Sunday, July 31, 2011

Cocoa and Coconut

Cocoa and Coconut. While these truffles have both of those ingredients, we have another cocoa in this photograph That is little miss Coco, our dog, in the background. She was eying those truffles the whole time I was taking photos! So I had to capture it. Plus she even matches the cookie! These truffles are made with cocoa, almond butter, butter,  coconut oil, coconut milk, stevia, pecans, and a bit of honey. Then they then rolled into balls with the combined ingredients. I then froze them, then once they were frozen I rolled them in a bed of fresh coconut and topped it off with a pecan. They have a very coconut/bittersweet dense chocolate taste to them. Plus, this dessert is one that is not bad for you at all! Especially by using Stevia. So on those days you simply cannot live without chocolate, make these. They will satisfy your craving, plus you won't feel guilty for eating something unhealthy. These coconut truffles are winners.

Calling all coconut lovers! If you want to try something fun, try cracking a coconut. I have never cracked one or even tasted coconut this fresh before. My sister Katherine and I endeavored trying the crack it with an ice pick, a knife, and another knife before we called for dad to help. He then took us to the back yard to the shed and pulled out his wood ax. That is the way to go. He took one swift swing and boom. Got it on the first hit. So when trying to crack a coconut, you need your fathers wood ax :). Katherine and I came to the conclusion that if we were stranded on a deserted island, we would not survive because we were not able to crack a stinken coconut. All in all, we did drain the juice and that was delicious. Also, trying the coconut meat was delicious too, but trying to get the coconut meat out of the shell was a joke! So hard. I tell you, coconuts are mini Fort Knoxes.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Gluten Free Pizza

Who doesn't love pizza? Just because you are on a gluten-free diet, doesn't mean you too can't have delicious pizza!

For this recipe you will need:

2 cups gluten-free bread mix. (Pamela's is one of my favorite brands)
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 cup grated mozzarella
3 ripe tomatoes, diced
Gluten free marinara sauce
Packet of Pepperoni
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1 cup mushrooms
basil leaves, to garnish

Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. Line one or two baking trays with parchment paper.

Prepare the bread mix following the directions on the packet. Split the dough in half and put one half onto one baking tray, and the other half on the other tray. Using the back of a metal spoon, spread out the dough to form a round, about 12in, and about 3/4 to an inch think. Dip the spoon in water to prevent sticking if requited. Drizzle a little olive oil over each base and spread evenly with the back of a spoon. Bake for about 12 to 15 minutes or until barely brown. Remove from oven, and increase the temperature up to 350 degrees F.

Spread your marinara sauce over the pizza bases and top with grated mozzarella. Coat with the diced tomatoes, mushrooms, and pepperoni's. Then sprinkle the top with the parmesan cheese. Bake form an additional 12 to 15 minutes or until all of the cheese has melted. Longer if you desire a crispier crust (place directly on the wire rack of the oven if you prefer a crispy base). Garnish with basil leaves once out of the oven...and eat it while its hot! Enjoy! 

GF Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Chocolate Chip Coconut Chunk Cookies. Okay so one day I was experimenting with cookie thickness and you know how chocolate chip cookies are usually flat? Well, these cookies are very dense and packed with chocolate chips and coconut, which made the cookies not flatten and keep the "chunkyness" to the cookie. They were great because they were crispy on the outside and more soft and chewy in the middle. Another reason these cookies stayed thick is because I added a bit more flour to them...which made them taste more dense, and a bit more cake like. Another way you could go is to pack the cookie dough with pecans or walnuts. The more stuff in that cookie, the better it gets! 

What you'll need:

1 stick (110 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup (100 g) packed brown sugar1/4 cup (50 g) sugar1 teaspoon vanilla extract1 egg, at room temperature2 cups of GF flour. Pamela's or Cup for Cup is what I use.1/4 teaspoon baking soda1 cup (170 g) chocolate chunks or chips

1/2 cup pecans or walnuts or both! 

Bake at 350 for 11-15 minutes.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Meet The Family

Dad: Mark, Mom: Anne, Type A sister: Alexandra, Middle Child: Me, The Baby: Katherine

This is my dad; his name is Mark. He looks kinda mean in this photo, but he really isn't. Mark was just workin' it for the camera ;). Okay, I am not sure my dad would want me to share this, but he doesn't know how to use a computer, so I think I am safe. Anyways, my dad, used to be a big time model. He was the Marlboro Man for a long time; he would do commercials and be on big billboards representing them. He also used to be an underwear model haha. So when I say he is "workin' it for the camera"... he really knows how to "work it for the camera." Now days, he is far from his modeling career. He is the real deal authentic cowboy. This is what he looks like and dresses like on a daily basis. No cowboy costume included :). 

Here is my indian princess mom. Doesn't she look like an indian princess? I think so. She is a photographer and she is the one that got me interested in photography in the first place. My mom hates being in front of the camera... she is always behind it. It is okay though, because she takes amazing photos behind that camera!  My mom has photos everywhere in our house. We have one house, the rock house, which is so small. It was built by my great-great grandfather in the 1900's...and it is still standing. Since the rock house was so small, my family decided to make another mini house for us three girls. It is called the Pink House. Other than my mom being a wonderful photographer, she is an excellent decorator. The pink house is all black, white, and hot pink. Right when you walk into the pink house, there is a giant photo wall. She had huge custom-made frames made of shabby chic white wood. The whole wall is covered by these frames with all of her wonderful photographs in them. It's beautiful! 

This is my little sister Katherine. She has all of her own photographs in a separate section in my blog entitled, "My Little Sister Katherine"... I know, isn't the title so creative! It is so funny what stereotypes you hear about kids. How the oldest is the very tight, organized, and focused, the middle child beats to their own drum, and the youngest is the one who gets taken care of...who is more relaxed, and kind of go-with-the-flow attitude. This is so my family! Katherine is very relaxed- likes to be home, doesn't like school, loves to play with her friends,  and loves her animals. That is a summary of Katherine. 

My sweet mom and dad together. 

Here is the Rancher. Here is the daughter :).

This is my older sister, Alexandra. She is only a year older than me, so we are very close. She loves having her picture taken.  I am sure I will dedicate a whole other blog to her photos soon. Allie is very focused and determined. She follows the Type A type for sure :). She knows what she wants, and works hard to get it. 

Thursday, July 28, 2011

My Life As A Cattle Rancher's Daughter

At the annual Arizona Cowpunchers Rodeo. This year, my partner and I won in the ribbon roping! So fun! We won a buckle :). The ribbon roping is when the roper ropes the calf and the runner (me), runs as fast as she can to grab the ribbon off of the calfs tail. Once the ribbon has been grabbed, you must run to the finish line (which is the header's box). 

Here is a cowboy eating his lunch during a branding. My job usually during a branding is to feed all of the hungry cowboys. Some may think that this is a easy job. Well I can answer any questioning about that by telling you that that is a very hard job! Well after my mom and I make breakfast for everyone at 3 in the morning, we usually start making the lunch. It is hard because it has to be food that doesn't have to be eaten with a plate or fork or stuff like that....yet it has to be hardy, to give them some "Umph" to finish there long day. My mom and I usually make sandwiches (a classic), watermelon, rice krispies, granola bars, cookies, the works. Then after you make it we have to drive on an eternal dirt road to meet them for their break. 

This is my dad in the background roping a calf. You must rope all the calves to brand them, ear mark them, vaccinate, and castrate them (if the calf is a steer of course).  

The long, dusty, lonely road we must travel for hours and hours and years of my life...okay not years. But it sure feels like it! 

These are some of the many photographs I have taken at ropings, brandings, or simply just out my back door. I am the daughter of a 5th generation cattle rancher. I loved how I grew's hard work, but I would never change anything about my family's lifestyle. I remember as a little girl getting up at 4 in the morning to start early and then riding twelve hours days in the heat. Some people think, "Oh! Riding all day must be fun!" haha oh boy. While it is fun at times, you really love it when you are done with the day. 

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Little Sister Katherine

This photo shoot was so fun. Katherine is my little sister. She is sixteen years old- total hippy, loves her animals, and loves to be at home. While we were up at this old abandoned house up the road from where we lived, we started hearing music playing in the old house. It was kinda creepy! So odd. Regardless, I loved spending some time with her :).

Monday, July 18, 2011

Kat and her Kitties

This is my little sister Kat with her kitties. She loves her kittens! We always have kittens running around. Last Christmas, I believe, we hit our all-time high kitty population with a whopping 19 cats. Wow, right? We are not a crazy cat family though, our cats are outside kitties that help with the rats around the ranch and house...well at least we say they do. I actually don't think they do much, but oh well, Kat loves them :).

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Sunflower Cupcakes

Sunflower Cupcakes. Look how happy these cupcakes are! They would be perfect for an afternoon party or gift. I just used a simple vanilla cupcake recipe for the base. Then I used vanilla buttercream frosting and died the colors to my liking. The middle of the flower is the Oreo Cookie. To get the petals put your frosting in a plastic bag and cut the corner off of the bag. Then gently press the frosting out making delicate petals. Simple. :) 
Look at my little flower patch! 

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Sticky Buns

I decided today that I wanted to make Sticky Buns with a Caramel Glaze on top. This recipe came from the El Chorro Lodge located in Camelback, Arizona. The restaurant became famous for all of their wonderful food, but especially for their famous sticky buns. They would serve these sticky buns on a plate at dinner. Just like a mexican restaurant would serve these would be El Chorro's "chips at dinnertime. My mom used to go there as a little girl, and she said that this was her favorite part of the whole meal. They took awhile to make, but everyone gobbled them up once they were done, so I am thinking that they were a hit. Another great thing about these sticky buns, is that they stay moist up to 4 days if covered and stored in a warm spot. Just heat one up and they are as good as new. Let me know if anyone wants the recipe and I'd be happy to share it :)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Hangin' with the Hounds

Here is another one of the blue tick hound puppies. This one is the little baby runt. She is the most ornery, feisty one of them all. Every one of her brothers and sisters are scared of her. She is a terror... a cute terror though.  
This is my dog Spunky, but she goes by Butter. My family has several names for her. She will also come to Butch. She is a beagle, I got her when I was seven years old...she is now 12. She is the sweetest most precious dog in the whole wide world. Butter does lots of tricks, she is very smart...Except sometimes she mixes all of her tricks into one. When she sees food, and we tell her to sit, she will sit, then shake, then play dead, then roll over...Maybe she just tries to please us to get her treat faster. Her one downfall: she loves to eat. Some dogs eat to live, Butter simply lives to eat. 

This is my dad; his name is Mark. Mark is a cattle rancher. We raise Black Angus...delicious. Anyways, in this photo he has one of our little blue tick hound puppies. One of the dogs on the ranch named Missy had puppies, 8 puppies to be exact. My dad is so funny with puppies...while all of the hound puppies were running around in our lawn, he starts predicting which one would be the best hunting dogs. He went on and on, "Now this one will be a nice hound pup, see how he wags his tail?" "Oh this one has some nice feet..." haha he makes me laugh. He is always so serious with his predictions. I just don't understand how you could pick out a "good hound pup" when they are a month old walloping around in the yard...but who knows my dad is probably right, like he always his. 

Here is one sweet little puppy. Getting them to stand still was a joke. So to get a that is actually decent, you must be patient. Something that I am not very good at! But finally... one looks right into the lense! Yay!