BHSS All Girl Stray Gathering


Look at all of those cowboys and cowgirls!! There were 44 teams of 4 cowboys/cowgirls in the Open Stray Gathering and 10 teams of 4 cowgirls in the All Girl Stray Gathering last night at the Black Hills Stock Show in Rapid City, SD. It was 12 degrees outside and the wind was blowing… we were really happy to be indoors. However, it was HUMID in there…..holy cow!!! Our poor haired-up horses didn’t know what to think with all the heat in there!

The Open Stray Gathering kicked off at 7:30 pm with the first half of the teams. They ran 22 of the Open teams and then went into the 10 teams of the All Girl then went back to finish the last half of the Open. The funnest part about the All Girl was that it was a draw pot…..meaning that your name went into a hat and they drew your team that way instead of you entering up with people ahead of time. They do this a lot at team ropings…..I have to admit I was a bit apprehensive about it, but I loved it in the end! It gave me a chance to get to know some new gals and to just go out and have some fun (while trying to do well, of course)! ๐Ÿ™‚

I entered twice and drew up with 6 gals I had never met before. The first team I was on included Denise Nelson, Jamie Kirkpatrick, and Rhonda Matt. I partnered up with Rhonda. By “partnered up” I mean that she agreed to head for me and I agreed to heel for her. The four of us girls had to break off into partners and each go after one of the two steers that were turned out at the end of the arena.ย  Here we are lined up and ready to take off!


Next came running the steers down and getting them roped! Please excuse the blurry photographs…..but we were going FAST!! ๐Ÿ™‚


Rhonda headed our steer and I finally got in there and got him heeled……by 2 feet even….WOW!!


Took me a bit to get my dally…..I’m a bit rusty….roping the Time Machine is different than roping a live critter! I did finally get my dally and still had both feet….I waited till Rhonda got off her horse and got to the steer…..I started to pull the steer to assist her as she tailed the steer over…..and man did she ever!


Then Denise and Jamie got there to help. By then, I let go of my dally…tossed my rope, and got over there to help them tie the steer.


Tying a steer isn’t as hard as it looks, but there is a method to it (and you want to watch those legs….they like to kick). My method differs a bit from theirs (but I’m open-minded and open to change). Rhonda and I discussed their method later on….made a lot of sense to me…..had never had it explained to me that way before. Anyway, we finally got the steer tied… seriously seemed like it took 5 minutes to get him tied. The deal is….the steer has to stay tied for 6 seconds after you signal for time and stand clear of him. He needs to be tied….tight….for it to hold. Different strings tie and hold differently…..the string we used wasn’t the kind I use, but we got the job done….even if I felt like I was going in turtle speed! Most importantly, he stayed tied! We took over the lead at 1:09…..later on another team got it done faster than we did, but we ended up in 2nd place. We were happy!! Here is a video link to our run if you’d like to watch it!


It was a lot of fun and I can’t wait to do it again!

The second team I entered with included:ย  Kate Moen, Angela Harris, and Kate Helgeson.

Here we are: 20140131_16

This time I partnered up with Kate Helgeson. Things didn’t go as well this time….Kate headed our steer really well……I missed….


and I missed…..and I missed


…..and I missed again…..UGH!!! After my last toss (and I say that with a smirk on my face) I became aware that our teammates had their steer caught and Kate Moen was on the ground after him. I ran down there and jumped in….we all did.


We got him down….


after a bit of a struggle….we almost had him tied when the 2 minute buzzer sounded.


We finished the tie anyway…..cuz you just don’t quit. We may have gotten a no-time, but we didn’t give up. And that’s what’s most important….try hard, have fun, and never give up!! Speaking of never giving up…..kudos goes out to another team who had a bugger (and I say that loosely) of a steer! The team consisted of:ย  Rhonda Matt, Jessica Holmes, Kate Moen, and Abby Olson. Click here to watch aย  video of their run….it’s a must watch……they rock!!!

Awards were given….some great ones too!


First Place Winners:ย  Ashlee Jaeger, Tasha Welling, Alesa Jones & Jamie Kirkpatrick. Breastcollars donated by:ย  Triple R Tack


Second Place Winners:ย  Jamie Kirkpatrick, Denise Nelson, Rhonda Matt & Cheyenne Wilson. Satchel/Purses donated by:ย  K Bar J Leather


3rd Place Winners:ย  Tasha Welling, Aimee Janvrin, Jenny Walker and Tami Dyer. Caps donated by:ย  Cowgirl Swank

I didn’t get a picture of the 4th place winners, but they were:ย  Heidi Cuny, Tami Dyer, Abby Olson & Deanna Steele. Gift Certificates donated by:ย  Bucking H Designs

Congratulations goes out to all the gals who competed….It was such fun! A huge Thank You to Ashlee Jaeger for coordinating the All Girl Stray Gathering……it was well run and organized. Way to go!!

The guys entered the Stray Gathering in pairs. My husband was teamed up with our friend and neighbor, Shawn White. The entered with two other teams (the max amount of times they could enter). The first team they were with was Jeff Lien and Travis Nitsch, both from Chadron, NE. They had some tough luck as I was told. I didn’t get to see their run as I was with my teammates getting our awards and getting pictures taken. Their second run with Tyler Minor and Sage Haythorn, from Hyannis & Arthur, NE, didn’t go well either. I honestly didn’t keep my eyes on Tyler and Sage so I can’t speak as to what happened for them, but Shane and Shawn had trouble. They caught their steer…..


but he wouldn’t go down…..and I mean HE WOULD NOT GO DOWN!!


It’s really rare for my former steer wrestler – 250 lb – 6 ft. 2 husband to not be able to dog down a steer. I think this steer may have been on steroids….that and I think he was a bit ticked off by the time they got him as Team #35.

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All this time, Shane had a lariat wrapped around the upper part of his head…under his nose and by his eyes (no idea how it got there)….he said every time the steer would jump the rope would tighten and rub his face raw….yikes! I couldn’t see it from where I was and I can’t see it in these fuzzy pictures, but he told me all about it later and showed me the rope burns…..guess the steer won out this time. They got a no time. Tough luck……

Overall, we had a super time! No money was won (in the All Girl the winners took all the prize money)…..I did win a super cute satchell/purse donated by K Bar J Leather that is really cute!


I’m super proud because this was the first bonafide “Stray Gathering” I have entered…..and I won something! I’ve been in mugging/tie down events in ranch rodeos, but I’ve never gone off and entered a Stray Gathering. It’s a big thrill and one of my favorite events! I will be searching for more of these…..and may even consider putting on a series this summer. I see this event spreading and gaining popularity quickly!

We got home about 1 am this morning….the horses were warm in their blankets and trailer….boy, were they glad to get home! We had a great time…..saw some friends…..met some new ones….and made memories along the way. What more can we ask for?! That’s what life is all about!! ~Cheyenne

Cheyenne’s French Toast & Stray Gathering

It’s finally here…..the Black Hills Stock Show Stray Gathering!! I’ve talked about Stray Gathering in a previous post and just typing it makes me giddy! I’m absolutely thrilled that they have added a permanent “All Girl” portion to it reserved for the fairer sex. There are 10 teams of 4 gals competing tonight and yours truly is on 2 of those teams…..EXCITED doesn’t even describe it! I’ve been exercising my horse…..and practicing in anticipation for this great event! My husband and some of his buddies are entered too. I’m hoping to blog again tomorrow about all the happenings so stay tuned!!

Practice:ย  image (29)

Tie Down Dummy:ย  image (30)

Me….happy to be practicing in an indoor arena with my best horse, Doc. Color me glamorous….Life is good! ๐Ÿ™‚image (31)

In preparation of tonight, I decided to make Shane’s favorite breakfast food for brunch. He’s been getting up early to go feed so it makes more sense to have breakfast around 10 o’clock when he is in between bunches of cattle. I surprised him with French Toast and Bacon……surely this will fuel us for some success tonight….if not, it’s yummy no matter what! There are a million recipes for French Toast out in the world. I stumbled upon the recipe that I made my own about 15 years ago and I’ve used it ever since. When I say that I made it my own I mean that I tried the original recipe, but toyed with it until I got it just like I want it (thus, totally redoing it)…..I do this a lot with recipes…..and life in general! ๐Ÿ™‚

Cheyenneโ€™s French Toast

  • 3 Eggs
  • ยฝ cup Sugar
  • 1-2 tsp. Vanilla
  • Pinch of Salt
  • ยฝ to 1 tsp. of Cinnamon
  • ยฝ to 1 tsp. of Nutmeg
  • Dash of Cloves (optional)
  • 1 cup of Milk (or Half & Half)

Mix all ingredients in a bowl with a whisk (leaving the milk till last).


I mix everything up then add the milk as it seems to mix up better.



Slice up a loaf of French Bread or Cinnamon Swirl Bread and dip it into batter (both sides).




Cook on preheated griddle until brown on both sides.


Sprinkle with Powdered Sugar. Add butter and syrup then devour it! ๐Ÿ™‚


I usually always serve a breakfast meat of some kind (you know….Shane HAS TO HAVE meat at every meal). Today, it was bacon. Who doesn’t love bacon?! There are various cooking methods (we love to grill it on our Traeger), but today I baked it. I put the slices on a jelly roll pan. Keep in mind that there will be a lot of grease….I blot each piece of bacon to get rid of any excess…..see why…..


That looks like a grease swimming pool….heart attack city!! Blotting is necessary for sure! What you choose to do with the excess grease is up to you. I usually fill an empty old pickle jar and discard it. Some gals feed it to their dogs……some older ranch gals reuse it (back when that’s what they did with most everything). Like I said….it’s up to you! No judgment here! ๐Ÿ™‚

Well, it’s about time to go load up the trailer and head north. Mother Nature isn’t cooperating as it’s cold, windy, and it’s starting to snow a tiny bit. Why do I feel like she is always trying to ruin my plans? Maybe it’s not just me who feels this way? Who knows…..I’m bound and determined to go……here’s to a fun event with lots of great folks! Time to go gather those strays……YeeHaw (can’t believe I just typed that)……haha! ~Cheyenne

Cherry Turnovers & A New Cowgirl Swank Website!

The past few months I have been slowly playing with a totally new website for Cowgirl Swank.ย  It was a hard decision to make…..starting from scratch, but after 7 years of our current website I decided it was time to update and go state-of-the-art. It has been quite a process….I had to completely shut down doing it during the holidays, but now I’m full-steam ahead at getting it launched. I’m happy to announce that the new site will go “live” on Valentine’s Day! โค

CS Heart

It’s a great day to show our love of new fresh things…..and to share some “Cowgirl Swank” with our fans. We will be giving away some fun things so stay turned to our Facebook page and our new website at

Speaking of Valentine’s Day…..who else out there loves this day? I’m funny this way…..I love any reason to show those I care about how much I love them….whether it be through food or a small token of my affection/appreciation. Since I love to cook…..these two things sometimes become the same. ๐Ÿ™‚ This leads me to Cherry Turnovers (Cheyenne’s Version). Super easy to make (depending on the method you follow) and yummy! Plus, the filling is red, which is totally Valentine’s Day… works for me! Here’s how you can make them:

Cherry Turnovers (Cheyenneโ€™s Version)

  • Pie Crust (homemade recipe or Pillsbury Refrigerate Pie Crust)
  • 20 oz. can of Cherry Pie Filling
  • Egg Wash (egg white whisked with a teaspoon or two of water)
  • Sugar
  • Frosting:ย  Powdered Sugar, Milk, Almond Flavoring

On a cookie sheet or pizza pan, put down some parchment paper. Roll out one pie crust (normal size). Using a pizza cutter, cut the pie crust into 4 equal slices (like a pizza).20140126_25

Add several tablespoons of the cherry pie filling to the center of each of the 4 pieces.


Then, fold them over and press the seams. I dip my finger in water to help create a better seal. Don’t worry if a little of the filling squeezes out.


Repeat these steps for the other pie crust. You will end up with 8 turnovers total. After they are all sealed, take a basting brush and coat with the egg wash. Sprinkle sugar on the turnovers.


Bake at 350 degrees for around 15 minutes. Every oven varies so I would definitely watch these…..nothing worse than burned pastry! When finished, this is what they should look like:


Place all 8 turnovers on a wire rack to cool. I leave them on the parchment paper as it helps to catch the frosting (less mess). You can now mix up your frosting. I use 2 cups of powdered sugar (give or take) and a few tablespoons of milk (give or take).


I mix this up until it reaches the desired consistency I am looking for (thicker is better as it will run like crazy if it is too thin). I then add a tsp or too of almond flavoring (you can use vanilla also, but I love the taste of almond with cherry).


This was my first attempt and it was too runny… I added more powdered sugar until it was just right. Once you get it where you want it, drizzle it over the cooled turnovers. Let them sit a bit to allow the frosting to set.


Talk about a major hit with my family! My little boy is quite the picky eater, but he absolutely loved these! Think Pillsbury Turnovers times 1,000!! It really doesn’t matter how homemade you want to get…..making your own pie crust….making your own cherry filling…..these taste just as great with ready to use ingredients (and no one will be the wiser….unless you tell them, of course)! Give these a try……these are worth it! ๐Ÿ™‚ ~Cheyenne

You Might Be A Redneck If…….and Cherry Cordial Cheesecake Brownies

You might be a redneck if……you walk into the kitchen to find your husband spraying brake cleaner in your refrigerator….yes, I said spraying BRAKE CLEANER in your REFRIGERATOR!! Let me take a step back to what led up to this backwoodsy (yes, that’s a word where I come from) decision. ๐Ÿ™‚

Today the wind decided to howl like no other… was really scary when a micro burst (small tornado of sorts) went over our house. The house was literally moving…..we were about to head to our tornado shelter….the sky was churning…..not a good thing at all. There have been a few tornadoes around here in recent years so we put in a shelter this last summer. We haven’t had to use it yet…..but I’m glad it’s there just in case. Here is what went past our house:


It passed rather quickly…..thank goodness! The wind today is the worst it’s been. Days like this is when I try to get things done around the house that normally don’t happen very often. Which led to the brake cleaner incident…….

I decided to dismantle and clean my refrigerator. Little did I know it, but a jar of maraschino cherries had tipped over some time ago and had dripped all of the juice in the jar down to the bottom of the fridge….YIKES!! I’m glad to say that I didn’t take “before” pictures because I would be showing you a “very dark” side of my life….haha! I honestly didn’t think of it until it was too late. Getting that red, sticky, gloppy mess up was not easy….I had to chisel at it with a butter knife. I tried hot water, cleaners, etc., but nothing was helping. That’s when I left the room to do something else for a minute, but not before Shane said, “I’ve got an idea.” Uh-oh……cue some eery horror movie music. ๐Ÿ™‚

I came back into the kitchen after a few minutes to smell something horrific and see Shane bent over spraying something into the fridge.

image (26)

*I should totally be thankful to find him actually doing something in the kitchen besides eating…right?! * ๐Ÿ™‚

I asked him what the heck he was doing……..and he says, “I figured that this stuff works on just about anything so it should work on this too”, as he proudly shows me his can of brake cleaner. I was mortified….thinking that he may be poisoning us with the fumes from that stuff. I ran over and opened a window! Luckily the fridge was empty of food that could absorb the fumes (fruits, veggies, etc.). Anyway, he let it sit for only a minute or so and by gosh…….it started to come up! He had to scrub at it for a bit….and use a helpful butter knife, but it actually worked!

image (25)

How crazy and somewhat embarrassing! Yep….time for me to go get my corn cob pipe and go sit in my rocking chair on the deck….oh wait, I’d probably blow away out there today….my life is so glamorous! ๐Ÿ™‚

Yesterday, I made the most amazing brownies!ย  I was experimenting and came up with something really yummy. I made the cheesecake brownie recipe (boughten will work just fine also) that I usually make , but I added 12 Cherry Cordial Hershey’s Kisses to the batch before I baked them.

Cherry Cordial Hershey's Kisses

image (27)

Oh man….yummy! I then baked them as called for and look what happened:

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They disappeared!! Actually, they melted down into the brownie batter creating yummy little pockets of chocolate cherry heaven! I’m thinking these will be great for Valentine’s Day. I plan to add a little red food coloring and see how they come out then. Give these a try….they are super rich and oh so yummy! Enjoy! ~Cheyenne

Sweet & Sour Chicken (Cheyenne’s Version) & Stray Gathering

Holy cow….the wind is howling again today! It makes me wonder how it can just continue to do this for days on end. One good thing about the wind…..the gumbo is dried out! Hooray….happy dance! Oh yeah….and my migraine is finally over…another reason to celebrate!

Yesterday, I was on day 2 of a migraine, but life had to go on. I did some cooking (Sweet & Sour Chicken for supper) and before that I rode my best boy, Doc. I am committed to riding him every day until the 30th as we are getting ready for the Black Hills Stock Show Stray Gathering. Time to get us both in a little better shape. I explained the Stray Gathering a bit before, but I’ll do it again.

There is a 2 minute time limit. 4 cowboys/cowgirls gather at one end of the arena. 2 critters (steers or heifers) are let out of a pen at the other end. The 4 riders break off into pairs and each goes after their own critter. The steer must be headed (roped by the horns, head, or half of a head) and heeled (roped by one or two legs)…..then it must be tied up (3 legs crossed) and the rope must be off the head before time is called.ย  Here is my husband, Shane, and his partner Andy Selle roping their steer last summer at the Cowgirl Swank Classic Open Stray Gathering:

CSC Stray Gathering 2

Sometimes even though the steer is headed and heeled….they get up. Before they get away you have to “dog” them down again. Here is Shane doing just that. I have to laugh at this picture… sure can see the action….and that mud….well, I don’t know if any of our clothes came completely clean after two days of that mud!

CSC Stray Gathering

They were victorious and their team won first! Here they are….all smiles….and mud!

CSC Stray Gathering Winners

From left to right:ย  Jeff Lien, Travis Nitsch, Shane Wilson & Andy Selle.

Anyway, the critters must stay tied for 6 seconds. It is a really fun event to watch and it’s even more fun to be in it! I’m so excited as this year the ladies have their own division (all girl). I helped to get some prizes rounded up for this event (Cowgirl Swank even donated 4 caps) with hopes that it would fill up and bring more awareness to ladies doing this event. I’m happy to say that it is full! There will be 10 teams of women competing. The only difference is that the gals only have to tie down one critter. They still have to head and heel both, but then all 4 gals can help each other get the job done. Tying a steer down is not for the weak of heart…..I know. I get a grin on my face as I’m typing this because this is seriously my favorite event. Anything that involves tying down a steer is at the top of the list for me! I am woman….here me ROAR!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

Here’s the Cowgirl Swank team in the tie down/mugging (same thing as the stray gathering pretty much) last summer at the Cowgirl Swank Classic…..yes, that steer got dogged down….here that roar, now?! ๐Ÿ™‚

CSC Tie Down

Our team members were:ย  Heidi Cuny, Jessica Cuny, Randi, Selle & Me

To say the least, I’m excited about the upcoming BHSS Stray Gathering on the 30th. I’m going to try to have a friend take lots of pictures so I can report on how it went. Stay tuned for that!

So, last night I decided on making Sweet & Sour Chicken. This recipe has been around our family for a LONG time…, when I was a kid LONG time ago. My mom started out making it and I continued the tradition. I think my mom originally got the recipe from a magazine, but I have no idea which one. Here is the original photo copy I have of my mom’s recipe:


It has been changed significantly and has morphed into something absolutely to die for (in my opinion).ย  You can use chicken or pork (whatever suits you). This isn’t like the stuff you get at a Chinese restaurant….it’s entirely different. And guess what… cowboy doesn’t turn his nose up at it! ๐Ÿ™‚ So, here goes:

Sweet & Sour Chicken (Cheyenne’s Version)

  • 4 Chicken Breasts, Diced
  • 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 2 Green Peppers, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 Purple Onions, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 16 oz. can of Tomato Sauce
  • ยฝ cup packed Brown Sugar
  • ยฝ cup of Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1 20-oz. can of Pineapple Chunks in its own juice
  • ยฝ cup water
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 2-3 Tablespoons KAFโ€™s Signature Secrets or 1 Tablespoon Cornstarch
  • 3 Cups of Water (to boil Rice in)
  • 3 Cups of Rice

Cut up Chicken and brown it in a skillet with the olive oil. 20140124_7

As it is browning, cut up vegetables. After the chicken is about half done add the vegetables. 20140124_11

Stir well and cook over medium heat. Once vegetables are cooked, add pineapple chunks in their own juice 20140124_12

and then the brown sugar, red wine vinegar, water, and salt/pepper to your liking.


I also taste test this to see if it is sweet enough. If not, I add a bit more brown sugar. Let simmer.

Boil water in a covered pot and add the rice (I use Minute Rice). Remove from heat. After everything has cooked together in the skillet, add the Signature Secrets or cornstarch. 20140124_14

Stir well, lower heat and let sit. It will thicken upon standing. 20140124_15

The rice should be done after about 5 minutes of sitting. Serve rice and top with the Sweet & Sour Chicken. 20140124_16

Enjoy!! This is delicious….even more so left over….in fact, we are having the leftovers for lunch today. I always try to put these leftovers in an oven-safe dish so that I can warm it slowly in the oven. Microwaving chicken tends to make it rubbery (and my cowboy detests that)… I appease him by doing it in the oven…..Yum! Yum!!


*Concerning the KAF’s Signature Secrets……this is truly a “secret” that I fell into. I began getting King Arthur Flour catalogs 5 or 6 years ago. I was intrigued and I eventually began ordering from them. KAF is one of the best baker catalogs out there in my opinion. Anyway, I stumbled upon Signature Secrets….what is it? It’s a thickener….the beauty of it is that it’s a powder that when added to hot or cold liquids thickens them. And it thickens them easily without a lot of whisking and no lumps or bumps!! It is an amazing product……which I use a lot! Here is the link to find it online: KAF’s Signature Secrets. It is not expensive at all and very worthwhile to have in your kitchen. I believe in sharing secret finds….not keeping them to myself. KAF has no idea that I’m posting this…..would be nice if they saw this and gave me a year’s supply of it though…wink, wink!

Enjoy your day! I certainly plan too…..I have leftovers and riding Doc to look forward to! ~Cheyenne

Jet Lag….without the jet….and Cowgirl Swank Goodie Bag Winner!!

First let me say, I have jet lag…..without the jet!ย  My family and I made a quick trip to Montana (our home state) to visit Shane’s family. We traveled up one day, stayed for two, then came back the following day. It’s about a 12 hour trip when you figure in the stops made along the way….so, I’m lagging big time today. However, I made it in to the shop today and got a lot done!


It was fun while traveling to glance down at my phone every once in awhile to see all the new fans and comments being left on my last post. I thank each and every one of you for taking time to do that! I am totally amazed at how long a lot of you have known of Cowgirl Swank….it truly warms my heart. I’m happy because we have worked our butts off the past 7 years and it has paid off! It’s also super nice to see all the new fans here on my blog,ย  The Native Cowgirl Facebook page and on the Cowgirl Swank Facebook page. Anyway, THANK YOU!!!

And with that, I will announce the random winner of the Cowgirl Swank Goodie Bag. Drum roll………Congratulations goes out to Paula Hawley!

It was fun to do a giveaway…..may have to do this every couple of weeks….more on that later. This post is going to be relatively short….refer to the jet lag statement above. Also, I’m fighting another one of my lovely headaches. These have become rather common for me in the last 2 years….kinda scary. I’ve tried all sorts of remedies….cutting back on my caffeine intake, oils, supplements, more water, ibuprofen/pain pills, massage, chiropractic care, acupuncture, etc. I saw my regular doctor late last week and she referred me to a neurologist….that’s even more scary….maybe just because of what the whole “neurology” thing covers. Anyway, it’s just for a thorough look over…..and to hopefully get to the bottom of these headaches/migraines that I have been battling. I’ll do just about anything to be done with them. If you are someone who suffers from headaches/migraines….you know exactly what I am talking about. I always thought to have a headache like this had to have one heck of a “fun” night to warrant it….not true! Darn it!

So, for now…..I’m signing off. I’m planning to make something yummy tomorrow as it’s going to be cold outside….so stay tuned….another recipe coming up! Keep warm! ~Cheyenne

“Cowgirl Swank” Goodie Bag Giveaway!!

Because it’s before 5 am (I need coffee!) and because I’m going to be offline for a few days…’s time for my first giveaway!! I haven’t had a chance to tell you all about “Cowgirl Swank”…..most of you already may know what it is, but if you don’t let me give you a quick overview.


“Cowgirl Swank” is my passion. It is the business I started on March 1st, 2007. What do we do? We create custom hand-designed Swarovski crystal designs. We then adhere them to caps, visors, hoodies, tees, tote bags, etc. We are best known for our headwear items. If you can envision it….most likely, we can create it! We love to recreate brands and logos along with all sorts of designs.ย  See……

Tana Counts Cap Red Rose Pink CO MC Mare and Foal MRA 2012 DSCN4007

Who helps me create these? I have one full-time employee:ย  Kayla. She has become a wizard with crystal designs (truly…..she is amazing). Here we are last year (yes, we are truly “swanked” out)….Kayla on the left….me on the right. ๐Ÿ™‚

Kayla and Me

I also have other part-time gals who help create all the items we offer. We’ve all been together for some time now. I appreciate all the hard work everyone puts in…..these items don’t create themselves. We take a lot of pride in every piece that leaves our shop…..handmade is hard to find these days. We love what we do…..It’s never dull…each day brings something new…..who wouldn’t love that?! ๐Ÿ™‚

How can you order a custom item for yourself or for someone else? Go to our website:ย or our Cowgirl Swank Facebook page. Contact us or shop in our online store….if you need assistance we will walk you through the process with customer service you will be happy with. ๐Ÿ™‚

Who wears our items? Lots of folks! Yes, mostly females….from age 2 to 82! We’ve created items for Reba McEntire, Miranda Lambert, Miss Rodeo America, and……Ree Drummond – The Pioneer Woman! She is a big fan of our caps….we have gladly created two different orders for her (one for Christmas and one for her production crew). What a thrill that was! We have fans all over the country….we’ve shipped caps internationally (Italy, Australia, Canada, England, South Korea, France, etc.). It’s such a thrill to know our caps are spread across the globe! We love to see pictures of our fans wearing Cowgirl Swank creations……nothing makes us smile more!

I don’t have time right now to go into much more detail….I’ll save that for another day. Like I said, I’m going to be offline for a few days….so…..this is the perfect opportunity to have my first giveaway. What better to giveaway than a goodie bag full of Cowgirl Swank?

To enter, here’s what you do:ย  1. Make sure you “follow” my blog (you can click the “follow” button down in the lower right-hand corner of this screen….this ensures that you get my blog by email). 2. Like The Native Cowgirl Facebook page. 3. In the comments section, tell me how long you’ve known about Cowgirl Swank. Easy as that!! I will draw a random winner when I get back online…Wednesday morning. Good luck and enjoy your weekend! Be back soon! ~Cheyenne

Chicken Bow Tie Festival – Cheyenne’s Version

I LOVE Italian cuisine! I also happen to love wine. If I ever traveled overseas it would be to Italy….I’m quite obsessed with it all! Have you ever eaten at “Johnny Carino’s”? I believe they changed the name of the restaurant chain to just “Carino’s” now. Anyway, this has been one of my favorite (and hard to find) places to eat. Whenever we went “back home” to Montana we would stop and eat at the one in Billings. I always ordered the same thing…..Chicken Bow Tie Festival. I absolutely love this dish… I decided that I needed to replicate it the best I could so we could enjoy it whenever we wanted to. Perhaps I could even make it a bit better…..I’m happy to say that I think I did just that. The last time we went to Billings we ate at “Carino’s”. I ordered my favorite dish (by this time I had been making my own version for over a year). Guess what… wasn’t nearly as good as I remembered it! How surprising! It was too salty…..the service was shoddy…..and we spent almost $60 on a meal that I can make better at home for a heck of a lot less than that! I pretty much made this recipe up after I tried searching for something similar….and couldn’t find anything dead on…..well, I ate this dish many times before I decided to try to make it myself. Once a person has consumed something enough you can usually guess at what’s in it through trial and error if need be. So, with that said….I present to you:

Chicken Bow Tie Festival (Cheyenne’s Version)

  • Box of Bow Tie Pasta
  • 1 lb. of boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 6 slices bacon, cooked, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 can of Italian-style diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 purple onion, minced
  • 1 package Philadelphia Cream Cheese, cubed
  • ยฝ cup water
  • Parmesan Grated Cheese
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Oregano
  • Basil
  • Lawryโ€™s Seasoning Salt
  • Sugar

Begin by boiling water. Toss in the entire box of pasta. Cook until done. While this is cooking, cut up bacon and fry over medium heat in a large, deep skillet. Be careful not to get it too brown or crisp. When finished remove from the pan and put on a paper towel covered plate, set aside. Place the chicken in the same pan as the bacon was in. Fry the chicken until about half done. Add the minced garlic, minced onion. Cook until vegetables start to turn translucent. Add the diced tomatoes, cream cheese, water, and seasonings. I start with a teaspoon of each and go from there based on taste. Once I get to where it tastes the way I want it to I toss in a teaspoon or two of sugar to cut the acid of the tomatoes a bit. Cook until cream cheese is completely melted and everything is mixed up really well. Taste again to check your spices. I find the longer I cook this the more mixed the flavors become (this is a good thing). Once to your liking, add the drained, cooked pasta and mix thoroughly. Add the parmesa and let it melt for a bit. Once that is finished, it is ready! Enjoy…and try not to overdo it…..I dare ya!! ๐Ÿ™‚

Here’s what it should look like (sorry, no step-by-step pictures this time either…next time): Bow Tie

This is another favorite of ours…..hope you like it as much as we do! This creamy, filling dish is hard to beat! Shane doesn’t even pick anything out when I make it…..score! ๐Ÿ™‚ ~Cheyenne

Pasta & Beef with Whiskey Cream Sauce

The wind is absolutely howling here today…..and we are under a wind warning…what a shock!! Lots of people cuss the wind…..and before I moved here I was one of them. Don’t get me wrong…I don’t love it. However, it dries out something that I despise….gumbo mud!! And it does so quite quickly…..hooray!! The fact that we can barely stand up out there is just something we have to put up with….so, I don’t cuss it anymore…unless I have riding to do….roping to do…..or if it’s dry outside….then I cuss it…..extensively too! ๐Ÿ™‚

I am excited to see the number of “likes” growing on Facebook for my blog and it’s nice to see people actually following me…..interested in my ramblings. ๐Ÿ™‚ I post a lot on Facebook about what I’m cooking or baking…’s fun. I get quite a lot of interaction from folks about it. I’ve been asked about my recipes and I love to share. It’s nice to be able to share recipes in one spot now though. From here on out, I will be doing so right here. I even made a recipe category for my posts. This leads me to my subject today…..Pasta & Beef with Whiskey Cream Sauce. Hold onto your hats…..this is one recipe you are going to want to try!

This recipe is a sort of copy/re-do. As I have talked about before…I love The Pioneer Woman. I use a lot of her recipes. This concoction is actually a credit to one of her recipes. I found it, but since it didn’t have meat in it Shane wouldn’t eat it….big shocker! I had to “cowboyize” the dish so that we could both be happy. Here is PW’s original version:

The name is rather long….I didn’t feel like adding “Beef” to the original name so I made it my own…..”Pasta & Beef with Whiskey Cream Sauce”. It may not officially be a whiskey cream sauce in some cook’s opinions, but it’s what I like to call it… there! ๐Ÿ™‚

The truth is…when I make this (and a lot of my other meals)….I don’t measure….I just add things until it tastes right to me. If you cook a lot you know what I mean when I say this. Truly good cooks don’t measure everything (measuring has it’s place…for sure…especially when baking). I think a confident cook knows just what to add to make her meals the way she and her family likes them after she has perfected them. So… has proven difficult to me to transfer some recipes to share with you all. I’m going to do my best!

Pasta & Beef with Whiskey Cream Sauce

  • 2 lbs. of Steak
  • 1 package, Sliced Mushrooms (fresh)
  • 2 Tablespoons, Olive Oil
  • 2 Tablespoons, Butter
  • 2 whole Large Purple/Red Onions, Peeled And Sliced
  • 1 Cup Cooking Wine
  • 3/4 cups Jack Daniels or Lord Calvert (JD is best)
  • 1/2 cup Chicken Broth
  • 1 cup Heavy Cream
  • Salt And Pepper, to taste
  • Lawry’s Seasoning Salt
  • 1 package, Wide Egg Noodles

Prepare the steak by cutting off excess fat and cutting into small bite-sized pieces. In a large, deep skillet, heat olive oil and the butter over medium heat. Brown the steak (adding a little salt and pepper if you like). When it is about half cooked, throw in the sliced mushrooms and onions. Saute for a couple of minutes. Pour in wine and whiskey and allow to bubble for a minute or two. Pour in broth and allow the liquid to reduce for a couple of minutes. Stir in cream and reduce heat to low. Addย  salt, and pepper, and simmer until sauce thickens. *About half way through cooking the steak, mushrooms, and onions I boil water and cook the Wide Egg Noodles. When all is done…mix it all together and enjoy.* Easy as that! This is one of our favorite dishes at our house. It’s even better left over…..yum!

I apologize for not having step-by-step pictures….kind of got ahead of myself this time. You get the idea I’m sure. This is what it looks like all finished:

Pasta & Beef with Whiskey Cream Sauce

Shane is so funny….he loves this dish, but he picks out all the mushrooms. The best part….I love them so I get them all! ๐Ÿ™‚ This is why we work as a couple…..he hates mushrooms and I love them….he only complains a little when I cook with them (yeah, I wish). Opposites attract, right?! Hope you enjoy this as much as we do! ~Cheyenne

Barbed Wire Gate – 1 pt. ~ My favorite Jeans – 0

This morning I was running behind…..I detest being late! What do I do when I’m late…..I hurry…..and do dumb things…..not on purpose, mind you, but things tend to happen. Anyway, I got my son loaded up to head to town (our lovely 30+ mile trek to Chadron on our lovely 10 miles of gumbo road….trail…..atrocity that it is. In a word, it’s awful! Our road is usually bad enough on its own….without the interference of gates. However, this winter my folks decided to run heifers and they keep them between our two houses….along the road that runs between us. It’s the “best” (and I use the term loosely) road we have to get to town. With the heifers along the road, the use of gates is a must. So, between our two houses, we have 4, yes FOUR, gates in a mile!!! One to keep our horses off the road….another to keep the horses from walking across our cattle guard… separating the heifers from our cake bin and hay yard….and other to keep mom and dad’s horses from crossing their cattle guard.

I’ve mentioned the word gumbo before….if you don’t know what that is….say a little prayer and realize how luck you are! If you know what it is…..then you know where my misery lies. Gumbo is a type of dirt, soil, whatever……it was surely spawned by the devil….it’s that lovely. It’s light and powdery when dry, but add the spit of a grasshopper and slippery, gooey, clingy, ugly, nasty, and goopy doesn’t cover it. When we first moved here I ruined several nice pair of shoes and boots due to the stuff. I also learned how to leap out of a pickup to try to keep it off the backs of my legs. I have since learned that I have as many muck boots as I do good boots…..and that’s a lot! I keep a pair in each “going to town” pickup and 2 on the porch. Some go to my knees….because come calving season I will need them that high….others are mid-calf length. I could actually kiss the inventor of muck boots. And if you don’t know what MUCK boots are…..say another prayer and realize that you must not know what gumbo is either! ๐Ÿ™‚

Anyway, back to the gates…..along with gumbo being a ruiner of looking nice, barbed wire is surely the kiss of death to down-filled jackets and denim. As I was on my way to work this morning, I got through 3 of the gates. However, closing gate #3 is the most challenging of all. My dad has a granny stick attached to it so that it makes it supposedly easier to shut….yeah, maybe if you are Hulk Hogan. So, instead of closing it on the tougher side I close it on the easier side then step over the gate to go on about my way. I did just that this morning except that when I stepped over the gate the wind (about a 40 mph gust) caught me off balance and caused me to let go of the barbed wire. If I was Shane, I might have been talking in a higher tone the rest of the day, but luckily my anatomy didn’t hinder me. However, I was now “caught”……”caught” by a nasty barb on the barbed wire of the gate. I danced around and tried to unhitch my jeans from the steel’s grasp, but all of a sudden I heard a “rip” and I was suddenly free. For a split moment, I was happy…..then I realized what had happened. With my hands, I felt down “there”… hole!!! WooHoo!! I had survived unscathed…….the wind was really blowing and for some reason I could definitely feel the breeze in the rear end of my pants…..oh no!!! I felt “back there” and sure enough….there was a hold big enough to fit 3 fingers in…….Crap!!!! My favorite jeans have been claimed by a barbed wire gate. UGH!!! I can’t tell you how many crotches of jeans I have had to repair from Shane stepping over gates…..I finally quit…..maybe if I stopped fixing them he would quit climbing over them? Nope…guess again! I guess he likes permanent air conditioning in the nether regions of his jeans…haha, just kidding…..well, am I? Not sure…..:)

My morning took a downward turn from there…..since I realized that a hole of that size would surely catch attention…..I simply had to return home and change jeans. Great……so back we went through 3 gates…..I left the one I tried to climb over open since the heifers weren’t nearby……and rushed home. I hurriedly changed and made it back to gate #3 just as the heifers were reaching it…..dirty little buggers! I was so mad at this point that I closed the gate on the “bad/hard” side without even trying and was on my way……no worse for wear!ย  After I got through gate #4, I even spun out a little bit in my Chevy pickup as to say “kiss the hole in my jeans….I’m outta here”! ๐Ÿ™‚ I did manage to get a smile on my face thinking about how I was going to talk my dad into buying me another pair of jeans…..because his gate ruined mine…..I’d better gather my strength for that argument! ~Cheyenne