Monday, July 21, 2014

Hot Pepper Sauce

As a child picking peas in the early morning dawn was not my favorite thing to do.  I really dreaded even more the bushels and bushels of peas I had to shell at my grandfather's each summer to help stock his freezer.  The only time I ever talk back to the man who was my second father was when he strolled in for lunch from his work at the Gulf Oil Distributorship and asked me how many peas my brother and I had gotten shelled that afternoon.  After my not so smart comment he smiled, laughed and told me he'd have me another bushel or two to shell the next day. My brother was furious with me...and I'll never forget that moment.

Looking back now I realize it instilled character, helped feed my family and now as an adult we shell our own (or sometimes get the pea sheller to do the work - thank you Gayla)! 

We love our black-eyed, purple hull and cream peas in the south!  And the recipe I share with you today is probably the easiest one to date on The Ranch Kitchen site.  I've made this Hot Pepper Sauce usually every other year from the peppers from our garden.  Family and friends get these as gifts to use as a sauce over their peas or to use in their cooking.  This Hot Pepper Sauce is not my original recipe and only God knows where it came from, but it's how we make it and hope you'll give it a try. 

You can use any variety of hot peppers. We used peppers my Audrey and I had picked from our garden like Anaheim, Serrano, jalapenos and some Cowhorns.  She decided to make it a game and see who could find the largest pepper.  You'll see her large, red Anaheim pepper in the picture above.  She won! 

For this pepper sauce today we even placed a few sweet banana peppers in the jars for the light green coloring.  As we filled the jars we were careful to make them eye appealing by spreading out the red and green colored peppers so that you could see them from the outside of the jar.  But, make sure you wear gloves as you make this or immediately scrub your hands well after dealing with hot peppers.  A touch to your eyes will make you realize that you don't want to do that again and it's never fun get pepper juice in an open cut or your eyes! 


As an added touch we placed rafia straw around a few of the jars that we will give as a gift this afternoon to her favorite teacher Mrs. Laster and her sweet husband.  You can even make your own recipe label tags as we have done before.

Use this Hot Pepper Sauce over fresh cooked peas and beans or any Tex Mex or Mexican recipes as a flavoring.  Just be careful with the amount you spoon over your dishes as a little bit goes a long, long way!

Click here for The Ranch Kitchen's Hot Pepper Sauce.

Alise - The Ranch Kitchen


Saturday, July 19, 2014

Garden Fresh Pasta Salad

This recipe is pretty simple today.  I find that the bulk of my followers on this blog are those just learning how to cook and for that I couldn't be more pleased!  So this recipe is for you who are just learning to cook or for those of you who want a quick and easy pasta salad that you can create any number of variations of. 

I love, love Kraft's Creamy Italian Dressing and use it for a all kinds of recipes.  It's has more zing than Ranch Dressing and is good to have on hand as another variety in your pantry.

Use any fresh vegetables you like in this recipe and even uncooked squash is a great addition and brings pretty color to this pasta side. 

Today however, I used cooked zucchini as I was freezing up mountains of it and had a brainstorm of an idea and threw some in the pot as my pasta was cooking.

Enjoy and hope you'll make this variation of my Garden Fresh Pasta Salad soon!

Alise - The Ranch Kitchen

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Vegetable Lasagna

Today I feel accomplished!  I put up 15 quart bags of our squash and zucchini from our garden and a quart of tomatillos to make into salsa later.  All by 1:30 today, I had the house cleaned, dinner almost cooked and enough squash to take us halfway through the winter months and to use for our favorite zucchini squares that I made each fall at Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners! I could make a good housewife...

However, what I did forget about were all the shelled peas in my refrigerator at our barn from our friends the McAfees that needed to be bagged and frozen!  We discussed tonight when they brought another bushel for my youngest daughter to shell just how much we could get done if we didn't have to work!  I told her I thought boredom would set in pretty quick!  But, it sure was nice with the rain coming down today to be home, enjoy my sweet baby girl (who's 12) and feel like I was finally getting caught up on my house, gardening and freezing vegetables for meals in the future.

Tonight for dinner, or I should say this afternoon, I cooked a dish Scott says I've cooked before, but I have no remembrance of.  With the squash and zucchini that I got tired of freezing and some Ichiban eggplant cut into 1/2 inch spears, I layered them in a casserole dish (9x13 inch Pyrex dish).  To this I added cooked, ground pork that I'd added Hunt's 4 Cheese Spaghetti Sauce to along with Rotel Tomatoes and a few spices and cheese. 

The recipe has a few more steps as you'll find on the link below, but overall it was an easy dish to make.  My husband loved it and went back for seconds and actually said it was 'really good' a couple of times.  So, I'll take that as a compliment and for sure make it in another week or two because our squash shows no sign of slowing up in our garden! 

In the picture above and links here, you'll see my newest recipe for Vegetable Lasagna and also my Marinated Cucumbers and Onions and Zucchini Squares that can all be found on my site.  I hope you'll give it a try as even my preteen ate this vegetable lasagna and didn't pick out the veggies! 

Alise - The Ranch Kitchen

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

July Sure Champ VitaFerm Recipes From The Ranch Blog Entry

We are home!  Home sweet, Texas home!  Another Jr. National Hereford Expo is behind us and we  made memories to last a lifetime again!!

Our Audrey thrilled us all with her Reserve Champion in Jr. Showmanship and loves her belt buckle prize and new halter!  Her heifer About Time helped her achieve this huge honor and we couldn't be more proud of her!  It's every showman's secret desire to place in showmanship on the national scale!

Our Audrey and her buckle she won for winning Reserve Jr. Showmanship.  Showmanship contest in cattle shows judge the showman and how they handle their heifer in the ring.

We are so proud of her! 

A special thank you to Live Auction TV for broadcasting this contest so our big sister at home could watch her win! Thank you also to Sullivan's Show Supply for once again sponsoring this great contest!

Also a HUGE than you to the American Hereford Association, National Jr. Hereford Association and Amy Cowan their Youth Director, and the National Hereford Women for once again putting together another great show. To the Delegations from the eastern states and especially Pennsylvania, the Howe and Firestine families, thank you from the bottom of our hearts and stomachs. The meal plans, barn facilities and your beautiful area of the country are forever etched in our memories as a Jr. Nationals and cowcation we will never forget!  And to Diane Johnson for manning our HYFA Club!  You all deserve a standing ovation!

And last and certainly not least a special thank you to the team at Sure Champ VitaFerm for once again helping sponsor the Jr. National Hereford Expo and therefore enabling our future generations as you do!  It's an honor and a privilege to say I get to share recipes on your site, but most importantly the you impact so many families in such a positive way!  Rest Team Sure Champ....your summer has been a busy one!

Check out my newest blog recipe entries for Sure Champ VitaFerm at Recipes From The Ranch!  You'll find my linked recipes here (just click on colored name link in this sentence) for Sure Champ Pico de Gallo, our new Sure Winner Peach Ice Cream and The Ranch Kitchen's Garden Squash and Zucchini all with a Sure Champ theme!

Enjoy your summer and for those of you now officially off the show road for a small, and remember the reason we do this show thing is that while spending the quality time and funds that it takes, ultimately raises hard working, self sufficient kids and allow us to continually advocate agriculture.

 Its takes a lot of time in the barn and time in the trim shoot to get our heifer 'NH About Time' ready for the show ring!  A special thank you to the crew at Rainbow Cattle Company, Mark, Jade, and Chad for their care of our cattle and working so well with especially our Audrey and our family on this long trip to Pennsylvania and our first time to let someone else haul our Hereford cattle!  This allowed for some much needed family time and sightseeing!  

This final shot was on our last day of showing thanks to my friend and supporter Stephanie Keahey of Texas! She captured a sweet, sweet moment between our daughter and her dad. 
A picture I like to think that puts what we do as a family all in perspective!

I will always cherish this photo! Thanks Stephanie!

Alise - The Ranch Kitchen

Monday, June 30, 2014

Refrigerator Cucumbers

Excited to share with you today another great summer recipe from my dear friend Cindy Parker! We've been friends since Jr. High and our love of our children, and watching them through their agricultural pursuits and a mutual appreciation for shopping has strengthened our friendship over the years!

She's a wonderful southern cook in her own right and I hope she'll continue to share recipes on my site as she has more time at home this summer.

These Refrigerator Pickles area southern staple that are wonderful to take out with your evening meal as a side dish. Add to them throughout the week as you eat the veggies down.

You can access the recipe here at Refrigerator Pickles!

Enjoy and thanks for sharing!

Cindy...I want your pretty dish you served these in!!