Random Tuesday Beef Geekery and Such

I like Tuesday, because it’s…no longer Monday.

At any rate, it’s been awhile since since I’ve participated, so let’s link up to Stacy and get some random on!

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See G Man.

See G Man move.

See G Man move to Podunk.

MOVE, G MAN, MOVE!!

See Poppa and Meema be very happy grandparents.

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Any questions?

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This?  THIS is GREAT.

The guy has great taste in marital ringwear, too.

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And speaking of engagement rings, look what’s adorning Darling Daughter’s left hand these days:

Yes, that would be a honkin’ big opal and diamond engagement ring.  Apparently, Mr. FixIt has marvelous taste in marital ringwear as well.

This also makes Poppa and Meema very happy because it gives them another opportunity to, well, be Poppa and Meema.

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My last bit of random comes as a bit of a warning, so be prepared for photos in the near future (most likely a week from this Friday).

Friday we are taking a trip out to visit our butchers and watch them cut our next side of beef, to order.

Don’t worry, our heifer (her name is Patty) has already been killed, eviscerated and skinned, so you won’t be getting any graphic photos of that.  But what you will get to see is photos of Patty going from this:

to this:

I don’t know about you, but we are pretty excited about it.  We are, in fact, taking The Young One out of school early so he can come, too – sort of a “Where Does My Food Come From?” field trip.  (I think he’s mostly excited about getting out of school early, but I’ll take any enthusiasm I can get.)

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And that’s about all the randomness I can muster today.  Have a lovely Tuesday, y’all.

Grain-Free Blueberry Muffins

Oh, look – it’s that time again!

Let’s have some fun – use the Mr. Linky widget at the bottom and link up your real food recipes!

I’ve been sitting on this recipe for sometime, but over the course of the last week or two I haven’t really cooked anything that can be made ahead (although, ironically, I am today (for reasons I’ll go into later)).  So I decided to pull this out of my cookbook files and post it.

Because?  These are really, really, REALLY good; very moist, with a tender crumb.  They also keep very well, covered, in the refrigerator and make a great on-the-go breakfast when coupled with a hard-boiled egg or a piece of good quality sausage.  Each muffin also comes in at 8 grams of carbohydrates (and 2 grams of fiber) so they definitely belong in the “low carb” category.  And because they are made with almond flour and minimal sugar, they are quite filling (and somewhat higher in calories than a traditional blueberry muffin) – one is a perfect serving.

Blueberry Muffins
Grain-Free Blueberry Muffins
Serves: 9
Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cups almond flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/4 cup light olive oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Generously grease 9 cups of a one-dozen muffin tin.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the almond flour, salt, coconut sugar and baking soda. In a separate, medium bowl, whisk together the olive oil and eggs. Stir the wet ingredients into the almond flour mixture, beating lightly by hand with a wooden spoon, until thoroughly combined. Gently fold in the blueberries.
  3. Divide the batter equally between the 9 greased muffin cups. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  4. Allow the muffins to cool for 5 minutes before removing from the pan. Serve warm or at room temperature.
  5. Nutrition (per serving): 196 calories, 15.6g total fat, 62mg cholesterol, 169.8mg sodium, 152.1mg potassium, 8.3g carbohydrates, 2.4g fiber, 5.4g sugar, 2.2g protein.

 

 

PLEASE – post recipes with whole, real food ingredients only. Dairy, sprouted grains and legumes and natural sweeteners are allowed, but recipes containing processed or refined ingredients or vegetable oils will be removed.  Don’t forget to link back to this post! Thanks for your cooperation.

A McLoad of McCrap

*stands on soapbox*

This post is probably NOT going to be popular.

There.  I said it.

I was going to write about whether or not you should eat CAFO liver in response to a question I received in the comments of last week’s Fight Back Friday post (the short answer?  “Yes.”  I’ll give you details soon, Jason, I promise).  However, something came up that made me decide to delay my planned FBF post.

Briefly, it was McDonald’s.

A couple of weeks ago, I was perusing Facebook, as I am wont to do 437 times a day occasionally, when I came across a link to an article proclaiming, “McNuggets Branded ‘Healthy!’  Weight Watchers Makes Deal With McDonald’s!”

“Oh, for crying out loud,” I thought. (Actually, it was something slightly more obscene edgy, but we’ll go with the G-rated version for now.)  I clicked the link and was taken to an article informing us that McDonald’s has made a deal with Weight Watchers to market some of their meals, complete with the Weight Watchers logo and points value on the menu.

This news did not surprise me; from 1978 to 1999, Weight Watchers was owned by the H.J. Heinz Company (yes, the ketchup and pickle people), and while they were purchased in a leveraged buyout and have been a publicly held company since 2001, Heinz still manufactures all the processed “foods” marketed under the Weight Watchers brand.

If you Google “Weight Watchers Makes Deal with McDonalds” you get a slew of articles with headlines like “Shock as Weight Watchers OKs McDonald’s Food” (Fox News), “McDonald’s Chicken McNuggets branded ‘healthy’ by Weight Watchers” (The Telegraph), “Weight Watchers Teams Up With McDonald’s, Angering Nutritionists” (Huffington Post), “Anger over Weight Watchers’ endorsement of McDonald’s” (The Guardian) and “[McDonald’s] sees a fat profit in dieting” (Sydney Morning Herald).

So far Weight Watchers has approved three meals – the Chicken McNugget meal, the Filet-O-Fish meal, and the Sweet Chilli Seared Chicken Wrap meal.

Wait – you’ve never heard of the Sweet Chilli Seared Chicken Wrap meal?  Neither have I – that’s because McDonald’s appears to only sell this particular item in Australia and New Zealand (and Tasmania, perhaps?  I don’t know; I can’t find anything online).  Every article will tell you that this partnership between Weight Watchers and McDonald’s is only in New Zealand, with plans to expand into Australia “within the next few months.”

That doesn’t matter – lots and lots of people here in the States and Canada have just got their knickers in one helluva twist over this.  They’re carrying on about it all over Facebook and Twitter and writing angry, scathing blog posts about it.  I find all of this really amusing, because each and every article I mentioned above was written in early March 2010.

This news is two years old.  And no matter how much I search, I can find nothing – NOTHING – else about it.  I even asked Australian/New Zealand readers of my FB page (and I do have some) to tell me if this is still an issue there, and I’ve been met with a great big load of…silence.  The whole matter seems to have died peacefully in its sleep.

But even if it didn’t, and tomorrow you could walk into any McDonald’s in North America – hell, any McDonald’s in the world – and see the Weight Watchers points for each item on the menu, so what?  You still don’t have to eat it if you don’t want to.  And I’ve got news for you:  you can find out the Weight Watchers points for ANY dish at ANY restaurant.  The Blooming Onion appetizer at Outback Steakhouse?  56 points – without the dip.  The Caesar Salad with Grilled Chicken at Cheesecake Factory is 29 points.  The Sweet Potato Casserole at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse is 15 points.

Just like with Paula Deen’s diabetes diagnosis, everyone is getting all bent out of shape over nothing.  I don’t think there’s a single person on the planet who truly thinks McDonalds food is healthy, and if some person on Weight Watchers wants to eat there once in awhile and still stay within their “points” – or every meal, every day – who cares?  It’s their choice, just like it’s my choice never to step foot in the place again.

But if you really, really must make an issue out of this, at least make sure you’re getting all riled up over something that’s actually current.  ‘Mkay?

*puts away soapbox*

Have a lovely weekend, y’all.

Posted in participation of Food Renegade’s Fight Back Friday

Oh, and what the heck – the Spin Cycle again, too.

Thai-Style Pork and Goat Meatballs

Oh, look – what my friend Irish Gumbo refers to as “Gork Balls” have made a reappearance.

We are really, really enjoying Pete the Goat.  In fact, the only bad thing I can say about it is there isn’t enough of him, so I’m not cooking it as often as we’d like.  And there is more ground Pete than any other cut, which is why you’re getting another meatball recipe.

I was kind of at a loss when I made this dish – I wanted to keep it Whole30 compliant, wanted to make something that wouldn’t take half the night, and didn’t want to make something that was just the same-old, same-old…although it occurred to me later that considering the number of curry dishes I’ve posted here, it sort of is the same-old, same-old.

Ah, well – we really like Thai food, especially Thai curries, in our house and this was a big hit; Beloved especially nommed it with much enthusiasm.  Despite the number of servings the recipe says – 6 – there were NO leftovers, and I heard complaints that I did not make enough.

I’d say that’s a big Thumbs Up.

Thai-Style Pork and Goat Meatballs
Thai-Style Pork and Goat Meatballs
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • Meatballs
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 pound ground goat
  • 1 tablespoon lard or butter
  • 1/2 small onion, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoons ginger, freshly grated
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon lard or butter
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon red curry paste, or to taste
  • 2 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
  • 1 can (15 oz) coconut milk
  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Melt the lard or butter in a small, heavy skillet over medium-low heat. Cook the onion, stirring frequently, until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  3. Using your hands, gently mix the ground pork, ground goat, onion/garlic mixture, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, ginger and sesame oil in a large bowl until well-blended. Form into 2-ounce meatballs and place on a shallow, foil-lined baking dish; bake the meatballs for 20 to 25 minutes, or just until cooked through. Place the meatballs on a paper towel-lined plate and set aside.
  4. Melt the lard in a large, heavy skillet over medium-low heat and cook the onion until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and red curry paste and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 2 minutes more. Whisk in the chicken stock and coconut milk until well-blended, then stir in the fish sauce.
  5. Add the meatballs to the sauce in the skillet, increase the heat to medium and cook, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes. Serve over steamed jasmine rice or steamed, riced cauliflower, if desired.
  6. Nutrition (per serving): 520 calories, 39.9g total fat, 104mg cholesterol, 1332.9mg sodium, 820.8mg potassium, 8.2g carbohydrates, <1g fiber, 2.6g sugar, 32.8g protein.
Notes

If you can’t find ground goat, use 2 pounds ground pork. If you don’t eat pork, ground turkey will work well, or just use ground beef, although ground venison might be interesting, too.

 

Stand By Your Heavily-Battered, Sugar-Dusted, Deep-Fried Spam If You Want To

This week’s Spin Cycle is all about taking a stand.

It’s been almost two years since I decided to take a stand about my diet, and unless some sort of empiric scientific evidence comes along proving to me that Kraft mac ‘n’ cheese and Twinkies are more healthful options than pastured eggs and grass-fed beef liver, I don’t see that stand changing any time soon.  In these two years, I’ve managed to convince a few of my long-time readers that I may be on to something, and I’ve gained many, many more who understand and agree with what I write here.  My readers are pretty intelligent, astute people who care about their health, and that of their families.

So let’s see a show of hands – raise yours if you think Paula Deen’s recipes are even remotely healthful.

Anyone?  No?

I have to admit I’m a bit amused by everyone jumping all over poor old Paula when she announced that she had no plans to change the way she cooks, despite a diagnosis of Type II diabetes (we won’t even go into the uproar she caused by becoming a spokesperson for the pharmaceutical company that manufactures her diabetes medication).  First of all, does anyone really think it’s just a coincidence that her thinner younger son was given his own show on which he makes “healthier” (read: low fat) versions of his Momma’s dishes, mere weeks before she went public with her diagnosis?

Anyone?  No?

Ms. Deen is famous for a reason – she’s got personality out the wazoo and she cooks food that people like to eat because it tastes really, really good.  Hell, even I’ll admit that and you couldn’t get me to touch a Krispy Kreme Bread Pudding with a 10-foot pole even before I changed our diet.  Let’s face it – recipes for “oven-fried” boneless, skinless chicken breasts abound, both in cookbooks and on the internet, but there aren’t many people who will give you the recipe for a Gooey Butter Cake.

Paula Deen is a brand, and I don’t blame her for feeling she needs to protect that brand (and there’s the fact that if she took control of her diabetes with diet and exercise she’d probably lose her reportedly multi-million dollar partnership with Norvo Nordisk).  She knows which side her honkin’ big piece of white bread is liberally buttered on.  Paula Deen is about deep-fried mac ‘n’ cheese and Mississippi Mud Cake, not flavorless crap constructed with a couple of lettuce leaves, fat free Velveeta and a dribble of salsa that’s supposed to pass for a Cheese Burrito (that’s for idiots like Lisa Lillien – whom, you might have guessed, I cannot STAND; I don’t think that woman cooks with anything that could be remotely construed as real food.  At least Paula Deen isn’t afraid of butter and red meat).  And if she can make money telling a desperate public what it so badly wants to hear – that you can keep eating processed flour and refined sugar deep-fried in industrial seed oils; all you have to do is take this pill or give yourself this little bitty injection – well, more power to her.

People let themselves be fooled.

As for Anthony Bourdain and his proclamation that Ms. Deen is the “most dangerous woman in America”…Mr. Bourdain, I admire your Libertarian sensibilities, am amused by your opinion of vegetarianism, and am in awe of your willingness to try any food at least once, but I REALLY think you need to drop the cigarettes and bottle of scotch before you go bitch-slapping poor old Paula.  People living in glass houses, and all that.

At least, that’s my opinion.  And I’m standing by it.