Friday, February 4, 2011

Just a few introductions...

     I'm watching snow fall outside, the kids are asleep, and I'm cooking a big pot of soup for some of my favorite people on the ranch. Today, I thought I would introduce you to my creamy chicken enchilada soup and at the same time, to our management team at Lost Valley Ranch. The soup first...this is the easiest and yummiest soup that I use regularly to feed the armies. I am giving you the recipe that I am cooking right now for 7-8 people with leftovers in mind, but you can modify as you see fit for your family.

2 garlic cloves
2 lbs. of Velveeta
1 can of sweet corn
1 can of black beans
1 can of refried beans
12 corn tortillas
2 rotisserie chickens (or 6-7 cooked chicken breasts)
2 small cans of green chilis
1 can of Rotel
1 32 oz chicken broth

I use rotisserie chickens because I was lazy but use whatever you wish. I cut the corn tortillas in thin strips and then dump all the ingredients in a big pot, including the corn tortillas. I simmered for about 2 hours and then served...easy enough!  Serve with chopped cilantro, chips, pico, and sour cream. It is always a hit and my kids love it!

      Now about the people who devoured this soup. Tony and I arrived back on the ranch as a family almost 4 years ago. We quickly realized that we would be depending on the other married couples that live out here as life support for our own marriage. They are our management team and are the decision makers out here. We try to get together about once a week to touch base and discuss any ranch issues.

        Bob and Karen Foster are the owners and the ranch has been under their family name for 50 years, yes, they are the pros. Bob is the most amazing guest rancher. He is a problem solver and loves meeting the needs of others. I can't tell you how many times he has solved problems for our family and gone above and beyond our expectations and that is how our guests feel, as well. He is our fearless leader and always sets such a good example by serving our guests so well.  He is also incredible with kids and my kids see him as another "Grandpa" in their lives.  Karen is the lovely blonde who puts up with Bob. She has raised two children on the ranch and still has her sanity.  She's incredibly strong, compassionate, and nurturing.  I have never seen someone like Karen who genuinely loves and welcomes EVERYONE.  I am so thankful for her years of experience on the ranch and I love that I can ask her anything about raising my own kids on the ranch.

       Let me introduce you to Molly and Jeremy McClish. Jeremy is the office manager on the ranch and you have never met anyone who actually LOVES spread sheets like he does. I am so appreciative of his budgeting skills and his desire to steward our resources like he does. He truly does keep this place going.  He has an awesome sense of humor and you just never know what's going to come out of his mouth. He's an incredible father, husband, and leader at the ranch.  Oh Molly, she is my life support. She is the only other young mom on the ranch and we do EVERYTHING together. From crying to laughing to screaming out of insanity sometimes, we make a great team. She is the protective one on the ranch and everyone from staff to guests to her own little boy, Hayes, just feels safer with her around. She is incredibly wise and I know I can come to her about anything. I was here for two years without another mom on the ranch and it has truly changed my life to have Molly here at Lost Valley.

    I saved the best for last....Jennifer Hamilton. She just joined our team of management and I know her insight is going to be priceless. She has served faithfully in just about every aspect of the ranch and knows way more than I do about this place. Besides the Fosters, she is the only one that has been here longer than we have and I don't ever want to imagine life in the Valley without her. She is part of the Warnock family and she is a crucial part.  We are all praying for her future husband but secretly I just want to adopt her. J. Ham, you are so gifted and you are so loved.

These are the people we could not do life without. Thank you to each of you for loving our family so well, serving this ranch so well, and for being you!!!


Sarah Bussey Adams said...

Loving the new blog Brooke. How did you do the blog button?

guest.ranch said...

Hey Honey, great blog entry and even better supper last night.

Anonymous said...

Oh these pictures make me miss you all so much. I especially love the picture of little Jack trying to get in the picture. He is just darling. Love you Brooke!!!

Katie said...

Ca't believe I don't have this recipe! Glad to have it. Love you!

The Hickels said...

A great description of some very special people indeed! Love the photo of Molly glowing with pregnancy and her expectation of a new little one. Brooke, reading your blog brings a smile to my face as it makes my favorite place real to me even though many miles separate me from it.

Unknown said...

Awww...I love that whole family, too! I love your blog and looking forward to making the soup. :) See all of you in a month.

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