Monday, August 22, 2011

The cooking fiasco

I ordered this book on because it just looked so cool. It's much better than I even imagined it to be! Yeah! It has great recipes and also stories and quotes and such from Longhorn ranchers. It's just one cool book!

Did you know that Longhorns are one of the more gentle cattle breeds? Ha, I never woulda thought that! Also did you know that there is actually a "grandma" cow in the heard - she is the oldest cow and well respected. One story told how the grandma cow was dying down by the creek. The rancher carried grain and water to her for three days. She said on the third day, the cow bellowed at her as if to say "Farewell". The next morning when she went out to check on the cow and she had passed and their were 50 longhorns circled around her lying on the ground facing outward. As if to say - No varmint will get our Grandma. How precious is that! Amazing how God made these beautiful creatures.

I have to share one more story because the boys and I were just floored by it. A rancher has a prized steer that he ships all over for exhibition at fairs and shows. Well when he is shipped back (by train) the train station is about 12 miles from the ranch. The train guys unload the steer and he walks himself! Can you believe that...the ranch hands open the gate for him when he arrives. Just like a kid - isn't that hilarious! I love it!

Anyway I think this is gonna be a great addition to our cookbook collection. Hubby looked through it and found a great recipe for a skillet meal called Wrangler beef casserole. It was great! (2lbs ground beef; 1 med. onion chopped; 1 T salt; pepper; 1 28 oz can tomatoes; 1 8 oz pkg macaroni. Lightly brown the beef and onions (we added minced carrots too); stir in salt, pepper and tomatoes. Cook macaroni as directed on package and lightly stir into meat mixture. Put into a casserole dish, cover and bake in a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes.) Scrumptious!

I made some Bacon and Egg Jo-Muffins! LOL - like that? I put them together for the freezer and they are awesome! Easy to pop in the microwave for a quick breakfast - and a good one too! Less sugar more protein! Yeah! My friend Angela gave me the tip to bake the eggs on a jelly roll pan - Way Cool! (Did you know this is actually a jelly roll pan - the ones with sides? I always call them cookie sheets - huh - learned something new!!) Anyway I cracked my eggs dumped them in the blender with a little salt, pepper and a splash of (almond) milk and blended them up really good! Then I baked them at 350 for about 10-12 minutes. I watched for them to start to brown a bit. You can see that my pan is rather whopper-jaw and they ran to one edge a bit.

I buttered an English muffin added a slice of bacon, a square of egg and - WAH-LAH! A scrum-dilly-um-shush breakfast sandwich! YUM-O!

We actually ate these for breakfast Sunday on our way to church - soooooo good!

Here's a snapshot of the little beauty all made up!

I ended up with 8 from my pan of eggs. I would have had two more, but my Bug came a stole a couple of egg squares! LOL

I also made sliders with my English muffins. Yummy! I baked a pan of ground beef - (seasoned with grill seasoning and pressed into a pan) and cut it into squares. Then I put either mayo or mustard on an English muffin, added a meat patty and a little cheese (except on Red's). Presto! Oh and I added bacon to a few of them as well! I can't wait to try these!

I believe in a previous post I chatted about making the Bacon-Chicken Subs - well I had wrapped up a few for Hubby to take in his lunch and for the boys and I to have for dinner the next day. Well despite the crazy heat the boys and I decided to have a "picnic" outside with our bacon-chicken subs. Well we packed up a tub with sandwiches, spice bars, drinks and fruit and headed to the picnic table. Well you can see who decided to join the party! The tag team duo was in full force as they jumped onto the table to join the party! Crazy hounds!!!!
So we decided to move our little party to the back of the truck...where we could eat doggie-free.
Red's sandwich and pears!
Bug's Sandwich and apples!

While heading back inside after our pic-a-nik, Bug sat down to love on Scamper and Scamper Pamper decided to do some lovin' of his own! LOL - He jumped right on Bug's lap and tackled him. It was hilarious. We decided this was his other "finisher" move...the clobber! LOL We love you Scamp!

Introducing one-half of the Tag Team Champions of the WWD (World Wrestling Dogs), weighing in at 56 pounds it's Sadie! LOL - the boys decided she had to wear her belt a little "low" on her hips because she was a little hefty around the middle...poor Sadie!

And her partner....Scamp!

Here they are...the latest sensation in the WWD...the Tag Team Duo of Sadie and Scamp!

Their manager, Lady Bug, (not pictured), was resting quietly in the shade of the oak tree.

Okay back to the cooking! LOL

I stopped in at the bread store on my way home from ECCHO sign-ups and picked up some oven rolls and some steak rolls. So I made up some Bacon Chicken Subs with Cheese for Daddy and I using the steak rolls. Yummy!

I learned from our picnic that the steak rolls were just too big for the I used the oven rolls to make bacon-chicken minis! Don't they look scrumptious!

Here they are all wrapped and ready for the freezer!

My friend, Kellie Watson gave me an awesome recipe for muffins that you can mix up, freeze and then just pull out what you need to bake fresh later! How awesome is that.

This recipe is sooooo easy and it really tastes awesome! I actually substituted ground flax seed for one of the eggs - added some goodness and minuses some cholesterol I suppose!

Here are the banana nut muffins ready for the freezer. I put them in to freeze solid for a couple of hours.

I also made pumpkin muffins...oh my goodness these are my favorite! I didn't have any pecans in the house, but they are spectacular anyway!

Pumpkin muffins ready for the freezer!

Of course I had to bake a few so we could try them out! :)

After putting the banana and pumpkin muffins in the oven I went to put the tray of pumpkin in the freezer to flash freeze. Well I figured out that my inside freezer is a disaster! Oh my goodness this one is rather embarrassing! I cleaned it all out several months ago and had it nice and neat and stuff was easy to find. This one sits in our utility room so I tend to keep our quick fix foods in here. Well apparently it has become a "shoving" ground for anything needing to go to the freezer! LOL - another project for the to do list!

Okay back to the cooking! I used some of my $.99 a pound boneless skinless chicken breasts to make popcorn chicken. I used my kitchen shears to cut the chicken breasts into bite size pieces. Then I dredged them in a mix of flour (I used 1/2 white and 1/2 wheat flour) and a couple teaspoons salt and a couple of teaspoons of garlic powder. I found that sifting it though a colander got the excess flour off better than a slotted spoon.

Then I laid it out on a shallow pan and popped it in the oven for about 10 minutes at 375. Then I stirred it all around and popped it back in for another 10 minutes.

Here's a finished pan! Yummy!

We decided to have some popcorn chicken with BBQ sauce for dipping for dinner - add a salad and some fruit and Wah-Lah - dinner is served! The boys loved it!

More muffins! I decided to try some chocolate chip muffins as well.

Again I substituted flax seed for one egg so the batter had little flecks of brown throughout. Let me tell you this was one yummy batter!

Chocolate Chip Fresh (from the freezer) muffins!

And of course I had to bake a few for us to try out! These were a huge hit!!!

My next undertaking was sloppy joes...I doubled the recipe that I found online. I can't remember which blog it was on. But here's what I did: 4 lbs ground meat - I used 3 lbs beef and 1 lb turkey and I minced onion and carrots in the mini chopper. I browned all this in a pan and then added 2 cups of ketchup; 2 tablespoons of mustard; 1 teaspoon of garlic powder 1 teaspoon salt and 2 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce. I mixed it all really well and let it simmer for about 20 minutes on the stove.

Let me tell you this is one yummy mix!!! I made Sloppy Joe Mini's with the last of the oven rolls. The boys had them for lunch today and declared they were a winner!

I packed up the mix into tupperware so I could put it in the fridge until I got rolls. Hubby walked in the door and said "Oh man, what is that great smell". Then he says "You can't be doing this too me and then stop cooking". LOL I keep telling him not to get used to the cooking me because I am sure it's a phase and I will go back to my normal kitchen-avoiding self soon enough. (Until we eat up all the goodies and I have to do it again I suppose - LOL!) He made himself a sandwich so he could "try" it out. He said it was the best sloppy joe mix he'd ever had. Yeah - mission accomplished!

Here's the mini's all wrapped up! I stored this in the fridge so the boys could try them out for lunch today!

As I was working in the kitchen today I remembered that I had hotdog buns in the outside fridge. Well - yippee! Each of the boys ate two minis which equals about 1 hot dog bun. So I used 8 buns to make up some sloppy joes for them boys! Yeah! I saved some of the mix for the crustini rolls that hubby picked up at at the bread store today! I can't wait to try those out!

Today was the first day of school for a lot of kiddos...even several of our home-school friends started their year today. Well we are on our "summer vacation" right now - we have about 3 more weeks to go, so we are half way through. But Bug and I were feeling a little left out this morning so he headed to the kitchen for some "math" with Mommy! He also helped me put together Daddy's lunch - sloppy joes, chips and salsa, spice bars and cucumber slices in italian dressing. Bug helped peel the cucumber and then slice it up. What a great kid!

Okay I have to stop and share this little know it's those little things that make life so worthwhile...Sun Tea...don't you just love it? Oh I do...and my hubby does too. I stopped my casserole making this morning to fill the jar and drop in the tea bags. Funny thing is that the tap water is so warm on it's own that the tea starts to brew before I get it to the sun! LOL

Here is another blessing in my sweet little outdoor oven. Oh how I love this thing! I honestly can not remember the last time I turned on my inside oven...probably last February when it was 10 degrees and everything was frozen for days! LOL - for those of you who were wondering "How in the world does she do all that cooking in this heat?" I do it outside! LOL - I have a table saw stand with a piece of slate (well it got broken so it's actually two pieces of slate) that sits right next to my front door...there sits my little blessing oven.

This morning when I first got up I popped 4 bonesless skinless ($1lb!!!) chicken breasts into the oven to bake. These are for my Chicken Macaroni bake cassaroles!

Bug helped me to chop the chicken in to bite size pieces.

Then we did some Math (measuring).

This is the sauce for the casserole. I found this recipe at She has a blog with all sorts of freezer recipes. I tweaked this one a bit for us. I left out the cheese and the bread crumb topping. I used golden mushroom soup in this casserole (instead of cream of chicken). It looked scrumptious and tasted great!

Here it is. I packed it in a Foodsaver bag and sealed it for the freezer!

Here is the other Chicken Macaroni casserole. I used cream of mushroom in this one. It looked incredible too!

Okay yesterday my friend Karey shared her secrets for pulled chicken BBQ from the crock pot. Here's the secret (don't tell her I told you - okay? hehe). Put chicken breasts in crock pot with a bottle of BBQ sauce (I used my FREE K.C.Masterpiece honey BBQ) and turn on low - cook 8 hours. Oh my goodness did I wake up to a great smelling kitchen this morning! Oh man it was spectacular!!! I pulled the breasts out and drained the juice. Then using two forks I "pulled" them meat - drenched them in another bottle of FREE sauce and wah-lah! Yum!

I used some hot dog buns to make the boys some BBQ chicken sandwiches. I plan to use some of those crustini rolls Hubby picked up to make some more sandwiches with this mix - it's just so good! Thanks Karey for sharing your secret BBQ recipe! ;)

Here's my BBQ Chicken Sandwiches headed to the freezer!

Okay well that's all for today folks...I had better get off my keester and get some more stuff done...never a lack of things to do that's for sure!

Until next you neighbor, hug your kids and shine your light!


1 comment:

Suanna said...

This all sounds so good! Thanks for clarifying about your outdoor oven.