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Smoke Signals Monthly eMagazine

cowboy making coffeeLinda’s Feed Bag

Help us "Put on the Feed Bag!" Appetize us with your favorite cowboy cuisine. Send us a recipe or culinary creation - keeping the traditions of the American West alive is about the great food too! From ribs to rhubarb, campfire food to a great bowl of chili - we Wild West epicureans want to know.

Submissions welcome at


  • Ranch Beans
  • Cowtown Coleslaw
  • Pink Adobe Apple Pie
  • Route 66 Strawberry Cobbler
  • Banana Boats
  • Margarita Pie
  • Roy Rogers Lemon Meringue Pie
  • Linda’s Smokey Tomato Soup with Range Bacon
  • Warm Pumpkin Salad
  • Lima Beens
  • Holiday Cider
  • Cheater Chili
  • Grilled Cheese Sandwich
  • Luscious Lemon Loaf
  • Blanca's Mushroom Soup
  • Salsa Verde
  • Seared Ahi Tuna
  • BBQ Burger
  • Poached Pears
  • Wicked Triple Chocolate Bundt Cake
  • “Black Cat” Enchilada Shells
  • Turkey, Pear and Blue Cheese Sandwich
  • Molasses Candy
  • Cowboy Sloppy Joe
  • Bacon and Thyme Biscuits
  • Billy Bones Tri-Tip
  • Cowboy Cavier
  • Cheyenne BBQ Burger
  • Lasagna Cupcakes
  • New York Egg Creams
  • Hill Country Salsa
  • Cuban Pork Burger
  • Curried Pumpkin Soup
  • Beans in a Hole
  • Hot Crab Dip
  • Moroccan Lamb
  • Hidden Kisses
  • Garlicky Chicken
  • Stuffed Mushrooms
  • Beef Rib Roast
  • All Star Berry Tart
  • Spicy Jalapeño Sliders
  • Stuffed Eggplant Boats
  • Pumpkin Mousse Parfaits
  • Turkey Meatloaf
  • Cajun Chocolate Bread Pudding
  • Pekin Duck with Mandarin Sauce
  • Prairie Brats
  • Curried Carrot Soup
  • Jicama Slaw
  • Cauliflower Grilled Cheese
  • Cashew Chicken
  • Tom Yum Talay
  • Snickerdoodle Bread

Ranch Beans

10 servings

4 cups dried pinto beans, or combination of pinto and brown beans
4 cups minced yellow onions plus 1 1/2 cups diced
1/4-1/2 cup pure chile powder
1/4 cup kosher salt
1/2-1 bunch cilantro, stemmed and chopped
4 TB olive oil
2 cups diced red bell pepper
2 cups diced green bell pepper

Wash the beans, sorting through them to remove any foreign particles.  Cover the beans with cold water by 6 inches and soak 6 hours or overnight.

Drain beans and return them to the same pan.  Cover with fresh water of 1 1/2 inches.  Add the  minced onions, chile powder, salt, cilantro and stir to blend.

Bring the beans to a boil over medium heat, reduce heat, cover and cook until the beans are tender, about 2 1/2 hours.  Stir the beans occasionally and add water if needed.

Close to serving time, heat the olive oil in a large saute pan.  When oil is very hot, add the diced onion and peppers, cooking quickly, about 6 minutes, until crisp but tender.  Stir into beans and serve at once.

Serve with Cow Town Coleslaw (to be published next month)

Cowtown Coleslaw

6 servings

5 cups juliened green cabbage (about 1 head)
1 ½ cups julienned red cabbage (about 1/3 head)
2 carrots, peeled and julienned
3 jalapeno peppers julienned - no stems, no seeds
1 ¼ cup low-fat yogurt
½ cup malt vinegar

1/4 cup of sugar
2 TB Dijon mustard
1 ½ tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
1 Tablespoon celery seed
Kosher salt and ground pepper to taste

Place all the vegetables in a large bowl.  In another bowl, whisk together the yogurt (or mayonaise if you prefer), vinegar, sugar, lime juice.  Pour the dressing over the vegetables. season with salt and pepper, and toss to combine. Set aside in the chuck wagon or refrigerator until serving time. It is best made served on the same day.

Goes great with Ranch Beans (see last month's newsletter for recipe)

Pink Adobe Apple Pie

This is a famous dessert served at the Pink Adobe restaurant in Santa Fe. The Pink Adobe is the oldest restaurant in Santa Fe, it opened over 60 years ago. The pie is a delicious blend of apples, spices, nuts and raisins. It's a Santa Fe favorite - don't overlook the sauce.

Submitted by Bill Manns

Pastry for double-crust pie (9 inch double crust)
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup shortening (the Pink uses lard)
1 teaspoon salt
6-7 tablespoons water

Pie filling
5-7 cooking apples (peeled, cored, and sliced)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup raisins
1 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup pecans or walnuts (chopped)
1/4 cup butter (melted)
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons milk

1/2 cup butter
1 tablespoon water
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon brandy or rum

Preheat oven to 400° (you'll reduce to 350°F.).
Mix flour, shortening, and salt together, until dough resembles course meal.
Add water a little at a time until dough sticks together.
Divide dough in half and roll out and line the bottom of a nine inch pie plate.
Fill with apples and sprinkle with cinnamon, lemon juice, and nutmeg.
Spread 1/2 cup sugar and raisins over apples.
Mix brown sugar with flour and spread over whole mixture.
Sprinkle with nuts and dot with melted butter.
Sprinkle with 1/4 cup water.
Roll out remaining dough and seal edges and flute.
Brush with milk.
Bake at 400° F. for 10 minutes, then reduce to 350° F. and bake for 30 more minutes.
May cover edges with foil if they brown too quickly.

While pie is baking prepare sauce: In a sauce pan melt butter and mix with water.
Remove from heat and mix in sugar and brandy, may add more water if too thick.
Serve sauce over pie.

Route 66 Strawberry Cobbler

1 qt. fresh strawberries
1/4 lb. butter
1 c. milk
1 c. flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. sugar
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
Whipped cream (optional)

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Hull the strawberries. Melt butter in an 8x12 inch baking dish in preheated oven about 4 minutes. Remove dish from oven. Add milk, flour, baking powder, salt, sugar and cinnamon to the baking dish and stir until just mixed. Arrange strawberries, tips pointed up, on top of the batter. Bake cobbler in oven until golden brown, about 25 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature. Makes 4 servings.

Campfire Cookin'

Many of you have grown up eating S'mores by the campfire. Here is a slightly healthier (Ha!) variation of this old standard.

Banana Boats

1 banana
1 Hershey bar (milk or dark, whichever you prefer)

Slit banana lengthwise but not all the way through.
Leave the skin on (do not peel).
Put marshmallows and pieces of chocolate into slit.
Wrap tightly in foil, being sure to seal ends.
Place on grill over campfire or coals, seam side up, or, bake in a 300 degree oven.
Takes 5-6 minutes to cook.

Add 1-2 tablespoons of peanut butter before cooking - smooth or chunky.
Sprinkle chopped peanuts or toffee pieces over top after cooking.

Serve as is or with vanilla ice cream.

Margarita Pie

Contributed by Ruth McLeod

This is a great recipe from "Tastes & Treasures A Storytelling Cookbook of Historic Arizona." I purchased the whole book because it has some fascinating history of hospitality venues around the state that are 50 years or older. But then I found the recipes to be so good and easy to make. This one is so pretty to serve. The photos in the book are yummy. I got it at for $24.95 and free shipping. It is a non profit group so all funds raised go right to the Historical Society Museum for education. 

Pretzel Crust
1 1/2 cups finely crushed pretzels
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
2 tablespoons gold Tequila
2 tablespoons Triple Sec
2 cups heavy whipping cream, whipped
Green food coloring (optional)
For the crust, pulse the pretzels and sugar in a food processor several times to combine. Add the butter in a steady stream and process until well mixed. Press over the bottom and up the side of a 9 inch pie plate sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.
For the pie, combine the lime juice, condensed milk, Tequila and Triple Sec in a bowl and mix well. Fold in the whipped cream. Tint with green food coloring, if you desire a deeper color. Spoon into the crust. Cover with plastic  wrap and freeze for 4 hours or up to 1 week. Garnish with additional whipped cream and lime slices.
Note: Do not use fat-free or low-fat pretzels in the crust or the crust will not hold together when cutting. You may substitute graham crackers for the pretzels.
Serves 6 to 8

Roy Rogers Lemon Meringue Pie

Dusty Rogers (Roy Rogers Jr.) enjoyed the Margarita pie recipe so much last month that he made it for his entire museum staff! One word of advice from him, "When making the recipe, you may want to sample the ingredients as you go. Tasting the tequila with every step makes it more fun!"

It inspired him to share the recipe that brought his parents together. The story goes that Roy was performing in Ohio when an attractive fan offered to feed him and his singing group her mother's Lemon Meringue Pie. Pie lead to dinner, dinner to courting, courting to history being made!!!!!  

Please enjoy The Pie That Won Roy's Heart!

1 cup sugar
4 Tb flour
1 cup water
3 eggs, separated
Few grains salt
1 lemon, grated rind and juice
1 Tb margarine
1 baked pie shell

Combine sugar and flour. Add a little of the water: mix smooth. Add beaten egg yolks. Add remaining water. Cook over hot water stirring constantly until thick. Cover; cook 10 minutes. Remove from heat; add salt, grated lemon rind and juice, and margarine. Mix well. Cool slightly. Pour into baked (9-inch) pastry shell. Make a meringue of beaten egg whites and six tablespoons of sugar. Swirl on pie. Bake in moderately slow oven at 325° F for 20 minutes. Cool. Serve and win the hearts of your loved ones!  

Thanks, Dusty!

Linda’s Smokey Tomato Soup with Range Bacon

The bright flavors of tomato and smoked paprika make this soup perfect for the end of summer. It’s delicious chilled or hot. Serves 4. Be sure to continue tasting this soup while making it and give it your level of piquante!

8 slices of thick cut smoked bacon (8 ounces)
2 T light brown sugar
¼ c olive oil (you may add 2 T butter for more flavor)
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 large garlic cloves, minced
1.5 T tomato paste
3 T brown sugar
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp grated orange zest
½ tsp powdered hot pepper to your taste
Kosher salt and freshly group pepper
½ cup dry white wine
Two 15 oz cans chopped tomatoes
2 cups water
¼ cup fresh orange juice (optional)
4 T lowfat sour cream

Cook the bacon either in a pan on the stove or in a 400-degree oven on parchment paper. Either way, cook for about 8 minutes; drain the oil, sprinkle with the 2 T brown sugar and cook again for another 8 minutes until it is glazed and crispy. Cool.

Meanwhile in a saucepan, melt the butter and/or olive oil and soften the onions, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, then the tomato paste for another 2 minutes. Stir in sugar, paprika, orange zest, hot pepper, salt & pepper, then wine and bring to a boil. Add the tomatoes with their juices, the water, orange juice and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat. Serve hot or cold.

You may choose to puree the soup until smooth, but I prefer it chunky. Serve in bowls or mugs, season with more salt and pepper if necessary, add broken bits of the bacon and a dollop of sour cream on the top.

A Halloween Treat:
Warm Pumpkin Salad with Polenta
and Candied Pumpkin Seeds

Yield: Makes 6 servings
Active time: 1 3/4 hr - (Read easy, time-saving suggestions in parenthesis)

1 1/2 cups yellow cornmeal (not coarse)
7 1/2 cups water
2 3/4 teaspoons salt
2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 cup raw green (hulled) pumpkin seeds (or pepitas)
1 tablespoon fresh pomegranate juice (or cranberry juice cocktail)
2 teaspoons Sherry vinegar
1 tablespoon minced shallot (or any strong onion)
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 small cheese pumpkin or butternut squash (2 lb), peeled, quartered lengthwise, and seeded
1 (6-oz) piece Parmigiano-Reggiano (optional)
8 oz arugula, trimmed


Prepare polenta: (OR purchase Ready-Made Polenta- - otherwise the polenta can be spread on baking sheet and not yet fried and chilled up to 1 day in advance)
Bring cornmeal, water, and 2 1/4 teaspoons salt to a boil in a 4-quart heavy saucepan, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring frequently, until polenta is creamy and tender, about 50 minutes. Remove from heat, then stir in 11/2 tablespoons butter and cool slightly.

Spoon polenta onto center of a lightly buttered large baking sheet, then spread evenly into a 10- by 7-inch rectangle (about 1/2 inch thick). Cover with plastic wrap, then poke several holes in wrap with a small sharp knife and chill 2 hours.

Candy pumpkin seeds: (No short-cuts - just make extra to use in other recipes or serve with cheese 'cuz they are yummy! Can be prepared up to 3 days ahead and kept in an airtight container at room temperature)
Melt remaining tablespoon butter in a heavy saucepan over moderate heat. Stir in sugar, cumin, cinnamon, paprika, cayenne, and 1/4 teaspoon salt, then cook, without stirring, until caramelized. Add pumpkin seeds and cook, stirring occasionally, until seeds are puffed and golden. Transfer to a plate to cool. When seeds have hardened, break up any clumps with your fingers.

Make vinaigrette:
Whisk together pomegranate juice, vinegar, and shallot and let stand 5 minutes. Whisk in 3 tablespoons oil, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste.

Roast pumpkin: (OR substitute butternut squash - perhaps bake it with a touch of oil or maple syrup)
Preheat oven to 450°F. Cut pumpkin quarters crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Toss with 1 tablespoon oil and salt and pepper to taste in a shallow baking pan and arrange slices in 1 layer. Roast in middle of oven until just tender, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven, then cut into bite-sized pieces and cover with foil to keep warm.

Fry polenta while pumpkin roasts:
Trim polenta into a 9- by 6-inch rectangle. Cut polenta into 6 (3-inch) squares, then halve each square diagonally. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet until hot but not smoking, then cook polenta in 2 batches, turning once, until golden brown, about 8 minutes (if necessary, use remaining tablespoon oil for second batch). Transfer as cooked to a plate and keep warm, covered.

Assemble salad:
Shave 12-16 shaves from cheese with a vegetable peeler.
Whisk vinaigrette, then toss arugula in a large bowl with enough vinaigrette to lightly coat. Place several pieces of pumpkin and 1 piece of polenta on each of 6 plates. Top with arugula, more pumpkin, and remaining polenta. Sprinkle with candied pumpkin seeds and top with parmesan shavings, then drizzle with remaining vinaigrette.

*Serve with a meat dish like Pork Tenderloin

I Can’t Believe These are Lima Beans Dish

Wait! Stop! I thought everyone hated Lima Beans, too. But don’t pass judgment until you taste these! Plus they look beautiful along side turkey, stuffing and cranberries, so give Limas a chance!

Serves 4-6Lima Beens

2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic
1 jalapeno pepper chopped with seeds removed
1 generous Tablespoon tomato paste
2-1/2 Tablespoons paprika + 1 teaspoon for top
Up to 14 oz can of chopped Italian tomatoes
3 cans of Cannelli beans or giant white limas

Saute the onion, red pepper and hot pepper in the oil and garlic.
When onions & peppers begin to soften, add tomato paste, paprika.
Add up to 14 oz of chopped tomatoes – don’t feel the need to use the whole can. Just use enough to let about 1/8” of the tomato-y liquid fill the bottom so it steams a little.
Remove from stove-top and transfer to a glass baking dish or iron pot.

Bake covered at 325 for 30 minutes.
Uncover, add the last 1 tsp of Paprika on the top and bake another 30 minutes or until top is browned.

Serve as a side dish with your turkey! You can make it the day before and re-heat. If this recipe converts you to become a Lima bean lover, please let us know!

Hats off to Holiday Cider!Glass of Cider

A festive choice for any cowboy or cowgirl's cocktail hour, this tangy beverage may be made with or without vodka. Our Smoke Signals theory for cooking is always, Keep tasting until it's just right!

Serves 4

1/3 cup fresh cranberries
2 Tb sugar
1-1/2 cups fresh apple cider
2/3 cup chilled ginger ale
2 Tb fresh lemon juice
3-1/2 oz (1/4 cup plus 3 Tb) vodka if desired

Muddle (explanation below) the cranberries and sugar. Add the cider, ginger ale, lemon juice and alcohol. Divide over 4 glasses and serve chilled or over ice.

If you don't know how to muddle - it's easy because it's just a fancy term for crushing the fruit and sugar. Use a spoon or any hard utensil and squish the fresh fruit and sugar.

Cider means unfiltered apple juice. Fresh juice has the incomparable flavor but needs to be drunk within a day or two. When carbonated, sweet cider becomes a sparkling cigar. Cider pairs beautifully with cranberries, citrus and spices.  

Whether you're sitting outside a chuck wagon or at home in front of the hearth, this drink can cater to both children and adults, and hits the spot for the holidays! Enjoy!  

All of us here at High Noon toast to you and wish you and your families Happy Holidays!

Cheater Chili

Please don't gasp!
It's 20 minutes start to finish:

1-1/2 to 2 lbs ground beef
1 large can Ranch Style Beans
1 chopped onion
1 large can stewed tomatoes - diced
Season your chili - fire level thermometer to taste.

Brown the ground beef with onions, add tomatoes and ranch beans. Season to taste: i.e. red chili, lots of garlic, cumin, etc.

Simmer for a few minutes: 10 minutes works...

Serve in bowls with your favorite accoutrements

Cheddar Cheese
Gold Fish Crackers
Sour Cream

by Peggy O'Neill
Sales Manager - Phoenix Marriott Mesa

Old Fashioned (reminds me of my childhood)
Grilled Cheese SandwichPhoto of Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Makes 6 sandwiches - you may need more!

6 tomatoes, halved lengthwise (plum tomatoes are a perfect shape)
1/4 cup olive oil or butter - Quantity to be used at your discretion
Salt and Pepper
1 tsp thyme leaves (fresh if you can find them)
2 thick white loaves of bread, each loaf cut into twelve, 1/4-1/2" thick slices
1 pound sliced Provolone cheese (or any white cheese)
1 pound Fontina cheese (or any OTHER cheese), coarsely shredded
6 pieces of green chilies (optional but VERY taste-worthy) ***See note below***
6 slices of crisp bacon. Broken into tiny bits (optional)

1. Fry the sliced tomatoes with the olive oil or butter (leaving about 2 tbs for the bread) on a low heat until they are soft and starting to brown. Sprinkle with the thyme leaves and let them cook until they are very tender and slightly shriveled but still juicy. Let cool.
2. Brush the 12 bread slices with the remaining 2 tbs of olive oil or butter. Arrange them oiled side down in a big frying pan. Top 6 of them with the provolone, cover with the tomatoes, shredded Fontina, the green chilies (and bacon bits). Top with the remaining 6 bread slices, oiled (and browned) side up. Press gently on the sandwiches and cover the frying pan for 10 minutes more, until the bread is toasted and the cheese is melted.

Transfer to plates and serve with salad or hot tomato soup!

*** Green Chiles note. You can use canned chilies or fresh by heating whole chilies in a little toaster-oven until they brown. Peel off the skin, remove the seeds and slice into pieces that fit the bread shape.

Luscious Lemon Loaf

Luscious Lemon Loaf PhotoFrom Tastes & Treasures - A Storytelling Cookbook of Historic Arizona

Makes 1 loaf

1-1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup grated lemon zest
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 cup walnuts, chopped
1 tsp lemon extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease or line a 5" x 8" loaf pan with baking parchment paper. Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt together. Combine the sugar, butter and eggs in a mixing bowl. Beat using a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment until light and fluffy, scraping the bowl occasionally. Add the flour mixture alternately with the milk, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the lemon zest, lemon juice, walnuts and flavoring.

Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 55-60 minutes or until the loaf tests done. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

Note: Enhances lemon flavor when you drizzle the top with a mixture of 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar, 1 tsp half and half and 1 tsp lemon juice. (Poke holes with a fork and let it soak in.)

Ruth McLeod

Mushroom Soup

Total time: under 45 minutesPhoto of Blanca

1-1/2 pounds of the most different varieties of mushrooms you can find! (Fresh mushrooms are first choice. Dried mushrooms are second choice - soak in hot water for 30 minutes. Canned mushrooms, not so much of a choice if you want good flavor.)
2 Tb butter or olive oil
2 stalks celery chopped
1 large onion chopped
5 cloves garlic chopped
2 large carrots cleaned and chopped
3 zucchini chopped
8 chicken thighs
1-2 regular cans chicken soup (depends on how thick you wish to make the soup)
Bowl of steaming mushroom soup2-3 large tomatoes chopped - with juice
1/2 bunch cilantro chopped
1-3 Tb cumin to taste
S & P to taste

Serves 6 as main meal or starter for 10

While sautéing the onion, celery, tomatoes and mushrooms in the butter or oil for 2 minutes, put the chicken thighs in a little water (just to cover them) and poach the chicken until tender. Pull the chicken meat off the bones into 1" pieces and put in large pot with all the vegetables. Cook all together for 15 minutes to meld the flavors. Let sit for 15 minutes, then re-heat and serve with warm, crusty bread!

Salsa Verde

Delicious bowl of Salsa VerdeThis month I wanted to bring a Salsa Verde recipe to your kitchen. It is different from a red salsa: not necessarily more spicy but it can be much more flavorful. (Plus you can always spice it up with more chilis if necessary). It can be served with tortilla chips of course, but you may want to try it on eggs or fish. It's tangy, sweet and spicy due to the fact that everything gets fire roasted before going into the salsa. You can always use canned tomatillos but the fresh ones are widely available! Warning: you may NOT have leftovers!

Time: About 30 minutes


1 tablespoons olive oil
2 pounds tomatillos, papery husks removed, washed and cut in half. Score the bottoms of each with a knife
8 to 12 serrano chilies (depending on heat tolerance)
1/2 onion, peeled, minced
3 garlic cloves, unpeeled
10 whole sprigs cilantro, stems included, minced
Juice from one whole lime
1 teaspoon kosher salt

Move the oven rack to the top position and turn on the broiler. Lay down a piece of foil onto the rack and turn up the edges to prevent juices from running off. Rub tablespoon of olive oil on foil then place the tomatillos, chili, onion and garlic on the foil and broil until the skins are charred. Flip everything over and char the other side. Add cilantro and puree with blender until smooth and creamy, adding a little water if needed to loosen. Season to taste with salt and lime juice. The sauce should be tart and spicy but rounded in flavor.

Yield: About 2 cups

Seared Ahi Tuna
(aka Yellowtail Tuna)

Photo of Seared Ahi TunaOur dish this month is fish. The secret to any good fish is FRESHNESS and high quality. The fresher it is, the better it tastes, no matter what you do with it. So spend a few more pennies and make it for a special occasion!

This month our recipe has a bit of Asian flair and can be served with white rice, thinly sliced cabbage (or bokchoy), toasted sesame seeds, some soy sauce (low sodium if it's available) and a few slivers of nori. What's nori, you ask? Now don't get weirded out here, but it is edible seaweed and can be found in the Asian section of the supermarket. It comes in sheets, looks like paper and is SURPRISINGLY tasty!!! Don't take my word for it, just try it. At least once. Or don't - it's ok.

2 (6-8 ounces) ahi tuna steaks (3/4 of an inch thick)
2 Tbsp dark sesame oil
2 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce
1-2 Tbsp peeled, grated, fresh ginger
1 clove garlic, minced
1 green onion (scallion) thinly sliced (reserve a few slices for garnish)
1-3 tsp lime juice

Mix the marinade ingredients together and coat the tuna steaks, cover tightly and refrigerate for at least an hour. Heat a non-stick pan over medium-high to high heat. When the pan is hot, remove the steaks from the marinade and sear them for a minute to a minute and a half on each side (even a little longer if you want the tuna less rare). Remove the pan and slice into ¼ in thick slices. Sprinkle with a few green onion slices and/or sesame seeds.

Serve with:
A little low sodium soy sauce
3-4 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds
Thinly sliced cabbage
Slivers of nori

From an anonymous "foodie"

Summer BBQ Burger
with Secret Pizzaz

Cook time:  7 minutes -  Serves 6

Delicious BBQ BurgerIngredients:
2 ¼ lbs of lean ground beef (not the leanest - we want them juicy! Not the most fatty - we don't want them to shrivel up). Buffalo meat would be my favorite choice for flavor, and it's healthy!
Salt and Pepper
6 slices of Cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese
2 TB Olive Oil
6 Buns (whole wheat or the ones with seeds on top)

Secret Pizzaz (Chop and mix the Pizzaz into a bowl on the side):
2 chopped avocados (purchase 3-4 days in advance so they are ripe)
½ diced medium onion
1 minced jalapeno
2 limes, squeezed
6 TB chopped cilantro
2 TB Worstershire sauce

6 nice thick juicy slices of tomato
Watercress (instead of iceberg lettuce)

Season the meat with salt and pepper then shape approx 6 ounces (divide the whole into 6 parts) into uniform patties to fit the shape of the bun, no more than ¾ inch thick (don't manhandle the meat or overwork it!!!). Make a depression in the center with your thumb so the burger won't bulge. The indent will rise as the patty cooks. Preheat your grill to high! Brush the burger with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill until golden brown and slightly charred, turning once (7 minutes for medium rare). Avoid pressing with spatula! Add cheese for the last minute of cooking.

Place the burger on the bottom half of the bun (with the cheese up), place a slice of tomato on each burger, scoop the Secret Pizzaz on the tomato and top with watercress, leaving the top of the bun on the side (for your guests to close up). Who wants to hide this presentation!

You don't even need ketchup for this one!

Serve with grilled corn. (Soak whole ears with husks attached for 30 minutes then cook them straight onto the grill. The silk will come away easily after it's done). Serve with softened butter mixed with lime zest, lime juice, a little minced jalapeno, chopped cilantro and a tiny shot of tequila. You heard right! Tequila! Happy Summer BBQ!

Soft Summer-Night
Pear Poaching

Looks Devine, Too Easy to BelieveBowl of delicious poached pears

Bring to a boil in a heavy-bottomed pan:
4 cups water
¾ -1 cup sugar

Turn down to a simmer and add:
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
½ cinnamon stick broken into pieces
2-inch piece of vanilla bean split in half lengthwise

Peel, leaving the stems intact:
4 medium pears (such as Bosc, Bartlett or Anjou - ask someone working in produce which is the sweetest)

Scoop out the small blossom end of each pear (so they stand up evenly) and put the pears in the barely simmering sugar syrup. Add more water if needed to cover the pears. Cook for 15 to 40 minutes depending on variety and ripeness, until tender and translucent but not soft and squishy. Test with a sharp paring knife at the thickest part of the pear. Remove from heat and cool. Serve warm or chilled with some of the poaching liquid, reduced or not.

Serve with whipped cream, vanilla ice cream, warm chocolate sauce or raspberry sauce with or without a garnish of fresh berries. Or serve with all of the above but we are trying to be healthy here!

Store in refrigerator submerged in the poaching liquid. Lasts for 3-4 days!


Substitute 3 cups dry fruity white or red wine for 3 cups of water.

Cut the pears into quarters. Peel and core and cut into ¼-½" slices and poach for 45 minutes, until tender, for a faster desert (see photo).

Estee Roll's Semi-Home-Made, but Completely Wicked Triple Chocolate Bundt Cake

Wheew...that's a lot to say!

1 box of Duncan Hines Devils Food cake mixDelicious Bundt Cake
1 small package of chocolate INSTANT pudding mix
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup warm water
4 eggs
1 tablespoon of instant espresso powder
8 oz. carton of sour cream
6 oz. package each of milk chocolate AND semi-dark chocolate chips

Mix all ingredients for 3 minutes with an electric mixer. Fold in chocolate chips. Bake in a greased bundt pan @ 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes. Check with a toothpick at 45 minutes.

(High altitude adjustment: add 1/4 cup flour and bake at 365 degrees)

Icing/Glaze: Pillsbury's Ready-Made Creamy Supreme Dark Chocolate icing nuked on medium until it's pour-able, then drizzle it over the cooled cake.

Robin Ireland's "Black Cat" Enchilada Shells

Photo of Enchilada Shells Dish1 2-oz pkg. dried jumbo shell macaroni
2 large green and/or red sweet peppers, chopped
1-½ cups chopped red onion
1 jalapeño chili pepper, seeded and chopped
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil

2 cups chopped cooked black cat
(...just kidding - use chicken)
½ cup cooked crumbled chorizo (or sausage)
1 16-oz can refried beans
1 cup black beans (drained)
½ cup corn
½ of a 1.25 oz package of taco seasoning mix (3 Tbsp)
2 10-oz cans enchilada sauce
1 8-oz package shredded Mexican style four cheese blend
1 2.25-oz can sliced olives
1 cup sliced green onions
2 cups nacho cheese Doritos
sour cream

1. Preheat oven to 350. Cook pasta according to package directions; drain. Rinse, drain and set aside.

2. In skillet cook peppers, red onion, jalapeño, and ¼ tsp salt in hot oil over medium heat 5 minutes or until tender. Stir in chicken, chorizo, beans, seasoning mix, corn, ½ can sliced olives and ½ cup each of the cheese and green onions.

3. Divide filling among shells. Spread 1 cup of the remaining enchilada sauce in 3-quart rectangular baking dish. Arrange shells atop sauce. Drizzle with remaining enchilada sauce.

4. Bake, covered, 30 minutes. Uncover; sprinkle with remaining cheese and olives. Bake 5 minutes more or until cheese melts. Sprinkle with chips and remaining green onions. Serve with sour cream. Makes 8-10 servings.

What Real Cowboys
do with the Leftovers...

Turkey, Pear and Blue Cheese Sandwich

The day after Thanksgiving, when everyone is still milling around the kitchen and you've already sworn off eating, try this tasty combination. You won't regret one calorie!

Thanksgiving TableIngredients for each sandwich
2 slices of a crusty bread
Slices turkey, enough for a manwhich
1/2 Sliced pear (preferably purchased along with the pre-Thanksgiving grocery spree so it is ripe)
Thick blue cheese dressing

Start by sautéing the sliced turkey in a little melted butter. This is just to warm it up and add some flavor. You can skip this step if you are a cowboy who counts calories.

Slice and toast the bread.

Spread a generous amount of blue cheese dressing on the bread.

Top with turkey, pears and additional slice of bread.
We won't tell if you add a generous scoop of leftover dressing!

Cowboy Christmas
Old and New...

Molasses Candy

Even for the Western Settlers in the 1800s, Christmas meant small but savored treats. Here's one simple recipe that made one family's Christmas just a little bit sweeter.Cartoon of Holiday Baking

Molasses Candy
(1800s version in the Wild West)

1 cup molasses
3 cups sugar
2 pans of clean snow

Boil molasses and sugar together until they form a thick syrup. Pour streams of thick syrup into pans of snow and stir. Spoon out balls of candy and let them rest until hardened.

Molasses Candy
(2010 version)

1 cup molasses
3 cups sugar
1/2 cup water
1 tsp cream of tarter

Mix sugar and cream of tarter together. Add molasses and water. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Boil without stirring until it hardens in cold water. Turn onto buttered pan: when cool, work and cut into sticks.

If you are heading to High Noon's Show & Auction in Mesa, AZ and need a quick bite to send you on your way, try this recipe from the Bice Family in Colorado:


My mother gave me this recipe over 53 years ago at a wedding shower held before I married my cowboy.  - Maril Bice
1 lb of hamburger, 93% is goodDrawing of a Sloppy Joe sandwich
1/2 of a green pepper, diced
1/2 of an onion, diced
3 or more garlic buds, crushed
Chili powder
Salt and pepper to taste
1 can of Tomato Soup, and over 1/2 of a can of water
1 can of chili beans if desired
Brown the green pepper, onion and garlic in a little olive oil for about 5 minutes, and then add the hamburger. Brown and break it up with a wooden spoon, and add the soup and water. Next add salt and pepper, as much chili powder as you like, and stir and taste. If it needs more seasoning, be my guest!! If you want to have it feed even more people, add the can of chili beans. This is delicious and so easy to prepare, and tastes great over hamburger buns with added fresh chopped onion on top!

Bacon and Thyme Biscuits

Light a fire in the fireplace, turn on the music and relax by making biscuits. They taste great for breakfast along with soft butter or jam and good, strong coffee OR they make a invaluable companion to a bowl of steamy, hearty soup!

Servings: 12

Ingredients: Illustration of a basket of hot biscuits
8 ounces smoked, thick sliced bacon (uncooked)
4 cups all purpose flour

1/4 cup baking powder
1/4 cup white sugar
2 tbsp fresh thyme
3/4 lb margarine
14 ounces buttermilk
1/2 cup all purpose flour (for rolling out biscuits)

· Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
· Cut the raw bacon into 1/2-inch pieces. Place the pieces on a baking sheet and cook in the 350 degree F oven for 18-22 minutes. The bacon should be cooked through, but not crisp
· Turn the oven up to 375 degrees F when you remove the bacon so it will be ready for the biscuits
· Combine the dry ingredients and thyme in a mixing bowl. Whisk thoroughly

· Cut the margarine into 1-inch cubes and add to flour mixture. Using a pastry cutter or a large fork, blend the butter and flour. The texture will be coarse with pieces of margarine still visible
· Add the buttermilk and stir until the flour and margarine are evenly moist. The key to flaky biscuits is to not over mix
· Sprinkle flour on a work surface or pastry cloth and then turn the biscuit dough out of mixing bowl
· Use a rolling pin to roll the dough into a rectangle about 3/4-inch thick. Fold the dough in half, bringing the two short ends together, turn it a half turn, and roll it again
· At this point layer half the bacon onto the biscuit dough
· Repeat the fold, turn and roll two times then add the rest of the bacon and turn and roll two more times, a total of four times. This may seem like extra work, but it's worth it. Your biscuits will melt in your mouth
· On the fourth and final roll, use the pin to roll the dough to a thickness of approximately 1/2-inch
· Cut the biscuits using a 2- or 3-inch round biscuit cutter. The dough should be layered with margarine and bacon
· Bake the biscuits at 375 degrees F for 20 minutes or until golden brown

Billy Bones BBQ Recipe for
Three Steps to Tri-Tip


Photo of Billy BonesIn Billy's words, Beef Tri Tip is part of the sirloin and treated like steak. It will deliver the great taste of the best steak ever.

Beef Tri-Tip
Sweet red wine
4 TB granulated garlic
2 TB granulated onion
2 TB crushed black pepper
2 TB kosher salt
Chibata bread
Olive oil
Crushed garlic

FIRST STEP - Marinate in a sweet red wine to which you have added granulated garlic, granulated onion, crushed black pepper, kosher salt.

Billy's BBQ SauceAllow tips to marinate 24-48 hours. Remove from brine solution and smoke (in a smoker or in your bbq with the top closed) at approx 245 degrees for approx 2-1/2 hours or until internal temp reaches 120 degrees. Billy's tip: The meat can be cooked on a charcoal or gas grill or even in the kitchen oven as long as the internal temperature does not exceed 125/130 degrees, as the meat tends to lose its tenderness if overcooked.

SECOND STEP - Remove from smoker/grill and cool in an aluminum pan placed on ice. 

THIRD STEP - When ready to serve...simply slice thickness of a nickel and briefly touch to the surface of a hot charcoal fired grill. Toast chibata bread after brushing with olive oil and crushed garlic. Pile on the tip-trip and open a cool one.  AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!

If you all like this recipe, Billy suggests you also serve his Jalapeno Apple Cole Slaw.

1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup kosher salt
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Whisk until blended, and add:

1 cup chopped apple of your choice (green would be his choice)
3 TB of favorite (canned) chopped jalapenos
1 small head of cabbage
Chopped red cabbage, carrots and green pepper for color

Add the dressing. Mix and chill for one hour before serving

Thank you, Billy! Check out Billy's website and his W.E.Wall Catering, since 1976, in the lovely state of MICHIGAN or online at:

Cowboy Cavier

Cowboy Cavier and ChipsIngredients:
1 15oz can corn, drained, or 1-1/2 cups frozen corn, defrosted
1 14oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 14oz can black eyed peas, drained and rinsed
2/3 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
2/3 cup green onion, chopped
2 large avocados, chopped
1 14oz can diced tomatoes, drained
Tortilla chips

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1-2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp chipotle chili powder, or to taste
1. In a colander, drain and rinse the corn and beans. In a separate colander, drain the tomatoes.
2. Chop the cilantro and the green onions. Peel and chop the avocado.
3. Make the dressing: mince the garlic. In a small bowl, pour the olive oil and red wine vinegar - whisk to combine.
4. Add to the dressing the minced garlic, salt, pepper, cumin, coriander and chipotle chili powder. Whisk to combine.
5. Into a large bowl combine the corn, beans, cilantro, green onions, avocados and tomato. Gently toss with a large spatula.
6. Pour the dressing over the caviar mixture and gently toss to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
7. Cover and chill until serving time. Can be made several hours in advance. Serve with your favorite tortilla chips.
Makes 6-8 cups

Submitted by Kay Holcombe from her Tastes & Treasures Cookbook - Recipes and stories from historic Arizona properties from the Grand Canyon's El Tovar to the Hermosa Inn to the Copper Queen Hotel. Visit her website: or call 480-367-0746

Spring Forward with a Cheyenne BBQ Burger

Turkey Burger RecipeDelicious Turkey Burger

For each burger:
½ pound ground turkey - turkey tastes great in this combo - just make sure to use a mix of white and dark meat (90 percent lean)
2 strips of crisp bacon
Onion rings (see recipe below)
1-2 slices sharp cheddar cheese
Bobby's BBQ sauce (see recipe below)

Cook burgers 5 minutes per side. Add bacon, onion rings, cheese and BBQ sauce.

Onion Ring Recipe

Vidalia onions (1/2 per person)
Quart peanut oil, 360 degrees in deep, heavy pot
Salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper
Buttermilk for coating
Flour for dredging

Cut onion into thin rings, and season with salt and pepper and a little flour. Dip in buttermilk then dredge in flour and fry in oil, turning once or twice, about 4 minutes. Drain on paper towels and season with a little more salt.

BBQ Sauce

2 tablespoons canola oil
1 Spanish onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons ancho chili powder
1 tablespoon paprika
1 heaping tablespoon dijon mustard
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon honey
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Add the onion; cook until soft, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the ketchup and 1/4 - 1/3 cup water, bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients (except salt and pepper). Simmer 10 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally.

Transfer the mixture to a food processor and puree until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Pour into a bowl and cool to room temperature. (Can be prepared the day before) Generously spoon onto burgers.

Lasagna CupcakesDelicious mini-lasagnas
(are you serious?)


Makes 8 mini-lasagnas

4 TB unsalted butter plus more for buttering the ramekins
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus more for sprinkling
1/2 pound fresh lasagna noodles (spinach noodles would also look beautiful and taste good)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour

2 cups milk
1 large egg
1/4 cup snipped chives
2 TB chopped parsley
4 finely chopped cloves garlic
8 oz Fontina cheese, shredded
6-9 oz thinly sliced prosciutto, finely diced
Fresh ground black and red pepper to taste
Fresh basil leaves for decoration

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter eight 6-oz ramekins and coat with parmigiano; tap out excess. Place the ramekins on a sturdy rimmed baking sheet.

2. In a large pot of lightly salted boiling water, cook the lasagna noodles until al dente. Drain and cool under running water (to stop the cooking process). Pat dry. Using a 3-1/4" biscuit cutter, stamp out 24 rounds (they are supposed to fit neatly inside the ramekins).

3. In a large saucepan, melt the 4 TB of butter. Add the flour and whisk over moderately high heat for 1 minute. Add the milk and whisk over moderate heat until the sauce is bubbling and thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the egg, chives, parsley, garlic and 1/2 cup of Parmigiano. Let cool slightly, then stir in the Fontina and prosciutto. Season with ground black and red pepper.

4. Arrange 1 pasta round in the bottom of each ramekin. Spoon 1/4 cup of the filling into each ramekin and top with another noodle. Press to flatten slightly. Top with the remaining filling and pasta rounds. Sprinkle the tops with the remaining 1/4 cup of Parmigiano and cover loosely with foil.

5. Bake the cupcakes for about 20 minutes until the filling is just bubbling. Remove the foil and bake for another 30 minutes until slightly puffed and the tops and sides are golden. Let cool for 20 minutes. Run a knife round the lasagna cupcakes, then invert onto plates, tapping firmly to release them. Sprinkle Parmiagiano cheese over top and decorate with basil leaves.

Serve hot or warm with a green salad on the side.

Can Cowboys Drink New York Egg Creams?

First of all, this drink has no egg and has no cream. Second of all, just because the tradition began inFrosty Egg Cream Brooklyn, New York, is no reason why it cannot be popular throughout the US. Cowboy boots are!

This old-time New York thirst-quencher is sweet and full of fizz. Its basic ingredients are milk, seltzer, and chocolate syrup. It is traditionally made in a small Coke-style glass and fun to serve at barbeques or special gatherings.

True aficionados insist that it is not a classic egg cream without Fox's U-Bet Chocolate Syrup. But any brand of chocolate syrup will do (although U-Bet has been used as early as 1904). It is perfectly proper to gulp down an egg cream. In fact, the egg cream will lose its head and become flat if it is not enjoyed immediately.
Each 10 oz glassful:

1-2 Tb cold, whole milk (splash)
Approx 6 oz cold seltzer water (or sparkling mineral water or club soda)
2 Tb chocolate syrup
Pour in 1-2 Tb cold milk.
The technique is in adding the seltzer water: Slowly pour into glass, drizzling it down the side until 3/4+ full.
Pour the 2 Tb of syrup in center. When it falls to the bottoms, it will begin to foam a little and there should be the beginnings of a creamy head. Take a spoon and along the bottom only (not the whole glass) gently stir the chocolate at the bottom. The top gets meringue-like at the top. Once it's mixed, with a creamy head, drizzle a little chocolate on the top. Some purists do not use a straw. They sip through the creamy head. I use a straw to prevent a milk moustache. But that's me.

Hill Country Salsa

This month, Judy Lee (Julianne Bartlett's mother) shares one of her favorite recipes. She first mentioned it to us at Kurt House's ranch, outside of San Antonio, and this salsa reminds me of the beautiful country seen there.
15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drainedIllustration of bowl of salsa
11 oz. can shoe peg corn, drained
1 avocado, peeled and chopped
1 large bell pepper, chopped
1 bunch green onions, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 cans Ro-Tel (diced tomatoes green chili, and spices), drained (hot or mild, your preference). I use Original
1/3 c. chopped cilantro
1/4 c. lime juice
2 T. olive oil
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. ground cumin
Mix all ingredients and let sit covered in fridge for at least 24 hours for best flavor. Serve with corn chips or crackers.

Sizzling Summer Cuban Pork Burger

Join in the September heat with the biggest, baddest burgers out there!

6 ServingsBurgers on BBQ Illustration

4 pounds ground pork

3 Tbs sweet pickle relish
1 (12 oz) jar spicy brown mustard, divided
1 pound bacon, diced
1 onion, diced
1 (14 oz) can sauerkraut, drained
1 cup butter, at room temperature
6 regular hamburger buns, halved
2 large sliced dill pickles
½ pound sliced Swiss cheese

1. In a large bowl, mix together the ground pork, relish and a tablespoon of mustard. (The relish keeps the pork moist.) Do not over-work, merely mix until ingredients are evenly combined. Divide the meat into 6 portions and form the burgers, matching the size to the buns (or slightly larger, as they tend to shrink).

2. Heat the grill or grill pan over medium-high heat until hot. Place the burgers on the grill to start cooking.

3. In a skillet heated over medium-high heat until hot (use a cast iron skillet if cooking on the grill), render the bacon, stirring frequently, about 6 minutes. Add chopped onion to the skillet and cook until the onion is softened, stirring frequently, 6 to 8 minutes.

4. Stir in the sauerkraut with the bacon and onions, cooking down the mixture to marry the flavors. Continue to cook until the hamburgers are grilled on both sides, an additional 12-15 minutes. Remove the burgers and skillet from the heat, setting all aside to keep them warm.

5. In a small bowl, whisk together the butter and remaining mustard, making about 2 cups of spread, slightly more than is needed for the remainder of the recipe. (It should keep 1 to 2 weeks, covered and refrigerated.)

6. Spread or brush the mustard butter over the cut halves of each bun, about 1 Tb. per half, depending on the size of the bun. Toast the buns on the cooler side of the grill or on the grill pan.

7. Assemble the burgers: Top each burger with the sliced pickle, kraut, bacon and onion mixture. Divide the sliced Swiss cheese among the burgers, covering each mound of toppings with cheese. Place the burgers back on the grill or on the grill pan, closing the grill or covering the pan with a top until the cheese is melted, 1-2 minutes.

8. Place the assembled burgers on the toasted buns and serve immediately.

Serve with very cold beer!

Curried Pumpkin Soup

Mug of delicious curried pumpkin soup!This vibrantly colored, full-flavored soup will satisfy hungry goblins for Halloween and other guests throughout the autumn (it makes a great addition to Thanksgiving dinner, too). Depending upon their ages and tastes, you might want to leave out the curry and Tabasco if you're serving the soup to children. But even without the spicy accents, this soup is a winner - and it's quick to make, too. Be sure you use a good eating pumpkin rather than the roadside pumpkin-patch variety. Butternut squash or canned pumpkin is an able pinch hitter.


1 pumpkin 4 to 5 pounds (equivalent to 6 cups of cleaned flesh)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 large onion, finely chopped
5 cups chicken broth
1 baking potato, peeled and chopped
2 teaspoons grated orange zest
1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder (optional)
1//2 cup cream (optional)
Dash of Tabasco sauce (optional)
Salt and ground pepper to taste
2 tablespoons roasted pumpkin seeds (which have been sprinkled lightly with salt)

Serves 6

Serve in mugs as an appetizer or in a pumpkin at the dinner table.

Cut the pumpkin in half through the center and scoop out the seeds and strings (save the pumpkin seeds for roasting). Cut away the hard peel and chop the flesh. You should have about 6 cups.

In a large saucepan over medium-low heat, warm the olive oil with the butter. When the butter melts, add the onion and sauté, stirring occasionally, until translucent, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the broth, pumpkin, and potato, raise the heat to high, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer until the vegetables are tender, 20 to 25 minutes.

Working in batches, transfer the vegetables with some of the liquid to a food processor or blender and puree until smooth. Return the puree to the saucepan and stir in the orange zest and curry powder. Place over low heat and stir in the cream and the Tabasco, if using. Season with salt and pepper, then heat to serving temperature.

Ladle the soup into warmed bowls or mugs and sprinkle with the pumpkin seeds. Serve at once.

Beans in a Hole

from our own Curtis Hill (Smoke Signal's Chief Graphic Designer)

The following recipe for cooking the beans in a hole is adapted from an old cowboy recipe that's been greatly embellished and can easily be done on top of the stove (if you don't want to dig a pit). If you do decide to dig a pit, let me know and I'll give you the directions and a shovel.

Ingredients:Stirring the beans

2 pounds dried pinto beans (or any type you like)
2 - 2.5 pound pork shoulder, cut in pieces (no pork shoulder? Curtis often substitutes Mexican pork chorizo, grease and all - or 1 pound of chorizo in addition to the pork shoulder for extra flavor)
1 whole chopped onion
1 whole head of garlic, chopped
2-3 tablespoons dried oregano, crushed
1 teaspoon cumin
1-3 tablespoons chili powder or a few shakes of chili flakes (start with less and add more per your preference)
2 cans of chopped tomatoes (if you want it to be a little more like stew - but if you do, also add a pinch of sugar to cut the acid)
Salt and pepper to taste

Place beans in a deep 12-inch or larger Dutch oven, add the pork and the seasoning and fill almost to the top with water. If cooking on top of a stove, cover at this point and bring to a boil. Then reduce heat to simmer. Test after 3 or 4 hours for doneness, continue until done. Don't add salt until beans have cooked at least one hour, or they will be tough. Add more water if needed, or if too soupy, remove lid and cook until thicker.

It's great with good chewy bread, or hand-made corn tortillas.

Curtis' inspiration came from a Ranch & Reata Mike Oden recipe.  Then, like most good chefs, Curtis gave it his own twist. Feel free to give a little of yourself to it.

Hot Crab Dip 

For your next holiday party, why not bring something other than wine or flowers? How about bringing a dip that will knock their socks off? Purchase an inexpensive, colorful, 2-quart, ovenproof bowl and a new dish towel, both which your host and/or hostess can keep as a holiday gift.

This recipe can be halved for a smaller group.

Serves 12 to 16

3 tablespoons unsalted butterPhoto of hot crab dip
1 cup chopped onions
1 cup chopped red bell peppers
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 teaspoons coarse salt
1½ tsp dry mustard
1 tablespoon plus1 teaspoon flavor enhancer like Old Bay seasoning

1 pound low fat cream cheese, at room temperature
4 ounces sharp white cheddar cheese, grated on the large holes of a box grater (about 1 cup) (or buy a package of pre-grated cheese)
½ - ¾ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon minced scallions
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

1 pound lump crabmeat, picked through for shells and cartilage

½ teaspoon paprika
½ cup saltine or butter cracker crumbs
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
LOTS of toast points or crackers, for serving

Preheat oven to 400 degrees (350 if you are only making half).
Heat butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions, bell peppers, garlic, 1 teaspoon salt, dry mustard, 1 teaspoon seasoning. Cook, stirring, until vegetables are soft, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat and set vegetables aside.
Place cream cheese, cheddar cheese, parsley, scallions, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, remaining teaspoon salt, and remaining tablespoon seasoning in the bowl of a food processor; process until smooth. Transfer mixture to a large bowl; fold in cooked vegetables and crabmeat. Transfer to a 2-quart baking dish.
In a small bowl, mix together breadcrumbs, paprika and melted butter; stir to combine. Spread breadcrumb mixture over crabmeat mixture and bake until hot and bubbly, about 20-30 minutes. Garnish with another sprinkling of parsley and paprika (green and red for the holidays) then wrap in towel to bring to the party!
Serve with toast points or crackers.

Moroccan Lamb

Or you can call it Fantastic Lamb Stew with Noodles. Make some of this delicious stew and share it with your friends.

8 to 10 servingsMoroccan Lamb Stew

Large pinch of saffron threads
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 pounds boneless lamb shoulder cut into 2-inch pieces
3 large red onions, sliced ½-inch thick
Two 2-inch cinnamon sticks
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1-½ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1-½ teaspoons ground tumeric
Kosher salt
½ cup salted water

1-½ pounds vermicelli or angel-hair pasta broken into 3-inch lengths
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
½ cup golden raisins
2/3 cup blanched sliced almonds (in 1-2 tablespoons of butter)
1/3 cup confectioners' sugar
1-½ teaspoons ground cinnamon

In a small skillet, toast the saffron over moderately high heat until fragrant, about 10 seconds. Transfer to a small bowl and let cool. Crumble the saffron threads and cover with 2 tablespoons of water over lamb and let sit for a couple of minutes.

In a large enameled cast-iron casserole, melt 3 tablespoons of the butter. Quickly, with high heat, brown the lamb. Remove from pan.  Brown the onions with cinnamon sticks, ginger, pepper, tumeric and 2 teaspoons of salt. Add the lamb back in, along with ½ cup salted water, cover and cook over moderate heat until lamb is tender, about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. (It's so important that the lamb be tender, and how long it cooks will depends on your lamb. Occasionally take a piece and see if you can stick a fork in it easily - that's when it's ready!)

Blanche the almonds.

Prepare the noodles al dente adding a pinch of salt and oil into water.

To serve, pour the lamb mixture over the noodles. Right before serving, add the raisins and almonds on top, then sprinkle sugar and cinnamon combination.

Hidden Kisses

Cook Time: 10 minCollage of heart illustrations
Yield: 3-1/2 to 4-1/2 dozen cookies


1 cup (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup finely chopped pecans
1 (9-ounce) package chocolate candy kisses
(recommended: Hershey's Kisses)
1-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar


In a large bowl, cream the butter, sugar, and vanilla and almond extracts. Stir in the flour and blend well. Add the pecans and blend well. Cover the bowl and refrigerate the dough for 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Unwrap the candy kisses. Press a scant tablespoon of dough around each kiss, covering it completely; shape into balls.

Place the cookies on ungreased cookie sheets and bake for 10 minutes. Cool slightly, then transfer to a rack to cool completely. Roll the cookies in confectioners' sugar.  

Make sure all takers KISS THE COOK before consuming.

Garlicky Chicken

2 Heads garlic, separated into cloves, unpeeledDelicious garlicky roast chicken
(Yes, we mean the BIG head that's full of little
cloves - 2 of THOSE)
1 Bunch rosemary
2 Blood oranges, cut into wedges
1 Large fresh Chicken, about 5½lb (not frozen)
4 Tb Sliced butter
½ Bottle sparkling wine (Use Brut, the dry variety)
1 Bottle of dry white wine (optional)

For the gravy
½ Bottle dry sparkling wine
2 Tb butter
Small handful fresh tarragon
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 300˚F

Scatter the cloves of garlic (still in their skins) into a roasting tin. Scatter half of the rosemary and half of the blood orange on top.

Insert the remaining orange and rosemary into the cavity of the chicken and gently slide slices of the butter under the skin, being careful not to pierce it.

Place the chicken breast-side up on top of the garlic in the roasting pan.

Pour over half a bottle of sparkling wine and cover with aluminum foil.

Transfer to the oven and roast for 1½ hours.

After 1½ hours cooking time, carefully remove the foil and, using tongs, turn the chicken upside down and baste with the meaty juices from the pan.

Cook the chicken for a further 20 minutes to brown the underside, before turning the chicken back to the original position.

Baste the chicken again. Turn the oven up to 350˚F and cook until the chicken is browned all over - you will know when the chicken is cooked as the juices will run clear when the chicken is pierced with a skewer.

When the chicken is cooked, remove the chicken from the pan and leave to rest in a warm place.

Remove the garlic skins, rosemary and blood oranges with a slotted spoon and discard - if any soft garlic clove remains in the skins, carefully slip the soft garlic clove out of the peel and into a clean pan. Pour the cooking juices into the pan along with all the soft garlic cloves.

Add the other half of sparkling wine to the pan. Simmer over a medium heat. Open a bottle of the dry white wine to have on hand when the volume begins to diminish and add if more liquid is needed (otherwise you may want to drink a glass or two while cooking), and sprinkle in the tarragon. Leave the gravy to simmer gently until reduced by half. Just before serving, whisk in 2 Tb of butter.

Meanwhile, carve the chicken into generous portions.

Serve the chicken with the gravy and perhaps wild rice and chopped vegetables. Oh, and finish that bottle of wine.

Stuffed Mushrooms

1 lb. whole mushrooms, preferably white, one-mouthful size
1 small onion, very finely chopped
1 clove garlic, very finely choppedPlatter of delicious stuffed mushrooms
4 Tbsp. butter
1 Tbsp. parsley, very finely chopped
3 Tbsp. grated Pecorino Romano cheese
3 Tbsp. breadcrumbs
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Extra virgin olive oil for drizzling


Preheat oven to 350° F.
Wash the mushrooms and dry thoroughly.
Remove the stems and chop very finely.
Melt the butter in a saucepan, then add the stems, onion and garlic. Saute for about five minutes.
Remove from heat and empty into a mixing bowl. Add the breadcrumbs, parsley, cheese, salt and pepper, and mix and/or chop well.
Stuff the mushroom caps and place on a baking sheet. Sprinkle olive oil over all the mushrooms, then place in the oven and bake for about 40 minutes.
Allow to rest a few minutes before serving at room temperature.

Serve as hor d'oeuvre or as side vegetable. Make lots!

Father's Day: Give him beef! (and mashed potatoes - add a green vegetable, your choice)

Linda's Father, Harold Goldstein

To the right: my father.... 

Beef Rib Roast
(For the FATHER in your life) 

¼ cup chopped fresh Rosemary
3 tbs ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning. Coarse is better than fine
3 tbs olive oil
One 6-rib standing beef rib roast (14-16 lbs) - ask the butcher to leave ½" fat cap on the meat
3 tbs butter
1 medium shallot - chopped fineDelicious Prime Rib Dinner
2 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
¼ cup dry red wine
1 qt beef stock  (or canned broth - low sodium)
¼ cup sherry vinegar
4 Thyme sprigs
1 oz dried porcini mushrooms (1 cup) ground to powder in a spice grinder or blender

1. Combine rosemary, 3 tbs black pepper, oil and rub over the roast.  Cover and refrigerate overnight.
2. Put a large roasting pan in the middle of the oven and preheat to 375°. Be sure the roast sits at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.
3. Season the roast with salt and place in the pan, fat side down.  Roast 30 minutes. Turn it over (fat side up) and cook 350° for approx 3 hours. If your oven is not even, be sure to rotate the pan a couple of times.
4. Insert a thermometer into the thickest part of the meat. It should register 130° for medium-rare. Transfer to carving board and let it rest for around 20 minutes. DO NOT PICK AT IT- that's cheating.
5. In a saucepan, melt butter, add shallot, garlic and cook until lightly browned. Add the wine and boil for 2 minutes. Add the stock, vinegar and thyme and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderate heat for about 20 minutes. It will reduce somewhat. Whisk in porcini powder and simmer 1 minute. Cover, remove from the heat and let stand for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with meat.

Serve with mashed potatoes. Not just meek, bland mashed potatoes. Add the following for 6 pounds of Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks and boiled for 20 minutes and drained and mashed:

4 tbs butter
1 cup low-fat sour cream
1 tsp black pepper
6 tbs finely chopped chives
2/3 cup bread crumbs
1/3 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (just buy it grated - do not bother taking the time to grate it yourself!)

Give Dad a "cold one" and show him some love!

All-Star Berry TartBeautiful Berry Tart

4th of July may be over, but patriotism is never out of date! Let's celebrate the beauty of our country and our freedom!  

Fill this tart shell with a rich pastry cream and arrange fresh berries on the top in a star shape for a dessert that's perfect for a summer evening barbeque.

Yield: 8 Servings

We have included the HOMEMADE version and SHORTCUTS (faster, time-saver version)


Homemade: 1 homemade pie crust in pie tin that has removable bottom - Our High Noon kitchen prefers graham cracker crust.
Shortcut: Storebought pie crust (but you will need to move it to a tin that has a removable bottom)

  2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  2 tablespoons cornstarch
  1/2 cup sugar
  2 cups milk
  2 large egg yolks
  3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Shortcut: Use Vanilla Jell-O Instant Pudding

  1 cup apricot jam
  1 tablespoon lemon juice
  2 pints fresh blueberries
  2 pints fresh raspberries

Follow package instructions to fit crust into a 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom, and bake until light golden.

Make pastry cream: Mix flour, cornstarch and sugar in a bowl. Add 1/3 cup milk; beat until smooth. Whisk in yolks. In a pan, bring remaining milk to a simmer. Whisking constantly, pour hot milk into yolk mixture. Pour back into pan and bring to a boil, stirring. Boil for 2 minutes, whisking. Remove from heat; beat in butter and vanilla. Pour into a bowl; press plastic wrap directly onto surface of pastry cream. Chill 1 hour.

Finish tart: Stir jam, lemon juice and 2 Tbsp. water in a pan over low heat until jam melts; strain. Remove crust from tart pan; brush with jam glaze. Spread the chilled pastry cream evenly, filling the crust.

Arrange raspberries in center, forming a star. Fill in remaining surface with blueberries. Brush tart with remaining glaze.


Spicy Jalapeño Sliders

This month as we are getting close to the end of summer, forget the calories and try these spicy sliders with a big helping of cole slaw.

IngredientsDelicious Jalapeño Sliders

1 pound ground beef
2 jalapeños, seeded and diced fine, plus whole or sliced, for serving

2 shallots, chopped fine
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup grated spicy  Monterey Jack cheese
Pinch garlic powder
1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus pinch
1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper, plus pinch
1 cup creme fraiche (or yogurt or sour cream)
1/4 cup store-bought salsa verde
12 mini dinner rolls


Preheat oven to 350° F.

In a large bowl, add ground beef, jalapeños, shallots, panko, heavy cream, cheese, garlic powder, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Mix together well. Form into small patties and place in the oven or on the barbecue for 12 to 15 minutes.

In a separate bowl, add creme fraiche, salsa verde, pinch of salt and pepper and mix together. Refrigerate until ready to serve with your sliders.

Lightly spread creme fraiche mixture on both sides of buns. Place burgers in middle and add a slice of jalapeño.


Stuffed Eggplant Boats

Want your children (or spouse) to eat and love vegetables? Make 'em pretty!

4 servings:
2 small eggplants
½ lb ground meat (Your important decision is which meat to use. We love pork because it has more flavor, but suggest you add one seeded jalapeno pepper for some spice. You can also use spicy sausage, which has the meat and flavorings built in.)
2 Tb butterDelicious stuffed eggplant boats
1 medium onion finely chopped
1 small carrot finely chopped or shaved (mostly for color)
1 large tomato, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp tomato paste
2 Tb freshly chopped parsley
¼ tsp fresh minced oregano
Bread crumbs - handful
Feeling reckless? Add 3-4 Tb pine nuts to the onion mixture
Salt and Pepper
* Parboil halved eggplants in salted water for 10 minutes (or when tender). Remove from water and drain. Dry them well.
* In a frying pan, sauté onion, carrot and garlic in butter. Turn up the heat and add ground meat so it's a little crispy, then add diced tomato, tomato paste, parsley, oregano.
* Scoop out insides of eggplants with a spoon, leaving 1/2"-3/4" shell all around.
* Chop up inside pulp, add to onion mixture (and pine nuts). Sauté 3-5 minutes.
* Stir in enough seasoned bread crumbs to make a moist but not stiff filling.
* Salt and pepper to taste.
* Spoon into eggplant boats and bake 350° for 20-25 minutes or until very hot.

Serve with rice and a little yogurt if you're feeling edgy!

Pumpkin Mousse Parfaits

Don't be SCARED!!!! Make Pumpkin Mousse Parfaits for Halloween! 

Serves: 12 - Make it the night before and allow it to cool.

Pumpkin Mousse:Delicious Pumpkin Mousse Parfaits
1 envelope (1/4-ounce) unflavored gelatin
1/4 cup dark rum
1 can (15-ounce) solid-packed pumpkin
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
2 extra-large egg yolks
2 teaspoons finely grated orange peel
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1-1/2 cups cold heavy cream
1-1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1 cup cold heavy cream
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

3-1/2 cups chopped store-bought gingersnap cookies
3 tablespoons dry crystallized ginger (optional), very thinly sliced, for garnish

1. Prepare mousse: In small heatproof metal bowl, sprinkle gelatin over rum. Let stand 10 minutes to soften gelatin.
2. In large bowl, whisk pumpkin, sugars, egg yolks, orange peel, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt until well combined.
3. To 2-quart saucepan, add enough water to come 1 inch up side. Heat to boiling, then reduce heat to simmer. Set bowl of gelatin mixture over simmering water. Heat until gelatin dissolves. Immediately whisk hot gelatin mixture into pumpkin mixture.
4. In large bowl, with mixer, whisk attachment on high speed, beat cream and vanilla until soft peaks form. Fold 1-1/2 cups cream into pumpkin mixture.
5. Prepare cream: In a second large bowl, with mixer, whisk attachment on high speed, beat cream until it starts to thicken. Add sugar and vanilla; beat until medium peaks form. Do not overbeat.
6. Assemble parfaits: Divide half of pumpkin mixture among 12 small parfait glasses. Divide chopped cookies among glasses. Top with half of whipped cream, then remaining pumpkin mixture. Dollop remaining whipped cream on top. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 4 hours or up to overnight.
7. To serve, garnish parfaits with crystallized ginger.

Thanksgiving Leftover Ideas!!!!

This year we suggest Turkey Meatloaf. Eat as traditional meatloaf or slice for sandwiches. Our own Audrey Roberts tested this recipe and gave it a thumbs up!  

1 - 9 x 5 inch loaf panDelicious Turkey Meatloaf served with carrots

2-1/2 pounds ground turkey (or, for chunkier meatloaf, finely chop the leftover turkey yourself)
1 small chopped onion
1/2 tsp chopped rosemary or sage (optional)
1 tsp hot pepper flakes or sauce
1/4 cup chopped celery
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1-1/2 cups chicken-flavor stuffing mix (Mrs Cubbison's is great!)
2 eggs
1/3 cup milk
1/4 tsp paprika for mix and 1/4 tsp for top garnish

* Preheat oven to 350° F (175° C).
* Mix together turkey and all other ingredients (1/4 tsp paprika) in a large bowl. Mixture will be lumpy so do not over mix (makes it too dense). Spread mixture in 9x5 inch loaf pan and sprinkle with other 1/4 tsp paprika.
* Bake for 45 minutes until temperature reads 165 degrees F in center of loaf.

Serve with leftover cranberry sauce (if there is any left - there would not be at our house unless I planned ahead and made extra).

Or slice cold and make sandwiches along with a big dollop of cranberry sauce.

Cajun Chocolate Bread Pudding

Lisa Seidel of Cody, Wyoming, mother of Kelly and Bridget (Miss Cody Stampede 2012), wife of artisan Keith Seidel, and all-around sweetheart of High Noon brings us a special recipe this month. It initially came from her neighbor Dawn, who passed it to Bill at the Mayor's Inn, then to Lisa (Lisa promises it's the best fall and winter dessert recipe. It freezes well so she makes 2 in case of a Dessert Emergency). And now it is being passed on to you, our High Noon/Smoke Signals readers. Enjoy! 

Makes 9 to 12 Servings

For the Pudding:Delicious Bread Pudding
1 qt half and half
3/4 cups sugar
5 large eggs
3-1/2 tsp vanilla
1-1/2 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp nutmeg
9 cups fresh french bread cut into 1 inch cubes (1 lb loaf)
1 cup milk chocolate chips

For the Topping:
4 Tbsp (1/2 stick) lightly salted butter, at room temp
1/4 cup sugar
2 Tbsp brandy
1 egg

For the whiskey sauce:
2 Tbsp Jack Black Whiskey
4 Tbsp (1/2 stick) lightly salted butter
1-1/2 cups whipping cream
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp cayenne pepper

For the Pudding: Pre-heat oven to 325°. Combine half and half, sugar, eggs, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg in a large bowl. Beat by hand for 3 minutes.

Add bread cubes to half and half mixture. Let soak for 30 minutes, tossing occasionally. Mix in the chocolate chips. Spoon the bread mixture into a greased 10 inch cake pan, preferably a spring form pan. If using a spring form pan, set it on a pizza pan or cookie sheet as it will leak some of the liquid. 

For the Topping: Beat butter with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add sugar, brandy and egg. Beat at medium speed for 1 minute. Scrape down the bowl and beat at high speed for 1 minute. Pour topping over bread. Bake in preheated oven for 1-1/2 hours. Let cool about 15 minutes.

For Whiskey Sauce: Combine sauce ingredients in a saucepan. Simmer for 4 minutes, whisking occasionally.

To Serve: Cut into serving size pieces. Top with whiskey sauce. Serve warm. Enjoy! Think of Lisa!

Pekin Duck with Mandarin Sauce

Pekin duck sounds like a fancy dish, but it's actually just as easy to prepare as chicken. Also known as Long Island Duck, Pekin is the most common duck meat served in the U.S. This recipe uses a citrus-ginger sauce to flavor the duck and it is a wonderful alternative to turkey or ham at holiday meals.  

IngredientsDelicious Roasted Pekin Ducks

2 pekin ducks, 5 lbs each
1 tbsp kosher salt
2 tsp black pepper
2 - 11 oz cans mandarin oranges
4 tbsp cornstarch
6 cups light chicken stock, divided
1 cup orange juice
4 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp soy sauce
4 tsp ginger (fresh grated if possible)
2 tbsp sugar

To prepare the ducks rub them inside and out with a mixture of 2 tablespoons of Kosher salt and 2 teaspoons of pepper. Place the ducks breast side up, on a rack in a roasting pan and loosely cover them with foil to prevent them from browning too quickly. Cook in a preheated 350° F oven for about 2 hours. After ninety minutes of cook time remove the foil.

While the ducks are in the oven, you can prepare the citrus-ginger sauce. Drain one can of mandarins and place the fruit in a blender. Add the second can, both juice and fruit. Blend until smooth.

In a small bowl, mix four tablespoons of cornstarch and four tablespoons of chicken stock until the cornstarch is dissolved.

Pour the remaining chicken stock, the cornstarch mixture, one cup of orange juice and four tablespoons of lemon juice into a deep pot. Give that a good stir and add two tablespoons each of honey, soy sauce, and sugar, along with four teaspoons of grated ginger, and the mandarin puree.

Stir the mixture over medium heat until the sauce boils and starts to thicken.

When the ducks have about 40 minutes of cooking time left, remove them from the oven, using a set of tongs to tilt the ducks up to drain any juice that's gathered on the inside. Next, transfer them to a baking dish and pour the mandarin sauce over both of the ducks. Return to the 350° F oven and roast for the final 40 minutes.

Serve with rice, snow peas and broccoli, and perhaps a good Chinese beer!

Prairie Brats

From the upcoming Hell In a Handbasket cookbook by High Noon's own Louis Katz (a collection of recipes that require little if any talent, practically no money, and ingredients you can find at home, the grocery store, or in your neighbor's pantry):     

IngredientsPhoto of Louis Katz's Prairie Brats

2 bratwursts
3 potatoes
1 apple
BBQ sauce
Tabasco sauce
Garlic salt
Olive oil

Slice the potatoes and throw them into a gallon bag. Add olive oil and garlic salt. Seal the bag and shake it up real good.

Oil and preheat your cast iron skillet, then toss the potato mix into it. Add pepper and generous amount of Tabasco. Stir occasionally to avoid burning the potatoes. Set a timer for 15-20 minutes.

Cut the bratwurst into slices and set aside. Cut the apple into bite size pieces and add to the bratwurst slices.

After the first timer goes off, set another timer for 12 minutes. Add bratwurst and apple to a second preheated pan. Pour in generous amount of BBQ sauce and stir.

Check on your potatoes as the brats and apple cook on a medium fire. Did you forget to stir them? Don't!

Stir the bratwurst and apple occasionally. Keep an eye on the BBQ sauce so as not to scorch.

When the second timer goes off, your meal is ready. Enough for 2 if you're lucky. Make more next time.

Serve with root beer, chilled.

Curried Carrot Soup

This smooth, delicious soup will add pizazz to almost any meal.      

Yield: Up to 6 (1-1/2 cup) servings

IngredientsDelicious Curried Carrot Soup
* 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, 1 turn of the pan
* 2 tablespoons butter
* 1 medium onion, chopped
* 1-1/2 pounds packaged baby carrots, from produce section
* 6 cups chicken stock, available on soup aisle
* 1 tablespoon mild curry paste or 1-1/2 tablespoons curry powder
* 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
* Coarse salt
* 1 cup sour cream
* Plastic condiment bottle or medium plastic food storage bag
* 6 blades fresh chives, cut into 1-inch pieces

Preheat medium pot over medium high heat. Add olive oil, butter, onions and carrots and sauté 5 minutes. Add 4 cups chicken stock, curry and cayenne, and about 1 teaspoon salt to the pot. Bring to a boil, cover and cook until carrots are very tender, about 15 minutes. Place pot on a trivet next to food processor. Process soup in 2 or 3 small batches until soup is smooth and carrots are fully puréed. Transfer processed soup into a large bowl as you work to make room for more soup in the food processor. Return completed soup to the soup pot and place back over low heat. If the soup is too thick, add remaining stock, up to 2 cups, to achieve desired consistency. Adjust seasonings. Place sour cream in a plastic condiment squeeze bottle or into a medium food storage bag. Cut a very small hole in the corner of the bag with scissors. Ladle soup into bowls and squirt a swirl of sour cream around the bowl from the center out to the rim. Drag a toothpick from the center of the bowls out to the edges, forming a spider web design on soup. Pile a few pieces of cut chives at the center of each bowl to resemble green spiders in their webs! Cool!

Jicama Slaw

Great for BBQs or as a side dish to meat. Eat the leftovers for lunch (just add to any sandwich for great taste and texture).      

Total time: 25 minutesJicama Slaw
Yield: 4 to 6 servings


1 (2½ pound) jicama
½ cup red onion, diced fine
½ teaspoon minced garlic
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
4 tablespoons oil
3-6 tablespoons lime juice
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup cilantro leaves

Using sharp heavy knife, cut off the top and bottom of the jicama and peel it (you can use a carrot peeler), cutting away the rounded edges to form a rough cube. Cut the jicama in slices between one-eighth and one-forth inch thick. Stack some of the slices and cut same thickness into sticks. Collect the sticks into a mixing bowl and repeat with the rest of the jicama.

Add the onion, garlic and jalapeno to the jicama. Stir together the oil, lime juice and salt and pour over.

Before serving, transfer the salad to a clean bowl, draining any excess dressing and sprinkle with cilantro leaves.

Each serving: 155 calories, 1 gram protein, 18 grams fat, 1 gram saturated fat, 0 cholesterol, 202 mg sodium

Cauliflower Grilled Cheese with Jalepeño Aioli

We may have some vegetarians out there. If not, you just might be surprised by how delicious this sandwich tastes. Close your eyes and pretend there's no cauliflower (which gets a well deserved, very bad rap if not prepared correctly) and you may love it.       

Sandwich Ingredients for 2:Delicious Cauliflower Grilled Cheese Sandwich
* 1 medium onion, sliced into 1/4-inch-thick rounds and lightly chopped
* 3 tablespoons olive oil
* 1/4 small head of cauliflower, sliced into flat, 3/8-inch-thick pieces
* Sea salt and fresh-cracked black pepper & a pinch of sugar to taste
* 4 slices whole-grain or favorite bread
* 4 ounces aged cheddar cheese, shredded (about 3/4 cup)
* 1/2 cup baby arugula, washed and dried
* 2 slices of ripe, red, juicy tomato (ripe is the key so it's soft and just a little gushy)
* 1/2 tablespoon butter
* 1/2 - 1 tsp yellow curry (OPTIONAL: this is just my preference. Turns the cauliflower a bit yellow and gives it extra flavor, but it's not for everyone)

Aioli Ingredients:
* 2 tablespoons low fat mayonnaise (NOT non-fat please)
* 1 small garlic clove, peeled and minced
* 1/4 to 1/2 medium jalapeño, minced (discard the seeds and ribs if you want less heat)
* Pinch of sea salt

1. Add the onion and 1½ tablespoons of the oil to a medium sauté pan and cook over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until the onion is softened and caramelized, 20 to 25 minutes. (You'll have about ½ cup of onion.)

2. Gently toss the cauliflower pieces with the remaining 1½ tablespoons of oil, sprinkle with salt, pepper, and a pinch of sugar, then spread the cauliflower in a flat layer in the pan. Sauté for 10 minutes, or until lightly browned and tender. Use a rubber spatula to flip the cauliflower, then sauté another 5 minutes, or until golden brown, watching carefully to make sure the pieces don't burn.

3. Combine all the aioli ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Spread both slices of bread with aioli. Layer 1 slice with caramelized onions, roasted cauliflower, shredded cheese, tomato, and arugula. Top with the other slice of bread. Add the butter to the pan used to caramelize the onion (fewer dishes for you!), heat the pan over medium-low heat, and add the sandwich (the bread closest to the cheese layer should be on the bottom).

Cook the sandwich for 4 to 6 minutes, or until the bottom is golden brown and the cheese is melting, applying pressure to the top of the sandwich with your spatula or a weighted plate. Flip the sandwich and brown the other side, about 3 or 4 minutes. Slice the sandwich in half before serving.

This sandwich may change your mind about veggies! If so we'll consider cauliflower soup one of these days. Don't be frightened - it's delicious!

Last edition we received some very creative knocks on our cauliflower recipe. But that means you were paying attention and we love that! So this time we return to one of the most versatile ingredients on the planet: chicken. Our dish is easy, quick and delicious. Please do not leave out veggies to go with it. On the side you can add yellow squash or snow peas (or puréed cauliflower, of course!) plus rice to soak up the juices. Enjoy. 

Cashew ChickenDelicious Cashew Chicken Dish
We like to use Shao Hsing rice cooking wine; you can use whatever brand your favorite grocery store carries.

6 Chinese dried mushrooms (or regular, fresh mushrooms, but dried Chinese are more flavorful)
12 ounces skinless, boneless chicken breast or thigh meat
2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon rice cooking wine
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup raw cashew nuts
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 slices ginger
1 teaspoon finely minced garlic
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch squares
1 pinch of red pepper flakes (to taste)

1. In a medium bowl, soak the mushrooms in 1/3 cup cold water for 30 minutes. Drain and squeeze dry, reserving the soaking liquid. Cut off and discard stems and thinly slice the caps.

2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut the chicken into 1-inch cubes. In a medium bowl, combine chicken, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, rice wine, cornstarch, sugar and salt/pepper flakes. Stir to combine and set aside.

3. Place the cashews on a baking sheet and bake 7 to 10 minutes, until golden brown. Set aside to cool.

4. Heat a 14-inch flat-bottom wok or skillet over high heat until hot but not smoking. Add 1 tablespoon vegetable oil and ginger, and stir-fry 30 seconds.
Carefully add chicken mixture, spreading in the wok. Cook, undisturbed, 1 to 2 minutes, letting chicken begin to brown. Using a metal spatula, stir-fry 1 to 2 minutes, or until chicken is browned on all sides. Transfer chicken to a plate and set aside.

5. Add remaining 1 tablespoon vegetable oil to the wok and add garlic, mushrooms and red pepper, and stir-fry 1 minute. Swirl in the reserved mushroom cooking liquid and stir-fry until almost all the liquid has evaporated. Return the chicken to the wok, along with cashews and remaining soy sauce, and stir-fry 1 to 2 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. Serve immediately, with rice. And vegetables on the side!

Thai Seafood Soup  (Tom Yum Talay)

Tom Yum TalayAfter a recent fishing trip I was faced with preparing the fish I caught (since I’m not crazy about fish it was a challenge). I ran across this recipe for Tom Yum Talay, which is a favorite of mine. After filleting the fish, I used the rest to create a delicious fish stock that once strained became the base for this delicious soup.  —Robin Ireland


8 cups good-tasting fish or chicken stock
12 medium raw shrimp, shells removed
Other seafood of your choice: fresh mussels, scallops, crab, or sliced fish fillet (up to 1 handful of each)
1 stalk minced lemongrass*, OR 2.5 to 3 Tbsp. frozen, bottled or tube prepared lemongrass (or see substitutions list)
2 kaffir lime leaves*
Zest from 1 small lemon
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. galangal OR ginger, grated
1-2 sliced red chilies OR 1-2 tsp. Thai chili sauce*
8 oz of fresh sliced mushrooms
1 medium carrot, cut into thin strips
1 medium tomato, cut into thin strips
1 baby bok choy
1 handful of bean sprouts
1/2 can (14 ounce) thick coconut milk (not “lite”)
2 tbsp. fish sauce* (if you don't like the smell of fish sauce, see substitutions list below)
1 tbsp. soy sauce
Juice of 1 lime
Juice of 1 small lemon
1 tsp. sugar
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped

Pour stock, lemongrass and lime leaves in a deep soup pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. If using fresh lemongrass, also add the upper stalk pieces for extra flavor.

Add garlic, galangal/ginger, chili, and mushrooms. Reduce heat to medium and simmer 2-3 minutes, or until mushrooms are soft.

Add the shrimp and any other seafood you’re using, plus the tomato, carrots, bean sprouts, and baby bok choy. Simmer over medium heat 3-4 minutes, or until shrimp turns pink and plump and mussels have opened. Scallops, crab, and fish should all be firm to the touch and no longer translucent.

Reduce heat to medium-low and add the coconut milk, fish sauce, soy sauce, lime and lemon juice, and sugar. Stir well to combine and gently simmer until hot (do not boil at this point). Taste-test the soup for salt and spice, adding more fish sauce instead of salt, or more chili as desired. If too sour, add more sugar. If too spicy for your taste or if you’d like it creamier, add more coconut milk. If too salty, add another squeeze of lime juice.

Serve in bowls with fresh coriander sprinkled over. For an extra hit of flavor, you can also add some Thai chili sauce.

Substitutions that Work:
If you can’t find lemongrass: try 3 slices fresh lemon (boil in the soup)
Instead of kaffir lime leaves: use zest from 1 lime
For chili: 1/2 to 3/4 tsp. cayenne pepper OR dried crushed chili (chili flakes)
If you don’t like the smell of fish sauce: 1/2 tsp. dark soy sauce + 1 tbsp. regular soy sauce

Snickerdoodle Bread

From one of our favorite High Noon moms: Elayne McCracken

Ingredients:Delicious Snickerdoodle Bread Loaves
2 ½ cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
¾ cup sour cream
1 pkg Hershey’s cinnamon chips
3 Tb sugar
3 tsp cinnamon

Cream butter, sugar, salt and cinnamon until fluffy. Add eggs and mix well.
Add vanilla and sour cream and mix well.
Mix flour and baking powder in a separate bowl. Add to wet ingredients and mix until all combined.
Add cinnamon chips and stir into batter. Set aside.
Spoon batter into 4 mini loaf pans until about 2⁄3 full.
Mix 3 Tb sugar and 3 tsp cinnamon in a bowl and sprinkle over the batter in each loaf pan.
Bake at 350° for 35-38 minutes. Let cool before removing from pan.

Thank you Mama Elayne!


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