Broccoli & Cheddar Soup

Learning how to make soup was one of the best things I’ve ever done. For the most part they are fairly easy to make & are perfect on a cold day. Ryan has been battling a pretty nasty viral cold that’s been going around so I made him some cheddar & broccoli soup tonight. This is great tasting soup!

Broccoli & Cheddar Soup

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 pepper salt
  • 1 head broccoli(or 16oz frozen chopped broccoli)
  • 1 quart chicken broth
  • 1/2 tsp flour
  • 1 1/2 cup whole or 2% milk
  • 8 oz shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • salt to taste

Melt your butter in a large saucepan. Cook your onion in the butter until soft & translucent.

While the onions are cooking, chop your broccoli if using fresh.

Add in the garlic powder & pepper to the onions and allow to cook for an additional minute.

Stir in broccoli & chicken stock

Bring to a boil & allow to simmer until broccoli is tender. While the broccoli is cooking, whisk the flour & milk together.

Stir milk into the soup slowly to allow it to thicken.

Stir in cheese until melted.

Serve warm with bread sticks or bread bowls!

This soup completely classifies as comfort food!


Salmon Cakes with Homemade Cocktail Sauce

So this was SUPPOSED to be published yesterday with the auto publisher…however apparently I am not smart enough to make it work lol. I do not have a post today due to the fact that I just arrived home from having my gallbladder removed. It wasn’t the most fun in the world but was certainly better than I expected! I had a great group of nurses. Apparently while in recovery the first two things I asked were “Where am I?” and “When can I ride my horse?”. This just made me want to laugh(couldn’t ACTUALLY laugh because it hurts). Anyway, here is yesterdays salmon cakes. My very first 100% original recipe!!!

Salmon Cakes with Home Made Cocktail Sauce

For the cakes:

  • 2 cans boneless, skinless salmon(drained)
  • 2 tbs cornmeal
  • 2 tbs flour
  • 1 tbs wheat germ
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp seafood herb mix(if you can’t buy a pre-made mix, you can make your own out of basil, dill, parsley, chives, & thyme.)
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • Shredded cheese(optional)

For the sauce:

  • 2 tbs ketchup
  • 1 tsp horseradish sauce
  • 1/2 tsp prepared horseradish

Preheat a skillet to med-high with a small amount of oil or a quick spray of non-stick cooking spray.

Start by draining your salmon & setting in a bowl

Add in the cornmeal, flour, wheat germ, herbs & garlic/onion powder. If you are adding cheese in, now is the time to do it.

Add in the egg & mix thoroughly using your hands.

The mixture should be wet and easily molded into cakes. I made mine about 2″ across but you can make them larger.  The 2″ ones are a perfect appetizer size. Set cakes on the skillet or griddle.

Cook on one side until they begin to brown. Flip and allow the other side to brown as well.

Remove from heat once nicely browned & serve warm.

Now onto the cocktail sauce…

VERY simple to make-

Add all 3 ingredients in a bowl.

Mix Well…and you are done :-)

I love the recipe. Maybe because was so proud to be able to go from not cooking at all to make a recipe from scratch, but I still love these!

Beef & Rice Stuffed Peppers

Growing up I HATED peppers. I would not eat onions, tomatoes or peppers at all. Thankfully since I got married, my wonderful husband has taught me that none of those are so bad. Stuffed peppers was something I always thought looked good but never made because I didn’t like peppers. It wasn’t until recently that I gave them a shot. This is my own person recipe combination, as with most recipes, you can add or subtract what you’d like.

Beef & Rice Stuffed Peppers

  • 1.5 lbs ground beef
  • 4 bell peppers(any color)
  • 1 can corn(optional)
  • 1 can kidney beans(optional)
  • 1 package instant spanish rice
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • french fried onions(optional)

Preheat your oven to 350*

Brown your beef in a skillet. Drain.

While the beef is cooking, cut off the top of the pepper and scoop out the insides leaving a pepper “bowl”.

Add in the rice into the beef along with the amount of recommended water(should say on the back of the package)

While the rice is cooking add in the corn & beans.

When the rice is fully cooked, remove from heat & stuff into the peppers

Sprinkle shredded cheese over the peppers.

Place in the oven for 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted & the peppers are hot. Remove from the oven & sprinkle with the french fried onions. Serve immediately.

Hope you enjoy!

Missing in Action

Oh the last few days have been hectic. As much as I try to post daily, I’ve come to the conclusion that some days when things go all wrong, It’s just not going to happen. I wish I had the man power to post daily or multiple times a day like some of the big bloggers do, but with just me, a 2 month old, a farm full of animals & a husband that doesn’t get home from work until dark, I just don’t. This weekend has been incredibly long.

On thursday afternoon, right about the time Ryan was supposed to be getting home I looked out my kitchen window while doing dishes and saw all the horses walking up the fence from the far back corner of the pasture. The back part of the pasture is down a hill & hidden by trees, so during the day I often don’t see the horses until they come back up to the house to eat. My baby, Yankee, was walking very slowly behind everyone else. When he stopped to sniff the ground and dropped down to roll in the snow, I had a gut feeling that something was very wrong. I kept trying to tell myself that he was just enjoying the new snow we had gotten the night before(the first all winter). When Ryan got home a few minutes later I handed off the baby and grabbed a lead rope & halter to go catch him. When I walked up to him he had just tried to get up from a roll but didn’t even have the strength for that. He was sitting on his butt like a dog does and just shaking. Once I finally got him up he just stood there shaking & trying to sniff, bite & kick at his stomach. For those of you who aren’t horse people, these are all signs of Colic.

Wikipedia defines colic as follows:

Colic in horses is defined as abdominal pain, but it is a clinical sign rather than a diagnosis. The term colic can encompass all forms of gastrointestinal conditions which cause pain as well as other causes of abdominal pain not involving the gastrointestinal tract. The most common forms of colic are gastrointestinal in nature and are most often related to colonic disturbance. There are a variety of different causes of colic, some of which can prove fatal without surgical intervention. Colic surgery is usually an expensive procedure as it is major abdominal surgery, often with intensive aftercare. Among domesticated horses, colic is the leading cause of premature death. The incidence of colic in the general horse population has been estimated between 10 and 11 percent on an annual basis. It is important that any person who owns or works with horses be able to recognize the signs of colic and determine whether or not a veterinarian should be called.

In other words, colic is a stomach ache for the horse. If it gets bad enough, the horses intestines can twist causing a blockage that cannot be fixed without surgery. Colic is a very very serious & often expensive problem. It is also far to often fatal. We had been lucky enough to not have any horses colic on us but our luck ran out on thursday.

Once I got Yankee up & out of the pasture, we just started walking around in circles while Ryan called the vet. Walking helps prevent the horse from rolling which can cause the intestines to twist. The vet told us to go ahead and give a dose of banamine which is a pain reliever for livestock. It can give relief from the colic and sometimes even stop it completely. Within 30 minutes, Yankee was back from being totally zoned out & in huge amounts of pain to being his goofy, trying to eat your sweatshirt self. After calling the vet back we were told to not feed him that night and to give him a small amount of feed in the morning.

Friday morning rolls around and Yankee got a very small amount of hay that he seemed to do alright with. I went ahead and gave him a little more about 1pm. Shortly after, when I checked on him I was dismayed to find him colicing. Again. Another call to the vet, another shot of banamine. Again about half an hour later he’s back to his old self. He wasn’t in any pain at that point so the vet decided to wait until saturday morning to examine him.

Saturday morning, Ryan hauled Yankee to town to go see the vet. He did not see our regular vet, but rather one of the vets Ryan had been working with at work. Mostly because we still aren’t sure our regular vet would even drive out as far as our farm. We live 45 minutes away from the clinic. This other vet is only about 25 minutes away. The problem out here is that while the vets treat everything(our regular vets treat birds to cattle), they don’t really specialize in anything other than cattle. In order to find an “equine vet”, we would have to haul to a clinic in Wichita which is more than an hour & a half away.

The vet examined him & did a fecal exam. Yankee had plenty of gut sounds which is a great thing. In a horse, a silent gut = very bad. His fecal exam showed that he had a bunch of sand in his system which could have caused him to colic. The vet also thought it might be from his diet but couldn’t be sure. Ryan came home with a bunch of questions but not a whole lot of answer or direction.

The problem with Yankee is he is thin, he is always thin. He does much better during the summer but not nearly as well as some horses do. We have tried every different feed, supplement, medication, dewormers, etc. Everything we could think of for the last 3 years. We still don’t have any answers to why he is the way he is. It is very discouraging to not want to take your horse anywhere because people think you are starving your horse when he eats more than 3 other horses combined!

After this weekend we have some new direction with things to try. We will not give up until we find what works. Yankee is my big 1100lb baby. He’s a pain in the butt to ride but he is an incredibly honest horse. He is a great trail horse and will go over, under, through ANYTHING. He has never refused to do something I asked him to do on trail. I will not quit on my boy!

SO this whole fiasco is why I didn’t get any posts up on Friday or Saturday. I have this whole week all planned out & it should be good so I hope you check back daily! Thanks guys!

Yankee back when he was still racing on the track.

My favorite view...

Yankee's favorite gait. If he's not loping, he's not happy.

Quiet moments...

Our last show together before Maverick was born

Chicken & Chips Casserole

Yesterday was one of those days that I really did not feel like making a huge labor intensive meal, so it automatically became casserole night. This casserole is one of my favorites and is very simple to make, plus it is very easy to double or triple if you have a lot of people for dinner. It has more of a Mexican taste to it due to the green chilies, but if your family doesn’t like peppers you can easily omit them and make this a cheese-only casserole.

Chicken & Chips Casserole

  • 3 cups cooked, cubed chicken breast(approximately 2 large chicken breasts)
  • 4 cups crushed tortilla chips
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 can Cream of Chicken soup
  • 2 tbs taco sauce or salsa
  • 1 can green chile peppers(chopped)
  • 8-12 slices American Cheese(depending on how big your casserole dish is)

Preheat your oven to 350*

To start off, if you haven’t already cooked your chicken now is the time to do it. I usually have precooked chicken in the freezer to save on time but I ran out the other day so I had to cook some up. Just a food safety note, I’m sure most of you know but when cooking chicken, always use a different fork or spoon to remove the cooked chicken. Don’t use the one you used to put the raw chicken in the pan or to flip it over.

While your chicken is cooking, in a separate bowl mix together the sour cream, cream of chicken soup, taco sauce or salsa, & chile peppers.

Once your chicken is finished cooking, layer half the chicken in an un-greased casserole dish. Spread half the sour cream & soup mixture over the chicken. Next place on half the cheese slices. Finish the layer with half the chips.

Repeat the above steps for a second layer. Place in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until bubbly. Serve immediately.

If you try this casserole, feel free to let me know how your family likes it!



Make your own (very cute) sugar cubes!

After visiting my therapists yesterday(my horses), I figured I should probably make something special for them. I had found awhile ago basic instructions here on how to make your own sugar cubes. For those of you who don’t have horses, don’t fret! These are great to make for tea or coffee too! These look super cute in small heart shapes. Unfortunately, I don’t have a heart shaped chocolate mold…I have ones in the shape of cows, roosters & pigs. Oh well, the horses won’t care!

Homemade Sugar Cubes

  • Granulated Sugar(white or brown)
  • Water
  • Chocolate molds

To start with put however much sugar you would like to use in a bowl. Slowly add COLD water 1 tsp at a time until the sugar forms a paste. You do not want it runny or else it will be hard to work with and take forever to dry.

Once you have your paste to the desired consistency, place small amounts into the molds. You want to make sure the sugar is packed firmly.

Allow to fully dry & then carefully remove from the molds. Mine took about a week to dry.

Store in a ziplock bag & use as treats for your horses or in your coffee & tea.

Simple Message Board/Love Note Board

Every morning Ryan gets up at 6am to get ready for work. 9 times out of 10, as long as Maverick is cooperating I am asleep at that point. There are times when I wish I could tell him something I forgot about but he was already asleep, or times I just want to be able to tell him I love him and was thinking about him. That way, he knows that even though I’m asleep, I still cared enough to take the time to tell him I cared. I have seen these done several different ways but I wanted to keep mine simple. I have seen some that have “I love you because…” printed on the paper and then you just write the reason under that. I decided to leave mine blank so I could fill in anything I chose. I can’t wait to get a different frame though because this one is quite ugly, I just used it because I didn’t have any other empty ones! I want to find a cute western one eventually to match the rest of the house.

Message Board

Supplies needed:

  • Picture Frame
  • Scrapbook Paper
  • Sissors
  • Pen or pencil
  • Dry Erase Marker

Using the cardboard that comes in the picture frame, lay it out on your paper and use the pen or pencil to trace around it.

Cut to the proper size to fit your frame.

Place in frame and write your message!

I placed this one in the bathroom because I know it’s one place that Ryan is going to see every morning.

The possibilities are endless as to what you could use these for and the best thing about them is you can customize them with any frame & paper you want! You never have to worry about them not matching the decor. You could even make ones to go with the seasons or holidays…I think next time I go to Hobby Lobby, a paper shopping trip is required!

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