Tag Archives: Ranch Life

Mexican Steak Skillet – And More Winter!!

It’s amazing how this spring has kind of put a hamper on my blogging. In a perfect world, I would get to sit down every morning and blog away. However, I live in reality so this is the way it is! It makes me that much more thankful and appreciative when I do get to sit down to write. ๐Ÿ™‚

I’ve had quite the week. I felt a bit strange about a week and a half ago, but I didn’t think much about it. A couple of dizzy spells and upset stomach, but nothing major. Last Friday (May 2nd) rolled around and holy cow……I was in a bad way. I let things go until Saturday morning (the day my folks were branding) mostly because I was hoping it would go away and I didn’t want to pay for emergency room fees. Well, the pain didn’t go away…it got worse. So Saturday morning I ambled into the walk-in clinic in Chadron, which is 30 miles from our house. It was determined that I had a severe bladder infection.

I haven’t had a bladder infection in well over 10 years and when I did have one it never felt like this, but I’m not a doctor so who was I to question their diagnosis. Well, things didn’t get much better. I trudged around in sweats all weekend and Monday. I was hopeful that the meds were just taking their sweet time. Tuesday morning I woke up in worse shape than ever so I decided it was time to change doctors and go to the gal we normally do (she was unavailable over the weekend). So, off I went. Much to my surprise I didn’t have a bladder infection….and I never did! How can a clinic misdiagnose something so simple? Hmmmm…..well, whatever. I found myself in the middle of an exam and then a CT Scan. Have you ever had to drink the Barium they give you so they can see your organs during a scan? If you haven’t thank your lucky stars. UGH!!!!!!! After the tests were completed I was informed that I had just been through an Ovarian Cyst rupture. Unbelievable!! The pain was excruciating….and quite odd! No symptoms existed except a lot of pain and pressure down below. How crazy! Well, thanks to our lady doctor, she got to the bottom of it and I’m now almost back to normal.

We have been going through some harsh weather conditions as of the last two weeks also. In that regard I’m a bit thankful as I didn’t have to beg to be in the house on bedrest…..it was a given with our lovely gumbo out here. In the past two weeks, we’ve had around 6″ of rain and close to 12″ of snow (it didn’t accumulate much). I’m sure you can imagine the run off around here. Our creeks are out of their banks and it’s roaring! We went without power for over 7 hours on Wednesday. Shane had to go haul the lineman in so we could get the lines back up. He even helped them finish the job. What a guy!

20140510_10

Doc and the other horses weren’t amused by the storm.

20140510_4

20140510_6

Check out all of the water!

20140510_12

20140510_13

20140510_15

20140510_18

20140510_19

20140510_20

20140510_22

We are thankful for the moisture! I am a bit irritated at Mother Nature though and I will admit it. Tomorrow was supposed to be our branding day, but due to her temper it has to be rescheduled to Wednesday. After looking at the forecast, it may need to be moved again! Frustrating, but nothing we can’t handle! We are under a Winter Storm Watch tonight….again…..I can’t believe it (it’s May for crying out loud)!! I’m not happy about it, but what can I do? I guess pray that it isn’t severe and that all of those baby calves and their mamas hunker down out of it until it passes. I know that this too shall pass (as my Gram used to say). It’s sometimes hard to remember that when you are in the middle of things. One thing to look forward to is LOTS of green grass and fat calves this fall. Our reward for enduring the difficulties.

Onto other things…..I do finally feel well enough to be back in the kitchen at least! Here is what I made last night and it was yummy!!

Mexican Steak Skillet

Ingredients

  • 2 Tablespoons Canola Oil
  • 1 Large Onion, Chopped
  • 2 cups Minute Rice
  • 3 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1 can Rotel Diced Green Chilies And Tomatoes (10 Ounce Can)
  • 1 can Diced Tomatoes (14.5 Ounce Can)
  • 2 cups Chicken Broth (more If Needed)
  • 2 teaspoons Cumin (more To Taste)
  • Salt & Pepper (to taste)
  • 2 teaspoons Cilantro
  • 2 teaspoons Oregano
  • Steak (cut into thin bite-sized pieces) – *whatever amount you want โ€“ pre-cooked
  • 2 cups of Mexican Cheese (or whatever cheese you like) – shredded

Preparation Instructions

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and cook for 3 to 4 minutes.

20140510_23

Reduce heat to low and add rice and garlic. Stir constantly, making sure the rice doesnโ€™t burn. Cook over low heat for 3 or 4 minutes. Add Ro-tel and tomatoes. Stir to combine and let cook for 2 minutes.

20140510_27

Finally, add broth and stir together. Add some salt/pepper and the cumin, cilantro, and oregano. Bring to a boil.

20140510_28

Add the sliced up steak pieces and mix it all up. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 10 to 15 additional minutes or until rice is done.

20140510_29

Add more liquid as needed; rice shouldnโ€™t be sticky. Top with cheese, stir to ensure it is all mixed.

20140510_32

When melted, serve immediately.

20140510_33

Top with fresh chopped cilantro is you want to (or dried cilantro….it’s all I had…don’t judge!) ๐Ÿ™‚

20140510_34

Give this recipe a whirl….it makes quite a bit so we are having it for lunch today. Enjoy!! ~Cheyenne

Crispies…..aka…How I caught My Hubby!

It’s another rainy, windy day here on the ranch. Windy may be an understatement….it actually sounds like a freight train outside. It feels like March outside and not the almost beginning of May…..ready for some nice weather that sticks around!

I was elated to see the cattle in such good shape on my check this morning. We have had close to 4″ of rain in the last two days mixed with snow and howling winds. It always amazes me how tough cattle are! Here are a few sights from today:

image (142)

image (141)

image (138)

image (137)

image (139)

image (140)

I heaved a sigh of relief at how well everything looks. The running water is just the beginning of what we may be dealing with in a day or so. The pool above is about 15 feet deep already! It is crazy muddy out here and I won’t be surprised if I don’t get to town until Friday. Stone’s preschool graduation is in the evening so we are hoping we can make it in for that.

While the weather may be cruddy right now for outdoor activities it comes at a good time for me for baking. I’ve been planning the menu for our upcoming branding on Mother’s Day (this is our annual tradition). Branding is one of the most important days of the year for a rancher and ours is no exception. We like to work hard with friends and neighbors to get the job done as quickly and safely as possible. Then we celebrate with good food and entertainment….shotgun style. We shoot skeet after we eat….sometimes it goes until dark. It’s a blast….literally! ๐Ÿ™‚

I pretty much have our branding menu planned. I decided instead of getting caramel rolls from the bakery in town I would do some baking ahead of time. This weather has served well so I can spend some time in the kitchen. When considering what to serve at our branding one has to take several things into consideration. Brandings are not a leisurely outing…..they are intense and very focused events. The treats we serve need to be hearty and mess free for the most part. There is no time for a plate, fork, and knife during our break. Treats need to be mobile, good, and filling. When I was thinking about what to make one things popped into my mind….CRISPIES!!!! If you’ve never had a Crispie, let me just say that you haven’t lived yet until you’ve had one……or two…..or three! The recipe goes back to my Grandma June (It’s awesome how I can pull out one of her recipes and I instantly feel connected to her – she passed away a little over two years ago…..I miss her a lot). My mom makes them often so it’s only fitting that the succession of making them falls to me.

What I said in the title line is true about Crispies……I believe they helped me “catch” my hubby. ๐Ÿ™‚ I laugh about it, but I honestly think it’s true a little bit at least! My husband and I had been dating for a couple of months. I had cooked for him and his buddies while he was working on a place as a hired hand. They needed some good nourishment during calving season and they were always very appreciative when I cooked. I had never done a lot of baking when I was younger, but for some reason I felt the need to prove myself in the kitchen. So, I got out the big guns…..I called my mom! She emailed me the recipe for Crispies……I made them…..and it was love at first taste. Haha!! I really had no idea that Shane had such a sweet tooth and that he loved homemade baked goods. BUT…..no matter who you are…..once you try one of these you will know why he fell head over heels in love with me after that first taste. (I’m joking a little…..I personally think he was head over heels for me before that….as I was with him, but handiness in the kitchen can only sweeten the deal….right?) ๐Ÿ™‚

Here is the recipe……you can thank me later! ๐Ÿ™‚

Crispies

  • 1 pkg. yeast, dissolved in ยผ cup warm water (almost hot)
  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ยผ cup sugar
  • 1 cup butter or margarine (softened a little, but not melted)
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup milk, scalded and cooled
  • Cinnamon & Sugar (sprinkled on dough till covered)

In a small bowl dissolve yeast in water. In a large bowl combine flour, salt, and ยผ cup sugar. Cut in butter with a fork.

20140429_4

Combine eggs, milk, and yeast.

20140429_5

Add to flour.

20140429_6

Cover tightly and refrigerate overnight.

When ready, take dough out of the fridge.

20140429_9

Divide it in half. Roll out and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.

20140429_10

Roll and cut slices with a piece of thread or string (slip it under the rolled up dough and put together โ€“ a knife will get all doughy).

20140429_11

20140429_12

20140429_13

(Yes, I used fishing line – don’t worry it was new, unused, and still sealed in the package…..I had to improvise out here in the wet gumbo so far from town!)

Place on greased sheet and flatten with hand.

20140429_14

Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. The bottoms should only be light brown. Do not brown on top as they will get tough. Frost while hot.

20140429_21

Frosting

  • 1 ยฝ cups powdered sugar
  • 4 tsp. hot water
  • 1 TB. butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla or almond flavoring

Stir all ingredients together and spread with a knife (less is more as the thick frosting will get runny when on the warm Crispies). Remember to have frosting ready so you can put it on right away.

Repeat with the second half of the dough.

20140429_15

20140429_16

And VOILA!!!!

20140429_22

Deliciousness abounds!!! BUT….be careful of Crispie thieves….they are everywhere!! ๐Ÿ™‚

20140429_20

I hope you try these…..everyone who eats one will comment on them….want the recipe…..kiss you…..or you may even get a marriage proposal out of it…..so beware! ๐Ÿ™‚ ~Cheyenne