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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Fall in the Flint Hills

No one will ever convince me of a prettier place in the fall than Kansas. Ever.

 




And what would my favorite season be without a little fall decorating?!




 
Halloween isn't complete without Edwin the Buzzard hanging out.

 
I had big aspirations for an elaborate pumpkin display - as you can see that didn't happen but we proudly support breast cancer fighters and research in this household!

What does fall look like around your place?

Until next time,
~ Buzzard !

Friday, October 24, 2014

Fancy Feast at the Frobuzz House: Lobster Dinner with Zucchini Chips

Could I have put any more Fs in the title? Probably so.

Every once in awhile, the Ninja and I break our normal routine of pork chops, tacos, lasagna soup and repurposed beef roasts and have a real fancy meal. This time, it was lobster tails that I got 1/2 price at Dillon's on clearance ($5 for two 5 ounce lobster tails). Huzzah!

Last night's meal was definitely the most simple supper I have prepared in a long time -- broiled lobster tails, zucchini chips and better-than-the-real-deal Cheddar Bay Biscuits (my version).

I started by prepping and baking the zucchini chips. I got the recipe from this Zucchini Round Up site which hosts a plethora of zucchini recipes for those who have a ton in their freezer from a prolific summer garden. Three easy steps:
  • Slice zucchini (a little bit more narrow than 1/4 inch is best) and place on parchment paper lined baking sheet
    Sliced zucchinis ready for the oven
    Ready for the oven
  • Use pastry brush to apply EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) - sprinkle with kosher salt
sliced zucchinis ready for the oven
Maybe a bit too salty?
  • Bake at 225 F for 2 hours or until crispy.
Finished zucchini chips
Finished product - a bit dark on the edges but still devour-able!
As usual, I deviated from the recipe and this time it wasn't super successful. First off, I didn't brush the olive oil on, I sort of drizzled it. I barely remember to brush my hair every day so of course, I wasn't about to dig for the pastry brush to groom zucchini. Well, I should have because some chips got more EVOO than others. Secondly, I put way too much kosher salt on these bad boys. The Ninja loves salt and even he thought they were too salty at the end. So, season wisely because they will shrink and then your salt amount sort of doubles. Lastly, I had to use the oven for the cheese biscuits so I cranked it up to 400 for the last 30 minutes of baking and sort of *cough burntsomeofthechips cough* so I highly suggest either baking your bread beforehand or doing the chips earlier in the evening.

Despite all my flubs, they turned out pretty well and it's definitely a recipe I will make again!

Moving on to the protein on the plate - the lobster tails were so easy to make they only really warrant a short paragraph.
  • Cut shell off of tail
  • Drizzle EVOO on tail
  • Season with lemon pepper
  • Broil for 10 minutes
Prepped lobster with olive oil and lemon pepper
Easy prep work - the hardest part was cutting off the shell!
Serve with heavenly cheddar biscuits, zucchini chips (or side of your choice) and enjoy!

Lobster tails and imposter Red Lobster cheese biscuits
A whole plate of delicious for a fraction of the cost of a Red Lobster dinner
There you have it - a unique meal that was affordable and delicious! What are your favorite simple supper recipes?

Until next time,
~ Buzzard ~

Thursday, October 16, 2014

World Food Day 2014 - #wfd2014

Today is World Food Day and the theme is Family Farmers: Feeding the World, Caring for the Earth. Well ain't that the truth?!

Did you know that worldwide, family farmers account for 500 million farms (97% of US farms and ranches are family owned and operated)?! That is a load of families investing their time, passion and energy into feeding the world and making sure that the land can sustain the next generation.

Some other cool nuggets of information about family farming around the world:
  • Family owned farms are responsible for at least 56% of agriculture production worldwide
  • Family farms are the main source of rice production - especially in Asia (although rice is grown here in the US in states like Texas, California and Arkansas).
  • Family farmers in the US produce 84% of all produce.
  • Farmers and ranchers work everyday, worldwide, to sustain the land and natural resources for the next generation.
You can read more about World Food Day efforts to feed the world and end world hunger by looking at this inforgraphic or visiting www.worldfooddayusa.org.

Family farmers play a crucial role in feeding the world and caring for the earth
Photo courtesy FAO

How are you celebrating World Food Day? Are you taking a farm tour? Are you going to #toastafarmer when you drink milk at supper tonight?

Until next time,
~ Buzzard ~

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: #EarView

A collection of some of my favorite #earview shots over the past few months..
 
 
riding through the pasture
Rooster the rodeo horse


Gathering cattle from horseback on Labor Day
Toddy and I gathering cattle on Labor Day

Checking cow/calf pairs
Friday and I checking and feeding cow/calf pairs

Counting stockers aboard Friday
 
Until next time,
~ Buzzard ~













Friday, August 29, 2014

A Lesson in Patience, Pigs and Passers-by

 
A few weeks back I posted some photos from a wonderful weekend trip to Ohio wherein the Ninja's middle sister won the Grand Champion Market Hog at the Ohio State Fair. This accomplishment, which I should mention is a family win and not just limited to her, earned her and her hog a spot in the coveted Sale of Champions. The prestigious sale takes place the day after the champion is chosen however, the sale is held in a different building than the show, which is approximately 1/2 mile away from the show barn. The exhibitor, pig and entourage must make this trek, on foot, in the middle of a usually-sweltering summer day in Ohio. Did I mention it's at a state fair?
Walking a pig through a large crowd requires patience
A small portion of the entourage leaving the pig pavilion
That means there are people EVERYWHERE. So imagine this scenario if you will:
A large hog that has only ever been around three or four people at one time is now thrust into the midst of hundreds of spectators, many of whom are small and screaming, at every junction. The pig is hot, scared and obviously, not on a leash. Throw in an entourage of family members and fair goers who don't understand boundaries and you can see how trouble can brew and stress can build.


Walking a pig through a large crowd requires patience
Walking a pig down the midway is no small task
I must pause to share how excessively proud I was, and still am, of the Ninja's little sister. During this 1/2 mile walk, which seemed to last for hours, her pig became "grouchy," for lack of a better word, and several times tried to turn away from the path and go back to the barn, ignoring her directional guidance. Fair goers offered several comments, some of the most memorable being:
  • You should put that pig on a leash! (To which I promptly responded, "Uh, that's not really possible at this point." I was met with an up-turned nose and the retort, "Yes, you definitely can.")
  • Ewww - gross!
  • That pig is crazy!
Obviously, the unending comments were starting to get to all of us and, bless her heart, that show woman didn't take her frustration out on the pig. She didn't issue backlash at the fair goers, she didn't curse and she didn't cry. She maintained her composure and patiently continued to move her hog towards the barn while the rest of the family shooed folks out of the way with the explanation that "The pig is scared because it's a farm animal and there are a ton of people here. We just need to give him some room." 

Walking a pig through a large crowd requires patience
We're just going to squeeze right by the French fries stand!
I can think of no better situation than the walk to the Sale of Champions to exemplify the need for farmers, ranchers, livestock owners and showmen and women to remember that there are always people watching and wanting to learn more about animals. A lot of people thought it was really cool that we were walking a pig down the midway; others were disgusted and some people just didn't give a hoot. But the point is that patience is important when dealing with people and I can assure you that my sister-in-law was a shining example of how we should practice high-quality animal care and interact with consumers who just want a glimpse of rural life.

Happy Friday!

Until next time,
~ Buzzard ~

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Rabbit Meat is the New Horse Meat

If you haven't seen the news lately, you've missed out on the ruckus Whole Foods Market is causing by selling rabbit meat in select locations in North Carolina and the D.C. metro area. Obviously, close-minded American up in arms. I forgot that if a food product isn't widely consumed in the U.S. it must be wrong to eat it elsewhere in the world. Silly me. Does this sound vaguely familiar?

Rabbit carcasses arranged in a butcher shop
Rabbit carcasses in a butcher shop
photo source
Hmm -  that's right. This sounds like the horse meat argument all over again. The vast majority of Americans are against the consumption of horse meat as well. Something to do with companion animals - nevermind the fact that both rabbit meat and horse meat are widely available and consumed in other countries like Germany, France and China.

According to FOX News, several activist organizations banded together for a day of action where participants were encouraged to reach out to shoppers of Whole Foods and explain "... what wonderful animals rabbits are and remind them how popular rabbits are as pets." Guess what else is a popular pet that we eat? Fish. Sorry, Goldie.

This whole issue boils down to one small group of very vocal people striving to take control of society's consumption patterns. Nevermind the fact that Whole Foods Market developed a slaughter system that is in line with the high animal welfare standards they already in place for beef, pork and chicken. Nevermind the fact that, apparently, customers of the high end grocery chain have been asking for rabbit meat for years. Nevermind the fact that if you don't want to eat it, don't buy it.

While I was in France for a study abroad trip in 2009, I saw rabbit carcasses in the window of many butcher shops. It was perfectly normal - there were no animal rights groups staging sit-ins or attempting to sway consumers away from their purchases. Alternative meats are the norm outside of the U.S. - when are we going to start being more civilized and catch up with the rest of the world?

What's your take - would you eat rabbit meat? Do you think rabbits should be for pets only?

Until next time,
~ Buzzard ~

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Turning Over a New Leaf -- 101 in 1001 Update

Hey there - ho there! I am trying to do a better job of periodic updates on my 101 in 1001 list so I'm doing just that today.

You'll recall this list started on January 30, 2014 so I'm about 6.5 months into this current challenge and I'm already very pleased with the goals I've reached; not necessarily because there have been so many of them but because there have been some major lifestyle changes!

Without further ado, here are 12 of the 15 goals I have completed thus far:

  • Workout 3x/week for 3 months
  • Workout 3x/week for 6 months
  • Give up soda for a month
  • Try 5 new foods (reindeer, elk, red snapper, edamame, okra) - the first three were good, the fourth was ok and the last one sucked.
  • Make homemade bread without a bread maker - it was SO GOOD!
  • Go whitewater rafting
  • Go rock climbing, hiking etc - Did a whole heap of this while in Alaska (which was the trip of a lifetime, btw) 

  • Hiking up a mountain to climb a glacier - such a cool experience!

  • Get a RT/mention from someone famous on Twitter- Peta doesn't count

  • Do you see that BOB FREAKIN' SEGER mentioned me?!
     
  • Meet 5 social media friends IRL - Troy and Stacy Hadrick, Chuck Jolley, Janeal Yancey, Danielle (Beard) Hayden, Daniel Hayden, Stacy Bettinghouse
  • Check off some more concerts on my old soul music bucket list
  • Speak on behalf of agriculture 3x (1 - Women Managing the Farm Conference; 2 - Sigma Alpha at KSU; 3 - Agriculture Communicators of Tomorrow at KSU)
  • Prepare one new recipe per week for 8 weeks (chicken stir-fry, beer drenched pork chops, crockpot potato soup, lasagna soup, new flank steak marinade, stuffed burgers, fruit pizza, fiesta goulash)
    • Most of those eight recipes are available on the recipe page - my favorite of those listed is a tie between the lasagna soup and the flank steak marinade (which both include beef)!
    That was some DELISH flank steak!
    You'll notice that a lot of those goals are about living a more active, healthy lifestyle and trying new things, building relationships and growing as a person. Think I'm kidding? Look at some of these goals that I have started but not yet finished:
    • Run 10 short distance races -- 5 and 10Ks (1 - Manhattan St Patrick's Day 10K; 2 - Color Run 5/31/14; 3 - The Amazing Grace 5K 7/5/14;
    • Run 3 - half marathons (yes, you read that correctly) (1 - Glass City Half Marathon 4/27/14;
    • Read the Bible from front to back (Old and New Testament) - Sharita showed me this great guide
    • Triple the amount of $$ in my 401(k)
    • Have zero credit card debt
    • Cut my student loan debt in 1/2
    • Make a 'Recipes' section on the blog and post 50 recipes
    • Blog at least once per week for an entire year
    • Fill a journal
    • Read one book per month - revise and update book list to reflect what I've read
    • Add 10 more books to our library (an actual printed copy) (1 - Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die by Willie Nelson; 2 - Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer; 3 - Thinking in Pictures: My Life with Autism by Temple Grandin; 4 - Animals Make Us Human by Temple Grandin;
    Yes, I am apparently a "runner" again, although I really don't like calling myself that. I haven't used that phrase to describe myself since I graduated high school and stopped running cross country and track. But man, do I like being able to fit into jeans from my junior college years! I've also really enjoyed getting back into reading, something I haven't been able to do "for fun" for about six years.

    I'd like to do another update in three months or so, but if I haven't accomplished more than a handful of goals by then, I may push it back. I really love lists and goals - this challenge keeps me accountable and gets me to try new things, step outside my comfort zone and do some exciting things!

    So how are your lists coming? Have you achieved some of your goals? Weigh in below!

    Until next time,
    ~ Buzzard ~