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Roasted Beet Salad

I came up with this recipe as a way to make beets appeal to more people, including my kids!  I love beets but many people don’t care for their sweet  earthy fresh garden taste.  I have prepared beets many different ways but this one really clicked for me. This recipe can be doubled or tripled depending on how many people you are trying to feed and how much they enjoy beets! If you need to make a very large quantity I suggest you use more than one cookie sheet to roast the beets. This recipe serves about 4 people. You will need 5 or 6 beets depending on how big they are, about a pound total. Wash the beets and the greens, remove the greens as well as the tap root.  Save the tops for salad or cooking as you would spinach or any other greens.  Peel the beets and dice in to 1/2 inch cubes.  Toss in a bowl with 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil, enough to cover all surfaces of the beets.  Add salt and pepper and toss to coat. Spread the beets in a single layer on a greased cookie sheet and place in a 350 degree oven for 30-40 minutes.  The time will also depend on how many beets you have and how big your cubes are.  If you double or triple the recipe be sure to increase the baking time.  Every 12-15 minutes open the oven and toss the beets with a spatula but keeping them in a single layer. While the beets are roasting it is time to dice one medium sized onion....

Slow Roasted Pulled Pork with a Dry Rub

This is one of my favorite things to cook!  I will make more then one butt at a time for parties or for my family and use the tender flavorful pulled pork for several different meals.  Pulled pork sandwiches are one of my kids favorites and with the left-overs I will make pork carnitas with chilpotle sauce.  All my BBQ sauces and my chilpotle sauce recipes are posted on this site also. The dry rub is essential to really infuse great flavors into the meat, and the low and slow cooking technique is what makes the pork tender and juicy! Enjoy this one but give yourself enough cooking time.  It can be made ahead and reheated. Dry Rub for Pulled Pork 1/4  cup Kosher salt 1/4  cup packed brown sugar 2  tablespoons Paprika 2  tablespoons powdered sugar 2  teaspoons chili powder 1  teaspoon garlic powder 2  teaspoons ground black pepper 1  teaspoon mustard powder 1  teaspoon cumin 1  teaspoon ground ginger 1  teaspoon onion powder Mix everything together in a bowl and use on the pork butt.  You can double this recipe is you are making multiple butts at one time.  Slow roasted pork butt recipe follows.   Slow Roasted Pork Butt 1-  5 to 7 pound pork shoulder (I prefer the butt end, not the shank end) 3  tablespoons olive oil 1-1 1/2 cups stock (chicken, beef, pork, even some cola diluted with water can work) Sprinkle and pat all sides of the butt with the dry rub recipe above.  It is best to pat the dry rub and let the butt sit in the icebox over night,...

Carolina Mustard Sauce for Pulled Pork

This sweet and tangy mustard BBQ sauce is a great change from traditional BBQ sauce that we are so used to.  This sauce is such a great compliment to pulled pork sandwiches with a of couple bread and butter pickles!  I cooked this one recently on the Rachael Ray show for my brother Chris who loves pulled pork! 3  tablespoons of butter 1  large shallot minced 1 cup yellow mustard 1/4  cup ketchup 1/2  cup Blue Ash Farm Honey 1/4  cup apple cider vinegar 2  tablespoons brown sugar 2  teaspoons Worcestershire sauce 1-2 teaspoons hot sauce Melt the butter in a sauce pot, add the minced shallots and cook until the shallots are soft.  Add all the other ingredients and cook until the honey and sugar dissolves.  Not too hot, you don’t want to not scorch the sugars! Let the sauce rest for the flavors to come together then serve at either room temperature or reheat to serve warm.  Pour over pulled pork on a Hawaiian bun with a couple of bread and butter pickle chips! Sauce can be made in advance and stored in the icebox for later...

Chilpotle Sauce for Carnitas

This creamy sauce with a kick is fantastic on carnitas, tacos, or burritos.  My kids even like it as a sandwich spread!  It is a simple recipe and I made it on the Rachael Ray show that aired July 18, 2016.  This one is a must for Mexican night at home! 1 – 3.5 ounce can of chilpotle peppers in adobo sauce 1  cup of sour cream (Greek yogurt works well too) 1/2  cup mayonnaise Juice of 1 medium lime Put all the ingredients into a food processor and blend until smooth.  Make ahead of time for the flavors to...

Maple Glazed Bacon

This is a treat I make every once in a while and not just for breakfast!  It is great crumbled into a salad or cut into bit size pieces for an appetizer.  It s simple to make and everyone will love it. Lay thick cut bacon on a cookie sheet sprayed lightly with cooking spray.  Put the bacon in a 400 degree oven for about 15 minutes.  Keep you eyes on it because different thicknesses of bacon will cook at different times.  Remove the cookie sheet and drain off the fat.  Brush or drizzle the bacon with REAL maple syrup, return to the oven, and lower the temp to 350.  There is a good amount of sugar in the syrup and it will burn quickly so keep your eyes on it. Cook about 10-15 minutes depending on the thickness of your bacon, remove onto wax paper to cool or serve immediately. Enjoy!! I had a great time showing Jeanne Sparrow and Melissa Forman of “You & Me” on WCIU this awesome...

Sweet and Savory Kid-Friendly BBQ Sauce

This is a very simple, one pot recipe for BBQ sauce that will appeal to everyone’s liking.  It is neither too spicy nor too sweet but has a very nice deep flavor that goes with all kinds of BBQ.  You will need… 1/4 cup  orange Juice, 1 Cup  ketchup, 1/4 cup  brown sugar, 1/4 cup   Blue Ash Farm Honey, 3 Tablespoons  apple cider vinegar, 1 Tablespoon  dry mustard, 1 Tablespoon  Worcestershire sauce, 1 teaspoon  chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon  onion powder, Combine all the ingredients into a saucepan on medium heat.  Stir and heat until the sugar and honey dissolves.  Make ahead for the flavors to meld.  Use on all your barbecued meats or even as a steak...

Game Dinner

Not only do I love to hunt but I love to cook wild game that I have hunted myself. There is no better quality time spent in the woods, on a duck pond, or walking upland fields with family and friends. The camaraderie, the laughter, the outdoors, and nature are heightened when you are alert to the sounds and sights of the hunted. The thrill of the success and even of the failure gives one a huge connection to the land and where we all came from. What would our country be without the wild game that sustained our forefathers? How is it that so many of us have lost our connection to the land? Does the best food really come wrapped in plastic from the grocery store? I have spent so many early mornings and late afternoons in pursuit of wild game. Not always successful but enough to keep me returning to try again. I will only hunt what I plan to cook and eat myself. I have shared game dinners with family and friends that share in the love of wild foods and some that are trying it for the first time. It is true that some game has to be cooked differently than store bought meats, but it isn’t complicated either. Wild game tends to lack the fat that domestic meat has, therefore, you cannot overcook it or it will dried out. If cooked properly there is nothing better, not to mention it is hormone and anti-biotic free and organic in every way possible, Pure natural food. I have adapted a lot of my conventional recipes...

Family Thanksgiving

Well I am behind on my blogs but it is never too late to tell a story! For the first time in several years my entire family was able to gather for Thanksgiving. My sister Sally set it up a year in advance so that everyone had plenty of time to plan and make it happen. Gathering 38 immediate family members from different parts of the country can be a challenge. We decided to meet centrally in Michigan where we have a summer home that has been in our family since 1906 and is a special place for all of us. In fact, my parents met and got engaged there, but that is a story for another blog! We needed to find a place to have dinner for such a large crowd as our house and the over-flow houses we used could not handle the group. Luckily we were able to rent a house that was the former West Shore Golf Course clubhouse, now converted to a single family home. Our house sits on what used to be the 15th fairway of the old course, and we spent countless hours on that course as kids either playing golf or hunting for golf balls in the woods at dusk. It is sacred ground for us. The new owner of the clubhouse redid it but left the main dining room and fireplace as well as the back porch overlooking the golf course, the old pro shop and office space are now bedrooms, but it had all the room needed to set up one table for 38! With everyone in town, there...

Mentorship

Hunting is been a part of the American history since settlers first arrived and by the native Americans long before that.  Today, hunting is not necessary for sustenance as farming and agriculture produces food on a massive scale and our grocery stores are overflowing with food.  But there is no denying that we would never have made it without our forefathers being proficient hunters and gatherers and passing the tradition and techniques down from generation to generation. I have hunted for most of my life and was exposed to the outdoors by my father and other relatives that were regular hunters.  Without their knowledge and experience from their fathers and uncles they would not have been able to pass it on to me.  We all had mentors, someone who was an experienced and trusted advisor who was able to teach the tricks and tactics necessary to outwit the hunted, enjoy nature,  relish a game dinner, and most importantly, respect wildlife and the environment and be true conservationists. I have tried to mentor my kids into hunting.  Little by little I have taken each of them into a duck blind or deer stand and walked them through pheasant fields at Blue Ash Farm.  I’ve never pushed them to hunt as I always wanted them to want to go and have fun while doing it. Being cold, wet and tired is never fun.  I made it fun, taught them some hunting tactics but also was ready to call it quits when I could see they had had enough but the quality time together was as fun as the hunting. I’ll never forget the...

Blue Ash Farm Honey

I began keeping bees about 5 years ago.  I noticed my orchard did not produce as much fruit as I would have expected, so I decided I needed honey bees!  I began by reading a couple books and going to a honey bee presentation. The next thing I knew I had a barn stacked with bee hives to house the bees that would arrive in the early spring.  When I picked up my bees, I followed all the steps I had read about to set up a hive, and then I stood back and let the bees do their thing.  I noticed within days the number of bees on the apple blossoms had increased, and within a few weeks there were more baby apples developing on the tress then ever before!  I was thrilled with the idea of more apples and pears in the Blue Ash Farm orchard! As the summer continued there was routine maintenance and hive checks necessary to keep my bees healthy and happy in their home at Blue Ash Farm.  As a novice that first year, I did not expect any honey and originally wanted the bees for pollination anyway.  I just thought if I get a little bit of honey on the side that is just a bonus! Normally newer hives produce very little honey for human harvesting.  They spend so much time and energy the first year building out the honey comb and raising more worker bees to keep the hive running.  If there is a surplus of honey, then it is there for the taking.  Well, I obviously did something right that...