Ok, so I sooooo want to live on the ranch.
Do you watch Pioneer Woman on the Food Network Channel?
If you did, you would want to live on the ranch too.
Seriously. It looks so fun. Ree Drummond is awesome. She seems like the world’s greatest mom. You know the one who cooks, has a beautiful house AND never seems to get mad at her kids and has TONS of patience for every silly, and not so silly thing they do. Oh and she takes great pictures of them too. All the time. It is like she always has her camera just hanging around her neck, ready to capture the cutest things her kids do. (Unlike me, who usually says, “Oh. I wish I had my camera.”)
She actually has a “lodge” and a “house”. As in, “I am going to head up to the lodge to get dinner ready and we will eat there and then hang at the house later.” Two houses you can live in. On the same piece of property.
This is all on the ranch.
She is always feeding “cowboys” and “hungry kids” and her kids always seem like they honestly love whatever she decides to make for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Even if it contains things like jalapenos (which a lot of her cooking does) or cilantro (both things none of my kids would ever eat).
She homeschools them and they do all sorts of really fun activities and she seems so patient with them, all the time. Even while homeschooling four different age kids.
They have horses…tons of horses and a dog that just follows them around all day because life on the ranch is so….well, just simple..and happy.
I really want to live on the ranch with Ree Drummond.
But then, I come back to earth and I realize… wow, she lives on a ranch.
Like, a place that is far away from…well, everything.
And there are animals there that need to be taken care of… all day long. I mean, I don’t have anything against animals, but let’s just say, I am not exactly an animal person. As in, I really don’t like to be anywhere near them. You know, that kind of animal person.
And then there is that whole “homeschooling” thing. I mean, I bet she gets to snuggle her kids all day long which sounds really wonderful, but then I think…what happens when they start fighting with each other? What happens when they are having a really cranky day? You mean to tell me, you can’t send them off to school so you can catch your breath?
Okay, I can deal….but.…..Then I think about how they get up at the crack of dawn, to take care of those darn animals again. They are literally starving and so tired when they are done that when she tries to feed them spicy pork with jalapenos (okay I never saw that recipe, but I am just sayin’), they can’t even muster enough energy up to complain. That is why they seem like they love everything she cooks!
Forget living on the ranch.
I think I will just stay here and just cook like I live on the ranch, because she makes some really good stuff. And she is always entertaining people at her house (lodge) which I love to do. I love having people over for dinner and being able to cook for them. Seriously. Some people probably feel like it is their worst nightmare, but I really enjoy it! I get inspired by new recipes and just want to share them with the people I love. So, although I don’t have a lodge, I still love to cook like I do.
So, maybe the ranch isn’t for me, but she sure makes it look like fun.
This recipe just reminded me of something she would make. It isn’t hers, but I think it would be “cowboy and hungry kid approved.”
(Seriously, you really have to tune in to get all my play on words here…or you probably really find this post not funny at all and probably a little annoying!)
This calzone is the perfect grab and go food, but it was great for our family sit down dinner too. The crust was flaky and slightly sweet and the chicken was deliciously tender and perfectly seasoned. The melty cheddar inside was perfect and paired with some fresh crisp veggies dipped in my Carmelized Onion Yogurt Dip , it was the perfect dinner.
Enjoy your dinner with your family! (And check out The Pioneer Woman on Food Network . You will be inspired too!)
Whole Wheat BBQ Chicken Calzones
1 1/8 cups warm water
3 tsp active dry yeast
1 1/2 tblsp honey
1 1/2 tblsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup all purpose flour
Olive oil to coat bowl
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp smoked paprika
2 cups of your favorite barbecue sauce
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
In a large bowl combine water, yeast, honey and olive oil. Stir gently and then let sit until yeast becomes alive and mixture looks creamy and slightly bubbly, about ten minutes. Add the salt to the mixture and then add the flours a little at a time and knead the dough until dough becomes smooth and stretchy, not sticky (about 10 minutes). Remove the dough from the bowl and set aside. Pour a little olive oil in bowl to coat. Return dough to bowl and turn over to coat in the olive oil. Cover the bowl with a clean towel and place in a warm place to rise for about 2 hours.
Once dough has risen, take dough out and place on a floured surface. Punch dough down and add flour if it is a little sticky. Separate dough into six round pieces, flatten, and place on a baking sheet and let rise, covered for about 15 minutes more.
While letting the dough rise the last fifteen minutes, place shredded chicken in a bowl. Add 1 cup of the barbecue sauce, paprika and onion powder. Mix until chicken is well coated. Uncover dough circles. Divide chicken evenly, placing a mound in the middle of each dough circle. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup of shredded cheese and another dollop of barbecue sauce.
Bring the sides up around and tightly seal with your fingers.
Repeat for each calzone. Poke some holes in the top of each one. Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until calzones are lightly browned. Serve with extra barbecue sauce or buttermilk ranch dressing for dipping.