Wednesday, August 26, 2009

another reason the health care reform is a bit off base.

And now, please take a moment of silence for your heart.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Niman's fighting back.

Look what's on the cover of Time Magazine this week!

Beef. Mmmm...
While browsing the magazines today, this pile of meat caught my eye. I assumed that the article wouldn't present me with any new information, but I was happy that such a major magazine was hopefully going to hit mainsteam Americans over the head with information about what's really in their cheap meats.
Surprised was I to find (along with some lovely charts and graphs) that the article was mostly about Bill Niman and his new business ventures! Bill and Nicolette Hahn Niman are part of a movement to raise happy cows that roam freely on happy grass that 1% of happy, healthy and (possibly) wealthy Americans eat.
How lovely of them. And I'll surely seek our their meats. But that might not be as easy as one may think, if one is a newcomer to organic meat purchasing.
Many apologies, I don't want to be negative. I just have a concern about the article.
The Time Magazine article is not referring to the Niman Ranch animals and meats that you can buy (somewhat) cheaply and in bulk from your local Costco. This is Bill and Nicolette's new venture since leaving Niman Ranch in 2007. Niman Ranch products are better choices than most suppliers as they support small farmers are "natural," but they are not organic. Niman Ranch isn't trying to trick you, they say so right here.
Please, read the whole article... I'm all for educating the general public about how to better take care of themselves, our animals, and the land, but please take the initiative and do some research for yourself. Because isn't that the point? Don't just blindly buy what's being sold to you!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Marije Vogelzang, Eating Designer.

Please watch:

Will you please be my friend? I will put birds on my head and help you cover sculpture with ham or personify loaves of bread.

Friday, August 21, 2009

lady (butchers) who lunch

I've been on Project: Weight Gain for a while now. It really isn't going that well, but in the last few weeks, I've been asked by my nutritionist to keep track of my eating and calories. In beginning, it was novel, but I'm getting bored with it. And possibly obsessive.

Maybe I should combine Project: Weight Gain with Project: Food Stylist!

Here's what the project would look like in regards to today's lunch:

-organic boneless skinless chicken breast (180 calories) sauteed in 1/2 tablespoon olive oil (60 calories), lemon juice, basil, oregano, and one clove of garlic (20 calories)
-1/4 red bell pepper (10 calories)
-organic green leaf lettuce with onion and white wine vinegar (20 calories)
-organic brown rice cake* (70 calories)
-1/3 cup organic frozen strawberries and blackberries with fresh mint from my windowsill mint plant that I've somehow managed to keep alive (25 calories)
Total: 385 calories (I've been trying to eat every three hours, so that's about what I can handle per "meal.")
Totally boring? Probably. But maybe I can improve my food photography and my diet simultaneously?
*I am lazy and don't often have the patience to cook a pot of brown rice, so I've become quite dependant on Lundberg brown rice cakes. Excellent and super convenient for you gluten-free people out there.

new aspirations

Food styling. Obsessed.

Finally (well, it seems like I waited longer than the masses, considering I went on a big J. Child tangent several years ago... loved My Life in France and was later inspired by the Julie & Julia book and Julie Powell's blog) saw Julie and Julia on Wednesday.

Loved the food and an totally inspired to learn to bone a duck. The man actually got really sad though, sad that I couldn't enjoy food like I once did (I think his favorite food scene was Julie making the bruscetta at the beginning of the movie, or perhaps when Julie and Eric ate that chocolate cake!). This, in turn, made me sad! I guess I really started this blog to learn to make food that I can enjoy, that we can both enjoy together, and I've felt pretty satisfied with my food experiences lately. I was pretty discouraged to realize that he has been so affected and saddened by my food choices. Don't get me wrong! He's been extremely supportive of my endeavors, from finding me piles of meat in Argentina to eating several burgers a day and to taking a SF adventure to butchery class, but sometimes nothing can compare to a grilled cheese sandwich, beer, and pint of Haagan Daz peanut butter chocolate ice cream with the one you love. Ah well. I digress. It was, after all, a Nora Ephron movie, so don't expect the food to be seperated from the relationships!

All that to say, big props to Susan Spungen , the food stylist for Julie & Julia. Awesome. Need and intern?

Here are some images from the film to inspire.

French Onion Soup

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

they had me at "slab of steak"

I think I've found my new favorite site. From health and wellness magazine writers comes the lovely new blog Svelte Gourmand. Their philosophy is "Eat Well. Live Well" and the posts focus on healthy living (obviously) and enjoying good food (no diet crap) but in reasonable amounts. Very inspired site with pretty, pretty photography, much of which of wine, steak, strawberries, and coffee. Perfect. Perhaps they need a contributing writer! Ha.

Check out Slashfood's interview with the founders here.

Friday, August 14, 2009

book giveaway submissions and winner!

Here are the finalists for the first annual Lady Butcher book giveaway...

First submission is from the multi-talented spunkster Diana, who wrote me some wonderfully personalized haiku:

bacon, check
hamburger, one, two
on the mic

what is that?
jewels of pretty veg
top my meat

blogging food
eat, blog, eat, doodle
wine cheers too

gluten free
isn't hard to be
fruit and meat

And speaking of guns, here's a video from the tryharder wonder machine.
Tryharder also gave me a mystery bag for inspiration.

Contents of mystery bag:

swiss chard
heirloom tomatoes
bag of mystery spices (coriander, mustard seeds, anise, cloves, bay leaves, red peppers, some other stuff)

with which I made this oddly shiny mystery meal:

Pork steak (I wanted this veal osso bucco I had spotted over the weekend, but settled for pork steaks that the butcher recommended) with pluot and balsamic reduction over swiss chard steamed in white wine and garlic, roasted heirloom tomatoes with olive oil and fresh thyme, and sauteed red skin potatoes with mystery spices.
We also had some strawberries with fresh mint in a little yellow bowl on the side. Unfortunately, the man said he was craving pizza about an hour after said meal. Can't win 'em all. I thought it was lovely though, and I am inspired!

And now for the winner: (drumroll, please)

A meat drawering from Robin of One Sheep Hill. Isn't she a lovely drawer??? I really enjoy that it looks like it was done on butcher paper. Thanks, Robin, for the inspiration and continued meat support!

And did I mention her husband taught me how to shoot a gun?

Please step forward to pick up your prize.

staying cool with the kitchn!

Looking for tips to stay cool while cooking this summer? Apartment Therapy's site The Kitchn has some great tips, including some insight from a Lady Butcher...
Check it out here!
Thanks guys, for the post and link! It is sure to brighten my slightly dreary summer day.

Monday, August 10, 2009

lady meat-book giveaway!

Guess what? I've decided to do a little contest. Remember this wonderful book that I recommended back in February?

Amazed was I to find this lovely little book! My super-thoughtful man gifted it to me for Valentine's. A neat read, actually. Amidst the cutesy details I found a wealth of meaty goodness, written by ladies but tasty to all!
Anyway, turns out great minds think alike. The folks were in town last week and brought my man an incredibly decadent piece of lemon cake from Sweet Lady Jane, and since I couldn't partake in that sweet treat, they again came across this book and thought of me.
I suppose I could have a kitchen and dining room copy, but I'd rather have a little contest to spread the love.
Here's my thought. Surely not many people are following my little journey, but those who are might have noticed that I've been low on inspiration as of late.
Comment and inspire me.
Write me a haiku, send me a recipe to try, get me an apprenticeship to write about (ha!), and I'll try to be unbiased and pick a winner.
Let's say, by 12pm (West Coast Time!) on Friday.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

still cooking the goods...

Yes, I still have meat left from butchery class.
Here are a few fun meal shots. Yum!

Yet another tasty lamb burger!

Lamb steak with garlic and onion rub.

And with added mint sauce.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

remember this?

Oh boy. Remember these pictures from the London Science Centre?

Turns out there's some activity on the meat-for-energy front! Check out this article about Tesco's new ideas about converting meat to electricity. Warning: not safe for vegetarians... but better for the environment than wasting meat meant for eating, right?
On another note, Tesco really seems to be doing some cutting-edge (for a grocery store) things so I'd hate for squeamishness about this particular issue to take away from the good. Although they are a UK chain, they have opened a string of markets in California, Nevada, and Arizona (Fresh & Easy, anyone?) in borderline/low-income areas that sell inexpensive produce and "whole" foods for those of us on a tight budget. What they sell isn't always "organic," but is sure a heck-of-a-lot better and more well-intentioned than other chains that love the low-income neighborhoods.
Just sayin'.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

further reading:

From time to time, I will continue to update this when I find something that peaks my interest, and it looks like today is the day!

So, if there are still any meat-readers, specifically, hamburger readers, out there, here are my picks--

"...this fast-paced and entertaining book unfolds the immense significance of the hamburger as an American icon...This is the story of their sizzle and their symbolism, where they came from and how they conquered the world."

"Perman casts an affectionate and admiring eye at In-N-Out Burger, the family-owned, Southern California chain that has become a cultural institution without franchising, going public, changing its menu or precooking its burgers..."
Any other suggestions?