Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Spring Break at the Ranch, aka Cute Kids and Good Eats

by Mindy Obenhaus

It's spring break time here in Texas and I love it when I get to spend it with some of the kiddos. 
Spring break is the perfect time for them to be at the ranch. There's so much to experience. Fishing, exploring in the woods and new calves. I love the white boots on this little guy.
And when you're walking in the woods, you never know what you might stumble across this time of year. Like a cow and her just-born babe.
It took us a minute to figure out why she was all by herself in the thicket like that. And what was she licking.
Then we spotted the baby. All the while we just stood back and watched, careful not to disturb them. I used the big lens on my camera to take these pictures. And, finally, she coaxed the little one to his/her feet.
Our eleven-year-old granddaughter loved it, but Max just went along for the ride.
All of that exploring can wear a little guy out, though.
Not that Grammy minded. Naps on the porch are the best.

But this might be even better.
No-bake Chocolate lasagna was our dessert that night. A weird name, I know, but oh, so good.
 It's all about the layers.
You can find the recipe here at I Heart Nap Time.

The granddaughter had requested jalapeno poppers, too, so she and Grammy set to work on those. We started by halving 12 fresh jalapenos and then cleaning out the seeds and white membrane which is where most of the heat is. 

Then we mixed 12 oz of softened cream cheese with approximately 3/4 cup of finely shredded sharp cheddar cheese.
 And spooned the mixture into the jalapeno halves.
Finally, each stuffed jalapeno was wrapped in half a slice of regular-cut bacon and the bacon secured with a toothpick.
Place on a rack over a foil-covered pan (this makes for easier clean up) and bake in a 275 degree oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture of them cooked because everyone was so eager to dig in. But the bacon will be cooked and browned slightly. You may have a little bit of the filling oozing out the ends, but not near as much as when they're cooked at a higher temperature. Low and slow is definitely the way to go.

So that's a wrap on our first full day of spring break.
But we're just getting started. We've still got four more days to go. And with all the sunshine and warm temps, we're hoping to see some wildflowers, maybe even some bluebonnets, before the week comes to an end. I'll keep you posted. 

Now it's your turn. What are some of your favorite foods to share when family gets together for some fun? Do you prefer to go with the tried and true, like our jalapeno poppers, or do you like to try something new, like our Chocolate Lasagna? 

Three-time Carol Award nominee, Mindy Obenhaus, lives on a ranch in Texas with her husband, the youngest of her five children and two dogs. She's passionate about touching readers with Biblical truths in an entertaining, and sometimes adventurous, manner. When she’s not writing, she enjoys cooking and spending time with her grandchildren. Learn more at www.MindyObenhaus.com


  1. I don't like jalapenos most of the time, but I love jalapeno jelly with cream cheese, and these poppers! (Do you see the one ingredient those two treats have in common? Cream cheese makes everything delicious!)

    And that chocolate lasagna! I've got to make that for our carry-in meal at church this Sunday. :-)

    Spring break looks wonderful on the ranch. Wonderful memory-making times for the grandchildren!

    1. I'm with you on the jalapenos, Jan. Don't care for them most of the time. This particular batch was especially good. Not one of the 4 I ate were hot. Only pure yumminess.

      The chocolate lasagna is perfect for a potluck. The recipe said to crush the Oreos with a rolling pin. That left some pretty good chunks, though it was still good. Next time I may run them through the food processor instead so they're more like true crumbs to see how that tastes. I'm sure it's good either way, just texturally different.

      Oh, and I love being able to create those memories for my grandkids. Especially since I have such fond memories of those times I spent with my grandparents at the their cottage at the lake in northern Michigan. Our granddaughter showed up with a whole laundry list of things she wanted to do but we just have to expand her list.

  2. I'm totally ignoring all things hot peppery but that chocolate lasagna!!! Oh la la! My church home group is having a potluck in two weeks and this sounds perfect for all the chocolaholics in the group! Hope I draw dessert!

    Your spring break sounds so...springy! Our kids up here are enjoying the copious amounts of snow for a last hurrah of snowman building and sledding and snowshoeing. Sigh.

    1. Kav, my Irish-Canadian friend, how about some stuffed potatoes instead? Of course, we'd leave out the bacon for you. Even though that's the best part.

      But your chocoholic friends will adore this dessert. As we polished off the last of it last night, my granddaughter asked me if I would make another one. I'd call that a stamp of approval.

      As for your spring, believe it or not, a lot of kids will head for Colorado or New Mexico for ski trips over spring break. Because when you live where snow is a rarity, snow can be a very big draw.

  3. Both dishes look amazing! I think I could follow up the poppers with the lasagna. :)