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Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Apple Cinnamon French Toast

I you have never tried Kings Hawaiian bread for your french toast, you are truly missing out. This bread makes fabulous french toast because it is already sweet! I have made 2 recipes for french toast using this bread and both are amazing. I really like the french toast bakes vs. traditional french toast b/c there are more options with the bake and it's a lot easier that dipping and flipping! Plus, this is a perfect fall treat because of the apples!

This recipe come directly from the Kings Hawaiian Website:

1/2 loaf Kings Hawaiian Sweet Bread (16 oz) cut into 1-inch pieces
4 eggs, slightly beaten
1 & 1/2 c milk
1/2 c sugar, divided
2 t cinnamon
1 lg apple, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
2 T butter/margarine

Makes 8 Servings


Here is a picture of my husband SSG Rich Vos on Friday September 22 at his re-enlistment ceremony. Rich is in the Army and re-enlisted for another 6 years making it a total of 12 years he'll be in. I am very proud of him!

The photos are taken in Baghdad on Saddam's old parade grounds beneath the crossed swords.


Sunday, September 24, 2006

Eggplant Lasagna

Well, lasagna doesn't exactly always take the best pictures, but I assure you it's delicious!!!

I'd never actually had eggplant before tonite, but always wanted to try it (basically b/c it is pretty!). I was very impressed with this dish and liked it very much. A definite make again!

Eggplant Lasagna:

6 lasagna noodles (I used whole wheat)
3 c chopped, peeled eggplant
1 medium green bell pepper, diced (about 1 c)
1 lg onion, chopped (about 1 c)
1/4 c fresh basil or 1 T plus 1 t dried, crumbled
3 medium cloves garlic, minced, or 1 & 1/2 t bottled minced garlic
2 8 oz no-salt-added tomato sauce
2 t low sodium Worcestershire sauce
1/8 t salt
1/4 t fennel seeds (optional)
1 c fat free cottage cheese
1 c part skim mozzarella chz, shredded
2 T shredded or grated parmesan chz

Preheat oven to 350F. Spray 12x8x2-inch glass baking dish w/ vegetable oil spray.

In a large stockpot, cook noodles using package directions, omitting salt and oil.

Meanwhile, heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Remove skillet from heat and spray with vegetable oil. Cook eggplant, bell pepper, onion, basil, and garlic for 10 minutes, or until eggplant is tender, stirring occasionally; reduce heat to medium if mixture sticks to skillet.

Add tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and fennel. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes, or until sauce has slightly thickened and bell pepper is tender. Remove from heat.

To assemble, lay 2 noodles lengthwise in baking dish. Spread a scant 1 c eggplant mixture over noodles. Spoon half the cottage chz over sauce; spread evenly. Sprinkle w/ 1/4 c mozzarella. Repeat layers twice, ending with remaining 1/2 c mozzrella. Tuck in ends of noodles if overhanging; cover w/ aluminum foil.

Bake for 30 min. Remove from oven, discard foil.

Sprinkle lasagna w/ parmesan; let stand for 5-10 min to allow chz to melt and to make slicing easier.

Calories: 214
Protein: 15g
Carbs: 30 g
Fat: 4g
Fiber: 4g


Friday, September 22, 2006

Happy First Day of Autumn!

Though it is officially not for another 2.5 hours, I want to be the first to wish all a Happy Autumn!

I love Autumn, Fall, whatever you may call it! The crisp days the smell in the air of leaves and freshness. I love the colors and the produce! Squash! I love it! Pumpkin and butternut squash are two of my favorites followed by acorn. I think I love them all. Not to mention the APPLES! If you've never been to an apple orchard, do it this year! The delicious varieties of apples along with pumpkins and cider make a great weekend getaway!

Make sure you checkout my posts from October 2005. I have some great decorations on there such as chiffon ghosts and a scary fence. Both of which are super easy to do and make a great decoration and conversational piece. I also have some great recipes such as pumpkin cupcakes as well as others.

So, here is to Autumn! Welcome Back!!!

Here is one of my favorite fall recipes! So yummy!

Butternut Squash Soup

4 slices bacon
3 lbs (2 small) butternut squash
3 T unsalted butter
2 lg onions, couarsly chopped
2 small carrots, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
2 small celery stalks, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 t salt, or more to taste
3 & 3/4 c low sodium/fat free chx broth
2 T thinly slivered fresh sage OR 2 t dried
1/4 t freshly ground pepper

Cook the bacon over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and crisp. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to paper towels to drain (I use a george foreman for this!), then crumble and set aside. Pour off and discard the fat from the pot and set the pot aside.

Meanwhile, cut the butternut squash in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds. Cut each half lengthwise in half again and, using a sharp paring knife, peel the squash. Cut the squash into 3/4 inch chunks

Melt the butter in the pot (a large heavy pot) over medium heat. Add the onions, carrots, celery, garlic, and 1/4 t salt and cook, stirring, until the onions are translucent, 10-12 min. Add the squash and stock and bring to a simmer. Partially cover and simmer, sitrring occasionally, until the squash is very tender, about 15 minutes.

In batches, puree the soup in a blender until smooth and return to the pot. Stir in the sage, and season with the remaining 1/2 t salt and pepper. Reheat over medium heat, stirring occasionally , until hot. Ladle into bowls and sprinkle some of the crumbled bacon in the center of each serving.

Serves 8.

Picture to follow.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Orange-Blueberry Angel Food Cake

This is a delicious cake with a little tang to it! So yummy!

1 1/2 c egg whites (10-12 large)
1 1/2 c sifted powdered sugar
1 c sifted cake flour or sifted all-purpose flour
1 t vanilla
1 1/2 t cream of tartar
1 c granulated sugar (or substitute Splenda baking sugar just make sure to read the equivalency directions)
1 1/2 c freeze dried blueberries (I used the little "wild" blueberries in the frozen food section)
1 T finely shredded orange peel
1 C sifted powdered sugar
3-5 t frozen orange juice concentrate thawed (I didn't have this, just regular OJ and it tasted fine!)


In a very large mixing bowl allow egg whites to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, sift the 1 1/2 c powdered sugar and the flour together 3 times. Set aside.

Add cream of tartar and vanilla to egg whites. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until soft peaks form (tips curl). Gradually add granulated sugar, about 2 T at a time, beathing until stiff peaks form (tips stand straight).

Sift 1/4 of the powdered sugar mixture over beaten egg whites; fold in gently. Repeat, folding in the remaining powdered sugar mixture by fourths. Gently old in freeze-dried blueberries and orange peel. Pour into an ungreased 10-nich tube pan. Gently cut through batter to remove air pockets.

Bake cake on the lowest rack in a 350F oven for 40-45 min or until top springs back when lightly touched. Immediately invert cake in pan; cool completely in pan. Loosen cake from pan; remove cake.

In a small bowl combine the 1 c powdered sugar and 3 t of the OJ concentrate. Stir in enough of the remaining OJ, 1 t at a time, to reach drizzling consistency. Drizzle over cooled cake.

You will LOVE this cake and want to eat more than just one piece! and at only 208 c and 0g fat per serving (makes 12 servings) you can!!


Chicken Tetrazzini

This delicious and creamy comfort-food is great for a chilly night, or really any night! The recipe has been modified for a more healthful approach, so don't be scared to try it only 394 calories per serving (makes 4 servings).

6 oz dried spaghetti (I use whole wheat spaghetti)
1 1/2 c sliced fresh mushrooms
3/4 c chopped red or green sweet pepper
1/2 c cold water
1/4 c flour
1 12-oz can (1 1/2c) evaporated low fat milk
1 t instant chicken bouillon granules
1/4 t black pepper
1/8 t salt
1 c chopped cooked chicken or turkey (5 oz)
1/4 c finely shredded Parmesan cheese (1 oz)
2 T dry sherry or milk
1 T sliced almonds


Cook the spaghetti according to package directions, except omit the cooking oil and lightly salt the water. drain well.

Meanwhile, in a large covered saucepan cook the mushrooms and sweet pepper in a small amount of boiling water until tender. Drain well, return to saucepan.

In a screw top jar combine 1/2 c cold water and flour; cover and shake well. Stir into the veggie mixture in the saucepan. Stir in the evaporated milk, bouillon granules, black pepper, and salt. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Stir in the cooked spaghetti, chx, parmesan cheese and dry sherry/milk.

Lightly coat a 2-qt square baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Spoon spaghetti mixture into dish. Sprinkle with almonds. Bake, uncovere, ina 400F oven about 10 min or until heated through and nuts are lightly toasted.

Serve with a tossed salad and low cal dressing! ENJOY!!!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Self Diet

Well, I've started the Self Reach Your Goal Diet. I've chosen the Lose 8 lbs in a month with a little sculpting sexy muscles thrown in there as well. It's a great program. If you haven't seen it, go to Self.Com and check it out. I sound like a promotional video right now! Anyway, last night I had a great salad that I just had to share!

Three Pepper Salad

1 yellow pepper chopped
1 red pepper chopped
1 green pepper chopped
2 T parsley chopped
1 T chopped red onion
1 1/2 t olive oil
splash of balsamic vinegar

mix a half each red, green and yellow bell pepper, chopped, tossed with chopped parsley, chopped red onion, olive oil and balsamic vinegar! So easy to make and delicious and nutritous!

My only suggestion is to leave out at least half of the parsley, for me, it was a little over powering! YUM! It also has an amazing aroma and is very pretty with all the different colors!


Well, the husband came home from Iraq for 2 weeks and we had a great time. We vacationed in the Virgin Islands and then just hung around good ole' NKY! He's back in Iraq now not to be seen for another 6-10 months!

Chocolate Cake

Not only is this a perfect opportunity to share a GREAT chocolate cake recipe, I can also show off my birthday present from my sister, Pam. It's from and it's so cute! I love it!!!



. 2 cups sugar
. 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
. 3/4 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
. 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
. 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
. 1 teaspoon salt
. 2 eggs
. 1 cup milk
. 1/2 cup vegetable oil
. 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
. 1 cup boiling water

1. Heat oven to 350F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans.

2. Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared pans.

3. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely. Frost with Buttercream or any frosting you prefer.

ONE-PAN CAKE: Grease and flour 13x9x2-inch baking pan. Heat oven to 350 F. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 35 to 40 minutes. Cool completely. Frost.

THREE LAYER CAKE: Grease and flour three 8-inch round baking pans. Heat oven to 350F. Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake 30 to 35 minutes. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely. Frost.

BUNDT CAKE: Grease and flour 12-cup Bundt pan. Heat oven to 350F. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 50 to 55 minutes. Cool 15 minutes; remove from pan to wire rack. Cool completely. Frost.

CUPCAKES: Line muffin cups (2-1/2 inches in diameter) with paper bake cups. Heat oven to 350F. Fill cups 2/3 full with batter. Bake 22 to 25 minutes. Cool completely. Frost. About 30 cupcakes.

Buttercream Frosting:

1 cup butter or margarine, softened
3 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1 . Beat butter and powdered sugar in medium bowl on medium speed until smooth. Gradually beat in vanilla until smooth and spreadable