Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Thanksgiving Recap

 Here's hoping all of you that celebrate, had a Blessed Thanksgiving. We had a houseful for 5 days over Thanksgiving and I wouldn't want to have it any other way. They both have to make road trips...one from the east and one from the west. It's 6 hours for one and 8 for the other...but factor in a little one and it takes a little longer. I am so grateful that they all enjoy coming home to visit although I know it's quite an ordeal...making arrangements for critters to be tended to at home and feeling like you're packing everything but the kitchen sink when you have a baby. Time for Gram to step things up and keep some of those things here so they don't have to pack everything.

I was making the pumpkin pie when they showed up and our girl jumped right in and whipped up the apple pie. I'd been in the kitchen for most of the day. I'd made Taco Soup and left it in the crockpot for anyone who was hungry. I'd made the cranberry sauce, the vegetable casserole, boiled the eggs for deviled eggs, baked a pound cake, and made the spinach dip. I wanted to get the rolls made, but had cleaned house earlier and just ran out of time. All I know is that once this little one showed up with her Mama and Daddy,  I didn't want to spend any more time in the kitchen than I had to:

I have passed the turkey torch and Kenny is now the official smoker of the turkey:

 I started making the rolls first thing. Then there was only the dressing and potatoes and corn on the cob left to tackle. Many hands make light work and it just makes my heart so happy to see everyone working and laughing together. Grateful seems like such a small word to describe this big love I have for this tribe. 

Uncle Kenny is a natural

And sweet E hit the jackpot in the Aunt department

Kenny brought one of his duck dogs:

Ducks beware! 

Hunting buddies:

They are a fun couple:

And all of us were smitten with this little peanut:

Raising a reader begins early around here:

There's a big world full of adventure outside that window

First family picture:

Steph is such a good Mama

And it's such a precious thing for a Mama to watch her first born with his first born - this is my favorite picture:

Helping Daddy get the gate

E had her first ride in the Ranger:

Here's everyone making their way back to the ranger with photo props for family pictures:

I love that our girl captured her brother in this carefree moment:

DH was sick so we didn't get any pictures of him with E, but they are all coming back for Christmas so we'll make up for it then!

I am pooped, but my heart is full!

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Weaned Calves

 Now that the calves are weaned and have been turned out for a few weeks, they needed to be gathered and run through the chute for another round of vaccinations.

They weaned beautifully - not one sick calf

On Thursday, we ran the steers through:

And on Friday it was the heifer calves' turn

When I dropped the boys off on Friday, it was 25°, but it was completely still and the sun was doing it's best to take the chill off:

I headed back to the house, slowly, because I wanted to soak in the crisp, still air

And an hour later, they reached the pens

We're not out of the drought yet, but so grateful to have winter feed in the pastures for a change

The calves are grateful too!

So much to be grateful for - DH has help in the form of a new North Camp man

Once the calves are processed, the boys moved them to North Bull pasture where they'll hang out until we sell them, which is usually about 45 days after weaning.

Thankfully, this was an exceptional year for rain and we get to keep the heifers!

Wishing ya'll a Blessed Thanksgiving! 

Monday, November 22, 2021

Chicken Gnocchi Stoup

 One of my parents' neighbors and friends shared this recipe with me earlier this year and I finally got around to making it. 

Here's the original recipe:

Chicken and Gnocchi Soup

He's a very good cook - he and his wife fed me often. We loved it although I changed the way I made it just a little. My version is a cross between a soup and a stew and I think I heard that Rachael Ray called that a 'Stoup' so stoup it is!

Chicken Gnocchi Stoup

6 C chicken broth - I used Better Than Bullion 

4 cloves, minced garlic - shortcut that works for me: I buy it in the jars

3 Tbsp unsalted butter

1/2 onion, chopped

3 carrots, thinly sliced

1 rib celery, thinly sliced

1 package prepared potato gnocchi (I found mine in the pasta aisle)

1 can peas, drained

A splash or two of 1/2 & 1/2 or heavy cream

4 C cooked, cubed chicken (I use chicken tenderloins and brown them in the butter)

Freshly ground black pepper

Hunk of good Parmesan

* Brown chicken in melted butter - I season with pepper, and seasoning salt. Remove from pan, let cool a bit and dice into bite-sized pieces. In same pan, add onion, garlic, celery, and carrots - saute for about 5 minutes, stirring up all the good flavor from the cooked chicken and butter from the bottom of the pan. Add chicken broth. Stir in gnocchi, and some freshly shredded Parmesan. I added a heaping tablespoon of Tapioca flour to thicken the broth and a splash of 1/2 & 1/2. Let it simmer for about 10 minutes. Serve with more freshly grated parmesan, some red pepper flakes, and good bread!

Saturday, November 20, 2021

What I've Been Up To

 I begin each day intending to post, but somewhere between the beginning of the day and the end of the day, my to do list gets shuffled, posts go unwritten, and the next thing you know, 10 days have slipped away. All is well, just busy winterizing and working on leaks:

Driving to Amarillo for the day (4 hrs one way) during the WRCA to meet up with a bootmaker at the trade show:

Sneaking in a little fun to celebrate 'Friendsgiving' locally the next evening

Cooking for a friend who recently lost his wife and came out for a few days:

And planning a menu for 6 1/2 people, for 5 days, with a few extra on Thanksgiving:

I do have a quilt finish, but I'll share it after it has been gifted

And I'm spending quite a bit of time in the kitchen so recipes coming soon! In the meantime, I hope you take a cue from the horses and soak in all the glorious weather Autumn has to offer. 

Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Feeding Extras Again

 I've been feeding extras again. LOL. My BIL and his stepson drove in from Texas Friday afternoon. My BIL came for a deer hunt so the boys have been spending lots of time scouting. On Saturday morning they left at 5:30 so I was up at 4 to fire up the stove for breakfast. And that 'extra' hour they claim we are given with the time change? I slept through it, as they left even earlier the next morning. 

I invited my in-laws for dinner on Saturday so they could spend a few hours with both of their boys. So, I've basically been in the kitchen. I made a batch of Cowboy CookiesSpiced Apple Twists, Black Bean Sirloin Chili - Rolls, Chicken and Dumpling Casserole, Chicken Quesadillas - Taquitos - Guacamole - , and tried my hand at a Charcuterie Board Sunday evening. aka: a fancy name for cheese and crackers: 😄

I went to bed at 7 Sunday night and told the boys they were on their own for breakfast the next morning because we had received our Sunday night text that let me know how many hd of cattle we'd be selling on Monday at the Sale Barn and it was going to be the biggest sale since 2018. It would take us at least 12-14 hours to sell 2800 hd and that's a LONG day when you're on the block and if I was going to be worth a hoot, I needed sleep and I had no business cooking breakfast at 4 a.m. I rarely have cereal in the house, but I had bought some granola and there was lots of fruit and yogurt and English muffins.

They left yesterday while I was at work and I spent Tuesday washing floors and all the bedding from the guest rooms. One would think I would be ready to sew, but I'm pooped and until I get my house back in order, I don't feel like I can. Plus, the new couple DH hired for North Camp is moving in and I'm throwing together a batch of Taco Soup and baking some cookies to take over to welcome them.

I like to cook, but I am ready to spend a little less time in the kitchen! One of these days I may even get to sew again. I thought about getting up a little earlier to sew, but when my mornings already start at 4, I just can't or I guess I just don't want to sew badly enough. LOL. Some folks don't need much sleep, but I am not one of those folks. In fact, I had better scoot...it's past 9 and if I stay up much later, I turn into a pumpkin. 😄

Monday, November 1, 2021

Under the Needle: October

 October didn't allow me much time in my sewing room. It's been 3 weeks since I turned on my machine, but as much as I love making quilts, I don't want to miss out on the rest of my life and lately, when I haven't been cooking for the crew, it's been calling me outside. But I did manage to fit in a few stitches earlier in the month.

I'm planning a couple of I Spy quilts and I cut squares from about 70 different novelty fabrics

Our girl has requested a flannel rag quilt and that's really the only thing that's actually been under my needle this month

I managed to sneak in under the wire and add a few more blocks to the growing stack yesterday:

And I finished this Country Garden Quilt

As well as this Americana Quilt

My BIL and his step-son are coming for a few days, planning for a houseful for Thanksgiving, and we've got a new couple hired for North Camp so I've got a date with my steam cleaner this week so they'll at least have clean carpet. All good things, but November's not looking good for sewing either, is it? 🙈 LOL

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