Author Archives: Connie Kaye

Need a delicious snack for guests (or yourself)?

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Need a delicious snack for guests (or yourself)?

Food Network magazine recently featured a BBQ spiced nuts recipe so we thought we might give it a whirl for the holidays.  WOW  That’s all I got!  I finally put a dish of them away or nobody else is going to experience these delish morsels.  And, the best part is that they are super easy.

Note that there are a couple of different types of paprika — we didn’t have those, just a spanish paprika that we use to make barbeque rub, and just used one total tablespoon although the recipe calls for 2.

This would also be great to gift to friends and family.    HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

~Connie Kaye

Barbeque-Spiced Nuts

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Ingredients:

NUTS
1.5 cups pecans
1.5 cups honey-roasted peanuts
1 cup salted roasted almonds

SPICE MIX
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tbsp sweet paprika
1 tbsp smoked paprika (we just used 1 tbsp regular paprika, and it really isn’t spicy)
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp mustard powder
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.  Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.

Whisk 1 egg white in a large bowl until frothy.  Add the nuts and stir until evenly coated.  Add the spice mix and toss to coat.  Spread the nuts in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet.  Bake, stirring occasionally, until toasted and just dry, about 25 minutes.

Let the nuts cool completely on the baking sheet (they will crisp as they cool).  Break up any clusters.

 

A couple of easy peasy salads for your turkey day table…..

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A couple of easy peasy salads for your turkey day table…..

Not sure why I’ve not posted these recipes — they are two of my most requested.  My fantastic mother-in-law introduced me to the Oriental Crunch Salad, and my brother won’t let me come for Thanksgiving lunch if I don’t bring the Pineapple-Cranberry Salad.  I love CRUNCH, and these salads live up to the challenge.  It’s not too late to serve to loved ones on your Thanksgiving table tomorrow (or whenever you gather for the holiday)!

Happy Thanksgiving!

~Connie Kaye

Oriental Crunch Salad

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Ingredients:

1 16oz. bag shredded coleslaw mix
6 green onions, chopped (with greens)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup oil
1/4  cup tarragon vinegar
1 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1 cup sunflower seeds
2 pkg ramen noodles, flavor packets discarded
1 stick butter

Mix together the shredded cabbage and chopped green onions.  Set aside.

Mix sugar, oil, vinegar and soy sauce together.  Stir/shake well until sugar is dissolved.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.  (I do this in a jar and shake the heck out of it)

Brown almonds, sunflower seeds and ramen noodles in margarine or butter.  Drain on paper towels and store in plastic bag until ready to serve.  Careful not to burn

You can make everything ahead of time.  Keep separate until about 15 minutes before serving time.  Put the crunchies over the slaw and pour the dressing over all.  Stir well.

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Pineapple Cranberry Salad

Pineapple-Cranberry Salad

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Ingredients:

1 can (20 oz) crushed pineapple (undrained)
2 pkg (4 serving size) raspberry flavored jello
1 can (16 oz) whole cranberry sauce
1 red apple, choppedf
2/3 cup chopped pecans

Drain pineapple, reserving juice. Add enough cold water to juice to measure 3 cups; pour into saucepan.  Bring to boil; remove from heat.  Add jello mix and stir for 2 minutes or until dissolved.  Stir in cranberry sauce.  Pour into serving bowl, and refrigerate for 1.5 hours or until slightly thickened.

Stir in pineapple, apples and pecans.  Refrigerate until firm.  Yummo!

 

One of the best side dishes ever…..

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One of the best side dishes ever…..

I just recently realized that some of my favorite go-to’s never make an appearance here, so I want to share one of the most requested side dishes from our family and friends.

As I’ve mentioned, my parents were in the restaurant business in Kansas City, and I think they were friends with the then-owners of Stephenson’s Apple Farm.  I believe this recipe for Broccoli Rice Cheese Casserole originated from their Green Rice.  It’s super easy and sooo amazingly delicious.  The recipe below makes a 13 x 9 pan, but I usually cut it in half and that works great in an 8 x 8 or 9 x 9 pan.  In any case, I know you will love it!

Happy Thanksgiving!

~Connie Kaye

Broccoli Rice Cheese Casserole

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Ingredients:

1 bag chopped broccoli
2 cans cream of celery soup
16 oz. cheese whiz
1 stick margarine or butter
1/4 cup diced onion
1 soup can milk
1.5 cups uncooked rice
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease or spray 13 x 9 pan.  Stir all ingredients together and cook for 45 min to 1 hour.  Note:  about 1/2 way through the cooking time, I give it a stir as everything is starting to melt.

Hey all you smokers out there….

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Hey all you smokers out there….

meat smokers, that is!  If you’re lookin to change it up a bit for the holidays, I’ve got the deal for you.  We aren’t huge turkey eaters – usually dry…you know the story.  However, while I was out of town last week, Mike, the hubster, did a little research and found a smoked turkey recipe on the Traeger site.  He shared it with me, and my only thought was, ok, this sounds good, but we need to do a trial run before we launch it on everyone at Christmas.

So, today was the day.  We actually started watching the (horrible) KC Chiefs game and half way through, ate wings right off the smoker.  We tried some sauce that we scored in St. Louis last weekend (you might have seen a recent post that we were there for a wedding) which is from a restaurant called Syberg’s.  (Actually, I think we have met the owner at the lake; he’s a friend of a friend, Bob Wood, a.k.a Woody, and I believe he’s been on our dock before).  We joined our friends, Nick and Katie, for lunch, and they said they sell it in the grocery store, so we bought some before we left town – a couple different kinds.  If you have a chance to eat there, do it.  Delish!  And, the plus is that they have TV’s everywhere, and posted on the TV is the NFL game that will be broadcast on that particular TV that day.  I’ve watched a lot of football in sports bars, and that’s a new, albeit very convenient, idea!!!

OK, so back to the turkey.  Mike took the Traeger recipe and changed it up a bit, and it’s amazing.  We will definitely be doing this at Christmas, along with tri tip on the smoker as well.  Note that we did this on a pellet smoker, instead of the big wood smoker (easier) so adjust as you need to.  This is it before going under the knife:

turkey

Two turkey breasts, awaiting the knife and consumption!

So, so delicious.  We gave half to our friends, and will have leftovers this week.

From our family to yours, we wish you a safe and Happy Thanksgiving!

~Connie Kaye

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Ingredients:

MEAT
We used a bone-in turkey breast (leave skin on)

Brine
1 gallon water
3 TBSP minced garlic
2 TBSP worcestershire sauce
3/4 cup canning & pickling sauce
3 TBSP brown sugar
2 TBSP cajun seasoning

Cover and brine for 1-2 days.  Following brining, remove and pat dry.

Mix 1/2 cup soft butter and 1.5 cups spicy BBQ sauce (we used Traeger Texas Spicy Sauce- yum).  Rub this under the skin and all over the turkey breasts.

Set smoker at 225 degrees, and cook for 2 to 2.5 hours — until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.  Baste with remaining butter/BBQ sauce every 30 minutes or so.  Once it hits the desired temperature, remove from smoker and let rest for 15 minutes or so.

Carve and enjoy!

A new jewelry option…..

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Nope, no food in this post.  Just sharing a very cool option in personalized jewelry.  Click here   to find out about a new collection, KEEP.  Super cute, personalized, inspirational jewelry that is customized to YOU!

Brandi Buzzard-Frobose has launched this and she (and I – she’s my daughter :)) hope that you’ll pop over and take a looksey.  Here’s her most recent piece:

jewelry

For Brandi, this bracelet has a tree is to remember her roots, the mom is to remind her to be a good role model for Oakley and the arrow is a reminder to follow her arrow/goals/dream.  

Rumor has it there’s an early Black Friday sale happening, so start your holiday shopping now!    Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving!

~Connie Kaye

Introducing…Mr & Mrs Kyle Wood!

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Introducing…Mr & Mrs Kyle Wood!

Mike and I spent the weekend in St. Louis with many of our wonderful friends, celebrating the marriage of two amazing people!  Meet Kyle and Erin, a.k.a Mr. & Mrs. Kyle Wood:

Mr & Mrs Kyle Wood

We have been lucky to gather a wide array of friends during our time at the Lake of the Ozarks, and Kyle’s dad, Woody is one of the best!  We all complain about the money we spend on boating, repairs, etc., but there’s nothing that can replace the friendships that we’ve developed as a result of our time at the lake.

I featured my friend Erin earlier on this blog, as she is an amazing cook.  So, I’m going to link to her  Delicious Cornbread Cake with Chicken

Yes, it could possibly be carb overload, but so delicious.  Warning, mine didn’t look near as good as Erin’s, but it certainly was consumed!

Congratulations Kyle & Erin, and your families!   Much love coming your way as you start your married life together!

~Connie Kaye (and Mike)

P.S.  If you would like to receive email updates along with 395 other people, including new ideas and recipes, please sign up with no risk of me sharing your personal information!

An easy, delish crockpot meal….

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I love shrimp, and one of our very faves is Crockpot Shrimp Creole:

shrimp creole

It cooks in 3 hours, and the ingredients are probably items you have on hand already!  The simple instructions are below, and we’ll be having this for dinner tonight, after a CHIEFS win!!!

~Connie Kaye

Shrimp Creole

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Ingredients:

2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup diced green bell peppers
1/2 cup diced onions
1/2 cup diced celery
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 (14-ounces) can tomatoes
1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
1 tablespoon hot sauce
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon white sugar
Salt and pepper
1 1/2 pounds peeled and deveined shrimp
Green onions, for garnish
Preheat crock pot on high.
In fry pan, heat olive oil. Add peppers, onions and celery. Cook until softened. Add chili powder and saute until caramelized. Remove from heat and pour into crock pot. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, hot sauce, Worcestershire, white sugar, salt and pepper.
Cook for 3 hours. Add shrimp and cook for about 3 minutes. Serve over rice. Top with chopped green onions.

Who doesn’t like Shrimp (and ceviche)??

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I’ve just realized that I’ve not posted some of my best go-to recipes.  So, I’m going to work on that.  However, preparing for an upcoming get together, I am making Shrimp Ceviche this weekend, and wanted to share this amazing recipe.  My wonderful, very long time friend Brenda gave me this recipe, so shout out to you my amazing friend.

Nope, I don’t have a pic at this point, but it’s delicious!  And E.A.S.Y. which is key in my life!  Note…I serve it in one of those huge martini glasses…makes it even cooler!

Shrimp Ceviche

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Ingredients:

1 pound ready to eat shrimp, peeled and deveined
Juice of 2 lemons
Juice of 2 limes
Juice of 2 oranges
1 cup diced seeded peeled cucumber (1/4-inch dice)
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
2 serrano chiles, seeded and finely chopped
1 cup diced seeded tomato
1 avocado, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
1 tablespoon roughly chopped cilantro leaves, plus more leaves for garnish
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Preparation
Chop the shrimp into 1/2-inch pieces and place in a medium nonreactive bowl. Add lemon, lime and orange juice. Stir in remaining ingredients, cover and chill for one hour before serving.  Enjoy!

 

Mystery solved….what to do with leftover spaghetti noodles

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Mystery solved….what to do with leftover spaghetti noodles

In a very random conversation last week at work, my friend shared that she had made a frittata with leftover spaghetti (no sauce, mind you).  I replied “I always make too much and throw it out”.  Laura is with us today to share a super easy, economical and delicious  way to use that leftover spaghetti (who doesn’t cook too much)???

STAFF_BirrellL-WEB

Meet Laura

She found that this frittata is a great way to use up left-over spaghetti, and her family of three ate the whole thing and asked for it again the next night.  I plan to try it soon, but I think I’ll have to mix it up with a few different meats cuz I live with Mr. All Meat Pizza – you could use browned sausage, canadian bacon, ham, etc.  If you do try one of these alternatives to the bacon that Laura used, we would love for you to come back and comment below!

Step 1 involves chopping up the cooked spaghetti:

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Step 2 – whisk the eggs and milk, and adding the yummy (bacon and cheese) ingredients:

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The Final Frittata!

I could most definitely snarf a piece of that right now!  I’m sharing Laura’s recipe below, and hope that you enjoy as I certainly plan to!  Thanks for dropping by to get in on Laura’s quick weeknight meal!

~Connie Kaye

Spaghetti Frittata

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Ingredients:

6 eggs
1 ½ cups cut-up cooked spaghetti
2 slices of chopped cooked bacon
1 cup of shredded cheese
Salt and Pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 350.  Spray a 9 inch round pie plate with non-stick cooking oil.

Whisk the six eggs in a separate bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste. Laura added a Zesty no-salt substitute to give it a little more flavor without adding additional salt.

Stir in the 2 slices of pre-cooked bacon, ½ cup of shredded cheese and chopped spaghetti. (Laura used the Mexican four cheese blend because that is what she had on hand and wanted to use up.)

Pour the blended items into the pie plate and sprinkle with the remaining ½ cup of cheese.  Bake for 30 min. or until center is set.

Thought we would try our hand at canning…..Peach Hot-Pepper Jam

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Thought we would try our hand at canning…..Peach Hot-Pepper Jam

Found this delicious recipe for Peach-Hot Pepper Jam in the Kraft Food & Family FREE magazine and it’s been a hit with many friends.  (I’ve actually had friends trade me stuff for it)  While the name implies that it’s hot, it’s not!!!  Just delicious.  We have used it on sandwiches, but the most popular way to consume it is to put it over softened cream cheese and dip with your favorite dipping instrument, such as Snack Factory Pretzel Crisps.    We use the original pretzel flavor with this yummy appetizer/snack, but we snarfed up a bag of the sea salt & black pepper yesterday which were delicious.   As rookies to the canning process, we learned on our first batch which wouldn’t set up – make sure the peaches aren’t too juicy, or add more pectin to adjust for the extra liquid.  While the peaches are plentiful, we plan to make more for gifts.  Hope you enjoy as we and our friends have!

~Connie Kaye

Peach Hot-Pepper Jam

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Ingredients:

  • 2 cups finely chopped peeled peaches (about 1-1/2 lb.)
  • 1 cup finely chopped red peppers (about 1 large red pepper)
  • 1 cup finely chopped jalapeño peppers
  • 1 cup HEINZ Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 pkg. SURE-JELL Fruit Pectin
  • 1/2 tsp. butter or margarine
    5 cups sugar, measured into separate bowl
    Wash jars and screw bands in hot soapy water. Rinse well. Place jars, right sides up, on rack in bottom of boiling-water canner. Fill canner with enough warm water so it covers tops of jars by at least 1 inch. Bring water to boil; boil jars 10 min. Reduce heat to simmer. Leave jars in hot water until ready to be filled.
    Place new lids in medium saucepan filled with water; bring water to boil. Turn off heat. Let lids stand in water until ready to be used.

 

Place peaches and peppers in 6- or 8-qt. saucepot. Add vinegar. Stir in pectin. Add butter to reduce foaming. Bring mixture to full rolling boil (a boil that doesn’t stop bubbling when stirred) on high heat, stirring constantly.

 

Stir in sugar. Return to full rolling boil and boil exactly 1 min., stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Skim off any foam with metal spoon.

 

Remove jars from water; drain well. Immediately ladle fruit mixture into prepared jars, filling to within 1/4 inch of tops. Wipe jar rims and threads. Cover with 2-piece lids. Screw bands tightly. Place jars on rack, then lower into canner. (Water must cover jars by 1 to 2 inches. Add boiling water, if necessary.) Cover canner; bring water to gentle boil. Process 10 min. Remove jars and place upright on towel to cool completely. After jars cool, check seals by pressing centers of lids with finger. (If lids spring back, lids are not sealed and refrigeration is necessary.)