Category Archives: Misc

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.




Pecan Brittle anyone???


I’m not a fan of peanut butter.  I am sure this sounds un-American but it’s the way it is.  I can go as far as a little mini Butterfinger but that’s where I draw the line.

Today a co-worker brought Pecan Brittle — what a brilliant invention.  I don’t own a candy thermometer, but I’m going to score one and make this for the fam this week.  Here’s a pic:

pecan brittle

I’ve included her exact recipe, so if you follow it to a T, you should be good.  Happy holidays!

~Connie Kaye

Pecan Brittle

  • Servings: depends
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1 tsp vanilla
1 ½ tsp baking soda
1 T real butter
1 c white Karo syrup
1 c white sugar
1 c large pecan pieces
Dash of salt
1 candy thermometer

  1. Cover a large bread board (18/20 or so) with heavy-duty aluminum foil and coat with butter
  2. Mix together the vanilla, baking soda and butter and set close to where you will be cooking
  3. Mix the Karo syrup, white sugar, pecan pieces, and salt in a sturdy pan and cook until the mixture reaches the hard crack stage. A wooden spatula works best.  Mixture will thicken as it cooks.  It will get kind of foamy and turn a golden color when ready.
  4. When syrup mixture is cooked to the hard crack stage, remove immediately from the heat and add the vanilla, baking soda, and butter. Mixture will foam.  Stir well.
  5. Immediately pour onto the buttered bread board and spread out the mixture. Be careful it will be extremely hot.

6    Let mixture cool just enough that you can start pulling the edges out to a very thin layer.  You will want to butter your fingers for this part.  Work your way to the center until all is pulled out.

7.         Let cool completely and break into pieces.  Place in a pan, but don’t cover for several hours

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!