Thank Your Mom

I have been blessed with the most amazing mother I could have ever asked for. My mom is my biggest cheerleader, and is always pushing me to accomplish more than I ever could have thought was possible. I know that if I ever need advice, a kind word, or even just an ear to listen to me complain about my mundane problems-that my mom is there for me. She believes in me, even when I don’t believe in myself.

My mom has always been the glue that holds our family together.

My mom has always been the glue that holds our family together.

Being involved in agriculture, even our slow season is still very busy. Mom always makes sure that we always have a lunch and dinner, even when we are working late into the night in the fields.

Moma

My mom has been there for me through everything.

My mom has sat through countless excruciatingly long contests, just to watch me compete for five minutes. She really  sets a great example of what it means to put others before yourself. If I can be half as kind and caring as she is, then I will be doing good.

I would not have a clue how to cook if it wasn’t for my mom! She makes the best cabbage pockets. Cabbage pockets are a regional food primarily found in Nebraska. They are the perfect lunch for when you are on the go. My mom was generous enough to let me share her recipe for cabbage pockets with the world:

Be sure to thank your mother today, and everyday for all that she has done for you. My mom has shaped me into who I am today, and I am eternally grateful for that. Love you moma!

Rachel Purdy
Princess Farmer

Cinco de Mayo Festivities!

Howdy Friends!

As many of you know, this past Tuesday was Cinco de Mayo!  I hope everyone celebrated with beef; I know that I did!  And it gave me a great excuse to take a break from studying for finals and kick back with a great friend and some awesome Mexican food!

My friend Logan and I had our own little party, which involved my mom’s recipe for enchiladas, homemade salsa and tacky Fiesta music.  We laughed, enjoyed dinner and had a fantastic time!  Now, my mom’s enchiladas are a winning recipe, and definitely a family favorite!  I would love to share them with y’all, so here goes!

Rolled Green Chile Beef Enchiladas

Meat Mixture

  • Hamburger
  • Minced Onion
  • Garlic Salt
  • Pepper
  • Green Chiles (we use Hatch Chiles we roast ourselves)

Brown meat with seasoning added to your liking.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Green Chile Sauce

  • 1 Can Hatch Green Chile Enchilada Sauce
  • 1/4 Sour Cream
  • Green Chiles to taste

Heat ingredients until they are combined.

Coat bottom of pan with Green Chile Sauce.  Portion some meat mixture into a tortilla, add cheese and then roll.  Place rolled tortilla into pan, continue until the pan is full.  Top with remaining sauce and extra cheese.  Bake at 350 for 20 minutes until heated through and cheese is bubbly!

“These enchiladas were the best I’ve ever had, and I generally don’t like enchiladas.  I never knew how scrumptious ground beef could be in this wonderful Mexican dish!”

-Logan

From the Heart of Beef,

Alicia

Ground Beef Cooking Tips

As a college student, my go-to beef meal is tacos made with ground beef. Not only is it convenient and fun, it is also a quick, simple, and an easy process from unthawing the meat to browning it and making large portion sizes that I can easily keep warm in a crockpot for my friends and I to enjoy. Below are a few tips that I make sure I remember when I am cooking with ground beef that are important for everyone to remember as they are cooking in the kitchen as well.

When thawing ground beef, it is important to thaw it in the refrigerator, not at room temperature as you do not want the beef to be exposed to its danger zone prior to cooking. Unthawing beef at room temperature exposes beef to its danger zone, therefore starting to cook it prior to being exposed to the actual cooking heat. The temperatures when dealing with ground beef that are indicated as danger zones are below 40 degrees Fahrenheit and above 160 degrees Fahrenheit.

beef in frig

Thawing beef in the refrigerator ensures it is kept below its 40 degree danger zone prior to cooking. Ground beef can be kept refrigerated 2-3 days.

 

While cooking ground beef it important to continuously expose all surface area to the heat by using a meat mix n chop. This ensures the meat will brown evenly and cook all the way through.

browning beef

Use a meat mix n chop to be sure the ground beef has been cooked the same on all sides to ensure bacteria are killed.

 

Rather than a minimum of 145 degrees Fahrenheit that needs to be reached when cooking steaks, ground beef must be cooked to a minimum of 160 degrees Fahrenheit. This is because when beef is ground, surface bacteria that exist on the whole muscle cuts that it originated from is now spread throughout the product, and to ensure that this bacterium is destroyed, we need to hit this 160 degree temperature. With whole muscle cuts such as steaks and roasts, these bacteria do not exist internally unlike with ground beef which is why we can enjoy is nice medium rare steak or roast (145 degrees), but must cook ground beef to a higher temperature.

checking temp

Use an instant read meat thermometer to check the temperature of the beef, which should be at a minimum of 160 degrees.

 

Ground beef is a great cut that can be kept warm in a crock pot. Crock pots also help to tenderize the meat and are great for busy families who want to have a meal waiting for them when they come home!

crockpot beef

Crockpots are a great way to keep beef warmed so when you get home from a busy day, your supper is waiting on you!

 

Now with these tips for you and your kitchen, you can enjoy numerous different recipes using ground beef too!

Demi

 

Students Engaging Students With Beef

11067647_827591807329779_7558162985807576184_o

There is a major disconnect between beef producers and beef consumers. And being a college kid, the gap is unfortunately even greater among my peers on my university’s campus. I have the opportunity to be apart of an incredible organization known as Oklahoma Collegiate Cattlewomen. Last week, the organization took the initiative to dedicate an entire week to target college students and educate them about beef. The first annual Eat Beef Week was a fantastic hit! Each day offered a unique, creative way of engaging students to tell beef’s story.

Advocacy Workshop – Monday night students had the opportunity to gain useful tips to use when advocating for the beef community. From social media basics, to conversation starters, the workshop focused on encouraging students to tell their beef stories in a transparent, sincere way.

16474_828423387246621_4151077070008362810_n

Twitter Party- On Tuesday, people were encouraged to take part in a Twitter party hosted by OCCW. The topic focused around common questions surrounding the beef community, such as what measures beef producer take to make sure their cattle are taken care of. Participants had the opportunity to win Eat Beef merchandise also.

#EatBeefWeek #EatBeef @OCCW_okstate

 

Interactive Beef Campus Event- Wednesday, stations were set up in a high-traffic area that encouraged engagement from students. Stations included focus areas about the value of beef in a healthy diet, what cattle eat, and beef trivia. Beef samples were also available to passersby. This activity was very successful in encouraging genuine and honest conversation about the modern beef community.

19730_829250787163881_7932215534383172665_n

Beef Taste Testing- Thursday, OCCW members had the opportunity to taste unique cuts of beef that are not as common in our area, such as the tri-tip roast. Those in attendance also gained valuable information about many beef cuts as well as tips that will help to improve their beef-eating experience.

603865_830060237082936_919930827849416798_n

Farmland, The Movie Screening- Friday evening, Farmland, The Movie was screened at a centralized location on campus as a way to show a transparent representation of where our food comes from.

farmland

 

Moral of the story: those involved in the beef community have an incredible story to tell and we want to share that story with you! Take every opportunity to learn more about your food sources. Research credible sources and ask those directly involved with your food production to learn from the true experts. Educating and learning is all about conversations. Don’t be afraid to have those conversations.

 

God bless, folks!

 

Kalyn McKibben

Blonde Beef Babe

Expanding My Comfort Zone

Last week, our team travelled to my part of the country! We had the opportunity to really deepen our understanding of beef production by touring a feedlot and processing facility, along with meeting with several great organizations. While we were in Colorado, we also spent some time at the headquarters of the American National CattleWomen and NCBA. My favorite part of this day was spending time in the beef test kitchen where fabulous beef recipes are developed!

There is a lot of debate between grass-fed and grain-fed beef. We had the opportunity to sample both grass and grain fed beef side by side. In my honest opinion, I could tell a difference between the two types but I am indifferent. They are different, but I think that both kinds are delicious. It comes down to personal preferences and what you are used to. I grew up eating quite a bit of wild game, so I am used to the more “earthy” flavor of grass fed beef. I would encourage you to try both grain fed and grass fed beef side by side before making a decision as to what your personal preference is.

We tried ground beef and steaks of both kinds.

We tried ground beef and steaks of both grass and grain fed.

We also had the opportunity to put our thinking caps on and develop our own recipe! I do not claim to be a great cook, so this was a great learning opportunity! When I do cook, I am either meticulously following a recipe or I am cooking from a box. We were all given the ‪sirloin steaks and a kitchen full of potential ingredients and told to create a thirty minute meal for lunch. I felt like I was on the next episode of Chopped!

Help!

Having a plan before you begin cooking can help you have success in the kitchen!

It was a great lesson for me, that this is the dilemma that consumers face every time they walk into a grocery store. I felt overwhelmed with all of the ingredients and options that I could choose for my meal. I ended up making a dish I call Cowboy Mac & Cheese. It was a great opportunity for me to expand my cooking comfort zone.

Although it was overwhelming, I was able to create somethien!

Although it was overwhelming, I was able to create a meal without a recipe!

The biggest lesson I learned is that there is no harm in creating your own recipe, or modifying a recipe. The worst case scenario is that you will not like your creation, so you do not have to make it again! You never know, you might end up with something delicious that is a new favorite for you!

Happy Meaty Monday!

Rachel Purdy
Princess Farmer

“Running with Beef” in NYC

New York City as a huge metropolitan area has a tendency to drawl large numbers of crowds for events such as the NYC half marathon. Many New York natives believe ground turkey is better for you than ground beef. When comparing 95% lean ground turkey to 95% lean ground beef (comparing apples to apples…in the ‘Big Apple’) lean ground beef wins being more nutrient dense, having more vitamins the body needs to sustain its health, and lean ground beef also has less overall calories.

NYCbeef

Contrary to mosts belief, ground beef tops the health charts over ground turkey in many nutritional areas, some primary ones being overall calorie intake and protein

During my time in “The Big Apple” I had the opportunity to interact and engage in conversation with approximately 20,000 half marathon runners. Using check-off dollars to engage in conversations with consumers from the northeast part of the nation is important as beef production numbers are not as large as what they are in western region states.

As a part of the NYC Health and Fitness Expo in such a health conscious city, is was very beneficial to promote beef as a protein to runners, especially as an excellent recovery protein with needed vitamins and nutrients such as zinc, iron, and B vitamins. During long distant races, beef is an excellent protein for the #fuelforthefinish. Beef is a nutrient rich protein that gives runners the energy they need to not only sustain them throughout miles of a race, but it also is a great recovery protein for the fact that it has the needed vitamins and nutrients one’s body needs to reenergize and help with recovering muscles.

NYC1

Let #teambeef be your protein to power YOU through the finish!

Educating and having hands-on interactive beef incentive recipes is important as we continue to reach a vast number of consumers as athletes stressing the quality of health beef provides before, during, and after the race. At the beef booth, we promoted runners making their own chilly spice mix to partner with one pound of ground beef. Not only was this a simple and fun interactive spice mix, the promotion of cooking it with beef in the crockpot the night before the race sparked many runners interests as they were excited to know there was a recipe with beef that they could eat and not have to spend time preparing it after running 13.1 miles.

NYC3

The Chili Spice Bar allowed runners and family members to engage in a hands-on interactive activity as well as engage in “beefy” conversations

Spending the past three days in New York City interacting with city-goers and athletes was very eye-opening and interactive. It is important as beef producers we take the time to promote our protein to athletes and consumers in northeastern states who can benefit from eating the “world’s most efficient multi-vitamin.”

All for the love of beef in NYC!
Demi

 

Happy National Meatball Day!

Everyone loves meatballs! Today happens to be National Meatball Day. In honor of this day, I thought I would share some wonderful beefy meatball recipes with you all!

  • Spaghetti & Savory Meatballs: Obviously the traditional spaghetti and meatballs has to make the list! This recipe also happens to be an excellent source of fiber, protein, niacin, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, iron, selenium and zinc.

    Because delicious does not have to be hard to make!

    Because delicious does not need to be hard to make!

  • Spicy Buffalo-Style Meatballs: I am a big fan of buffalo sauce! Don’t let chicken have all of the glory with the buffalo flavor. Beef it up with this recipe!

    Combine these meatballs with your favorite dipping sauce for a winning combination!

    Combine these meatballs with your favorite dipping sauce for a winning combination!

  • Meatball Soup: Meatballs can also be used in soup! This recipe only takes 30 minutes to make. This recipe is fun around Halloween, because you can decorate the soup with fun things like: sour cream full moon, black olive bats, parmesan cheese ghosts, or creepy croutons.

    Meatballs aren't just for spaghetti!

    This recipe is fun for kids of all ages!

  • Saucy Skillet Meatballs and Potatoes: If I am looking for a dish that is filling, here it is! This recipe is delicious and packs a powerful nutritious punch.

    Meat and potatoes:

    Meatballs go with so much more than just spaghetti.

  • Lean Meatball Subs: Have the flavor of your favorite sandwich shop favorite at home in no time at all!

    You can make this in 30-35 minutes!

    You can make this in 30-35 minutes!

  • Swedish Meatballs: There’s no need to go to Ikea to find Swedish meatballs when you can make them at home! In less than an hour, you can have delicious and nutritious meatballs prepared!

    This recipe also makes a great appetizer!

    This recipe also makes a great appetizer!

Don’t forget, ground beef should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160ºF. Color is not a reliable indicator of ground beef doneness. For more information on ground beef handling and thawing, follow the links.

I love how versatile beef is, especially ground beef! For more recipes for meatballs and other tasty recipes, visit Beef It’s What’s For Dinner.com

Share a meatball with someone you love today!

Share a meatball with someone you love today!

Happy Meaty Monday!

Rachel Purdy
Princess Farmer

The New Hamburger Helper

Hamburger is always a great beef product to reach for when you are short on time, but still want a savory and fulfilling meal. But, just like you, sometimes I get tired of just a plain burger with cheese (and lettuce and tomato for those that like vegetables!) on a bun. Here’s some great recipes I found to easily kick up your burger and turn it into a delicious culinary creation:

 

Green Chile Burger

This is my go to burger – it’s a family recipe full on flavor, low on time and hassle!

  • Diced Green Chiles (I use Hatch chilies that we roast ourselves)
  • Heinz 57
  • Season with McCormick Hamburger Seasoning
  • Served on a toasted bun

 

YW0302H_cheese-stuffed-burgers-recipe_s4x3.jpg.rend.sni12col.landscapeCheese Stuffed Burger

Who doesn’t love gooey cheese in the middle of their burger?!

 

Best Ever Grilled Burger

Deceptively good!R159806.jpg.rendition.largest.ss

 

Down Home Burger

RU182385.jpg.rendition.largest.ssA little taste of the south!

 

From the Heart of Beef and Happy Cooking!

Alicia Smith

The How To Guide on Buying Beef

 

When you go to the grocery store, do you know how to select the best cut of meat? I was taught from a young age about marbling, but I didn’t know about all the other factors that go into selecting the best cut for your purposes. Here are a few ways to find the best cut for the best price!

 

Marbling is one of the biggest factors when it comes to flavor and tenderness. Marbling refers to the intramuscular flecks of fat within the meat. There are several different quality grades, which are generally posted on the outside of the meat package. The top four are, Prime, Choice, Select and Standard. The higher the quality grade, generally the higher the price per pound goes. No one quality grade is the best, it just depends on your personal taste. I prefer a high choice cut of beef, while some may enjoy the leanness of standard or the full flavor of prime.

L to R: Prime, Choice, Select, Standard

0000000006123-500x500selecttoproundsteak1-300x161

Color of Lean is another factor to check out in meat. You are looking for a bright cherry red, or even a little darker purplish-red color. If the meat is a purplish-red color, nothing is wrong, it just hasn’t had as much exposure to oxygen and is very fresh! Sometimes, you may find that when you open a package of cubed steaks, or hamburger, there may be brown pieces. This meat is perfectly okay to eat, again it has to do with the amount of oxygen that has reached the myoglobin in the muscle!

colorflowchart

Great Flow Chart to understand why meat changes colors!

Meat color triangle

Purple-ish Red, Cherry Red and Brown are normal colors for meat! Green and yellow are NOT!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tenderness is perhaps the hardest to judge from looking at the meat counter without any meat science knowledge. There are different types of muscles within the animals, and are generally categorized into two types: Hanging/Support Muscles or Locomotion Muscles. Hanging muscles are muscles that don’t do too much work, like the loin, ribs and brisket. As a rule of thumb, they tend to be more tender, but as you know with the brisket, it can also depend on the type of muscle fibers present in that cut! Locomotion muscles are used to move the animals, like the round or chuck and generally are tougher. There are also claims that are certified by the USDA that will help with tenderness, such as, Dry or Wet Aging, and Electrical Stimulation.

Dry versus Wet Aged Beef. Both are tasty options!

ElecCloseupIn

A very powerful electrical volt passes through the carcass before it is chilled

 

 

 

  

 

 

Shopping for meat should be an easy and hassle free experience, and with this quick guide you can find the best cut for you!

 

From the Heart of Beef,

Alicia Smith

I Heart Lean Beef Horizontal Color with Powerful Protein Tagline

Surviving the Cafeteria

I live in the dorms, and consequently eat a lot of cafeteria food. If you aren’t careful, it can be challenging at times to incorporate beef into your diet when someone else is determining the menu. Here are my tips for beefing up your cafeteria experience:

  1. Suggestion cards are there for a reason. If you do not like your current options, ask for them to be changed! There is a better chance of change occurring if you speak up about what needs changed.

    Make your voice heard!

    Make your voice heard!

  2. Mix and match. One of my favorite dishes is a steak salad. This is rarely an option from the choices they have. What I do is make a salad at the salad bar, and then grab a steak from one of the stations in the cafeteria and mix them myself. By mixing and matching portions of the menu they have, you can really add variety to your diet.

    Steak and salad are a great combination!

    Steak and salad are a great combination!

  3. Plan your meals ahead of time. At my university, the menus are posted online a week in advance. This makes it very simple to plan what you will eat each day of the week. It also makes it easy to incorporate all of the food groups into your diet because you are more aware of what you are eating.
  4. Don’t be afraid to try new things. Sometimes you might not know what an item on the menu is. Try it! If you find out you do not like it, then you know not to get it again.

    There are usually several options

    Trying new things will help you determine what you like or don’t like!

  5. Snack smart! Sometimes college schedules do not allow room between classes to grab lunch. On those days, one of my favorite snacks to power through my day is beef jerky and baby carrots.

    Beef jerky is great way to get the benefits of beef on the go!

    Beef jerky is great way to get the benefits of beef on the go!

Taking control of your diet can be challenging initially, but it really is worth it.

Happy Meaty Monday!

Rachel Purdy
Princess Farmer