Posts from the ‘cooking’ Category

Texas Cattle Raisers Convention

Good afternoon from San Antonio, Texas and the 2011 Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Convention.

It truly is a honor and a privilege to be in the same place with hundreds of cattlemen who represents 2 + million Texas beef that are feeding a hungry world.

These men and woman invest their life to producing highest quality protein in the meat case. When others go home at the end of work at 5 o’clock, have work-free weekends and enjoy vacations and snow days. These men and woman stay active in their never ending quest of being the first true environmentalist, caretakers of animals and the backbone of the world keeping millions of people the ability to walk into a grocery store and have the opportunity to have stocked shelves.

Today, Texas Beef Council President Richard Wortham’s presentation on beef promotion at the TSCRA directors meeting is highlighting this site and Anna-Lisa and I’s desire to encourage beef consumption.

I have to say it is very humbling. I am truly just following my passions – doing nothing special, other than telling my story.

I encourage all of you to do the same. To follow your passion and tell your personal story. We all have a special story, because we are all unique, one-of-a-kind individuals with our own way of life and personal experiences.

I apologize that this week has been recipe-free. This week truly, y’all, has been so very hectic! But I promise we’ll get back in the swing soon and get you some beef ideas to try soon!

If you’d like to know more about TSCRA, please visit:

And the convention link:

Have a blessed weekend! Talk to you next week, (and in the mean time I’m soaking up being in a Yellow Rose city and staying at the historic Menger Hotel across the street from The Alamo. For a proud Texan and a lover of history I’m in heaven! 🙂



Super Bowl Beef Mexican Layer Dip

Tomorrow is the Super  Bowl, so I thought a Super Bowl style recipe was in order and who better to provide that kind of recipe than a boy right! Ryan came up with this recipe and swears that it is delicious so I am passing it along to you.  It’s fairly simple and boy bullet proof so here you go!

Layer the following ingredients in a 13 X 9 pan in this order.

2 cans refried beans
1lb ground beef browned w/ taco seasoning
1/2 cup mayo & 1/2 cup sour cream mixed
2 avacados peeled, pitted, and chopped w/ 2tbsp lemon juice
1/2 cup picante sauce
1 cup shredded cheddar
1 cup shredded monterrey jack
4 green onions chopped
1 can sliced black olives

Cover and bake at 350 for 30 minutes.  Serve w/ tortilla chips.

Enjoy your Super Bowl! GO PACKERS!

~ Anna-Lisa

Mama’s Minestrone

Winter weather, you gotta love it. Here in Stillwater we are suppose to get as much as 10 inches of snow tonight. I’m glad I have great friends to be with on my first snow day of the year! 🙂 With weather like this, soup is a need!  My mom made this soup the last week I was home, and all 12 of us around the kitchen table loved it! I thought y’all would too! 🙂

Mom’s Minestrone

1 Tb. olive oil
1 lg. yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 1/2 c. beef broth
1/2 pkg. beef sausage, cut in half and sliced thin
1 can Northern beans, drained
2 cans Italian style tomatoes, undrained
2 c. coarsely shredded cabbage
2 lg. carrots, shredded
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. basil
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 pkg. spaghetti, cut in 1/8’s
1 zucchini, halved in length and sliced

In a large saucepan saute onions in oil until tender. Add rest of ingredients except spaghetti and zucchini.

Allow the soup to simmer until for 10-15 minutes. Add spaghetti and allow to cook until tender. About 10 minutes before serving add zucchini. Serve hot with cornbread, sliced cheese and apples for an fun meal that will keep you warm through this winter storm. 🙂

Stay warm!!


onion = $0.89
beef broth= $1.65
beef sausage = $2.18
Northern beans = $0.55
Italian style tomatoes = $1.77
cabbage = $0.65
carrots = $0.45
spaghetti = $1.00
zucchini $2.23\
Total = $10.48/4 = $2.62

Beef Mac & Cheese

Good afternoon! I realize I am a day late writing this post, but I hope that it’s a dollar short too!  I have spent the past week in Chicago for the Top Producer Seminar.  It was a great experience and I met a ton of extremely wonderful farmers and farm wives.  Then yesterday I was able to come to Arkansas to spend the weekend with Ryan on the ranch.  I am so thankful to have these few days to relax, drain my brain and rest up.  This is a casserole dish that he had fixed for me when I arrived.  It is delicious… a little spicy, extremely beefy and just the comfort food that I was craving.  So get into that kitchen and get ready to relax with this wonderful macaroni dish.

From The Pantry
1 box elbow macaroni
2 cans RoTel Tomatoes
Garlic Salt, Ranch Seasoning
From the Ice Box
1 lb ground beef
2 Jalapeno
1 green bell pepper
1 onion
1 small block of cheese (apprx 2 1/2 cups)

Chop the onion and jalapeno to your liking.  Start a pot of boiling water.  (I always add a dash of salt to my pasta water, not because it makes the water boil faster but because I think the flavor is better.) In a large skillet combine the ground beef, all the vegetables and the seasonings.  Cook until the beef is browned through.  While the beef is browning, boil the box of elbow noodles.  Once the ground beef is browned through drain off the excess fat.  Also drain your noodles at this time.  Combine the noodles, meat and veggies and pour into a 13 X 9 pan. Top with cheese (a little extra cheese never hurt) and bake at 300 degrees for 15 minutes or until all the cheese has melted. Serve this delicious dish alone or with a side salad.

Beef Mac & Cheese Costs
1 box elbow macaroni – $1.00
2 cans RoTel Tomatoes – $1.60
Garlic Salt, Ranch Seasoning- $1.00
1 lb ground beef – $3.00
2 Jalapenos- $0.28
1 green bell pepper- $0.88
1 onion- $0.63
1 small block of cheese (apprx 2 1/2 cups)- $2.23
Total Cost- $10.62 (Serves 6)
Cost Per Plate- $1.77

I hope you enjoy this beefy comfort food!

~ Anna-Lisa

Sagebrush Meatballs

There is something about pasta that is just utterly delicious, especially when combined with beef.  Recently I was asked to create a recipe with including corn.  I thought about all of the ways that corn could be used and all the ways we use it most often.  I realized that there is one completely underused and underestimated corn product… corn flakes.  More than just a cereal they can be used in feed lot rations, deserts, potato casseroles, and most recently I discovered they are wonderful in meat balls.  I thought why not grind them up and use them as bread crumbs in meat balls, they are the same consistency as bread crumbs right?  Well I tried it out and with a ranchy twist let me tell you they are the best meatballs I have ever fixed.  Give this non traditional use of corn a try and enjoy some delicious pasta too!

Sagebrush Meatballs

From the Ice Box:
1 lb ground beef
1/2 cup milk
2 eggs
1 C Parmesan Cheese
3 Broccoli Crowns
From the Pantry:
2 C corn flakes
Equivalent of 1 Packet Ranch Seasoning
Spray Oil
1 Can Diced Tomatoes
1 Can Tomato Sauce

Pour the corn flakes into a zip lock bag. Crush the corn flakes until they are as fine as bread crumbs.  An easy way to tell if they are fine enough is to pour them into a colander, if they can fit through those wholes keep crushing.

Combine the ground beef, milk, eggs, cheese, corn flake crumbs & ranch seasoning in a bowl.  Kneed until the mixture is blended.

Spray you baking stone with spray oil.  Roll the ground beef mixture into 1 inch balls.  Place on the cookie sheet and bake them at 350 for 30 minutes.

During this time boil the pasta water, and combine the chopped onion, garlic, diced tomatoes and tomato sauce.  Let simmer the entire time the meatballs are baking.

Once the pasta  water is boiling add a T olive oil.  This will keep the pasta from sticking together.  Next, break your favorite pasta into the boiling water.  Let me tell you a little secret about boiling pasta… it doesn’t take as long as you think and there is nothing worse than over cooked pasta. Boil just until it is tender then drain it.

I also served this with broccoli so I steamed the broccoli during this time as well.  If you have a broccoli steamer use that!  Other wise place the broccoli in a microwave safe bowl, add an inch of water, cover with saran wrap and put in the microwave for 6 minutes.

Once the meatballs are done, put them in a bowl and pour the tomato sauce over them.

Let them sit for a few minutes and serve over pasta.

This meal is delicious, unique and a great way to use beef and corn together to make a wonderful meal.  I hope you enjoy!

Sagebrush Meatballs Cost
1 lb ground beef – $4.30
1/2 cup milk- $0.40
2 eggs- $0.30
1 C Parmesan Cheese- $0.30
2 C corn flakes – $0.40
Equivalent of 1 Packet Ranch Seasoning- $.100
Pasta- $1.00
1 Can Diced Tomatoes- $0.76
1 Can Tomato Sauce- $0.65
Broccoli- $1.20
Total Cost- $10.31 (Serves 5)
Cost Per Plate- $2.06

Have a blessed weekend!

Until We Meet Again,


Stay Sane Through The Holidays

I am so thankful that the holidays are around the corner! Next week is Thanksgiving, my favorite of all holidays. Not only does Thanksgiving mean family, friends and great food, it is a time for us to reflect on how blessed we are and to remember those who no longer sit at our tables.  Thanksgiving is a blessed time of year, but it can be stressful too!  We often get caught up in the hustle and bustle, the pie crusts and gravy, sometimes we are so stressed we don’t take the time to enjoy this great holiday and all that it brings.  I love to feed people, my home is always open for friends and family and there is ALWAYS extra room at the dinner table, especially during this season.  Today I am going to share a few tips to stay sane during the holidays as well as a quick roast recipe cause ya know you have to eat the rest of the week too!

Proper planning prior to the holidays can help alleviate any stress you might run into.  Here are a few simple tips I learned from Karen Myers, MS, RD/LD, a consultant to the Oklahoma Beef Council, in a seminar today!

  • Schedule your day with flexibility and purpose.   Know what you need to get done, make a list, check things off but don’t be rigid.  Leave room for life to happen, because it will happen!
  • Cook things you are good at.  The holidays are not the time to try new recipes, that will only add stress! Cook what you love to cook and what your family loves to eat! If something doesn’t turn out, it’s ok you don’t have to tell anyone!  “If your chocolate cake falls just rename it, it becomes a chocolate torte, no one will know!”
  • Spread food tables throughout your living area.  Guests will gravitate to the food, if all the food is served in the kitchen, they will be in the kitchen too and the last thing you need is 30 people watching you whisk gravy!
  • Serve the same menu over and over.  If you are having several holiday parties, serve the same menu, or a variation of it.  The guests will never know, and it will save your sanity because you will be able to purchase in bulk, also saving you money.

Stress doesn’t only happen in our lives during the holidays if we are hosting a party.  Stress happens just because of life.  Here are some of Karen’s tips on how to manage stress so that you can enjoy the holidays, after all, they are HOLIDAYS!

  • Identify your stressors and make a plan of how you will deal with them.
  • Avoid negative people.  Sometimes you can’t avoid them, cause let’s face it, they may be in your family, but you can limit the time you spend with them.  Spending time with negative people will put you in a negative mood as well!
  • Develop a positive attitude.
  • Keep in mind the big picture and don’t sweat the small stuff.  I like to think of this one as focusing on the fact that all of your loved ones are spending time together, so what if your pie crust isn’t very flaky.
  • Let go of perfection.
  • Get plenty of rest.
  • Start the day with breakfast.
  • Ensure adequate protein intake. Don’t skip the beef!

A lot of us worry about eating healthy during the holiday.  Karen shared two tips to keep your diet healthy during the holidays.

  • Avoid Processed Foods  “If it didn’t have a mamma or didn’t grow in the ground, don’t eat it!”
  • Use the 3 bite rule.  Studies show that after 3 bites, you don’t enjoy food to its entirety, so why eat anymore.  Take 3 bites and move on to the next delicious thing guilt free!

I really enjoyed learning some of these tips and  I hope you enjoyed it too!  While you are busy preparing all the fixing for your Thanksgiving meal, don’t forget you have to eat the rest of the week too! I threw together this roast this week and it would be the perfect meal to eat on all week during the Thanksgiving prep! I named this roast the Ronald Reagan Roast cause I think he would of liked it!

Ronald Reagan Roast
1 2lb Chuck Roast
1 Onion
2 Bell Peppers
1 Can RoTel
1 Can Black Eyed Peas
1 Clove Garlic
Salt, Pepper, Cayenne Pepper

Brown all the sides of your roast.  Place it in the crock pot.  Chunk up an onion and place it in the crock pot.  Add one can of RoTel, Salt, Pepper, Cayenne Pepper and the clove of garlic.  Add water until it is halfway up the side of the roast.  Cook on high for 4 hours.  Slice the bell peppers and add them and the black eyed peas to the crock pot.  Cook on high for another 30 minutes.  Serve! I served this with salted toasted tortillas! Just quarter a tortilla, spray with Pam or any other spray oil, salt and stick under the broiler until they are golden brown! I also included a great new recipe for Jalapeno spread.  Use the jalapenos you have in the fridge that are nearly too ripe, chop them up real fine.  Mix with salt and a little lemon or lime juice and use to garnish anything! Great on soups and stews like this one! Delicious!

Ronald Reagan Roast Costs
1 2lb Chuck Roast – $8.50
1 Onion- $0.70
2 Bell Peppers- $1.20
1 Can RoTel- $0.78
1 Can Black Eyed Peas- $0.68
1 Clove Garlic- $0.20
Salt, Pepper, Cayenne Pepper- $0.20
Total Costs – $12.26 (Serves 5)
Cost Per Plate – $2.45

Have a blessed Thanksgiving All!

Happy Trails,


Quick Roast & Sweet Potatoes

Good afternoon y’all! I can’t believe that it is Friday once again… the week flew by, but I am thankful that I get to write you again.  This week I got one of the best birthday presents ever! I got a crock pot!  I know most girls wouldn’t consider a crock pot all that exiting, but because I love to cook, and I have been wanting a one very badly I was ecstatic.  I even read the user manual.. I know nerdy! The first night I had my crock pot I made an awesome soup which you will get to learn to make later in the winter.  The third night I had my crock pot I made this awesome roast you are learning to make right now.  It’s quick (as far as roasts go) it’s different, not your normal roast, and its delicious.  Plug in your crock pot and get to cooking!

Quick Roast & Sweet Potatoes
1 chuck roast
2 large sweet potatoes
2 zucchini
1 onion
salt, pepper, beef bouillon, oil

In a large cast iron, heat oil and sear all sides of the roast.  Place the roast in your crock pot.  Chunk up the sweet potatoes, onion and zucchini; place them in the pot.  Next chunk up a clove of garlic and place in the pot.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Next warm up a cup of water and mix in 2 T of beef bouillon. Add this to the pot and enough water to nearly cover the roast.  Turn on high for 4 hours.  Serve with your favorite biscuit, roll or whole wheat bread.  This is a great way to warm up after a chilly day.

Quick Roast & Sweet Potatoes
1 chuck roast- $8.50
2 large sweet potatoes – $1.40
2 zucchini – $1.30
1 onion- $0.67
salt, pepper, beef bouillon, oil- $0.75
Total Cost (serves 5) – $12.62
Cost per Plate – $2.52

I hope that you enjoyed this little taste of home! Have a great weekend and stay warm everyone!

Happy Trails,

~ Anna-Lisa