Buzzard's Beat

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Pounding the Pavement and Inhaling Protein

 10K PR in Manhattan

My feet and legs hurt - I think it's from kicking so much butt by breaking my 10K PR a week and a half ago. Or it could be because I need new running shoes. Either or.

Whatever the reason, I better get them quick, fast and in a hurry since I'm less than a month out from the race Kelly and I are running in Kansas City on April 18. Boy howdy, it's coming up fast!

From last Saturday to this coming Saturday, I'm scheduled to run roughly 35h miles but I'm a horrible traveling runner, meaning I don't do a good job of sticking to my training when I'm out-of-state, so I'll probably be relegated to about 25ish miles. Not bad, but not great.

I'm having trouble deciding/noticing if I'm getting any faster or more resilient during this round of training. I live in a holler among the Flint Hills, so GPS reception is sketchy and at any given time my Nike+ running app could be telling me I've run 1/2 mile farther than I actually have, which [falsely] leads me to believe I'm running 8:15 minute miles for 10 miles straight. Impossible? Absolutely not. Probably inaccurate? Yes.

So while I'm not sure if I'm going to break my PR next month, one thing that I'm certain about is that this girl is getting hangry quite often. Generally after a long run.
Smoked beef brisket
One of my favorite beef meals - smoked beef brisket.
After a long run, which I personally quantify as anything over six miles, I have a noticeable desire for protein, specifically meat. When I say “noticeable,” I mean that I must eat some sort of meat within a half hour or I may chew my arm off to suffice. Sometimes I will eat a few slices of lunch meat to hold me over until I can prepare a full meal or sometimes I will schedule my long runs so that I arrive back at my house roundabout the time my husband has finished grilling lunch or supper, which allows me to dive into a burger, steak or chop almost immediately after my workout. If I don’t get some sort of meat or protein in my system pronto, I feel very sluggish and have a hard time functioning the rest of the day.
Flank steak
Give me all of the flank steak. All. of. it.
Why am I craving protein? Well, that's easy: protein helps support a strong, lean body which is obviously important to me. Furthermore, a high-protein diet helps build and replenish muscles while at the same time providing the "full" feeling meaning if I'm full from steak I'm not chowing down on Cheetos or cupcakes. I get most of my protein from beef and pork but I am also a huge fan of scrambled eggs with ham and cheese and a big glass of milk. I personally believe that breakfast for supper is one of life's underappreciated treats. Actually, I think breakfast food anytime is pretty much the bees knees.

Anyhow, since I have no desire to stop running due to my fondness of my current pant size, I've got to devise a way to get more protein into my system in order to keep the Cheetos and cupcakes out of my system. Those items tend to mysteriously disappear shortly after they are purchased. Weird.

Next week, I'll have a protein update that I'm excited to share, a new meaty recipe and hopefully, some new kicks!

Until next time,
~ Buzzard ~

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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Wordless Wednesday: National Agriculture Day 2015

What does agriculture mean to you? Livestock? Crops? People?
Hopefully all of the above! Below are some of the pictures that comprise my agriculture experience - they vary from sheep to yak to horses to beautiful hay and wheat fields.
Baby lamb in a lambing jug

Checking on a mama cow and her new baby calf

Wind energy on the plains of Kansas

A baby yak

Cattle eating corn in a barn in Ohio

Gathering cattle on horseback in Kansas

A spring wheat field in Kansas

Baby chicks huddled together in the coop during a snowstorm

Also, I am linking to my guest blog over on Food For Thought - hint: it's about agriculture, food and people. You'll LOVE it!

Until next time,
~ Buzzard ~

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Monday, March 2, 2015

Meaty Monday: Smoked Beef Brisket

Hunk of Meat Monday: Smoked Beef Brisket
My Sunday lunch. Sunday supper. And [hopefully] Monday supper.
Holy cow, my Sunday meals were out of this park. Brisket for lunch. Brisket for supper and I will probably have brisket for Monday supper.

I scored a beef brisket at Dillon's on sale - it was originally $8.99/lb but I got it on sale for $5.97/lb so my total 3.4 pound brisket was $20. I'm pretty stoked about the sale on its own but add in the delicious factor of this meal and it's a full on win!

The Ninja is the meat-smoker in the family. I prefer to stick to grilling, frying, baking, broiling but smoking is his major forte. He got a smoker for Christmas in 2013 and hadn't gotten much use of it so it was time to fire that puppy up. But first, let's take a selfie the marinade.

We got this recipe and marinade from the Backyard BBQ: The Art of Smokology cookbook. We used the In Your Mouth recipe, the Brisket Rub II, and the Spiced Brisket Mop. While this recipe is not as simple as many of the others I post, it was scrumptious and juicy and absolutely delectable. I am hoping to have it for supper on Monday night as well. Trust me, take the plunge and do it!

"In Your Mouth" Brisket p. 142
- 1 beef brisket (ours was 3.4 lbs but this recipe will work for a 6-8 lb brisket)
- Brisket Rub II
- Spiced Brisket Mop

Brisket Rub II p. 114
- 3 tbsp. kosher salt
- 3 tbsp. black pepper
- 2 tbsp. paprika
- 1 1/2 tbsp. dry mustard
- 1 tbsp. thyme
- 1 tbsp. celery seed
- 1 tbsp. onion powder
- 1 tbsp. garlic powder
- 1/2 tbsp. cayenne pepper
- 1 bay leaf

Spiced Brisket Mop p.190
- 3 cup beef stock
- 3/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 cup ketchup
- 1/2 cup lemon juice
- 2 tbsp. yellow mustard
- 1 tbsp. Asian chili paste
- 1 tbsp. chili powder
- 1 tsp. celery seed
- 2 tsp. seasoning salt
- 1 tsp. cumin
- 1 tsp. onion powder/salt

Combine the ingredients together in a nonreactive pot and bring to a boil. Simmer for 10 minutes and remove from heat to cool slight. When using as a mop, keep wamr. Heat flavor can be adjusted by increasing or decreasing the chili paste.

Brisket prep instructions
Trim the brisket of any excess fat. Do not remove all the fat since it helps keep the brisket moist during cooking. Once the fat is trimmed, place the brisket in a large Ziploc bag or plastic container and pour Brisket Mop over the meat. Let marinate for six hours.

After the six hours is up, pat dry and put on the brisket rub. Rub well on both sides and then place brisket at room temp while your smoker comes to temperature.

Bring smoker to about 300 degrees. Place brisket in the smoker and smoke at 225F for 3 hours. Once the brisket has smoked for three hours and formed the bark, start to mop with the Spiced Brisket Mop. Mop the brisket every hour. Cook brisket until internal temp is 165F.* Wrap in foil and continue cooking until the internal temperature reaches 195F.*
*This part didn't take as long for our three-lb brisket. Regardless of the size your brisket, monitor the temp throughout to make sure you are on track.
A smoked beef brisket with a flavorful seasoned crust.
Look at the beautiful crust on this meat masterpiece!
Hunk of Meat Monday: Smoked Beef Brisket
The finished product, hot out of the smoker.
I did a poor job of taking photos during this whole process but all anyone cares about for recipe photos is what the end product looks like, right?! I even included a video of the Ninja cutting the brisket.

It was juicy. Sensational. Delectable. Absolutely amazing.
I hope you have a wonderful Meaty Monday and a great week! This brisket helped fuel my 8 mile run today and will get me through my sore muscles on Monday! If you try it, please let me know if you like/loved it!
Until next time,
~ Buzzard ~

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