Leela Cyd

Leela Cyd is a photographer and cookbook author. Her previous books include Food with Friends and Cooking Up Trouble. She lives in Santa Barbara with her husband and new baby son Izador Cosmo.
Beet-Pickled Deviled Eggs Are Bright in Color and Flavor
Tangy, creamy deviled eggs for your holiday get-together.
Mar 8, 2023
Recipe: Vegetarian Matzo Ball Soup
One of the foods I most long for from my childhood bopping around Jewish delicatessens in New York and Los Angeles is the humble bowl of matzo ball soup: a mountain of tender dumplings surrounded by rich stock and not much else. As a child I would nibble each tender spoonful, carefully whittling down my knaidel (as “matzo ball” is called in Yiddish). I felt comforted and loved, not from my grandmother’s kitchen, but by those fascinating, mostly ancient servers who dished it up.
Oct 14, 2022
Shirred Eggs with Toast Soldiers
Shirred eggs, or oeufs en cocotte as they are known in France, accompanied by toast soldiers (thinly-sliced sections of toast) are one of the most glamorous, velvety breakfast dishes around. Once you go shirred, you’ll never fry an egg again! Why make such a bold claim? Read on to find out. “Shirred” eggs are essentially baked eggs with the addition of cream, fresh herbs, and a little cheese.
Oct 1, 2022
Joanna Goddard’s Favorite Milkshake for Kids (and Grownups Too)
Who cooks and eats here: Joanna Goddard of Cup of Jo, Alex Williams, and their two kids, Anton and Toby Where: Brooklyn, New York Rent or Own? Rent We toured Joanna’s Streamlined Brooklyn Kitchen yesterday, and now she’s sharing a refreshing recipe! This simple “milkshake” is in regular rotation in the Goddard/Williams household. It’s a healthy twist on a classic, but the kids feel like they’re getting a major treat, and the adults sometimes partake too.
May 17, 2022
Recipe: Cantaloupe Salad with Basil, Fresh Mozzarella & Onions
This salad, a riff on that beloved summer staple, tomato caprese, is so delightful, you may eschew tradition and go with this fruit-meets-savory composition all season long. I’m telling you, this meeting of flavors, textures and tastes is simple and heavenly. Spending time with my folks in Southern California means a lot of walking the dog at the beach, waking up early to the tune of the fancy espresso machine and family meals around the big fir table.
May 17, 2022
Weekend Snack: Radish Toast
The advent of spring sends me straight for this tea time snack. Radish toasts are easy to throw together for one person or assemble en masse for the most fancy of weekend gatherings. Radishes, nice butter, quality flake salt, snips of fresh parsley and a just-baked ficelle, life doesn’t get much better. Have you tried this wonderful pairing of delicate flavors and textures?
May 13, 2022
Indian Recipe: Basic Raita
Raita is a mixture of yogurt, vegetables, and often fresh herbs (sometimes a little fruit makes its way in here too) that’s served alongside spicy curries across India. It is the ultimate cooling agent when your mouth starts to burn with heat from chilies. It’s also just wonderful atop a bed of wilted greens or swirled into soup. Raita is the perfect thing to have hanging around in the fridge. Have you ever had raita? Here’s a very simple recipe to make a bowlful at home.
Feb 15, 2022
This Awesome Grandma Has Cooked In Her “Forever Kitchen” For 55 Years
Forever Kitchens
It's got an oval island, cabinets wallpapered with old calendars, and a jar full of glass!
Sep 30, 2020
How To Cook Corn on the Cob
Here's how to make the most of the summer's sweet corn.
Jul 2, 2020
Elegant Raw Recipe: Fresh Figs with Cashew Cream
Looking for a seasonal, healthy dessert that all eaters can indulge in? Try this luscious combination of fresh figs, cashew cream, toasted coconut and dark chocolate shavings. This recipe is gluten free, vegan, raw, and contains very little sweetener. It’s an amazing confection. While eating at a raw vegan restaurant on a road trip a few weeks ago, I indulged in dehydrated blueberry pancakes topped with a generous dollop of cashew cream.
Feb 7, 2020
Snack Recipe: Raw Avocado Lime Mousse on Rice Cakes
Need a new snack to bust out of an afternoon rut? One that corresponds with all those new year’s best intentions such as eating more plants or eating joyfully?This raw, vegan, gluten–free avocado lime mousse will take you to the tropical paradise of your grandest dreams and fill you up with health and happiness. Big promises, I know; but this recipe is that good.We found that 2011 was certainly the year of the avocado for us on The Kitchn, and I’m happy to keep the trend alive.
Feb 7, 2020
A Surprising Raw and Vegan Recipe: Cashew-Cardamom Chia Pudding
Have you gotten on the chia seed bandwagon? At first I was scared of the pearly goo lurking in the fridge at my sister-in-law’s place. Now that I’ve doctored up this ancient seed with cardamom and cashew, I’m intrigued by this superfood. Have you tried this omega-3 packed, fibrous wonder-ingredient? What do you think of it and how do you use it in your cooking?
Feb 7, 2020
Sweet, Easy & Raw Recipe: Avocado Cacao Mousse
In my fantasy food world, I’d have a personal raw vegan chef whipping me up magical, healthy food all the time. In reality, I eat like a normal, hurried, working person, always on the lookout for quick and healthy recipes. Could it be that my dream and waking world intersected here with this sublime, avocado confection? Indeed.
Feb 7, 2020
Simple Cookie Recipe: Vegan Vanilla Almond Sandies
After a big day at work or school, I still love sitting down to a small plate of cookies and milk. Throughout the years, I’ve tried a variety of cookies (food writer “research”), and milks of all kinds. One of my favorite combinations hits the spot every time: Simple vegan vanilla almond sandies with a glass of chilled almond milk. It’s a great cookie with a hint of almond flavor that vegan and non-vegans will enjoy.
Feb 5, 2020
Vegan Dessert Recipe: Coconut Tapioca Pudding with Smoked Sesame Seeds
I’ve never made tapioca pudding before and always loved it as a kid. When I set my sights on making a rich, glorious version with coconut milk as a base instead of milk and egg, I didn’t realize I’d have a runaway hit in my household. But that’s exactly what happened. To be fair, I’m currently obsessed with all things coconut, as evidenced here and here. I can’t help myself! I love the decadence and the non–dairiness of it all.
Feb 5, 2020
Vegan Recipe: Lemony Eggless Egg Salad
This past weekend I joined my family for a lazy afternoon in the park. The sun was blazing, we rode our bikes, and a water fight ensued, which we followed up with some serious napping. When we woke up to a subtle, perfect breeze, we dove into this tofu “egg” salad with gusto. I first sampled “eggless egg salad” at my local fancy organic grocery shop while in high school.
Feb 5, 2020
Recipe: Pearl Couscous Salad with Mint and Pecans
Pearl couscous, toasted pecans, generous handfuls of fresh mint (straight from my garden!) and a chopped onion, what’s not to like? Here’s a recipe that’s marvelous warm, cold or any temperature in between. It’s party or picnic food perfection in its most casual form. I love pearl couscous, also known as “Israeli couscous This variation came together moments before an impromptu picnic in the backyard.
Feb 3, 2020
Salad Recipe: Hearts of Palm, Corn, Tomatoes & Watercress Salad
While on a recent trip to South America, I was served an incredible variety of fresh produce assembled into platters of lightly dressed salads. As a vegetarian, my hosts were concerned I wasn’t getting enough food; “Look at these salads I’m making!” I said every day at lunch. I was so into these Chilean small salads, I’ve been making a composed version of the fare offered to me almost every evening since I’ve returned.
Feb 3, 2020
Chilean Spring Dessert Recipe: Chilled Papaya Soup with Pisco and Lime
While spending time in Santiago, Chile I had the opportunity to learn a simple, elegant dessert from Chef Mauricio Valdovino. His recipe for chilled papaya soup utilizes ingredients the country is known for; it’s bursting with fresh, tropical flavors. The chilled soup also comes together in less than ten minutes and would be perfect for a spring gathering. Join Chef Mauricio in making this quick, easy dessert.Chile’s agricultural landscape is as diverse as it is bountiful.
Feb 3, 2020
Tender Biscuits from Leigh of Marvelous Kiddo
What do our fellow bloggers, writers, and online friends eat, first thing in the morning? We are asking some friends to share their favorite morning nourishment with us. I will cook and eat it too, and bring you their thoughts on what to eat first thing in the morning. Here’s Leigh from Marvelous Kiddo.Leigh authors a beautiful blog, Marvelous Kiddo, which focuses on motherhood, home births and family life. She lives in Manhattan but is a Southerner at heart.
Jan 31, 2020
Biscuits & Veggie Sausage Gravy from Jean Aw of NOTCOT
What do our fellow bloggers, writers, and online friends eat, first thing in the morning? We are asking some friends to share their favorite morning nourishment with us. I will cook and eat it too, and bring you their thoughts on what to eat first thing in the morning. I thought I wasn’t a gravy person (for shame, my Southern ancestors would scoff at me!), until I met Jean and Jackson’s very special recipe. Now I’m unsure if I can eat a bare biscuit ever again!
Jan 31, 2020
Recipe: Grand Central Bakery’s Biscuit Jammers
In the past, I’ve had a troubled relationship with biscuits. My favorite baked good seemed just beyond my reach. Until now. Folks, you were tempted by the photos of Piper Davis making these jam-filled biscuits, “jammers,” during her kitchen tour a while back and now I’m bringing you her pitch-perfect recipe. Your world will be forever changed for the better!
Jan 31, 2020
Picnic Recipe: Brown Rice Salad with Apples, Walnuts, and Cherries
Need a gluten–free, vegetarian recipe to bring to a picnic or bbq this summer? This brown rice salad is full of tasty bits of treasure. It’s also quick to assemble and you can riff off this recipe with items you happen to have in your pantry. Now that the days are getting longer and practically begging us to get outside for extended periods of relaxation, I’m getting more and more familiar with my quick, healthy, substantial salad repertoire.
Jan 29, 2020
Edible Gift Idea: Homemade Vinaigrette
As far as holiday gifts are concerned, I believe homemade foods are the only way to go. They are economical, from the heart and fun to enjoy together. I give a jar of basic tangy vinaigrette every year, to the delight and impress of many friends. Little do they know how easy it is to assemble. I usually have everything on hand to whip up a few jars!Making vinaigrette was my first job in the kitchen, as my parents prepared weekday dinners.
Jan 29, 2020
Restaurant Recipe: Wild Ramp Lemon Risotto from DOC
Want to learn a wonderful recipe that perfectly celebrates the flavors of spring? The bright tang of lemon, smoothness of Parmesan cheese and earthy nuance of one of the season’s most ephemeral and lovely stars, wild ramps — just a handful of ingredients come together to form a heavenly meal. One bite and you will transcend time, shooting straight through blurry thoughts into the present moment.
Jan 29, 2020
Vegetarian Recipe: Sesame-Ginger Soy Curls with Napa Cabbage Salad
As a vegetarian, I tend to eschew most meat alternatives such as veggie hot dogs or fake hamburgers. I know they don’t taste like the real thing and many varieties are full of processed ingredients. But one interesting and hearty vegetarian ingredient I’ve just come upon is the soy curl. Have you tried these out? Here’s a quick recipe for sesame ginger soy curls on salad. As a kid, I have fond memories of eating Chinese chicken salad at the mall with my Mom.
Jan 29, 2020
Recipe: Vegetarian Lasagna with a Surprise Ingredient
Lasagna is the quintessential easy–to–throw–together, comforting, affordable and satisfying dish to serve a crowd. Think of the bubbly cheesiness being cut through by bright tomato sauce and perfectly cooked noodles. It’s the perfect food! This recipe also includes my secret weapon ingredient, which lightens the richness up a smidge and no one will ever know. Can you guess what this mystery item is? Don’t knock it till you try it!
Jan 29, 2020
Frittata with Iranian Feta, Tarragon and Tomatoes from Shayma of The Spice Spoon
What do our fellow bloggers, writers, and online friends eat, first thing in the morning? We are asking some friends to share their favorite morning nourishment with us. I will cook and eat it too, and bring you their thoughts on what to eat first thing in the morning. Here’s Shayma from The Spice Spoon.Shayma has just done the impossible: she reinvented a simple egg preparation, spinning a simple recipe into the realm of the seriously delectable sublime.
Jan 29, 2020
Recipe: Purple Cauliflower Hummus
If you get the colors right in any food, you can almost guarantee the flavors are going to be good. When I first discovered all the varieties of colorful cauliflower, I knew the common white type might be forever banned in my kitchen. This flavorful dip is shocking purple and changes colors before your very eyes, thanks to a hit of lemon juice.
Jan 29, 2020
Recipe for Mom: Breakfast Coffee Pudding
My mom adores breakfast in bed. Who doesn’t? In fact, she’s got a pretty sweet situation with my father prepping her coffee and bringing in the paper nearly every morning. After thirty years at a job where she had to burst into action at a very early hour, she relishes her mornings of moving a tad slower. The only way I could see enhancing her caffeine and breakfast in bed routine is to shake up that coffee into a different, more celebratory form for mother’s day.
Jan 22, 2020
Avocado Breakfast Pudding from Lizzie of Tomboy Style
What do our fellow bloggers, writers, and online friends eat, first thing in the morning? This is a series Leela Cyd designed for us a couple years ago, and in honor of Breakfast Week we’re bringing back five of our favorites! Avocado and honey, blended to perfection? Oh yeah. Lizzie shares a heavenly, easy recipe that will leave you licking the glass clean! Lizzie’s Blog, Tomboy Style, is my daily dose of refreshing, cross-era fashion.
Jan 22, 2020
Rainbow Chia Pudding Bowls Are My Favorite Spring Breakfast
Who cooks and eats here: Leela Cyd & David Kilpatrick Where: Santa Barbara, California See their kitchen: Leela & David’s Quirky Cottage Kitchen Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day. Often I fall asleep to my own thoughts about what’s going to be on my morning table. Instead of sheep, I count pancakes, French toast, poached eggs, Dutch babies, omelettes, and oatmeal.
Jan 22, 2020
Post-Thanksgiving Recipe: Cranberry Buttermilk Pancakes
My mother is famous for her raw ginger, lemon, cranberry relish. It’s so pungent and flavorful. On Friday morning, my preferred method of eating it is straight from the fridge, off the end of my fingertip as I contemplate my 9 am Thanksgiving sandwich. That is until one year, I threw the extra relish into a batch of buttermilk pancakes.
Jan 22, 2020
Blueberry Buckwheat Pancakes from Megan of Not Martha
What do our fellow bloggers, writers, and online friends eat, first thing in the morning? We are asking some friends to share their favorite morning nourishment with us. I will cook and eat it too, and bring you their thoughts on what to eat first thing in the morning. Here’s Megan of Not Martha. Megan’s blog, Not Martha, is a daily read for me. Now if only I could add her blueberry buckwheat pancakes to a real–life, home–cooked RSS feed.
Jan 22, 2020
A Valentine’s Day Recipe: Raspberry Pancakes
Valentine’s Day is only two weeks away. Thinking about breakfast in bed for your Valentine, kids, friend? (Or maybe even for your own sweet self?) Then a plate of raspberry heart shaped pancakes will do just fine.Heart–shaped anything delights me (remember these cookies I wore as a necklace? What was I thinking?), so it’s a wonder it took me so long to work my cookie cutters into a pile of pancakes.
Jan 22, 2020