Tag Archives: The Native Cowgirl

Strawberry Cheesecake French Toast Roll Ups

I love trying new recipes! Sometimes I will see something that interests me and I decide to give it a try…..I don’t always have a recipe to follow so I just find my own way. I’ve actually stumbled onto a few great things this way. These Strawberry Cheesecake French Toast Roll Ups are on this list. My guys would agree…..they loved them!

Start with a loaf of bread. Yes, an entire loaf. I really didn’t think I would go through an entire loaf, but I did….minus the ends. I wasn’t sure how many to make for the three of us, but none of it went to waste so that was good. I will tell you that these little buggers are rich and quite filling in my opinion. Take each slice of bread and cut off the crusts. Repeat for every piece.

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Next take a roller and roll the bread quite flat.

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Smear some cream cheese on it.

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Then fill the center with chopped up strawberries.

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Roll up. I put a toothpick through each one to train them to stay rolled up. Did I just say “train”? I wonder if a roll up can be “trained”. Hmmmm……anyway, repeat this until you have all of your bread filled and rolled up.

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Next mix up your French Toast batter. Here is one that I’ve used for years:

3 eggs, 1/2 cup of sugar, sprinkle of salt, dash of vanilla, dash of nutmeg, dash of cinnamon, and 1 cup of milk whisked up.

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Dip all sides of your roll ups in the batter and put on a hot griddle that is set to 325 degrees.

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These little things stick (and you can tell they are pretty messy to make….but worth it). Make sure to turn frequently so they don’t burn.

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Cook until brown on all sides. Serve with powdered sugar, left over strawberries and a side of maple syrup. Be prepared to gobble these up. My son (Mr. Picky Eater) was looking for more. Enjoy!

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About Me……

Happy 1st Day of Spring!! I sure hope Mother Nature knows what day it is and acts accordingly from here on out. I’d love to look out and see this in my backyard…..

First Day of Spring

Sigh….wishful thinking……this picture sure does put me in a good mood though (even if it’s not in my backyard)!

The sun is shining out and it’s supposed to be nice today. I’ve got a busy day ahead of me. I need to go check on our cows in the calving pasture in just a few minutes. Our calving pasture is quite large so it takes me quite a while to get around it and get everything checked. I look forward to it (especially on beautiful mornings such as this). We will feed hay and then we will head in to have my son’s check up with the dentist who performed his oral surgery last week.

I mentioned that I’ve been writing a column. I’m excited that another publication has added me to their feature list and now I am being considered by three more (one a very well known magazine). I’m super excited about this wonderful opportunity! I’ve been sending off my bio and my intro column to them all for print. It dawned on me that it may be a good idea to post it on here so all of you can read it as well. So, here’s a few words about little ole me!

Me on Doc

Greetings from the Pine Ridge Reservation! I have been busy thinking about what my first submission would be about. I came up with all sorts of topics, but then I realized that the majority of you don’t know who I am. So, I’m taking this opportunity to introduce myself. Once we are properly acquainted, I can get right into what’s on my mind in the next issue.

My name is Cheyenne Glade Wilson. I was born in Miles City, Montana and I was fortunate to be raised on a ranch north of the Yellowstone River northwest of Terry. My great grandparents had settled the place in the late 1800’s/early 1900’s. The ranch had been run by my grandparents, Art & June Reukauf and eventually went on to my parents, Cliff & Lila Glade. I grew up helping my folks on the ranch along with my brother, Wyatt. We learned all about cattle and horses. You may have heard the phrase, “She could ride before she could walk”. That phrase could pertain to me in one sense or another. As kids we spent a lot of time in the saddle and we learned a lot along the way. Our fun time was rodeo….youth rodeo to start with, then high school, and then college. The values I learned from how I grew up have carried me along my journey through life.

After a year or so in college, I drifted towards city life. I spend about 12 years in the retail trade. While growing up on the ranch, I always wondered what life was like “on the other side of the fence”. I got quite an education while I was “over” there. I learned a lot and I applied the work ethic I learned while growing up. It served me well as I was promoted quite quickly and eventually I became a district manager. I really enjoyed the hustle and bustle of city life. However, as I got older, I could feel a tug inside me. It was my past ranch life that was calling me. A couple times a year, I would come back and help out on the ranch during busy times (branding, shipping, etc.). It was always hard to go back to my city life after being “home” for a while. Eventually, I made the decision to move back. My life changed drastically when I met my would-be husband, Shane, in Miles City.

We eventually moved to ranch near my folks. They had sold their place in Montana and had moved down here in early 2000. We arrived in early spring 2005 and we have called the Slim Buttes area near Oglala home ever since. Moving back was the best decision I’ve ever made! Shane and I married in the summer of 2006 and then our son, Stone, came along in August 2008. He is truly my greatest accomplishment. I never knew how amazing being a mother could be!

Shane, Stone, and I spend our time doing what most ranch folks do:  tending to our livestock, fixing fence, watching weather reports, speculating about the market, helping neighbors, and praying for few storms, heavy calves, and good prices at sale time. I also own a custom crystal cap business called Cowgirl Swank. I started it in 2007 and it has grown significantly in the last seven years.

I’m proud to say that my upbringing has led me to where I am today so I owe my folks a big “Thank You” for that! I love to write, which is something I did a lot as a kid (back in the days before Dish TV and iPads). I write poems, short stories, and I blog. I also love to cook so my blog allows me to share recipes, tell stories of ranch life, and I can talk about one of my favorite things, Women’s Ranch Rodeo.  I hope you enjoy reading my column as much as I’m going to enjoy writing it every two weeks!

That’s it! Hope you enjoyed reading it. Enjoy this first day of spring….may it be the first of many wonderful weather days to enjoy in the coming months! ~Cheyenne

Cheyenne’s Spicy Bacon Cheeseburger Soup

It’s a cold one out there today…..-25 when we woke up. Nothing unnecessary gets done outside on days like this. Shane fed this morning leaving Stone and me at home base. It’s always good to have us at home on days like this with a radio in case he gets stalled, stuck, or has problems. Plus, it’s not wise to have a child out in weather like this either. I decided to make Shane’s favorite soup for lunch…..a way to thank him for braving the cold and letting us stay warm at home. I’m not sure if you’ve ever had hamburger soup or cheeseburger soup, but if you have this version is sure to delight you! I actually made this recipe up and after some trial and error I feel that I came up with a winner. So, here goes:

Cheyenne’s Spicy Bacon Cheeseburger Soup

  • 4-5 slices of Bacon, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 ½ lbs. of Hamburger
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 6 small potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 cup of shredded or grated carrots
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 4 oz. can of Green Chiles, diced
  • 3 cups of water
  • 4 cube of Beef Bouillon
  • Salt & Pepper, to taste
  • Lawry’s Seasoning Salt, to taste
  • 1 ½ cups of Milk
  • Thickener:  ½ cup of Milk and 3 TB. Of Flour
  • 1 ½ to 2 cups of Velveeta, cubed

Cut up the bacon and put in a large soup pot to brown over medium heat.

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After it is half done, put in the hamburger.

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Break the burger up into little pieces while it cooks, blending it with the bacon. As the hamburger cooks, add the diced onion.

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Allow to cook together for a bit until the hamburger is brown. Add the potatoes, carrots, garlic, and green chiles.

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Stir together and cook for a few minutes. Add the water, beef bouillon cubes, and seasonings.

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Allow to boil for a 15-20 minutes to allow the vegetables to soften. Add the milk and heat through. In the meantime, using a whisk mix up the thickener.

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Then slowly add it to the hot soup. Once mixed in, add the cubed Velveeta and allow to melt….stirring quite often.

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Once the cheese is melted, the soup is ready. Enjoy!

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This soup is easy to make! It’s hearty, cheesy, and cowboy-approved…..what’s not to love?! I submitted this recipe to Allrecipes.com. Hopefully they agree and put it in with all the others…..although there is no other Spicy Bacon Cheeseburger Soup recipe on there yet so I’m sure they will approve it. I hope you try this recipe…..I think you will love it!

We are all house-bound this afternoon…..may venture out to water our horses later today again. It’s important to make sure they have lots of fresh water when they are standing around eating hay. I know this…..I’m glad I’m not a critter stuck out in this weather….how brutal Mother Nature can be. Here’s hoping you are all staying warm out there! ~Cheyenne

The Storm Atlas

A couple of weeks ago I got a message from a friend asking me to call her, which I did. Come to find out she is on the board of the Black Hills Stock Show and she asked me if I would read my poem “The Storm Atlas” at the opening of the BHSS Ranch Rodeo Finals. Apparently, several people had requested asking me. I was surprised and completely honored!

I began writing poems when I was quite young. I’ve always had the ability to do it…..just get a thought in my head, scribble down a few words and within minutes have a complete poem written out. I’m not patting myself on the back…..or saying that I’m well-known for my poetry. I’m not……..well, not yet anyway…..have to think positive, right?!

I became a published poet at 12 years old. I’ve always written with a lot of emotion attached to my words. The poem I had published at this young age was about a horse my grandpa had given me. Our neighbor ran into him and several other horses of ours on Christmas Eve…..it was awful…..they all died or had to be put down. It was my first knowledge of drinking and driving and it has stuck with me all of these years. Shortly after this occurred, my grandpa passed away suddenly. In just a short few weeks, death had touched me….deeply. I wasn’t the type to cry a lot, but words would pour out of me like tears for some. I wrote this poem almost a year after it happened. After that, I wrote a lot of “dark” poems when I went through adolescence. It was my escape and I’m glad I had it. I stopped writing poems after I graduated from high school. I think that the ability and need to write has just been laying dormant in me for all of these years. It took a major emotional episode to make it come out again.  Nowadays I have more tears….maybe because I’m a mother now. I swear that motherhood brought an entire bag of emotions that I never dealt with a lot before Stone was born…..not that I’m complaining. 🙂

Fast forward to October 2013. A normal October for most of us……with the threat of a winter storm. We’ve had those before….and never thought much about them. We still had our calves on the cows….as did most people this time of year. We normally ship around the middle of October (send our calves off to market). Our spring had been tough on us as we were still reeling from losing 50 head of baby calves to an awful storm in April earlier that spring. So, here comes the storm of the century for us……we paced…..we prayed…..we were without power for 5 days….we had power poles knocked down in the pasture in front of our house and as far as we could see….poles everywhere! I nagged at Shane about putting our horses over in the calving barn….he was resistant, but I wouldn’t let up. Call it woman’s intuition or whatever, but I will forever be thankful that I listened to my inner self and demanded that those horses be put in. I helped him……it was just quite a chore because the snow and wind were horrific….and those horses weren’t thrilled about being taken into it in the mile trek over to the shed. It’s hard to think back about how awful the weather was……and how horrific the findings would be in just a few short days.

We had a generator to get us through the 5 days without power and when it came back on the images flooding Facebook and the news were absolutely horrific. That’s when the emotions hit me……I was sobbing…..I remember because the original sheet that I wrote the poem on had wet tear stains on it. That’s how emotional I was……and how emotional this poem is to me. We ended up not losing any cattle….this time around, but it struck a nerve in me that all ranchers can identify with. My tears weren’t for me or my family……they were for everyone/everything that the storm touched….people who suffered loss, the animals who lost their lives, the suffering that was endured, the harshness of Mother Nature….all of it. My tears were from the heart…..as were the words that became “The Storm Atlas”.

My poem was published in countless newspapers and magazines around the country. I was so touched that people could identify with it. I just had to get my feelings down on paper. It’s funny….even writing about it now makes my eyes well up with tears and I get a tingly feeling all over. I told my friend that I may cry while reading it in front of everyone……she said that was okay because most of the people in the audience will be crying too.

Here is my poem if you’d like to read it:

The Storm Atlas

Well, wish me luck tomorrow night…..it’s the first time I’ve ever read a poem out loud in front of an audience. Break a leg, right?! 🙂 ~Cheyenne

BHSS All Girl Stray Gathering

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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…..so 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)! 🙂

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.  Here we are lined up and ready to take off!

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

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

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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!

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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.

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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…..it 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!

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

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

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

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and I missed…..and I missed

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…..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.

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We got him down….

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

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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:  Rhonda Matt, Jessica Holmes, Kate Moen, and Abby Olson. Click here to watch a  video of their run….it’s a must watch……they rock!!!

Awards were given….some great ones too!

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

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

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

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

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

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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!

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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

“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

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…..one 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! 🙂

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”…..no 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!  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”! 🙂 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

My Dad, the Cowboy/Rancher…..and Easy Pineapple Cake

The first cowboy I ever loved was my dad. He was and still is a huge part of my life. There really isn’t much my dad can’t do….if he puts his mind to it. He is a successful rancher, accomplished cowboy, an amazing artist (when he takes time to sit down and draw), and a good role model for young and old alike. My dad and I are a lot alike….which is probably why we have had many stand-offs. Even though he was tough on me when I was young, I know he did it for my own good. I’d say he and my mom did a good job raising me. I wasn’t an “easy” child…..from the stories they tell….I can gather that much information. But, through it all, I have always admired and looked up to my dad. When I was younger, describing my dad was simple. I would tell whoever didn’t know him to imagine that Clint Eastwood and John Wayne had a kid….that was my dad….throw in some Native blood and characteristics and the image was complete. It’s funny to think back on that, but it’s still true today. Here is a glimpse of my dad:

Dad Dad on BJ Dad & Stone on BJ

I think my dad is a super grandpa to my son. He takes more time to show Stone things than I remember him doing so when my brother and I were young. I think that’s a grandparent thing. He and my mom have been married almost 42 years….that’s no small feat these days! Here they are a few years back:

Mom and Dad

One thing else about my dad, he has a funny sense of humor. Things can sometimes get pretty serious….even depressing when times get tough out here on the ranch. My dad is always ready with a smile and some funny story or comforting tale. This is an example of his humor:

Dad in the Wheat

His wheat was about waist high….he wished it was as high as his shoulders! 🙂

Yesterday was his birthday. It was truly just another day on the ranch around here. Chores were done, calves/horses were fed, water was opened, etc. No big hoorah planned…..just us and my folks for Sunday dinner. Mom planned to make my dad’s favorites:  ham with a pineapple glaze, roasted potatoes, corn salad, and rolls. Dessert was up to me. I decided to stay with the pineapple theme and try a new cake. I got on Allrecipes.com to search for a cake…..here’s the one I found and decided to go with:

http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Easy-Pineapple-Cake/Detail.aspx?event8=1&prop24=SR_Title&e11=easy%20pineapple%20cake&e8=Quick%20Search&event10=1&e7=Home%20Page

“Easy Pineapple Cake”…..the title does not disappoint! Just follow the directions to a tee and that’s what you get…..an easy, yummy cake!  Here is the recipe:

2 cups all-purpose flour, 2 cups white sugar, 2 eggs, 2 teaspoons baking soda, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 (20 ounce) can crushed pineapple with juice, 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, 1/2 cup butter, 1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar and baking soda. Make a well in the center and add the eggs, vanilla and crushed pineapple, with liquid from can. Mix well to blend.
  3. Bake for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into cake comes out clean.
  4. To make the frosting: in a medium bowl, combine cream cheese, butter, confectioners sugar and 1 teaspoon of vanilla. Beat until creamy. Spread on warm cake.

I did just as the recipe said…I formed a “well” in the center and added the eggs and vanilla. image (20) I then added the crushed pineapple and the juice. image (21) I stirred it up really well and poured it into my Pampered Chef Cake Pan. image (22) I baked it on less heat and for a bit less time. My gas oven tends to burn things so I have to be careful. I baked the cake at 325 degrees for 40 minutes. The outcome…..my cake came out dark…..really dark…and I was scared! image (23) (It wasn’t quite as dark as this picture portrays….darn lighting). But, since I didn’t have ingredients for another cake, I went ahead with the cream cheese frosting and frosted the cake. image (24) In all honesty, I think the cake should be cool before the frosting goes on because it tends to thin and run a bit, but that is my only thought of change for this cake….that and check it earlier next time when baking.

How did it taste? Well…..it was amazing!! It wasn’t burned….like I was afraid of. It was really moist. The little pieces of pineapple in the cake were yummy….and the frosting…..get me another piece!! I forget that most fruit cakes tend to be dark (my mom reminded me of that). We all liked it and dad gave it a thumbs up….I know that because we only came home with 3 small pieces…he kept the rest of the leftovers. I inherited my sweet tooth from my dad…..thanks, dad….grumble, grumble…. 🙂

I learn every time I make something…..what to do….what not to do…..recipes to keep….recipes to never make again…..what works for me as a cook and what works for my family’s taste buds. I enjoy every journey I take in the kitchen…..until it’s time to do the dishes! (Have you figured out yet that I hate doing dishes? I don’t have a dishwasher due to our horrible water so it’s all me…..not my favorite task….but once it’s done I’m happy again. I’m pretty easy to please….really!)

Hope you try this one…..it’s a keeper! Enjoy! ~Cheyenne

Cowboy Migas – my first recipe post!!!

Good morning, all! For those of you who know me, you know that I LOVE to be in the kitchen….cooking, baking, planning our next meal, finding new recipes, avoiding my dishes (haha….that’s a true one also)! 🙂 I have stumbled over many great recipes thanks to the internet! My favorite places to find them? I always go to The Pioneer Woman’s page first. I’m a huge fan of Ree Drummond! In fact, she is a true inspiration to me and one of the reasons why I started blogging (Thanks, Ree!). I always go to her site first to see what she has in terms of what I’m looking for. I haven’t made one recipe of hers that I haven’t liked. The second place I go to is Allrecipes.com. I have been an online member for a long time (I can’t remember how long). I love the reviews as it gives me an idea of what real people/cooks out there think of it. It tells me if the recipe is worth trying or not. I’ve had great success with these two sites. I wander around by googling recipes from time to time. However, 9 times out of 10, I end up getting a recipe from one of these two sources.

Which brings me to today’s post…..my first recipe that I’ve blogged about! I’m excited about this! About 6 months ago, I was in need of something different for breakfast. For those of you out there who feed a cowboy or two, you know that they are meat lovers. I find it challenging sometimes to mix it up if meat has to be at the fore front (no fettuccine alfredo here….it has to be chicken fettucine alfredo instead….you get the idea). Anyway, I was zooming around the internet and stopped at PW’s site. I stumbled upon “Migas” and was instantly intrigued. Here is the link to her original recipe:  http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2008/09/ree-drummond-migas/.

I decided to give Migas a try the very next morning as I had all of the ingredients. I LOVED them!!! My husband liked them, but here’s what he said, “There’s no meat in them”! Why did this not shock me?? I know Shane….that’s why! I’m surprised he tried them in the first place since you can clearly tell there is no meat in them. So, I set out on my usual mission……”cowboyizing” (is that a word?) this recipe!

It really wasn’t hard to do…..I simply added pork sausage to the recipe and voila……Cowboy Migas!! I sure hope Ree doesn’t mind that I’ve changed this a bit. My one rule of thumb for trying a new recipe is to make it exactly as it is written. Once I do that, I can tell what I need to tweak to make it more my own for the next time. Anyone else like this?

So, here we go:  Cowboy Migas

Ingredients:  olive oil, 4 corn tortillas, 1/2 of a green pepper, 1/2 of an onion (I like purple), pat of butter, pork sausage (I use a roll of it – any brand is fine), salt, pepper, oregano, cilantro, 8 eggs, and cheddar cheese.

The first thing to do is put a table spoon or two of olive oil in a frying pan. Heat this up on medium, when it’s hot put in a corn tortilla. The object is to brown each side of the tortillas, but not to let them get hard as a board or burned.  image (14) I usually put one tortillas in until I need to turn it over, then I turn it, move it aside and add the second one.

While the tortillas are browning, I dice up 1/2 a green pepper and 1/2 an onion. I melt a small pat of butter (just to keep them from sticking) and melt in. I then add the green pepper and onion and start to brown them.  Once they are starting to cook, I add the sausage. image (16) I then break up the sausage as well as I can throw in a few dashes of the spices and mix everything up so it can cook evenly. image (17)

At this point, the tortillas are all done. As they are finished, I put them on a paper towel to absorb a bit of the oil. Then I put them on a cutting board and wait for them to cool. image (15) After they have cooled, I cut them into strips with a sharp knife and then cut them the opposite direction so they make little “chips”. image (18)

The meat mixture is cooked through so now it’s time to add the eggs. image (19) Shane cracked these and added them. He thought I needed some help. 🙂 Once they eggs are added, go ahead and stir everything together so it’s all mixed up…..then add the tortilla “chips”. image (8) And…..stir it all up. It should look something like this: image (9)

Let it cook a little bit and then top with cheese:  image (10) Next: you guessed it….stir it all together. Let the cheese melt all the way through…..it’s now time to eat! image (11)

These are truly delicious! They are not too spicy…..filling….and easy to make! Plus, my cowboy loves them because they contain MEAT!! 🙂 I like to eat mine plain. Shane likes to add some salsa and sour cream. It’s truly up to you how you choose to eat them. This recipe will feed at least 6 people if not more (depending on their portion size). I always end up with left overs. So, what do I do with those? I make tinfoil packets with the left overs and have them to enjoy the next morning or so….genius!! image (12) image (13) I warm them up in the oven when we are ready for them. The best part…..they are just as good the next day….and I don’t have more dirty dishes!! 😉 I hope you try these and enjoy them as much as we do!

What else is on the menu today? Well, it’s my dad’s birthday so mom is making his favorites:  baked ham with pineapple, baked potatoes, rolls, etc. I am baking him a pineapple cake with cream cheese frosting to celebrate his special day. I haven’t made this cake before so I’m anxious to see how it turns out. Perhaps I will blog about it tomorrow! Enjoy your Sunday…..I plan to do the same! ~Cheyenne

Something to celebrate….new bedding! ;)

I’m easily excited about certain things. To list a few:  towels that smell good after a shower (you know what I mean if you’ve ever put your fresh, clean face into a mildewy smelling towel), finding things where I left them (this is a great mystery to me), dish rags that carry no order (I will cover this later), and today’s biggest thrill……NEW bedding!!!

My dad gave me a Herberger’s gift certificate for Christmas (thanks for the new bedding, Dad). Normally, he give me ones from J.C. Penney’s, but my mom and I had discussed prior to Christmas how shoddy their merchandise has become. I used to buy all of my bedding, towels, St. John’s Bay tops, bras, gifts, etc. from them. I loved it because I could find pretty much anything there and it was great quality. The past year and a half things changed drastically.

Mom had picked up a comforter at Herberger’s earlier this fall. She has remarked several times how much they love it. I was intrigued because I love down comforters. In fact, we use one year round. I’m a lover of covers (hehe, couldn’t resist the rhyme). Anyway, I told  mom that I’d like to get one. Hence, I can thank her for actually going in and buying me the gift card from my dad (I’m sure he waited in the pickup). I can’t picture my dad in Herberger’s…..anyway…. 🙂

It didn’t take me long to locate the Living Quarters comforter online. I stumbled upon a huge sale too….bonus!!! So, I had quite a bit left on my gift card. I couldn’t simply have a balance….I HAD to spend it. I am very fond of nice, pretty sheets. So, I decided to see what Herberger’s had to offer. Mom and I also have discussed how hard it is to find “pretty” sheets these days. Not the solid color….boring, dull ones (like J.C. Penney’s has recently). How pleasantly surprised I was to find a really good selection of “pretty” sheets…..and on sale again! Yippee!!! I found two different styles to get, but the funny thing is the base color of both is purple. I like purple, don’t get me wrong, but my bedroom is far from “working” with that color. So, it’s also prompted me to repaint and organize my bedroom. I’m even going as far as completely redoing all of my bedroom furniture (this will be in a later post). You might say that I get inspired to do major overhauls like this in the strangest of ways. Anyway, doesn’t bother me. I like doing things like this.

So, back to my Living Quarters sheets…..I eagerly got them from UPS two days ago. I hurried home and carefully washed both sets. It killed me, but we slept with our old sheets and comforter for a day until I could get everything ready to use. As I got the sheets out of the dryer I noticed how unbelievably light and slippery they felt. Not like satin, but there is a definite “slip” to them. They actually have a somewhat sheen to them. They are truly as light as a feather. I’m giddy with excitement about this….can’t you tell?!

This morning, I stripped the bed (it’s not even Sunday…..I normally change bedding on this day….beginning of the week so may as well start it off right). :). Then, I joyously put on the prettiest set of sheets.

Pretty Sheets

Oh my……I had a smile on my face the entire time (no, I’m not kidding). I’m weird like that! I even took pictures….yep, weird like that too. 🙂 Then I unzipped the bag with the new down comforter in it (I always wonder how they get them in there so nicely…..if I had to repackage them it would be lumpy and bumpy….anyway…..and fluffed it up in the air as I put it on our bed. It looked heavenly….so, I laid down on the bed and posted the pics of my sheets. I got up and Tipster (our cat) decided to try out the new bedding also. He clearly loved it (I could tell by the cat smile on his face…..haha, that and the fact that he rolled around on it and laid there with his feet in the air).

image (3)image (4)

As I type this, Stone is in our new bedding also….watching a Garfield video. So, clearly, our new bedding is a hit. I can’t wait for Shane to come home so I can excitedly show it to him. I’m quite sure that he will give me “that look” and say, “Oooooo, goodie”!! He loves to give me a bad time (and I like to return the favor). 🙂

Tomorrow we are starting (finishing) another project…..completing the horse shelter near our house. We are 3/4 of the way finished, but we need to get the tin to finish the roof….then finish the wings off of each side. We are off to Rapid City this afternoon to get the tin.  I will blog about this project once we are finished. No time like the present though since the temperatures are going to be warmer. I’m kind of a fair-weather cowgirl like that…..I love to be outside….as long as the temperature is at least my age (40) and above! 😉

Have a great day, everyone! I plan to do the same! ~Cheyenne