Saturday, September 24, 2016


Crock Pot Apple Butter

Neil Waring
Revered Wyoming Chef, an outdoor cooking expert, admired woodsmen, author, and honored citizen.

At one time I was more active on this blog, hard to be less active than I am now at the rate of one post each year. What happened? I ran out of things I could cook. It seems I spent much more time on my Wyoming Fact and Fiction blog and my western writing blogThese days. For long-time followers, I also write, sporadically, on a gardening blog. But I’m back, today something new.
Late summer in Wyoming and many other parts of America it is apple picking time. It’s not hard to find free apples in any neighborhood. This year I made one of my favorite’s Apple Butter. On a cold winter morning, almost nothing tastes better than Apple Butter on Toast.
Pick them off the tree or pick them up from the ground

Apples :-)
Sugar – brown or white granulated, I prefer brown
Cinnamon, ground allspice, ground clove
That’s it, my friends

Crock Pot Apple Butter
1.  Get some apples, if you are lucky someone might bring you a sack or basket full.
2.  Peel apples. I like to see how many I can peel in one long peel like my dad used to do. Answer 2, not bad. Don’t remember how many apples I had eight or ten I guess.
3.  Cut apples into chunks, small ones. How small? Approximately ½ inch pieces.
4.  Keep peeling and chunking until the crock pot is full. I use a small 2-quart cooker for this.
Ready to cook
5.  I do not believe extra water is needed, but I put in one tablespoon in the bottom to start. I like to cook everything high and fast, pretty hard with a slow cooker, but add the water to make sure the bottom pieces do not stick and burn. Not sure how they could with me checking and stirring ever hour – but, you never know.
6.  After one hour on high, add one cup of brown sugar, two teaspoons of cinnamon, one teaspoon of allspice, and ½ teaspoon of ground clove.
One hour after adding seasonings
7.  Turn to low and let it cook. I check every hour or two and mash any large chunks I see with a fork.
8.  After six hours I turn the pot to warm – the lowest setting and leave it alone overnight.
9.  Spread on toast and enjoy. Keep refrigerated after opening. If you are not hot water sealing the jars, refrigerate all of the butter. Don’t worry it won't last long.
Yum - Ready to eat

Apple Butter Notes – adjust the sugar, cinnamon, clove and allspice to your taste. Many recipes call for twice this amount of sugar, but it seems over the top sweet to me with this much sugar. I love the flavor of clove, but if the butter has too much it will make your mouth feel a bit numb, not sure it that is good or not. How do I know this? Let's just say through experimentation.
Good Luck – My wife uses this in various baked goods, and it makes everything taste better, try it on hot dogs, delicious. Maybe!

Final Note – Do people still call them crock pots? I think in the past twenty years, or so they have become slow cookers. No matter still makes great apple butter and don’t call it jelly.

Nice to be back

Here is a link to my books - Note - gardening book coming soon!

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Western Breakfast Bake

Western  Breakfast Bake

Neil Waring

Revered Wyoming Chef, outdoor cooking expert, admired woodsmen, writer, and honored citizen.

Well, no excuses it had been 11 months since I have posted here. I hope you are following my other blogs and keeping in touch. I have been busy writing and publishing, you can find all five of my books here. Someday soon, I hope to put together a book of my recipes, who knows?
But enough of that – I have a new breakfast dish for you to try.
Like all of my other’s it is easy and doesn’t dirty too many dishes.

Western Breakfast Bake
Stuff you need – Ingredients

1.     6 eggs or a half dozen, whatever you have
2.     ¼ cup milk or a touch less
3.     Pepper – to taste
4.     Bacon, 6 strips or a bunch of bits (I love bacon bits, taste good with just about anything, not so good with cereal, trust me on that one).
5.     5 English Muffins or biscuits   (I have tried both, muffins are easier)
6.     4 slices of cheese, whatever you like – Please don’t use mozzarella, this is not Pizza – I prefer a medium cheddar
7.     ½ teaspoon of baking powder

~That’s it, seven ingredients~

Spray or butter a cooking dish or pan – I use a glass pie plate. They are cool because they are excellent for cooking and you can see through them – sweet.

Split, and toast, 3 English muffins and place the six pieces around the bottom of the dish (Note – these need to be toasted first, or they will get mushy in the finished dish)

Put a bunch of butter on each one – yum! Not kidding

Sprinkle with a generous dose of bacon bits (I cover them) or put your 6 strips of bacon across the muffins. (Don’t forget to pre-cook the bacon, if you have them the bits are much better)

Scramble 6 eggs with the ¼ cup milk, baking powder, and pepper – I use a fork.      Fun here to put on some music and dance around the kitchen while scrambling, fun and funny until the music picks up then it can cause a mess, I stick to a good version of some country swing

Pour mix over the muffins and bacon.

Cover with your four squares of cheese, I rip each into two or three pieces to make it all fit nicely

Bake in pre-heated 350-degree oven for 25-30 minutes, make sure the middle of the pan is solid – this will be the last bit to cook through.

The Muffins will float to the top and the eggs will find a way to get to the bottom of the pan, giving you a terrific looking breakfast casserole and easy too.

These are one of our favorite breakfasts. Did you notice, no salt? I figure the bacon will take care of that.

Remember eggs are serious – they used to be quite the jokers, but they were always cracking each other up!
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Chuckwagon Hash - The Easy Version

Chuckwagon Hash

What’s that, something anyone can make, and quick!


Neil Waring

Revered Wyoming Chef, outdoor cooking expert, admired woodsmen and honored citizen.

This time of year I sometime like to make my own version of hash – not sure what it is really, but it tastes great, and I call it hash, so we will stick to that.

*The Old Guys Chuckwagon Hash*

1.  Get out your biggest skillet and fry a pound or so of hamburger, break it up as it cooks, after it is going good toss in chopped onions and chopped green bell peppers. Drain
2.  Cover the bottom of your other skillet, hey we have at least three, with olive oil or your choice of oil.  Add as many cubed up potatoes at four or so people might like to eat.
Let them brown nicely.
3.  Find something you will not get in trouble if used as a baking dish and pour in the potatoes, then the hamburger on top.
4.  Dump a can or two of black or red beans over the two layers and sprinkle with cheddar or Colby jack cheese or layer it on Note - Velveeta is really tasty here.
5.   Stick the pan in the oven, heat until the cheese is melted nicely and eat. (500 degrees or so will do it)
6.  This stuff is great with some good scooping’ up bread like French, or go cornbread or baking powder biscuits. This stuff is great.
7.  Want something else in it – well pour it in. ( I have added sausage, little smokies, bacon, rice and even once added, GULP, another vegetable, it all works)

This is one of my, true easy living recipe’s, why? Because nothing is measured, just pour in what looks or feels right and it really is very good, and all in about 30 minutes. YUM!!
My 2015 resolution - to travel the road less traveled
Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas

Seems like I have been doing much more eating than cooking the last few weeks. I hope all of you are having a wonderful Christmas with lots of good food. 

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Beans-Taters & a Boiled Egg

 Beans-Taters & a Boiled Egg

This is fun and tasty dish, works great with BBQ or when camping, we like it anytime and can be used for breakfast, lunch or supper. I say that about most all of my dishes because I am lazy and if I make too much – hey, eat some more for the next meal!

 Boil two potatoes and two eggs. The potatoes should be baseball size or a tad more, leave the skins on. I leave the skins on for two reasons.

First – I tell people it is healthy that way.

Second –I hate peeling potatoes it takes me away from the TV for way too long.

Drain the water from the potatoes and pour in a can of red beans. Peel the eggs and set aside

Add salt, pepper, paprika, sage, and a touch of sugar. (Some like a touch of BBQ sauce)

Continue to stir and let the entire concoction heat through.

Serve on a plate with a boiled egg sliced in half.

This makes a serving for two – one potato and half a can of beans and one boiled egg per plate.

Sounds funny tastes great – try it, best side dish ever with pulled pork or brisket, beats the heck out of those canned baked beans.

Pile it on the plate knock back a couple of Iced Teas or diet sodas and enjoy, YUM!
Bit of Winter in the Air Here






Monday, September 15, 2014

Yum - Jam Cake

What’s that? A cake with Jam in it you say!



Neil Waring

Revered Wyoming Chef, outdoor cooking expert, admired woodsmen and honored citizen.

I do not often post recipes for baked goods, I am a BBQ and smoker type of guy, but today am making an exception. This one is old school, really old school, could have been made by my great-grandmother back in the 1870s. A Jam Cake and you saw it here first, well maybe not, since it has been around forever. Wow a cake made with Jam, bet you can hardly wait for this one. Lots of calories, but great taste, so many calories maybe the previous sentence should have said, “Bet you can hardly weight for this one. Sorry, couldn’t help myself.

It’s not even hard to make, letting this old cowboy cooker make it in only about, well forget that, it is easy to make, but not quick, no sir, not quick at all.

 Here is what you need

Ø  1 1/2 cup butter  (You can use margarine but they didn’t have it in the old days)

Ø  2 cups sugar

Ø  6 eggs

Ø  3 1/2 cups flour – double sifted (Today you can use cake flour if you have it)

Ø  2 teaspoons baking soda (Baking soda, not drinking soda, no Pepsi in this cake)

Ø  2 teaspoons ground allspice

Ø  2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Ø  6 tablespoons buttermilk (Or make your own with milk and a bit of vinegar)

Ø  2 cups raspberry or strawberry jam (I used raspberries as we have a great and productive patch out back, hey we also have strawberries out back, still producing. Trouble is I eat them as I pick, they never)

Put It Together

Ø  Stir-up soft butter. Add sugar, not too fast, I like to pour it in all at the same time but it doesn’t work to well here. Keep stirring and beating until creamy. Toss in the eggs. Then add, slowly stirring the already mixed up dry stuff. Forgot to tell you to mix up dry stuff up above. As you are doing this keep adding the buttermilk. Do this all very slowly, it took me 15 minutes to get it right. When you have it all mixed add the jam, I used frozen berries instead. Thaw them in fridge overnight then add. I chop them up soom first so the pieces will not be too large.

  Pour into paper cupcake holders

Ø  Bake at 350-375 about 15 min – or until they look done to you.

Ø  These are great with your favorite muffin or cupcake frosting

Note to You Bakers

There is a secret to these little cakes. Age them some – don’t eat it until tomorrow or the next day. I did eat one as soon as it was cool. Okay two – three.
Gratuitous sunset photo from my favorite place, Guernsey State Park, Guernsey, Wyoming.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Honey Grilled Chicken

Sweet Honey Grilled Chicken


Neil Waring

Revered Wyoming Chef, outdoor cooking expert, admired woodsmen and honored citizen.

My Favorite Picnic Spot in the Park
This stuff is so easy that anyone can do it. That’s why I’m posting this, even this old food cooker can get this one right. The best part is that it can be made on the backyard grill or out at a favorite picnic area, mine is Guernsey State Park. Everything tastes better cooked outside.
I like to buy the chicken breasts in the portion size bag. I usually buy the giant bag of 6 oz. breasts. Frozen chicken tenders also work great for this, no, not the kind with all the stuff already on them that you warm in the microwave. These are naked, skinless, frozen pieces of real chicken. If you are a wing person, buy the skinless, boneless, dark meat chicken portions.

I season liberally (both sides) with my own concoction of salt, pepper, paprika, sage, thyme, and coriander. Make sure you have thawed the chicken first. This need not be a big deal, thaw in the microwave, that’s what I do—because I always forget, or want this chicken at the last minute.


Enough chicken for however many want chicken, let’s say chicken for four (I love alliteration)

·        4 Chicken Breasts

·        The seasoning from above

·        The special sauce

·        A good hot grill, heat ur up good, really good

Special Sauce Recipe – and I am not kidding about this, it is super. So what is it? Your favorite BBQ sauce and pure honey at a ratio of 1 to 1. For those of you that were math challenged, as I was, that means, equal amounts of BBQ sauce and honey. Easy!  Melt it together in the microwave, this will only take 20-30 seconds.

Now don’t get in a hurry with the sauce, it goes on when the chicken is mostly done.

Put your chicken on the very hot grill, it should mark the meat nicely. Turn in two minutes and mark the other side.

When clear liquid starts to bubble through it is ready for the sauce. Sauce one side, turn after a minute or so, turn and sauce the other side, turn once more. The BBQ sauce should blacken around the edges of the meat.

Serve on hamburger buns, hotdog buns, or whatever you have. Goes great with chips, potato salad and a fine, chilled, diet soda.

This is so much easier than doing hot wings and tastes even better.

Part of the reason I love summer – cooking out, burning some meat!