Tag Archives: pork

Ron Swanson Said It Best

Areweright?! Have a great, meat pork-filled weekend!

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NBC / Via kulfoto.com

Delicious Times at SXSW

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Every year, the South-by-Southwest (SXSW) conference takes over Austin, Texas. More than 45,000 folks flock from across the country to hear from thought leaders in technology, marketing, business development and much more. And this year, pork made a big splash by hosting the (now nearly famous) Pork Social Party.

Held at the world-renowned Franklin BBQ, 16 star social media elites shared a night of Texas-style BBQ, laughs, and pork. Check out our attempt to capture the unique evening here:

A friend of pork and travel junkie, Chris from Amateur Traveler, was in attendance and deliciously shared the awesome menu items on his blog:

  • cornbread with pulled pork
  • 2 pork spareribs
  • more pulled pork
  • flash-fried pork fat
  • Jalapeño pork sausage
  • potato salad (what no pork?)
  • A slaw with aioli made with rendered pork fat
  • ice cream with caramel and bacon

As you can imagine, we can’t wait to do it again and we already have our sights set on the 2nd Annual Pork Social Party. Before that though, we’re heading back to Austin for the BlogHer Food conference to make new friends and serve up more tasty pork. Like us on Facebook to get the inside scoop on all the food and pork fun we’ll be bringing back to Texas’s capital hot spot!

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2013 is off to a tasty start!

clip_image001_thumb[1]_thumb2013 is under way with all sorts of delicious pork news, including our partnership with five pork-loving advocates.  The “Pork 5” (as we call them) are book authors, podcast hosts, bloggers, filmmakers and more. We’ve rounded up a post from each one so you can get to know them (and love them) the way we do!

Toni from The Happy Housewife shares her easy-to-make/everyone-loves-it pork recipe saying, “This bbq pork recipe only has three ingredients and takes less than a minute to prepare in the crock pot. One minute!”

Chris from Amateur Traveler attended a pork-centric dinner at the world famous Franklin BBQ in Austin, Texas last month.

Jenny (from Jenny on the Spot) attended the South Beach Food Festival (SOBE) and spent time chatting with award-winning chefs and other notables in the food world. Be sure to watch this fun video from the event.

Stephanie of The Culinary Life recently released her new book Melt: The Art of Macaroni and Cheese which includes several tasty pork recipes you are going to want to try!

And the one and only Grill Grrrl (Robyn) shared the recent big news about the new names for pork cuts, and enticed us to get to the grill this spring with great pork recipes.

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Remember to connect with us on Facebook , Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram to get great ways to be inspired!

Get Lucky in 2013 with New Year’s Day Pork Recipes

What do you want in 2013? More money? Better luck? The promise of longevity? Well, I can't promise those, but I can share some recipes that might boost your luck.

Many cultures believe that eating certain foods on New Year's Day will bring good health and prosperity in the new year. I'm pleased to say that pork is among those lucky foods. Indeed, because pigs root forward, they symbolize progress. Germans, in particular, believe that eating pork symbolizes future abundance. So, try one of these German-inspired pork recipes this New Year's Day and you may be thanking your lucky stars all year long.

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Pork Schnitzel (Photo, Elise Bauer)

Pork Schnitzel from Simply Recipes

German Kapusta Pork from Pork Be Inspired

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork with Sauerkraut from A Year of Slow Cooking

Homemade Andouille Sausage from Hunter, Angler, Gardner, Cook

Cooked greens, which resemble folded bills, signify prosperity in the new year. And everyone knows that greens taste better with bacon. Or ham. Or sausage. So, try one of these recipes to fatten your wallet in 2013:

Southern-Style Greens

Southern Style Greens with Smoked Ham Hock (Photo, Susan Russo)

Southern Style Greens with Smoked Ham Hock from NPR's Kitchen Window (pictured above)

Hoppin' John with Bacon and Collard Greens from Not Eating Out in New York

Farfalle with Kale and Bacon from Iowa Girl Eats

Sausage, Tomato, and Kale Ragout  with Poached Eggs from Taste Food

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Smoky Spiced Black-Eyed Peas with Bacon (Photo, Nicole Hamaker)

Because black-eyed peas and lentils resemble coins, they represent good fortune and prosperity. Improve your luck by noshing on one of the following recipes:

Hoppin' John from The Pioneer Woman

Smoked Pork Belly with Lentils from Thursday Night SmackDown

Smoky Spiced Black-Eyed Peas with Bacon from Pinch My Salt (pictured above)

Lentil and Sausage Soup with Sweet Potatoes and Herbs from Kalyn's Kitchen

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Taiwanese Pork Noodles (Photo, Jaden Hair)

Long noodles symbolize longevity, that is, if you don't break them! So, start slurping!

Wonton Noodles from Rasa Malaysia

Singapore Noodles from No Recipes

Taiwanese Pork Noodles from Steamy Kitchen (pictured above)

Garlic, Ginger, Pork, and Noodles from My Gourmet Connection

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12 Days of Pork Giveaway: It’s a Wrap!

Red Christmas Stocking

From bacon candy to a collection of pig kitchen gadgets, we've been counting down the 12 Days of Pork and have reached the end of our giveaway.

What is your favorite item in our collection? Will you be the one to win the sweet year-long bacon club membership?

Here's your last chance to enter to win the ENTIRE collection of prizes which includes:

1. Bacon press

2. Waffle iron

3. $40 Amex card and $10 pork coupons

4. Bacon popcorn and popcorn bowl set

5. Cookie jar and pig-shaped cookie cutter

6. A set of pans

7. Bacon chocolate truffles

8. A shot glass

9. Collection of pig-themed kitchen gadgets

10. A year-long bacon club membership

11. An appetizer platter and plates

12. A Christmas stocking with bacon-themed treats

There are two ways to enter:

1. Pin the image highlighted in this post on Pinterest.

2. Retweet the #12DaysofPork tweet from @allaboutpork on Twitter to enter to win the entire gift pack.

This means you have two chances to enter per post (if you pin AND retweet). Today is your last chance to earn entries, so get pinning and tweeting!

See full legal rules here.

Thank you so much for playing!

Check back soon to find out if you're the winner!

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It’s Time to Unwrap the Last Pinterest Scavenger Hunt Photo Hint!

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I don't know about you, but my schedule is quickly filling up with holiday activities: Christmas concerts, cookie baking, and plenty of holiday parties. If I had to choose, my ideal holiday party would be a classic, sophisticated dinner party with my closest friends and family members.

But it's just not a party without pork! So, this week’s photo hint is sure to inspire some show-stopping ideas for your holiday menu.

It’s the last week of the National Pork Board Pinterest Scavenger Hunt, which means it’s your last chance to win. Even if you’ve played before, you’re eligible to enter this week for a chance to receive a $50 gift card and a Pork Party prize pack!

HERE’S HOW TO PLAY:

1. See the photo hint at the end of this post.

2. Then visit Pork Be inspired’s Pinterest page and hunt for the full image. Be sure to look on ALL of Pork Be inspired’s pin boards for the full image; you never know which board you might find it on!

Here’s an example of a photo hint and the full image solution:

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3. Once you’ve found the full image that corresponds to the photo hint, email us at PorkSocial@gmail.com using the subject line “I Found It” with this information:

· Your Name

· Your Mailing Address

· Your Twitter, Blog, or Facebook page

· The URL of the specific pin where the full image is located. Click on the full image to open it on your screen and then copy the link at the top of your browser.
Example: http://pinterest.com/pin/76139049920472408/

*Please do not send the URL of the overall pinboard.
Example: http://pinterest.com/porkbeinspired/as-seen-in-our-advertising/

The deadline for entries will be at midnight Eastern Time this Sunday, December 16. We’ll randomly select one weekly winner who has submitted the correct full image answer to win the $50 gift card and Pork Prize Pack.

For the complete official rules, please click here.

We wish you all a happy hunting experience on Pinterest to find this dish which is perfect for your next pork party. Now go visit Pork Be inspired’s pin boards and find that full image!

THIS WEEK’S PHOTO HINT:

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Pork Makes the Party Potluck!

I don't know about you, but I'm so lucky when it comes to potlucks. I want my luck to change, so I'm taking charge. I've scoured the internet for the some of the best pork potluck recipes out there and have found some winners.

How about you? What are some of your favorite pork potluck dishes? Please share them with us in the comment section below.

img_1927-version-2-2Sweet Potato Biscuits with Bacon and Thyme (Photo, Nicole Hamaker)

Sweet Potato Biscuits with Bacon and Thyme from Pinch My Salt (pictured above)

Charcuterie Board from One Vanilla Bean

Bacon Pork Pops from The Food Network

Thai Pork and Shrimp Meatballs from Pork, Knife & Spoon

Bacon-Wrapped Cream Cheese Jalapeno Bites from Doughmesstic

Bacon-Wrapped Chestnut Stuffed Dates from Rachel Ray Magazine

boston-baked-beansSlow Cooked Boston Baked Beans (Photo, Elise Bauer)

Slow Cooked Boston Baked Beans from Simply Recipes (pictured above)

Creamy Bacon Buffalo Chicken Pasta from Food.com

Easy Pork Loaf from Pork Be Inspired

Spanish Pork Casserole from Pork Be Inspired

Black Beans and Sausage from Martha Stewart

Bacon and Cheddar Puff Pastry Crisps from Kitchen Daily

Italian Sausage and Pepper Macaroni & CheeseItalian Sausage and Pepper Macaroni and Cheese (Photo, Susan Russo)

Italian Sausage and Pepper Macaroni and Cheese from Food Blogga (pictured above)

Thai-Style Pork Stew from My Recipes

Caribbean Pork Casserole from Good Housekeeping

Guy Fieri's BBQ Pork Fried Rice from Food.com

Bacon-Wrapped Meatloaf from Food Blogga

Quick Cooking Pork, Squash, and Tortilla Stew from Pork, Knife & Spoon

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Eye Spy This Asian-Inspired Pork Appetizer on Pinterest!

pork_pinterest_week3Can you believe December is already here? While some people may consider it the most wonderful time of the year, it’s also one of the busiest! Between all of the holiday shopping and entertaining, it will be a miracle that I get everything done in time. That’s why I love the quick and easy appetizer featured in this week’s photo hint.

Week three of the National Pork Board Pinterest Scavenger Hunt is upon us. Did you find the photo hints from weeks one and two? Even if you’ve played before, you’re eligible to enter this week for a chance to receive a $50 gift card and a Pork Party prize pack! So, what are you waiting for?

HERE’S HOW TO PLAY:

1. Visit us here at Pork Knife and Spoon every Monday for a photo hint, like the one we’ve included at the end of this post. (We’ll have one more photo hint next week to share, too.)

2. Then visit Pork Be inspired’s Pinterest page and hunt for the full image. Be sure to look on ALL of Pork Be inspired’s pin boards for the full image; you never know which board you might find it on!

Here’s an example of a photo hint and the full image solution:

pork_photohint-sample13. Once you’ve found the full image that corresponds to the photo hint, email us at PorkSocial@gmail.com using the subject line “I Found It” with this information:

· Your Name

· Your Mailing Address

· Your Twitter, Blog, or Facebook page

· The URL of the specific pin where the full image is located. Click on the full image to open it on your screen and then copy the link at the top of your browser.
Example: http://pinterest.com/pin/76139049920472408/

*Please do not send the URL of the overall pinboard.
Example: http://pinterest.com/porkbeinspired/as-seen-in-our-advertising/

The deadline for entries will be at midnight Eastern Time each Sunday. We’ll randomly select one weekly winner who has submitted the correct full image answer to win the $50 gift card and Pork Prize Pack.

For the complete official rules, please click here.

So what do you think, can you find this Asian-inspired appetizer? Jump on over to Pork Be inspired’s pin boards and start hunting for this week’s photo!

THIS WEEK’S PHOTO HINT:

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My Visit to a Pig Farm: Part I

piglets suckling

Newborn piglets suckling. (Photo, S Russo)

If you ever have to soften someone up really quickly, then take my advice and do this: Get your hands on a new-born, wrinkly, pale pink piglet. Hand it to the person you’re trying to butter up, and watch his steely exterior soften in front of your eyes.

How do I know this will work? Because at a recent pork farm tour at Wakefield Pork, Inc in Gaylord, Minnesota, about two dozen grown men and women turned into cooing, warm and fuzzy fools at the sight of piglets, yours truly included. I have to believe that the employees were secretly laughing at our endless chorus of “oooooh, they’re soooooooo cute,” except that the folks at Wakefield Pork are so ridiculously kind, I don’t think it’s possible.

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Robin Plotnik, a nutritionist on our tour, cuddles with a piglet. (Photo, J Jorgensen)

It all started in 1991 when two families and second-generation pork producers, the Langhorsts and the Peters, joined forces to open Wakefield Pork, Inc. The Langhorsts (Steve and Mary and son Lincoln) recently hosted a tour for several food writers and nutritionists, including me (see below), allowing us access to the animals, the workers, and the facilities.

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Lincoln Langhorst, far left, and his mother, Mary, far right (Photo, J Jorgensen)

“We believe in transparency, so we're thrilled to have you here today,” says Mary Langhorst, who oversees human resources, operations, and serves on multiple pork boards.

Wakefield Pork is a farrow-to-wean farm which means they breed sows, and raise piglets up to 7-months-old. Prior to my visit, my knowledge of pig farms was based on what I had read, so I wasn't sure I was going to like my experience. I was concerned that I might see animal cruelty or unclean conditions. That's not at all what I found. Indeed, I experienced many surprises during my tour that day.

When we arrived at the farm, the first thing that surprised me was the intensity of safety protocols in place to protect the animals from illness. When you enter the building, you go through several bio-security measures. First, you answer a series of questions, such as “Have you visited a zoo in the past 48 hours?” If you pass, then you go through a series of measured steps to secure you don’t carry any bacteria or viruses into the building. They include removing shoes and all clothing and changing into fresh clothing, overalls, and boots provided for you, as well as handing over cell phones for disinfecting. Upon leaving, you follow similar measures, including showering.

Lincoln Langhorst, Mary's and Steve's son, who oversees the sales and marketing aspects of the organization as well as day-to-day operations, was my group's leader. Soft-spoken, sincere, and forthright, he repeatedly encouraged us to ask him anything: “Don’t be afraid to ask me the tough questions,” he said repeatedly and stayed true to his word. Indeed, every worker with whom we came in contact was open and honest with us. They allowed us to take pictures, ask questions, and see all aspects of the production. They believe in education and want people to know how they raise pigs. “We've got nothing to hide,” said Todd Marotz, manager.

dsc_03471Sow in individual gestation stall. (Photo, J Jorgensen)

sow drinking waterSow drinking water in farrowing barn. (Photo, S Russo)

My next surprise was the barns. I was expecting whipping Minnesota winds, but instead we entered indoor, temperature-controlled, clean barns. Staff are constantly in contact with the animals, monitoring their feed intake, health, and well-being. Practices are highly routinized both for the well-being of the animals and for the workers' safety.

The first barn we visited was the farrowing barn, where sows or mama pigs go to deliver their babies. Sows are housed in individual gestation stalls that are constantly monitored in-person by staff. They come here 2 to 3 days prior to birthing then stay with their litter for 18 to 21 days. I've read my fair share of critiques of gestation stalls whose detractors consider them a form of animal cruelty. I was prepared to be disturbed by them. In actuality, the opposite was true. The sows were remarkably calm and content. They have 24-hour access to water and are on feeding schedules. Because they need extra calories and nutrition to produce milk for their litter, Lincoln explained that food is given freely: “They can pretty much each as much as they want during this period.”

sow giving birth to pigletSow giving birth. Notice the attached umbilical cord. (Photo, S Russo)

Perhaps the happiest surprise was seeing a sow give birth. I was shocked at how placid the sow remains throughout the birthing process. She lies on her side, and every 15 to 20 minutes, you’ll see her side rise and fall lightly. “That’s a contraction,” said Michelle Fuller, one of Wakefield's employees. “Any second now, you’ll see a piglet being born.”

newborn pigletNewborn piglet being cleaned up. (Photo, S Russo)

Then, sure enough, we did. A 2 to 2.5 pound of pink, slimy, squawking piglet slid out of its mother and was immediately whisked up by Amanda, one of the employees, who dried him off and placed him in a feed bin with warming lights until it was time to suckle the mother’s teat. Michelle explained that the umbilical cord remains attached because it's the final blood transfer from mama to baby that is nutrient-dense. It will come off naturally with time.

newborn pigletNewborn piglet staying warm until feeding time begins. (Photo, S Russo)

To our delight, we continued to see several more births. Michelle told us that an average sized litter is 12.5, and the average weight per piglet is 2 to 2.5 pounds. Litters can be as small as 6 to 8 piglets or as large as 20 to 21, though litters that big are uncommon.

Ideally, the piglet should start suckling immediately since the first milk produced by the sow contains the colostrum, which Michelle explained provides antibodies to the piglets, naturally fortifying them against illness. I asked her why some piglets start suckling right away and others don’t. She explained that some piglets are innately drawn to the mother’s teat while others need a little help — like this little lost guy pictured below.

newborn pigletWayward newborn piglet staying warm. (Photo, S Russo)

Also, the first 5 to 6 piglets in the litter have an advantage: Without competition for teats, they begin feeding sooner, thereby claiming a teat as their own. Yup, it’s survival of the fittest, in action. Michelle explained that they manually rotate piglets to ensure that the less assertive and later-born ones have sufficient access to feeding. She also added that in a very short time period, “a hierarchy of nipples” occurs. That is, each piglet will choose its own nipple and stay there for all feedings. In the case where a sow has fewer teats than piglets, Lincoln explained that another sow can provide milk; however, this transition must happen very soon after birth, or the sow will recognize that the piglet is not hers and reject it.

piglets sucklingNewborn piglets vying for a teat to suckle. (Photo, S Russo)

Todd explained that the sow releases milk only 20 seconds at a time, so needless to say, the piglets have to act quickly! After they feed, they rest or sleep, then about 30 to 40 minutes later, then feed again. And the cycle repeats all day and all night. It’s a life of eating and sleeping and eating and sleeping.

piglets sucklingNewborn piglets eating and sleeping. (Photo, S Russo)

To our amazement, Todd also said that the room of sows will often “synchronize.” That is, they’ll start dropping milk at the same time. How does this happen? Todd explained that the sows release the feel-good hormone, oxytocin, that triggers the let-down of milk. Just in case a sow isn’t letting down enough milk, her piglets might “nudge” her by burrowing their noses into her teat which will produce more milk. It’s the piglets’ way of saying, “Come on, Mom! We’re hungry!”

wakefield pork, inc employees, Michelle and Todd

Long-time Wakefield Pork, Inc employees, Todd Marotz and Michelle Fuller. (Photo, S Russo)

Next, we visited the gestation barn where the sows get impregnated. I'll share that in the next post. So, stay tuned!

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Can You Find These Cranberries on Pinterest? The Pork Pinterest Scavenger Hunt Continues….

I had a lot to be thankful for this year: family, friends and, most importantly, bacon. Just kidding. I'm thankful for sausage too. Though I enjoyed Thanksgiving dinner, I'll admit I’m a bit turkey-ed out. If you feel the same way, then consider thinking of new ways to use all of those leftovers with pork like this Turkey Sandwich with Salami and Hot Peppers or these Bacon Mashed Potato Pancakes.

The National Pork Board Pinterest Scavenger Hunt is back again for week two! Even if you played last week, you can enter again this week by finding the full image for this week’s photo hint entry. Weekly winners will be selected to receive a $50 gift card and a Pork Party prize pack!

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HERE’S HOW TO PLAY

1. Visit us here at Pork Knife and Spoon every Monday for a photo hint, like the one we’ve included at the end of this post. This contest runs for three more weeks, so be sure to check back each week for a new photo hint and chance to win!

2. Then visit Pork Be inspired’s Pinterest page and hunt for the full image. Be sure to look on ALL of Pork Be inspired’s pin boards for the full image; you never know which board you might find it on!

Here’s an example of a photo hint and the full image solution:

pork_photohint-sample2

3. Once you’ve found the full image that corresponds to the photo hint, email us at PorkSocial@gmail.com using the subject line “I Found It” with this information:

· Your Name

· Your Mailing Address

· Your Twitter, Blog, or Facebook page

· The URL of the specific pin where the full image is located. Click on the full image to open it on your screen and then copy the link at the top of your browser. Example: http://pinterest.com/pin/76139049920472408/

*Please do not send the URL of the overall pinboard. Example: http://pinterest.com/porkbeinspired/as-seen-in-our-advertising/

The deadline for entries will be at midnight Eastern Time each Sunday. We’ll randomly select one weekly winner who has submitted the correct full image answer to win the $50 gift card and Pork Prize Pack.

For the complete official rules, please click here.

So what do you think, can you find the cranberries in the image below? Jump on over to Pork Be inspired’s pin boards and start hunting for this week’s photo!

THIS WEEK’S PHOTO HINT:

pork_pinterest_findme_week2-11

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