New Year, New Calves, and New Recipes

It’s the end of January. I’m clearly a bit behind in writing about the new year, resolutions, changes for the better, blah blah. So you can kind of guess how I feel about it. Neutral at best. Life seems to revolve around so many different calendars – fiscal years, school years, calve and crop seasons; January and I just don’t have a solid relationship in the goal-setting arena.

Going to get to the gym more, said no steer ever.

“Going to watch my intake at the feed bunk,” said no steer ever.

January also happens to kick off calving season for some local ranches. But not ours, it’ll be closer to March before calves will be dropping like its hot. See what I’m doing here? I’m behind on the new year stuff, but ahead on the calving topic. Victories and defeats. Isn’t that what each day is made of? Take today, RB learned to say “please” (more like “peeeeese”, but you’ve got to count that) when he wants food instead of emitting an incoherent grunt-screech. Never mind I’ve only been able to get him to have milk, popcorn, and a bag of fruit snacks so far today. See, wins and losses.

Sidebar: Sunday is the one day I’ll be looking for more victory and less defeat with my Hawks in the Superbowl! I am super pumped. Kid before a holiday/birthday pumped. This feeling is so rare in adulthood, I am enjoying this week of anticipation. I’m sure you can relate. Many a game day, I really enjoy working up some scratch-fabulous food for everyone. But when it comes to MY Hawks competing in the most high of American sporting contests, I need a recipe that is super hands off and easy. Enter Spicy Buffalo-Style Meatballs. Frozen meatballs tossed in a slow cooker with sauce. No shame. Because come Sunday, “I’m ’bout that action, boss” and ain’t nobody got time for chopping or stirring or flipping or reheating anything.

Add meatballs and sauce, walk away and be free to watch the Hawks!

Recipe instructions: Add meatballs and sauce and go Hawks!

On to calving. I bring this up because Cheri over at My Ranch Life posted some really real photos and description of calving in progress (literally) on their ranch, which is just a few miles away from us. They are keeping really close tabs on their heifers (first time mothers) and stay available to assist a birth if things start looking sketchy.

Please take a moment and click here to see and read about the process.

Please take a moment and click here to see and read about the process.

There are several minor issues that can come up in the birthing process that if you see, you can mitigate and make sure the calf and mother make it through without real problems. Cheri explains one. This calving was a success without intervention, and the new mother showed the instincts we look for to be sure she’ll have the calf cleaned, on it’s feet and nursing, the sooner the better. More victories for today!

Back to new year topics. My personal habits aside, I’ve seen some cool resolutions floating out there. My favorite is from Rancher’s cousin. She is a wife and mom of three young boys. Like most people, she is balancing making healthy choices, with the family budget, with the need to make food her young kiddos will actually eat. Familiar narrative? Her specific resolution this year is to make at least one new recipe a week in an effort to break the cycle of well, the dreaded dinner cycle. The fringe benefits will include introducing her family to different flavors and nutrients. As a measure of accountability and cataloging her progress, she is sharing a photo and caption of each new recipe she tries with friends and family on Instagram.

I don’t have this problem. My kitchen is my lab. Like a cartoon monkey mesmerized by a shiny thing, I cannot resist the pull to try a new recipe I happen upon. This creates it’s own set of challenges. New recipes are only worth a dang to you if they still meet those needs on budget, nutrition, and family friendly taste. Enter the Beef It’s What’s for Dinner.’s Interactive Butcher Counter. There are two types of shoppers – planners and game-timers. This works for both, as planners can access the information at home as they make a meticulous list, and game-timers can get it on mobile, right at the butcher counter when they see a screaming good deal on a cut of beef that they are less familiar with.

Planners can use the guide to explore different cut options that fit into what they want to make for dinner.

Planners can use the guide to explore different cut options that fit the type of dinner they want to make.

It is at once awesome and frustrating that there are so many different cuts of beef available at the meat case. Choice is a good thing, but what do you do with it if you don’t know much about what is in front of you?

Search a specific cut name you see in the meat case or explore types of cuts like steaks or roasts.

Search a specific cut name you see in the meat case or explore types of cuts like steaks or roasts.

When you find the cut you think will work for you, reveal for yourself how much protein, calories, and fat it has and the best cooking methods.

Also handy is the list of other names this steak might be labeled as, depending where you live and shop.

Also handy is the list of other names this steak might be labeled as, depending where you live and shop.

Then you can get on with the deliciousness by checking out recipes to try. Going back to our original search for an affordable cut to throw in the slow cooker, after choosing the lean, budget-friendly beef Bottom Round roast (182 calories, 6 grams total fat, 29 grams protein per 3-oz serving) from the nine options, I came upon a very simple new recipe that looks like a family could enjoy. For the busy mom, it’s a set-and-forget slow cooker meal that only calls for five actual ingredients (even the game-timers will be able to make it out of the store with everything needed to make it). The recipe page allows you to save and share it and includes complete nutrition info for the dish.

Southwest Beef Pot Roast

Southwest Beef Pot Roast

When I saw what Rancher’s Cuz is resolving to do, I immediately thought of the Butcher Counter tool and I know it can help everyone seeking the knowledge they need to enhance their dinner table this year. It almost makes me want to make a resolution. Then again, I just got RB to eat half a fresh grape, so I think I’ll call that a win and move on! Happy Friday and Go Hawks!!!

3 thoughts on “New Year, New Calves, and New Recipes

  1. Thanks for mentioning my post, ” a calf is born”. 🙂 We have 14 calves in the heifers and a handful in the cows. yea! Good luck calving with you guys. Weather has been good so far. 🙂

  2. Pingback: A preview of the After Baby Un-Diet with Chef Kirsten Helle | ranch wife life

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