G.F. Ranch

The beginning of His vision

Cheesy Cauliflower Soup

I just made a couple of no sew beanies for my great-niece’s birthday presents and the fabric adhesive I used has given me a heck of a headache!  So to take my mind off of it, I decided to do another blog post.  That is if I can keep focused.  If not, I’ll go play a game and come back in a little while.

A couple years ago I found The Pioneer Woman.  I like her!  She’s simple, funny and I can just relate to her. I would also love to have her kitchens and cookware! Although I’m sure much of what you see was set up as props for filming, I have heard many complain it makes her seem unreal.  Why do we feel the need to find negativity to complain about????

Matter of fact I had recently purchased a couple items from her new line.  I LOVE my measuring cups!!!!  The only thing that would have made them better was if I could have gotten them in turquoise rather than red.  But I still love them! I also received a box of kitchen gadgets from Bug & Hubby for Christmas.  It was a very sweet surprise! And a few of the items were from her line too.  They know me so well!

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The next piece I want is her 7 quart dutch oven!  I think it’s adorable how she includes 2 knobs for her lids.  A plain boring one and an adorable butterfly one.  The pretty one would definitely be on my lid!

 

Our second soup we made during our fast was her recipe for Cheesy Cauliflower Soup.  Sadly we had to skip step one!  Everything taste better with bacon….okay, almost everything.  But I followed the rest of the recipe.  I also used my immersion blender and blended it 2/3 the way as she suggested.  However, neither Bug or I liked the texture of the soup.  We ate it, enjoyed the flavor but choked down the texture.

After it had cooled most of the way, I put it in the blender (in batches.  Heed her warning about not putting too much in at a time.  My last batch had a hair too much and it spit out the corners.) to get it smooth.  Much better!!!  Even Bug liked it way better today too.  I put a small amount back in the fridge for leftovers and put 3 quart sized bags in the freezer.  Along with 3 bags of the 7 Can Soup as well.  I really love cooking big and having some to freeze so I don’t have to cook to eat it later.

Really not sure if I would make it again though.  Maybe with some sausage or bacon in it, just maybe Hubby might like it.  Will find out in 3 weeks!

FYI…I made it through the post without running off, but my head still feels lousy.  Thinking a big glass of water and head to bed.

 

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Still Using Them

Even though my cooking has improved TREMENDOUSLY over the past decade, I still turn to  recipes to inspire me and at least get me started.  I say that because I do not very often follow a recipe 100%, unless it’s one of those that if you don’t, it will be a complete fail.  Often when looking for a recipe for a particular item, I will compare 2 or 3 recipes and then create my own somewhere in the middle.

As I said in a previous post, I have been craving soup and since we have the Daniel Fast going on, figured it was perfect timing.  So now I have recipe reviews for you beyond just cleaning products.

The first day Bug and I made 7 Can Soup that I found over on The Pioneer Woman website.  I could have let Bug made it by himself and it would have probably came out better.  I added extra spices (cumin and chili powder) that was probably completely unnecessary with the rotel and green chilies.

Of course, we had to adapt the very first ingredient. Daniel Fast = NO MEAT!  So we used 1/2 of a large can of refried beans I had on hand.  Bug & I love them, Hubby not so much (or any bean for that matter), so it was a good thing he is offshore.  I also didn’t have any kidney beans ready for use and not in the mood to wait so we substituted a can of regular corn in addition to the mexi-corn.

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Via The Pioneer Woman

Bug didn’t enjoy the spiciness, but other than that he liked it.  I put a large dollop of sour cream in mine, as well as 1/2 an avocado.  Some fresh diced tomatoes would have finished it off for me perfectly.  Bug hates tomatoes (but likes spaghetti and pizza sauce & ketchup????) so I don’t normally get any tomatoes beyond what a recipe calls for.  And lucky for him, I’m making homemade Tomato Soup tonight!  The joys of being the cook!!!

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Eco-Friendly Dryer Sheets

You will find that Momma can be ‘too’ honest at times; perhaps sometimes I’m just misunderstood.  For example, how do you take it when I say I don’t really care about eco-friendly or organic? Are you with me or ready to linch me? Do you chose to just react to what I said or do you ask questions to understand what I mean by what I said?  Wow, not sure where all the ‘deep thoughts’ are coming from.

Do I care about the earth? Of course.  Do I prefer no or very minimal chemicals used?  Of course.  Do I like to reuse things rather than just throwing them away?  Of course.  But I’m not going to go crazy over it and those terms make me think of the people who go way over the top.  Perhaps they are just over used words.

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Bet you can’t guess which website I found out about these dryer sheets!  Haha, yes, POPSUGAR Smart Living.

 

 

 

I love the idea they are reusable…but that’s where anything positive I could say ends.  I just can’t do this recipe.  My hands stink terribly when getting out the sheet, the smell gives me an instant headache and I had also used a jar like this and the rubber seal began to dissolve on me.

So in the meantime, I guess we will be stinking to Downy.  Am open to any suggestions you may have.

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Make-it Monday: Altering Old Boxy Flannels – Getting the Perfect Fit from a Button Shirt

Need to make myself an inspirational category for things I haven’t done yet, but want to.  I love how easy this seems to be over at Pickin’ Petals Farm & Mud Room.

Hi Lovelies,

Well with the low tonight finally dipping into the teens, I guess I can admit that winter is here. While I was out at the store this week, I noticed some nice and warm men’s flannel shirts on clearance – how was I supposed to resist this? This isn’t my first adventure into men’s fashion. Before you judge me, you need to hear the whole story. You see, in the past, I’ve been lovingly described by friends as “a female paul bunyon”, “a future pro wrestler” and of course – the classic, “lumberjack.” While I don’t take offense anymore and have, through the years learned to love myself – one thing is true: I’m not a petite person. Being really tall (and I think just a woman in general) some articles of clothing are just hard to find. The first thing that always comes to mind are button-up…

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Meet Gypsy & Lilly

A bit over a year ago, Bug and I were on our way to a living history exhibit a short ways away when my realtor called.  She said she had a friend looking to rehome their horse and she thought of us.  Hubby was offshore so I felt it necessary to make a rash judgement call.  I knew we were looking to get horses, so why not???  Let me go on record now as saying there is NO SUCH THING AS A FREE HORSE!!!!!!!

Later that evening on our way home, Hubby calls.  So I pull over and we chat.  After a few minutes I quickly blurt out “we have a horse”!  He says “what?”.  So I repeat, “can we have a horse?”.  He says,”oh, I thought you said we have a horse”.  And I am sure he could hear my sweet & innocent smile on my face when I said “I did”.

Do you see what my Hubby puts up with.  (No, that was not the first and far from the last incident like that).  Thank God he is a very patient and forgiving man!  And thankfully he was looking forward to getting a horse too.  But in his mind, the horse would come after the barn was finished.  and no work had even been started in the barn at this part.

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We were aware she only had one eye, but to make a long story short, she needed surgery to properly fix the missing eye which was far from cheap.  Again, no such thing as a free horse.But she was such a sweet Appaloosa girl and was happy to get her feeling better.

Gypsy is a smaller horse, where as Hubby is a bigger man standing at 6’4″.  So I was keeping an eye out for a horse for him.  This time I contacted him prior to saying yes to Lilly.  Lilly is a beautiful Paint.  In the summer her hair lightens in a way that she almost appears  brindle. Just gorgeous!!!

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So much!!

So much to update on.  Really wish I was better at taking pictures of stuff, especially the before pictures.  That would be especially useful with the barn.  There was so much trash in there, at least 6 inches deep if not more.  It took a little while to clean it out, but we now have an open stall (so the horses can come & go as they please), a tack room and the start of another horse stall.

I have to take a moment to share one of the 98,679,528 things (that I have thought of so far) that I love and admire about my hubby!  He just has a knack for thinking of an idea or looking at something and being able to build it.  That is God given talent and I’m grateful it’s in my hubby!

Hmmmm, now that I think about it, am sure I must have some pictures to post of the barn. We just have so much to share.  We need to introduce ourselves to you as well as our four dogs, two horses, two geese and numerous chickens.  Oh, and so many sunsets to share!

I have been fighting with the internet and computer for the past hour.  Even though I should have just headed to bed, my brain doesn’t work that way.

 

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Goo Gone

When I find something I like on a blog, I tend to check out the rest of their blog for more great ideas.  Often I either find nothing else or maybe one or two more things.  Occasionally I hit pay dirt!  Am sure you already expecting this recipe for Homemade Goo Gone to come from POPSUGAR Smart Living.  And you will not be disappointed.  Both, because you are correct and also because this is a great recipe.

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I questioned how well a 2-ingredient Goo Gone would work and I was pleasantly surprised!  Various glues are used on different items and differ in ease of removal.  There are occasions I have had to repeat two or three times.  But to not deal with the horrendous smell of Boo-Be-Gone, I do not mind one bit.

I also found that by spreading a thin layer over the glue area first,  then adding on a bit thicker of a layer and leave to set or dry, makes the job even easier!  I now make this recipe in double or triple batches as I love to save bottles, jars and even some plastic containers.

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Daniel Fast

Our church is doing a corporate Daniel Fast for the next 3 weeks.  That means 3 weeks of no meats and sweets. Hubby is offshore so it is just Buggy & I.  My niece and 2 great-nieces will be visiting during it as well.  Hope Mak loves my veggie chili as much as she loved my regular chili (for a little girl who eats like a bird…she went back for thirds).

I love soup and have been craving it.  Haven’t been impressed with the taste of canned soup for a long time so I went hunting for recipes.  My first go-to site is almost always The Pioneer Woman. I have yet to make a recipe of hers that I haven’t loved.  Her ingredients are ‘normal’ and they are easy to create. And can’t forget the adjective ‘hearty’.  Maybe it’s because she lives on a ranch too.  Would love to sit and have a cup of tea with her.

So, I have printed out my recipes, made my shopping list and now trying to figure out when we will go to the store. When you live 30 minutes from town (including the one you live in, lol) it takes planning.  It takes 15 minutes just to get to the ‘corner store’.

I’ve already told Bug he will be helping to cook many of these soups.  I love to incorporate real life experiences to his school days.  I remember seeing a thing on Facebook about the best test to see if you’re a control freak…bake with your children.  LOL, I FAIL!!!  I conclude I am a control freak.  I do tend to just do it myself and get it done quicker BUT my son also deserves to learn how to cook.  And as a parent, we often have to put aside what we like or what is easier for ourselves and do what is right for our children.  At least, that’s how it should be.

Just wanted to give you a heads up of what you can expect to see in the upcoming recipe reviews.

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Smells like Boy

Our house back in the Magnolia State had more carpet than not.  Even the dining room had carpet until we tore it up and laid tile eight years later.  So when we found the ranch, Momma was happy that there was only carpet in 3 of the bedrooms.

I do remember growing up and my Mom buying carpet fresheners and I have bought them a few times in my adult life.  Maybe it just happened to grab my attention as I walked down that isle?  Just not something I bought or even thought of buying very often.

The older section of the ranch is a bit older.  Somewhere around my age I think and the carpets look they aren’t much younger than the house.  And our Bug is hitting his tween years….and tween smell! I would say ‘Ughhh, this room smells like….like….boyyyyy!’,  almost every time I went in there.  Bug would be like ‘duh!’ and hubby would laugh.

It’s kind of like dogs…I love dogs, but do not enjoy the smell of wet dogs one bit!  Perhaps, his room smelled more like a mix of the two?  Just picture my face with my lips curled down and my nose scrunched up.  Smelled worse than that, lol.

Thinking more about it, I would say I didn’t buy carpet powder because my hubby had gotten me the Oreck Orbitor dry carpet cleaner.  That was one of the best things he got me.  But he was tired of watching me spend 6 hours on my hands & knees cleaning old, beige carpets.

Recently I came across a recipe for Homemade Dry Carpet Cleaner For Fresh and Clean Rugs on POPSUGAR Smart Living again.  I love it!!!! I can walk into Bug’s room without my face going all askew.

Not sure what the makeup of Borax is, so am not sure if it can be described as ‘all-natural’; and the recipe does call it optional. I will probably look it up at some point, but for now I have other things to do.  I will say as I was looking for the recipe I used to link for you, I found another recipe that just called for 2 cups corn meal and 1 cup borax.  Hmmmm, starting to wonder if these were the main ingredients in the $50 carpet cleaning powder I use to buy from Oreck?

For some reason, it seems I’m never able to (or maybe just don’t want to) follow a recipe to the T. I didn’t have any whole cloves, but I had picked up some mulling spice mix right before making the powder the first time and chose to use that.  Mulling Spices is a mixture of cinnamon, allspice, orange and lemon peel, star anise, cloves, fenugreek and ginger.  Which I do like to put in the processor to powderize before i add to the mix.

Do I have any complaints?  No, I would call it more of a downside than a complaint.IMG_3926  I made a big mess.  But I am a messy person and could make a mess of a non-messy recipe.  It’s just one of the things that make me me. And it is an easy mess to clean up, but I did go ahead and make a double batch today.

 

While I am not a fan of carpeting, I am also not a fan of cold floors.  So I really do need to find some area rugs for Hubby & my room.

 

 

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Laundry Booster Recipe Review

Over a year ago now, I made my own homemade laundry detergent for the very first time.  Pretty sure I have at least another 3 months to go before I need to make any more.  Yep, loving’ it!  And it cost me under $25.  I even gave a quart mason jar to my daughter-in-love and that lasted her a long time.

I have had no problems with it.  I will mention that we do have a top-load, HE washer.  I add the detergent into the soap dispenser and no problems…no back up or build up.  My DIL has an older washer with no dispenser.  And she did have issues of the soap not fully rinsing off black clothes.  So she just added water to hers to make it a liquid and then she said it worked great.

But that really isn’t what this post is about.  Here in central Texas we have red clay….LOTS of red clay!  And I highly doubt any detergent is going to hold up to red clay.  So I found a recipe on POPSUGAR Smart Living to Brighten Clothes With This Awesome Dry Laundry Booster. My brain said what it often says….that’s worth trying.  I will say I like it.  Not that I would call it ‘all-natural’ as it uses washing soda, but I would say it is economical.

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My biggest complaint is it dried hard as a rock in my jar.  I actually just made another batch before writing this blog post and I spread it on a cookie sheet to dry out first.  Then I will put it in the processor to break it up and then put it in the jar.  Thinking this will be easier than spending another 15-20 minutes with a mallet and sharp instruments to break up the rock to put in the processor.

My only other small complaint is the smell.  Not that it alters the smell of the clothing, but when I open the jar it can take my breath away.  I will also note that I used beautician strength peroxide we had left over from a science experiment.

So for $3.97 for the washing soda and $0.97 for peroxide,  I estimate it cost approximately 20 cents per load. Let me know what you think 🙂

UPDATE:  as soon as I finished this post, I went and checked on the booster.  It had already dried and since I laid it on the cookie sheet, it was thin and easy to break up to put in the processor.  Much easier to work with a powder than a rock.

 

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