Spring is here! With the appearance of spring, I always start craving the crunchy lettuce greens, juicy tomatoes, and bright orange carrots that I grow in my vegetable garden. So to tide myself over, last night we had a steak salad for dinner. My husband, Tate is the steak chef, so while I threw a salad together, he seared the steaks on the stove. This is what he did.
Searing a Steak 101
- Heat a plan on the stove to high heat. (We use a cast iron pan.)
- Put olive oil in pan.
- Place steaks in pan and only cook for 3 or 4 minutes on each side. You don’t want to over cook the steaks and a little pink in the middle isn’t a bad thing.
- Optional: Add a splash of Worchestershire sauce while you are searing for a hint of flavor.
- Slice up steaks and lay across salad.
Our salad was a medley of whatever veggies were in the refrigerator with a nice light Greek dressing to add a little seasoning, but not drown out the steak with a thicker dressing (why would you want to do that to a perfectly good steak?). It was the perfect combination of freshness. Yum!
I love our little farm store each Saturday morning.
It was a labor of love to set it up in January and February. We built the walls, insulated it, discovered perfect furniture to re-purpose for counter tops and shelving, rearranged and arranged and arranged the freezers, and ransacked dark closets to find the perfect old license plates, toys, and wreaths to hang on the walls. Each part of the store was a deliberate decision. And now it feels just right…
One of my favorite parts of the store is how I have gotten to meet so many people who have been following us for quite some time. Neighbors who greeted us with enthusiasm when the fences went up, who have been enjoying the journey as our cattle grow, and who patiently waited for us to be ready to sell our beef in smaller portions than freezer-filling size. It is so rewarding to hear customers who live a mile or two from our farm describe their dinners in detail, praising our beef, and looking for more cuts to try. I am so glad we can do this. Meet our neighbors, build community, and provide delicious, nutritious food to our local neighborhood.
Packaged and ready for pickup on the farm.
Each year my husband and I throw a Thanksmas gathering for all of our friends as a way to share the holidays together. This year I decided to include one of our briskets on the menu with a holiday flavored theme. I found this super simple recipe at www.diyfoodguy.com and you can find the full recipe there.
For our brisket, I took the spice rub (nutmeg, cinnamon, lemon flakes, pepper and thyme) and rubbed all sides of the meat. Since our brisket was pretty sizable, I decided to roll it and tie it with some butcher’s string, so that it would actually fit into my crockpot with the added bonus that it looks prettier that way. I drizzled maple syrup over the top, added some crushed pineapple for it to cook in and cut fresh pineapple slices to lay on top. The easiest thing about the recipe was slow cooking it for 8 hours and bam! it was perfectly done with a slightly sweet exterior flavoring. Delicious! So delicious, that I don’t have a final picture of it finished…but I’ll just leave that up to your imagination.
A year ago, I became a part time farmer. If I had filled out a resume at the time, my experience would have been limited to helping work around the farm on projects like roofing, running electrical wire, and building fences. As a child and teen, I “collected” small farm animals: chickens, ducks, turkeys, and sheep. I learned how to interact and care for small animals (hence the special place chickens hold in my heart). But to farm, to work with cattle, drive tractors, and work equipment, I have had a lot to learn. This year alone, I have done and experienced more new things than many other years in my 29 (almost 30) years of life. And I have loved it.
I love the stretched feeling your muscles get when you are working hard and using all your power. I love watching and understanding how animals interact and the instincts that drive them. I am intrigued to watch grass grow and learn about managing these amazing plants for the best nutritional output for the cattle. I love the puzzle of the math it takes to figure out how many grazing days we got out of our pasture this year or how many bales we need to feed our cattle through winter. Each day brings a new challenge. Something new to figure out or create or learn.
So I am thankful for the wise experts in my life, my dad and mom, our neighboring farmers, our grass fed beef mentors and many others who have helped to start my education in being a farmer.
This past weekend I finished harvesting the last produce from our garden and ended up with a huge mixing bowl full of green peppers. My plant had a rough start to the season, so the peppers I was coaxing each day to turn red weren’t going to make it before our next heavy frost. So despite my ambivalence towards green peppers, I decided to cook something, anything, with the last harvest of my garden.
Inventory of Last Harvest
- A ton of green peppers
- A handful of tomatoes
- A smattering of onions
Solution: Stuffed Peppers
This was the perfect recipe for our final harvest and it hit the spot on such a blustery, cool Fall day. Most of the ingredients I used were from our farm (except the cheese, rice, and garlic), which is always gratifying.
- 1 onion
- Garlic clove to taste
- Olive oil
- 2 hot peppers (Hungarian wax)
- 2 fresh tomatoes
- 1 lb hamburger
- Parsley to taste
- Basil to taste
- Salt to taste
- Pepper to taste
- 1 TB Worchestershire sauce
- 2 cups rice
- Tomato sauce (1 32 oz jar)
- 8 Green peppers
- Mozzarella cheese
- Parmesan cheese
Here is what I did:
- Sauté chopped onions and garlic in olive oil until tender.
- Mix in chopped hot peppers and diced tomato and sauté for a minute.
- Add hamburger and brown.
- Toss in seasonings and add Worchestershire sauce.
- Meanwhile, cook 2 cup rice in rice cooker or on the stove.
- Add tomato sauce to meat mixture and let simmer to mix flavors.
- Add rice to the meat mixture.
- Cut green peppers in half.
- Put a thin layer of rice on the bottom of your baking dish.*
- Place green peppers across baking dish.
- Fill peppers with filling and fill rice in cracks around peppers.
- Drizzle tomato sauce over the top of your stuffed peppers
- Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes. Remove from oven and top with mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Bake for an additional 10 minutes.
*We like our stuffed peppers more like a casserole than individual stuffed peppers. You can skip this step if you like the peppers stuffed without additional filling.