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Why I Stopped Blogging – One of Those Life Changing Events

June 16, 2019
The Accidental Cowboy

Were you wondering why I stopped blogging? I apologize for just leaving with no explanation. It was because of one of those unexpected life changing events that knock you for a loop. One of those things that makes you have to go away by yourself for awhile to figure out. You know, the ones that cause you to make the changes that have been rattling around in the back of your head for way too long, but change is hard and it’s easier to think about it tomorrow.

So, the love of my life, the Accidental Cowboy is working through some serious health issues. We are still figuring things out. I’m not going to go into great detail because he is a private person but, some things gotta change! Like not ignoring what your body is telling you, like eating healthier and getting enough consistent rest and exercise. And, having good medical professionals, and insurance just in case. That darn check up once a year. Yup, it really is a good idea, nip things in the bud, ya know?

So, we are making changes. Now, the love of my life loves his processed, sweets and his meat and potatoes. It turns out though, that there is a reason that empty calories are such a trap. And, most importantly changes can be made that lead out of that trap. If you feed your body what it needs nutritionally, guess what, you don’t want as many calories. It’s true, I promise.

Let’s start with breakfast. Now, there is nobody on earth that is less of a fan of fruit than the Accidental Cowboy. Not even a fan of apple pie unless of course it’s drowning in ice cream and cool whip. However, we now have a fruit smoothie every morning for breakfast. We both miss it if we don’t have it. It is delicious. It’s a culinary miracle.

All you do is whip this baby up in the blender. 216 Calories, 21 % of your daily fibre, 14% of your iron and 68% of your vitamin C. That along with a dash of calcium, vitamin A and folate.

 

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The Accidental Cowboy Smoothie

This breakfast smoothie will convert even the most resistant fruit eater.

Course Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine American
Keyword fruit, healthy snack, smoothie
Prep Time 7 minutes
Servings 1 serving
Calories 216 kcal
Author Jeanne Rogers

Ingredients

  • 2 large strawberries frozen
  • 1/4 cup blueberries frozen
  • 1 medium banana fresh or frozen
  • 1/4 cup pineapple chunks canned in natrual juice
  • 1/4 cup cranberry juice cocktail
  • 1/4 cup water

Instructions

  1. Place all ingredients in a blender. Pulse to break up frozen fruit then blend until smooth.

As the weather warms up, we have been having one of these in the afternoon. It is just as good as a big scoop of ice cream. I’d love to hear from you if you get a chance to try this.

Also, I hope you will bear with me as I get back in the blogging saddle so to speak. I gotta tell you, getting this post published was harder than hitting that publish button for the very first time. But, one has to start (or in my case, start back somewhere) and mighty done is often better than mighty good. Right?

 

 

 

Ranch Life Recipes Slices of Life

Hummingbird Nectar Recipe and Conversion Chart

July 1, 2018
Hummingbird Photography

I created this Hummingbird Nectar Recipe and Conversion Chart, ’cause, out here in the hinterlands of New Mexico you have to get your entertainment where you can. I like to have my morning tea on the front porch and watch the hummingbirds, little fighter pilots of the Audubon world. Their speed and agility is unmatched anywhere in nature in my humble opinion. We have two feeders set up about 10 feet off the porch. There are a couple of trees that allow the birds to check out the situation before they come down to feed, so it’s a great set up. Hummingbirds eat 1.5 to 3 times their body weight a day. If they spent less time running each other off and just shared the feeder, they might not have to eat so much. They wouldn’t be nearly as interesting to watch though. Aerial battles and all, it is a great way to start the day.

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Kitchen Faves Kitchen Tools Slices of Life

Seven Grilling Tools to Make Your Summer BBQ a Breeze

May 22, 2018
Seven BBQ Tools

Seven Grilling Tools to Make Your Summer BBQ a Breeze

Memorial Day is just around the corner and that means that Summer Grilling Season is here. As with anything, you need the right tools. At least that’s what my dad used to say. The Accidental Cowboy (my husband) says that too. I think it’s true but, it could be an excuse to acquire more tools. Anyway, here are seven grilling tools to make your grilling a breeze.

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Ranch Life Slices of Life

An Excellent Ranch Morning

May 9, 2018
Wild Yellow Rose

It is 8:14 am and it has been a stellar morning here on the ranch. This may sound crazy to some of you but, those of us that love roses, especially old or antique roses are truly blessed. Here is why. This morning after the horses were fed and everybody is good on water (horses, cows, cats, dog), I was filling my watering can to take care of my new lavender plants and noticed this sweet wild yellow rose blooming by the water tank for the cows. It has made my day. What tenacity! We have had almost no moisture here all year. It was an incredibly dry winter. Just two dustings of snow. This spring we have had a trace of rain maybe 3 times. I am amazed at this little rose. How has it survived and even bloomed? Is it totally wild or did someone a very long time ago plant it or its predecessor?

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Slices of Life

Cronometer

April 26, 2018

Recently while visiting family in Washington State, I learned about a cool website called Cronometer. You can use it to track your daily calorie intake, as well as vitamin, mineral and protein values. The whole idea behind this is, to stay healthy while losing, or maintaining your weight. To do this, you not only want to track your calories, but other nutritional values as well. Cronometer.com allows you to do this and then some. Sign up for a free account, enter what you eat for the day and you will have a complete nutritional tracking to maintain your weight or to lose the amount you choose when you set up your profile.

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Blogging Ranch Life Slices of Life

I Got Nothin

February 10, 2018
NewCalf

Well, there is no recipe today. I got nothin. It’s not for lack of trying. This week I have been experimenting with the slow cooker again. I have seen where some folks swear that vegetables “roasted” in a slow cooker are as good as when you roast them in the oven. I did not find this to be the case.

Now it could be the combination of vegetables that I used. I tried zucchini, tomatoes, and radishes seasoned with basil. Nope, didn’t care for the combination. I think the vegetables need to be a similar texture. That way they all cook to the same degree.

Next I tried sweet potatoes, carrots, parsnips and brussel sprouts seasoned with some cinnamon. Nope, brussel sprouts do not belong with root vegetables. Lastly, I tried chicken leg quarters. Supposedly when you cook chicken without any liquid, skin on, in the slow cooker the skin comes out crispy but the meat stays nice and moist. No crispy skin for me. The chicken was nice and moist. But, it was a bit overdone. I cooked it as directed on low for what was supposed to be seven hours. It was fall apart tender at six hours. I did however, get some really good broth out of that little experiment. My next endeavor will involve the temperature sensor that goes with my slow cooker. I am going to see how long it takes to get it to 160° with chicken, and I am going to try some different vegetable mixes. I love a good medley. So stay tuned.

Meanwhile back here at the ranch, (I really can say that) the weather continues to be unseasonably warm (and unfortunately dry). This is really nice especially when one heats the house with wood. On really cold nights we have to get up a couple of times to feed the wood stove. With this warmer weather we are able to sleep through the night.

The best thing for me about February is that calving season starts for us. The first momma with her calf in tow showed up a couple of days ago. The first day or so they are so spindly on their new legs. By the second day they are already testing out their running skills. It’s really fun to watch two calves meet each other for the first time. Just like a couple of toddlers meeting at the playground. A bit shy and tentative and then they are off to play. Seeing those new babies tells me that Spring is not too far off.

So tomorrow, it’s back to kitchen. These experiments will prove to be fruitful eventually.

Restaurants Restaurants and Travel Slices of Life

Buena Vista, Colorado Visit

November 5, 2017
Road to Buena Vista

A couple of weeks ago, I had the privilege of traveling with my sweet mum to her hometown of Buena Vista, Colorado. I had never been there before and it was such a delight to see it with the historical perspective that she could provide. Mom was a small girl during the Great Depression, she remembers the troop trains passing through the middle of town during World War II. Remembers when the locomotives passing through town transitioned from steam to diesel. There are so many more stories that get told in the place where they happened. This trip is one I will always cherish. Mom left in 1952 to move to the big city of Denver. Although Buena Vista has grown from a “sleepy little town” to an outdoor recreation destination it is still very quaint. East Main Street is still the heart of town and the vast majority of buildings date back to the late 1800’s.

“Buenie” as she calls it, is located on the headwaters of the Arkansas river. Nestled in the valley bordered on the west by the towering Collegiate Peaks. The area sports some of the best river rafting in the nation. From class I to IV rapids. Multiple companies offer trips down different stretches of the river and include guided 1/2 day, 1 day or multiple day trips. There are outfitters that give lessons and professional training in kayaking, rafting and stand up paddle boarding. Rafting season runs from mid-May though early September.

This area also offers loads of hiking, biking and ATV trails. In the fall it is a hunting destination for elk, deer and big horn sheep. There are several fish hatcheries near by so the fishing is quite good in the area lakes and streams. In the winter, there is snowmobiling and Alpine skiing nearby.

We were so fortunate when we went. The Colorado fall colors were at their peak. The aspens were brilliant yellow contrasted by the small patches of deep copper and reds that I believe were oaks. We saw loads of big mule deer. A lot of them right in the middle of town. It is not unheard of to have bears mosey through but we did not see any.

Now of course for me, the food was as important as the scenery and history. We had a wonderful meal at Simple Eatery. I was absolutely charmed by the innovative menu and delightful staff. Housed in the old Highway Department building on East Main Street, where my mom remembered the giant snow plow trucks being housed. The high ceilings, large front windows and original brick interior walls make the atmosphere both airy and yet cozy.

They bake their own bread and pretzels daily and sell it by the loaf. The same bread is used in their diverse menu ranging from their Chicken and Brie Panini on sour dough to the Elk Burger served on a pretzel bread bun to pasta dishes. They also serve a signature Rainbow Trout which I must try next time.

Simple Eatery Elk Burger

Simple Eatery Elk Burger

 

Mom had the Elk Burger. Cooked to perfection, tender and juicy. I have had a lot of elk that was rather dry. This was not. Just a bit stronger taste than beef. And the bun – so good. Crisp, crunchy crust and then a soft yet toothsome center. For the side, rather than fries mom chose the combo option of Heirloom Tomato Bisque. Very sweet but substantial tomato taste. Just enough cream to give it a velvety mouth feel.

 

 

Simple Eatery Bison Ravioli

Simple Eatery Bison Ravioli

 

 

I had the Bison Ravioli. The ravioli was very al dente. The robust flavor of the meat was balanced by a subtly sweet cream-sage sauce made with a whisper of orange and even less lemon. The plate is dotted with a bit of peppery arugula and a few sweet heirloom tomatoes, giving the whole dish a really nice juxtaposition of flavors.

 

Of course I got to talking food with the staff and they were kind enough to bring me several soup samples, all of which were amazing. Especially so for the carrot coconut soup. I have to try to make that one! Sweet carrots, vegetable broth a hint of warm ginger and creamy coconut milk.

During peak season this place is hopping, but you can order online and specify a time for pickup. Don’t make a trip to or through Buena Vista without giving this place a try.

Road to Buena Vista

Scenic Overlook on the way to Wolf Creek Pass

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