Thursday, January 31, 2013

Super Bowl Snacks

Super Bowl Sunday is coming up – are you ready for some super Bowl snacks?

Following is my top 10 list of super snacks while watching the 49eres and Ravens.

1.     Sausage and Cheese Pinwheels – Use biscuits in a can – Sausage on one side cheese on the other - tasty

2.     Pigs in a Blanket- Hot Dogs wrapped, you can use more of the biscuits in a can, in dough and baked in the oven - delicious

3.     Sliders – Mini-burgers -flavorsome

4.     Huge Veggie trayCarrots, lots of celery, yummy cabbage leaves, radishes, turnip slices, grape tomatoes and yogurt dip –who am I kidding?

5.     Chili – Make two, spicy and mild, make sure to have grated cheddar and chopped onions for toppers - scrumptious

6.     Buffalo Wings -Your version, but don’t buy them at the supermarket or order out, make them at home, great fun and - Yummy

7.     Taco Dip and Chips – One of my favorites - mouthwatering

8.     Potato Chips and Dip – Won’t hurt you, not today, pass the dip please- delightful

9.     Pizza – Whatever you like, make your own or order, just keep um coming – lip smacking good

10.    Cup Cakes – Gotta have something sweet, for even more fun tell the kids   to go make them - luscious

11.    Flavored Popcorn – Butter, caramel, cinnamon, cheese, chocolate, humus, sardine, pick your favorite, still a great game day food – enchanting

12. Beer - Could have been ten but don’t forget the Beer, soda for the kids     




Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Chicken alla Cacciatora

Chicken alla Cacciatora


Neil Waring
Revered Wyoming Chef, outdoor cooking expert, admired woodsmen, award winning author, retired politician and honored citizen.

I am not big on ethnic foods, usually preferring good old Middle -America country food - what else for someone who grew up in Nebraska and now lives in Wyoming? But I do enjoy Mexican, Chinese, Japanese and especially Italian on occasion.


So what is this alla Cacciatora stuff? Or am I the only one asking? It refers to hunter style, game meat most often poultry, cooked with onions, herbs and tomatoes in a wine sauce.

Ø  Cut up one whole chicken, or 3 chicken breasts, or parts and pieces of your choice, sprinkle the pieces with flour, salt and pepper and fry.

Ø  Take chicken from skillet and set aside. When cooled cut into bit sized chunks about ½ by ½ inch each

Ø  Chop one large onion, cook until soft in a small mixture of the leftover fat and 2 chicken bouillon cubes

Ø  When the onion has browned, add back the chicken and one pint fresh or one can diced or stewed  tomatoes and half a dozen sweet green peppers or one rough chopped green pepper.

Ø  When the gravy is thick enough add enough hot water mixture (use a mix of I teaspoon of cornstarch, 1 crushed chicken bouillon cube and one cup water- add slowly).

Ø  To prevent the burning of the vegetables, turn down the heat. Cover the pan tightly and simmer until the chicken is very tender. Add more hot water if needed, but don’t let it get too thin.

Ø  You can make this with chicken breast meat, but I like to use pieces of the darker meat also-tastes great either way.


Sunday, January 27, 2013

Ol Time Macaroni Soup

Remember those cold days growing up when grandma would bring us in after a day of building snowmen and sledding? We were so cold and she would set us down and bring in piping hot bowls of Macaroni Soup—NO—I don’t remember those days either, but this soup sure would have been good. Here it is.


Old Time Macaroni Soup


ü 2 chicken breast fillets (chopped into approximately 1/2 inch squares)

ü 2 tablespoons oil

ü 1 med sized onion (chunked into medium piece)

ü 1 garlic clove or 1/2 teaspoon of granulated garlic

ü 3 medium sized carrots (chopped about same size as onion chunks)

ü 2 celery stalks (chopped); leaves (finely chopped) – I don’t like the texture of celery but I do like the taste, I substitute celery seed about a ¼ teaspoon

ü 1 small can evaporated milk

ü 2 chicken bouillon cubes (don’t forget to take the little yellow wrappers off)

ü 2 quarts of water

ü 1 cup elbow macaroni (cooked according to package instructions I really hope no one has to still read these)

ü Salt and pepper (heavy on the pepper and very light on the salt – I do not use salt as the bouillon seems to have enough salt)

ü Splash of oregano, and thyme (to taste)

ü Grated cheese-medium cheddar or fresh parmesan sprinkled on top –don’t overdo it


·         In a Large pot, heat oil and toss in the garlic and onions until golden.  (Please- do not do this step if you are using granulated garlic)

·          Add chopped chicken to the oil, stirring and flipping all the time until browned nicely

·          Add the carrots and chopped celery to the mix chicken.

·         Boil the macaroni to a firm – al dente state.

·         Add  milk, and sautéed chicken cube mixture to the pot

·         Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for an hour (low heat)

·         Add your seasonings

·         Serve in bowls with grated cheese – can add celery leaves or parsley for color

·         At Christmas time we like to sprinkle the soup with a bit of paprika and parsley-fun and extremely festive for this ol’ Wyoming boy.


Friday, January 25, 2013

Sweet Potato Hay



Sweet Potato hay has been served in diffrent part of the world for hundreds of years, in america the recipe goes back to pre-Civil War times. And now it is back in the news because they were
served this year at the Obama Inaugural Luncheon

Slice two or more large sweet potatoes into very thin slices, (smaller than shoestring potatoes)

Slice and damp dry the potatoes and drop handfuls (hands full?) at a time into the oil

Deep fry in hot oil – a tad over 350 works best

They will tangle and come out in kind of stuck together piles – a like little hay stacks


I am not a sweet potato eater, not at all, but I like these


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Refried Beans - Make Them Yourself

Refried Beans-Make them At Home-It Can be done!


Neil Waring

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

Like stuff quick?   Well here you are.

Pinto Beans work the best but this also tastes and looks all-right with red beans.

·        2 Cups canned pinto beans-drain off the water

·        2 Tablespoons bacon fat

·        4 Tablespoons minced onion

·        4 Tablespoons Cheddar cheese, finely grated

·        Shake or two of paprika

Sauté onion in bacon fat.

Mash the cold beans (right out of the can after draining)

 Add the onions, keep on stirring as you add- Cook until it starts to dry out, (needs to be pretty dry).

 Add cheese while cooking on low or very low heat.

Best thing about this is you can make it quickly- make it while you are cooking the taco meat. Doesn’t take long.


Sunday, January 20, 2013

Journey Bread and Donuts

Going on a Trip – Old Time Journey Bread


Also called fry bread or Indian fry bread (depended on who was cooking)


3 1/2 cups flour

2 tsp salt

2 tsp Baking powder

1 cup milk


Knead until soft but not sticky. Roll thin as you can get it.


Fry in cast iron (the big ol’ black one) frying pan in light coating of grease, no need for deep fry depth of grease


Easy to make while traveling thus – Journey bread

Sometimes on the trail this bread was placed on a greased board near the fire, but more often a piece of tin or iron was used


-Take the same dough –

Deep fat fry in an inch or so of grease, flip once with a fork

 Put it in a paper bag or cloth sack while still very warm (right out of the grease) pour in a 1/3 of a cup of regular sugar and shake like mad

Donuts, just like great-great grandma made!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Sour Dough Starter

By revered Wyoming chief, outdoorsman, historian, writer and all-around good guy.
Neil Waring

Easy to find sour dough recipes, especially on the western sites I frequent. Here is a good Old Time Sour Dough Starter recipe.

2 cups flour

2tbsp. sugar

1 tbsp. salt

1 ½ cups water

1 tbsp. vinegar

Mix up all the white stuff in a good stone crock. Pour in the water and mix-er-up

When is pretty well smoothed out pour in the sour stuff – the vinegar.

Cover with a dish towel or if you have it the new-fangled cheese cloth.

Set in a warm place, on the stove or fridge works well. It will sour in 8 to 12 hours, I like to leave it for 12. You will know when it is ready because you will smell the yeast.

There you have it Sour Dough Starter

After using add more water and flour  (at a ratio of about a cup to a cup)and it should last, if refrigerated, for years

Sourdough has also been called Chuck wagon bread, Cellar biscuits, Yeast dough, Forever dough and even Magic dough


1 1/2 c. sifted flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 c. softened butter
1 cup of your good ol’ starter

Stir dry ingredients together - add butter, then add starter and mix. Roll dough 1/2" thick, cut  

Let rise about an hour  bake hot about 425 degrees for 20 minutes.

Should make about a dozen, unless you cut them real big


1 cup starter
2 cup flour
2 cup milk
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking soda
3 tbsp. melted shortening
2 tbsp. sugar
2 eggs

About 12 hours before serving hot cakes, mix starter, flour, milk and salt

Makes about 30 nice small cakes


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Cowboy Potatoes

Cowboy Potatoes

This recipe is a takeoff of the old time Sheppard’s Pie, but no self respecting Cowboy would ever eat something named after a sheep herder-So here it is Cowboy Potatoes, could have named it something more like Sheppard’s Pie but somehow Cow Pie just didn’t have the right ring to it.

4 - 6 Slices of bacon

One cup bacon bits

One good sized onion sliced and chopped

A couple 2 or 3 pounds of taters (6 or 8 big ones)

 One cup of frozen corn - more if you have a taste for it

Salt and Pepper to taste (I don’t like much salt as the bacon takes care of the need for salt)

Paprika to taste

Brown up the bacon, but do not cook fully – save for the oven

Leave the bacon grease in the skillet (you will need the big old black one today)

Fry Potatoes and onions in bacon grease-when the potatoes have stated to soften remove from burner and stir in frozen corn and the bacon bits.

Place in oven for 20-25 minutes or until the corn is hot, soft, and yummy.

*If it is warm enough to grill you can mix everything together, wrap in foil and put on the upper rack of the grill. Let it cook while you are grilling; just remember it needs some closed lid time to cook through.

You can experiment with other stuff in this also- we add chopped carrots, pretty good and if you like some color a little parsley sure looks fine.

Happy Cookin’

*In no way does this fit any kind of heart friendly diet!

For my tongue in cheek look at a heart healthy cowboy diet click here

Monday, January 14, 2013

Good Ol' Cowboy Food

By Wyoming's beloved food writer and free spirit

Neil Waring

Living in a cowboy state and being an old retired history teacher, I thought it might be fun to take a look back at what people ate in the old days, Wyoming cowboy days.
So what did cowboys eat? Well it depended on who was doing the cooking. If it was the cowboy doing the cooking most meals were the same, the three Bs, bacon, biscuits and beans, washed down strong coffee. If he was on the trail, maybe some salt pork and dried meat. If it was ranch cooking or trail drive food it was much more varied and likely tastier.
Here is what you might find in a well stocked kitchen or chuck wagon in the days of the Old West
· Flour

· Coffee

· Tea

· Salt pork

· Bacon

· Dried fruit

· Beans

· Rice

· Dried peas

· Canned tomatoes

· Canned peaches

· Condensed milk

· Corn meal and dried corn

· Sugar

· Molasses

· Vinegar

· Onion/garlic powder

· Black pepper

· Eggs

· Potatoes

· Chickens - around the ranch house and even on the trail

· Other spices such as ginger

· And of course the ranch always had beef and wild game when they could find it. Many ranches also raised a few, eatin’ hogs, even if they did not like to admit it.
Looks pretty good to me. I believe a good cook could do a lot with this list.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

The Masterpiece and a Smoke Alarm

Neil Waring

Revered Wyoming Chef, outdoor cooking expert, admired woodsmen, award winning author, retired politician and honored citizen.

I really hate it when the smoke alarm goes off when I am creating one of my kitchen masterpieces. Not sure if I need a new smoke alarm or a new recipe. You would think the smoke alarm could smell the difference between something burning and the yummy smells of my most recent culinary invention.

Oh-I burned the heck out of it and my wife said, “You know, there is a lower setting on the broiler.”

I thought about playing dumb but instead, fessed up, “there is?”