Flank Steak, NBA Cookies and Multiple Sclerosis

Those who know me are familiar with my love for local agriculture.  One way I like to support local ag is to sign up for a monthly meat buyers club.  For years we had a chicken farm and raised birds for the some of the best restaurants on the Central Coast.   But since it closed the search for a really well raised bird was on.   Then one day at farmer's market, was a small booth offering locally raised livestock.  Skeptical and spoiled by country-raised foods of Templeton, I bought a chicken.  And never looked back.  Delicious. Beautiful.  Grass-raised outside.  Just like we did.  Just like grandma and great grandma raised.  

 Autonomy Farms located outside of Bakersfield, California.  Since it's about 90 minutes from us they bring their beautifully raised and produced beef, chicken, lamb and pork products to our farmers market in La Canada Flintridge, California.  Each month my box has a variety of cuts of meats and one full chicken.  Here are some of the fun things made this last month with my box.  Please note that many of my recipes are from Ree Drumond, the Pioneer Woman.   I lived and worked on horse/cattle ranches while in university and understand what she makes.  Also, she likes her meat nice and rare, just like my folks, so if I follow her guidelines, the gang usually approves.

Love me a roasted chicken.  I make it very easy and follow this recipe as guidelines:   Basically pat it dry, and generously salt it.  Salt the cavity and fill with lemon/full garlic bulb cut in half and herbs - whatever is growing in the garden.  Sometimes I take butter and herb and smear it between the skin and the breast meat.  What am I saying, I always smear between the meat and skin.   Then drizzle a melted stick of butter all over th chicken.  Not all of it but about half the stick.  Melt it all, drizzle the bird, roast for 20 minutes, baste with butter, roast for another 25, take it's temperature.  Ready to pull out?  then keep it in roaster.  Then simply roast at 425 for 90 minutes or so, about 20 minutes a pound or until done.  When done, take out and let rest.   

This bird made a tasty chicken pot pie.  Delicious.  After it rested remove the meat from the bird and cut up/shred about 4 cups.  (remember to make stock out of the carcass).  I sauted up diced onion, red and green bell pepper,  and carrots.   Then added a couple of tablespoons of  flours and let that cook for a bit while stirring.  Then added homemade veggie stock (because that's what I had, of course chicken stock would work great).  And let it all simmer for awhile.  At some point added frozen corn and peas - cause these just belong in a pot pie.   Simmering away and added back the chicken.  Now everything should be in the pot.  Good.   Then cooled it off and stuck it in fridge because I didn't need to cook it till the next day.  

The dough was flour, butter and eggs.  With fresh thyme leaves added.  Quite buttery and delicious.  Made it using pastry cutters.  Felt good to finish this one.  

 Popped it in the oven and voila!  


While setting up for dinner, put together some home made mozzarella cheese marinated in local herbs and olive oil.  And made a salmon spread off some left overs.  Tasty and healthy.   

Here's the whole plate.  Home made chili (from dried beans and locally raised grass fed beef), chicken pot pie, LA Laker/LA Clipper cookies, salad and rose bordeaux style.  


And as if that wasn't enough next piece of meat in the buyers club was the rump roast.  Mmmmm.  Pot roast.  But wait, let's do something juicy and tasty for everyone (I love pot roast but not everyone's favorite).  What to do with the rump roast?  Make a roast beast (so easy and everyone loved it!).  Tender, Juicy, and rare!   

The morning I was planning on making this beef I realized there was a meeting down at City Hall for a couple of hours.  Hmmm.  Here was a recipe that called for a high heat of 500 for about 14 minutes (7 per pound) then turn off the oven for two hours.  Do not open the oven.  Well, OK, this sounds good.  And BOY was it!   TASTY   and so nice and rare.  Made for great sandwiches during the week.  

Nice and crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside  It was juicier the more we cut into it.  Everyone loved it!   

Inspired by a pioneer woman episode, here is the flank steak salad.  The flank steak was one cut received in my meat buyers club, so here we go!    Oh and did I mention the onion rings?  Dad LOVES onion rings so this should be a big hit.  And I happen to have buttermilk left over from another project.   This tasty marinade was easy:  Olive oil, red wine vinegar, balsamic, ginger, garlic, salt pepper, sriracha, and whatever else got in the way.  

My folks went to farmers market because I was busy.  They picked up some great little onions, perfect for these delicate fries.  Simply soak the onion slices in the buttermilk for an hour or so. Then fry up in the peanut oil.  We were so low in oil but it worked out OK.  Whew!   Always keep your pantry stocked with the essentials.  

And then dish it all up into one big salad.  So tasty!   Added fresh tomatoes, dressing and goat cheese.  Blue cheese would've rocked but we didn't have any.  


What young boy/man doesn't like NBA cookies of their favorite teams?   House divided in our family but a good time to share wins and losses.   Sugar cookies with printable sugar labels.  Adorable!

So, this is how I say #takethatMS, finding inspiration in the kitchen.  
We have to take it when we can.  Or give it when we can.  Been a month of inspiration and getting things done.   The feeling of making lots of homemade food and being able to freeze it for later is a good one, it's a one of accomplishment and appreciation. 

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