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 Bernie Sanders-supporting, tree-hugging millennials…

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? Vegan BBQ Pulled Pork Obviously, this won’t be the exact same as pulled pork. But it does have way fewer calories, and is also way better in terms…

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 “healthy” to people with self control (read: no one), it still has a lot of saturated fats and unnecessary calories. Which is why PB2 is so amazing –…

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. Oh my goodness. Oh my goodness. I have found heaven and nirvana and that gold watch I lost two years ago. 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….

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

Hey. Yes. I’m back. Back for the summer, back from my nine-month stint in the Kitchenless Dorm Corps, ready to take on the greatest recipes and thrillingest adventures. Because who wants to see me make a donut the size of my head?? (Inner voice: Meeee!) But before we go on our grand foodie journeys together,…

Vanilla Crème Brioche

Because oh my lord this brioche is absolutely delicious. Because it’s buttery and flaky and soft and pillowy and golden and aromatic. Because vanilla cream is more delicious when it’s spelled vanilla crème. The bottom line is, this is so so so good. Don’t be afraid of the butter. This is French cooking, and you…

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.  Literally. And I instantly regretted it. Anyway, savory oatmeal.  What? You might ask. What is this madness? But think about it. Sometimes…

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.  Ha. Ha. Ha. It rhymes and it sounds like Kitchen Cici! Heehee. Oh come on, don’t be…

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…

Actually Healthy 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….

Baked Honey & Soy Sauce Chicken Thighs

Astoundingly tender. Sweet like warm honey, yet dangerous like an addiction. I can’t even describe it. I just can’t. I can’t even. I have lost the ability to can. 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…

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…

Chocolate Biscotti

Those Italians are culinary geniuses. This chocolate biscotti is so good. I’m addicted.  Stating the obvious aside, this biscotti is so good.  Also, those Italians are culinary geniuses and I’m addicted. If you’ve never had biscotti, now is your delicious chance. If you’ve never made biscotti in your own kitchen, it’s now time for you to…

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…

Toasted Croissants

This isn’t so much a recipe as it is a way of living. You will never eat croissants the same way again. A flaky, buttery, warm, crunchy, delicious start to your day. It’s especially delicious when you use a big fluffy croissant, snatched right out of the glass bakery display of your local grocery store….

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…

Sweet ‘n Crunchy Toast

Oh gosh. Oh my gosh. Oh. My. Gosh. This is so simple and awesome. It’s mind-blowing. And if you haven’t had some version of sugary toast for breakfast lately, you’re missing out. Because these are So. Freaking. Amazing. So amazing, evidently, that I can’t speak more than one word per sentence. And you know, nothing…

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…

All-Natural Microwave Granola

You read that right. Crunchy granola in less than 5 minutes. No ovens involved. It’s pretty darn healthy too—none of that brown evaporated cane syrup rice juice business. I’ve actually been making it in my dorm room for quite some time, although I’m not entirely sure if my roommate approves of our room consistently smelling like…

Crispy Waffle Bits

Here’s a semi-good college cafeteria story: So in my school cafeteria there’s this breakfast bar, where you fill out an order form and they make pancakes/waffles/scrambled eggs on the spot. I’m a fan of breakfast, and a fan of ordering oversized plates of food, so it’s perfect. This was a Tuesday morning between the hours…

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…