Tag Archives: Pioneer Woman

Scalloped Potatoes and Ham

Happy Friday! It’s funny to say that because out here on the ranch the days tend to meld together. We really don’t pay mind to if it’s Monday, Hump Day, or TGIF. The one thing that does rule our life however is the weather. We have been very fortunate to have a mild April so far (I say this quietly while physically knocking on wood). Mother Nature dealt us a bad hand last year at this time. We endured three awful storms that ended the lives of many baby calves. I don’t like to talk about it, but it is reality out here.Β  We definitely know how fragile life is and we also know there is little we can do when storms of that magnitude come along. It’s a very helpless feeling that all ranchers can relate to. I don’t like to focus on negative things, but I always keep memories like this tucked in the back of my mind. It helps me to be thankful for each day we have on this earth, plus when the days are nice….I rejoice!

I have been fortunate to see so many new babies on my daily morning checks. I have been posting numerous photos on Instagram and on Facebook of the daily “treats” I find. They truly make me feel alive and oh so happy!

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Our livestock are a representation of the fruits of our labors. Those mama cows are our lifeline and their babies are our future. We know how important they are to us. Hence, this is why we stay close to home especially this time of year. I have some major errands to run in Rapid City (the biggest city close to us and it’s still 100 miles away). I also need to do some Easter shopping as we have family coming to visit. This doesn’t happen very often, but I’m headed to town for the day……by MYSELF!!!! What will I do with myself?! Well, rest assured….I won’t be going to get my nails done! I have a million things to do so it won’t be a leisurely trip (what is that anyway?). However, I am excited to see how quickly and effortlessly I can get things done by myself…..I live an exciting life, don’t I?! πŸ™‚

I knew I was headed to Rapid City for sure yesterday. When I am gone I still need to be concerned about what my guys are going to eat (there is no pizza delivery out here). Shane and I had watched Ree Drummond’s (Pioneer Woman) show last Saturday. She made Scalloped Potatoes and Ham. I must admit that I’m not a fan of this dish so I never make it. Shane was drooling all over the television and saying how much he loved to eat this. So, yesterday I decided to surprise him by giving her recipe a whirl. Let me just say this…..Holy Cow!!!! I have tried Scalloped Potatoes and Ham before and was not impressed…….but, I hadn’t tried PW’s recipe yet……she is truly my ‘go to” person for recipes because everything of hers that I have made has turned out incredibly well. So, here is her recipe (Thanks, Ree!):

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds Russet Or Yukon Gold Potatoes, Washed Thoroughly
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • 1 whole Yellow Onion, Diced
  • 3 cups Diced Ham
  • 1-1/2 cup Half-and-half
  • 1-1/2 cup Heavy Cream
  • 1/4 cup Flour
  • Black Pepper To Taste
  • 1 cup Grated Cheddar Cheese
  • 1 cup Grated Monterey Jack Cheese
  • Chopped Parsley (optional)

Preparation Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a large casserole dish.

Heat butter in a large skillet. Add onions and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, or until they start to turn translucent. Add ham and cook for 3 to 4 minutes until thoroughly heated. Remove from heat and set aside.

Combine half-and-half and cream in a microwave-safe container and nuke for a minute or so, until no longer cold. Whisk in flour and black pepper until totally combined. Set aside. (You may add salt, but cheese and ham are salty, so add sparingly.)

Combine the two grated cheeses. Set aside.

Using a mandoline or slicer, slice potatoes into 1/8-inch slices (very thin.) Layer 1/3 of the potato slices in the buttered casserole dish. Sprinkle on 1/3 of the ham/onion mixture, then 1/3 of the cheese, then pour on 1/3 of the cream mixture.

Repeat this twice more, ending with a sprinkling of cheese and a pouring on of the rest of the cream mixture. Cover dish with foil and bake for 40 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 20 minutes at least, or until bubbly and hot.

Cut into squares and serve. Sprinkle on chopped parsley if you’d like!

(Note: To speed along the process a bit, you may boil sliced potatoes for 3 to 5 minutes before assembling the casserole. Just drain and slightly cool before assembling.)

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*I followed her recipe to a tee. It was amazing…..I liked it, Stone liked it, and Shane LOVED it!!! So, now I can head off to Rapid City without feeling guilty (kind of). I know that they will have a hearty, tasty lunch waiting for them (all they have to do is warm it up). This is what we ranch wives do…..our work is never done…..and we wouldn’t have it any other way! πŸ™‚

Give Ree’s recipe a try. I am SO glad I did! Enjoy your day……I plan to as well.Β  ~Cheyenne

Three Cheese-Stuffed Shells with Meaty Tomato Sauce

Oh my gosh, where does the time go?! I’ve been pretty committed to blogging every other day or so and then April hit….holy cow! I’m barely able to fit in once or twice per week……please bear with me!

I am in charge of checking the cows every morning, which I enjoy immensely! I compared checking calves earlier this week to looking for Easter eggs….they are everywhere…..and sometimes hard to find! I count the calves every morning….I like to see how we are progressing. So far,Β  we are half done….exciting!

The other morning while checking the calving pasture I saw something extraordinary……and I hope I can describe it accurately as there was no time for pictures of any sort. The past month of checking on the cows has allowed me to see some really amazing sights. I saw my first batch of 6 coyotes hunting together. I’ve seen 3, 4, and even 5 coyotes packed up together, but never 6!!! It was amazing! They really don’t bother our cow herd that much. We have never lost a calf to a coyote attack as some people will claim they have so I wasn’t too nervous seeing them, but I always keep a watchful eye. If something looks out of order, I take note. I also always pack a gun…..in case of such problems. I’m no Annie Oakley, but I’ve been known to out shoot some of the men around here so……(guess I will pat myself on the back out of their sight!). πŸ™‚

Anyway, I cam onto a flat…..I call it “Baby Flat” because this is where our cows like to hang out with their babies. I looked across the prairie and could see little black flecks everywhere (baby calves). Our cattle are for the most part black angus and black angus cross. We have a few Corriente cows and a few Longhorns….I actually love to see their bright colors every once in awhile (eye candy). As I was checking everything out I happened to look across the flat to the hills. I saw a bunch of cows (30 or 40) acting strangely….running and circling around. As I looked on, I saw one cow in the lead…..and she was charging on. It was while I was checking her out that I discovered she was chasing something….something light colored and quick moving. Holy moly…..she was chasing a coyote…..she was in hot pursuit and not slowing down! No kidding…..she was on that coyote’s heels! She chased it all the way over the hill and kept on going! The cattle were all quite riled up by then so they all followed her. Over the ridge they went and down the hill to the dam. They didn’t stop till they got to the water….this was a trek of about a mile or so. I figured the coyote was long gone but the time I got there…..nope….there he ran….and 5 of his buddies weren’t far off. I decided then that I definitely need to keep my eyes open from then on as to these coyotes. If they become a major problem…..well, we know what happens to major problems to our livestock around here…..enough said.

The next day I searched for the coyotes, but didn’t see a single one….and I haven’t since….maybe that old cow gave that coyote a run for its life. Maybe it decided to go elsewhere and told it’s pack mates the same thing…..maybe…..we’ll see.

With all the busy days on the ranch I haven’t had a lot of time to spend in the kitchen. We’ve been up early….going all day….then eating supper sometimes at 10 pm!! Last night we got home rather late, but I decided to make something new….we deserved it! So, I made the Pioneer Woman’s Three Cheese-Stuffed Shells with Meaty Tomato Sauce. O – M- G……it was too die for!!! Here is the recipe:

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces, weight Jumbo Pasta Shells
  • 30 ounces, weight Whole Milk Ricotta Cheese
  • 8 ounces, weight Parmesan Cheese, Grated, Divided
  • 1/2 cup Grated Romano Cheese
  • 1 whole Egg
  • 12 leaves Basil, Chiffonade
  • 2 Tablespoons Minced Parsley
  • Salt And Pepper, to taste
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1/2 whole Medium Onion, Chopped
  • 5 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1/2 pound Italian Sausage
  • 1/2 cup Red Wine
  • 1 whole 28 Ounce Can Crushed Tomatoes
  • 1 whole 15-ounce Can Crushed Tomatoes
  • 2 Tablespoons Sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 2 Tablespoons Minced Parsley

Preparation Instructions

Cook pasta shells for half the cooking time; make sure not to overcook. Drain and rinse in cool water. Set aside.

Heat olive oil in large skillet or dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onions and garlic and saute for a minute or two. Add Italian sausage and brown, breaking it up into small pieces as it cooks. Pour in red wine and let it cook for a minute or two.

Pour in cans of crushed tomatoes and stir. Add sugar and salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Cover and cook 30 to 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Check for seasonings; can add crushed red peppers if you like a little heat.

In a separate bowl, mix ricotta, half the Parmesan, Romano, egg, salt and pepper, basil, and 2 tablespoons parsley. Stir until combined.

To assemble, coat the bottom of a baking dish with sauce. Fill each half-cooked shell with the cheese mixture. Place face down on the sauce. Repeat with shells until cheese mixture is gone. Top shells with remaining sauce. Sprinkle on extra Parmesan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.

Serve with crusty French bread.

Here are my pictures of my cooking adventure:

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How good was it? My husband (and I) flipped….he rarely gets excited about anything besides steak, but he absolutely loved it!! πŸ™‚ 2 thumbs up, Pioneer Woman…..this is absolutely divine! Give it a whirl and let me know what you think. Enjoy! ~Cheyenne

Go Clydesdales!!!! And….Steak Fajitas

Today is the Super Bowl……and I’m cheering for the Clydesdales! πŸ™‚

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I used to be a hardcore football fan, but for the past 15 years I honestly could care less about it. I’m just not a sports fan…..well, I’m not a fan of those kinds of sports (football, basketball, hockey, baseball)….I’m a fan of any sport that relates to horses……Rodeo, Horse Racing, Dressage, Jumping, Polo……I love it all! So, you can understand when I say I’m cheering for the Clydesdales. I LOVE those commercials…..I think everyone does (if not, you’d better check your humanity)! I’ve already caught a glimpse of the newest commercial….can’t wait to see it debut later today.

We are invited over to my folks’ for dinner followed by THE GAME…..will I be watching? Probably not…..until Shane yells at me when the Clydesdales come on. πŸ™‚ I am working on getting our new Cowgirl Swank website ready to launch of Valentine’s Day…..so, I’ll be uploading pictures and tweaking things some more.

Are we eating anything special? Well, mom is making PW’s Peach-Whiskey Barbecue Chicken with masked potatoes, rolls, corn, etc. for Sunday dinner. Yum! I think I’m making Cinnamon Swirl Cake for dessert, but I’m having a hard time deciding for sure if that’s what sounds good. I’m also thinking about making Pizza Monkey Bread for our main snack during the game later on…..not for sure on that yet either so I guess I’ll see what I decide to do.

A couple of nights ago, I made Steak Fajitas (one of our favorite meals). They are so easy…..so yummy…..and they are great left over. Here’s the recipe:

Steak Fajitas

  • 1-2 lbs. of Steak, cut into strips
  • 1 Green Pepper, cut into strips
  • 1 Yellow Pepper, cut into strips
  • 1 Orange Pepper, cut into strips
  • 1 Red Pepper, cut into strips
  • 1 Yellow Onion, cut into strips
  • 1 Purple Onion, cut into strips
  • Lime Juice
  • Salt/Pepper
  • Cumin
  • Chili Pepper
  • Lawry’s Seasoning Salt
  • Oregano
  • Cilantro
  • Flour Tortillas
  • All the fixings:Β  Sour Cream, Shredded Cheese, Taco Sauce, Salsa….whatever you like on your fajitas!

Begin browning the meat in a large skillet in a little bit of olive oil. I use Garlic Olive Oil because I like that little extra taste, but it’s up to you on that.

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Once the meat is about 3/4 of the way cooked, add the vegetables.

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Toss frequently and cover with a lid.

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Allow to simmer for about 5 minutes.

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Add the lime juice and seasonings (whatever amount you desire…..I honestly just add until it tastes the way I like it). Toss and simmer a bit longer.

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I don’t cook the vegetables until they are limp….we like a little crisp left in them. Once again, this is up to you. Add the meat mixture to a flour tortilla and enjoy….simple and delicious!

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Now I’m hungry for Steak Fajitas!! Guess I’d better get going on dessert….still not sure what I’m going to make. Decisions, decisions…

I just saw something on Facebook that made me smile…..2014 is The Year of the Horse…..see, I’m not wrong to be cheering for The Clydesdales! πŸ™‚

Clydesdale Laughing

~Cheyenne