Saturday, June 18, 2011

Funfetti Cookies by Pillsbury and my girls!!

Funfetti Cookies! Oh the smell of it!. My Bethany makes them all the time! Simple and quick to make and you can use the Pillsbury brand cake mix or a generic brand. It uses 3 ingredients and that's it! It's a no brainer.  Just don't overcook it as I tend do all thing that are bread or of the cookie variety. My mind tends to wander and things get a bit crispy!!!!

This recipe is straight off the side of the box.  If you are like me you may miss a great recipe for years just because you just don't look. This is now one of our expected desserts for events like our Hereford shows and just the girls get togethers.  Once you try it you will see why!!

Funfetti Cookies

1 box Pillsbury Funfetti Cake mix
2 eggs
1/3 cup oil

Blend together and cook at 375 degrees until just browned on the bottom. Icing is great on these as well! Enjoy!

I am eating one right now as I write this!

Get cooking!

Alise @ The Ranch Kitchen!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Marinated Squash from The Ranch Kitchen's Garden

The other night I tried something new.  I just don't think you can mess up squash on the grill anyway you cook it.  That night I was in a hurry.  Family was coming over for an unexpected visit and I wanted to be done with part of dinner.  Have I told you how much I love Newman's Own Salad Dressings?   Well I absolutely love them...all of them...haven't found one I don't like or love!  Their Caesar Salad Dressing that is made with oil and not creamy was my dressing of choice on this night. 

 I cut up all my squash in fourths, in small 1/2 inch slices.  To this I added a yellow onion, sliced.  And then some fresh new potatoes in small slices...make sure you do not cube your potatoes a you want them as thinly sliced, even thinner than your squash or you will have your squash cooked and undercooked potatoes! Potatoes are optional...I had some on hand so I added them.  

To the vegetables I added the entire bottle of Newman's Own Caesar Salad Dressing and tossed.  I actually kept this in the refrigerator all night and the next day as our guest stayed a little long and we had summer sausage for dinner that night instead!  Occasionally toss your squash in the dressing in the refrigerator.  A gallon Ziplock bag would be excellent for this as you could easily just turn it in the fridge every once in a while. 

When I started to prepare dinner, I used my wok to cook the marinated squash.  I used no oil, as this marinade had plenty.  I used did not use any other spices as the Newman's Own Caesar Dressing had all that as well.  I simply turned the fire under my wok on medium and sauteed my squash until they were done and soft throughout! 

My husband loved it and so did I.  The marinade did not overpower the squash and cooked off nicely in the wok.  If you don't own a wok, you would enjoy it.  I use mine often and it is easy to clean up.

I hope you'll try this recipe for Marinated Squash!  With the overabundance we now have in our garden, I am trying all sorts of new ways to prepare and serve it!

Marinated Squash

6 yellow squash, sliced
3 zucchini squash, sliced
3 potatoes, slicked (optional)
1 onion, sliced
16 ounce bottle of Newman's Own Caesar Dressing - oily one...not creamy

Slice both yellow squash, zucchini in fourths no larger than 1/2 inch in width.  Cut onions and potatoes in smaller sized 1/4 inch slices.  Add Newman's Own Caesar Dressing to this and marinate in the refrigerator over night for at least 2 hours. 

Cook over medium heat in a Teflon coated skillet or wok until all vegetables are soft.  


Get cooking!


Sunday, June 12, 2011

Pizza on the grill. A Ranch Kitchen fast dinner.

Pizza on the grill has become a new Nolan family tradition.  Back in the fall our middle daughter Bethany decided to host another one of her 'hangouts' with friends at our house.  Scott had recently finished construction of our new outdoor kitchen off our back porch.  To say we love it, is an understatement.  We use it most nights in the spring, summer, and early fall.  It's yet another place for our family to reconnect and actually sit down as a family and eat dinner.  This summer it has served as a place to clean all our vegetables from our garden and ripen a tomatoe or two.  On that late fall night, Bethany and friends made pizza, ate her brownies and just enjoyed being teenagers!  It was fun and heartwarming to watch the kids use our new outdoor kitchen, realize that they were safe in our home, and enjoying each others company.  Later this, our older daughter Ilissa and her high school buddies  came out from their respective colleges around Easter grilled pizzas on the porch as well.  Below I posted some pictures of our
new outdoor kitchen and our girls gatherings!

Pizza has become a fun, fast, entertaining dinner to make in a pinch or just because we want it.  Anyway you chose to fix it is the right way, with whatever toppings you have on hand.  One note is to make sure whatever you put on top is precooked.  Any meats should be done so that they are simply heated up as you do not want to put raw meat on your pizza. The Turkey Pepperoni that you can find in your deli section at the grocery store is really one of our favorite meat toppings to use.  I also like to simply slice up deli honey ham or turkey to use as a meat topping as well.  We use a good grade spaghetti sauce that I keep in my outdoor refridgerator, and our favorite cheeses are mozzarella and Mexican blends.  From our garden or the produce section of the grocery store we use sweet onions, fresh tomatoes, banana and bell peppers as extra toppings depending on everyone likes/dislikes. Italian seasoning/spices are great and I like to grind these on top of our pizzas to give it a fresh taste.  Another great options is that you can also do the mini pizzas and allow everyone to make their own home styled pizza.

When it comes to you grill, be careful not to have your fire to high and allow your grill to heat up some before placing your pizza on it.  We have found that a pizza stone is the best thing to use as it heats your pizza and keeps your crust from burning.  You can grill your pizza directly on the stone or place on foil on top of the stone.  I like the foil on the stone idea best as it makes it easier to take your pizza off the grill.  I've not dropped one yet...but the fear of it makes me use the foil. 

My dad always brings me in this fantastic flat bread when he visits us and this bread is my favorite to use for our homemade pizza.  Its about 13 inches long and 9 inches wide and is enough for five of us to each have two heaping pieces of pizza.  In the deli section of our grocery store they have good selections of pizza bread that is already cooked or flat breads as well now.  You can use dough, but I suggest you use the pizza stone, as otherwise your dough will burn.  Remember to continue to peal up the crust off the foil or stone to check for either your fire being too high or your crust getting to crispy...I usually server the outside pieces to my dear husband as he likes his almost burnt!  Men!

I hope you will try pizza on the grill can always make it indoors...but the grill just makes it more fun and a great opportunity to just relax with your family.  Last night we attended a rodeo in  the town next door that had awared Bethany a nice scholarship.  It's always my favorite rodeo that I enjoy going too.  After arriving late home, my husband, our Bethany and her best friend Ashley thought that pizza sounded good.  So with very little effort, pizza was complete and on our plates in under fifteen minutes. 

So...this summer grill you or your family members or friends some pizza.  With a salad, fresh cantaloupe, and maybe even a dessert pizza on the grill...dinner is served.

Get cooking!

Outdoor kitchen..and our dog Aggie!

Our outdoor kitchen...grilling!

Outdoor kitchen porch view.

Outdoor kitchen view from back yard.

Ilissa and friends in from college.

Bethany and her Gladewater Rodeo Scholarship!