What Should I Make?!

If you’re a ranch wife like me, I know you’ve been faced with this question NUMEROUS times. The hard part is not finding something delicious to make for all those neighbors and friends that come help work cows, its finding something delicious that makes ITSELF.

Here’s how my morning on a typical cattle working day goes – I get up at dawn, throw a bunch of stuff in the crock or oven, get my daughter up and fed and ready, then rush out to the corral, where we spend all morning working cows. THEN, while the men stand around and BS for a few minutes, I rush to the house, set the table, finish the meal, whip up anything extra that I need, make two pots of coffee, and HOPEFULLY have that all done before they crowd into my not-big-enough-for-ten-people kitchen.

I used to make roast and potatoes EVERY TIME, because that was easy, and it cooks in one pot, and its done when I get to the house. HOWEVER, roast and potatoes bores the crap out of me. So, I started testing new things on these boys, and I have to say they’ve been pretty accepting of my attempts at gourmet cooking. So, I’ll share a few of my favorite recipes with you.

Pizza Casserole is a recipe I got from my stepmother, who got it from Country Favorites, a cookbook published by the Dupuyer Community Club like a hundred years ago. Its wicked easy to throw together the night before, and then just put in the oven before you go out, and AS LONG AS YOU QUIT FOR LUNCH WHEN YOUR HUSBAND PROMISES YOU’RE GOING TO, it turns out splendidly. Add a tossed salad, some garlic bread and some kind of dessert, and you’ve got a meal fit for a king.

My favorite go-to meal is Taco Soup. Its so easy a caveman could do it. Brown the burger, open a bunch of cans, and voila! Dinner is served. Dump a bag of tortilla chips in a bowl and shred some cheese (or buy it already shredded like I do) and again, simple meal. This one is the best for when you know you’re not going to have any time either in the morning, or when you break for lunch, because sometimes let’s face it – there’s a lot of cows out there and not a whole lot of time in the day to be spent in the house.

Do you have some go-to recipes you’d like to share? I’d love to have them!!!

Until next time,

Trina Jo

Pizza Casserole

1 (4 oz) pkg. pepperoni, sliced

1 cup Swiss cheese, grated

1/2 tsp. oregano

1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce

6 oz. spaghetti, cooked

1 med. onion, chopped (I actually use about one slice of an onion)

1/3 cup butter, melted

1 lb. Mozzarella cheese, grated

1 (4 oz) can mushroom stems and pieces

Boil pepperoni to remove excess fat for five minutes in water to cover; drain well. Saute onion in 1 tablespoon butter. Pour remaining butter into a 13×9 dish. Place cooked spaghetti in baking dish; toss to cover with butter. Cover with half of the tomato sauce. Add in order: half of grated Swiss cheese, half of pepperoni, half of grated Mozzarella cheese, all the mushrooms and onions. Sprinkle with oregano. Top with remainder of tomato sauce, Swiss cheese, pepperoni and finally the Mozzarella cheese. Bake for 25 minutes at 350 degrees. Serves 6.

(If you cook it at a lower temp you can leave it in the oven longer. I double this recipe for eight-ten guys, because my brothers eat. A LOT.)

Crock Pot Taco Soup

2 pounds ground beef

1 med to large onion, chopped

2 can corn, undrained

2 can black beans, undrained

2 cans chopped tomatoes with chiles

1 cans kidney beans, undrained

2 small cans tomato sauce

1 envelope taco seasoning

2 cans chilies

1 can chopped jalepenos

Brown burger with onion. Drain well and put in crock. Add all other ingredients. Stir well. Cook on low for four to six hours. When serving, top soup with broken tortilla chips and shredded cheddar cheese.