Flathead Cherry Pie

I posted a picture of my finished pie on my Facebook page this morning and said something about the kind of cherries I used to make it.

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I was asked what “Flathead Cherries” were. Being from Montana, I just assumed that everyone knew what they were….wrong! Flathead cherries grown near Flathead Lake in the western part of Montana. They are amazing!!!

In my last blog post, I mentioned how I wasn’t able to go to my cousin’s wedding in Washington last weekend. I still regret not being able to go. My mom brightened my day by bringing home a whole bunch of Flathead cherries. She gave a bunch to me and we talked about what to make. Here is some of what I started with:

Cherries

I thought I would make some jelly….maybe a tart….maybe some turnovers. Then our friends decided to come out last evening to visit. I planned supper and the idea hit me to make a “fresh” cherry pie (something I have never done before). I researched a few recipes online, but eventually made my own up by combining a few.

The biggest thing to worry about when working with fresh cherries is removing the pits. Almost 10 years ago I somehow acquired a Pampered Chef Cherry Pitter. It was probably when I was a consultant for the company….who knows, but I remembered that I had it and thought it would come in handy. Boy, did it ever!!! That is one of the handiest tools ever! Shane helped me by taking a picture of the before and after process:

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Easy as “pie” (excuse the expression)! 🙂

That little tool seriously make pitting 5 cups of cherries seem like a breeze! Even Stone pitted a bunch of cherries….to a 5-year-old, it was FUN! 🙂

So, onto my recipe. Basically, it was a breeze! Here it is:

Flathead Cherry Pie

  • Your favorite pie crust for a 2 crust pie
  • 5 cups of fresh Flathead Cherries (use whatever fresh cherries you like)
  • 1 ½ cups of granulated Sugar
  • 4 TB Cornstarch
  • 1-2 tsp. Almond Extract
  • ½ tsp. Vanilla
  • 1 ½ TB Butter, to dot
  • The white of one egg, beaten slightly
  • 1 TB granulated Sugar, to sprinkle

Place cherries in a medium saucepan and place over medium heat. Cover.

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After the cherries lost considerable juice, which takes a few minutes (be sure to stir frequently), remove from heat. I smashed them down a bit too so that there would be some whole cherries and some not. In a small bowl, mix the sugar and cornstarch together. Pour this mixture into the hot cherries and mix well. Add the almond extract and vanilla and mix.

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Return the mixture to the stove and cook over low heat until thickened, stirring frequently.

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Remove from the heat and let cool. If the filling is too thick, add a little water, too thin, add a little more cornstarch. *I ended up adding almost 2-3 TB of cornstarch as the cherries were really runny.*

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Use your favorite pie dough recipe. Prepare your crust. Divide in half. Roll out each piece large enough to fit into an 8 to 9-inch pan.

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Pour cooled cherry mixture into the crust.

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Dot with butter. Moisten edge of bottom crust. Place top crust on and flute the edge of the pie. Make a slit in the middle of the crust for steam to escape. Instead of doing that I decided to do some star cutouts in my top crust before I put it on the pie (it’s so close to the 4th of July that I couldn’t resist!). Brush with egg white and sprinkle with sugar.

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Bake about 50 minutes (or longer). Remove from the oven and place on a rack to cool. Here is my beauty:

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It was out of this world!! I made Three Cheese-Stuffed Shells with Meaty Tomato Sauce for supper complete with a salad and cheesy garlic bread. We didn’t get to the pie till 9 pm because we were all so full! 🙂

Jody made a new drink early in the evening. It’s called a Firefighter and holy cow was it yummy! It consists of Cinnamon Whiskey, Kahlua, Cream, and Coke. Doesn’t it “look” innocent?!

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I only had one…..that was by far enough…..good thing supper only had to be put in the oven or we might have had chips and dip for supper. YUM!!!!

The boys are getting along famously….check this out:

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The great white hunters were off to trap frogs….or coyotes….or rabbits….who knows…..they were having a blast! 🙂 Travon is visiting us for a few days with his horse Mindy. We are helping him with her. This is the kind of stuff that my husband thrives on…he loves kids and loves seeing them conquer goals. Travon is a great kid! It’s so nice to have an older boy around for Stone to learn from….it’s amazing the things that he picks up. Since Travon is an only child too it works out nicely. We are practicing up for the kids rodeo in Crawford on the 2nd of July. Summer truly is the best season if you ask me. Hope you try the pie recipe….if you do nothing else, try to get your hands on some of those Flathead Cherries…..you’ll be glad you did! 🙂 ~Cheyenne

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To Die For…..Cinnamon Roll Cake

The past few days I have been under the weather again. I hate the topic of my not feeling well…..ovarian cysts. You would think at 40 years old the female fairies would give me a pass, but I guess not. I’ve been plagued with PCOS and other issues most of my life (since adolescence). For the most part, I understand why “the curse” has been used to name that wretched “time of the month” thing. I won’t go into details, but let’s just say that I feel like a bloated whale….with not much energy. Sweat pants are becoming my friend…..and I’m about sick of feeling like crap! Anyway….I’ve met with my doctors and they have a plan….let’s just hope what they are planning will work for me. I hate to think of having this problem every month….ugh!

Today, I finally started to feel better. Better in fact, that I felt like baking (you know I’m not feeling well if I’m not much use in the kitchen). A few days ago I stumbled upon a Cinnamon Roll Cake recipe that I really wanted to try. I even happened to have all of the ingredients on hand (surprise!) so I decided to give it a whirl this afternoon. Holy heck!!! This is one of the easiest and yummiest cakes I have ever made. I’d almost call it a coffee cake, yet it isn’t. You will have to take my word on how awesome it is…..or hurry to your kitchen and make it for yourself. It is seriously so easy….Stone even did the stirring for the topping. 🙂 Here is the recipe for you all to use….no idea where it came from as I can’t find the original post. I just know that it is mind blowing….and maybe button blowing as well if you eat too much. LOL

Cinnamon Roll Cake

Ingredients

  • 3 cups Flour
  • 1/4 tsp. Salt
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 4 tsp.  Baking Powder
  • 1 1/2 cups Milk
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 tsp. Vanilla
  • 1/2 cup Butter, melted
  • – TOPPING
  • 1 cup Butter,  softened
  • 1 cup Brown Sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. Flour
  • 1 Tbsp. Cinnamon
  • – GLAZE
  • 2 cups Powdered Sugar
  • 5 Tbsp. Milk
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9×13 glass baking pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. In an electric or stand mixer add the flour, salt, sugar, baking powder, milk, eggs, and vanilla. Once combined well , slowly stir in the melted butter. Pour into the prepared 9×13 baking pan.
  3. For topping, In a large bowl mix the 2 sticks of butter, brown sugar, flour and cinnamon together until well combined and creamy. Drop evenly over the batter by the tablespoonfuls and use a knife to marble/swirl through the cake.
  4. Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes or when a toothpick inserted near the center comes out nearly clean.
  5. FOR GLAZE: In a medium bowl, mix the powdered sugar, milk and vanilla together with a whisk. Drizzle evenly over the warm cake. Serve warm or at room temperature.

I got so carried away making this (and I’m a bit out of practice since it’s a busy time of year and I haven’t blogged as much as I did this past winter) that I forgot to take step by step pictures. I did take a few so here there are:

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Putting the topping on the batter.

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After I drug a knife through it and all around.

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Fresh out of the oven!

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Just poured the glaze on the warm cake.

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My little frosting eater!

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How was it? TO DIE FOR!!!! You HAVE to try this cake….so easy and so crazy good that it should be illegal! 🙂 Enjoy! ~Cheyenne

Happy Father’s Day!!!

Today is Father’s Day….a day to appreciate the wonderful dads in the world! My family and I had a rather late night getting back from a kids rodeo in Broadus, MT. We had a lot of excitement there, which I will share with you in just a bit. First, I want to pay homage to my Dad…..and to my husband. Here is what I wrote about Father’s Day a month or so ago (for a few publications):

“As I sit down to write my column today it’s storming out and we are without power (thankful for my laptop with its battery backup). We’ve had close to three inches of rain and several inches of snow on top of it. The snow/rain continues to come down and of course, we are still calving. We are under a winter storm warning….and it’s May 8th! I think Mother Nature needs an attitude adjustment! I steady my thoughts by thinking of all the green grass that will be here soon.

Instead of pacing the floor and worrying about it I’ve decided to pay tribute to the “fathers” in my life today. After all, when you read this it will be around Father’s Day (the snow should be gone by then). I have two “fathers” to thank: my dad and my husband.

What can I say about my dad, Cliff Glade? If you are lucky enough to know him, you know what kind of a guy he is. He is a true cowboy/rancher with a wealth of knowledge that forty some years in the cattle business has taught him. He has a kind heart and he truly cares about his friends and family. I know I wouldn’t be where I’m at without him. We’ve had our fair share of standoffs (probably because I’m a lot like he is). However, in the end it also comes back to the fact that he is my dad and I am his daughter. We have an unbreakable bond that we’ve shared since I was born. He used to sit me on his knee when I was tiny and tell me that I could be anything I wanted to be. That sort of encouragement was huge for me. It truly allowed me to think big and go after whatever I set my mind on. He was always a “can do” type of person. Once he decided on something, he made it happen. I’m happy to think that I’m like him in that regard as well. I think the biggest tribute I can pay to him is to follow in his footsteps as a rancher. That’s exactly what I’m doing and I couldn’t be happier! Granted, I don’t do it alone. I have my better half to thank for that.

My husband, Shane, is truly my rock. He came into my life unexpectedly and we’ve been together ever since. We share the responsibilities around here. We make a great team and we will do whatever it takes to ensure the success of our venture. We help each other as best we can in all facets of our lives and the ranch is no exception. He is a great husband and the best father I could ask for to our son. He is also a staunch protector and he makes sure we have all that we need. I can honestly say that I found my soul mate and I know how fortunate I am in this regard. Shane is another “can do” person. He is a force to be reckoned with. Just being around him has made me better in all aspects of my life. I’m not truly afraid to do things anymore. If I set my heart and mind on something, I go after it! It’s a wonderful thing to surround yourself with people who encourage you. I’m not saying that every thought I’ve ever had has been a good one and I haven’t always been encouraged to follow every whim. However, when I kept after it the outcome has most always been favorable and if it wasn’t I learned from it. I got that from my dad and I see it in my husband daily. I’m happy to think that these two great men have rubbed off on me over the years.

What’s even better than what they’ve done for me? What they are doing for Stone. I am so glad to know that our son is growing up around strong individuals who work hard, speak their minds and who aren’t afraid to stand up for what they believe in (my mom and I fit this role also). In this world today, that is not a common thing. Ag folks are more fortunate than most in my opinion. We are privileged to live in the country surrounded by the animals and crops we nurture. We know the true value of life. We know and appreciate hard work and its outcome. We all know that sometimes the outcome isn’t how we had hoped, but in the end the life we live is a good one. We live in reality and I wouldn’t want it any other way. We also know the value of family and how important they are in our lives. I feel that we are truly blessed to be raising our son in the same fashion that we were raised in. If all goes like we hope, our son will be a father someday who can look back at his family with pride. The best tribute he can pay to his dad and his papa would be to take what he learns from them and apply it to his own life as a man. My hopes for him include that he: grows up strong, learns as he goes, is kind, works hard, speaks his mind, and above all else honors his family by being a good husband and father. I care not what he does for a living. I do hope whatever he chooses to do is honest, hard work that leaves him with a feeling of accomplishment at the end of each day (like we feel now). I believe that truly is the best thing any of us can hope for with our children. Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there…..I hope you know just how important you are to those who love you!”

Dad & Stone on BJ My Dad

Stone on his cow My Hubby (and our favorite little boy)

So, onto our excitement yesterday! We debated on how to travel to Broadus, MT. Most of you know that we live 8 miles off the highway on a horrible gumbo road. This year has been so wet that it has truly made traveling anywhere a nightmare (I’m not complaining about the moisture….that’s for sure). Living out here has taught me to roll with the punches so that’s what we do. We decided that we couldn’t take a trailer. We might get out with it, but looking at the forecast we probably wouldn’t get home with it. So, we decided not to take our rig…..Stone’s horse, All Star, had to stay home (I’m sure he was really sad……I think I hear him sigh as he stood there eating clover that is belly high). 🙂

We took off Friday around lunch time. We travel through Rapid City, up to Belle Fourche, and through Alzada. There was a bad storm brewing so we pushed on through to hopefully get ahead of it. We hit some hard rain, but looking at the clouds….we were glad to get through without incident. Here is what we saw to the south of the highway on our way up:

Alzada Storm Clouds

Yep….it was scary! We picked up our oldest nephew, Tucker, in Hammond and gave him a ride to Broadus. We were glad to arrive in one piece. We had supper with our family and got ready for the big rodeo the next day.

At breakfast, Stone had to have his “Cowboy Coffee” to start his day off right. He told me he needed it before his big rodeo. He cracks me up!

Stone Drinking Coffee

We got to the rodeo grounds fairly early so Stone could ride his borrowed steed, Sarge. He had a great outlook for the day!

Stone on Sarge

And how did the day go? Well, our little 5-year-old boy won the All Around in his age division (0-5). He won first in the Stick Horse Barrels and the Goat Tail Untying, second in the Dummy Roping, and 4th in the Keyhole Race. PROUD doesn’t even cover what we felt!!! Here he is with the buckle he won:

Stone First Buckle

He was so proud of himself….and he should have been!

Here is his buckle:

Stones First Buckle

Of all the buckles I have won over the years (close to 50) this one means more than all the rest…hands down!!! A huge thank you goes out to Ray and Tedi Jo Williams for putting on the Rich Higgins Memorial Rodeo. It isn’t easy doing things like this and their hard work doesn’t go unnoticed. Also, a big thank you to the sponsors. Without generous folks things like this wouldn’t occur!

Here we are…..so happy and proud:

Family Buckle Pic

Stone learned so much with his win yesterday….just like he has from his defeats. He can’t win all the time, but he has learned through practice that you can better your odds of doing well in everything. That’s truly all we can hope for….that he learns with each experience in life. And…..when he does well, we can celebrate (like going to Olive Garden for supper on the way home) and when he doesn’t……we can discuss what to do next time. I truly never understood what folks meant when they said their children’s accomplishments overshadowed their own…..now I know….and Shane knows…..and we totally get it now…..and you know what, people who say that are right!! It isn’t about us anymore….it’s about the little boy we are lucky to call son. I feel truly blessed to be his mom. I am also blessed to have such a good man by my side. I have no doubt that our son will grow up to be a wonderful man…..who had incredible male role models around him…..my dad and my husband. As far as I’m concerned….that’s the best prize of all.

So, with that…..I say adios….until who knows when. I haven’t been adept at posting regularly….summer is here and we are busy….I will check in from time to time…..hope your summer is a great one! 🙂 ~Cheyenne