Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Woohoo - I have hit over 1000

I have hit over 1000 hits!  I am so excited!  Thank you to everyone who has ever read my blog since I started it last summer! The excitement and thrill of writing this blog has been an unexpected bright light in my past year and I anticipate continuing to blog on The Ranch Kitchen's blog site for many years to come.

My favorite things about blogging so far have been:

- my daughters being able to access my recipes easily when off at school or away somewhere
- their friends and my friends using my recipes!
- having a living document of all my recipes for my family
- doing something for me...
- following other fascinating blogs that I have learned so much from
- doing something my family seems to take pride in that "I" am doing
- watching my youngest daughter's Audrey's face light up when we check our stats! 
- the amazement that people want to read this site and have from all over the world.  Thank you Russia, the Netherlands, Bosnia, Germany, Turkey, Taiwan, Canada, Portugal, and especially the USA! Wow is all I can say!
- and last and most of all,  just the excitement I get from thinking about what to cook next so that I can post on my site that will inspire others to cook!

Thank you again to all of  you!   

Take care and get cooking! 


Sunday, February 20, 2011

Asapragus with Herb Feta Cheese

2 - 8 ounce cans of asparagus
1 cup Herb Feta Cheese
2 tablespoons of butter
1/4 cup water
salt to season (just a pinch)


Sometimes the best dishes just happen.  That was the case with my asparagus with Herb Feta cheese.  One night as I opened yet another can of asparagus to warm up on the stove.  I remembered my Feta cheese with herbs that I had in my cheese bin in the refrigerator.  I took two cans and drained the water out.  In an oblong casserole dish, just big enough for my asparagus I was cooking, I placed the asparagus, 1/4 cup of fresh water, two teaspoons of butter, salt, and sprinkled 1 cup of Herb Feta Cheese on top.  This was all baked at 375 degrees uncovered for approximately 15 to 20 minutes.  Remember if you have a convection oven to check this frequently and remove from the over when the Feta is softened and the asparagus is warmed through. 

This dish is simple, fast, and easy....and taste like it came out of a great steak house.  I hope you enjoy this as much as we do. 

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Rustic Chicken Noodle Soup

Well exciting things do happen to little ole house moms every once in while that are just fun for us!  The other night..I just wanted some down time....you know...me...just me and my chair and my computer/tv!  So I sat there and browsed one of m favorite sites www.thepioneerwoman.com  and once again looked at her Tasty Kitchen site that you can get to from her webpage...I decided then and there that 'Rustic Chicken Noodle Soup' just had to be on there!  So I burned the literal midnight oil and learned how to type in recipes using her system...and it was relatively easy.  I was thrilled to see the next day that my recipe had made the blog and was on the first page of the soups page and 4 days later...it was still there!  It was euphoria...I was estatic...my husband was estatic....my dog was estatic!  Heck - I almost jumped out of my chair! 

So today I thought it's time I share the Tasty Kitchen site, give a shout out to Ree Drummond and poste my unconventional Rustic Chicken Noodle Soup Recipe here on my blogs for you!  It has yellow squash and new 'red' potatoes that make this so very filling!  I hope you enjoy it as much as we have.  It snowed here in our part of Texas ONCE AGAIN last week...so I was in the soup mood and with a little hinting from my husband I made chicken noodle soup - my own way!

This is copied straight off the site...cause I am lazy!  So enjoy...make it - rate it and hopefully I will get some thumbs up!

Oh...and thats my first food pic...my husband told me my lace tablecloth was too white...so he suggested some color...tell me what you think?

***Not your ordinary chicken soup. Add the noodles but don’t forget the fresh squash, onions, and red potatoes!
  •  Prep Time 30 Minutes
  • Cook Time 1 Hour
  • Difficulty Easy
  • 1 cup Choppped Red Potatoes
  • 1 cup Onion, Diced
  • 1 cup Sliced Yellow Squash
  • 4 Tablespoons Oil (vegetable Or Canola)
  • 2 cups Chicken, Cooked And Cubed
  • 4 cups Water
  • 1 can (10.75 Oz. Can) Cream Of Chicken Soup
  • 2 cans (14 Oz. Can) Chicken Broth
  • 2 teaspoons Cajun Seasoning
  • ½ teaspoons Garlic Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Lemon Pepper
  • ½ teaspoons Pepper, Ground
  • 1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
  • 4 Tablespoons Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice
  • 3 bunches Angel Hair Pasta, Crumbled Into 2 Inch Pieces

Preparation Instructions

Chop potatoes, onions, and the yellow squash. Cook on medium heat with the oil. Pan fry until vegetables are just tender then remove from heat and set aside. While your potatoes, onions and squash cook, chop the cooked chicken into 1-inch cubes. In a large stew pot add the water, cream of chicken soup, chicken broth, Cajun seasoning, garlic salt, lemon pepper, ground pepper, and Italian seasoning. With a with whisk, stir until blended. Add chicken, squash, onions and potatoes. Bring soup to a boil and then bring down to a simmer then cover. Add lemon juice. Cook on a low simmer for 20 minutes. Add angel hair pasta and continue to cook until pasta is tender. Add extra water as needed if soup thickens too much.

Serve with toasted French bread.

This is a warm comfort soup that is unconventional, but oh so good!



This was great with bread buttered and toasted on my paninni press...yum.

Get cooking!


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Fun Food - Tortilla Rollups My Way

I love fun food.....when I say fun..I mean food you don't normally eat that is easy, fun, fattening, and you just make it because it's meant for special times with family or friends!  One of my 'fun foods' that I go to time and time again are my tortilla roll ups - my way!  I've seen tons of recipes for this appetizer that are good...but I think mine of course is the best and just how my family likes it.  

If my older daughters friends want an appetizer this is it.  You can use burrito/fajita sized tortillas or the new jalapeno flavored ones.  Either way, whatever you use...it's just plain fantastic!  We just won't think about how many calories it is...will we?

Tortilla Rollups My Way!

2 pkgs. of burrito/fajita sized flour tortilla - largest ones you can find
1  -16 ounce container of sour cream, no light...makes it taste funny
1 block of cream cheese, no light...you get the picture - softened
1 large can of green chili's, not drained
2 - 3 tbsp. Tony Chacheres Cajun Seasoning...use regular - hot is just to darn hot!
1 tsp. of garlic salt - optional
1 chopped finely -  red or sweet 1015 Texas A&M onion!

In your stand mixer or a large bowl mix together sour cream and cream cheese.  Add to this mixture seasonings and mix well.  Add onion and blend well.  Place 2 - 3 tablespoons of your mixture on top of each tortilla.  Spread evenly on each tortilla.  Roll tightly the tortilla that is now spread with sour cream/cream cheese/seasoning mixture.  Place on an oblong tray, cover and refrigerate.  You may also place in gallon sized plastic zip bags to refrigerate.  These are best if they can marinate in the tortilla for 4 - 6 hours...but good if not.  Cut each tortilla in to 1 inch sized portions - you should get around 8 to 10 slices from each tortilla.  Serve with my hot sauce Nolana's Family Hot Sauce (listed on my blog previously) or your store bought picante sauce.  Its a hit....I sometimes just leave them uncut and will eat them for a quick lunch!

Enjoy - promise they are good! 

Get cooking!


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Spring is Just Around the Corner - Winter Salad Recipe

Spring is Just Around the Corner 
Winter Salad Recipe

In winter I dream about my garden in the spring.  What will we grow, when will we plant...and always have ambitious plans.  Our garden is always HUGE!  This past year my husband got a little carried away and planted 48 tomato plants.  Most of their fruit however was given to friends and family.  This year (my husband and I have predicted) that our garden will be much, much smaller than last...but this is something we say every year.  As we shop our for our plants...one pack though is never enough.

This spring I plan to plant heirloom tomatoes, white eggplants, and long, slender zucchini just to name a few!  I love planting brussel sprouts for my daughter to pick and mostly just enjoy knowing that most of my meal on some nights was provided off our ranch; the meat from our Hereford cattle, the vegetables from our garden, and prepared in my kitchen or at my grill.

As you sit by the fire with your computer nearby, google plant and seed catalogs, send off for their magazines, and start dreaming of spring!  My Winter Salad below is a taste of early spring.  It's a favorite at family gatherings and so easy to make.  It's right around the corner right!  I hope the ground hog doesn't see his shadow tomorrow and spring is just around the corner!
Winter Salad

1 large head of broccoli (cut with florets only), frozen can be used - thaw
1 large head of cauliflower (cut with florets only), frozen can be used – thaw
1 16 ounce Creamy Italian Dressing or Ceasar Salad Dressing
1 cup REAL Mayonnaise
Optional vegetables:

12 – 18 cherry tomatoes or Roma sliced
1 red onion, chopped
1 bunch - fresh spinach leaves

Combine Creamy Italian Dressing and REAL Mayonnaise with a whisk.  Spoon dressing mixture over broccoli and cauliflower.  Mix well.  Serve chilled.  Mix in a separate bowl from the one you serve in. 

*This will need to be refrigerated until ready to serve as broccoli will wilt.