Has Taco Tuesday been a regular event in your household for years? It has been in mine. Our daughter loves Taco Tuesday. We do a variety of tacos, fajitas, & enchiladas to keep up variety. Rutabaga never realized that Taco Tuesday was an actual thing until the Lego Movie came out.  Now that she knows it is a thing she is try to also get a Taco Thursday on the schedule every week. Some weeks I give in. My tween could eat tacos at every meal.


One of the things that I like to do is avoid spice packets. High Blood Pressure and Heart disease run through my family like the Mississippi.  Those nice little flavor packets at the grocery store are easily reproducible at home with an even better flavor.  And the great news is that you can control the sodium. While I love Pinterest for their recipes I hate the “packet of this, packet of that” recipes. When you look at the sodium suddenly you’re eating a weeks worth of sodium in one sitting. Eeek! In the NCF store we sell the taco shells for $5.75 per pack.

Let’s talk taco shells for just a moment. While the  filling of the taco is important so is the shell. Typically I prefer soft shell, however we recently began carrying Mamacita’s Taco Shells.  You know those yummy Tortilla Chips that we carry. They’re now making them into Taco Shells.

This recipe is simple just use quality ingredients. Ground Beef in the NCF store is $7.99 a lb. Ground Chuck (if you want a steak flavor) is $8.75 lb. Both of these grounds run fairly low fat. I do not drain off the fat. I’m a believer that fat is what makes your brain release the hormones to let you know to quit eating.

Butternut Squash Bisque with Goat Cheese

Are you ready for round 2 of Winter Blast?  Farmer’s Almanac told us this would be a brutal winter and they were not lying. In the depth of the cold, comfort foods and soups call my name.  “Lucy, we’ll keep you warm and cozy.” Ahh warming soups, just a bit of added spice to warm you up after the outdoor cold.

Butternut Squash Bisque is a classic bisque. Thick, velvety  and nutritious for you as well.  The past few weeks I have stared at this squash on my counter, now it is time to cook it. The twist is I’m adding Celebrity Dairy Goat Cheese to the mix, sold in the NCF store for $5 a tub.  The nice thing about Butternut Squash, is that you can mix it up with just about any of the Celebrity Dairy savory goat cheese flavors and it will turn out delicious. I definitely would not do the chocolate or mango though.

For added texture I with the bisque,   I recommend  Accidental Baker Crackers. The NCF Store Carries them in 3 Flavors Garlic & Rosemary, Sea Salt, and Black Pepper and Salt.  These crackers are locally made and taste great.

Egg Drop Soup

Whew, that cold snap was a doozy. If you have never had to worry about keep animal waterers free of ice let me tell it is not fun. We are all thankful it is over. However it is only the 2nd week in January which means after a short reprieve we will be back to cold weather before long.  And that is where Egg Drop Soup comes in. It is plentiful and warms the body from the inside.

There is only a single photo of my dish. I simply threw it up on my personal facebook wall and poof lots of folks wanted the recipe. My message box blew up. I figured I probably needed to put it on here for our clients.

With this being such a simple dish I recommend using the best ingredients meaning homemade broth. Try out Farmer Dan’s recipe.  And of course use Farm Fresh Eggs just $4.25 a dozen.

Rabbit Cassoulet

Rabbit is becoming more of a mainstay among the American diet. I have started seeing several friends posting that they are having rabbit for dinner. When my family dines out we are seeing it on the menu more often. Why? Rabbit is a great hardy animal to raise for meat. The best part is it’s the healthiest meat & most environmentally friendly meat you can buy.  We just have to overcome the idea of what is in your head.

Cassoulet comes to use from France named for its cooking vessel.  You can use any meat to make this versatile dish. Duck, Rabbit, Chicken , Beef, & Pork can all be used. (If using red meat switch to Pinot Noir and add 2 Tablespoons of Tomato Paste).  If you need to make it fast use 2 cans of beans and lower the amount of of liquids to 1 cup wine & 1 cup broth. If using chicken then use chicken broth instead of beef.  If I was only only allowed 1 meal it would be Rabbit Cassoulet. The scent of this dish stayed in my house overnight, making me wish I had more of it to eat for breakfast.

Rabbit runs in the NCF Store for $10.50 per lb. Each rabbit weighs between 2.5 lbs and 3.5 lbs.  If we hadn’t had friends over for dinner this easily would have fed our family for several  meals. In this dish we also use NCF Italian Mild Sausage which sells for $10 per lb.  The rabbit and sausage pair perfectly together giving a great flavor profile.

Crock Pot Italian Chicken

I have embraced the crock pot. Many of you have spoken and the crock pot is the best way for dinner to make it to the table every night. Not eating out is the goal, right? It certainly is more me. As of today, in the past 5 nights we have had to eat dinner out 4 nights. My stomach is not pleased.  Vowing to not have this happen again I pulled out my old friend Renee’s Crock Pot Italian Chicken.

Shredding the chicken is easy. Place the breast only in you mixer with the paddle attachment once cooked. Turn on low. This will shred your chicken.  Once shredded add your liquids back to the meat. Do not walk away as your mixer works. That is a quick way to end up with powdered chicken.

To serve alongside this I typically throw in peas or broccoli at the end of the cooking process. Green Beans or just about any other veggie other than lettuce would work well. Cabbage would probably be a great way to mix it up. I think I’ll need to try that soon. We traditionally serve this over rice or pasta.

Christy over at Brittany Ridge grows the best tasting Chicken on the market in my humble opinion. Her birds get plenty of grass and a great omnivore diet from her free range methods. The one thing I notice when I open a package of her meat is there is no smell. Grocery store chicken has always smelled awful to me.  Smells tend to tell the quality in my book.  The other clue. The fat color, yellow is the golden key in pastured meats and Christy’s birds have it.  When I used to buy organic chicken in bulk I noticed the fat went from yellow to then gray.   Fat should not be gray, eww just NO!

In the NCF store Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast runs $12 per lb. A whole Cut Up Chicken is $6.50 per lb and a Whole Chicken is $4.50 per lb. My recommendation is to buy the Whole and just double this recipe.  Then you will get several meals for your hard earned $$.



Eye of Round with Mustard Herb Crust

Christmas time is here! Holiday cooking makes my soul sing, rich heavy flavors followed by bright sides are my thing.

This year we are a bit low on Prime Rib as we have 1 very ambitious client. Therefore let’s look at the Eye of Round for our Holiday Meal. Thinly sliced, it will set a beautiful table with it’s own natural juices.  With the mustard herbed  crust it will bring flavor.

I’m going to use Lusty Monk in this dish. When fresh from the jar it can be quite spicy.  As the mustard cooks though, the heat of the spice mellows. Preparing the roast the night before enhances the flavor and allows the marinade to mature, you’ll get the deep rich flavor, perfect for Christmas dinner.

Having a Holiday Party? This dish can also be slices thinly and served on yeast rolls or rolled by itself a fancy toothpick. No toothpicks lay a fancy fork on a plate with the meat displayed in a pretty Carpaccio pattern.

Looking for another Holiday meal try my Brisket Tostada Recipe. Serve it roast style, last year our client Donna served it with rolls at a holiday party, the brisket was a big hit with her family. Want another fun dish for the Lusty Monk? Try our Deli Ham Roll-Ups. And you can always pair the Lusty Monk with our Bratwurst and Two Chicks Farm Sauerkraut. <— SWMBO’s Favorite store combo

5 Spice Sticky Ribs

Traditionally Ninja Cow sells English style thick cut short ribs. These are great for the crock pot or dutch oven. For smaller families I recommend them or shanks instead of roasts. They have great flavor  & texture while still being quite a bit cheaper. This is what I usually feed my family  since we are now a party of 3 these days. The bonus is you can be pretty versatile with these and use any leftovers for sandwiches or fajitas.

This past spring we began getting requests for a thinner Asian style rib. I talked to Chaudhry’s. Unfortunately they couldn’t get us down to the 1/4″ that I had desired. The were able to cut them much thinner and horizontal to give me a more versatile product for grilling and stir frying.  Wait did I just say the word fry? Hmm what could be more delicious than an Asian style sticky rib. Ooo I have that 5 spice from the Drunk Duck.  

Boys & girls this is where being a Chef becomes 1 part art and another part mad scientist.  Last year I had a 5 spice rib on a food truck. I talked watched and learned now it is time to recreate with this awesome rib here at home. This will be a project where irresponsible children should not be in the kitchen. And one where distractions should be kept to a minimum.  And where I kinda wish I had one of those new fancy air fryers. After I remove the rib from the frying oil I will immediately be dredging in brown sugar. The heat will caramelize the sugar and spice to the rib. To add a bit of crisp to that we will hit it with the broiler.  MMMMM, let’s go.

The cost on ribs in the  Ninja Cow Store is $7.99 a lb.  That is roughly $1.75-$3 a lb cheaper than our roasts. And since we now carry the 2 different cuts they are quite versatile.  Let me also give an honorable mention to the Beef Osso Bucco cut at $8.49 lb. That is the perfect amount for 1-2 people, it is a perfect crock pot cut as well.