Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Mexican Chicken Soup

Alright here is the second recipe for the Have a Holly Jolly Christmas Recipe Swap at http://farmchickskitchen.blogspot.com/, make sure you stop by an visit as there are some great recipes posted by other ladies and friends.  This recipe is a great soup to throw together with little or no fuss, which this time of year is my favorite. Between breaking ice, plowing snow, the holidays and home schooling our days are full and dinner can get forgotten until the last minute. So fix you a bowl, enjoy with some cornbread, a fire in the fireplace and a holiday movie on TV.

Mexican Chicken Soup

4 chicken leg quarters boiled until cooked and cooled then shredded (This can be done ahead of time and kept in the fridge or freezer to pull out at the last minute)
3 cups water or chicken broth
1 can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can black bean, undrained
1 can mexi-style corn, undrained
Salt, pepper, cayenne, chili powder and paprika to taste

Mix all the ingredients in a large stock pot and heat through. Fix some cornbread or serve with your favorite bread. It is that easy, nothing else to do other than enjoy!

Don't have a picture to add, as the soup is all gone, so thought I would put in a picture of the snow that we have been looking at for the past few days!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Cranberry Jam

Here is my recipe for Cranberry Jam that I made just a week ago, finally getting around to putting the recipe up on here and on fellow blogger Fresh from the Farm for her recipe swap.  Make sure you stop by her great blog also to catch all the other great recipes, crafts and holiday ideas being shared http://farmchickskitchen.blogspot.com/

Cranberry Jam

12 oz fresh or frozen cranberries
12 oz fruit juice (Cranberry, Pomegranate, Raspberry, Cherry or what ever is your favorite and the flavor you want to add to the cranberries
1 cup sugar

Mix the cranberries, juice and sugar in a large sauce pan. Bring to a boil and then turn the heat down to medium-low and cook until the berries have burst and the sauce is thickened. You can let it cool down and then store in the refrigerator or multiple the recipe and can. One batch makes 3-4 half pints of jam. Just can it in a hot water bath for 15 minutes.

Enjoy on toast, bagel or English muffin for breakfast or with rolls and biscuits for dinner.

Hope you enjoy this recipe. One of my favorite for the holidays, ever since my husband's grandmother made it and gave it out for Christmas gifts.  Now I make a triple batch each year to have enough to last the year through.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


Just the other day a conversation left me quite frankly speechless. Now those of you who know me well, would say that was impossible. Yes I know most of the time I have something to add or a comment to make, well that changed during a conversation with an acquaintance about ranch life, kids and home schooling.

I am always more than happy to answer questions about our ranch, the cattle industry, beef and kids. Such was the case with this conversation with "John Doe" who shall remain un-named so as to not offend anyone. The usual questions came about, how did you get into ranching, what type of cows do you have, do the kids like living that far from town, etc.  Then came the question "Why doesn't your oldest daughter have a job?" At first I thought they were joking, she just turned 13 after all, a little young for a job. When I realized they were not joking I told them all that she does to "work" around the ranch; feeding calves and horses, moving the herd, helping to brand, sort, vaccinate, ship, doctor sick calves, cut wood, break horses and all the other things a ranch kid helps out with around the ranch. John Doe then looked at me and said "No I mean a real job."

Here is where I reached the speechless part!  A "real job"? Really, all that stuff I just told him she worked at and helped out with was not a "real job"?  Boy would all of the cowboys, ranchers, wives, girlfriends, kids and countless others would find themselves speechless and in shock to find out that they were not working at a "real job"! Once I recovered from my speechless shock, I asked just what does a real job require?  How did they define a "real job"?  There response was of course something that you got paid to do and had to leave home to go to work.

It just kept getting better! I was by this time not speechless as a fire had been lit and the words where pouring forth. I then asked John Doe so if you work at home now that is not a "real job"?  What about the people who volunteer their time to help others? Do stay at home mom's not work?  At this point the man was unsure as what direction to take and was looking for a way out of the mess he had made for himself. After he left I was still shocked at someone thinking that ranch or farm kids don't work at real jobs.

I don't know about anyone else but our girls do just as much to help out on the ranch, age allowing, as the adults. Sometimes I think they do more, what with school, music, clubs and the like on top of everything else.
Am I worried that the girls will never get "real jobs"? No if they never go any farther than this ranch to work and raise a family they will have made a wonderful life for themselves and the next generation. The work ethic that kids learn on farms and ranches I think is second to none and maybe if more kids learned it this world would be a better place.

See I told you I am normally not left speechless with nothing to say!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Planning Thanksgiving

Well it is that time of year in which I start planning my Thanksgiving dinner. This year will be a little different as we are going to the hubby's Grandma's for actual Thanksgiving dinner. I'm waiting until the weekend to cook so that everyone can be here for the meal.

That being said we are having goose this year instead of the traditional turkey since I raised two in the backyard this spring and summer. They have been plucked and cleaned and are awaiting the day wrapped in butcher paper in the freezer.

Next on the planning schedule is making Cranberry Sauce, not the kind that looks like jello out of a can, but the kind that you can use as jam on the bread. Love this ever since the hubby's Gran Noe gave us a few jars for Christmas. Now it has to make an appearance on our table every holiday season.

Also a must for us is cornbread stuffing, no bread stuffing for us, we are too Southern for that ;). One thing I cherish the most is pulling out the recipe card for gravy. Why is that so special? Well you see it is my Grandma Bonnie's recipe for Giblet Gravy and if there is one thing that just speaks Thanksgiving to me it is that gravy. You see gravy is not my thing, most of the time it comes out lumpy and not very good and it is therefor made from a mix for most dinners. Not Thanksgiving though, for what ever reason Grandma's recipe always comes out just right, she must watch over me as I make it.

Of course for after dinner there is always pie, Pumpkin for the girls and Pecan for the hubby and this year my Dad. Will have to see who gets more of the Pecan pie, my Dad or hubby as they always fight over the whole thing. Maybe one of these years I will surprise them and make each their own!

No matter where you are planning to spend Thanksgiving or with whom I hope that it is filled with special memories, people and food. And in our house lots of football, in between taking care of all the cows, because they never take a holiday.