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.

 


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.

3T Tamale Pie

 

 

It was a fun night at our 3T Ranch making this tasty dinner. It feels good to be back into the swing of things and our regular schedule. Don't take me wrong, we all love the holiday season, but we are more disciplined when we stick to our regular schedule and we eat better.

I sure enjoy when the kids want to help cooking dinner. Allie helped to measure the ingredients, Junior herded his cows around the kitchen counter and it makes my heart happy when Luke goes for seconds or thirds for dinner. The Cowboss added this meal to our "Family Dinner Rotation".  I think they liked the Tamale Pie!

I hope you will try this recipe and have a fun family dinner evening. Sometimes, it doesn't have to be anything big, just happy people around the kitchen table to make a wonderful family memory.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 14.5 oz can of organic creamed corn
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 lb 3T ground beef
  • 10 oz can of whole green chile peppers - diced up
  • 1 packet of Taco Seasoning or you can easily make your own
    • 1 tablespoon chili powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
    • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
    • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
    • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 15 oz enchilada sauce (We like Hatch Organic Red Enchilada Sauce)
    • 1 cup of enchilada sauce will be poured over the partially baked cornbread
    • Save the remaining enchilada sauce to serve with your baked dish
  • 1 cup shredded Pepper Jack cheese
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro

Serve it with - guacamole, sour cream, extra enchilada sauce, salsa, Spanish rice.

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a baking dish.
  • Mix together the dry ingredients - cornmeal, flour, baking powder, salt.
  • Add the following to your dry mixture - egg, sour cream, creamed corn and milk.
  • Pour the cornbread mixture into the baking dish.
  • Bake for 25 minutes.
  • In the meantime, cook your 3T ground beef, put in your seasoning. Your own taco mix or taco packet from the store is just fine too.
  • Cut up the chile peppers and put in with the ground beef.
  • Take the cornbread out of the oven. The cornbread won't be fully cooked, that is OK it will go back in the oven after the dish is assembled.
  • Poke holes in the cornbread with a fork and pour 1 cup of enchilada sauce over it.
  • Now comes the meat mixture and peppers and cheese.
  • Put your dish onto a cookie sheet to avoid any messes in the oven.
  • Bake for additional 15 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly.
  • Serve with Spanish rice, guacamole, sour cream, extra enchilada sauce and salsa. My crew liked pouring the extra enchilada sauce over their slice of tamale pie.

Dobrou Chut!

 


3T Cheeseburgers

 

We love cheeseburgers, weekly dinner for our family. In the summertime, we grill and enjoy a nice evening on our patio. The Cowboss is a pro! The rest of the year, I cook our cheeseburgers inside in my cast iron skillet. Low and slow is the key, on the grill as well as when cooking with the cast iron skillet.

Why are our cheeseburgers the best? Grassfed beef has many health benefits, but also a delicious flavor that gets enhanced by Dijon Mustard. That is our secret ingredient when making cheeseburgers!

We hope you will give this recipe a try!

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb 3T ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon Mustard
  • 4 slices of Cheddar or PepperJack Cheese

Directions:

  • Mix ground beef, salt, pepper and Dijon Mustard.
  • Form 4 patties.
  • TIP - make a round indent in the middle of the uncooked patty, so your burgers stay flat.
  • Grill or cook in the cast iron pan on low and slow.
  • Select your choice of cheese. The kids will always vote for Cheddar, but the cowboys love PepperJack.

 


Beef Enchilada Pasta

April gives us just enough taste of the warm spring weather and then we get hit with another snow storm! As I'm typing up this recipe, the snow is coming down really hard and we are expecting another blizzard. Many businesses are closing down for the day and I wouldn't be surprised that schools will call a snow day for tomorrow. We sure do need the moisture after a very dry summer last year. I will be happy about the green grass later this year, but it is cold and snowy right now.

Our new favorite recipe on days like today is Beef Enchilada Pasta. You can make it mild or as hot as you like it. Since, we have little guys, I went with the mild version today.

You can use ground beef for this recipe, but I think it really adds POW flavor, if you cook up the ground beef chorizo.

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 lbs of 3T ground beef or beef chorizo
  • 1 box of your favorite pasta
  • 1 chopped up medium size onion
  • 4 finely chopped up garlic cloves
  • 1 chopped up bell pepper
  • 1 cup of your favorite salsa
  • 15 oz can of  Hatch Organic Red Enchilada Sauce
  • 2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 bunch of chopped up cilantro
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  • Cook pasta per box directions.
  • Saute onion, garlic and pepper, stir in ground beef or chorizo and cook until done.
  • I typically use my pasta pot as it is big enough to stir in the rest of the ingredients.
  • Stir in pasta, garlic, onion, pepper, ground beef, salsa, enchilada sauce and cheese. Heat through, so the cheese is nice and melted.
  • Taste it! Does it need more salt or pepper?
  • Sprinkle with cilantro.
  • Ready to serve!

3T's Favorite Ground Beef Recipes

Sometimes life gets busy and having on hand some easy and tasty recipes can surely save the day. I’m thinking we need some weeknight dinner ideas to add to our meal plans, what do you think? For this post, I have decided to go with ground beef recipes. Ground beef is so versatile from burgers and pastas to delish casseroles. I know that if I'm in a bind, my ground beef package can be defrosted in 20 minutes (defrost in cold water). It is always a good idea to stock up on 3T ground beef to help you on busy nights. The recipes below are 3T's favorite recipes, the cowboys love it, the kids love it, hungry teenagers love it. I have even served the Sloppy Joes during a ladies' dinner party and it was a hit. You can buy 3T ground beef on our website or at Wheat Ridge Poultry and Meats. We hope you will give these recipes a try! Let us know what you think. We love seeing photos from our customers cooking with 3T beef.

 

3T's Sloppy Joes

Swedish Meatballs

Mexican Lasagna

Baked Chimichangas

Mexican Quiche

 

 


No Sugar Marinara Sauce

I have created this recipe earlier in the summer and it has been a major game changer for our pasta and pizza dishes. My Cowboss challenged me to eliminate sugar from our savory dishes. You would be surprised how sneaky sugar really is and how many recipes or marinates call for sugar that is really not necessary. When I first started to look into homemade marinara recipes, many of them included sugar to offset the acidity of the tomatoes, so I needed to find a substitute.   After a few failed recipes, I have hit the jackpot with sautéed shredded carrots that gave the sauce the much needed sweetness. The best part of this marinara recipe.. it is done in 30 minutes. You don't need to cook it for hours. The carrots give it the nice sweetness and the beef broth, which is an important ingredient, gives it the depth of flavor you need in a good pasta sauce.

I have been making delicious "red sauce" dishes like spaghetti squash with southwestern beef sausage, cheese cannelloni with marinara sauce and ground beef and this sauce is hands down awesome on homemade pizzas. This recipe makes enough red sauce for two family dishes. It last for a week in the fridge.

Over the summer, we have also teamed up with a great family owned business Wheat Ridge Poultry & Meats and they carry our 3T Ranch beef at their store. Rob and Jess are wonderful business partners and they have extended the line of 3T Ranch products that are now available to our customers. WRPM carries various cuts of 3T beef, but also make many varieties of beef sausages, jerky and beef broth.

I hope you will try the recipe and love it as much as we do.

Ingredients:

  • 28 oz fire roasted crushed tomatoes
  • 6 0z tomato paste
  • 2 large shredded carrots
  • 1 medium onion - small dice
  • 1/2 garlic head - crushed through garlic press
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3-4 cups of beef broth
  • 6 basil leaves finely chopped or 1 tablespoon of homemade pesto

Directions:

  • In a large pot pour olive oil, saute onion and carrots until onions are translucent, add garlic and cook for a couple of minutes.
  • Pour in crushed tomatoes and tomato paste. Make sure to stir to break up and incorporate the tomato paste.
  • At this point I like to include all of my seasonings.
  • Pour in 3 cups of beef broth. Cook it down for about 15 minutes.
  • You can certainly leave the sauce chunky, but my family likes it smooth, so I pure the sauce with my immersion handheld blender.
  • Add your basil or homemade pesto. (Tip - I store my homemade pesto in ice cube trays. It is the perfect portion and it stores well in the freezer).
  • I typically end up pouring another cup of broth into my sauce unless I'm using it right away as a pizza sauce. Cook the sauce for another 5 - 10 minutes.

Dobrou Chut!


3T Sloppy Joes - Kids Favorite!

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This recipe is so good that I have made it twice in two days. It is a hit with adults and children. I have made the first batch for a fun nail party my friend invited us to. Doing your nails is a lot of work and the ladies enjoyed a small slider Sloppy Joes treat afterwards. My second batch was for my friend who just had her third baby girl. I love my MOPS mamas, what a great way to connect with other moms in the area and make life long friends. Our family has sure appreciated when our friends showed up with a warm meal when our children were babies. The Cowboss didn't have to cook for weeks even though he was on the cooking duties, so I could tend to our little rascals. I'm always happy to bring a meal to a friend and check out their new bundle of joy.

Sloppy Joes on a toasted bun is always a winner of a dinner. Our two little guys are not that coordinated yet to eat the Sloppy Joes on a bun, so I mix up the cooked beef mixture in their homemade mac and cheese. They can "skillfully" work the fork. ;)

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 to 2 tablespoons brown sugar (Taste it first after the first tablespoon. We have liked the savory version with just one tablespoon, but some people like the sweeter version)
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
  • 2 - 3 tablespoons Canola oil

Directions.

  • Cut up your veggies.
  • Heat up your good size pot 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, sugar and Worcestershire Sauce.
  • Stir to combine all of the ingredients and let it cook for another 10 minutes. Keep stirring.
  • Time to serve it up on a toasted bun with homemade mac and cheese.

How easy wast that?! Dobrou chut!

 

 


Even the Smallest Ranch Hands Check the Cows - Swedish Meatballs

Every afternoon after their nap time, the kids and I venture outside to look for our yearlings. Our family likes schedule and know what comes next. You would be surprised, but the cows are predictable as well. Every afternoon around 3:00 PM, the yearlings come to water and then head to the north side of the property. Perfect timing to check out the young steers and heifers. I think Junior's first word was "moo", not mama or dada. That little guy sure loves his cows.

The afternoon outings keep us busy, the kids get some fresh air and explore the surrounding, including being curious about dry cow pies. Don't get me even started on that one! By the time we get home, we are ready to start our dinner routine.

A couple of nights ago I made Swedish Meatballs. It was easy and fast, so the little guys didn't lose their "cool" before dinner was served. The unique spices in the meatballs made it a nice change to the typical marinara meatballs.

Ingredients:

Meatballs

  • 1 lb 3T ground beef
  • 1/4 breadcrumbs (plain), panko also works great
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice (Don't overdo it with this spice, it is crucial to the recipe, but it can also overpower it. Measure for sure, don't eyeball it).
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion

Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1 cup 2% milk
  • 1 tablespoon grain mustard
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • Lingonberry jam (Not a big deal, if you don't have it. It is a garnish).

Directions: 

  • Mix your meatball ingredients and heat up a large deep pan.
  • Use a heaping tablespoon of the beef mixture to roll your meatballs.
  • Put in oil in the pan and fry your meatballs on each side. They don't have to be cooked all the way through as you will finish the cooking process in the sauce. The meatballs need to have a nice crust on them.
  • Take the meatballs out of the pan and start working on the sauce.
  • Add a little bit of oil and stir in flour. Stir and let it cook for about 30 seconds. Slowly pour in the beef broth. Continue stirring, so you don't get lumps in the sauce.
  • Add milk, mustard, salt and pepper.
  • Let the sauce thicken while stirring for about 5 minutes.
  • Put in meatballs and coat them in the sauce. Cook for another 5 minutes on low to medium heat.
  • Right before serving stir in chopped up parsley.
  • I have served the meatballs with mashed potatoes and green beens.

Tip: You don't have to use a lot of butter and cream to make tasty mashed potatoes. I have used only one tablespoon of grassfed butter and warm beef stock to make the potatoes creamy. The key point is the warm beef stock, it has to be warm. Salt, pepper and garlic/pepper seasoning is always a staple in the mashies.

Dobrou Chut!