[Jill Charlotte Stanford]  Jill Charlotte Stanford Home

Author and editor

When I was a little girl growing up on the shores of Puget Sound with no sagebrush in sight, all I ever wanted to be was a Cowgirl. I had Dale Evans as a role model and quite a few imaginary horses in a field that only I could see. Happily, when I grew up, my dreams of riding a beautiful horse in the tall pines really did come true. But along the way, the most extraordinary thing happened – I learned about the real Cowgirls of the West. It seemed to be destiny that I would write about them. I combined my love of cooking good and simple food with stories and pictures of my heroines. I have been fortunate to have made many new friends who share my passion for the West – cowgirls and ranch wives, horse trainers, trick riders and girls just like me who never got over that first love of horses and cowgirls. I hope that you will enjoy my books as much as I have enjoyed researching and writing them. I’d love to hear from you.
Happy Trails!

Girls Of The Golden West
“I Want To Be A Real Cowboy Girl” (1935)

“Always throw spilled salt over your left shoulder. Keep rosemary by your garden gate. Add pepper to your mashed potatoes. Plant roses and lavender, for luck. Fall in love whenever you can.” – Alice Hoffman, Practical Magic.

 [Jill Charlotte Stanford]

You can order the books by clicking on the book covers!

She Speaks to Me

The Cowgirl Club


Dundee: Evertype, forthcoming.
ISBN 978-1-78201-310-5

Cowgirls in the Kitchen

Cowgirls Cook for the Great Outdoors

More than 90 Delicious Recipes for Picnics, Potlucks, and Pack Lunches

Guilford, Connecticut: TwoDot, 2022.
ISBN 978-1-4930-4862-5

Orphaned while still a baby, Rose Peters finds herself under the care of her mother’s family—who do not want to talk about her mother. Ever. Growing up on a dairy farm, Rose knows in her heart this is not the life she was meant to live. She eventually learns they were part of a troupe of traveling performers in the Wild West Shows and Rodeos all over the West that were so popular for the people in the scattered small towns who were starved for thrilling entertainment. A mysterious box arrives every year for Rose’s birthday, full of glittering treasures, cheap—to Rose—treasures. No one knows who sends these boxes but one appears every year, to Rose’s delight and her grandparents’ disapproval. In magazines and newspapers, Rose discovers photos of trick riders. She begins collecting those pictures, dreaming of the day when maybe she would see one of these brave and fearless women. It isn’t until her high school graduation that all her questions are answered by the unexpected appearance a group of ex-trick riders calling themselves The Cowgirl Club. What they do for Rose is both a dream come true for Rose and a valuable lesson in the history of the women who made the West a little wilder and left an indelible mark even today. “Grit and gumption” and “Don’t weaken” are the lessons for Rose to learn and at the end, her fondest dream comes true, thanks to the tutelage of the three women who call themselves The Cowgirl Club. For every girl—big or small—who dreams of being a cowgirl, this story will take you to the rodeo arena and the cheering crowds.


Finalist for the Will Rogers Medallion Award 2023!

From refreshing beverages to packable stews and casseroles perfect for feeding the crowd on branding days to cast-iron recipes perfect for a pack trip into the mountains, Cowgirls Cook for the Great Outdoors features more than ninety recipes that the modern cowgirl needs to keep her crew fed and her family happy on the trail or around the campfire. Start your day with the Cowgirl's Easy Chicken and Waffles, or Beer Batter Pancakes with Citrus Bourbon Syrup. Fill your backpack with Cowgirl Jill's Beef Jerky or Pack Mule Cookies for a snack on-the-go. And as the sun sets in the west, enjoy a Camp Kebabs, Smokey Beans, or Hearty Dutch Oven Nachos with a cold glass of "moonshine" around the campfire. No matter how you spend the day in the great outdoors, these dishes will fill your belly and feed your soul!

She Speaks to Me

She Speaks to Me

Western Women's View of the West through Poetry and Song

Guilford, Connecticut: Globe Pequot Press / TwoDot, 2016.
ISBN 978-1-4930-1903-8 $16.95

Cowgirls in the Kitchen

Cowgirls in the Kitchen

Recipes, Tales, and Tips for a Home on the Range

Guilford, Connecticut: TwoDot, 2016.
ISBN 978-1-4930-2408-7 hardcover $24.95

In this collection are the poems of cowgirl poets who are regulars at the numerous state, local, and national cowboy poetry gatherings that happen throughout the year. There are a few songwriters as well – after all, their songs are simply poetry set to music. Some of the poets have never been published and were shy about being included but the true poet is always, just under the surface, eager to have her voice heard. Why else would she go to the trouble? The poets and songwriters featured here were quick to respond to the invitation to be included. In “true Western fashion”, they saddled their fast ponies and galloped in with their poetry and lyrics for your enjoyment.

Gifted photographer Robin L. Green chose the captivating photographs to accompany these lovely verses and songs. She captures the stark, lush, brutal, gentle and ever-changing western landscape and the creatures that inhabit it (including intrepid humans) in all sorts of weather – harsh or gentle – like no other.

From the Barrel Racer cocktail (whiskey and powdered doughnuts) to slow-cooker stews and casseroles perfect for feeding the crowd on branding days to cast-iron recipes perfect for a pack trip into the mountains, Cowgirls in the Kitchen includes all the recipes that the modern cowgirl needs to keep her crew fed and her family happy. Combines the best of cowgirl myths, nostalgia, and legends with useable, delicious, and fun recipes for use at home or on the trail, this book celebrates the romance of the American cowgirl from the late nineteenth century to today, through historic photographs and modern, western-themed recipes that will appeal to cowboys, as well.

Keep Cookin’ Cowgirl

Keep Cookin’ Cowgirl

More recipes for your home on the range

Guilford, Connecticut: TwoDot, 2013.
ISBN 978-0-7627-8832-3 $14.95

You Might Be a Cowgirl If…

You Might Be a Cowgirl If…

A Guide To Life on the Range

Guilford, Connecticut: TwoDot, 2012.
978-0-7627-7809-6 $12.95

It’s been said that Cowgirls cook with three ingredients – salt, pepper and catsup. And it’s almost true! There are no “Bouquet Garni’s” in Cowgirl Cooking. Cowgirls have always known that what makes people happy is good food, prepared simply.

If you are getting ready to go out on a dark and frosty morning, you will welcome a hot breakfast that will stick to your ribs. Sunday supper has long been a tradition on the ranch – a time when folks can get together and discuss the week behind and the week ahead while enjoying a warm meal around the table. Special occasions, like a wedding or a birthday will be celebrated with something homemade. At a pot luck where everybody’s best recipe gets to shine and be enjoyed. Campfire cooking holds a special place in the hearts of those lucky enough to have eaten under the stars and started as necessity when large herds of cattle were being moved and the chuck wagon was the kitchen. These recipes, from cocktails to desserts, are fit for home and the range – and will help every cook find her inner cowgirl.

For every little girl who dreamed of growing up like Dale Evans but who never quite achieved that dream. This book will help you slip back into the Cowgirl you have been carrying with you all those years. “You can be a cowgirl in a high-rise,” says author Jill Charlotte Stanford. “The location does not matter. It is the spirit that does and it's called ‘Cowgirl True’.”

With chapters like “Rodeo Queen Rules for Real Life” as well as advice on how to dress the part and decorate in a western-style without breaking the bank, You Might Be a Cowgirl If… is a Cowgirl’s handbook!

Photographs by talented western photographer Robin L. Corey add to the charm of this book that ought to be in every Cowgirl’s saddlebag or library.

  • What a well put together book! She has some delicious recipes: I liked the Kickin' Apple Pie Enchiladas! I would recommend this as a great read and a great gift!
  • Beautifully written and the photographs are wonderful. Jill gives you a look at cowgirls past and present and makes you want to be one.
  • A great book for your coffee table or to give as a gift!

Wild Women and Tricky Ladies

Wild Women and Tricky Ladies

Rodeo Cowgirls, Trick Riders, and Other Performing Women Who Made the West Wilder

Guilford, Connecticut: TwoDot, 2010.
ISBN 978-0-7627-5870-8 $12.95

The Cowgirl's Cookbook

The Cowgirl's Cookbook

Recipes for Your Home on the Range

Guilford, Connecticut: TwoDot, 2008.
ISBN 978-0-7627-4512-8 $9.95

Wild Women and Tricky Ladies celebrates the female trick riders and other performers who have been a part of rodeos, Wild West shows, and fairs since the 1800s. Cowgirl author Jill Charlotte Stanford follows up on The Cowgirl’s Cookbook by opening a larger window into the lives and philosophies of the girls of the rodeo arena.

Riding tricks such as the fender drag, the tail drag, the suicide drag, and the Hippodrome stand are still practiced today by modern-day trick riders. In the early days, Bertha Blancett excelled at Roman Riding at the Pendleton Round-up, winning the race and the purse countless times. Hazel Walker and Babe Lee dazzled the crowds throughout the rodeo and fair circuit during the 1920s with their daring and athletic tricks on horseback. This book celebrates the feats of these and other cowgirls with fabulous archival photography, first-hand accounts of life on the rodeo circuit, and the author’s appreciative eye for the wild women of the old West.

  • Ok, I have to admit that I'm a little biased about this book because I'm one of the subjects profiled. However, I didn't know the author at all when I was first approached to be in this book, and I had absolutely no idea what the finished product would be. I was pleasantly surprised on the depth the author took in the history of women wild west performers. Jill really did her homework and you will be pleasantly surprised at the number of photos in this book. Great gift for the aspiring cowgirl and I am grateful for given the opportunity to be part of this project.
  • My mother was in rodeo parades in her youth in Ellensburg, Washington state. She didn't perform to the extent that the women in this book have, but we both enjoyed the stories, history and pictures.

“It's the cutest little cowgirl book ever. This book has the most authentic recipes a cowgirl (or cowboy, in my case) could ever want. The photos inside are fantastic as well. It's only ten bucks or so, so buy one for you and one for your mom. You won't be sorry, I promise.” – Michael T. Preedin, Sisters, Oregon.

“Yee Haw! Come and get it while it's hot!”

  • My sister received this book for Christmas. I can't put it down! It contains simple recipes, using simple, common ingredients, for everything from drinks to entrees to desserts. It looked to me like most of the recipes in there could also be made out in the field, bunkhouse kitchen, or cabin, using skillets or dutch ovens. And the book is filled with photos, quotes, and vintage recipes from cowgirls. I think that's what makes it really irresistible to me… I'm a western chick who camps and rides, and this book resonates with me. Food, human and animal companionship, good sense, and a love of the outdoors is the connection this book provides… those corseted, smiling ladies could walk right up next to me as I'm checking to see if the cornbread is done, stretching out my tired back, slapping hay off my shirt – and it would be like the hundred years separating us had never passed at all.
  • Good books are good because they have a rhythm, a flow, that connects parts. That is no easy chore in a recipe book, but Ms Stanford's sidebars and personal comments create that flow. I cannot cook, but I have read the book with pleasure, and it made me hungry. I am going ask my grandchildren to fix me stuff. The photos and Western connection certainly added to pleasure of reading.
  • I bought this cookbook because I bought two Cowboy cookbooks and it only seemed right to get the cowgirls' side. This book did not disappoint. Besides the recipes, this book features vintage photos and illustrations about cowgirls or things in a cowgirl's life. Also interesting and humorous quotes and info sprinkled throughout. My husband wants me to cook the rattlesnake stew. Hmmmm

Getting Your Goat

Getting Your Goat

The Gourmet Guide

By Patricia A. Moore
with Jill Charlotte Stanford

Cathair na Mart: Evertype 2009
ISBN 978-1-904808-25-1 $14.95

Going it alone

Going it alone

Advice, comments, and sympathy for women over 50 who find themselves alone

Cathair na Mart: Evertype, 2008.
ISBN 978-1-904808-14-5 $14.95

Listen to a BBC Radio Stoke interview with the author!

Goat meat or chevon is rapidly becoming the most sought-after meat in the markets today because of low-cholesterol. This new book, first of its kind, is filled with gourmet but easy to do recipes from all over the world where goat is enjoyed.

The cover and interior illustrations of Getting your Goat are by Oregon artist Susan Koch.

  • This book has some interesting recipes. We raise meat goats and goat meat is a major part of our diet. It is the lowest in fat of all normally consumed meats. I am always on the look-out for a good recipe book. if you want to try eating, or do already eat goat meat, this book is helpful, nicely divided into the different cuts.
  • I knew that many recipe books that deal with lamb can be used for goat, but I just wanted a book that was written only for goat – and that's what I got! From the goat meat recipes to the suggested side dishes, I have loved this book and intend to use it for many years to come!
  • I recently started my own little dual-purpose goat herd and up till now have only found "goat" recipes that were nothing more than beef recipes using goat meat. This book actually focuses on regional and ethnic recipes that were designed to use goat meat from the start. It is well organized, with chapters broken down by cuts/type of meat (example: roasts, stew meat, ground meat, etc.) and indexed by region (Middle Eastern, African, etc.). None of the recipes feature obscure or impossible-to-obtain ingredients and all seem to require nothing more than a reasonable amount of time to prepare. There are also fantastic chapters on appetizers, complimentary side dishes, goat milk desserts and a miscellaneous chapter devoted to things like soap and dog treats. The one caveat is that it was written with Boer goats in mind. I raise a miniature breed so will probably mostly use the ground/cubed meat recipes. If you raise a breed large enough to provide you with decent sized cuts and roasts you will get even more out of it. For a narrow-scope cookbook dedicated to goat dishes, this is a keeper!

“For several years, Jill Charlotte Stanford produced a widely-read column, ‘Going It Alone’, that we proudly included in our monthly packet of news and features for the over-50 market publications. She is an outstanding writer with a fresh, honest approach to women’s issues. Jill’s emphasis was always on a woman’s self-esteem and the ability to rise above difficult and painful situations. I know I always anticipated reading her latest offering and learning something new or inspirational in the process. I am delighted this compilation of her columns is going to reach a much wider audience.” – Allison St. Claire, editor and publisher, Senior Wire News Service.

  • This book really helps get through a difficult time in a person's life. The individual stories makes one realize they are not the only ones dealing with life's issues.
  • I bought this book for someone else – I did read it, and it was very helpful in life. I would recommend it to someone who lives alone, or maybe for someone who has lost her husband and and is dealing with being alone.

Lamb Country Cooking

Lamb Country Cooking

Lamb With All the Trimmings

Medford, Wisconsin: Countryside Publications Ltd., 2007.
ISBN 0-9729661-0-2 $12.95

Jill Charlotte

Me at age 11

“This very personal collection is a timely treasure when lamb seems to be appearing on menus both grand and simple everywhere. Try Stanford's garlicky lamb chops smothered with apple mint chutney and served with daffodil rice!” – Kirsten Dixon, The Riversong Lodge Cookbook.

Contact: jill {at} jillcharlotte.com