view sourceprint? 01 Ramblings from a Ranch Wife: January 2011

Random Thought:

"The darkest nights produce the brightest stars"

Sunday, January 30, 2011

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things!

The peace and relaxation that comes over my million mile a minute TR, and the care the Cow Boss takes of him the minute they both are on a horse.  Anyone who has ever seen TR in action knows he doesn't slow down, unless he is sleeping.  The minute he gets on a horse with his dad, the transformation is amazing.  Suddenly he is quiet, and amazed by his surroundings.  He actually sits still.  The best part, he loves it.  Except when his dad spins his horse.  Doesn't like that...yet!

Old broke saddle horses, that are ever mindful of their tiny charges!  QT loves riding horseback, and the minute you slow up or stop, he is yelling "GO!  GO!"

Having a patient Cow Boss to let me pack my camera, everywhere!  I like to have the luxury of just taking pictures on the days I'm "helping" him, unless we are roping something...then I pretend like I am out of film or something.  I also like having a good broke horse that I feel like I can pack my camera on!

Being a ranch wife and getting to spend most of my free time outside with my favorite things, my husband, horses, cows, kids, and dogs!

I would be remiss if I didn't include two little boys that love each other and living the lifestyle that my husband and I love so much.

I'm thankful I'm a cowgirl, I have two amazing little boys and a hard working husband, and we all get to do what we love.

Thank you Liz for the inspiration on the blog!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Swedish Coffee Bread

(Courtesy of Perri Duncan)

I made these wonderful coffee cakes for Christmas.  I made a test cake for the Cowboss, TR, QT, and myself, and thought it was delicious!  I had a grand plan to make some for the families that we work with for Christmas, so I spent 2 days baking, and had 6 made up to deliver.  I asked the Cowboss to please take them over when he ran to the ranch headquarters.  He insisted that the boys and I go too, because even though I had them all wrapped up and labeled with cards who each was for, he feared he would find a way to foul it up.  So I bundled up both the boys and loaded them and the cakes into the pickup.  In my infinite wisdom, I decided that the safest place for the cakes to ride would be under QT's feet.  Being the youngest, he gets carried most places, so I wouldn't have to worry about dripping muddy snow on the cakes, and having short legs, he wouldn't be able to mash them.

We made it to and through town, and just before the free way motion sickness prevailed.  Long story short, cakes were not salvageable.  On the upside, our dogs really enjoyed them.  =/

We did really enjoy the one we ate, and I would like to share the recipe with you:


1/2 cup whole milk
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup butter
1-pkg active yeast dissolved in 1/4 cup warm water
About 2 cups all purpose flour
1 large egg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 Tbsp melted butter
1/2 can almond paste
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 cup slivered almonds (optional)
Enough cream to make it all spreadable
Sugar glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
1 Tbsp water


1 Put milk into a small saucepan and heat on medium heat until steamy (but not boiling). Remove from heat. Stir in the butter and sugar until the butter has melted and the sugar dissolved. Pour into a bread machine. Add in yeast mixture and egg.

2 Mix in salt and Cinnamon. Slowly add in 2 cups of the flour. After the first two cups of flour gradually add more flour until a soft dough starts to form a ball and pull away from the sides of the bowl.  I slowly add flour and when it doesn't stick to my finger in the bread machine, I leave it alone!

3 Let bread rise in bread machine.

4 Press the dough down to deflate it a bit.  Spread it into a 8-inch by 16-inch rectangle on a lightly floured, clean, flat surface.  Brush the dough with melted butter, leaving at least a half inch border on the edges so the dough will stick together when rolled. Mix together the sugar, cinnamon, almond paste, and cream.  Spread the dough with the mixture and sprinkle with slivered almonds.

5 Carefully roll the dough up lengthwise, with the seam on the bottom. Carefully transfer to a greased baking sheet. Form a circle with the dough on the baking sheet, connecting the ends together.

6 Using scissors, cut most of the way through the dough, cutting on a slant. Work your way around the dough circle. After each cut, pull out the dough segment either to the right or to the left, alternating as you go around the circle. The dough circle will look like a wreath when you are done.

7 Cover lightly with plastic wrap and set in a warm area for a second rise. Let rise for about 40 minutes to an hour; the dough should again puff up in size.

8 Preheat the oven to 350°F.  Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes. After the first 15 minutes of baking, if the top is getting well browned, tent with some aluminum foil.

9 Remove from oven and let cool completely. Whisk together powdered sugar and water to create a final glaze (optional). Add more water if the glaze is too thick to drizzle, add more powdered sugar if the glaze is too runny. Drizzle the glaze in a back and forth motion over the pastry.

Enjoy!  I modified this recipe from the Simply Recipes Blog to use in my bread machine, and to feed a smaller family.  The original recipe makes 2 wreathes, or if you would prefer braids.  I also filled a couple with raspberry filling, and a couple with poppy seed filling.  You can fill it with anything you would like!

Great, now that I am hungry, I'm going to go and raid the fridge!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Fun in the Snow!

The cowboss and I took the boys sledding yesterday.  TR had a blast!  QT...not so sure about it all!

Of course we brought SiSi too...can't go anywhere without her!

It turns out she made it into just about every picture!  We just couldn't get her to actually ride on the sled!

 QT was happy to just watch from afar!

More of the wonder dog and TR!

We conned QT on to a sled with dad.  Trent wanted to push them all the way to the bottom...Note SiSi in the corner there!  Mom tried to go down the hill with QT...they crashed bad.  Mom doesn't bounce like she used to, and has the bruises to prove it!

After the crash...

This is the funniest part of the morning.  TR ran into a sagebrush, the sled stopped and he didn't.  The cowboss yelled down the hill "Are you okay?"  TR responded "NO!" got up, hiked about 10 paces and sat down (note SiSi with him...).  He was so mad at the cowboss he wouldn't even turn around to talk to him.  He just yelled "I'm mad at you!"  I think he blamed the cowboss for his wreck!

We all had a good time, then we had to go and put out block!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

And she cooks too!

I invented my own recipe the other day, and it was pretty good.  Long story short, I impressed myself!  So I thought I would share it with you!

What you need:
1 crock pot
2-3 Chicken breasts
3 colorful bell peppers
1 big purple onion
1 small can of unsweetened pineapple juice
1/3 c. Captain Morgan Rum  "And why is the rum gone?!!" as my favorite pirate says!
1/4 c. plus 3 tablespoons Soy Sauce (bug juice as we call it at home) divided
2 T. brown sugar
1 T. Fresh grated ginger (go with the fresh stuff, not the dried stuff!  I keep mine whole in the freezer and grate off what I need when I need it).
1 tsp. minced garlic
1/4 tsp. Ground red pepper
2-3 T. Corn Starch
1 lg can of crushed pineapple

How you do it:

Put pineapple juice, rum, 1/4 c. soy sauce, brown sugar, ginger, garlic, and red pepper into crock pot and stir together.  Add your chicken, put the lid on, crank up to high, and forget about it!  Let it cook until it is cooked to death, and chicken pretty much falls apart.  I think I forgot about mine for 5 or 6 hours!  I also put the chicken in frozen....  Anyway, after the chicken easily shreds with a fork add chopped onion, pineapple, and bell peppers.  I used 1 red, 1 yellow, and 1 orange bell pepper because they were what I had and they needed to be used.  Combine corn starch and remaining soy sauce in a small bowl with a whisk until there are no lumps or bumps in it.  Add to the crock pot and cook for an additional hour or veggies are tender.

Serve with rice if desired or eat straight from the pot.  Well don't really eat it straight from the pot because it gets really hot, and will cool faster in a smaller bowl!

Enjoy!  And if you have any good ideas on a name let me know!