Pumpkin, Butterscotch, & Greek Yogurt Breakfast Trifle

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This is a great festive breakfast that also makes for nice presentation for a family gathering or potluck. Once per week I cook breakfast for the local Kiwanis Club, and I recently made this to kick off the start of the holiday season. Packed with protein and fiber, with a little sweetness to boot. 

  • 32 oz. container plain greek yogurt
  • 32 oz. container plain yogurt
  • 14 oz. can pumpkin
  • 1 box instant butterscotch pudding
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 bag Special K honey granola
  • 1/2 tsp. Cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. Nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. Ginger
  • 2 T. pure maple syrup

1. Stir together in a bowl the greek and plain yogurts until smooth.

2. Add cold milk to pudding and whisk in a separate small bowl.

3. In another small bowl, combine pumpkin and spices.

4. Using a large glass bowl, begin the trifle with a layer of yogurt.

5. Add a thin layer of pumpkin.

6. Add a layer of butterscotch pudding.

7. Sprinkle with granola.

8. Repeat steps 4-7.

9. Finish the trifle with a final layer of yogurt sprinkled with the remaining granola.

10. Drizzle with 2 T. maple syrup.

11. Cover and refrigerate.

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Making Your Own: Bacon Infused Ground Elk + Camp

This fall Joe and I went (bull) elk hunting for a couple nights in the wilderness, where we set up camp and could day ride to scout and hunt for elk. While the weather patterns, and therefore the elk’s migration schedule, did not cooperate with our timing for the hunt this year, it was still so refreshing to get out into the backcountry on horses, see some elk, and spend time in camp. Joe did later fill his cow elk tag though, which was just in the nick of time, as we were down to our last two packages of burger from last year. These pictures tell the story:???????????????????????????????

Riding Slim out the first evening to go scout.

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The stove was a great deal from an estate sale!

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Kitchen

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View of steep, rocky bowl over Taz’s neck where a small herd of elk were, waaaay up at the top. Getting an elk packed out on the horses would not have been possible so we passed.

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Sunset from our evening spot.

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Morning of our final day. Last year at this time there was about a foot of snow in this spot.

After one week of hanging, it was time to butcher Joe’s cow. There are many reasons why I like processing our own meat, and I am thankful we have the space and supplies to do so at the family shop.

One thing I like about processing our own meat, in addition to the price, (manual labor is good for us all) is that it enables one to fully experience the hunting process. Once the fun adrenaline from the mountain has worn off, and before the meat is prepared and consumed, there is that important middle step of processing. Bone, trim, cut, repeat.  The rewarding, although at times monotonous job, is such an important part of making a meal from the mountain. I don’t feel like the experience of hunting is complete until one takes part in the meat processing.

It would be great for our society if more Americans could experience the processing of their meat and food, in order to really understand the sacrifice of an animal, see exactly where their food is coming from, and understand just how that piece of meat on their plate got there. When I eat the elk Joe shot this year, my mind is like a film reel, remembering the location where it was harvested, what the weather was like while gutting and loading it (awful), and my arm cranking of the meat stuffer as we packaged the burger.

Finally, processing our own meat allows for a little creativity in trying new things. When we make our ground elk burger, we usually mix in a little beef fat that we get from the local butcher with the elk meat, which makes for great tasting and still very healthy meat.

This year, Joe decided to make about 15 lbs. of “specialty” elk burger with his cow elk. While at Smith’s last week, I bought a 3 lb. package of bacon end and pieces at his request. Instead of using beef fat, the bacon its place.With a 5:1 ratio of elk meat to bacon, and after grinding the meat twice, the texture of the burgers turned out really good, and the bacon bits throughout the meat are tasty. Joe feels that a second packge of bacon could be added for those bacon-lovers out there.

Bacon Infused Ground Elk Burger:

If doing the processing yourself, you will need:

  • 15 lbs of elk meat
  • 3 lbs bacon ends and pieces (could go up to 6 lbs.)
  • Game processing bags for ground meat– 1lb. capacity
  • Clean plastic tub or gallon ziplock bags
  • Mixer & Grinder, plus a stuffer with burger attachment (LEM brand is what we use)

1. Grind 15 lbs of elk meat into burger and place into plastic tub to hold.

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2. Grind up the 3 lbs. of bacon ends and pieces.

3. Combine ground elk and ground bacon in mixer grind a second time together. Now, you can either continue on and bag your burger, or place it in the plastic container or ziplock bags and refrigerate/freeze until you are ready to bag the meat.

4. Pull out the game processing bags and tape or ties to seal them.

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5. Place meat into stuffer with burger attachment and and stuff meat into bags, tape closed, label, and freeze.

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6. Thoroughly clean all meat processing attachments and counter top.

And remember, everything tastes better with bacon ; )

Venison Sausage Biscuits & Gravy for Two with Homemade Hash Browns

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This is not a quick breakfast to make since it is completely from scratch, but it IS worth the time to make it. It’s a nice weekend breakfast for when you have a little extra time to cook in the morning and enjoy a hearty meal. On a snowy Saturday morning a few weeks ago, I decided to switch up the usual eggs and bacon/ breakfast sandwich routine for this recipe. I needed to use up a partial package of venison sausage I had in the freezer and pulled out my old dutch oven recipe for biscuits and gravy. But first, get the hash browns going because they take a while!

Hash Browns:

  • 1 Russet Potato, peeled
  • 1 T. Butter
  • Garlic salt
  • Black pepper

1. Peel potato and grate into shoestrings.

2. Spray with cooking spray an aluminum dutch oven or frying pan and add in 1/2 T. butter.

3. Add in potatoes in a thin layer and turn heat to medium-low. Watch carefully that the heat is not too high; they need to cook low and slow.

4. Flip potatoes every 3-4 minutes while adding in remaining butter until outside is browned and inside is no longer mushy. This will take about 20 minutes.

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MEANWHILE… start making your biscuit dough.

Fluffy Biscuits:

Yield- 7

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 T. Baking powder
  • 1/4 cup shortening (crisco)
  • 1 cup milk

Blend flour, salt, and baking powder and mash in shortening with a fork until crumbly.

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Place dough on lightly floured surface, knead for 30 seconds, pat out gently until 1/2 inch thickness. Pinch off pieces of dough and shape into a smooth ball. Place biscuits into a greased dutch oven or pie pan.

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Cook 10-12 minutes at 350 until biscuits are golden brown.

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WHILE the biscuits are taking form in the oven, make your gravy.

Venison Sausage Gravy:

  • 1/2 lb. ground venison breakfast sausage (links to my homemade recipe)
  • 1 cup Milk
  • 1/2 cup Flour
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Salt and black pepper

Brown sausage in frying pan. Add milk and while milk is still cool, add in flour and water.

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Stir constantly as the mixture thickens over medium-low heat until it reaches desired texture.

???????????????????????????????Salt and pepper to taste & serve over biscuits for a delicious, homemade breakfast.

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Raspberry Antelope Tenderloin

With three antelope tags between Joe and I this year now filled, I am exploring new ways to prepare antelope, since we have three times as much as a normal year. I came across this recipe on http://www.today.com from Chef Tyler Hill, of John Bozeman’s Bistro and made some minor changes in swapping out the berries, fresh mushrooms, and broth for what I had on hand to make tender steaks with a tasty raspberry pan sauce.

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  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 3 oz. antelope tenderloin steaks (I used the tenderloins from 1 antelope)
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 cup cream of mushroom soup
  • 1/2 cup small diced shallots
  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen raspberries (or huckleberries)
  • 1 oz. Whisky
  • 1 cup beef stock* (or game stock from a roast can be substituted)
  • 1 tablespoon softened butter

Trim antelope tenderloins.

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Preheat an aluminum frying pan for four minutes over high heat. In a bowl, toss steaks with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

Place antelope in hot pan, flip and add in a drop or two of olive oil every 30 seconds for two minutes until desired doneness.

Remove meat from pan.

With pan on high, add two tablespoons olive oil, shallots, cream of mushroom soup, and raspberries. Sauté and stir for one minute. Add whisky and stock. For the stock, I used frozen broth I had leftover from a crock pot elk roast that I had been saving to use as a stew base, and it worked great.

Cook mixture on low heat for about two minutes, stirring gently. Add soft butter and stir. Place steaks back in pan for thirty seconds with sauce. Enjoy!

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Backyard Bounty: Rhubarb Jelly recipe

For the past six weeks I have watched our three giant rhubarb plants steadily spread their wings and grow, and grow, and grow in the back yard.

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With leaves so big they block the stalks like the canopy of a rain forest, I have been pulling them back and peeking for weeks at the progress, and now, they are finally ready to harvest.

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Last weekend I did a first cutting, and this weekend a second. Sunday afternoon I got to dicing and made a batch of rhubarb jelly, the first canning of this summer. I used this recipe http://www.rhubarb-central.com/rhubarb-jelly.html as a base but made some adjustments based on my previous experiences making jelly last summer.

Rhubarb Jelly

Ingredients

Yield= (3) 8 oz. jars

  • 4 cups rhubarb, chopped into, small, 1/2″ pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 pouch powdered lower-sugar pectin
  • 1/2 tsp. butter or margarine

In a non-reactive pan, combine the rhubarb and water.

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Bring to a boil, then simmer for about 10 minutes, and remove from heat.

Process the above mixture through a cheesecloth strainer, allowing juice to drip.

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***To prepare strainer:

  • Transfer liquid into a bowl and rinse out the pot you boiled the rhubarb in.
  • Place one layer of cheesecloth over top of the pot side to side and secure with a rubber band.

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  • Place a second layer of cheesecloth over the first from top to bottom and secure with another rubber band.

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  • Now place the cooked rhubarb on the cheesecloth and drain juice into the pot.

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Press firmly with wooden spoon to get out as much juice as possible.

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  • When finished, scrape off rhubarb into trash/compost and THEN remove the cheesecloth so there are no accidents in spilling rhubarb chunks into the juice.???????????????????????????????
  • Measure juice, and if necessary, add water to yield 1 3/4 cups rhubarb juice. I added another 1/2 cup water.

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Place three clean 8 oz. jars, discs, and lids in boiling water and boil hard for 5 minutes to sterilize the jars.

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Transfer to a dish towel.

In a large, deep, non reactive pan, combine the rhubarb juice and all the sugar, and mix well to combine.

Over high heat, bring the mixture to a full rolling boil that cannot be stirred down.

To reduce foaming, add the butter or margarine.

Add the entire pectin pouch.

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Boil hard for one minute, stirring constantly.

Remove from heat, and quickly skim off foam, if necessary.

Immediately pour the jelly into the hot jars, leaving about
1/4″ headspace at the top of the jar.

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Seal jars firmly and leave to rest of dish towel until cool. You should hear each jar seal with a “pop” within a few hours.

Place jars in refrigerator overnight before bed.

In the next 24 hours, your jelly should set!

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I do not boil my jars again once they are filled with jelly, as many recipes call for. I have had bad luck doing this in the past, where my jelly never sets, and I’m not sure why (I made some awesome cherry mojitos with my jelly syrup, though!) I also don’t leave the jars out overnight on the counter to set, again I have had set-failures doing this. Putting it in the fridge works for me–it sets up within the next 1-2 days doing this. In addition, I typically use 2 cups of sugar mixed in with the fruit regardless of how much sugar the recipe calls for, and have always had success doing this. I just can’t justify adding 3.5 cups of sugar when 2 cups can work. As for storage, I keep the jars in the fridge and freeze the jars I know I won’t use within a month. These tweaks are simply what works for me at this time, and at this elevation, it may not work for all.

By Noon today my jelly was semi-set, spreadable, yet still a little runny. I busted open a jar and ate some off the spoon and it was fabulous! I am definitely planning to make another batch.

2-for-1: Boozy Crockpot Elk Roast Recipe–> Fajitas

DSC01371While neither of these recipes are my own, both are really good and fairly easy to make, so I am excited to share them with you. The roast makes good leftovers: these Pioneer Woman fajitas were really good!

I found the Elk Roast Recipe from ChipolteChick on Food.com. I halved the recipe and used my crock pot to make. Here’s what I used:

  • 1.5 lb. elk roast
  • 1/2 can beer (about 6 oz.)
  • 1 T. Worcestershire
  • Season salt 
  • Black Pepper
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/2 cup onion, sliced
  • 1 T. brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup chili sauce

Place roast in crock pot and season with salt and pepper. Pour in chili sauce and brown sugar, layer onion slices and minced garlic on top. Pour beer into crock pot and cook on LOW for 6 hours. The roast was pretty tender, and the juices do have a slight beer taste to them. I served it with mashed potatoes, but you could easily put veggies into the crock pot with the meat.

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The roast was OK, but the leftovers were FANTASTIC! I used the Pioneer Woman’s Beef Fajita recipe as a base for the remaining 1/2 pound of roast that we had.

In a shallow 8 x 8 inch glass pan, I combined:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1.5 T Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
  • Juice from 1/2 of a lime
  • 1 clove Garlic, Minced
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Cumin
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Chili Powder
  • 1/4 tsp. paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon Garlic Salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Sugar

I had onions left over mixed in with the roast already, but feel free to add more sliced onions if needed.

Then I thinly sliced the remaining roast and placed the meat into the pan, turning it with a fork to coat all sides. I marinated it in the refrigerator for about 2 hours, then heated it up in the frying pan for about 40 seconds on high heat.

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I then put the meat into a warm flour tortilla and topped it with cheddar cheese and a dollop of sour cream. You could add salsa or guacamole, too. Delicious!