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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Chore Time: Shoulder-to-Shoulder

My husband loves it when I do chores with him.  Actually, I love it when I do chores with him.  It’s time spent in his world, on his turf and his time.  I’m basically just there to show my support with my physical presence, something I’ve learned speaks WAY louder than any words ever could. 

Though I’d like to ask lots of questions, I don’t.  I keep quiet and just watch, following along as I observe all the ways he cares for our livestock.  No wonder he likes to be here with his cows; each one calls to him as she spots his cowboy hat on the horizon. And when they hear his voice, they all come running; I know there could be no other Welcome Wagon in the world that means more to him than this. 

A part of my brain tells me I’ve got better things to tend to, yet my heart knows this shoulder-to-shoulder time doing chores is valuable to my husband.  Sometimes as we look over the herd, he tells me his thoughts and concerns; other times he shares some insight into why a particular steer is hanging back or has drooping ears.  Here is where I get to learn things about my husband that I would otherwise miss.  And here is where I’ve discovered that my husband spells love like this:  “T-I-M-E.”

Now WE’RE Cookin’,

Chef Alli

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Southwest Taco Bake

As Seen on Chef Alli's Farm Fresh Kitchen as part of WIBW 13 News This Morning, Thursday, March 6, 2014.  Today's Kansas Farm Bureau theme:  "Drive with Reason, It's Farming Season!"

Got picky eaters at your house, too?  That's one of the reasons I love this taco bake!  I can load up one side with fresh veggies, salsa, and cilantro, leaving the other side more "plain" for my teenage sons who freak if they see a diced onion or tomato. Serves 6 

1 lb. lean ground beef 
1 tbs. chili powder
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. paprika
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups fresh salsa
black beans or pinto beans, rinsed and drained well
1/2 cup sweet corn, fresh or frozen
6 oz. plain Green yogurt
3 cups corn tortilla chips, crushed somewhat (This is the perfect way to use up all those chips that are in the bottom of the bag!  I store mine in the freezer until I get enough to make this recipe.)
1/2 cup chopped scallions
2 roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1/2 - 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
sour cream or plain yogurt, for garnish
fresh cilantro, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Cook ground beef in a skillet over medium heat; drain fats.  Add seasonings and garlic and continue to cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.  Stir in salsa, beans, corn and yogurt.  

Spray a 9 x 13 inch pan with non-stick baking spray.  Place half of the chips in the bottom, then layer with half the beef mixture.  Repeat layers, then top with the green onions, tomato, and cheese.  Bake in preheated oven for 30-40 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.  Serve with additional salsa, if desired, and garnish with sour cream and chopped cilantro.  

Now You're Cookin',
Chef Alli 

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Cocoa Pudding Trifles made with Chocolate Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Treats

As seen on Chef Alli's Farm Fresh Kitchen on WIBW 13 News this Morning, Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014 with From the Land of Kansas Guest and Director, Stacy Mayo.

Cocoa Pudding
½ cup Hershey’s Cocoa
1 ¼ cups granulated sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch
¼ tsp salt
2 cups Hildebrand skim or 2% milk
½ cup heavy whipping cream
3 TBS unsalted butter
1 ½ tsp pure vanilla extract

In a medium saucepan, stir together cocoa, sugar cornstarch and salt.  Gradually add milk and cream, stirring until smooth.  Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil; boil 1 minute.  Remove from heat; stir in butter, and vanilla, whisking gently until smooth.  Press plastic wrap directly onto surface.  Cool to room temperature.  Refrigerate 6 to 8 hours.  Garnish with whipped cream topping.  Cover; refrigerate leftover pudding.
Makes a delicious cream pie filling.    Makes 6 – 8 servings

Chocolate Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Treats

1/4 cup butter, cubed10 oz pkg marshmallows
3/4 cup peanut butter
5 cups crisp rice cereal
1 cup butterscotch chips
1 cup chocolate chips

In a large mixing bowl, microwave butter and marshmallows in 30 second increments, stirring until melted and smooth; stir in peanut butter. Add cereal and stir to combine well; spread into a 9 x 13 pan and gently press to compact slightly. In a small bowl, combine chips and microwave in 30 second increments until melted; stir until smooth then spread over cereal mixture in pan. Cover and chill till chocolate is set.

Peanut butter rice krispie mixture can be pressed into a sheet pan, topped with chocolate mixture and then rolled into a log; chill, then slice into spirals to serve. 

To create Trifles:
Layer Cocoa Pudding with small pieces of Chocolate Peanut Butter Treats into a pretty trifle glass; chill.  Garnish with whipped topping and serve. 

Now You're Cookin',
Chef Alli