Friday, February 21, 2014

Hormones in Beef

{Beef} Facts Friday: Hormones in Beef

Did you know that there are hormones in the plant and animal material we consume?  Regardless of whether it is organic or conventionally produced, humans today consume hormones on a daily basis.  That cabbage you had last night in coleslaw?  You bet.  The chicken in your burrito from Chipotle today for lunch?  Definitely.  And the steak you plan on grilling tomorrow night?  For sure.

Many consumers have been frightened by the fact that people eat hormones, and typically feel safer when a company advertises that their products are "hormone free."  This is false advertising at it's best because no food is without hormones.  Also, when I was teaching high school agriculture, I often had students share with me that they didn't eat this or that because they didn't want to eat chicken that was pumped with hormones.  Chicken and pork producers in the US are not permitted to use hormones in their production practices.  It is an illegal practice.

In an effort to keep today's Beef Fact Friday short, I will refer you to this short article written at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln for additional information.  In closing, you can feel safe eating the food you do!  Remember, get the facts before you help spread rumors that are based on scaring consumers into making food choices based on false information!

Friday, February 7, 2014

Name that Beef Cut

{Beef} Facts Friday: Name that beef cut

Want to know where your favorite cut of steak or roast comes from?  Check out this fun article from Food Beast that my sister passed along.  It's a fun read, and even better, educational!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Loaded Baked Potato Chowder

This is the recipe that was demonstrated at the recent Pampered Chef Party I hosted in January.  It is super easy to make and doesn't take more than 30 minutes start-to-finish since you make it using the microwave.  I mention a few Pampered Chef tools in the directions but you don't need them to make this recipe.  This filling, quick chowder is perfect on a cold night to warm your family up in a hurry!

Whatcha Making Wednesday: Loaded Baked Potato Chowder
Recipe courtesy of Pampered Chef


  • 3 large baking potatoes (roughly 2 1/2 pounds)
  • 3 1/2 cups milk, divided
  • 4 ounces cream cheese (you can omit this if you want to make a lighter version)
  • 2 T butter
  • 2-3 green onions, sliced
  • 4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated (4 ounces give or take...we did way more!)
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt (I added this amount but think it needs a little more next time I make it)
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • Optional toppings: chopped bacon, sour cream

  1. Slice potatoes in half lengthwise.  Place in a microwave safe dish that has a lid (you can use the Deep Covered Baker or Rock and Crok here if you have them).  Pour 1/2 cup milk over potatoes.  Microwave on HIGH for 11 minutes and test potatoes for doneness by sticking them with a fork!  If they need more time, rotate potatoes from top to bottom, or outside of dish to inside and cook on HIGH another 8-11 minutes.  Coarsely mash potatoes (with the Mix'N chop if you have it).
  2. Whisk cream cheese until smooth.  Add remaining 3 cups milk whisking until smooth.  Add mixture to potatoes.  Microwave on HIGH 3-5 minutes or until hot.  
  3. Remove from microwave.  Ladle chowder into bowls and top with green onion, chopped bacon and shredded cheese.
Note: I cooked one pound of bacon in the oven (375 for 40 minutes for crispy bacon) two days before I made this recipe and then used the bacon in three different meals - twice for breakfast and then this dinner meal.  Now that I have two children and have found that the dinner hour can be uber stressful so I try to cook once and then use that material several times if possible.  Case in point - the bacon for this recipe.  I also do this often with ground beef.