Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Fiesta Stuffed Bell Peppers

One of the dishes my husband enjoys the most are stuffed bell peppers.  Over the years I probably haven't cooked it near enough.

So tonight with a little inspiration from some bulk bell peppers I had bought, I created these Fiesta Stuffed Bell Peppers.

Around our house if we eat anything, it's going to be spicy and full of flavor.  We love anything with our Certified Hereford Beef especially.  It's nice to know we can depend on the beef we raise off our ranch and the tradition and quality behind this historic breed of cattle.

Click here for the recipe for Fiesta Stuffed Bell Peppers 

This recipe was easily thrown together with two pounds ground CHB - beef, some onion and my new favorite fast Knorr Fiesta Spanish Rice, some Rotel Mexican Tomatoes with Lime and Cilantro, along with some cheese and Howe spice.  Howe spice is a Cajun variety that is just wonderful on just about anything.

It was a more involved recipe for tonight's meal, but totally worth it.

So if you are wanting a meal to impress, then this is it.  Fiesta Stuffed Bell Peppers are simple to put together and even my teenager loved it.  And that my friends is saying a whole lot!

Alise - The Ranch Kitchen 

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

The Ranch Kitchen's Sure Champ's Southwestern Taco Bowl

During December my daughter Bethany and I tried a few new recipes and added our own flair to them.  She had recently come across a recipe and it reminded her of her days in Aggieland when she loved these from their favorite taco restaurant.  

We recreated this recipe giving it our own additions dubbing it Sure Champ's Southwestern Taco Bowl for my Sure champ post for January of 2016.  We added our own special changes on two separate evenings to this fun dish. 

This rice, bean, corn with onion all in one pot meal was made in large batches so that we wouldn't have to cook the next night.  Around Christmas with our school and family events, it was nice to have a hearty meal that was easy to make and quick to reheat in the microwave.  

The second time we made this recipe we substituted the black beans for pinto beans and exchanged the whole kernel corn for creamed corn since that is all our pantry had.  It was just as good, but Bethany preferred the pop of the whole kernel corn and the black beans.  

We added sliced black olives the second time and really loved that addition. My husband and I love extra spicy dishes, so we even added Tabasco Sauce to the top of our taco bowls. We also added sour cream and fresh cut cilantro to Sure Champ's Southwestern Taco Bowl for extra flavor as a garnish or topping.


I told Bethany that this would be a fun dish to serve with a variety of toppings for a party or feeding a large crowd.  Condiments like your fresh shredded cheese, sour cream, cilantro, diced black olives, and even jalapenos would be great additions to the top of this delicious dish.  

This dish would be an excellent recipe to make for my friends on the show road this winter and especially for those of you who will be in Denver or Fort Worth in January.  I am even imaginging it for tailgating at Texas A&M next fall.  I can just see it all now in my large roaster hauling it in to the barns instead of my tradition Chicken Spaghetti for a Crowd.  All my toppings would be set off to the side with southwestern decorative dishes, a big basket of my favorite Pappacita's chips from home and some of my Nolana's Family Hot Sauce. 

Click here for the recipe for Sure Champ's Southwestern Taco Bowl

We hope you'll give this recipe a try and let us know how you made your own additions to it as well.  Remember you can share your own recipes on my site under the Share a Recipe tab. The Ranch Kitchen is also on Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram, so follow us there as well! 

It was fun cooking and planning out meals with my daughter this past holiday while she was in from college.  She has a good eye for recipes and is creatively detailed when this momma sometimes needs an extra push to get dinner on the table.  

She starts a new internship this week.  We pray and wish the very best for her as she completes her masters this spring.  I'm one proud momma in more ways than one.  I have three good reasons and sweet husband that helps makes life a good one. I hope each of my daughters find their way in this big old world in a profession they love and a man like mine who loves both me and most of the time my cooking adventures!

Alise  and Bethany - The Ranch Kitchen  

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Happy New Year from The Ranch Kitchen! Foods for good luck!

Crazy to think we are about to close off the year 2015!  I remember thinking as young woman how old I would be in 2015...  Well I am a bit older, hopefully a bit wiser and life is speeding by, but I wouldn't have it any other way.

As we look forward to tonight, our New Year's Day celebrations or simple family meals, here are some tried and true recipes that are good luck foods.  We always try eat to these recipes to bring us prosperity and good health in the year ahead.

One of my favorite appetizers to serve on New Year's Eve is this The Ranch Kitchen's Black-eyed Pea Salsa.  It's a fast and easy side to make and is great with corn tortilla chips or as a side vegetable.  I love to serve it in a large over-sized champagne glass or footed crystal bowl for some height with the chips underneath it.  There is seldom any of this left, but if there is and you make a ton it will keep up to one week in your refrigerator.  

Each New Year's day I also make sure to cook a pot of black-eyed peas from scratch on my stove-top. I'm a little silly about eating it out of the can as I think I have to cook it to have the good luck.  But if I had to I would as we are that superstitious about it!  These are one of my very favorite peas and one thing we always make sure they are full of is some smoked ham.

You can eat the black-eyed peas alone or over white rice and make your own Hoppin' John dish.  I usually make around two pounds of black-eyed peas so that we can take them out with our other evening meals the next few nights.  One note is to buy  your black-eyed peas early on New Year's Eve or before as the stores are always sold out.  And I have been known to cook them in a crock pot beginning at midnight of the new year to have them ready the next a.m. for lunch.  

At our house, you also have to make sure you make my Granny's Wilted Cabbage.  Cabbage is a sure fire way they say to have wealth and prosperity in the new year we always make sure to eat a ton of it! This is as close as I can remember her recipe and we really do love it.  The surprise is the mustard that you add to the cabbage.  Don't add too much mustard or it will overpower your cabbage.  The mustard really gives it an added kick.  We rarely have much left of this cabbage recipe.  You can also add smoked ham or Kielbasa sausage to it to make a complete meal.  

And last try these Baby Back Ribs because anyone can cook them, you don't have to have a grill and can even get them done on a counter top oven.  The trick is to spray your foil with oil, season liberally with your favorite Cajun Seasoning like Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning and cook away.  
My husband's mom, Billie Nolan always served up ribs on New Year's Day at her house along with sauerkraut as her cabbage side dish.  It was always a great lunch and welcomed meal after a night out the evening before.  Our tradition the last few years was for Scott to smoke the ribs on his smoker, but in a pinch or when it's up to me to make them this was always my go to recipe.  You can baste these ribs with BBQ sauce ten minutes before taking off the grill, just before serving or eat alone as they are that good.  
I like to make huge double or triple batches and use the left over rib meat in pork enchiladas using my King Ranch Chicken recipe.   We will miss her lunch this year as she is now watching down from heaven on us, but will eat these quickly before we head to Houston to take our Bethany for her internship there.  We wish her the best and are going to miss her.  

I hope these food help bring you the very best year yet.  To say I am excited about the year ahead is an understatement.  As we all know luck is what you make it.  It's truly  about how hard you work to achieve your goals and to have a little fun in the process.  

So here's to slimming down, blogging more for me, making time for yourselves and loving your families, friends and life.  

Enjoy your evening with family and friends and from our ranch to your home - Happy New Year!  

Alise - The Ranch Kitchen 

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Modern Day Snowball Cookies

Growing up one of the first cookies I learned to make with my mom were Sand Tarts.  They were a simple cookie that didn't require a ton of ingredients and didn't have to look perfect. 

During the holidays we love to bake lots of sweets to have out for our little family and to take to our Christmas parties.  Bethany decided to make these cookies tonight that she dubbed Modern Day Snowball Cookies because of the addition of mini chocolate chips and the round shape. 

Click here for the recipe for Modern Day Snowball Cookies

She was able to put these light little cookies together quickly and we enjoyed them for dessert when her older sister came in for the holidays tonight. 

As my girls become older and I realize it's quality and not quantity time that is important. It's special moments like these I treasure.  It's a favorite meal cooked to welcome a daughter home and then a new dessert creation that will hold special memories of this year's Christmas for my husband, myself and our girls.

Best wishes for a very happy holidays!

Merry Christmas from our ranch to yours!

The Nolans

Thanks for my festive The Ranch Kitchen logo Bethany!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Jeremy's Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Olives


Excited to share with you our friend Jeremy's Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Olives that our Bethany came home raving about this fall after a visit to our friends ranch the Hamman's.  She said they loved these olives so much that they actually hid them to keep them all to themselves! 

Jeremy has been a friend of our family for many years in our Texas Hereford and Polled Hereford Association.  His love of life and sweet friendship is special to our girls and family.  His has a keen wit and is just a hoot to be around.   

Little did I know that outside of a Hereford cattle show Jeremy is a fantastic cook!  While at the ranch I understand he cooked several wonderful things.  I'm sorry I missed out and thank the Hamman's for having our Bethany in from Texas Tech for the weekend.

We love our olives stuffed with jalapenos, so wrapping them in bacon was something we had never thought of.   Bacon wrapped anything is way up on my list of comfort food!

I placed these olives in foil for easier cleanup of my baking dish.  Cooking time is between 35 and 45 minutes and I used the roasting element on my convection oven. 

I think I'll be try wrapping Feta cheese or garlic stuffed olives with bacon for our next party. It's especially good with pepper bacon and we used New Braunsfels Smokehouse Bacon which was a gift from our dear Hereford friends the Echols of Muleshoe Ranch for this first batch.  All our Hereford family is very dear to us. 

Thank you Jeremy for the fantastic new recipe for these olives!  We absolutely love them and now buy our jalapeno olives in bulk so that we are ready to make these appetizers on a minutes notice! They will be wonderful around the holidays and perfect to take to help out with friend's parties. 

Enjoy your holidays ahead and here's another appetizer to wow your family and friends with!

Isn't my logo cute?  Thanks Bethany for the cute Christmas light addition to our logo!