Monday, September 21, 2020

Dirt Road Granola Bars

Today I'm sharing an old tried and true recipe from my family favorites. I've been making these for over 25 years and I can't believe I've never posted them. I don't remember where I got the recipe - probably from Taste of Home because back then, that was my source for a lot of recipes and this one has stood the test of time around here.

I always packed food when we left the dirt road and these were often packed into coolers when we were headed to homeschool or 4-H events, baseball games, stock shows, ropings, and ranch rodeos. It was always a challenge to keep everyone's hands out of them before we even left the dirt road.

Money was tight and we rarely ate out so portable meals were always welcome during road trips and these granola bars were a staple.


1/2 C softened butter
1 C packed brown sugar
1/4 C sugar
2 Tbsp honey
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 egg
1 C flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 C quick-cooking oats
1 1/2 C crisp rice cereal
1 C chopped nuts (sometimes is use pecans. sometimes I use sliced almonds)
1 C raisins or chocolate chips (I usually use chocolate chips, but am going to use dried cranberries next time)

*Cream butter and sugars. Add honey, vanilla, and egg - mixing well. Combine dry ingredients (flour, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt); add to creamed mixture. Stir in oats, cereal, nuts, and chocolate chips. Press into a 9"x13" baking pan. Bake at 350 for 30-45 minutes or until top is golden brown. Cut into bars when cooled. Wrap in plastic wrap.

The batter is really thick so you'll have to press it into the pan. If you want softer bars, do not cook past 30 minutes. If you're after crunchier bars, bake longer.

I've made these well over 100 times, but I haven't made them in a while so this gave me the opportunity to mix up a batch so I'd have a photo to share. 😉

Saturday, September 19, 2020

'Tis Apple Season

 On Wednesday, I made a quick road trip with DH to haul some cattle to the sale barn (not the one where I work). 

It's 2 hours there. Two hours back. And we're back home by noon. Heck around here that means you can get in another 8 hours of working. Grin. Actually, the days are getting shorter and it's pretty darn dark by 7:30 these days. And that's just fine and dandy with me because most days, I'm pooped by then.

On Thursday, I popped back into the truck and headed to a little mountain town to meet up with my in-laws and bring home a box of Jonathon apples. I really wanted to pick them, but my in-laws are past the stage where they think that's fun so a box I got. Years ago it was an annual tradition to pick apples when we lived in the mountains:

I was tempted to get 2 boxes, but I knew I'd struggle to get them both put up in a timely manner with all of the things on our calendar at the moment. So one box will half a box of Honey Crisp Apples because those are DH's favorite. Dried apples are a fall favorite so that was the first order of business when I got back to the house:

I had men to feed on Friday as we were branding a small bunch (just 40 hd) so apple pie was a given for dessert:

And although there will be multiple batches of dried apples, the rest will be put up in the deep freeze for future apple pies, as well as a batch of apple sauce for the pantry shelves:

Maybe I should have gotten that 2nd box!

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Recuperating after Monday

 Monday was a LONG day at the sale barn. 

After 11 hours, we were pooped. Our fall run has begun and with the drought, many ranchers are either making severe cuts in their livestock numbers or selling out and it's really sad to see. Without rain, there's no grass, and without grass, there's nothing for cattle to eat. And although we supplement with feed in the winter, it simply isn't economically feasible to supply 100% of their intake. 

11 hours isn't really that long except our 11 hours are pretty intense. We DO trade off and get a lunch break when we've got someone to cover for us, but if you've ever been to a sale barn, you know that the action is nonstop and you cannot let your mind wander for even 1 minute.

I often run errands during my lunch break because I know it'll be late when I get off and that I'll be wiped out, but some days I just need to decompress during a break.

After days like that, I need a little time to recuperate. And my favorite way to do that it to spend time with DH and Skeet 

and sneak in a little time behind my sewing machine. I finished piecing my HST Chaos top:

It still needs to be pressed, but I'm pretty sure it'll take me a good hour to do that and I wanted to sew so I pulled out these neglected Jellystone Blocks:


This is a good time to play with these pretty fall colors. I finished the blocks and then fed lots and lots of strips through my machine for the scrappy sashing:

This one has been on my list for a long time and I'm enjoying the process of building the pieces:

Monday, September 14, 2020

HST Baby Quilt Finish

This little quilt started out because I wanted to use up this fabric that was in my stash.

 It was a $3.00 add on at some point in order to get free shipping and then I pulled coordinating fabrics from my stash and just stitched up HSTs. 

I was able to get 2 little quilts out of it but I'm still binding the 2nd one. I used up another bargain fabric from my stash for the backing and bound it with this dark pink:

Jackie quilted this cute design across it with pink thread:

Her quilting always brings a ho-hum top to life:

At 45" x 45", it's the perfect size for a sweet baby quilt:

Don't let my green yard fool you. We're struggling through a pretty tough drought right now, but DH watered the yard non-stop while I was away at my mom's this summer and I took up the sprinkler duty when I came home.

The yard's never looked this good and yes, weeds mingle with the grass, but I spend about 30 minutes each day pulling weeds and the jury's still out as to who's winning the weed war, but I've got a green yard and a finished quilt so I'm claiming victory

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Progress on the Sewing Front

  I hear folks have been sewing up a storm since everyone's been staying closer to home this year, but I haven't found that I have any more time to sew now than I did before Covid appeared. In fact, I feel like I've been spinning my wheels when it comes to making progress on the quilting front, but last week I was able to spend a few afternoons in my sewing room and projects were moved forward:

The QOV I had been webbing back in May became a top, but it seems I don't have a photo of the whole top:

I was able to cut these fat quarters:

Make blocks and get this top pieced as well:

Probably 7 or 8 years ago, I popped into a quilt shop in Lubbock that was closing and this was one of the fabrics I bought. For $2.37, I bought what was left on the bolt which was 9 yards and it's finally finding it's place as a backing:

Then it took little time to cut and piece this little baby quilt top:

And since these are so quick, I made another:

Then I pieced a backing for a quilt top from a few years ago:

And that led me to pulling fabrics and making bindings for 4 quilts:

I also came to the realization that I've been making lots of baby girl quilts and I need to make some baby boy quilts to have on hand, but for now it feels good to just make a little progress.

Who knows when I'll get back into my sewing room, so I figured I had better make hay while the sun was shining. 😉

Monday, August 31, 2020

Lemon Cowboy Cookies

Today I'm sharing another Pinterest (more detailed information here) recipe...another cookie recipe...another lemon recipe...another keeper recipe. 😉 I made these a few weeks ago. DH was out working with his horses and came in mid-morning for a quick cup of coffee. After the first bite of cookie, he proclaimed, "Now, THAT'S a good cookie!"

Now, I know you're probably thinking, "She's sure posting a lot of lemon recipes. Just how many lemon recipes does one need"? 

The answer?

One more! 😄

Lemon Cowboy Cookies

1/2 C softened, butter
1/2 C shortening
2/3 C brown sugar
1 C sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp lemon extract
2 C flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 C Rice Krispies
1/2 C unsweetened flaked coconut
1/2 C candied diced lemon peel
1/2 C rolled oats

*Preheat oven to 350°. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper (sometimes I do - sometimes I don't). Have been making cookies for over 30 years without parchment paper and haven't had any complaints from cookie recipients, but maybe it keeps them from browning too quickly underneath.

Cream butter and shortening. Beat in brown sugar and sugar. Add eggs and lemon extract - mixing well. Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt. Beat into butter mixture until everything is incorporated. Fold in cereal, coconut, candied lemon peel, and oats. Scoop onto cookie sheets. My cookie scoop is a staple in my kitchen. Bake 10-12 minutes.

The day before I made these it was 109°...too hot to turn on the oven. If I can't fix it on the grill or in the Instant Pot, it's not getting made, but I'm making another batch of these cookies as soon as it cools off just a bit. Around here that means anything under 100°.

Edited to add a link to the lemon peel since lots of you have asked about it. Some of ya'll may have access to stores that offer it, but we're limited here although I'm thinking I've seen it around the holidays.

Candied Diced Lemon Peel

I took some of these to my in-laws and they loved them. My MIL has already made them and sent some to her sister in Nebraska and my SIL has requested the recipe. I'm also making them again and sending some to Oklahoma and Arizona. I'm doing my best to spread the cookie love.

But I promise to step away from the lemon least for a while. 😉 

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Retreating To My Sewing Room

DH was saddled and loaded before 6 this morning, headed to the north side of the ranch to pick up some bulls. 

He headed out after breakfast:

And I started laundry:

The daily watering commenced:

Cookies were baked:

All before 7, and yes, I was feeling productive and truth be told, just a little smug.

Result: Burned cookies.

Lesson of the day: When you get a little too big for your britches, the good Lord will bring you back down a notch.

I figured I'd retreat to my sewing room in order to lick my wounds:

Wounds licked. 😉 More sewing coming soon!
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