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Not a meal planner? Try this

Now that Fall sports and school have officially begun, our lives just became a new sort of complicated, which means planning for dinner is a must! I don't know about you, but I am not a meal planner. There's many benefits to it, but it's just not for me. Instead, we take a more relaxed approach to meal planning. We don't pencil out the details of each day's meal, but we do still make a rough plan. Here's how we do it....

7 Last Minute Summer Must Have Meals

From backyard BBQs to picnic snacking, celebrate the taste of Summer paired with your favorite locally grown, garden fresh produce with this quick list of our top 7 recommended must have meals before Fall arrives.

Raising Meat Animals Ethically

Better Food, Better Life. It's our tagline for a few reasons and today, we're exploring how the way we raise our livestock for meat makes the case for both better food and a better life - for the animals and humans.

How we move beef cattle on pasture every day

Bryce and Jen decided to go grass-fed when we took over the family farm and to raise our beef in a way that promotes the health and wellness of people, animals, and the planet. You see, it's not just about being "grass-fed" that makes our beef more delicious and nutritious. It's about the way we move them. This rotational grazing method (seen in the video below) guarantees the cattle will always have lush, nutrient dense pasture to graze, which results in the incredible, clean, healthy, and exceptional quality products you have come to know and love.

How to Grill Salmon from Frozen

A huge thanks to Captain Mark and his crew at Bering Bounty LLC for sharing these tips and guidelines for cooking your fish at home from frozen. It doesn't get any easier!No need to plan ahead. No need to thaw. In fact, Captain Mark repeats that cooking these fish from frozen is the best way to go for the ultimate, delicious, and delectable meal.How to Grill Fish from the Wild Alaska Seafood Group:Be sure your grill is clean and hot before you start cooking.Brush the fish with oil, lightly, before cooking to prevent sticking.Start to grill fish with the skin side up. This lets the natural fat beneath the skin to be drawn into the filet and it'll be easier to turn.Only turn the fish once. Use a two prong kitchen fork to lift a fillet, then slide a metal spatula underneath to turn.Cook the fish for 10 minutes per inch of thickness. Fish is done when the thickest portion of meat turns from translucent to opaque throughout.If using a plank method:Soak the plank in water for at least 30 minutes, up to 2 hours.Pat them dry, then lightly oil one side of the plank where the fish will be placed.Preheat one side of the grill to medium high with no heat on the other, indirect side.Place the planked seafood on the indirect side with no heat, then close lid and turn heat down to medium.Photo by Levi D.

7 Easy Meat Dishes to Feed a Crowd this Summer

As we gear up to celebrate Elli's high school graduation later this summer, we thought that maybe you have something great to celebrate, too! Perhaps an anniversary, a birthday, a graduation party, family reunion, whatever it may be! If you're scratching your head over what to make for the main dish, we put together a list of some simple, tasty main meat dish ideas that are delicious, easy to make in large quantities to feed (and please) a crowd.Pro Tip: How much meat to make? You can figure about 1/3 pound of meat per person when figuring out how much you need to serve. Account for extra poundage for bone in cuts like chuck roast and shoulder roast. If you will have more side dishes available, you can figure more like 1/4 pound of meat per person. If you have big meat eaters in the crowd and not much for sides, you can up your estimation to 1/2 pound per person.Before we get started, consider this: Equipment - If you're going to make the meat yourself, make sure you have the equipment you need to do so. If not, connect with a friend who does and see if you can borrow theirs. Slow cookers and Nescos are especially helpful for hosting big events! Or, if you have a friend who loves to use their big smoker, recruit them to help! You bring the brisket, they bring the equipment. :)1. Pulled Pork - Most commonly made with pork shoulder (butt) roasts, you can find a friend with a smoker and smoke them, or go the simpler route and cook them in a Nesco, large roasting pan, or slow cooker. Simply slow cook them the day before with some BBQ sauce for about 8 hours, then pull them apart with a fork. Remove the bones and keep the meat on warm in a slow cooker and serve with buns.2. Sloppy Joe - Another easy, Midwest favorite. Thaw the meat ahead of time and brown it on the stove top, draining any unwanted fat. Saute some chopped onions and peppers in a slow cooker with some oil on the bottom, then add the meat and stir. Combine your favorite sloppy joe seasoning with some water, then add to slow cooker with meat, onions, and peppers. Stir it up, and let it cook for a few hours before serving. Yum!3. Taco Bar - You can't go wrong with a taco bar. From ground beef, to pork carnitas, or even chicken, you can mix up the meat options and easily make it vegetarian friendly with black beans, refried beans, sweet potatoes, and more. Use your favorite seasoning mixes. Consider having some spicier and some milder options to appease all of your guest's taste buds.4. Shredded Chicken Sandwiches - This one is great on it's own, or could be incorporated into the taco bar, as well. For sandwiches, season with your favorite BBQ sauce. For tacos, season with your favorite fajita or taco seasoning. Cook the chickens the day before either in the oven in a roaster or in a Nesco/slow cooker, depending on space and tools you have available. Season the chicken as you prefer; BBQ, taco, etc.. When the meat is cooked, carefully pull the meat off, so as to not have any stray bones. Add any additional seasoning or sauce as you like and set in a slow cooker with some water for another crowd pleasing option!5. Shredded Beef Sandwiches - Made with either brisket or chuck roasts, shredded beef is another Midwest classic. Consider smoking the brisket, if you have a smoker available to you, for a real delight. Otherwise, you can slow roast them, as you would the chuck roast, too, in a slow cooker, with beef broth, a little bit of herbs, and wine for a savory beef sandwich. You can make them more of a BBQ sweet style sandwich, too, if you like, by adding BBQ sauce instead, when cooking!6. Easy Ham Sandwiches - Roast a ham, just as you would for Easter or Christmas, in the oven, a slow cooker, or a Nesco. When cooked, slice and carve and keep in a warmer (like a slow cooker) so people can assemble their own ham sandwiches that are quick, easy, and most importantly, delicious! Provide cheese, mustard, and buns on the side and you're set!7. Simple Meatballs - This is a great one because they are easy to do in advance, relatively cheap, and easy to prepare a lot of at once and cook a lot of at once. Use a mix of ground beef and ground pork to bring the cost down. Thaw the meat ahead of time, grab your favorite recipe, then form into balls and bake on a jelly roll pan in the oven. Either freeze them right away if you're making them more than a few days ahead of time, or keep them in the fridge until the big day. Then set them in a slow cooker with some water or sauce to heat them up and you'll have some very happy eaters at your party!Don't forget the Appetizers! Charcuterie salamis make the perfect appetizer or bring along dish to any party! Simply order your favorite flavors, slice thin, then serve on a charcuterie board with cheese, crackers, fruit, etc., for easy, delicious, party snacking!Happy celebrating this Summer! We hope that gives you some tasty ideas to please the crowds for whatever event you're celebrating this year. :) Here are some quick links to some of the meats mentioned above:Ground BeefHam RoastPork Shoulder RoastWhole ChickenChicken Breast (Boneless Chicken Option)Chuck RoastBrisketCharcuterieIf you're looking to order a large quantity of meat, let us know to see if we can get you some extra savings at

Favorite Cut Highlights: T-bone Steak

Why t-bones?T-bones are a steakhouse favorite and it's no wonder why. Incredibly tender, juicy, and flavorful, they're an obvious pick. It all has to do with the cut, described below, which includes BOTH New York Strip Steak AND Tenderloin Filet.The CutOne thing that sets t-bones apart from other steaks is that they are bone in. We offer only one other bone in steak, the porterhouse, which is similar to the t-bone; just cut from a different portion of the same loin.T-bones get their name from the t shape that the bone creates in the cross section of the steak. The bone divides the two other steaks that come together to make the t-bone; a New York Strip and a portion of tenderloin.NY strip steak is one of the best cuts off of any beef and to have a little portion of tenderloin included with it is just the cherry on top for the perfect steak dinner!The PortionT-bones typically serve 1-2 persons per steak, ranging in size from 12 - 16 oz per steak.T-bones are also considered a value cut because they are bone in, so you get the "ice cream" (in this case, a NY Strip Steak) plus the "cherry on top" (the tenderloin) for less cost per pound!The FlavorfulBecause they're already flavorful on their own, all they need to cook is a touch of salt, pepper, and your favorite steak seasoning. Fire up the grill and cook away! See our full list of tips below.Cooking the Perfect T-Bone1. Be sure to thaw steak ahead of time. Pulling from the freezer the day before you plan to cook it is a good rule of thumb. Be sure to thaw on a plate or bowl in the fridge.2. Have your thawed steak out and ready to be seasoned. Then, heat up your pan to medium-high heat. Cast iron skillets are best for stove top steak searing, or you can use the grill, too.3. While the pan is heating, on a separate working surface, drizzle the steak in olive oil on both sides, then season generously with salt, pepper, and/or steak seasoning. Coarse ground salt and pepper are great for extra flavor depth.4. Drizzle some oil or butter in the hot pan and swirl around to cover the entire pan surface. Skip this step if you're grilling.5. When the butter is melted and sizzling, add the steak to the pan and enjoy the sound of the sizzle! Be sure to turn on the hood vent to keep the air moving.6. Let the steak sear on one side for 4-6 minutes, then use a tongs to flip the steak and sear on the other side for another 4-6 minutes.7. Add a few tablespoons of butter to the top of the steak and let it melt in. Continue spooning the butter and juices back onto the steak as it pools in the pan. Again, skip this step if cooking on the grill.8. Use a meat thermometer to cook steak to desired doneness. The USDA recommended cook temperature for beef is 145 F. Remove from the stove top (or grill) when the temperature is 5-10 degrees below the desired final temperature.9. Set steak on a clean plate and tent with aluminum foil for another 10 minutes. Meat will continue to cook and raise in temperature during the tenting process.10. Slice and serve to enjoy!Pairs Well WithOf course, steak and potatoes are a tale as old as time, especially in this part of the world, but some other great side ideas are:Grilled Asparagus (or pan fried in bacon grease with almond slivers)Cooked Carrots (pan fried, boiled, or roasted and seasoned with either garlic, salt, or brown sugar)Garden SaladSweet PotatoesSteamed BroccoliFor a drink, don't overlook a glass of red wine to complete this dinner delight. :)T-bones come one steak per package and are available in the store here. Save when you purchase a mini bundle or mixed Steak Lovers Box here.

DIY Traditional Easter Ham and Lamb

Traditional meals prepared by the loving hands of a grandmother, a father or mother, a sister, or a friend mark the memory of a holiday. A savory roast lamb, sweet smoked ham, buttery mashed potatoes, glazed carrots, hot cross buns; all of the wonderful sights, flavors, and smells we think of at Easter time come to mind now. Take the opportunity to continue those traditions, to recreate memories, and make new ones for your children; celebrate the holiday with a home prepared, traditional roast of ham or lamb. The steps to cook either are easier than you think, and the taste, exceptional.

How to Spring Clean Your Freezer

Beautiful Spring weather have you itching to clean? Don't look past your freezer! With temperatures warming up above freezing, but not too hot, now's the perfect time to unpack your freezer, defrost it, and start fresh for the summer.Here are some helpful tips to consider when doing so:When should I defrost the freezer? Pick a cool day to do so when the freezer inventory is relatively low. You want it to be cool enough that the food you take out of the freezer is not at risk of spoiling.Where do I put the food from my freezer? Have another freezer or coolers ready. If you don't have enough additional freezer or cooler space for the food in the freezer to be defrosted, ask a friend or neighbor if you can borrow theirs. It's important to keep the food safely stored below 32 degrees to stay frozen and not risk any thaw of the food.How do I keep the food frozen in a cooler? You can use gel packs that you receive with your home delivery order to help keep the items cold in the coolers while you defrost your freezer. Make sure you freeze them ahead of time!How do I defrost the freezer? Defrost your freezer according to manufacturer instructions. Most often this includes emptying the freezer, unplugging it, propping the door open, and letting it thaw on its own. Is this a familiar sight? It may be time to defrost your freezer. This icy build up causes inefficiency and takes up valuable storage space in your freezer.What supplies do I need to defrost the freezer? Have plenty of towels and buckets on hand so you can remove ice chunks that start to thaw out and wipe up the water that pools. If you have a shop vac, you can use a wet filter to vacuum the water out of it. This is especially helpful for chest freezers that are hard to reach into!What do I do while the freezer is thawing? Go through your food and get rid of any outdated, freezer burned, unwanted items.How do I clean the freezer after it's defrosted? After the freezer is defrosted, use a simple cleaning solution of vinegar and water to wipe out and disinfect your freezer. If there are any dirty spots, you can use a little hot soapy water to wipe them down before disinfecting.When can I put my food back in the freezer? Once everything is wiped down, you can plug your freezer back in and start to add your food back in. Take advantage of this opportunity to reorganize things if your freezer has gotten a little jumbled up since you last thawed it.As you go through things, take note of what you need more of and what you don't to minimize food waste in the future.Why should you thaw your freezer?Ice build up in the freezer reduces storage space, freezer efficiency, and increases operating costs, so it's important to clear it out from time to time. Cleaning it out also gives you the chance to clear out any accumulated food/dirt particles.It's also a great chance to go through your food, eat up what's old, make room for new, and discard what's not good anymore.

Country, Spare, Baby Back, and more. What's the difference between these ribs?

Isn't a pack of ribs a pack of ribs? Nope! Did you know we offer 6 different rib cuts? We'll take a closer look at each of them and what makes them different (and how to cook them) here.Country Ribs (Pork)Country ribs aren't true ribs, but are more like "mini pork chops", cut from the shoulder. They have a bone in and appear like a rib chop, though they aren't technically. They're tender and flavorful and can be cooked on the stove top in a cast iron pan, though we like to make them in the Instant Pot or oven with BBQ sauce. They are meaty, decadent in flavor, juicy, and delicious!Spare Ribs (Pork)Spare ribs are true ribs. They are mostly bone with a flavorful layering of meat and fat between. Don't let the lack of meat deceive you, though. As Grandma said, "Those spare ribs are actually really good!". Throw them in the slow cooker on low for 6 hours with BBQ sauce for a delightfully delicious mess of a dinner! You will get messy eating these, but the tender, sweet flavor of the meat on these bones will have you and your family looking for more. Be sure to have napkins! :)Baby Back Ribs (Pork)Baby back ribs are true ribs, like spare ribs, and have layers of meat around and between the bones. They typically come in a rack, similar to spare ribs. Bake them or grill them for a timeless BBQ delight.They come from the top section of ribs, making the unique. We can only get them (and pork tenderloin for that matter) cut when we have butterfly chops cut, too. That's because the butterfly chop is boneless and cut below the rib bones, freeing up the baby back ribs for individual sale. The full rib chop, however, contains part of the baby back rib and tenderloin with it, so we can't have both off of the same animal.This is why baby back ribs (and tenderloin) which are in short supply, are reserved for Your Family First members only.Rib Chops (Pork and Lamb)Rib chops, on both pork and lamb, are cut from the ribs as individual portions and are prized for their ease of cooking, high quality, and exquisite flavor. They have a small bone portion along the top and side, and an outer edge of fat that keeps the meat tender and juicy when cooking. We like to pan fry them in a cast iron skillet (or grill them in summer) with a simple seasoning of salt and pepper. For the pork chops, sometimes we'll use a steak chop style seasoning for extra flavor. Both have a nice flavor on their own, though, and don't require much seasoning.Short Ribs (Beef)And then there's short ribs, which come off of a beef. They require braising and slow cooking, as they are a bit tougher than pork ribs, but are well worth the wait for a tasty dinner. They are fatty and meaty, so can be messy to eat on their own. They are great for pairing with soup bones for a hearty homemade beef bone broth!