Wednesday, June 30, 2010

PW Creme Brulee

I love the Pioneer Woman, she is just great…if you don’t know who I’m talking about 1) what rock are you living under, 2) because of her I got to use a torch and 3) you need to check her out: She is a city girl who fell in love with a rancher and found herself on a cattle ranch in the middle of rural Oklahoma, she started out as a food blogger and now has an empire (including a Cookbook) and gives away cool stuff often through her cooking blog. So back to the Cookbook, The Pioneer Woman Cooks, is awesome…and amazing and I encourage everyone to get it and read it immediately because it is entertaining and wonderful and the food is very tasty. The section that this recipe came from was Cowgirl Food so naturally I would find a common ground with it, however I am not a Crème Brulee person but a good friend of mine who had a very special birthday recently is so I tried my luck and thankfully she didn’t let me down it was a complete hit! The recipe isn’t on her website so I’ve added it below. I will say that my ramekins must be very small because it says it makes 6 servings but mine produced more like 15…so judge accordingly. PW Crème Brulee 1 qt heavy cream 1 vanilla bean, split or 1 tsp pure vanilla 10 egg yolks ¾ cup plus 6 tbs superfine sugar (I just used regular sugar and had no problems) 1. Preheat oven to 325 2. First, pour the cream into a saucepan over med-low heat. Add the vanilla. Bring almost to a boil, then turn off the heat. 3. Place the egg yolks in a large bowl and add the ¾ cup sugar. With a whisk, mix the eggs and sugar together. Now, break out your elbow grease and take a deep breath. You’re going to need to whisk the mixture like crazy for a good 3 to 4 minutes, until it’s very light yellow in color. 4. Place a fine-mesh strainer over a large bowl. Pour the hot cream into the bowl through the strainer. This will filter out the tiny bits of vanilla bean. (Note: I used pure vanilla and skipped this step) 5. To temper the egg mixture, very slowly drizzle 1 cup of the hot cream into the egg/sugar mixture, whisking constantly and vigorously to prevent the eggs from cooking. Continue adding the rest of the hot cream to the bowl very slowly, whisking constantly. You can add the cream a little more rapidly as the mixture warms. 6. Place 6 ramekins on a rimmed bakins sheet and ladle in the custard until the ramekins are ¾ full. Place the pan inside the oven, then pour water into the baking sheet until it reaches halfway up the ramekins. 7. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until the custard is set but not brown. (Note: since my ramekins were smaller mine only cooked for 30 minutes so watch them closely) Watch carefully to avoid browning! 8. Remove the ramekins from the pan and allow to cool. Refrigerate the custards, covered, for at least 2 hours or overnight. 9. When you are ready to serve dessert, sprinkle the top of each custard generously with 1 tablespoon of sugar. Use a kitchen torch to burn the sugar to a crisp, working quickly to avoid cooking the custard below. Serve immediately!

Here is what mine looked like fresh out of the oven…soooo pretty!


Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Mexican Pig

So tonight while I was determining what to have for dinner (even though it was going to be pork or chicken because that is what was in my fridge) I was talking to Christy and I mentioned that I bought a lot of pork yesterday, she said that her son had some pig last night...yes he eats it if you call it cow or pig...I LOVE THIS KID. So indirectly Jasper inspired my meal tonight. For someone who makes a lot of quesadilla's at home (they are easy and quick) this was a great alternative from cheese only or ground beef (and you all know how much I love my beef). I don't eat a lot of spicy things, but I would recommend using the pork just like you do beef as far as peppers and spices, I think that the pork would hold up a chipolte or adobo sauce really well. This is also a great way to use fresh ingredients this summer with the salad. Ground Pork Quesadilla Quesadilla ½ Pound Ground Pork 1 tsp taco seasoning 2 TBS water ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese 2 whole wheat tortillas Avocado Salad 1 avocado chopped 1 Roma tomato chopped 1 tsp lime juice Cilantro to taste Combine all ingredients for avocado salad and let sit. Brown pork and combine taco seasoning, water and pork in a sauce pan, let simmer for 5 minutes or until water is absorbed. Assemble quesadilla with cheese, pork mixture and tortillas. Slice in 6 pieces and top with avocado salad. Alt: Use dried chipotle peppers or any other peppers instead of taco seasoning for a smoky or more spicy flavor.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Cruisin for a Cause

For the last 8 years on one Saturday morning in June the roads around Derr Equipment in Savannah and surrounding communities are alive with what once was…tractors of all kinds, and sizes, varying in levels of upkeep or restoration along with drivers of all generations fill the roads for the Show-Me Tractor Cruise. Sounds pretty cool huh? Well it is, especially for this farm girl who was raised driving an International 560, the first tractor my dad purchased as a teenager that is currently in pieces on the shop floor preparing to be restored over the fall and winter, and who has a brother who was given an Farmall H, that was fully restored by our late Grandpa (Warner), that we have used on the farm is neat to see all the tractors that have been cared for so delicately and repaired and restored to perfect original condition or those that have come straight from the field after a hard working spring planting and haying season. The stories those tractors could tell of the times they have seen and the work they have been through…but the real story is not that farmers, tractor enthusiasts and those that love the country lifestyle from 13 states gather on a Saturday morning in June to drive their tractors on a 50 mile cruise, the real story is why they do it and why the tractor cruise exists.

The Show-Me Tractor Cruise raises money for Camp Quality. The motto of the ride, A Few Miles for Many Smiles, is very true when it comes to the money raised for Camp Quality. Camp Quality is a camp for kids diagnosed with cancer to have a true camp experience with the comforts and care needed for children with cancer but allowing them to be kids and be with other kids. Here is the website for Camp Quality if you are not familiar with what they do or want to know how you can help. This is my first year truly involved in the cruise. My Grandpa Kennie (Acklin) participated in the cruise a couple times before he passed away. Even though he shouldn’t have been in the heat and the drive itself wore him out he still did it and loved it. My dad also loves to go down and walk through the tractors just like a little kid…he won’t want to drive through the cruise next year but once the 560 is restored I’m sure he will want to show it off down there! When asked by Tom Brand this year if SFP was interested in supporting the cruise it was a no-brainer for me and I’m so happy I work for a company who is willing to let me support causes such as this that mean something to me and those who are receiving the support.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Sunday Night - Boise Airport

So to everyone who was at the Boise airport at 11:11 last night just a few parting comments. 1. Read the post I did about a year ago, do not, I repeat DO NOT (how can I scream this) stand directly along the carousel belt for luggage...seriously no one can see their bags and when their 48 pound pink bag comes around move your ass or I am going to knock you over getting it off the belt because...well I want to. 2. Hey you two, wearing your matching his and hers recently purchased from Mexico dipstick looking straw look like idiots, you don't even have a tan and it is 58 degrees out side and pitch black...get a grip, you're in Idaho. 3. To all the young girls who came on the plane from Boise with us from Vegas, I'm sorry that they didn't accept your application to work at the Bunny even YOU weren't trashy enough to work there, so put some freakin clothes on...because honestly you look ridiculous. That's all. Have a wondermous week.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Not So Typical Farm Family

You can watch the news, look on YouTube and internet posts, possibly even open some of the most prestigious print publications in the world to learn all about how farmers live, the things they do, don’t do, how they treat their animals, what they put on their crops that can be damaging to the environment and your food, thankfully not all of us believes everything we hear or see…but this is my first hand perspective of what a not-so-typical Sunday night in June looks like with an once upon a time average, but now maybe not so farm family in the heartland. Defining an average farmer to me is virtually impossible these days so I won’t do that and I won’t classify my family into that...our differences lie in that my parents live in the house that my maternal great-grandfather build and my grandfather and grandmother added on to throughout the time they raised their three daughters…my dad farms land not only of his and my mom’s (some of which was once part of my paternal great uncle’s farm), but also my maternal grandmother’s and paternal grandmother’s…my brother and his wife got educations and moved back home to work and live both on and off the farm…I spend weeks, weekends, holidays and vacations working here not because I have to but because I want to…our cattle are worked by horseback… Here is a brief look into our no-so-typical Sunday night… The horses, quite an array…Dillon – dad’s veteran heeling horse, Colonel – dad’s young horse who is my steed for the week while we work cattle, Stitch – dad’s heading/heeling horse combo, Jessie – dad’s young buckskin mare who will probably be for sale soon (because as you can see the trend dad has a lot of horses but only one but to ride them with), Diablo – my young bay horse that hopefully we get to mess with this week some more. The cows, 80 head of two and three year old cows with calves across the road so we could remove Cidrs and apply K-mars on Monday and breed them all on Wednesday and Thursday. Dad pulling the 460 through the barn lot after working the arena and Buford circle up so April could work with a barrel horse, Adam could work with a young horse and I could practice heeling. The 460 was my Great Uncle Wayne's and dad bought it and had it fixed back up. Mom mowing the yard, I swear her mower is bigger and bigger every few years…but this one is supposed to have air ride, all I know is she hauls across the yard which is a huge time savings for her.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Wet Pant Legs

I HATE wet pant legs…I will happily be the girl who looks like a total DORK with my pant legs rolled up or tucked into my boots so I don’t have wet pant legs when I get to work or wherever I am going. Now I am not a prissy, girlie person (well most of the time, I do like bling, but I don’t think that makes me girlie) but I just can’t stand walking around all day with the bottom of my pantlegs wet and cold. I have realized in the short period of time that I was in England that wet pant legs don’t bother Englishmen. Case-in-point, I was in Cambridge for a total of 4 days and every day it rained…that created lots of water puddling around town, on sidewalks, in streets, etc. And as I was walking through the town one morning trying to get some local culture people would walk straight through a puddle of 2 inch deep water getting their shoes and pantlegs soaking wet, I on the other hand would walk 4 feet around a puddle. Now, am I really that strange? Doesn’t everyone want dry pant legs? So I started this post when I was in England but because of internet connections I was unable to post it…then I get home and well it rained and I go to the farm and it doesn’t rain (which never happens because when I am at home it ALWAYS rains when I want to plan to play outside) but alas I go to Sidney to the USTRC and it rains, so I became the prissy cowgirl for the day with my pantlegs tucked into my boots. But the bright side and good news to this post last night at the farm it rained, so as I was preparing to go outside to help dad and April work cows all day, I tucked in my pantlegs into my Mucks and looked just like everyone else because dad and April were just like that too. So today, I wasn’t the outsider and for once was like everyone else…well at least my pant legs were, the rest of me is still questionable.

Oh and here are a couple of shots from my little walk around Cambridge.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Twilight = Beef

I am finally getting around to reading the Twilight books, well I say reading, I plan to start reading while I am on my overseas trip this week. I wasn’t against reading the books, but they are big and require a lot of time to get through them and I just didn’t feel like I had that kind of time on my hands and I know that if I get into it I will lose a lot of sleep trying to get through the books. THEN I watched the movies Twilight and New Moon with the girls in Florida in April and decided that I needed to read the books. But the reason this gets very intertwined is because during my packing today (yes headed back across the pond) I was putting my Twilight book in my bag and remembered an article that warewolf hottie Taylor Lautner promoted the fact that he got buff (and we might as well include hot in there too) by eating lean beef during his training and then it hit me, I’m not going to have access to corn finished beef for 5 days because all beef in the UK is still grass finished…so I craved a burger and had to stop by 5 Guys on my way to the airport. Now I know that is a difficult way to get around to this and the point of this blog is going to be very disjointed…but interesting:
Twilight - Taylor Lautner – beef – UK grass finished beef – 5 Guys Burgers and Fries
Twilight Yummy Vampires….bring on my 7.5 hour flight to London!!
Taylor Lautner The blog that I follow and posted the mention of Taylor Lautner telling Oprah (bet she was annoyed by the fact that he said that) that he ate a ton of beef patties is:
Beef Really, what do I need to say here? Beef is good, good for you and the people who raise beef are
good people (especially those in NWMO).
UK Grass Finished Beef I will support the UK beef industry this week and have grass fed beef at least once while I’m in the UK.
5 Guys Burgers and Fries If you don’t know what I’m talking about then you need to visit a 5 Guys soon…basic burgers (but they can get very complex with all the fixings) and hand cut fries (plus they even tell you where and what farm the potatoes come from that day, pretty cool). The only thing I want everyone to be aware of is that a regular burger is double patties and they are big and filling. I suggest you order a small burger (unless you are really hungry) and order a big fry to share with 2-3 people because it is a lot of food. There are a couple in KC that I know of, one at Tiffany Springs and one just south of 119th and Metcalf in Overland Park.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

String Me Up

Ok, well maybe not me, but I have had a little time to play in my jewelry making bag (just a little time so please don't expect anything crazy from me) and I have copied some creations I have seen recently in magazines and catalogs. I'm working on some more pieces and hope to have a pile of them for sale soon, but it is really hard to part with the ones that I like (or that mom likes) so we might make a couple multiples but there will be no two alike because honestly I can't remember how to make the the same twice.
Pink chunk turquoise, silver, crystal and pink turquoise spacers. Turquoise chunk rocks, large crystals and silver beads.
Large chunk turquoise, crystals and silver beads.