Tag Archives: Cattle

Tuscan Roma Pizza

Good Early Morning! I’ve been wide awake since 4 am for some unknown reason…..it’s not like I’m a sleepy-head in the morning, but come on! Guess it’s a good time to get out of bed and blog….so here goes…..

First thing every morning, I get up and go check on our mama cows and their babies out in the calving pasture. I wait until around 8 am to do this so there is good light. I get to see every sunrise….something I look forward to every morning. Most of the time, my camera can never picture the gift that Mother Nature reveals at first light. Here was my attempt yesterday:

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The sun over our good horse trailer made me yearn for warm summer days when we head off to a ranch rodeo…..those days will be here soon!

After a huge cup of coffee, I take off. It works really good for me to go check so Shane can have a bit of a break. He has been night calving (checking on our heifers in our calving lot throughout the night). He gets to take a nap while I go check. Stone is usually still asleep so it works out pretty well. Most days I get back and Shane has breakfast made (bonus!). Here was one of the first scenes I came upon yesterday morning:

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One baby was up and around, but the other one was still hiding in the tall grass. I love seeing this…..it truly brightens my day!

Another scene that brightened my day was this:

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Cows out grazing with lots of grass to eat near a full dam of water….plus the blue sky adds a nice touch too. 🙂

One of the last things I saw when I finished checking was our beef steer. Every year we raise a steer or two to fill our freezer with. A few years ago we had some roping steers who froze their horns. Shane casted them so we could rope them throughout the first summer. They were dirt cheap when we got them so we’ve held onto them using them as our beef critters every fall. This is the last of the 5 of them:

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Isn’t he a sight to see?! His horns grew in such an odd fashion…..I swear he looks almost mean. He actually is kind of an arrogant acting fellow…..I think maybe he thinks he looks cool…..his horns will make for an interesting mount that’s for sure!

A short time ago I made my first batch of truly homemade pizza, which I blogged about. I felt inspired to try my hand at making my mom’s and my favorite:  Tuscan Roma Pizza. I’ve only ever had this kind of pizza at Pizza Ranch. My first attempt was really good! It was so good that I told my mom about it. She wanted to try it the next time I made it. Dad had some business to attend to away from home last evening so I invited mom over for supper. I made the guys their traditional Pepperoni Pizza (wouldn’t want to scare them with spinach and tomatoes on a pizza).  😉

I have to interject here to tell a funny on my husband. On Monday, I bought my first Ginger Root. I’m planning to make a Pioneer Woman recipe later this week and needed it for that. I’ve never cooked with fresh Ginger Root before so this will be fun. Anyway, I put it on the counter as I put away my groceries. Yesterday, Shane came in and asked me, “Why do we have a dead lizard on the counter?” I was like, “WHAT?!” I quickly realized what he was talking about. I had quite a laugh over that “Shaneism”….more on his comments and words for things later. 🙂

So, the guys  aren’t for new or unusual foods very much. However, my mom and I like to venture off to new places in that department. This brought me to Tuscan Roma Pizza. In all truth, there really isn’t even a recipe (with measurements and all that). I googled Tuscan Roma Pizza Recipe and came up with a slight copy-cat recipe. I decided on my own course and what I came up with what I consider to die for!

Tuscan Roma Pizza

• Homemade Pizza Crust
• Garlic Oil
• Alfredo Sauce
• 2 cups of Mozzarella Cheese
• Roma Tomatoes (or whatever kind you have), sliced thinly
• Spinach Leaves with the stem removed

I rolled out the pizza crust that I made onto the pizza pan that was sprinkled with corn meal. Make sure to get it quite thin.  Push a few holes in the crust then brush lightly with Garlic Oil. *The second time I made this pizza I brushed the crust first with Garlic Oil. It made a huge difference in the taste.* Use about a cup or so of the Alfredo Sauce. Spread it around all over the crust making sure it is even (and not too thick). Add the Mozzarella Cheese and spread out evenly. Place the sliced Tomatoes evenly on the pizza and then add the Spinach Leaves. Bake for 15 minutes or so at 375 degrees. *My oven cooks really hot so I always cook at about 50 degrees below what most recipes say so you may want to bake this at 425 degrees.*

Here is my first attempt before it went into the oven:

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After it came out:

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Here is the one I made last night…..it was even more delicious! *Note:  I used my Pampered Chef stone for the first pizza I made. The crust wasn’t as crispy as I hoped it would be so I went to Wal-mart (of all places) and bought a couple of cheap pizza pans with holes in them. What a difference they made! The crust was amazing!*

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Give this fun pizza version a try. It may not be something the guys like (since it isn’t loaded with “meat”, but most ladies I know would love it). Maybe this is “girl” pizza?! Who knows……my mom and I absolutely love it though. Enjoy! ~Cheyenne

Feeding Our Cattle & 4B’s Cream of Tomato Soup

Stone and I are home alone this morning on the ranch. My mom is in Arizona visiting her sister and the guys (Shane & my dad) are hauling hay. So, we are the feeding crew today!

Back before I had Stone I was outside all the time….I wasn’t much of a domesticated gal back then. Don’t get me wrong….I loved to cook, but I wasn’t passionate about it like I am now. After I had Stone, I was pretty much housebound for quite a few years. I’m not trying to make it sound like I was isolated….I wasn’t…..I was where I needed to be….keeping the home fire burning. 🙂 I didn’t quite know how to take the first year in stride, but eventually as Stone grew older and was able to do more I developed a true love of my kitchen and the things I could create there. I like to do a lot of things in there that involve my son. I like to think that I am preparing him to be self-sufficient later in life…..he is good help and he loves to “cook”. 🙂

Anyway, Stone is 5…..so I’ve had 5 years of not being out doing chores all day every day like I used to. I still water the horses, feed the chickens, tend to our dogs and barn cats….that kind of stuff, but as far as going out feeding and chopping water….it doesn’t happen as often as it used to…..and us being on our own doing it is almost unheard of.

I certainly wasn’t apprehensive about doing it…..I was raised a ranch girl so these kinds of things don’t daunt me…..except for when it comes to my folks’ white Dodge hydra bed pickup.

Insert some scary music…..maybe the Jaws theme is appropriate here! 🙂

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The problem is that it pops out of first gear all the time (my folks have tried to have it fixed, but I think it’s past that). So, when carrying a 1,000 lb+ bale, it’s hard to start out in anything but first gear! The seat doesn’t move closer to the petals and the seat also squishes down so short people like me can barely see over the dash. I’m sure I am quite a sight driving it! However, many cuss words and a sore hand later…..I had it mastered. We grabbed the bale we needed and headed off to feed my folks’ heifers. It really went much smoother than I anticipated! *Why not sell the pickup or get rid of it…..well, it’s paid for….and if you are a rancher you know the value of inching by when you can!*

We feed cake (cylinder compressed feed that looks kind of like a vegetative hotdog if you will), hay, and lick tubs (plastic tubs full of a hard-almost-like molasses/syrup kind of stuff full of protein, fat, and vitamins/minerals) to our cattle.

Here are some heifers bellied up to one of the lick tubs:

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We started our day off by feeding our heifers with our caking pickup. Feeding this way is so convenient and easy (the feeder dumps out however much feed you set it to dump out – from 2-8 lbs. mostly). The most important thing to know is how many pounds you need to feed to each critter. Counting (to figure out how many “dumps” to put out) is critical as overfeeding can lead to all sorts of bad problems. Stone is a great help with counting…..plus, it helps him to learn math and to see how useful it is in every day life (we’ll save the algebra discussion for future years)! Here is my co-pilot for the day:

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Every good rancher needs a good cow dog….or three! That’s what we have…..3 great girls who are part of our family. Meet Sky, Tee, and Remi……they make our lives complete!

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Once we finished feeding our heifers and breaking open the pit (our water supply for the heifers), it was time to feed my folks’ heifers with the hydra bed. My job with it was to unroll one bale of hay for the heifers. They heard me coming and boy, were they eager!

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In case you are wondering, here is what a bale of hay looks like:

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Hay bales can be all different kinds (grass, alfalfa, oat, etc.). These are crested wheat grass bales. Bales like these can weigh anywhere from 1,000 – 1,400 lbs. They are made by cutting down grass or whatever the hay bales will consist of with a swather. Then they are baled up with a baler (pretty easy to understand, right?!) Hay bales are relatively easy to feed, but there is something that is vitally important when feeding like this:  REMOVE ALL THE STRING!

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The string is what keeps the bale’s shape and keeps it from falling apart….it is called Baler Twine……and it can absolutely ruin a critter’s stomach (it can even cause death if ingested so it’s vital to ensure that it is all removed). Removing it can sometimes be a task. First, you much cut all the strings with a knife or something sharp:

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Then you have to pull the strings (this can prove to be rather difficult if the bale is frozen or if the strings get wound up – as pictured).

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I had a tangle problem so I had to cut the string much more than normal. As I walked around the side of the bale to remove the strings I saw a heifer with some of it in her mouth as she tried to gulp down some hay. Here is what it looked like when I pulled it out of her mouth:

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She had already swallowed it by the time I pulled it out. Ick, huh?! How do you think that would have looked in her stomach if I wouldn’t have caught it? I continued to cut the string and pull it until it was all off the bale. I did a second inspection to make sure and then I coiled it up and wrapped it. There’s a lot of string on just a single bale! We have a lot of this around the ranch…..we try to reuse it as much as we can. I had to chuckle over some website out there with ideas on what to do with it. This site is pretty helpful: Top Ten Things to Do with Baler Twine.

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Knowing that the string was all removed, I jumped into the Dodge and fed the bale. It’s common for a bale to fall off the hydra bed arms when it gets towards the last 1/4 of the bale. Sure enough….it happened to me today….the girls jumped on it!

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No problem…..I simply jumped out of the pickup, walked back thee and proceeded to unroll the bale by hand…..by kicking it along as it unrolled.

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When I got to just the core, I left it for this lucky heifer….who looked like she just got a corner piece of some fresh baked brownies! 🙂

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Back to the Dodge I went…..I drove around to survey my work…..everyone looks happy so my job here is done for today!

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Stone and I headed off to feed the bulls some cake. Once that was completed, we had done our chores for the day. Time for us to think about lunch……what sounded good? 4B’s Cream of Tomato Soup….that’s what!

This soup always makes me think of my Grandma June (or Gram, to me). We used to eat this frequently at the local 4B’s Restaurant in Miles City, Montana (where my Grandma lived later in life and where I consider kind of “back home”). If you’ve never tried this soup…..believe me, you are going to want to make it….it’s the best tomato soup I have eaten…..EVER!!! Here is the recipe:

4B’s Cream of Tomato Soup

  • 32 oz. can of Diced Tomatoes
  • 1 oz., Butter
  • 1 TB Onion, chopped
  • 9 oz. Chicken Broth (undiluted)
  • 2 TB Sugar
  • Pink of Baking Soda
  • 2 cups Heavy Cream

Mix first 6 ingredients & simmer for 1 hour. (I melt the butter first then add the onion. I let them cook for just a minute or two and then add the tomatoes, chicken broth, sugar, and baking soda.)

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Heat cream in a double broiler & add to hot tomato mixture.( actually don’t do the double broiler thing….I temper the cream by adding about a cup of the hot tomato mixture. I stir it and then I add it all to the remaining tomato mixture.)

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Enjoy! Make ½ gallon.

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As you can see…..my recipe card has been used a bit!

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This recipe has been around for as long as I can remember. Do try it if you haven’t been lucky enough to try this soup….you will be glad you did! Super easy and super good! ~Cheyenne