Ellen’s Lemon Zucchini Bread

Yesterday was a busy one around here! My main goal for the day was to get our deck cleaned and prepped for staining. While clearing some things off the deck I stumbled upon a wasp’s nest in a deer skull that was hanging on the deck fence…..yikes!!! The wasps were not happy that I had disturbed their happy home. I had Stone and our nephew, Quanah, helping me so I thought it was best to take cover inside for a bit while they simmered down.

Shane had brought me a few zucchini from our neighbors the other day so I decided to bake some lemon zucchini bread. This is truly a recipe that I look forward to making every summer when the loads of zucchini begin the pile up. I eagerly grate up every zucchini I can find and freeze what I don’t use. I’ve found that it freezes really well. When I am wanting to bake some lemon zucchini bread it’s there in the freezer whenever I want it!

This recipe has a bit of history to it that I will share with you. My folks sold their place in Montana early in the 2000’s. Shane and I moved down here in the spring of 2005. I remember my mom raving about this recipe. Ellen Franko and her husband Rich were the buyers of my parent’s ranch on Cherry Creek. Ellen had made this one of the times Mom and Dad were up there and it was an instant hit with both of them. I had heard my Mom going on about this recipe. I asked if she knew how to make it. She didn’t, but told me to get a hold of Ellen and perhaps she would pass it on to me. I did just that. Ellen was gracious enough to give me the recipe. I eagerly made that first batch of delicious lemon zucchini bread. It was out of this world!! The crust is just a tad bit crunchy. The flavor is amazing. It’s moist and the color from the zucchini skin adds great green flecks throughout the bread…it’s pretty!


This bread is great warm out of the oven, cold, and it freezes really well. I put a little bit of butter on a slice and I’m in heaven! Sounds wonderful, doesn’t it?! I love this recipe so much that I actually put it on All Recipes back in 2010! Anxious to try it? Here it is:

Ellen’s Lemon Zucchini Bread

Grease pans with Crisco and sprinkle the bottoms with sugar. Mix the following ingredients (I usually beat the eggs first before I add the rest of the wet ingredients).

  • 3 Eggs
  • 2 c. Sugar
  • 1 c. Oil
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 2 tsp Lemon Extract
  • Zest of 1 Lemon


Combine the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda in a separate bowl. Add to the wet mixture above.

  • 3 c. Flour
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda


Add zucchini when mixture gets too thick to mix.

  • 2 c. Grated Zucchini



Pour into pans.


Bake 350 degrees for 1 hour in greased and sugared pans.

Makes 2 regular loaves or 4 smaller loaves. *I usually always make 4 small loaves as I find that they cook more evenly than the larger loaves.*




I hope you give Ellen’s Lemon Zucchini Bread a try. It is SO good…..everyone who tries it will love it…..and it’s a new use for all those zucchini! 🙂 ~Cheyenne

White Chicken Enchiladas

My morning ritual of scanning Facebook brought me onto a new recipe yesterday morning – White Chicken Enchiladas. I wasn’t set on what we were having for supper yet so I decided to give it a whirl. We love Mexican dishes at our house so I figured I couldn’t miss with this one.

I have one rule for making new recipes that I follow religiously. The first time I make a new recipe I follow it to a tee. After the first time, I allow myself the freedom to embellish however I see fit. I think it’s important to follow it exactly the first time to see how the recipe was meant to be. I’ve found through doing this that I am able to change things more to our liking with little effort. Some recipes (but very few) require no changes at all. These White Chicken Enchiladas fit into that category. It’s very rare that I find a recipe that I wouldn’t change a bit so I’m super excited to share it with you!

White Chicken Enchiladas

  • 10 Tortillas (I used 8 large tortillas)
  • 2 cups cooked, shredded Chicken
  • 2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 3 TB Butter
  • 3 TB Flour
  • 2 cups Chicken Broth
  • 1 cup Sour Cream
  • 1 (4 oz) can diced Green Chilies

*The recipe didn’t call for this, but we love the majority of our meat to be cooked on our Traeger grill. I coated the chicken breasts in olive oil. I then sprinkled on some cumin and chili powder (pretty heavy on just one side). I then grilled the breasts until they were done. I let them cool a bit and then I shredded them.*

Preheat oven to 350 degree. Grease a 9×13 pan. Mix chicken and 1 cup of cheese.


Roll up in tortillas and place in pan.


In a sauce pan, melt butter, stir in flour and cook 1 minute.


Add broth and whisk until smooth.


Heat over medium heat until thick and bubbly. Stir in chilies and sour cream. Do not bring to a boil, you don’t want curdled sour cream.


Pour over enchiladas and top with remaining cheese.



Bake 20-25 minutes and then under high broil for 3 minutes to brown the cheese.



*Side note – the sauce doesn’t freeze very well, so if you’re making them ahead of time. Just make and freeze the enchiladas. Make the sauce the day of.

Let me just say this…..MAKE THESE…..YOU WON’T REGRET IT!!!! 🙂 ~Cheyenne

Joan’s Marinated Cucumbers

I must be sick…..I’m sitting down to blog for the second time in one day! I have had difficulty blogging twice per month and now look at me go! 🙂 I’m going to hold off on publishing this until tomorrow (Monday) so I don’t overdo it today. Ha!

I’m listening to my son and his cousins arguing and playing….playing and arguing. Perhaps it’s the same thing?! 🙂 At any rate, it’s nice having them here. We don’t get to see them as often as we would like to. My brother took time to help me with Doc this morning. As most of you know, Doc is THE horse in my life who changed everything. I love him more than any other horse we own….he is my baby. Last weekend at the Cowgirl Swank Classic I wasn’t happy with our performance (meaning me and my horse). It seemed like Doc was out in left field….and I was there right with him. Roping is mostly on me (the misses and the catches), but even that seemed off. When I first bought Doc his previous owners were using a hackamore on him. Nothing against hackamores, but I feel like I don’t have much side pull in one of those so we’ve tried several different bits on him. A person needs side pull when you are learning to sort cows. The one he likes the best is the one made by Keith Welling from Crawford, NE. It has a broken mouth piece with a little lifesaver in it. It also swivels on the sides so it gives me some side pull without being all sidepull and no whoa. Anyway, Wyatt looked at several bits I have and decided that is the one I should use on him. I didn’t want to go back to using a snaffle so I was happy with his decision.

We spent over an hour at the arena. He talked to me a lot about the concept in working cows and how to achieve the job. Mind you, this is working cows in the arena….not on on the range. There is a difference. The concept is the same, but the handle is a lot different in certain ways. The end result is that you want to get ahead of the critter and turn it back. This is best done when your horse responds to you, slows up, and turns efficiently (a horse who watches a cow is also beneficial). Doc was not turning efficiently last weekend. His nose was up in the air…..I was double-reining him…..we both looked like it was our first rodeo. So…….I asked for help……and I got it. At the end of our training session I left the arena with a deeper understanding of what I’m trying to do with my horse. Doc left with a wet saddle blanket and the thought that he was surely close to death. I smile when I say that….Doc is a little melodramatic and I baby him….what should I expect? The truth is…..he did what I asked of him…..he did what Wyatt asked of him when he crawled on him. Doc is a tad on the lazy side, but I would rather have that than a horse who is jittered up and not trustworthy. I love my horse…..so in my opinion, he is perfect for me. We have work to do….both of us. I’m not above asking for help either…..I know I don’t know everything and that I can learn from those around me who know more. I’m really glad Wyatt took time to help me today! Here are a few pics of Wyatt showing Doc how to get the job done:

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Wheat harvest is finishing up today at our place. We are so glad to have it done and fortunate to not have had any hail. Wheat prices are down, but it’s all good. Here is a picture I captured of the two combines cutting one of our last fields yesterday. It’s amazing how these big machines gobble up all that wheat!

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Here is what the Slim Buttes looked like today after all the wheat was harvested:

Harvest Pic

I truly feel fortunate to live in such a beautiful place (despite it’s shortcomings in the good road/good water department)! It’s been a really good year so far…..we are truly blessed.  🙂

It’s been pretty hot and dry for the last week or so. Perfect cucumber weather if you ask me! That brings me to a recipe that Mom and I got from our neighbor, Joan Bolln. I’ve named it Joan’s Marinated Cucumbers. I don’t think it had an official name……so I gave it one. We’ve been making a variation of this recipe for years. I think Joan captured the perfect amount of each ingredient to make it taste the best. Give it a try and see what you think!

Joan’s Marinated Cucumbers

  • 3 Cucumbers, sliced
  • ½ an onion, diced
  • 1 c. Miracle Whip
  • ½ c. Sugar
  • Vinegar to taste
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Combine the last four ingredients making sure to taste it. If more of one or two ingredients are needed, add them.



I prefer my cucumbers to be a bit tangy so I use a tad more vinegar, but the end result is totally up to you. Add in the cucumbers and the onions. Mix it up really well.



You can eat these right away or refrigerate for a day. I think letting them sit for a day in the fridge makes them better, but that’s just my opinion. I love this side dish…..oh who am I kidding…..I take the top off and eat them right out of the dish…..most any time of the day! 🙂 Enjoy! ~Cheyenne

Spaghetti Pizza

Wow….it’s been a busy couple of weeks around here. It is summer after all…..being busy shouldn’t surprise me, but I feel kind of like I got ambushed. It’s now Sunday after the Cowgirl Swank Classic and I’m just now feeling back to normal. A few days in 100 degree heat will definitely wear a person out!

The Cowgirl Swank Classic was a success again this year. We had 13 teams of ladies competing in the 5 standard WRRA (Women’s Ranch Rodeo Association) events:  Sorting, Doctoring, Trailer Loading, Tie Down/Mugging, and Calf Branding. It was definitely a memorable rodeo  weekend!

I’ve been struggling with fatigue this week plus Stone got sick. I ended up taking him to Rapid City to the doctor. Turns out he had double ear infections! I consider us lucky that he is almost 6 years old and this is his first run-in with that icky stuff. Of course he came down sick the day Western Horseman planned to come down to our place to interview me and take pictures for their segment “Women of the West”. I couldn’t believe my luck. However, it ended up working out. The gals from WH were super to work with. We improvised and met at the fairgrounds in Rapid City instead. It wasn’t what I envisioned for the interview (I didn’t get to show them our place and Doc didn’t get to be in the pictures), but all in all…..it was great! I was so honored to be interviewed and to spend some time with them. They may end up coming back up sometime and then they will make it out to our place hopefully.

We are finishing up our wheat harvest here. Shane has been helping out as much as possible so I haven’t seen him much the past few days. My brother and his two boys came yesterday so Stone is getting some good cousin time in. Wyatt (my brother) is going to help me with Doc in a bit. I’ve been practicing sorting steers. I didn’t feel we did that great last weekend in that event so I can use all the help I can get. Wyatt is involved in Reined Cow Horse events so he knows more about that aspect than anyone I know around here. I’m glad for his advice.

As far as cooking…..this summer has been difficult. It’s been long days and late nights. I made Pasta and Beef with Whiskey Cream Sauce at 10 pm the other night. I’m not a lover of frozen pizza and things like that so I figured I may as well make something good…..plus we’ve had leftovers for two days now (not Shane’s favorite thing, but even he hasn’t complained…..we are busy)!

A couple of weeks ago I made Spaghetti Pizza and I’ve had it on my list to blog about. I’ve made this recipe since high school. In fact, I make it from memory. I’ve never had a written recipe that I know of. Typing this out for you all is proving to be a challenge, but here goes:

Spaghetti Pizza

  • 1 ½ lbs. ground beef
  • 1 Onion, chopped
  • 1 TB Oregano
  • 1 TB Basil
  • 1 TB Italian Seasoning
  • 1 TB Seasoning Salt
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 1 jar of Spaghetti Sauce (or make your own as I do. I use Tomato Sauce, Diced Tomatoes, Red Wine, Sugar, and Italian Seasonings)
  • Spaghetti, cooked
  • Pepperoni, sliced
  • Mozzarella Cheese, shredded
  • Parsley

Bring water to a boil and cook Spaghetti. I use about two handfuls (sorry I’m not more specific, but that’s how I handle spaghetti). Brown the ground beef. Add onion and seasonings as it is browning (adding more seasonings if necessary). Drain the grease off. When the spaghetti is done al dente, drain the water. Spray a 9×13 pan with cooking spray. Place the cooked spaghetti in the bottom of the pan.


Make sure that it covers the bottom and fills the pan up about ¼ of the way. Next add the ground beef making sure all the spaghetti is covered. Pour the Spaghetti Sauce over the meat. You can also mix the meat in with the sauce before you put it on the Spaghetti (I did it this way this time).



Layer the top of the Spaghetti Sauce with Pepperoni.


Use as much Pepperoni as you like (I put it on pretty thick). Next cover the dish with shredded Mozzarella Cheese.


Sprinkle some Parsley one for color. Put the pan in a 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes or until the cheese is melted and it starts to turn brown. Remove from the oven. Let cool for 10-15 minutes. Cut into squares and serve.

Spaghetti Pizza

This dish is delicious and it truly gets better as it sits. I’ve made it using half ground beef and half ground pork sausage. I’ve also made it using various “pizza” toppings. Any way you make it…..it’s super! I hope you give it a try! ~Cheyenne

Apple Cake with Vanilla Sauce & A Magazine Cover

It’s almost the middle of July already….holy cow!! It’s just crazy how fast time goes by. I swear June flew by and I barely remember it at all…..no kidding!

My family and I had a busy 4th of July and that was rolled into my birthday on the 7th. I’ve always loved the 4th of July holiday because I felt like I got extra celebrating in for my birthday. The day after my birthday is also great because it’s the day my mom was born. If she could have held out a couple more hours we would have shared a day. I always tell her what a great birthday present I must have been….she just rolls her eyes at me. 🙂

I had a great few days of birthday celebration starting on the 2nd. We went to a kids rodeo in Crawford (it’s such a treat to see my son and the other youngsters learning the competition ropes in the arena). The 3rd and 4th of July we helped out at the Old West Trail Rodeo in Crawford. I helped distribute flags to the queens for the sponsor runs. If you have no idea what I am talking about you may want to pay attention. I actually kind of thought “how hard can it be…..all I have to do is hand flags to the queens”. Yeah, right…..you have to hand the right flag to the right queen at the right time…..throughout the entire rodeo. When they do the sponsor run (all flags out) it is like a war zone. I can’t remember the exact count, but there are something like 25 flags or so…..it’s just crazy! It went well through because I got to work with two great gals so that made it easier. Shane ran the roping chute during the rodeo. That’s not an easy job either…..you must pay very close attention to the roper nodding his head. He also helped all through the slack on the night of the 3rd after the rodeo and helped feed the stock. He got to our trailer and went to bed at 3 am! During the day of the 4th we were in the parade promoting the Cowgirl Swank Classic – Women’s Ranch Rodeo. It is coming up on the 19th and 20th so I’ve also been really busy planning it. After the parade we went to Fort Robinson to tour the grounds and stables. We also checked out the art exhibit there. What a great place that is! We had a fun few days, but we were worn out by the night of the 4th (we got home at 2 am).

Also, on the 3rd I was surprised and thrilled to be featured in Real American Cowboys Magazine. Not only was I the feature store, but I was on the cover!!! My hopes of being a cover model have no been fulfilled (j/k). 🙂 Here it all is:

Picture Quality RACM Cover

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Katie Barlett, who is originally from Australia, but now resides in Texas wrote the article. She did a great job! As thrilling as it was to be on the cover I doubt that Cosmo will be calling anytime soon. 🙂

I mentioned earlier that I’ve been busy planning our upcoming women’s ranch rodeo. If you’ve never put on a rodeo before, it’s unbelievable the amount of work that goes into it. I certainly couldn’t do it alone. I’m very thankful for good friends to help me put on a great weekend. If you want to check it out, here is our website:  www.cowgirlswankclassic.com.

Even though I have been busy with all sorts of things, I decided yesterday to make a cake I had seen the day before on Facebook:  Apple Cake with Vanilla Sauce. How yummy does that sound?! Without further ado, here it is:

Apple Cake with Vanilla Sauce

For Apple cake

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup softened butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 large apples, cored and grated
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 cup chopped nuts (optional- I leave them out)

For Vanilla Sauce (Makes 3/4 cup.)
•1 cup water
•1/2 cup sugar
•1 tablespoon cornstarch
•2 tablespoons butter
•2 teaspoons vanilla extract
•pinch salt

Apple Cake Directions

Cream together sugar and butter. Add eggs one at time.


Add grated apples.


Sift together flour, soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Add in half of flour mixture stir in until incorporated, add second half and still until just mixed. (I stir in the flour by hand to avoid over-mixing.)


Pour into a greased 9 x 13 baking dish.


Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean. (less if you bake convection)


Vanilla Sauce Directions

Bring water to a boil in a small saucepan. Combine sugar and cornstarch, blend well. Add sugar and cornstarch mixture to boiling water; reduce heat to medium, stirring constantly, and cook until thickened.


Remove from heat and add the butter, vanilla, and salt, stirring until butter is melted.


Spoon over dessert Enjoy!


How was it? Amazing!!! I let the cake cool quite a bit then I made the sauce to put over the top…..YUM!!! Hope you give it a whirl…it’s going in my recipe box as a keeper (great way to use up apples when needed)! ~Cheyenne