Thursday, January 22, 2015

Chocolate Goey Bars





Sounds cliche, but I do think chocolate deserves it's own food group.  Chocolate candy, cakes, pies, cookies and even hot cocoa are my favorite comfort foods.  It's a given that you'll find an assortment of chocolate candies throughout my house in small seasonal dishes.  I've found over the years it curbs our appetite and that we never truly over indulge in sweets because they are also close at hand.  Sounds crazy, but it works for us.

Tonight I'm finally getting one of our favorite desserts on my blog and site for Chocolate Goey Bars.

This cake like cookie bar is super sweet and calorie overload...but sometimes it's just worth it!  I usually make these bars with a Butter Recipe cake mix, but decided due to my chocoholic nature that I would make it with a Devil's Food Chocolate cake mix instead.  Whatever cake mix you decide to use makes no difference as it will always turns out good.

You'll see below my daughter helping me prepare these bars. It's cow show season at our house and we always make sure we have an assortment of homemade sweets to feed our FFA Show team while at the Fort Worth Jr. Livestock Show.  This wonderful dessert won't last long and I just hope there's enough left for my oldest two daughters when they get there tomorrow!
 

 
 
Audrey is really learning how to bake!
 
The cake will fall slightly once the top crust begins to brown and that is a good thing!
 
 
Click here for the recipe for Chocolate Goey Bars.
 
 
 
Best of luck to all our kids from Texas showing in Cowtown!  It's the culmination of many hours hard work preparing their market and show animals for this annual competition. 
 
Enjoy your week and remember that this show is about more than ribbons and banners! Meet new friends, thank your Agriculture Advisors and parents for their help and above all make memories to last a lifetime!
 
I think this is my favorite picture of Audrey showing ever.  It's from her first year at the Fort Worth Stock Show at our National Hereford Show...I can just imagine the judge 'trying' to place her Hereford heifer and not just crack a smile.
 
 
Alise - The Ranch Kitchen
 
 
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Monday, January 12, 2015

Fort Worth Hamburger Stew

On a cold night who doesn't love a good stew?  I remember growing up my mom used to make what she called 'Everything But The Kitchen Sink' soup where she'd use what she had and add hamburger to make it a warm meal.  It was always a favorite of ours and I've made my own version of it over the years. 

Soon it'll be time for the Fort Worth Stock Show and National Hereford Show in Cowtown and feeding the hungry family and crew is always a challenge.  Early mornings and late nights are the norm on these weeks. Everyone is excited to be there, but worn out by the days end. 

My husband commented last night after eating what he dubbed my 'Fort Worth Stew' that it would be the perfect thing to have ready as the cattle eat before we tie them out to stall.  I think he's right and plan on making this 'stew' or as some might call it a soup, to freeze and reheat one night while we are there. 

Stews and soups are always better the next day and this recipe should freeze and travel well.


Click here for the recipe for Fort Worth Hamburger Stew


Sunday, January 11, 2015

Zesty Italian Vegetables

My resolution for the new year is to organize my recipe pictures from the last seven years!  This is a huge task that I started this weekend on our 7 hour drive taking our middle daughter Bethany to graduate school at Texas Tech University.

If you know me, I love to take pictures and with the thousands I've taken my recipe one are scatted throughout them all. Ughhhh....  It's what you might call a 'gaudy goal' that may not be attainable...but I put a good stab at it this weekend and am feeling accomplished.

The Zesty Italian Vegetables is a recipe I forgot that there was a picture of.  It shows you the vegetables before they were cooked in the picture below, but you get the idea. 

This recipe is the only way my husband will eat green beans now and being creative I placed in some yellow squash along with the potatoes.   More times than I can count we've cooked our green beans this way with Zesty Italian Dressing.

If you want an entire meal from this dish, just add uncooked chicken thighs or breast or even pork chops in the center and cook.  It's a 'Ranchman Approved' recipe at our house and so simply that several of my daughter's friends cook saying it's the first dish of The Ranch Kitchen site they ever made.  That makes me the most proud when new cooks use my recipes. 


Click here for the recipe for Zesty Italian Vegetables


Stay warm, safe and enjoy this cold wintery weather.  Now I have to decide what to cook for dinner and this may just be the ticket!

Enjoy! 

Alise - The Ranch Kitchen

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Sauteed Mushrooms with Certified Hereford Beef Steak

In our family we love our mushrooms.  We especially love eating them along side a Certified Hereford Beef steak right off our place.  Last night was cold here in Texas.  We are not very cold hearty in Northeast Texas.  Any time the temperature gets close to freezing with wind chill factors in the 20's, we pretty much stay indoors. That is except for grilling. 

With his Carhart overalls and coat on Scott braved the weather and cooked the girls and I a few steaks last night as we stayed in and watched movies on my new Roku device. Don't have a Roku?  It's pretty much my newest favorite television device that gets me Hulu, Google, Youtube and just about anything else you want to watch.  It may have taken us getting someone else to hook it up to our t.v., but it was officially worth it and are loving it this winter as we stay in more. I plan on catching up on every season of my favorite shows I missed during our busy fall. 

The recipe  for my mom's Virginia's Sauteed Mushrooms is easy and you could add most any seasonings to fit your taste.  We like to add a little garlic salt, black pepper and margarine or butter.  I've even cooked these in a foil packet on the grill off to the side and not directly over the fire for an even less messy alternative.  No pan, just foil and you're done!  We've discovered this recipe that comes from my mom is my nephews new favorite, so she cooked it at Christmas just for him.




Click here for the recipe for Virginia's Sauteed Mushrooms.


CHB Steak with mushrooms is our very favorite meal. 

 
 
Stay warm, enjoy your winter, and tomorrow it's back to school for us!  It's been fun as they say, but now back to reality and a job I love with our sweet students. 

Alise - The Ranch Kitchen

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Traditional New Year's Day Foods

Many people have superstitions and in our house, we only have a few...  They are like most people in the south and only in regards to New Year's Day and eating the traditional foods that are said to bring luck, prosperity - good fortune in the year ahead. 

Each year I do my best to purchase my black eyed peas from the grocery store a month or more before the new year.  If you wait to late, you are sometimes scrambling for both your black eyed peas and your cabbage.  Last night I braved a local Walmart and bought one of the last ten heads of cabbage in the store. Rather guiltily I bought two head, because I had to prepare my cabbage two ways, both on the stove top and then raw in a cabbage slaw for the next days lunch.  My black eyed peas I'd bought  a month earlier along with my holiday grocery shopping in the bulk two pound package. 

History says the tradition of cooking black eyed peas comes from the Civil War when Northerner's burnt the Southerner's fields as wars go.  They left the black eyed peas in the fields because they thought they were not meant for people to eat, but for their animals.  The Southerner's made many a meal off their left behind black eyed peas and felt 'lucky' for having them.  A tradition was born. 

I thank my mother, a teacher at heart for this history lesson today as we sat and ate our New Year's Day meal together.  Once a teacher, always a teacher, and from her you know why we eat our black eyed peas. 

As history also tells us collard greens were another food left in the wake of the war and being green in color as was cabbage, the southerner's again felt lucky to have it and with their rich nutrient value helped them survive after the long war and subsequent loss of their food supplies. 

Pork is eaten because they always 'root' or dig in the ground in a forward direction and that in turn leads to 'looking forward' in to the new year ahead.  So, in our house like my husband's growing up, we cook pork ribs because it's his families tradition. I want my girls to always experience some of traditions from the Nolans.  

It was always my  families tradition growing up to eat our cabbage and black eyed peas.  Our youngest daughter turned up her nose today, but she ate it with a smile and as my Grandfather Herbert Young would have said as my mom reminded her, 'Eat it, like you like it!'  Someday her 'educated taste' as he also called it will mature and she'll hopefully love it like we all do.

So today, we ate our lucky foods with The Ranch Kitchen's Black Eyed Peas, Stove Pot Cabbage, Cajun Baby Back Ribs, cornbread,  'Sure' Is the Best Broccoli Rice Casserole and Cole Slaw Dressing.  The cole slaw dressing or 'slaw' as we call it in the south was especially for our Steve since he doesn't like any vegetable cooked.  So he also had his broccoli rice casserole in a side dish without the broccoli or the onions.  I think we might be spoiling him just a little, but we couldn't do what we do on our ranch without him.

Click on the blue'd links below the food dishes for all the recipes. 



Click here for the recipe for Cajun Baby Back Ribs.


Click here for the recipe for Stove Pot Cabbage.


Click here for the recipe for The Ranch Kitchen's Black Eyed Peas.

Click here on the link for  Cole Slaw recipe.

Click here for the recipe for 'Sure' is The Best Broccoli Rice Casserole.



Our meal full of our New Year's Day favorites. 
We were stuffed with plenty of left overs for tonight's meal.



Happy New Year from The Ranch Kitchen and our family to yours!  May you have luck, prosperity, good health and make cherished memories this year!