Category Archives: Misc

Perfect snack — lunch or dinner….

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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:

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

DIRECTIONS

 

  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!

 

 

 

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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.

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:

frittata2.jpg

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

frittata4.jpg

frittata5.jpg

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.)

The BEST pickles

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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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Ingredients

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!

 

Cheesy Chili Rice

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At our house, anything that even vaguely leans toward Mexican food is the bomb!  I’m sharing this easy side dish that goes with anything:

chili rice

Meet Cheesy Chili Deliciousness

Take cooked rice, throw in a little this and that, and voila, in 20 minutes you’re good to go!

Hope you enjoy, and are cheering for the 2015 WORLD SERIES CHAMPION KANSAS CITY ROYALS on Sunday for their home opener.  It also happens to be my birthday, so I’ve declared it a national holiday!!!!

Enjoy!

~Connie Kaye

Cheesy Chili Rice

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Ingredients:

2 cups cooked rice
1 cup chopped green onions
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
4 oz. can of chopped, drained green chiles
Salt and cayenne pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients and place in a greased casserole dish, sprinkling with parmesan.  Dot with butter and bake at 450 degrees for 20 minutes

Ham and Gruyere Quiche

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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:

quiche

Enjoy!

~Connie Kaye

Ham and Gruyere Quiche

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Ingredients:

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.