Sunday, October 30, 2011

The better things in life...

This afternoon, I went out to the beef unit to see all the new babies. Let me tell you, they are too cute! There is no better study break than going out and looking at cows!
One of the babies... They were enjoying the sunshine and nice weather.  This evening, they were all out playing and running around. 

Mama and baby...

Dinner Time!!


Monday, October 24, 2011

My favorite ground beef recipe...

Being a college student, I am always trying to find quick and easy recipes, that take only a few ingredients and are healthy. My Nanni introduced me to this recipe and it is all of the above! I like it because I can make it on a Sunday evening and it will last me the entire week.

Dinner In A Dish:
1 pound of ground hamburger meat (I buy the leaner hamburger meat from Walmart - 97/3)
1 potato
1 sweet potato
1 can of green beans (drained)
1 can of corn (drained)
Baby carrots
1 can of diced tomatoes (un-drained)
Onion, coarsely chopped
Worcestershire sauce

Layer in 9x13 glass baking dish in the order given, with the ground hamburger on bottom. Sprinkle desired amount or Worcestershire sauce on top and sprinkle with pepper. Bake at 375 degrees for approximately 69-90 mins or until potatoes and carrots are tender.
I like to eat this dish with cornbread.

I mentioned earlier in this post that this dish was healthy. Not only does it combine an abundance of vegetables but the lean ground beef also has some nutritional benefits. Beef supplies a whole bundle of nutrients like protein, zinc, vitamin B12, vitamin B6, iron and niacin in a calorie conscious package. A 3 oz. serving of lean beef (95% or less fat) contributes less than 10% of the calories in a 2,000-calorie diet while providing more than 10% of the daily value for these nutrients. There are 29 lean cuts of beef that can be found in your grocery store. For more information about Beef go to BEEF It's what's for dinner. You can also find a wallet size list of the 29 lean cuts of beef  HERE to assist you in the grocery store.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Wordless Wednesday... (a.k.a. the post with fewer words)

It's calving time at the beef unit! Katie (labmate) and I saw these cuties while we were working on a project the other morning. In the top photo you can see the ear tags that are used for identification purposes. The top number on the ear tag is the sire (the father), the middle is the calf's unique ID, and the bottom number is the dam (the mother). Each calf's ear tag is unique and there are no two that are alike.


You might be wondering why the heck we put those tags on is the answer: The ear tag is important for record keeping to keep track of the health of each calf, their birthweight, sex, and any other vital information! They also help cattleman keep track of each calf by displaying the dam ID on the tag. This would be useful if the cow and her calf got separated for some reason, they could easily be matched back up. 

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Cupcake batter for Breakfast-great start to the day!

Some people like to eat dessert first. I am most definitely one of those people! So I will tell you now, I didn't actually eat only cupcake batter for breakfast. I did however enjoy licking the beaters!
Tomorrow is one of my friends birthday so with my hectic schedule this week, it was necessary to make cupcakes first thing morning. It was a great start to my day! Tonight when I get home I will frost them and then we will have cupcakes for breakfast in the morning.
Here is the secret to cupcakes:
Use a box mix of white or yellow cake mix.
Substitute the water for milk.
Add approximately 1 teaspoon of almond extract to the batter.
That is all you need to know!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Update on grad school - ultrasounding ovaries!

Since arriving in Mississippi things have been crazy - in a good way! I have stayed plenty busy, hence the lack of blogging!
My lab mate, Katie, and I have been learning how to ultrasound cattle. Did you know cows can be ultrasounded just like humans? There are several reasons why producers ultrasound there cattle.
1. To evaluate carcass characteristics like rib eye area and back fat.
2. To evaluate heifers to see if they have reached puberty and have began cycling.
3. To evaluate the pregnancy status of females. This can be done as early as 28 days after breeding! You can see the fetus' heart beating, just like you can on human ultrasound images - pretty cool!

Katie and I have been ultrasounding ovaries in heifers to see if they are cycling and ready for breeding.
When looking at an ultrasound screen, there are several key things to know.
1. Black is fluid.
2. White is bone.
3. Grey is tissue.
Ovaries are shaped like almonds or ovals. There are follicles present on the ovaries and when timing is right, they ovulate and an egg is released. The follicles look like black circles inside the ovary on the ultrasound machine.
Here are some images of ovaries from the ultrasound and pictures of me ultrasounding!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Ree's Fresh Sweet Corn Casserole

Most of you know by now that I am a HUGE Pioneer Woman fan! When I need to make a side dish, dessert, whatever it may be for an occasion, her cookbook is my go-to source for great recipes.  This morning I caught her episode on the Food Network and I was just as impressed as I usually am! By the way, if you ever need her recipes from the show you can find them here. Tonight me and some girls were having dinner together to watch the Wisconsin vs. Nebraska game. This morning I got out my handy dandy cookbook while watching her show and decided on her corn dish! Its simple, quick, and delicious! Crystal Cattle's Corn Reports also inspired me to make this dish. I thought it was appropriate for Fall since the 2011 corn harvest is underway! Here's how you do it: (This will be my modified version of her recipe...)

What you need:
1 bag of Pictsweet sweet corn kernels from the frozen section (18 oz.), thawed
1 red pepper, I used orange since they looked better
2 jalapenos
1 cup half & half
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup or 1 stick of butter, softened
Salt and Pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cook for 45 mins.

Dice the pepper 

I used gloves when cutting the jalapenos. I am a baby when it comes to those things! 

I like the color the peppers and jalapenos add!

Add the milk and half and half. I stirred in the softened stick of butter prior to adding the milk and half and half. Then, add the salt and pepper. I used them liberally! Don't be afraid.

Bake for 45 mins!