Category Archives: Entrees

Chicken, bacon, cheese…….


oh yeah, and jalapenos, but not hot.  I promise.

chicken bacon

Since we had the day off yesterday,  we did a barbeque run to a new spot, and are recovering from some amazing Kansas City BBQ at Slaps in Kansas City, KS.  I highly recommend this joint to everyone.  RIBS.  The end.  We ended up with an entire meal that we brought home, so order lightly.  Oh yeah, and BRISKET.  The best word to go with BBQ is joint, and this place brings it home.  We will definitely be back.  We shopped and then gambled at Hollywood Casino on the way home, and although we didn’t come out on top, it was fun!

Thought I might brew up something a little lighter for dinner, and made these chicken bacon jalapeno wraps.  We had a wonderful Christmas with friends, family and even more friends from Australia, plus an upcoming Mexico vacay in which we might just possibly overindulge, so the hubs and I have been eating a lot of meat, veggies and fruit.

So, let’s bring on the yard bird.  The husband of the house is not a fan of “yard bird” as he and his friend Charlie call it, but this, is delish.  I remove all of the innards from the jalapeno so it’s not hot, and combine with cheese and bacon, and yummo.  It’s about -10 degrees outside so I didn’t grill, which is the best, and most delicious option, but baking works as well.

Happy New Year everyone, and here’s to a fantastic 2018!!

~Connie Kaye

Chicken Bacon Rollups

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5 boneless skinless chicken breasts
5 jalapeno peppers
20 strips bacon
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 cup cup grated colby jack or cheddar cheese
salt & pepper to taste
Favorite BBQ sauce

Slice chicken breasts in half width wise (each half makes 1 chicken rollup).  Place between 2 pieces of wax paper and pound to 1/4″ thickness.  Season each with salt & pepper.

Slice jalapenos in half lengthwise and remove seeds, ribs and the end with the stem.

In a small bowl, mix softened cream cheese with your grated colby jack or cheddar cheese.

Fill each jalapeno half with cheese mixture.  Place 1 jalapeno half at the end of each chicken piece, and roll up.  Doesn’t always close the way you think it might – no worries, the bacon brings everything together.  Wrap each piece of chicken with bacon, tucking in the ends of the strips.

Preheat grill and cook over indirect heat for 20-25 minutes, turning every 4-5 minutes.  Baste chicken with BBQ sauce every time you give it a flip.  Chicken is done when it reaches an internal temp of 165 degrees.  If you don’t have a meat thermometer, buy one.  🙂  Just kidding…you can pierce the chicken with a fork, and if juices run clear, you’re good to go.

Alternate method — if you choose to bake, set oven at 375 and bake uncovered for 30 minutes, basting as above.  You can broil at the end so bacon can crisp completely.


Hey all you smokers out there….

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:


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

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!

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


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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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

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

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)???


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:


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



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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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.

A twist on good ‘ol grilled ham & cheese!

A twist on good ‘ol grilled ham & cheese!

We used to be big fans of a show called Down Home with the Neeleys.  They did some unique tricks, all good, and all with a BBQ flair.  I’ve made several things that they aired on TV, and one yummy one that I’ve never shared is a Memphis Monte Cristo.  You can view it on their site, but I’m sharing it below for your convenience.  It’s your typical Monte Cristo, but BBQ’d up a little.  And, not only is it GOOD, it’s very economical, and it’s quick!

The final product, ready to be attacked!


Basically you assemble, dunk in the egg/cream mixture (and oh yeah, a little cayenne), brown in skillet, then place on rack, like this, so the gouda can get deliciously melty:


Five minutes, and ring that dinner bell!  Hope you enjoy as my family has, and thank you Lord for the rain!!!

~Connie Kaye

Memphis Monte Cristo

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2 tbsp vegetable oil
3 eggs
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 tbsp sugar
dash of salt (who measures salt??)
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, or to your liking
1/4 cup of your favorite BBQ sauce
8 slices white sandwich bread (not thin bread)
8 thin slices deli smoked Gouda cheese
8 thin slices deli smoked ham
8 thin slices deli smoked turkey

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Heat a large skillet or griddle pan with vegetable oil.

In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, cream, sugar, salt and cayenne until blended.

Spread some BBQ sauce on each slice of bread.  On 4 slices of bread, add 1 slice each of the cheese and meats, then repeat layers.  Top with the other piece of bread and press the sandwiches together with your hands.  Dip into wet batter and turn to coat.

Add the battered sandwiches to the hot griddle and cook until golden brown on each side (doesn’t take long.)  Place on rack-lined sheet tray (see above).  Place in oven and bake until cheese melts, about 5 minutes.  Remove to cutting board and slice.  (you could cut in triangles and this would be a good appetizer)


Creamy Chicken & Bacon w/Herbed Puff Pastry

Creamy Chicken & Bacon w/Herbed Puff Pastry

Pretty fancy title, huh?  It might sound fancy, but it’s super easy to make.  I found this recipe in the March issue of Southern Living and I’m not sure if it’s on their website, so I’ll share it here (plus of course, I made a couple of small edits).  The hub was a little dubious, but he said it’s a keeper.

I had never made anything with puff pastry, but it was a snap.  It did look a little funny when it came out of the oven, but this is normal:


As it cooked this delectable dish just got better:


Note:  bacon!!!

This was the final product, and it didn’t last long.  I’ll share the recipe below, and it can be a quick weeknight meal if you either cook the chicken beforehand, or go the rotisserie option at your local grocery store.


~Connie Kaye

Creamy Chicken & Bacon with Herbed Puff Pastry

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4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (or a rotisserie chicken)
3 cups chicken stock (2.5 cups if using rotisserie)
Salt & pepper
1 frozen puff pastry sheet, thawed
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 pkg frozen petite peas
4 bacon slices
3 tbsp butter
1 cup chopped sweet onion
1/2 cup diagonally sliced celery (1/4 inch slices, about 1 large stalk)
1 clove  minced garlic
1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup shredded or small cubed fontina cheese

  1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  If using chicken breasts, place chicken, stock and 1/2 tsp salt in large saucepan, bring to boil over high.  Reduce to medium-low; cover and cook until chick is cooked through, about 15 minutes.  Remove from heat and let stand about 20 minutes.  Remove chicken from stock and coarsely shred, saving 2 1/2 cups stock.  If you’re using rotisserie, skip this step.
  2. Place puff pastry sheet on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.  Cut pastry sheet into 4 squares, separate squares.  Brush lightly with egg, and sprinkle with pepper and dried parsley.  Baked on oven rack until puffed and golden brown, 12 to 14 minutes.
  3. Cook peas according to package, keep warm
  4. Cook bacon in large skillet, remove when crisp and crumble.  Add butter to hot bacon drippings and let butter melt, about 1 minute.  Add onion & celery, cook, stirring often until onion is tender and celery is tender-crisp.  About a minute before it’s ready, add a clove of minced garlic, stir and don’t let the garlic burn.  Add flour, and cook, stirring constantly about 1 minute.  Stir in cream and reserved 2 1/2 cups stock, bring to a simmer, stirring often.  Stir in peas, cheese, chicken, bacon and 1/2 tsp salt.  Reduce to medium low and cook until thickened and thoroughly heated.
  5. Divide mixture amount 4 shallow bowls and top with puff pastry.  Amazing!

A birthday, and the EASIEST chicken and rice you’ll ever find….


My little girl turned 30 today (I had her when I was VERY young 🙂 ) and this post is a tribute to her.   She wrote a blog post today titled “20 Thoughts on Turning 30” and item #18 is “I’ll never cook as good as my mom and grandmas”.  Personally, I think she’s a VERY good cook, and really creative!

We all know that food, 1. tastes better when someone else cooks it for you, and 2. never tastes the same as did when that special loved one either made it for you, or you’re lucky enough to still have it occasionally.  I say the same thing about stuff my mom used to make.

Anyway, somewhere back in her childhood, I threw together this chicken and rice.  I don’t remember for sure, but it was probably out of sheer desperation and lack of time….probably just did chores, ran in from the arena late on a school night, kids running to the shower, and me trying to figure out what to feed them.   I recently sent home a batch of this with Brandi because I know she loves it, and after that she called one night to clarify how to make it and declared hers will never be as good as mine.  Well, I’m sharing one of her favorites today, and it’s handy because it heats up well (trust me, it does…I remember heating it up for dinner in the microwave in my living quarters horse trailer a few years back).

chi and rice

Happy birthday, Brandi, and hope you enjoy some chicken and rice!

~Connie Kaye

Easy Chicken and Rice

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Start with 1 cup of uncooked rice in a glass dish, adding 1 cup of water.  Cook according to microwave directions on box.  This will yield about 3  cups of cooked rice.

Either use a roast chicken from the deli, or while rice is cooking, prepare chicken, and dice when cool.  Combine rice, chicken, 1/2 stick butter or margarine, and season well with Lawry’s Seasoning Salt and black pepper.   The key here is plenty of butter and seasoning salt.  Give it a stir and you’re ready to roll.