Archive for the ‘wild game’ Category

Sandhill Crane Kabobs

Have you ever noticed how babies put everything into their mouths?  They eat dirt and dry dog food without flinching.  Bugs are fair game and if it shines you can be sure they’ll try to taste it.  Then something happens and suddenly they are afraid to try something different.  They avoid foods without even trying a taste.

Somewhere during the developing stages of our childhood we learn that all foods (or any object for that matter) aren’t necessarily tasty.   The sad thing is that we could go through life missing out on a wonderful variety of culinary delights unaware that right under our noses is a foodie opportunity waiting to please our palates.

My point? …. wait for it…… wait for it…..  Food fears are reduncullious… get over it!  Trying something new is an amazing experience.  You never really know what a new food will taste like unless you try it.  And, tonight we tried a totally new food in our home.

Hunter” bagged a couple sandhill crane that yielded 4 beautiful boneless skinless breast of crane that my daughter and I prepared with teriyaki marinade, skewered with some fresh cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, sweet peppers, red onion and chunks of pineapple.  My husband did the honors and did the cooking on the outdoor grill.  Complements included steamed white rice, braised cabbage, fresh melon, pineapple and mango and the drink of choice at the table was a sparkling pomegranate cocktail over ice.

Sandhill crane meat has been touted as being the “prime rib of the skies” and I do believe that is a very fair description.  It’s very dark red, similar to raw beef heart or liver in color, and the texture is quite dense.  The flavor is not even in the slightest bit gamey, not even poultry like.  If I had not prepared it myself and someone had told me I was eating a bird I would have said they were lying.

Everyone at the table enjoyed the meal and we’re ready to try something new.

….And I heard a voice saying to me, ‘Rise, Peter; kill and eat.’  But I said, ‘Not so, Lord! For nothing common or unclean has at any time entered my mouth.’  But the voice answered me again from heaven, ‘What God has cleansed you must not call common.’ Acts 11

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As I’ve mentioned before, my two daughters have men who love to hunt and I am a beneficiary of that. “Hunter” and Daughter #1 recently drove to Montana to retrieve some of their prize and promptly deposited a good portion of it in my freezer in the garage, since the one on my side-by-side in the kitchen has been occupied by meat from previous hunts.

It’s official! Thanks to my “Big Game Suppliers,” the only meat I’ve needed to purchase in the last six months has been chicken. I can’t tell you how happy I am to have such a bounty of wild game in my possession and in my pots.

I’m looking forward to this Sunday and cooking up the four rabbits that are awaiting a good Hasenpfeffer, which I hope to post about.

I’ve included a fun picture of “Hunter” and my daughter with a white tail he recently bagged.

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Those of you who know me well, know that our family doesn’t have one Christmas dinner we have two!  

Our first is on Christmas eve with my family and the second is on Christmas day with my hubby’s family.  Each dinner equally amazing and each get together equally Christmas, since my family still celebrates on our traditional Christmas eve.  

The evening affair is very German with real live candles on the tree, hence the blue cabbage and other European style dishes such as rabbit or goose.  The Christmas day affair still reminiscent of the Mexican culture and heritage of my husbands family.

So to complicate things, we have two menus.  I’ve already posted the Christmas eve menu planner I had started and it’s grown into a Pot Luck of sorts with several of us bringing different items from the menu to the celebration.

The Christmas day menu has developed over the last couple of weeks into an interesting menu of Tamales, beans, spanish rice, pozole and fresh tortillas.  

My oldest daughter has found a tamale maker that will create tamales using the wild game her ‘hunter’ will provide.  

I have to admit this will be the first menu of it’s type since my husbands mother passed away several years ago.  A bit sentimental for me and, I’m sure, for the rest of us.

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yosemite bracebridge dinner

Christmas dinner is one of those meals that has it’s stars and then there are a few guest appearances on the menu that sometimes make a hit and other times they bomb.  

I remember one year when the turkey took so long in my oven that everybody’s eyes were glazing over by the time it got on the table.  I’m still puzzled by it and I’m convinced something was wrong with the oven.

Since then I’ve had mostly success so I’ve decided to post a few of my ideas for the menu I’m planning.  Some recipes will be “donated” from some of the cooks who’s blogs I follow.  Who knows, could be yours.   

A Few Possible Menu items

What’s on your menu?……


Luke 2:
And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

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My last post was a recipe for Venison Chorizo.  So, I got a request for breakfast sausage as an option for all those less than prime cuts of venison and other meats in the freezer.  Here’s the recipe I use.




  • 1 tablespoons rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon fennel
  • 1 tablespoon salt (to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons black pepper (fresh peppercorns if possible)
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper (to taste)
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 pounds lean ground meat


  1. Use a mortar and pestle to grind the spices, sugar, salt, and garlic to a well ground mixture.  a simple electric coffee grinder kept just for this purpose will do
  2. Add oil and mix well.
  3. Mix the spice mixture with the ground meat until well mixed. You may wish to do this in a food processor or Kitchen Aid with attachment as it will take a couple of minutes.
  4. Refrigerate overnight before cooking and serving for best results. 

Makes 12 sausage patties. 


Notes: This recipe works for any ground meat you prefer.  Try venison or javelina.

You could modify this, using less sugar and Italian herbs instead of some of the other herbs and make Italian sausage. 

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Mexican Chorizo Sausage is a wonderful thing!   The flavors of chili, oregano and garlic, a hint of acidity that compliments your breakfast eggs and it’s so versatile too.  I’ve used chorizo with shrimp, chicken, potatoes and eggs.  I’ve served it for breakfast, lunch and dinner and it never disappoints. As you know my freezer is stoked with wild game, some of which isn’t cut out for BBQ or stew.  When you bring home the deer it’s not all prime cuts, you know.  So what do you do with that round steak that really isn’t so fun to chew on?  I make sausage.  In this case, Chorizo Sausage.   So this morning I got busy and turned some out using the following recipe.  We enjoyed it fried up in the pan and scrambled some eggs into it.  I sauteed some mushrooms and bell peppers on the side and served it with flour tortillas and hot tea topped off the morning.


  • 1 lb ground venison (any lean ground meat will do)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 Tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 Tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano ( I used menudo seasoning)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced fine
  • 2 Tablespoons vinegar


Mix all ingredients in a food processor to bring the meat into a finer grind (not too fine) and allow all the spices to blend well.   Marinate overnight in the refrigerator.   There are so many uses for Chorizo and easy recipes too!  Like Shrimp and Chorizo in terra cotta on the BBQ for an appetizer, or Chorizo and egg burritos for breakfast.  Use the sausage in your tacos instead of ground beef, YUM! Leave me a comment and tell me how you like your Chorizo?


  Ecclesiastes 3:13 and also that every man should eat and drink and enjoy the good of all his labor—it is the gift of God.

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I mentioned in an earlier post that we have pounds of wild game in our freezer and today I defrosted some ground “Buffalo.” (North American Bison)  This meat is hormone free, lean and tasty without being too gamey so it makes a great substitute for hamburger.

Here’s the latest creation!~

Shepherds Pie a la Buffalo

1 lb ground buffalo (Turkey or Beef work too)
1/3 cup dry bread crumbs
1/4 cup catsup
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 Tbl Worcestershire sauce
1 egg slightly beaten
1 cup frozen mixed vegetables; thawed

*1 1/2 – 2 cups of your own homemade Mashed Potatoes
4 oz grated jack or cheddar cheese

1 cup water
3 tbl fresh butter
1 1/2 Mashed Potato Flakes
1/2 cup milk
4 oz grated jack or cheddar cheese

Heat oven to 350 F. In large bowl, combine all filling ingredients and mix together well. Pat mixture into a 9-10 in pan. (I used a cast iron skillet)

Bake for 30-35 minutes or until center is thoroughtly cooked. Drain excess liquid.

In a medium saucepan, heat water and butter to rolling boil. Remove from heat. Stir in Potato flakes, milk, cheese and egg. Mix well.   *Spoon over filling to cover and sprinkle with paprika. Return to the oven and bake for 10 minutes or until golden.

Serve it up and enjoy!

Proverbs 15:17
Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a stalled ox and hatred therewith.

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