Chicken Soup on a Cold Day!


If you have read many of my posts you know that I love soup. It is my go to meal when I’m unsure what to cook. It is my go to meal when it’s cold. Let’s face it, it is my go to meal anytime!!

It has been overly cold here in Wyoming, and finally I found chicken on sale. Chicken in Wyoming is outrageously overpriced. At home in Tennessee, it is so cheap!!

When I have chicken I usually make chicken noodle soup. However this time I mixed it up and made chicken and rice. 

All of my chicken soups start with a great broth or base. You can do this lots of ways. However I love Watkins Chicken Base.  It adds the perfect mixture of seasonings without salt.  

I mix several cups of water with the seasoning according to the directions. Bring this to a slow boil. Toss in chopped chicken or you can toss in cooked shredding chicken. Let this cook until the chicken is done or until warm. 

I then add my onions and carrots. These are freeze dried and will plump back up. I toss in whatever amount to my liking. Thrive is an awesome company! I use so many of their products. The veggies never go bad and I don’t have to worry I always have them on hand!

Let this cook until the veggies are plump and tender. At that point I add in the frozen noodles or in this case uncooked rice. If you use noodles it really tastes much better with homemade or frozen. Regular pasta just doesn’t do it. 

Let it cook until tender at a slow boil.  If you like throw in some frozen peas and 1 tsp or so of celery powder. 

If you would like your soup a little thicker, mix together water and cornstarch until blended. Pour a little at a time into the soup until it reaches your desired consistency. 

Check taste. You will need to add salt and pepper. Sometimes it needs more chicken flavoring and I will mix in a little water and more Watkins seasoning. 


Enjoy!

Ingredients:

2 chicken breasts

Peas, carrots, onions

Frozen Noodles or rice

Watkins chicken soup base

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 In an instant Everything Changes!

Life is so busy, is it not?  We run from one thing to the next. Jump from the car to our homes only to return again. We rotate friends often dependent upon new interests and drifting apart, or disagreements that cause the friendship to shatter. Activities come and go. Life just spins constantly. We seem to plow through the years so quickly that we don’t even realize how much we are missing or how fast things are happening. 
However sometimes, hopefully rarely we receive news that causes us to almost halt. We see everything different. We watch everything fly by and we seem to be in slow motion. We savor the looks on our children’s faces a little longer. The hugs from family seem to last a little longer and tighter. 

We reach for our phones a little slower. We read texts a little more intensely. Life has been altered, never to be the same. For a time we go back to enjoying time instead of bustling through it. 


My advice do it everyday. Slow down! Enjoy! It’s going fast and it can change in a moment. 

Quick, Easy, and Oh, So Yummy!

I recently returned from a visit to my family in Tennessee. I always enjoy my visit and come back with lots of great memories. I also usually have lots of stuff from taking advantage of stores we do not have here in Wyoming. This year I also came home with a great recipe. 

Now recipes are swapped back and forth between my mother and I all the time. The significance of this recipe is it came from my little sister. She is not a cook. By that I mean she doesn’t try new recipes very often. She keeps it simple. She does basics! She could cook very well if she wanted but as she says cooking is not her thing. 

Well she shared this recipe and at first I was reluctant. The ingredients, all three of them, just didn’t seem to be a good mix to me. Then she popped over to mom’s and proceeded to whip this up. 

I was wrong it’s wonderful. Not only does it only have three ingredients but it is done in about 10 minutes, Maybe less! It is also addicting. 

The other reason I love it, is that it makes just enough. You don’t end up with a huge pot of dip. It is a rather small amount compared to my regular sausage dip with velvetta. So if making for a crowd you will need to double or triple. 

Here it is. You must make this! Chances are you have everything you need in your fridge right now!

Easy Sausage Dip

1lb sausage- swaggerty

1 pkg of cream cheese

1 can of original rotel
Brown the sausage and drain the grease. 

Then add the cream cheese and rotel. Mix throughly. 
Serve warm with tortilla chips or crackers. 

You will thank me for this one. I couldn’t resist. Had a bite immediately!

How’s the Water!

What a rancher does for his livestock. No he’s not drinking. He is blowing down the overflow to unplug it. I couldn’t resist a great photo opportunity. I’m sure he will thank me later, or sooner. Lol


When it’s hot out, checking water is crucial to the health and well being of all livestock. Keeping everything open and flowing correctly takes staying on top of how the tanks are working. 

Great Day in the Mountains


Yesterday we headed up the mountain to fix fence near Friend Park at the base of Laramie Peak. We moved our heifers up the other day, so it was time to run around another section in case they jump in. 

It was a beautiful day with storm clouds rolling in and out. A little rain, but not too much. The best part I didn’t see one person trespassing! I have come to loathe going up the mountain because it is a constant running people down or having to tell people they are on private property. Sometimes I even see their posts on Facebook, clearly showing where they were. I’m always just mind boggled by this. I would love to take my 4wheeler through their front yard and around the back leave open gates and let their animals out. Maybe then they would comprehend the concept of trespassing. 

That is why I would just rather go somewhere else. However fences have to be fixed, so we have to go up. Yesterday was awesome in that regard. I didn’t see anyone and it was a peaceful break. 

A Little Pasta Salad

Loganne and I both love pasta salad. Especially this one. It incorporates Logannes favorite food, pickles. Yes, not just a small amount either. Dill pickles are the star of this salad. 

With everyone gone, I decided to make this for dinner. Now in my usual fashion it just got bigger. If you know me, then you know I can never cook a small amount. I don’t know what it is but my food amounts always just grow. But now I have pasta salad for a football team, I swear.  It’s crazy. Enjoy!


Creamy Dill Pasta Salad

  • Servings: 8-12
  • Print

A great summer pasta salad.

Ingredients

-3 cups dried pasta

-1 cup diced dill pickles

-1 cup diced cheddar cheese 

-3/4 cup diced onion

-1/2 cup pickle juice

-1 teaspoon dried dill

-2/3 cup mayonnaise 

-1/3 cup sour cream

-3 tbsp pickle juice

-salt and pepper to taste

Directions

In a large pot bring water to a boil. Cool pasta according to pkg directions or until tender. Do not over cook. Drain and run under cold water.  Put back in the cooled pot and add the 1/2 cup pickle juice. Toss to coat and allow to sit. 

In the meantime chop pickles, onion, and cheese. Set aside. In a small bowl add mayo, sour cream, and pickle juice. Stir to combine. 

Pour the pickle juice off the pasta and add to a large bowl. Stir in the mayonnaise mixture and stir to coat. Add in the chopped ingredients and the dried dill. Place in the fridge and allow to sit at least an hour. Season to taste with salt and pepper. 
Note: this does seem to absorb a lot of the dressing, so if you like it creamy you might make extra sauce to stir in after it sits overnight. 

Halfway At Last

I am one of those knitters who must tackle one project before beginning another. I know that my personality of loosing interest would cause me to cast on endless projects only to put aside to begin something else. Ultimately never finishing any. Therefore it is a one at a time for me.

Currently I have been stuck on a Hudson Bay inspired wool baby blanket. I have no idea why I started this except that it was so darn cute. It has become my nightmare knit. It is taking forever!  


This weekend I took it camping and managed to get in quite a bit of time working on it. I am now officially about three rows over halfway!  Now to finish so I can begin all the things I need to get done before fall. 

A Little Something For Breakfast 

In the summer I really struggle to find things that sound appetizing. It’s so hot that anything heavy or hot just sounds unappealing. I also crave veggies. I know with all those things together I’m surprised I find anything. 

The last week or so I have been making the most glorious concoction for breakfast. There is really not much to it, but it tastes amazing and sticks with me until evening. 

This is one of those things were you toss in what you like or what you have on hand. It varies for me depending on my fridge and my mood. 


Breakfast Scramble

15 minutes to make and serves 2

       2 swaggertys sausage patties 

        1/4 cup diced bell pepper

       1/4 cup onion chopped

      1/4 cup asparagus in 1/2 inch pieces

     1/4 cup diced fresh tomatoes 

  3-4 eggs whisked 

Handful of shredded cheddar cheese
Brown and crumble the sausage in a skillet. Once no longer pink add all the veggies and a little olive oil if needed. Cook stirring often until tender about 10 minutes. Add the eggs and stir. Add salt and pepper to taste. Toss in the cheese and fold in until melted.  Serve with toast. Enjoy

Here We Go!

Calving season is now winding down. We only have 40 or so left and calving will be done. As everything in life, when one thing ends another begins and we enter into branding and AI time. 


There is one other thing that happens during branding and summer and that is fence fixing. Out here fences run longer than the town gossips mouth. As cows are moved to different pastures, the fences need to be run around and fixed. Antelope, deer, elk and pipeliners all leave the fence in a mess. Therefore as you drive and walk around the fence staples need put back into posts, wires need spliced back together, and new posts need driven. 

This takes time and perseverance. A half a day here and a whole day there get it done hopefully before the cows are moved in. 


Yesterday was a great day to do just that. We have been fixing fence for a few days to prepare a pasture for after we brand. Then it was off to spay heifers at Lance Creek. This time of year is the beginning of busy cow work until things slow down the end of July and then hunting begins in August. 
Have a great day. 

From A Movie To The Plate

I love a good movie. I love a movie even more if it includes Meryl Streep. Just love her. How can you go wrong with one of her movies?

 I have watched her in the movie It’s Complicated more times than I can count. I just love it. Her and Alec Baldwin are hilarious together. Now if you haven’t seen it rent it ASAP. I even have it downloaded on my phone so I can watch it if I get bored on a plane or car ride or I just want to watch it in bed at night. I know I’m weird. But sometimes, okay most of the time, JJ is watching some awful show upstairs and Loganne is downstairs. There really is no other option. So I watch a movie and knit. What’s more fun than that!

  

Now in this movie she is a brilliant cook. This is what draws me to this movie besides the humor aspect. I just love movies about cooking. 

 I have wanted to make the Croque Monseir ever since I saw her cook it. I had no idea what it was,  I just knew it came out of the oven smothered in cheese. 
  
Basically it is a fancy ham and cheese sandwich that you will hug yourself after making!!! I found a recipe by Ina Garten. It includes a cheese sauce that will allow you to make about 6 sandwiches. Maybe even one or two more. Trust me you will want to!
http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/croque-monsieur-recipe.html

Give this recipe a try soon. You will thank me. 
  
I added roasted Parmesan and garlic potatoes. 
Enjoy!