Christmas Morning, 2007

Special Thanks to my Mom for digging up this recipe and sending it to me. She made it one year, in the mid-late 90's for us one Christmas that Jeff, Drew and I drove up from Virginia to Michigan for Christmas. I loved this dish and have wanted to make it ever since. NOT low-cal, but high-memory! Thanks Mom!

Stuffed French Toast
(Remember Sally Jessie Raphael of talk show fame? This is her recipe!)

*Updated January 4, 2009

8 to 10 slices bread, crusts removed (Kiy note: I did NOT remove the crusts and used 12 total slices. Perfect.)
2 c. milk (Kiy Note: Fat-Free)
1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese (Kiy Note: I use Neufchatel 1/3 Less Fat)
1 tsp. vanilla
12 eggs, beaten (Kiy Note: I rarely, if ever, use jumbo or even large eggs, medium work just fine and we don't notice the difference)
cinnamon and sugar (Kiy Note: Because Emi is eating this also, I did not use Splenda. Word is still out on what this does or does not do to little people. For now, we are erring on the 'do not use', at least until she is two. I just used less, about a tablespoon on each level.)
1/3 cup maple syrup (Kiy Note: I used the sugar-free table syrup)

Cube bread and place ½ in a 9 x 13 inch baking dish. Cube cream cheese and place on top of bread. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. Top with remaining bread and sprinkle with more cinnamon and sugar.

Combine eggs, maple syrup, milk and vanilla. Pour on top of bread. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Bake at 375 for 45 minutes. Serve with maple syrup. Serves 8.

Kiy Note: I no longer halve this as we love it the next day reheated for breakfast.

Christmas 2007, marinade for the pork tenderloin

This recipe is one I acquired when I was living in Washington, DC. Over the years I have tweaked it and refined it, and I have no idea what it was originally but it remains a favorite!

In a saucepan, combine:
½ cup soy sauce (I use low-sodium)
1/3 cup of honey or maple syrup (I tend to use maple syrup, but honey is also good)
1/3 cup medium dry sherry (in a pinch I have used any good red wine)
1 garlic clove, mashed, peeled (or 1 tsp. jarred, minced garlic)
Fresh ginger root, peeled and sliced thin – amount depends on your family!
>> (Can use the jarred kind in a pinch, and I do … except on special occasions)

Bring all of the above to a boil over moderate heat, stirring frequently. Simmer 5 minutes and cool. Marinade for at least 4 hours (overnight is better) and is great for: chicken, beef, and pork.

Yield: 1.5 cups

Kiy Note: In a time pinch, I have been known to open a zip-lock baggie and dump in some soy sauce, red wine, garlic and ginger root. Skipping the maple syrup and the simmering. It’s good, just not FAB like this is.

Jamaican Banana Bread

Cooking Light, MARCH 1997

Cooking spray
2 tablespoons stick margarine, softened
2 tablespoons tub light cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup mashed ripe banana
½ cup skim milk
2 tablespoons dark rum or 1/4 teaspoon imitation rum extract
½ teaspoon grated lime rind
2 teaspoons lime juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ cup chopped pecans, toasted
¼ cup flaked sweetened coconut

¼ cup packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons margarine
2 teaspoons lime juice
2 teaspoons dark rum or 1/8 teaspoon imitation rum extract
2 tablespoons chopped pecans, toasted
2 tablespoons flaked sweetened coconut

Preheat oven to 375°. Coat an 8 x 4-inch loaf pan with cooking spray; set aside.

Beat 2 tablespoons margarine and cheese at medium speed of a mixer; add 1 cup sugar, beating well. Add egg; beat well.

Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; stir well. Combine banana and next 5 ingredients (banana through vanilla); stir well. Add flour mixture to creamed mixture alternately with banana mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture; mix after each addition. Stir in 1/4 cup pecans and 1/4 cup coconut.

Pour batter into prepared pan; bake at 375° for 50 to 60 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool in pan 10 minutes; remove from pan. Let cool slightly on a wire rack.

Combine brown sugar and 2 teaspoons each margarine, lime juice, and rum in a saucepan; bring to a simmer. Cook 1 minute; stir constantly. Remove from heat. Stir in 2 tablespoons each pecans and coconut; spoon over loaf.

Yield: 16 servings (serving size: 1 slice)

Nutritional Information:
CALORIES 187(26% from fat); FAT 5.4g (sat 1.5g,mono 2.3g,poly 1.2g); PROTEIN 2.9g; CHOLESTEROL 15mg; CALCIUM 55mg; SODIUM 105mg; FIBER 1.1g; IRON 1mg; CARBOHYDRATE 32.2g

Originally posted on 30 November 2007, on the main blog here.

Be gentle, this is my first stab at Favorite Ingredients Friday hosted by Overwhelmed With Joy.

My contribution isn't a true casserole, but I use it as one. This is what I make on 'Vege Night' but I've also used it as a side dish and a dish to pass. It's pretty easy and oh so wonderful. Even if you don't think you like eggplant, try it! I have made it with regular eggplant also, tastes the same but the Japanese eggplant makes a more even cooking time. Go with what you have.


Eggplant-Tomato Gratin
~ Cooking Light

Japanese eggplants are longer and more narrow than the globe eggplants most of us are familiar with, so the slices are more manageable in the Gratin. But in a pinch, you can use globe eggplants.

1 pound Japanese eggplant, cut diagonally into 1/4-inch-thick slices
Cooking spray
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 garlic cloves, minced
6 plum tomatoes, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
2 medium zucchini, cut into1/4-inch-thick slices
Preheat oven to 375°.

Arrange eggplant slices in a single layer on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Coat slices with cooking spray; sprinkle with salt. Bake at 375° for 16 minutes, turning eggplant over after 8 minutes. Combine cheese, oregano, pepper, and garlic in a bowl.

Arrange half of eggplant slices in an 8-inch square baking dish coated with cooking spray. Arrange half of tomato slices over eggplant slices. Top with half of zucchini slices; sprinkle with half of cheese mixture. Repeat procedure with remaining eggplant slices, tomato slices, zucchini slices, and cheese mixture.

Bake, covered, at 375° for 1 hour. Uncover and bake an additional 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender and cheese is golden brown.

Yield: 8 servings


CALORIES 87(29% from fat); FAT 2.8g(sat 1.6g,mono 0.8g,poly 0.2g); PROTEIN 5.5g; CHOLESTEROL 6mg; CALCIUM 140mg; SODIUM 257mg; FIBER 4g; IRON 0.9mg; CARBOHYDRATE 11.2g

Cooking Light, JULY 2002

Note from Kiy: I have to admit, I am not a fan of cooked tomatoes. Hubby, however loves them. I usually put them in a small side dish and cook them, he can then add to his serving(s).
I gave Jeff choices this year on what he wanted for Thanksgiving dinner, that I could do easily. No big production this year! Out of the desserts he had to choose from: traditional pumpkin pie, apple or another fruit pie, this cake (which we had last year and frequently throughout the year as he loves it with his morning coffee and I adore all things pumpkin) or a carrot/spice cake. He decided on the apple (which I was not at all surprised at, that boy loves him so apple pie). But I did want to share this recipe. Realizing it's too late for folks to make it for 'today' but I've been known to need another holiday dessert in a pinch and this fits the bill. It's a rare thing for me not to have all of these ingredients in my pantry.

This cake has become a household favorite. Everyone I share it with loves it! I have, of course, made some changes. I use Splenda, and use about a 1/2 to 1/4 less than the recipe calls for. We just thought the original (the first and only time I used 'real' sugar) was WAY too sweet. Your mileage may vary. :)


Pumpkin Ring Cake

3 cups Original Bisquick® mix (I use the reduced fat)
1 cup granulated sugar (a scant ½ cup of the white sugar blend Splenda)
1 cup packed brown sugar (a scant ½ cup of the brown sugar blend Splenda)
¼ cup butter or margarine, softened
2½ teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
¼ cup milk
4 eggs
1 can (16 ounces) pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)

1 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon milk
½ teaspoon vanilla

  1. Heat oven to 350ºF. Grease and flour 12-cup bundt cake pan.
  2. Beat Bisquick, granulated sugar, brown sugar, butter, pumpkin pie spice, 1/4 cup milk, eggs and pumpkin in large bowl on low speed 30 seconds. Beat on medium speed 3 minutes. Spread in pan.
  3. Bake about 50 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; turn upside down onto heatproof plate or wire cooling rack. Remove pan; cool cake completely.
  4. Stir remaining ingredients until smooth and thin enough to drizzle. Drizzle over cake. (Note: I rarely do this step, it just doesn't need it.)

Pumpkin Ring Cake

*Thanksgiving 2007*

I have made the 'impossible' cheeseburger pie (back when Drew ate almost nothing!) and the pumpkin pie (big raves!), so I thought I'd give myself a break this year and try one of the apple pies. Usually I am a 'from scratch' baker and cook, but I just don't have a hand for pie crusts.


3 cups sliced peeled apples (3 large)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ cup Original Bisquick® mix
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup milk
1 tablespoon butter or margarine, softened
2 eggs

½ cup Original Bisquick® mix
¼ cup chopped nuts
¼ cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons firm butter or margarine

  1. Heat oven to 325ºF. Grease 9-inch glass pie plate. In medium bowl, mix apples, cinnamon and nutmeg; place in pie plate.
  2. In medium bowl, stir remaining filling ingredients until well blended. Pour over apple mixture in pie plate. In small bowl, mix all streusel ingredients until crumbly; sprinkle over filling.
  3. Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes. Store in refrigerator.

High Altitude (3500-6500 ft): Heat oven to 375ºF.

Nutrition Information: 1 Serving: Calories 335 (Calories from Fat 125 ); Total Fat 14 g (Saturated Fat 3 g); Cholesterol 70 mg; Sodium 400 mg; Total Carbohydrate 49 g (Dietary Fiber 2 g); Protein 5 g Percent Daily Value*: Vitamin A 12 %; Vitamin C 2 %; Calcium 8 %; Iron 6
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet

*Thanksgiving 2007*

Another recipe that has become a household standard. I do not like gravy, at all, but this ... I love love love. Of course, Jeff being a good southern boy gravy is a food group. I usually double this as then Friday morning I will make some biscuits and reheat the gravy. It's not the traditional 'biscuits and gravy' but he does love it!
Note: I use canned chicken stock and brandy.

Homemade Gravy
Barefoot Contessa

¼ pound (1 stick) unsalted butter
1½ cups chopped yellow onion (2 onions)
¼ cup flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Defatted turkey drippings plus chicken stock to make 2 cups, heated
1 tablespoon Cognac or brandy
1 tablespoon white wine, optional
1 tablespoon heavy cream, optional

In a large (10 to 12-inch) sauté pan, cook the butter and onions over medium-low heat for 12 to 15 minutes, until the onions are lightly browned. Don't rush this step; it makes all the difference when the onions are well-cooked.

Sprinkle the flour into the pan, whisk in, then add the salt and pepper. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the hot chicken stock mixture and Cognac, and cook uncovered for 4 to 5 minutes until thickened. Add the wine and cream, if desired. Season, to taste, and serve.

*Thanksgiving 2007*

I made this last year. It was such a hit, it has now become the standard in our house. Note, however, Jeff loves tart and this is pretty darned tart ... and I still halved the called for sugar. (Also, I use Splenda instead of sugar and he couldn't tell at all.)

Cranberry-Orange Sauce
Rachael Ray

Prep Time: 5 min
Cook Time: 10 min
8 Servings

Zest and juice of 1 orange
½ cup sugar, plus more if desired
Pinch salt
One 12-ounce bag fresh cranberries, rinsed

In a medium saucepan, heat 1/2 cup water with the orange zest, orange juice, sugar and salt over medium-high heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the cranberries and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the cranberries burst and the sauce has thickened slightly, about 7 minutes. Sweeten with more sugar, if desired. Let the sauce cool to room temperature before serving.


Back when we lived in Japan, before blogs (or rather, before I found them), I hung out on the Cooking Light bulletin board. This was posted by 'Gail' and became such a huge hit ... Cooking Light published the recipe. It is still one of our fav's.

This year we decided that while we both like turkey okay, we both prefer a nice roasted chicken. So instead, I am making two chickens and four extra drumsticks (a certain hubby loves him some drumsticks!). We plan on having tons of leftovers, one of Jeff's favorite meals ... leftovers!


Whole chicken (a small one-- what are they, like 3½ pounds?)
Approx 1½ teaspoon dried thyme
Approx 1 tablespoon garlic, pressed
Approx 1 tablespoon cider or malt vinegar
Dry white wine (Sauvignon Blanc works well)
Freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 325°. Clean chicken and remove giblets.
Hack chicken all over with the tip of a sharp chef's knife to make gashes. (Invariably I find the music to the shower scene in Psycho running through my mind, thus the name, Psycho Chicken-- and lest you think I am thoroughly deranged, this manner of slash and season is actually very common in Cuban cooking.)

In a small bowl, mix together thyme, garlic, salt, pepper and vinegar, and slather liberally on chicken, taking care that mixture gets into slits in the meat. Place chicken on rack in roasting pan (if you don't have a rack, no biggie-- throw the thing directly into the pan) and roast about 2 hours until golden and fragrant, basting every twenty or thirty minutes with a splash of wine and any juices in the pan. Your house will smell wonderful.

Now this is the crucial part, which will make or break the entire dish: If this is cooked properly, your chicken should be running with wonderful juices as you carve. Dredge each slice of carved meat in those juices before placing on platter-- the juices are loaded with garlic and herb flavor.

This was a seat-of-the-pants kind of recipe on my part where you throw in a little of this, a little of that, splash wine on it and cook it till the juices run clear. After doing it a couple of times, I gathered it took two hours, so that's what I wrote. Obviously, if the chicken is bigger or if someone's oven runs hot or cold, the cooking time is going to vary. Rest assured Anthony
Perkins will not be showing up on your doorstep with a butcher knife if you don't adhere exactly to what I wrote.

As to the hacking... well, how was your day? Need a little stress reliever? There's your chicken. And if you REALLY want to hack it the way I do, here's how: Glance around furtively to make sure no one is watching, hear the music from the shower scene in your head, cut loose and ham it up. You've done it enough when you start feeling really silly. Or when your husband walks in and starts laughing hysterically.

PUH-leeze don't worry about this chicken. (Other than the convection oven part, maybe) It is an extraordinarily forgiving recipe. Now get out there and hack!

I am going to post all the recipes here that I am using this year.
*Thanksgiving 2007*

Posted on the main blog:
*Thanksgiving 2008*

Mom’s Apple Muffins

Mix in a large bowl:
1½ cups brown sugar
2/3 cups oil (I use canola)
1 egg

In a two-cup measuring cup:
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon each: baking soda, salt, vanilla

Add milk mixture to sugar mixture alternating with 2½ cups of flour.

Fold in 1.5 cups diced apples and ½ cup chopped pecans (optional).

Sprinkle with 1/3 cup sugar mixed with 1 tablespoon melted butter. Will be crumbly - sprinkle over each cup with fingers.
(Kiy's Note: I don't do this every time, neither does Mom but it's SO good with this step!)

Note: Don’t fill cups too much, just a bit more than ½ full.

Bake @ 325° for 30 minutes.

Makes about 15 muffins

Note: Mom got this recipe while in the Tampa, Florida Airport in 1980.

Asian Noodles

This is a recipe that I have used to great success. Easy and quick, a sure hit. It is a recipe that is a mix of about four different recipes that I have tweaked here and there over the years. Enjoy!

1 pk Phad Thai Noodles (13.2 oz)

1 can chicken broth/stock (I use low-sodium)
4 tbsp rice vinegar
4 tbsp soy sauce (I use low-sodium)
2 tbsp peanut butter (I use natural, chunky but probably any would do just fine)
4 tsp sugar (I tend to use Splenda, if I have it on hand)
2 tsp minced ginger (I use the kind in the jar, usually found in the produce section) * depending on how much ginger-kick you like, add more ginger (I tend to add another teaspoon)

1 tsp dark sesame oil
2 tbsp vegetable oil (I use canola)
1-2 tsp minced garlic (I use the kind in the jar)

Soak the noodles in a nice deep, wide bowl or pan in warm water for about 30-45 minutes (these directions are on the package, just follow those).

While the noodles are soaking, mix the next set of ingredients (chicken stock through ginger) in a medium size bowl. (Suggestion, spray your measuring spoon with cooking spray before scooping the peanut butter.) Use a whisk to mix this thoroughly.

Drain noodles well. Using either a wok or a wide non-stick pan, heat the two oils over medium heat. Add garlic and sauté about 45 seconds (try not to brown or burn, may need to lower your heat). Add the peanut butter mixture to the pan, cook while stirring constantly until hot and a bit thickened. Add noodles, tossing gently to coat. Cook until most of the sauce is absorbed into the noodles and the noodles are soft.

Optional: Toss in a small handful of cooked shrimp. Also, garnish with some chopped nuts, makes ALL the difference in this recipe!

Jeff thinks this needs a bit of oomph, so he adds a dash or two of red pepper flakes.