Grass-Fed Family

by Jenn (eating bender) on June 26, 2011

Hello and happy Sunday! Hope you have been enjoying a fabulous weekend. :)

I may be back in Chicago now, but the last few days at home with my family in Arizona were packed with excitement. It all started with a Saturday morning hike up Pinnacle Peak, complete with a self-timed photo at the highest point on the trail.

We also snapped a few shots of the pairs — Papa B. and Eric, then me and Eric, respectively. I think I can officially say that I am SHRINKING. When was my brother allowed to get so tall?

After our hike, we came back to a delicious lunch spread prepared by Mama B.

There was a plate of assorted meats and cheeses (cheddar, pepper jack and my favorite, GOUDA)…

…plus some absolutely delicious smoked salmon…

…and crackers! Half of them were topped with cream cheese for the salmon.

I had a sampling of everything, topping the salmon crackers with capers, too. Muy delicioso!

Mama B. also made us a batch of berry smoothies with Jay Robb Tropical Dreamsicle.

The rest of our Saturday was spent watching the U.S. Open. Then it was time for an old favorite.

Papa B. fajitas! Only this time, instead of chicken and shrimp, we threw calamari steaks into the mix.

The result was absolutely superb. Calamari makes a GREAT fajita! Especially with plenty of veggies.

We can’t forget the margaritas, either. Mama B. makes the very best.

Speaking of Mama Bender, she was on fire in the kitchen again on Sunday night.

Do you remember her earlier kitchen domination? This one was equally amazing: blue cheese stuffed pork chops served with Parmesan-crusted asparagus and potatoes!

The pork chops were cut to make pockets, then stuffed with cheese and sealed up with toothpicks. Mama B. grilled them for 10-15 minutes, then baked them in the oven at 375 degrees for 20 minutes. She basted them in BBQ sauce for extra flavor. The result was out-of-this-world good!

The asparagus was topped with Parmesan cheese and olive oil, then grilled in aluminum foil.

It was truly a treat to see Mama B. so excited about cooking while I was home. She has recently been educating herself on all the benefits of grass-fed beef and has been enjoying the preparation and new recipe process. I’m very proud of her. :mrgreen:

Looking forward to trying her recipes out myself here in Chicago!

If you eat meat, do you pay attention to the type of meat you buy? Why or why not?


1 Erica June 26, 2011 at 4:29 pm

You and your family always have so much fun together! The hike looks fabulous and to come home to that lunch? Just awesome! mmm fajitas. Cooked onions and peppers make me happy! When I buy meat at the food store- I try to always go organic. I also like to go to the farmers market and get grass fed, organic, local meat when possible. Hope you’re having a nice Sunday

2 Jenn (eating bender) June 29, 2011 at 6:02 pm

Thanks, Erica! I have never bought meat from a farmers market, but would love to this summer!

3 Melissa @ TryingToHeal June 26, 2011 at 5:47 pm

Ohhh…what a fun time with the family!!! Your brother sure is getting tall!

4 Jenn (eating bender) June 29, 2011 at 6:02 pm

He’s a giant. :)

5 lpodolsky410 June 26, 2011 at 6:57 pm

I love reading your family posts. It’s always so heartwarming to see how close you are with them. :) And I absolutely LOVE that they all share your passion for good food. I knew Papa Bender was a good cook, but I had no idea Mama B was just as good. :)

6 Jenn (eating bender) June 29, 2011 at 6:02 pm

It makes me smile just writing them, so I’m very happy to hear that you enjoy them, too! :)

7 BroccoliHut June 26, 2011 at 9:08 pm

All that smoked salmon + capers is making crave salty food!
I eat fish, and I try to buy wild caught/sustainable when I can. However, it can get pricey, so I settle for canned tuna much of the time!

8 Jenn (eating bender) June 29, 2011 at 6:03 pm

Very true re: fish! If only it wasn’t so expensive…hopefully someday.

9 withasideofhope June 27, 2011 at 6:39 am

What a fun time with your family! All of that food looks fabulous! Your mom sure is a great cook! :)

I try to pay attention to the type of meat I buy but most of the time I just buy what it on sale because the other stuff is too expensive.

10 Salah June 27, 2011 at 7:09 am

I don’t really crave meat, or eat it but when I do eat meat I make sure its organic because it scares me to eat meat thats not organic.

11 Jenn (eating bender) June 29, 2011 at 6:03 pm

Awesome! Thanks for sharing, Salah!

12 Shannon June 27, 2011 at 9:03 am

i’ve been to that park :) and wow, that blue cheese stuffed pork chop and asparagus… fabulous dinner mama b!! watchout papa bender!

13 Jenn (eating bender) June 29, 2011 at 6:03 pm

Hehe, yes you have! :) And I agree that Papa Bender definitely needs to watch his back!

14 Smore June 27, 2011 at 10:51 am

I always try and buy either grass fed beef or “smart chicken” (no hormones). Your eats look great this weekend! Especially the smoked salmon. Oh my gosh that salmon looks delicious!

15 Jenn (eating bender) June 29, 2011 at 6:05 pm

I definitely buy “smart chicken,” too!

16 Megan June 27, 2011 at 7:17 pm

Looks like you had a fun trip! Stuffed pork chops are amazing- well done Mama B! :)

17 Jenn (eating bender) June 29, 2011 at 6:05 pm

Thanks, lady! The stuffed pork chops were incredible.

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