Tag Archives: Side Dishes

A couple of easy peasy salads for your turkey day table…..

A couple of easy peasy salads for your turkey day table…..

Not sure why I’ve not posted these recipes — they are two of my most requested.  My fantastic mother-in-law introduced me to the Oriental Crunch Salad, and my brother won’t let me come for Thanksgiving lunch if I don’t bring the Pineapple-Cranberry Salad.  I love CRUNCH, and these salads live up to the challenge.  It’s not too late to serve to loved ones on your Thanksgiving table tomorrow (or whenever you gather for the holiday)!

Happy Thanksgiving!

~Connie Kaye

Oriental Crunch Salad

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1 16oz. bag shredded coleslaw mix
6 green onions, chopped (with greens)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup oil
1/4  cup tarragon vinegar
1 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1 cup sunflower seeds
2 pkg ramen noodles, flavor packets discarded
1 stick butter

Mix together the shredded cabbage and chopped green onions.  Set aside.

Mix sugar, oil, vinegar and soy sauce together.  Stir/shake well until sugar is dissolved.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.  (I do this in a jar and shake the heck out of it)

Brown almonds, sunflower seeds and ramen noodles in margarine or butter.  Drain on paper towels and store in plastic bag until ready to serve.  Careful not to burn

You can make everything ahead of time.  Keep separate until about 15 minutes before serving time.  Put the crunchies over the slaw and pour the dressing over all.  Stir well.


Pineapple Cranberry Salad

Pineapple-Cranberry Salad

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1 can (20 oz) crushed pineapple (undrained)
2 pkg (4 serving size) raspberry flavored jello
1 can (16 oz) whole cranberry sauce
1 red apple, choppedf
2/3 cup chopped pecans

Drain pineapple, reserving juice. Add enough cold water to juice to measure 3 cups; pour into saucepan.  Bring to boil; remove from heat.  Add jello mix and stir for 2 minutes or until dissolved.  Stir in cranberry sauce.  Pour into serving bowl, and refrigerate for 1.5 hours or until slightly thickened.

Stir in pineapple, apples and pecans.  Refrigerate until firm.  Yummo!



It’s been awhile…..


Hello my cooking friends out there!  I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted, but there have been some significant life events happening around here.  In the space of a couple of days, we welcomed our first grandchild into the world, while losing my mom.  So, you can already guess that little Oakley will joining me occasionally on here 🙂

I want to share a recipe that I made on Christmas (well, I didn’t make it, I just thunk it up) – there wasn’t any left for seconds!  I had decided to make my favorite risotto recipe, Mushroom and Pea Risotto but thought I would try adding asparagus, knowing my family loves it.  The best part is that my MIL asked “how can I help” and from there it was on!!!  She’s one of my fave peeps in the world, and she was kind enough to stand and stir for about 40 minutes.


Meet Debbie, the happy risotto maker!


The final delicious product!

Click on the link above for the recipe, but substitute a bunch of blanched asparagus.  You will love!  Oh, and I want you to meet to newest Kansas City Chiefs fan, Oakley:

Oakley was a little sleepy for the recent K State bowl game win, but she was awake to learn the tomahawk chop during the KC Chiefs AFC WEST CHAMPION game (yeah, she did nap a little during halftime).

Hope you had a wonderful and safe holiday, here’s to 2017!

~Connie Kaye

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

Fresh Asparagus Risotto


I had never made risotto until last fall, but if you have a little extra time to devote, it’s really amazing.  I adapted this recipe from Rice Select arborio rice, which is risotto.  If you don’t know what arborio rice is, here ya go — little pasta thingys that look like rice.  They turn really smooth and creamy with whatever you throw in with them.  Not hard to make, and I encourage you to give it a whirl.

I bought fresh asparagus and of course, had to try it while I was chopping – so sweet and delicious.   I’ll be buying more soon for roasting on the grill or other recipes.  Here’s the final product:

a risotto

Have patience and it’s worth it, plus whatever white wine doesn’t go into the risotto, drink it 🙂   Hope you enjoy, and if you have variations, please share in the comment section below.   And, if you like this recipe, try my Mushroom and Pea version.   Like what you see here?  If you’re not following my blog, enter your email address and you’ll have some easy dishes delivered right to your inbox.  Thanks, and keep cooking!

~Connie Kaye

Fresh Asparagus Risotto

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3 cups water
2 cups chicken stock or broth
3 tbsp butter or margarine, divided
1 lb. fresh asparagus spears, with the woody root ends snapped off, diagonally sliced into 1 inch pieces
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 1/2 cups uncooked arborio rice
1/3 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Heat water and broth in 2 qt saucepan over medium heat until it comes to a simmer.  Reduce heat to low and keep warm.  Meanwhile, melt 2 tbsp butter in large saucepan over medium heat; add asparagus and cook until tender crisp.  Remove asparagus; set aside.

In same saucepan, cook onion in remaining 1 tbsp butter until soft.  Add rice and stir 2 to 3 minutes, careful not to burn.  Add wine; stir until absorbed.  (drink rest of wine)  Increase heat to medium high; stir in 1 cup water-broth mixture.  Cook uncovered, stirring frequently until liquid is absorbed.  Continue this process, one cup at a time, allowing each cup to absorb before adding more liquid.  (you may need more wine at this point)  Cook until rice is tender and mixture has a creamy consistency, a total of 25-30 minutes.

Stir in asparagus, cream, cheese, salt and pepper.  Stir until mixture is creamy, about 2 to 3 minutes.  Serve immediately, and refrigerate any leftovers.

Cranberry Glazed Sweet Potatoes

Cranberry Glazed Sweet Potatoes

I scored this recipe off The Kitchen, thank you Katie Lee, and although it was touted as a Thanksgiving and holiday recipe, I made it tonight and we enjoyed it with marinated, grilled flank steak (amazing).  This was super easy and delish, and if you don’t want to include the glaze, the roasted sweet potatoes were to the moon on their own (I had to do a little tastey tastey).

Again, I almost burnt the almonds while toasting (saute in butter) because I multi-task too much, and was hoping that KSU could pull off a win 😦   Anyway, here’s my taters, drizzled with EEO, then add salt and fresh cracked pepper:

sweet pots

In the oven they went while I enjoyed the beautiful weather outside.  Made the glaze ahead of time and just let it chill (remember, EASY recipe):

glaze for pots

Here’s my final product, and it tastes much better than it looks, but that’s typical cuz I’m not a photographer, and my new phone got wet and died in the rainstorm out in the cove at the lake this summer 😦

finished sweet pots

Yes, I need to break loose and buy a new one (with insurance.)   This weather makes me miss boating life, so am sharing a pic of my boat, which I miss!  Can’t wait for March!!!!


Actually looks better now since I’ve added a KSU and American flag to the antenna!

Enjoy this time leading up to the holidays, and pray for our friends in France and those working so hard to keep us safe here in America, where we are soo lucky to live!  I know I have followers from several other countries, so prayers to you as well for your safety!

~Connie Kaye

Cranberry Glazed Sweet Potatoes

  • Servings: depends
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Approximately 5 medium sweet potatoes, or 3 large
2 tbsp olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup cranberry juice cocktail
3 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp butter
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup sliced toasted almonds

On a baking sheet, toss together the sweet potatoes, oil and salt and pepper. Roast until the potatoes are golden brown and cooked through, 30 to 40 minutes.

In the meantime, in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, reduce the cranberry juice by half. Add the brown sugar, butter and cinnamon, stirring to dissolve and incorporate.

When the potatoes come out of the oven, add them to a large bowl. Pour the glaze over top and toss to coat completely. Serve topped with the toasted almonds.

Oriental Crunch Salad


I fixed this recently for a bridal lunch and a shrimp boil, and it was an instant hit both times.  Super easy because you make pretty much everything ahead of time, and just throw it together when ready to serve!  My only caution is the sauteeing part — I tend to rush the process thus having to start all over again when I burn the almonds, etc.

oriental crunch salad

Photo credit bettycrocker.com. Didn’t get a pic before it was long gone!

I go the easy route with coleslaw mix, but you could shred your own cabbage.  Enjoy, and I’ll share the recipes for the Shrimp Boil and Crepes Divan next!!

~Connie Kaye

Oriental Crunch Salad

  • Servings: depends
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1 16oz. bag shredded cabbage or coleslaw mix
6 chopped green onions
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup oil
1/4 cup tarragon vinegar
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 (3 to 4 oz) package sliced almonds (1/2 cup)
1 (4 to 5 oz) package sunflower seeds (approx 3/4 – 1 cup)
2 packages ramen noodles, flavor packets discarded
1 stick butter or margarine

Mix together the cabbage and chopped green onions in serving bowl.

Mix sugar, oil, vinegar, and soy sauce.  Stir well or shake until sugar is dissolved.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Brown almonds, sunflower seeds and ramen noodles in margarine.  Drain on paper towels and store in plastic bag until ready to serve.

You can make all mixtures ahead of time.  However, keep them separate until about 10 minutes before serving time.  Put the crunchies over the cabbage and pour dressing over all.  Stir salad very well.  (Also, if you  double the recipe, I recommend either doing the crunchy browning in 2 separate batches or get the ramens pretty well done then add the almonds and seeds.)

An elegant (and easy) recipe for delicious carrots!


There’s a place at the lake that serves delicious spiced carrots, so when I saw this recipe, I went for it.  And, it didn’t disappoint.  Meet my delicious side dish, although I could just chomp them all down and call it good:


Oops, they look like little smokies, but are Orange Spiced Carrots!

I started with one pound of baby carrots and halved the recipe.  Add orange juice, brown sugar, butter and spices, and you won’t look back.  And, a great way to get the kids to eat veggies, and would be a good holiday dish.  Lastly, I made them in the crockpot so that made it even easier.  Hope you enjoy as much as we did, and thanks for stopping by my site!  Happy Spooky Halloween!

~Connie Kaye

Orange Spiced Carrots

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2 lbs. medium carrots or baby carrots, cut into 1 inch pieces
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup orange juice
2 tbsp butter
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
4 tsp cornstarch
1/4 cup water

In 3 qt slow cooker, combine the first 7 ingredients.  Cook on low, 4-5 hours, covered or until carrots are tender.

In a small bowl, combine cornstarch and water until smooth; gradually stir into carrots until sauce is thickened.  Sprinkle with chopped pecans for a nice addition.