Tag Archives: easy

White Bean and Collards Soup 

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Remember a few months back when I posted the collards recipe? Well since then I’ve become even more obsessed with Southern Food and have made collards like 10 times as part of my “practicing”. It’s great though! Collards freeze so well, I always have a stash of leftovers in my freezer for soups and easy meals!

This soup is one of my current favorites. It’s hearty, flavorful and and deeply comforting. It’s also one of those soups that I can toss together fairly effortlessly since I tend to usually have all the ingredients in my freezer or pantry. It’s also great for tossing leftover things into. I had some extra parmesan cheese rind and some tortellini that I used the first time I made this and I cannot imagine not using those again!

See that big white thing? It's the rind from some parmesan cheese I used. Never through that away. Freeze it and add to soup bases. Just remember to fish it out before you serve your soup.

See that big white thing? It’s the rind from some parmesan cheese I used. Never throw that away. Freeze it and add to soup bases. Just remember to fish it out before you serve your soup.

It also freezes really well. Since I do live alone I always have a crapton of leftovers. It’s great though because I ALWAYS have a selection of soup frozen in our deep freezer. If you ever got a cold and need some TLC in the form of soup, call your friendly neighborhood rancher and I’ll take care of you.

White Bean and Collards Soup

1 package of white beans
1 onion, chopped
5 carrots, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 quart chicken or beef broth (I usually use chicken and it usually has hunks of chicken in it because that’s how I use up my chicken carcasses)
Leftover collards (including the sweet, sweet pot likker)
Salt and pepper to taste
¼ teaspoon thyme
1 bay leaf (remember to fish that sucker out before you serve)
1 package tortellini (optional)

This step adds more flavor!

This step adds more flavor!

Soak the beans overnight in water. Rinse and discard any sub-par beans. Saute your onion and carrots in oil until they start to soften. Add garlic and stir. Add beans, leftover collards, broth and spices. Add water to cover all the ingredients if needed. Cover and simmer for one hour. Add tortellini and serve with some good crusty bread.

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Individual No-Bake Ginger Nutella Cheesecake

A couple summers ago, I was obsessed with these. I made them every week, all the neighbors were gifted them, it was slightly ridiculous.  Then I burned out on them, I stopped making them, and honestly, I kinda forgot about them. Until a few days ago, when THE CRAVING came back. I’m posting them here because hopefully I can practice some moderation, not burn myself out on them and remember to make them more often.

Get in my belly!

Get in my belly!

Individual No-Bake Ginger Nutella Cheesecakes

Crust
Gingersnap Cookies (about half of an 10 ounce package)
1.5 tablespoons melted butter

Filling
1 package room temperature cream cheese
1 cup nutella
½ teaspoon running over vanilla extract
1 cup fresh whipped cream (I guess you could use that frozen stuff, but man, really?)

Ginger snaps are better as a crust anyway.

Ginger snaps are better as a crust anyway.

Use your cuisinart to pulverize the ginger snaps. Mix with butter (you might have to use more or less butter) until you get some cohesiveness with your crust. Add about 2 teaspoons of crust into the jar and use the back of a spoon or the mortar from your pestle to tamp it down firmly.

Tamping the crust, this is important! No one likes a loose crust.

Tamping the crust, this is important! No one likes a loose crust.

Meanwhile place the cream cheese, the Nutella and vanilla extract in your stand mixture and mix until blended. Gently fold in the whipped cream. Place the mixture in your jars and garnish with more whipped cream.

I could eat the creamcheese - nutella mixture with a spoon, as is, with no shame.

I could eat the cream cheese – nutella mixture with a spoon, as is, with no shame.

Serve immediately or put a lid on it, hide it under some vegetables in your refrigerator and eat it when no one else is home and won’t judge you.

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Outside “College” Bench

Like most of us, one of my guilty pleasures is reading the BuzzFeed lists. Of course, my favorites are the ones on food and gardening, like this one.  One item in that post really got my attention:

Photo from http://lenasekine.blogspot.com/2013/08/diy-outdoor-seating.html

Photo from http://lenasekine.blogspot.com/2013/08/diy-outdoor-seating.html

 

This “couch” was perfect for my yarden, and perhaps as a Mother’s or Father’s Day gift? Plus it reminded me of college.

I spend a great amount of time outside in my yarden, and it’s hard to find durable, affordable patio furniture. And since my yarden is a constantly evolving project, I need to be able to move my furniture around, again, this was perfect!

I used the tutorial from The Basement, and it worked great!

 

If you are really nice to the Home Depot workers they will load all this stuff on your cart and in your truck!

If you are really nice to the Home Depot workers they will load all this stuff on your cart and in your truck!

I went down to my local Home Depot and gathered all my materials. You will need:

  • 12 – 8″x8″x16″ cinder blocks
  • 4 – 4x4x10 pieces of lumber
  • Cushions
  • Paint

The lumber and blocks cost $67, the paint was free (I “borrowed” it from my Mom), and the cushions were $30 and it took me mere minutes to set up. Winner, winner, chicken dinner!

The hardest part was packing all this stuff into my yarden from the truck.

The hardest part was packing all this stuff into my yarden from the truck.

Make sure your ground is level, or this will not work well at all. Trust me, I learned the hard way.

I assembled it in a jiff!

I assembled it in a jiff!

I’m going to stain this wood, just so it lasts longer.

Add some paint and a wine bottle,  mosquito oil, lamp and you are ready to relax!

Add some paint and a wine bottle, mosquito oil lamp and you are ready to relax!

In the other tutorials they used adhesive to glue the blocks together. I did not do that. I felt like it was sturdy enough, and I plan on moving it around. All in all – I spent about $100 and an hour painting and putting it all together. I felt like it was worth the time and money. In fact I might cut the lumber in half and make “love seat” sizes next!

 

 

 

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Beef Tips in Gravy

As a cattle rancher, most people assume my favorite thing is steak and I eat them all the time. Not true. As well all know (or we should), a beef is not made out of pure steak. There are lots and lots of other cuts that make up a beef carcass. In my book, steak can be a whisper overrated. I thoroughly enjoy the lesser known cuts of beef. Plus my Parents get seriously pissed off when I eat all the steaks.

I could eat this almost every day. Especially if the roasted broccoli is involved.

I could eat this almost every day. Especially if the roasted broccoli is involved.

When my clients buy a beef from me, often they will get cuts of beef they’ve never seen before. Since buying meat from me is a full service program, I am here to offer suggestions, ideas and recipes to use their less familiar cuts. This is one of the recipes I like to share.

My Mom and I split this roast, I made Beef Tips, she made stew.

My Mom and I split this roast, I made Beef Tips, she made stew.

This is arguably my favorite meal. It is my ultimate death row food. I’ve started and ended relationships over this meal.  It’s easy, cheap and amazing. This is some powerful, powerful juju, not to be taken lightly. I’m imparting some great power to you here, use it for good.

You will  need...

You will need…

Beef Tips in Gravy

  • 2 pounds cubed beef  (stew meat, bottom round, arm roasts all work – basically you want to use a cut of meat that likes to be cooked low and slow) (venison also work well)
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 can cream of celery soup
  • ½ cup red wine
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 package dry onion soup
  • Pepper
It looks hideous before you cook it, I know. But doesn't most delicious things?

It looks hideous before you cook it, I know. But doesn’t most delicious things?

Mix together all the ingredients and place in covered casserole dish for 3 hours at 300. This is also a great crockpot meal.

After the baking for 3 hours or crockpoting on high for 4 hours, its ready. Your house will smell savory and meaty and it will bring all the boys to your yard.

Serve this over noodles (my favorite because that is how my Mom does it), rice or mashed potatoes. Make sure you have some warm bread to mop up all the gravy. Then go take a nap.

Seriously, I will cut people for these leftovers.

Check on this recipe from Life on a Kanas Cattle Ranch for Beefy Noodles!

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