Category Archives: Breads

Cooking For The Ranch Crew ~ Part 2: Cooking

When you are cooking for the ranch crew, it is most important that you think ahead to how you will be serving. Will you be serving in the field or at the house? And what time will they be coming in to eat? In my experience, they don’t usually know exactly when they will be in, so you need to make sure it’s ready at noon, but be able to hold it warm till 2 pm or even later if necessary! :)

Some of the cowboys I feed regularly.

Some of the cowboys I feed regularly.

cooking for the ranch crew

 


Think about how much oven space you will need, and how much time stuff will take to cook. You don’t want to have 3 pans of dinner rolls and a pan of baked beans and a dessert, all needing to go into the oven at the same time! :) So think about what can be baked earlier in the morning.
I like to bake my dessert first, and then my rolls, and then stick in the beans, corn, or whatever other hot dish I may have. Pies, cobblers, and breads can be served cool. They will still be delicious, since they are fresh. But you don’t want lukewarm beans!

If I am doing a roast, I like to stick it in the crockpot or oven the night before. Then it will be super-tender by lunch.  If I am doing a smoked brisket, I will put it in the oven (or electric roaster) in the morning, and let it heat slowly. Those come pre-cooked. 

Brisket.

Brisket.

So my cooking day looks something like this:
1. Mix up dinner rolls.
2. While the rolls are rising, I make my pies. When the pies are ready for the oven, so are the rolls. I stick the rolls in the oven. After the rolls come out, I bake the pies. NOTE: I really try to bake my pies the day before, because that makes cooking day so much easier! But sometimes life happens, and I don’t get it done till the day of.
3. I make my salad. If I am also having a jello salad, I like to make that a day ahead, too. But sometimes it doesn’t happen till day of, either! 😉
4. Next, I make my potatoes, and start my veggies. By now it will be getting close to noon. I start checking off things, mentally. Bread? Dessert? Salad? Veggie? Potatoes? Meat? I may put some butter out to soften, for the bread, and get a fresh jar of jam out. Fill the salt&pepper shakers… just make sure things are there.
5. By noon, or shortly thereafter, you should have all your food ready. If everything is done, just turn the oven as low as you can, and set stuff in there to keep warm. They may be late, but if it’s all ready, then you can relax. It’s better to keep stuff warm for awhile, than to be unprepared! :) Once they showed up at 11:30, and that was a bit nerve-wracking, as I wasn’t ready. (Of course, they expect to wait if they are early, but I still don’t like it.)

Baked corn

Baked corn

 

cheddar and chive mashed potatoes.

cheddar and chive mashed potatoes.

I am thankful to have several kids I can call on to make a last minute sweep of toys, shoes, and other junk that needs put away. Put a large towel and plenty of soap by the bathroom sink. It’s the little things, you know?

Set the table, (make sure you have large glasses for water!) put out the jam, butter, napkins, toothpicks. Get a jug of ice-water ready to pour. You want to be as ready as you can get before they come in. Well, OK, that’s kinda my thing. I hate waiting on a meal, so I try to not make others wait! 😉

Pumpkin pie. They look brown-er because I used home cooked pumpkin, and lots of cinnamon. :)

Pumpkin pie. They look brown-er because I used home cooked pumpkin, and lots of cinnamon. :)

Here is the menu I used in Part 1:
(some are linked to recipes)
Beef Roast
Mashed Potatoes
Gravy

Green Beans (Drizzle with a bit of browned butter for a tasty flavor!)
Broccoli Salad
Jello Salad
Dinner Rolls
Homemade Pies
with ice cream.

Tom Wilson and Don Berry.

Tom Wilson and Don Berry.

 

 

The Best Homemade Tortillas

tortillas

I don’t know about you, but I do not like store-bought tortillas! Yes, they are quick. And yes, I have used them many times, but I don’t like them.

1. They break. How hard is it to keep a store-bought tortilla from breaking?! Especially one that is cold? Home made ones don’t break! Even when these are cold – they stay limber.


2. They give me indigestion. Seriously. It took me awhile, but finally I realized that it was the tortillas that were causing stomach pain every time I ate them. I started researching the ingredients, and found that the preservative used is known for causing stomach pain. :/ Aha. So I sadly gave up the convenience of grabbing a pack of tortillas at the store, and started making my own. Most of the time. I still eye them every time I am in the store. I mean, buying them is so easy!

But making them is pretty easy too. Takes awhile to fry them all, I’ll admit. But they aren’t really hard. And if you can lay hands on a tortilla press somewhere, it makes it even easier. I was given a heated press from Mexico. I have owned mine for 7 years and use it often – on a weekly basis, and it is just like new. I make tortillas much oftener now than I did without a press!  I have no idea how or where to get them. (Update: Found them on Amazon! Woot!) But it is the bee’s knees for pressing tortillas really flat – really quick. You don’t need a press though. I have rolled these out with a rolling pin often. The main thing is, roll them thin. As thin as you can get them. And don’t obsess over shape. That will come with practice.

Here is where you can go to buy the press:

tortillas

•I use my Kitchen Aid to mix and knead the dough. Makes it a snap! Then I roll them out on a clean, dry, counter. No oil or flour, please!

tortillas

 

tortilla press

My delightful tortilla press! If you know where to find these in the USA – please tell me!

•Fry them on a hot, dry skillet. (No oil here either.) I use my electric skillet set as high as it goes, (400°) or sometimes my cast iron griddle, or just a regular frying pan. Fry them till they start to have golden spots on them, flip and fry till the bubbles are turning golden brown.

tortillas

•Wrap them in a towel as you fry the remaining ones. As they sit in the towel together, the heat and steam make them delightfully soft. Keep them covered in a towel till you are done eating.

tortillas

 

tortillas

•When you are done with your meal, just pop the remaining ones in a plastic bag and secure. They will keep on your counter top for a day or two. If you are keeping them longer than that, I recommend sticking them in the fridge.

tortillas

I hope you enjoy these as much as we do. I usually make them several times a week, and my kids (and My Cowboy!) scarf them right down! They are great with my Fabulous Venison Fajitas

 

5.0 from 2 reviews
The Best Homemade Tortillas
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Delicious homemade tortillas!
Author:
Recipe type: Sides
Cuisine: Mexican
Serves: 10
Ingredients
  • 4 cups flour
  • ½ cup crisco
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • 1½ cups lukewarm water
Instructions
  1. Mix flour, crisco, and salt.
  2. Add water and mix well.
  3. Knead 3-5 minutes or till dough starts to clean edges of mixing bowl.
  4. Divide into 20 balls.Roll each ball out thin as possible on a dry counter.
  5. Fry on a dry skillet for several minutes per side. They should be golden brown in spots.
  6. Keep covered in a towel while you fry the remainder.
  7. Store in a plastic bag in the fridge.
  8. Note: you can use white or wheat flour for these.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 2

Sharing over at: http://www.livingwellspendingless.com/2014/03/06/thrifty-thursday-week-50/

Copycat Hawaiian Sweet Buttery Rolls

copycat hawaiian buttery rolls Delicious, easy, fluffy

I cannot claim that I have tasted or tried every recipe for dinner rolls in the world – but of all the recipes in the world that I have tried – these are the best! :)


I make them when I cook for the branding crew, I take them to friends, I often just make them when I am in the mood for a delicious, mouthwatering roll! The softness, the buttery goodness… oh my.

The key here is to not over bake. I mean, they cannot be dark brown. If you are one of those people who love a crusty bread – these aren’t your type of roll. These are meant to be baked just till golden – leaving the inside ever so tender, and wonderfully soft.

Copycat Hawaiian Sweet Buttery Rolls
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Delicious buttery, sweet dinner rolls!
Author:
Recipe type: Sides
Cuisine: American
Serves: 36
Ingredients
  • 3 cups warm milk
  • 3 TBS yeast
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 sticks butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 1½ cups mashed potatoes
  • 1 TBS salt
  • 8-10 cups flour
Instructions
  1. Mix warm milk, yeast, and sugar.
  2. Add eggs, butter, mashed potatoes, salt and mix.
  3. Add flour, one cup at a time and mix well. No need to knead, just mix well.
  4. Let it rise till doubled in volume.
  5. Divide into 3 parts, and divide each part into 12 rolls.
  6. Shape each portion into a ball - place on baking sheet.
  7. Let rise till nearly doubled.
  8. Bake at 350 till light, golden brown. Approx 20 minutes.
  9. Remove from oven and let cool on baking sheet.
  10. Serve and enjoy!

 

 

 

French Bread Recipe

I love baking. I suspect my friends have figured that out by now! I especially love fresh-baked bread. Mmmm… I know that if I make fresh bread, my family doesn’t mind a new – sometimes weird – recipe. So I make bread a lot. Like, a lot! :)

best

I have seen this recipe on Pinterest several times, and maybe you have too. The funny thing is, I have been a loyal subscriber to the original source: www.DealsToMeals.com for several years, and have not tried this bread. Till now.

I tried it. My friends – you should try it too. Eat it warm. With lots and lots of real butter. I’m tellin’ ya!


First, you pour warm water into the bowl of your mixer.
(Yes, you are allowed to mix it up by hand. Doesn’t make a difference.)
I love my Kitchenaid, and use it all the time.
Next, dump in the yeast.

Add sugar…

…and vinegar. Yes, you heard that right! Weird, huh? I have never ever made bread with vinegar in before.

I found ‘real’ vinegar at Walmart, recently. Did you know you really need to buy vinegar with the ‘Mother”? You didn’t? Well now you know.:-) (Just kidding. Use whatever you like!)

Then dump in oil…

Let it set for 5 min, then add flour…
…and salt.

Mix on low speed till the flour is incorporated.

Then turn it on medium speed, and mix it good for 3-5 min, or until the dough starts to clean the bowl. Like this:

Let it rise till doubled. This was perfect.
But –  My Cowboy called and said he needed me.
To come out and help him get a cow into the chute.
So I helped him.

When I came back in the house, this is how the dough looked:


Well, it doesn’t really matter. Bread is very forgiving. Just turn on the mixer a second or two to ‘punch down’ the dough, and let it rise a second time – if you have time to wait.

Sprinkle a sheet pan with cornmeal,

The divide the dough into equal parts. More or less. It’s really, really hard to shape a loaf of bread while taking a picture, so holding it in my hand was about as good as I could do. Just imagine pulling and shaping it into a long loaf.

Then repeat on the other half. It should look like this when you’re done:

Then beat the egg, and brush it on. I hope you don’t have to do it left handed, while taking an awkward photo with your right hand – very unhandy!

After the egg wash, take a sharp, serrated knife, and cuts slits diagonally along each loaf.

Let it raise while the oven is pre-heating. My house is warm enough, that once the oven is preheated, the bread is risen sufficiently. You may have to leave it a bit longer. But this bread has a lot of yeast, so it does rise faster than some bread. It should look something like this when risen:

Bake. When you remove, this is how it should look – beautiful, golden, yum!

Do you have a favorite French Bread recipe? I’d love to see it!
Go over and check out www.DealsToMeals.com and see some more yummy recipes.
(Note: I was not reimbursed for this post. Opinions are mine. I just love their services.)

 

5.0 from 2 reviews
French Bread Recipe
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Bread
Cuisine: American
Serves: 6-8
Ingredients
  • 2½ cups warm water
  • 3 TBS sugar
  • 2 TBS yeast
  • 2 TBS vinegar
  • 1 TBS salt
  • ⅓ cup oil
  • 5½ - 6 cups flour
  • 1 egg - opt.
Instructions
  1. Mix water, yeast, sugar, and vinegar. Let it set 5 minutes.
  2. Add flour, salt, and oil.
  3. Mix 3-5 minutes.
  4. Let rise till doubled.
  5. Punch down and let rise again. (second rising is optional)
  6. Divide into 2 loaves.
  7. Preheat oven to 350*.
  8. Dust a baking sheet with cornmeal.
  9. Beat egg, brush onto bread. (opt. step)
  10. Cut slits in top of loaves.
  11. Let raise till doubled.
  12. Bake 20-25 minutes, or til golden brown.