Tag Archives: main Dish

A unique twist on tacos…..

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A unique twist on tacos…..

My friend Heather tried a different way of eating tacos last week – she made the shells out of cheese:

cheese taco shells (2)

She made cheese crisps not too long ago, so I think she wanted to expand her creativity.  Plus, she loves Mexican food, as I do.  Here are the super easy directions:

1/2 cup cheddar cheese in circles on parchment paper.  Bake at 425 for 5-7 minutes.  Let cool slightly, then hang them over a spatula or utensil handle to form as shells.

Her filling was super easy as well – cooked chicken in the crockpot with Rotel tomatoes & green chiles, and threw in some taco seasoning.  Shredded and offered lettuce, avocado, salsa and more cheese.  She also made a lime sour cream (YUM) which was just sour cream, fresh lime juice, lime zest, salt and garlic powder.

Heather has two daughters who keep her super busy on competitive sports teams, so an easy crockpot meal is just the ticket.  Thanks for sharing my good friend, and thank you to all of my followers for stopping by!

~Connie Kaye

 

 

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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!

 

 

 

You have a ham bone, now what??

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You have a ham bone, now what??

How many of you plan to cook a ham for Easter?  Ooohh, I can see your hands in the air!  The dilemma is solved, my friends, with what to do with that dang ham bone, in this post.  Bottom line, do not throw it away — that Easter ham is the gift that keeps on giving!

I cooked a ham after Christmas, and froze the bone.  Since we have had all four seasons in one week, today being foggy, chilly, and rainy, I thought ham and beans might just fit the ticket, plus it can cook away all day in the slow cooker.   If you have read other posts of mine, you might have seen that I’m a fan of Southern Living magazine.  I’m a midwest girl, but that magazine will give you some of the best recipes and ideas ever!

I grabbed this recipe out of the drawer, and voila, Spring Ham and Bean Soup was ready when we arrived home.  I prepped everything the night before and threw it all in before heading out the door.  The recipe actually calls for a 6 hour jaunt on high in the slow cooker, but since I was gone all day, I cooked it on low for about 11 hours.  PERFECT!!!!  You can find the recipe here but I’m adding it below for your convenience.

So, if you are one of the lucky ones eating Easter ham, save the bone and take advantage of an easy peasy meal!  Happy Easter, and thanks for stopping by!

~Connie Kaye

Ham and Bean Soup

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Ingredients:

  • 6 cups unsalted chicken stock
  • 1 pound dried Great Northern beans, sorted of debris and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme (dried works as well)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped (about 1 Tbsp.)
  • 3 celery stalks, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 1/2 cup)
  • 2 large carrots, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 1 cup)
  • 1 small yellow onion, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 1 cup)
  • 1 large, meaty ham bone

Stir together chicken stock, Great Northern beans, thyme, salt, pepper, garlic, celery, carrots, and onion in a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker. Place ham bone in the center of mixture; cover and cook on HIGH until beans are tender, about 6 hours, or low until you get home from work. Remove ham bone; let stand until cool enough to handle. Remove meat from bone; discard fat, gristle, and bone. Shred meat, and stir into soup.

 

Chicken, bacon, cheese…….

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oh yeah, and jalapenos, but not hot.  I promise.

chicken bacon

Since we had the day off yesterday,  we did a barbeque run to a new spot, and are recovering from some amazing Kansas City BBQ at Slaps in Kansas City, KS.  I highly recommend this joint to everyone.  RIBS.  The end.  We ended up with an entire meal that we brought home, so order lightly.  Oh yeah, and BRISKET.  The best word to go with BBQ is joint, and this place brings it home.  We will definitely be back.  We shopped and then gambled at Hollywood Casino on the way home, and although we didn’t come out on top, it was fun!

Thought I might brew up something a little lighter for dinner, and made these chicken bacon jalapeno wraps.  We had a wonderful Christmas with friends, family and even more friends from Australia, plus an upcoming Mexico vacay in which we might just possibly overindulge, so the hubs and I have been eating a lot of meat, veggies and fruit.

So, let’s bring on the yard bird.  The husband of the house is not a fan of “yard bird” as he and his friend Charlie call it, but this, is delish.  I remove all of the innards from the jalapeno so it’s not hot, and combine with cheese and bacon, and yummo.  It’s about -10 degrees outside so I didn’t grill, which is the best, and most delicious option, but baking works as well.

Happy New Year everyone, and here’s to a fantastic 2018!!

~Connie Kaye

Chicken Bacon Rollups

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Ingredients:

5 boneless skinless chicken breasts
5 jalapeno peppers
20 strips bacon
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 cup cup grated colby jack or cheddar cheese
salt & pepper to taste
Favorite BBQ sauce

Slice chicken breasts in half width wise (each half makes 1 chicken rollup).  Place between 2 pieces of wax paper and pound to 1/4″ thickness.  Season each with salt & pepper.

Slice jalapenos in half lengthwise and remove seeds, ribs and the end with the stem.

In a small bowl, mix softened cream cheese with your grated colby jack or cheddar cheese.

Fill each jalapeno half with cheese mixture.  Place 1 jalapeno half at the end of each chicken piece, and roll up.  Doesn’t always close the way you think it might – no worries, the bacon brings everything together.  Wrap each piece of chicken with bacon, tucking in the ends of the strips.

Preheat grill and cook over indirect heat for 20-25 minutes, turning every 4-5 minutes.  Baste chicken with BBQ sauce every time you give it a flip.  Chicken is done when it reaches an internal temp of 165 degrees.  If you don’t have a meat thermometer, buy one.  🙂  Just kidding…you can pierce the chicken with a fork, and if juices run clear, you’re good to go.

Alternate method — if you choose to bake, set oven at 375 and bake uncovered for 30 minutes, basting as above.  You can broil at the end so bacon can crisp completely.

Hey all you smokers out there….

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Hey all you smokers out there….

meat smokers, that is!  If you’re lookin to change it up a bit for the holidays, I’ve got the deal for you.  We aren’t huge turkey eaters – usually dry…you know the story.  However, while I was out of town last week, Mike, the hubster, did a little research and found a smoked turkey recipe on the Traeger site.  He shared it with me, and my only thought was, ok, this sounds good, but we need to do a trial run before we launch it on everyone at Christmas.

So, today was the day.  We actually started watching the (horrible) KC Chiefs game and half way through, ate wings right off the smoker.  We tried some sauce that we scored in St. Louis last weekend (you might have seen a recent post that we were there for a wedding) which is from a restaurant called Syberg’s.  (Actually, I think we have met the owner at the lake; he’s a friend of a friend, Bob Wood, a.k.a Woody, and I believe he’s been on our dock before).  We joined our friends, Nick and Katie, for lunch, and they said they sell it in the grocery store, so we bought some before we left town – a couple different kinds.  If you have a chance to eat there, do it.  Delish!  And, the plus is that they have TV’s everywhere, and posted on the TV is the NFL game that will be broadcast on that particular TV that day.  I’ve watched a lot of football in sports bars, and that’s a new, albeit very convenient, idea!!!

OK, so back to the turkey.  Mike took the Traeger recipe and changed it up a bit, and it’s amazing.  We will definitely be doing this at Christmas, along with tri tip on the smoker as well.  Note that we did this on a pellet smoker, instead of the big wood smoker (easier) so adjust as you need to.  This is it before going under the knife:

turkey

Two turkey breasts, awaiting the knife and consumption!

So, so delicious.  We gave half to our friends, and will have leftovers this week.

From our family to yours, we wish you a safe and Happy Thanksgiving!

~Connie Kaye

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Ingredients:

MEAT
We used a bone-in turkey breast (leave skin on)

Brine
1 gallon water
3 TBSP minced garlic
2 TBSP worcestershire sauce
3/4 cup canning & pickling sauce
3 TBSP brown sugar
2 TBSP cajun seasoning

Cover and brine for 1-2 days.  Following brining, remove and pat dry.

Mix 1/2 cup soft butter and 1.5 cups spicy BBQ sauce (we used Traeger Texas Spicy Sauce- yum).  Rub this under the skin and all over the turkey breasts.

Set smoker at 225 degrees, and cook for 2 to 2.5 hours — until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.  Baste with remaining butter/BBQ sauce every 30 minutes or so.  Once it hits the desired temperature, remove from smoker and let rest for 15 minutes or so.

Carve and enjoy!

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:

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

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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.

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)