Tag Archives: Quick & Easy

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.


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

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.




Yummy Potato Casserole


This is not your traditional tater casserole.  Nothing healthy about it, but with Easter approaching, I wanted to share as it would be a delicious addition to your meal.

Keep in mind that this casserole may use shredded frozen potatoes and cheddar cheese, but you use HEAVY CREAM – nope, no canned soup in this baby. ¬†I now use only sharp cheddar but you could go with your favorite. ¬†And, for those of you who want to make it and leave it, I’m pretty sure a slow cooker would work on this.


Happy St. Patty’s Day, and enjoy!

~Connie Kaye

Potato Casserole

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4 cups shredded hash brown potatoes
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
salt and pepper
1 1/2 heavy cream
Optional:  thinly sliced or minced onion

Alternate layers of potatoes and cheese (and onion, if using), using salt and pepper to taste.  One you have all of the taters and cheese in casserole dish, pour cream over it.  Bake at 350 degrees for 45 min covered, then remove lid and continue for another 10-15 minutes uncovered so cheese is bubbly.


An EASY, yet fancy dessert!


I LOVE creme brulee — actually, I love custard-type desserts. ¬†I don’t make them often, but dinner at a friend’s house called for a little yummo action.

I wanted to share this super easy recipe, because it’s not at all complicated, and many of them are. ¬†Vanilla beans – pish, posh — real vanilla (mine’s from Mexico) and some Grand Marnier and you’re good to go. ¬†I also have the little kitchen torch, but if nobody’s looking, just grab your grill lighter and it will work in a real pinch¬†ūüôā

creme brulee

Give it a try – you’ll be glad you did! ¬†Happy Friday Friends!

~Connie Kaye

Creme Brulee

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1 extra-large egg  (large eggs work fine)
4 extra-large egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar, plus 1 tablespoon for each serving
3 cups heavy cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon orange liqueur (recommended: Grand Marnier)

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the egg, egg yolks, and 1/2 cup of the sugar together on low speed until just combined. Meanwhile, scald the cream in a small saucepan until it’s very hot to the touch but not boiled (be careful that you don’t end up with scrambled eggs). With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the cream to the eggs. Add the vanilla and orange liqueur and pour into ramekins or small custard dishes until almost full.

Place the ramekins in a baking pan and carefully pour boiling water into the pan to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the custards are set when gently shaken (they get kinda bubbly on top). Remove the custards from the water bath, cool to room temperature, and refrigerate until firm.

To serve, spread 1 tablespoon of sugar evenly on the top of each ramekin and heat with a kitchen blowtorch until the sugar carmelizes evenly. Allow to sit at room temperature for a minute until the caramelized sugar hardens.

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 keyingredient.com

Happy holidays, and thanks for stopping by!

~Connie Kaye

Crockpot Crack

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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.




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.

The Best (and easiest) Homemade Mac & Cheese


We had a birthday party for the youngest daughter, Kristy, last month, and smoked a bunch of pork butts in anticipation of a United Way fundraiser (today) as well as her birthday.  I had made my famous and delicious cheesy potatoes but as I contemplated the number of men and kids attending, I thought I might whip up a quick batch of mac and cheese.

My sister came up with this recipe and it’s super easy, cheesy and delicious. ¬†All you need is mac and cheese, powdered milk, velveeta and sharp cheddar. ¬†I might add that at first I was only able to find these huge boxes of powdered milk, but now you can buy little packages of it which are really handy and work for those of us who don’t use this on a regular basis.

Be sure to use sharp cheddar and the more liquid the better when you pop it in the oven. ¬†(I’ve actually started only buying sharp) Sooo good!

mac and cheese


~Connie Kaye

Homemade Mac & Cheese

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Preheat oven to 325 for glass dishes; 350 for metal.  Spray a 9 x 13 dish with non-stick spray.

2 cups small size elbow macaroni
1/3 cup nonfat dry milk
1 lb. Velveeta (1/2 of package)
8 oz. (at least) sharp grated cheddar cheese
1/4 pound butter

Fill a 3 qt saucepan 2/3 full with water, salt generously, and bring to a boil. ¬†Add mac to boiling water, stir. ¬†Allow water to return to boil and cook macaroni just to al dente stage. ¬†This does not take long!! ¬†It will cook more as you melt the cheese and also in the baking process. ¬† Drain some of the water – leaving just enough to “almost” cover the macaroni.

Add nonfat dry milk to the macaroni and water.  Stir until milk is dissolved.

Cut Velveeta into chunks and add to the macaroni mixture.  Stir well, cover loosely and return to very low heat.  Add 1/4 lb. butter, cut into chunks and add to the mac and cheese mixture. Stir frequently until almost all of the Velveeta is melted.  Once that happens, pour into baking dish.  You may want to add more water or milk at this point.  Top with shredded sharp cheddar.

Bake for 25-30 minutes or until cheese is melted and browned to your preference.

Easy and delicious slow cooker pork steaks!


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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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!