Monday, December 29, 2014

The Ranch Kitchen's Lasagna

Lasagna is one of those meals you can feed a crowd and for sure have a few leftovers from.  Last night we fixed this easy Italian dish that my youngest daughter wanted to cook.

It's a pretty standard lasagna recipe with a pre-made spaghetti sauce that made even better with the beef from our ranch.  In my younger years I made my own homemade spaghetti sauce, but for ease and quicker meals I enjoy my Ragu and Hunt's 4 Cheese variety meat sauces now a whole lot more!  My dad tells me my spaghetti is the best and I tell him it's truly because of the home grown Certified Hereford Beef we use from our ranch that makes the difference.

You can also use ground pork instead of beef as we do this from time to time. 

We served this with my The Ranch Kitchen's Italian Green Beans, a side salad with bacon and garlic toast. 

Click here for the recipe for The Ranch Kitchen's Lasagna

Audrey browning hamburger meat in the pan.
So proud she likes to cook!
Can of tomatoes already added and first layer of lasagna noodles...then first layer of 1/3 meat sauce.
Ricotta Cheese being added.
Second layer of lasagna noodles going on.
About 4 to 5 layers of lasagna noodles...this picture is minus two more noodles.  Notice they are not cooked. 
Audrey perfecting her method.
You need a pretty big casserole dish to make lasanga. 
Last 1/2 layer of Ricotta Cheese. 
Spreading on the Ricotta is not easy and gets a little messy...but no one knows the difference!
Last layer of spaghetti meat sauce is added.  Next add foil and cook on 400 for one hour.
Ricotta Cheese is a must when making lasagna.  I like the Frigo brand best..but they are all good.
Sprinkled with Parmesan Cheese this dish is ready to eat.

Enjoy!  Alise - The Ranch Kitchen


Friday, December 26, 2014

Merry Christmas from The Ranch Kitchen & Holly Jolly Christmas Bark

This Christmas was another great one with our family.  The year has flown by.  With getting ready for the holidays along with school activities, our Hereford involvements, jobs, and most importantly our middle daughter Bethany graduating from Texas A&M, this year was full and very special. 

The week before Christmas my girls were in my kitchen cooking, cleaning (they don't like that party) and learning to make a few new dishes.  They're always a huge help and right there with me, but this year and more than in the past, they truly planned what they wanted to make to add to our sweets and meals we served our family.  It makes a momma proud when you love cooking as much as I do and see the joy of it start to happen in your daughters. 

This past week my daughters made several great sweets much to our delight. Ilissa's Holly Jolly Christmas Bark was a fun and festive to make. Using holiday inspired Oreo Cookies, white almond bark, red and green M&M's Candy's and stick pretzels this candy was a snap to put together on waxed paper. 
Click here for the recipe for Holly Jolly Christmas Bark!

Later on this week I'll be sharing Bethany's Turtle Candies that have become very addicting!

We hope your day was spent with those you love and remembering those who have gone before us with cherished memories.  Especially during the holidays I remember those taken far too soon and my grandparents who always made our holidays so special. 

Best wishes for a wonderful rest of your Christmas day, weekend if it continues with family like ours, and may we all remember the reason for the season.

Our annual Christmas Eve matching pj's picture.  Our youngest Audrey is so excited that she can FINALLY get matching ones that fit like her sisters (waist ban is rolled a few times)!
Our western themed tree. 

Merry Christmas from our ranch to your home from all of us at The Ranch Kitchen!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Christmas with my girls and Hot Chocolate Cookies

This Christmas I have so enjoyed my girls being HOME!  With my two oldest daughters off at college and work, it's precious few times we get to spend an entire week or more together. 

One thing I look forward to each year is the baking and preparations for our family meals in my crowded little kitchen.  With all four of us cooking and baking around the bar, stove and oven my kitchen soon get a good kind of messy and I couldn't be happier.

My Bethany and Ilissa both this week created desserts to serve our family, their grandparents, our ranch manager Steve, and their assorted uncles, aunts and cousins for during the holidays.  Our youngest daughter Audrey proudly shared these Hot Chocolate Cookies for a Christmas party at her friend Jaici's and she said they were a huge hit.

Hot Chocolate Cookies rolled into balls

Add marshmallows after first initial baking and then return to the oven for 2 - 3 minutes and no longer.  You don't want the marshmallows to melt.

Place in a pretty tin and these cookies will keep up to two days out of your refrigerator.

Click on the here for the recipe for Hot Chocolate Cookies.

We hope you'll try these precious cookies!  The original recipe was from Rachel Ray's Magazine and site and a fantastic blog and site called Glorious Treats!  Please check it out!

Enjoy your holidays!

Alise, Ilissa, Bethany, and Audrey  - The Ranch Kitchen

Alise's Note - December 1st, 2018 - These cookies continue to be a huge hit at our house and now our most requested cookie at our Cookie Exchange and by teachers who get them as gifts each year.  They are so worth the extra effort and change them out with the sprinkles in January and make them look wintery with blue and silver sprinkles.  

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Green Eggs and Ham Breakfast Casserole

Here's another easy breakfast casserole that a friend and I made the other day for our campus breakfasts!  Little did Buffy and I know we each had made almost the exact same recipe....she knows our motto! 

Click here for the link to Green Eggs and Ham Breakfast Casserole

I like to call it The Ranch Kitchen's Green Eggs and Ham Casserole because of the green chili's that bring such a great flavor to it.  I literally threw this together in ten minutes the night before.  I cooked it and reheated the next day in our cafeteria for ten mintues in one of their jumbo steamers and was able to serve our staff.  Someday I want commercial size appliances....hint...hint Scott.

Each year our secretaries Anita and her daughter Tori serve an assortment of sweets and their famous pumpkin roll.  It's a tradition we all enjoy.  The rest of our administrators help by pitching in and serving egg casseroles, doughnuts, muffins and croisants. 

Buffy made this casserole with sausage instead of ham and cooked it in her crock pot all night on a medium heat. I think her idea is better and especially for Christmas morning this year!

Hope you enjoy it.  Later this week I'll share my Principals 'Bobby's Egg Ring Casserole' that was a hit as well! 

Alise - The Ranch Kitchen

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Sure Champ December Post

This past year has gone faster than I've wanted it too.  Life the older I get seems to have a sneaky way of doing that, but I have no complaints. They year has been a good one with many memories and milestones for our family.

This month's Sure Champ Blog Post Recipes from the Ranch sums some of our year up and shares some recipes we'll be making at our ranch this month. December is a busy time, but when you plan a bit ahead, it's never to hard to get a healthy meal on the table in no time.  Check out the recipe tab above for all my recipes!  

Have a great rest of December and I'll be posting as I can to share more family friendly recipe that are from staple items most cooks have readily on hand in their pantries.

Alise @ The Ranch Kitchen