Blistered Shishito Peppers

Have your tried Shishito Peppers yet? All of the Food Network Stars were cooking with this little pepper all last year, yet I couldn't find them in the grocery store. I was excited when this spring, I have found Shishito Peppers seeds at Home Depot. Fingers crossed, later this summer we will have homegrown Shishito Peppers from our garden. To my surprise yesterday, the grocery store had these little peppers available for the first time! I even texted the Cowboss the photo of them from the grocery store. Hey, when you love cooking and your long awaited item is in stock, you get excited. ;)

I had already planned to have burgers for dinner, so I thought, this would be the perfect side to go with it. The key to tasty Shishito Peppers is to blister them and serve them with an amazing dip.

Even though, the cowboys worked outside all day, they have agreed to grill the burgers for me and eat outside. When you are a cowboy and you work all day outside, you are really looking forward to having dinner inside, where the cool breeze comes from the air-conditioning. But, I was able to talk them into eating on the patio as it was a cool evening with no wind.

The Cowboss grilled the burgers to perfection. You ask what is the secret to our amazing burgers? Well, I will share it with you!

3T Ranch Burger Tips: mix 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper and 1 tablespoon of dijon mustard with our ground beef and then make patties. (We also like the Weber Chicago Steak Seasoning for our burgers). Now, heat up your grill and once the burgers hit the grill turn it to low heat and cook for about 5 minutes per side.

In the meantime, while the Cowboss was tending to his grill, I made my Blistered Shishito Peppers.

Let me tell you, it was a hit! Even with the little guys. The Shishito Peppers are mild in spice, but watch out 1 in 10 can be spicy! Good thing we like spicy!

The kids and I loved the peppers and dipping them into the tasty sauce. The cowboys put the Shishito Peppers on their burgers along with onion rings. Clearly, it was delicious as I didn't even had a chance to take pictures. Eaten in no time!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 bag of Shishito Peppers (about 13)
  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Dip:

  • 1/4 cup of mayo
  • 2 teaspoons of lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon of no sugar ketchup
  • 4-5 minced garlic cloves (Use garlic press, if you have it. You really want it minced).
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh dill - finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  • Heat up a large cast iron pan.
  • Pour in one tablespoon of avocado oil.
  • Cook peppers, turning occasionally, until they begin to blister on all sides. (about 5 -7 minutes)
  • Sprinkle with salt and pepper right away.

Dip:

  • Mix all of the dip ingredients and put in the fridge for at least 10 minutes to intensify the flavor. Fresh dill really makes this dip.

 

 


Baked Chile Relleno with Grassfed Ground Beef

My garden is in full swing and I can't wait to have my own garden peppers later this summer. In the meantime, canned green chilies will have to do for this dish. My green house got destroyed by the wind earlier this spring. It was so sad to see as there was no way we could repair it. New green house would take several weeks to arrive and get assembled and my little pepper and tomato plants needed to be transplanted into bigger pots, so they would have enough time to grow and mature to produce amazing vegetables. Technically, tomatoes are fruits, but by culinary classification tomatoes are vegetables.

The Cowboss made me a temporary shelter for my plants, so they wouldn't get destroyed by the harsh sun and wind. He used plexiglass and fence posts to create a little temporary green house and moved all of the plants under the awning of our barn. Sure miss my green house, but the plants are happy and growing. And as I found out, my shelter is also safe from nosy critters like our horses, who are grazing the pasture by the barn and were intrigued by the new structure. Nope, these plants are not for you four-legged friends.

Now, let me get to this recipe. We love love chile relleno, but it is hard to make and the deep fryer always makes a mess. This version is much easier and faster to make! This dish is also great for potluck as it makes a lot! You can feed a crowd for sure.

Ingredients:

  • 27 ounces green chillies - whole
  • 16 ounces refried beans
  • 1 1/2 pounds 3T ground beef
  • 1/2 onion chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 10 oz Queso Fresco cheese shredded
  • 1 1/2 cups Pepperjack cheese
  • 15 corn tortillas cut into 1 inch wide strips

Topping:

  • 4 ranch fresh eggs
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder

Directions:

  • Heat oven to 375 degrees and grease 9x13 baking pan.
  • Mix eggs, flour, evaporated milk and all seasonings.
  • Mix Queso Fresco and Pepperjack cheeses together.
  • Brown ground beef with onion and garlic. Remember to add the garlic just before the meat is cooked, so you wouldn't burn the small garlic pieces. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Add refried beans to the pan and cook until all mixed together.
  • Cut tortillas into 1 inch wide strips.
  • Place 1/2 of the strips on the bottom of the baking pan.
  • Layer 1/2 of the can of green chilies (whole) over the strips.
  • Layer 1/2 of the cheese and then another layer of tortillas, then layer of green chillies and the remaining 1/2 of the cheese.
  • Pour egg mixture topping over the top.
  • Spread ground beef and beans over the egg mixture.
  • Cover with aluminum foil.
  • Bake for 30 minutes and then remove the foil and bake for another 15 minutes.
  • Serve with guacamole and Mexican crema.

 


3T Ranch Summer Berry Cake

Have you tried red currant berries before? It is native across Europe and great for jams and light summer cakes. My grandparents had many red currant bushes in their garden and I remember picking them as a little child. My grandma or as we called her "babi" baked many of these wonderful light cakes - "bublanina". You can use any fresh fruit you have, it always turns out airy and tasty.

Saturday afternoons at my grandparents' house were always reserved for visits from the neighbors and you could count on that this cake would be served along with hot coffee, yes.. even in the summer time. So, as I'm sitting here on Saturday afternoon, typing up this recipe and enjoying my own version of her cake, it sure brings many wonderful memories of my grandparents.

I have ordered the red currant shrub for my garden a few years ago and the very next year it was producing fruit. The berries are known as super fruits as they have naturally high antioxidant capacity and they also have a good supply of vitamin C and K, manganese and potassium.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 grassfed unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tbl granulated sugar
  • 1 farm fresh egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cups of fresh or frozen berries of your choice (I have used strawberries and red currants from my garden)

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Grease and line with parchment paper 9-inch round cake pan.
  • Mix milk and apple cider vinegar and let it sit.
  • Beat together butter and 1/2 cup of sugar for 2 minutes.
  • Beat in egg and vanilla.
  • In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and sat and add to the bowl with butter and sugar. Gently stir a couple of times.
  • Gradually pour in the milk and vinegar mixture that just turned into buttermilk, stir until incorporated, don't over mix.
  • Spread batter evenly into the pan.
  • Evenly arrange fruit over the top of the batter.
  • Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of sugar.
  • Bake 25 minutes. Remove from oven and let it stand 10 minutes before serving.
  • Sprinkle with powdered sugar and some leftover fresh fruit.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Cowboy Casserole

When cooking for cowboys and kids, I always whip up the Cowboy Casserole. Plenty of veggies, but they stay hidden under the cheesy and crunchy tater tots that the kids love. Great for a quick summer dinner.

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs 3T ground beef
  • 2 cups chopped up celery or green peppers are great as well
  • 1 cup chopped up onion
  • 1 cup chopped up carrots
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon ground mustard
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon Lowry’s Garlic Pepper Seasoning (optional, this is our 3T staple seasoning)
  • 2 tablespoons of yellow mustard
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
  • 2 – 3 tablespoons avocado oil
  • 1 bag of tater tots
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

Directions:

  • Heat up oven to 400 degrees.
  • Cut up your veggies.
  • Heat up your good size pot/oven safe and put in 2 tablespoon of oil.
  • Saute veggies for about 5-10 minutes.
  • Include the another tablespoon of oil and stir in the ground beef. Stir for 5 minutes.
  • Time to put in the seasoning – salt, pepper, ground mustard, garlic powder, Lowry’s, yellow mustard, ketchup and Worcestershire Sauce.
  • Stir to combine all of the ingredients and let it cook for another 10 minutes. Keep stirring.
  • Arrange tater tots in circles over the meat mixture.
  • Bake for 25 - 30 minutes or until tater tots are cooked and crisp.
  • Sprinkle with shredded cheese and bake additional couple of minutes or until melted.

3T Ranch Chimichurri Sauce

Grassfed Sirloin steak and shrimp tacos. Our crew loves this dinner. I made homemade chimichurri sauce to go with all of this deliciousness. What is chimichurri? It's and Argentinean sauce or condiment, similar to pesto, that is popular throughout South America. I have used parsley and cilantro to make this sauce. I love making chimichurri during the summertime. My parsley and cilantro are growing like crazy in our garden and I love the freshness of the herbs.

I have recently discovered taco size uncooked tortillas. WOW! Definitely add them to your list next time you go to the grocery store.

Ingredients:

  • 1 packed cup parsley (chop it up after you measure it)
  • 1 packed cup cilantro (Chop it up after you measure it)
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tbls red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil plus additional 2 tbls
  • 1 small grated shallot
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  • Measure the herbs and give it a rough chop.
  • Now, the easy part. Put all of the ingredients into the food processor, except the 2 tbls of olive oil.
  • Pulse and pour in an additional 1 tbls of olive oil if necessary. You can add one more. This really depends on how much you have packed the measuring cup.
  • Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes before serving.

 


Grassfed Beef Liver Pate

Impress your guests with a new appetizer! Grassfed Liver Pate is amazing and very healthy!

Ingredients:

  • 1 pkg 3T Ranch Liver (typically around 1 lb)
  • 2 tbls avocado oil
  • 1 finely chopped shallot
  • 4 finely chopped garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup of red cooking wine (Holland)
  • 2 sprigs thyme - just leaves
  • 2 tbls grassfed butter
  • 2-4 tbls heavy cream or milk
  • salt & pepper to taste

Directions:

  • Defrost the liver.
  • Heat up cast iron pan and put in avocado oil.
  • Cut up liver into chunks.
  • Cook liver over medium heat for about 5 minutes, put in shallot, garlic and thyme. Do not season at this time. The salt would make the liver tough.  Cook the liver all the way through.
  • Deglaze the pan with the red wine. Cook for additional couple of minutes.
  • Salt and pepper to taste. (It will need good amount of salt).
  • Put all of it into the food processor along with 2 tbls butter and 2 tbls heavy cream and pulse until smooth. (If your mixture is still too think, pour in additional 2 tbls of heavy cream. Heavy cream works better in this recipe than milk. It will make your pate creamier).
  • I have served the liver pate on homemade crackers with softened blue cheese and couple of thyme leaves for color.

Grilled Romaine Hearts

Have you tried grilling your lettuce yet? If not, you are missing out! Grilled romaine hearts are delicious and will impress everyone at your next dinner party. This dish is also very quick and can be served with grilled steak as a light lunch or dinner. Homemade ranch dressing with herbs will make you ditch the store-bought one for sure!

Ingredients:

  • 4 - 6 romaine hearts washed and dried
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped or even better use garlic press
  • 2 tablespoons dill, chopped (chives would be also great)
  • 2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil for grilled the romaine hearts

Directions:

  • Make your dressing first, so it can develop the flavors.
  • Mix mayo, sour cream, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, herbs and salt and pepper. Cover and put it in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  • Heat up your grill or stovetop griddle.
  • Lightly brush the cut sides of the romaine with avocado oil.
  • Place the romaine on the grill/griddle cut-side down and cook until grill marks form and the leaves are slightly charred. About 1 to 3 minutes.
  •  Drizzle the romaine with the dressing.

Stuffed Jumbo Pasta Shells with Grassfed Ground Beef

I like to meal plan and keep track of our favorite recipes. Stuffed Jumbo Pasta Shells are definitely on the monthly dinner rotation list. Easy, even after a long day of work, it doesn't take that long to put it together. Meal planning keeps me on track and I don't over spend at the grocery store. Every Sunday afternoon, I sit down at my desk and create a menu for the week. I meal plan for lunches and dinner since school is over and all of the kids are at home for the summer.

Stuffed Jumbo Pasta Shells are always a hit. Early in the week I make our favorite No Sugar Marina Sauce. This batch of sauce will be enough for this recipe and pizzas later in the week. It is worth it to prep it ahead of time. If you don't have time to make our sauce, store bought marina sauce is ok too. Just make sure to read the label and get the kind that doesn't have any extra sugar added.

Meal planning makes it easy to decide on dinner after a long day of working the cows, weeding the garden or the never ending fencing chores. So, here you go!

Ingredients:

For the Shells

  • 1 box of Jumbo Pasta Shells (American Beauty 12oz)
  • 15 oz Ricotta cheese
  • 1 egg (room temperature)
  • 1 cup shredded Mozzarella
  • 1/2 shredded Parmesan
  • 1/4 chopped up parsley

For the Sauce

  • 1 lb 3T ground beef
  • 2 jars of marinara sauce or 1/2 of our No Sugar Marina Sauce
  • 1 tbls Italian seasoning
  • 2 chopped up garlic cloves
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tbls fresh chopped up basil

Optional items to include in the sauce

  • 2 cup of fresh spinach
  • 1 cup of fresh mushrooms

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Boil water and cook shells per package directions and let them cool.
  • Mix Ricotta, Mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses along with egg and parsley.
  • Cook ground beef, include garlic. (Wait to include the garlic until the beef is almost done cooking to prevent burning it). Mix with the sauce and let it simmer for 10 minutes. Stir occasionally. Stir in basil.
  • Optional: sauté mushrooms and spinach for about 5 minutes and put into the sauce. 
  • Pour in 1/2 of the sauce in 9x13 cooking/oven dish.
  • Stuff the shells with the cheese mixture, about one heaping tablespoon each.
  • Lay the shells in the sauce and pour the remaining sauce over them.
  • Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes.

How to cook grassfed/grass finished steak

 

Cooking steak doesn't have to be intimidating!

Just follow these easy steps!

  • Defrost steak overnight in the fridge or in cold water the day of
    • defrosting steak in warm water or in microwave will partially cook the beef and it will be tough
  • Let the steak rest on the counter for 20 - 30 minutes to bring it to room temperature
    • Don't put defrosted steak from the fridge right in a hot pan, the steak needs to be room temperature
  • Season with your favorite seasoning. Pepper and salt will do the trick as well. 3T steaks have delicious flavor already.
  • Heat up your cast iron pan on medium heat - about three minutes, put in little bit of canola oil
  • Grilling. Preheat your grill, no canola oil and now follow the same steps as for cast iron pan.
    • Put in your steak and right away, turn the heat to low. All the way to low!
    • 1 inch steak will typically cook for about 4 minutes on each side. Set the timer!
    • Flip the steak after 4 minutes and cook for additional 4 minutes. Don't mess with the steak, just let it cook.
  • Steak is cooked, but needs to rest. Cover the steak with aluminum foil and let it rest for 5 minutes.
  • Ready to serve! Don't forget to cut the steak against the grain, which means against the direction that the muscle fibers run.

Grassfed/Grass Finished Beef Bone Broth - Instant Pot

Beef Broth

  • 2 3T soup bone packages (about 3 lbs)
  • 3 large carrots – roughly chopped
  • 4 stalks celery – roughly chopped
  • 1 onion – roughly chopped
  • 10 cups of water
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

Directions:

  • Pre-heat oven to 375.
  • Cut up your veggies into large chunks.
  • Put soup bones and veggies on a cookie sheet and mix with 1 tablespoon of canola oil.
  • Roast in the oven for 45 minutes.
  • I don’t use any salt and pepper at this point as I want to be able to season my broth as I’m making other dishes with this delish liquid.
  • Put your roasted bones and veggies into the Instant Pot.
  • Pour in 10 cups of water and 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar.
  • Seal the lid and set it for 120 minutes on high manual.
  • Use slow release.
  • Discard bones and vegetables and store your broth in the fridge.
  • The next day, your broth will have a thin layer of fat. Don't forget to mix it before using it to redistribute the healthy fat layer.
  • The broth will last up to a week in the fridge or you can freeze it as well. I’m a big fan of using ice cube trays to freeze my broth in.
  • You can use the broth in sauces, soups, drink it..
  • Just two ice cubes of beef broth will bring a huge flavor to any of your dishes.