Tag Archives: Recipes

Downton Abbey: Have a spot of tea….and Banana Bread?!

Okay, I’m feeling somewhat witty today…..I’ve been on a addict’s kick of Downton Abbey. If you haven’t watched this delightful series on PBS then you really are missing out!

Downton Abbey

I admit that I do become “addicted” to certain television shows…..it’s a bad habit of mine, but alas…..it’s something I truly enjoy so there you have it. It’s kind of like reading a good book…..once I start it I can’t put it down until it’s finished. I’m OCD like that! 🙂 I heard about Downton a few weeks ago, but didn’t have the time to succumb to another series so I left it until last week. I found that I could watch it on Amazon for free…..imagine…..4 complete series episodes ripe for the picking! Besides the Olympics there hasn’t been much on TV so I decided to watch the first one…..and go from there. Almost a week later…..and I’m somewhat sad…..I only have one episode left of the FIFTH series….yep, I found out there is a fifth series. It’s odd because on our TV it says it’s the FOURTH series, but on UK TV it’s called the FIFTH series. No matter…..I was overjoyed to find it on PBS on my iPad so I can get up to speed!

I absolutely adore the series…..It’s set in England in the 1910’s – 1920’s. There is hardly a cuss word to be heard, no majorly inappropriate scenes, high society, lots of tea drinking (yes, I’m a huge fan of tea), courtesy, romance, intrigue……it’s absolutely marvelous!! I urge you to join the masses of fans by watching it just once….I’m sure you will be like me and be hooked!

Watching all those English gentleman’s and ladies drinking their tea brought out the tea lover in me early this year. I’ve always liked tea (hot, mind you….I’m not a fan of Iced Tea just yet)…..might have something to do with that fact that my great Aunt was British. She was a war bride and came to live on Cherry Creek (where I grew up) all the way from London! She was a Brit through and through…..I loved her dry humor…..and her tea! 🙂

My family goes through a big tea drinking phase every late winter until calving season is done. It started up a bit ago and is in full swing here (fueled by my obsession of Downton Abbey). Here is my teapot (I love it…..it’s so “me”!):

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And my very favorite tea in all the world:

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Stash tea is one of the most popular teas in the world and truly good tasting. Tea bags are quite practical, but all of a sudden I have a true interest in using loose leaf tea. I’ve found a couple of sites that explain the process. I’m going to share them with you here:

Seven Cups and Teavana seem to be the most popular tea informational sites and they both have stores (on Google). I can’t wait to delve into the whole world of tea…..new interests truly excite me! Kind of like my wine obsession…..except that I’m a very picky wine drinker….It’s National Drink Wine Day today so thought I needed to mention that…..I’ll drink pots of tea today and then go straight into my favorite wine with supper…..(My husband is in his recliner rolling his eyes…..not that I care!) 🙂

I have been home uninterrupted for a few days (watching Downton Abbey with my eyes glued to the TV). Okay, it’s not quite that bad, but I’ve been watching a lot of it……while I tend to other things of course. I decided that with all the tea we’ve been drinking that something sweet was in order to go with it. Banana Bread popped into my head…..so I decided to make some. The recipe I use comes out of a Betty Crocker cookbook that my Mom gave me many, many years ago. It was the first cookbook that I ever received from someone….and I hold it dear (even though it is almost in pieces from overuse). As you can tell by the photo (food stains and that is has fallen out of the book), this recipe has been used a lot!

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This is my old standby Banana Bread recipe…..it’s my favorite by far too. Here it is for you to try and enjoy:

Banana Bread

  • 1 ¼ cups Sugar
  • ½ cup stick margarine or butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 ½ cups mashed ripe bananas (3 to 4 medium)
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup chopped nuts, if desired

Move oven rack to low position so that tops of pans will be in center of oven. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease bottoms only of 2 loaf pans (or 4 small loaf pans) with shortening. Mix sugar and butter in large bowl.

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Stir in eggs until well blended.

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Add bananas, buttermilk and vanilla. Beat until smooth.

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*I use powdered buttermilk as I don’t usually have it on hand. It is so easy to use…and so convenient to have on hand whenever I need it way out here!*

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Stir in flour, baking soda, and salt just until moistened.

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Stir in the nuts.

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Pour into pans.

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Bake 8-inch loaves about 1 hour, 9-inch loaf about 1 ¼ hours, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes in pans on wire rack.

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Loosen sides of loaves from pans; remove from pans and place top side up on wire rack. Cool completely before slicing. Wrap tightly and store at room temperature up to 4 days, or refrigerate up to 10 days.

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And there you have it…..incredible Banana Bread (if I do say so myself). Enjoy a slice with some butter and a hot cup of tea…..I swear it will be heavenly.

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I’m off to watch the finale of Downton Abbey. I am anxious to see it, yet sad at the same time. I do get to look forward to the next season coming out sometime in late September though so that gives me something to look forward to! Cheerio, good mates! 😉 ~Cheyenne (I say this with tea cup in hand!) Haha!

Cheyenne’s Steak Tips, Cowboy Potatoes & Peppermint Ice Cream

I had a great Valentine’s Day at home with the two best guys in the world! I was happy to receive another handmade card from them this year…..I added it to my collection. I absolutely love and treasure every single one of these cards! ❤

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I wasn’t expecting anything special yesterday (other than my cherished card) because I had scored some awesome boots at the Black Hills Stock Show, which were my early Valentine’s Day present (can’t beat that)! I have been admiring these Corral Boots for some time now……I ran into a sale…..and well, I just couldn’t say no any longer! If you know me at all you know that they boots are absolutely perfect for me…..I LOVE Stars….black…..and silver…..Yep, these were made for me! Plus, they are comfy and fit perfectly! 🙂

Boots

Since we stayed home on the ranch for Valentine’s Day, it was up to me to show my love to my guys through my normal means…..by cooking! I rewarded my Valentine’s with a supper fit for a king……or a cattle baron…..or cowboys…..heck, most any beef lover would have been happy! I whipped up my Steak Tips, Cowboy Potatoes, & homemade Peppermint Ice Cream! To say the least, supper was heavenly!

The first thing I started on was the ice cream (due to the fact that it needs to freeze for some time before it’s ready to be eaten). I followed a super easy Vanilla Ice Cream Recipe from Cuisinart, but I improvised to turn it into a Peppermint Ice Cream recipe. Here’s the recipe:

Peppermint Ice Cream

  • 1 ½ cups whole Milk
  • 1 1/8 cups Granulated Sugar
  • 3 cups of Heavy Cream
  • 1-2 tsp. of Peppermint Extract
  • ¼ cup of Peppermint Sticks (ground)

I recently got an Ice Cream Maker attachment for my Kitchen Aid Mixer. Today, is the first chance I’ve had to use it. It was super easy…..I can see ice cream making being done regularly at our house from here on out (especially since my boys LOVE ice cream)! Here are some pics from the process I used:

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I combined everything as the recipe calls for (substituting Peppermint Extract for the Vanilla) and let the ice cream maker do its magic. When it was almost finished, I added the ground up peppermint sticks and a dash or two of red food coloring. Here’s how it looked coming out of the freezer…..and holy cow, it was amazing!! Now more long faces when the Schwan’s man is sold out of this household seasonal favorite! 🙂

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The next thing I started was the potatoes (because they take quite some time to bake).

Cowboy Potatoes

  • Red Potatoes
  • Garlic Olive Oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Lawry’s Seasoning Salt
  • Onion Salt
  • Pepper Jack Cheese, Sliced
  • Parsley

Clean and slice the potatoes (making sure not to slice all the way to the bottom).

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Place in a baking dish and brush each potato with garlic olive oil (if you don’t have garlic olive oil, you can use regular olive oil and sprinkle on some garlic powder instead).

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Add seasonings (to taste).

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Bake for 1 hour or until done in a 350 to 400 degree oven. Using a fork or knife, poke each potato in the middle to ensure doneness. If done, top with Pepper Jack Cheese (one slice per potato) and put back in the oven to melt (if the potatoes need more time put them back in the oven until done to your liking and then top with cheese).

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Sprinkle on more salt and pepper if desired and top with parsley for added color.

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And now….last, but not least…..my Steak Tips! Over the years, I have tried numerous “batter” recipes only to be somewhat disappointed in how they turn out. Some are too bulky and thick, some are too thin, some fall off when frying, some aren’t tasty at all. I finally came up with a good one. I found the beginning of this recipe on Allrecipes.com, but took it apart and reworked it to my liking. Here is what my recipe consists of:

Cheyenne’s Steak Tips

  • 4 Eggs
  • 2 cup Flour
  • 1 cup Milk
  • 4 tsp. Lawry’s Seasoning Salt
  • 2 tsp. Pepper
  • Garlic Salt (pinch)
  • Onion Salt (pinch)
  • Worcestershire Sauce (dash)
  • 2 lbs. of steak cut into bite-sized cubes (I usually end up with about 2 lbs. of steak so you may need to start out with more depending on the cut of the meat)

Cut meat into bite-sized cubes and set aside. Believe me…..our dogs were delighted with the amount of bone and fat on these steaks! 🙂

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Combine all ingredients and stir together until smooth (batter will be thick and glue-like).

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Dip cubes of steak into the batter until completely coated.

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Remove steak cubes, piece by piece and deep fry in hot oil (about 1 ½” deep or so). Turn when one side is golden brown.

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Fry until the other side is golden brown.

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Remove from oil and place on a paper-towel covered plate to drain excess oil.

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Truly, these are the best Steak Tips ever……this is my “go to” batter for most anything and everything (onion rings are awesome too)!

So, as you can see…..we had a wonderful Valentine’s Day supper!

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We were stuffed……and enjoyed watching a few episodes of a new series I heard about…..”Downton Abbey”……we are loving it….the fact that I just heard about it and it’s several seasons in already…..makes me super happy and eager to watch until I get caught up. 🙂  Hope you all had a wonderful Valentine’s Day! Enjoy the recipes! ~Cheyenne