What do you think of when you think about fresh air feasting?
Do you think of a flimsy blanket over scratchy grass, soggy sandos and ants on parade? Well, if you think THAT'S the way picnicking is, we challenge you to a sophisticated brunch or lunch picnic makeover!
When the beach, winery, boat or park is calling, answer the call with a perfectly-planned brunch or lunch outdoors, but with all the victuals and comforts of a table side meal.
This time of year makes for a perfect fresh-air feast, but an "elite" lifestyle demands a change in venue, menu and activities to enhance your outdoor agenda and take you from a "picnic" to a sophisticated outdoor dining experience, with just a few small considerations that will elevate your entire experience.
The Venue (Location)
Picnics don't have to be limited to a park or picnic table. If a fresh-air feast is on your mind, consider upping the ante by choosing an unusual location (such as a new trailhead, winery, or waterfront lookout point), changing up the picnic menu, and adding some interesting activities to your picnic agenda.
Lunch and brunch are the best picnic meals to consider for your sophisticated outdoor dining experience. While there are some basic rules to selecting menu items like choosing handheld, non-saucy, single dish cold foods--don't feel isolated to those rules! Try something new, and use clever ways to keep your picnic foods looking delicious, staying warm or keeping from getting soggy. For example, bento containers keep food from shifting around. Disposable containers make for easy clean up. Thermoses and ice chests keep things cool, but also can help keep things warm, too! And separating your foods from sauces before consumption prevents soggy bread and veggies.
All of these considerations allow you to think outside the standard picnic and incorporate some delicious and unique recipes for your sophisticated outdoor experience. And, when you combine these swanky recipes with the robust, velvety flavor of Steakhouse Elite Kobe-Crafted beef, the result is a next-level elevated lunch or brunch picnic experience.
Beef-stuffed Breakfast Burritos (a silverware-free version of egg breakfast)
Cheeseburger on an English Muffin (what's more brunchy than breakfast AND lunch?)
Brunch Beef Strata (it's an beefy egg casserole!)
Layered Beef Salad Shakers (salad beautifully layered in a mason jar--just shake and serve!)
PB&J Wraps with Steakhouse Elite Beef (a protein-rich version of the traditional PB&J)
Greek Meatball Subs (a Greek twist on a fancy Italian sandwich)
Other (Non-Beef) Picnic Munchables:
S'Mores (Use chocolate frosting instead of chocolate bars)
Fresh or Dried Fruits
Beef Jerky and String Cheese
Hummus and Fresh Vegetables
Sparkling Juice, Infused Water, Mimosas (champagne and juice), Wine
What to Pack
Finally, the key to the perfect picnic is preparedness. Comfort comes from thoughtfulness and adequate preparation, so be sure to throw the following items into the trunk of your car before your brunch or lunch picnic.
So, how do you enjoy a bougie, sophisticated picnic? You start with the location, the atmosphere, the menu and packing all the essentials and mix it with the next-level flavor of recipes infused with Steakhouse Elite for a picnic worthy of impressing anyone!
There are just so many reasons to dust off that grill right now: Cheeseburgers. Bacon Burgers. BBQ Burgers. BBQ Bacon Cheeseburgers...to name a few. But May is National BBQ Month, and without a seasoned and ready-to-barbecue grill and Kobe-Crafted Steakhouse Elite burgers, you, my friend, are more a of a "miss and loss" than a "pit boss."
But we got ya covered. De-winterizing your gas, coal or pellet grill is easy and will have you tossing up beef burgers like a baller in your own backyard in no time.
How to De-Winterize and Prepare Your Grill for Spring Cooking
Spring Maintenance of Your Gas Grill:
Spring Maintenance of Your Charcoal Grill
Pellet Grills (Traeger Grills and similar)
Spring Maintenance of Your Pellet Grill:
Rock that grill like a boss--a pit boss! Make sure your BBQ grill is ready for barbecue season and maintained all summer long with these tips for spring cleaning and every-use maintenance of your gas, coal or pellet barbecue grill.
When you think movie, you think popcorn. When you think cookie, you think milk. And when you think of a barbecued burger, you think of beer!
Historically, beer and beef have always been a good culinary combination; spring and summer barbecues are often hosted with a mix of hamburgers and domestic beers. But America’s growing taste for culinary-quality beef, alongside a craft brew revolution, has created more opportunities for beer and beef pairings that are vast, delicious, and delightfully complex on the palate!
Beef has traditionally always been a nice complement to a variety of craft beer selections such as Amber Ales, Reds, Brown Ales, Stouts, Porters, and Dark Ales. This makes it hard to go wrong when pairing burgers with beer. After all, burgers are delicious, and beer is delicious, and together they are dynamite! But next level burgers like our Steakhouse Elite Kobe-crafted beef, hanker for a bit more sophisticated and thoughtful approach to pairing your burger with beer—finding a place where “Master of the Grill” and “Brew Master” can find one another.
Five Basic Rules to Pairing Burgers and Beer
1. Know whether a beer is better before, during, or after a meal.
Some beers, such as Pilsners, make great aperitifs—or pre-course drinks--meaning they “spark the appetite.” Choose a light beer to serve before a meal.
Other, sweet and dark beers, such as Stouts, make better digestifs, or after-dinner fare, and are better suited for the dessert course.
2. Don’t mix your beer marinade with a different beer at mealtime.
If a recipe or marinade calls out for a beer, pair that same beer at mealtime for a no-fail, winning combination.
3. Default to full-bodied, colorful and fruity ales.
When in doubt, choose full-colored, fruity ales, which almost always pair nicely with red meats of any kind. An IPA, Hefeweizen, Red or Pale Ale is a good choice for a beer that is very palatable but also has enough acidity and sweetness to cut through the beefy flavor of a burger.
4. Make the switch for the sake of the pairing.
Even if you are normally a wine fan, consider making the switch to beer, especially if you are going to enjoy a spicy or heavily spiced burgers. Lagers and hoppy Pilsners are best suited for these dishes, as they complement the acidity in these foods.
5. Don’t stop at the cooler. Incorporate beer into your burger dish.
Consider beer for your marinade. Beer makes for a great marinade because the acidity helps tenderize and soften meat. Our burgers are designed for optimal texture, but a beer marinade can still enhance subtle flavors in our crafting. Porters, Stouts and Autumn seasonals (such as an Oktoberfest) all make for great flavor-boosting marinades.
If these ideas have your refrigerator opened and your kegerator tapped, it’s time to put burger and beer combinations to the test. Try these beer and burger combinations for maximum kudos on your grill skills and beverage selection.
Burger and Beer Pairings
If you like: Lager
Pair it with: Spicy, Mexican-style burgers and sides such as grilled jalapenos, salsa, queso, pepper Jack cheese, spicy stuffed burgers, cilantro or chili.
If you like: Pale Ale
Pair it with: American BBQ-style burgers with BBQ sauce, bacon, American cheese, cheddar, garlic and sautéed mushrooms or onions.
If you like: Pilsner
Pair it with: Herb-rubbed or marinated burgers such as beer burgers with onion rings, burgers with Italian spices or Cajun-rubbed burgers.
If you like: Porter
Pair it with: Burgers with bacon, pork, smoked beef, shallots or onions, horseradish and a variety of cheeses like Blue cheese, queso, Swiss or sharp cheddar.
If you like: Stout
Pair it with: Rich flavors and spices, like Blue cheese, shallots, Italian spices, Cajun spices, Swiss cheese, brie, roasted red peppers, wine sauces or Au Jus.
If you like: Brown Ales
Pair it with: Peppered patties, teriyaki burgers or Thai-inspired toppings like carrots, cabbage, cilantro, Serrano peppers, pineapple and peanut sauce.
It may take a few times at the BBQ or a couple tasters of beer, but we are confident that with a few of these tips, you can create a next level culinary experience with brightly paired beer and burger combinations. After all, beef and beer are only one letter apart.
Confession: we are picky about our food and love the best, but we are no super hero when it comes to work/life/meal balance. Just like everyone else, our team does not have time to spend hours after work hunched over a range, attending to a skillet or watching over the barbecue.
We believe that meals can be simple, quick and of premium quality without all the work. That’s the inspiration for our conveniently packaged, 100 percent nothing-but-beef products, available in your favorite grocer's case in the form of ground beef, fresh burgers, frozen burgers and even sliders.
But you can't have burgers every night, and we know coming up with a way to mix up your dinner routine without a lot of extra effort is at the top of many of our customers' lists. Always well-intended, we see you: on Pinterest, pinning ideas for meal planning, plotting your grocery rendezvous…
But as meal planners ourselves, we know despite the best efforts, execution of a meal prep plan sometimes falls short. Too much mess, a forgotten ingredient, lack of tupperware; all these things can be very discouraging. So, to help you along with this process, we have developed realistic tips, tried and true, prepared by actual meal preppers to be shared with our meat loving, well-intended, ameteur meal planners.
Meal Planning and Prep How-To: Ten Tips for Success
Tip 1: Compile a Running List of Recipes.
Enlist your best effort deciding ahead of time the meals you would like to make and sketch out a list. We find the best way to do this is to compile a working list of meals you like to cook or would like to try, and write them down or create a Pinterest board. Make sure to include recipes with a variety of meats, vegetables and sides so you have plenty to choose from.
When selecting recipes, consider single-dish meals. Casseroles, foil meals and crock-pot recipes are a great way to get your meats and veggies in one simple dish. They also require little prep, attendance, and clean up afterwards.
Tip 2: Check Out What's On Sale and In-Season.
Now that you have a list of recipes you would like to cook, take a look at your favorite grocer's ad to see what's on sale and in-season. From there, you can get a good idea of what makes the most sense to cook that week. For example, if pork chops are on sale, pull out that Mustard Dill Pork Chop Recipe, and if Instacart is having a sale on Steakhouse Elite (lucky you!), you can opt to try one of our recommended burger combinations. Same goes for fruits, vegetables and other fresh foods–let them drive your cart of ideas of what to cook for the week!
Tip 3: Minimize and by Maximizing Your List with Proper Planning.
By thinking ahead of time what you want to serve for the week, you can eliminate last-minute runs to the grocery store, saving you time and money. Those who meal plan well not only save by cooking around what’s fresh, on-sale, and in-season, but they also find ways to re-use pieces of their meal throughout the week.
For example, a roast can be eaten one night, and then used to make shredded beef tacos the next; or spaghetti and meatballs becomes pizza sauce and toppings the next. Another way to do this is to try to target recipes that have similar ingredients to maximize your budget, like tacos, a southwest chicken salad and a ground beef pizza.
Tip 4: Make Your List.
The most time-consuming, and probably least favorite part of meal planning is making THE LIST. We suggest doing this chore when you can squeeze in a free 15 to 30 minutes. Many of our people are seen pulling their lists together during baseball practice, on lunch break or while waiting in line at the DMV or post office. Efficiency is key!
You can opt to make a list on paper, digitally, or directly on your grocer's website or food service like Instacart. Often, these lists and orders can be saved so you can simply re-use the same list or order when you choose that same meal plan another week.
When making your list, try to consolidate ingredients to avoid over-buying. For example, if two recipes call for a 1-½ of onions between both of them, two onions should do to meet the needs of both recipes. A family pack of chicken, though too much for a single meal, might work nicely for two meals during the week. Also consider possibly substituting like ingredients for each other to cut back on the overall order.
Tip 5: Find Ways to Cut Corners.
With the development of online ordering, store delivery and in-store pickup, the process of grocery shopping has become a lot easier! We have found that ordering online, though it initially takes about 20-30 minutes to set up, is much less time-consuming than driving to the store, meandering through the aisles, checking out and loading up the car with groceries, all of which can take upwards of one to two hours! There's also an added bonus of only buying what you need and nothing more, which saves money and waste!
Tip 6: Make Your Food Prep Painless.
There are a few ways you can really cut down on the time spent prepping in the kitchen.
Some of these include:
Tip 7: Rethink Your Idea of Balanced.
We spend a lot of extra time preparing unnecessary extras for our dinners. Next time you are pinched for time, take a moment to really evaluate each ingredient for taste and nutrition. For example, do you really need to add croutons to the salad? Or dinner rolls? Or even rice or a pasta side dish?
You can simplify your meals by creating beef and vegetable combinations and skimp on the starches. This will save you time, and your family may not even notice the difference.
Tip 8: Make Your Cooking Day Fun.
Pick one day out of the week to prepare the majority of your meals ahead of time and make an event out of it! Put on some music, invite a friend over to prep with you, and maybe even cork a bottle of champagne and cook with mimosas-infused enthusiasm.
Tip 9: Think About How to Store the Meals Ahead of Time
Meal prep isn’t just about dicing, prepping and stirring, it’s also about storing! Put all ingredients for your crock-pot meal in a baggie, pre-measure ingredients for your meal, or prepare and refrigerate a lasagna or casserole in a disposable pan so all you have to do is reheat and serve on a busy night.
Tip 10: Make Clean Up Time Part of the Process.
After meal prepping there's always a mess in the kitchen. The good news is, if done right, it is one mess, one time a week! There's nothing else to clean up for the rest of the week because your meals are grab-and-cook with very little--or no--dishes to scrub, counters to clean or messes to sweep up! So, look at the clean up from a positive perspective: this one clean up will save your six clean ups throughout the week!
Hey, we're not superman. We like the short cuts and easy ways to do things when they don't compromise taste. These real-life meal prep hacks can help resolve the dilemma between time and quality, with time-saving, realistic tips for food preparation.
Why beef should be part of a holistic and inclusive diet.
When people make health-related New Year's resolutions for better eating, weight loss and overall dietary health, they sometimes eliminate a major part of their diet: beef.
While lifestyle choices like Ketogenic, Paleo and Low Carb eating are changing that a bit, there is still sometimes a stigma around enjoying beef. Almost like we can’t have delicious beef, and diet too!
As our notions of "good" versus "bad" foods are constantly challenged, one thing remains constant: opting for a holistic and inclusive approach to eating and exercise is generally more sustainable and produces better results than restrictive and limited diets. So, instead of simply exercising more or eating fewer carbs/calories/fats, instead, why not focus on total health and nutritious eating by eating foods that are all-natural, free of additives and sweeteners, and high vitamins and minerals?
Including foods high in vitamins and minerals such as protein, niacin, and riboflavin--like ground beef--can actually help build (and preserve) muscle, while also supporting a healthy metabolism, and assisting in converting food into fuel. Ground beef varieties contain 10 (!) vitamins and nutrients--all of which can contribute to your overall health and diet. And, bonus! These nutrients also help reduce your appetite so you will crave fewer unhealthy foods, will convert fuel more efficiently, and assist your body in converting energy throughout the day, encouraging you to burn more calories with exercise!
So, what are these super-power nutrients in beef? They include the following ten mega- nutrients.
10 Nutrients Found in Beef
So, next time someone talks about what their diet lets them have, think of how an inclusive diet fueled in part by beef and it’s ten incredible nutrients can help you move towards your holistic nutrition goals in the new year without sacrifice or compromise.
Whether you need a quick snack to enjoy during a football game, or an easy weeknight dinner for the family, ground beef is one of the most versatile ingredients to pull out of the fridge! Pair the ease and crowd-pleasing taste of beef with quality, Kobe-crafted beef products, and you've just elevated your dinner or snacking experience into something extraordinary!
Maximize the win-win of beef and Kobe-crafted Steakhouse Elite this evening with a combination of pizza and cheeseburgers--our Cheeseburger Pizza! Select from simple ingredients that probably already reside in your fridge like onion, mayo, ketchup, tomato, cheese, lettuce and pickles, and spread it over a doughy crust for a delightful twist on pizza that goes beyond basic burger night!
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