Saturday, August 27, 2011

It's time for Mutton Bustin

You know, I have always wanted my kids to ride a silly as that sounds. Ever since I saw the little tikes all decked out in thier rodeo gear getting dumped in the dirt I have wanted my kids (well for the time being, kid) to bust some muttons. Wow, don't I sound like mom of the year hehehe. Watching those kids ride those sheepies is one of my favorite rodeo events.

Now reality. I have the sweetest little girl. Funny thing is....she is about as girly girl as it gets. Not that she can't get on Smokey for a ride or buzz around with Dad on the dirtbike...but in all honesty, crawling on top of a wild wooly sheep and hanging on like Pooh Bear to his hunny pot I figured was just not her "thing". Soooo I had just written it off that my kid would just never ride a sheep. Now as you parents are just filled with surprises. One night while watching her daddy post the colors at a rodeo, the munchkin watches her first mutton bustin event. She turns to me with the biggest eyes and says "MOMMA, I want to DO that!". Whoa, wait, WHAT? You want to ride sheep? "Heck ya" is the kid's reply. So I'm kinda shocked right now. These kids are getting dumped left and right and one even bursts into tears. Still, she keeps insisting she wants to do it. That's what I love about kids. You think as thier mom you know everything about them....then they pull something like "I want to ride sheep" out of thier hat.

So after two unsuccseful attempts at getting her signed up, I finally get her registered to ride in Davis County's PRCA rodeo. Mom found her some rootin tootin cowgirl duds at the local thrift store (boots and all!) for only $6 :) So we get to the rodeo and the kid has another surprise up her figured that all the lights, loud croud, commotion, not to mention loud baaing sheep might cause the munchkin to chicken out. Not the case. Not only was she even more excited to ride but when the mutton busters were all lined up in the arena, she marched RIGHT up to the gates and asked to ride first! I was so proud of my little girl! Not only did she ride that sheep like there was velcro stiched to her hands, shirt, and pants, but she rode that sheepy backwards. Now....mommy MIGHT have placed a little bug in her ear saying to ride backwards ;) Mom and her nerdy horsey knowlege knows sheep are built downhill. So when kids ride facing fowards when the sheep turns they get dumped.

So the result of the backwards first time sheepy rider daughter of mine? Second place! Boy was mom ever happy! What a rootin tootin good time we all had. Thanks for indulging me in reading our little family adventure :)

My Mutton Bustin Kid

The Ride

Monday, August 15, 2011

Dried Watermelon

Dried Watermelon

Ok, so I'm a dried fruit addict. No, really, I am. I also am picky on my dried fruit....I don't want my dried fruit pumped full of sulfur dioxide. Kinda defeats the purpose of a healthy snack right? I also love that my little kidlet and hubby will gobble up bags and bags of my homemade dried goodies. Why buy FAKE fruit snacks when you can make your own at home? The cost is MUCH cheaper than buying prepackaged mass produced stuff (plus, it's pretty tough to find just PLAIN dried fruit without any additives. Just watch your local grocery store produce sales and shop your local farmer's market. Now, this is a fruit I had not thought of drying. I mean, watermelon? Isn't it like 80% water or something? I had a friend who is big into the raw food thing tell me how totally awesome dried watermelon was...and to be honest, I really didn't think it would work. Anyway, I made it a few years back and BOY let me tell ya. I'm addicted. The stuff tasted like candied fruit leather. It has a wonderful chewy texture and the sweetness of one piece rivals that of any sugar and corn syrup laden FFS (fake fruit snack). You WILL need a food dehydrator that has temperature control. I tried it on an older model that is just plug in with no controls and my fruit drying attempt failed miserably :(

Ok, so here is how to make your tasty scrumptious all natural dried watermelon:

Lightly brush dehydrator trays with a teensy tiny bit of oil (to prevent watermelon from sticking when dried) Slice watermelon into 1/4"ish slices, remove the rind, then cut into strips or chunks. I normally cut them into 1" x 3" strips. Place them on the dehydrator trays. Turn dehydrator to degrees 135 and dry for about 16-20 hours. Every couple of hours, rotate your trays, moving the bottom to the top and all the ones in between). Lower temp to 105 and dry for another 1-2 hours or until watermelon is thoroughly dry but still pliable.

You can store this in a ziplock bag in your pantry for a few weeks. It will keep for months if frozen. Just remove and set on the countertop for a couple hours before eating ;)

I REALLY hope you guys get a chance to try this out. It's SO tasty and such a healthy snack for your family. Thanks for reading my internet friends :) 

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Classic Slaw

Classic Slaw

Summer and salads. They just go together. There is something about summer that brings out the patio BBQ chef in us all. What better dish to accompany that piece of charbroiled meat than a cool zesty crunchy salad filled with flavor? Growing up, I never realized people made their own coleslaw. I just thought you drove to your local KFC and brought home a few bowls and served it. I didn't even notice until a few years back that you could buy a package of chopped cabbage and carrots JUST for the purpose of making your OWN slaw. Ok, I get it, I am a bit of a ditz and I am learning new things all the time. I only share this story with you because now that I just can't GO to a local KFC or other food joint to get my eats....I have to make it myself. I am also finding out I would MUCH rather eat the food I prepare than some premade in a warehouse sort of food. I can control what I put in and how it tastes.

Much to my surprise....I actually LIKE my coleslaw....AND the family does too. Nothing more gratifying as a wife when your husband says "now THAT is how coleslaw should taste".

That being said, save yourself a trip to KFC for some slaw and whip this up for yourself.

(doesn't that just look tasty???)

Classic Slaw

1 bag coleslaw blend (amazing they sell this at a store LOL!!)

1/3 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons minced onion
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 baby dill finely minced
1 tablespoon dill pickle brine
1/2-1 tablespoons sugar (depends on how sweet you like your slaw)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon celery seeds

Blend together salad ingredients then pour over slaw mix. Toss well until dressing is evenly distributed. Chill for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Cream of Broccoli Soup

Cream of Broccoli Soup

There are some nights you just want an easy filling dinner. There are some nights you look in your refrigerator for any sort of inspiration as to what to whip up for your family? Well....this was one of those nights. Lately, between working hard installing our signs for buisiness and playing hard, my time spent in the kitchen has been limited to say the least. That is the problem with being's not like we can buzz over to KFC and grab a chicken bucket with sides. Not that it's the best thing for our bodies, but it certainly DOES taste good and it's quick and easy. As for quick and easy, this soup recipe definitely fits the bill....but lets add one more adjective in the mix. Delish. Which this soup most definitely is.....delish.

Top it with shredded cheddah. Sprinkle on some bacon bits. Dollop with sour cream.


Gluten Free Cream of Broccoli Soup

2 tablespoons butter or olive oil
1 cup diced onions
3 cups chicken broth
1-2 diced celery stalks
8 cups chopped broccoli
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons sweet rice flour
2 cups milk
salt and pepper to taste

Heat olive oil or butter in a large pot on medium heat and add onion and celery. Saute until celery is tender and onion is transluescent. Add the broccoli and broth, cover, and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, warm up the butter and whisk in the sweet rice flour. Sprinkle in salt and pepper then slowly stir in the milk whisking constantly until white sauce begins to thicken. Once sauce is thick, remove from heat and set aside. When broccoli is tender, carefully transfer into a blender (you may have to do a couple sets) and lightly blend until soup reaches desired consistency. Pour back into the large pot and slowly stir in white sauce. Simmer an additional 10 minutes on medium/low heat.