Saturday, November 22, 2014

Artie's Sugared Green Beans

I love having friends contribute to The Ranch Kitchen!  This recipe today came from dear friend and coworker Carol Elder who teachers at my school.  She's a wonderful cook in her own right and says she learned everything from her sweet mother Artie Montgomery.

Daughters and sons I think keep their parents memories alive by recipes and her mom's Artie's Sugared Green Beans is a real keeper.  We all enjoyed this during our Thanksgiving Potluck at school the other day and thankfully I had my camera in hand!  My girls and I will most certainly be making this for Thanksgiving and for many years to come.

Click here for the recipe for Artie's Sugared Green Beans!

It's a simple dish to make and is pretty in a crystal bowl like the one Carol served this dish in.

Thanks so much for Carol for sharing this recipe today and for teaching my Audrey! She's one of the best teachers out there!  To teach is to touch a life forever!

Enjoy your week long break and Thanksgiving!  You deserve it as all our teachers and students do!

Alise - The Ranch Kitchen

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

'Sure Is The Best Broccoli Rice Casserole' and November Sure Champ Recipes From the Ranch Blog Post

Thanksgiving is right around the corner and my mother and I are starting to think about our family meal.  It's always a huge effort to cook for our growing family and certain dishes are traditions each year. 
This year, as in the past, I will cook my newest recipe for 'Sure Is The Best' Broccoli Rice Casserole.  This recipe was recently posted on the Sure Champ November Blog Post along with some other favorite holiday favorites from around our ranch. 

Click here for the November Sure Champ Recipes from the Ranch Blog post. 

This cheesy rice dish with broccoli and onions is one of my husbands favorite sides and usually a part of his birthday dinner.  It's a southern staple dish at holiday dinners. 
For this recipe I switched from the jar of processed cheese to 1/2 lb. of Velvetta and liked the difference it made.  I usually use more cream of mushroom soup and felt that only one can was needed.  Instead of frozen broccoli, I used fresh and chopped them finely.  I also used sweet white onions, instead of the harsher (eye tearing) white cooking onions.  You could leave the onions out, but I think it's a huge part of this dish. 
Once your rice is cooked, throwing this casserole together is easy.  I've also included with this recipe how to cook the perfect rice.  I thank my mom for that huge lesson.

It's great to have as the next day as leftovers or to send home with family.  A lot of the time I put the casserole together, cover tightly with foil, and do the final baking the day of Thanksgiving (or Christmas & Easter) to help take some stress away from my day.

You can also click here for the recipe for 'Sure Is The Best Broccoli Rice Casserole'

Hope you enjoy it as much as we do! 
Alise  - The Ranch Kitchen

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Audrey's Chocolate Chip Cupcakes with Creamy Peanut Butter Icing

It's cold in Texas!  This southern girl is not ready for winter!  But, we have a fire in the fireplace for the third time this week and are all cozy and warm.  

My youngest daughter wanted to bake this afternoon, so after a quick trip to the local Walmart we are sugared up from her latest creation of Audrey's Chocolate Chip Cupcakes with Creamy Peanut Butter Icing.  

Audrey even placed and took the photos of these cupcakes for this post.  She was excited I'd be posting about them this afternoon.  

It warms my heart that she is starting to care about cooking and enjoys baking just like her sisters and I.  Baking treats for my younger brothers was how I started cooking.

Click here for Audrey's Chocolate Chip Cupcakes with Creamy Peanut Butter Icing.  

The addition of chocolate chips coated in a few tablespoons of flour made these chocolate cupcakes really decadent.  The flour allows the semi sweet chocolate chips to not clump at the bottom of each cupcake and 'float' sticking to the cupcake batter as they bake.  

The Creamy Peanut Butter Icing tasted just like the center of a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup a favorite candy of mine and was delicious alone.  

I always think back to my Granny telling me one time to not just sit and eat cake icing.  I looked at her and said I would never do that...but I knew since she was diabetic that must have done a time or two by her!  She looked pretty guilty after that discussion and I figured out just what she had done!   

One side note is so to allow your icing to chill in your refrigerator some before icing your cooled cupcakes.  We used a Wilton Cakes icing decorating tip to get the effect you see on the cupcakes in the pictures.  These cupcakes should be refrigerated also with the cream cheese icing and not left out for more than a half hour. 

After taking the pictures Audrey was too cute when she said, "Mom...we should have sprinkled crumbled Oreo Cookies on top of these cupcakes!"  Too cute!  We hopefully have a future blogger on our hands and maybe one day she will take over this site! 

Hope you enjoy these cupcakes as much as we have this afternoon.  Her daddy had two and is usually is not a big sweet eater.  

Thanks Audrey for the cupcakes!  Her big sister Bethany will thank her as well!  She has a surprise in store as they are coming to Aggieland this afternoon with her roommate Colin who came home for the weekend!  Enjoy Bethany, Colin and Carly!

Alise - The Ranch Kitchen

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Chicken Fried Marinated Deer Steak

No one..and I mean no one could cook deer steak like my mother-in-law Billie Nolan.  If I could chose a meal that she could make for me, her deer steak would be my top choice.  Looking back I know it was a combination of her blackened cast iron skillet and many, many years of cooking for the men in her family.  Her deer steak and 'greasy' potatoes are two of theshes that remain ingrained in my memory and that of my husbands. 

Now in her older years, she doesn't cook as much as she once did, but I'm sure could cook this dish by memory if she had too. 

Tonight my husband had already thawed out the deer steak for our dinner and I enjoyed catching up with him while cooking. 

Venison or deer steak is a really lean meat that is full of flavor and tender to eat.  I chose to marinate ours in vinegar like my mother always did.  We believe it takes out some of the 'gamey' taste and helps tenderize it even more before you fry it.

Our deer steak with my husbands favorite lima beans, mashed potatoes and gravy and 'Sure Is The Best Broccoli Casserole'. Dinner is served!

Click her for the recipe for Chicken Fried Marinated Deer Steak.

Should you ever get the chance to have deer steak in your home, give this recipe a try.  The men around our house love it (my husband, brothers and nephew) and my daughters do as wel

Alise - The Ranch Kitchen


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Low Calorie Fruit Salad with Peachy Orange Sauce

Fresh fruit trays have become a tradition at our family gatherings and not because I make them.  My sister-in-law Leslie is a wonderful cook in her own right, especially with her yam pies and homemade macaroni and cheese, but always brings along a fruit tray to each family gathering.  It's her attempt at making us all eat one thing healthy during the holidays. The kids love her fruit trays and so do the adults! 

This past weekend after my daughter's 13th birthday party and our chocolate fondue appetizer with fresh fruit, I had a super - large amount of left overs.  So for dessert last night I combined a Yoplait Peach Yogurt with 1/2 cup of orange juice to an assortment of fruit I still had on hand. 

My newest teenager loved it and asked me just where I got the recipe.  Happily I told her it was from one of her favorite teachers Mrs. Moon who taught her science in the 5th grade.  That made her smile really big.  Julie always put her to work each afternoon helping out in her room when I had to work late up at school.  Audrey enjoyed those days and especially being her teachers' helper.  We miss Julie at our school now and know she is loving retirement after many years in education!

Audrey and Mrs. Julie Moon on the last day of 5th grade.

For this recipe I used fresh strawberries, pineapple, bananas, red apples, blueberries, and then the Yoplait Peach Yogurt (individual 6 ounce - cup size) and 1/2 cup orange juice (pulp free).  You could really use any fruit or yogurt for this recipe and even canned, drained fruit would be a good addition.

Click here for the recipe for Low Calorie Fruit Salad with Peachy Orange Sauce.

This Low Calorie Fruit Salad with Peachy Orange Sauce would be a healthy addition to your Thanksgiving or Christmas table this fall and winter for sure!  Audrey loved it!  This dish was always a hit at potlucks at our school when Julie made it. 

Thanks for the recipe Julie!  Enjoy retirement! 

Alise - The Ranch Kitchen