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
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
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
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
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” for its caviar-like texture and delicate appearance.
Feb 3, 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: Avocado Coconut Tartlets
Avocado toast is as delicious as it is ubiquitous. Here I’ve riffed on the concept and elevated the idea for a ladies’ tea to create these avocado tartlets. When blended with a little vanilla and maple syrup, avocado cream becomes a revelatory sweet pastry filling. I knew I had to include this very popular recipe from my book for our tea party; it hits all the right notes for a crowd: sweet, creamy, and a touch salty from the pastry crust.
Jan 21, 2020
Breakfast Recipe: Banana Muffin Tops with Steel-Cut Oatmeal
I’m a traditionalist when it comes to my favorite recipes, but my attempts at banana bread have always left me searching for improvements. Some have been sweet, another too rich to be parading around the breakfast table and one sad, heavy loaf could be better used for personal protection rather than consumption. But now I think that’s all behind me as I have at last found my ultimate banana baked good pièce de résistance.
Jan 21, 2020
Tomato Rocket Toasts from Jeska of Lobster and Swan
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. First up: Jeska from Lobster and Swan.
Jun 5, 2019
Scott’s DIY Kitchen Renovation on a Budget
Scott renovated his kitchen entirely on his own, figuring it out as he went along. You’d never guess it from spending time in this delightfully bright space, a classic with a modern twist. He’s certainly made the most of this funky layout with the use of strategically placed pantries and a keen sense of organization. Scott is also one of the most inventive cake makers I’ve ever met.
May 24, 2019
Peanut Butter Ginger Muffins from Hannah of Bitter Sweet
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 Hannah of Bitter Sweet This muffin combines two of my favorite pantry staples: crunchy peanut butter and spicy candied ginger.
May 24, 2019
Recipe: No-Cook Tomato Sauce
Late summer tomatoes finally turning red and orange, check. Basil plants still producing loads of leaves, check. Garlic cloves and fruity extra virgin olive oil, check and check. These are the only ingredients you need for the easiest and tastiest 5-ingredient tomato sauce of all time. The results are simple and spectacular. How is it that when tomatoes meet olive oil, garlic, and basil, gastronome poetry is created?
May 2, 2019
Dessert Recipe: Easy Key Lime Pie
This Key lime pie is full of clean and bright notes, and it’s surprisingly simple to make — and easy to love. Key limes originated in Southeast Asia then were subsequently cultivated in North Africa, the Middle East and Spain. They have been grown in the Florida Keys since the 1500s, when Spanish explorers were trading in the Carribean and Americas. Now you can find Key limes in Florida as well as many other regions — Mexico, California, Texas and parts of Central America.
May 2, 2019
Easy Dessert Secret Weapon: Mascarpone
If there’s one ingredient I like to have stashed in the fridge at all times, it’s creamy mascarpone cheese. I mentioned it being my ‘secret weapon’ earlier this week and here’s why.Mascarpone is a rich cow’s milk cheese that is deeply buttery and soft. It has the sturdiness and body of cream cheese, but has a more nuanced tang and a softer feel. It’s extraordinary stuff and is sure to wow, in a variety of settings.
May 2, 2019
Weekend Snack Recipe: Walnut-Cranberry-Ginger Power Bars
When the hours between lunch and dinner stretch on too long, these power bars are just the thing to break up the afternoon. They are perfect with a cup of tea, full of strong flavors and complex textures. Hitting the sweet, salty, crunchy notes of taste, they really make a satisfying little morsel. I’d recommend one of these bars for a good on-the-go breakfast as well. Best of all, this recipe is very adaptable to variations based on your own preferences and what you have on hand.
May 2, 2019
Recipe: Lemony Pesto Pasta with Edamame & Almonds
Longer days and outdoor picnics call for an easy pasta recipe that everyone will enjoy. This dish is easy, healthy, and very elegant. In the height of summer, I love to make fresh pesto from the garden, but during the rest of the year, I cheat a little with my favorite store-bought brand. Having a nice dollop of the verdant sauce on anything from homemade pizza to sandwiches — it’s the brightness and intensity of flavor that I crave!
May 2, 2019
My Friend and I Created a Pie Contest for Our Hometown and This Is What We Learned
Three years ago I lamented to my dear friend Joya Rose that I missed the chance of a lifetime to enter a pie contest in Los Angeles. She said we should create our own in our small town of Santa Barbara, and we did just that. This was our third year running the #SBPieContest. There were 27 pies to be judged, broken out into seven categories: sweet, savory, special diet, kids, wildcard, traditional, and people’s choice.
Feb 18, 2018
Recipe: German-Style Lemony Cheesecake
Swap the graham crackers for a biscuit crust!
Nov 13, 2017
5 Entertaining Souvenirs I Bring Home from My Travels
I travel a lot for work and fun, and shopping while abroad is one of my favorite things to do. With all the idiosyncratic treasures out there to be had, and the thrill of the hunt, bargain, and score, I actually prefer shopping in foreign locales! Plus, the items I bring home evoke fond memories every time I use them. Here are the five souvenirs I always bring home in my suitcase. I love tea and the magic of tea salons all over the world, so whenever I go somewhere, I seek out these hideaways.
May 26, 2016
Recipe: Pistachio Rose Clouds
These powder-pink pistachio rose clouds have a lot going for them. They’re truly a study in texture — they shatter at the touch, are chewy in the center, and melt the moment they hit your tongue. When’s the last time you had that much fun with dessert? I love serving a food that just makes guests squeal with glee, and these meringues certainly fit the bill. The airy pinkness makes them over-the-top girly, and their intense sweetness is lovely with a cup of strong black tea.
May 25, 2016
A California Tea Party with Leela Cyd
A few weeks back, on a very hot Southern California day, I had a gaggle of girlfriends over for a tea party in a fancy greenhouse to celebrate the launch of my cookbook, Food with Friends: The Art of Simple Gatherings. I went pretty over the top with a decadent menu of nibbles from the book, soul music crooning from under the table, a dress code (yes, I went there!), and finally a beautiful group walk on the beach when it was all over.
May 25, 2016
A California Tea Party: The Party Plan and Menu
To celebrate the launch of my first cookbook, Food with Friends: The Art of Simple Gatherings, I decided to invite my nearest and dearest girlfriends for an afternoon tea party, set in a rustic greenhouse by the sea, with a bunch of snacks from the book. The Earl Grey, giggles, and conversation flowed freely — I didn’t want the afternoon to end. Here’s the plan and menu for our simple gathering.
May 23, 2016
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.
Dec 9, 2015
10 Sweet & Savory Ways to Top Your Morning Oatmeal
I love porridge for its earthy flavor and creamy bite, but I also see it as a blank canvas in which to spin tales of delicious and diverse toppings. The opportunities for creativity and invention are endless — from sweet to savory, and everything in between. Once you start to move beyond traditional brown sugar and raisins, you’ll find merriment in blobs, dashes, and slivers of anything and everything lingering in the larder.
Oct 16, 2015
Joanna Goddard on the Two Most Important Food Moments for Her Family
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 With a busy balance of work, travel, and family life, Joanna and Alex have a lot going on, but their schedule doesn’t stop them from making time to cook with their kids and eat together on a daily basis. Food and fun are major factors in what makes this family tick merrily along.
Aug 12, 2015
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.
Aug 11, 2015
Joanna Goddard’s Streamlined Brooklyn Kitchen
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 at The Kitchn have been long-time fans of Joanna Goddard and her lovely, always-on-point lifestyle blog, A Cup of Jo, for so many years! We are delighted to share a peek into the kitchen she shares with her two small children and her writer husband, Alex Williams. (Alex does most of the cooking and all of the dishes! Can I marry him?
Aug 10, 2015
Recipe: Poached Rhubarb Royale
As rhubarb makes its sweet, tart, hot pink, and sassy way into our farmers market baskets, here’s one easy recipe to transform the odd vegetable into a silky compote. I dare you not to put a blob of this delightful mess all over everything! My mouth is still puckered from eating so much of this glorious dish. Rhubarb is one of my favorite seasonal ingredients.
Jun 6, 2015
What’s Cooking This Weekend, Samantha Wennerstrom?
This week we met Samantha Wennerstrom, founder and editor of Could I Have That?, a beautiful lifestyle blog. We toured her airy, bright, newly remodeled kitchen; gleaned her easy entertaining secret; and even got a healthy, quick recipe that’s perfect for a summer gathering. There’s only one question left: What’s cooking this weekend, Samantha? Pulled pork sliders. A severe craving!
Jun 5, 2015
Samantha’s Favorite Summer Salad
Who cooks and eats here: Samantha, Todd, and Elin Mae Wennerstrom Where: Santa Barbara, California Rent or Own? Own We’ve toured Samantha’s airy, bright kitchen, we’ve learned her entertaining secret, and now we’re going to dive into a meal this hostess prepares frequently. Samantha’s cooking style, according to the lifestyle blogger, is “relaxed, seasonal, healthy, and unplanned.” This salad perfectly embodies this philosophy.
Jun 3, 2015