Three Bean Bake

1/2 lb ground beef (I add a lb of meat sometimes and it works too)
5 bacon strips, cooked and diced
1 onion chopped
2 16oz cans pork-n-beans
1 16oz can butter beans
1 16oz can kidney beans
1/3 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. ketchup
1/4 c. BBQ sauce
2 T molasses
2 T mustard
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp each of salt and pepper

Brown beef with onions. Rinse and drain butter and kidney beans. Mix sauce. Add all together and bake covered at 350 degrees for 1 hr.

Baked beans were common on wagon trails west. This is a beefed up version from my friend Suzanne.


Stew Meat and Gravy

Stew meat in a crock pot is so tender and good!

3 lbs stew meat
1 cup water
2 tbls beef Bouillon (I use Better than Bouillon.)
1 tsp dried basil
1 tbls diced onion
1/2 tsp garlic salt
2 packets of gravy mix (I use Gluten Free)
2 cups water

Spray crock pot with cooking spray. Add beef. Mix 1 cup water and bouillon, basil, onion, and garlic salt. Pour over meat. Mix 2 packets gravy mix with 2 cups water. Pour over all. Cook on low all day. Serve over rice, potatoes, or pasta.

*If too runny, add a little flour and water prior to serving until thickened.

Breakfast Burritos

Ok, here’s a confession that would haunt the FDA… I used to make a batch of these, roll one up in tinfoil and my hubby would put it over the heat vent on his dashboard in his pickup on early mornings. That way he didn’t have to eat when he first got up and could eat when he got hungry an hour or so after heading out. If he was hopping on his horse first, he’d microwave it, then put it in tinfoil and pop it in his saddle bags. I don’t make them as much since we’ve gone gluten free and egg free (mostly). But, they also work great for a ranch crew for breakfast.

1 (16 oz bag) hash browns (I often diced left over potatoes)
12 eggs
1 large onion, chopped
1 pepper, chopped
1/2 lb sausage cooked and drained (or a package of bacon, fried)
12 tortillas (10in)
3 cups cheddar cheese, shredded

In a large skillet, fry hashbrowns or leftover potatoes. Remove and set aside. In a large bowl, beat eggs and add onions and pepper. Pour into skillet; cook and stir until eggs are set. Remove from heat. Add hashbrowns and sausage; mix gently. Place about 3/4 cup filling on each tortilla and top with 1/4 cup cheese. Roll up and place on a greased baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 min until heated through. Serve with salsa if desired.

Beef Stew

Many ranches have beef in their freezer and using up stew meat can be a challenge. It used to be for me, until I came up with a few recipes that everyone enjoys. Now the stew meat disappears!

3 medium potatoes, cubed
2 lbs stew meat
4 large carrots, diced
1 onion (or tbls diced onion, but garden onions make this stew amazing!)
2 cups tomato juice
1 cup water
1/3 cup tapioca, quick-cooking
1 tbls sugar
1/2 tbls salt
1 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp pepper
1 cup peas and corn

Spray crock pot with cooking spray. Place potatoes in first, top with beef, carrots, and onions. I a bowl combine remaining ingredients. Pour over vegetables. Cover and cook on low for 9-10 hours. Add 1 cup peas and corn about an hour before serving (Or in afternoon.)


If I could survive healthily on only breads, well… I’d stay in my kitchen only to bake! I enjoy baking and although we don’t eat a lot of bread, I do enjoy muffins. We whip up pancakes and waffles too. I don’t tend to make homemade rolls often, but muffins and banana bread top our list. I love the smell on a cold day…It heats the heart in the cold of winter. In the summer, I bake more often at night and then use the next day or pop in the freezer for later. My personal cooking means using gluten free flour, but you can substitute most flours in these recipes.

Zucchini Bread

Huckleberry Muffins

Chicken and Rice (Crock Pot)

I know we are cattle people, but we do eat white meat… Although I still prefer red! This is a quick and easy dish that can be put together in the afternoon and ready in a few hours.

1 cup rice
3 cup water
2 tsp chicken bouillon
1 can chicken soup or mushroom soup (I use Pacific Organic because it is gluten free)
2 cups cooked chicken (or a can of chicken works too)
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion salt
broccoli if desired–frozen or fresh
1 cup grated cheese

Combine all ingredients in slow cooker except cheese. Sprinkle with cheese when serving.

Crock Pot Potato Soup

My hubby loves this for lunch on cold days–especially if he’s been working outside.

8 large potatoes, cubed
1 tbls diced onion (or one onion)
2 tbls butter
2 tsp of vegetable bouillon
1-2 tbls parsley flakes
6 cups water
2 cups milk
1/2 flour (gluten free works!) mixed with water

Place potatoes, onion, bouillon, parsley, and water in the Crock Pot and cook all day on low or medium.
Half hour(ish) before serving add milk and flour mixture. After soup thickens, it is ready to serve.

For a creamier soup, use 1 can evaporated milk as milk substitute.

Garnish with bacon and/or shredded cheese. Or add 2 cups of diced ham to crock pot for a heartier soup.

Cowboy Stromboli

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This is a hearty meal that my kids ask for often.

Pizza Dough for two large pizzas (I make up one package of Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Pizza Dough)
10-12 strips cooked bacon crumbled
various lunch meats (or use leftover ham, turkey, roast beef)
2 cups grated cheese (I use both cheddar and mozzerella)
8 oz pizza sauce
(I make my own: 8 oz tomato sauce, 1 tsp diced onion, 1/2 tsp italian seasoning, 1/4 tsp garlic salt)
2 tbls (ish) butter
grated parmesan

After I’ve made the pizza dough–if using Bob’s gluten free, use wet hands to keep it from sticking to you–hand press onto parchment paper into large rectangles. (Split dough in half and hand press onto two large baking sheets. 12×17 works well.) On half the dough, spread out half of your pizza sauce. Add a layer of lunchmeat. We usually do ham for one and roast beef on the other. Sprinkle with crumbled bacon. Add half your grated cheese mixture on for the next layer.

Carefully pick up the end of the dough that does not have toppings and fold it over the half that does. When using gluten free dough, this is tricky, thus the parchment paper comes in handy. Wet your hands again if needed. Pinch the sides together so cheese doesn’t ooze out. Repeat for other one. Using butter knife, spread top with butter like you’re frosting a cake, but not as thick! Sprinkle grated parmesan over the top.

Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

Make additional pizza sauce for dipping if desired.

Main Meals

After a hard day of working, we all love to be able to have a hearty meal. Here are some of our family favorites and ones we’ve used with our crews.

Later on I may add specific recipes, but if you are stuck for what to do for supper with a crowd of guys–don’t forget the beef you may have in your freezer.
Throw in a couple of roasts with potatoes and carrots.
Grill hamburgers.
Slice kielbasa or summer sausage with vegetables in olive oil, cook until tender. (Add Braggs for extra flavor.) I know, I know…cowboys don’t do stir-frys. But if you use potatoes, green beans, corn, peas, carrots and sausage…well, they’ll eat it. Just don’t call it stir-fry. Call it Sausage and Rice. They may not notice. Mine hasn’t. Shhh!
Round Steak and Potatoes.
Fajitas (These are awesome in a crock pot!)
Shredded roast–put on buns for sandwiches, or serve on top of rice.

I’ll keep adding more…as I remember what I’ve done or try something new.

Taco Casserole

Taco Casserole
*This is a family favorite and can be multiplied easily for big crowds.

1 lb ground beef
1 TBLS dried onion or 1/2 onion
1 packet taco seasoning (we use organic valley because its gluten free)
1/2 cup water
15 oz tomato sauce
1/2 cup rice
1 15 oz can chili beans
1 cup grated cheese
tortillas and/or tortilla chips

Brown the ground beef and onion until no longer pink. Drain fat. Add taco seasoning, water, tomato sauce, rice, and chili beans. Simmer covered until rice is tender. Sprinkle with grated cheese and serve once melted. Sprinkle with crushed chips or scoop with chips. Or spoon into tortillas for burritos. Top with lettuce, tomato, guacomole, sour cream.

If desired, cook in 9×13 pan in 350 degree oven for 30 minutes instead of simmer on stove. Or toss into crock pot on low for a couple hours. If baking add cheese before putting in oven. If putting in crock pot, add cheese just before serving.