Porterhouse with Cabernet-Shallot Butter

TPF Porterhouse Steak


The Porterhouse.  A magnificent cut of tenderloin and strip steak served on the bone for extra flavor.  This is the steak that makes occasions special.  Due to the quality of the cut, porterhouse should be grilled or broiled to rare or medium rare with minimal seasoning in advance.  A common technique used by steakhouses is to top a porterhouse with a slice of butter after cooking.  The butter melts into the steak and makes it even more succulent.  This recipe takes that a step further, adding red wine, shallot, parsley and thyme to organic butter.  Melted into grass-fed beef, you might wish you'd bought a nicer wine to go with it!  

 

It's hard to beat a crispy-skinned baked potato with a steak like this.  I like mine full of chopped parsley with sour cream on top.  If another vegetable is needed on the plate try roasted broccoli.  Drizzled with olive oil, salt, and pepper, broccoli florets can be cooked alongside the potatoes for the last ten or fifteen minutes.   

Ingredients

- Tyner Pond Farm Porterhouse steaks, ~1" thick

Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste

For butter:

1/4 cup Cabernet Sauvignon or other red wine

- 4 oz unsalted butter, softened

2 tbsp minced shallot

1 tbsp fresh diced parsley

1 tsp dried thyme

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

Directions

1. Simmer the wine and shallot in a small saucepan until the wine is reduced and mostly absorbed by the shallot, about five minutes.  Transfer to a bowl and let cool.

2. Remove steak from refrigerator to start warming.  Salt and pepper both sides. 

3. Place the butter, parsley, thyme, salt and pepper in a bowl.  Add the wine and shallot mixture and stir to combine.  

4. Place parchment or wax paper on a counter or cutting board.  Scoop the butter mixture onto it and shape into a log.  Roll the paper around the log and twist the ends to seal.  Butter can keep, refrigerated, for several days.

5. Heat grill to 450 degrees, clean and oil cooking grate.

6. Allow steaks to sit at room temperature 20-30 minutes before cooking.  Place on grill over direct heat.  

7. Grill four minutes, covered.  Turn, close lid, and and grill another four minutes.  Remove to a plate.  

8. Top steak with a tablespoon of seasoned butter and cover loosely with foil for 3-5 minutes before serving.  Enjoy!

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Kid-Friendly Super Bowl App: Super Simple Teeny Tiny Hamburger Sliders

 

The Morton gang is super-excited for the Superbowl this Sunday, February 7!  I keep telling my three young children about the game, Peyton Manning, the commercials, and...the food!  So now I have them all pumped up for delicious appetizers, but the problem is, they barely will try anything I want to make without some kind of epic meltdown.  I decided to make a giant batch of kid-friendly appetizers so they can have something fun and yummy to eat while I am in front of the TV with my second plate of taco ring dip.  The kids and I discussed our options and, somehow, we decided to make the "World's Smallest Hamburgers"!

 

 

All you need is...

1 lb. of Tyner Pond Farm Ground Beef (or Turkey)

Teeny, Tiny Hamburger Buns (*I Made My Own - See Below)

Your Favorite Toppings (Whatever Isn't Too Messy)

 

We made little, bitty hamburgers and sautéed them in a pan for 2-3 min. on each side on medium heat.

 

 

Since we couldn't find buns at the store small enough for our tiny burgers, we decided we had to make our own.  Sort of.  I don't bake so I grabbed a package of frozen bread dough and thawed it out.  Bonus:  The kids loved helping with the dough and this occupied Baby Girl for a whole 7 minutes!

 

Mini Hamburger Buns

Thaw Frozen Bread Dough

Roll into Balls About the Size of a Cherry Tomato

Brush with Olive Oil or Mixture of Half Melted Butter and Honey

Bake at 350 Degrees for 10-12 Minutes

Sprinkle with Water and Sesame Seeds if Desired (The water helps them stick to the bun)

 

This recipe is great because you can make it ahead of time, slice the mini buns, and secure the hamburgers in place with a toothpick.  Line a baking sheet and simply warm before serving!  The kids LOVED them!  My boys enjoyed eating them in one bite and Baby Girl exclaimed, "They are sooo cute!"

 

 

My oldest told me, "Thank you for making the best dinner ever!"  And then, he asked for dessert.  He plans on being in the Superbowl some day so he agreed with my suggestion that he should probably just eat more mini hamburgers.  We can't wait to make another batch of the "World's Smallest Hamburgers for the World's Biggest Game" this Sunday!

 

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Around the Tanner's Table in 80 Days with Tyner Pond Farm

Matt and Christine Tanner

​We recently learned that Christine and Matt Tanner, customers of ours since November, had made the commitment to eat Tyner Pond meats in every meal for 80 days straight! So naturally, we had to learn more about this awesome, active couple to see what lead them to our farm and making the change to ordering local, pasture-raised online every week. Read more about this pair and hear from Christine on what motivates she and Matt to continue to live a healthier, happier lifestyle starting with the foods they consume.
 

TPF: How did you first learn about Tyner Pond Farm?
Christine: My friend Jacque introduced my husband, Matt, and I to Tyner Pond Farm. Not to long after we learned about the farm, we drove out to Greenfield to see the farm for ourselves! We had no idea what we were going to find, but I was looking for another farm where I could buy local, pasture-raised meats. When we pulled up we saw a beautiful farmhouse and realized that there was a small barn/shed that housed the farm store. In the farm store we found fridges and freezers FULL of awesome food! I was overwhelmed with all the meat options available. The honor system was in full swing and we put our order in and paid for our meats right on an iPad. How crazy is that?

 

On our way home with all of our frozen meat, I told Matt that I want to come out here every week! He looked at me a little sideways because it’s almost an hour drive from our house in Carmel. Good food is that important to me, and I do all the cooking and was willing to do it. Well, I found out later that Tyner Pond Farm delivers! WHAT?! Oh, and it’s FREE! 

TPF: What made you decide to eat TPF meats for 80+ days?
Christine: My first day experiencing products from the farm started with the delicious farm fresh eggs for breakfast. Later that night I cooked up some of the pasture-raised bratwurst. I continued every morning and most nights making food with Tyner Pond Farm meats. After we began eating them consistently and tasting how incredibly good they were, I suggested to Matt that we should try to eat ALL three meals at home during the month of December to help us eat 100% clean. And that's how our obsession started – and it was right before Thanksgiving! We’ve been eating Tyner Pond Farm meats every day since.
 

TPF: Tell us a little more about your experience with the taste of our meats?
Christine: The taste of the meat is what I remember eating as a child. The beef is so flavorful and tender. I would get upset when I would spend money on a piece of expensive beef at the grocery only to cook it and be disappointed in the flavor. Not Tyner Pond Farm meats, every items has been delicious! 

Around the Tanner's Table with TPF

 

TPF: What drove you to want to find local, pasture-raised meats from our farm?
Christine: Growing up in Indianapolis, I had parents who bought a cow and a pig from a farm and we had a huge basement freezer to house our yearly meat consumption. My mom had a garden and in the spring, summer and fall, and we always had a wonderful array of fresh produce! In the fall, my mom would can, which would hold us for most of the winter. YES, my parents went to the grocery and YES my brother and I ate a few Ding Dongs in our young life, BUT what my parents taught me, and what I have tried to teach my kids, is that naturally raised animals and locally grown produce will always be better for you than what you may find in big box stores.


TPF: Why is it important to you to eat local, pasture-raised, healthier meats?
Christine: Matt and I lead a very active lifestyle. He is a competitive cyclist and I spend two hours/day staying fit. I have been living this lifestyle most of my adult life and when I met Matt, it was a perfect match. He needed someone who could take him to the next level nutritionally and I loved showing him how to tweak his diet to increase performance. Being his wife has made it so easy to cook the right foods his body needs. 


TPF: What made you commit to Tyner Pond Farm meats over other foods?
Christine: Over the past 5 years, we have experimented with all kinds of “diets”. First we went vegetarian, then quickly went vegan, then moved to Keto, and now we have realized that what we were eating all along is the BEST “diet” for our life. Homegrown meat and produce is what works and it’s what the kids like to eat as well. Fast-forward to today; I just finished cooking a Tyner Pond Farm sirloin steak with carrots, sweet potatoes and a side salad. That was lunch! Tonight I am roasting a whole chicken and smashing some red skin potatoes with a side of green beans. And tomorrow morning I will have my usual three fried eggs...all thanks to TPF.
 

TPF: So what's next? Has eating Tyner Pond Farm meats now become a way of life for you instead of a challenge?
Christine: Matt and I started out our journey with an 80 day commitment but found out that it is now easier to eat three meals a day at home than to go out to eat. No longer do we have that "bloated" feeling you can get when eating out. Or, the fact that we KNOW exactly what we are eating and where it comes from at every meal. It gives us peace of mind knowing that we are feeding our bodies the best nutritional food to function at the highest level. I think of TPF meat as a prescription from your doctor. Food should nourish and heal your body. 
 

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Paleo Sweet & Spicy Sriracha Chicken Wings

Recipe adapted from Baker by Nature.

 

I've never made wings before.  They've always intimidated me, but I'm not sure why. Maybe because my family enjoys them so much at restaurants that I was afraid to disappoint.  Then, Tyner Pond Farm had an amazing sale that I simply could not pass up. So, there I was, with 3 lbs. of chicken wings.  Pinterest to the rescue!  I found a recipe posted by Baker by Nature and had to try it.  We were NOT disappointed!  Wings will now be making a regular appearance at the dinner table.

 

As with many recipes, I looked to see what I could do to make this more Paleo-friendly. This one was so easy to adapt!  For starters, I checked the ingredients on the classic "rooster" sriracha sauce.  Not paleo.  Since this post is about chicken and not sriracha sauce, I won't go into the details of making it, but Nom Nom Paleo has an awesome and fast Paleo sriracha sauce recipe that fits the bill.  Mmm... I love me some spice!  They even have a Whole30 sriracha recipe!  Only two substitutes were required:  arrowroot powder for cornstarch and coconut aminos for soy sauce.  If you don't have those substitutes and aren't worried about making the recipe Paleo-friendly, then just make a 1:1 swap with the cornstarch and soy sauce.

 

Ingredients:  

 

3 lbs. thawed and cut TPF pasture-raised chicken wings

3 T. grass-fed butter (melted)

2 T. sesame oil

2 1/2 t. garlic powder

1 t. pink Himalayan salt

3/4 t. freshly ground black pepper

1/4 t. cayenne pepper

Sweet & Spicy Sauce:

4 T. grass-fed butter

1/2 t. crushed red pepper flakes

1 t. fresh ginger (finely grated)

1/3 c. local honey

1/3 c. homemade sriracha sauce

1 T. coconut aminos

1 T. fresh lime juice

1 T. white wine vinegar

1 t. arrowroot powder

2 t shelled hemp seeds (garnish)

1/4 c. chopped green onion (garnish)

 

Directions: (Preheat oven to 400°F)

 

1.  TPF wings come whole, so you'll need to cut them at the joints and remove the wing tip. I used my hands to break the joint, then a sharp boning knife to cut the wing into pieces at the joints.  Each wing will have two cuts.  

 

 

2.  In a large bowl, combine melted butter, sesame oil, garlic, salt, pepper, and cayenne.  Add wings and toss with your hands to coat evenly.

 

***TIP:  If you have little ones or guests who don't like spicy foods, mix everything but cayenne and coat a portion of the wings, then add cayenne to do the rest.  Set apart on your pan so you'll know which wings are sans spice. They will be delicious as is without the final coating of sweet & spicy sauce.

 

3.  Lay wings onto a broiler pan or shallow baking pan.  Bake at 400° degrees until browned and crisp, about 45-50 minutes.  Use tongs to turn them over halfway through baking.

 

 

4.  While wings are baking, start on the sauce.  Melt butter in a small sauce pan on the stove.  Add chili flakes and ginger, cook for 1 minute.  Add honey, sriracha sauce, aminos, lime juice, and vinegar.  Bring mixture to a boil, then add arrowroot powder.  Stir constantly and cook until just thickened, about 30 seconds.  Remove from heat.

 

 

5.  Once wings have finished baking remove them from the oven and set oven on broil. Move wings to a large bowl and pour sauce over top.  Toss to evenly and generously coat with sauce.  If using a baking pan, drain any excess fat and drippings.  Transfer coated wings back onto broiling or baking pan.  Broil for 4-5 minutes, but keep an eye on them because broilers brown quickly!

 

 

6.  Remove from oven and let them rest a moment because they will be HOT!  Carefully remove from pan and garnish with hemp seeds and green onions.

 

 

These wings are AMAZING!

 

If you want to try out other wing recipes, I also found a list of interesting flavors at Rock Recipes: 15 Fantastic Chicken Wing Recipes

 

 

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Moroccan Lamb Kefta Kabobs with Creamy Tzatziki Salad

 

One of the things I love about buying my meat from Tyner Pond Farm, besides their amazing methods of pasture-raising animals,  is the opportunity I have to break from the norm and try meat cuts I've not used before.  In March of last year, I tried lamb for the first time with my Lamb Neck Stew.  Tonight, I tried ground lamb.  It was delicious, tender and juicy!

 

After doing a bit of research online for different ways to use ground lamb, I decided on lamb kefta with Moroccan seasonings of cumin, coriander, cinnamon, and cayenne among other things.  It turned out great!  We've enjoyed gyros before with a cucumber tzatziki sauce, so I thought using that as a dressing for a bed of salad sounded perfect.  It was!  My husband wants to stuff the whole shebang into a pita.  That would totally work, too!  If you want to skip the salad, the tzatziki makes a tasty dip for the kefta.

 

Cooking these on the grill would have added another dimension of delicious flavor. Unfortunately, it's below freezing outside, so I used the oven broiler.  Did I mention they were quick and easy?  It's like making a meatloaf that cooks really fast. Hmm... American meatloaf kabobs... on a bed of mashed potatoes. Has that been done?  I think I have more experimenting to do!

 

Kabob Ingredients: (Makes 4 servings)

1 lb. TPF ground lamb

1 medium onion diced

1 TPF farm fresh egg

1/4 c. fresh parsley, chopped (I didn't have fresh, so I used dried)

1 T. fresh mint leaves, chopped

2 t. smoked paprika

1 t. cumin

1 t. salt

1/2 t. ground coriander

1/2 t. cinnamon

1/2 t. ground cloves

1/4 t. fresh ground pepper

1/8 t. cayenne pepper

a dab of beef tallow or lard for greasing the broiler pan or grill rack

 

Salad Ingredients:

4 c. chopped Romaine lettuce

1 c. feta cheese

1/2 c. dried cranberries

tomatoes, cucumber slices (optional)

 

Cucumber Tzatziki Dressing:

1 c. sour cream

1/2 c. Greek yogurt

1/2  of a large cucumber, diced 

1 garlic clove, minced

1 T. fresh dill (If using dried, make in advance without cucumber and garlic.  Allow to sit overnight in the refrigerator.  Add cucumber and garlic the next day in step 1 of directions.)

1 T. white wine vinegar

1/2 t. kosher salt

1/4 t. fresh ground pepper

 

Directions: (preheat grill to high heat or oven broiler to 450°)

 

 

1.  Mix dressing ingredients and allow to sit in the refrigerator while preparing the rest of the meal.

 

2.  In a large bowl, mix together all the ingredients.  It's easiest to get in there with clean hands.  Be careful not to overwork the meat.  Mix it just until blended.

 

 

2.  At this stage, you can make kabobs, meatballs, or a loaf.  My cooking instructions are for kabobs, so adjust the time and temperature accordingly for other forms.  To make even portions, divide meat mixture in half, then half again twice more until you have eight even portions.  Shape into a flattened oval and push skewer through the center with two portions on each skewer.  If using wooden skewers, soak in water first to prevent burning.

 

 

3.  Lay kabobs onto a greased broiler pan and broil in the oven at 450° for 8 minutes.  Turn kabobs and broil for another 8 minutes.  If using the grill, preheat to high heat and cook for the same amount of time.  Take care not to dry out the lamb from overcooking.

 

4.  Chop lettuce, cut tomatoes, slice cucumbers

 

5.  Toss lettuce with dressing.

 

6. Add cheese and cranberries to lettuce mix, lightly incorporate using tongs.  

 

 

Serve kabobs on a bed of mixed salad.  Garnish with tomatoes and sliced cucumbers.

 

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Grass-fed? Organic, or all-natural? Popular food 'buzz words' you need to know!

This is a guest post by Elizabeth Edwards, a Registered Dietitian and founder of www.dietitianlivinggreen.com, a blog on how to live your healthiest life, in and out of the kitchen.

 

Organic. Grass fed. Free range. We hear these buzz words a lot now, but what do they exactly mean? As I touched on in my previous post about 3 great New Year's Resolutions you can make, I believe it is so important to know where your food comes from, what it went through, and how it was made. Today I will go over these food buzz words so the next time conversation rolls around to these, you can drop some knowledge like a boss. 

 

All natural: Not much drives me crazier as a dietitian than seeing "all natural" or something similar plastered all over processed food products. There still remains no definition for what "all natural" means, so companies are pretty much free to use it as they wish. The FDA does say the following about the use of the word, 

 

"FDA has not developed a definition for use of the term natural or its derivatives. However, the agency has not objected to the use of the term if the food does not contain added color, artificial flavors, or synthetic substances."

 

The product could still be (and usually is) chock-full of added sugar and is highly processed, but hey-- it can bear an "all natural" label and dupe people into thinking it's something decent. Currently, there is a push for the FDA to evaluate the use of "all natural", as many feel the word is being used to deliberately mislead consumers into thinking a product is much healthier than it actually is. The FDA has extended the comment period for the public until May 10, 2016 on this issue, so if you'd like to add your thoughts on the matter, follow this link and scroll down to add your comment. To sum it up, seeing "natural" or "all natural" on a product is meaningless, so don't let it influence your purchasing decision. I've seen a few products that I WOULD in fact classify as all natural, but more often I see the term used on products I wouldn't classify as natural by any means. 

 

Organic:   The organic market is worth $35 billion and growing. In order to sell a product as organic, it must be certified to ensure it meets organic standards set by the USDA. Organic foods can not be or contain Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). This means the seeds cannot be GMO, organic animals must not be fed GMO feed, and products containing multiple ingredients must all be free of GMOs. Every year, organic farmers update their farm plan and complete an inspection to ensure compliance. You probably recognize the organic symbol below.

 

                                                      USDA's National Organic Program logo

 

The USDA provides the following definition for organic:

 

"Organic agriculture produces products using methods that preserve the environment and avoid most synthetic materials, such as pesticides and antibiotics. USDA organic standards describe how farmers grow crops and raise livestock and which materials they may use. Organic farmers, ranchers, and food processors follow a defined set of standards to produce organic food and fiber. The USDA defines specific organic standards. These standards cover the product from farm to table, including soil and water quality, pest control, livestock practices, and rules for food additives."

 

The following list describes qualities of organic farms and processors:

  • Preserve natural resources and biodiversity
    • minimizing manure runoff (contamination)
    • maintaining soil fertility through rotational grazing
    • protect water and soil quality naturally
       
  • Provide access to the outdoors so that animals can exercise their natural behaviors
     
  • Only use approved materials
    • Most synthetic pesticides not allowed--the limited list of the only synthetic pesticides allowed for use is here, and this is only allowed on two conditions. 1- if the use of the substance will not contaminate the crops, soil, or water, and 2-  they may only be used if non-chemical methods have not worked to control the pest. 
    • no antibiotics, added growth hormones, animal byproducts, and no feed ingredients like urea, manure, or arsenic compounds are allowed
    • no ionizing radiation used, no use of sewage sludge
    • no genetically engineered ingredients
       
  • Support animal health and welfare
    • allowed year-round access outside
    • given shade, direct sunlight, space to exercise, shelter, clean & dry bedding, and clean water to drink
    • raised on certified organic land
    • preventive health strategies used before any medicine is considered (and then, only given if the animal is ill and needs it)
      (Source: Organic Livestock Requirements)
       
  • Receive annual onsite inspections
     
  • Separate organic food from non-organic food (Source)

Don't those sound like standards that should be in place for all food? I sure think so. Interestingly, all food WAS organic until after World War 2. Put another way, there was no such thing as organic, because that's just what food WAS. As I recommended before, choose organic meat, poultry, and dairy 100% of the time if you can. Toxins like chemical pesticides do get stored in human and animal tissue-- specifically in the fat-- so it is important to take the steps we can to reduce this exposure. Because of this, if you absolutely cannot buy organic in these "priority" items, choose lean to avoid the toxin build-up and add your own healthy fat source, like avocado, coconut oils, or grass-fed butter.

 

Free-range: Oh, chickens. I think chickens may be the worst of all the animal industries as far as inhumane treatment. As you may remember from my previous article, I grew up raising chickens. That's me pictured below, with one of my favorite chickens growing up. They were my pets (I didn't have a cat, dog, or hamster like most kids), they had names, and occasionally even spent some time in the house (sorry mom!). Don't worry, my mom is well aware of my affinity for bringing chickens inside, I didn't just drop a bombshell. She'd walk around the corner and catch me inside with a chicken and I'd hear "Get that chicken out of my house!" and back outside we'd go. It was great fun. Anyway, I loved watching them interact and bop about the yard and garden, looking for bugs, worms, and scavenging other goodies. Watching their dirt-baths was my favorite! Growing up with this experience gives me rather strong convictions in my belief about the way all animals, and specifically chickens, are raised.

 

Free-range according to the USDA's Meat & Poultry Labeling Terms is simply, "Producers must demonstrate to the Agency that the poultry has been allowed access to the outside".  (Source.) This, as you might imagine, has a million loopholes. In my talks and experience with chicken farmers, "access to the outside" pretty much means a small door or hole in the wall where chickens could walk out to a very small patch of concrete, IF they wanted to. Most chickens raised on these large farms do not choose to go outside. They are so far removed from their natural way of living that they don't even know how to be chickens! We have raised chicks from this type of large-scale farm environment, and let me tell you, they have to be taught what outside is, and taught how to dig and forage in the dirt and grass. Bottom line: Free-range basically means nothing because it doesn't ensure the chicken actually spent a single minute outdoors. Cage Free on the other hand, has a tad more merit. It means the chickens are free move around and can spread their wings, as opposed to kept in battery cages where they cannot flap their wings and barely have any room to move.
Ideally, you want to buy eggs from a farm where you know the conditions the chickens are living in and can assure they are not fed animal by-products or GMO feed, are cage-free, and ideally free-range to a level that satisfies your concern for animal welfare. 

 


This is me with my pet chicken, Hannah, in 1994.

 

Grass-Fed:  Every time I hear or use the term grass-fed butter I imagine a lovely slab of butter chowing down on a big pile of grass, and it makes me giggle. Of course, the term grass-fed refers to the cow whose milk was turned into butter. It's much easier to say grass-fed butter than it is to say butter-from-a-cow-who-was-grass-fed! :-) Like so much in the food industry, there isn't a cut-and-dry definition for grass-fed. The American Grassfed Association (AGA) and the USDA have different standards for their beef. In short, the USDA defines grass fed as ruminant animals (grazing animals with 4 stomachs) fed only their mother's milk followed by grass and forage (grass, vegetation, hay, grains in unprocessed form, etc) from weaning to harvest with no confinement during the growing season. The AGA decided this was too narrow of a definition, as it still allows the animals to be pumped full of hormones and antibiotics, and fed GMO forage. The AGA feels many consumers who care about grass fed beef would also care about other junk being given to the animal, and I quite agree. So, the AGA takes that definition and expands it to include no confinement ever, no hormones or antibiotics, and animals who were born and raised in the USA. (Source.) Food Alliance also has a similar grass-fed definition to the AGA. 

Cows at pasture on Tyner Pond Farm
Grass-fed cows at pasture on Tyner Pond Farm.

 

You may not find the AGA grass fed label on many products, so the best course of action is to know your farmer and your meat source! As with organic, knowing your farmer and their practices will assure you the processes are indeed grass-fed even though the "official" certification may not be in place, as this can be quite costly. Tyner Pond Farm is an organic-practicing farm that fits the AGA's expanded definition of grass-fed. They also have the option of both 100% grass-fed cows and grass-fed + some grain-allowed cows. No hormones or antibiotics are ever given, and all cows are bred on the farm or sourced from like-minded farmers in the USA. Awesome!

 

OK great, so now we know what it means, but why does it matter? Aside from much-higher quality of life for the animal, research continues to show grass-fed beef is higher in nutrients than conventional beef. Consumers often note a much better taste as well, and this is something you can easily do at home and see for yourself! I was very surprised at the difference in appearance and taste when I did this experiment.  Conventional beef may be fed grass for a short time, but the animals are then sent to confinement where they are fattened up on an unnatural diet of corn and grain. Animals who are allowed to live the way nature intended them to are happier and healthier, yielding a healthier product for humans to consume. Ruminants who have been grass-fed have a different body composition than those unnaturally fed corn. Corn and other grains are highly processed, and much like they have a poor effect on human health, so too do they have a negative effect on animals who were not meant to eat them. Grass-fed cows have more muscle, less saturated fat and fat overall, and more polyunsaturated fats and  than their conventional counterparts, and higher amount of healthy omega-3 fatty acids in their muscle.  (Source.) Grain-fed animals have a much poorer omega-6 to omega-3 ratio, with several times more Omega-6's than Omega 3's. Without getting onto another topic entirely, we are currently seeing a heavy imbalance in our diets with these two fats. While Omega-6's are good for us, they are not good in high amounts as they cause inflammation. Omega-3's, by contrast, are anti-inflammatory. (Source.) 

To sum it up in a sentence: Going grass-fed is better for the animal, better for us to consume (healthier), and better for the environment!


Cows at pasture on Tyner Pond Farm

 

 

Pasture-raised: This is where it can get a little confusing, so bear with me here. As we just learned, grass-fed tackles the topic of WHAT the cow ate. Pasture-raised tackles the topic of WHERE the cow ate. I think that is the easiest way to explain it. So, thinking of a pasture-raised cow may make you think of a cow strolling freely through a lush, green landscape, but it doesn't guarantee that cow wasn't given a trough full of GMO corn to chow on once he returned from gallivanting through the pasture. Basically, it again boils down to knowing your farmer and the farming practices he/she uses. Pasture-raised can be also grass-fed, or it could just be pasture-raised but allowed to eat grain. Most grass-fed animals are also pasture-raised, but it is worth asking, because it is conceivable that the animals could be fed all grass (hay) and be kept indoors. The best choice would be choosing a farm/source where the meat is both pasture-raised and grass-fed, where the animals are allowed to eat and live the way nature intended them to. Luckily for us in the Indianapolis area, Tyner Pond Farms has products that are just that-- grass-fed, pasture-raised, and organic! Woo hoo! 

 

There is one more point to mention regarding pasture raised. Pigs and chickens will often have the pasture-raised label and not grass-fed, because they are not grazing ruminants whose diet can be make up solely of grass. Pigs and chickens are omnivores and while they do eat grass, also need more than that in their diets. So for these animals, pasture-raised is the way to go, along with organic to ensure they were not fed GMOs.

 

Consumers like you are gaining more and more of an interest in where their food comes from and what the impact of growing it has on the environment. Once again, know your farmer! Many small farms, like Tyner Pond Farm, are following all of the above-mentioned high standards for food yet may not have gone through the expensive and often arduous process of getting the label. Knowing and having a relationship with your food source allows you to ascertain that the farms do indeed meet the qualifications for the labels. Supporting humane and as-nature-intended practices for raising animals is not only better for us as 'top of the food chain' carnivores, but is better for the animals AND is crucial to supporting our environment, ecosystems, and natural resources. They are being decimated at alarming levels by large-scale factory farming. I truly believe the wave of the future of food lies with people going back to basics-- knowing your farmer, shopping local, and supporting your community. 

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Everybody's Favorite Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry


Who doesn't like a good stir-fry?  It's mouthwatering strips of marinated meat tossed with crisp vegetables and aromatics served piping hot over rice.  Instead of ordering from the local take-out place, try making this simple, delicious beef and broccoli at home.  In less than thirty minutes, you can make a stir-fry that puts take-out to shame.

 

There are two keys to a successful stir-fry.  First is preparation.  Once the cooking starts it goes fast, so it's essential to have all ingredients ready to go.  And you'll want a couple extra bowls standing by.  Second, work in batches.  High heat is required for the fast cooking needed.  Placing too much food in the wok will prevent it from staying hot enough.  Cook in batches of a half pound or less. 

 

A nonstick wok is great for this however a large pan or skillet with high sides will do fine.  Remember to make your favorite rice on the side.  Jasmine rice goes very well with this.  Chopsticks are optional. 

 

Ingredients

For stir fry:

  • 1lb Tyner Pond Farm sirloin
  • 1 tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 1lb broccoli florets
  • 1 medium white onion
  • 1 tbsp fresh minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp fresh minced ginger
  • Chopped scallions and chives to garnish
  • Sliced almonds
  • Oil for cooking such as peanut or coconut

For sauce:

  • 2 tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 tsp cornstarch

 

Instructions

1.  Slice steak against the grain into thin strips.  Toss meat with soy sauce and set aside.

2.  Combine sauce ingredients in separate container, set aside.

3.  Slice broccoli into small even-sized pieces.

4.  Clean and peel onion; cut into six wedges.

5.  Mince garlic and ginger.  Set all ingredients together.

6.  Set wok or skillet on stove over medium high heat.  Add one teaspoon oil.

7.  When the oil is shimmering hot add one half of the steak. Leave space between slices.

8.  Cook for one minute.  Do not stir.  Turn slices over.  Cook another minute and remove to a bowl.  Repeat with rest of meat.  

9.  Add oil if needed and reheat.  Add half the broccoli and cook, stirring occasionally, until broccoli turns bright green and is still crisp.  Remove to a bowl and repeat with remaining broccoli.

10. Add the onion wedges, garlic, ginger, and more oil if needed.  Toss or stir for three minutes. 

11. Add the meat and broccoli back to the wok.  Add the sauce.  Toss or stir to combine. 

12. Reheat ingredients while stirring frequently.  If sauce becomes too thick, add a couple teaspoons of water.

13. Serve over rice, noodles, or as-is.  Enjoy!

 

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3 Resolutions for a Healthy, Green New Year

This is a guest post from Elizabeth Edwards, a Registered Dietitian and founder of dietitianlivinggreen.com, a blog on how to live your healthiest life-- in and out of the kitchen.

Another new year begins! To be honest, I'm really not one for resolution-making, I'm more of a believer in going cold-turkey and not waiting to start desirable behaviors. Most people aren't this way, though, so if you're ready to start fresh in the new year, I've put together three excellent resolutions to consider making a part of your lifestyle in 2016 and on.

Before we dive in, a little about me. I'm a Registered Dietitian with a passion for living a healthy and simple life. My mission is to show how living green is not only simple but key in being our best, healthiest selves and supporting our beautiful planet! So how did I get here? I have experienced many different areas of work as a Dietitian, and have seen the need for preventive nutrition in every one of them. I've spent time in hospitals educating patients on diet changes they need to make to improve their condition (or at least not worsen it), I've worked as a sports dietitian coaching clients on their health and weight loss goals, and am currently working as the Nutrition Program Director for a small group of Catholic schools in Indianapolis. Here, I have big goals and ideas to revolutionize school lunch. 

My experiences and observations in each of these areas have formed my opinion that there is nothing more important than preventive health, and this is what led me to start Dietitian Living Green. With the incredible amount of misinformation out there and big food companies spending millions for a near-constant bombardment with junk food, there is a desperate need for a fresh voice of truth and reason. My mission is to bring unbiased, research-based truth to the public and coach people to make lifestyle changes to be their best, healthiest selves. In other words, to Live Green! In my free time, I love gardening, cooking, being outside, playing tennis, ballroom dancing, and spending time with my family.

Alright, enough about me-- onto the resolutions! I have put together 3 New Years Resolutions that are most likely to apply to most people.

1. Ditch fast & processed foods
It's probably no surprise (I sure hope it's no surprise!) that fast food and 
processed foods aren't doing your waistline (or your arteries, or brain, or gut, or immune system...you get the idea) any favors. There is no better time than NOW to make the decision to ditch the drive-thru and the stuff in shiny, crinkly packaging and vow to eat and snack healthier in the new year! With just a bit of planning ahead, you can ensure the hangry snack monster doesn't attack and set you up for a processed snack binge disaster. I always recommend everyone eat balanced meals and snacks-- doing this will keep your blood sugar stable and keep cravings at bay. I define balance as having quality protein, fat, and carbohydrate in every meal and snack. Ensuring your meals and snacks are balanced and from real, unprocessed, whole foods in an excellent place to begin in the new year. Fast foods and processed food contain nothing that is helpful to your body or health, and contain a lot that is seriously unhealthy and detrimental to your health, which brings me to resolution #2. 


2. Go Organic
Most of the chemicals used on foods have not been tested for safety in long-term use. The FDA states the EPA reviews the data on chemicals before registering or licensing it for use on food. The FDA is the body responsible for enforcing the regulations, along with the USDA.
(Source) Any guesses who is providing the data on the chemicals for the EPA to review? If you said the chemical manufacturers, you're correct. Making this worse, the FDA doesn't have the ability to test all--or even the majority-- of foods for pesticide residue. In the 2012 Pesticide Report on acceptable levels of pesticides in foods, over 11% of the tested imported foods had pesticide levels higher than the levels deemed safe, and almost 3% of domestic foods were above safe levels. (Source) This is extremely alarming, because those percentages are just of the small pool of foods that were actually tested! The true percentage of highly contaminated foods would be much, much higher. Further, I maintain the position that there is really no "safe" level of pesticides on food. Remember, there are tons of chemical pesticides in use, including insecticides, fungicides, herbicides, and other agricultural chemicals. Even in minuscule levels deemed "safe", these chemicals are still very harmful and taxing on the body to neutralize. When most every food item we consume is contaminated with a plethora of different chemicals of which cannot truly be appropriately regulated, the amounts add up. This is not acceptable. 

These chemical residues are also harming the environment, contaminating waterways, depleting soil integrity, and harming the animals living in these ecosystems.  The large scale dying-off of bees we are experiencing is a result of pesticide contamination. I like this article by Rolling Stone, which discusses the bee situation and the new research proving pesticides are the cause. Choosing organic foods greatly reduces your exposure to harmful chemicals, many of which are doused heavily on conventional crops and are now being shown to be incredibly toxic, harming fertility and impacting proper hormone action, impacting the immune system, and are cancer-causing. Many of the harmful chemicals and hormones in our diets come by way of the animals we eat, as toxins are stored in animal fat, so it is imperative that all meat consumed be organic. And then there's the GMO issue. In short, there have been zero long-term studies on the safety of GMO's, and there is very valid, major concern for the effect on not only human life but on the environment.

I know it can be daunting to think about making the switch 100% to organic food, and while I do recommend all meat and any dairy consumed be organic, there is some wiggle room for produce. The Environmental Working group has put together a list of "The Dirty Dozen" and "The Clean 15". These are lists of the top 12 worst-contaminated and 15-least contaminated foods, respectively. You can view the Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 below. Studies also continue to show organic foods DO have higher levels of nutrients than non-organic. Organic produce also tastes better-- this is a test you can do yourself!

3. Eat Local & Shop Small
You may recognize those words as up and coming trends, and they are for good reason! Consumers are beginning to become more savvy about how they are spending their dollar and becoming aware of the power of that dollar. This is a phenomenal and encouraging change, and it needs to continue!

  • When you support local shops and businesses, you are supporting the local economy as more of that money stays in your local community. Small business tend to source products and ingredients from other local small businesses, further spreading the local love.
  • Buying local also significantly reduces your carbon footprint, a concern of growing importance in sustainability of the environment.
  • Buying local is also better for your health when the products are food. When you purchase from local farmers, you have the opportunity to get to know your farmer and how the food you are eating was raised or grown. I grew up in the country next to a farm that raised cattle. My own family had (and still has) a very large fruit and vegetable garden in which we grew much of our own produce, and we also had free range chickens that were my pets and also the source of our family's eggs. This provided me with an inside look, a connection, to where food comes from and how it gets onto our plates. Many people lack this insight and are completely disconnected with the food supply. I believe it is SO important to have an understanding of where your food came from before it got to you-- after all, you are putting it in your body, shouldn't you be aware of what it went through?

I hope these points have provided some food for thought (pun intended) as you begin a new year. Resolution maker or not, I find it helpful to take a few moments and quietly reflect on the past year. What were your successes and failures? What was positive? What was negative? How many of those things were in your control? Of the things not in your control, did you react in the best way possible? What would you like to do differently or see happen in this new year? These are some excellent questions to get started. Write them down! Answering these will allow you to move on to answering the question of what you need to do to make your goals a reality. I am a firm believer that a positive mindset is part of the equation in being your healthiest, happiest self. Here's to a healthy and productive 2016! 

Cheers!

-Elizabeth

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Enjoy Delicious Honey Bourbon Chicken at Home


Buying whole chicken is not only the most economical way to get your poultry it's also the most versatile.  Whole Chicken is great for roasting, grilling, and slow cooking, and is easy to cut up when smaller pieces are needed.  I like to order the small two to three pound birds and butterfly them and make each half a serving.  Splitting into halves allows faster marinating and cooking times since there’s more direct exposure.  If you have a larger chicken and want to try this it’s no problem – break it down a step further into leg quarters and bone-on breasts. 

 

I ended up making this twice in a week.  Both attempts were cooked in the oven and I really think this recipe benefits from a bit of smoke.  So to try and make up for not cooking this on the grill or campfire I added a couple dashes of liquid smoke to the marinade the second time around and thought it made a nice addition.  Second, in my first attempt I saved the marinade, simmered it, and then used it to baste the chicken.  I must have done that too soon because it blackened the skin.  The second time I skipped the basting entirely.  With enough marinating, it’s not needed, although I might be tempted it try it on the grill when just a couple minutes are left.


Ingredients

  • 1 small Tyner Pond Farm Chicken, ~2 - 2.5#
  • 2/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup bourbon
  • 2 TBSP honey
  • 2 garlic gloves, finely minced
  • 1 TBSP ginger, finely minced
  • 2 dashes liquid smoke (not needed if grilling)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


1. Combine the marinade ingredients in a bowl. 

2. Rinse chicken inside and out, dry.

3. Lay chicken breast-side down on a cutting board.  Using shears, cut along both sides of the backbone and remove.  Use the sides of the neck as a guide where to cut if unsure.


4. Turn chicken over and spread the now-open bottom while pressing down on the top of the chicken.  When the bird is flattened, turn it back over to remove the breastbone.
 

5. Turn the chicken over so it's skin side up.  Arrange the halves so they're symmetrical and cut the skin between the two breasts.  Voila!  Two perfect chicken halves.


6.  Place chicken in a gallon size zipper lock bag.  Add the marinade, seal the bag, and jostle it around until the chicken is coated.  Place in the fridge on its side, turning each hour.  Marinate at least two hours and up to four.

7. Thirty minutes before cooking remove the bag from the fridge to warm up.  After 20 minutes, preheat the oven to 450 degrees. 


8. Place a cooking rack in a pan and coat with a little oil to prevent sticking. 


9. Remove chicken from bag, let excess marinade drip off, and place each half on the cooking rack.  Arrange so the skin covers as much of the meat as possible. 


10. Place in oven and cook for 20 minutes for a two-pounder, 25 minutes for 2.5#, and up to 30 for three pounds.  When done, remove from rack, cover, and let rest five minutes before serving.  
 

Enjoy!

 

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Holiday Smoked Ham with Pineapple Honey Mustard Glaze

 

Turkey isn't the only star of a traditional Christmas meal.  Several online surveys show families opt for a ham or roast to celebrate Christmas, while leaving the turkey to Thanksgiving.  We tend to do the same.

 

Baking a Tyner Pond Farm smoked ham is really easy because the ham has already been cooked for you.  You're essentially reheating it and adding your glaze.  To be honest, I've never been responsible for the holiday ham, so this is a first for me. After looking online for some flavor possibilities, I decided to try my own mix of honey mustard with pineapple. Lots of recipes call for brown sugar.  I don't keep brown sugar because I make my own with dried cane syrup and molasses.  If you'd prefer, just sub 1/2 c. brown sugar for the cane syrup and molasses.  

 

TIPS!

**Your TPF smoked ham is going to be dark from the smoking process and will get darker during baking.  Don't be alarmed, it's not burning!  

**These measurements and directions are for a 4-6 lb. ham.  If you're making a larger ham, just double the ingredients for more glaze.  

**Baking times are roughly 10-15 minutes per lb. of ham.  Keep your ham covered with foil until the last quarter of baking. 

 

Ingredients: 

TPF Boneless or Bone-In Smoked Ham

1 c. water

1/2 c. evaporated cane juice

1/2 c. raw honey

1/2 c. pineapple juice

2 T. molassas

2 T. dijon mustard

1/4 t. onion powder

pinch of salt

1/2 c. crushed pineapple

**Double if baking a large ham

 

Directions: (Preheat oven to 325)

1.  Place thawed ham in baking dish at least 2" deep.  Put water in bottom of pan.  Cover tightly with foil and place in oven for about 30 minutes (**longer for a larger ham).

 

    

 

2.  While ham is heating, combine sugar, molasses, honey, mustard, juice, onion powder, and salt in a small sauce pan.  Stir and heat until sugar is dissolved.

 

    

 

3.  Once the glaze is prepared, uncover the ham and generously brush all over.  If it hasn't been at least 3/4 the total cooking time, replace with foil and continue baking.  At the last quarter of baking time, remove foil, generously glaze again and continue baking uncovered.  Keep glazing every 10 minutes or so. You'll do this 2 or 3 times.

 

 

4.  For the last glazing, with about 1/4 c. or so of glaze left, mix in the crushed pineapple.  Spread it on your ham.  Feel free to grab a spoon and baste with the juices at the bottom of the pan. 

 

 

5.  After about an hour of baking (**longer for a larger ham) and once the ham is heated through, remove from oven and let rest.  Don't discard those pan drippings!  If your drippings are thick and syrupy, add a touch of water to thin.  Pour or spoon over your sliced ham.

 

    

 

 

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Learn How to Be the Best at Cooking Steak without the Grill

You don't have to rely on restaurants to enjoy steak just because the summer season is over.  There are several ways to prepare your TPF steak cuts that don't involve charcoal or propane.  Here are three methods from around the web for cooking steak when the grill is covered and tucked away for winter.

 

1. Pan-Seared

Photo courtesy of The Tasting Table

 

My favorite method is pan searing. I love the chance to use aromatics in a butter sauce to baste the steak.  Doing so imparts an amazing flavor! When it comes to pan-seared steak, a cast iron skillet is key because it gets very hot and retains an even heat throughout the cooking process.  The Tasting Table offers fantastic fast and easy directions for pan searing the perfect steak.  Tyner Pond Farm ribeye, porterhouse, and New York strip steaks lend themselves well to pan searing.

 

2. Oven Broiled

Photo courtesy Betty Crocker

 

The oft-forgotten oven broiler, whether gas or electric, makes a great steak in short order. If you have top sirloin steaks or T-bones, try these Betty Crocker directions for oven broiling. Add mushrooms and squash to the pan for a complete meal.  Many ovens come with a special broiling pan, but you can also use a cast iron skillet.  As with any type of oven cooking, make sure to preheat! One of my most favorite things about using the oven in winter is how it warms up the house. 

 

3. Slow Cooker Steak

Photo courtesy Make-Ahead Meals for Busy Moms

 

Traditionally tougher cuts like round steak or cube steak (which is mechanically tenderized round steak), benefit greatly from a slow cooker.  We all know slow-cooked equals tender! These steaks take on a braised quality and often come with a bonus, gravy!  Make-Ahead meals for Busy Moms has a simple recipe that would work well with both round and cube steaks.  Can you say comfort food?

 

Read our blog post on Tips to Cooking Raised Meat.

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Indy Foodies Small Business Gift Guide

 

It's our second annual gift guide!  Check out these unique ideas from local artisans and businesses to gift the foodie in your life.  There's a little something for everyone from $5 to $350. Shop small this holiday season and make a difference!

 

1.) Ash Blæds Handcrafted Knives  

Ash Blæds designs and handcrafts each beautiful knife from start to finish right here in Greenfield, IN.  Made for use in the kitchen or the field, Ash Blæds focuses on community and sustainability to connect neighbors with custom tools that last.  Follow them on Instagram for photos of their process and products. $175 - $350 for most knives.

 

2.) Wildwood Market Products and Dry Goods

Head on over to Wildwood Market and choose from a variety of unique and gorgeously packaged products.  Arrange them in a container to create a one-of-a-kind gift basket.  Perfect for the office party, gift exchange, or that one person we all have who is so hard to buy for.  Spend as much or as little as you'd like! 

 

3.) Tyner Pond Farm Merchandise and Gift Certificates

You love our products and so will they!  Give a Tyner Pond gift certificate from $25-$100 to share the the joy of local pasture-raised meats with friends and family.  If your giftee is already a fan of our high quality meat products, then give them some TPF swag!  We have flex fit hats $18, men's and women's slow and steady t-shirts $15, and our new locally made Indiana cutting boards $45.

 

4.) Fatty Frog Pots Handmade Pie Plate

Handmade pottery is a gorgeous addition to any kitchen.  A pie plate from Fatty Frog Pots of Indianapolis can make that lard crust pie even more amazing!  Fatty Frog Pots also has mini versions perfect for single serve beef, chicken, or turkey pot pies. Prices range from $20 - $35.

 

5.) Slow Food Indy Snail of Approval Restaurant Gift Certificate

Support local sustainable food by giving the gift of lunch or dinner to the conscientious eater. Slow Food Indy's "Snail of Approval" restaurants like MilktoothCerulean, The Garden Table, and our very own The Mug, offer farm-to-table dishes highlighting clean foods produced right here in central Indiana. Prices vary.

 

6.) Prints Avenue Farm Art Print

This playful stack of farm animals print is sure to grab anyone's attention. Prints Avenue sells reproductions of hand painted artwork by Indianapolis interior designer and artist, Jessica Shreve. Select any color combination you desire! Need a $5 gift or a digital version?  Visit her shop Prints Avenue Printables for downloadable artwork you can print yourself. $16 for a print shipped to your door, or $5 for a file download.

 

7.) Uncommon Handmade Beef and Pork Ornaments

Out of Valparaiso, IN come these quirky and adorable beef and pork meat cut ornaments for the true carnivore.  Uncommon Handmade specializes in colorful cleverly designed decor and fashion accessories with a homey-meets-modern feel.  Use them as tree ornaments or as a tag for the meat lover's gift.  Buy on Etsy for $11.00 each.

 

8.) Local Folks Sauces

The avid barbecuer in your life will appreciate the variety of sauces available from Local Folks Foods out of Sheridan, IN.  From Stone Ground Mustard to Honey BBQ to Blazin' Border Sauce, all Local Folks Sauces are preservative-free and contain no high fructose corn syrup, oils, artificial colors, or gluten.  Shop online or find a retailer near you.  $4.50-7.50.

 

9.) Hand Forged Grillmaster BBQ Set

Our neighbor to the east, West Milton, OH-based Grapevine Forge, handcrafts elegant and sturdy grillmaster sets that include a spatula, BBQ fork, and six shish kabob skewers. These unique artisan tools will make your loved one feel like the true king or queen of the grill!  Full set for $122 with smaller sets as low as $24.50.

 

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Quick and Easy DIY Thanksgiving Table Decor

 

 

When it comes to decorating for the Thanksgiving holiday, do what you can with what you have.  It's a chance to get a little creative, slow down... if possible, and make things festive. It's a good time to take a look around your house to mentally inventory what is available. Think color and texture.  What do you have that embodies Thanksgiving (look ahead toward Christmas, too, while you're there)?  Think outside the box! 

 

At my house, I have so much (sigh... too much),  I could probably do ten different centerpieces without spending a dime. What I'm showing you today took about 20 minutes to assemble and cost nothing.  If you don't have so much junk material, I have no doubt there's still something. Remember, color and texture.  Brown paper bags, fabric, pine cones, evergreens, grains, seeds, and sticks.  Look outside! What kind of art supplies do you have?  Glue?  Paint?  Think warm earthy colors with shots of rich deep plum, red, and orange. Or, the pale dried neutrals found in this DIY wreath by Carmella Rayone from Assortment.

 

Mine started with candles.  I don't burn candles often, but after looking around, I saw some tea lights and a harvest Yankee Candle.  My kitchen has open shelves, so right away I saw the vintage wire-bail jars with popcorn and split peas, for nestling tea light tins.  I also had the milk glass compote on my top shelf along with my other pretty glassware.

 

    

 

With some cranberries out of the fridge, a focal point was born.  The Yankee Candle sat inside the compote surrounded by water and floating cranberries.  What better way to pay homage to the fall cranberry harvest?  The greenery and grass seed heads were foraged from my yard.  The small pumpkins; volunteers from the sprouted seeds of last year's decorative pumpkins. These little guys will definitely go back out into the compost.  Hopefully, I can keep it going with my own home-grown decorative pumpkins again next year!

 

Move away the grains and beans; pull out the pumpkins. Both the center candle and greenery will easily transition to Christmas. I have a bag of pine cones in the shed with the Christmas decorations. Some glass ball ornaments will add reflection and finish it off. 

 

To reserve the spot for the TPF smoked ham, I set a metal plate charger.  If you'll be bringing dishes to the table, make sure there's room.  I'll usually set out the dish I plan to serve in.  That holding spot also helps me to visualize my menu and plan my attack for food preparation

 

 

There are, of course, so many great ideas online.  Whatever your decorating style, there are ideas for you!  Click on the pictures below to see some of my favorites from around the web. 

 

         

 

 

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Ham and Four-Cheese Potatoes

Ham and Four-Cheese Potatoes

 

If there are cheese potatoes on the table during the holidays, they will probably be the first thing on my plate.  And if there are enough, I'll probably go back for seconds!  

 

This recipe adds ham to the mix, making it a meal unto itself as far as I'm concerned. Tyner Pond Farm's pasture-raised ham options are all excellent for this recipe.  I used the ham steak because of the great smokey flavor and I really like the texture you get from a ham steak.  The Thanksgiving Extras Bundle offers both smoked boneless ham and ham pieces for seasoning, so you can use whatever you might have on hand.  

 

Many cheese potato recipes call for making a beschamel cheese sauce.  I prefer to keep things simple and just let everything melt together in the oven.  My brother-in-law's late mother used to make the best cheese potatoes ever, and simple layering is how she did it, so that's how I do it.  The hardest part is evenly dividing up your ingredients to layer them and not have too much of something left over.  It's not an exact science, so just eyeball it.  I don't think I've ever made cheese potatoes the exact same way twice.  It varies with the particular type of ingredients I have on hand. Red potatoes, white onions, random mostly empty packs of shredded cheese, leftover deli ham... it all works!  I've even completely forgotten the butter before <gasp>, but they still turned out just fine. 

 

Ingredients: (fills a 9x13 baking dish)

3 lbs. russet potatoes

2 c. shredded TPF ham

1 1/2 c. shredded American cheese

1/3 c. shredded cheddar cheese

1/3 c. grated Parmesan (the real stuff, NOT the powder)

1/3 c. shredded mozzarella

1/2 stick butter cut into about 12 1/8" pats (4 T. cut into pieces)

1 cup diced red onion

2 heaping T. flour (divided)

1 c. evaporated milk

salt & pepper

chives & sour cream (optional)

 

 

Directions: (Preheat oven to 350° F)

 

1. In a large skillet, quickly brown both sides of ham steak on med. high heat.  Shred with a fork. **If you're using other cuts of ham, just diced into desired size. 

 

  

 

2.  Slice potatoes and dice onions.  Remember, if you slice your potatoes too early, you'll need to keep them completely covered with water to prevent oxidation. 

 

3.  If you're using white or yellow onions, toss them into the skillet with the fat rendered from the ham. Cook until translucent, stirring frequently.  If you're using red onions, pre-cooking isn't necessary.

 

4. Toss all of the shredded cheeses together until evenly mixed. Keep the grated Parmesan separate. This will make it easier to distribute evenly without all the Parmesan settling to the bottom.  

 

5.  Begin layering your ingredients with a sprinkle of flour over the bottom of the pan (the 2 heaping tablespoons will be divided up between the layers) with three broken up pats of butter laid evenly spread out.  Then, cover the bottom of the pan in a layer of potatoes.  Overlap them to make sure there are no gaps. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, sprinkle with ham, diced onions, and cover with cheese blend plus Parmesan.  Then, start over with broken up pats of butter and a sprinkle of flour.  You'll make about 3-4 layers ending with cheese.

 

6.  Once all your layers are assembled, pour milk evenly over the top.

 

7.  Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes at 350°F.  After 30 minutes, remove foil and bake for about 25-30 more minutes or until it's bubbling and the cheese is browning around the edges.  Check that potatoes are tender through the center.

 

 

Allow to cool several minutes to set.  Don't worry... they're crazy hot.  Serve with chives and sour cream.  Enjoy!

 

Check out Kami's recent recipe for Slow Cooker Pork Loin with Gravy, Potatoes, and Carrots. 

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Our Thanksgiving Delivery Schedule

Thanksgiving Meal

 

There's still time left to make more of your Thanksgiving meal.  


Thanksgiving is just a week away! (We know, we're still in shock, too). We want to update you on our delivery schedule during the holiday so that you can get your orders in early. If your delivery day is Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday, orders will arrive on their scheduled delivery day.  
 

We will be delivering all Thursday orders on Wednesday, November 25th and all Friday orders will be delivered the following Monday, November 30th. If your normal delivery day is Thursday, orders must be placed by Tuesday at 6 PM to ensure your delivery will arrive Wednesday! 
 

THANKSGIVING DELIVERY SCHEDULE
Monday, November 23rd - regular delivery 
Tuesday, November 24th - regular delivery  
Wednesday, November 25th - regular delivery (plus Thursday orders) 
Thursday, November 26th -  CLOSED / NO DELIVERY
Friday, November 27th - CLOSED / NO DELIVERY
 

We're stocked with everything you need to round out your Thanksgiving meal, including sausage with sage (delicious in stuffing!), mild Italian sausage, ground pork, grass-fed ground beef, ham pieces for seasoningHUSK non-GMO veggies, and more! Or, make it easy on yourself and just buy our Thanksgiving Extras Bundle and SAVE $15 when you use code TGIVING15. 
 

Start your Thanksgiving celebrations with Kat's Apple Bacon Gouda Bites

Shop the Thanksgiving Extras Bundle
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Apple Bacon Gouda Bites with Local Honey Drizzle

Apple Bacon Gouda Bites with Honey Drizzle

Whether for Thanksgiving or your annual Friendsgiving, this appetizer is so simple, yet so delicious. Crunchy apples, layered with creamy goat's milk Gouda cheese and crispy Tyner Pond Farm bacon topped with a drizzle of local honey and a sprinkle of rosemary come together to wow your senses and your guests. The key to this amazing appetizer is the quality ingredients. Fall apples are at their peak right now so choose tart and juicy Granny Smith Apples or mild and sweet Gala apples from your local apple orchard. Be sure to check out Tyner Pond Farm's Thanksgiving Extras Bundle for all your appetizer and side dish ingredients, including the bacon needed for this recipe!

 

Honey Drizzled Apple Bacon Gouda Bites - makes 24

 

Ingredients:
  • 2 large apples, Granny Smith or Gala                                         
  • Mild goat's milk Gouda cheese 
  • 5-6 slices Tyner Pond Farm bacon
  • Pure local honey
  • Fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • Lemon juice

 

Directions:

1. Cut each strip of Tyner Pond Farm bacon into 4-5 equal parts. Kitchen scissors help to make cutting bacon a breeze. Fry bacon pieces until they are crispy.

2. Core and cut the apples into slices, 12 slices per apple. Toss apple slices into a bowl with lemon juice and water to prevent browning.

3. Slice the Gouda cheese into portions that will fit onto the apples.

4. Assemble by arranging apple slices on a serving tray, top with Gouda, then bacon, then drizzle with honey and sprinkle with fresh rosemary.

Buy the Thanksgiving Extras Bundle

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Slow Cooker Pork Loin with Gravy, Potatoes, and Carrots

Slow Cooker Pork Loin

 

If your Thanksgiving Day menu strays from the traditional or you have multiple gatherings and need to come up with something other than turkey, this slow-cooked boneless pork loin w/ gravy and classic root vegetables makes a delicious savory dish that evokes all the satisfying goodness you should expect from a Thanksgiving meal.  Of course, it's also a great cold weather comfort food once the holidays are behind us!

 

Tyner Pond Farm is offering a fantastically loaded Thanksgiving Extras bundle right now (psst... save $15 with code TGIVING15).  The 1.75-2 lb. pork loin is included, so it's a nice solution for me to avoid turkey overload this holiday season.  Once again, the slow cooker makes it easy to set and forget, as well as super convenient for transporting.  This recipe is adapted from Trisha Yearwood's slow-cooked pork loin recipe found in her cookbook, Home Cooking with Trisha Yearwood: Stories and Recipes to Share with Family and Friends.

 

Ingredients:  (Makes 3-5 servings and can be doubled for a larger roast)

1.75-2 lb. TPF boneless pork loin roast

1/2 t. garlic powder

1/4 t. ground ginger

1/4 t. dried thyme

1/4 t. fresh ground black pepper

1 T. TPF lard

2 c. chicken broth

2 T. lemon juice

3 t. soy sauce

3 T cornstarch

2 large potatoes, peeled and cut about 1.5"

2 c. carrots, peeled and cut equal in size to potatoes

1 c. frozen green peas, rinsed in cold water until ice is thawed

salt & pepper

 

Directions:

1. Mix garlic, ginger, thyme, and black pepper. Sprinkle and rub on all sides of the roast.

 

2.  Heat lard to medium heat in a medium-sized heavy skillet.  Brown all sides of the pork loin using tongs to hold it up on its sides.

 

 

3.  Transfer pork to slow cooker.  Add chicken broth, soy sauce, and lemon juice.  Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours.  After approximately 5 hours, add potatoes and carrots.  Check for tenderness after 1 1/2 - 2 hours.  If the vegetables are tender before the pork, use a slotted spoon to transfer them to a bowl while the meat finishes cooking.  Don't let them get mushy!  Stir in peas once vegetables are cooked.

 

.  

 

4.  Once the meat is tender, remove from slow cooker and place in a covered dish to keep warm.  Measure out 2 cups of the stock juices from the slow cooker.  Pour into small saucepan, holding back 1/2 c.  Make a slurry by adding cornstarch to the reserved 1/2 c. of stock and stir until dissolved.  Simmer stock in saucepan on medium heat and add slurry.  Simmer until thickened, stirring frequently (about 5 minutes).

 

   

 

 

5.  Slice or shred pork loin and serve topped with gravy and a side of vegetables.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Best Slow Braised Beef


Slow Braised Beef


Chilly weather is made for braising. Braising is a simple technique that allows you to transform beef into tender and delicious meals. Braising involves slow-cooking beef in the oven by simmering them in a rich sauce for several hours. With the right ingredients, technique, and a bit of creativity, you can create a hearty meal to feed the whole family. As an added bonus, the low-and-slow cooking time is largely hands-off, making your kitchen warm and great-smelling. What’s not to love?

 

Ingredients:

2 lbs Tyner Pond Farm stew meat

1 T cornstarch

1 10.5 oz. can cream of golden mushroom soup

1 cup beef stock

4 cubes beef bullion, crumbled

1 t onion powder

1 t paprika

1/8 t salt

1/8 t pepper

1 pint cremini mushrooms, halved

1 large shallot, chopped

2 cloves garlic, smashed and chopped

2 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves removed and chopped OR pinch of dried thyme

 

Directions:

1. Preheat your oven to 300 degrees.

2. Add stew meat to a dutch oven.

3. In a large bowl combine cornstarch, cream of golden mushroom soup, beef stock, beef bouillon cubes, onion powder, paprika, salt, and pepper. Pour over the meat.

4. Add mushrooms, shallot, garlic, and thyme and stir to coat. Cover and bake at 300 degrees for 2 1/2 - 3 hours. Do NOT open the lid until done.

5. Serve over rice, mashed potatoes, or egg noodles.
 

See Kat's recipe for Cheesy Chorizo Chicken Bake.
 

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Scott's Super-Easy TPF Creamed Eggs

TPF Creamed Eggs


For me, Sunday mornings simply are not complete without Tyner Pond Farm for brunch.  And since Sunday's usually the most relaxed morning of the week it's also when I'm likely to spend extra time on it.  This recipe for creamed eggs, also called eggs goldenrod in reference to the decorative yolk sprinkled on top, looks like something that took plenty of effort however it's actually very easy, needing only hard boiled eggs, flour, butter, milk, and toast.  It's also good over biscuits!    

 

There are plenty of opinions over whether old eggs or fresh are better for hard boiling.  I prefer to use older eggs as they do seem to peel more easily.  These eggs were ordered and placed in the back of the refrigerator with this in mind.   After forgetting about them for six weeks they still passed the float test, so that's all the more reason to get them as fresh as possible from the farm.  Chilling after cooking and then letting rest in the refrigerator overnight also seems to help, plus it makes breakfast quicker.   

 

Equipment-wise, you'll need a saucepan, whisk, toaster, fine mesh strainer, and spoon to make this.  And the strainer and spoon aren't mandatory.  The yolks can be crumbled or diced up to similar effect.   

 

Ingredients

Makes two servings

  • 4 Tyner Pond Farm eggs, hard boiled and peeled
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 2 cups milk
  • 4 slices bread
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Pinch of dried sage (optional)

1. Roughly cut eggs into chunks, saving two of the yolks.  

 

2. Melt butter or margarine in a small saucepan over medium heat.

 

3. Add flour to melted butter and whisk to combine.  

 

4. Continue stirring the butter and flour mixture while it heats.  It may bubble slightly while cooking.  

 

5. After three or four minutes the mixture will begin turning a golden color.  Slowly start adding the milk, a little at a time, and continue whisking to incorporate.  

 

6. After the milk is added adjust the heat to return to a bare simmer while stirring frequently.  Continue cooking and stirring for five minutes or until sauce has thickened.  

 

7. Start the bread toasting.  

 

8. Taste and season.  If salted butter was used it may not need more sodium.  Freshly ground black pepper really makes this sauce so I gave it about eight turns of the pepper mill.  A pinch or two of dried sage adds depth and a more savory flavor, as would thyme.

  

9. Stir and let cook another minute.  Add the egg pieces and gently stir to combine.  

 

10. Cook long enough for the eggs to heat, another minute or so.

 

11. Ladle egg and white sauce over toast.  

 

12. Using the back of a spoon, force the remaining egg yolks through a fine mesh strainer over the top of the eggs.

 

13. Enjoy!

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A Taste of Fall: Pork Chops and Apple Stuffing


Fall is a favorite time of year for many.  Along with cooler weather, fall brings football, the changing of the leaves, visiting pumpkin patches, and picking apples in the orchard.  Mid-to-late October sees the apple harvest in full swing and with all this fruit available it's time to cook.  What better way to use a few of those apples than combining them with a Tyner Pond Farm favorite? 
 

This recipe pairs Granny Smith and Fuji apples with a savory dressing (or stuffing, depending on where you're from) and pasture-raised pork chops.  The tart green apple and sweet red complement the onion and sage.  Chopped nuts add crunch, and this time I'm using honey-roasted pecans from a gift basket.  A sprinkle of dried cranberries made it in as well. 
 

A boxed stuffing mix can save time and prep work, however making it from scratch is a great way to use items around the kitchen.  Don't have an onion, and celery isn't allowed in the house?  Use a shallot and slice up a leek.  Toss in a handful of raisins.  It's a good idea to make extra stuffing to pile on top.  
 

And while you're at the orchard, remember to get extra apples for dessert.
 

Ingredients

Serves two

  • 2 Tyner Pond Farm boneless pork chops, ~1lb total
  • 1 1/2 cup toasted bread cubes
  • 1 1/2 cup diced apple
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/3 cup diced onion
  • 1/3 cup diced celery
  • 1/4 chopped pecans
  • 1/8 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 tablespoon apple or pineapple juice (if needed)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon oil
     

1. Preheat oven to 350.
 

2. Dry pork chops with paper towels. Make an incision in the end of each chop, cutting almost  all the way to the other end. Gently slice the inside of the chop open being careful not to cut the sides.
 

3. Melt two tablespoons butter in small saucepan over medium heat. 
 

4. Add onion and celery, sauté for three minutes.

5. Add parsley, sage, and thyme.  Stir and cook three more minutes. 

6. Add the pecans and apples and stir to combine.  Continue cooking several minutes until apples start to soften.  Add salt and pepper to taste. 

7. Add the bread cubes to the apple mix and blend.  If the mix is dry, add apple or pineapple juice. 

8. Heat a cast iron skillet with oil over medium-high heat.

9. Stuff each chop with the apple mixture until the cavity is full but not overflowing.  This allows for expansion while cooking.

10. Season the outside of the chops with salt and pepper.

11. Place chops on the hot skillet and let sear for four minutes. 

12. Turn chops over.  Place remaining stuffing on top of chops.  Use oven mitts to transfer skillet to oven.

13. Cook 30 minutes.  Use mitts to remove from oven.  Move chops to a plate and let rest a few minutes before serving.

14. You did remember apples for dessert - right?  Core them, fill with honey and streusel, and bake in the 350 oven for thirty minutes.  Serve with vanilla ice cream. 

  

See Scott's recipe for Sous-Vide Pork Loin with Lemon Dijon Sauce. 

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