Sixteen years ago I took a trip out west with my first husband to attend a wedding in Montana. It was love at first sight. With Montana I mean. And while my marriage ended shortly thereafter, my love affair with big sky country had just begun.
A year later the ink was almost dry on my divorce papers and I had just met Bazz. No, like I had truly JUST met him. Like we had had one date, maybe two, and then off I went to Montana with one of my best girlfriends from college, Josette.
For five days Josette and I breathed in the thin high-altitude mountain air of Montana. We slept deeply and soundly, we rafted down the Bitterroot River soaking in the hot July sunshine and pointing out bald eagles perched high above us. They watched us, two girls who had just entered their 30s, floating, snorting with laughter, connecting. We talked girl talk as I licked my wounds from my divorce and allowed myself to begin to heal, to dream again, to greet the butterflies in my stomach that I couldn’t get to settle each time I allowed myself to think about Bazz back in NY. Oh. And we herded cattle. You heard me. We herded cattle. On horseback. And guess what? I was good. Like really good.
The Triple Creek Ranch in Darby, Montana is just the right mix of luxury and rustic for two (somewhat too shiny) New Yorkers. Montana allowed us to leave a little bit of our shine behind and embrace our inner cowgirl. So while we drank champagne every night at Triple Creek (ok, we guzzled it) it was tee shirts, boots and Levi’s during the day mingled with braids, cowgirl hats and dust. I’ve never been more content. I’ve never felt better in my own skin.
Also, I ate. A lot. And I’ve never been thinner. WHAT THE F*CK?
Real food. Fresh air. Horses. Laughter. Thin.
The Cowgirl Diet.
And it always started with a Cowgirl Breakfast.
It’s sixteen years later and my metabolism is sixteen years older. So while I’m not slathering buttered biscuits with huckleberry jam (holy sh*tballs that was so good) I do still love the idea that I can recreate those memories of a stick to your ribs (not stick to your ass) early morning Montana breakfast, cooked up in one hot skillet, before climbing onto a horse and chasing after tonight’s dinner.
And at the end of the five days, Josette and I wound our way down the mountains of Darby clutching our cowgirl hats to our heads in our red convertible, and my flip phone started to buzz. One text after another came through as we inched our way back into civilization.
“Missing you. How’s Montana? Don’t fall in love with any cowboys, ok? Counting down the minutes until you’re back. – Bazz”
Butterflies. Yee haw!
Pure, organic, cold pressed olive oil
Sea salt and black pepper (I hate pepper, but you might LOVE it!)
1 organic egg
Any veg you’ve got! My favorites include peppers and onions. Mushrooms and spinach would be great too! (Feel free to use frozen)
Any cheese you’ve got in your fridge. No really, this is fun, not stressful! I love feta for this ReciBEE as well as low fat shredded cheddar. I don’t measure here. Just a generous sprinkle is all you need.
Your favorite hot sauce (mine is Fix Sriracha Lemongrass; you’ll bow to me after you try it because it’s delicious, but your lips might burn off, so go easy!!!)
What you’ll need:
1 mug or ramekin
A 10-12 inch cast iron skillet or your favorite 10-12 inch fry pan (This is my newest favorite magic pan!! I’ve only been cooking with it for a few days and I want to hump it I love it so much. That was wrong wasn’t it? Sorry. You can watch me cook with it over on my Insta stories today!)
A red bandana to wipe your mouth with
A cowgirl hat to cook in. You can also take it off and shake it at your kids when you get annoyed with them.
Lightly oil your magic pan or cast iron skillet and set on low flame to heat.
Crack one whole egg into a mug or a ramekin, season with sea salt and set aside.
Slice your veg into uniform strips and set aside.
Take two cauliflower sandwich thins and set aside on a breakfast plate.
Raise the flame on your stovetop to medium high heat and cook veg. You are looking for color here! You want caramelization in your onions and peppers and mushrooms so resist the urge to constantly stir. The less you move your veg the more they will crisp and become golden. Stir less, shake the pan more!
Once your veg is caramelized, push the veg to one corner of the pan and very slowly pour your whole egg into the pan. It’s ok if the raw egg races to your veg and touches. This pan is HOT; the egg is thin and it will cook almost immediately so have no fear of “Sal!” Salmonella that is!
While the egg cooks season the veg with sea salt and pepper.
Remove veg from pan and place on breakfast plate.
Place cauliflower thins in pan to heat and crisp up.
Place 1 thin on breakfast plate, slide egg onto thin, top with veg, sprinkle with cheese, drizzle hot sauce and top with second sandwich thin. For an open faced “Skinny Cowgirl Breakfast” just use 1!
Yell “Yee Haw” as you take your first bite.
Call travel agent to book trip to Triple Creek Ranch.