Fiesta Cottage Cheese Veggie Dip

I’m not sure if you realized it or not, but my past few recipes have had cottage cheese in them. I have been trying to eat more protein and cottage cheese is an excellent source. However, cottage cheese is kind of spendy. So, when it goes on sale, I stock up and eat it in a variety of ways – including breakfast pancakes, dinner and now in this side dish which is great to take to a summer BBQ. It is full of protein, a bit of spice and when served with veggie chips, is perfectly healthy. I like to have a healthy option because as you know, it can be hard to eat healthy at a BBQ.


This is one of the dishes I made for our 4th of July feast. It is in the pictured on the plate above next to the carrot chips, directly to the right of it. A better photo is below. Side note – dang, I really love pickles. My Aunt Cindy makes the best!

Farmgirl Susan’s Fiesta Cottage Cheese Veggie Dip from Farmgirl Fare

1 16-ounce container organic cottage cheese
1 cup chopped Roma tomatoes (about 4 large), seeded and diced
1 cup chopped sweet red pepper (any color would be fine)
3 large scallions (green onions) white and green parts, chopped
1 large clove garlic, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, chopped (optional)
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt

Mix all the ingredients in a medium bowl. Feel free to add even more veggies if you like. The original recipe says to chill at least 3 hours before serving, then pass with tortilla, corn chips or veggie chips. Waiting a few hours, or even overnight, does improve the flavor. If you leave it more than a night or two, it will get watery. Just drain that off before eating but it is best eaten within the first few days, about 2-3.


Here is a closer photo of the picture. I also have added this to the top of a garden salad and that is delicious to use in place of a heavy dressing. Enjoy!

Posted in Appetizer, Salad, Sides, Veggie | Leave a comment

Taco Stuffed Sweet Potato

As promised, here is another way to eat up the guacamole recipe I shared a few weeks ago. This is a non-recipe recipe. It is an idea you can take and make to your preference.


You might not be able to tell but this is a taco stuffed sweet potato. I promise there is a tater under all those toppings!

  • Potato (I like the sweet potato compared to the spicy toppings, but a regular tater would be excellent as well)
  • Taco meat spiced to your preference – I like spicy ground beef or chicken
  • Fresh sliced veggies – tomato, green onion, white onion
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Salsa
  • Guacamole
  • Taco sauce
  • Cheese
  • Sour cream or cottage cheese

Feel free to stuff your taco potato with your favorite flavors. This is an especially easy meal to make if you have leftover taco meat.


This would be fun for a party – set up a taco bar or let your kids pick their toppings for an easy dinner. Enjoy!

Posted in Main Dish, Veggie | Leave a comment

Cottage Cheese Pancakes

Here is a new idea for you! These pancakes are stuffed with protein packed cottage cheese. Don’t click away. Even if you don’t like cottage cheese I encourage you to try these. The cottage cheese fades away in the batter and the extra protein will keep you full all morning.


Top with your favorite toppings and you are good to go!


Recipe adapted from Weelicious, serves 4 small or 2 generously

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup cottage cheese
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/4 (heaping) cup flour (this will depend on how creamy your cottage cheese is, you might need more, up to 1/3 heaping cup)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • butter, oil or oil spray
  1. Place the first 4 ingredients in a bowl and whisk.
  2. In a separate bowl whisk the dry ingredients. If you have extreme aversion to cottage cheese, feel free to blend it in a food processor.
  3. Pour the dry mixture into the wet mixture and stir until just combined.
  4. Heat a large sauté pan or griddle over medium heat, lightly coat with oil or butter and pour about 3 tbsp. of the mixture onto the griddle for each pancake.
  5. Cook for 2 minutes on each side or until pancakes are set and golden.
  6. Serve.

*To Freeze: Let pancakes come to room temperature, place in a ziploc bag, label and freeze up to 3 months. To serve again, pop in toaster or warm in the oven.


It ends up looking pretty much like most pancake batters.


I think my husband was pleasantly surprised on how good these were once I told him the idea. My first pancake was a flop as I didn’t have my griddle hot enough so make sure you heat your pan appropriately. They are also made better at the silver dollar size instead of a large pancake. I think the recipe source is a site for kids – so hopefully your kids will love these protein pancakes as well! Top with fruit and you have a nutritious start to your day. Enjoy!

Posted in Breakfast | 1 Comment

Maple Glazed Apple Cookies

I realize these cookies don’t look the prettiest. Especially against the brown/tan backdrop of my countertops. But guess what? I’m not a photographer and I made these cookies at 9pm on a work night so I was in a hurry. That doesn’t take away that they are soft, chewy and glazed with the sweetest maple glaze ever. Don’t let me photos fool you. Grab a couple apples and make these! This cool summer day would be perfect for these cookies.


The cookies are moist and studded with apple chunks. The maple glaze adds sweetness.


Maple Glazed Apple Spice Cookies, adapted from Mrs. Fields and Perry’s Plate recipes

1/4 cup shortening
1/4 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups flour, sifted
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
Dash of salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
¼ tsp. ground pumpkin pie spice
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)
2 cups apples, peeled, cored, and finely diced
1/4 cup milk

Maple Glaze

1 T. butter, melted
1 cup powdered sugar
½ tsp. maple flavor extract
2 T. milk, as needed

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, beat shortening, butter and sugar until incorporated, about 2 minutes. Add egg and vanilla, mix until mixture is creamy. In a separate bowl, sift flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and nutmeg together. Add about half of the flour mixture to the sugar mixture and mix well. Add nuts and apples and combine thoroughly before adding the remaining flour mixture and milk.

Bake rounded tablespoons on a prepared cookie sheet for 9-10 minutes. While baking, make your glaze by mixing all the ingredients together in a bowl with a fork until smooth and glossy. Remove golden brown cookies from the oven and transfer to a cooling rack. Cool for 10 minutes and glaze cookies with a generous drizzle. Makes about 3 dozen cookies.

If you don’t have shortening, all butter would work in this recipe as well.


Apples seem like a fall treat but I had some Granny Smiths in a Bountiful Basket not too long ago that I had to use up. What better way than in cookies?


If you glaze them when they are warm, naturally the glaze will melt a bit. This isn’t a bad thing, but be aware if you don’t want that to let them cool completely. I glazed them when they were still a bit warm. Enjoy!

Posted in Baking, Cookies, Dessert | 2 Comments

Rusted Rail, Underwood

The Rusted Rail Bar & Grill is a newer place in Underwood, ND, just off of Hwy 83, north of Grimsley’s Fuel, just to the west of the highway in a new building. We visited in mid-June with my parents, my aunt and uncle and some good friends.


It’s always a good sign when there are vehicles filling up the parking lot! To get there, go to Grimsley’s and take a gravel road leading to the parking lot which is also gravel.


The inside is bright, open, clean and sort of has an industrial feel with concrete floors and exposed ceiling. There is a pool table and a variety of seating. Our server was over to greet us right away and was very friendly when we asked questions about the menu. There is a daily special and soup of the day, along with the daily homemade chili. They have bands on some week nights or weekends.


There is a large menu with two sides. The first has appetizers, sandwiches and wrap/salads. We didn’t get an appetizer but the chips and homemade queso sounded good to us. It was also nice to see some not-so-typical options for a bar and grill like a walleye fish taco (you’d think there would be more of this in walleye country? and chicken raspberry vinaigrette salad).


Side two featured burgers, entrees and sides. The burger options were interesting and sounded divine! We are talking HALF POUND burgers – Jucy Lucy, Southwest, Black & Blue and Fried Egg were all options. I just wasn’t that hungry that day. They are served with fries or tots and you can request a quarter pound burger if you aren’t craving a half pound of beef.

The entrees are served with your choice of soup or salad, and two sides. I felt this was a lot of food for a very reasonable price. The food was quick to come out and came out all at once (for the most part) for our group of 8 which can be hard to find in our neck of the woods.


I went with the BBQ chicken breast with the homemade chili, sweet potato and seasoned veggies. The chicken was tender and juicy, veggies were great and the sweet potato fries were good. I was a little disappointed fries came out when I ordered a sweet potato. The menu should properly reflect they are fries, not a potato. I was trying to eat healthy that day. That said, see that little dab off to the side of my plate? That is the poutine served as an appetizer that another person ordered and shared with the table. For those not in the “know” poutine is fries with fried cheese curds on top, smothered in gravy. A very delectable treat our Canadian neighbors came up with and share with us. My husband got the ribs and licked up every morsel saying they were excellent.


I liked the bar. It was nice to see a few different options on tap. I enjoyed a Fargo beer, one of my faves. Our server was quick to get us anything and refill our drink requests. The bathrooms were bright and clean. We were able to call ahead and reserve a table. This might not be a bad idea if you have a larger group on a weekend as every time I drive by it looks busy.

For those with kids – this is a bar and grill so children are not allowed. I overheard our waitress say they do have a family night once a week when kids are welcome, on Tuesday. They are open during the week for lunch and are open all day on Sunday as well! They do not have popcorn or peanuts which I think every bar should have but that was the only small negative.


This was a seating area off to the side with some TVs. There were plenty of TVs in the bar showing a variety of sports. It’s hard to tell from this angle but the lamp was so cute. The base was a keg and the shade was a 5 gallon bucket with fringe and a tap for the pole. It fit just perfectly. They recently laid a concrete patio outside but it wasn’t open on the cool day we were there quite yet.

If you are driving by, I would encourage you to stop. I think this is something greatly needed in our area which lacks for restaurants. We love Little’s in Pick City but it’s nice to have something different. Next on my list is Totten Trail on Audubon Lake since they are under new ownership. I hope to report back yet this summer!

Posted in Feisty Eats, Misc, Restaurant Reviews | 6 Comments

Restaurant style guacamole

I’m a big fan of guacamole. I only started liking it in the past few years as it wasn’t something I grew up on. It tastes even better in summer with fresh veggies. I want to share my take of restaurant-style guacamole with you. It’s super easy and quick to make. It tastes great on chips, salads, sandwiches, anything!


I like my guac a bit chunky but you can mash your avocado how much ever you want.

Restaurant Style Guacamole

  • 3 avocados, pitted and diced
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 1/3 cup red onion, minced
  • 1/3 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 – 1 jalapeno, chopped finely (add how much ever you want depending on how spicy you like your guac)

In a bowl, slightly mash the avocado pieces to your preference. Then add the juice of one whole lime and salt. Combine. Next add the garlic, chopped roma tomatoes, red onion, cilantro and jalapeno. Toss gently. Eat! Refrigerate any leftovers.


Here it is all mixed up and ready to eat.


One way I like it is too add to a huge salad with homemade salsa, fresh tomatoes, green onions and venison bacon or chicken. It is excellent with feta cheese. I’ll check in next week with another way to use up some of the guacamole. Enjoy!

Posted in Appetizer, Sides, Veggie | 1 Comment

Grilled taco chicken

Hi – I’m checking in with another non-recipe recipe. I figure it is the week after the 4th and everyone is looking to detox with some healthy eats. I randomly mixed this up and let it marinate overnight and the results the next day were excellent so I wanted to share my method with you. Feel free to use your favorite spices to make this your own!


Grilled Taco Chicken

  • Chicken breast(s)
  • Chunky salsa
  • Ground chili powder
  • Ground cumin
  • Granulated garlic
  • Onion flakes
  • Black pepper
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Dried oregano

Coat your chicken breast in spices of your choice. Cover each side of the chicken. Next, cover with salsa. Let marinade overnight in the fridge. Grill the next day letting any extra hunks of salsa fall through the grill grates. Serve on a salad or along with fresh veggies. The spices give the chicken a nice kick while the salsa keeps it super moist and juicy.


Bonus? The salsa adds hardly any calories. I topped my chicken with a thin slice of cheese and fresh onions and tomatoes. Enjoy!

Posted in Grilling | Leave a comment