Grass Fed Beef

There has been enormous discussions about Grass Fed Beef these days, what is it, why do folks like it, and in general what’s different from “regular” beef. Let’s start at the back end of this and work forwards.

Cattle will graze (eat) many things that will help them grow, remain healthy, and ultimately turns into fat/muscle which is what we eat. Much like humans, we need to eat food to live, grow, and stay healthy – not too surprising. Mass produced beef will be fed many unpleasant things, filled with hormones and antibiotics all to get more “yield” from the cattle. Yield is the percentage of meat they get from a cow. Higher yield = higher profits. The unpleasant things can range from pesticide laden fields, corn, grain, and even other animals and animal byproducts. The theory behind grass fed beef is that it’s a healthier way for a cow to eat and grow, but comes at the expense of less fat and as a result higher cost. If you buy bargain beef, $2.99/lbs beef is most surely quite poor quality, the animals are treated incredibly poorly (which is a discussion for another time), fed literally anything that is cheap, and when processed they put whatever meat filler they can to get maximum yield. You’re savings comes at a cost, to the animals and to what you’re eating.

More premium beef is fed grain/corn, or some other full vegetarian diet, no hormones or antibiotics are used to manipulate the animals to create more meat than they naturally would. While taking yet another step in the healthier direction comes grass fed beef. Which is fed a diet exclusively of grass, sometimes referred to as pasture fed. Some of the bargain beef is “grass fed” but not exclusively, so if you want the full grass fed beef experience and benefits you’ll want to find beef that is 100% grass fed and finished, meaning the last few weeks of the cattle’s life it continues to eat a diet of exclusively grass. There is some debate how this affects the final product, some feel finishing with corn is the best of both worlds, but we are focusing on grass fed beef today.

The benefits to you of eating grass fed beef is that it’s not just lower in fat than other methods of feeding cattle, but the fat that is there is much healthier. Which is why grass fed butter is so popular these days as well. But now you’re wondering if it’s worth it, as fat is where the famous beef flavor comes from, this is the same concern I had. Admittedly I put off trying grass fed beef for a long time because of this. I’m an old-school rib-eye guy, so I really like the classic beef flavor. The answer is difficult, but worth exploring. It really depends what is important to you, if healthier options are important then absolutely give it a try, if you’re looking on a small twist on beef give it a try, if you’re simply curious try it, if you are only driven by the price then it’s probably not worth it, if you want a steak with USDA Prime quality marbling grass fed beef is not for you. For me, if I feel like a steak or burger, but want to be healthier and feel better about what I’m eating then it’s a total winner. If I’m looking for that classic beef flavor, I’d probably lean towards a USDA Choice or Prime, or dry aged steak, preferrably corn fed or finished.

To dispell some of the myths about grass fed beef, it is NOT tough, it is not dry, it does not taste funny, and while cooking is important I feel that’s true of every cut of beef. Below are some pictures of a 100% grass fed top sirloin I made. grass-fed-beef  


Trying to capture the purest beef flavor I went for a very minimal amount of seasoning.  It was simply seared on a medium-high temperature in a cast iron skillet for about 2-3 minutes per side.  I lightly salt and peppered the room temperature steak just prior to cooking and had a light coating of canola oil in the pan.  After cooking I let it rest for about 10 minutes on a foil tented cutting board.  As you can see this grass fed beef is was extremely tender and juicy.  Top Sirloin is a great universal cut in that it’s not super fatty like a rib-eye, it’s kind of a cross between a filet mignon and a NY Strip, and typically at a much lower price than either!  Even with a leaner cut this steak was melt in your mouth tender, with plenty of natural juices for flavor.

As for the flavor, it really didn’t taste much different than a regular steak, it was maybe a drop leaner, but it still had that classic beef flavor with no off or funny flavors.  I’ve tried several cuts of grass fed beef, and with the exception of a grossly overcooked ribeye (sorry ribeye, that was entirely my fault) they were all as you would expect, a premium tasting steak.  I will warn you, you cannot shop with your eyes like you do for other steaks, this top sirloin looked very boring raw, I wish I snapped a picture!  But the finished product was great.

I highly recommend trying grass fed beef if you haven’t already, with no more attention than you’d show any other cut of beef you can have a healthier option and still satisfy that craving for meat.  With all of that said, if I knew I was going to have one final steak in my life, I’d opt for a USDA Prime, corn finished rib eye, there is a creaminess to the beef from the high fat content that I’ve yet to experience with a grass fed steak.


Pizza Muffins

Pizza Muffin

What you’ll need:

One can crescent rolls

2 cups of shredded cheese (I used a mozzarella cheddar blend)

8 oz of spaghetti sauce

One TB butter

one non-stick muffin pan

Servings 4 (2 pizza muffins per person)

Pizza Muffin

Step 1:  Heat Oven to 350 degrees.

Step 2: Remove crescent rolls from package and cut each triangle (there are 8 per package) into about 12 pieces.  Each triangle cut up will make one muffin.  Set these aside.

Step 3: Time to start assembling your muffin.  Put about six pieces (half) of your cutup crescent triangle into one of your muffin cups.  (Don’t do what I did and use paper muffin liners.  Even though crescent rolls are very buttery, they will still partially stick to the liners. Use a non-stick muffin pan or grease the cups with cooking spray or butter).  When placing the crescent pieces, make sure they cover the bottom and part of the sides.  You are basically creating the bottom cup.

Step 4: Put about a tablespoon of cheese on top of the crescent pieces in the cup.

Step 5:  Place about a teaspoon of sauce on top of the cheese you just placed in the cup. (If you want to add any pre-cooked meat or vegetables to your pizza muffin, do that here as well)

Step 6: Place one additional tablespoon of cheese over your sauce (and meat and/or vegetables if you added them).  Having the cheese on both sides helps adhere the dough from your crescent pieces in place.

Step 7: Finally, top your muffin by placing the remaining pieces of cut up crescent from one triangle on the cheese you just placed in your muffin cup.

Step 8: Repeat this until you have made 8 pizza muffin cups with crescent pieces, cheese, and sauce.

Step 9: Melt your tablespoon of butter and lightly brush it over the tops of your muffins.  You can add a sprinkle of parmesan cheese, garlic powder, or other desired seasonings at this time if you would like.
Step 10: Bake for 30 minutes.

Pizza muffin

Pizza Muffin Pizza Muffin

Now, you have a super tasty pizza muffin that is fun for parties, kids, or the kid in you 🙂


Best Water Bottle Ever

The rush of the holidays are over, our New Year’s Resolutions are made, and we are promising ourselves to do better this year.  This is our year!  Yet, regardless of good intentions, we know we are super busy, things pop up to derail our plans, and life is unpredictable.  It’s safe to say we can all use a little help to stay on track.  We all know how important drinking water is for not only losing weight, but maintaining our health.  This is why I am recommending my favorite water bottle, the Thermos Intak 24 oz hydration bottle.

Thermos Intak


The Thermos Intak 24 oz hydration bottle has been a solver of many woes.  Not only is it easy to hold, hold a good amount of water for the gym, have a loop to attach it to your gym bag, a safety latch over the easy press release button that allows the bottle to open with ease while keeping it secure so you don’t accidentally open it, and a tight seal so you don’t have any leaks; it has a counter that goes around the base of the lid for ease of remembering how many times you filled your bottle.  In turn (no pun intended), this helps you keep track of how much water you are actually consuming in a day.


I have tried apps, writing it down, and keeping track in my head how much water I’m actually drinking, but the truth is, I never stick to those.  Turning the base of the Thermos Intak hydration bottle not only helps me remember how much water I have consumed by the end of the day, but also keeps me on track. Whenever I grab a drink, I can easily see if I am falling behind where I should be, which in turn (again, no pun intended), keeps me on track.



There are a ton of water bottles out there, but Thermos is by far the best I’ve ever used.  They have a nice size opening too, so you don’t have to squeeze a bottle, or wait for the pressure to be released so you can squeeze it again.  Oh, no.  You get to drink until you are done being thirsty and stop because you want to stop (or the bottle is now empty and you need to refill it, but that would be impressive to drink 24 oz all at once and need more right away).


So, give the Thermos Intak hydration bottle a try.  You won’t be sorry!  Check it out 🙂

Chocolate Pretzel Buttons

Ever since the first bite of a chocolate covered pretzel, I have been in love!  These simple, yet nice looking chocolate covered pretzels are actually fairly quick and easy to make.  They also, are very versatile.  By buying themed M&Ms for whichever holiday it may be, or by going to their website and making special ones with your initials, baby’s name etc, you can personalize these treats for any event.

Cherry Thumbprint cookies and Chocolate Pretzel Buttons

Cherry Thumbprint cookies and Chocolate Pretzel Buttons


2 bags of Hershey’s Hugs

1 bag of Snyder’s of Hanover Pretzels,  Butter snap

1 large bag of M&Ms Milk Chocolate Candy’s


  1. Turn oven to 200 degrees.
  2. Cover a baking sheet or cookie sheet in parchment paper.
  3. Unwrap all the Hershey’s Hugs and set them aside in a bowl.
  4. Lay out the pretzels one layer deep over the parchment paper on the baking sheet.
  5. Place a hug in the center of each pretzel.

    Hugs on Pretzels

    Hugs on Pretzels

  6. Place baking sheet with the pretzels and hugs into the oven for about 5 minutes.  You just want to melt the chocolate enough without them oozing all over.  You will see the hugs looking shiny and just starting to lose shape.  This is when you want to pull them out of the oven.
  7. Immediately after removing the pretzels and hugs from the oven, you want to carefully press an M&M into the center of each hug.  This is the most time consuming part and where you need to be most careful.
  8. Let your buttons cool for 15-20 minutes and then you can enjoy a fun snack!

    Chocolate Pretzel Buttons

    Chocolate Pretzel Buttons

The Best Cherry Thumbprint Cookies

Okay, so I may be a little partial, but these cookies came from my grandma’s kitchen, who I believe got them from her mom and so on.  They only use 5 ingredients and are absolutely amazing!

Cherry Thumbprint Cookies

Cherry Thumbprint Cookies

Note: the ratio of butter to dry ingredients is crucial to having them turn out right.  Make sure the butter is room temperature before starting, and measure accurately.


1 Cup butter (room temperature – 2 sticks)

1/2 Cup Sugar

1 tsp Almond Extract

2 1/4 Cup Flour

Approximately 20 – 30 Maraschino Cherries (halved)


  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar.
  3. Add almond extract to the creamed butter and sugar, and blend.
  4. Add half of the flour to the mixture and blend.
  5. Add in remaining flour and finish mixing. Now, you have completed the dough.



  6. Measure about a tablespoon of dough and roll into a ball.
  7. Place ball on ungreased cookie sheet about 1 inch apart.  (We love using these cookie sheets Airbake Cookie Sheets)
  8. Use your thumb to lightly press an indent into the center of each ball.


  9. Place cherry into center of each cookie.

    Cherries in cookies

  10. Bake cookies for about 7-10 minutes.  You want the edges starting to turn a light golden color.  The tops of the cookies will still look light.
  11. Enjoy your cookies!
Cherry Thumbprint cookies and Chocolate Pretzel Buttons

Cherry Thumbprint cookies and Chocolate Pretzel Buttons

Check out my next post on how to make these simple, yet nice looking chocolate pretzel buttons!