Crisis turned into one heck of a tasty dinner! 1)good story, 2)tasty recipe 3)defrosting and cooking tips!

We are counting down the days for our next round of beef sales. Customers come first “they say” and it is true at the 3T Ranch. Beef orders from our customers are fulfilled first and the 3T crew’s beef package is typically last one in the freezer. I opened the freezer today and realized we were out of ground beef. I’m a big “week ahead meal planner” and cheeseburgers were on the menu. Hmm.. let’s try quickly to come up with plan B while the two small kids are still napping.

Let me tell you, it is hard to cook holding “two babies”. That is our daughter’s favorite saying these days after she wakes up from her nap. “Mommy, two babies”, which means she wants to be picked up and snuggled along side our littlest cowboy. I love that time with our kiddos, they are both still waking up from their naps and want some snuggles, but it doesn’t last long before they turned into little tornadoes. I needed to seize the situation!

I guess one good thing about running low on beef is that you don’t have to dig through your freezer to see what cuts you have. (Will talk freezer organization soon, I promise)! Roast can be grinned up into ground beef. I have found my winner, chuck roast it is! You would be surprised, but it really doesn’t take long to defrost the beef. 1) unwrap the meat from the butcher’s plastic and paper 2) put it into a ziplock bag and squeeze out the air 3)put it into a sink filled with cold water. 4) flip the roast in the water every 20 minutes. My beef was defrosted in less than an hour.

I love love my KitchenAid, I use it every day. I use it so much that my Cowboss bought me a new one to replace my “rusty old mixer”. I had the chuck roast grind up in now time without any mess or extra trips to the grocery stores.

Tips for tasty cheeseburgers: 1 pound of 3T ground beef, 1 teaspoon of salt, 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper and 1 tablespoon of dijon mustard. The mustard really makes it!

Healthy version of mashed potatoes: Your choice of potatoes, 2 teaspoons of Lowry’s seasoning salt, 1 teaspoon of garlic and pepper seasoning and 1/2 tablespoon of caraway seeds. Trust me, it just works with the potatoes. Make sure to include all of the seasonings while you are boiling the potatoes. When the taters are done, save about 1/2 cup of the liquid. I have used my KitchenAid to whip the potatoes and slowly included the 1/2 of the liquid. The potatoes don’t need any milk or butter. No extra calories and you are not scarifying the taste.

I hope you will try the recipe as well as our beef!

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Potato Chips

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We have been on a potato roll!  The top ranch hand loves helping his dad aka the cowboss rather than hanging out in the kitchen, but this time his tastebuds that love potato chips won! Here we go!

Potato Chips

This requires a little bit a prep, but trust me it is worth it and you will be licking all of your fingers.. twice!

Ingredients:

  • 10 medium yukon gold peeled potatoes
  • 1 teaspoon of salt for each batch
  • 1/2 teaspoon of pepper for each batch
  • 1 teaspoon of paprika for each batch
  • top ranch hand ingredient: blue cheese
  • paper towels

Directions:

  • First, peel and thinly slice your potatoes. I found the best way is to slice them in your food processor.
  • Put the sliced potatoes in a deep pan and cover with water. Let them hang out for about an hour. Don’t skip this step, the starch in the potatoes is your enemy, preventing you to have nice crispy chips!
  • Heat your deep fryer to 355 degrees.
  • Dry the potatoes, dry the potatoes and dry the potatoes. You NEVER want to put wet potatoes into your deep fryer, you don’t want to get hurt. The oil would bubble up really quickly. I have used my trusty salad spinner to dry the potatoes and then pat them dry even more with paper towels.
  • Separate the chips into individual pieces.
  • Fry your potato chips for about 5 minutes. Stir the potatoes a couple of times with metal spoon or fork. You will do about 5 – 6 batches, depending on the size of your deep fryer. Don’t overcrowd it!
  • Have a  cookie sheet ready with more paper towels to pat them dry.
  • Immediately sprinkle with dash of salt, pepper and paprika.
  • Tip from our top ranch hand: sprinkle your chips with salt and pepper (omit paprika) and this time top with crumbled blue cheese. We didn’t believe him, but it was finger licking good! 

Cowboys Love Meat and Potatoes! Roasted Sweet Potato Salad

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My garden didn’t do so well this year, but the one thing that it did produce were potatoes! Plenty of them! I have learned from last year that storing them in our cold dark cellar didn’t do the trick and the potatoes didn’t last very long. So, we have decided to go the freezer route this year. It took us all afternoon to peel, shred or cut, blanch and then freeze, but it was all worth it to indulge into homegrown/homemade hash browns, chips, salads and our favorite mashed potatoes. I have also learned from my past failures of trying to rush the freezing process, that you DO NEED to blanch your veggies. Otherwise, they will be all soggy and you might as well throw them out.

Roasted Sweet Potato Salad (Can be made with regular potatoes as well. The cowboys prefer the “regular” potatoes, but they try to please the ranch mom and try new recipe creations).

Ingredients:

  • 3 big sweet potatoes (peel and cut up into a medium dice)
  • 1 can of black beans (rinsed)
  • 1 bag of frozen corn (let it defrost)
  • 1 red pepper (small dice)
  • 1/2 red onion (small dice)
  • 1 to 2 avocados (medium dice)
  • 2 green onions – chopped
  • 1/2 bunch of cilantro – chopped
  • Dressing: 2 tablespoons honey, 2 tablespoons grain mustard (we like the spicy kind), 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, 2 tablespoons of olive oil (try using roasted pepper olive oil from Costco), salt, pepper and cayenne pepper to taste.

Directions:

  • Peel and cut up your potatoes, toss about 2 tablespoons of olive oil on them and roast at 400 degrees for about 20 – 30 minutes.
  • Sauté your pepper, onion and green onions until translucent.
  • Time to assemble, put the ingredients into a big bowl and mix your dressing. Once the potatoes are done include them into the bowl and pour over the dressing.
  • Your salad can be served warm or cold, but I found that we did like the warm version of the salad much better. We have tried both versions. The dressing does wonders with the warm veggies.

Stay tuned for homemade potato chips recipe and tips on how to grow your best crop of potatoes. There is always the possibility of a great and fruitful garden next year, right? BTW.. 3T Ranch T-Bone steak would be the perfect addition to this salad!