Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Italian Sausage and Roasted Red Bell Pepper and Onion Frittata

Our garden this year has given us many things...time to be together late in the afternoon, veggies for dinner and something to share with our families and friends.  Last night was no exception.  After cooking lately what seemed like chicken, chicken, pork, and pork, I decided we needed a little variety!  One of my favorite 'gotta have it' carnival foods has always been an Italian Sausage sandwich!  It's heartburn on a bun, but I can't imagine not eating one at least once each year. 

Last night I started to crave one.  As I my middle daughter went off to the store, I asked her to pick up some Italian Sausage.  With my left over Garlic Pasta recipe from the night before - I'll share that one later this week, some roasted red bell peppers and onions from our garden made in a foil pack with a little Canola oil, and a salad with fresh garden tomatoes, dinner was done in under 20 minutes!  It was a welcome treat from chicken, chicken, pork, and pork! 

This morning as I thought of what to make the 5 girls in the house as both my youngest daughters had sleep over guest, I thought of an Italian Sausage Frittata.  What resulted is the recipe I share with you today.  With some biscuits, jam, and butter, breakfast was served in under 30 minutes!  I love trying to find new ways to reinvent my left overs.  This baked egg Frittata will definitely be cooked many more times in my families future.  It was not overly greasy and with the addition of cheese and some Slap Ya Momma Cajun Seasoning, this dish was graded up to something that I decided I would put on my blog for you today!

Italian Sausage and Roasted Red Bell Pepper and Onion Frittata

9 eggs, beaten
4 Italian Sausages, quartered and chopped
1/2 cup roasted red peppers and onions
1/4 teaspoon Slap Ya Momma Cajun Seasoning
1 cup Mexican blend cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Quarter and chop Italian Sausages.  Mince roasted red bell peppers and onions.  In a bowl beat 9 eggs.  Add the roasted red bell peppers and onions to the eggs and beat.  Add Slap Your Momma Seasoning and beat.  Add the Italian Sausages and mix well.  To this mixture add the 1 cup of Mexican Blend grated cheese and mix well.  Place in a well greased or buttered pie plate of oven proof fry pan.  Cook on 400 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes or until the center of the Frittata is set and the eggs are not soft.

Serve with garlic sprinkled biscuits - (biscuits slightly buttered before cooking on top with a sprinkle of garlic salt). 

Get cooking!


Monday, July 4, 2011

Paula's Frozen Fruit Cups

You can meet the nicest people when you aren't expecting it.  That was the case for me more than 8 years ago in Indianapolis, Indiana when I met Paula Achison over the back of cement cattle tie.  We were both at a National Jr. Exposition that our kids were attending.  Paula, I found out, loved to cook as much as I do.  One day our interest in what the other was making for our state group of kids while in the barns got the better of us and we introduced ourselves to each other.  I remember distinctly how impressed I was with her frozen fruit cups and after having one that day, I have remembered them to this day and our friendship has grown.  She is a wonderful mother, friend, and cattle woman who is a constant supporter of my blog and my daughter Bethany as she has served as National Hereford Queen this year.  As a member of the American Hereford Women she is a representative for all of us throughout our nation who are interested in not just our great Hereford cattle, CHB (Certified Hereford Beef), but mentoring and promoting our youth to lead our organization in the future! 
As my family adds one more thing to the cattle trailer for our trip to this years National Jr. Hereford Expo, the one thing I will be placing in my cooler will be this recipe that Paula got from a friend years ago for her Frozen Fruit Cups!  She messaged me a bit ago and told me that you can find them at the grocery store made by Glad Mini Cups in eight packs.  Packing in these little containers makes it both convenient and easy to store in your cooler.  I plan to serve these little fruit treats for breakfast one hot morning as a treat for our crew!
This year we will be eating with the state associations that will be providing lunch and some dinners nightly.  It's a huge task for these states to host a Jr. Nationals with over 1,500 head of cattle in attendance and over 900 jrs. and their parents in attendance each year.  We've been a little scared this year that our nationals may be cancelled due to flood water conditions and heavy rains north of Kansas City, Missiouri.  But thankfully for the north the rains have subsided some and for those of us in Texas we just wish they would send it our way!  Hay this year will be hard to come by. Pray for us!  Fires and drought have ravaged the ranches and land in our state this spring and summer season of 2011. 
This summer our Bethany will serve as National Hereford Queen and she could not be more excited.  She and I have planned a Queen's Tea at her insistence.  Little girls, their mothers, former National Queens and the American Hereford Women are in for a fun treat and etiquette lesson on Tea by our friend Diane Johnson of Details by Design of Fort Worth who will give an overview at our event.  Bethany is really looking forward to getting to meet all the little Hereford girls in attendance!
Good luck to all the juniors in attendance and especially our little Audrey who will be showing at her 3rd Jr. Nationals.  I will be also cooking my Chicken Spaghetti For A Crowd once again and expect to see all my 'kids' at the stalls on that day!  I'll let you know when it's on the menu.  So stop by our stalls just to visit and catch up!  Safe travels and to everyone enjoy your July.  Stay cool and please try the fantastic recipe below.  You will not be disappointed!

Frozen Fruit Cups From Paula Achison - Anita's Frozen Fruit Cups:
1 cup each of assorted fruits like cantaloupe, grapes, strawberries, blueberries, kiwi, etc.
1 container of frozen orange juice concentrate
Mix fruit and frozen orange juice concentrate together.  Place in Glad Mini Bowls and freeze.  You can serve these frozen, slightly thawed, or completely thawed according to your taste.  ***You can use any fresh fruit that is in season says Paula. Cantaloupe, grapes,strawberries etc. Sometimes she would put in a can of peaches for the juice. The real secret to the dish she says is the frozen orange juice concentrate that you stir in undiluted. This keeps the fruit from turning brown. Then she puts the fruit mixture in small cups and freeze them.  She uses the reusable Glad Mini Bowls in the eight pack with a lid to freeze them.
Paula says that during the summer her boys would work for a large farming/cattle operation. They both enjoyed Anita's wonderful cooking as much as the money. They always were telling about something she made and the Frozen Fruit Cups was one thing she would pack in a cooler for a snack in the tractor or combine. 
Get cooking! 

Below are some pictures of our National Jr. Hereford Expo in Indiana last year!

Alise and Paula!
Our group of great kids from the state of Texas at opening ceremonies!

My girls last Jr. Nationals to all show in!

Audrey showing in PeeWee Showmanship Competition.  She made the Finals and top 11 with her heifer Angel, her favorite Hereford to this day!

My husband Scott and oldest daughter Ilissa smiling at Audrey showing in Showmanship!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

The Ranch Kitchen's Fried Green Tomatoes

Each year my husband plants a huge garden.  Each year we say it will be smaller.  Each year our garden is just as big!!  We enjoy the fresh tomatoes, potatoes, yellow squash, zucchini, peppers, corn, cucumbers, watermelon, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, radishes and eggplant...and I still don't think I mentioned all that we grow! 

One result of our garden is that we have taught our daughters that when you grow one, you share with others.  Each year when friends come over they'll find veggies in a bag in their trucks and cars.  I even once thanked our local friend/doctor for a stitches on one of our girls with some garden vegetables! 

With groceries increasing in price each year and especially this one, I save a small fortune at the grocery store with our homegrown vegetables.  Since our beef comes from our Hereford cattle, on some nights most of our meal comes right off the ranch!  It's satisfying knowing that.  My mom used to say how my Grandfather would tell her and her sister and brothers the same thing and how proud he was to be able to produce most of their meal on those nights long ago! 

I hope we instilled in our daughters the tradition of gardening.  Scott is the planter and I am the cook.  It works out well that way.  There is nothing it seems that ever compares to a homegrown tomato or squash!

Just the other night I decided to cook Fried Green Tomatoes because with over 30 tomato plants we have a lot of green tomatoes!  They turned out really good.  If you have never tasted them or cooked them for yourself...they have a sweet flavor that is wonderful!  Below is my rendition of this classic Southern recipe!  I hope you enjoy it as much as my family did!  To me a little ketchup is a must on the side!

The Ranch Kitchen's Fried Green Tomatoes

3 - 6 green tomatoes that are on the verge of turning pink, sliced 1/2 inch thick
1 package of yellow cornbread mix
1 cup flour, all purpose
1 egg
1/2 cup water

Slice your tomatoes 1/2 inch in thickness.  In a bowl place the instant yellow cornbread mix and flour and mix together well.  In another bowl place the egg and 1/2 cup water and mix until frothy.  Dip the tomatoes in the egg and water mixture and then in the cornbread mix.  In a Teflon coated fry pan place tomatoes in 1 to 1 1/2 inch of Canola Oil.  Gently turn tomatoes as they brown to a golden brown on each side.  When both sides are browned, place tomatoes on a serving platter lined with paper towels to sop up the left over oil.  Sprinkle lightly with garlic salt or regular salt.  Serve warm with a dollop of ketchup!  Enjoy!

Get cooking! 

Some are slightly browner than others....sometimes you have to step away from the pan...just don't wait too long!