Monthly Archives: June 2015

Bacon Jalapeno Deviled Eggs

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You’ve probably determined by now that we like fairly spicy food.  So, when I ran across an idea to incorporate bacon and jala jala’s into deviled eggs, I thought the idea sounded fab!  And I try new things at strange times of the year – for example, I believe I first made these at Christmas.  I think most normal people make deviled eggs for picnics or in the summer –  not me!  I cook things when the mood strikes!  With the 4th of July festivities approaching quickly, I thought this would be a great time to share.

One trick that you already probably know, when boiling eggs, is once they have finished the process, place them in cold water.  This makes the egg shell much easier to remove.  I actually continue with the cold water and then promptly remove shells.

Mix all ingredients together, then stuff your eggs.  I also like to sprinkle a little paprika very lightly for color when all finished. Refrigerate until ready to eat.  Yum!

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Photo courtesy food.com

~Connie Kaye

Bacon Jalapeno Deviled Eggs

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Ingredients

  • 12 large eggs, hard boiled and peeled
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1½ tsp rice vinegar
  • ¾ tsp ground mustard
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • 2 jalapenos, seeded and chopped
  • 6 pieces bacon, cooked, crisp

Cook eggs, peel, slice in half and remove yolks.  Combine all ingredients and stuff eggs.

Easy Enchilada Sauce

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Listen, I’ve had a ton of Mexican cookbooks that found their way to a garage sale or some other demise.  If I have never heard of the ingredients that are in a recipe, probably not going to happen.  There’s a lot of peppers and spices, etc., that would be really good, but I don’t have time!  So, I ran across this recipe for homemade enchilada sauce and it is sooo good.  And EASY.  And, I’ve even frozen it.

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Imagine delicious mexican food/enchiladas, and I think you can be with me on this!  It takes no time and is a lot better than the canned stuff.  So, check out the recipe below, and thanks for reading!!!!

~Connie Kaye

Easy Enchilada Sauce

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Ingredients:

3 TBSP vegetable oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 TBSP flour
One 29-oz can tomato sauce
1 TBSP chili powder
2 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 1/2 tsp salt

In a medium saucepan, heat the oil over medium-high heat.  Add onion and cook until softened.  Stir in the flour and cook for 2 minutes.  Whisk in 1 1/2 cups water and the tomato sauce, chili powder, cumin and salt.  Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes.

Upside Down Apple Pie

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Summer is a fantastic time for apple pie.  Well, actually anytime is good for apple pie.  This recipe appeared originally in a Taste of Home magazine (credits below).  Although it sounds a little weird and complicated, it’s really simple and your guests will love you forever!

Start with a 9” pie plate and coat it with cooking spray.  Line the pie plate with parchment paper, and coat IT with cooking spray.

Now I’m not going to share how to make a pie crust.  I’ve NEVER made one and don’t intend to start now.  I good friend, Jeannie, gave me a wonderful pie plate and the recipe for crust for a wedding present, but I gotta tell you, that pie plate has made many dishes but never a pie.  (sorry Jeannie)  The boxed ones are so simple and fit into my life WAY better!

Combine your brown sugar, butter and pecans and sprinkle on parchment paper (told you this a little odd).  You can use either halved pecans with the round side down, or chopped, whichever you have handy and prefer.  Take one of your handy, dandy pie crusts that have softened, and press into bottom of pie plate, against pecans and up the side.  Trim crust.

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IMG_0506 Crust pressed against pecans, ready for apple mixture!

 Combine remaining ingredients, throw in your pie plate, top with crust, seal edges and slit the top.  You’re ready to roll, and closer to Upside Down Apple Pie.

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Once your hot dish of deliciousness is done, loosen parchment paper around the edges, flip ‘er upside down on serving plate, and let it cool while you get out your fine china (paper plates.)  Serve with or without ice cream.  Yum Yum Yum.  I hope you enjoy as much as we do.  Making this for the kids and in-laws tomorrow.  I think they will be happy happy!

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Thanks Becky Berger, Deerfield, Illinois for this delicious recipe!

~Connie Kaye

Upside Down Apple Pie

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Ingredients:

PECANS:
½ Cup packed brown sugar
¼ Cup melted butter
1 Cup pecans

FILLING:
1 Cup sugar
1/3 cup flour
2 TBSP butter, melted
¼ tsp cinnamon
4-6 cups peeled, thinly sliced tart apples (depends on size of pie plate)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Spray pie plate with cooking spray.  Line plate (sides and bottom) with parchment paper.  Spray parchment paper with cooking spray.

Combine pecans, butter and brown sugar.  Line bottom of pie plate with pecan mixture.  Trim edges.    Assuming your boxed pie crust is softened, place over pecan mixture, pressing firmly against the pecans and sides of pie plate.  Combine filling ingredients and place in crust.  Trim edges and seal crust.  Cut several slits in top of pie crust with sharp knife.  Place a foil lined baking sheet on the rack below the pie to catch any spills.  Bake for 60-70 minutes or until golden brown.  Carefully loosen the parchment paper and invert on serving plate.  Let cool for 15 minutes before serving.

Lasagna “Soup”

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When my kids were growing up, I wasn’t able to be very creative in the kitchen because 1.  Too busy outside keeping up with the animals and helping my kids in the arena, and teaching full time, and 2. They weren’t into creative Connie cooking.   However, I’m so tickled that as my daughter has grown up, she now has my love of cooking and is creating some delicious meals.  Together with my husband, they encouraged me into the creation of Connie Kaye’s Kitchen.   (I would share son Brice’s stew, but have NO idea how he made it.)  At her Ohio wedding reception:

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Brandi shared this recipe with me last fall, and it’s really delicious.  I’m really not sure that I call it soup, but even though it’s summer, it’s delicious and you can throw it in the crockpot and have a meal ready when you get home.  Or, in my case, a meal ready back at the dock.   I encourage you to be creative and adjust to your crowds liking.

I hope you enjoy her recipe, and you can visit her blog here.

~Connie Kaye

Lasagna Soup

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Ingredients:

1 lb ground beef (I have used 1/2 beef and 1/2 pork and it’s really good too)
1 onion chopped (I use a medium sized onion)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp thyme
1 tbsp. firmly packed brown sugar (I have a sweet tooth so I double it)
1- 32 oz box of chicken broth
2 can (14.5) diced tomatoes
1 15 oz can tomato sauce
2 tsp Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp salt
2 c. broken lasagna noodles
1 5 oz package grated parmesan
2 c. shredded mozz cheese

In large heavy bottom pot, combine beef, onion , garlic and cook over medium-high heat for 8-10 minutes or until beef is browned. Stirring occasionally. Drain well.

Stir in thyme, sugar, broth, tomatoes, tomato sauce, Italian seasoning and salt. Bring to boil over medium-high heat, reduce & simmer for 20 minutes. Add noodles and stir until tender. Stir in parmesan cheese.

Put soup in ovenproof bowls and sprinkle with mozzarella. Broil until cheese is melted to desirable level.

 

 

 

Chocolate Cracker Candy

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We actually call this Christmas Crack because I first made it in December, and it’s really good, and it’s on saltine crackers.  However, give these a whirl and your friend population will RISE!!!!  And if you don’t want to share, keep within the fam and everyone will totally enjoy it!  You can also customize with toppings, but I stick with toasted nuts.  I mean toasted pecans 🙂

I am sure you all have your favorite brand of saltine crackers, but we are cracker snobs, just as I shared that I’m a Hellman’s mayonnaise snob.  ZESTAS.  They are the total bomb.  I used to think that they are all the same, but at the Beene ranch, we consume Zestas.  (they really should sponsor me or something).

So back to the chocolate treats.  I don’t always toast the pecans when the recipe dictates, but in this case, I really do recommend it.  You get a much deeper, nutty flavor.  Just be super careful that you don’t burn them.

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Oh so yummy, and you will never believe they are saltine crackers!

This pic shows the batch I made with almonds, but I actually favor pecans more.  However, you can use either and even experiment with other toppings.  (like peanut butter things…which I’m not a fan of, so I refuse to discuss it because this is MY blog) 🙂

I am really pumped up because all the kids will be in my casa this weekend, so I plan to make some for them to take home.  The votes are currently out to them as to what they want for their home cooked meal, so I don’t know what that looks like now.  However, I’ll probably brew up several favorites!  Enjoy!

~Connie Kaye

Chocolate Cracker Candy

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Ingredients:

35 (approx) saltine crackers
1 cup butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
12 oz. semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped pecans, toasted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line 15 x 10 x 1″ pan with foil, and spray with nonstick cooking spray.  Arrange saltines in single layer on foil, keeping them as close together as possible.

In large heavy saucepan, melt butter and stir in brown sugar.  Bring to a boil; cook and stir until brown sugar is dissolved – about 3 to 4 minutes.  Spread evenly over crackers.  Bake 8-10 minutes or until bubbly.   Immediately sprinkle with chocolate chips and allow to soften for a few minutes.  Spread over top with a spatula.  Sprinkle with pecans and allow to cool briefly.  Refrigerate, until set.  Break into pieces and store in airtight container.

To toast pecans:  Place chopped pecans on baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes until lightly toasted, stirring occasionally.

 

Taco Seasoning – your way!

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I’m way way far removed from being a health nut.  However since we eat a lot of Mexican food, and therefore I purchase a lot of taco seasoning, I looked around to see how to make my own since I don’t really like the packaged flavor.  There’s a whole bunch of crap in packaged seasoning, so I figured I had nothing to lose if I just made my own.  Result:  yum!  FYI – I have a really delicious simple recipe for enchilada sauce I’ll share soon!

BTW – this is an amazing Friday, and am sitting here on the dock blogging away.  It’s a little rainy but weather beautiful.  Here’s my “house”:

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My floating home!

You can add heat as you desire, but this is really good, and lot cheaper if you love Mexican food as we do!

~Connie Kaye

Taco Seasoning

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Ingredients:

1 TBSP Chili Powder
1/4 tsp. Garlic Powder
1/4 tsp Onion Powder
1/4 tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
1/4 tsp Dried Oregano
1/2 tsp Paprika
1.5 tsp Ground Cumin
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Black Pepper (optional)

Whisk all ingredients and store in airtight container.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grilled Peaches!

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I love love love grilled pineapple – it brings out the sweetness and flavor.  Oh so yum.  We tried grilled watermelon in salsa last year, but I wasn’t a fan.  HOWEVER, you take a peach, throw it on the grill, dress it up and WOW.  It will knock your socks off, if you happen to be wearing any.

I bought a few peaches – not smushy but fairly ripe.  Cut them in half with little help from my (our) friends (Beatles song 🙂 :

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Gab and Gen here to assist (and taste)!

I removed the pits and then sprayed with a little bit of “it’s not really butter but tastes like it”.  We put them face down on the grill:

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Peaches chillin’ on the grillin’

and then grilled until soft (NOT mushy..I despise mushy food) and had nice grill marks, like this:

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Peaches on fancy “Beene china”

We then added a little spray of fake butter, and sprinkled on some brown sugar and just a touch of cinnamon.  Back to the grill, my little delights!

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Close the lid with the grill off and let the brown sugar melt.  We brought our little gems in the house, drooling.  DELECTABLE.  We thought MB might like them with a spoon of ice cream, and, well, no words to explain it.  They are really good without the ice cream – that’s how my helpers and I ate them.  I’ll be making this at the lake this summer.  Nothing easier and more delicious!

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Enjoy!

~Connie Kaye

Grilled Peaches

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Ingredients:

Peaches
Brown sugar
Cinnamon
Margarine

Cut peaches in half, and remove pits.  Oh yeah, you might wanna wash them also.  Brush or spray with butter, and place on low temp grill, face down.  Grill until soft, but not smushy.  Sprinkle about a TBSP of brown sugar in the well of the peach, and around the top, and then lightly add a cinnamon sprinkle.  Back to the grill, face up with grill off.  Sugar melts and delish!  Eat as is, or serve with vanilla ice cream.

 

Pizza……on the grill!

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We like to grill.  A.  Lot.  So I could take the really homemade route and make the pizza dough from scratch.  However, I opt for the ready-made wonders that you can find anywhere, and I typically buy the crispy version.  Here’s my ingredients that I assembled:

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Pepperoni, sausage, cheese, black olives, mushrooms, canadian bacon, etc.  Yep, we’re meat lovers.  So when we bought our house, our realtor failed to tell us that it came with awesome neighbors.  I ended up with a helper last night, my buddy Gab, who I quickly put to work with kitchen shears (what, she said, are these???) to cut up the canadian bacon:

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Meet Gab (a.k.a. The Gabster)

I then had the girls assemble their mini pizzas while the grill warmed up:

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This is a fun way to personalize your own food, and everybody gets exactly what they want.  To cook the pizzas, get your grill nice and hot, then oil the grates (we use a vegetable oil-soaked paper towel and rub the grates using tongs).  Once you’re ready to cook the pizzas, turn one side off and cook the pizzas on that side checking the bottom crust frequently to make sure they don’t burn.  Here’s the finished product that I ate:

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My yummy finished product!

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Looks like my cooking partner in crime liked her pizza!

Enjoy your pizza, and summer outside with friends and family!

~Connie Kaye

Pizza On The Grill

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Ingredients:

Packaged pizza crust
Pizza sauce
Your choice of toppings
Mozzarella or Italian blend cheese

Preheat grill, and oil grates.  Lightly brush pizza crust with olive oil, then layer sauce cheese and toppings.  Turn off one side of the grill, or turn to very lowest setting.  Grill, watching bottom crust so that it doesn’t burn while the toppings melt.  Remove with tongs and serve with grated mozzarella and crushed red pepper, if desired.

 

 

 

Chocolate Covered Strawberries – Sooo easy!

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It took me about 1/2 my life thus far to even TRY a chocolate covered strawberry.  I couldn’t figure out how the two flavors would mesh.  WOWSER what I was missing!  I like the dark chocolate  but semi-sweet chocolate works just as well.  Up to your individual taste.  Here’s what goodness looks like:

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I couldn’t help but show how you the end product first.  Cannot wait to eat them, and I started like this:

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Clean strawberries

Plan ahead a little bit – wash your strawberries and them pat them dry a few times with new paper towels, then air dry.  If they aren’t dry, your chocolate will not be their friend.  Either melt your chocolate on LOW in a double boiler or microwave, stirring occasionally.  I would like to say dunk them by their stems, but that doesn’t always work so swell for me – you can always stick a toothpick in the top.  Dunk and twirl, dunk and twirl, etc.  You get the pic.  So, I just gotta admit, I’m going to take a break and cheer for the 16.1 hand colt that all of America is praying will win.  AND HE DID!  After a 37 year hiatus, we have a Triple Crown Winner!

I assembled my “supplies” and got started after the strawberries were dry:

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After refrigerating, I melted some white chocolate and being too lazy to seek out my piping bag, I put it in a small sandwich bag and then snipped the corner.  I piped it around on them to make them pretty, then back to the fridge to set up.  Enjoy!

~Connie Kaye

Chocolate Covered Strawberries

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Ingredients:

Strawberries, rinsed and dried
Dark or semi-sweet chocolate
White chocolate for drizzling

Rinse and dry strawberries.  Melt chocolate over low in a double boiler or melt in microwave, stirring part way through.  Swirl and dip strawberries then place on waxed paper.  Melt white chocolate and drizzle over strawberries; place back in fridge.

Roasted Radishes

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The only time I’ve ever eaten radishes is with them dunked in mayo.  Hellman’s, that is.  Yep, I’m a mayonnaise snob.  However, I ran across this recipe and was a little skeptical.  MB and I speculated as to whether these might end up in File 13 quickly.  However, they were amazing.  The radishes take on a sweet flavor and are too the moon.  So, they’re easy and I encourage you to give them a whirl – you will probably be pleasantly surprised!  Enjoy!

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Photo courtesy of allrecipes.com

 

~Connie Kaye

Roasted Radishes

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Ingredients:

Radishes
Butter or margarine
Salt & pepper

Heat butter in a skillet over low heat; arrange radishes, cut side-down, in the melted butter. Season with salt and black pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until radishes are browned and softened, about 10 minutes.