Category Archives: Cowgirl Swank

Women’s Ranch Rodeo….Long Live Our Cowgirl Ways!!

May has been a crazy, busy month around here for me and my family. The month is starting to wind down now and today I am giddy with excitement! Tomorrow we head to Gillette, Wyoming for the first WRRA (Women’s Ranch Rodeo Association) rodeo of the season for us up here in the north country. We haven’t had a rodeo since last September so I’m really looking forward to it. My friend, Heidi Huggins of Bucking H Designs, has worked her tail off along with her helpers to put together and awesome event for us to enjoy this weekend. Hats off to them for working so hard!!There is something for everyone…even the kiddos! Here is the poster for the Bucking H Bash:

BHB 2014

I am so looking forward to competing with my team to try our hardest to win some of the awards awards and prize money up for grabs. Here is my team:

CS Team Hyannis

One of the members has changed since this picture, but this is what we look like…..all decked out in our bright red shirts….true Cowgirl Swank color! Our team is called Cowgirl Swank so that should come as no surprise.  The three other gals on the team are:  Heidi Cuny, Randi Selle, and Rhonda Matt. Great girls who are all quite handy! 🙂

I wrote an article about the WRRA a couple of months ago, but the publication it was going to appear in hit a bump in the road so I’m still waiting to hear from them. I’ve decided that it’s fitting to publish it here on my blog as I sit here waiting for the minutes to tick by until we take off tomorrow. Hope you enjoy the read! Here goes:

I grew up idolizing cowgirls. I was lucky because I had a great role model to look up to….my mom, Lila Glade. Just like my mom, I grew up on the same ranch in southeastern Montana north of the Yellowstone River smack dab between Little Sheep Mountain and Big Sheep Mountain. In truth, I don’t believe my mom aspired to be anything but a cowgirl/ranch woman. Don’t get me wrong, she went off and got a college education. She and her teammates even managed to capture the coveted Team Championship at the College National Finals Rodeo one of the years she was there! She enjoyed college, but deep inside I think she always knew her place was out on the range. She has always loved the outdoors and the animals associated with a cowgirl’s life: horses and cattle. My mom has always been a superior horsewoman and she definitely knows her cattle. She has had many accomplishments in her career as a cowgirl. I believe her greatest accomplishment was qualifying and competing in the National Finals Rodeo in 1976.

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She may argue with me a bit on this because she has other accomplishments to choose from, but I think it’s incredible! My mom roped a little bit, but not competitively. Growing up, I had some of the best barrel horses ever to compete on. How many nine year olds do you know who get to ride a horse that went to the NFR? Not many!

The fact is I enjoyed barrel racing a lot when I was younger, but as I grew older my dad started showing me the joys of what a lariat could do. I wasn’t a roper at a really young age like some kids are today. I didn’t actively start roping until I was 12 years old. There was just something about roping that go in my blood right away. I can thank my dad for passing on his athletic abilities to just pick stuff up. That’s how it was with me and roping….so barrel racing eventually went by the wayside. I did have a slight challenge along the way because I am left-handed. My dad never viewed it as a “handicap” and he never tried to change me. He always thought lefties had an advantage when it came to breakaway roping anyway…..no crossing over to worry about! I taught myself to tie goats right-handed and it worked out just fine. I managed to win 3 state championships in high school in goat tying, pole bending, and breakaway roping. *I’ve even taken to heading right-handed now. It’s quite a process and I’m not as “deadly” as I am with my left hand, but the fact that I’m trying to master both is a feat in itself. I love heeling, but it’s good to be able to rope both ends (heading and heeling).*

I went on to rodeo one season in college. I decided college really wasn’t for me so I went off to the big city to learn about the retail world. Fast forward, 13 years…..this is where my story picks back up. I moved back to Montana in the late fall of 2004. I met my soon-to-be-fiancé in early 2005 and within a few months we moved to southwestern South Dakota and started working on my folks’ ranch (my folks had sold their ranch in Montana in early 2000 and had relocated here). I was home….and boy, did it feel good! With the help of my folks, Shane and I went into the cattle business in the fall of 2005. With that part of my life lined out, I set my sights on getting back into the arena. As fate would have it, I suffered a bad injury on the 4th of July. I was at home in our arena roping on the gentlest horse on the place. It wasn’t good. I got bucked off and as it was happening I hyper-extended my wrist on the swells of my saddle. I tore some ligaments in my left arm/wrist and cracked some bones. It took me years to get it to where I could use it effectively again. So, fast forward again to 2013….

I had been watching ranch rodeos for several years from the sidelines as my husband and his friends went and did their thing. I might mention that I had our son in 2008 so up until this point I was pretty content being the cheerleader and caretaker. However, something inside me started longing for my goal of roping and competing again. I had let my arm heal significantly and I felt I was “ready”. There was something about ranch rodeo that really appealed to me. Perhaps it was the team camaraderie, the events (tying down a steer looked awfully fun to me), the excitement and atmosphere of it all. Whatever it was, I was hooked….but I wasn’t ready to jump into it with the guys. I didn’t feel confident enough for that (yet).

2012 came around and one day I was on Facebook. Something about “Women’s Ranch Rodeo Association” came on the screen. I stopped what I was doing and decided to check it out. Holy cow!! Here was an entire association dedicated to WOMEN in RANCH RODEO!!

WRRA

I thought I had died and gone to heaven! I devoured what I could read there and then went on to dive into their website (www.womensranchrodeo.org). I read and read until there was nothing else to read.

In my reading, I found out that the WRRA was founded by Kansas cowgirls in 2005 and that each rodeo includes the same 5 timed events in each of their sanctioned rodeos. They are: Calf Branding, Doctoring, Sorting, Trailer Loading, and Tie Down/Mugging. Here’s what happens in each event (and here are a few pictures of team Cowgirl Swank in action):

Calf Branding – 3 Minute Time Limit. There is one roper, one brander, and two gals to hold the calves down. The roper goes in and snags a calf by one or both hind legs. She drags it out where one gal tails the calf down and the other has the rope. Once the rope is removed the brander is signaled. She runs over and “brands” the calf with a branding iron that has powder on it. Once the calf is “branded” it is let up and the roper goes back in for the second calf. Everything is repeated. Once the second calf is “branded” time is called.

Branding Hyannis 2

Branding Hyannis 5

Branding Hyannis

Doctoring – 2 Minute Time Limit. All four team members start behind a line on their horses. Time starts when the first team member crosses the line. They take off after their steer that is on the other end of the arena. All four members are allowed to rope. The steer must be roped with a legal head catch within the first minute. The steer must be headed and heeled. Once this is achieved, one of the non-roping team mates jumps down and marks the steers face with chalk. Time is called.

Sorting 2 Hyannis

Doctoring Hyannis 2

Doctoring Hyannis

Sorting – 3 Minute Time Limit. Cattle with numbers on them are located at the end of the arena behind a chalk line. Time starts when the first team member crosses the line. While riding towards the herd, three numbers are called out over the loud speaker. They are in order (4, 5, 6 or 10, 11, 12 – for example). These are the numbers/cattle that must be cut out of the herd and taken across the chalk line. Any team member can sort, but only one rider can be in the herd at a time. Once a critter is across the chalk line, it cannot come back across or it is a no time. Also, no wrong numbered animal may cross the line. Once all 3 critters are across the line, time is called.

Tie Down Hyannis 2

Sorting 2

Sorting 3 Hyannis

Trailer Loading – 2 Minute Time Limit. Cattle with numbers on them will be located at the end of the arena behind a chalk line. Time starts when the first team member crosses the score line. Any team member can sort, but only one rider can be in the herd at a time. While riding towards the herd, the number of the steer to be sorted and loaded will be called out over the loud speaker. This steer must be cut out from the herd and taken across the line. The steer is then trailed to the trailer and loaded in the first compartment and the door is shut. One team member’s horse is then loaded in the second compartment. Once the door is shut and latched all team members must run to a designated spot near the judge. Once there, the judge calls for time.

Trailer Loading

Trailer Loading Hyannis 2

Trailer Loading Hyannis 4

Tie Down/Mugging – *This is my favorite event!* 3 Minute Time Limit. Steer will be let out at the opposite end of the arena. Team members start behind a chalk line. Time starts when the first team member crosses the line. Steer must be roped with a legal head catch in the first minute. No loop limit and all four team members are allowed to rope. Steer doesn’t have to be heeled; this is up to the teams’ discretion. After the steer is roped, he must be mugged and tied down by 3 legs. The three legs must be crossed. During the mugging process at least one team member must be in contact with rope or steer. All ropes must be off the steer and all team members must be clear of steer before calling for time. Time stops when one team member raises hands after the steer is tied down. Steer must stay tied for 6 seconds.

Tie Down Hyannis 2

Tie Down Hyannis 4

Tie Down Hyannis 3

Things don’t get much more exciting than those 5 events! I have been asked why there aren’t women’s rough stock events. I don’t have a technical answer on that except to say that I’m glad there aren’t. My 40-year-old body can’t handle much crow-hopping let alone a bucking bronco! I will say that I have been told that the WRRA’s outlook on their rodeos and events is that they want to include everyone and not exclude anyone. Even gals who aren’t bona fide ropers can participate as there are events that don’t require every single team member to rope (calf branding, trailer loading, sorting). Women’s bronc riding is only for a few select women who like to do that sort of thing (hats off to them too). The WRRA wants to showcase actual ranch events that occur on most any ranch. They want to keep it as safe as possible for contestants and animals alike. That makes perfect sense to me.

Since the WRRA sanctions the rodeos, their rules are followed and the gals participating must become members before competing. Money can be won and points are accumulated towards their World Finals, which will be held this year in Loveland, Colorado in October. Imagine, a World Finals…..for Women…..in Ranch Rodeos!! I was so excited about this that I called the phone number listed on the WRRA’s website. Enter Billie Franks into my life.

Billie FranksBillie is from Grenola, Kansas.

Billie is the Special Agent and Treasurer for the WRRA. She is quite a cowgirl and a determined leader of the association. We talked for quite a bit and struck up a friendship right then and there. With her encouragement and leadership, I decided that this was going to be “my thing”. Instantly it became my goal to get involved in this association and to hopefully host the first-ever WRRA rodeo in Nebraska.

I’m happy to report that I reached this goal last summer with the “Cowgirl Swank Classic” – Women’s Ranch Rodeo. I had a lot of help from some great people in the Crawford, Nebraska area. It’s a long story of how it all came to be so I won’t go into all of that. I will just say that with a positive attitude, hard work, and good people helping you…you can achieve most anything!

CSC Logo

So, what went on at the “Cowgirl Swank Classic”? Let me tell you….it was 2 days of the most amazing cowgirl action I have ever seen or been a part of! Imagine 12 teams of 4 competitive cowgirls, 48 well-trained horses, 50 head of steers, 25 head of calves, and over 2 inches of rain…..it was nothing short of the most entertaining rodeo ever! We had spills and thrills.….my pants were so dirty after each rodeo that they could have stood up by themselves….and I’m not kidding!

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CSC Branding

Me Muddy

The crowd was super….I was so worried that the rain would keep people away, but just the opposite happened. Crawford has such an amazing arena setup. It allows vehicles to pull up near the grandstands so they can look down over the arena. It truly couldn’t have been more perfect. We are still hearing comments about what a wonderful rodeo it was and how spectators and contestants can’t wait for the next one!

CS Classic Team Photo48 cowgirls competed at the 2013 Cowgirl Swank Classic. This is our group photo.

Like me a lot of the contestants are mothers and wives. We have our children and our husbands supporting us. The best part at our rodeos though is that the husbands are the ones in the stands with the video cameras ready to go and the kids playing in the dirt at their feet. Turnabout is fair play! Rodeo and ranching is about partnership. We have done it for them….and will continue to do so in the future…now it’s their turn to repay the favor….and they do it willingly. All of the husband’s I have visited with are thrilled with the advancements we are making for this sport. They truly think it is great and applaud us. They are happy to see their wives out enjoying themselves and having fun while representing our way of life. We ladies appreciate all the support we get from our families so that we can have our turn in the arena. It’s our turn to shine!

The first-ever women’s ranch rodeo in Nebraska was deemed a huge success. 2014 is going to be a very exciting year for women’s ranch rodeo in the northern region! We are in the planning stages for our second “Cowgirl Swank Classic”, which is scheduled to take place on July 20th and 21st in Crawford, NE.

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Another wonderful occurrence is other people having the same idea I did. They have taken it upon themselves to promote this awesome association/sport and put on their own rodeos. Hyannis, Nebraska was second last year with a two-day rodeo in September. They are planning for the second “Cowgirl’s Duel in the Sandhills” to take place August 2nd and 3rd. Three newcomers to the WRRA are Gillette, Hermosa (possible), and Cheyenne. Gillette, Wyoming will open the season with their two-day “Bucking H Bash” rodeo on May 31st and June 1st. Hermosa, South Dakota is looking at a possible date during their fair in August and Cheyenne, Wyoming is hosting a one-day rodeo on September 21st, which will close out the season for the northern division.

The great thing about how much interest has been generated in our area is that the ladies of the WRRA sat up and took notice. They are excited to have added us as their “northern division”. I was really glad to be voted onto their board of directors in December as was Mckenzie Minor from Hyannis, Nebraska.

McKenzie Minor McKenzie Minor is from Hyannis, Nebraska.

Together, we are pushing for even more expansion in the northern region in 2015. I envision additional rodeos taking place in Colorado, Montana, and hopefully North Dakota in the near future. With that said, if you are interested in hosting a WRRA rodeo in your area in 2015, please contact me. I would love to explain the process to you and answer any questions you may have. We are also searching for sponsors and people who want to get involved in this incredible association. Feel free to contact me at any time! I can be reached at thenativecowgirl@yahoo.com or on my cell at 605-891-1827. I look forward to hearing from some of you and continuing to work to spread this great association as far as we can.

As I said at the beginning of this column, I have always idolized cowgirls. The best thing is that through my life I became one. It’s one of my proudest accomplishments and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I revere my fellow cowgirls. We may come from different backgrounds or similar ones. We may “cowgirl” in different ways, but one thing is for sure: we are kindred spirits. We try hard and we don’t take no for an answer. We love our horses and our families. We are winners inside and outside the arena. Long live our cowgirl ways!

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My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys/Cowgirls!

Thursday, March 27th was my husband’s birthday! I’ve always felt kind of bad for him having his birthday during calving season. However, it never seems to phase him in the least. Most years we don’t go anywhere. We usually celebrate at home with his favorite meal for supper, cake, and presents. This year was a bit different and I was glad about that.

A few weeks ago I heard that Fred Whitfield (8 time World Champion Calf Roper) was coming to Chadron State College as a featured presenter. I was excited! I had met Fred back at the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas in 2012. It was a brief encounter with nothing more than a quick snapshot of the two of us together.  Here is that picture:

Fred and Me

Shane and I talked about going to see Fred when he came to town, but it was left with the usual “we’ll see how it goes”…meaning….if the weather is good, if there isn’t a heifer calving, if a number of other problems don’t occur…..life on the ranch….you know?! 🙂 Anyway, March 27th arrived and except for almost 50 head of our cows getting out of the calving pasture it was a fairly uneventful day. We rounded the cows back up and got them put back in the calving pasture. All was well in the heifer lot so we headed to town to see Fred and have supper with friends afterwards.

We picked up Shane’s cake. I haven’t had much time to bake lately so this was my best course of action. Kathy Bishop at Cakes & Etc. in Chadron always does a great job! Here is what she came up with:

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Once we got the cake we headed up to the college where Fred was speaking. We got there fairly early so only a handful of people were ahead of us to get Fred’s autograph. Our turn came fairly soon!

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We even managed to get a family pic with Fred!

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Fred’s speech/presentation wasn’t one of great structure (he doesn’t claim to be a professional speaker). It was more of a question and answer session, which I really enjoyed. He talked about his book, “Gold Buckles Don’t Lie”. (If you haven’t read it, you really need to. There is a lot to know behind the scenes that is talked about in there.) He was really open and candid. We all enjoyed it immensely.

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I had the pleasure of meeting his wife, Cassie. At the Cowgirl Swank shop, Kayla and I got together a “Rodeo Wife” cap for her and a couple of caps for their daughters. I presented it to Cassie and she loved it. Here we are together (she’s even wearing her new cap)!

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My son was quite enamored with Fred. He just couldn’t get enough! Here he is again after he snuck back into the autograph line with his friend, Travon Bass.

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Here is where I tell you truthfully that “My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys/Cowgirls”. It’s true…..my husband, my grandpa, my dad, Fred Whitfield, Casey Tibbs, Chad Ferley, Lisa Lockhart, my mom, Charmayne James, my fellow ranch rodeo gals, all the way to the little neighbor boy learning to rope, etc……My list could go on forever! Truly though….they are all my heroes! I look up to each of them! I think it’s utterly important in life to surround yourself with positive influences and people you aspire to be like (look up to). That’s what we do in our family. We always reach for the stars in whatever we set our minds to……and being around champions is good for your outlook on life! Who do you admire? Have you made it a point to put positive influences in your life? If not, will you? This a good question to ask yourself. You only live once…..why not live it striving to be a better person each and every day however you can? ~Cheyenne

Chicken Scampi and a Website Nightmare

Well, much to my dismay I’ve wasted almost an entire day on my website……and I didn’t get much accomplished. It’s funny that you sign up for a website….pay a lot of money…..and yet, you are still expected to do the majority of content addition. I’ve about had it with the new website conversion for Cowgirl Swank…..I was seriously thinking about starting on some wine at 11:30 this morning! But…..I didn’t……not that it would have mattered…I’m working from home today. Well, it may have mattered….I may be in bed right now…for the night! 🙂

I couldn’t indulge in wine while trying to avoid my website anguish….I needed to spend some quality time with my son, try to makes heads or tails of the content I need to add, write a few articles for some new projects I’m working on, clean a bit, and do Dance Party 3 with Stone. All of that is done so now I can sit down and enjoy. I really do love to blog. It’s kind of like therapy for me. I don’t have to worry too much about punctuation…..(don’t you just love my excessive dots?)…….I do!! 🙂

Anyway, enough about my website nightmare today. On to something more fun…..Chicken Scampi! Have you ever eaten at Olive Garden? Chances are you have….it’s truly one of our favorite places to eat. Just give me pasta and bread sticks and I’m happy as a clam….so is Shane…..so is Stone. Well, Shane needs to add meat to his because……he’s a carnivore, I swear! 🙂 Anyway, Olive Garden has to most awesome Chicken Scampi ever. This recipe was inspired by their dish. I have made it time and time again until I got it just right. I’ve had several errors and mishaps along the way, but this is the final recipe that I’ve come up with. It is a bit time consuming concerning preparing the chicken, but I can honestly tell you that it is worth the effort!

Chicken Scampi

  • 1 lb Chicken Breasts
  • 1 cup Flour
  • 1 cup Milk
  • 1 Egg
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Lawry’s Seasoning
  • Oregano
  • Cilantro
  • Italian Seasonings
  • Olive Oil
  • ½ Green Pepper, cut into thin strips
  • ½ Red Pepper, cut into thin strips
  • ½ Yellow Pepper, cut into thin strips
  • ½ Orange Pepper, cut into thin strips
  • Purple/Red Onion, cut into thin strips
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • Angel Hair Pasta, cooked al dente
  • ¾ cup White Cooking Wine or White Wine
  • ¾ cup Heavy Cream

Place flour, salt, pepper, and seasonings (about ½ tsp. each) into a shallow dish and mix well with a fork. Place milk in a shallow dish. Beat in an egg. Dredge chicken first in flour, then dip into milk, and then dredge again in the flour. Place breaded chicken on a rack and allow to rest 10 minutes before cooking. While the chicken is resting, cut peppers, onions, and mince garlic. *I actually made the chicken the night before so I don’t have pictures. Sorry! I may try to add some at a later date if I can remember.*

Saute peppers, onions, and garlic in a large deep skillet over medium heat with a couple tablespoons of olive oil.

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Season peppers, onions, and garlic with a little bit of salt and pepper. Saute until peppers begin to brown. Remove from skillet.

Add another couple tablespoons of olive oil in hot skillet. Place chicken in skillet. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes on each side until the chicken has browned on both sides. Remove chicken from pan. Deglaze the pan by adding white wine to the pan and add more ½ tsp of each seasoning (Oregano, Cilantro, Italian Seasoning). Scrape the bottom with a spoon scraping the browned bits off the bottom of the pan. Add heavy cream and mix well. Return cooked vegetables to the pan and stir. Add cooked pasta to the skillet.

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Add more salt, pepper, and seasonings to taste if you like. Plate the pasta and sauce, placing a few pieces of cooked chicken with each plate.

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I wasn’t very “on the ball” about taking pictures this time around. I will do better next time. I actually didn’t plan to make this until later on in the week, but sometimes certain things sound good….and that’s what happened! Like I said, I made the chicken the night before which I’ve never done before. The result? Still delicious! Give this one a try….it’s a keeper! ~Cheyenne

Go Clydesdales!!!! And….Steak Fajitas

Today is the Super Bowl……and I’m cheering for the Clydesdales! 🙂

budweiserclydesdale

I used to be a hardcore football fan, but for the past 15 years I honestly could care less about it. I’m just not a sports fan…..well, I’m not a fan of those kinds of sports (football, basketball, hockey, baseball)….I’m a fan of any sport that relates to horses……Rodeo, Horse Racing, Dressage, Jumping, Polo……I love it all! So, you can understand when I say I’m cheering for the Clydesdales. I LOVE those commercials…..I think everyone does (if not, you’d better check your humanity)! I’ve already caught a glimpse of the newest commercial….can’t wait to see it debut later today.

We are invited over to my folks’ for dinner followed by THE GAME…..will I be watching? Probably not…..until Shane yells at me when the Clydesdales come on. 🙂 I am working on getting our new Cowgirl Swank website ready to launch of Valentine’s Day…..so, I’ll be uploading pictures and tweaking things some more.

Are we eating anything special? Well, mom is making PW’s Peach-Whiskey Barbecue Chicken with masked potatoes, rolls, corn, etc. for Sunday dinner. Yum! I think I’m making Cinnamon Swirl Cake for dessert, but I’m having a hard time deciding for sure if that’s what sounds good. I’m also thinking about making Pizza Monkey Bread for our main snack during the game later on…..not for sure on that yet either so I guess I’ll see what I decide to do.

A couple of nights ago, I made Steak Fajitas (one of our favorite meals). They are so easy…..so yummy…..and they are great left over. Here’s the recipe:

Steak Fajitas

  • 1-2 lbs. of Steak, cut into strips
  • 1 Green Pepper, cut into strips
  • 1 Yellow Pepper, cut into strips
  • 1 Orange Pepper, cut into strips
  • 1 Red Pepper, cut into strips
  • 1 Yellow Onion, cut into strips
  • 1 Purple Onion, cut into strips
  • Lime Juice
  • Salt/Pepper
  • Cumin
  • Chili Pepper
  • Lawry’s Seasoning Salt
  • Oregano
  • Cilantro
  • Flour Tortillas
  • All the fixings:  Sour Cream, Shredded Cheese, Taco Sauce, Salsa….whatever you like on your fajitas!

Begin browning the meat in a large skillet in a little bit of olive oil. I use Garlic Olive Oil because I like that little extra taste, but it’s up to you on that.

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Once the meat is about 3/4 of the way cooked, add the vegetables.

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Toss frequently and cover with a lid.

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Allow to simmer for about 5 minutes.

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Add the lime juice and seasonings (whatever amount you desire…..I honestly just add until it tastes the way I like it). Toss and simmer a bit longer.

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I don’t cook the vegetables until they are limp….we like a little crisp left in them. Once again, this is up to you. Add the meat mixture to a flour tortilla and enjoy….simple and delicious!

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Now I’m hungry for Steak Fajitas!! Guess I’d better get going on dessert….still not sure what I’m going to make. Decisions, decisions…

I just saw something on Facebook that made me smile…..2014 is The Year of the Horse…..see, I’m not wrong to be cheering for The Clydesdales! 🙂

Clydesdale Laughing

~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.  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! ❤

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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 www.CowgirlSwank.com.

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. 🙂 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…..it works for me! Here’s how you can make them:

Cherry Turnovers (Cheyenne’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:  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.

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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.

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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.

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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:

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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).

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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).

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This was my first attempt and it was too runny…..so 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.

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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! 🙂 ~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…..it’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.

CS Logo JPEG

“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.  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:  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. 🙂

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?! 🙂

How can you order a custom item for yourself or for someone else? Go to our website:  www.cowgirlswank.com 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. 🙂

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:  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