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Friday, December 19, 2014

HSUS Contributions Declining

Rooster and Cricket have a good home and are spoiled rotten - but lots of other pets aren't as fortunate.
If you want to help puppies and kittens, please donate to your local shelter!
Yep, you read that right.

The genius' over at HumaneWatch were combing through tax records and financial statements for our favorite animal rights organization, the Humane Society of the United States (H$U$). What they found is a little bittersweet. So let's do the sweet part first:

- In 2013, contributions to H$U$ totaled $104.5 million - that's not the sweet part. The sweet part is that in 2012, that number was a lot higher. In fact, contributions were $16.6 million less in 2013 in 2012. Win!!!

- The bitter part is that bequests, or people leaving the organization money in their will, increased by $8.6 million. So that sort of knocks the whole overall number down a bit but still:
H$U$ experienced a decline in income by $8 million in one year!

I hope this means that folks are seeing the light, doing their research and realizing that they can help puppies and kittens more by donating to their local shelter, rather than sending money to a lobbyist organization.
"I hear those H$U$ folks don't donate very many bones to local shelters.
Donate to your local shelter today!"
Unfortunately, to no one's surprise, H$U$ is still only donating 1% of it's budget to local groups to help dogs and cats that needs homes. But again, no surprise there. If you or your family want to help save pets, please donate your time or dollars to your local shelter. Share this message on your social media outlets - please continue to spread the word that H$U$ is a lobbyist organization, not a rescue organization.

Until next time,
~ Buzzard ~

p.s. - Two posts in one week - look at me go! Wahoo!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Hunk of Meat Monday: Marinated Pork Roast with Pan Sauce

A hot meal for a cold day
It's cold and rainy here in Kansas, which has me dreaming of spring and grilling. Alas, our grill doesn't get used as much during the colder months so I'm forced to cook whole meals instead of putting the Ninja in charge of the meat.

Which is why this Hunk of Meat Monday recipe is so fabulous - it was easy, delicious and can be replicated with beef or lamb just as easily so it doesn't get old and boring. Throw the roast in the marinade in the morning and that evening, in less than an hour, you've got a scrumptious, moist pork roast to enjoy while the wind blows and snow flies.

Marinated Pork Roast with Pan Sauce
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 red wine vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
~ 3 tbsp. lemon juice
3 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1-2 tbsp. parsley
2 tsp dry mustard
black pepper, to taste
~ 4 tbsp. minced garlic

The necessary ingredients
All of this was already in my pantry - win!
Combine all ingredients and save back about three tbsp. of the mixture. Place the pork roast (mine was about 2 lbs) and marinade in a plastic Ziploc bag and let marinate for at least 3-4 hours (longer is better but 3-4 gets the job done).

After marinating is complete, sear each side of the pork roast in a skillet over medium-high heat for about 3-4 minutes. Place in 350 F degree oven and cook until internal temperature reaches 145-150 degrees (this took about 45 minutes in my oven but can vary). Let rest for five minutes before cutting.

Searing the marinated pork roast in a skillet
Searing the pork roast really locked in the flavor on the surface
For the pan sauce:
Marinade that you saved back
2 tsp butter
Pan scrapings from the pork roast
1/2 cup beef broth

Place skillet back on stove over medium heat and add beef broth while scraping up the browned pieces of goodiness from the pan. Add the marinade and let the whole thing boil down for a few minutes. Add butter and remove from heat, stirring until butter is melted. Pour this over your pork roast and enjoy!

Pork roast with pan sauce
So delicious!
In other news, I have finally reached the stage of my life where I look at a recipe like this and am confident that I have all the needed ingredients - red wine vinegar, minced garlic, beef broth etc. I have an overwhelming feeling of pride that my kitchen feels fully stocked. Any others out there feel this way?

Until next time,
~ Buzzard ~

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

10 Gifts for A Carnivore or Meatatarian

I've seen a lot posts about gifts for farmers and ranchers, which is fabulous except I don't have a huge herd of cattle or sheep. I merely have three horses and some scruffy, lovable canines. However, what I do have is a hankering for meat and penchant for incorporating it into many aspects of my life. First, if you need a refresher of what a meatatarian is, read this post and come back. If you are familiar with this delicious and healthy dietary pattern, read on to find some cool gift ideas to buy for the resident meat lover in your family or circle of friends. These are my top 10 gift ideas for meat-loving folks and they run the gamut of Christmas gift types.

For the decorating meatatarian:

1. Beef Vintage Art Print
I would love to have this in my kitchen!
2. Meat. Yes, It's Meat.
I have purchased this for a family member but no one has bought it for me yet- c'mon folks!
For the grill master in your household:

3. K-State steak branding iron

My stepdad has this but I need one too!
4. A giftbox of Kansas City strip steaks from the Kansas City Steak Company.

Perfect for a Christmas Eve meal!
Of course, you can't forget about the style-conscious meat lover in your home:

5. Steak t-shirt
This is by far my favorite!
 And let us not forget the lovers of bacon. Isn't that everyone?!

7. "Bacon is Meat Candy" - Bacon of the Month Club
Bacon every month?! Yes, please!
8. Two words. Bacon Vodka. You can purchase it in most states (sorry, Ohio and Kansas!).

And these last two are great for any meat eater - I am actually hoping to get a really nice meat thermometer myself!

9. The Healthy Beef Cookbook

 10. A reliable meat thermometer and remember to use it! See here for recommended cooking temperatures per the USDA.
Don't fire up the grill without it!
Do you have other ideas? Please feel free to leave them in the comments below!

Until next time,
~ Buzzard ~

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Giving Tuesday: Give Cows to Help Feed the Less Fortunate

Many people get caught up in the spirit of "BUY-BUY-BUY" at this time of the year, not necessarily for others but because there are such great deals in every single store at the mall. How can you avoid a good deal when Black Friday, Shop Small Saturday and Cyber Monday bombard us starting in mid-November? In my opinion, we really should be focusing on "Give. Give. Give some more" amd when is a better time than Giving Tuesday? Material possessions often cloud the real reasons behind Christmas and I believe we should always be striving to help those who are less fortunate.

I'm part of the Rockin' Rural Women group on Facebook and this year we are encouraging our fellow rural women and social media networks to buck this materialistic trend and help others by participating in a Heifer International drive to purchase cows for families suffering from hunger and poverty.

Our group has a collective fund, which you can access here, and our goal is $1000. With that we can purchase a cow which has the potential to have a massive impact since its offspring are passed on to even more members of the community. If you choose to donate, your gift will be multiplied and create a sustainable impact for future generations.

Please help us purchase a cow for a family who needs a helping hand. Even if you can only spare $5 that is so very much appreciated. If you have questions, please feel free to shoot me an email and I'll be happy to answer them.

I'll close with this quote which is taped up on the mirror in my bathroom - please keep this in mind on today, Giving Tuesday, and for the remainder of this holiday season and consider helping those in need.

Somewhere, someone else is THANKFUL for less than you have
Until next time,
~ Buzzard ~

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Faux Fried Fowl

Is this recipe healthier than real fried chicken? Yes. Was it delicious? Yes. Was it better than the real thing? I will leave that up to you to judge. I do know that it was far less time consuming and didn't require me to stand over bubbling Crisco for an hour. I doubt it is as good as my real fried chicken, but I'll take this for a quick meal any night.
I give you faux fried fowl aka oven-fried chicken. It was delicious! I sort of improvised and used the spices I had in my kitchen but I am certain you can go on Pinterest and find a great assortment if you're not into mine. I got my inspiration from some cornflake chicken recipe and went from there. Remember, we like a lot of seasoning in our home!
You'll need:
1 beaten egg
3 tbsp. milk
1 sleeve of crushed saltines
1/2 tsp thyme
1.5 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 tbs butter
1 lb of chicken breasts
Mix together dry ingredients and in a gallon Ziploc bag. Combine milk and beaten egg - dip chicken breasts into mixture and then place into gallon Ziploc bag. Shake it up.
 Dip chicken into egg and milk mixture
Place breaded chicken into foil lined pan
Place chicken on foil lined pan. Drizzle melted butter on top of chicken.
Drizzle with melted butter
Bake at 375 for about 55 minutes or until the middle is 170 degrees F. Don't screw around with chicken, make sure it's completely cooked to the right temp or you could get food poisoning on your way to your honeymoon. No lie.
Delicious, juicy oven-fried chicken
Serve with starch and veggies/fruits. Super juicy, super delcious and even had some crunch to it.
What's cookin' in your kitchen this week?
Until next time,
~ Buzzard ~

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 ~