Buzzard's Beat

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Is a "Prime" Burger Really Better?

After a long week in Denver and before another long week in San Diego, the Ninja and I ate at Ruby Tuesday this past Sunday before he ran off to another pork industry event. During my decision, which took awhile because the RT menu is long and complex, I saw the header by the burger section "We serve U.S.D.A. Prime burgers." Interesting.

Initially, that sounds great, right?! Who wouldn't want a Prime burger? The United States Department of Agriculture defines Prime beef as:
"...beef that has abundant marbling (the amount of fat interspersed with lean meat), and is generally sold in restaurants and hotels. Prime roasts and steaks are excellent for dry-heat cooking such as broiling, roasting or grilling."

For reference, this is a photo of a Prime steak compared to Choice and Select. USDA quality grades are assigned to a beef carcass based on the amount of marbling, or intramuscular fat, that is within the meat. Marbling contributes to both flavor and tenderness which is extremely evident to anyone who has ever eaten a high Choice or Prime ribeye.

Image courtesy USDA
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Friday, January 22, 2016

Making the Choice

Today I've been married to the Yak Judge for five years. A half decade that seems to have flown by more quickly than I ever could have imagined. 
And every day for the past five years, I have made a conscious choice: I can either choose to love, respect, work with and conquer the world with this man OR I can find nit-picky things to fuss about, dwell on setbacks and be a crappy wife. I hope that if asked, the Ninja/Yak Judge would say. "She chooses the former [most of the time.]"
I'd like to think that both of us have come a long way from the young, naïve kids we were so many years ago. I know that we've learned a helluva lot through trials, failures, successes, new jobs, moving, loss and everyday life.

“I didn't fall in love with you. I walked into love with you, with my eyes wide open, choosing to take every step along the way. I do believe in fate and destiny, but I also believe we are only fated to do the things that we'd choose anyway. And I'd choose you; in a hundred lifetimes, in a hundred worlds, in any version of reality, I'd find you and I'd choose you”
Kiersten White, The Chaos of Stars
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Monday, January 18, 2016

Meaty Monday: Taco Spiced Turkey

Meaty Monday: Taco Spiced Turkey
I was sick a while back and really craving hot comfort food - a soup or a crockpot meal really sounded tasty. However, of course I waited until mid afternoon to think about what to make for supper and was therefore limited in my choices. Hello, Google.

I found a recipe for the one large hunk of meat I knew I had in my freezer: a 2-pound turkey breast that I hadn't used during Thanksgiving. I had no idea how special my taste buds would feel after this meal! It was so simple to prepare and super delicious. The Ninja is stingy with his "this is delicious" compliments so when I get one, I put that recipe on a pedestal. This one will be in my rotation much more often.Read more »

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Thursday, January 14, 2016

10 Things a Cowgirl Would Do If She Won the Powerball Lotto

I'd have a barn full of roping horses and pastures full of cows
A billion dollars. Actually, $1.5 billion. That’s a lot of clamshells.

A friend of mine purchased a Powerball ticket for last night’s big jackpot and inquired whether I had as well. Negatory, I replied. Not because I have anything against Powerball – I have purchased tickets in the past and am a fan of scratch-off lottery tickets. I honestly never gave thought to buying one because winning the lottery is not something that would happen to me, I’m fairly certain.
But her question prompted the conversation of “What would I do if I won?” One and a half billion dollars could really have a monumental impact of my ranching and rodeoing aspirations and that conversation sparked this blog post.
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Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Grocery Markets Around the World

The Ninja admiring all the dried meats and fancy cheeses at
 the Queen Victoria Market in Melbourne, Australia
 One of my favorite things to do while traveling abroad is visiting grocery stores and food markets. Not only are markets a great venue for people watching and experiencing culture, they also provide me with a valuable lesson in food diversity, value and, most importantly, they remind me to be ever-so-thankful for our American food supply.

It's always fun to peruse a foreign grocery store to see what kinds of different products are available that we don't have in the U.S. For example, I was in Poland for a short time in December and saw many unique things in the store. Live carp were available in the fish section and the produce section featured a wide variety of pickles and sauerkraut.
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Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Around the World in 35 Days

Backpackers of Europe
Backpacking was quite the adventure!
I have just returned from a whirlwind trip that took my boots to eight countries and 10 cities in 35 days. And I did it with a single backpack (mostly) and only three pairs of shoes. No hot air balloon involved.

How? Why? Where? Great questions!

As you may have noticed in my Instagram feed, the Ninja finished his PhD in September 2015 - a goal that he has been working towards for 10 years. Ever since we went to Australia for 10 months in 2011, he has wanted to go on a backpacking trip around Europe to celebrate the completion of his PhD. So when May rolled around and the end was in sight, we started talking about bringing the dream to fruition.

Fruition turned out to be the trip of a lifetime with an equally adventurous, flexible and fun-loving husband! I cannot adequately convey the magnitude of fun we had on this trip, but I will try. It was so relieving to be away from the stress of our daily lives and just be with each other while soaking up as much history, fun and food as we could. I affectionately call this trip the "Art and Carbs Tour of 2015."
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