Category Archives: Lunch

To be a Sausage Roll, or not to be….that is the question.

To be a Sausage Roll, or not to be….that is the question.

Hi I’m Kari West, from rural Girard, and I am hijacking Connie Kaye’s Kitchen Blog this week. I am going to share a recipe for some of the most versatile, yet easiest yeast bread dough you will ever make and turn into a family favorite breakfast of homemade sausage and cheese rolls. (This recipe is a copy cat inspired by Johnson’s Daylight Donuts in Fort Scott.)

I met Connie nearly 20 years ago when working in Fort Scott, and she introduced me to these tasty little treats.

Here’s what you’ll need to get started:
1 Batch of Best Ever Dough
1 lb of Sausage (I like to use Hillshire Farms Polish Sausage or Beef)
Cheese (Velveeta, Pepper Jack, Gouda, all work well)
Milk to baste the rolls.

A little preview of what’s to come:

Bread Dough:
1 c. Warm Milk
1 TBSP Instant Dry Yeast
2 TBSP Sugar
1 TSP Salt
3 TBSP Softened Butter
1 Egg
3 c. All Purpose Flour
1 tsp. Vanilla

A couple of pro-tips: Preheat your oven to 125 degrees. (Trust me on this one.) And I use my stand mixer to do the heavy lifting.

So let’s get started:
In the mixer bowl, combine warm milk, yeast, sugar, salt, butter and eggs. Add in the flour and use your dough hook to mix at a low speed. Once the flour starts to incorporate, increase to medium speed.

The dough mixture should be tacky, but not stick to your hands. It should be soft. You can add a little more flour if needed. Transfer the dough to lightly greased mixing bowl. (I use my Grandma Antonetti’s Bread Crock.) Cover loosely with Press & Seal or wax paper. Shut OFF oven. Place covered bowl in warm oven for 1 hour to rise. The dough will double in size.

While it is rising, lightly grease a baking sheet. Use this time to cut sausage into quarters lengthwise, and cheese to match. (Really anything you want to stuff in them.) When your hour is up, take the dough out of the oven, and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

On a generously floured surface, punch and dump the dough. Use rolling pin to roll into a 12 inch x 18 inch rectangle. Rolled dough should be about 1/4 inch thick. Cut into squares (I use a pizza cutter), place cheese, sausage and bring ends together, and then roll the other pinching the seams to keep the cheese in the roll during baking. Place on baking sheet and brush with milk or melted butter. (At this point, you can add jalapeños on top, Everything but Bagel seasoning, etc.)

Bake until golden brown, about 15-20 minutes. Serve with your choice of dipping sauce. (We like Jalapeno Ranch or Spicy Mustard). This same dough can be used to make a basic loaf of bread, chop into small pieces for Monkey Bread, Cinnamon Rolls, or roll thin and par-bake for Pizza Crust.

Thank you to my good friend Kari for dropping by this week. Give these a whirl (printable recipe below) — so amazing, and for more scratch made favorites or life on the farm, follow her on Instagram and Facebook @CustomCreationsbyK

And before you go, follow me for more good food and fun!

~Connie Kaye

Sausage Rolls

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1 C. warm milk
1 TBSP Instant Dry Yeast
2 TBSP Sugar
1 TSP Salt
3 TBSP Softened Butter
1 Egg
1 tsp. vanilla
3 c. All Purpose Flour
Sausage and cheese of choice

Preheat oven to 125 degrees. Combine first 6 ingredients and add in the flour. Use your dough hook if you are using a stand mixer at low speed. Once the flour starts to incorporate, increase to medium speed. The dough mixture should be tacky, but not stick to your hands. It should be soft, and add a little more flour if needed. Transfer the dough to lightly greased mixing bowl and cover loosely with Press & Seal or wax paper.

Shut OFF the oven, and place covered bowl in warm oven for 1 hour to rise (the dough should double in size). While it is rising, lightly grease a baking sheet. Use this time to cut sausage into quarters lengthwise, and cheese to match.

When your hour is up, take the dough out of the oven, and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. On a generously floured surface, punch and dump the dough. Use a rolling pin to roll into a 12 inch x 18 inch rectangle. Rolled dough should be about 1/4 inch thick. Cut into squares (pizza cutter works amazing), place cheese, sausage and bring ends together, and then roll the other pinching the seams to keep the cheese in the roll during baking. Place on baking sheet and brush with milk or melted butter, and add whatever you wish to the top (or nothing…). Bake until golden brown, about 15-20 minutes. Serve with dipping sauce if desired.

Chicken and Noodles


Thank you Pastures and Plates for a great idea for snowy weekend cooking!

Stroberg Family Farms

Picture this. Six years old, wandering my way through the lunch line. On the menu today: chicken and noodles. The cafeteria worker slops the delicious mess right on my plate, and to my surprise, a little pile of mashed potatoes is tucked under all that glory. So, I give it a try (my mother had taught me well, a “try” bite). Minutes later, the tray is empty. Years later, this is what chicken and noodles looks like at our house!

Makes: 8 servings


4 tablespoons butter

1 1/2 cups sweet yellow onion, diced

1 1/2 cups carrots, diced

1 1/2 cups celery, diced

1/4 cup all purpose flour

32 oz water

6 bouillon chicken cubes

2 cups chicken, cooked and cubed

2 cups frozen egg noodles

Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Add butter and vegetables to dutch oven on the stovetop over medium heat. Cook 3-5 minutes to…

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Steak tacos….using pita or naan bread

Steak tacos….using pita or naan bread

Skirt or flat iron steak are cuts that are many times ignored as tough, chewy, etc.  However, if you marinate and slice correctly, they are both delicious!

A friend of mine has told me how great naan bread is, and with a little searching, I found it in the deli section at one of our larger local grocers.   Also, this recipe uses watercress — I have absolutely no clue what this is, so I grabbed some fresh spinach off of the salad bar.

Gotta tell you, we will make these again.  Easy and delish, and I encourage you to try this meal that won’t break your bank!


~Connie Kaye

Grilled Skirt Steak Tacos

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  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and sliced into 1/2-inch-thick rings
  • 1 onion, sliced into 1/2-inch-thick slices
  • 1 pound skirt steak
  • 4 pocketless pitas or naan bread
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • watercress or fresh spinach

Preheat a grill to medium high. Make the marinade: Whisk the olive oil, garlic, mint (if using), oregano, paprika, 1 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste in a large bowl. Transfer 1 tablespoon of the marinade to a small bowl or plastic bag; mix in the yogurt and 2 tablespoons water. Add the bell pepper and onion to the bowl with the remaining marinade and toss; remove to a plate with a slotted spoon. Add the steak and toss.

Grill the bell pepper, onion and steak, turning once, until lightly charred.  Set steak aside to rest, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, grill the pitas or naan until marked, about 1 minute per side.

Slice the steak against the grain. Fill the pitas with the steak, grilled vegetables, tomato and watercress/spinach. Drizzle with the yogurt sauce.

A unique twist on tacos…..

A unique twist on tacos…..

My friend Heather tried a different way of eating tacos last week – she made the shells out of cheese:

cheese taco shells (2)

She made cheese crisps not too long ago, so I think she wanted to expand her creativity.  Plus, she loves Mexican food, as I do.  Here are the super easy directions:

1/2 cup cheddar cheese in circles on parchment paper.  Bake at 425 for 5-7 minutes.  Let cool slightly, then hang them over a spatula or utensil handle to form as shells.

Her filling was super easy as well – cooked chicken in the crockpot with Rotel tomatoes & green chiles, and threw in some taco seasoning.  Shredded and offered lettuce, avocado, salsa and more cheese.  She also made a lime sour cream (YUM) which was just sour cream, fresh lime juice, lime zest, salt and garlic powder.

Heather has two daughters who keep her super busy on competitive sports teams, so an easy crockpot meal is just the ticket.  Thanks for sharing my good friend, and thank you to all of my followers for stopping by!

~Connie Kaye



Perfect snack — lunch or dinner….

Perfect snack — lunch or dinner….

As I watch it raining ice/snowing outside, it makes me sad to think of all the children who anticipated hunting for Easter eggs today, and all the people who devote so much time and effort to organize those events.

We are trying something on the smoker today — smoking a chuck roast that will turn into burnt ends.  I found on the WWW that it has several names, one being Poor Mans Burnt Ends.  However, there is nothing cheap about buying beef chuck roast.  Anyway, we’ll see how this turns out, and will let you know (and share the recipe, if it works out).  However, in the meantime, I wanted to try something that I thought my roommate would like for lunch.  Here in the midwest, we love everything with gravy, and one delish meat item that goes with gravy is chicken fried steak.  I made steak strips or fingers using beef cube steak, and whipped up some quick homemade gravy to dunk them in.  Well, it was a hit, and I’ll be doing this again.

Note that the flour is really seasoned which is key, and I actually cut the steak into strips before it was completely thawed which made it a little easier.

Hope you have a wonderful Easter, and thanks for spending some of your Sunday with me!

~Connie Kaye

Chicken Fried Steak Fingers

  • Servings: 4
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Ingredients for for steak fingers:

  • 1 1/4 lb. cube steak
  • 1 c. flour
  • 1 tsp. each garlic and onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp. paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • Salt (make sure you get enough)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 c. milk
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • Vegetable oil, for frying

Ingredients for gravy:

  • 4 tbsp. butter
  • 3 tbsp. flour
  • 1 1/4 c. milk
  • kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper



  1. Slice steak into thin long strips about 1/3 – 1/2” thick.
  2. Set up a dredging station: In a bowl, combine flour, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika and cayenne, and season with salt and pepper. In a shallow bowl, whisk together milk and eggs. Season steak strips with salt and pepper. Dredge the steak strips in the flour mixture then add them to the egg mixture and turn the pieces to coat. Return steak to the flour and dredge once more.
  3. In a deep skillet or dutch oven, add about 1” of vegetable oil and heat over medium heat. When the oil is shimmering and about 350°, place the steak strips, one by one, into the oil .  (Do in batches)  Cook until golden all over, about 2 minutes per side. Place them on a plate lined with paper towels to drain off any excess grease.
  4. Make gravy: In a small skillet over medium heat, melt butter. When the butter is foamy, whisk in flour and cook mixture until the flour is golden, about 1 minute. Gradually whisk in milk and bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to gently simmer the gravy until thickened.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Enjoy!




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)


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.




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.

Crepes Divan – impress your friends!


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.


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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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.

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


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.

shrimp blt

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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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!