Saturday, April 30, 2011

What's for dinner

Yes I live on a cattle ranch, but beef is not what is for dinner in this recipe!

As much as we all love beef in all its forms, I love pork and chicken even more (don't tell my husband!) This set of recipes is for a dinner set around a pork tenderloin. If you do not have a tenderloin don't worry; pork chops, pork shoulder steaks, chicken breasts, thighs or legs will work. Heck I'm sure this would work with lamb also, but seeing as I have never cooked lamb in any form I can not make that comment with any amount of accuracy.

Pork Tenderloin w/ Mustard sauce

1 trimmed pork tenderloin sliced in 1" thick pieces
salt, pepper and garlic
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup chopped onion
3 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp cooking Sherry
1/4 cup whiskey ( you can use beef broth instead and it is just as good)

Season the meat with salt, pepper and garlic and cook in a cast iron skillet until cooked through.
In a small sauce pan melt butter and cook mushrooms and onion until soft. Combine all other ingredients and heat through and serve over the meat.

I normally serve this with a pasta salad, steamed spinach and sourdough rolls.

The pasta salad is easy to fix and can even be done the day before as I think it gets better after sitting in the fridge for a day.

Pasta Salad

1 box garden rotini (or your favorite)
1 bell pepper chopped
1/2 onion chopped
1/2 cup mushrooms sliced in small pieces
1/4 cup black olives sliced
1 can quarter artichoke hearts, drained and rinsed
shredded parmesan cheese
Basil Balsamic vinaigrette dressing (can also use regular Italian dressing)

Cook the pasta until just done, make sure not to over cook. Drain and run under cold water until cooled.
Add the next 5 ingredients, mix well. Pour on the dressing and toss until everything is coated, using as much dressing as you like for the taste.
Top with cheese just before serving.

Sourdough Rolls

I use a bread machine to make the dough and then shape into rolls and raise and this recipe is written for that. You can use the same recipe just mix by hand and let rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size and then shape into rolls

1 cup sourdough starter
1/2 cup water
3 cups flour
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 package active yeast

Mix ingredients in bread machine according to your makes directions and set on the dough setting.
When the dough is done on the dough setting remove from machine and turn out onto a floured surface. Pinch off dough in 2" balls, shape and place on a greased baking sheet. Cover and let raise for 30-45 minutes until doubled in size.
Bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes or until top is golden brown.

Really hope you enjoy these recipes.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Wee Bit Wednesday #8

{one} have you ever been stuck in an elevator?
No. Hate the things, so I try not to take them if possible

{two} have you ever ridden on an elephant?
No... horses yes.

{three} have you ever met a well known celebrity?
Yeah, ran into Barbara Mandrel at a Denny's in Carlsbad, NM back in the 80's

{four} do you have any food allergies?
None, which is a good thing since I love food so much

{five} do you know how to sew?
Yes. I love to sew just don't have the time that I want.

{six} did you get an allowance when you were young?
I'm pretty sure that I did, but I really don't remember!

{seven} how often do you fill up your gas tank?
Once a week, driving a 4 door one ton truck is not exactly fuel efficient, but it can pull a stock trailer

{eight} have you ever been stung by a jelly fish?
No, that would require me to go into the ocean and that is not happening!

{nine} have you ever been robbed?
Thank goodness no.

{ten} what is the worst haircut you’ve ever had?
It has been a long time since I cut my own hair now when ever it needs a trim

Friday, April 22, 2011

Some real thoughts from two real ranch wives

Was just reading a post by a fellow ranch wife and could not help but share what she had to say about the topic of animal abuse and the truer side of the story. Please click the link and read what Kacee has to say about caring for animals on a family operation. Her words are strong and powerful and speak up for those of us who are doing right by our animals. The Ranch Wife - I Care About Animals post 

As a rancher and wife there is nothing more important to us, out side the care and safety of our two legged children then our horses and cows. With out the cows we would not have meat to feed our own family. Without the horses we would have no way of making a living on the ranch and our other jobs to pay the bills. Without our cows being healthy, happy and producing healthy babies there would be no money to put in the bank each fall to pay all the ranch bills the next year. These bills include heating our house, buying hay to feed to the cows during the worst of the winter months, maintaining and fixing fence and equipment. We do not do this job to have money to go on vactions, spending sprees or useless stuff so that we can keep up with the "Jones". My husband has always said that we will never get rich ranching, and that is the honest truth, but we can live a way of life that is true, good and provides just enough for us as a family and gives the world a good source of safe food.

So I ask where are all those animal rights people? In the 60+ years of our family running this ranch never once has one called or knocked on the door wanting to see how we do things. Why is that? Because a family run ranch, taking care of its animals no matter the conditions or time of day does not make sensational headlines to shove in the face of people. That is why it is so important for the everyday family ranches to put the real word out there and let everyone know just how much we care for and give to our animals. I have brought my share of baby calves into my house to warm up and get a bottle in them when momma is not able to care for them. One even lived in the house for a month before living in my back yard for the summer. My husband has gone out in the middle of the night to find a baby that momma had wondered away from and was being chased by coyotes. That little one stayed in the house that night until momma came back looking for her in the morning.
Can we always save them There are just sometimes that God decides things and they are out of our control. But until that animal has taken its last breath on its own we will do all that is humanly possible to save that life. It takes a toll on even the most weathered cowboy and rancher to loose the life of an animal put into their care. While they may not show it to the outside world I know that for a fact a rancher hates to loose a cow, a horse, a sheep, a dog or any animal. It makes them think that they failed some how, there had to be one more thing that they could have done, something that would have changed the outcome; knowing full and well that there was nothing more that could have been done. I have seen it on the face of my own husband and father in law and I know that they think about those times, months even years after they occurred. But I will tell you not once have we ever caused harm to one of our animals, nor will that ever occur on our ranch.

We are a ranching family and we are proud of that.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Wee Bit of Me Wednesday #8

Okay I know that it is Thursday, but I just was not able to get around to this yesterday... family from out of town dropped in on us! So a day late, but here it is.
{one} what is one food that, as an adult you love, but as a child you said you’d never touch?
Sour Cream - I use it on everything now.

{two} did you go to college? if yes, what was your major?
Yeah, did the right out of high school thing, but that did not go. Now I'm back in college getting my degree to teach elementary education.

{three} what’s the most wild animal you’ve seen in real life (not counting the zoo)?
Bobcats about 20 yards from my back yard. Not my favorite part about living on our ranch

{four} have you ever been to a fortune teller?
No, I have about the same opinion on them as I do lottery tickets.

{five} can you juggle?
Juggle multiple balls at the same time in the way. Juggle all the other parts of my life... you bet ya!

{six} hardwood floors or carpet?
I love hardwood, but the house came with carpet and there is just not money to change them so I'm stuck with them.

{seven} is it called “soda” or “pop”?
Neither - for me it is all coke. Must be a Texas thing.

{eight} what was your first car?
A 1988 Ford F-150 pickup

{nine} what is the most decadent dessert you’ve ever eaten?
A hot fudge sundae with extra hot fudge.

{ten} how often do you rearrange your furniture?
As often as I can convince my husband to help move it all around, which is not as often as I would like.


After praying for any type of moisture for almost three months we got rain yesterday. I went out last evening to check on my chickens and collect eggs to find them already in the coop, which at 5p.m. in the evening is a strange occurrence. It did not take me long to figure out why they were already tucking in for the night when the sky opened up and started to pour down that most wonderful of occurrences, rain. It was a mad dash back to the house for me with a basket full eggs, but one that I was happy to make.

The rain stayed around through the night. It was what the hubby calls a grass rain: soft, slow, long rain that soaks into the ground and gives that first spring grass the jump that it needed. The rain even stayed around long enough for me to get up early and sit on the deck off our bedroom and watch the day start and the animals at the barn yard enjoy the wet morning.

The weather is calling for more rain through the weekend, so we are praying for that to come and continue to help give us a good start to our year. I know we are not the only ones who are praying hard for rain and if your place is still in need of moisture you will be in our prayers and thoughts.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Pizza Casserole

Was digging through my recipe boxes (I have 9 of them!) and found this yummy recipe that the kids love and is quick and easy to make.

3 cups pasta ( spiral, penne, ziti, what ever kind you have or like)
2 cups pizza sauce
2 oz pepperoni cut into small pieces
2oz sausage cooked and crumbled
favorite veggie pizza toppings chopped
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Cook the pasta, making sure not to over cook the pasta and drain. In a 1 1/2 qt dish mix pasta, sauce, meat, veggies and 1 cup cheese. Top with the remaining cheese, cover and bake at 350 for 25 minutes or until hot and bubbly.

One Pan Chocolate Cake

If you are like me there are times that I just crave chocolate cake only to find out that I do not have everything to make a cake, not enough milk or eggs. Well here is a recipe that needs no eggs or milk and can be mixed and baked all in the same pan. I don't remember where I got this recipe from originally as I have it on a well used recipe card now, but I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

One Pan Cake

2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cups vegetable oil
2 Tbsp cider vinegar
1 Tbsp vanilla
2 cups cold coffe or water
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Pre-heat your oven to 350.
Stir together flour, 1 1/2 cups sugar, cocoa, baking soda and salt in a 13x9 baking pan
Make 3 holes in the mixture. Pour oil in one, vinegar in one and vanilla in one.
Pour coffe over the whole and mix with a fork until well blended. Spread back into an even layer.
Combine the 1/3 cup sugar and cinnamon and top the mix with it.
Bake at  350 for 35-40 minutes.
Let cool in pan before serving.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Our Surprise

I was sitting at the computer doing some paperwork yesterday afternoon while the girls played and the hubby did some welding on corrals down at the barn. Weston, our ranch hand had loaded up some salt blocks to take and put out in the bull pasture. Well while up in that area of the ranch he took a side trip to check the water level in some tanks in the horse pasture. Now this is the horse pasture that is home to our young colts that need some more age on them before being used everyday and the older horses that are not in the current work rotation. In this group is my baby, Star. She was born here 4 years ago just before we moved here and I have been able to watch her grow from baby to colt to full grown horse. We had hoped to use her as a brood mare, but had not found a stud that we wanted to pair her with. Well apparently she did! Last spring a young stud we have was not in his part of the pasture for about a week, but we never caught him in with the mares and other horses, well he made it in there!

So Weston was in the horse pasture and saw what he first thought was a dog over by the horses, so he took a closer look and found to his surprise a baby colt, about 2 days old nursing from Star. Needless to say he called the hubby real quick fast and in a hurry and told him that we had a new colt! So the hubby came racing up to the house and we all jumped into the truck so we could get Star and the baby moved down to the house and in the smaller "nursery" pasture. Sadly if you do not move your momma's and baby colts to where you can watch them around here the have a tendency to "wonder" off into the neighbors possession!

So for a few days Star and Rose as we named the new little one will call the barn yard home and then out to the nursery pasture for the spring and summer time. I was very happy with the surprise that came from my day yesterday!

Here she is Rosie

Star and her baby Rosie and the hubby

Star is real good about us coming around Rosie and lettin up pet her, but it is another thing with the other horses

If you enjoy these pictures check out Fresh from the Farm and her Farmchick's Farm Photo Friday for more pictures of babies, farm life, ranch life and all things country.