Happy Late New Year

Well obviously 2011 has been busy for me because I’ve been nonexistent on here since before Christmas! The truth is I wanted to cherish the time spent with my family and so I logged off and did just that! I had such a wonderful Christmas and actual took time to enjoy the snow! I even made it through a whole day of skiing!! And my wonderful hubby got me a new pair of snowboots for Christmas this year…..and I love them!! They are trimmed with fur at the top so theyre not at all ugly, (which is a very important thing to look for when buying snow boots!) We ate way too much fun, played lots of games and enjoyed Christmas! The good news is, I did intend to post some blogs of my holiday baking and I took pictures and everything! So they’re on their way! And most of the baking I did would be fitting all year round! Stay tuned for sea salt caramels, sea salt truffles, messy, messy cake balls and more!! And my wonderfully talented baker of a sister showed me a few of her new recipes that she is selling to a local bakery in her area….And she also got us a sushi making kit for Christmas which was a blast to make!! So stay tuned for some good posts!! Happy New Year Everyone….Let’s make it a good one!!

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Venison Burgers

I know…I know….we eat a lot of venison but its sooo good!! Now, if you’ve never cooked with venison burger before pay attention!! It has almost no fat so it doesn’t make perfect hamburger patties like beef does. You can mix it with half beef burger which in my opinion defeats the whole purpose of having vensison burgers in the first place! Or you can do what I do and make those suckers stick together!!

Put venison burger in a bowl and add lots of seasoning, a couple splashes of worcheshire, an egg and some bread crumbs or saltine crackers until you can form a patty with it.

Form whatever size patties you like. ( I like baby ones because I think they’re cute….my husband likes big ones because he prefers them to be the same size as the bun….I say they’re just not as cute!)

Fry hamburgers in a large skillet over medium heat. Be careful when flipping them because they aren’t as sturdy as a beef burger. When they are done add a slice of cheese to each of the burgers until it is melted.

In the meantime chop some onions and a few mushrooms and stirfry them with some olive oil until the onions are translucent and mushrooms are soft.

When the vegetables are done put your burgers on buns, and add whatever fixin’s you prefer. We love these with a little bit of mayonnaise, a tomato, a slice of lettuce and smothered with the onions and mushrooms. Mmmm Mmmm Mmmm! Enjoy!

Merry Christmas!

Liz

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Venison Steak & Potatoes With Stirfry

So I know many of you probably don’t eat venison but around our house its a main staple. Not only is it super healthy for you, but there are so many ways to season it and cook it and you have a tasty dinner! I know…I know…some people don’t like the taste….I say it’s all in your head! I LOVE it! We have a whole freezer full of venison and elk meat so we eat a lot of it but this is my favorite way to cook it!

First fill a shallow dish with Pride of The West Batter or flour and season it with cajun seasoning or whatever you have on hand. Dip thinly sliced steaks in the pan and coat with flour, patting to make sure its coating really good!

Now heat up a large skillet and put a little bit of olive oil in it. Put the steaks in there and cook on each side until red starts to show through flour. (As shown below) Then flip over and cook on other side. Or if you’re impatient like me, flip them a whole bunch of times beacuse you can’t stand waiting on them!

When steak is done it will be kind of crispy on the outside and delicious!

Now you can’t eat just steak for dinner….well unless your my husband who would prefer to eat only meat!

Now for cheesy potatoes. Dice potatos into small chunks and boil them until they are fairly soft. Then drain water and return potatoes to pan and add a big spoonful of butter, sprinkle them with cheese and season with salt and pepper.

Yummm!!

Now for the stirfry. Chop red cabbage into strips, bell peppers (whatever color you have), a little bit of onion and anything else you might want to throw in! Add a splash of olive oil to a skillet and fry away!

Stir fry until veggies are cooked but not too soft or they’ll be gooey!

And now you have one my favorite dinners! Enjoy!

Merry Christmas!!

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Gingerbread Cake

My husband came home yesterday from a long day of plowing snow and some lady had been kind enough to give him a plate of goodies….fudge, a gingerbread cupcake and cookies. Well, right after he fell asleep my sweet tooth set in….and I may have eaten his gingerbread cupcake! I was only going to have a bite but it was sooo good, I ate the whole thing!! He usually doesnt eat many sweets so I figured he wouldnt even notice…. WRONG!! So I promised to make him some more gingerbread since I ate all of his!

I have tons of cook books, but I never use them, I always hop on the internet and find recipes from Martha Stewart, allrecipes, or better homes and gardens. I love allrecipes.com because their users review them and if you read a few….”this was horrible” you know not to make it! (well unless you’re one of those people who has to try everything for yourself) So I read the reviews and only use the recipes that other people have enjoyed themselves!

So I decided that a recipe bearing 4.5 stars and 355 reviews had to be pretty darn good. So I figured I’d give it a try….Forewarning….I LOVE to cook and usually I am really good at it….but my kitchen looks it when Im done! I make a MESS when I cook! I always tell myself a messy kitchen is a sign of a good cook! So please don’t expect any beautiful pictures of some insanely clean kitchen and step by step manicured pictures because you won’t find it here. My husband would be horrified if he even knew I took my camera in the kitchen because it will probably come out wearing some of the batter!

So here it goes…..

Preheat my oven to 350 degrees, grease the pan…or forget that, I always get the pan out when I’m ready to pour the batter in!

Cream together the butter and sugar

Then add the egg and a cup of molasses (this seemed like a lot…and in my opinion it was!!)

Then in another bowl sift together flour and spices etc….except I never sift anything! It takes to long….so I sift for about a minute and then just pour the rest in and stir it around! Then add the dry mixture to the creamed mixture. Then add the hot water and mix VERY slowly at first….( I ended up wearing some of this as it splashed me!!) Now go get your pan, grease it and pour your batter into it!

Bake for 1 hour ( mine was overdone after 50 mintutes!!) So I say bake for 40 minutes and then check it!

I made frosting for mine because I think gingerbread should always have frosting or its dry and sticky! I can’t give you the frosting recipe because I just poured all the powder sugar I had, some butter, a little bit of milk and a splash of vanilla in and well it worked!

And…….

Oooh, I forgot to mention….the final product doesnt always look perfect either! This is real life ladies…not Martha Stewart and I dont have time to spread the frosting evenly because in all reality its gonna taste the same either way!

Honestly, this wasnt my favorite recipe. There was too much molasses for my liking but its texture and everything was great. If I would have read further through the reviews I would have seen that most people used a 1/2 cup of applesauce and some subsitituted some brown sugar or honey for part of the molasses.

Wanna give it a try……here’s the link to the recipe   http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Favorite-Old-Fashioned-Gingerbread/Detail.aspx

Merry Christmas

Liz

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Our Winter Wonderland

So as most of you know I hate the snow and the cold and everything that goes along with it. So my first winter in one of the coldest places in Oregon has been an adventure. I shoveled snow for the first time ever, have drank what seems like gallons of hot chocolate and been colder than I ever thought possibe.

The truth is, despite the cold and wet factor, the snow really is beautiful…(wait….ask me that again tomorrow while I am shoveling and I may change my opinion!!) Maybe the fact that it’s Christmas time makes me a little more tolerable of the snow because obviously snow make it feel like Christmas and obviously we’ve had a lot of it here because I’ve had Christmas decorations up since Thanksgiving, my tree is already on the verge of dying and Ive listened to more Christmas music than is healthy for one person!

 (A shot of our snowy driveway)

The downside of the snow is that I love to be outside, riding my horses, running with my dogs, working in my yard, or anything else that involves sunshine. I would much rather be lying on the beach with the sunshine beating down than be skiing or freezing my butt off!

However, since I have all of this time on my hands (hence why I may have finally started the blog I’ve been talking about for 2 years!) I got to thinking and decided that despite how dreadful the snow is I am going to enjoy it this year. No reason to sit around and feel sad about the snow because no matter how sad I get…..its still gonna snow!!

So to start off on the right foot we went on a quick, yet beautiful snowmobile ride this afternoon. Yes, quick because before I knew it, I couldnt feel my face…..so my husband so kindly gave me some sort of face sock thing to cover my cheeks etc. which helped for a little while until my hands started freezing (cotton gloves in snow are a really bad idea!!) and then my feet…and then I requested that we turn around!

Maybe I am just destined to live somewhere warm because I get really cold, really fast. I came home, stripped off my wet clothes and sat in my long johns in front of the heater with my feet pressed up against it and then suddenly it shut off and it didn’t turn back on.  Yes, a safety shut off….good to know those things actually work!! However, it must have been heating up my socks pretty good and I still couldn’t feel the heat!!

Whew….glad day one of enjoying the snow has come to end!

Merry Christmas!

Liz

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Here Goes Nothing

So here goes….my first blog…. so I hope any of you who read will enjoy reading about our fun and crazy life. We’ve been married five months now and I am now finally settling down here in what I think is the coldest part of the world….well not really but it sure feels like it! So with our three dogs and three horses and piles and piles of snow we are living the dream one day at a time.

Merry Christmas

Liz

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