Posted in Cowgirl Kitchen

My Version of Wanda Pearls New Mexico Green Chili Stew

th  I have been eating this for years. I’m from New Mexico.  It is  just kind of staple here. I did not understand until I was grown that there are people in the world who don’t eat green chili every day with every meal. I cannot comprehend not having red chili sauce at your fingertips.  It’s Like salt. I don’t understand not having it ready to go for every dining experience. We pile it on burgers, burritos, eggs, omelettes, sandwiches, soups….everything.  Even Cheese Cake.

HatchGreenChile_03

     The best chili’s come from Hatch NM, but you can get some pretty good stuff on the side of the road out of the back of a pick-up from the farmer who grew it if you keep your eyes open. Grocery stores have setups to roast them so you can get fresh roasted chilies to take home. Even some of the farms close to my house process them and bag them up for you so that your green/red chili quest is almost effortless. All you have to do is pick your color and your temperature.   You can get Chili’s in pretty much any heat setting you want from hell- level to total wimp.   And Jalapenos….. Cowboy puts those on everything too… But he’s tough.

So…. If you come to New Mexico, the most important questions are these: Red or Green?  and Hot or Mild?

I grew up eating my mom’s green chili stew, never knowing that I was eating an infamous dish to be copied by restaurants and pubs everywhere. My Mom’s recipe is made with hamburger instead of pork and a touch milder for us white folks with sissy tongues.  It is what I want when I am ill or sad or happy or breathing. Set out some warm, fresh tortillas and grated cheese and you pretty much have heaven on earth as far as I am concerned.  Comfort food to rival chocolate.

6a00e5521635cb88340133f368964d970b-800wi

I decided to create this delicacy today and share this easy version of a heavenly green chili stew. I make it in my Crock pot so it’s basically a fix it and forget it kind of meal, ready and warm in the ole’ crock pot ( in my best cowboy accent) when you are.

My Version of Wanda Pearls Green chili stew.

2 pounds lean ground beef

6 potatoes peeled and cut into slices or cubes.

2 cans  chopped green chilis

1 can rotel tomatoes and green chili’s…. try rotel with Habanero if you’re wanting a little more kick

1 can black beans drained and rinsed

1 onion cut up into small pieces.( I sometimes use dehydrated onions, they work great)

3 -4 cups water

7 Chicken Bullion cubes

salt and pepper to taste

1 lb grated Cheese

Warm Flour Tortillas

Brown ground beef before putting it in the crock pot . Add all of the  ingredients to the crock pot except the cheese and tortillas and stir.

Cook on low for 4-6 hours.   Top with a pop of grated Cheddar cheese and a warm flour tortilla when serving. Heaven.

 

 

 

Posted in Chronicles of The Country Girl Experiment, Cowgirl Kitchen, Things To Contemplate

Toasty, Roasty and Comfy

 Brrrrrr… It’s cold out here in the desert. But Cowboy was able to remedy that. Our home is all-electric and living this far out has always concerned me. What if I got snowed in with no electricity?  So far Ima likin’ this answer.

Decided to create a heat shield covered in corrugated tin. I saw this look in  a cabin we stayed at on a short vacation one day and I loved it. So He did it for me. I love the rustic ranchy look of it. 20140108_194957  My Plan is to find old barn or fence wood and put different brands or at least decals of brands on it. And to finish it off with my old west wanted posters… or maybe a hunky picture of Clint Eastwood… Yeah, I’m taking this country girl thing serious now. Why Not? It’s not like I’m getting that Hard Back Cafe out here.

january 2014 009

Right out that door is where my porch will be this summer. So I can sit out there and see this

sunset.. We have the most amazing sunsets up here on the hill.

Crock pot Chicken over Biscuits…. YUM

Here it is ( Becky)   Your gonna love this. My Kids raved over it. Wonderful cold night comfort food. An easy crock pot recipe that will make your mouth water.

chickbiscuits1

http://southernfood.about.com/od/crockpotchicken/r/r80429g.htm

 So My Plan is to Curl up in front of this stove with a small portion controlled bowl of this Chicken and read this book.

MadetoCraveBook_large     http://proverbs31.org/online-bible-studies/

I have had food issues most of my life. Either anorexia or making an entire cake my best friend. I saw an interview with Lysa Terkeurst and it hit me that food issues might not be just about weight, appetite and self-image. I was blown away by the things she said in her short interview so I decided to give it a try. I found a Made to Crave Bible Study that will begin on January 19th through Proverbs 31 Ministries. It’s free except for the book which you can buy online. ( Kindle Is cheaper). I’m excited to do some digging into the heart and soul of why I do what I do and What God’s Answer for that is.

Well Toodles for now. I gotta go finish that doll I’ve Been working on for next week. Love ya

S

Posted in Cowgirl Kitchen

Healthier Peanut butter Oatmeal Chocolate chip Cookies

Thought I would share this dreamy cookie recipe. I feel good about giving it to my kids and I feel really good about eating them. Great for an after school snack and  I can fake Cowboy out a little

.September 2013 014

ingredients:

1 cup flour

1 cup oats

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup margarine

1/2 cup  Splenda Sugar blend

1/2 cup Splenda brown sugar blend

1/2 cup peanut butter

1 egg

1 tbls vanilla

6 oz chocolate chips

September 2013 007

Mix ingredients and drop onto ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake at 375, 10 to 12 minutes. cool on wire rack . YUM!

Posted in Arts and Crafting, Chronicles of The Country Girl Experiment, Cowgirl Kitchen, Things To Contemplate

Ugly Chocolate Cake and Oolong tea

March blog 011

Here I sit on this Sunday afternoon with my cup of Oolong tea, a piece of Ugly Chocolate cake and  my laptop, ready to blog away.  It’s odd to find a place quiet enough with the family home. But I spent part of this week working on my creative space and i have a little spot where I can find a small amount of solace.  I love this little area. I feel inspired to create here and  though I have a few more things I want to tweak and organize, I feel right at home in my little air chair at my table full of emphera and ideas.

March blog 033

 Chronicles

I quit smoking for good about 7 months ago. I had been working on it for a while but that was the point at which I knew I was done.  It was such a big accomplishment that I decided to reward myself. I wasn’t paying for cigarettes, so I began to shop, to eat, to worry. I became clingy, dramatic ( ok,more dramatic) and angry. I didn’t put the two together for sometime but I finally realized how much I relied on that addictive behavior to mask my insecurities. I gained 15 pounds, bought a bunch of crap I didn’t need, abandoned my yoga practice and ” went to Lunch” …. a lot.
I live a life of excesses. I spend, eat, waste and complain too much.  I pray, sleep and invest too little.  I have become self-centered and lazy. I have to stop believing that I deserve a reward for not doing things that I wasn’t suppose to be doing in the first place. I don’t like what that says to my kids and I don’t like how colorless my life has become.
  I am working on a 60 day challenge that I will share with you later in the week. I am excited about making some changes.  I’m dusting off the ole’ yoga mat.        March blog 016

    ART:

      I have been working on so many things lately that I finished a slew of projects this week.

     I am a huge fan of dolls. The weirder the better. I love to sew them, sculpt them and collect them. My kids were never surprised to see hairless doll heads in the oven or an alien in a prom dress. 

      I started out on paper dolls in my grandma’s kitchen. She would find them and cut them out for me. I could dream and pretend and be whoever I wanted. As an adult I am still crazy about them. But Now I am a costumer and I love fantasy. Still there is a little sparkle in my eye if I happen to see a Mae West or Marilyn Monroe paper doll spread. This got me to thinking about how I could use them to alter books. So I just sat down at my craft table and figured out how I could incorporate them into an altered idea. Here Is what I came up with so far.

March blog 018       March blog 024

 A few other things I did this week….

A cross and a sentiment  for my sister. Her first birthday gifts were lost in the mail. So here is number 2

March blog 014

A fabric ornament embellished with paper and  trinkets

March blog 028 March blog 030

 Some ceramic star ornaments

March blog 026

UGLY CHOCOLATE CAKE

 I named it this because although it is the ugliest cake EVER… it is also so scrumptuous.  It smells heavenly,it is so super moist and tastes so good. I baked this one in a bunt pan but I think it would work in any pan.

March blog 032

   1 german chocolate cake mix

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup mayonnaise

3 eggs

1/4 cup water

1  can coconut pecan frosting/topping

   Mix all ingredients and pour into a well-greased pan. Top the batter with chocolate syrup. Bake at 350 for 30 – 35 minutes. cool 5 minutes and turn onto a cake plate. ( or you can just leave it in the pan if you want to avoid the ugly) YUMMLY!

 Lets say you didn’t want Ugly Chocolate Cake.. Lets say you were oh, 2 years old and at your Nana and Papa’s house. What else could you do for desert….??

How about Strawberries and Chocowlat dipping sauce..

March blog 010 March blog 009 March blog 008 March blog 007 March blog 006 March blog 002

 Until later my friends…..

S

March blog 034

Posted in Cowgirl Kitchen

Crispy Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies

february blog 045

 Your gonna Love this one. Unless your allergic to peanuts then not so much. These were a Super Bowl treat this year and a big hit!  A good, man-sized cookie that the kids will love, not to mention Me. I love them. Any hoo… Here is a really easy recipe for these that just came out of our kitchen.

ingredients:

For cookies

2 white cake mixes

1 jar roasted peanuts

2 eggs

1/4 cup oil

1/2 cup peanut butter

For Filling:

1/2 cup butter soft but not melted

1/2 cup peanut butter

1 tbls vanilla

2 cups powdered sugar

february blog 049

 1. Put peanuts in the blender or food processor  just until it is crushed. Be careful!  Leave it too long you have peanut butter.

2. Mix all ingredients including peanuts to a soft dough. Shape into a log and refrigerate for at least an hour.

3. Heat oven to 350 . Cut dough into 1-2 inch squares and flatten slightly on  baking sheet.  Bake 6 Minutes and remove from oven. Press with slotted  spatula and return to oven for 6- 10 minutes. Remove from baking sheet to rack or plates and allow to cool completely.

february blog 048

 Mix all ingredients for filling and use a whisk to cream.

february blog 050

Spread Filling onto cookie and add another cookie on top to create a sandwich.  Nom Nom Nom!

february blog 045

Posted in Cowgirl Kitchen, Things To Contemplate

Molten Brownies

february blog 046

 OK… I am going to share with you my layered molten brownies. These are not for the faint of heart. They were designed for breakups, PMS, Menopause, and bad news. These are a multi gender brownie, meaning if you have PMS- Your man has PMS. Same goes for menopause.

ingredients:

2 boxed brownie mixes

1 bag chocolate chips

2 Butterfinger bars

1/2 cup peanut butter

2 cups marshmallows

1 cup chocolate syrup

february blog 051

Mix brownie mix according to box directions: add marshmallows,  crushed Butterfinger bars, and half a bag of chocolate chips. Spread into a greased 9 X 12 pan.  Sprinkle remaining chocolate chips over mix and bake according to directions.

When brownies are done baking, melt peanut butter in microwave for 30 seconds and drizzle over brownies. Do the same with the chocolate syrup.

 YUMMY!

Posted in Cowgirl Kitchen

Cheese Please! Making Mozzarella

     Living in the desert, In the cactus, In the way out here, I discovered something heart wrenching. Dominos does not deliver. I did not think it was possible to raise kids in a place that did not deliver pizza, cheesy bread and little molten chocolate cakes. But it is.  Sadly, it is.

     This is, however, the country girl experiment so we must make this  a new adventure. So I decided to start with cheese. How hard could it be, right?                       cheese6

      1) Milk: I tried making mozzarella cheese with the milk I found at the grocery store with no luck. Too pasteurized, which is good for humans, bad for cheese.  Getting Milk directly from the dairy was not an option for me either because I am terrified of all things bacteria and temperature related. I want any chance of mad cow or weird heifer disease eradicated before I cook with it and I don’t possess the  brains or technology for that.   I did however come up with a milk plan ( thank you Rikki the Cheese queen) which consists of powdered milk and Cream. Worked like a dream. Make a gallon of powdered milk according to directions and add a pint of whipping cream or whole cream from your local dairy. pasteurization  is not an issue here. I have no idea why.

2) ingredients:

cheese4

1 gallon of your milk mix

2 teaspoons of citric acid dissolved in 1 cup water

1/4 teaspoon of vegetable rennet ( I use liquid mixed in 1/4 cup water but you can also get the tablets.)

1/4 cup cheese salt  or to taste.

 I”ll give you a link at the end of this post as to where to get all this cool stuff.

3. Phase 1. cheese5

Make sure everything is very clean.  You don’t want any floaties in your cheese. You will need a thermometer for this as well. Pour your citric acid mixture into a large cooking pot and pour the milk on top of it. Stir to mix thoroughly.  Slowly heat to 90 degrees, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching. I have an electric stove so at this point I simply turn off the burner and it stays heated for a time. If you don’t, you could set this in a hot water bath, just so it will cool slowly.  Add rennet mixture and stir for about a minute to incorporate. Put a lid on it and  wait 15 minutes for the curds to set up. You should be able to pull the curds away from the side of the pan and see a separation from the curds and whey.

cheese1

4. Phase 2: Cut the curds which is completely different from cut the cheese, not to confuse the two. Cut them into 2 inch squares, stir ever so slightly  and  allow to sit for another 15 minutes.

cheese2

5. Phase 3.

Drain the whey from the curds by using a lid. Drain as much as possible without losing the curds. Place the curds in a microwave safe bowl and add cheese salt. DONT forget this salt. It makes all the difference in  how the cheese tastes.  Microwave for 1 minute. Knead it and drain off the whey. Knead it some more and remove more whey. It’s going to be hot so if you’re a bit of a sissy, get your gloves. Put it back in the microwave for 30 seconds. While this is going on, get a bowl of cool water ready, large enough to put your cheese in.    Knead and pull your cheese until it is shiny and elastic. Drain off whey. Repeat one more time. Shape into a ball and place in the cool water to cool for about 5 minutes.

cheese7

 6. Phase 4: Do NOT resist the urge to taste it now, while it’s warm. Just a little. Then refrigerate. It’s super Yummy and fresh mozzarella is so good. I love this cheese partly because you dont have to age it. It’s ready to eat!

cheese3      cheese6

Cheese making supplies at the New England Cheese Making Supply Company  http://www.cheesemaking.com/