City Lessons

I have been loving life in Washington, D.C. this summer. I have met amazing people, seen phenomenal things, and learned a lot! Life is much different than I’m used to here. The population in the district (not counting the surrounding area) is more than the entire population of the state of Wyoming. Here are the biggest lessons I’ve learned:

  • Becoming disconnected from agriculture is really easy. It always shocked me when I would talk to people that had not idea where their food comes from. It was hard for me to realize how disconnected people can be from the food system while living so connected to agriculture at home. At the national zoo, they had cows and goats. I realized that for many kids (and maybe adults) those animals might be some of the only farm animals they have ever seen. Food is abundant at the grocery store. Not much thought is typically given to how that food gets to the store, or what the labels mean.

    It is easy to see why consumers get confused by labels and production practices.

    It is easy to see how consumers get confused by labels and production practices.

  • Rooftop gardens help, but they aren’t the ultimate solution. In many speeches and discussions, rooftop gardens have been brought up as a way to educate people about agriculture and where food comes from. Although they help start a conversation, I think that more work needs to be done. My building has a rooftop garden, and it is fun to see food growing.

    Rooftop

    My building’s rooftop garden.

  • Foodies are abundant! There are so many phenomenal restaurants here. The foodie movement is occurring!
    Yum!

    I have been enjoying all that D.C. has to offer, like this delicious Beef Barbacoa Burrito!

     

    Cities are a very different place than I am used to, but I have been thoroughly enjoying my time here! There are fabulous resources such as Facts About Beef available for consumers to learn more about beef.

Happy Meaty Monday!

Rachel Purdy
Princess Farmer

Don’t Break the Bank!

Up until this summer, I have never truly needed to cook for myself. I lived in student housing my first two years of college, and relied on the cafeteria to cook for me. This summer, I am living and working in Washington, D.C., so it was necessary for me to learn to shop for myself. Shopping for groceries, I have learned several lessons:

  • Plan Ahead. Set a budget before you go to the grocery store, and make a list. If I do not do those two things, I end up making several unplanned purchases.
Planning ahead saves time and money!

Planning ahead saves time and money!

  • Don’t shop on an empty stomach! If I shop without eating a meal beforehand, I end up buying a bunch of ready-made junk food instead of the groceries I went to the store to purchase.

Hungry

  • Do the math. Sometimes buying in bulk is a great way to save money! However, sometimes it costs the same or it might be more expensive. Be sure to compare the price per pound or ounce before picking a size.
It's important to look closer at the "deals."

It’s important to look closer at the “deals.”

  • Look at the nutrition label. A product might be cheap for a reason. It is important to look at the nutrition label to see how much nutrition the product provides, and at what cost. Beef for instance is very rich in protein, zinc, and iron. For only 8% of your daily calories, beef provides almost half of the daily value of protein.
Check out here

Check out this link for more information on beef nutrition.

  • Shop sales, and freeze for later. Especially with beef, you can freeze the product to extend the shelf life. The video below shows a great method for freezing ground beef for later.

If you do freeze beef for later, this chart shows how soon you should use that product by.

 

 

 

Freeze

 

What ways do you save money at the grocery store?

Happy Meaty Monday!

Rachel Purdy
Princess Farmer

Fighting for Freedom: Beef Edition

I hope everyone has recovered from a fun weekend of colorful fireworks, yummy hamburgers and family get-togethers. Independence Day is a wonderful reminder of the freedoms we enjoy as Americans, such as the right to bear arms, freedom of speech and freedom of religion. To maintain these freedoms, we are challenged to defend them.  In the same way, beef producers are faced with the challenge of defending their way of life every day.

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When it comes to our food supply, our desire for information is insatiable. As consumers, we want to know that our steak was happy and healthy when it was alive. No one understands the importance of that better than the beef producers themselves.

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Now more than ever, we are demanding transparency from agriculture producers. If those who produce the safe, wholesome and nutritious beef our families enjoy do not speak up, people who have no understanding of the business or animal welfare aspects of their operations will speak up for them. Producers cannot afford for their words or production practices to be misconstrued in anyway.

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There are many voices in the conversation about meat and food production. Our challenge as consumers is to tune out the “white noise “, or uneducated chatter, created by people who do not understand the logistics and fundamentals of beef production and animal welfare. To accomplish this requires us to research. Our fast-paced, constantly-connected society is guilty of being gullible. Our easily-convinced, drama-seeking nature is aligned to follow the societal norm, even when the information is false.

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Moral of the story: The beef producer’s number one concern is their cattle. Ranchers have a responsibility to do what reflects the best for the well-being of their animals. And in order to achieve that, they must maintain their freedom to produce healthy cattle.

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In order to meet the demand for transparency and protect their freedom to produce safe, wholesome and nutritious beef, producers must also do everything possible to tell their story. With the same token, consumers have the responsibility to research beyond the tabloid headlines and discover the truth about their food. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to ask! 🙂

#MeetYourMeat

 

God bless, folks!

Kalyn McKibben

Blonde Beef Babe

 

4th of July Cattle Facts

The average American eats 65 pounds of beef each year

cattle nose

Cattle can detect smells up to 5 miles away

footballs

One cowhide can produce enough leather to make 20 footballs, 18 soccer balls, 18 volleyballs, 12 basketballs, or 144 baseballs

cattle breeds

There are around 60 different beef breeds present in the United States-pictures is a Belted Galloway

pasture

The U.S. supplies 25% of the world’s beef with just 10% of the world’s cattle

bones

There are 207 bones in a cows body

chewing

The average cow has more than 40,000 jaw movements per day

scale

The United States produces approximately 26.0 billion pounds of beef each year

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99% of the beef animal is used when processed

burger

40 billion hamburgers are sold in the United States every year

 

Have a happy 4th of July!

-Demi-

 

 

 

Live a Flavorful Life

As a generation, millennials like to show off their creative side when it comes to cooking. Not using a recipe to create a delicious meal can be fun and challenging, yet turn into a delicious new way to prepare a favorite cut of beef! As a summer campaign through the National Beef Checkoff, the entitled, “No Recipe Recipe” videos are a way to showcase to individuals the basics to remember when preparing a cut of beef, but allow the imagination and ingredients used by the chef to be an unlimited supply. The videos simply feature a cut of beef, a way to cook the beef, and simple rules to remember when cooking beef, such as how to check the temperature of a steak, or to season steaks after they come off the grill with salt to keep the flavors in the meat. From taco creations to mixing it up with stir-fry meals and salads, these new videos give everyone a taste of summer and a boost of confidence when it comes to cooking in the kitchen! Featuring easy, quick, and delicious meals, these new ideas are a great way to impress your friends and family alike. These simple 30 second to one minute interactive videos allows the chef to create their own recipe with their own ingredients of choice for a savory eating experience!

Below is the link to view the five different videos on the beefitswhatsfordinner website. http://www.beefitswhatsfordinner.com/easy-dinner-ideas.aspx  

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So go-ahead, you be the chef and create a masterpiece tonight!

Happy cooking!

~Demi~

 

 

Beyond Beef: Part 3

Today is the final part of the beyond beef series I have done the past few weeks. Steak does not have to take hours to perfect. Sometimes, you might want an Instagram worthy meal to show off to your friends. This recipe is perfect for that!

Succulent Filet in a Field of Greens

Yum!

Yum!

Total Recipe Time: 20 to 25 minutes
Makes 4 servings
INGREDIENTS

  • 4 beef Tenderloin Steaks, cut 1 inch thick
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 teaspoons minced garlic, divided
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 3 cups assorted wild mushrooms (such as cremini, oyster, shiitake, enoki and morel)
  • 2 cups red and/or yellow cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 2 tablespoons champagne or white wine vinaigrette
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup mixed baby salad greens

Instructions

  1. Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot. Add mushrooms and 1 teaspoon garlic; cook and stir 2 to 4 minutes or until mushrooms are tender and browned. Remove to medium bowl; cool slightly.
  2. Meanwhile, combine remaining 2 teaspoons garlic and thyme. Press evenly onto beef steaks. Place steaks in same skillet over medium heat; cook 10 to 13 minutes for medium rare (145°F) to medium (160°F) doneness, turning occasionally. Remove to platter.

    Be sure to take the temperature of your steak to ensure you cook it to the desired doneness!

    Be sure to take the temperature of your steak to ensure you cook it to the desired doneness!

  3. Add tomatoes, salad greens and vinaigrette to mushrooms; toss lightly to coat.
  4. Season steaks with salt and pepper, as desired. Serve with salad.

My favorite feature of this recipe is that it is ready in under 30 minutes. The dishes for this recipe are also minimal, since the same skillet is used for the mushrooms and the beef. Tenderloin is my favorite cut of beef, so this recipe is one of my favorites. This recipe also enhances the umami flavor by pairing mushrooms and tomatoes with beef. The umami taste is described as meaty, savory and delicious. Although this recipe is so simple, it does not taste or look like a quick meal. It is a high quality eating experience.

Happy Meaty Monday!

Rachel Purdy
Princess Farmer

Lessons From the Passenger Seat of the Feedtruck

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am blessed with the very best father and role model anyone could ask for. He is compassionate, dedicated, and doesn’t even know what a “day off” means. Dad and I share a very special bond. Growing up as Little Lyndon, I have always wanted to be just like my daddy.

dadandibigloop

Because of the millions of hours (okay, maybe not that many, but a whole lot) spent alongside my dad on a horse and in a feed truck, I have learned countless vital life lessons!

  1.  Respect your elders. If we have visitors on the ranch, you always offer them the front seat and you still get the gate. It is just one of the unwritten rules of respect.

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  2. Details matter. If there is supposed to be 101 cows in a pasture and you only count 100 cows, you better believe that we will not give up our search until the stray is found. Attention to detail is vital when animals depend on you to provide for them.   

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  3.  Lessons in listening. Whether it is a pause in conversation to listen to the 860AM market report at 12:00PM or to be briefed on the days plans, listening is imperative to ensure things run smoothly.

    This picture was taken around 1AM after we had finished processing a set of mama cows. Dad sure is a hard worker!

  4. Lessons in learning. Sometimes I just wonder if my generation was absent on the day in school when they taught us how to learn. Sometimes you just have to learn by example. I cannot tell of the many times I have depended on what I’ve learned by watching my dad. From roping cows, to tagging baby calves, I am a product of learning from seeing Dad do.

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  5.  Be flexible. Goodness knows plans have a way of changing instantaneously in production agriculture! Cows are out, a neighbor needs help gathering cattle, the weather acts up- any number of reasons- you have to learn to adjust and make things all work. 

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  6. Invest in people. There is just something about ranchers that makes them love talking to other farmers and ranchers. Friends, family members, neighbors, complete strangers- whomever it may be- my dad has taught me the value in investing in people. The dividends are much greater than the alternative!

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  7.  Focus. Whether you are checking for sickness in the herd or traveling about from pasture to pasture, focus is vital to ensure you do your job well and are effective.

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Moral of the story: I believe I am blessed with the World’s Greatest Dad! He has taught me more life lessons than I could ever say. He has encouraged and helped mold my strong passion for the beef community. I am who I am today, largely because of his influence in my life.Don’t forget to show your dad how much you care.  I love you, Dad!

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God bless, folks!

 

Kalyn McKibben

Blonde Beef Babe

Life Lessons from Dad

This upcoming Sunday is a day that we will honor our fathers for the courageous acts they have fulfilled, the lessons they have taught us as their children, and most importantly the love they have provided throughout every year of our lives growing up. I feel very lucky and honored to have been blessed with such a wonderful dad; the head of the household, the partner to my mother for 27 years, and most importantly a man that has taught me countless lessons throughout the numerous activities including cattle shows, cross country and track meets, driving the tractors, becoming a college student, and learning how to stand for my values. In honor of the man that I have always looked up to as my “Prince” and the man that has taught me valuable life lessons, I wanted to share a few of them with my readers today.

1. Hard work is the foundation to success

Spud

Showing cattle has always been a big passion of mine, but without the Sundays putting the fan cage up in the barn or the weeknights having my dad act as the showmanship judge helping me practice before the fair, I would not have enjoyed, nor had the success I have had showing. This picture showcases a favorite memory of mine the year before I was in 4-H. My dad left work to watch me show my brothers dairy beef feeder “Spud” in peewee showmanship. He always told me that if I wanted to do well showing and prove to myself that I could do something I had to put in the dedication and hard work prior to the event.

2. In order to do your best in something you have to enjoy yourself or it isn’t worth it

Bluffton

As a collegiate runner my freshman year in college, my dad was my biggest supporter and ‘sideline coach’. Running was something that we bonded over ever since I started competing in 5th grade. There were many weekends that we spent running workouts together on the track in high school and my freshman year in college. As a collegiate runner, there were some meets that I remember getting down on myself because I did not compete the best that I had hoped I would. I always remember a part of the ‘pep talks’ he gave to me before a race including “you have a gift and a talent to run and if you do not enjoy yourself while competing than the activity is not worth it anymore.” He always made me realize that you have to enjoy life because we only get to live one.

3. Make the most of every situation because there is always something to learn

KHS

After finishing a cross country or track race I would always find my dad to recap the race and talk about what I should do better for the next competition. The end of both my junior and senior year of track however I broke my foot and was beyond disappointed I could not compete to the best of my ability in the conference and distract meets. In all situations, both the good and the bad, my dad tells me to look for the positive because God has a reason. From the two times breaking my foot I remember dad telling me to be grateful I will come off of this injury stronger and be able to still walk, run, and compete because not everyone has that ability.

4. Winners never quit and quitters never win

Expo

Showing livestock is the basis of this quote. Showman know the joys of winning and how hard it is to accept defeat. My dad has always been a firm believer in never quitting something I have started. He always reminded me that whether I won or lost in the show ring, on the cross country course, or on the track, I must congratulate my competitors and offer a “job well done”.

5. Everything happens for a reason

tractor pull

I am so grateful for the relationship my dad and I have. He has taught me countless lessons and reminded me to always have a smile on my face. Growing up running and showing cattle were my two main activities and through both of them he gave countless hours of support and guidance and continues to remind me to trust in The Lords plan because he has a reason for the paths we walk on.

I wanted to use this blog to not only honor my dad, but allow others to possibly learn from the lessons he has taught me throughout different events in my life. To all the fathers, Happy Father’ Day and to my wonderful, loving dad, thank you for all you have done and I Love You!

~Demi~

 

Beyond Beef: Part 2

Last week, I shared a recipe to mix up breakfast. This week, I’m sharing a fabulous recipe to shake up steak! Most people either skillet cook or grill steaks, which is great! One of my newfound favorite ways to cook beef is by stir-frying it.

Apricot Teriyaki Beef Stir-Fry
Total Recipe Time: 25 minutes
Makes 4 servings

Ingredients:

While we were at the Southern Women's Show in Nashville, Alicia and I were able to cook this recipe on stage!

While we were at the Southern Women’s Show in Nashville, Alicia and I were able to cook this recipe on stage!

  • 1/2 cup (47% less sodium) teriyaki sauce
  • 1/4 cup apricot preserves
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch, divided
  • 1 beef flank steak (about a pound)
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 3 teaspoons butter, divided
  • 1 package (8 ounces) frozen sugar snap peas, thawed
  • 2 cups hot cooked rice

Instructions:

  1. Combine teriyaki sauce, apricot preserves and 1 teaspoon cornstarch in a blender container. Blend 30 seconds until smooth; set aside.
  2. Cut beef steak lengthwise in half, then crosswise into 1/4-inch thick strips.
  3. Whisk egg white, remaining cornstarch and ginger in large bowl until smooth. Add beef; toss to coat.
  4. Heat 1-1/2 teaspoons butter in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add 1/2 of beef; stir-fry 1 to 2 minutes or until outside surface of beef is no longer pink (do not over cook). Remove from skillet. Repeat with 1-1/2 teaspoons butter and remaining beef. Remove from skillet; keep warm.
  5. In same skillet, stir-fry sugar snap peas 2 minutes or until crisp-tender, stirring frequently. Return beef to skillet. Carefully stir in apricot sauce. Cook and stir 1 minute or until heated through. Serve over rice.
Yum!

It is a very colorful dish!

Before I was assigned this recipe, I was not very familiar with stir-frying beef. Here are the biggest lessons I learned:

  • Try to cut the steak as evenly as possible! The more uniform the pieces are, the easier they will be to cook later down the road.
  • Put the steak in the freezer for about 30 minutes before you start cutting it. This will make it easier to cut.
  • Cut across the grain of the steak. This results in a more tender eating experience.
  • Do not put too much beef in the pan! Small batches are essential.
  • If you do not have teriyaki sauce on hand, do not panic. It is very easy to make from scratch. Here is a sample recipe. I made this sauce for my recipe, and it turned out great!
  • Instant rice is wonderful! It saves some time if you are in a hurry to get dinner on the table.

I was very skeptical of this recipe before I tried it. Once I made it, this honestly is going to be a recipe that I add to my list of favorites. It is the perfect blend of flavors, but it does not overpower the beef flavor I like so much. It is also done in 25 minutes, with minimal dishes to clean up! I would encourage you to try it, you will not regret it!

The final product

The final product

Happy Meaty Monday!

Rachel Purdy
Princess Farmer

Beef YOUR Way!

One of the coolest things about beef is the abundance of options! Another amazing thing is that we as consumers get to take advantage of those options. We all have our preferences. It is just a matter of making sure we are aware of recommend tips so that we can enjoy our preferences in the comfort of your own homes.

 

Here are a few of the many options we have when eating beef:

 

  • Cut – Whether you prefer tenderloin, brisket, round roast, tri-tip, flat- iron, or a burger, you have endless opportunities to find your favorite flavor and personal  preference when eating beef!
    cuts of beef
  • Degree of Doneness – The degree to which a steak is prepared greatly affects the flavor. Some may prefer rare and others may prefer well done. To ensure you achieve your personal preference, meat thermometers are life savers when it comes to getting the most out of your beef eating experience at home.

doneness chart

  • Raising Method – Grass-fed and grain-finished beef both have very distinct flavors. Even though there is very little nutritional difference between the two options, consumers have yet another level of variety to determine their favorite. Whether the beef is natural, organic or conventional, it is important to remember that all beef is nutritious and delicious.

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  • Seasoning – There are endless opportunities when it comes to enhancing beefy flavors. If you are looking to liven up your beef, you can get creative with your own mixture of spices! You can put Asian, Mediterranean, Mexican, Italian, and countless other spins on traditional rubs and marinades.

spices

  • Cooking Method – Some cuts of beef reap more desirable results when prepared in specific ways. For instance, more tender cuts like those from the loin are better suited for dry-heat cooking methods such as grilling and searing. Similarly, tougher cuts such as roasts are better suited for moist-heat cooking methods such as braising and stewing. Making sure that the cut is prepared properly can ensure a better beef eating experience!

cooking methods

  • Marbling – Marbling is the fat flecks within the meat that influence the degree of tenderness, juiciness and flavor of the meat. If you enjoy more juicy beef, you may prefer a higher quality grade (Prime or high Choice), but if you prefer more lean beef, a lower quality grade (lower Choice or Select) may be your preference.

marbling

 

Moral of the story: Just like every single person is unique, every person’s beef preference is unique. It is just a matter of figuring out your favorite way to enjoy beef’s incredible flavor. No matter what your preference is, all beef options offer essential nutrients that our bodies need in order to operate perfectly. For more tips on how you can enjoy beef, visit www.beefitswhatsfordinner.com!

 

God bless, folks!

 

Kalyn McKibben

Blonde Beef Babe