ZAYCON FRESH – RIBS!

How about Zaycon Fresh Ribs complimented with Chicken Soup for the Soul Honey Mustard BBQ sauce? It’s National Grilling Month! I really cant think of a better way to celebrate.

Pin this recipe from http://brokenteepee.com here: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/515802963549429883/ribs (8)Chicken Soup for the Soul Honey Mustard Barbecue Sauce

“Since Zaycon Fresh has teamed up with Chicken Soup for the Soul I used their Honey Mustard Barbecue Sauce on the ribs. I started them in an oven preheated to 250°.”cooked ribs

So what are you grilling next?

Patriotic picnic.

Zaycon Foods -picnicWhile the family was all together this past weekend, I put together fun bbq. There are quite a few July birthdays to celebrate throughout my extended family, so I thought that the patriotic colors would be appropriate and easy to come by this time of year. Zaycon Foods- patriotic picnicInstead of traditional birthday cake, we opted for fresh strawberry rhubarb pies in tiny jam jars. Everyone got their own pie and they are a perfect summertime dessert. I do find that you don’t need as much pie crust with jar pies.  I also made some of the mint limeade, the one I posted about last week. Zaycon Foods- patriotic picnicThe youngest kids went around my parents yard collecting wildflowers for decorating the table. My parents yard is magical, Its like you’re in a fairy land. Zaycon Foods -patriotic picnicWe like our potato salad simple. No celery or pickles, just good old fashioned easy peasy potato salad. with about 4-5 ingredients.

Zaycon Foods- patriotic picnicboil diced potatoes, cut up boiled eggs, finely chop onion, mix in miracle whip and salt to taste. Not much to it, but miracle whip is the key! Zaycon Foods- Patriotic picnicWrapped a few Zaycon hot dogs in Zaycon bacon. Best. Hotdog. Ever. Because, who doesn’t like bacon?!? Zaycon Foods-patriotic picnicThe kids inhaled the hotdogs while the adults enjoyed the ribs, steaks and sausages. Zaycon Foods- patriotic picnic

My mom makes a mean bbq,  it’s sauce sweet and tangy. I’m not even sure whats in it, but she needs to pass the recipe on down through the family.

We grilled corn on the cob. My favorite way to cook it.

Zaycon Foods- grilled corn on the cobWatermelon is a staple in our home in the summer. We have it at just about every picnic. Zaycon Foods-patriotic picnicZaycon foods- patriotic picnicThe best part of the day. We ended the night with our very own fireworks display.

Zaycon foods- patriotic picnicZaycon Foods- patriotic picnic

I love this time of year.

Enjoy your weekend remembering why we celebrate Independence Day! Have a safe one!!

corn on the grill.

Zaycon Foods- grilled corn on the cobOne of our favorite sides throughout the summer is corn on the cob. You can’t just thrown in a pot of boiling water, it needs to be blackened in some areas and super juicy and that is why we grill our corn. Zaycon Foods- grilled corn on the cobGrilling corn takes a bit of prep. You don’t want to take off all of the husk, but you don’t want to leave too much on either. Strip your corn of all its silk and leave 1 layer of husk to wrap it back up in.

Next comes the best part. MAYONNAISE! Yep, I don’t know what it is about it, but it gives the corn such a good flavor and keeps it juicy. I don’t use a lot, just enough to coat the corn with ( this is where a food brush comes in handy) I also sprinkle on seasoned salt. BOOM! Done. Thats it. Wrap your husk back up on the corn and wait for that grill to get hot!Zaycon Foods- grilled corn on the cob I rotate the corn just a few times. The husk will kept the corn from burning, but you will notice some blackening in some parts, my favorite! Once the corn looks done enough to you, pull it off. The cob will be hot and can burn you, I don’t know from experience or anything…, but use tongs to pull off the grill. Zaycon Foods- grilled corn on the cobEat it up and don’t forget the toothpicks!

I like the corn as is and don’t think it needs anything else, my husband, however, likes to add black pepper. My girls LOVE corn made this way and of course, they get to help shuck it, mayo it and sprinkle it.  They seem to eat better when they help make the meal, always a plus!

Grilled corn goes great with our meaty pork ribs! Events are open for August delivery!Zaycon Foods- meaty ribs

Guest post from a driver.

Matt has a great way of sharing things. There is always a story. A detailed one. He has a better memory than me, thats for sure. So here you go! Take it away, Matt!

Growing up, ground beef was a staple in our house. Is that over stating it? Or was it THE staple holding it all together? I don’t recall my mom using chicken all that often. When she would try her hand at cooking, it was usually ground beef based.

Zaycon Foods- ground beefShe was a very thrifty lady who would buy it when it went on sale, bring it home divvy it up into patties, wrap it in plastic wrap, wrap that in plastic wrap, then wrap that in tin foil. Freezer. Then, when it was time for dinner (aw, crap – again, already? Didn’t we just go through this last night?) she would glumly announce, “Matt, get me some hamburger out of the freezer.” My job would be to pry off a couple of patties from the stack. Her job was to wreck ‘em.

When I would go grocery shopping with her, we went to this store called “Prairie Market” in West Seattle. This was a discount grocery store to say the least. They didn’t have price tags on the products, rather they would simply open the cases, put the open cases on the shelves and the price per unit was posted under the open case. Upon entering the store, you would select a black grease pencil and it was your task to write down the price on the can or box. Can you imagine? DISCOUNTS FOR ALL! “Everyday’s a sale at Prarie Market” should have been their jingle. But they were too cheap to have a jingle. They were lucky to have a sign.

This was in the day before the scanners and you’d just have a receipt with codes and numbers on it and when we got home, she would go through the foot long receipt item by item and sound like a broken record. “What was grocery at 59 cents?” “What was produce at 38 cents?” “What was grocery at 17 cents?” Now, I would be barking back “What can you buy for 17 cents?!?!?!?”

Whoops. I digressed.

Anyway, often she would buy our ground beef, bring it home and then proceed to get angry because the outside was all bright and pink and the inside was darker. She thought that the store was taking old meat, and covering it with new meat. Bless her heart.

“Mom, look, this one tiny piece is dark at one point and brighter at the outside.” I’m pretty sure it was an oxygen thing. But secretly I think she liked to complain about it.

The ground beef was packaged on these little square Styrofoam trays. It looked like a mini bundt meat cake with the Saran Wrap on it. One day, we’re shopping and I was bored out of my little boy brain and the butcher had just put out a whole tray of ground beef. Every one of them was this little bundt looking meat under wrap. With a hole in the center. A hole that just begged for my finger. And look! I have a finger available! While mom was elsewhere scribbling “25 (there is no ‘cent’ sign on this keyboard)” on a dented can of god-knows-what, I was busy poking my finger in each and every package of ground beef the butcher had just put out. POP! went the plastic wrap. POP! The POP was very satisfying.

I don’t know how my mom found out, and I don’t remember what happened over the next couple of hours, but my mom had anger issues and a pair of size 9 rubber soled peep toe house slippers. Burgundy. Velour. Glam. POP!

Long story short, she purchased each and every package of ground beef and I spent the rest of the night alternating between making patties and wrapping them up and rubbing the side of my head trying to get the slipper print welt to go down.

We had ground beef to last us the duration. (one of my mom’s favorite ‘isms’) Come to think of it, maybe that’s why ground beef was a staple?

I don’t remember her making hamburgers very often. But my most favorite thing she used to make was “Beef Stroganoff”. And if you think it really was Beef Stroganoff, you’ve got another think coming. (another one of her ‘isms’) She would brown a couple of patties, bust them up, sprinkle on the contents of an onion soup mix packet and put in a can of cream of mushroom soup (27 cents per the grease pencil). This would then be poured over minute rice. DINNER IS SERVED! And may God have mercy on your soul.

When I was a kid, it was the best thing she cooked. There is no way you could imagine what the worst thing was, that’s another post for another day – you could take a thousand guesses, but you’d NEVER get it.

One day, I was over at my friend Joe’s house. That night his mom had made beef stroganoff for dinner. It was cold and hours old on the stove. I asked what smelled so good and he told me. He said have some if you want. OMG! Beef Stroganoff was delicious! It had real meat in it! Real sour cream! And shock of all shocks – IT IS SUPPOSED TO BE SERVED ON EGG NOODLES! I returned and reported back to my mother that she had been doing it all wrong. That went over great. I’m glad I had hidden those slippers!

Well, I’m not going to make stroganoff out of Zaycon ground beef. That’s not its calling. I’m going to make a hamburger. A flawless hamburger. That’s the beauty of Zaycon Ground Beef. It’s 93/7 and ordinarily I’d never make a hamburger patty out of 93/7. It would be too dry, but ours is perfectly delicious. Order your ground beef before it sells out! Also, when you order a case of beef, the purchase will allow you to get our boneless skinless chicken breast for $1.49 a pound in October/November!!!!

Zaycon Foods -ground beefZaycon Foods- ground beefIf you want to split a case with somebody, it’s really easy to do, since the case contains 4 chubs. Much easier to split than the chicken breast.

So here’s my hamburger, yes – it’s a “Matt Burger”. Growing up with the food I did, I have to make up for lost time, so my food tends to be a little on the “fussy” side.

Zaycon Foods- ground beefIn future posts, I’ll post my fantastic recipes for s’getti, chili, gyros, beef teki, mama’s meatloaf (not Elizabeth’s – another mama, so don’t worry), and others using Zaycon Ground Beef, but for today, it’s just going to be some classic Burgers and Fries. And yes, these pics are actually of my hamburger patties, hamburger & fries. All made from scratch. I suffer from OCD and have delusions of grandeur.

Zaycon Foods -ground beef

Zaycon Ground Beef.

Salt.

Pepper.

Heat.

Buns & accoutrements to your liking.

That’s it!

You don’t get much easier than that.

I’ll be slinging ground beef in July in Georgia, Florida (or as I like to call it “Baja Alabama”), and in North & South Carolina.

I hope to see you in the parking lot!

Matt H.

Feels like spring around here.

Mmm. The sun is finally shining here in the Pacific Northwest and that means that its time for BBQing. We have 4 distinct seasons here and I like to enjoy every second of the grilling seasons.  As soon as the weather is remotely decent, out comes the grill. This year we decided to make something in our yard that would be more useful and here is what I came up with, thanks to Pinterest:DSC_8902a My husband’s family was in the household appliance business for quite a few years. Anytime we had a BBQ with them, they used a stainless steel washer drum for a fire pit. We were given one a couple of years ago. It had been sitting near our shed, until this week. Zaycon Foods-steel drum fire pit I didn’t ever feel they were safe and maybe because when I was 8, I fell onto a dutch oven that had just come off the fire. I used my hand to catch myself and came away from the incident with 2nd degree burns and blisters. I can still remember the pain. So I decided to build an enclosure around the drum. It’s actually a simple and easy project, but does take some time.

I went to a local store and bought enough garden wall stones to go around my steel drum 4 times, for us, that was 36 stones total. Zaycon Foods-steel drum fire pitI cut the grass big enough to fit the steel drum and the garden wall stones.

Zaycon Foods -steel drum fire pitI actually ended up cutting out more grass once I realized that I wouldnt be able to get rocks between the drum and stones.
DSC_8611aThis picture makes the garden stones look crooked, but I was careful to adjust and make sure that the stones were straight.

Zaycon Foods- steel drum fire pitOnce I got all 4 rows placed, I added the rocks.  4 bags of these rocks was the perfect amount for our pit. Zaycon Foods- steel drum fire pitDSC_8632a

I just dumped the rocks down in the crack. DSC_8633aThe garden stones came right up to the top of the steel drum. Zaycon Foods- steel drum fire pitThe last bag of rocks gave the pit a finished look.
Zaycon Foods- steel drum fire pitWe took the grill off of our BBQ and added it to the fire pit so we could cook up some hot dogs and chicken. We used it the same evening to test it out. Zaycon Foods- steel drum fire pit
Zaycon Foods- steel drum fire pit

It worked amazing and everything tasted so good!Zaycon Foods- steel drum fire pitSuch an easy project and perfect for the grilling season. Speaking of, our grill pack events are open for ordering!! Just head over to Zaycon Foods to find out the details.

 

 

two words: Bacon. Jam.

Bacon is delicious. Plain and simple, I love bacon. However, sometimes I want to do something different, other than just make a BLT or have it with a side of eggs. So I asked around for some bacon recipes, something different, maybe odd, but still tasted good. A customer of Zaycon Foods by the name of Joan and a blogger at How To Be A Housewife, mentioned bacon jam… um, “what?” and “ew!” both came to mind. She said there were tons of recipes for it if you search the internet. So I did. And came across this recipe from Tide and Thyme. Oh My Word. I don’t know how people think of these recipes, but its going to be a favorite around this house. It is a simple recipe, but make sure you have an afternoon available where you don’t have to go anywhere for a few hours. It does take some time to simmer. For you bacon fans, I give you…

Bacon Jam.
DSC_7695copy aThis recipe is pretty easy, I only had to buy some maple syrup and had everything else in my fridge, on my counter or in my cupboard.

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Cut up a pound of Zaycon bacon into 1 inch sections. I get my kids involved in all of my cooking and baking. They get to learn and I get to let go of my OCD about cooking. DSC_7725copy aFry up the bacon in batches. A little plug about Zaycon bacon, it is medium cut and it cooks up nice. Typically, I like to bake it, it always comes out perfect. DSC_7751copy aWhen your bacon is browned, but not super crispy, take it off the heat and set it on a few paper towels to soak up some of that grease. You will want to reserve about 2 tablespoons of grease in the pan. DSC_7726copy a

While my bacon was browning (with the help of my daughter) I diced up a medium sized onion. I use Walla Walla sweet onions. We love Walla Walla onions, they are sweeter and overall have a great flavor. They are also grown fairly local to us. DSC_7730copy aDSC_7738copy a

Add about 4 cloves of chopped garlic to the onion. I cheat and buy my garlic in a jar. Its just easier fro me. Add it to the pan you used to brown the bacon. DSC_7771copy aWhen the onion is transulcent, add the bacon back in the pan. DSC_7775copy a

The you can add in all the other ingredients, a Tbsp of brown sugar, a Tbsp of hot sauce (I think it could use more and will double the hot sauce next time), 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar, 1/4 cup of maple syrup, black pepper to taste and…

DSC_7789copy a

a cup of coffee. DSC_7761copy aWe don’t drink coffee and I didn’t want to go buy some and have it go to waste. I do drink Teecino and so I used it instead. I am not sure what the difference would be. I’m guessing its for flavor and not the caffeine. DSC_7798copy aThis is where the waiting comes. You want to simmer it for around 2 hours, adding about 1/4 cup of water every 25 or so minutes as it needs it. It will end up looking like this:DSC_7802copy a

The sauce will thicken up a bit. once you can’t tell the onions from the bacon, its ready. Take it off the stove and let it set for about 15-20 minutes. Your house will smell amazing and you will want to throw a few burgers on the grill or even toast a bagel and top with cream cheese to get it ready for a bit of this jam. DSC_7818copy aI put it all in a wide mouth pint jar and used my hand mixer and gave it a few good pulses. I wanted to keep a few good pieces of bacon and not pulverize the whole batch. DSC_7832copy aI couldnt keep my girls hands out of it. We had pretzel chips handy and taste tested it. Bacon heaven, I tell ya!DSC_7834copy aIts sweet, it’s salty and has a tiny hint of a kick of spice. I think we will have a new favorite for BBQ’s around here. It made sound weird, but try it first before you dis it. Its got bacon in it!!

And while Zaycon bacon events are over and we won’t be back until this fall, the grilling pack is open for ordering. Imagine this on an all beef frank or a keilbasa sausage, maybe eat it as an appetizer while you are grilling the pork ribs.

For the full recipe, check out the post at Tide and Thyme.