Sunday, September 21, 2014

Audrey's Awesome Waffles

We have a gadget problem in my house....or I should say I do.  I get it from my Granny who had every gadget on earth.  One I love that we inherited from her was her crepe maker.  In all my years watching her cook, I remember her using it once. She had a fascination with gadgets big and small and especially garden tools and tillers.  We all (my extended uncles and Scott) had to take them off her hands saying we'd use them so she wouldn't hurt herself!  I still haven't used the crepe maker yet, but still considering it for someday soon!
Yesterday as we shopped in Kohl's my youngest daughter realized that we didn't have a waffle maker.  We fixed that and bought a really economical one from Black and Decker for $20.00.  With my 20 % off coupon that I guess they gave us just for coming in, we got a really good deal. 
I strayed away from the flip handle waffle iron remembering the hotel fire alarm going off once from an over zealous group of FFA kids on a trip to Houston. Imagine batter everywhere and people leaving their rooms in pj's with the burnt spell of waffles. Not something I wanted to recreate in my own house. Maybe that's why I've never bought a waffle iron?!
We fixed that issue yesterday, Audrey googled on her own a few recipes and created what we think are Audrey's Awesome Waffles!  They made about 5 servings which will be perfect frozen up or refrigerated for her breakfast later this next week.
These waffles would be great with chocolate chips or blueberry's added with whipped cream or chocolate sauce.  We ate our waffles with Blackburn's Butter Pecan Pancake and Waffle Syrup.
Enjoy and go buy yourself a waffle iron if you don't have one!  They are easy and fun!  
Alise - The Ranch Kitchen

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Tailgating Recipes from the Ranch on Sure Champs Blog today!

Our annual tailgating picture!
 And a fun weekend was had by all!  This past weekend we hosted our annual Nolan Family and Friends Tailgate in College Station, Texas at Texas A&M University!  This annual tradition is now going on 8 years strong and it's a favorite thing for us to do each fall while watch some Fighting Texas Aggie Football!

For this month's Sure Champ Blog submission of Recipes from the Ranch, I decided to share our weekend and foods with our readers!  Tailgating has become an institution in the south, be at a high school, college or even pro parking lot.  It's a time to feed the masses before, during and in our case again after the game.  More than anything for our family it's a way to connect with our daughters and their friends becoming a part of their college experience.  Tailgating at Texas A&M has brought us closer to our daughters, their friends, our friends and given us memories we will never forget.

Our first experience was probably the funniest when we smoked out a neighbors RV from our smoker's smoke....he woke up in the middle of the night thinking his camper was on fire, until he smelled the BBQ smell!  We made friends with him and his entire family by inviting them to tailgate with us and thankfully they forgave us! 

One of our favorite memories was our every other year Texas A&M vs. Texas Thanksgiving Tailgate when Scott and the girls.....shh.....slid down a certain 'mountain' there on campus....we don't have much snow in southern Texas, but a plastic tub and a little ingenuity made for a fun night and some soaked kids!

This past weekends tailgate was another winner and the men decided to go with the 'surprise' factor or what they probably thought was the 'wow' factor and serve along side my husband's famous catfish, some fried froglegs.  Not many of the women ate them, but the men tore them up! 

For dessert we had fried apple, pecan and peach pies that will now become a tradition!  Oh my...these were like the best thing ever and a great idea by our friend David.  We couldn't have put this tailgate on without his help, his wife Kelly's (their remoulade sauce and fried pie idea), Tim and Erin Lockhart and their Cattle in Motion TV's & fajita lunch, and Ken and Felicia Marks (her wonderful dips and dessert) and all these sweet couples foods they brought!  These men and their Cajun Cooker/fryer have definitely gotten their system down and fed over eighty hungry kids and parents with the ease of seasoned cooks! 

                       The cooking crew! We couldn't have done it without David and Ken!

The night was a cold one for Texas and for those who stayed behind to watch the game outside our RV, we all covered up in the blankets I had luckily stashed a year before.  A husband should never underestimate why a women packs as much as she does and always remember that her wisdom will eventually shine through!

 Our girls and their friends!


My cousin Krissy and I!

I hope you'll stop by the Sure Champ's Tailgating Recipes from the Ranch Post today and check out some of the best foods we shared this weekend while there in Aggieland!  These dishes aren't just for tailgating, but for anytime you feed a crowd or want something fun and different to serve at home!

Enjoy and have  fantastic start to your fall!

Alise - The Ranch Kitchen

Special thanks to Gayla and Kelly for their help! 

 Ryon was the first to rsvp and we are so glad he and his family came!

                                                             My dear friend Dena.

 The Lockharts - center - were awesome to help us host!

 Our Williams family friends who are faithful TRK followers! So proud Catherine is an Aggie ZTA now!


Our dear friend the Marks who helped so much!


Gig'em Aggies!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Sausage Pasta Bake

Dinner!  The combination of what's left over in my fridge and a little bit of the garden was on the table last night! 

We love, love Bratwurst sausage and adding it to my pasta last night made it more of a man's meal for my husband and one my preteen loved.  Use what you have and add to really any pasta like the Fettuccini I used along with some cooked squash I cooked on the side and dinner can be ready in less than 30 minutes like my Sausage Pasta Bake.

Be creative and let your taste and likes guide you in creating your own dishes you and your loved ones will love.

Alise - The Ranch Kitchen

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Sure Champ and The Ranch Kitchen's 'Recipes From The Ranch' August State Fair Post

It's up!  My newest 'Recipe from the Ranch' on Sure Champ VitaFerm with ideas to feed your hungry crews at state fairs across the USA! 

One of my very favorite times of the year is State Fair of Texas!  It just brings together all my favorite things that scream Texas like foremost showing our Hereford cattle and getting to see samplings of our state at it's best in our various exhibits and events at our state fair deep in the heart of Dallas, Texas! 

State Fairs across our USA are well underway as I write this blog post and most kids, moms and dads involved in agriculture in one way or another have worked long hours preparing their market animals, show heifers and market projects for this fun event.  It's a huge homecoming of sorts for families and a way to showcase their families farm, ranch and or homegrown produce.

In Texas it's a huge array of events like the Texas OU Football weekend where their football teams battle it out in the Cotton Bowl!  My favorite event each year is not the football game but when our beef heifer show falls on this weekend and we get to watch as the band from the two opposing teams 'battle it out' on the grounds by our barns!  How neat is that?  It's a memory I know my girls, husband and I enjoy each year. 

I also love getting to taste the newest fried food sensation like fried Twinkies, Oreo cookies and even fried bacon!  And my favorite thing to do each year is of course go by the Go Texas Pavilion and buy those 'Texas' made products to take home and enjoy with my family. 

The quilt shows, gardening displays and culinary exhibits are also some of my favorite places to visit as well and just being a part of the mass of people, smells and taste are a true thrill for me each year. 

State Fairs are a slice of Americana that each person should enjoy a few times in their life if not every year!

For this month's August post for Sure Champ VitaFerm's Recipes from the Ranch we chose to highlight foods that could feed the masses and crews that each family who shows or exhibits at state fairs could easily serve their families!  Thank God for electric crockpots and roasters as they help us take a partial kitchen to these shows.  With an army of helping hands and cooks in the forms of moms, dads, grandmas, grandpas, aunts and uncles we feed not just the animals each day but the hungry kids and adults as well!  The friendships I've made over a huge vat of chicken spaghettiand my Italian green beans are too many to tell by now and I wouldn't trade those times for anything! 

Today I share several recipes with you below that I hope you'll try at your state fair or your next show on the road or for your families at home.  These recipes are great for pot lucks or church gatherings and especially easy to make for a crowd when you double or triple these recipes! 

Please check out my newest post August Sure Champ VitaFerm Recipes from the Ranch Blog Post for these recipes below off my site The Ranch Kitchen.  Click on the links below each recipe to take you to them.



Have a great month and state fair season! And if you are in Texas...we'll see you at the State Fair of Texas!
Alise - The Ranch Kitchen

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Ranch Fried Okra

I've fried okra for years the wrong way!  I guess you have to mature a little to learn how to correctly fry this little veggie.  Or...finally get the patience to let something sit and soak up milk as I did today.  I have no finally, finally I have perfected okra after 25 years.

Okra can be fixed numerous ways.  You can fry it as in my recipe for Ranch Fried Okra, boil it or steam it.  Each delivers a different texture. I've found after much debate with my friends and family that most enjoy the fried version over okra being boiled.

Boiling your okra gives it a 'slimy' texture that my husband actually loves.  I can eat it, but would really prefer not too.  I only like okra cooked in hot liquid in a good Cajun or Seafood Gumbo recipe!

You can also steam okra on top of you stove seasoning with a little salt (sea salt or regular) and pepper.  Simply steam the okra until it is tender and you can 'fork' through it easily.

For my recipe today I took an already prepared seasoned 'meal' as we call it in the south of Zatarains Fish Fri and added a little more Tony Chachere's to spice it up a bit. 

Make sure you allow your prepared okra that you have cut in 1/2 inch rounds to soak up milk for at least ten minutes.  Mine probably stayed in the milk for 20 minutes as I got distracted with the rest of my meal I was cooking.

Drain okra and add to prepared meal, tapping off excess 'meal' mixture while bringing oil to a medium to high heat and then carefully drop in your okra. Continue to fry for 3 - 5 minutes or until fried okra is browned to a golden brown.

Once cooked, drain on paper towels to remove excess oil and enjoy! 



Serve okra with ketchup.  However I have seen it eaten with Ranch Dressing as a sauce on the side.  We especially love it with along side fried catfish or chicken fried deer 'venison' steak.


Alise - The Ranch Kitchen1