Category Archives: Entrees

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)???

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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.

A twist on good ‘ol grilled ham & cheese!

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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!

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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:

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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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Ingredients:

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

Directions:
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

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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:

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As it cooked this delectable dish just got better:

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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.

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~Connie Kaye

Creamy Chicken & Bacon with Herbed Puff Pastry

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Ingredients:

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….

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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).

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

~Connie Kaye

Easy Chicken and Rice

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Ingredients:

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.

Sweet Corn Risotto with Sauteed Shrimp

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DELISH!  Risotto is something I never tried before, as it seemed too complicated.  Wow, was I wrong.  You’ll see several of my favorite risotto recipes here, and glad to add this one as a main dish.  Here’s the finished product:

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As with the other risotto recipes, it takes some time and effort but it’s very much worth your while!  I didn’t get any other pics while constructing this dish, as I was grilling chicken on the Weber Grill and smoking pork butts on our big smoker (busy day).  However, I’ve included the recipe below, and hope that you will be adventurous and give it a whirl!  Oh yeah, one other thing…..I know frozen corn is the easy route to go, but I highly recommend grabbing a couple of ears of fresh corn at the store – definitely worth the effort!

Enjoy,

~Connie Kaye

Sweet Corn Risotto with Sauteed Shrimp

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Ingredients:

INGREDIENTS:
3 C chicken stock
3 tbsp. EVOO, divided
1 cup minced white or yellow onion
1 c. arborio rice
1 cup dry white wine, divided
2 ears corn, kernels removed (about 1 – 1 1/4 cup)
2 tbsp butter
1/3 c. parmesan cheese
2 tbsp chopped parsley
2 cloves minced garlic
1 small shallot, minced (about 3 tbsp)
3/4 – 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 pound medium shrimp
2 tbsp finely chopped basil

Bring chicken stock to a low simmer.  In a large skillet, heat 1 tbsp EVOO over medium-high heat.  Add onion and saute until beginning to soften.  Add rice and cook, stirring constantly, one minute.  Add 1/2 cup white wine and simmer until it’s evaporated, 2 minutes or so.

Reduce heat to medium.  Add about 1/2 cup more stock with 1/4 cup white wine and simmer, stirring occasionally, until absorbed.  Continue adding stock by the 1/2 cup, stirring and letting it absorb each time, until stock is gone, 15 to 20 minutes.

Remove from heat and stir in corn, butter, parmesan and parsley.  Season with salt and pepper and transfer to a bowl.

Add remaining 2 tbsp EVOO to skillet and heat over medium heat.  Add garlic, shallot, and red pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, a minute or so.  (don’t burn the garlic)  Add shrimp and cook until pink, 3 to 4 minutes.  Don’t overcook or the shrimp will be rubbery.   Add remaining 1/4 cup wine and let simmer until evaporated, 2  minutes.  Remove from heat, and season with salt and pepper, stir in 1 tbsp basil.  Add risotto back to skillet, stirring to combine with shrimp.  Garnish with basil and serve.

Chicken Mushroom Lasagna

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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:

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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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Ingredients:

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.

Ingredients:
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.

A New Twist on Spaghetti (with yard bird)

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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.

Enjoy!

~Connie Kaye

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Creamy Chicken Spaghetti

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Ingredients:

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

 

 

 

 

Homemade Noodles

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Homemade Noodles

Just in time for the holidays!  My kids grew up loving homemade chicken and noodles at grandmas.  Well, it’s time for the grown up kids to make them on their own 🙂   So, here’s a pretty close version of what Grandma Pat used to make.  Brandi and Courtney – here ya go.  I’ll give you the noodle run down, and how you get the chicken and broth is debatable. One other thing….my first teaching job led me to southeast Kansas, where I learned that eating chicken and noodles over mashed potatoes is the norm.   May sound crazy, but it’s not too bad.

Broth/chicken options:

  1.  Purchase a whole chicken, and simmer slowly with a bunch of onion, celery, carrots and seasoning.  When chicken is done, remove from broth and let cool until you can debone it, or “pick” the chicken.  When the broth cools, skim the fat and stuff from the top and run through a strainer.  You will have delicious broth with which to cook your noodles.  You can also do this with cut up chicken, chicken breasts, etc.  The key is really seasoning the water as it cooks — you might also add some chicken stock to give the flavor a boost.
  2. Easy option – purchase a rotisserie chicken, and “pick” it as noted above.  To cook the noodles, you can still create some delicious broth using chicken STOCK, not broth.  Those new flavor packets work well too.  I would flavor with onion, etc…and let is simmer, before adding noodles.   Lastly, with either option, you might add a couple drops of yellow food coloring to give it a richer color (learned that one in the restaurant business from my Dad)

So, for the noodles, follow recipe below, and double as needed.  Note that you make and store them, or cook immediately.  Delish!

~Connie Kaye

Homemade Noodles

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Ingredients:
2 Cups flour
3 egg yolks
1 egg
2 tsp salt
1/4 to 1/2 cup water

Make a well in the center of the flour.  Add egg yolks, egg and salt; mix thoroughly.  Mix in water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until dough is stiff but easy to roll.

Divide dough into 4 equal parts.  Roll dough, one part at a time, into paper-thin rectangles on well-floured, cloth-covered board.  (keep remaining dough covered)  Loosely fold rectangle into thirds; cut crosswise with sharp knife into 1/4″ strips for narrow noodles.  Shake out strips and place on towel until stiff and dry, about 2 hours.  You can also cut smaller and throw them in the pot if you’re ready to go.  Note, the flour on the noodles will thicken the broth, so don’t shake it all off if you’re cooking now.

Break dry strips into smaller pieces.  Cook in hot salted broth or water 12 -15 minutes.  Do-ahead tip:  After drying, the noodles can be covered and stored no longer than 1 month.

 

 

Crepes Divan – impress your friends!

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I recently hosted co-workers for a bridal shower lunch for a colleague, and we had a really nice time.  Yes, we did have flowers and a tablecloth, but under the tablecloth was our KSU beer pong table.  Yep, classy.  Hey, it worked GREAT.  And let 12 people all sit together and enjoy lunch, and yes, a few raunchy gifts.

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Add sauce and cheese, and you’re on the way to yummo!

My menu included Oriental Crunch Salad, Crepes Divan, and Upside Down Apple Pie.   There were no leftovers, and I’ve taken my time posting this recipe, mainly because I don’t really have one.  So, here ya go.   Takes a little time to make but oh so good.  And, I have amazing memories of how this recipe came about.  There was a restaurant named The Magic Pan on the Plaza in Kansas City, and once my mom and I ate lunch there, we figured out how to replicate the recipe for these delicious crepes.  Great memories!

~Connie Kaye

 

Crepes Divan

  • Servings: depends
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Ingredients:

Crepes
Bisquick baking mix — Use the recipe for pancakes, but add more milk to make thin batter.  Utilizing a small, non-stick skillet, spray with cooking spray and heat to medium-high heat.  Test with a few beads of water to make sure it sizzles.  (You’ll have to practice a couple times to determine the amount of batter for your pan.)  Place batter in middle of pan and roll it around to spread very thin.  As it starts to create bubbles, run your flexible pancake turner around the edges to loosen, and flip when ready.  Stack on wax paper.

Sauce
1 can cream of chicken soup
2/3 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup milk
1/2  cup shredded cheese
1 tsp lemon juice
Curry powder to taste  – start with 1/2 tsp and go from there – this is the key flavor!

Chicken – a rotisserie chicken from your local deli is the easiest, but you can also boil and shred chicken breasts

Broccoli – again, you can use frozen, cooked broccoli spears, but the fresh is so much better.

To assemble:
Grab a plate, and place a crepe on it, adding a nice spoonful of sauce down the middle.  Add shredded chicken and broccoli.  Roll up and place in greased pan.  Add a little more sauce down the middle and sprinkle with shredded cheese.

Either bake at 350 until bubbly, or you can refrigerate and either microwave or bake when needed.

 

Shrimp BLT’s

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I mentioned recently that we had a shrimp boil, and from that I had a lot of boiled spiced shrimp leftover.  I found a recipe for Shrimp BLT’s, and almost chickened out before I made them.  Wasn’t totally sure about the cold shrimp on a piece of toast.  The hub and I decided that a little Old Bay on those babies, on the grill (tossed around in a grill pan) might just work.  WOW.  No other word can describe.  I’ve posted the recipe below and added avocado slices as well.  My friend Gina asked about adding cilantro to the mix, and I think that would be good as long as you don’t overdo it — maybe add a little to the aioli.

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the avocado is in there somewhere!

Beware….napkins are required as it got a little messy, but sooo worth it.  Enjoy!

~Connie Kaye

Shrimp BLT's

  • Servings: depends
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Ingredients:

Medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
Juice of 1/2 lemon
2 tsp Old Bay seasoning
1/3 cup sour cream
1/3 cup mayonnaise
Cooked bacon
Favorite loaf of bread
Lettuce leaves
Sliced tomatoes
Sliced avocados

If you don’t have leftover shrimp, toss the shrimp with lemon juice and 1 tsp Old Bay.  Whisk the sour cream, mayo and remaining 1 tsp Old Bay in small bowl.  Set aside.

Cook bacon until crisp.  Remove to paper towel lined plate and discard all but 1 tsp bacon drippings in the skillet.  Return the skillet to medium-high heat.  Add the shrimp in a single layer along with the liquid.  Cook, flipping 1/2 way through, until opaque and cooked, 3-4 minutes.  Be careful, they don’t take long and will turn to rubber if overdone.

Toast the bread, and spread with aioli mixture.  Layer with lettuce, tomatoes, shrimp, avocado and bacon.  Devour!