Cowboy approved recipes used by our favorite country cooks.
In the kitchen with Alisha Nord Donnelly of Valley City, N.D.
Tell us about yourself.
I grew up as a fifth generation farm kid on my dad’s family century farm near Wolverton, Minn. Living right on the border we farmed land on both sides of the Red River. In my time growing up we raised sugar beets, corn, soybeans, wheat, oats, alfalfa hay, and a few years had some sunflowers and edible beans. We always had livestock, starting out with sheep and hogs, and moved on to Angus cattle. The cattle side of the business developed into Nord Angus Farms.
We helped my mom every year with National Ag week displays and demonstrations as well as ag in the classroom. We brought many farm animals into the schools and had field trips to the farm which we loved because we got to stay home and help. As we got older, we became more involved in breeding and exhibiting purebred Angus cattle. We started with a 4-H heifer and each year we bred them and bought another heifer and built our herd. Today we have cattle sold throughout the country. We sell show and breeding heifers, semen, embryos, and bulls.
I currently reside just west of Valley City, N.D., with my husband, Dan. I work for North Dakota Farm Bureau as their Southeast Field Representative. I spend many hours on the road visiting with farmers and ranchers about the future of agriculture. I also enjoy learning about the different policy issues within the state. In addition, I dedicate time to a variety of professional and community organizations.
When I am not on the road for work, I am usually headed down the interstate to another cattle show. I also enjoy camping, fishing, Bison tailgating, and spending time with my family and my corgis Gemma, Finnegan, and Dolly.
What is your favorite cooking tip/trick?
To get the fat off any meat broths, etc., refrigerate for a few hours so the broth hardens on top and can be easily removed.
What is your least favorite job in the kitchen?
Going out to buy all the ingredients.
What dish do you request the most?
Anything that involves chocolate. I have a huge sweet tooth and anyone who knows me knows that is the way to my heart!
What is your favorite thing to make?
I grew up making lefse, especially around the holidays. Lefse makes me think of home, and all the years I grew up with family around making it. Anyone that has made lefse before, knows that it can also be frustrating. I was lucky to have the “special touch” of rolling and flipping the dough.
Where did you learn to cook?
I learned to cook at home with my mom. We also watched cooking shows growing up.
Photos courtesy Alisha Nord Donnelly