view sourceprint? 01 Ramblings from a Ranch Wife: Best Laid Plans!

Random Thought:

"The darkest nights produce the brightest stars"

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Best Laid Plans!

We woke up this morning with a couple of inches of snow, and more coming, but sideways this time!  The boss took one look out the window and decided to try for tomorrow instead.  There is only a 30% chance of storm instead of the 70% chance today!  So we will try again tomorrow.  While I am glad I don't have to be outside in this, I'm somewhat disappointed because I had a babysitter all day today, and only have one part of the day tomorrow!

Had I mentioned I had all my food ready to feed the crew today at noon?  Yeah, everything was cooked except for my biscuits which I was getting ready when I was told the new plan.  Fortunately it will keep for tomorrow or the next day if it has too!

I'm extremely selfish, and if we are going to be working outside, branding, processing, or anything like that, I get a babysitter so I can go, and if I can't get a babysitter, my kids go with me.  If you show up at a branding this spring and see a playpen set up next to the pick up, you can be safe in assuming I am there!  The same applies to cooking for the crew.  If I am feeding the crew, I have everything cooked the night before so I can be horseback as well.  So we do a lot of crock pot and dutch oven cooking at my house.

As requested by Linda, here is my menu and recipes for tomorrow, or the next day, whenever weather cooperates! 

Beans are super simple, and I don't think there is anyway you can screw up a pot of beans!  I like kidney beans.  I think they stay a little firmer when cooking, especially when they are left cooking overnight and most of the next day.  You really should soak them over night, and drain off the water they soaked in before cooking.  If you are in a bind, you can just put them in water and skip the soaking step.  One of my favorite seasonings to use is red pepper.  It doesn't take much and adds a kick!


1 lb bag of beans
1 onion, diced
1 lg can of stewed tomatoes
1-2 lbs browned ground beef
1-2 lbs chorizo, sliced
Garlic Salt, to taste
Black Pepper, to taste
Red Pepper, to taste
Brown Sugar, go light, unless you like your beans sweet!

I throw everything into a crock pot the night before and cook on high over night.  The next morning I test the beans for doneness.  If they are still kind of hard, I continue to cook on high until lunch.  I also adjust the seasoning.  If beans are cooked, I turn to crock pot to low, or if it will be a late late lunch I keep them on warm, so they are ready to eat when we get in for lunch.  Sometimes I clean out the refrigerator and add bell peppers, left over roasts, beef, pork, or chicken, and other veggies that need something done with.

Sourdough Biscuits
This is going to be an experiment.  Sourdough biscuits just aren't as good as when they first come out of the oven!  So I am going to have my sponge set (I think that is the right term!), and then make the biscuits the morning of, then come home a little early to put them in the oven, to come out as everyone is seated for lunch.

If you've used sourdough, you know that you get your start going the night before.  I added 2 cups of flour and 2 cups of hot water, and let set over night.  The next morning you take out about 1 cup of the start and save it for next time. 
To the rest of the start, add:
1 tsp Baking Soda
2 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Salt
3 tbsp Sugar
Flour to make dough
Roll out on floured surface, using biscuit cutter, or cup cut into biscuits.  Melt 1/2 c. butter in 9x13" pan.  Roll biscuits in butter and let rise at least 1/2 hour.  Bake at 350-400 until golden brown.  Serve with butter and strawberry freezer jam!

Kitchen Sink Cookies
I wanted a simple dessert, and decided to make chocolate chip cookies, as a bar cookie.  Unfortunately I didn't have a full bag of chocolate chips, or a full bag of peanut butter chips, or a full bag of....Well, you get the picture.  So I followed the recipe on the chocolate chip bag, and instead of 1 bag of chocolate chips, I used 1/2 bag of chocolate chips, 1/2 bag of peanut butter chips, and 1/2 bad of heath toffee chips, and baked them in a jelly roll pan as a bar.

I don't cook anything too fancy, and lucky for me my crew isn't too picky.  On days like today they are just happy as long as it's warm!

Stay warm and don't work too hard!

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