Coyote Soup

Bringing life back to the family ranch with three young free range braves and lots of organic elbow grease.

Monster Cookies November 9, 2012

Filed under: Recipes,Uncategorized — Piper Long @ 11:55 am
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These Monster Cookies are nothing more than Mom’s Crispy, Chewy Oatmeal Cookies disguised with an excessively extravagant array of goodies added to the batter. There are no limitations to the possible additions to these cookies. The more the merrier I always say!

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These cookies are amazing.

Besides being completely and totally ridiculously delicious, I’m pretty sure they even prevent wrinkles. Or maybe it was aging? I can’t remember now. All I know is… they sure bring out the kid in ya!

These are really good y’all!

Give ’em a try, but please be forwarned… they are frighteningly addictive!
Start by sweetening your butter.
With brown sugar.
And granulated sugar.
Cream until just combined.
Add an egg.
Mix well.

Then add flour.
Soda. Baking soda. Not to be confused with Cola Soda.
And mix.
Add vanilla.
M & M’s.

Chocolate chips.
Peanut butter chips.
Plenty of nuts.
And mix.
Don’t forget the rice crispies!

There. Now mix it up. It’s the last time, I promise.
And drop by spoonfuls onto an ungreased cookie sheet…
and bake at 350 for about 10 minutes or until golden brown.


Here’s the recipe:

Oatmeal Cookies

makes 15 cookies

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar, tightly packed
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp. vanilla
3/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 cup quick cooking oats
1/4 cup M & M’s
1/4 cup chocolate chips
1/4 cup peanut butter chips
1/4 cup nuts
1/2 cup rice crispies

Cream together softened butter, sugars and egg. Add vanilla, flour, salt and baking soda. Mix well. Add oats, M & M’s, chocolate chips, peanut butter chips and nuts. Give it a stir, then add your rice crispies. Stir just until combined.

Drop walnut-sized mounds of dough on cookie sheet. Bake in preheated 350 oven for about 10 minutes.


Reuben Sandwich November 5, 2012

Filed under: Recipes — Piper Long @ 10:14 am
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About a week ago, my then 7-year-old brought home a little booklet he had made at school that was all about him. What he looked like… where he lived…

His favorite things.

Most of the things in his book, I already knew and could easily interpret from his highly detailed drawings.

But this one…
This one was a bit puzzling to me.

What food item is rectangular, red all over and lined with green ruffles?

Big Red gum on a bed of lettuce?

Moldy strawberry jello?

I was completely stumped.

“It’s a reuben sandwich, Momma,” he explained.

“A reuben sandwich?” I replied, still not sure I had heard him right. I can’t even remember the last time I made a reuben sandwich. 2009 maybe? Or was it 1999? Was he even born yet? And what about fried fish? Ribeye steak? Bobcat spaghetti?

“Yeah,” he replied giving me the look I know to be truly, genuinely honest… and pitiful.

Poor kid. All his life I have been feeding him every sandwich under the sun and yet I had only served him his favorite sandwich – favorite food – maybe once in his life.

What kind of mother am I?

So for his birthday…and the second time in his 8 years of life…. I made him a reuben sandwich.

Here’s how I did it:
First I buttered two slices of rye bread on a piece of wax paper.

Then I flipped them over.
And layered on the toppings.
Swiss cheese.
Shaved corned beef that I had purchased at the deli counter.
Sauerkraut which I rinsed and drained per my grandmother’s instructions… so it wouldn’t be too salty. I can’t even tell you whether or not this is a fact because I didn’t want to chance ruining a single sandwich.
A dollop of bottled Thousand Island Dressing, spread evenly over the sauerkraut. Not too much now!
Topped with another slice of swiss cheese and your other slice of bread, which is already buttered on the outside.
Transfer your sandwich to the griddle.
And grill until the cheeses are melted and the rye bread is golden brown.

Then serve it to your 8-year-old for his birthday.

Here’s the short version:

Rye Bread
Swiss Cheese
Corned Beef
Thousand Island Dressing

1. Take a slice of rye bread and butter one side, then turn it over, butter side down.

2. On the non-buttered side, layer swiss cheese, corned beef, sauerkraut, dressing and swiss cheese. Top with another slice of rye bread, buttered on the outside.

3. Grill both sides of the sandwich until golden brown.


Best Buttermilk Biscuits October 26, 2012

Filed under: Recipes — Piper Long @ 8:16 am
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I know. There are a gazillion biscuit recipes out there. But in my book, this recipe is a keeper for the following reasons:

1. They’re delicious.
2. They’re EASY!
3. The recipe is so simple, you can memorize it.

Which is great for those early mornings when you emerge from your bedroom like a blinking mole at first light and your family is sitting at the table banging their knives and forks against the table chanting, “WE WANT FOOD! WE WANT FOOD!”

You’re family doesn’t do that?


Well, as a side note, these biscuits are also great for dinner alongside fried chicken, baked chicken, roasted chicken, soupy chicken and just about anything that tastes like chicken. I know because I served these biscuits to my family alongside fried chicken just the other night.

“Momma?” My oldest boy asked, eyeing the steamy biscuit I had just pulled out of the hot pan.

“Hmm?” I replied, admiring the beautiful rise in the pillowy biscuits.

“I don’t like biscuits with sideburns,” he said. “Can I have one out of the middle?”

“Sideburns?” I asked, inspecting my biscuits, visualizing hair growing down the sides of the biscuit like a Chia Pet.

“Ya. The burns on the sides of the biscuits…” he explained. “I like the ones without the sideburns.”

“Oh!” (giggles) “You mean the edge of the biscuit where it was resting against the side of the pan…” (more smiles and giggles… followed by full on belly laughs.)

Here’s how you make ’em:

Start with 2 cups SELF RISING flour. I LOVE self rising flour. It’s basically a mix of all-purpose flour, salt and leavening. You can mix up your own or buy it at the store.

Next, add a stick of cold butter.

Cut the butter in with a pastry cutter or two knives…

…until the butter is cut up enough (maybe pea size) to mix well with the flour.
Add 1 cup buttermilk. If you don’t have buttermilk, you can sour 1 cup of whole milk with 1 Tbl. white vinegar or lemon juice to substitute for the buttermilk.
Stir to combine. Your dough will be sticky.
Turn out onto floured surface.
Knead by folding the dough.
And flattening.
And folding…
And flattening.

Knead the dough a couple more times, or until you just work the stickiness out.
Flatten the dough with your hands to about a half-inch in thickness.
Cut the dough into rounds with your biscuit cutter.
Arrange the biscuits in an ungreased baking pan, with the sides touching.
Bake at 450 until golden brown, but not so brown that the biscuits develop side burns, about 12 minutes.

Serve warm with a sliver of butter and a spoonful of homemade peach jam. Or honey. Or plum jelly. Or any kind of jelly, jam or preserves.

Apple butter would be divine.

Here’s the short version:

Best Buttermilk Biscuits
Makes 12 biscuits

2 Cups Self Rising Flour
1 Stick Cold Butter
1 Cup Buttermilk

1. Cut cold butter into flour.
2. Stir in buttermilk.
3. Turn onto floured surface and knead until no longer sticky.
4. Bake at 450 for about 12 minutes or until golden brown.


Crispy Homemade Hash Browns October 22, 2012

Filed under: Recipes — Piper Long @ 7:30 am
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Before the advent of the internet… before I procured the extra funds to voluntarily relinquish on a monthly basis to satellite TV companies… before cookbooks were invented…

Ok, maybe not that far back…

I made homemade hash browns that were unequivocally disastrous as painfully apparent by their shamefully slimy silhouette.

I couldn’t figure out where I’d went wrong. I had peeled and shredded and pampered my potatoes before frying them in piping hot grease and couldn’t for the life of me understand why I couldn’t attain the golden color that hash browns were so destined to attain.

Hash Browns were supposed to be light, crisp, golden brown ultra-mini french fries.

The hash browns I made resembled densely shredded, dried globs of peppered mush.

I decided right then and there that homemade hash browns were archaic and that the hash browns I’d had in restaurants were clearly of the new age frozen variety which I have been using ever since.

Fast forward 13 years and 127,356,830 cooking shows later… and I finally learned the secret to light, crispy homemade hash browns.

Thank you Sunny Anderson.

And now that Sunny has so kindly divulged the secret, which I’m sure was never really a secret to anyone other than sheltered, isolated ranch wives like myself, I will kindly pass the word on to you all.

You’re welcome.

The secret, you see, is draining the liquid from the seemingly dry enough shreds of potatoes before you fry them.

That’s it!

Here’s my new recipe for Crispy Homemade Hash Browns:

First off, pour enough oil in your skillet to just coat the bottom.

Turn on medium high heat.
Then prep your potatoes.
If your taters have a thick skin, peel ’em.
Next, grab your shredder and start shredding your potatoes. This step goes quicker than you think.
Place your shredded hash browns on a clean kitchen towel…
wrap them up in a bundle….
and squeeze the potato juice out. Sometimes, if I don’t want to dirty a kitchen towel, I just grab a handful at a time and squeeze the juice out little by little.
Now you’re potatoes are ready for the frying pan!
Simply add them in a thin layer to your hot oil and fry, turning as needed, until golden brown. Remember to season both sides with salt and pepper.


Here’s the recipe:

Crispy Homemade Hash Browns

Oil for frying
3 Large Potatoes, peeled, shredded and drained

In a large skillet, add enough oil to coat the bottom. Heat over medium flame. Once oil is hot, add peeled, shredded, drained potatoes to hot oil in a thin layer. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Once the edges begin to brown, flip the hash browns over and brown the other side. Sprinkle once again with salt and pepper. Once brown and crisp, remove from pan and transfer to a paper towel lined plate before serving.


Strawberry Pretzel Dessert October 15, 2012


I first had this Strawberry Pretzel Dessert as a Raspberry Pretzel Dessert about 8 years ago at a family get together and absolutely fell in love with it. And while I loved it, Raspberry seeds and all, my kids weren’t completely sold. Rather than strain the seeds from the raspberry puree, I opted instead to use strawberries and it has been a huge hit.

This dessert is light, consistent, beautiful and best of all, it can be made in advance. It’s perfect for potlucks, family get-togethers or perhaps even a bunko night.

Here’s what you need: pretzels, flour, butter, cream cheese, whipped topping, sugar, jello, water and strawberries.

I was going to use fresh strawberries, but George Clooney happened to be filming his movie this particular day and I couldn’t get past security to buy the strawberries from the store.

Turns out, frozen berries work better anyway!

To start, crush your pretzels by using one of those handy little mini food processors.

If you don’t have one, a rolling pin works just as well.
Add the 4 1/2 TBL sugar to the crushed pretzels.
Pour the melted butter over the sugar and crushed pretzels.
Stir to combine.
Spread mixture over the bottom of an ungreased 9×13 pan if making a whole recipe. On this particular day, I was making a half recipe, so I used an 8×8 pan.

Bake at 350 for 10 min. regardless of whether you are making a half recipe or a whole recipe.
While the crust is baking, prepare the second layer. With a mixer, whip the cream cheese until smooth. Blend in the sugar.

Then fold in a carton of whipped topping. (If making a half recipe, simply use a half carton of whipped topping, the rest can be used for garnish if your children don’t find it first.)

Lick the beaters clean and put the mixture in the fridge so you won’t be tempted to eat it by heaping spoonfuls.
Bring the water to a boil and stir in any flavor of red jello that you have on hand.

I’ve used strawberry, raspberry, cherry and cranberry and they’ve all been divine.
Add your frozen strawberries.

Mine were partially thawed by now. But I learned the colder the berries, the faster your dessert will set.
Crush them with your masher.
Until they won’t mash no mo.
Once your crust is COMPLETELY cool, (you can put your crust in the freezer for about 10 min to speed the cooling) pour the cream mixture over the COOLED pretzel crust.

And by the way, make sure the crust is cool or the cream mixture will turn into a melted soupy mess.

Nevermind how I know this.

Carefully spread the cream mix evenly over the pretzel crust.
Top it with the beautiful jello fruit mix.
Chill in fridge until jello is set, about 3 hours.

Here’s the recipe:

Feel free to halve the recipe below as I did in the tutorial. The original recipe feeds quite a lot!

Strawberry Pretzel Dessert
Makes about 18 servings

1 1/2 C. Crushed Pretzels
4 1/2 TBL. Granulated Sugar
3/4 C. Butter, Melted
1 C. Sugar
2 (8 oz. pkg.) Cream Cheese
1 (8 oz. pkg.) Frozen Whipped Topping, Thawed
1 (6 oz. pkg.) Strawberry Jello (or any flavor red jello)
2 C. Boiling Water
1 (16 oz. pkg.) Frozen Strawberries

1. Combine crushed pretzels, 4 1/2 TBL. sugar and melted butter. Press into 9×13 pan. Bake at 350 for 10 min. Cool completely.
2. Whip sugar and cream cheese until smooth. Fold in thawed whipped topping. Gently spread over cooled pretzel crust.
3. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil, add jello and stir until dissolved. Add frozen strawberries to hot jello mix and crush with a masher. Pour over cream cheese layer.
4. Chill until set. Approximately 3 hours.



Mom’s Crispy, Chewy Oatmeal Cookies October 3, 2012

Filed under: Recipes — Piper Long @ 7:43 am
Tags: , ,


These are my family’s favorite oatmeal cookies. They’re crispy, chewy and perfect.

Although I must say, when it comes to oatmeal cookie additions, we are a family divided.

I’ve always been one to like raisins and nuts in my oatmeal cookie. Drover and all three of our offspring prefer oatmeal cookies stuffed with chocolate. So whenever I make oatmeal cookies, I take a bit of the basic batter and add raisins n nuts for me. The rest of the dough is filled with any or sometimes every type of chocolate goody I have on hand.

Here’s how you make ’em:
Start by sweetening your butter with sugar.
Stir in an egg.
Add flour.
Baking soda.
And oats.

At this point, you have a perfectly delicious cookie mix, ready to bake.

But if you want to dress them up a bit, you can add…
some brickle.
Or maybe some semi-sweet chocolate chips!
Drop by spoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet and bake at 350 for approximately 10 minutes or until golden brown.
Here’s the recipe:

Oatmeal Cookies

makes 15 cookies

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar, tightly packed
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp. vanilla
3/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 cup quick cooking oats
1/4 cup optional goodies (raisins, dried fruit, nuts, chocolate chips or brickle)

Cream together softened butter, sugars and egg. Add vanilla, flour, salt and baking soda. Mix well. Add oats and optional goodies. Stir just until combined.

Drop walnut-sized mounds of dough on cookie sheet. Bake in preheated 350 oven for about 10 minutes.


Succotash September 21, 2012

Filed under: Recipes,Uncategorized — Piper Long @ 10:59 am
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winter 2011-spring 2012 062

Getting my family to eat any vegetable other than the most basic of vegetables can sometimes be a challenge. But I’ve found that they will eat almost anything if I put bacon on it.

Including lima beans.

Which technically, I’m sure are legumes.

Anyhow, in this recipe, the lima beans are disguised behind a confetti of bacon bits and sweet corn. It’s the perfect way to slide some additional nutrients past my family’s picky palates.

Here’s the recipe:

2 cups fresh corn
1 cup fresh or frozen lima beans
2 slices bacon
salt and pepper to taste

1. In a cast iron skillet, fry bacon until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, crumble and set aside in a remote location labeled as “healthy” so your family will not eat it.
2. Discard excess bacon grease from pan. Without washing pan, add fresh corn and lima beans. Saute until veggies are warmed through.
3. Retrieve your “healthy” bacon from its remote hiding spot and sprinkle over top.
4. Serve to unsuspecting family in need of lima bean nutrients.


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