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!





Saturday, May 31, 2014

Hello Summer

Great BBQ, a little rain shower, and best of all one of those super Wyoming sunsets. Wonderful way to say goodbye to May.
Sunset over the Oregon/Mormon Trail a half mile south of our house.

 Oh, and the gardens are getting colorful.
 The vegetable garden is up and growing, already eating green onions and radishes, cherry tomatoes setting on, strawberries and raspberries looking very good - I feel a good year in the garden.
And this gal/guy? moved into our backyard pear tree

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

My Kitchen Disaster

Kitchen disaster, I completely ruined an apple crisp yesterday, I really miss that crisp. I was so hungry for apple crisp topped with vanilla ice cream. The problem? It was too sweet, I put the sugar in twice, at least. My wife, who is a wonderful baker, saved the day. She made coffee cake with my crisp-like-stuff in the middle. It was terrific!

Think I will stick to cooking and forget the baking!

Well, as we used to say - A good baker will rise to the occasion, it's the yeast he can do.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Hey - Its Snack Time - Macaroons

One of the great things about retirement – eating like a little kid again, at least once in a while. My favorite snacks, these days, seem to always involve chocolate or coconut and it they have both – WOW !

And if it can be made quickly and only has four ingredients, all the better. And two of those four ingredients are chocolate and coconut, I’m a kid again.
Here it is – My Chocolate Coconut Macaroons. Oh and it only takes ten minutes.

-What You Need-

  • 16 ounces shredded coconut (I like the kind of chunky shredded)
  • * 1 can (14-15 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (you can use the same teaspoon, just fill it twice)
  • One big 0l’ vat of hot fudge type chocolate (see how to make it below, bonus # 1)

-Getting it Ready-

Mix coconut, sweet milk and vanilla together. (Big bowl, big spoon) Drop about a teaspoonful full, at a time, of the mixture, onto a very well-greased baking sheet. Bake at 350° for 7- 8 minutes. Cool a bit before taking from sheet. After letting them cool some more dip half of each macaroon in your favorite chocolate. Makes a whole bunch of chocolate coconut macaroons. (50 or better)

My easy chocolate – (Bonus recipe) Mix equal amounts of semi-sweet and milk chocolate chips, melt them in the microwave and use them as the dip. Works great, we also like almonds and pecans dipped in this chocolate, hey, try one on the top of each macaroon.

*So what the heck is Sweetened Condensed Milk?
Not to be confused with Evaporated or Powdered Milk. Condensed milk is cow milk from which water has been removed.  It is most often sold as sweetened condensed milk with sugar added. Sweetened condensed milk goes all the way back to Civil War time and is a staple in most home baker’s kitchens. But don't drink it, tastes terrible!
Three Miles From Town


Monday, April 7, 2014

Chuck Wagon Hash

By Neil Waring

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

I have posted a couple of cowboy hash recipes in the past but this one is really good, give it a try. For this one get out your biggest cast iron skillet – the big black one in the back of the bottom shelf.

And here is what you will need and all the how to do it stuff!

3 large potatoes - I prefer nice red potatoes, but any type will work. Cut out the bad spots, if any, do not peel, cut into smallish, about 1/4 inch chunks. If you notice red speckles, check your fingers, that’s why I use dull knives (can’t be too careful)

1/3 green bell pepper, cut into tiny pieces, we are looking for flavor here not the big crunch

1/2 large onion, diced – You ever notice how bad/strong onions are this time of year? Cannot wait for my first garden onions, sometime in late June.
Random sunset photo I took last week to make the blog more lively.

1 lb. Hamburger, you could use sausage here but do not substitute some newfangled meat or fake meat, that is not hash, it is modern something, not hash

Fry up the potatoes, pepper, and onion in one big ol’ tablespoon of bacon grease, if you have it, olive oil if you do not.

As soon as the potatoes start to soften (only a minute or so) toss in the hamburger in small pieces and fry it up on medium heat. I turn it up on high myself, super high if I have it. Maybe that is why the smoke alarm chased the dog out of the kitchen.

When it looks about right pour in a ½ cup of frozen corn, keep stirring and cooking/frying

Now it is time for the spices, add pepper, sage, a dash of cumin and a bit of thyme. (A tad more sage than cumin or thyme)The bacon fat should take care of the salt – but being a well seniored citizen I try to avoid adding salt.

Sprinkle the top with your choice of shredded cheese (not mozzarella, hey, this is not a pizza)

Put the skillet into a warm oven, only about 200

Fry up a half dozen eggs, pull out the skillet and toss them on top (keep the eggs runny, over easy or over medium is great)

Serve with Catsup, sour cream and salsa

This goes great with a couple of glazed donuts and juice of your choice

Serves 3-6 depending on how hungry everyone is and whether or not Uncle Earl is visiting – - - AGAIN!

*Just noticed I used two exclamation marks, or is it exclamation points in this post, doesn’t matter, anyway, two in one post was my record, guess this post ties a record. Hey, a record setting post.  All Right! That’s three, new record! (4)

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Trail Drive Breakfast

I get tired of reading what is labeled, “authentic cowboy trail food,” and one of the first ingredients to some kind of stir fry they didn’t have, and wouldn’t have eaten if it was available, is avocado or mushrooms. In my many years studying Western American history I have found no reference to the use of mushrooms on the trail, and although avocados were commonly available in Mexico, and in the American Southwest cowboys thought of them as low level food and most avoided them.

Cowboys ate food very plain, well done, and salty. They might have tried something with mushrooms or avocados in restaurants, but not on the trail. Trail food needed to be fast, filling and hot. Following is a recipe for breakfast on a trail drive.

Warm a flour tortilla or use fresh hot biscuits
Spread with refried black or pinto beans
*Top with scrambled eggs
(in modern day we toss on some shredded cheese and salsa)

Role the tortilla taco style, or stack the biscuit halves sandwich style
Serve with fresh hot coffee and the cowboy was ready for the trail

*Eggs were available in several places along the trail, some dirt farmers made a nice bit of money by selling to ol' cookie as he went north with the beefs.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Puff Pancake, Fun and Tasty Too

The Puff Pancake


 Puff Pancakes, also called Dutch Baby Pancakes. I will not call it baby anything on this ol’ Wyoming boy blog. Except to say, wow, these babies are good. These are sometimes referred to as a German Pancake and may very well have been the first puff pastry. They have been around for about a century and evidently some pancake places either feature them or used to feature them. I have never noticed them on a breakfast menu, but then we like to cook and go out to eat when forced.

These are normally listed as breakfast fare but we like breakfast for supper at our house, cook these up with a side of sausage or bacon, and you have it.



  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cup flour
  • 2/3 cup milk (or 1/3c of milk, 1/3c half & half)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • Teaspoon of vanilla
  • Teaspoon of cinnamon
    Preheat to 475
    Beat the eggs
     Pour in liquid, sugar, salt and vanilla - keep mixing until sugar is dissolved.
    (I use the blender, forget the mixer, actually my wife doesn’t trust me with the mixer, or maybe I don’t know which bowls to use or how to attach whatever attachments are needed).
    Dump in flour and mix it all smooth.
    Let batter sit 10 min or so, you really don’t need to time this step
    Get out your big old cast iron skillet, the ten inch one, if you have it.
    Coat it with melted butter; make sure to get it up the sides all the way. (I was going to say slather it up with butter but wasn’t sure what slather meant so I will stick with coat it, even if slather sounds better).
    Pour the batter in and bake 15 min or a little less- when it is golden brown (or whatever you interpret golden brown to be) it is ready to take out of the heat.
    The pancake will puff up when baking, remove and let sit for a minute or so and it will collapse, don’t worry it’s supposed to.
     *Spread on strawberry or raspberry jelly and lightly sprinkle with powdered sugar.
    Loosen around edges and slide onto plate
    Serve with butter and syrup
    *This step can also be done a few minutes before taking pancake out of the oven
    This can also be a great campfire dish, baked in a Dutch oven. I have not tried it but don’t see why it wouldn’t work. That may be the reason I occasionally have my cooking and baking disasters, but believe I will try it some time.

Monday, January 6, 2014

French Fries - The Healthy Cowboy Way

          Can an old retired school teacher make
                  New Fangled French Fries
                            Neil Waring
Revered Wyoming Chef, outdoor cooking expert, admired woodsmen, award winning author, retired politician and honored citizen.
Tired of fast food French Fries? They are full of calories, greasy, and not that tasty.  But we all remember how great they were when we were kids and wish they were that good today.

Here is an at home alterative, and they taste great and without fast food guilt.

ü One medium potato – cleaned, peeled and cut into eight wedges

ü Spray pizza pan or cookie sheet with Pam or similar product

ü Place Potatoes on pan and spray with the Vegetable oil

ü Preheat broiler and put the potatoes, I put it on the highest setting so it will both cook and crisp the potatoes

ü Broil for three minutes then sprinkle with parmesan or cheddar and broil another three minutes (I usually leave out the cheese but they are delicious either way)

ü Remove salt and pepper to taste and enjoy

Each potato is about 200 calories (as long as you are light on the cheese)

We use this to serve two, enough, but not too much.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Oregon Trail Johnnycakes

Travelers on the Oregon Trail were sometime treated to Johnnycakes. Today we think of these tasty cakes as breakfast fare, but for weary travelers they were a treat, after a long day, topped with their favorite homemade jams and jellies, assuming they hadn’t eaten all the sweets the first few miles out of town. Today we more often top them with melted butter and syrup. I am not sure who Johnny was or why they named a cake (griddle cake) after him, but they taste as good today as they did back in Trail days.


1 beaten egg (some travelers took chickens along)
3/8 cup milk (and some brought along Ol’ Bessy, the milk cow)
1/2 cup water
1 Tablespoon melted lard (today we use vegetable oil)
1/2 teaspoon salt (I sometimes skimp this down to a
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal (cornmeal and flour amounts can be switched
1 cup flour                      depending on how corny your taste)               

1 Tablespoon sugar

Combine all ingredients and mix really smooth. Drop by tablespoon onto hot greased griddle or skillet. Fry on each side until browned, only a minute or two. This recipe makes about a dozen 4 inch cakes.

These are fun, quite a bit different from a regular pancake (we added cornmeal and took out the baking powder) but the taste is special. The taste is kind of flat, with the first chew, then the taste of cornbread a few moments later. Very cool!