Thursday, December 31, 2015

Crock-Pot BBQ Spare Ribs

It's funny how major holidays and events revolve around large quantities of meat. Thanksgiving has turkey. Christmas has prime rib. Easter has ham. Every holiday has a specific meat that is the centerpiece to the holiday feast. In the world of farming, the end of harvest deserves a huge celebration and our choice of meat is barbequed pork.  

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Apple Sunrise Slaw

Coleslaw is one of my all time favorite BBQ side dishes. The crunchy veggies with the cool creamy dressing pair so wonderfully with the savory and saucy meat. Besides eating the slaw as a side dish, it makes the perfect condiment to pulled-pork sandwiches. Yum!  

Monday, November 30, 2015

Soft Cranberry Pistachio Cake Cookies

What could be more festive for the holiday season than these cookies????
Green pistachios, red cranberries and white chocolate chips complete the Christmas color trifecta. Not only do these cookies look pretty, these flavors blend beautifully together to make one awesome cookie.

You know what makes these cookies even better???? Cake mix. I can't tell you how much I love cookies that are made from cake mix. I remember once making chocolate crinkle cookies from Paula Deen and being sold on using cake mix for my cookie dough. Paula always knows what she is doing. The cake base to these cookies makes them so unbelievaly soft. Plus it's an awesome baking shortcut! 

Wednesday, November 25, 2015


You can't help but sit back and reflect about the past year whenever Thanksgiving rolls around. In the past 365 days, so many things have happened and my life has changed so much thanks to the arrival of my son. Here are some things I'm thankful for....

  • My Husband
    • My love. My best friend. We have been together for 8 years now and I've loved every moment we have been together. We are new parents and surviving every sleepless night and dirty diaper together. I'm thankful that he is such a wonderful father to Nolan, and best friend and supporter to me.
  • Nolan
    • My little man. My baby boy. My sunshine. So much joy has been brought into my life since his birth. I'm so thankful for a smooth pregnancy, uneventful birth and easy transition into motherhood. I'm thankful he is a healthy boy, loves cuddling his mama, sleeps through the night and brings joy to everyone around him.
  • My Mom
    • I'm so thankful for all the over-the-phone support she has provided me since Nolan's birth. I've called at all hours of the night or day with random questions about babies and she has helped me all the way, even while being 4-1/2 hours apart. I enjoy our FaceTime chats with Nolan and love that you bring a smile to his face despite the distance.
  • My Job
    • I'm thankful that by working nights and being able to self-schedule, that Nolan doesn't have to be in daycare....which is huge to me! I love that my son sleeps while I'm gone and I'm home while he is awake. I'm thankful to my supportive co-workers and for all that they have taught me to help me become a better nurse. It may be an intense and emotional job, but I love it and all the people I've met and cared for along the way.
  • My Car
    • Since 2013, I've suffered from paralyzing panic attacks due to driving anxiety. I didn't even know there could be such a type of anxiety until I experienced it. My little Ford Focus made me feel so unsafe driving on the slick and hazardous roads in Montana. Now that I have a 4-wheel drive SUV, aka the "mom mobile," I now feel safe behind the wheel and my anxiety is gone for the most part, for which I am thankful.
  • Family & Friends
    • There are too many people to list (otherwise this post would never end!), but I am so thankful to my extended family and friends. The love and support that has been given to Dusty and myself as new parents has been overwhelming. All the gifts, cards, frozen meals and love means more to us than you all will ever know.
Thank you.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Breakfast Sausage Loco Moco

Any time it starts snowing, I instantly want to jump on a plane to Hawaii. Snow cones, fresh sushi and pineapple call my name. Then I snap back into reality and remember that I have an 8 month old, and 6 hours straight on a plane with my little guy would be pure torture. Therefore, whenever I'm missing the island sun, I make one of my most favorite Hawaiian meals....the Loco Moco!
Traditionally a Loco Moco is served with rice, a big ol' beef patty, fried egg and brown gravy. I've even had a different version that included Mahi Mahi fish (delicious!) at Ken's House of Pancakes in Hilo on the Big Island. They even had loco mocos that included spam, sausage links, chili and corned beef. Basically any protein will do! 

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Toffee Cracker Crack

I'm not even kidding in the title when I say this stuff is "crack." This treat is highly addicting and freakishly easy to throw together in a moments notice. Who doesn't have saltines, brown sugar, butter, chocolate chips and pecans in their pantry!?!? I know I always have these 5 ingredients stocked in my pantry. This is now become a problem because of my addiction to crack!

Monday, November 16, 2015

Cranberry Glazed Holiday Meatloaf

Sometimes I crave a Thanksgiving dinner but don't want to put in all those hours of work in the kitchen. I know I don't have time to roast a whole turkey, make stuffing and all the fixings on a typical weeknight. Why should all of those wonderful and comforting flavors be experienced only once a year?

This meatloaf will fix any turkey day cravings you may have throughout the year without having to bring out the big guns and defrost/bake a 12 to 20 pound turkey.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Moroccan Beef with Lemon Couscous

A quick weeknight meal that packs a lot of flavor into a simple recipe. Moroccan Beef is a delicious, savory and hearty dish that will make your home smell wonderful with the exotic scents of cumin, cinnamon, and coriander. Not to mention, couscous takes absolutely no time to prepare. Talk about a perfect side dish.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Cinnamon Sugar Apple Chips

For a brief moment in time back in June, I attempted the Paleo diet. I can't remember if we talked about this or not. I lasted all of 12 days with no sugar, no dairy, no grains, no soy, no sweeteners of any kind.

Basically I couldn't eat anything I loved. And it was awful.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Overnight Huckleberry Oatmeal

Overnight oats are a quick, hearty and simple breakfast. Combine all the ingredients into a jar, shake, refrigerate and forget about it until the next morning. As a busy mom by day and nurse by night, this is my type of breakfast food.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Buffalo Chicken Bite Skewers with Blue Cheese Yogurt Dip

We are Montana Griz and Dallas Cowboys fans in this household. The Grizzlies because Dusty and I went to the University of Montana (it's where we met!) and Cowboys, because I married into it. I didn't ask to be a Cowboy, but it happened anyways. All in all,  I really could care less about the game itself when it comes right down to it (don't tell my husband!). I'm only at the tailgates and parties for the food. Which is a good thing because both teams are not having a banner year, to put it gently.

What is winning this football season are these spicy buffalo chicken skewers served with this cool creamy dipping sauce! When I think football, I automatically think buffalo wings. These skewers are a less messy but equally flavorful tailgate snack.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Savory Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Halloween was such a blast this year! I can't even tell you the last time I went trick-or-treating. This year was my son Nolan's very first Halloween and we went all out with the Monsters Inc. theme. Nolan was dressed as little Sulley, Dusty was big Sulley and I, of course, went as Mike Wazowski. We went all out and even wore Monsters University fraternity shirts too. I was in the fraternity Oozma Kappa (OK) and Dusty belonged to Roar Omega Roar (ROR). It was so much fun!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Harvest Lunches

Whew! Harvest is over and seeding is under way. Between being back to work at nights as a nurse, dobie-mama, endless loads of laundry, farmwife, and mom to the sweetest could say life has been just a little chaotic!

During this harvest and seeding season, I have become the jedi-master of harvest lunches. I've even got a system down so that I prepare the next days meal the night before. Silly me thought there would be enough time in the mornings to prepare lunch and breakfast for my farmer, as well as feed and take care of my baby in the morning. All of this before my husband darts out the door to start a full day out in the field. Ha! Yeah right!

By doing the work the night before, I get to stay in bed with my baby and cuddle, all while my hubby gets up at the crack of dawn with breakfast and lunch ready to go. He gets fed and I get to "sleep in" (7:30am). It's a win-win!

During harvest, my husband drives truck while his father works the combine. In this scenario, he gets to park the truck for a bit, which allows for different meals like salads, sandwhiches and such. During seeding, he is maning the tractor, so everything has to be eaten on the go, using just his hands. Therefore sandwhiches only!

Eating regular old turkey and ham sandwhiches can get pretty boring. So my goal as farmwife is to provide some variety and excitement to my farmers lunches. The key to keeping them fresh and not soggy during the long days.....toast the bread! I swear it works! Try it!

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Greek Panzanella Salad

Panzanella salad is a lunchtime favorite in our home. I'm not quite sure if this is technically qualified as "healthy" or not because of all the crusty ciabatta bread soaked in a glorious vinagrette. It seems naughty, but it's a therefore we will call it healthy!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Greek Cucumber Sauce

....Also known as Tzatziki sauce. Although when I order my favorite "grilled chicken pita with tzatziki sauce" the high school kids at the local drive-in look at me like, huh? Tat-zi, what?!?

Then when I say, the cucumber sauce, all makes sense in the world! I'm pretty sure I'm the only one in town who orders their grilled chicken pita this way too. Whenever I ordered it, my mother-in-law (who works there) will look at the food order ticket and then look out the window to say hi because she knows it's me! Then she will write my name on my food bag with hearts on it, which is my favorite :)

I love this sauce on chicken and salmon. It's also great for dipping veggies. It's super fresh and tastes similar to the cucumber sauce I order with my pita at the local drive-in. It's perfect for those nights I feel like making my own grilled chicken pita at home!

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Huckleberry Sherbet

Ice cream is a frozen dessert containing 100% dairy. Sorbet is a frozen fruit dessert that is 100% non-dairy. What do you get when you have 50% dairy + 50% frozen fruit? Sherbert! Sometimes, I really love math.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Caramelized Pineapple Sauce

Forget the boring old chocolate and caramel sauce the next time you sit down with a big bowl of ice cream. You must try this caramelized pineapple sauce with your favorite vanilla ice cream for a tropical twist!

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Crushed-Tomato Pizza Sauce

Growing up, Friday night was always pizza night. This meant my mom could always be found Friday nights in the kitchen making her homemade pizza with her dough and sauce from scratch. To this day, I still prefer my pizza to be homemade rather than store bought or from a restaurant. I blame my mom and her excellent pizza making skills!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Avocado Mango Salsa

Is it guacamole? Is it salsa? It's both!

Fruity, creamy and oh so good. Grab a bag of tortilla chips and enjoy this fresh salsa with your next Taco Tuesday.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Creamy Basil Vinaigrette

There is nothing I love more than a good salad. One that makes you forget you aren't eating a cheeseburger and fries because it's absolutely fabulous.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Cucumber Melon Salad

A refreshing and crisp salad with hints of salty and sweet make this perfect for bridal showers, BBQ's and family gatherings.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Huckleberry Lemonade

As a Montanan, it's only right that I be completely obsessed with huckleberries. If there is a way to incorporate it into a recipe, I'll find a way. Now with grilling season in full swing and family BBQ's just around the corner, what could be more refreshing at a gathering than a pitcher of sweet, fruity Huckleberry Lemonade?

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Chicken Satay with Sweet Potato-Peanut Sauce

As much as I love cooking, I don't want to be doing it all day. That is why these chicken satay skewers are the perfect lunch. Packed with flavor but quick and easy to whip up.

Panko-Crusted Salmon Burgers

Tangy, creamy and oh so good for you. These flavorful omega-3 packed salmon burgers are mouth-watering good!


Garlic Roasted Acorn Squash Stuffed with Quinoa

One thing I love about my husband is that he is just as adventurous as me when it comes to food. We love almost everything and anything, except one thing....squash. 

Huckleberry Smoothie

One of the many benefits of living in Montana are the wild huckleberries that grow in the mountains over on the western side of the state. I have some really great memories of huckleberry hunting with my mom and sister when my family would go camping at the lake. Even though we were totally freaked out about the possibility of running into a black bear while scavenging for berries, we didn't care. Huckleberries are just that good!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Chimichurri Shrimp Salad

Ethnic cuisine is a luxury and rare find when you live in the land of meat and potatoes. One of my favorite restaurants, Serranos, located in East Glacier, is a treat and once in a while occurrence due to the fact it's over 120 miles round trip. Trust me, it is well worth the journey for some authentic chiles rellenos, pork tamales and flan. I'm drooling just thinking about it!

California Breakfast Sandwich

Let me tell you what...this California Breakfast Sandwich is not only good for you, but seriously flavorful. It's been raining the past few days and I needed something that reminded me of warm weather. This sandwich did the trick! So grab yourself a tall glass of bright sunny orange juice with this sandwich for a great start to your day!

Flank Steak & Potato Hash

I don't know about you, but I hate leftover steak. It becomes chewy, tough and just doesn't reheat very well. So what do you do when you have leftover steak? Make breakfast hash! And don't forget to top it with a perfectly fried or poached egg and a couple dashes of Tobasco sauce to really send it over the top :)

Light & Fresh Tuna Melt

An easy and quick lunch to throw together that has bright fresh flavors. This is one of my husbands go-to sandwiches that he makes frequently. Therefore, I always have canned tuna, tomatoes and shallots on hand for whenever he gets the hankering for this tasty open-faced sandwich!


A Fresh New Start

Back in May of 2010, I started a blog named, The Girly Girl Cooks. My first blog was created as a place for me on the Internet to document my attempts of learning how to cook while attending college. I wrote about my experiments with food, recipes, and different cuisines all while finding myself and winning the heart (and stomach) of my long time college boyfriend.

It’s been 5 years since I started The Girly Girl Cooks and now I find myself wanting a fresh start. I am no longer a college girl trying to impress her boyfriend’s palate while dealing with the stresses and joys of college life. Now I am a farm wife, nurse and new mother to a wonderful baby boy. I live on the Hi-Line in the gorgeous state of Montana. My priorities in the kitchen have become more focused on creating healthy and fresh meals that are delicious and nutrious for my family, rather than anything and everything that tastes good despite how healthy or unhealthy it may be.

Living in a rural community with few resources brings many challenges in the kitchen. The ingredients in the grocery stores in this area are basic with very few “fancy” ingredients. For example, cumin and smoked paprika are rare finds in the spice department. So if I can find the ingredients used in my recipes, then anyone can find it!

Over the next few weeks I’ll be transferring my favorite recipes from The Girly Girl Cooks and placing them here on Hi-Line Healthy. So be on the look out for some really fun and tasty recipes that are near and dear to me.

I look forward to sharing these recipes and new life experiences with you!