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Cabbage ball

Yep, you read it right….cabbage ball. A whole cabbage packed with seasonings and butter BBQ’d to a soft, flavorful bunch of yum. Takes about an hour to prep and make so plan ahead. I would think this is a great camping item too.

  • 1 head of cabbage 
  • 1 stick of butter
  • Foil
  • Seasoning of your choice…..lots of them

Pull off outer most leaves and core cabbage…..Exposing the middle, removing all the core. Start your grill, BBQ, open fire pit area.  Pull out a large piece of foil, butter the area that will touch the cabbage, sprinkle some seasoning on the butter, set aside. Pour into the hole a teaspoon at least of your favorite spices, put in a tablespoon of butter, push down with the back of a spoon or your fingers, do it again, pushing down, add spices and butter until the stick is used up. Trust me you can not over spice this. When the butter is used up take the buttered foil and wrap the cabbage up tight. Wrap the cabbage ball a few more times and place it in the fire, coals etc. turn every 15 minutes or so until cabbage is soft. You test this by squeezing with a set of tongs. 

I cooked it for 30 minutes then but my grill on the coal fire and cooked it the other 30 on the grill. It came out great. To avoid having burnt leaves make sure there is a least three layers of foil. When the cabbage is done cut open the foil and serve. Everything is blended, tender and good. 

As always we hope you enjoy.

Pomegranate duck

We not only enjoy watching wildlife we enjoy eating it. For some folks this is revolting, for others a treasure when it presents itself. The area we live in has an abundance of wild game and we have friends that love to share. I have only been duck hunting once here and blanked on that cold December morning. However, Steve was kind enough to share with us some of a successful hunt earlier in the season. He told us a few tips in preparation and most importantly do not over cook it. Now John and I had years ago watched cooking shows that serve the duck almost raw….yuck…..is what we said then. Steve confirmed it, said medium rare was the most you want to cook the breast. He also said soak them in salt water for a few days as well, to help remove the extra blood in the meat. 

If you are not aware duck is a very red fowl meat because of the blood that is pumped for miles and miles of flight. If not properly taken care of or prepared the water fowl becomes tough and stringy. So most folks do not care for duck or geese. 

Using Steve’s input and my creative cooking ideas plus remembering some ribs cooked this way I said let’s give this a try. Outdoor grilling is my favorite way to cook, and this is what I invisioned for this meal. But with 35 degree temps, wind from the north (the grill is on the north side of the house) and rain I changed my mind. Choosing the oven instead. This turned out perfect if I do say so myself.  Plan ahead with this meal, it takes 5 days before cooking. 

2-3 days before:

  • 3 ducks ….. 6 breast halves cleaned
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt 
  • Good water 1-2 cups
  • 1 bottle pomegranate cherry 
  • 3 fresh jalapeño 
  • 6 slices good bacon
  • Cooking rack

After ducks are cleaned (be sure and feel for shot left in the birds) place in a glass bowl that has a lid. Starting with one cup of water mix salt in measuring cup until dissolved. Pour over breast meat. If they are not submerged add enough water to cover. Place the lid on tight and swish around so the new water is mixed with the salted water. Refrigerate 2-3 days. You can swish this everyday or leave it sit. 

After soaking in salted water:

Remove from refrigerator, drain off salted water. Rinse birds well and pat dry with paper towel. Clean the same bowl to use it again. After birds are dry place back in the bowl you just took them out of. Pour enough pomegranate juice over them so they are covered. Refrigerate for 2-3 days. 

Meal day: 

Take birds out and set on counter for 1 hour in bowl with lid on.

Heat oven to 475. Using a baking pan place foil on the bottom for easy clean up, then place rack on foil. Slice jalapeño long in four sections, remove seeds and some of the vien. Oh yes remove the stem too. Lay out the bacon slices, put one section of jalapeño in the middle, place a duck breast at a slight angle on the bacon strip, place another slice of jalapeño on top of the breast and gently wrap the bacon around the bird breast. No need for a tooth pick. Place on rack. Do the same for the remains breast halves. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until bacon is just starting to brown. If you would like you can put under a broil for a minute or so to brown up the bacon. 

The duck will have a nice pink middle, the jalapeño will still have a crunch and the bacon will be just done….maybe a little underdone. 

As always we hope you enjoy

Mexican kale

LouAnn this is for you. 😜 this lady is always telling me how much she dislikes kale. However I think if she gave this recipe a try she could have a different take on this green leafy vegetable. When you have a bunch of something being creative is a challenge. We were having tacos and I wanted to use some more of the wonderful kale we had purchased the other day. I do have to say it was pretty tasty. 

  • 5-6 clean kale leaves, stems removed and chopped
  • 1 can drained whole kernel corn
  • 4 hatch chiles roasted, skinned and chopped or one small can ( about 1/2 cup )
  • 1 cup grated jack cheese plus a little more to sprinkle on top (about a handful)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 large tablespoon finely chopped onion (optional)

Heat oven to 350. Coat a covered baking dish so food does not stick. In a medium bowl add all ingrediants stir well. The corn will want to settle on the bottom. Mix so everything is coated. Pour into baking dish, sprinkle jack cheese on top. Cover and bake for 30 minutes.  You can remove the lid the last five minutes or so. Serve hot but this is good cold too. 

As always we hope you enjoy

Jalapeño garlic kale

Kale is the new four letter word in health. There are so many types and ways to prepare it. If you are lucky you have a farmers market near by or you grow it yourself. We usually have a nice winter garden however, this year nada. Store bought is okay but just not the same. And now……. We have a local hydroponic certified farmer here. This place is amazing. Over 5000 sq ft of produce will be grown at Fambro Family Farms here in Breckenridge, Texas. David’s Drawf Siberian Improved is creamy, tender and delicious. This is just one of a thousand ways to prepare it.

  • One large bunch of Drawf Siberian improved kale- chopped stems and all no need to wash because there is no dirt
  • Two cloves garlic – peeled and chopped fine
  • 1/2 large jalapeño – seeded, viened and finely chopped
  • Two tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt I used a red rock salt

In a large skillet heat up oil, add greens. Stir a bit, then add garlic and jalapeños. When greens start to wilt add salt. Stir occasionally until wilted and tender. 

Thats it. As always we hope you enjoy. 

Aunt Tiny’s “Hunters Delight”

Baby it’s cold out there……a good hearty breakfast is a great way to start these cold winter mornings. Our Aunt Tiny lived in the Imperial valley in California. Our relatives that lived there were all farmers and hunted the fields for birds during the fall-winter months. Now this was all back in the 70’s and 80’s…… And I still make this dish, whether it is camping, hunting, a family gathering or just because. 
It has a great flavor, easy to make and hearty. This feeds 2-4 depending on portion size

  • 6 strips of bacon
  • 1/2 chopped onion
  • 1/2 green pepper chopped
  • 3 small potatoes
  • 4 eggs
  • Garlic salt and some pepper

In a large frying pan, I use cast iron: fry bacon. You can do it in pieces or whole and break it up later. Do not fry extra crisp. Meanwhile wash potatoes, using a grater on the slice side ( should be two- three slots on a narrow side) slice potatoes and set aside. Chop onion and pepper into small to medium pieces. After bacon is done place on an absorbent paper and save for later. Drain almost all the grease off. Place skillet back on heat and add potato slices. Do not turn until it starts to brown. After one side starts to brown add onion and pepper. Sprinkle with garlic salt and add pepper: the amount is up to you. I use just a bit of pepper but a few good shakes of garlic salt. Since the potatoes are thin they do not take too long to brown and cook. After both sides show some browning add back broken up bacon pieces. Break eggs into a bowl and beat. Stir mixture then add eggs to mixture. Let sit just a minute or two then stir everything together. Gently flip over until eggs are done.

This will keep you full for the day…….as always we hope you enjoy

Pear salad

The other day we were treated to some organic fresh greenhouse butter lettuce. It tasted just like the name….creamy and buttery. Instead of putting normal dressing on it I wanted something that would bring out the light lettuce flavor. We had a ripe pear, and a small amount of blue cheese left. So……I put this together and the flavors were fantastic. The recipe is for two dandy salads.

  • 1 ripe pear cut into small cubes
  • 4-5 butter lettuce leaves tore into bite size pieces you might need more or less leaves
  • 1 heaping tablespoon grey poupon mustard
  • 2 tablespoon good olive oil
  • About a quarter cup of water
  • 1-2 tablespoons blackberry balsamic vinegar 
  • 1 large tablespoon crumbled blue cheese

Wash lettuce leaves wrap in damp paper towel and place in a plastic bag, wrapping tightly but don’t bruise the lettuce leaves……refrigerate while preparing everything else. Or longer, this makes the leaves firm and have some crunch. 

In a small bowl add mustard and oil. With a whisk whip it good. It takes some whipping to blend these two ingrediants. Next add water, enough so the sauce is smooth and runny. Not too thin, I would start with half the water then add the rest small amounts at a time.it is possible you could need more too. 

 Remove lettuce from its wrap and tear into pieces placing them into individual bowls. Break the blue cheese up and crumble a small amount over the leaves in each bowl. Cut pear…….I would do this last because they will start to turn brown fairly quick. Divide the pear equally between the two salads. With a spoon drizzle mustard mixture over leaves. You do not have to use all of it……we almost did though. Then drizzle the blackberry (or your favorite flavored) balsamic vinegar over the mustard dressing. No need to toss…..just serve. This is light enough that you will  still taste the butter leaf lettuce. We could have made a meal out of it. 

Thought about it afterwards, walnuts and or dried cranberries would be good as well. 

As always we hope you enjoy.

Kale salad

Kale is the green of choice these days…..so many recipes and ways to eat it. Dried, boiled, fried, baked, and in a salad are just a few. I have several recipes for a salad however this one is a favorite. Light, flavorful, and easy….what else can you ask for? 

  • 1-2 bunches of kale. Remove stems and cut into small pieces 
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce. Aka bug juice
  • 2 tablespoons of sesame seed oil
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 big tablespoon fresh grated ginger
  •  3 oranges juiced
  • Zest from 1/2 orange

After cutting kale into pieces blanch in boiling water for 2 minutes. Put into an ice bath for a few minutes and then drain, gently squeeze water out if necessary. 

In measuring cup, place  bug juice, oranges juice, sesame seeds, all the zest and grates. Mix well. 

After kale is cooled and drained well put the kale in a bowl. Pour dressing over the top and stir, refrigerate for an hour and serve with you meal. 

As always we hope you enjoy 

Green tomato casserole 

Winter is almost here in Texas, but would believe we have more tomatoes than we did all summer? With the days much shorter it is taking them forever to ripen so we have a bunch of green tomatoes. Besides fried what the heck do you do with them? So I thought about it and came up with this dish…….let me tell you it is awesome! 

  • 6 green tomatoes sliced
  • 3/4 cup quinoa
  • Garlic salt (a few shakes per layer)
  • 1 1/2-2 cups grated medium cheddar cheese
  • 1 can vegetable stock

Heat oven to 350. In a glass baking dish either spray or grease to help from sticking. Slice tomatoes, put broth in a microwave proof cup or bowl, on high heat cook for 2 minutes. Grate cheese. 

Layer in oven proof dish, half the tomatoes then half the quinoa, about half the cheese and sprinkle some garlic salt on it. Make another layer doing the same thing. Poor heated vegetable broth over the ingrediants, put a lid on it and bake for 45 minutes. 

If you are vegan you could omit the cheese and give it a go. This dish is loaded with flavor and good for you. 

As always we hope you enjoy. 

Fried green tomato burgers

Well we have done it…..not only found the perfect burger but something else to do with fried green tomatoes as well. The other day I made a large batch of fried green tomatoes and John never ate his share. So, I had a small to medium bowl left over. It had fried bacon and green tomatoes with garlic salt all ready to go….just needed to be heated up for another day. As the story goes……we planned on going out of town this weekend and hamburgers was the first meal planned. I had packed the bowl of cook tomatoes and thought of using that on the burgers. Go figure we are delayed the first night. However, I used the same meal plan even for home. This might be something to try camping or at home. We inhaled them! 

  • 1 pound hamburger of your choice
  • 6 strips bacon
  • 4 green tomatoes
  • Garlic salt
  • Two hamburger buns
  • Thousand island dressing
  • 1 raw sweet onion
  • Lettuce leaves
  • Cheese if desired

Before hand I would cook bacon, slice green tomatoes and cook in grease topped with garlic salt. Drain on paper towels. Now for this dish I made these green tomatoes days ago…..put it in the refrigerator and reheated before using. Make the hamburger patties your favorite way. Get your grill ready and BBQ. Cook patties to your specifications……toast the bun, before meat is ready spread 1000 island dressing on the bun, but a leaf of lettuce, slice of raw onion, on one end, on the other end using a folk or tongs put the bacon and green tomatoes one the bun. When meat is ready place in the middle and u la la, this is one of the best burgers ever! 

As always we hope you enjoy. 

Butter lemon sauce for vegetables

I know….nothing low calorie here, but it taste good over cooked cauliflower and broccoli. 

  • 3/4 stick of butter
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 shallot or 1 tablespoon dry shallot
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon herbs de Provence
  • Juice from 1 small lemon
  • Zest from 1/2 lemon
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

In a small flat sauce pan on low heat, melt butter with olive oil. Add shallots and herbs. Cook for 20 minutes, stirring from time to time. Add lemon juice and zest then salt. Turn heat up just a bit…..still low but a higher low. ( if there is such a thing). Cook another ten minutes. Stir before serving. Drizzle over cooked vegetables. 
As always we hope you enjoy.