Crispy Baked Chinese Egg Rolls

What’s the deal with egg rolls?  They don’t contain eggs, and they aren’t bread.  (If you got that I was channeling my inner Seinfeld, then we can definitely be friends.) 

egg rolls

I had a craving for egg rolls for lunch.  Chinese restaurant egg rolls were not going to do.  I like the delicately crisp, flaky crunch that deep-frying produces.  I also like fitting into jeans that never before fit.  So, baked it is!

egg roll closeup

I promise, you won’t miss the deep-frying with this version. 

egg roll b&w

Crispy Baked Chinese Egg Rolls
Yields 20
A crispy, flavorful egg roll - baked, not fried. Simple and delicious.
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
45 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
45 min
  1. 1/2 pound sausage
  2. 1/2 head of cabbage, chopped
  3. 4 scallions, diced
  4. 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  5. 1 teaspoon Siracha or Sambal Oelek (garlic-chili paste)
  6. 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  7. 1 package egg roll wrappers (20)
For Serving
  1. Sweet and sour sauce
  2. Chinese hot mustard
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a large saute pan, cook sausage on medium heat until nearly brown. Then add the cabbage, scallions, soy sauce, Siracha, and garlic powder. Stir and continue cooking on medium until the sausage is browned and the cabbage has wilted, about 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat.
  3. On a large cookie sheet, spray generously with cooking oil. To a small ramekin or cup, add warm water. This is used to soften the egg roll edges. On a cutting board, lay out one egg roll. Add two tablespoons of the filling in the center. Wet all four edges of the egg roll wrapper with the warm water, then roll, tucking in the sides. (Usually the package will give you a visual.) Make sure the filling is completely tucked into the wrapper. Add each egg roll to the cookie sheet, making sure they don't touch. When the last egg roll is rolled, spray the eggs rolls generously on top with cooking spray. Place in the oven for 10-15 minutes until golden brown. Check after 10 minutes, as oven temperatures may vary.
  4. Serve with sweet and sour sauce and Chinese hot mustard.
Cyndi Gets Fresh

Wyoming Cowboys Green Chili

Tailgating in Wyoming is special. 


Wyoming is 50th in the U.S. for population and 10th in overall size.  You do feel like you know everyone.  Even if you don’t, the next person you meet from Wyoming will be a fast friend.  That’s how we roll.  Wyoming is home to just over half a million residents, and only one university – The University of Wyoming, tucked into the southeast corner of the state.  Every game is a road game for most Wyoming denizens.  And just about everyone dons on the brown & gold to show support and solidarity. 

wyo cowboys

I married a man who is passionately loyal to the Cowboys and Cowgirls.  UW is our alma mater, but he was the one who earned the title of “Fan of the Year,” after we planned our Vegas wedding around a UW-UNLV football game nearly 9 years ago.  At first, I didn’t *get* it.  Tailgating is a lot of work.  Driving hours, sometimes in snow and ice, is a lot of work.  Planning, packing, and preparing tailgate food is a lot of work.  Cleaning up is a lot of work.  Watching your team lose week after week … it’s a lot of work.  But, I finally *get* it.  We see the same faces, home and away, and it’s comforting.  We also see people we haven’t seen in years at every game.  It’s like knowing the secret handshake.  OH, you’re from Wyoming, you must be a good person. 


So this year, my husband challenged me to compose a stellar green chili recipe for tailgating.  I think I nailed it this time, since people who claimed to not like green chili devoured it too.  I didn’t even have a chance to photograph the finished product; it disappeared that quickly.  It’s a 3-day affair to make this chili, but for me, it’s worth every moment.

War Memorial

Wyoming Cowboys Green Chili
Serves 16
It takes 3 days to make this chili, but I promise, it's worth it!
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For the Meat/Dry Rub
  1. 3 pound pork shoulder roast
  2. 2 teaspoons coarse sea salt
  3. 1 tablespoon red chile molido powder
  4. 1 tablespoon chile rojo powder
  5. 1 tablespoon ancho chile powder
  6. 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  7. 1 teaspoon sugar
  8. 1 teaspoon garlic powder
For the Soup Base
  1. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  2. 1 tablespoon Better-than-Bullion Chicken base
  3. 1 small can roasted, diced Hatch green chiles
  4. 1/2 onion, diced
  5. 2 garlic cloves, minced finely
For the Chiles/Tomatoes
  1. 8 Hatch or Anaheim green chile peppers
  2. 1 jalepeno
  3. 4 tomatillos
  4. 1 large tomato, diced
  5. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  6. 2/3 cup flour
  7. 2 teaspoons cumin
  8. 2 teaspoons ancho chile powder
  9. 1 tablespoon Better-than-Bullion Chicken base
For Serving
  1. Tortillas
  2. Cheese
Day 1
  1. Mix the dry rub ingredients together. Rub generously onto the pork. Cover and place in the refrigerator overnight.
Day 2
  1. Heat oven to 250 degrees. Remove meat from refrigerator. In a large stockpot, heat olive oil on medium-high heat. Add the pork, onions, and garlic. Sear the pork on all sides for 2-3 minutes each side. This seals in the flavor. Add the chicken base and chiles. Then add water to cover the pork completely. Let cook in the oven, low and slow, for 4 hours. The pork is done when it easily shreds. Shred the pork and set aside. Keep the liquid that it braised in for the chili.
  2. If you have a double oven, simultaneously prepare the chiles and tomatillos. If you don't, simply remove the pork from the oven for a bit. Set the oven to broil. Broil the Hatch/Anaheim and jalepeno chiles and tomatillos, 15-20 minutes, turning the peppers as the skin chars (the tomatillos will not char). The skins will look almost burned, but you want it to peel easily away from the flesh. Remove from the oven and let cool. When cool, remove the skins, and chop all ingredients into a very fine dice. Chop the tomatoes, as well.
  3. In a smaller pot or skillet, add the olive oil and flour. Stir to combine. Then add the chopped chiles, tomatillos, tomatoes, chicken base, cumin, and chile powder. Stir and cook for 3-4 minutes. Then add this mixture into your pork braising liquid, along with the shredded pork.
  4. Stir and bring to a boil for 2 minutes. Once it reaches a boil, reduce heat to low, cover, and let simmer for 1-2 hours. Taste as you go along. You may need more salt, chile powder, or cumin. If the chili is not thick enough, mix 2 tablespoons flour with 1/2 cup water to form a paste. Add to the chili and stir to combine. Let the chile cool, and then put in the refrigerator overnight.
  5. At this point, you can eat the chili. But letting it sit overnight marries the flavors beautifully.
Day 3
  1. Take chili out of refrigerator. Reheat and serve with tortillas and cheese.
  1. Use any combo of dried chile powder that you have. I tend to have about 10 different kinds of chile powder in my spice rack at any given time, so I mix and match.
Cyndi Gets Fresh


*This recipe was approved by Annie the Vizsla, our official tailgating mascot.


Photos from Albuquerque

After learning a new photo editor and practicing for two days with my iPhone pics, I decided to try the shots I’ve taken with my Canon, you know, the real camera I have but rarely use.  I have to say I’m hooked now.  I always find that it’s much easier to take landscape photos than food photos.  In time, I will learn how to do both better.  In the meantime, I leave you with three shots from Albuquerque, New Mexico from Sandia Peak.  The top was socked in, so I wasn’t able to get the sweeping views of ABQ.  I fear not, as I know we’ll return.  The food there is some of my favorite. 

Bird on Sandia

ABQ from Sandia

Socked in on Sandia

20 Fast and Fresh Dinner Recipes

Have you checked out my new eCookbook yet? 

Cyndi Gets Fresh

I make dinner planning easy and healthy.  You’ll get 20 dinner recipes that are ready in under 30 minutes.  I introduce a variety of cuisines, including vegetarian.  Most of the meals are easily made gluten-free and dairy-free.  I have also included a complete grocery shopping list, organized by store area to make your dinner planning easy and stress-free. 

Here are some of the recipes I help you prepare:

Saucy Chile-Lime Chicken Fajitas w/ Fresh Guacamole

20 - Chicken Fajitas

Easy Cheesy Bacon Mac ‘n Cheese

20 - Mac N Cheese

Chicken & Rustic Dumpling Soup

20 - Chicken Dumpling Soup

Simply Scrumptious Easy Hummus

20 Hummus

Korean Beef Bulgogi

20 - Beef Bulgogi

Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps

20 - Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Please stay tuned.  I’m working on final edits for my next eCookbook.  Here’s a sneak peek:

Crunchy Chicken Salad with Carrot Ginger Dressing

ChickenSalad Carrot Ginger Dressing CGF

Sukiyaki Dinner Party


My maternal grandmother is Japanese.  She always made sukiyaki on Christmas Eve.  It was a tradition that always made me proud.  She no longer cooks, but I enjoy making this dish for my beloved friends and family.  She didn’t have a recipe, so I had to recreate it.  The beauty of this dish is you can prep it almost entirely in advance, cook it on the table for a fun dining experience, and enjoy your dinner guests.  It’s also very versatile.  You can add any vegetable that fits your fancy.

This is a simple, yet elegant meal that I make for my favorite people. 


Serves 10
Japanese Meat, Noodles, and Vegetables
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
1 hr
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
1 hr
  1. 3 - 4 pounds of sirloin steak
Sauce & Marinade
  1. 2 cups soy sauce
  2. 1 cup red wine
  3. ½ cup sugar
  1. 2 bunches of green onions, bottoms removed, and sliced on the diagonal into 2-inch strips
  2. 1 pound of mushrooms, cut into slices (we used plain white mushrooms)
  3. 1 head of bok choy, cut into strips
  4. 4 zucchinis (julienne into 2-inch strips)
  5. 1 bunch of celery, cut into 1-inch cubes
  1. 2 packages of linguini (yes, my Japanese grandmother used an Italian ingredient, and it worked, but you can substitute any Japanese noodle – udon, buckwheat, ramen, somen)
  1. 3 cups of sushi rice (really, you can use any)
  2. 6 cups of water
  3. 1 teaspoon of salt
  1. Slice thinly.
Sauce & Marinade
  1. Mix together and add about ¼ cup of the sauce/marinade to the sirloin steak for marinade (it is only meant to be a light marinade). Reserve the rest in the refrigerator to serve with the meal.
  1. Slice and arrange on a platter next to the meat. (A word on vegetables: you can use a variety of your favorites – cabbage, napa cabbage, snow peas, carrots, but these were the traditional ones my grandmother used. But never, ever Brussels sprouts, because that’s just cruel.)
  1. Cook the noodles according to the package. When finished, drain and rinse with cold water. Put them in the refrigerator when ready to use
  1. My grandmother used a rice cooker, but you can also boil the water on the stove, add the rice and salt, cover and reduce to simmer for 25 minutes, or until fluffy. Don’t remove the lid, though, until that 25 minutes is up, because the steam is what helps the rice become fluffy inside.
Putting it all together
  1. My grandmother used two large sauté-pans, and added a few teaspoons of oil (she probably used vegetable oil; I use olive, coconut, or grapeseed. It’s important to note: I never saw her add salt or pepper, or any other spice, to the sukiyaki. The sauce is simple and enough. She cooked the beef on medium-high heat until it was slightly pink, then added the vegetables. For other dishes, I’d advise different cooking times, but she added it all in together at the same time, and it worked. As the vegetables start to cook, add half of the remaining sauce to each pan and continue stirring. Then add the noodles to heat through, and you’ve got a delicious, home-style Japanese meal. Serve with more soy sauce, or make more of the above sauce to serve on the side.
  2. Some years, she would use an electric skillet, plugged in on the table, to create this dish. This is a fun way to serve at a dinner party, and everyone can participate.
  3. All of the above steps can be done as far as 2 days ahead to make the experience even easier.
Cyndi Gets Fresh

The New eBook is Here!

The New eBook is Here!

Cyndi Gets Fresh – 20 Fast & Fresh Dinner Ideas

Available now on Kindle for Amazon.
Don’t have Kindle yet?  Get it FREE here
Or through your App store (iOS/Apple and Android platforms)

Cyndi Gets Fresh

I’ve created 20 new recipes, one for each weeknight in a month, complete with a grocery list to make dinner planning easy.  Now available on Amazon for $2.99.  If you like it, please consider leaving me a quick review.

If you haven’t had a chance to read my first eBook, check it out here:

Fresh Food Foundations

I’m giving it away FREE for the next two days.  It contains 23 delicious recipes, including lobster bisque, pizza, and fajitas, along with tales of my culinary background.  Did I mention it’s FREE for the next two days?  I’d love to hear your feedback through Amazon comments. 


Here is a recipe from my new eBook, Beef Bulgogi.  Happy Cooking!


Beef Bulgogi
Serves 4
Bulgogi is traditional Korean BBQ.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
25 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
25 min
For the marinade/sauce
  1. 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  2. ¼ cup soy sauce
  3. 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  4. 2 tablespoons sugar
  5. ½ teaspoon black pepper
  6. 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  7. 1 teaspoon Sambal Oblek garlic chili paste
For the Bulgogi
  1. 1 pound of sirloin steak, sliced thinly
  2. 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  3. ½ white or yellow onion, sliced into half-rings
  4. 4 green onions, sliced thinly (green and white parts)
  5. 1 cup frozen peas
  6. 1 teaspoon corn starch
  7. 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  8. 2 tablespoons water
  1. Combine the marinade and add the thinly sliced steak.
  2. Marinate for 5-10 minutes, while you cut up the vegetables.
  3. You can also use this time to prepare rice or noodles, if you like.
  4. You can marinate overnight, as well, or not at all.
  5. In a large skillet, add the steak and marinade all at once, along with the white (or yellow) onion.
  6. Cook until the meat is almost done.
  7. Then add the green onions and peas.
  8. Stir the corn starch, 1 tablespoon soy sauce and 2 tablespoons water.
  9. Add to the meat and vegetables.
  10. Stir 2-3 minutes until sauce is thickened.
Cyndi Gets Fresh

Denver Dining Picks – Part 1

I love restaurants.  I love pouring over the menu online before arriving.  I love interacting with servers and bartenders.  And of course, I love trying new food combinations that I’ve not yet imagined.  Denver does all right with the restaurant scene.  In a city of 2.5 million people, you’re bound to find some delicious options.  I use a variety of sources to find the best places; Yelp is my favorite, Denver Eater is an easy runner-up.

My favorite thing (well, other than raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens) is when you, my friends, text me, e-mail me, Facebook me, or use those old-school tin cans with strings attached to ask me where you should eat while visiting the Denver metroplex.  Without further ado, here are just a few my favorites, with a link to my Yelp Review for more detail.

Ocean Prime – LoDo (Downtown)

IMG_8187  IMG_8189 IMG_8190  IMG_8191

This is one of my favorite restaurant experiences here – hands down.  This one is a splurge restaurant, but worth every penny.  The entire experience, from the service to the ambiance to the amazing food and cocktails, rates up there with one of the finest.

Acorn – Five Points Neighborhood (Northwest)

Housed in a hip common building called the Source, the Acorn has received critical acclaim from chefs and restaurant critics nationwide.  It’s hip; it’s avant garde; it’s amazingly delicious.  This one is also spendy, and if you are someone who needs big hearty portions, this probably isn’t your place.  We shared six or seven dishes between the two of us, each one consisting of a few perfect bites of interesting, but well balanced flavors (which is totally all you need).  The craft cocktails are also amazing.

Domo – Lincoln Park Neighborhood (South of Downtown)

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Domo is an authentic Japanese old-country restaurant.  The gardens are absolutely beautiful in the spring and summer.  The meal starts with 7 sharable appetizer dishes, each unique and fresh. The entrees include sushi, sashimi, sukiyaki, noodle bowls, tempura, but they are not like an American-ized version you may know.  Check out my Yelp review; it made Review of the Day!

Work & Class – Five Points Neighborhood (Northwest)

This is a funky, approachable neighborhood joint.  You select your meat in different portion sizes to fit your appetite, and pair it with sides.  The conchita pibil and jalepeno cornbread are my favorites.  They also make great craft cocktails (do you see a theme in my reviews?).  This place is pretty busy.  It is quite loud and crowded, but it’s full of energy and delicious “working class” meals.

Marco’s Coal Fired Pizza – Englewood (near Denver Tech Center)


*Don’t confuse with Marco’s pizza, I can’t vouch for that.  Marco’s Coal-Fired is near the DTC and also has a location downtown.  We frequented the DTC joint when we lived in temp housing at the Inverness so much that we became friends with the staff!  They are VPN certified (read my review, it’s a high honor that only a handful of restaurants in the US have earned).  The pizzas have a crisp crust that is tender inside and are topped with fresh ingredients.  Sit at the bar – the bartenders here are the best in town.  This Yelp review also made Review of the Day!

Doug’s Day Diner – Centennial (South)

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They had me at New Mexican food, which rates among my most favorite ethnic cuisines.  I almost always get the Cowboys Papas – crisp hash browns dotted with sausage, bacon, and ham, and smothered (I get Christmas – red and green – trust me, it’s awesome sauce).  It comes with 2 eggs and cheese, which I always forgo.  I get a deliciously flaky, buttery biscuit with homemade jam instead.  They have traditional breakfasts, but you can add the New Mexican flare (and I recommend you do).  They also serve gigantic burgers, burritos, and salads.  It’s a very busy diner, so don’t be afraid to sit at the counter if it opens up first (the best service is at the counter).

The Kitchen – LoDo (Downtown Denver)

IMG_3783_fotor IMG_3787_fotor

The Kitchen features New American cuisine, sourced locally and fresh.  The menu is creative.  The craft cocktails are intriguing and well-blended.  The bartenders and servers are all dressed almost Prohibition-like old school.  It’s a great place if you are walking around LoDo to catch an awesome local meal.

So there you have 7 different dining recommendations!  Follow me on social media for up-to-date reviews, photos, and recommendations:

More to come (you always want to keep your audience waiting with bated breath, right?).  CHEERS!


Sauteed Chicken Breasts with Savory Mushroom White Wine Sauce

Last night’s dinner included my lovely friend, Sophia, some Sauvignon Blanc, and a new recipe, which she brilliantly captured for me on her totally awesome digital camera (I must have one!).


The recipe is remarkably simple and can be made in 30-40 minutes on a weeknight, but it felt elegant and decadent enough to serve for a dinner party.  Try it out!

Sauteed Chicken Breasts with Savory Mushroom White Wine Sauce
Serves 4

2 chicken breasts, split in halves (each half should be approximately 6 ounces)
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground sage
Oil for frying (I used grapeseed, you could use olive oil, or your favorite fat)

10 mushrooms, sliced
4 tablespoons butter
1 cup white wine (I used a dry Sav Blanc, you could use Pinot Grigio or a dry Chardonnay)
1/2 cup whole milk
3 tablespoons flour (I use the flour left from breading the chicken)

Add oil to a large pan (cast iron, if you have it), enough to coat the bottom surface.  At the same time, pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.  Crack the eggs into one bowl.  In a separate bowl, combine the flour, salt, pepper, paprika, and sage.  Dip each chicken breast half in the egg mix, the flour, the egg, and the flour again (creates a nice crispy crust).

IMG_9676 IMG_9673

Add to the pan and cook for 7-9 minutes on each side, until well browned.


I like to finish the chicken in the oven while I prep my sauce and sides.  The temp should read 170 degrees (knowing it will rise to 180 while you finish the sides).  This will result in a juicy piece of chicken that is cooked safely but not to the point of being dried out.

IMG_9688 IMG_9701

In the same pan, after you remove the chicken, add the mushrooms and butter.  Sautee’ for approximately 5-7 minutes, until the mushrooms are just browned.  Then add the wine, milk, and flour (using the leftover flour from the chicken breading – you will cook it to the right temperature, so it is safe).  Stir frequently for another 5 minutes, until the sauce thickens.  Taste and adjust with salt and pepper, if desired.


I served the chicken and mushroom sauce over mashed potatoes with a side of buttered peas.


Bon Appetit!  (Annie approved!)


Black Friday = Thanksgiving Part 2

We had a brief, but great Thanksgiving with my family in Wyoming.  The food was amazing, the company even better.  I haven’t checked the news to see how many people were trampled to death this year trying to buy a 59 cent crockpot or a $12 TV.  On our way home last night, we passed by a few retailers who had already tempted folks to line up outside, awaiting the gems of cheap consumerism and corporate greed.  I can’t tell you the last time I shopped on Black Friday, but I’m pretty sure it hasn’t been in this millennium.

I took the opportunity today to make a second Thanksgiving dinner at my own home.  I also wanted a rich turkey stock (simmering now) to freeze for later.  But who needs more Thanksgiving recipes now that it’s over?  This year I produced some of my finest work.  The Cooking Channel shows I watch day in and day out seep into my culinary soul.

Instead, I highlight today’s cooking adventure – dog treats.  Stay with me.  I’m not that crazy.  Well, maybe I am.  But the reality is that my husband, family and friends, and I can only consume so much of my food.  Annie the Vizsla is an up-tapped recipe test ground.


I’ve been researching what dogs should and should not eat, and of course, the opinions vary as much as the temperatures in Colorado do.  Let’s not turn this into a judgment of what I should feed my dog.  Dogs used to eat what we ate.  Is it really better to feed a dog processed food?  I don’t feed us processed food.  I mix her dry dog food with fruit, vegetables, and meats, testing what she can tolerate.  So far, she’s been just fine (except the ham bone incident, for which I take full responsibility).

These recipes are really quite easy and inexpensive.  And I had fun creating and feeding them to her.  I’ll take the licking up the crumbs on the floor a sign that she approves.

Dried Sweet Potato


Preheat oven to 225 degrees.  Grease a cookie sheet with a neutral oil (I used grapeseed).

Slice 1 sweet potato into 1/4″ slices.

Add onto the cookie sheet.  Bake for 2 hours.  Turn each slice over and bake for another 2 hours until the sweet potato is dry, but not crunchy.  This provides a somewhat pliable, but chewable treat that will keep your dog busy for a few minutes.  Leave out to dry another 24-48 hours, then transfer to a re-sealable container.


Pumpkin Treats

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  On a cookie sheet, add enough foil to cover (makes clean-up easier).  Grease with a neutral oil (I used grapeseed).

In a bowl combine:
2 eggs
1-15 ounce can pumpkin
2 tablespoons melted butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups flour


Combine until ingredients come together.  You may need to add more flour, if the dough is still sticky.  Press into the foil-covered cookie sheet.  I added fork marks to make it look like dog treats that one might buy.  You can also roll out the dough and use a cute cookie cutter.


Bake for 25-30 minutes.  The treats should be a little soft on the inside, but crusty on the outside.  Remove from oven and let set for an hour.  I used a pizza cutter to turn into 1×2 inch rectangles.  I recommend leaving them in the open air for a day to get dry and crunchy, then transfer to a re-sealable bag or container.


So, call my crazy if you must, but it was a fun experiment, and Annie loved the treats.


Lastly, I leave you with an unfiltered picture of a Colorado sunset from my backyard.  The view is real, and it’s spectacular.