Spring ‘Chicken’ Fever

One of our spring activities on the farm is we begin to save some of our chicken eggs for incubating.  It’s exciting to watch them as they hatch through the glass window of the incubator.  This year we put eggs in the incubator on March 1 and are expected to hatch in 21 days.


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Supermarket Superstar

Andrew HunterWe have to brag. This month, Niman Ranch executive chef and owner of Culinary Craft Andrew Hunter will begin shooting the premiere season of a new reality TV show, Supermarket Superstar, coming soon on Lifetime Network. Supermarket Superstar is a reality competition series from the creators of Project Runway and Undercover Boss that searches America for today’s homegrown recipes that could become tomorrow’s bestselling supermarket brands.

In each episode, competitors face off in the Superstar Kitchen to see if their recipe has what it takes. The winner of each week’s challenge receives an investment in their product and the chance to compete in the Season Finale, where one grand prize winner will have their product introduced to millions of customers nationwide on the shelves of a major grocery store.


Supermarket Superstar is the first show of its kind to feature R&D and the product commercialization process for retail food products. The format features consumer cooks as contestants who have a family recipe or product that should be in supermarkets.

As the R&D mentor, Andrew is coaching the contestants on-camera through the development process. The host is Stacy Keibler and the Superstar Panel of Experts includes Michael Chiarello, Chris Cornyn and Debbi Fields.

Supermarket Superstar is a very exciting endeavor for the R&D segment of the industry and its first primetime feature on a major television network. We are thrilled for Andrew!

Goose Fat Potatoes

Goose fatLast month, Sarah reminisced about Christmas dinner goose with all the trimmings and how her grandfather preferred goose fat on his bread rather than butter. The “grease” that drained to the bottom of the pan was almost always reserved.

Not only is reserving the drippings a tribute to Grandpa’s resourcefulness, but chefs cook with reserved fats to add aroma, flavor and texture to dishes.

These potatoes couldn’t be easier to make and, as an added bonus, they will fill your kitchen with a wonderful aroma.

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Home Is Where Your Farm Is

It’s February and we are emerging from the dark days of winter.  These are the days when a winter storm warning or dreaded “wintery mix” can leave us stuck on the farm for days.  During these times I confess I sometimes yearn for the conveniences of city life.   

home 1

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What is old is new again

With the beginning of the New Year I like to reflect on the past.  Recently, I joined my mother and her group of friends who meet for coffee every Thursday morning.  These women have known each other for decades.  My mother remembers some of them from her childhood when the Danish Brotherhood, a national organization of Danes in America, would gather.

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Happy Holidays from the Willis Family

We have been experiencing unusually warm temperatures this winter. Just two weeks ago I had to mow the yard, unheard of in December, but great weather for farm chores. I expressed my disappointment to my Dad that we probably wouldn’t be having a white Christmas but he reminded me how a mild winter works out just fine for taking care of the pigs.

Merry Xmas

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Prime Rib Roast

Prime ribMy favorite butcher in Los Angeles is Marconda’s Meats in the original Farmers Market. Marconda’s specializes in high-quality, natural meats and Niman Ranch is proudly featured in their cases. What began in 1941 as a traditional butcher continues on today in the same style. On any given day, you can find two or three generations of butchers behind the counter. I love that my boys are growing up with the same tradition that I had when I was their age.

There’s no better holiday dinner than a Prime Rib Roast. It’s the perfect way to celebrate tradition!

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Grilled Leg of Lamb with Cranberry Salsa Verde

Chef Michael Schwartz, chef/owner of Michaels Genuine, Harry’s Pizza and The Genuine Kitchen, uses Niman Ranch meat on the menus of his restaurants  in Miami and the Cayman Islands. In 2011 he honored our farmers by cooking at the Niman Ranch 14th Annual Hog Farmer Appreciation dinner.

He recently published Michael’s Genuine Food Down-To-Earth Cooking for People Who Love to Eat, in which he shares recipes for dishes you know and love from Caramelized Onion Dip with Thick Cut Potato Chips to Crispy Sweet & Spicy Pork Belly with Kimchi and crushed peanuts. Find a delicious recipe for leg of lamb perfect for your holiday or summer grilling celebrations.

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Holiday Ham with Honey-Brown Sugar Glaze

The holidays are my favorite time of year. It’s a time for family, fun, and a respite from crazy schedules. For me it means spending less time in the kitchen and more time in the living room watching football with my boys. Glazing a Niman Ranch ham fits perfectly into this holiday plan because it’s short on preparation and long on leftovers.

The honey glaze will seep into the nooks and crannies as the ham bakes. Plan ahead though and put the ham in early so you can let it bake at a low and slow temperature until it’s steamy hot in the center.

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