Search Feature

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

For Bacon Lovers

If you like bacon, you might want to give this bacon brittle a try. It's sweet and salty at the same time. I have made it with pecans and without.
I like leaving the pecans out and using a bit more bacon. :)

This makes about one pound.

1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2-3/4 tsp. salt
3/4 cup chopped pecans
1 cup cooked bacon bits (about 12 ounces uncooked bacon)

Grease or butter a large nonstick baking sheet.

Fry your bacon until crispy...

Crumble the bacon....

In a medium heavy saucepan, combine the sugar, corn syrup and water over medium heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves and the syrup comes to a boil.

Attach a candy thermometer to the pan, increase the heat to high, and cook, without stirring, until the mixture reaches 290 degrees. Remove from the heat. Stir in the butter, vanilla, baking soda, salt pecans and bacon bits. The mixture will foam.

When it stops foaming, pour the hot mixture onto the prepared baking sheet as thinly as possible. Use a silicone spatula or a buttered spatula to spread.

Cool at least 10 minutes before breaking into pieces. Store in a covered container.

My New Fella

He's a handsome fella and loves eating cattle cake from my hand....but I'm not turning my back on him. lol

Friday, September 26, 2008

Fixin Fence

There is a good chance this section of fence is older than
I put off replacing the old posts and wire due to the fact that I get immense pleasure in traveling the mile or so with my gloves, fencing pliers and baling wire. :)

My reward....a mason jar full of beautiful wild flowers I have picked along the way. :)

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Chimichurri Skirt Steaks

I wanted to try this chimichurri sauce on some skirt steaks....

I let the steaks sit in the marinade for about 2 hours....

Sliced some peppers, onions and minced some garlic.....

Onto the fire with a small amount of mesquite..........

Served with guacamole, sour cream and salsa....
It was pretty tasty. :)

Saturday, September 20, 2008

My Quest for Prickly Pear Fruit

It's prickly pear season...that means it's time for a nice walk through the pasture with my 5 gallon bucket and a pair of channellocks. :)

The sage smelled wonderful............

I did get side tracked by the dragon flies around the pond.....

and the wildflowers....

Plenty of fruit this year....

It didn't take long to get enough fruit for two batches of jelly....

At the end of the afternoon, I was able to sit on the tailgate of my pickup and watch the sunset...... I really enjoyed the day. :)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Prickly Pear Cactus Jelly

It's prickly pear fruit season here. I really enjoy spending the day gathering the fruit. The jelly is a bonus. :)

I wash the fruit, remove any dead blossoms or thorns by using a brush or even paper towels.

I steam the fruit until tender...with just enough water too keep them from sticking to the bottom of the pan.

I crush the fruit and strain the juice....

I strain the juice through cheesecloth...

For 2 1/2 cups of juice you need
1 pkg of powdered pectin
3 TBs of lemon juice
3 1/2 cups of sugar
red food coloring (optional)

I add the pectin to the juice...bring to a boil stirring constantly...

Add the lemon juice, food coloring and sugar, bring to a hard boil. Boil for 3 minutes stirring constantly.

Remove from heat, skim off foam and fill sterilized jars...
Process in water bath for 10 minutes...

Nothing better than a hot biscuit topped with some prickly pear cactus jelly......
The best part is enjoying the jelly through out the winter months. Each bite reminds me of summer and the fun I had gathering the fruit. :)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Venison Pastrami & Hot German Potato Salad

I love venison pastrami...or any kind of pastrami. :)
I used Morton's Tender Quick method to corn the venison roasts...

I had two small venison roasts in my freezer (from the hind quarter), wanted to use them up before deer season.

The cure....
5 tablespoons Tender Quick
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground paprika
1 teaspoon ground bay leaves
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
I mix this up, rub on the meat, then shake off any excess....
This is enough mix for 5lbs of meat, so I used about half of it.
You need to let the meat cure 5 days per inch of thickness of the meat.

I wrap the venison and let it cure for 5 days in the fridge....
I turn the meat once a day.

Then I soaked the venison in cool water (in the fridge) overnight...

I seasoned the meat with a pickling spice mixture...garlic, bayleaves, mustard seeds, juniper berries, onion powder, black pepper and allspice...

Onto the smoker with some apple wood...
Smoked at about 250 til the meat reached an internal temp of 160. Foiled the venison and added some beef broth to the package.
Also smoked some potatoes for the salad.

Fried 5 pieces of bacon, sauted some leeks and onion in the bacon drippings.
Added about 1 TBS of flour to thicken..
Then added..
1/3 cup of water
1/4 cup of cider vinegar
2 TBs of can add more if needed
Salt and pepper to taste

Add the cooked cubed potatoes to the sauce and toss gently. Season with more salt and pepper and sugar if needed, top with crumbled bacon.
This is to be served warm.
(you can use baked potatoes or even cubed and boiled)

The venison pastrami tastes wonderful. If you have never made any, you need to try it. :)

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Morning Traffic

Heavy traffic going down the road in front of my house this morning.....

I usually stand on the porch and hang onto my border collie. He is great about keeping the cattle from turning into my drive, but then he wants to leave with the herd and "help" with the rest of the drive.

Pretty nice view from my porch. :)