Thursday, November 17, 2022

Shindig Spaghetti Bake

Shindig Spaghetti Bake

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or grease with olive oil or cooking spray. 
  2. With a sharp knife, carefully cut spaghetti squash in half lengthwise. With a spoon, gently remove seeds and discard. I like to rub a little Italian oil on the squash if I have it.  Place spaghetti squash cut side down on baking sheet. Bake for 45 minutes or until a fork can pierce the shell easily. (I use my sawzall to cut it. Works like a dream.)
  3. While that is cooking, brown a package of sausage.  We like Jimmy Dean pork sausage if we don't have ranch raised. 
  4. Remove squash from oven and allow to cool slightly. With a fork, loosen and separate spaghetti squash strands from shell. Reserve shells.
  5. Place strands in a bowl. Mix strands with pasta sauce (and additional spices, if you wish). Adjust the amount of sauce you use based on your own preference. (I like onion, garlic, Italian vibes) Spoon mixture back into the empty shell. If you have enough strands, you may be able to separate the mixture into each of the two shells, but you may also be able to spoon the entire mixture into just one of the shell halves. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. (I use the shredded Italian blend cheese)
  6. Bake for 7-9 minutes or until cheese is melted, bubbly, and slightly browned. Spoon and serve directly from shell. (or a baking dish if you are trying to hide it is squash.)

Grocery List:

Spaghetti Squash
Package Sausage
Jar Spaghetti Sauce
Italian Cheese
Prefferred sesonings
Oil and or butter

Sunday, September 19, 2021

Plum Awesome Cake

Plum Awesome Cake Recipe
Butter an 8 or 9 inch (I use any pan, even cast iron. If you want to pull want spring form pan look with pretty edges displayed...I just used parchment to pull it out of regular pan)
Preheat oven to 375°
Beat together ½ cup softened unsalted butter and 1 cup sugar
Add 2 eggs, one at a time
Mix in 1 tsp each almond and vanilla extracts
Sift together and add 2 cups flours and 4 tsp baking powder
The batter will be stiff but cram it into the prepared pan, smooth with spatula
It will not seem like enough batter for a cake but it is
Pit and quarter 10 to 12 plums ( I use as many as it takes of the tiny plums my neighbor so graciously shares with me)
Stand each plum piece in the batter not touching the edges of the pan or each other
Mix together 1/4cup sugar and 1/2 tsp cinnamon
Sprinkle evenly over the top of the cake
It will make a lovely crust on top
Bake for 25 - 40 minutes or till golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean. (Will vary depending on size of pan. I serve with a homemade whipping cream flavored with a little of the almond & vanilla extract too!
This cake freezes VERY WELL you can enjoy it in January too! (I don't remember if this is true but trying it again 😉 )

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

"3 bulls left to load. I have ONE direction from Regg for the whole weekend. "Don't get the white bull by himself. " I will load all three. It will be great. Send all three and they head up the lead up alley....but stop about half way....and the little white bull gets turned around.
Now sitting in the himself... is the little white bull. Internal monolog: Ok, just hurry and send him back before he sits and gets hot.
Step in pen and send little white bull..... pushing gate around behind him as a wing....but......he turns back and I can't hold him. He pushes through the gate and back around to me......and then he keeps coming to me! Pretty soon we are playing ring around the rosie around the gate post.....with him in hot pursuit! I am certain by the grace of my guardian the only way I stayed in front of him! Upon getting to other side of the gate, I hollered to Justin, " I need help!" which he promptly replied & the bull was loaded.
When returning to the chutes, one of my bull riders said....You almost got ran over! Yes, yes, I did."
The rodeo moved on, temps warmed up and the wind speed gradually increased. The tree border around the fair grounds certainly was a blessing and offered some protection. After making it back to the corrals with 1 load of stock.....I would certainly miss the trees. The wind was blowing a perfect mixture of sand and tried manure right at your face.
Regg was about 30 minutes behind me. The first things he said to me was "You are filthy!" if I was not already aware of this. We unloaded him and doubled back to get the rest of my stock. Yes, in case you were little white friend had me up the fence again before we got loaded.
Back to the corrals to unload. 2 pairs needed moved over so we could trail bulls and horses across. No biggie. Yesterday we had been in and out of the pen with these pairs and no problem. Well....since then, the down horned cow's calf had slipped through the fence and she was not as eager to be trifled with. Grabbed the calf and re-united him with Mom, he eagerly began to nurse. a situation....where the bluff has been called....she was NOT bluffing. Going up the fence was not good enough, she prefered you go All the Way Over to be out of her bubble. With some electronic encouragement, she eventually moved to the safe haven of her pen and the peaceful refuge of the wind break.
Here is where I should mention (even though it is not my story to tell) that Regg had a bull get him down in the trailer while loading out of his rodeo. Banged him up pretty good. He was still in good humor when he arrived but between the wind and ....the down horned cow.....everyone was pretty much on their last straw.
Perfect timing, David was backing in with his semi. Calves in the belly, unloaded & sent to Regg. Next divider, horned Momma cows that are growing impatient with the amount of time it is taking me to get the top pin undone. Finally, all pins & latches opened, swing the gate open and stand in the corner. This seemed like a great idea at the time.....until.....the cows, eager to unload, and trying to climb out 3 wide and I am getting smashed by everyone. I quickly decide...behind the gate getting smashed was a much better option.
Why did it never occur to me to use the gate to slow them down & file out 1 at a time....I have no idea....but it did not.
3rd truck is quickly unloaded. Wind blown and tired, I loaded myself in the car to go pick up Clancy. Grateful she was with loved ones...because clearly....I can barely keep myself from being ran over.
Regg said it best...."Rodeo is easy. It is the 5 hours before & after that will test you" paraphrased
As long as I can remember, I have always had a soft spot for a cute bucking horse. I was raised going to Rodeos and it seems to be something that just gets in your blood. From the view from what happens in a rodeo arena, it seems glamourous.
If you saw me this weekend, I probably looked something like this. Wind blown, caked in a dirt manure facial & rbf....just shy of glamourous. 😉 Unless of course, I caught eyes with a friend, then my face lit up with a smile. This was my first weekend back at a rodeo since the spring of 2019. It took a little more knocking the cob webs off than normal.
Thank you to all the amazing friends that made the weekend worth every second. Looking forward to the next one ❤
Right before the bronc riding, I turned to Hoke Morton & said "I am going to ask you to do something that I am sure David has never asked you to I proceeded to hand him a piece of pink twine string to tie my hair back with! High fashion, I tell you! (haha...yes, I had asked the guys tripping latches and behind the chutes if anyone had an extra hair tie....oddly enough none of them did 😉
*** Thank you for your kind words. my Mom said..but Did you die?
I really am just a princess. Regg takes extra good care of me & really does send me with the very best handling stock & I am surrounded by such amazing people who make everything work flawlessly! April 28, 2021
May be an image of 1 person and outdoors


Sunday, June 16, 2019

The Dubois Parade Team

9:08 am the phone rings...Jay Hoggan calling.....This is usually how a great story starts!

I am headed out the door before our rodeo to go do the neighbors chores. Leisurely morning, I have left myself plenty of time to get everything done and be ready to go at 9:30. My phone rings as I am walking out the door. It is my Dad and he needs help getting the team ready for the parade.

Last night, he decided that he wanted to take the team up to the parade in Dubois. Technically, I don't have to be to Dubois until after the parade for my rodeo job. So I head to Dad's place. J2 & Dad have the mares caught and harnessed already. They are in the middle of a matted mess of cockle burrs in the forelocks. WD40 & a brush I take to picking clumps out too. (The entire time I am thinking of the "Unbranded" video of the guy trying to get the cactus off of the horse & getting pawed in the head) Lucky for me, these mares are super nice, the ol' girl just dropped her head and let me work on her.

I hear screaming from outside....screaming....Mindy...McKinlee....Mindy....McKinlee.....Nope no one was mortally wounded....Dad and J2 just needed help pushing the wagon to the trailer. Well, I gained a deep appreciate for air today. 2 of the 4 tires were flat...and air sure makes tires roll easier.

Tires aired up, wagon loaded, horses cleanish & loaded. We are off! I hopped in the truck and trailer with Dad, north bound and headed to the Dubois Parade!

We are rolling in hot....all the other teams are in line and ready. Unload the horses, roll out the wagon, hook and go! Dad is rolling the team around the gas station parking lot, greeting everyone like he's running for mayor and simultaneously warming up the horses.
Keep in mind that these mares have not been touched since last fall.

They are traveling out like champs! We even got there in time to get a number and line up in order for the parade progression....which is progress for us! There are four wagons entered in the parade. The wagon in front of us is the prettiest set of matched grey mules, painted red wagon with freshly shined is truly parade worthy!

Well...then there is us. Our team is a GORGEOUS. They are a big blue set of mares with the Quarter Circle V on them and a number brand 0 for the year born, remnants of the old bucking horse string. Dad has his fanciest harness on them, all spotted up by Monte Piquet. The wagon in desperate need of a paint job, the seat is ripped...and there is no shine left on the ol gal. I wouldn't say that Dad & I are really in our Sunday best either. (In my defense....I was going to catch candy at the parade that morning...not going to be in the parade)

The parade progression begins. The fancy team in front of us is doing turns. (We are all channeling our inner Preifert team hitch.) Well, Dad's wagon isn't fancy but his horses are. We are barely a block into the parade, and smack dab in the middle of main street, Dad starts a fancy turn in the middle of the street whirling the big gals around on a dime.....SNAP....the wagon tongue snaps in half! The remaining piece is no jagged and jabbing one of the mares in the legs!

This is were our wreck begins! We are mildly out of control and headed for a little girl getting candy in the street. Dad tells me to jump out and get a hold of them. I get to the front and get them stopped. The tongue is still poking the one mare. ( I am now super grateful for spraying WD40 cans at their face this morning because I know they are pretty dang gentle) My Aunt Nancy & Connie come from the crowd to help unhook the chains from the wagon.

This is where my logically thinking exits. After we get them unhooked, my Dad says come up here and take the lines. Go with them. So....I take the lines and set out...on the parade down main street....driving the team!

lol...It made for a great story. Farther down the road, the parade goers would holler...You lost your wagon. I smiled and said...You are right! I really did loose my wagon!

I went from a Preifert hitch teamster to a plow boy in a matter of seconds but we walked the entire parade. (Yes, pavement and cowboy boots will make you a little sore-footed at a trot) I thought the cherry on top was when they announced that we won the Wagon Category. (It probably should have went to the team in front of us but if they had a Best Wreck category, we would have rocked it!)

The best part though was tonight on the phone...My Dad said something to me that he has never said before...."You did good today!"
Happy Father's Day Dad! Thank you for always making EVERYTHING a good story!

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Loadin Up 2

Loadin' Up 2

Do you ever have one of those moments when the whole world just slows down around you? ....You’re not sure if it has stopped for anyone else ....but everything around you is perfectly crisp and free of distraction. You are acutely aware of every sound around you. Often when loading the truck to come home from a rodeo....these are some of the images that flash through me & I wanted to attempt to share them in words. 

Coming down off the Rodeo High t. Love when you have a great crew, surrounded by amazing friends, everything bucks & it all comes together! Aww, SPECTACULAR! But there is a sadness to a rodeo grounds once filled with the hustle & bustle......once everyone has gone home & just the empty trailer tracks remain."

The silence that fills the air is broken only by the sounds of going home.

You can hear & feel each thundering broncs hoof striking the earth as they barrel down the alley to load on the truck.
Pound pound pound.....I struggle to describe the sound that their strong fierce hooves make as they eat up the ground below them. It is heavy & pounding but quick and agile all at the same time.
You can hear a change in the hoof beats the second they make their way from the dusty alley floor and up the wooden loading chute. It is almost a hollow echoing as they ascend to the semi. 

Booming, a loud symphony of hoof beats rumble from the trailer. To the untrained ear it sounds like a ruckus of collision and ciaos as the horses feet hit the aluminum and shake the whole truck but it is nothing less than perfection as they single file march up the ramp and slide in to place!
Down the alley, standing alone, with the stock awaiting the next passengers to be called for. Listening to every latch the truck driver moves and foots step so that you almost know the Ready call… before the words leave their lips. The stock knows it too.
You can hear the rattle and clang of every latch and chain against the panels. Standing at the gate you can feel the excitement from every animal as their gate is called and the rush of energy as they hightail it for home.
Even a hot and tired set of baby calves are bucking and playing as they eagerly make their way to the trailer. Bellering with excitement as the last one slides into place.
Every last animal is loaded and ready for the trek home as the long door is pulled closed.
These are the sounds of Loadin' Up!

THANK YOU so much for traveling the gypsy trail with me today! 
Here are some more posts you might enjoy

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Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Mad About Turquoise with The Mad Cow Company

If you follow my blog, you have seen me share some of my “Favorite Things”.  Today, I want to share some of my Favorite People who happen to be un- believably  talented and make some of my Favorite Things! 
A couple years ago, I had the chance to "live" with Pat & Amy Smith, the owners of The Mad Cow Company, in Las Vegas, Nevada during the Cowboy Christmas Trade show.  I didn't know them from Adam but after a couple weeks of all day bonding...we became fast friends and the rest is history! 

Since we all like to do business with people we “Know, Like and Trust”…. I wanted to share with you a little about the amazing Smith Family and The Mad Cow Company!  Thank You in advance to Amy for taking the time to do an interview and share her life with us.

Meet the Maker, Amy Smith ~

"I am a forth generation rodeo girl. My great aunts are Alice and Marge Greenough. We used to get to have every Thanksgiving with them when I was a kid. Alice was a big tough talker about all the broncs and bulls she has busted over the years and Marge was petite, sweet and quiet little lady. When I was little I used to tell people I was going to ride bulls when I grew up like my aunts, but that only lasted until I got bucked off a calf really hard at the first rodeo I ever entered. I really like to rope. I am left handed and all my life I have fought to be allowed to rope that way. My Dad made me rope right at breakaway most of the time, and I got to heel left. When I was in high school I switched to all left and feel most comfortable with that. When I started hanging out with Pat while we were dating I got him hooked on roping. We both still like to rope, but our kids are not interested in horses so we have not been doing much rodeo these days."

 How Did You Get Started?
"I have been playing around as a silversmith for 10 years. It all started when I was a teacher and the birth of my second child made my day care costs about the same as my teacher's pay. So I started looking for a way to bring in some income and stay home with the kids. My best friend, Natasha Robert's, in Texas was starting a little bead stringing jewelry business and I decided I could do that too. I started out selling at the farmer's market and some home parties, but it was not real lucrative.

I had been doing a little leather work since college making a few purses and belts. One day the idea of the horseshoe belt came to me, I was looking at a bar shoe in my brothers junk shoe pile and said I was going to make it into a buckle. He said that was a dumb idea and no one would wear that. So I started making piles of belts with turquoise chunks sewed on and stones glued on the buckles. I took them to some trade shows around Arizona and they started to take off.

It Takes Off
A friend of ours, Beau Compton was getting his silversmith business going at the same time so we decided that we were going to go big and share a booth in Vegas. We borrowed booth from my Mom, shared a hotel room and we shared a tiny 10x10 booth for 10 days. I insisted we had to have my life size fiberglass cow to draw attention to our booth. Beau insisted it did not fit. I guess we know who has a stronger personality because we crammed everything in and sold lots by our standards.
The belts were a hit. I told Beau I needed to learn to solder so I could make the buckles cooler and harder to copy. So when we got home from Vegas he taught me the basics of soldering and I spent my Vegas money setting up my jewelry shop. I have no formal training so I just started soldering things to everything metal. Bits and spurs were one of the first things that I decided needed to have turquoise. I was not selling a lot locally so I made the big jump to wholesale and went to my first Denver market with my life size cow and my little pile of stuff.
A Family Affair
I was having a hard time keeping up with demand just on my own. At the time my husband Pat was working out of town mostly, we had two small kids and the business was growing like crazy. We decided to throw all the eggs in one basket and take a leap and we both work for The Mad Cow Company. At first I thought he would be too big and clumsy to do small delicate jewelry work so I had him shipping, taking care of the house, and things like that.

An Engraver is Born!
Then he wanted to go to an engraving school to learn about that and I thought he would come back scratching on metal with mediocre skills. I was wrong, he was good and he loves doing it. He has come a long way with all the skills he has been acquiring. He has been to several schools and has been a huge help in growing the custom side of the business. We are a pretty decent team.

Sampling of Pat's Engraving:

Amy's Favorite Piece to Date:

My favorite thing about what we do is seeing something new be created everyday. When I make a huge pile of something I feel very productive. I love making new pieces. Everything we make spins off into something else. Each new design element, or new skill we acquire leads us down a new path. I don't think I will ever run out of ideas, because sometimes it is all I can think about. It robs my sleep and fills my days and I am thankful everyday that we can make a living doing something we both love. 

Sampling of some of their amazing pieces!  I LOVE the creativity, color, and fun designs.

These are MY Favorite Mad Cow Pieces from my own collection!
I wear one of their pieces almost daily! 

To see more and order your very own Mad Cow Pieces...
The Mad Cow Company Contact Info:

The Mad Cow Company
3741 S. Moson Rd
Sierra Vista, AZ 85650
The Mad Cow Company
3741 S. Moson Rd
Sierra Vista, AZ 85650
WEBSITE: www.shopmadcownow.cow
Phone: 520-559-6106
Address: 3
741 S. Moson Rd/Sierra Vista, AZ 85650

THANK YOU so much for stopping to visit.  So grateful to share some of my favorites with you!
uch Love, Mindy

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