Saturday, July 30, 2011

HSUS and you.

We've all seen the commercials.  You're doing the dishes and you hear Natalie Merchant singing and it takes everything you have to find the clicker to change the channel before you burst in to tears while Wendie Malick tells you how to save these poor abused animals.  What cold hearted person wouldn't donate just $19 a month to the Humane Society of the United States to save homeless animals and help them survive just one more day??

Me. Thats who.. .and I'll tell you why.  I'm hoping at this point you really don't think I'm cold hearted.. and I assume that you know how much I love and cherish all our animals. I am always more than willing to donate to our LOCAL Humane Societies  but the Humane Society of the United States  is not the answer to helping the tens of thousands of homeless pets.

Over the next couple Ag-U blogs we're going to be discussing HSUS; what they claim to stand for, what they really stand for and how they are trying to destroy the farming and ranching industry one celebrity at a time. 

I will do my best not to rant, I will suppress my raves, and my soap box will remain in the closet.  What I want you to learn is how millions of dollars are being wasted and what you can do to stop it. 

Farmers and Ranchers are a small but mighty group. Unfortunately, we don't have the millions of dollars and tv time that the HSUS supporters have. So, we need you. 

One of the best websites for keeping a close eye on the Shennanigans and finding opportunities to step in and speak up is Humane Watch.

That is all for now. Thank you for listening!!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Chicken Parmesean

Chicken Parmesean has always been a comfort food for me although its never the first thing that pops in my head when I'm thinking of dinner options.  But, it was Sunday, and I was making a bunch of Sunday Gravy and thought it sounded superb.

Get your Sunday Gravy without meat going in a oven proof skillet with a lid.  Preheat your oven to 350 Degrees

Start with a few chicken breast... my big "little" brother was coming for dinner so we're working in batches of three tonight.  Season your breasts and place them between to pieces of plastic wrap.  Get out your meat tenderizer, heavy skillet or punching gloves and go to town.  This is a great stress reliever if you've had a bad week. 

They should all be about the same size... I like about 1/4 in thick. 

Now you'll want to get out three plates.  One for your flour, one for your two eggs with a little water whisked, and one for your seasoned italian bread crumbs.  (My Nanny would probably not like me using premade ones but we're on a schedule here folks)

One breast at a time, dip in each one of the mixtures F.E.B. and place to the side.

In a heavy skillet, heat some EVOO.  We're just going to quick fry these breasts to get them crispy on the outside.  We'll finish them off in the oven.

Nestle your cooked breasts into the gravy and scoop a little on top. This will keep them nice and juicy.

You'll want these to be almost cooked through (about 30 minutes) and right at the end add a few big slices of mozzarella and leave the lid off so its gets melty and yummy.

I served this with a side salad and pesto pasta that I made with some fresh basil.  Hopefully I'll get that up here soon but for now, here is the printable version!   Chicken Parm

Monday, July 25, 2011

Red, White and Blue Burgers

Yea, I know. I'm a few weeks late for this patriotic tribute to the good ole USA but its the effort that counts... right?  RIGHT?

I had so many powerful flavors in this burger that it almost made my head explode (thank goodness it didn't, that would've been embarrassing) so you may want to scale it back or try adding them one at a time to see what you like.  Or go all out and test the flavor capacity of your head!

Start with your 1 Lb ground beef in a bowl. Add your blue cheese crumbles, S&P and a little sprinkle of Joes stuff.

Form your patties. 2 1/2 burgers or 4 normals sized burgers!
Send those out to the grill with your husband.  You have important things to tend to in the kitchen. 

In a small bowl mix your mayo and one minced garlic clove. Set that aside to get meldy and tasty.

Slice up 1/2 yellow onion and begin to sautee it in a small pan with a little butter and a little EVOO, cook these down until they're nice and soft and a little browned.

Grab your jar of quick pickle beets and your pesto. I made a bunch of pesto but you can buy it made from your local grocer.

Time to stack it up.  Bottom bun - mayo mixture, burger topped with your beets and onions and finished with your pesto on the top bun!

I served these with sweet potato chips and grilled asparagus.

Print me here!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Lean, Mean, Beef Eatin' Machines!

The other day while floating on the Internet I came across this article on Yahoo grilling your way to a flatter belly   and was mildly intrigued ... and then grossly appalled. Not only was beef not mentioned until the 11th option but it wasn't even the leanest option.  Not to mention, I had a coworker in my ear who also saw the article and said , " I know the answer, chicken chicken chicken"  ... good thing I have a portable soap box.

Myths about Beef... and their wonderful truths.

Red meat causes cancer

      Although this was a popular scare tactic in the 70's, this myth has been debunked time and time again.  The highest risk for colon cancer in meats is found in your processed meats, (i.e. hot dogs, salami, cured meats etc) and in burnt meat.  These studies indicate that when meat (any meat, not just red meat) becomes charred, it can release carcinogenic (cancer causing) chemicals.  But who wants to eat burnt meat anyways?  160 degrees is all your beef has to reach to be completely Safe and Savory.

Cattle are fed antibiotics in their feed which is transferred to my food.

  This is such an important subject.  There are just gobs of misinformation out there to scare people into rallying against cattle farmers.  A healthy cow herd is our livelihood.  Without our cattle, and our land for that matter, being in tip top shape we have nothing.  There is no benefit for farmers and ranchers to abuse the animals and land that we solely depend on. The antibiotics keep our herds healthy, productive, and happy. .  ... I'm starting to go off on a tangent,  You probably don't want me to get started on this again. A is for Antibiotics 

Beef causes Heart Disease

   It's not the beef that's causing your heart disease, people! It's the Bearnaise sauce you're topping it with, the onion rings and loaded baked potatoes that are on the same plate and undoubtedly the Diet Coke you ordered because you're trying to be "healthy".  Our diets, as a whole, have changed over the last 50-70 years where home cooked meals have been replaced with microwaves and drive thrus, carrots are replaced with Cheetos and water is a thing of the past.  Beef has been a constant scapegoat for those people who have eaten a fast food cheeseburger every day and suffer from Heart Disease.  Common Sense is absent in those studies.   

 Vegetarians live longer than beef eaters.

Protein   Selenium    B12    Zinc    Niacin     B6  Phosphorus   Choline    Iron    Riboflavin 

God created these vitamins and put them in a delicate balance within our meats, fruits and vegetables so they could be absorbed properly in the body.  Even with a daily dose of what would no doubt be at least 20 different vitamins, you still would not have the proper absorption leaving you with a likely zinc and Selenium deficiency . 

Beef for growing children is also of utmost importance.  Beef supplies an abundant amount of key nutrients to help children and tweens grow to be strong and healthy. Nutrients that are found in beef—protein, zinc, phosphorus and iron—contribute to optimal growth, cognitive function, red blood cell development and preventing iron deficiency during the adolescent years.

 Beef makes you fat 

    "Calorie for calorie, lean beef is one of the most flavorful and efficient ways to meet the daily value for 10 essential nutrients like iron, zinc and B vitamins and beef also provides 20 grams of protein per serving. "

There are plenty of wonderful protein options out there and chicken has received the most publicity about being a "healthier" option.  Beef offers 29 options of lean cuts with a smidgen more healthy fat and oodles more protein.  Plus, how many ways can you cook a chicken breast? With all these lean, savory, and healthy cuts a beef, the sky is the limit!!

If you're not sure how to utilize all these amazing cuts of beef for dinner, the lovely people at  Beef, its whats for dinner would be more than happy to help you brainstorm!!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Birthday Feast

Well, I'm yet another day older but what a way to go.

I took a trip out to Massachusetts this weekend with some of my family and was nothing less than elated about the food I knew was on the horizon.

I can't promise I'll be able to keep this up all week but if the first day is any indication, I'm going to be moving to Mass!!

Baked Quahogs from our front beach!!


Brought to you from wherever I am!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Sunday Gravy

All good recipes in my world start with a few cloves of garlic.  What would we do without this amazing little punch of life.

Sunday Gravy w/out bolognese

We'll start without the yummy delicious beef for now.  I make two different Sunday Gravies depending on what I'm going to couple it with.  The winter months I usually go for the spicy version even if I'm not going to add meat because it warms you from the inside out... yummm...

Whoops. Ok. Start with EVOO and your few cloves of minced garlic.

Cook until Fragrant add two cans of 28 oz tomatoes.  I do one can crushed and one can whole.  Its just more fun that way. Also it adds a little extra texture.  Pictured here is just one can crushed because I was making this gravy for my chicken parm

Add your wine directly into you can. No need is wasting all those extra tomato bits. They gave their lives for your Sunday Gravy!!

Simmer for at least 30 minutes, stirring occasionally and seasoning with S&P to taste. Add basil at the end and serve it up!!

Sunday Gravy w/ Bolognese

Start by browning up your meat. I usually do 1 lb of ground beef and add a little Italian sausage if I'm trying to impress Hoag. Once most of the pink is gone, add your garlic, red pepper flakes and season it with S&P

Add 1 can crushed tomatoes and the juice of your whole tomatoes.  This is where it gets fun. This a GREAT job for kids or your husband if he acts like a kid, or yourself if you like to pretend you have the responsibilities of a kid... good clean ( messy) fun. 

Take the tomatoes, one by one, and squish them in your hand. You want them to break up but still maintain their great texture.  If you're not into getting dirty, (lame) you can poor the tomatoes in your pan and squish them with a potato masher. Sprinkle the top with sugar to cut down the acidity of the tomatoes.

Add your red wine directly into can.  I don't need to remind you why, I hope.

Simmer and serve! In the summer months I make it all from scratch... which I hope to have the patience to show you how on here. But, no matter what, I always have a few cans of tomatoes in the pantry. Less sugar, less additives, way more delicious.  Bon Appetite!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Boys are back in town...

It's that time of year! Time to bring the boys on home and let the Mama's finish teaching their babies the ropes before we wean in September.  

It was exactly 60 days from when we let them loose in the Hills and, knowing our boys, they completed their task.  Now its nothing but rest and relaxation and a lot of bellowing, dirt slinging and swimming in the deep end of the pool for the rest of the summer.

Here's your starting line up

This is Bill, he's in accounting, he enjoys collecting stomped flies in his spare time.

Chief is a little preoccupied with following around his ladies to pose for a picture. He gave me the stink eye so I headed for the Hills... literally and figuratively. 

Sampson thought we we're playing a game of hide and seek. He was hiding from his ladies.. (apparently he's a quick worker) and I was trying to scout him out.  He's a fast bugger!! 

George wouldn't come out of the pool no matter how much I begged.  It was really really hot that day. 

This year we added to new lines of genetics into the mix.  Gotta keep it fresh, ya know!



They're really big and apparently I have an aversion to red because every time they'd swish their tails I'd start to run.  I guess I'm still getting used to these big fellas... who would ever think that they were once this size!!

Not pictured... these guys.  They were enjoying their swimming lessons and were not even entertaining the fact that it might be fun to torment the human.

I see you big dude!!!

These boys wanted nothing to do with my Paparazzi!! I'll find you one of these days... you can't hide forever.

Once Sale Time comes around, we'll have them all posed and pretty.  But for now, they're off to the pools to work on their summer tans.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Chicken Enchiladas

Well, Let me tell you how much I love Chicken Enchiladas.  I love them like the flowers love the sun, like Boston loves the Red Sox, Like Maui loves a good smelly pond.  Yea... that's a lot of love people.  My mom taught me about enchiladas and I've taken a few liberties with her recipe but the heart and soul is still the same.  Thanks Mama!

Start out with two chicken breasts seasoned with S&P in a heavy skillet with a little EVOO and a can of rotel.  Let that cook low and slow covered so it stays all juicy and sops up the flavor for the rotel.  yummmm

While that's cooking, (you'll be drooling so be prepared for that too, )  Mix all the other delish fillers in a big bowl.  That's going to be 1 cup of sour cream, 8 oz of salsa verde, 1/2 big white onion ( or two small wimpy ones that got pulled from your garden early), a few cloves garlic minced,  1 can chopped or sliced olives, and 1 cup of shredded cheese.  Pepper jack is the best but if you have a mix and match in your fridge it all turns melty and yummy in the end.

Shred your chicken and leave the rotel in the pan for now. Trust me, its the best part

Add chicken to the bowl with the rest of "heaven" and mix. Season with S&P to taste.

Grab some flour tortillas ( you'll want the burrito sized ones) and toast them on a skillet pan until little pockets of hot air show up and they get a little brown.  " A little" being the operative word. You still need them to be flexible.

Put the ooey gooey goodness inside your toasty tortilla and make a little burrito baby being sure to fold in the bottom to keep it all in!

Top with the reserved Rotel and add extra cheese for good measure.  Of course.

Cover with foil and bake at 350 Degrees for 30 minutes. Make sure to remove the foil the last few minutes to get the cheese really bubbling!!!

For a printable version, click here.