Monthly Archives: March 2016

No food in this post….but worth 5 minutes of your time!


Today I was honored by the Department of Defense and it was not only a huge surprise, but a shock.

You see, I have an employee in the Air Force National Guard who is being deployed to United Arab Emirates.  And they honor ME?  What about his guy, who is making unbelievable plans to leave for 6 months, leaving his job (albeit temporarily), his family, his wife, etc…  basically HIS LIFE to serve his country.  And they honor ME?

When he told me a few months ago, I said “well, we aren’t at war over there, so you should be safe.”  He respects me too much, I guess, to not have replied “DUH you dumb blonde”.  Instead, he said, Syria???  Oh crap was my reply.   In a staff meeting his fellow co-workers asked him to send pictures.  I kinda reminded them that he’s not going on vacation.

At any rate, I’ve posted a picture below of the plaque I was honored with today at our Kansas Technical Education Authority meeting.  The ESGR (Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve) unit in Kansas has recognized me for my support of Capt. Tincher (a.k.a. Eric) and the Kansas Board of Regents.  I’m still blown away.  He’s going to support our troops in Syria, and they honor ME?    Here’s the pic:

Today was about the military at the KS Board of Regents – check out @ksregents for more — we’ve done extensive work with Army University and articulating military training to specific college credit and there are a number of tweets about my presentation.

Thanks for stopping by — and don’t forget to thank those who serve.

~Connie Kaye




Frito Chili Pie Crescent Ring

Frito Chili Pie Crescent Ring

I ran across this recipe and did “my thing” to it to spice it up a bit.  And, with the meat/bean mixture left over, I did a tortilla stack for dinner last night.  Super easy, quick and economical!!!

I started with this:

then laid out my crescent rolls in a fan, like this:


I layered my bean/ground beef/roasted tomato mixture, and covered it with a mix of mexican-style shredded cheese.  Topped off with fritos and folded the pointy ends of the rolls over, tucking them underneath.  Brushing the top of the rolls with a beaten egg will help it brown nicely, with a very shiny pretty appearance.  Voila:


We dunked it in a little low fat sour cream and it was a crunchy, gooey delight!


Frito Chili Pie Crescent Ring

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  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 3 tbsp taco seasoning
  • 1 tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 can roasted dice tomatoes, juices drained
  • 1 can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 tubes crescent roll dough
  • 1/2 – 3/4 c. shredded Mexican cheese
  • 1 small bag Fritos (or other corn chips)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  1. Brown ground beef in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add taco seasoning and chili powder. Use a wooden spoon to break up meat and mix in seasonings. Cook until browned and drain excess juices.
  2. Add roasted diced tomatoes and pinto beans and mix to combine. Set aside.
  3. Unroll crescent roll dough, separating each triangle. Arrange in a sunburst pattern, with pointy ends of the triangles facing outward (the base of the triangles should overlap).
  4. Spread ground beef mixture over triangle bases, forming a ring. Sprinkle cheese on top of meat, then top with Fritos, preferably crumbled.
  5. Fold triangle tips over filling (there will be gaps where meat and cheese peeks out between crescent roll triangles). Brush the top of dough with beaten egg.
  6. Bake until dough has turned lightly golden and cheese has melted, about 20 minutes at 375 degrees.


Chicken Mushroom Lasagna


The price and ease of a rotisserie chicken makes chicken creations very attractive in our busy lives.  This recipe was shared with me by a very good friend, Betty!  Meet Betty:


Ignore the fact that her hubster has on that goofy looking hat – he goes all out to celebrate a holiday!   They live in Iowa and we look forward to lake weekends, as well as a few other events throughout the “non boating” season to hang out together.  They even come to Chiefs games and are Royals fans – enough said 🙂

I’ll share her recipe, although I don’t have a picture of it – apologies.  It’s one of those that I personally think is even better the next day for lunch, leftovers, etc.   Hope you enjoy like we have!

~Connie Kaye

Chicken Mushroom Lasagna

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Make mushroom sauce first:
Melt 3 tbsp butter in skillet or saucepan and saute 1/2 cup chopped onion and 1/2 cup chopped green or red pepper.  Add 1 can cream of chicken soup, 1/3 cup milk, small can sliced mushrooms, 1/4 c drained chopped pimentos (optional) and 1/2 tsp basil.  Cook and stir until smooth.

8 oz. lasagna noodles, (no cook variety)
3 cups diced cooked chicken
1 1/2 cups small curd cottage cheese
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
8 oz. shredded cheddar cheese

In greased 13 x 9 dish, place half the noodles in the bottom.  Cover with half of each:  mushroom sauce, cottage cheese, chicken, parmesan cheese and shredded cheese.  Repeat layers.  Bake for 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

Fresh Asparagus Risotto


I had never made risotto until last fall, but if you have a little extra time to devote, it’s really amazing.  I adapted this recipe from Rice Select arborio rice, which is risotto.  If you don’t know what arborio rice is, here ya go — little pasta thingys that look like rice.  They turn really smooth and creamy with whatever you throw in with them.  Not hard to make, and I encourage you to give it a whirl.

I bought fresh asparagus and of course, had to try it while I was chopping – so sweet and delicious.   I’ll be buying more soon for roasting on the grill or other recipes.  Here’s the final product:

a risotto

Have patience and it’s worth it, plus whatever white wine doesn’t go into the risotto, drink it 🙂   Hope you enjoy, and if you have variations, please share in the comment section below.   And, if you like this recipe, try my Mushroom and Pea version.   Like what you see here?  If you’re not following my blog, enter your email address and you’ll have some easy dishes delivered right to your inbox.  Thanks, and keep cooking!

~Connie Kaye

Fresh Asparagus Risotto

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3 cups water
2 cups chicken stock or broth
3 tbsp butter or margarine, divided
1 lb. fresh asparagus spears, with the woody root ends snapped off, diagonally sliced into 1 inch pieces
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 1/2 cups uncooked arborio rice
1/3 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Heat water and broth in 2 qt saucepan over medium heat until it comes to a simmer.  Reduce heat to low and keep warm.  Meanwhile, melt 2 tbsp butter in large saucepan over medium heat; add asparagus and cook until tender crisp.  Remove asparagus; set aside.

In same saucepan, cook onion in remaining 1 tbsp butter until soft.  Add rice and stir 2 to 3 minutes, careful not to burn.  Add wine; stir until absorbed.  (drink rest of wine)  Increase heat to medium high; stir in 1 cup water-broth mixture.  Cook uncovered, stirring frequently until liquid is absorbed.  Continue this process, one cup at a time, allowing each cup to absorb before adding more liquid.  (you may need more wine at this point)  Cook until rice is tender and mixture has a creamy consistency, a total of 25-30 minutes.

Stir in asparagus, cream, cheese, salt and pepper.  Stir until mixture is creamy, about 2 to 3 minutes.  Serve immediately, and refrigerate any leftovers.

Ham and Gruyere Quiche

Ham and Gruyere Quiche

I love quiche and gruyere is one my favorite cheeses, although pretty darn pricey, but I thought I’d take a shot at this recipe, adapted from Food Network Magazine.  I took it to work and it was a hit, so thought I might share here.  Super easy, and you don’t have to sell the farm to buy the gruyere…I just bought a small container of it shredded which wasn’t too bad.

quiche 1

I used a frozen pie crust, although I like the ones you unroll from a box better.  Notice the container of apple smoked gruyere is empty – I’m a cheese freak so I took care of the extra.  Whipped it up and in 30 minutes, ready to roll.  Finished product:



~Connie Kaye

Ham and Gruyere Quiche

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1 cup diced smoked ham
1 cup shredded gruyere cheese (about 4 oz)
1 9 inch pie crust, thawed if frozen, or ready-made out of box
3 large eggs
1 1/4 cups half and half
Minced onion to taste (optional)
Handful of fresh or dried chives
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 425 degrees and place a baking sheet on the middle oven rack.  Scatter the ham and cheese in the bottom of the pie crust, and onion if you are including it.  In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, half and half, chives and season well with salt and a few grinds of pepper; pour into the crust.  Transfer to hot baking sheet and bake until the eggs are set and the top is lightly browned, about 30 minutes.

Place on rack to cool a little; can be served immediately or refrigerated.




Yummy Potato Casserole


This is not your traditional tater casserole.  Nothing healthy about it, but with Easter approaching, I wanted to share as it would be a delicious addition to your meal.

Keep in mind that this casserole may use shredded frozen potatoes and cheddar cheese, but you use HEAVY CREAM – nope, no canned soup in this baby.  I now use only sharp cheddar but you could go with your favorite.  And, for those of you who want to make it and leave it, I’m pretty sure a slow cooker would work on this.


Happy St. Patty’s Day, and enjoy!

~Connie Kaye

Potato Casserole

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4 cups shredded hash brown potatoes
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
salt and pepper
1 1/2 heavy cream
Optional:  thinly sliced or minced onion

Alternate layers of potatoes and cheese (and onion, if using), using salt and pepper to taste.  One you have all of the taters and cheese in casserole dish, pour cream over it.  Bake at 350 degrees for 45 min covered, then remove lid and continue for another 10-15 minutes uncovered so cheese is bubbly.


A New Twist on Spaghetti (with yard bird)


You might wonder what yard bird is — at my house, that is what chicken is referred to by the hub.  We still eat it but probably not as much as I would like.  However, this little invention is pretty amazing.  Again, with most of my chicken recipes you can boil the chicken and use the broth, or just buy a roasted chicken at your local grocery store.  If you do the latter, be sure that you buy chicken stock, not broth, as the flavor is much richer.  There’s a restaurant in KC that serves a similar dish, and it’s amazing.  So, this is kind of my copycat.


~Connie Kaye


Creamy Chicken Spaghetti

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1 whole raw chicken cut into pieces, or a roasted chicken
1 pound thin spaghetti, broken in half
2 cans cream of mushroom soup, or 1 cr. chicken/1 cr. mushroom
2.5 cups grated cheddar
8 oz. fresh mushrooms, sliced
1/3 cup white wine
1/4 cup each diced green and red bell pepper
1 medium onion, diced
1 tsp seasoned salt
1/8 to 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

If using fresh chicken, bring large pot of water to boil.  Add the chicken and boil for a few minutes, then return to medium-low and simmer, 30 to 45 minutes.  Remove the chicken and 2 cups of the broth.  When the chicken is cool, remove the skin and pick out a mix of dark and white meat to make about 2 cups.

If purchasing a rotisserie chicken, pick a mixture of white and dark meat to total about 2 cups.

Cook the spaghetti in either the same chicken broth as you cooked the chicken in, or a combination chicken stock and water, salted well.  Cook to al dente state, and do not overcook.  Combine the cooked, drained spaghetti, mushrooms, chicken, mushroom soup, 1.5 cups cheese, the peppers, onions, seasoned salt, wine, cayenne and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Stir in one cup of chicken broth or stock.

Place mixture in greased casserole and top with remaining 1 cup cheese.  Cover and freeze up to 6 months, cover and refrigerate for a couple of days, or cook immediately about 45 minutes.  If the cheese starts to get too brown, cover with foil





An EASY, yet fancy dessert!


I LOVE creme brulee — actually, I love custard-type desserts.  I don’t make them often, but dinner at a friend’s house called for a little yummo action.

I wanted to share this super easy recipe, because it’s not at all complicated, and many of them are.  Vanilla beans – pish, posh — real vanilla (mine’s from Mexico) and some Grand Marnier and you’re good to go.  I also have the little kitchen torch, but if nobody’s looking, just grab your grill lighter and it will work in a real pinch 🙂

creme brulee

Give it a try – you’ll be glad you did!  Happy Friday Friends!

~Connie Kaye

Creme Brulee

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1 extra-large egg  (large eggs work fine)
4 extra-large egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar, plus 1 tablespoon for each serving
3 cups heavy cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon orange liqueur (recommended: Grand Marnier)

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the egg, egg yolks, and 1/2 cup of the sugar together on low speed until just combined. Meanwhile, scald the cream in a small saucepan until it’s very hot to the touch but not boiled (be careful that you don’t end up with scrambled eggs). With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the cream to the eggs. Add the vanilla and orange liqueur and pour into ramekins or small custard dishes until almost full.

Place the ramekins in a baking pan and carefully pour boiling water into the pan to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the custards are set when gently shaken (they get kinda bubbly on top). Remove the custards from the water bath, cool to room temperature, and refrigerate until firm.

To serve, spread 1 tablespoon of sugar evenly on the top of each ramekin and heat with a kitchen blowtorch until the sugar carmelizes evenly. Allow to sit at room temperature for a minute until the caramelized sugar hardens.