast for breakfast. It gives your taste buds that early-morning buzz. It gives your ego that early-morning boost (because toast + powdered sugar + strawberries is what a real adult professional would do)….

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….

30-Minute Spiced Chicken Thighs

You probably know chicken. You probably know it’s pretty easy to make, it’s almost always savory, and it plays nice with a bunch of different other foods. While I’ve been mostly vegetarian/vegan lately, I do enjoy some nice, responsibly-raised chicken once in a while. I usually go for the chicken breasts (lean and mean) —…

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…

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….

Simple Onion and Bell Pepper Stir-Fry

This is the ultimate Asian comfort food: easy to make, simply delicious, and goes really well with plain white rice. It doesn’t get any easier than this. Stir-frying is already one of the simplest cooking techniques, and the onion-and-bell-pepper combo is one of my all-time favorites. The onion’s aroma mingles with the crispy freshness of the…

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…

Rosemary Cheese Bread

Carbs are delicious. Especially when they’re in the form of an imperfectly-formed, warm loaf of bread, inside of a crinkly and obnoxious paper bag fresh from the bakery. When it’s crispy and chewy on the outside, and moist and fluffy on the inside. When the dough has been aged just the right amount, giving it…

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…

10-Minute Breakfast Platter

Scrumptious. Filling. Balanced. This is the perfect breakfast if you’re looking for something warm and decent 20 minutes before you must leave the house. As much as I love Cheerios, I simply can’t eat it every day.  Okay that’s a lie.  But let’s not talk about my addictions.  Quick Breakfast Platter Ingredients 2 strips bacon…

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…

Spicy Chili Meatballs

Don’t you dare buy pre-made meatballs ever again. Don’t take that as a challenge. This is not truth or dare. It’s not opposite day either. No but really it isn’t. Are you confused? Good. Now let’s get to the real business. For the longest time, I was intimidated by meatballs. You’re handling raw meat, first…

Wholesome Baked Eggs

Sometimes, you just want a simple, healthy breakfast. But you can’t muster the enthusiasm to fry eggs, and lord knows what would happen if you attempted eggs benedict after a solid 4.25 hours of sleep. Don’t try to visualize it. You have a situation on your hands. A dilemma. At this inhumanely early hour, you…

Commentary Cici: Souped-up Soup

When I hear the word “chicken noodle soup,” I have one reaction: let me eat it. That was particularly true last week when I experienced my first college illness. I desperately wanted chicken noodle soup, but my options were limited to Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup and Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup, both of which contained literally…

All-Natural Snow Cones

For some reason, snow cones (or “sno cones,” if you’re young & wild & free) are perceived as healthy. I have no idea why, as it’s just frozen water drizzled liberally with artificially-flavored corn syrup. It kind of reminds me of soda. But you see, it’s mostly made of water, and water is healthy. Let’s…