Rancher’s Slow-Cooker Soup

Here’s an sausage soup recipe that’s perfect for cold winter weather as well as a busy lifestyle. After you put together the soup ingredients, you can slow-cook it for a few hours and then enjoy a delicious meal. This recipe calls for pinto beans, but you can substitute other types of beans that you have on hand. After you transfer the soup into serving bowls, you can garnish it with cheese, sour cream, sliced avocados and/or cilantro. Whether you live on a ranch or in the city, this slow-cooker soup is easy-to-make comfort food.

Rancher’s Slow-Cooker Soup

Ingredients:

1 pound fresh sausage

1 large onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

4 cups water

4 cups chicken broth

2 cups dry pinto beans, rinsed and soaked overnight

1 bell pepper or 3 stalks of celery

1 can Rotel tomatoes

1 teaspoon salt

Black pepper to taste

To garnish: shredded cheese, sour cream, avocados, cilantro, etc.

Directions:

1. In a large pan, cook sausage over medium heat; remove from pan and set aside.

2. Add onion to pan and sauté until it’s soft, 5 minutes or so.

3. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, 1 minute or so.

4. Transfer cooked meat and sautéed vegetables to crock pot. Add the water, chicken broth, beans, bell pepper or celery, Rotel tomatoes, salt and pepper. Slow-cook on high 8-10 hours.

5. Transfer the soup to serving bowls and garnish as desired.

TIP: Serve along with a green salad and cornbread, butter and honey.

Persimmon Boozy Cake

Here’s a cake that’s full of spirit. It combines persimmons and whiskey. Persimmon trees are very attractive fruit trees that happen to grow where I live in Northern California. After the trees lose their leaves, you can see the orange fruit hanging from the branches. Whenever I’m lucky enough to get a bag of persimmons from someone I know, I let them ripen on my kitchen counter; once they become very soft, I scoop out the flesh and puree it in my food processor. My husband grows distillery corn that’s fermented to make whiskey, so I like to use that in my recipe. You can substitute brandy if you prefer. I bake this in a decorative Bundt cake pan but any tube pan will suffice. It’s a tasty way to disguise an alcoholic beverage as a dessert. Cheers!

Persimmon Boozy Cake

Ingredients:

¾ cup raisins

¼ cup whiskey or brandy

2 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

¾ teaspoon salt

1 ½ cups sugar

1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon nutmeg

1 ½ sticks butter, softened

1 ½ cups persimmon puree

3 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 ¼ cups chopped walnuts or pecans

Icing:

4 ounces cream cheese

1 tablespoon butter, softened

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 tablespoon lemon juice

2/3 cup powdered sugar

¼ cup water

¼ cup chopped walnuts or pecans

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a Bundt cake pan with butter.

Pour the whiskey or brandy in a small sauce pan over medium heat, and add the raisins. When the liquid starts boiling, stir the raisins around for a minute and then remove from the heat; cover and set aside.

Place the flour, baking soda, salt, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg in a large bowl and stir. In a medium bowl, mix together the butter, persimmon puree, eggs and vanilla; add to the flour mixture. Fold in the raisins and whiskey or brandy. Add the nuts.

Transfer the batter into the greased Bundt cake pan and bake until a toothpick comes out clean, 60-70 minutes.

Remove from the oven and allow it to cool on a wire rack. Once the cake is cool, carefully invert it onto a cake plate.

To make icing, beat together the cream cheese, butter, lemon juice and vanilla with a hand-mixer or stand mixer on high speed. Add the powdered sugar and beat until smooth. Gradually add the water so that the icing is easy to pour. Spoon the icing over the cake, allowing it to drizzle down the sides. Garnish with the remaining nuts and serve.

Bloody Mary Cocktail

As a tomato farmer’s wife, I’d like to share this tomato-juice-based recipe for a well-liked adult beverage–the Bloody Mary. In the United States, this is a traditional cocktail consumed during the morning or early afternoon, and is popular for its reputation as a cure for a hangover. It contains vodka, tomato juice and various seasonings, and is garnished to create an appealing presentation. If you don’t want to drink alcohol, just skip the vodka for a tasty “mocktail.” Whatever version you choose to make, rest assured that you’re helping support tomato farmers. Cheers!

Bloody Mary Cocktail/Mocktail

Ingredients:

Bloody Mary mix or tomato juice

A splash or two of Worcestershire sauce

A splash of tabasco sauce

A dash of garlic powder

A dash of paprika

A dash of salt

A dash of cracked black pepper

1 tablespoon green olive juice

Juice from one lemon or lime

1-2 ounces Vodka, optional

Green olives

1 lemon or lime, sliced into wedges

Celery stalk

Crispy slice of bacon, optional

Directions:

Pour Bloody Mary mix or tomato juice into a highball glass. Add a splash of Worcestershire sauce; if using tomato juice, add a couple of splashes. Add tabasco sauce, garlic powder, paprika, salt, cracked black pepper, green olive juice, and lemon or lime juice. Stir. If you want to drink an alcoholic beverage, add the vodka to desired strength and stir. Garnish with green olives and a slice of lemon or lime on a toothpick; a celery stalk and/or a crispy slice of bacon; and serve.

Prime Rib

Prime rib is a favorite food in many families, including mine. We enjoy eating this tender cut of beef, particularly during the holidays and other special occasions.

Prime Rib

Serves 14-16 people

Ingredients:

1 standing rib roast of beef, 10-12 pounds

3-4 cloves of garlic, peeled and thinly sliced

Seasoning salt

Directions:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

Make small slits all over the roast with a knife and insert garlic slivers. Rub roast all over with seasoning salt. Place on a rack in roasting pan, with fat side on top, and roast for 30 minutes.

Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F and roast the meat for 16 minutes per pound (about 2 hours), or until a meat thermometer reaches 135-140 degrees F for a medium-rare (pink) center. Remove beef from oven, loosely cover with aluminum foil, and let it rest for 15 minutes before carving. Carving from the outside to the center, everyone gets a slice done just to his or her liking. Tip: Serve with horseradish cream or your favorite chutney.

Beef Burgundy

Beef burgundy, also called beef bourguignon, has its roots in the historic Burgundy region of France. This region, located southeast of Paris, is known for its wine and architecture, as well as for its white Charolais cattle that produce distinctively tasty beef. While this dish started out as peasant food that depended on slow-cooking tougher cuts of meat, eventually it was elevated to haute cuisine status that was served in expensive Parisian hotels. It was also featured by famous American cookbook author and TV chef Julia Child. While it’s classically served over boiled potatoes or pasta, my version includes serving it over a bed of hot, cooked rice—I live on a rice farm, what more can I say? I guess that would be, bon appetit!

Beef Burgundy

Ingredients:

1 ½ cups white rice

3 cups water

1 pound beef steak, sliced into 1-inch-long strips

Drizzle of vegetable oil

2 cups sliced onions

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 cups sliced carrots

½ cup Burgundy or other dry red wine

1 ¾ cups beef broth

2 teaspoons seasoning salt

Dash of thyme and/or dried parsley

2 cups sliced bell pepper (or celery)

2 tablespoons corn starch

¼ cup water

Directions:

To cook rice, boil water in a saucepan, add rice; then reduce heat to low, cover and let it simmer until rice soaks up the water, 15-20 minutes. As rice is cooking, heat oil in a large pan and brown the beef. Add onions and garlic, stir and cook another 2-3 minutes. Add the carrots, wine, broth, seasoning salt and herbs. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer about 10 minutes. Mix in the bell pepper, cover and cook another 5 minutes. Dissolve the corn starch in ¼ cup water and add to beef mixture. Continue cooking and stirring for a few minutes until the sauce thickens. Serve over hot cooked rice. Makes 4-6 servings.

Scottish Shortbread Cookies

‘Tis the season to bake cookies for Christmas. Here’s a recipe for Scottish shortbread cookies. These buttery-delicious cookies have a crumbly, melt-in-your-mouth texture and are very easy to make with common ingredients. The beauty of it is that you can vary the taste of these shortbread cookies by adding different flavors. I like to use vanilla, but other options include lemon or lavender extract. Also, you can sprinkle white sugar on top, or add a festive touch with red sugar sprinkles or another color. I’ve always been a fan of shortbread cookies–perhaps it’s due in part to my mostly-Scottish heritage. No matter what your background is, I hope that you enjoy baking–and eating–these as much as I do.

Scottish Shortbread

Ingredients:

2 ½ sticks butter, softened

½ cup powdered sugar

¼ cup sugar

½ teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons vanilla (or other flavoring such as lemon or lavender extract)

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup cornstarch (or rice flour)

¼ cup white sugar (or colored sugar sprinkles)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Combine butter, powdered sugar, sugar, salt and vanilla in a bowl and beat on medium speed until fluffy. Mix in flour and cornstarch, and beat until well-blended.

Press the dough into a 13” x 9” baking pan. Pierce the dough all over with a fork to make a decorative design; this allows the melting butter to release steam, thereby preventing the dough from puffing up. Bake until crust is a light golden color, about 45 minutes. Remove from oven; take a knife and cut through the dough to make cookie bars. Sprinkle the white (or colored) sugar all over the top. Place back in oven and continue baking for 5 more minutes. Remove the baking pan to a rack and allow the cookie bars to cool until slightly warm. Makes 2 dozen cookie bars.

Butternut Squash Soup

This is a classic, easy-to-prepare soup that tastes delicious and warms you up on a cool, autumn day.

Ingredients:

1 medium to large butternut squash, cut in half and seeded

2 tablespoons butter

1 onion, peeled and chopped

2 teaspoons ginger

6 cups chicken broth, divided

1 teaspoon salt

A few sprigs of chopped fresh parsley

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Place cut side of butternut squash down on a baking dish with half-inch of water. Bake about one hour until the squash can be easily pierced with a fork. Let it cool, then scoop out the pulp and set aside.

Heat the butter in a soup pot over medium-low heat. Add the onions and ginger, stir and cook until the onions are tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the squash along with 4 cups of chicken broth, bring to a boil then simmer, stirring often for about 10 minutes. Puree with a handheld blender. Add the remaining 2 cups of chicken stock and salt. Heat it through for about 5 minutes. Ladle into bowls and garnish with parsley.

Tip: Serve with warm, crusty bread and butter.

#farmhostess

#food

#foodie

#home

#homecooking

#madefromscratch

#recipes

#soup

#yum

#yummy

Pumpkin Bread

Pumpkin bread is a delicious and festive way to enjoy the fall season. This recipe makes two tasty loaves–enough to share with someone special!

Ingredients:

2 2/3 cups sugar

2/3 cup butter

1 15-ounce can pumpkin

2/3 cup water

4 eggs

3 1/3 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 ½ teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon nutmeg

½ teaspoon baking powder

2/3 cup chopped nuts

2/3 cup raisins

Directions:

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease two loaf pans, 9 x 5 x 3 inches.

Mix sugar and butter in a large mixing bowl. Add pumpkin, water and eggs. Stir in flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and baking powder. Add nuts and raisins.

Pour into pans and bake 70 minutes, until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool pans on a wire rack about 10 minutes, then gently loosen the loaves from the pan with a sharp knife or spatula. Remove from pans and let cool before slicing.

#bread

#farmhostess

#food

#foodie

#home

#homecooking

#pumpkin

#recipes

#yum

#yummy

Apple Hand Pies

Apple hand pies—also known as apple turnovers—are individual serving sizes of traditional apple pie, an all-American favorite. This old family recipe is easy to follow and quite versatile, as any type of pie filling will work. Hand pies make a delicious dessert and are easy to serve to a crowd. And for those who like to eat pie for breakfast, including those who are trying to get out the door, they are a very convenient to-go item!

Number of servings: 4

Ingredients:

Crust:

¾ cup all-purpose flour

¼ cup butter

1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 egg

1 tablespoon milk

Filling:

2 large apples, peeled, cored and diced

2 tablespoons butter

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ cup sugar

2 tablespoons brown sugar

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon water

Topping:

1 egg

1 tablespoon milk

1 tablespoon sugar

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

For the crust, place the flour in a large bowl. Cut in the butter using a pastry blender until coarse crumbs form. Add sugar and baking powder. Whisk egg and milk in a small bowl and stir; add to the flour mixture.

For the filling, melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in apples; sprinkle with salt, sugar, brown sugar and cinnamon; add water. Cook and stir apple mixture until apples are softened, about 5 minutes. Transfer apple filling to a plate and set aside to cool.

Form the dough into four balls; place one dough ball on a floured surface and roll into a circle about 8 inches in diameter. Spoon about 1/3 cup of apple filling into center of circle. Fold over dough and press the edges together with a lightly-floured fork. Repeat with remaining dough and filling. Place hand pies on an ungreased baking sheet (or line baking sheet with parchment paper).

For the topping, whisk egg with milk; brush top of each hand pie with egg mixture, sprinkle with about ¼ tablespoon sugar and cut three small vent holes on top of each pie crust.

Bake in the preheated oven until hand pies are golden brown, 25-30 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for about 10 minutes before serving.

#food

#recipes

#home

#yummy

#foodie

#pie

#applepie

#yum

#homecooking

#farmhostess

Grandma’s Rollie-Up Crepes

This old family recipe was submitted by William A. “Bill” Chapman of the Clarence Scott Ranch, a ranch in western Yolo County, California that was originally homesteaded by Bill’s great-grandfather George Washington Scott (1829-1912) in 1850. Bill’s paternal grandmother, Louise Carin Gross Chapman (1882-1948), enjoyed making her famous rollie-up crepes and usually doubled the recipe for her large family. Louise was born to German parents in the seaport city of Odessa, Ukraine, and her family immigrated to South Dakota in 1886 and then to Oregon in 1888. Louise became a nurse and eventually moved to St. Helena, California to work at the Seventh-day Adventist Hospital. That’s where she met George Mandred Chapman, a young widower from nearby Winters, California, who needed help taking care of his infant daughter. Louise became the resident nanny and soon she and George were married.  Five children were born from that union; Bill’s father, George Walker Chapman III, was the eldest of those children. Grandma Louise’s family recipe was passed down to Bill’s father, who carried on the tradition, cooking 12-inch crepes on his large griddle. Bill has many happy memories of returning from church and eating rollie-up crepes for breakfast with his family. These delicious crepes use basic ingredients and are easy to make–enjoy!

Grandma’s Rollie-Up Crepes

1 Cup Milk

1 Cup Flour

1 Cup Water

1 Egg

1 Teaspoon Cinnamon (optional)

Combine all ingredients. Cook on a light-weight, buttered griddle with a handle. Place a ladle of batter on the medium-heated griddle. Lift and rotate the griddle to allow the batter to spread into a thin crepe covering a majority of the griddle area. Cook until light brown–edges will brown–then flip (turn crepe over) with a broad spatula; cook the underside to a light brown (allow the moisture bubbles to cook off, i.e., steam). Remove from the griddle and place on a serving plate. When served, add butter, jelly, jam, honey, etc.

#food

#recipes

#home

#yummy

#foodie

#breakfast

#history

#yum

#homecooking

#farmhostess