Category Archives: Misc

Shots anyone???

Shots anyone???

Nothing like a little “elegant” shot to get the night started as you host or attend holiday parties.   Right?  I was searching for something for a pre-holiday dinner shot (or after…whatever works) and a friend suggested Brass Ball Shots.  Not sure how the name was going to match up with the taste, but I mixed ’em up, and they’re good.  I’ll share below…make sure you get the liquor really cold (just mix and leave in fridge) and if possible, serve in small frosty shot glasses.  Yum!

~Connie Kaye

Brass Ball Shots

  • Servings: depends
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Equal amounts Grand Marnier orange liquor (or Triple Sec), Peach Schnapps, and Pineapple Juice.

Another good shot recipe, although I don’t know the name, is to use equal parts Malibu Rum, Peach Schnapps, Mango Malibu Rum, and pineapple juice.


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.

Yummy Seafood Boil


It’s become kind of a tradition to do a fall shrimp boil, and you can easily add in crab, scallops, crawfish (yech!) or any seafood of your liking.  My hubster is the master chef on this one….I do all the prep but he cooks, socializes and generally enjoys himself.  We have a turkey fryer that we use hooked to a propane tank, so I promise you, it’s not fancy, but man is it good!!!

seafood boilStart with boiling water, lemons, beer (cheap is awesome), onions, Zatarains and Old Bay.  The key is to get the water to a rolling boil and let it continue for about 20 minutes to really infuse the flavor into the water.  Add your yummy ingredients and enjoy.  Note:  monitor how long you cook the potatoes — they take a little longer depending on the size.

Our leftover shrimp lent a delicious addition to Shrimp BLT’s which I found on Food Network and edited a little, and WOW.  Amazing.    Will share that one soon.

~Connie Kaye

Seafood Boil

  • Servings: depends
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In boiling water:  2 lemons, 2 quartered onions, 2 beers, 3 tbsp Old Bay seasoning, and a couple of Zatarains seasoning bags.  Let it get jiggy for about 30 minutes so all of the flavors can blend.

Add in the following order:

Red potatoes (8 minutes depending on size)
Add mini frozen corn on the cob and smoked sausage in 1″ chunks and cook for 5 minutes
Add shrimp and/or crab and cook for about 5 minutes (crab probably a little longer)

Anybody else crazy about avocados???


Have you ever tried grilling them?  Well, I hadn’t and my biggest issue with an avocado is that I usually eat it before I can do anything with it!  However, you should give this a whirl.


Finished product!

I halved my little green gems (they need to be pretty ripe but not mushy), removed the pit, and placed them upside down on a hot grill.  Move them around a little to get some good grill marks:


grill marks galore!

I removed from the grill and dressed with a mixture of Mexican shredded cheese.  Place back on grill (cheese side up, of course), lower lid and let cheese melt.


Before attacking these little morsels, I added a little salsa.  I was afraid that the salsa, etc., would overwhelm the flavor of the avocado — NOT!!  Oh soooo good!   Thanks for dropping by, and hope you enjoy these as much as we did!

~Connie Kaye

Grilled Avocados

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Avocados, halved and pitted
Shredded cheese (mexican blend or monterrey jack)

Place avocados cut side down t get some grill marks, flip over, add cheese.  Place back on grill to let cheese melt.  Top with salsa and enjoy!

Bacon Jalapeno Deviled Eggs


You’ve probably determined by now that we like fairly spicy food.  So, when I ran across an idea to incorporate bacon and jala jala’s into deviled eggs, I thought the idea sounded fab!  And I try new things at strange times of the year – for example, I believe I first made these at Christmas.  I think most normal people make deviled eggs for picnics or in the summer –  not me!  I cook things when the mood strikes!  With the 4th of July festivities approaching quickly, I thought this would be a great time to share.

One trick that you already probably know, when boiling eggs, is once they have finished the process, place them in cold water.  This makes the egg shell much easier to remove.  I actually continue with the cold water and then promptly remove shells.

Mix all ingredients together, then stuff your eggs.  I also like to sprinkle a little paprika very lightly for color when all finished. Refrigerate until ready to eat.  Yum!

bacon deviledd eggs

Photo courtesy

~Connie Kaye

Bacon Jalapeno Deviled Eggs

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  • 12 large eggs, hard boiled and peeled
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1½ tsp rice vinegar
  • ¾ tsp ground mustard
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • 2 jalapenos, seeded and chopped
  • 6 pieces bacon, cooked, crisp

Cook eggs, peel, slice in half and remove yolks.  Combine all ingredients and stuff eggs.

Chocolate Cracker Candy


We actually call this Christmas Crack because I first made it in December, and it’s really good, and it’s on saltine crackers.  However, give these a whirl and your friend population will RISE!!!!  And if you don’t want to share, keep within the fam and everyone will totally enjoy it!  You can also customize with toppings, but I stick with toasted nuts.  I mean toasted pecans 🙂

I am sure you all have your favorite brand of saltine crackers, but we are cracker snobs, just as I shared that I’m a Hellman’s mayonnaise snob.  ZESTAS.  They are the total bomb.  I used to think that they are all the same, but at the Beene ranch, we consume Zestas.  (they really should sponsor me or something).

So back to the chocolate treats.  I don’t always toast the pecans when the recipe dictates, but in this case, I really do recommend it.  You get a much deeper, nutty flavor.  Just be super careful that you don’t burn them.


Oh so yummy, and you will never believe they are saltine crackers!

This pic shows the batch I made with almonds, but I actually favor pecans more.  However, you can use either and even experiment with other toppings.  (like peanut butter things…which I’m not a fan of, so I refuse to discuss it because this is MY blog) 🙂

I am really pumped up because all the kids will be in my casa this weekend, so I plan to make some for them to take home.  The votes are currently out to them as to what they want for their home cooked meal, so I don’t know what that looks like now.  However, I’ll probably brew up several favorites!  Enjoy!

~Connie Kaye

Chocolate Cracker Candy

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35 (approx) saltine crackers
1 cup butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
12 oz. semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped pecans, toasted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line 15 x 10 x 1″ pan with foil, and spray with nonstick cooking spray.  Arrange saltines in single layer on foil, keeping them as close together as possible.

In large heavy saucepan, melt butter and stir in brown sugar.  Bring to a boil; cook and stir until brown sugar is dissolved – about 3 to 4 minutes.  Spread evenly over crackers.  Bake 8-10 minutes or until bubbly.   Immediately sprinkle with chocolate chips and allow to soften for a few minutes.  Spread over top with a spatula.  Sprinkle with pecans and allow to cool briefly.  Refrigerate, until set.  Break into pieces and store in airtight container.

To toast pecans:  Place chopped pecans on baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes until lightly toasted, stirring occasionally.


Taco Seasoning – your way!


I’m way way far removed from being a health nut.  However since we eat a lot of Mexican food, and therefore I purchase a lot of taco seasoning, I looked around to see how to make my own since I don’t really like the packaged flavor.  There’s a whole bunch of crap in packaged seasoning, so I figured I had nothing to lose if I just made my own.  Result:  yum!  FYI – I have a really delicious simple recipe for enchilada sauce I’ll share soon!

BTW – this is an amazing Friday, and am sitting here on the dock blogging away.  It’s a little rainy but weather beautiful.  Here’s my “house”:


My floating home!

You can add heat as you desire, but this is really good, and lot cheaper if you love Mexican food as we do!

~Connie Kaye

Taco Seasoning

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1 TBSP Chili Powder
1/4 tsp. Garlic Powder
1/4 tsp Onion Powder
1/4 tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
1/4 tsp Dried Oregano
1/2 tsp Paprika
1.5 tsp Ground Cumin
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Black Pepper (optional)

Whisk all ingredients and store in airtight container.











Veggie Pizza

Veggie Pizza

There are many veggie pizza recipes that get pretty intense, but mine is one that just pops out of my head and always come out delish!   It starts with crescent roll dough which is even easier now that they make it in one sheet.  However, the rolls work as well.  Press in bottom of pan, and bake until lightly browned, according to directions.

IMG_0415I then mix up a packet of ranch dip mix and spread to your hearts desire (and liking) on crust.  Start layering with your chopped favorites and finish with grated cheese.  Refrigerate and then slice.  Make sure you score some cuz your friends are gonna love it!


And, I even used this to cook it:

IMG_0416Yep, a toaster oven in the boat served up a delicious snack!  Be creative and enjoy!

~Connie Kaye

Veggie Pizza

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1 tube crescent roll dough
Ranch dip mix

Chopped toppings:  broccoli, green onions, green pepper, carrots, shredded cheese, and anything else that you like.

Want juicier pineapple??


I didn’t learn this little trick until a few years ago, so if you’re way ahead of me, apologies.  A friend, Alyson (an awesome Occupational Therapy instructor), told me to twist, yes TWIST off the top of the pineapple.  (I had always chopped it off with a knife).  Like this:

photo 1

One  you have removed the top, show your pineapple how to do a headstand, and ask that it remains that way for an hour or so, like this:

photo 2

Turns out this allows all of the juices that have been sitting at the bottom redistribute, thus making the whole shebang tastier!  Much, much cheaper than buying already cut-up pineapple, and much better!