Tuesday, May 23, 2017

My 5 Favorite Cuts of Beef

My 5 Favorite Cuts of Beef

In honor of Beef Month, here is my top 5 cuts of beef, but lets be honest,
all beef is pretty tasty.

In honor of Beef Month, I am sharing with you all my 5 favorite cuts of Beef in no particular order. This list not only contains my favorite cut but also a recipes to go with it.

Here it goes:

1. Hamburger aka Ground Beef..
Where I come from, we call ground beef - hamburger. From tacos to grilling, hamburger is served at the Circle L Ranch almost everyday.  Did you know that by law, hamburger aka ground beef, may not contain any added water, fillers or binders?
My helpful hint about hamburger is that I cook a huge batch of hamburger every week, so that I can make quick lunch and/or suppers.

My favorite recipes come from our Chuckwagon:
Circle L's Vermicelli
Circle L's Sauerkraut Burgers
Circle L's Taco Squares
Easy Taco Salad
Circle L's Baja Bowls
Circle's Taco Bake
Chugwater Chili
Circle L's Enchilada Casserole  

2. Prime Rib Aka Rib Eye Steak..
This cut of Beef makes my month water just thinking about it. I love a good prime rib steak. The prime rib steak aka rib eye has the most fat compared to the other cuts, which is why it's such a tender, juicy, and flavorful piece of beef. It can be grilled, broiled, or pan-fried with equally delicious results but my favorite is roasted using Pioneer Women recipe.

My favorite recipe comes from: The Pioneer Women Prime Rib

3. Top Sirloin..
This steak is affordable and very flavorful. It's a relatively lean cut, without a lot of marbling. Top sirloin is often marinated or pounded to help tenderize it. Like the rib eye steak, it can be cooked in any manner. I like to use cut this steak up in cubs and grill it with fruit and/or vegetables.

My favorite recipe comes from:Traeger Grills. You can use your favorite seasoning but we prefer Chugwater Chili Steak Rub or Tom's Steak Rub.

4. T-Bone..
Did you know that the T-bone steak is really two steaks in one? The T-shaped bone divides a New York strip steak and a tenderloin filet. I like this steak on the Treager Grill.

My favorite recipe come from: The Pioneer Women. This recipe is amazing on T-bones. I mean how could you go wrong with butter and spices on a hot steak.  Try it!!

5. Flat Iron..
Did you know that this steak was found at the University of Nebraska? I was attending a Nebraska Cattlemen Youth Conference in Lincoln, Nebraska when I got to sample this steak.   It has been on my favorite list since then. It is second in tenderness to the tenderloin steak, the flat iron is well-marbled, richly flavored and juicy. Did you know that there are only 2-4 of these steak on a beef animal?

My favorite recipe come from: Circle L Ranch Kitchen. Cook juicy seasoned steak in the skillet to provide a simple yet flavor-packed crust. The trick to a great crust is to use a very hot skillet; a large cast-iron skillet works best. Rub steak evenly with steak seasoning and salt.
Cook in hot oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat 4 to 5 minutes on each side or to desired degree of doneness.(Make sure that you follow the Beef cooking rules. See Below)  Let stand 5 minutes. Cut diagonally across the grain into thin strips.

This list is my favorites. What are your favorites? They all have their strong points, and if cooked properly, you can't go wrong with any of them. These comparisons may help you choose the perfect cut the next time you're planning a steak dinner.

Happy Beef Month from the Circle L Ranch.

Beef Cooking Rules to Follow:When cooking Beef, please follow these rules.For safety, the USDA recommends cooking hamburgers and ground beef mixtures such as meat loaf to 160 °F (71.1 °C) as measured with a food thermometer. Cook all organ and variety meats (such as heart, kidney, liver and tongue) to 160 °F (71.1 °C).Cook all raw beef steaks and roasts to a minimum internal temperature of 145 °F (62.8 °C) as measured with a food thermometer before removing meat from the heat source. For safety and quality, allow meat to rest for at least three minutes before carving or consuming. For reasons of personal preference, consumers may choose to cook meat to higher temperatures.For approximate cooking times for use in meal planning, see the following chart compiled from various resources.Times are based on beef at refrigerator temperature—40 °F (4.4 °C). Remember that appliances and outdoor grills can vary in heat. Use a food thermometer to check for safe cooking and doneness of beef. 

Friday, May 12, 2017

Ranch Mom

Moms Are Hero's!!

Ranch MoMs are my Hero's!

We are real ranch moms, life is tough but we are tougher.
Photo Credit:Cassie Leithead

Why I love Ranch Moms!

To celebrate Mother's Day, I decided to write a little about us, Ranch Moms!

Circle L Ranch, Mom
My Mom and I after my adoption was finalized.
She was amazing.
I miss her every day!
Happy Mother's Day in Heaven, Mom!
Please note: This blog is dedicated not only to ranch moms but to all moms.  I am pretty sure that we can all relate. 

Ranch moms are special and hard working.

We have Dirt under nails. Yep, it is true! We don't have time to go town to get our nails done.

No shower for a day or two.  I hate to admit it but it is TRUE!

We have cleaned up more than our fair share of dog puke, kid puke, cat puke, urine,  manure and blood. Clorox is a wonderful invention.

We don't have time to put cucumbers on our eyes at night.  Our only worry is making sure that we get a little rest. 

We have farmer tan lines. Yep, it just happens.  Short sleeves and sun make lines.  

We are tough, I mean we can carry 50 pounds plus around.  Taking care of our animals requires a lot of lifting. Most of the time it is 50 pound feed sacks.

We share!  We share our clothes, our personal space, our time and our love.
We know about life and death. New life and death happens on a ranch. New life is amazing and death makes us appreciate life.

We know there is a God.  We see him every day.  Just look up at the skies. 

We know how to shoot a gun. One of my first life lessons from my Mom was how to shoot.

We find interesting things in the washer.  From staples to rocks, and other unidentifiable objects!!

We pray a lot. Amen.

We have calloused hands. Working in the weather makes leather hands.

We have scars.  We are proud of them, each one of them has a story.

We shop in bulk. We never know when we will get to town, so buying bulk is a must.

We have tender hearts. Tender hearts are important to maintain care of our families, land, and animals.

We may, or may not, use shirt tails to wipe snot!

We have many job titles.  Banker, loan officer, secretary, maid, teacher, bus driver, therapist, barber, vet, coach, truck driver, President and many others.

We know how to cook.  Whether that be Beef, Chicken, Pork or a good desert.  Ranch Moms' cooking is the best.

Circle L Ranch
Being a Mom is the most rewarding
job that I have.  
There are many things that I love and appreciate about ranch moms, they are amazing, loving, strong, happy, selfless and graceful!  Moms are the sunshine in life!

"Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it." Proverbs 22:6

"God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that right early." Psalm 46:5

Happy Mother's Day!

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Branding Etiquette

Branding Etiquette

Naomi Note: I am taking this post out of archives(2013) and sharing it again. Enjoy!!

I haven't written a blog for a while, but it's not a lack of thinking about it.  Somewhere between running after twins, being a mom, being a wife, calving, running a feed store, volunteering for Nebraska Cattlemen, FFA, and Fairboard I really don't have much time.

Today, finally, I have a few moments to write my thoughts down.

I love this time of year! I love seeing all the calves.  Even though this spring has tested our spirit and our strength, I am thankful for the moisture we have had, and love the branding season and the community it brings.

My thoughts are really about Branding Etiquette.

What happens in the branding corral is amazing, and I wanted to write it down.  There is an etiquette in every culture and the branding corral is without exception. I know that I may have missed some, and there may be some you will not agree with, and some you may not have experienced.  I am open for you to share your thoughts with me.  Some rules are spoken, some unspoken.

I will never forget my first Nebraska branding.  I was amazed how well people respected each other, the traditions that had been passed on and just the amazing feeling of being there.

So with that I have decided to write my version of Branding Rules!!

The owner brands the calves.
It's the top job.  The owner is the boss.  They also delegate who should rope and for how long.  They also delegate who should cut and give shots,etc.  Always wait to be asked to do your job.

It's an honor to be asked to rope at a branding. 
You should respect the other ropers.  Help them out.  Dragging one calf with two roped back feet is better than dragging five with one back leg.  Take your time.  If you can, pull your calf to the wrestlers closest to the branding pot (So branders don't have to walk so far).  If you high hock a calf, try to get the rope down.

The brander gets first dibs on a calf.
They have a hot iron which cools quickly. Shots and cutting can wait.

You are expected to wrestle at branding if you can.
You should not ever let your calf up until he is done.  Watch for the ropers, don't stand in their way.

Brandings are really not a place for colts. 
(Unless they are ready and won't get someone hurt)

It is a nice gesture to bring something to the branding for lunch.
Usually a salad or dessert!!

The men/women that helped in the branding corral eat first.

Make sure you thank the lady of the house for lunch.

You are in charge of your own kids at branding. 
If you want to rope or help out, then make sure you have someone to watch them if they are not old enough to help themselves.  It would be disrespectful to expect, or even ask the ladies preparing lunch to watch them.

Leave your dogs at home.

I am sure that I have missed some but I wanted to at least give what I was thinking.  I am very blessed to live in a community were there are still traditions and morals.  I am thankful that Cody and I have the opportunity to pass on these to our kids.

My branding Kitchen 

Branding~ A time for Family & Friends!
Cary & Ryder~ Starting them Young! 

I love this picture.  Why? Cause this picture shows the old and the young.

Everyone has a job. 

The young and the old.  We all love our PAPA!

Cade branding 2012

Reata and Tripp.  I was wishing this day that I had 3 pairs of Chinks, 3 kids horses and 3 hands.  I was watching our friend's little boy Tripp, he is 10 days older than the twins.  They all wanted to ride and they all wanted a hat and they all wanted chinks.  So we had a lesson in sharing that day.  I love that they all want to ride.  It makes my heart sing!

Cody and Levi

This is my new horse.  I would not trade him for anything.  We are becoming very good partners!!

He loves to pull calves, and I love to rope them!
This picture shows what goes on at branding.
Talking.  Branding is a time to catch up with your neighbors.  I love to hear all the stories. 

This is another picture that I love.  In this picture we have the young and the old. Learning how to hold a calf is so important.  At every branding the kids get a little better and better.

I love that this horse is so calm.  Makes it really easy to rope a calf.

This is our neighbor, John,  He is 81 this year.  He is a 3rd generation cattle rancher.  He told me the other day at his branding that he appreciated me and how I was raising my kids.  My heart needed to hear that.

Ryder.  He loves to ride and he loves his Hat.

This is another picture that I love.  Cody is telling Cade the Rules.  Cade did so good roping.  I was one proud MOM.  To tell you the truth I had tears in my eyes.  They grow up so fast but I glad that we have a new generation of cowboys.

Ryder watching from the fence.

Cade pulling in his calf.
Being with friends is so important!! 

Kason bring in a calf at our "little" branding. 

I am closing you with a invitation to add your comments.