Category Archives: Holidays

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

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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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.


Pineapple Cranberry Salad

Pineapple-Cranberry Salad

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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!



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!

Yummy Crescent Roll Ups

Yummy Crescent Roll Ups

The perfect recipe for tailgating or watching football – what can you not like about creme cheese, bacon, jalapenos?  I sure cannot think of anything!  Tried these a few weeks ago, and they did not last long at all.  Super easy, and you begin with crescent roll dough, preferably the full sheet, or if not, just seal the triangles to make a sheet.  Cover with a layer of whipped cream cheese to which you have added chopped jalapenos and crumbled cooked bacon.  Sprinkle with sharp shredded cheddar cheese, and roll, starting with the long end.  Cut with sharp knife, and you should have something similar to this:


You’re about 15 minutes away from yummy.  Add shredded cheddar to the top, and bake at 375 degrees or until desired degree of brownness.   Enjoy, and grab one first before your “friends” get to them!

~Connie Kaye

The BEST pickles


Yes, I know I’ve been absent for a LONG time, but I now have full staff at work, and hopefully time to share some great recipes I’ve been saving for the last few months!

We have a neighborhood shrimp boil every year around the middle of October, and this year, my friend Becky brought the most amazing pickles.  They’re sweet and spicy with just the right kick and crunch, and the best part is that they’re SO simple to make.

I’m sharing the recipe below, and if you add anything to change it up, please post below in the comments so I can try that as well.  (she says that some people add cauliflower and carrots)  Enjoy, and see you back  here again soon!

~Connie Kaye

Becky's Sweet and Spicy Dills

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1 gallon whole dill pickles
5 cloves chopped garlic
1 jar sliced, drained jalapenos, chopped
2 cups sugar

Chop or slice dill pickles as desired, reserving juice.  Add chopped garlic, chopped jalapenos and sugar.  Stir and place mixture back into pickle jar.  Add enough pickle juice to cover.   Place in refrigerator and turn daily for 2 weeks.  Enjoy!


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.


Crockpot Crack


Not that we all need more chocolate this time of year, but hey, it’s the holidays, and we all need some good go-to’s for family, friends, work, etc.

So here’s another drug recipe — well, not really.  A co-worker makes this and swears by it.  Super easy and no way you can mess it up.

Photo credit

Happy holidays, and thanks for stopping by!

~Connie Kaye

Crockpot Crack

  • Servings: depends
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1-16 oz jar unsalted peanuts
1-16 oz. jar salted peanuts
1-12 oz. bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
1-12 oz. bag milk chocolate chips
2-10 oz. bags peanut butter chips
2 – lb. pkg white almond bark or vanilla candy coating

layer all ingredients in a large crockpot, starting with peanuts.  (at this point I hope you are using a crockpot liner).  Turn the pot on low, cover with lid, and leave sitting for 2 hours.  Remove lid and stir to combine.  Replace lid and leave sitting for another 30 minutes.  Stir again then spoon mixture onto wax paper or non-stick aluminum foil.  Allow to harden for at least one hour.




Crab….avocado…got your attention yet?


I had this appetizer as my meal a year or so ago at the Saltgrass Steak House while on a work trip in Westminster, Colorado. No words to describe how great it was.  Not sure why I got inspired this weekend to try it, but so glad I did.  I wanted to post with the holidays approaching, as it’s kind of “fancy” but super easy!!!

It’s this amazing stack of chopped avocado, pico de gallo and crab meat, served with tortilla chips or crackers.  I asked the waiter how they got it in this nice cylinder shape, and he said they used a piece of PVC pipe.  Not having that today, I improvised, chopping in half a cup that we brought home from the local sports bar.  Yep….FANCY —


redneck cup chopped in half sitting on destination fancy white plate

I lightly sprayed the inside of the cup with cooking spray, placed on plate, and then stacked avocado, pico and crab, finishing it with a little chopped parsley.  My concern this entire time is that I might overpower the flavors, so that’s why no additional cilantro.  You truly could taste all flavors.  My wonderful neighbors invited us over for amazing ribs, so this was a great appetizer while the food finished on the smoker, and with a couple of brewskis and football!  (KANSAS CITY CHIEFS WIN BABY!!!)

crab stack

Hopefully you will enjoy as much as we did….it’s  super rich, and also, you can use imitation crabmeat.  I didn’t but it’s probably just as good (and cheaper)!!!

Happy holidays!

~Connie Kaye

Crab Avocado Stack

  • Servings: lots
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3″ wide cylinder (PVC pipe, plastic cup or other device), as tall as you wish to go with the number of people you are serving

Crabmeat – imitation or real (I throw some crab legs in with seasoning and boil)

Pico de Gallo

Avocados – medium ripe work best so you can actually chop them up

Chop crab and season with salt, pepper and lemon juice.  Chop avocados and season with salt and lemon juice to prevent browning.  I do all of it ahead of time and when ready to serve, put together.  Spray inside of object that you’re going to use to construct this beast with cooking spray, then place on plate, and layer away.  You can do it in any order, but I recommend avocados, pico and finish with crab.  Finish with chopped parsley and serve with tortilla chips.