Tag Archives: Favorite recipes

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.

A twist on good ‘ol grilled ham & cheese!

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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!

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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:

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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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Ingredients:

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

Directions:
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)

 

Crepes Divan – impress your friends!

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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.

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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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Ingredients:

Crepes
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.

Sauce
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.

 

Easy and delicious slow cooker pork steaks!

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I continually get requests for meals that you can throw it in and when you arrive back home, voila!  It’s ready!  This is a super easy recipe that I believe maybe my hubster and his friend, Nick, invented.  Might have had a couple of other lake friends in the mix, but they are the chefs of the crowd.

Buy the CHEAP pork steaks — not pork chops.  Throw on a little seasoning, BBQ sauce, and layer away.  Low and slow and oh man, yummo!  You can add veggies and eat solo, or put on a little roll and they’ll be gone pronto!

pork steak

Keep your eye open for an easy Italian Chicken recipe coming soon!  Another crockpot favorite.  Happy Friday!

~Connie Kaye

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Ingredients

Pork Steak (not pork chops or pork cutlets)
Your favorite BBQ sauce
Your favorite all purpose or BBQ seasoning

Place a liner in your slow cooker.  Start with a pork steak on a little bbq sauce on the bottom liner to keep if from sticking.  Season, couple of blobs of BBQ sauce, and repeat layers.  Cook on low 6-8 hours depending on the amount of pork you  are cooking.  Delish!

Delicious Cornbread Cake with Chicken

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How delicious does this look?

cornbread cake

You got it right….it may look like a cake, but it’s cornbread, mashed potatoes, gravy and chicken.  And, my good friend Erin is the chef on this one.  (Her man Kyle told me it was delicious too)  So, I’m going to introduce you to Erin, my fellow cooking (and lake) partner in crime:

erin

And, here’s verbatim her message to you, including some tips and tricks!  Be sure to comment on how it worked out for you, and any changes you made to the recipe, and thanks for stopping by!!

2 boxes of corn muffin mix
1 bag frozen corn
2 packets of instant potatoes
1 jar beef gravy (we all like beef over chicken gravy, and the color stands out more against the white potatoes)
1 bag frozen chicken strips

Mix corn muffin mix per directions on box and add in half a bag of frozen corn to each box of mix. Bake in 2 round cake pans at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes. Checking them occasionally. When done, let cool completely, otherwise they will break when flipping them.

Cook instant potatoes according to directions on pouch. Assemble corn muffin cakes much like you would any dessert cake- one layer down and coat with mashed potato icing and repeat. The mashed potatoes need to be hot to cooperate.

I left 1 cup of mashed potatoes to the side in a ziploc bag for decorating. Cut the tip of the bag and use to make icing border around the edge of the cake. This also helps create a little ‘pool’ of gravy for the chicken.

Next, spoon the gravy over the edges to give the drizzle effect. Poor the rest in the center of the cake.

Cook chicken strips in the oven until fully cooked, do not deep fry or pan fry, as the grease slips with the gravy and doesn’t hold. Assemble  chicken on top of the cake and wa-la!

~Connie Kaye

Cornbread Cake with Chicken

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Ingredients

2 boxes of corn muffin mix
1 bag frozen corn
2 packets of instant potatoes
1 jar beef gravy (we all like beef over chicken gravy, and the color stands out more against the white potatoes)
1 bag frozen chicken strips

Mix corn muffin mix per directions on box and add in half a bag of frozen corn to each box of mix. Bake in 2 round cake pans at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes. Checking them occasionally. When done, let cool completely, otherwise they will break when flipping them.

Cook instant potatoes according to directions on pouch. Assemble corn muffin cakes much like you would any dessert cake- one layer down and coat with mashed potato icing and repeat. The mashed potatoes need to be hot to cooperate.

I left 1 cup of mashed potatoes to the side in a ziploc bag for decorating. Cut the tip of the bag and use to make icing border around the edge of the cake. This also helps create a little ‘pool’ of gravy for the chicken.  Next, spoon the gravy over the edges to give the drizzle effect. Poor the rest in the center of the cake.

Cook chicken strips in the oven until fully cooked, do not deep fry or pan fry, as the grease slips with the gravy and doesn’t hold. Assemble  chicken on top of the cake and wa-la!

Grilled Peaches!

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I love love love grilled pineapple – it brings out the sweetness and flavor.  Oh so yum.  We tried grilled watermelon in salsa last year, but I wasn’t a fan.  HOWEVER, you take a peach, throw it on the grill, dress it up and WOW.  It will knock your socks off, if you happen to be wearing any.

I bought a few peaches – not smushy but fairly ripe.  Cut them in half with little help from my (our) friends (Beatles song 🙂 :

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Gab and Gen here to assist (and taste)!

I removed the pits and then sprayed with a little bit of “it’s not really butter but tastes like it”.  We put them face down on the grill:

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Peaches chillin’ on the grillin’

and then grilled until soft (NOT mushy..I despise mushy food) and had nice grill marks, like this:

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Peaches on fancy “Beene china”

We then added a little spray of fake butter, and sprinkled on some brown sugar and just a touch of cinnamon.  Back to the grill, my little delights!

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Close the lid with the grill off and let the brown sugar melt.  We brought our little gems in the house, drooling.  DELECTABLE.  We thought MB might like them with a spoon of ice cream, and, well, no words to explain it.  They are really good without the ice cream – that’s how my helpers and I ate them.  I’ll be making this at the lake this summer.  Nothing easier and more delicious!

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Enjoy!

~Connie Kaye

Grilled Peaches

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Ingredients:

Peaches
Brown sugar
Cinnamon
Margarine

Cut peaches in half, and remove pits.  Oh yeah, you might wanna wash them also.  Brush or spray with butter, and place on low temp grill, face down.  Grill until soft, but not smushy.  Sprinkle about a TBSP of brown sugar in the well of the peach, and around the top, and then lightly add a cinnamon sprinkle.  Back to the grill, face up with grill off.  Sugar melts and delish!  Eat as is, or serve with vanilla ice cream.

 

Apple Salsa with Cinnamon Chips

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Now that some really good, sweet fruit is available in the grocery store, I love to brew this salsa up.  However, the cinnamon chips are sooo delicious that you want to be sure to make plenty.

apple salsa

This will please even the most finnicky of eaters, and you can throw in additional fruit to your liking.  I’ve also made it when kiwifruit isn’t available, and it’s just as good.  Enjoy!

~Connie Kaye

Apple Salsa w/Cinnamon Chips

Ingredients:

SALSA
2 medium tart apples, chopped
1 Cup chopped strawberries
2 medium kiwifruit, peeled and chopped
1 small orange
2 TBSP brown sugar
2 TBSP apple jelly, melted

CHIPS
8 flour tortillas
1 tbsp water
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp cinnamon

Directions:
Combine apples, strawberries and kiwi.  Grate orange peel to measure 1.5 tsp; squeeze juice from orange.  Add peel and juice to apple mixture, and stir in brown sugar and jelly.

For chips, brush tortillas lightly with water.  Combine sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle over tortillas.  Cut each tortilla into 8 wedges.  Place in single layer on ungreased baking sheets.  Bake at 400 degrees for 6-8 minutes or until lightly browned.  Cool.

Another birthday, and STROMBOLI!!!!!

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Twenty-nine years ago today, I was just a tad tired and stressed, which translates into the fact that my daughter, Brandi, didn’t just come bee bopping into this world easily.  However, it’s been all good since then – some unbelievably good times, with someone who I love “as big as the world”.  (You’re supposed to outstretch your arms when you say this).     Meet Miss Brandi Lynn:

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A little vacay to Belize!

So it started like this – note that she had a good working relationship with the phone waaay back then:

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Her first horse show at Mound City KS. Cannot remember which one of my barrel horses she rode, but she won FIRST. (she was well known for riding the variety of moms barrel horses)  One of my good friends in Oklahoma painted our matching shirts….I still have them.  And Yes, that’s one of my retired helmets 🙂

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ACE

Kickin’ some butt in the barrel race on Ace. He turned out to be an AMAZING barrel horse for me, at first, and then won a TON of buckles, a saddle, etc., for Brandi & Brice.B & C C & B

So my little girl grew into this gorgeous young woman, and as I said on a previous birthday, hug ’em and hold ’em, cuz they grow up fast and don’t fit on your lap anymore!

My amazing friend, Linda, introduced me to stromboli (Linda McAdam style) many, many years ago.  And.  It’s.  Awesome.  In fact, Brandi and Brice would take it for lunch the following day, and finally the cooks at the school kitchen asked if they could have the recipe.  Wow…now, that’s a compliment!   To this day, it’s one of our family favorites so I am happy to share the “Connie Kaye” version here.  Unfortunately the subject of this post is in Washington, DC, so we are currently unable to enjoy it together.   Whah.  Whah.   That was my sad voice.

Stromboli is super easy and you can add what you like.  We use pepperoni, and I like to buy turkey pepperoni because of the lesser fat content, and a good sliced lunchmeat ham.  Layer away and it will be superb.  I always offer up spaghetti or marinara sauce for dipping but I like it as is.  Anytime.  Anywhere.  And if the recipe below works out for you it will somewhat mirror this, and oh man, grab it quick!

stromboli

 

I use frozen bread dough and some simple yummy stuff inside.  My hubster  loves the all meat version so we are flexible on our strombolis 🙂 And, it evens warms up well in the microwave.  Happy birthday to my stromboli-lovin daughter, and I hope you enjoy this family favorite!

~Connie Kaye

Stromboli

  • Servings: 4
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Ingredients:

Frozen bread dough
Choice of meat fillings (sliced ham, pepperoni, browned sausage)
Shredded mozzarella and/or Italian blend cheese
Garlic Salt

Spray a deep casserole dish or large bread pan (something with high sides works best) with cooking spray.  Place frozen dough in pan an cover with plastic wrap.  Let it defrost and rise at room temperature for approx. 8 hours or so.  Remove from pan and place on ungreased baking sheet.  Stretch to make a rectangle, being careful to not rip or get dough to thin in places.  Layer ham slices, then garlic salt, cheese, pepperoni/sausage, and a last layer of cheese.  Bring sides together and pinch to seal, fold ends in and seal.  Flip this over so it’s seam side down.  Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes or until browned to your liking.  I remove it about 10 minutes before it’s done and brush with melted butter.  Return it to the oven to finish and you’ll have a beautiful crust.

 

 

 

 

Easy Pizza Casserole

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Yep, Monday happened yesterday, and so did this go to recipe, that my friend Trish shared with me.  Of course I’ve “edited” it a little but it’s so easy and flexible you can adjust to the likings of your famliy very easily.

So here’s a pic of some of the ingredients:

photo 1Start with a casserole dish coated with cooking spray, and cut your biscuits in half with kitchen shears.  YES, kitchen shears.  A wonderful invention.  I ripped mine off from my mom and they cut everything!  Chicken wings when we fire up the smoker and everything else in between.  Highly recommended!!!!  (shhh, she doesn’t know I have them).

biscuits

addl ingredients

Brown a pound of ground beef with chopped onion, add a little minced garlic at the end.  (Garlic needs to be cooked just until fragrant, not browned.  Burnt garlic should be promptly delivered to File 13, aka trash.)  These are 2 ingredients I added cuz we love tasty at our house!   I should have used fresh garlic, but hey, it’s Monday and I’m tired and I LOVE this minced garlic in a squirt bottle.  Once you brown and drain the above ingredients, I add a little cut up turkey (less fat) pepperoni, warm it up and then add your favorite spaghetti sauce.  Place this delicious dish of sauce and meat on your biscuits, and bake for about 20 minutes or so.

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Love those kitchen shears!

Remove from oven and cover with your favorite mix of italian blend, mozzarella, cheddar, and in this case, I topped with a few ropes of provel (mixture of provolone, cheddar and swiss cheese).  Just use your favorite cheeses and it will be delish!  Bake for about 10 min longer to let the cheese melt and ENJOY!  I didn’t get a pretty pic of this plated because we were starving, but here’s an afterthought pic.  Was so easy peasy and a nice end to the first day back in the work week. Definitely worked for really yummy lunch leftovers today.

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Easy Pizza Casserole

  • Servings: depends on the size of your dish
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Ingredients:
The following ingredients make a 8×8 or 9×9 casserole, so adjust for your gang!

1 tube biscuits
1 lb. hamburger
Handful of turkey pepperoni, cut in pieces
1/2 onion, chopped
2 cloves of minced garlic
Jar of spaghetti sauce
Choice of various shredded cheeses
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350.  Spray dish with nonstick spray and cut biscuits into rough 1/3 sizes to cover bottom of dish.  Brown ground beef and onions, add garlic and cook until fragrant.  Drain and add cut pepperoni, cooking until warmed through.  Add spaghetti sauce and spread over top of biscuits.  Cook for about 20-25 minutes or so, then remove from oven and top with desired cheeses.  Return to oven for 10 min or until cheese is melted.  ENJOY!

Hello world!

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Welcome to Connie Kaye’s kitchen! I’m Connie Kaye and I’ll be leading this kitchen adventure and probably throwing in some random musings along the way. More than likely my children, husband and random thoughts will end up here as well, but never fear, tons of great cooking advice, adventures and recipes will be showcased.

For my first post, I thought I would share with you all some of my specialties that may eventually appear in the Recipe Box (see tabs above). These are the recipes my kids love the most and often request when they come home.

– Stromboli

– Blueberry Jell-O dessert

– Potato soup

I know that is a weird assortment of things but they never ask for them all at the same time, I promise.

Empanadas in a Belizean restaurant

Empanadas in Belize

Recipes I would like to learn how to make will also be featured on this blog and they include: the perfect imposter Cheddar Bay biscuit, homemade empanadas (my daughter had some in Belize) and a variety of sweet treats.

What are some of your go-to dishes? Any suggestions for recipes I should experiment with?

Recipes coming shortly!  Thanks for reading and come back soon!

Connie