view sourceprint? 01 Ramblings from a Ranch Wife: April 2013

Random Thought:

"The darkest nights produce the brightest stars"

Monday, April 29, 2013

Meatball Monday!

So lets talk about Vegans.  Does anyone know a true vegan?  Trick question!  ;)  I just don't think anyone can be a true vegan.  I mean sure, you can totally eliminate meat, eggs, dairy, and fish from your diet, but can you truly eliminate all animal byproducts from your life?  I mean, we are really thrifty, and after all of the roasts, steaks, and hamburger is removed from the animal, and the hide is used for shoes, we don't throw what is left away.  We use 99% of the animal harvested.

bone china
leather sporting goods
bonemeal biscuits
boots and shoes
pet foods
photographic film
shampoo/cream rinses
shaving cream
doggie chews
fabric softeners
floor wax
violin strings
car polishes and waxes
rubber tires
hydraulic brake fluid
textiles for upholstery

All of these contain beef byproducts.  I don't know about you, but would be pretty hard to eliminate all of these things from your life!  This list doesn't even include the pharmaceutical wonders we get from beef, this is just a small sample of everything we get from the cattle we harvest.

Can you imagine going through life without ever enjoying a bowl of ice cream, watching jello jiggle, or roasting a marshmallow?  What a sad existence!

I grew up on a creek that was home to many fabulous cooks.  Honestly.  I think the best cooks in the world live on Trail Creek.  My cousin Margie makes the best meatballs.  This is my favorite meatball recipe.  Try and see!

Sweet and Sour Meatballs

2 lbs. Ground Beef
3 slices of bread
1/2 c. chopped onion
2 eggs, beaten
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
milk to mix

Mix together and form into balls.  Bake at 350* for 45 minutes, drain off grease.

1 large can of tomatoes
1 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. vinegar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 c. chopped onion
1/2 tsp. ground ginger

Heat through and pour over meat balls.  Cook an additional 15-20 minutes.  Serve with rice.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

The Best Day Ever

The sun is shining.  I have a new
saddle and my favorite horse
loaded in the trailer.  Boots, spurs, rawhide
reins required.  A mustache knot and a flower
 in my hat.  Dirt in my eyes and a smile
on my face. My 3 best guys and a rat
dog riding shotgun.  Lets brand some calves!
Headed home, two sleepy boys in the back
seat.  New sunburned noses.  Mom needs a nap.
A nap and a manicure!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Conversations with Kids

When TR was 2, almost 3, we had this conversation....

TR: That is an ocean. There are sharks in it.
Mom: Nope, it's a reservoir, no sharks.
TR: How do you know?
Mom: Oceans are salt water, reservoirs are fresh water. This is fresh water.
TR: I don't think you know what you are talking about.
Mom: Yes I do, that's not an ocean.
TR: I think you are lying to me.
Mom: Why would I do such a thing? I wouldn't lie to you. Besides that, oceans are really big, you can't see across them, and it takes days and days and days to get across one. We can see the other side of this one. It's a reservoir.
TR: It's okay mom. Even though you are being naughty and lying to me I still love you.
End of discussion.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Hobo Dinners

In our latest installment of Meat Eater Monday, let’s talk about Beef Nutrition.  Did you know that beef is a vital source of protein, iron and many other important nutrients that sustain a healthy diet?  In fact, calorie-for-calorie it is one of the most nutrient-rich foods to fuel an active and healthy lifestyle. 

There are more than 29 cuts of beef that meet government guidelines for lean (USDA defines “lean” as less than 10 grams of total fat per 3-ounce serving).  Lean cuts of beef have 4.5 grams or less of saturated fat and less than 95 milligrams of cholesterol (per 3-ounce serving).  Four of the most popular lean beef cuts chosen at restaurants are:  
  • Strip Steak (Kansas City/New York)
  • Filet Mignon/Tenderloin Steak
  • Top Sirloin/Sirloin Steak
  • T-Bone Steak
Four of the most popular lean beef cuts chosen in grocery stores include:
  • Top Sirloin/Sirloin Steak
  • Strip (Top Loin) Steak
  • Top Round Steak
  • T-Bone Steak
For some more great recipes and beef facts, check out: Beef It's What's for Dinner and  They have lots of wonderful recipes and tips, as well as nutritional information.  

I boarded in town with my Aunt and Uncle for high school (the 160 mile round trip to get to and from school didn't really appeal to me on a daily basis)!  They took very good care of me.  I spent every lunch period at my Grandma Larios’s house.  She really spoiled me.  While a lot of high schooler’s were bumming rides to a fast food joint, or brown bagging it, I had a warm, home cooked meal just about every day.  One of my favorite meals my grandma would make were called Hobo Dinners.  I’m not positive where my grandma got the recipe, but it is wonderful, and worth sharing!

Hobo Dinner (makes a single serving).
¼ lb. Ground Beef
1 Potato, sliced
1 Carrot, sliced
2 tbs. Onion, chopped
1 Dab of Butter
Salt, Pepper, and Garlic Salt to taste
1 sheet Heavy Duty Aluminum foil

Shape beef into a patty; place in the center of foil, top with potato, carrot, and onion.  Sprinkle with seasonings, and place dab of butter on top.  Fold foil over and seal well.  Place on a baking sheet and bake at 350* for 45 minutes, or until carrots are tender.

As you can tell, it is very easily doubled, tripled, or even quadrupled.  It can be as simple, or as fancy as you like it, and cleanup is so easy!  I hope you try it and let me know how you like it!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

The Best Thing I've Seen in a Long Time

Last week was a hard week.  With the Boston Marathon bombing and the fertilizer plant explosion in Waco, Texas, there just wasn't much happiness in the world.  On Monday (tax day) we were in town to get groceries and cash paychecks which always makes for a long day.  It wasn't a very nice spring day either.  It was cold and miserable, even for April.  So we decided to go to Dairy Queen.
I was standing in line, it was snowing, and the line was insanely long.  I of course left my coat in the pickup and didn't want to go get it for fear I would lose my place in line.  There was only one girl working on the ice cream side of the Dairy Queen, and I think everyone in line was ordering for at least 10 people.  Standing in front of me was a beautiful little girl. Long blond hair, bright blue eyes.  She was maybe 8 years old.  She kept waving and blowing kisses to her mom who was waiting in their car. 
When it was her turn to order, she asked how much a dipped cone was. The waitress told her the price, and the girl started counting her money (all nickels, dimes, and pennies). She was struggling, so the waitress said "here, let me help." She was very patient, and explained how she was counting it out as she went along. She was very patient with the little girl, and was never cross or uptight with her, which was quite a feat since the girl wasn't grasping the counting money, and there were several people behind me in line.  The little girl didn't have enough money, and before I could dig in my wallet to make up the difference to help the girl, the waitress took what was needed from her own tip cup to cover the cone, and wouldn't let me or anyone else in line pay for it.
I wouldn't have thought much of it if the waitress was an older, grandmotherly type, but she couldn't have been more than 15 or 16 years old, and she never stopped smiling.  It made me smile. So when she wasn't looking, I put a couple of extra dollars in her tip jar.
Dairy Queen isn't open year round here.  They close for the winter, so when they open back up it is a really big deal and there is always an insanely long line (even in a snow storm!).  Most of our town trips can be made a little easier with the promise of Dairy Queen if the boys (Cow Boss included) can just be good for a few more minutes!
I think my sister said it best when she said: "At a time like this, it is easy to condemn our society for the senseless pain it continues to inflict on innocent and unassuming people. It's nice to be reminded that far more people in this world are good and kind!"
I sincerely hope that you have the opportunity to see something as simple and wonderful as this in the next week, and can spread some goodness and kindness.

Friday, April 19, 2013


If you really want to feel good about your parenting, take your kids to a zoo, then to Olive Garden for dinner.  Talk about poor parenting!  Standing in line to ride the carrousel, the little girl . sitting next to me tried to steal my cell phone from my pocket, danced on my foot, and constantly batted my camera with her hands nd head.  i finally asked her to be careful, and her mother ignored it all.  i think she was just happy she wasnt bothering her.  The whole time, my boys stood quietly, and patiently in line.  Later, at dinner, 2 women came in with 13 kids between the two of them.  the kids were running around tthe the restaurant, one tried th o escape by crawing under the table then trying to run out the door.  At one point 2 boys who had to be 8-9 were standing on their chairs throwing things at each other.  I never once heard the moms tell them to stop.

Shilo Inns have really nice rooms.

Blogging on a Kindle is no cake walk.  It's actually a pain in the butt!

Lonely time makes me a better mom.

I'm addicted to my Kindle.  Millions of stories at my fingertips!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Meat Eater Mondays

Have you heard this rubbish?  From what I am reading and understanding on a Meatless Monday website, going meatless once a week may reduce your risk of chronic preventable conditions like cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity. It can also help reduce your carbon footprint and save precious resources like fresh water and fossil fuel.

By not eating meat, you can limit your risk of cancer, reduce heart disease, fight diabetes, curb obesity, live longer, and improve your diet.  I am no dietitian  but from what I understand of diabetes, (I had gestational diabetes with both of my pregnancies), that diets high in protein are better at managing diabetes.  Where does protein come from?  Oh yeah....meat!  As far as curbing obesity, get outside and go for a walk and quit eating fast food every day of the week.  As far as living longer, both of my paternal great grandmas lived well into their 90's, my great Aunt is 86 and still going strong as well.  Guess what they eat (or ate) everyday?  You guessed it meat!

Since I'm feeling rather feisty today, and I totally disagree with all of the meatless Monday propaganda, I am initiating my own Monday plan.  Introducing to the Rambling Ranch Wife, starting today, every Monday is Meat Eater Monday.  I will be sharing beef facts and recipes made with beef.  (No offense to lamb, pork, and chicken producers, all awesome forms of meat, I'm just sticking with what I know)!

According to Beef MagazineHere are six reasons to include meat in your diet:
  1. It’s healthy. There are 29 lean cuts of beef, according to USDA standards. Beef provides nutrients like zinc, iron, protein and B vitamins, and half of the fat found in beef is monounsaturated, the same heart-healthy fats found in olive oil.
  2. It’s easy. Using recipes from, beef is an easy addition to a well-balanced meal. Simply fire up the grill or turn on the slow cooker, and you’ve got a healthy, simple meal that stars meat.
  3. It’s environmentally friendly. Cattle graze on land that is too steep, hilly or rocky for farming. Cattle aerate the soil and eat brush, which is good for wildfire management. Check out our Earth Day page to find more reasons why beef production is good for the planet.
  4. It’s affordable. Calorie-for-calorie, beef is more nutrient dense than vegetarian protein options like peanut butter, tofu or beans. You get more nutritional bang for your buck by choosing healthy, lean animal proteins. 
  5. It’s kind. Cattlemen care about their livestock; it makes good business sense and it’s the right thing to do. Respectfully harvesting these animals to nourish people is a part of the circle of life, and something that ranchers take very seriously.
  6. It will make you feel sexy. Without protein as the center of my diet, I feel depleted of energy. Sure, vegetables and fruits are great, but without protein power, I’m not strong. And, being strong is sexy! Be inspired by all the Team Beef members who are out leading busy, active lifestyles, competing in triathlons, marathons and more! 

In honor of our first Meat Eater Monday, I'm sharing with you my favorite Meatloaf recipe.  It is from the Country Women Magazine, reprinted in Spend The Day With Beef cookbook by the Nevada Cattlewomen.

Sweet and Sour Meatloaf 
1 1/2 lbs. ground beef
1 c. dry bread crumbs
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 eggs
1 tsp/ dried minced onions
15 oz tomato sauce, divided
reserved tomato sauce
2 tbs. brown sugar
2 tbs. vinegar
1/2 c. sugar
2 tsp. prepared mustard

Mix together beef, bread crumbs, salt, pepper, and eggs.  Add onions and 1/2 can of tomato sauce.  Form into a loaf in a 9x5x3 pan.  Bake at 350* for 50 minutes.  In a sauce pan, combine topping ingredients; bring to a boil.  Pour over meatloaf and bake 10 minutes more.  Makes 6 servings.

You can put some potatoes in the oven the same time as the meatloaf, and have baked potatoes with it.  Serve with a nice salad and you have a complete meal!

Monday, April 1, 2013

A Good Ending to a Not So Good Day

I got QT dumped off  my horse on Friday.  Talk about breaking a mom's heart.  I'm not 100% sure what happened.  I suspect he lost his hat and that spooked Cricket.  When Cricket spooked, QT screamed, which really spooked Cricket, and he sucked to the side and QT came off.  When the dust settled, QT was fine, but mom was pretty shook up.  I got to him as quick as I could, and got him gathered up.  He was shook up too.  No injuries, but scared.  He informed me that he was "never riding that mean horse again."

We had a long talk about how Cricket wasn't a mean horse, but a prey animal and that he was constantly on the look out for scary things like mountain lions and monsters that might get him.  I explained that something scared him and his only thoughts were to get away, and when he (QT) screamed, that scared him even more and so he was trying to get away from whatever was so scary.  He didn't mean to dump QT, because he isn't a mean horse, he just got scared.

I am so proud of QT.  As scared as he was, he didn't think twice about getting back on, (with mom of course).  I did a quick saddle swap, the horse I was riding isn't very kid friendly.  I got on Cricket and the Cow Boss handed QT up to me.  I was a wreck, so I just headed back to the pickup with QT steering while I led the other horse.

We jumped them in the trailer, and headed to the house.  As I drove, I told QT how proud I am of him.  When he asked why, I explained that he got right back on his horse.  That's what cowboys do when they get bucked off, they get right back on their horses.  He looked at me and said "But I cried when I fell off."  I have to admit I almost cried when he said that.  I already felt 2 inches tall, and that made me feel even smaller.  I reached over and grabbed his hand and told him that it is okay to cry when you get hurt, and even if you do fall off your horse and cry, if you get right back on, it is okay.

This made me realize that I wasn't setting a good example for QT.  You see, the Cow Boss and I got into a tiff when QT fell off.  I won't go into details, but we weren't very nice to each other, and instead of toughening up and getting back on my horse and finishing the job, I gathered up QT and was heading home.  So I asked QT if he thought we should go and set up the gates for the Cow Boss and TR, and help them get the bulls to the Rose field.  He of course thought we better get our horse and go help.

I have so much awe and respect for my soon to be 5 year old.  Cricket is a big horse, and it really scared him to fall off, not to mention the fact it didn't feel very good either.  He thought about it a little bit and made the right decision on his own.  When the Cow Boss shut the gate on the Rose field behind the bulls, TR informed me that he was riding his horse home.  I told QT we had to go get the pickup and he informed me that I could get off and walk, he was riding "his horse" Cricket home with his dad and brother.

Obviously I couldn't do that, and we finally talked QT into riding Cowboy with his brother home.  I realize that kids are going to fall off horses, and it's not an if, but a when and how bad.  I'm just so glad that it was on a Friday, he didn't get seriously hurt, and even though he cried and didn't think he was very tough, he was tough and got right back on that horse.  I'm so thankful that he is a thinker and able to process things before making up his mind.  I am also proud of him for teaching me a little lesson on Friday as well!