Tag Archives: Easy dinner recipes

Mexican food anyone?

Mexican food anyone?

Taking a quick moment to share some super easy Mexican food faves from my friends….tried and true, and all recommended! Don’t forget to sign up for these delish recipes delivered straight to your inbox. Thanks for stopping by!
~Connie Kaye

Gina's Cilantro Lime Rice

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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1 cup long grain white rice
2 cups chicken broth
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground cumin
2 tbsp. fresh lime juice
1 tsp. lime zest
2 tbsp. chopped cilantro
Chopped onion to taste


*Combine the rice, chicken broth, salt and ground cumin (and optional onion) in a large saucepan or skillet. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cover with lid then reduce heat to medium-low, let simmer 20 minutes.

*Remove from heat, but keep lid on. Let stand with lid on for 10 minutes. Remove lid and add in lime juice, zest, and chopped cilantro. Fluff with a fork and serve warm.

Ingrid's Crockpot Mexican Chicken

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
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4 boneless skinless chicken breasts 2 tsp taco seasoning 2 c. chunky red salsa 2-3 oz. cream chees

Optional: fresh or canned chopped jalapenos 1/4 tsp ground cumin 2 tbsp. fresh lime juice 1 tsp. lime zest 2 tbsp. chopped cilantro Chopped onion to taste


*Combine the rice, chicken broth, salt and ground cumin (and optional onion) in a large saucepan or skillet. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cover with lid then reduce heat to medium-low, let simmer 20 minutes.

*Remove from heat, but keep lid on. Let stand with lid on for 10 minutes. Remove lid and add in lime juice, zest, and chopped cilantro. Fluff with a fork and serve warm.


A birthday, and the EASIEST chicken and rice you’ll ever find….


My little girl turned 30 today (I had her when I was VERY young ūüôā ) and this post is a tribute to her. ¬† She wrote a blog post today titled “20 Thoughts on Turning 30” and item #18 is “I’ll never cook as good as my mom and grandmas”. ¬†Personally, I think she’s a VERY good cook, and really creative!

We all know that food, 1. tastes better when someone else cooks it for you, and 2. never tastes the same as did when that special loved one either made it for you, or you’re lucky enough to still have it occasionally. ¬†I say the same thing about stuff my mom used to make.

Anyway, somewhere back in her childhood, I threw together this chicken and rice. ¬†I don’t remember for sure, but it was probably out of sheer desperation and lack of time….probably just did chores, ran in from the arena late on a school night, kids running to the shower, and me trying to figure out what to feed them. ¬† I recently sent home a batch of this with Brandi because I know she loves it, and after that she¬†called one night to clarify how to make it and declared hers will never be as good as mine. ¬†Well, I’m sharing one of her favorites today, and it’s handy because it heats up well (trust me, it does…I remember heating it up for dinner in the microwave in my living quarters horse trailer a few years back).

chi and rice

Happy birthday, Brandi, and hope you enjoy some chicken and rice!

~Connie Kaye

Easy Chicken and Rice

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Start with 1 cup of uncooked rice in a glass dish, adding 1 cup of water.  Cook according to microwave directions on box.  This will yield about 3  cups of cooked rice.

Either use a roast chicken from the deli, or while rice is cooking, prepare chicken, and dice when cool. ¬†Combine rice, chicken, 1/2 stick butter or margarine, and season well with Lawry’s Seasoning Salt and black pepper. ¬† The key here is plenty of butter and seasoning salt. ¬†Give it a stir and you’re ready to roll.

Sweet Corn Risotto with Sauteed Shrimp


DELISH! ¬†Risotto is something I never tried before, as it seemed too complicated. ¬†Wow, was I wrong. ¬†You’ll see several¬†of my favorite risotto recipes here, and glad to add this one as a main dish. ¬†Here’s the finished product:


As with the other risotto recipes, it takes some time and effort but it’s very much worth your while! ¬†I didn’t get any other pics while constructing this dish, as I was grilling chicken on the Weber Grill and smoking pork butts on our big smoker (busy day). ¬†However, I’ve included the recipe below, and hope that you will be adventurous and give it a whirl! ¬†Oh yeah, one other thing…..I know frozen corn is the easy route to go, but I highly recommend grabbing a couple of ears of fresh corn at the store – definitely worth the effort!


~Connie Kaye

Sweet Corn Risotto with Sauteed Shrimp

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3 C chicken stock
3 tbsp. EVOO, divided
1 cup minced white or yellow onion
1 c. arborio rice
1 cup dry white wine, divided
2 ears corn, kernels removed (about 1 – 1 1/4 cup)
2 tbsp butter
1/3 c. parmesan cheese
2 tbsp chopped parsley
2 cloves minced garlic
1 small shallot, minced (about 3 tbsp)
3/4 – 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 pound medium shrimp
2 tbsp finely chopped basil

Bring chicken stock to a low simmer. ¬†In a large skillet, heat 1 tbsp EVOO over medium-high heat. ¬†Add onion and saute until beginning to soften. ¬†Add rice and cook, stirring constantly, one minute. ¬†Add 1/2 cup white wine and simmer until it’s evaporated, 2 minutes or so.

Reduce heat to medium.  Add about 1/2 cup more stock with 1/4 cup white wine and simmer, stirring occasionally, until absorbed.  Continue adding stock by the 1/2 cup, stirring and letting it absorb each time, until stock is gone, 15 to 20 minutes.

Remove from heat and stir in corn, butter, parmesan and parsley.  Season with salt and pepper and transfer to a bowl.

Add remaining 2 tbsp EVOO to skillet and heat over medium heat. ¬†Add garlic, shallot, and red pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, a minute or so. ¬†(don’t burn the garlic) ¬†Add shrimp and cook until pink, 3 to 4 minutes. ¬†Don’t overcook or the shrimp will be rubbery.¬†¬† Add remaining 1/4 cup wine and let simmer until evaporated, 2 ¬†minutes. ¬†Remove from heat, and season with salt and pepper, stir in 1 tbsp basil. ¬†Add risotto back to skillet, stirring to combine with shrimp. ¬†Garnish with basil and serve.

Cheesy Chili Rice


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!!!!


~Connie Kaye

Cheesy Chili Rice

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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

Frito Chili Pie Crescent Ring

Frito Chili Pie Crescent Ring

I ran across this recipe and did “my thing” to it to spice it up a bit. ¬†And, with the meat/bean mixture left over, I did a tortilla stack for dinner last night. ¬†Super easy, quick and economical!!!

I started with this:

then laid out my crescent rolls in a fan, like this:


I layered my bean/ground beef/roasted tomato mixture, and covered it with a mix of mexican-style shredded cheese.  Topped off with fritos and folded the pointy ends of the rolls over, tucking them underneath.  Brushing the top of the rolls with a beaten egg will help it brown nicely, with a very shiny pretty appearance.  Voila:


We dunked it in a little low fat sour cream and it was a crunchy, gooey delight!


Frito Chili Pie Crescent Ring

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  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 3 tbsp taco seasoning
  • 1 tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 can roasted dice tomatoes, juices drained
  • 1 can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 tubes crescent roll dough
  • 1/2 – 3/4 c. shredded Mexican cheese
  • 1 small bag Fritos (or other corn chips)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  1. Brown ground beef in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add taco seasoning and chili powder. Use a wooden spoon to break up meat and mix in seasonings. Cook until browned and drain excess juices.
  2. Add roasted diced tomatoes and pinto beans and mix to combine. Set aside.
  3. Unroll crescent roll dough, separating each triangle. Arrange in a sunburst pattern, with pointy ends of the triangles facing outward (the base of the triangles should overlap).
  4. Spread ground beef mixture over triangle bases, forming a ring. Sprinkle cheese on top of meat, then top with Fritos, preferably crumbled.
  5. Fold triangle tips over filling (there will be gaps where meat and cheese peeks out between crescent roll triangles). Brush the top of dough with beaten egg.
  6. Bake until dough has turned lightly golden and cheese has melted, about 20 minutes at 375 degrees.


Chicken Mushroom Lasagna


The price and ease of a rotisserie chicken makes chicken creations very attractive in our busy lives.  This recipe was shared with me by a very good friend, Betty!  Meet Betty:


Ignore the fact that her hubster has on that goofy looking hat – he goes all out to celebrate a holiday! ¬† They live in Iowa and we look forward to lake weekends, as well as a few other events¬†throughout the “non boating” season to hang out together. ¬†They even come to Chiefs games and are Royals fans – enough said ūüôā

I’ll share her recipe, although I don’t have a picture of it – apologies. ¬†It’s one of those that I personally think is even better the next day for lunch, leftovers, etc. ¬† Hope you enjoy like we have!

~Connie Kaye

Chicken Mushroom Lasagna

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Make mushroom sauce first:
Melt 3 tbsp butter in skillet or saucepan and saute 1/2 cup chopped onion and 1/2 cup chopped green or red pepper.  Add 1 can cream of chicken soup, 1/3 cup milk, small can sliced mushrooms, 1/4 c drained chopped pimentos (optional) and 1/2 tsp basil.  Cook and stir until smooth.

8 oz. lasagna noodles, (no cook variety)
3 cups diced cooked chicken
1 1/2 cups small curd cottage cheese
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
8 oz. shredded cheddar cheese

In greased 13 x 9 dish, place half the noodles in the bottom.  Cover with half of each:  mushroom sauce, cottage cheese, chicken, parmesan cheese and shredded cheese.  Repeat layers.  Bake for 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

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.




A New Twist on Spaghetti (with yard bird)


You might wonder what yard bird is — at my house, that is what chicken is referred to by the hub. ¬†We still eat it but probably not as much as I would like. ¬†However, this little invention is pretty amazing. ¬†Again, with most of my chicken recipes you can boil the chicken and use the broth, or just buy a roasted chicken at your local grocery store. ¬†If you do the latter, be sure that you buy chicken¬†stock, not broth, as the flavor is much richer. ¬†There’s a restaurant in KC that serves a similar dish, and it’s amazing. ¬†So, this is kind of my copycat.


~Connie Kaye


Creamy Chicken Spaghetti

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1 whole raw chicken cut into pieces, or a roasted chicken
1 pound thin spaghetti, broken in half
2 cans cream of mushroom soup, or 1 cr. chicken/1 cr. mushroom
2.5 cups grated cheddar
8 oz. fresh mushrooms, sliced
1/3 cup white wine
1/4 cup each diced green and red bell pepper
1 medium onion, diced
1 tsp seasoned salt
1/8 to 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

If using fresh chicken, bring large pot of water to boil.  Add the chicken and boil for a few minutes, then return to medium-low and simmer, 30 to 45 minutes.  Remove the chicken and 2 cups of the broth.  When the chicken is cool, remove the skin and pick out a mix of dark and white meat to make about 2 cups.

If purchasing a rotisserie chicken, pick a mixture of white and dark meat to total about 2 cups.

Cook the spaghetti in either the same chicken broth as you cooked the chicken in, or a combination chicken stock and water, salted well.  Cook to al dente state, and do not overcook.  Combine the cooked, drained spaghetti, mushrooms, chicken, mushroom soup, 1.5 cups cheese, the peppers, onions, seasoned salt, wine, cayenne and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Stir in one cup of chicken broth or stock.

Place mixture in greased casserole and top with remaining 1 cup cheese.  Cover and freeze up to 6 months, cover and refrigerate for a couple of days, or cook immediately about 45 minutes.  If the cheese starts to get too brown, cover with foil





Homemade Noodles

Homemade Noodles

Just in time for the holidays! ¬†My kids grew up loving homemade chicken and noodles at grandmas. ¬†Well, it’s time for the grown up kids to make them on their own ūüôā ¬† So, here’s a pretty close version of what Grandma Pat used to make. ¬†Brandi and Courtney – here ya go. ¬†I’ll give you the noodle run down, and how you get the chicken and broth is debatable. One other thing….my first teaching job led me to southeast Kansas, where I learned that eating chicken and noodles over mashed potatoes is the norm. ¬† May sound crazy, but it’s not too bad.

Broth/chicken options:

  1. ¬†Purchase a whole chicken, and simmer slowly with a bunch of onion, celery, carrots and seasoning. ¬†When chicken is done, remove from broth and let cool until you can debone it, or “pick” the chicken. ¬†When the broth cools, skim the fat and stuff from the top and run through a strainer. ¬†You will have delicious broth with which to cook your noodles. ¬†You can also do this with cut up chicken, chicken breasts, etc. ¬†The key is really seasoning the water as it cooks — you might also add some chicken stock to give the flavor a boost.
  2. Easy option – purchase a rotisserie chicken, and “pick” it as noted above. ¬†To cook the noodles, you can still create some delicious broth using chicken STOCK, not broth. ¬†Those new flavor packets work well too. ¬†I would flavor with onion, etc…and let is simmer, before adding noodles. ¬† Lastly, with either option, you might add a couple drops of yellow food coloring to give it a richer color (learned that one in the restaurant business from my Dad)

So, for the noodles, follow recipe below, and double as needed.  Note that you make and store them, or cook immediately.  Delish!

~Connie Kaye

Homemade Noodles

  • Servings: depends
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2 Cups flour
3 egg yolks
1 egg
2 tsp salt
1/4 to 1/2 cup water

Make a well in the center of the flour.  Add egg yolks, egg and salt; mix thoroughly.  Mix in water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until dough is stiff but easy to roll.

Divide dough into 4 equal parts. ¬†Roll dough, one part at a time, into paper-thin rectangles on well-floured, cloth-covered board. ¬†(keep remaining dough covered) ¬†Loosely fold rectangle into thirds; cut crosswise with sharp knife into 1/4″ strips for narrow noodles. ¬†Shake out strips and place on towel until stiff and dry, about 2 hours. ¬†You can also cut smaller and throw them in the pot if you’re ready to go. ¬†Note, the flour on the noodles will thicken the broth, so don’t shake it all off if you’re cooking now.

Break dry strips into smaller pieces.  Cook in hot salted broth or water 12 -15 minutes.  Do-ahead tip:  After drying, the noodles can be covered and stored no longer than 1 month.



Not cold enough for chili, but yes!


Found this recipe inside a Hy Vee magazine last year, and it’s our new fave. ¬†Combines ingredients that I always have on hand, and a little spicy but definitely not over the top. ¬†Really good, so I wanted to share. ¬†Freezes really well. ¬†I know winter and cold weather is coming, but sure loving fall!


Soo good and you can adapt to your personal liking!  Thank you Hy Vee, and I encourage everyone to shop there!  



  • Servings: depends
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 Saute lb ground beef, seasoning with salt and pepper.  Add 1/4 cup chopped onions, saute until translucent.    Drain and add:

1 can tomatoes with green chiles (Rotel or similar), undrained
1 can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can beans, in chili seasoned sauce, undrained
1 pkg chili seasoning mix
1 8 oz. tomato sauce
1 cup water
1/2 tsp sugar

Hy Vee recipe doesn’t include the sugar, but anytime you use tomato sauce in this manner, add some sugar. ¬†It works. ¬†Let this all come to agreement and enjoy. ¬†Zesta crackers are our fave.