Monthly Archives: April 2015

Crescent Roll Ups – really easy and yummy!


These delectable bites make an easy appetizer and are good right out of the oven, or even cold.  I highly recommend buying the whole crescent roll sheet as the first time I made them, it was a little sketchy.  However, things have improved:

spinach roll up

It took all of 10 minutes to put these together and another 15-20 in the oven.  I went a little easy on the ingredients, but next time I’m planning to use a little more mustard, green onions and maybe toss around some bacon bits.  The girls watching me make these turned their noses up at the spinach and onion idea, but you literally could put anything in these and they would be good.  If you have other fillings that are tried and true, please share in the comment section below!

Happy Hump Day!


Easy Crescent Roll Ups


Crescent roll dough (full sheet preferable)
Frozen spinach (thaw, drain and pat between towels to remove water)
Dijon mustard
Diced green onions
Shredded cheddar cheese
Crumbled cooked bacon

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Unroll dough, and brush on dijon mustard.  Sprinkle with remaining ingredients.  Roll up starting with long edge.  Slice into 1/2″ to 3/4″ inch slices and place on baking sheet.  Bake 15 – 20 minutes or until lightly browned.   Eat up!


Another birthday, and STROMBOLI!!!!!


Twenty-nine years ago today, I was just a tad tired and stressed, which translates into the fact that my daughter, Brandi, didn’t just come bee bopping into this world easily.  However, it’s been all good since then – some unbelievably good times, with someone who I love “as big as the world”.  (You’re supposed to outstretch your arms when you say this).     Meet Miss Brandi Lynn:


A little vacay to Belize!

So it started like this – note that she had a good working relationship with the phone waaay back then:

brandi pink_Page_1

Her first horse show at Mound City KS. Cannot remember which one of my barrel horses she rode, but she won FIRST. (she was well known for riding the variety of moms barrel horses)  One of my good friends in Oklahoma painted our matching shirts….I still have them.  And Yes, that’s one of my retired helmets 🙂

brandi phone_Page_2



Kickin’ some butt in the barrel race on Ace. He turned out to be an AMAZING barrel horse for me, at first, and then won a TON of buckles, a saddle, etc., for Brandi & Brice.B & C C & B

So my little girl grew into this gorgeous young woman, and as I said on a previous birthday, hug ’em and hold ’em, cuz they grow up fast and don’t fit on your lap anymore!

My amazing friend, Linda, introduced me to stromboli (Linda McAdam style) many, many years ago.  And.  It’s.  Awesome.  In fact, Brandi and Brice would take it for lunch the following day, and finally the cooks at the school kitchen asked if they could have the recipe.  Wow…now, that’s a compliment!   To this day, it’s one of our family favorites so I am happy to share the “Connie Kaye” version here.  Unfortunately the subject of this post is in Washington, DC, so we are currently unable to enjoy it together.   Whah.  Whah.   That was my sad voice.

Stromboli is super easy and you can add what you like.  We use pepperoni, and I like to buy turkey pepperoni because of the lesser fat content, and a good sliced lunchmeat ham.  Layer away and it will be superb.  I always offer up spaghetti or marinara sauce for dipping but I like it as is.  Anytime.  Anywhere.  And if the recipe below works out for you it will somewhat mirror this, and oh man, grab it quick!



I use frozen bread dough and some simple yummy stuff inside.  My hubster  loves the all meat version so we are flexible on our strombolis 🙂 And, it evens warms up well in the microwave.  Happy birthday to my stromboli-lovin daughter, and I hope you enjoy this family favorite!

~Connie Kaye


  • Servings: 4
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Frozen bread dough
Choice of meat fillings (sliced ham, pepperoni, browned sausage)
Shredded mozzarella and/or Italian blend cheese
Garlic Salt

Spray a deep casserole dish or large bread pan (something with high sides works best) with cooking spray.  Place frozen dough in pan an cover with plastic wrap.  Let it defrost and rise at room temperature for approx. 8 hours or so.  Remove from pan and place on ungreased baking sheet.  Stretch to make a rectangle, being careful to not rip or get dough to thin in places.  Layer ham slices, then garlic salt, cheese, pepperoni/sausage, and a last layer of cheese.  Bring sides together and pinch to seal, fold ends in and seal.  Flip this over so it’s seam side down.  Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes or until browned to your liking.  I remove it about 10 minutes before it’s done and brush with melted butter.  Return it to the oven to finish and you’ll have a beautiful crust.





Mike & Mike Jalapeno Poppers

Mike & Mike Jalapeno Poppers

We like mexican food, and experimenting with recipes.  So, we’re always looking to invent new recipes and steal some from friends (thanks Heather & Mike).

MB (for you new followers, that’s the hubster, Mike) has a hankerin for making variations of jalapeno poppers, stuffed jalapenos, etc.  We had these recently and have made them a few times since.  I’m sharing the method and ingredients for this version but obviously you can change them up as desired.  (Note….I can hear MB sneezing outside as he is grilling, due to the fact that I think he inhaled a little too much jala jala while cleaning them, even though he had on Connie-Recommended cheap, but critical, plastic gloves.)   Here’s the ingredients, minus the bacon, which I’ll introduce to you in a sec:


The making of the jala jalas!

I realized a little too late that I didn’t have any automatic (real) bacon bits, and knew we needed them, so I fried up a little bit of bacon, in my NEW GUY FIERI SKILLET.  @GuyFieri  I bought this little gem on the sale aisle while browsing on a weekend, and love it.  Bought a little bit bigger one also, and the first person that uses metal in one of these is MINE.  Well….in a nice way, of course.  Here’s the new addition to my cooking family:


Sorry, I just don’t spend a ton of money on expensive cookware, and I really like this….nice and heavy and cooks amazing.  Am going back for more!  These are my jalapeno friends, headed outside for a nice evening on the new Weber:


We also do several bacon wrapped versions, but these are a little easier and less messy (grease, etc.).   They key is the seasoning that Heather hooked us up with….McCormick’s Grill Mates Chipotle & Roasted Garlic seasoning salt.  Really good, and I’ve not tried it in other dishes, but I’m thinking some grilled chicken would be amazing!


The delicious final product!

Enjoy and don’t hesitate to add your own personal touch, as we do!

~Connie Kaye


Heather's Famous Jalapeno Poppers

  • Servings: depends on number of jalapenos
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1 Cup Whipped Cream Cheese Spread
1/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 tsp McCormick’s Grill Mates Chipotle & Roasted Garlic seasoning salt
1/8 cup (or more to taste) crumbled cooked bacon

Don some plastic gloves to wash, slice and remove veins and seeds from jalapenos.  Mix cream cheese and all other ingredients, then stuff jalapenos halves.  Place on grill proof baking sheet or foil pan and grill until cheese is melted and jalapenos are delightfully charred to taste.  Enjoy.

A new twist on BACON!

A new twist on BACON!

Everyone likes bacon, right???  Once in awhile for something different, or if having guests, I like to make this spiced bacon, and boy does it go over good!  You can even make it ahead and refrigerate, microwaving briefly when you’re ready to serve.  Adjust the cayenne to your liking, and voila, an easy and delicious treat!  Perfect for breakfast, brunch, or those times when breakfast seems like the perfect thing for dinner 🙂

Photo credit

Photo credit


Spiced Bacon Twists

  • Servings: 6-8
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1 C. packed light brown sugar
2 T. dry mustard
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (adjust to taste)
1 lb regular bacon (not thick sliced)

Mix dry ingredients together.  Press sugar mixture on both sides of each individual bacon strip, and twist several times.  Place on rack over foil lined baking sheet.  Bake 30 minutes at 350 degrees.  Let cool on additional plate or rack.

An Amazing (Chocolate) and Easy Dessert!

An Amazing (Chocolate) and Easy Dessert!

My career in higher education administration began at a community college that happened to be my alma mater, and one of the best things that happened during my time there (other than meeting my future husband), was meeting my friend Kari.    We embarked on many productive projects during our time there, many with some very significant, positive results.  (Hey…we invented on a whim)   I cannot remember which one of us came up with this, but we told someone one day that “fun follows us.”  That’s kind of stuck with us throughout the years and still remains true I’m proud to say.  Here’s my buddy Kari:

Kari west

Meet Kari!

I don’t get to see her often, but as with forever friends, we’re always there for the other person and when we do get time together, it’s like it was just yesterday.    She shared a recipe for Hot Fudge Pudding Cake that sounds really delicious, and I plan to make it soon.  Coming from the Hershey’s website, it cannot be anything BUT amazing.   Ironic that when I was little, you could buy this on the cake mix aisle – I cannot remember who made it, but it was really good and it frequently appeared in the Baker household.  So, no pic yet, but if you make it, please return to this page and leave your thoughts in the comment section below.   Enjoy!


Photo courtesy of

~Connie Kaye

Hot Fudge Pudding Cake

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1 ¼ C sugar, divided
1 C flour
½ cocoa, divided
2 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
½ C milk
1/3 C butter or marg, melted
1 ½ tsp vanilla extract (or I use the real thing)
½ C packed light brown sugar
1 ¼ C hot water
Whipped topping (optional)

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Combine ¾ cup granulated sugar, flour, ¼ cup cocoa, baking powder and salt.  Stir in milk, butter and vanilla, beat until smooth.

Spread batter in ungreased 9” square baking pan.  Stir together remaining ½ cup granulated sugar, brown sugar and remaining ¼ cup cocoa; sprinkle mixture evenly over batter.  Pour hot water over top, do not stir.

Baker 35 to 40 minutes or until center is almost set.  Remove from oven and let stand 15 minutes.  Serve in dessert dishes, spooning sauce from bottom of pan over the top.  (You can use a spoon to remove from the pan, and just flip it upside down in the dessert dish).  Garnish with whipped topping if desired.

The BEST Fried Rice Ever!!! Click here to save some $$$$

The BEST Fried Rice Ever!!!   Click here to save some $$$$

On an airplane once again, with time to share the yummy meal that we had after a long Monday following a really fun weekend.

We all know how easy it is to grab Chinese (or anything from the deli) to go from your local grocer.  And, it’s not really that expensive, so admittedly we do that occasionally.   However, we enjoyed grilling some amazingly delicious pork chops on Sunday night, and I made sure that at least one of them (they were big) was just seasoned with salt and pepper – MB gets a little crazy in the seasonings cabinet sometimes.  Well, all the time.   My game plan was to use the leftover pork chops to make pork fried rice on Monday night.  BTW – I love fried rice, especially with lots of crunchy onions, sweet carrots, scrambled eggs, etc., so I would rather make it than buy it.

The pork chops were out of this world so were the perfect starter to delicious pork fried rice.   One key step – I chop the pork into bite size pieces and then add at the very end just to warm it up.  Adding at the end ensures that you won’t cook the meat longer.

I did swing by the grocery store Chinese kitchen and scored some egg rolls and crab rangoon which bumped the price of my meal by $3.00!   I’ve shared the recipe below, and since I personally don’t like to drown out the flavors with soy sauce I go easy, and let my guests add to their liking.  The finished product……oh, and one other note.  I had a little bit left over, so I ate it for breakfast at 6 a.m.  Yummo!!!!  Here’s the finished product which I quickly inhaled:

fr rice

Pork Fried Rice


1 cup white rice
5 TBSP butter or margarine
1 C diced onions
1C diced carrots
2/3 C diced green onions
4 eggs

Cook rice according to package directions.  Melt butter in large skillet.  Add onions and carrots, sautéing until carrots are almost translucent, then add green onions.  Lightly grease another skillet and add beaten eggs.  Cook until scrambled.  Combine rice, veggies, eggs and pork, stirring well to warm pork.  Season to taste with salt, pepper and soy sauce.

Want juicier pineapple??


I didn’t learn this little trick until a few years ago, so if you’re way ahead of me, apologies.  A friend, Alyson (an awesome Occupational Therapy instructor), told me to twist, yes TWIST off the top of the pineapple.  (I had always chopped it off with a knife).  Like this:

photo 1

One  you have removed the top, show your pineapple how to do a headstand, and ask that it remains that way for an hour or so, like this:

photo 2

Turns out this allows all of the juices that have been sitting at the bottom redistribute, thus making the whole shebang tastier!  Much, much cheaper than buying already cut-up pineapple, and much better!