Cowboy Cooks: Hunting Camp Stew

In case you didn’t notice all of the pickups driving a little bit slower down the highway…or that blaze orange and camouflage have suddenly appeared as a fashion statement…or, you know,   your husband/boyfriend/significant other has been missing since last Friday come  think of it, I am here to remind you.

It’s deer hunting season.

It’s official.

I think I’ve mentioned it before here, but deer hunting season is a holiday around here with its own set of traditions. Kids get out of school, basement poker becomes a popular activity, beer gets a new, hunting appropriate look and clean-cut men grow beards, wear vests, drink whisky, wake up at the butt-crack of dawn to walk miles and miles in the whipping wind only to  sleep together in close, smelly quarters in the middle of nowhere, rain, shine or snow, in what is known up here as  “hunting camp.”

Now hunting camp seems pretty rustic and masculine for the city boys whose main outdoor chore is weed eating around the rose bushes. Those boys itch for the day they can pack up their duffles with camouflage, bourbon, bullets and only one change of underwear and head for the hills and to their manly roots. Somehow it doesn’t ring as particularly romantic to the man who chases cattle out of his yard on a daily basis and frequently finds deer legs on his front porch, a gift from the canine friends he feeds perfectly decent dog food every morning.

But regardless of the man’s living situation, hanging with the guys at hunting camp is a staple of hunting season. Because really, after the big bucks are stalked and spotted and the farting, burping and scratching is freely is underway, what the season is really about is camaraderie and fellowship and getting back to the primal need of man to hunt and gather in order to feed his people.

Yes, it’s about the food. It always comes back to the food. So what an appropriate time for Cowboy to whip out his famous and simply rustic hunting camp stew. Because the second best thing to the whiskey at hunting camp is, hands down, the chow.

Our family takes great care when a wild animal is taken from our ranch. We prepare and put to use as much of the meat as we can, so this recipe  is the perfect solution for those cuts of meat that aren’t as savory and tender, but still deserve a place on your plate.

I haven’t mastered the art of cooking wild game, but I tell you when I leave it to the men in my life, they do not disappoint.

The following recipe is made with wild elk meat from an animal taken by pops from our ranch earlier this fall.

Elk meat, when prepared properly, is tender and lean and can be ground up to make delicious burger, steaks and roast. We use the leftover cuts of meat that don’t fit in those categories to prepare stir fry, appetizers, fajitas, chilli and, of course, this stew, but this recipe will be equally delicious if you want to use beef or venison.

So let’s get to it shall we?

Cowboy Cooks Hunting Camp Stew

Step 1: Grab a glass

First things first, put on your snarky apron, neckerchief, sexy cowboy hat and pour yourself a drink…oh, and remember to not say the words “sexy cowboy hat” in hunting camp.

This evening’s drink of choice: Black Velvet

Which brings up another hunting camp rule: avoid singing Alannah Myles’s “Black Velvet” at the top of your lungs while pouring yourself a drink. That will go over about as well as “sexy cowboy hat.”

Ok, when preparing himself a glass of whiskey, Cowboy sometimes likes to make his own, manly version of the famous and classy “whiskey sour”. So he adds a splash of lemon juice and an ice-cube.

No, it’s not your gramma’s drink.

Alright, now that we have that out of the way, let’s move on.

Step 2: Gather the ingredients: 

Here’s are the simply, basic ingredients that you’re gonna need besides whiskey.

  • 2 lbs elk meat (or venison or beef) cubed into bite sized pieces…man bites
  • 10 whole cherry/Roma tomatoes
  • 4 medium potatoes
  • 1 cup of fresh or frozen corn
  • 1 cup of fresh or frozen peas
  • 3 large carrots
  • ½ large purple onion
  • 1 T black pepper
  • ½ t red pepper
  • 1 t thyme leaves
  • ½ t rubbed sage
  • 3 fresh garlic cloves
  • salt to taste (and don’t go easy on the salt ok)
  • ½ stick butter
  • 8 cups water
  • 2 cups flour

Now if you are a man in a hunting camp, you more than likely packed and prepared for this hearty meal. If you are a woman in a little house in the middle of nowhere who put “go grocery shopping” on the bottom of her to do list, right behind the laundry, you will have to run to the neighbor’s to get potatoes and onions…and then come back home only to realize you don’t have carrots either…

don't look at me like that...

Ok, now that you have everything, lets move on.

Step 3: Prep your ingredients

Bring your cups of water to a boil in a large pot. And when I say large, I mean it. We had overflow people…making this a two pot stew…for two people.

You heard me, now go scrounge up that giant pot you save for cooking giant things…

Ok, now while you’re boiling the water cut up some things:

Cube the meat into man-sized pieces

Dice three garlic cloves

I know what you're thinking...pretty fancy dish for hunting camp...

Dice 1/2 purple onion

Cube 4 medium potatoes

Dice three large carrots…take a bite—what’s up doc?

Ok, now your water should be close to boiling.

Drop the potatoes and carrots in there to get them cooking.

Step 3: The meat

Now we are going to deal with the meat.

Warm up your skillet on medium/high heat and add ½ stick butter (and a little bacon grease left over from breakfast ) and melt. Use olive oil too if you want..or just butter…or just olive oil…whatever…it’s hunting camp, you can do what you want.

Now we are going to prepare a little flour coating for the meat.

Measure 2 cups of flour in a flat tupperwear or open bowl. To the flour add the black pepper, red pepper, thyme, sage and plenty of salt.

Mix this concoction together with your hands because you are manly like that.

Then give your meat a little dusting of salt and then coat the pieces in the flour mixture.

Now make sure your skillet is nice and hot and add the meat…then grunt like Tim the “Tool Man” Taylor because that’s what you do at hunting camp.

Now add the onions and garlic too.

Cook the meat to very rare. You won’t want to cook it all the way because it will have more cooking to do when you add it to the pot.

Go ahead, give it a taste.

Good right?

Ok now you can add it to the boiling water with those delicious chunks of carrot and potato. Boil for about 20 minutes or until potatoes are nearly done.

Step 4: Finishing it up

When your carrots and potatoes are done to your liking (about 15 minutes prior to serving)  add the rest of your colorful ingredients:

In goes the corn…

and the peas…

and the tomatoes

*queue tomato dropping action sequence*

Sweat a little because it’s about to boil over….

Now add some of the leftover flour mixture to the stew and cook until desired thickness

Simmer for about 15 minutes or until everything is cooked to the proper consistency.

Also, don’t forget to taste your work. I like a little more salt in my stew, others might want a little more heat, so adjust the seasoning as you go along your merry, manly way. This stew is pretty basic, which leave room for any kind of seasoning your manly heart desires.

Oh, and while your waiting, have someone make biscuits to go along with your hearty meal.

I am pretty gifted as far as baking goes, so I took on the task.

Yup. Ah Pilsbury, making regular wives into Betty Crocker every day.

Alright, now we’ve found ourselves adequately whiskied up and things are smelling a bit better in the hunting camp, I think it’s time for our final step.

Step 5: Eat!

Now if you’re actually in a hunting camp instead of a tiny house with your wife, I would like to imagine that you would serve this up in some of those tin camping bowls. But my white dishes with the blue design will have to do for today.

Now stand back in your apron and not-sexy at all cowboy hat as the rest of the men at camp give you some grunts and thumbs up while they devour your stew.

There won’t be any left over for lunch I guarantee…I mean, playing poker and swapping stories around the fire is exhausting.

Happy hunting everyone!

Cowboy Cooks Garden Tomato Soup

Ok speaking of tomatoes…(because we were speaking of tomatoes weren’t we?) I am so excited to share with you some news I’ve been waiting for all summer while we grilled burgers outside at 10pm because we just got in and the sun hadn’t set yet. I love those days. I do.  And I love burgers, what girl doesn’t? But as the summer winds down and the days get shorter the one thing that keeps me from whining like a little girl who wants to stay up past her bedtime is this: longer nights divided by more Cowboy time in the kitchen = rich, hearty food that tastes like heaven…which results in a little something to take the edge off the cooler weather and inevitable winter…oh, and a little extra padding on my rear-end to help keep me warm.

Yes, cream and butter and hearty seasonings have blown back into my life with the autumn wind and I’m in the market for bigger stretchy pants because, you guessed it…

Cowboy’s cute butt is back in the kitchen…

And here he is, with his favorite ingredient: heavy whipping cream

and this time he’s outdone himself.

Now, I don’t like to push the man. Really I don’t. He has been busy this summer working on getting our new house squared away, building me picture frames, chasing cows around, fixing things I’ve recently broken, and, you know, working. So I haven’t asked him if he has any new recipes brewing up there under his hat. I haven’t mentioned to him that I am sstttaarrvvinng over here.  No I haven’t. But this weekend as he watched his dearly beloved sob and stomp and whine and worry and nearly lose an eye as she tackled the age-old tradition of vegetable canning only to clean it all up, put her hands on her hips, reach for her goggles and declare that she was now going to attempt tomato soup…at 6 pm…I think he felt the need to run interference.

Because he must have been starving too…and he couldn’t wait until 3 am to enjoy his wife’s amateur tomato soup attempt.

So last Sunday Cowboy swooped in and rescued his maiden in fleece pants from her overzealous self by suggesting that perhaps he could try cooking tomato soup. That maybe he had an idea for a recipe. That possibly it would be good for her to find her camera and computer and do what she does best…document it.

And boy am I glad I did. Because the thing with Cowboy’s cooking is this: it’s all in his head, like a story or a song–if it’s not written down the melody might change a bit or the plot might thicken sooner the next time around.

So I gladly handed over the metaphorical apron, grabbed my camera and notebook and watched as the man I married whipped up a little piece of heaven right there on the very same table where I was nearly murdered by a jalapeno pepper. It was a beautiful thing and I know you’re going to love it….

and I am only just a little jealous of the ease at which this man tackles life…and soup.

So grab your favorite autumn brew and those pesky tomatoes…and then grab a few more because you’re going to want to make a double batch of this stuff:

Cowboy Cooks Garden Tomato Soup

Ok, here’s what you need, gathered and deliberately documented by following Cowboy around the kitchen using the journalist skills I acquired in college, and that cute little reporter hat, pen and paper pad.

  • 3 cups diced fresh tomatoes
  • 1 cup, or 3 medium garden carrots (use more if you wanna)
  • 1/4 large purple onion
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic (I have to tell you, I was looking everywhere in this tiny kitchen for fresh garlic when I was making my salsa. I whined and dug and threw things around. Cowboy mentions he would like some garlic and it just magically appeared in the cupboard. This is my life. I get a mess, Cowboy gets a magic cupboard…anyway moving on)
  • 1 12 oz can of tomato sauce
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp celery seed
  • 1 tsp dill weed (haha, dill weed)
  • 1 Tbsp basil (fresh would be best, but I forgot to plant basil, so dried tastes great too)
  • 1 Tbsp fresh, chopped cilantro (or dried will work too)
  • 1 tsp rosemary (we had a little rosemary debate, you know, now that I am an expert. I didn’t win. But if the little rosemary seed floaters annoy you like they annoy me, just put in a 1/2 tsp)
  • Ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 (heaping) tsp chopped chives
  • 4 bouillon cubes
  • 1 stick butter (or 8 Tbsp if it makes you feel better)
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream (get your cream out of the fridge before use and set it on the counter for a bit. This way, when you add it to the hot soup it will blend well.)

Step 1: Call your Pops who is home alone to invite him for supper. I mean, he was kind enough to grow these tomatoes (and carrots) for you.

Step 2: Serve you and  your cook an Autumn Ale, you know, to keep with the mood of the season. 

Octoberfest. Perfect.

Step 3: Sharpen your knives.

In Cowboy’s kitchen, this is the step that takes the longest. I mean, he has a knife briefcase. 


And in that knife briefcase lives this mamajamma.

I know this looks weird, but Cowboy tests the sharpness of his knives by attempting to shave the hair off his knuckles…just like John Wayne or something, I dunno.

I think I said something like “Holy Shit!”

Step 3: Chop and simmer the veggies

  • Dice three cups worth of garden tomatoes

and put those babies in large a pot to simmer on low while you prep the other veggies

  • Dice three garden carrots. Look at these heavenly creatures!

I especially like this one. Pops said he was holding the rest of the carrots together when he found him.

What a nice little carrot. I liked him so much I ate him.

Ok, yeah, anyway,  dice about one cup worth of carrots.

  • Now dice up 1/4 of that large, purple onion…

..sniff, sniff..please don’t cry.

  • Add the onions and carrots to the pot with the tomatoes
  • And pour in the tomato sauce
While the veggies and sauce simmer on low, move on to
Step 4: The seasoning
First, plop in the butter
Yup. The whole stick…or if you’d like, just 8 tablespoons.
Now, in no particular order add the seasonings to the pot, tasting and testing as you go to make sure you just love it.
1 bay leaf
1 tsp celery seed
1 tsp dill weed
1 Tbsp basil
1 Tbsp fresh, chopped cilantro
1 tsp rosemary
Ground black pepper to taste
1 (heaping) tsp chopped chives
4 bouillon cubes
Now let the concoction simmer this way on low for a bit.  Have some more brew. Set your table. Read Cowboy magazine, whatever. You must cook this all up, letting the flavors blend and allowing the onions and carrots to cook.
About 30 minutes.
Step 5: The best part

Need I say more?

Once the veggies are nice and cooked, measure yourself out a heaping cup of your room temperature heavy whipping cream and slowly stir it into the soup.
Now say “mmmm….mmmmm….mmmmm….” while Campbells sobs silently to himself…
Let warm for a few minutes and…well…what you will have there people is some damn good tomater soup.
Damn good!
So waste no time…
Step 6: Serve it up!
If you want, make yourself a grilled cheese to go with it.
But honestly, you won’t want to touch that stupid sandwich. My photos in the dim lighting of my home do not do it justice.

All you will want is this soup.


And Ever.


Cowboy Cooks Crunchy French Toast

Well Cowboy got his cute butt back in the kitchen this weekend. It was no big deal, except the clouds opened up, the sun shone down on the barnyard and all the animals and the birds in the woods met me outside in the morning spring air and joined me in my pouffy dress as I  spontaneously choreographed a song and dance number appropriately titled “Hallelujah.”

And then after my big finish I pulled myself together and promptly joined Cowboy inside because I didn’t want to miss this. I mean he’s been a busy man who, despite my protesting, has left his apron folded up for so long he actually forgot about it. But this weekend enough was enough. After weeks of overcooked noodles, undercooked chicken, Fruity Pebbles for breakfast, lunch, dinner and bagels for dessert I was carb loaded, tired of googling recipes with three ingredients and ready for some real, hearty, cooking.

And ready for breakfast, Cowboy style.

Turns out I was not the only one who has been impatiently awaiting Cowboy’s triumphant return to his craft. Cowboy’s dad has been phoning in his requests for recipes for Cowboy to tweak and try for months. Recipes he’s concocted or dreamed about while flipping through and falling asleep to home renovation channels, reality TV and hunting shows.

Yes, this breakfast idea came into Cowboy’s culinary life via a phone call from his dad, who has probably found the only hunting program on the face of the planet that has a cooking segment. But I guess you come across some surprising programming when you are faced with insomnia and one trillion channels.

Anyway, after three prodding phone calls from his loving father, Cowboy caved and began the process of analyzing the ingredients and making tweaks to Cowboy this recipe up.

So I’d like to take a moment to thank father-in-law for his persistence. See, lately I’ve had this brilliant idea to partake in lunges and boxing and weight lifting and other torturous activities under the guidance of a DVD staring a couple TV personalities who go by the name of Jillian and Bob. Did I mention the lunges. Lots and lots of lunges.

So for the love of Martha, I was starving.

Let’s get to it.

Cowboy Cooks Crunchy French Toast

Step 1: Hydration

This particular morning called for the classic Orange Julius.

My recipe:

  • 6 oz frozen orange juice from concentrate
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • splash of vanilla
  • 10 ice cubes

Throw in a blender and blend away.

And then gasp as your husband grabs the vodka and turns you into a sinner and your innocent Orange Julius into something much less family-mall-day and a little more rock-star rebellious–The Vodkaulius. Or, if you have Malibu rum you could turn your morning into a tropical getaway by creating what we fondly refer to as The Malibulious.

Please don’t judge us.

Step 2: The Ingredients

Ok, once you are adequately hydrated and liquored up at 11 am, fumble around the kitchen and gather the following:

  • 8 slices of bread (Cowboy likes Texas Toast the best. Wifey couldn’t find Texas Toast at the grocery store. We worked through it)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ¼ cup milk
  • ¼ cup heavy whipping cream (yes, I said it)
  • 2 cups flakey cereal (We used Honey Bunches of Oats, but corn flakes or some sort of bran could work too)
  • A sprinkle of cinnamon
  • A sprinkle of sugar

Now step back, throw some bacon on the griddle, take a sip of your VodkaMalibulious and wonder how you could go wrong with heavy whipping cream, sugar and vodka in the morning.

You will not come up with an answer.

Moving on.

Step 3: Mix it up

  • Warm up your griddle or pan to about 350 while you mix up the ingredients and wait on the bacon (because if you think you are going to have a Cowboy breakfast without bacon your are sorely mistaken my friend.)

  • In a casserole dish or other flat container crack three eggs

  • Add the cream, milk and vanilla

  • Then whisk (or fork) it all together

  • Sprinkle in the cinnamon and sugar. We have a fancy 2-in-1 cinnamon and sugar grinder because apparently we use the combo enough to warrant this type of purchase. Try not to be jealous.

  • Here’s where Cowboy, in his true spontaneous recipe fashion, threw me a curveball secret ingredient and reached for the brown sugar I didn’t know about (and neither did you) and added a few pinches of the sweet stuff. Ok, ok, things were getting serious around here. I started lunging.

  • Ok, now set that concoction aside, in a separate casserole dish add your cereal

  • And crush it up a bit, Cowboy style (or you know, you could use a utensil if you aren’t man enough to use your knuckles…geesh)

Step 4: Cook it already

Alrighty, now we bring it all together.

  • Make sure your griddle is saturated with cooking oil and the oil is nice a hot.

  • Dip a piece of bread in the egg/milk/sugar/crazy healthy concoction, fully coating both sides, regular french toast style

  • Then move the saturated bread slice over to the cereal and coat it evenly on both sides

  • Now throw it on the griddle

and continue the process until your griddle is full of coated bread and the house smells like breakfast and sweet cinnamon and sugar and everything that’s right and good with the world.

  • Cook the toast about three minutes on this side or until the cereal is nice and golden brown. While you’re waiting get your syrup and bacon and all your breakfast additions ready to roll so you won’t have to wait one extra minute to eat. Now flip ’em over!

  • Wait another three minutes or so, plate the golden, sweet, crunchy breakfast toasts up and turn around to find that your dear wife has called your in-laws and they are waiting patiently with their own Vodkauliouses, bacon, syrup and snarky napkins for this hunting show inspired, father suggested, breakfast item…and that same wife is lunging and singing a Disney song. And then whisper to yourself “what have I become?”

And enjoy…with bacon and maple syrup…

or bacon, eggs and a little splash of summer in the form of homemade Chokecherry syrup.

Ahhh, heaven is a sunny weekend and breakfast at the ranch.

Have a great Monday…

If you need me, I’ll be lunging…

Pizza Cook-off: Cowboy vs. Cowgirl

Ah, pizza! Pizza for breakfast. Pizza for lunch. Pizza at suppertime. Hell, pizza for a snack. I do it. You should too.

In honor of the upcoming Super Bowl Sunday extravaganza, you know, where Dominos Pizza is expected to deliver 1.2 million pies to Americans in our homes where we are all whooping and hollering and sporting jerseys, Cowboy and I decided we wanted in on the action.

Not the jersey thing, but the pizza thing.

But we had to get creative, because it turns out Dominos doesn’t deliver out here.

What? It’s only 90 miles of blowing, drifting snow and now, I heard, a little ice will be splashed in for good measure. Geesh.

Oh, the price we pay to live in the wilderness.

Anyway, it just so happens that Cowboy has in his super secret hiding place where his super secret recipes are stored a super secret, super crunchy, super thin, super easy pizza crust recipe.

And then, of course, he has in his super secret cooking brain super delicious homemade pizza concoctions that never fail him—i.e.: the breakfast pizza, the chicken alfredo pizza, the taco pizza, and of course, the BBQ beef pizza.

And that’s what he’s cooking for us today.

Perfect. Can’t wait. Sounds hearty and meaty and cheesy and very, very Cowboy.

Which got me thinking…hey I might have something to contribute here that doesn’t involve a hunk of cheese in the shape of a holiday figure.

I might have an idea for a pizza that is very light, very vegetably, very colorful, very, very…well…Cowgirl.

And so the Cowboy vs. Cowgirl pizza challenge idea was born. To which Cowboy replied, “Whatever, you don’t stand a chance noodle arms.”

And I, with my quick and clever wit shot back “No, you don’t stand a chance…you, you…beef arms…”


I turned and ran the three steps to the bedroom and cried in the corner while I hugged my knees, realizing I started something that couldn’t be undone, much like that hobbit movie with the ring and the, well….nevermind.

Anyway, this ain’t gonna be pretty.  But I’m brave, despite the size of my muscles and the range of my cooking skills.

Great idea.



Either way, Cowboy or Cowgirl, I think you will enjoy these recipes. If anything, just prepare the crust and add your own toppings, because really, you can’t go wrong.

So let’s get ya going on the crust while I pull myself together and put on my Cowgirl cooking outfit.

The crust:

Below is a picture of Cowboy’s super secret recipe that has been with him since freshman year of college. A recipe he no doubt acquired from his momma or his sister and wrote down in a dark room with only one light bulb dangling from the ceiling and then promptly folded it up and shoved it in his underwear drawer or under his mattress or in the ceiling paneling until he needed it again.

Well, at least that’s what it looks like.


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees while you gather the following ingredients.

  • 1 cup water
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 tbs oil
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 ¼  tsp dry yeast – bread machine yeast

Photo for you, cause I had no idea what this was...

Pour all of these ingredients in a big bowl and mix together.

Here you will see Cowboy using his Christmas present from his biggest fan, my momma

It seems like cheating, it’s so easy, but if you don’t have a Kitchen Aid mixer, that’s ok. Neither did we all of our lives and we were not pizza-less. Just add the above ingredients to a bowl and mix with your hands until everything is mashed together and you achieve the proper consistency so you can roll it out successfully and get it to the pizza pan.

You may have to add a bit more flour as you go to get it just right.

Ok, this look familiar?

Sprinkle flour on your surface and plop down the dough.

Roll out with rolling pin until it is stretched out big enough to cover your pizza pan.

Spray your pan with cooking spray and transfer the dough.

This recipe makes enough dough for you to decide if  you would like your crust a bit thicker or a bit thinner, because who’s the boss? Not Tony Danza. You. You’re the boss.

Now, use a knife to cut off the excess dough.

What you do with that dough is up to you.

I made a pizza dough snowman.

Of course I did.

Ok, “Ta da!” the crust is ready. Perfection.

Cowboy and I both used this pizza dough recipe, but I cooked mine for about 5 minutes to get it nice and brown and crispy before adding the toppings and throwing the pizza pie back in the oven to heat it up.

Cowboy piled all the toppings on the uncooked crust and put it all in the oven to melt together.

So let the games begin…with my pizza. Because I like the phrase “Ladies First.”

Always have.

Cowgirl Pizza
Chicken-Bacon Pesto

Once I convinced Cowboy to prepare my crust for me (which you will notice wasn’t quite as beautifully executed as the one he took ownership of) by using my wit and charm and negotiation skills I prepared the following toppings.

  • 3 chicken breasts, seasoned, baked and shredded
  • ½ lb of bacon, cooked and chopped
  • 1 ½ cups feta cheese
  • 1 can artichokes, drained, rinsed and chopped
  • Sliced tomatoes
  • Chopped green onions
  • Olive oil
  • 1 package pesto mix (or make your own, that would be better. But you know who you’re dealing with here…I had to make the packaged pesto twice because of a common mishap I have with reading directions on the back of packaged food items. Happened all the time in college with hamburger helper…I’ll tell you about it sometime)

The oven was preheated to 350, so I threw my pizza crust in there for about 5 minutes to get it nice and golden brown while I incorrectly followed the instructions on the back of the pesto mix package and then started over and stirred it up correctly for crying out loud.

When the crust was finished I took it out of the oven and spread the pesto mix over the crust and began layer my toppings, under Cowboy’s watchful and judgment-filled stare…(oh, and his underdeveloped camera skills)….

I accomplished all this while, enduring, before I even poured myself a glass of wine (which I had to postpone until the project was complete to ensure total concentration…) comments such as these:

“Where’s the cheese?”

“Chicken? Chicken is for vegetarians.”

“Sniff, sniff…what’s that smell? Hmmm…yeah…well, what ever…”

“What are those green things? Artic-whats?”

“Well, if you call that pizza.”

My confidence was shaken.

But I held it together and when my toppings were beautifully assembled on the not so beautiful crust, I put the pizza in the oven to bake for about 10 minutes while I ran back to the bedroom and cried a little.

The buzzer beeped

I came out.

I pulled my pizza from the oven and cut us some slices…


I ate three peices.

Despite his skepticism and his lack of love of artic-whats, vegetable chicken and feta cheese, Cowboy had two.

I think that’s what I call a hit.

So I poured myself a glass of the good stuff and left the dishes for the dogs.

It’s about time they started earning their keep around here.

Now Cowboy’s turn, which is sure to involve a fair amount of cheese and seasoning and patience and calm, cool and collectiveness that I have never possessed…oh Martha Stewart, we don’t stand a chance….

Cowboy Pizza
Zesty BBQ Beef

Ok, it took Cowboy a day to recover from the shock to his system that was my pizza. So day two, Cowboy began his pizza excursion by digging in the freezer for a 3.5 lb beef roast, seasoning it to his liking and  submerging it 3/4 of the way in water in our crock-pot…

…and slow cooking it for a good five to six hours.

If you need to, click here for the basic instructions for cooking a beef roast–there are about a million different easy ways to cook it, but takes some time and patience, which I don’t seem to possess either. I will tell you it was torture milling around the house with this slab of meat cooking and smelling so deliciously scrumtious and hearty all day. All. Day.

By the time we got started on the pizza project it was 5:30pm and I was sure I was going to die of starvation.

Ok, so while the beef is finishing up its cooking process, pour yourself a glass of whiskey (because Cowboys can cook while they drink…seems to make it better, not worse. Someday I will master the only multi-tasking activity males possess)

Looks like we need to call the liquor store to see if they deliver...

…and gather the following ingredients for the BBQ sauce.


  • 1 18 oz bottle of BBQ sauce
  • ½ cup Jelly – Strawberry or Grape
  • 2 Tblsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 ½ Tblsp minced garlic
  • 1 Tblsp garlic pepper
  • 1 Tblsp minced onion
  • 1 tsp Steakhouse seasoning grinder (Cowboy says: “I don’t know what this is exactly, but it’s got a bunch of delicious shit in it”)
  • 1 tsp red pepper
  • 1 Tblsp cajun seasoning
  • 1 tsp Liquid Smoke
  • A couples shakes of celery salt
  • 4 ounces of scotch (or whiskey of course)

Oh, and also grab yourself the following for the pizza toppings:

  • 1 small onion
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese

Ok, pour all of the sauce ingredients, except the scotch, into a big bowl.

Then, to help you get all of the BBQ sauce out of the bottle, pour the scotch into the BBQ bottle, shake it up and dump the concoction into the bowl too.

Who said Cowboy’s weren’t thrifty?

Now mix it all up!

Ok, your roast is smelling delicious and is ready to be brought out into the world.

*Cowboy only used about half of his roast for the pizza, so if you have a big 4 lb roast, cut it in half and use the other half for sandwiches or something. That would be good.

Now shred your roast with a fork

And then cut it up a bit more with a knife

Now taste your sauce to make sure it is delicious. Add spices and more scotch if you need to.

Next, combine your shredded roast and the sauce in the crockpot and cook on high (or 350, depending on your roasting method) for about an hour to let the seasoning and sauce soak in and make it nice and tasty.

And add that onion if you want to. Or you can save it for the top of the pizza.

While you wait, this would be a good time to prepare your pizza crust and preheat the oven to 350.

And listen to Cowboy say things like:

“If this roast is any indication of what my pizza is going to taste like, your pizza doesn’t stand a chance….”

And wipe away tears.

Ok, like I said, Cowboy chose not to pre-cook his pizza crust. So when your roast is done, slap your BBQ beef concoction onto the uncooked pizza crust you prepared.

Now it’s time for the cheese! Cowboy was wondering where it was? Well, he found it.

Place pizza in the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until crust and cheese are a nice golden brown…

…and you will have this…

And it will be delicious.

And resemble, in no way, the pizza your wife came up with.

And you will determine that to compare the two would be like comparing apples to oranges…just like you and said wife.

And said wife will say: “That means we both win!”

And you will say together, in wedded bliss unison: ” Take that Dominos.”

And ride off into the sunset.

Happy Super Bowl Weekend party people! I hope your team wins.

Cowboy Cooks Crock Pot Chili

Ok party people, the holidays are officially over here at the ranch and I have dubbed it that way by taking down my beloved tree, tossing the wreath, unplugging the lights and packing my decorations up nice and neat (well, neat enough).

Because I needed to cleanse the holiday, get rid of all of the distraction so I can begin work on my will power.

I mean, the second Christmas at the in-laws over New Years really put to the test just  how many cookies and cocktail weenies and shrimps and candy canes and cheese balls a girl could possibly eat without touching a single vegetable unless I found it coated in some sort of cheese or white sauce during the last month—yup, I really pushed the limit of those stretchy pants….

…oh stretchy pants, how I love thee…

Anyway, now is the time. Back to reality.  Back to real pants. No more sugar cookies for breakfast. No more cheese ball for lunch. Because in 2 days we are hitting the slopes for a weekend of music and mayhem and physical activity, and I have exactly 48 hours to get in shape, dammit…

See ya next year...

That is what I told husband as I was lugging the Christmas boxes upstairs and instructing him to take the candy cane covered tree out of my sight…

But apparently he had other plans.

Plans that included this chili.

Because what every ski bunny needs after a long day skidding, face-first down the slopes, is a nice hot bowl of chili to ease the pain of her lack of athleticism and grace…and we are making it tonight to take with us…

…and it’s gonna be just the way Cowboy likes it, finally, so pipe down about your aversion to anything above mild and get ready to feel some real heat ok?

Cowboy staring down the spices...concocting plans...loving every minute

Well, at least the northern states’ version of heat. Cowboy would like to apologize in advance to anyone from Texas or New Mexico who knows how to assemble a chili that makes your aunt Edna breathe fire…and like it. This is a German boy’s, crock pot attempt…and it’s damn good–well as good as anything can be without butter and flour.

Ok, hold on to your long underwear, cause Cowboy’s cookin’ snow meltin’, nose de-frostin’, wool sock wearin’ chili. And he ain’t taming it down for no one…especially me.

Step One: First things first

Grab yourself a beer why don’t ya. And an apron that says exactly what you’re thinking. Oh, and a crock pot, or some version of the thing with a lid

Now gather the following ingredients:

  • 1 lb hamburger
  • 1 1/2 lbs stew meat
  • 1 large red onion
  • 8 oz container whole mushrooms
  • and as many jalapenos you can handle

    I can't handle it....!!!!

  • Brown the hamburger in the crock pot if you have the time and John Wayne is on anyway, or you can just throw it in a pan on the stove. Add some chili powder and salt and pepper if you want
  • While the hamburger is cooking chop the red onion, mushrooms and jalapenos. (I didn’t get any photos of this cause I was busy finishing off the last of the Christmas fudge, you know, to get it out of sight).
  • Now throw the hamburger, stew meat (uncooked), onion, mushrooms and jalapenos (add some of the jalapeno juice if you’re feeling brave and daring) in the pot where they can all get acquainted before the real party begins…

Now you’re ready for the hard part–gathering the rest of the ingredients to dump in the pot and stir.

Literally, that is all you do.

And taste.

And smell

And tell yourself over and over what an amazing chef you are…

I think I might even be capable of completing this recipe, if I weren't so distracted by the view...and those damn candy canes

Step 2: Ok, dig in the pantry and pull out the following ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • Black pepper to taste (a little more than a little but a little less than a lot)
  • Red pepper to taste (Cowboy says, “Red pepper is a tricky little devil…it doesn’t taste so strong at first, but it’s the after burn that kills ya…ooofff…”)
  • 7 oz can green chilies
  • 28 oz can of baked beans
  • 15 oz can navy beans (drained) (“navy beans, navy beans, navy beans…” Lunch Lady Land? Anyone? Anyone?…)
  • 15 oz can kidney beans (drained)
  • 15 oz can pinto beans (drained)
  • 15 oz can spicy chili beans
  • 15 oz can black beans (drained)
    (Cowboy says “You don’t have to use all these  beans, but I do cause I like ’em.”)
  • 15 oz can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon chili sauce (if you don’t have this you can use Tabasco sauce…Cowboy can’t pronounce the name of this, but made it clear that  “it adds a delicious spicy taste to things..anything…says so right on the bottle.”
  • Oh, and you can add some Cajun seasoning too, if you’re feeling particularly southern today.
  • And last but not least, of course, the chili powder. Get acquainted with it, cause, as I was told, without it, chili is just a bunch of beans.
  • Ok, so in no particular order, open your cans and your lids and dump it all in the pot.

  • Now get that chili powder out of your holster and give it a few generous shakes.

Keep adding until it tastes good to you.

And now for, the secret ingredient: the fresh, whole cherry tomatoes. Which are apparently important and so enticing that I accidentally used a few on my salad for lunch (oh yeah, a salad…this is serious).

Anyway, Cowboy noticed. “Looks like I’m missing 5 to 6 tomatoes,” he said.

To which I replied, “Tomatoes? Tomatoes? Do those look like snickerdoodles?”

  • So now you add those tomatoes to the chili and mix it all up until you’re happy with it.

  • Now put that crock pot on low and wait.

Because it wouldn’t be Cowboy’s Kitchen without the wait. And we skipped the butter this time around, so I am sure you’re all thrown for a loop.

If you’re starving, like me, you can bring the concoction to a low boil/simmer for about 1 hour and that should be good enough to eat. But you can’t overcook it. The longer it stews the better.

Cowboy recommends the following, word for word:

“Have all this shit ready in the morning, throw it in a pot, put it on low and eat it for supper…that’s the best way to do it…”

We are going to put it in a Tupperwear, freeze it and transport it a few hundred miles to Lutsen Mountains in Minnesota, where we will fling our bodies down a slippery, ice packed mountain of danger and when we are done we will drink something to take the edge off and listen to some good tunes at a mountain music festival this weekend.

And then enjoy the hell out of this chili.

And I will work on my plan of not breaking every bone in my body, or face skidding, or crying, or panicking.

Or at least escaping death.

Pray for me.

But don’t pray for this chili.

Just make it and you shall be saved.

Or at least warmed up.

And unless you wanna come with us, I’ll see ya when I get back….

…hopefully in one piece…


Cowboy Cooks: Garlic Beer Can Chicken and Deep Fried Green Beans

One of Cowboy’s specialties is seasoning. He seasons everything. He stands in front of the spice cabinet while rubbing his chin and saying “hmmmmm…” for a good amount of time before he delves into any kind of grilling or baking or frying recipe. He smells the stuff, he breathes in the aroma, he says “hmmmm…” again….

and then he sharpens his knives…

Yup, Cowboy’s cooking is well thought out. And his knives are sharp.

And so we embark on another four hour cooking project.

Because little sister came home a bit upset that she missed the last Cowboy concoction, so she made a formal request that on this trip she be involved in the process.

So Cowboy began a plan to cook something she might like. And vowed she wouldn’t get away without getting her hands dirty.

And I vowed to make her wear a neckerchief.

Don't worry, she loves it when I do this.

Poor little sister had no idea what she was getting into.

And after a good nine hours on a train in the middle of a blizzard with no sleep and a “few” drinks the night before, little sister may have very well relinquished her request if she could, but Cowboy made good on his promise to teach this young woman a thing or two about seasoning…

…and how to really cook in college.

Because the following recipe was developed and tested tried and true while Cowboy was earning what some call an education.

Yup, this little masterpiece would hang out on a low heat grill for up to six hours, seasoned to perfection, while Cowboy and his roommate….er…studied…taking breaks to check the moisture of the meat, to baste, to monitor.

And this process worked really well for them, because as soon as their studying was done, as soon as they knew everything there was to know about philosophy or psychology or introduction to walking, the chicken was there waiting for them…

Or maybe it went more like — as soon as they were nice and toasted, so was the chicken.

I think that sounds more like the truth.

Speaking of toasty, let’s begin with the warm up:

Cowboy’s beverage of choice on a cold day…

…and mine. As you can see, I’ve come prepared.

And little sister?

Yeah, little sister figured she had enough the night before.

Ok, now that we’re all settled in, I present to you…

The chicken:

Step One: Pre-heat

Here is where I would like to tell you to get up in the morning, have some coffee with a splash of Bailey’s,  pre-heat the grill to 225 degrees and be prepared to hang around and hem and haw over the bird for a good six hours in the warm sunshine. And it will be worth it.

But this is what we’re dealing with on this blustery, November day in North Dakota.

And by blustery, I mean, with the wind chill,  20 degrees below zero.

Ain’t no body grillin’ today.

So we improvised.

And preheated the oven, located inside our cozy abode, to 350.

Now for the ingredients:

Chicken Rub:

  • 1 small yellow onion
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1/4 cup Olive Oil
  • 1 pinch Basil
  • 2 pinches Poultry Seasoning
  • 2 pinches Weatherford Famous Seasoning (Cowboy says: “Not sure what in it, but that shit ‘s good)
  • Sprinkle of Celery Salt
  • Seven grinder twists of Garlic Sea Salt
  • Sprinkle Dillweed  (the seasoning, not your uncle Bob)
  • 1 pinch Lemon Pepper
  • 2 pinches Parsley
  • 1 pinch Ground Bell Pepper
  • Sprinkle Cayenne Pepper
  • 2 pinches Rosemary
  • 1 secret ingredient (shhh, I’ll tell you about it later)


  • 1 tired, travel weary little sister
  • 1 woman with a camera and a growling stomach
  • 1 Cowboy
  • 1 blizzard
  • 2 neckerchiefs
  • 1 tiny house
  • and a couple dogs

Step 2: The Chicken Rub

  • Mince  garlic and  onion and place in small bowl

Woah those little ones are rank…

Keep it together girl, Cowboy’s don’t cry.

  • Add  extra virgin olive to the garlic and onion mix

And if that doesn’t look delicious enough, I have to tell you what happened next…

..trying to hide his secret ingredient, Cowboy snuck behind my back and added two tablespoons of melted butter to the mix as well…still a little reluctant to fully expose his methods in the kitchen.

I yelled “Stop! You must tell the people what you do! You must tell them everything!”

Cowboy replied, “Can’t I have any secrets?”

I hollered, “No! No! There are no secrets from me. There are no secrets from them. There are no secrets you can keep!”

Little sister worried about our marriage falling apart before her eyes and blurted, “Oh, look at the pretty horses out the window.”

So I did…

And so did Cowboy…

Then all was right with the world again, so he gave in and agreed about the secret thing…

…but not before giving me this look.

…sometimes I get this look.


I hate this look.

But I must fight to give the people what they want. I must fight to win. So it’s worth it.

Ok, moving on.

  • Now add the rest of the seasonings to the garlic, yellow onion, olive oil and BUTTER mixture

(Just a note, the above seasoning measurements do not have to be precise. Cowboy doesn’t use measuring spoons and you don’t have to either. Just do what feels right…and smells right)

  • Now mix the concoction with your hands so you’ll be mistaken for a grilled chicken for two to three days—a great way to attract manly men. Little sis can thank me at the wedding

Now it’s time to rub that chicken up.

There she is, just waiting for her rub down.....(sorry, that was inappropriate)

  • Grab the bird and separate the skin from the meat and, using your hand, thoroughly, and surprisingly violently, shove the spice rub in there like so:

  • Rub the outside and inside of the chicken with the mix as well

Little sister has never been more thankful for being spared of a task…

Step 3: Time for the beer:

First, when your little sister asks the following question…

“What does the beer do for the chicken?”

…you must answer…

“It’s for moisture…it gives it a little bit of taste…”

And then you can continue

  • Crack open a can of your favorite beer. It doesn’t have to be camouflage Busch, but apparently that is our flavor of choice

  • The can should only be about ½ or ¾ full. And to get it that way, you know what to do.

Cowboy says: “If you accidentally drink too much, which can happen from time to time, don’t worry ‘bout it. Just open a new beer and repeat.”

  • Take the tab off the beer for the Ronald McDonald house
  • Place beer on the special beer can chicken rack, which is made for this sort of thing.

Cowboy speaks again: “If you don’t own a beer can chicken rack,  you sure as shit can weld one up quick-like….if you’re a real redneck…I mean cowboy….just bend some iron, use barbed wire, you know, that sort of thing.”

  • Place the unsuspecting chicken on the beer can like so:

Poor innocent, so trusting...she never saw it coming...

  • And now another secret…more butter. Add another 2 tbsp of butter between the meat and the skin of the bird

Now to cook the thing….which requires a bit of explanation, because, like I said, if this were a summer day and not the middle of a blizzard, we would put the bird on the grill in the morning and cook it all day on low while we basked in the summer sun with a few beers of our own while we waited happily for about 5 to 6 hours.

It would be a major ordeal.

A holiday.

An event it itself.

But here, because of the cold and the time restraints, we baked the chicken on 350 for about 3 hours.

Here’s a link that explains how long to cook a chicken based on how big your bird is. Chicken Cook Time

I'LL see YOU later.

So Cowboy waits for his beer can chicken.

In the cold of November.

In the house.

And while he waits, he deep fat fries things….

Like these homemade potato chips for the guests while they wait…

Yeah, he just whipped those up.

But we must stay on task…

On to the next part of our meal.

Step 4: The Green Beans (how Cowboy gets his vegetables…deep fried and golden)


Now you must answer another question as sister decides she feels well enough for a small drink:

“How many green beans are there?”

“In the world? A billion”

“No, in this bag.”

“Oh, I don’t know, a few big handfuls.”

Ok then,

  • A few big handfuls of fresh green beans with the ends removed
  • 4 cups pretzels
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 ½ tbsp Weatherford Famous Seasoning
  • 1 tbsp Tony’s Seasoning (Cowboy’s Favorite)
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ cup cream or milk
  • Frying oil

Now get out that deep fryer you’ve been dying to use (or you can use a frying pan with deep sides as well) and make sure your oil is hot and sizzley, about 350 degrees.

  • Clean and prep the green beans
  • Dump the pretzels on the counter and crush with a rolling pin. (You didn’t think Cowboy would get through this entire dinner without using a rolling pin did ya? )

  • Place pretzels in a medium bowl and add the flour. Mix together.

  • Add the Weatherford Seasoning and the Tony’s Seasoning to the mix

  • In a separate bowl, crack two eggs and add the cream or milk and whisk (or fork…you know the drill)

Now all is prepared and right with the world and you my begin the assembly line:

  • Dip a handful of green beans in the egg and cream mix…

  • then dip in the pretzel mix, coating each bean evenly…

  • and then place the beans on into the fryer

  • Cook each batch of beans for 5-7 minutes, or until the batter is golden brown
  • Remove from the fryer and place on a paper towel

Hey, hands off my beans! Wait for the chicken! Where's the damn chicken?

Phew…Ok. By now hours have passed and I am a good pound and 1/2 of fried potatoes and four glasses of wine in.

At the beginning of the evening I looked like this:

I have since found a new, styling way to wear my neckerchief:

But it has been well worth it, because the chicken! The chicken is done!

Go get her Cowboy!

Cowboy potholders

And now we eat.

Praise Jesus we eat.

And don’t worry, we’ll talk about those mashed potatoes (and the potato chips) later. They’re delicious, but I’m starving.

Hope you’re weekend was filled with days like these (minus the look).

Until we meet again…

Cowboy Cooks Apple Strudel (For Supper)

Oh man, I just looked at the weather report and it doesn’t look like we are going to get a wave of tropical weather anytime soon. I was out there this weekend and if I was in denial in any way before our ride to break ice on the stock dam, I was soon frozen into reality.

Cowboy breaking ice

And so were my toes, no matter how thick the wool socks.

So we came in, thawed our feet on the heater and Cowboy said “Let’s make strudel!”

Apple Strudel

And I said a quiet prayer of thanks to sweet Jesus for sending down a man who would utter those lovely words.

Because by “Let’s make strudel!” he really meant “I’ll make strudel.”

It’s one of those charming understandings that this married couple shares: He makes strudel. I stand back and hand him things.

Ahhh, “Let’s make strudel:” some of the best three words that have come out of Cowboy’s mouth. They are right up there with “Found your _________ (insert various expensive things I lost that he told me never to lose) and, you know, “Marry me.” Which is really only two words. Two words that I didn’t fully appreciate until dear husband first came to me with the idea:

Strudel. Apple Strudel. Apple Strudel for Supper.

You heard me.

Apparently Cowboy’s momma has been making this traditional German “dessert for supper” dish for years, putting her right up there with some of the best mommas in the world. And you might be surprised that this would work as a late evening dish, but, well, Cowboy says to trust.

And I trust.

So Cowboy called his momma to get the finishing touches on the recipe and we packed up our supplies and made the trek over to my momma’s house. We had some very important company coming in from Texas to deer hunt and Cowboy apparently thought said company was getting too skinny.

Also, Cowboy needed more space for our journey to food heaven.

And momma has more space.

But momma doesn’t have sharp knives.

Sharpen Knife

Here we go again.

Sharpen Knife

Sharpen Knife

First things first:

Dress the part: Cowboy wanted to welcome our guest in style, so he wore his polyester shirt and his vest….and his mustache…


Ta da!

Ahh, the vest. So practical. Warm AND classy.

Hydrate: Drink of choice: Jeremiah Weed. All the cool kids are drinking it. And. We. Are. Cool. Kids.

Jeremiah Weed


Now select the proper tunes: Drive By Truckers

Let’s do this:

Cowboy Cooks Momma’s Homemade Apple Strudel (For Supper? Gasp!)


  • 6 Apples (the more bitter the better. A motto that applies to apples—women and weather? Not so much)
  • 2 ½ Sticks of Butter
  • 2 Cups Water
  • 2 Cups Sugar
  • Cinnamon
  • 1 Heap’n scoop of Crisco
  • 2 to 3 Cups Flour
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 Cup Milk

And the meat. Yes, you were wondering about this weren’t ya? The meat you serve with the dish is actually an important component. Cowboy usually chooses venison sausage, but any type of ham or breakfast sausage will work as well to transform this dish into a flavorful combination of sweet and tart and salty and, of course, carb loaded goodness to warm up those toes and send you straight into hibernation.

Step One: Prep your skillet

  • Turn your electric skillet or frying pan on low to warm it up

  • Add 2 cups of water and 1 stick of butter to the skillet

Cowboy says: “That’s what I like about my kitchen, we measure butter in sticks not tablespoons.”

  • Add a big “heapn’ spoon full of Crisco”  to the skillet as well

(Oh my Gawd)

To this I said to Cowboy “You mean a tablespoon?”

And cowboy replied “No. Not a tablespoon. This much. This is how much I’m putting in there.”

(Yes, this is happening…)

Step Two: The dough

You may sense a theme happening here based on the last two entries of “Cowboy’s Kitchen.” Much of Cowboy’s favorite dishes happen to be heritage food. And his heritage happens to be German. And, apparently the Germans from which he sprung made meals that were based from the following simple ingredients: Flour, egg, milk, salt.

The good ‘ol white stuff.

I have advised we go in a different, lighter direction next time. But it’s Cowboy’s Kitchen, so really, I can’t promise anything.


  • Using a one handed egg crack technique (You’ve seen this before) crack one egg into a liquid measuring cup

  • Add milk to the egg until it equals a cup (another classic technique.)

Now get my momma another beer…cause she’s thirsty and, as she said “they’re going down smooth tonight”

Why Cowboy got married: Wedding ring = tool.

  • Whisk the mixture. Well, a whisk is what you’re supposed to use, but Cowboy prefers to “Fork.” He’s old school like that. All the cool kids are old school. Haven’t you heard?

  • Pour the mixture into a large mixing bowl

  • Add handfuls of flour to the mixture and mix with your hands until the consistency allows you to roll it out thin with a rolling pin. About 2 to 3 cups of flour.

You might notice that this is not the hand of a cowboy. That's my momma's hand. Cowboy made her help.

And then this is what happened. Needless to say, I have never had to wonder where I inherited my deficiencies in the kitchen.

  • Sprinkle flour on your surface to avoid stick, place the dough on the flour and begin kneading the dough adding flour as you “knead” it (get it?)  in order to prepare it to be rolled out thin with a rolling pin.

  • Once you have the dough at the proper consistency make sure that your surface is still coated in flour (you may need to add more) and roll the dough out flat and thin with a rolling pin.

Hmmm, there’s something sexy about a man and his rolling pin….

Anyway, be careful not to tear holes in the dough, but if you do, it will all turn out in the end, so don’t worry, just take another drink.

Because it's all about the attitude, so do whatever it takes.

  • Sprinkle salt over the rolled out dough

Step 3: The apples

  • Peel 6 medium sized apples (hey, at least this time it’s apples and not potatoes)

And if you want to, conduct a contest  with your kitchen assistants to see who can get the longest peel. We did.

My momma’s attempt:

Oh momma.

Cowboy’s skills:

Pretty good, pretty good…

And, drum roll please….

Clearly not dressed for such success and for the other side of the camera, I won! I won!

And was accused of cheating because I used a peeler. But to that I say: That’s why God invented them.

Ok, moving right along.

  • Slice apples thin and into quarter sized pieces and spread them out over the dough.

*Note: Cowboy didn’t cut the apples into small enough pieces here and this made it harder to roll up the strudel. So slice your apples smaller than you see here will ya? And then forgive Cowboy cause he ain’t perfect…

  • Sprinkle cinnamon over the apples.

  • Now, cut a stick and a half of butter into 1 tablespoon slices and place over apples…..

…yes, this is also happening…

  • Now you must coat, and by coat I mean COVER the apples and the butter and the cinnamon and the dough in SUGAR.

Cinnamon, butter, sugar?


This is where Cowboy says you should start getting excited.

Are you excited?

I am.

And hungry.

And doing some sit-ups to prepare.

Good thing I wore my stretchy pants.

  • Now you’re gonna roll all this up into a tight log (my words, not Cowboy’s), so Cowboy recommends you cut this concoction in half to make it easier. Oh, and smaller apples make it easier too.

Cowboy used a spatula to help in the process of the roll up. Take a look here to see how it’s done.

And don’t worry if it doesn’t look perfect and if there are holes and you need to patch things up. I promise you your taste buds won’t care.

And neither will your guests.

Step 4: The finale

  • Make sure your water/butter/Crisco mix is at a dull boil
  • Now slice the rolled strudel into approximately 2 to 3 inch pieces and place them on your skillet or pan

  • Sprinkle the strudel with cinnamon and cover your skillet or pan, making sure the cover is sealed so you don’t allow the heat to escape

  • Covered, cook the strudel on one side for 25 minutes
  • Flip the strudel and cook for another 20 minutes uncovered, frying the bottom of the noodle so it is firm and golden.

Step 5: Meat and eat

Now I’m sure you’re not quiet convinced that this can indeed satisfy as a supper dish, but serve your guests a slice of apple strudel heaven with a side of your favorite sausage and the flavor combination is sure to delight.

Some people like to add to the chaos by garnishing with syrup. Hey, you might as well go all out.

I say, add a glass of wine like my momma and I and you’re sure to sleep until spring.

Just like the bears and the squirrels.

Ahhh, I just don’t think they make meals like this down south…but then, they don’t need the extra padding for winter.

You can thank me when you wake up.

*Note: Here I feel the need to explain what I was dealing with during my quest to bring you this recipe in all of its glory.  Because three things occurred that challenged me during this kitchen experience (and I don’t need any help being challenged).

1. The sun went down, like really fast as it typically does this time of year…
2. My momma doesn’t believe in overhead lighting, even in times like these. “It’s just not flattering,” she says…
…which didn’t help with the fact that…
3. Cowboy’s cooking is a slow, thought out process, as I have explained before and I have been known to be less than prepared and…well my camera battery died.

So I borrowed a camera from my pops to finish the job.

I hope you got the idea, but the strudel looks better in person, I promise.

Next time I’ll bring a battery pack and a spotlight.

And more wine.

Another lesson learned in Cowboy’s Kitchen.