Black Bean Enchiladas

Very yummy!!

I was very excited about this recipe, like a little too excited!  I love Mexican food, enchiladas being one of my favorites to personally make.  They are super easy and you can change-up the ingredients in so many different ways… this usually works to my advantage because once again I forgot my grocery list at the house!  One thing I changed was the amount of enchiladas I made, the recipe called for 8 and I only made 6, I knew that this pan would fit 6 perfectly from all the other times that I have made enchiladas.  I still made the same amount of ingredients for the filling as the recipe called for because I love eating the leftover filling all by itself.. one of the perks of being the cook! 😉  I used the La Tortilla Factory 80 calorie tortillas that I could only find at Kroger, OF COURSE none of the local grocery stores had them!  Ok, so I was at the grocery store in the freezer section (for those of you who haven’t looked at the recipe already, it calls for a cup of frozen fire roasted corn) and I’m looking (without my list) at the fire roasted corn and I’m thinking, “yum that looks good, but what would I cook with it?”  So instead of getting the fire roasted like I should have, even if it was just because it looked good, I got the plain!  Sometimes I surprise even myself at my stupidity!! So, point of the corn story is that I had to improvise.. I used a cup of the plain corn I had and I mixed in a half can of Rotel to give a little more spice (which I like).  And since the recipe called for chunky salsa, I figured it would all workout just fine!  When it finally came down to chow time I was very pleased.  Even though it didn’t have meat in it, it was still very filling and had a great taste to it!  I definitely will be making these again, I have found healthy enchiladas and I’m super excited… I just have to remember that just because they are healthy that doesn’t mean I should eat the whole pan!

-Dubya

Delicious, my first cow!

Our steer calf, Delicious!

He is a Brangus steer calf that weighs around 700 lbs now, I don’t know how much he’ll weigh when we get done feeding him out but I bet he will be massive!  He loves his sweet feed and is pretty gentle, he lets me pet on him and likes to smell my gloves.  I was told not to get attached, but he’s my first cow I can’t help it!  It does help to think about him feeding our family with  good quality meat for a long time and don’t have to worry about eating meat with all the hormones in it and stuff… he’s on a hay and grain diet only!

The first day this calf was at our house, I don’t think any of us will ever forget!  I had a front row seat to a bronc ride and steer ropin’… just another day of life in the country!  This steer has some spunk to him that’s for sure!!  He busted through fence and caused my husband, who is a retired bronc rider (or so he thought), and Yellar, our roping horse who hasn’t done anything but dodge cactus for the past two years, to saddle up and relive their glory days!!  They did a damn fine good too, I SO wish I would’ve had my phone with me to take pictures but living in the country and raising livestock sometimes you need all the extra hands you can get to help out in these situations!  Luckily my mom showed up just in time to help too.  While my husband was looking fine sitting atop Yellar (both were worn out after chasing down that calf and pushing him a 1/2 mile back into our pasture), my mom and I were on either side of the horse to help keep the calf (which was also very wore out) moving towards the holding pen.

Let me just say that steer was called many other things than Delicious that day!  But a few days have passed and he seems to be getting adjusted to his new surroundings.  I look forward to taking care of our new steer, what’s a few more things added to a long list of things to do everyday?  Still loving life in the country and dealing with all the many obstacles thrown our way… as long as our family works together, we can get through anything! 🙂

Wyatt, our trusted cow dog who helps in the wrangling!

My hubby…bronc riding on Roxy… who is actually just standing still! In the words of my 3 yr old son, “he’s so cray (crazy)”

Yellar and his little buddy of many names, he has been Alvin, Simon, Theodore, Eric,and Ariel (he IS a boy and my daughter could never make up her mind)!

Happy Birthday to me!!

A wonderful birthday present to myself!  I always know just what I want!

Those not familiar with the western world may not know about Corral Boots.  They are not only beautiful, but comfy too!  You can get these boots with a lot of different designs and colors on them, and well…I just needed plain black.  It’s very hard to find a nice looking black dress boot!  These will be strictly for church and maybe a little boot scootin’ too! 😉  Boots are something else I have an obession with, there are all different kinds of boots for many different occasions…at least that’s what I tell myself, my husband does NOT agree!

Cranberry Swirl Bread

I bought a new recipe magazine the other day, Taste of Home Fall Baking. One day I will write a post about my obsession with recipe magazines, but that will take a while so not now! Back on subject.. this magazine has LOTS of recipes that I can’t wait to try, the first one I started off with was the Cranberry Swirl Bread! First of all let me start off by saying that when I went to Kroger (45 min drive from my house, I live in the country for those who didn’t know) to buy the items I was going to need to make this, cranberries WERE on my list… but somehow I came home with blueberries instead! I have an obsessive need to make list’s for everything because I have a horrible memory… so much so that I forget to look at my grocery list while I’m in the store(most often I forget it in the car) and therefore NEVER get everything I need while I am there. SO, that being said I made Blueberry Swirl Bread which turned out very well thank you!! 🙂 This bread without the optional glaze/drizzle toppings is more like a coffee cake, which is one of my favorite things… you just can’t beat coffee and dessert bread in the mornings! The bread itself was not dry, it just wasn’t that sweet. So if you want it to be pretty sweet I would put the glaze/drizzle on it as it describes in the recipe. Now, I am by no means a good photographer so bare with me! I just wanted to show pics of some of the different steps in making the bread just to give a visual. This bread was pretty fun to make, but kind of messy… but I am a “messy baker”!

Yes, I knead my dough on a lightly floured CLEAN countertop!

I greased my bowl with shortening.

After an hour of rising, recipe says 40-45 min, but I had to feed and water horses. Took a little longer than I thought, oh well on we go to the next step!

Dough rolled out to a close 20″x10″ rectangle. I couldn’t draw a straight line if my life depended on it, I definitely can’t roll out dough in a perfect rectangle!

By the grace of God it made it into the pan, that sucker is heavy with the filling in it!

Not as good of a pic as the original recipe, but I think their 9×5 pan wasn’t the same as mine..I needed like a 10×5 or something MY PAN RUNNETH OVER! Oh well, still not too bad!

Gotta love that swirl, so pretty!

Well, like I said this was a pretty fun bread to make and it was very delicious!  I have to share my desserts with my family so I don’t eat the whole thing myself and they can collaborate my story! 😉 Hope you give this recipe a try, might even try it with cranberries..could be pretty good too!

Chicken Parmigiana

I found this recipe (click here) on Pinterest and I have to say, I was VERY impressed! Parmigiana is the authentic Italian word that pretty much translates into parmesan. So, don’t let the title throw you off from trying the recipe. I’ve never been a real big fan of traditional chicken parmesan, the tomato sauce was always too thick and there was way too much of it! This reicpe was really quite easy to make with the help of a food processor. It made a little bit too much tomato sauce, but it was okay… I just used as much as I needed! I paired it with Betty Crocker Basil Pesto Pasta Salad, which was also very yummy. I forgot to take a pic of the dish after it came out of the oven so the one on here is after I reheated it for lunch the next day and it was still very good! I will be making this one again, hope you give it a try too!

Cookie Mix Recipes

Chewy Chocolate Heaven

1 2/3 c. all-purpose flour

3/4 tsp baking soda

1/2 c. white sugar

2 c. semisweet chocolate chips

1/2 c. brown sugar

To make cookie jars:

Combine the flour, baking soda, and white sugar. Place 1/2  of mixture in clean quart size jar with wide mouth. Place 1 cup of chocolate chips on top, pack firmly.  Place brown sugar on top and again pack firmly.  Place remaining mixture on top of brown sugar, follow with the rest of the chocolate chips.  Cover with lid.

To bake:

Empty jar into a large bowl.  In separate bowl combine 3/4 cup of butter, 2 eggs, and 1 tsp vanilla.  Beat until creamy.  Add to dry mixture. Drop by tablespoonful onto an ungreased cookie sheet, and bake in a preheated 375 degrees F oven for eight to ten minutes.

 

Cranberry Sensation

5/8 c. all-purpose flour                                              1/3 c. packed brown sugar

1/2 c. rolled oats (old fashioned oats)                       1/3 c. white sugar

1/2 c. all-purpose flour                                               1/2 c. dried cranberries

1/2 tsp baking soda                                                    1/2 c. white chocolate chips

1/2 tsp salt                                                                  1/2 c. chopped pecans

To make cookie jar:

Layer the ingredients in order listed in a wide mouth quart jar. Cover with lid.

To bake:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium bowl, beat together 1/2 cup softened butter, 1 egg and 1 tsp vanilla until fluffy.  Add the entire jar of ingredients, and mix together by hand until well blended.  Drop by heaping spoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheets.  Bake for eight to ten minutes.  Cool on wire rack.

 

PB&C Cookies

1 1/3 c. all-purpose flour                               3/4 c. old fashioned oats

1 tsp baking powder                                      1/2 c. Reeses pieces

1/2 tsp baking soda                                       1/2 c. chopped pecans

1/4 tsp salt                                                     1/2 c. mini semisweet chocolate chips

1/2 c. brown sugar

1/2 c. white sugar

To make cookie jars:

Layer ingredients into jar in order listed.  Cover with lid.

To bake:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Mix 1 tsp vanilla, 2 eggs, and 3/4 c. melted butter in a large bowl at medium speed until mixed well.  Slowly add the contents of the jar into the bowl while mixing at a low speed.  When ingredients are well mixed, roll dough into 1 1/2 inch balls and place on an ungreased cookie sheet.  Place balls about 1 inch apart.  Bake eight to ten minutes or until edges are set and brown.  Cool 2 minutes; remove from cookie sheet to cooling rack.

 

Hope you enjoy these cookies as much as my family and I do!

-Dubya

Good family fun

Ok, this post has nothing to do with recipes or life in the country!  It’s just a funny little story I feel like I should share.  My mom, sister, and I were sitting at my sister’s house playing this new dominos game they were TRYING to teach me.  It’s called Shoot the Moon or Follow Me to the Moon, I can’t remember!  Let me say this, anyone outside of my family may think we are all nice, loving, and caring towards one another but when we play a card game or dominos its serious business!!  So my mom and sister are trying to explain this game and it’s going horribly, but just like a few others in my family I don’t like to lose and become a little loose-lipped when things aren’t going my way.  Well I say a few choice words and my mom looks at me and threatens to wash my mouth out with soap!  Realizing  that I have grown a little bit since she may have last threatened me with that she changes her mind and says, “next time I’m bringing a spray bottle with soap in it”  so she can spray me!!!  So now she’s going to spray me like I’m a misbehaving cat every time I cuss, unbelievable… I wouldn’t put it past her though!  So yes, we are competitive… our tempers flare, we have no mercy, we don’t apologize and we have a damn good time!

Cookie Mixes

Getting ready for the craft fairs coming up! I still have a lot more to make, but at least I finally started!

I started making cookie mixes a couple of years ago and I came across some really awesome recipes.  Some of the ingredients I changed up,but I’m sure there is someone out there who uses the exact same recipes so I don’t call them originals… I just like to think it! 😉  I takes a good bit of time to put all these jars together and I also make bread mixes (surprise surprise).  People seem to really appreciate something that is “homemade” and either give it as a gift or keep it for themselves.  A lot of people don’t have the love for baking that I do or maybe just don’t have the time to do it, with these pre-made mixes (that will be dressed up in pretty jars) people will be able to enjoy unique cookie mixes that will be ready by just adding a few wet ingredients!  When I go to the craft fairs I always take free samples of the mixes and people REALLY appreciate that, because let’s face it… whenever someone goes to a fair they usually always buy some type of food if nothing else!  But by giving samples they get to try before they buy it, and it really makes me happy when people ask, “did you make these?” (I have convinced myself to take that as a compliment).  People often really do seem surprised at how good they taste, then they buy a jar and now everyone’s happy! Anyway, I do really enjoy going to the craft fairs it’s fun to see how creative people are and that they aren’t afraid to put themselves out there and let everyone see too! I will put more pics of the finished product on here before the craft fair, I will also work on putting the recipes up too…they are just too good not to share!

-Dubya

The messy “baker”

Ever thought, “I have to be the messiest cook/baker in the world!”  Well, I will tell you that you are not alone!! Of course, I think my messiness is genetic!  I’ll break down a couple scenerio’s just in case you are unsure how messy of a baker you are:

1. You have to completely fill the dishwasher plus have at least 30 mins of hand-washing to do just to clean all the dishes you used to make ONE thing!

2. Cleaning the counters afterwards you have to remove everything that was previously on the counter out of the way to get the flour or crumbs that somehow got behind them!

3. You have to clean the walls and cabinets! (I know.. sometimes those stand mixers do make a real big mess and if you were mixing by hand…well then damn that is bad LOL, you’re still not alone though..my husband’s done the same thing before)

4. You walk clear across the kitchen where you were NOT doing any baking and still find flour!  Another point to mention now is the “in denial messy baker” at which this point you would blame the dog or the 3 yr old for making this mess (they’re usually partners in crime anyways)!  Even though I don’t think I can recall seeing either of them in the kitchen while I was baking, but we aren’t talking about me.. this is completely hypothetical!!!

5. You have no more clean mixing bowls, spoons, measuring cups, or rags left!

Well I’m sure I could sit here and think of many more “hypothetical” scenerio’s to classify what a messy baker is, but I think we all know deep down the truth!  Like, when I start posting pics of food that I’ve baked they will probably all be taken in the one clean spot left on the counter or island.  But hey, as long as whatever I’m making turns out pretty I don’t care what my kitchen has to go through and it always gets cleaned properly afterwards! 🙂 Well I guess that’s it for now, until more random thoughts pop into my head.

-Dubya

Baking Tip

One of the things I love to make the most is homemade bread! There’s nothing like the smell of fresh bread baking in the oven.  I might throw a pan of Stouffer’s frozen lasagna into the oven to cook, but dangit we will have fresh homemade bread!! Anyway, the down side to fresh bread is that it doesn’t keep very long, usually up to 3 days. To keep fresh bread longer put it in an airtight plastic bag and leave on the counter, let everyone see it…take pride in your work!  For longer storage you can put your homemade bread in the freezer where it will keep for up to 3 months.  Another good idea is to slice it up before freezing so you can just take out a few slices at a time or however many you may need!  Happy Baking! 🙂

This tip is courtesy of Taste of Home magazine!

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