Oyster Sauce Chicken

Oyster Sauce Chicken, another recipe that I’ve learned to prepare while stationed in Hawaii.  A flavorsome dish, with a slightly pungent sauce, it’s sure to be a favorite.  This recipe can also be cut in half.




4 1/2 – 5 lbs. Chicken thighs
1/2 cup Oyster sauce
2 Tbsp. Kikkoman Soy sauce
2 Tbps. Sugar
1 tsp. Salt
1/2 tsp. Accent flavor enhancer
2 tsp. Chinese Five spice powder
2 tsp. Sesame oil
4 – 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 (1-inch knob) Ginger root*, finely chopped
1 bunch Green onions, thinly sliced


Start by washing the chicken thighs. Using a sharp knife, trim off all the excess fat and skin. Set this aside.











In a large mixing bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients.  Mix well.











Add the green onions and mix well again.  Add the chicken pieces and toss to coat all the pieces.  Cover and set aside to marinate for about 1 hour.  I just left it on my kitchen counter and it was fine.  You may want to place it into your refrigerator to marinade though, it’s totally up to you.  Stir in between marinating time.  *NOTE:  I love using GOURMET GARDEN herbs.  This is the ginger I used in the recipe.  They’re a bit pricey, but they’re so convenient.











When ready, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  On a baking sheet, place the chicken pieces but allow some space in between each piece.  Save the marinade for glazing later.  Bake the chicken for about 1 hour and 10 – 15 minutes.  I turned the chicken 2 different times throughout the cooking time, ending with the skin facing up, to crispen slightly!











10 minutes before the chicken is finished cooking, pour the reserved marinade into a small saucepan.  On medium high heat, bring it to a boil for about 3 minutes.  Remove the chicken from the oven when done, and place on a serving platter.  Pour the hot reserved marinade over top of the chicken.  SERVE!


Chocolate and Walnut Pie

….aka Toll House Pie!  This pie has long been filed away in my favorite cookbook for years.  It’s a classic, mostly served in restaurants throughout. It’s rich, decadent, chocolatey, firm textured and studded with walnuts.  Serve up a slice with some vanilla ice cream, whip topping, or nothing!  I’m just bringing an old classic back!  ENJOY!

Serving suggestion....

Serving suggestion….

3 Eggs
3/4 cup All-purpose flour
3/4 cup Sugar
3/4 cup light Brown sugar, packed
1/4 tps. Salt
1 cup REAL Butter, melted
1 – 1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (I have also used dark chocolate chips)
1 cup Walnuts, chopped
1 (9-in. deep dish) frozen premade Pie crust, thawed
Vanilla ice cream, for topping

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Place the butter into a microwave safe dish and melt, allow to cool.

In a large mixing bowl, beat the 3 eggs until foamy.











Combine the rest of the ingredients, except for the chocolate chips and walnuts, into a large mixing bowl.  Mix well to thoroughly combine, mixing for about 1 minute.  Add the melted butter and mix again for about 2 minutes.











Add the chocolate chips and the walnuts.  Stir with a spatula to combine well.











Pour into your prepared pie shell.  The pie shell I used here is the type you have to unroll and place into your pie plate.  You can certainly use your favorite pie crust recipe as well.











Bake for about 1 hour and 5 – 10 minutes, until the edges are golden brown and the top is somewhat firm.  If you find that the edges are browning too quickly, tear a sheet of aluminum foil and cover the it.  Remove from oven and set aside to cool completely before slicing.  You can serve it warm with vanilla ice cream, topped with whip topping or just plain.  ENJOY!


Apple Cider Sangria

This recipe was shared by a friend, who shared the link for it.  I’ve had several requests for the recipe and now I’m sharing it, with of course, a bit of tweaking on my end, lol! CHEERS! 😉


fall sangria

1 regular sized bottle Pinot Grigio (I used Barefoot brand)
2 1/2 cups fresh Apple Cider
1/2 cup Ginger Brandy (I only found Ginger “flavored” brandy)
1/2 cup Sugar, to taste
1 cup Club soda
3 Honeycrisp apples
3 Pears
Ground Cinnamon, for garnish
Cinnamon sticks, for garnish
Turbinado sugar, for rimming glasses

This is such an easy recipe! Combine everything into a large pitcher or container, except for the club soda, ice, and garnishments. Stir well and refrigerate for a few hours or overnight!

When ready to serve: Rim the glasses with the turbinado sugar, by wetting the rim first. I used a wedge of lemon to moisten; dip into the turbinado sugar, then add the ice. Add the club soda to the pitcher of Sangria, stir well. Pour Sangria into each glass along with some of the fruit. Sprinkle some ground cinnamon (optional) and garnish with a cinnamon stick. SERVE immediately!

Holiday Pumpkin Pie

PUMPKIN PIE! You either love it or hate it, right?  Well, for all those skeptics that don’t care for pumpkin pie, OR have never even given it a try, give this recipe a try and it’ll change your mind, lol! 😉  With it’s addition of the butterscotch chips, it’s sure to add a “surprise” flavor.

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1 (9 inch) deep dish frozen premade Pie crust, thawed
3/4 cup Butterscotch chips
1/2 cup Heavy whipping cream
1 (15 oz.) can 100% solid pack Pumpkin
1 Egg
1 Egg yolk
1/4 cup white Sugar
1 tsp. Pumpkin pie spice
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1/4 tsp. ground Ginger
1/8 tsp. ground Nutmeg
1/4 tsp. Salt

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  In a small saucepan, on MEDIUM heat, combine the butterscotch chips and the heavy cream.  Stir continuously until the chips melt and combined well.  Set this aside to cool.

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In a small bowl, add the whole egg and an extra egg yolk.  Beat this together.  In a large mixing bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients along with the beaten eggs.  Using a whisk, combine the ingredients until thoroughly mixed.

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Combine the ingredients until smooth.  Once the butterscotch mixture has cooled, add it to the pumpkin mixture and mix well.

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Pour this mixture into the premade pie crust and spread evenly in the shell.  This part of the recipe is OPTIONAL! You can either bake the pie at this stage OR dress it up a bit by using ready made pie crust. Unroll the thawed crust and using pie crust cutters, cookie cutters, or free handing it; cut out decorations to dress up the pie.  Place the cut outs where you want it, using some water or milk to adhere to the pie crust.

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Brush milk or heavy cream over the top of the pie.  You could also brush your favorite egg wash over the pie.


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Place the pie onto a baking sheet.  Bake in the preheated 425 degree oven for about 25 minutes.  Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake for an additional 35 minutes or until the crust has a nice golden brown color.  NOTE: If the edges brown too quickly, cover it with some aluminum foil, continue cooking as instructed. Allow the pie to cool completely before cutting. Best when made a day ahead. ENJOY!

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Cranberry Christmas Cake

I first came upon this recipe years ago, but have never made it. Just recently, a blog follower shared the same recipe with me and I’m so glad she did, because it is DEEELISH!  It’s not too sweet, which is always a plus.  At the end of my long day; I saw that I had all of the ingredients, to include butter already softened on my counter.  I figured, why not? What’s ONE MORE dessert to bake, right;  after already baking just about all day.  The cake is sweetened just enough, studded throughout, with bursts of cranberry, which makes for a beautiful cake, it does look like a Christmas cake.  Give this one a try, and why not? Because it’s that easy…… 😉


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3 Eggs, room temperature
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup Butter, softened
1 teaspoon Vanilla
2 cups All-purpose flour
1 (12 oz. bag) fresh Cranberries
Granulated Sugar, for topping

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. With a mixer, beat the eggs with the sugar on HIGH speed until thickened and light in color, about 8 – 10 minutes. (I actually mixed mine for about 10 minutes)  The mixture should almost double in size. Because you don’t add any leavening agent to this cake;  the egg/sugar mixture works as your leavening agent in this recipe, so DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP. This mixture should form a ribbon when you lift the beaters out of the bowl.

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Add in the softened butter and vanilla (I used Vanilla paste). Mix this for 2 minutes.

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Stir in the flour until just combined.

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Make sure to wash the cranberries and pick out the stems/grass.  Add the cranberries and stir to mix throughout.

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Spread into a buttered 9×9-in baking pan. Sprinkle about 2 – 3 teaspoons of granulated sugar over the top of the cake.

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Bake for 50 – 60 minutes, or until lightly browned and a toothpick inserted near the center of the cake comes out clean.  Allow the cake to cool completely before slicing, it actually tastes better the following day.  So if you’re wanting to share this for brunch for that special holiday, make it the day before.






Chicken Estufau

Here is another version of the ever popular Chamorro favorite, Chicken estufau or stufau (as said on the islands). Allowing the chicken to marinate for at least half an hour, makes for a tasty, braised type dish.  The combination of soy sauce and vinegar, is such an island classic and whether you mix it with beef, pork, or in this case; chicken, you’re in for a such a treat.  The distinct aroma lingers throughout the house, that let’s everyone,  who’s familiar with “estufau”, know what’s cookin’!  Give my recipe a try and see why it’s another favorite!  😛


Serving suggestion: Serve on a bed of steamed white rice, drizzled with its juices…..


3 – 3 1/2 lbs. Chicken drum Sticks or thighs
3/4 cup White vinegar
3/4 cup Kikkoman Soy sauce
1/2 cup Water
1 1/2 tsp. ground Black pepper (depending on how spicy you’d like it, you may add more)
1/2 tsp. Salt (may add more to taste)
1 tsp. Accent seasoning
2 whole dried Bay leaves
4 – 6 whole Garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
1 small Onion, sliced

Begin by trimming off the excess fat and skin from the thighs. If the thighs are large, use a cleaver or a large knife to cut the thighs in half. Wash the chicken pieces thoroughly, making sure to remove any slivers of bone from where you had cut the thighs.










Place the cleaned chicken pieces, making sure to drain off any excess water, into a large mixing bowl.  Add the vinegar.  *NOTE:  You can substitute with cane vinegar, apple cider vinegar,  or FRESH squeezed lemon juice.











Add the soy sauce and water.  I prefer to use Kikkoman brand.










Chop the garlic pieces and add it to the chicken, along with the onions, black pepper and bay leaves.










Add the Accent seasoning and the salt.  In the picture below to the right;  just for kicks,  I wanted to see if I could still “eyeball” seasonings in the palm of my hand.  YUP, I still can!  1/2 teaspoon of salt, was SPOT ON!  😉










Mix these ingredient well, incorporating everything together.   Stir everything together well.  Cover and allow to marinate for about 30 minutes.











After 30 minutes, pour the whole bowl of chicken and the marination into a large stock pot.  Cook this on HIGH heat until it comes to a boil. Cover the pot, and reduce the heat to MEDIUM heat and allow the chicken to cook for 30 -40 minutes; making sure to stir often in between cooking time.









After the 30 minutes, remove the lid completely and simmer for an additional 10 minutes, to allow some of the liquid to evaporate.

NOTE:  We love lots of juice with our rice, so I don’t do this step.  Turn the heat off and serve along with some white steamed rice and some Fina’denne.


Buttery Custard Mochi

As most of you know, I’ve lived in Hawaii for many years and as a bored homemaker, lol, I also learned to make and create many dishes while we were stationed there.  Here is one of my most favorite Mochi recipes.  It’s soft, creamy, and chewy, with just a hint of coconut.  Super easy too!  Give it a try….. 😉


Custard Mochi, studded with flecks of vanilla bean….

1/2 cup PURE Butter, softened (1 stick)
1 1/2 cups Sugar
4 Eggs
4 cups WHOLE Milk
1 (16 oz.) box Mochiko sweet rice flour (about 2 c.)
2 tsp. Baking powder
1 tsp. Vanilla paste OR extract
1 tsp. Coconut extract
1/2 cup Sweet shredded Coconut flakes

Begin by preheating the oven to 350 degrees.  Add the softened butter to a large mixing bowl.  Here’s a TIP, using the butter packaging, smear the excess butter left on the paper, and grease a 9×13-inch baking pan.  Set this aside.











Cream the butter and sugar together, for about 3 minutes.











Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.











Add in the rest of the ingredients EXCEPT the flaked coconut and combine them thoroughly until a smooth batter forms.











Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan.  Sprinkle the top of the batter evenly with the flaked coconut; bake for about 1 hour and 15 – 20 minutes, depending on your oven.  The Mochi Custard will seem a bit jiggly in the center when cooking time is done, THIS IS NORMAL  It should be golden brown in color when done.  Set aside to allow to cool completely before cutting.  Cut into squares and serve. I usually cut them into small squares and serve them in festive cupcake liners.  ENJOY!










VARIATION:  Add 1 cup flaked coconut into the batter mix and sprinkle 1/2 cup on top before baking.