DIY Apple-Spaghetti Squash Kugel

Go wild! Go artistic!

Go wild! Go artistic!

Happy New Year to everyone! May it be filled with good health and resolutions held firm…if possible. I’m a little late getting 2014 started blogwise, but I’m charging out of the gates with a new “blog-look” and a revised recipe. Here goes!

Back in 2012, I posted a recipe for Apple-Spaghetti Squash Kugel, adapted from one on the blog, Cara’s Cravings. It was low in calories, had no oil, and tasted yummy. Recently, I decided to make it again, but now the recipe struck me as, well, conservative.

So I went as wild as I could, considering my forever diet. I used currants instead of raisins. I added pumpkin and sunflower seeds. I exchanged regular Splenda with Splenda’s Brown Sugar Blend (I told you I went wild!).

IMGP2040The result was super-yummy and more filling than the original.  Of course, it had more Weight Watcher points, but it also made 8 servings which spread those points around.

Then I realized that I hadn’t plumbed this recipe’s possibilities. Hence, this a DIY recipe because you can mix and match ingredients to your heart’s content.

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Coffee Cup Upside-Down Mini-Cake

The mini-cake is cooked and ready to be turned over.

My mini-cake is a miniature tower.

The spouse’s mini-cake had structural damage
so he cut it into slices.

This mini-cake is fun! (Kids will love it.) It cooks in minutes in the microwave. It’s yummy. And it has built-in portion control. Who could ask for anything more?

Well, we could ask for a consistent shape, I suppose. One mini-cake turned out to be a perfect tower with a dome; the other had its dome collapse and the whole edifice had to be levelled.

Baking perfectionists may ask, “What happened?” Perhaps it was how I put the apple slices in the bottom of the cup (no arranging: I just dropped them in and mixed in the sugar and cinnamon). Maybe it was the way I put in the batter. Truth be told: I have not a clue.

Clearly, this recipe requires more experiments, but how hard will that be with the fruit season just about upon us? I’m thinking peach, mango, plums, blueberry, strawberry, raspberry…

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Apricot Rosemary Pork Chops with Apples

Last night, with family coming for dinner, I decided to resurrect an old recipe, much favoured by my children back in the late 1970s and early 1980s, known as “Yum-Yum Pork Chops.” The dish was both sweet and savoury—the result of, what I realize now, was a rather pedestrian sauce made from ketchup, honey, and soy sauce. (I think at the time this was considered exotic because of the soy sauce.)

The following recipe is based on the same principles of baking meat in a sauce as Yum-Yum Pork Chops, but takes its inspiration from Orange Rosemary Chicken Breasts with some twists. The result is delicious and far from pedestrian. In fact, this dish could be used for a dinner party. The key to this dish, as with that of the chicken, is the use of fresh rosemary. Note: If you love fruit, you can add more if you wish.

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