Smorgasbord

Smorgasbord is actually a Swedish word for a form of dinner buffet…

I actually thought it was spelled Smorgasborg…I was incorrect according to Google…we is not spelin so good out her on de prairie

Every time I hear this word, I always think of the rat on Charlotte’s Web, dancing his way through the fairgrounds, greedy little eyes bugging out as he surveys the glorious leftovers that the fairgoers have left behind…

Everyone sing with me…

“A fair is a veritable smorgasbord, orgasbord, orgasbord…”

Ok, I’m back…

We get the same feeling on Smorgasbord night at our house…staring into the fridge  at the veritable (I jus’ luvs that word!) feast that has been left behind…

Actually, it more involves a crazy day, me too tired to cook (no, never!), and the lack of room in the fridge for any more leftovers…

Sometime we call this leftover night, but which would you rather present to your children?

“Children, tonight we are having leftovers…”  Silence…sounds of crickets chirping…

“Children, tonight we are having SMORGASBORD!”   Cheers, confetti, dancing in the streets! 

I rest my case…

No sp004ecific criteria here- if it’s not growing green things, passes the sniff test, and is vaguely recognizable, it’s fair game…

 

 

 

 

Here we have, from left to right, Chicken chili, Noodles with Alfredo sauce, Shepherd’s Pie (in back), Mashed Potatoes, Hot Dogs and Buns…

We have had a variety of meals this past weekend…can you tell?

The fun part of Smorgasbord is the combinations that ensue when this variety is put together…

My youngest picked a hot dog and mashed potatoes…

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Or “a variety of ground meat types tucked snugly in a thin pork casing, resting on a bun of whole ground wheat flavored with touch of honey and accompanied by roasted garlic and herb mashed potatoes…”

Whew!  How do those menu writers do it?  That was hard work! I had to Google synoyms for hot dog wrapper…

 

 

 

My next child picked mashed potatoes and noodles with Alfredo sauce- she’s a carb lover and about as thick around as a string bean- take that, you Atkins diet people!

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Course, I’m a carb lover too, and I’m a little thicker than a string bean…ok, alot thicker…

 

 

 

 

 

My visiting child, who comes over every day after school, and is affectionately referred too as “the extra kid”, picked Shepherd pie and Alfredo noodles…

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Interesting combination of beef and chicken, but it rocked his boat, so who am I argue?

 

 

 

 

 

My oldest child picked a hot dog and Alfredo noodles– hmm, those noodles were pretty popular…gonna have to do those again…he actually ate 4 hot dogs and 2 servings of noodles but he’s 12 and has a hollow leg…

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My St Bernard… well, she picked all of it…she got…dog food…she was very disappointed…

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She is giving me her most hopeful, and yet, reproving look…

If I had audio, I would play her groans, they are downright pitiful…

You can tell she is starving and horribly neglected…

 

 

 

Sorry honey, four hungry children do not for Smorgasbord leftovers make…

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Published in: on January 27, 2009 at 10:02 am  Comments (2)  
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Italian Sausage Rigatoni with Roasted Garlic Baguettes

026Today, just because you are special, dear readers, you get two recipes for the price of one….

Actually, it’s cuz I feel guilty for not posting anything for a little while, but that’s a personal issue and I will get over it…

 

KEEP READING…..

Published in: on January 20, 2009 at 3:12 pm  Comments (2)  
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Prairie Board Meeting

Local Summer Fair 2008

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Published in: on January 14, 2009 at 9:36 am  Comments (1)  
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Ranch Chili

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This could be called “Make your own heat Chili”,  ’cuz you can make mild or as hot as you can stand it…..

 

My wimpy kids can’t handle much heat at all, so ours is on the mild side…..

KEEP READING……

Ribs, Baby, Ribs!

Ain’t nothing men love better than melt-in-your-mouth, dripping with juice, grilled slabs of meat…..

And this is the perfect recipe to work your way into any man’s heart…. to have them push back from the table with a deep sigh of satisfaction and that slightly glazed over look on their face…..to look at you with complete love and adoration and say, “Honey, will you marry me?”,

regardless of if you are already married or not…..

 

About the only other thing that will bring the same result involves lingerie, candlelight and lots of imagination……

Wait, did I just say that out loud? 

My mother reads this……

The Cast of Characters

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So simple, so easy, so guaranteed to get results……

Mix together 1 and 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1 tablespoon Montreal Steak Seasoning, (swear by this stuff!) and 1 tablespoon Liquid Smoke.

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Mince 4 cloves of garlic and add to bowl….

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Have your 7 yr old mix well…..I can’t keep the crazy kid out of the kitchen….

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Add 4 cups of BBQ sauce of your choice- I used Sweet Baby Rays and Cattleman’s cuz that’s what I had in the cupboard-

Try to hold still long enough to get an unblurry picture, while laughing at your 7 yr old production manager’s directions for photo’s-

Fail miserably….

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Have 7 yr old stir well…. would have had the 10 yr old do it, but she had her nose stuck in a book….

This would be even better with a few shots of bourbon…..

In the sauce, I mean, in the sauce!

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Slice wrapper off of ribs and cut into approximately two rib chunks…. would have left these as whole slabs of meat but needed to be able to fit them into my roaster pan…..

If you have a big enough roaster, you could leave them whole….

I used two 4 lb racks of spareribs…..

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Place ribs in gallon bags, use two if necessary, and top with marinade mixture, tossing and turning to coat well…..

Make sure and spill some on the counter, like I did….it will make me feel better….

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Place in refrigerator for 30 minutes to 8 hours depending on level of flavor desired….

I marinaded them for about 6 hours while I waittressed at the Pawnee Cafe….

Remove from refrigerator and place in roaster pan….

Heat oven to 300 degrees F….

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Roast in oven for about 2 and 1/2 hours or until the amazing smell drives you crazy and the ribs are fork tender…..

Place aluminum foil on two baking sheets, (trust me, you’ll thank me for it later!) and spray with non stick cooking spray-

Remove ribs from oven and place on cooking sheets… brush with extra BBQ sauce and drippings from roaster pan….set oven to broil..

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Place ribs back in oven and broil until sauce is bubbly, caramelized, and dripping with flavor….

Remove from oven, place on platter and wait for looks of adoration to begin….

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*Note: you could grill this instead of broiling it, and it would technically be more authentic, but we were out of propane for the grill and the wind chill was in the single digits— broiling it is!

*Second note: I know that BBQ purists only use charcoal– we use propane, deal with it…..

Sadie #2

As I relaxed in my chair after dinner, my little 7 yr old, Sadie, snuggled up to me. 

After a long day that included waittressing at the local cafe, shoveling 60 bushels of free corn meal that had been dumped on the highway, cleaning the house, hanging laundry, etc, I was tired….

 

Laying her little head on my shoulder and wrapping her arms around my waist, she said in her sweet, 7 yr old voice,

“Mommy, you smell like a french fry….”

Published in: on January 9, 2009 at 8:34 am  Leave a Comment  

Cowboy Caviar

Despite the title, this dish has absolutely nothing to do with fish eggs. 

I personally don’t know any self respecting cowboy that would eat fish eggs… now calf nuts, that’s a different story…

 

If you know of any, please let me live in ignorance….K?

This is party food, Super bowl food, BBQ in the back yard food, and super, super easy– qualifications that make every cowboy I know swoon with joy….do cowboys swoon?  Okay, jump with joy…….

 

Plus, Shhh, don’t tell the cowboys, but it’s actually good for you!

Until you get deep fried pieces of corn chip and dip it in it, but you can’t be good all the time…..

 

The Cast of Characters

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Black-eyed peas are very high in protein and give such a great flavor and texture….make sure and rinse them thoroughly to minimize those negative effects that those crazy beans can bring on…..

 

Course, cowboys don’t usually care too much– it’s those around them that have to put up with singeing blue flame emanating from derrieres……and the hysterical laughter….

 

Open both cans of black-eyed peas and dump into serving bowl. Drain corn well and add into bowl as well.  I’m using my lovely heavy pottery bowl to serve it in-don’t remember where I got it, but it’s my favorite dip bowl….

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Add one can of Rotel tomatoes, undrained- I used the kind with lime juice and cilantro….

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At this point,  you could add black beans as well, or chopped avocado, or anything your little heart desires…..these recipes are always open to interpretation…. we have even added cooked, chopped chicken and turned this into a salad….Yummy!

 

 

 

Have your 7 yr old squeeze the juice of one lime into the bowl, complete with grunting and running commentary on how tough squeezing the lime is…..

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It’s not quite the same without the commentary…..but if you don’t have a 7 yr old handy, it will still taste good, I promise….

 

She begged me to let her help, I promise….

 

 

 

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Finely mince cloves of garlic….I used 6 or 7, but if you don’t want to ward off vampires in your sleep, like I do, you might want to use less…… add to bowl along with loosely chopped fresh cilantro…..

 

Recipe actually calls for fresh parsley as well, but I didn’t have any on hand, and didn’t miss it– so if you want to save a little cash, skip the parsley….

 

 

Bowl should look like this right about now— look at those colors….it’s like a still life…..pottery with peas…..Ok, maybe not….

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Stir well, sprinkle in a little kosher salt to taste, maybe a little pepper if you are feeling adventurous…..

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And serve with crisp, crunchy chips….I just ate half a bowl of this and looking at it still makes my mouth water…..

 

 

Course, if you are trying to do New Years Resolutions, like I so diligently am… (ha, ha, ha, he, he, he, ha, ha…*wipes eyes*…ok, I’m back now) you can serve this with veggies to dip it out with, or even all by it’s little lonesome self….

But I promise you, those cowboys will not be near as happy……

 

 

If you would like to see a different variation on this recipe, check out Pioneer Woman’s blog under Cooking

Warm fire, Hot coffee, Comfy couch….

There is nothing I like better in the winter than a warm fire, a comfy couch and a hot cup of coffee. 

This is because I have usually just spent a significant chunk of time in the freezing wind and horizontal snow, breaking ice in water troughs, pitching hay, fixing fence, feeding chickens, etc….

I know, I know- I have your full sympathy…..Thank God for laptops or I would never get anything done…..

This is my nesting time of year….the time to get paperwork done, to seach for supplies for the next spring, to maybe squeeze in reading a good book or too…Spring, summer and fall are so busy and hectic– this is our time to renew and refresh–

 

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This is normally the winter scene from my kitchen window–except for this year, which has been unusually dry– still brutally cold though….

This was our first winter storm on the prairie two years ago…..Wow, were we ever in shock and awe!

 

 

But, alas, the fire does not magically appear in my hearth with the flick of a switch, and as much as I think that I would appreciate the convenience, there is just something lost in the experience. 

There would be no ash to empty, smoke in the house, sawdust on the floor, boxes of newspaper waiting to burn, ash on the floor, smoke in the living room, embers on the floor–

 

Wait, how does that switch fireplace work again?!?

 

Unfortunately, here on the prairie, trees are not quite as plentiful as they are in other places and we must make the pilgrimage 30 miles southeast to our friend’s house…..he has a dead forest in his back pa080sture and could hardly contain his glee when we asked if we could come and cut wood….

 

The tradeoff for a warm house is worth the free pasture clearing that he receives in return– plus, we buy hay from him too…

 I did think the back flip and jumping jacks were a bit over the top, though…..

 

 (I love this shot….for reasons I won’t go into now….suffice it to say, my man can do anything!)

 

And, it’s character building for our kids…..I can’t wait til they get to college….

I can just picture them sitting in their dorm room with their new roommate….

“What?!?!? You didn’t have to cut wood to keep your house warm?  You got to sit around and play Wii all day?  Whats a Wii?  You didn’t have to pitch hay to your horses when it was 5 degrees below zero?!?  You didn’t have to scoop pig poop outta your barn on 100 degree days?!?  I gotta call my mom!”

 

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Look at them…..so innocent, so unaware, so happy…..

 

They are soooo gonna need therapy…….. we don’t have a college fund, we have a therapy fund….

 

 

 

 

The results of a hard days work– wish it lasted more than two weeks– but hey, for two weeks I have that enclosed porch I’ve always wished for!

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The pay008off for a hard days work….. in addition to the above mentioned warm fire, hot coffee and comfy couch…..