Variations on a Midwest Staple

The Sloppy Joe…Maid-rite…Tavern….BBQ…loose meat sandwich, whatever you call it, ground beef on a bun is a Midwest staple. Just because it’s a staple, doesn’t mean it has to be boring. We’ve compiled a few of our favorite sandwiches to add into your rotation. These aren’t exactly ‘recipes’ but ingredients we measure with our hearts. 🙂

Easy & Homemade
Ketchup, yellow mustard, salt, pepper, garlic powder, Worcestershire sauce

Maid-Rite Copycat
Onion, yellow mustard, beef broth, sugar, salt, pepper

Cheesy Beef
Onion, steak seasoning, garlic, cream of mushroom soup, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, shredded cheese

Onion, green peppers, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, beef broth, provolone cheese

With a Kick
Onion, green peppers, ketchup, yellow mustard, tomato paste, water, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, garlic powder, chili powder, red pepper flakes

Big Mac Inspired
Onion, pickles, mayo, thousand island dressing, salt, pepper, shredded cheese, lettuce

Bacon & Beer Cheese
Bacon, onion, ketchup, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, dijon mustard, beer, sharp cheddar cheese

Onion, diced tomatoes, beef broth, ketchup, BBQ sauce, shredded cheese

Onion, red bell pepper, corn, black beans, cumin, beef broth, tomato sauce, salsa, taco seasoning, sugar, shredded cheese

Cattle Show Packing Checklist

Those of you who know me personally know I love a good checklist, so it was only natural for me to start putting together a show checklist as we navigated our first Highland show last year. With input from many experienced breeders and a few strategic Google searches, below is a compilation of our cattle show packing checklist.

In the showbox

scotch combs in your preferred style (extras…these always seem to disappear)
blower & hose (an extra hose clamp is always a good idea too)
hoof brush
show products (adhesives, adhesive remover, foam, finishing spray, baby oil/horn polish)
fly spray
paper towels
baby wipes
washing supplies (shampoo, brush, hose, sprayer, foamer, bucket)
extra rope halters
neck ties
show halters
show sticks (bring an extra!)
clippers, blades and blade lubricant

For the barn

extension cords/splitter
fans (for the cattle and people!)
blocking chute
fitting mats
stall mat
divider panels
feed & hay
extra bedding
feed tubs
water buckets
water filter
shovel, rake, broom, pitch fork
tool kit (screw drivers, hammer, pliers, wire, wire cutter, duct tape, zip ties, markers, garbage bags)
farm signage
stall cards (include animal name, date of birth, sire, dam, and registration number)

For the people

SNACKS! Seriously…does anyone travel without snacks?
cooler with drinks
wash rack boots/clothing to get wet
show clothes & backup set of show clothes
belt….I repeat, do not forget to pack the belt
number holder/show harness
hairbrush/hair ties
first aid kit
extra cell phone chargers or portable power bank
bluetooth radio
cards, games, or activities….especially for those with littles, it can be a long day!

If you’re thinking ‘whoa, that’s a lot of stuff’ you’re in good company. Traveling to cattle shows is not for those those like to travel light. That said, the Highland breed has some wonderful people! If you forget anything, I can guarantee there will be someone in the barn with an extra (or two) who would be happy to let you borrow something…just make sure to return what you borrow and pay it forward!

SOLD: GLO Khloe (62564)

After much consideration, we have decided to offer GLO Khloe (Dorey of Flatland Farm X LEA Kaid) for sale. Khloe is a moderately framed, feminine, yellow heifer born 3/25/21. Her pedigree includes many notable farms including Sunset Farm, LEA-White Farm, Drover Hill, Flatland Farm and Five Star Farm. Khloe weighed in at 622 lbs. on June 6, and will likely be around 1100 lbs. fully grown. She is halter broken and comfortable with a show stick. Khloe is a mellow heifer who is easy to work with, but is not ‘in your face friendly,’ which we prefer.

Her Dam (Dorey of Flatland Farm) has been an amazing brood cow since we purchased her as a heifer from Flatland Farm. She has delivered 3 beautiful heifers for us, and we wish we could keep them all! She has delivered unassisted every year with her heifers weighing between 52 and 73 lbs. at birth from three different bulls. She has a fantastic udder and great maternal instincts.

LEA Kaid, Khloe’s sire, is the son of the famous Sunset Rebel Yell. He passes on his calm personality and stamps his offspring with the classic Highland head and lots of breed character.

Serious inquiries can contact us at or 214-772-2050. Visitors are welcome to view Khloe in person (Northwood, IA).

Slow Cooker BBQ Brisket

As we near the end of our #beefmonth challenge, I’d be remiss if I didn’t cook one of my favorite cuts – brisket! Now, I will say that smoking is still my favorite way to cook brisket, but with a busy family and lengthy cooking time it just didn’t work for us to do that this weekend. Cue some help from the never-failing slow cooker.

I VERY roughly followed the instructions and recipe from Jen at Carlsbad Cravings. She’s a little more ambitious than I am, so we went with a trusty Cookies BBQ sauce instead of homemade…but her homemade sauce sounds amazing if you have the time!

Another quick ‘cheat’ from an expert beef eater is with the brisket itself. If most of you are like I was until we started raising our own beef I was pretty intimidated by the brisket. Briskets are HUGE and we used to only make them if we were planning to feed a small army…and then you really can’t afford to try new things and risk messing it up when you have a bunch of people coming over to eat. When we butchered our steer last Fall, we asked the locker to cut our 1/2 of the brisket in 1/2 (so really brisket quarters). This has made it so much easier to enjoy brisket outside of large, special occasions and make just enough for our family! 5 stars…I highly recommend. Here’s my version of this recipe…

Slow Cooker:
2-3 lb. beef brisket trimmed of excess fat
1 c. water
1 T. beef bouillon
2 T. Worcestershire sauce
1 T. soy sauce
1/2 c. BBQ sauce

1 T. paprika
2 T. packed brown sugar
1 T. chili powder
2 t. garlic salt
1 t. onion powder
1 t. pepper
1/2 t. dried thyme

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with sides/jelly roll pan with parchment paper or foil for easy clean up. Set aside.
2. Spray 6 quart (or larger) slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray.
3. Trim brisket of excess fat and rinse and pat dry. If your brisket is extra long then slice it in half so it will fit in your slow cooker.
4. In a medium bowl, whisk together Spice Rub ingredients. Rub all remaining Spice Rub evenly all over the meat then place brisket on prepared baking sheet. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes at 425 degrees F to sear meat.
5. Transfer brisket to slow cooker. If you are using a ‘regular’ 4-5 lb. brisket you may have to squish it in. Not all of it will be under the liquid.
6. Cover and cook on LOW for 8-10 hours until brisket is very tender, flipping over half way through cooking. If your brisket is tough, it just needs to cook longer.
7. Remove brisket to a foil lined baking sheet. Brush with barbecue sauce and broil 5-10 minutes, until slightly caramelized. Meanwhile, microwave or simmer remaining barbecue sauce until warmed through.
8. Brush brisket again with barbecue sauce and slice across the grain or chop if desired. Serve with remaining barbecue sauce plain or they make delicious sandwiches.

Stovetop Beef & Noodles

#nationalbeefmonth is still going strong and today we tried another new recipe using one of my favorite, but typically underappreciated cuts – stew meat. While it may not be the most glamourous cut of beef, it’s delicious and versatile. While my family loves a great beef stew in the Winter, it’s been far too hot for soup this week. We took the Stovetop Beef & Noodles recipe from Eating on a Dime, added some fresh asparagus from my Grandpa’s asparagus patch and BOOM…a delicious dinner with enough left overs for a quick meal tomorrow!

1.5 lb. stew meat
1 T. butter
1/2 onion, diced
3 c. beef broth
2 bay leaves
1/2 t. dried thyme leaves
1/2 t. salt
1 t. pepper
1 T. cornstarch
1/4 c. cold water
12 oz. egg noodles

1. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add butter and onion and sauté until the onion is translucent (3-4 min.)
2. Add in beef and brown the beef in the skillet with the onions (8-10 min.) over medium heat.
3. Pour 2 c. of the beef broth into the skillet and add in the seasonings. Stir to combine and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20-30 min. until the beef is tender. Watch closely and slowly add in the last cup of beef broth as the broth starts to cook off.
4. Mix the cornstarch into the 1/4 c. of cold water in a separate bowl. Stir this mixture into the skillet mixture and allow to cook for 10 min. or until the sauce has thickened. **My addition, add cut up pieces of asparagus at this time.**
5. While the sauce is thickening, cook the egg noodles in a separate pot based on package instructions.
6. Serve the beef mixture over the egg noodles and enjoy!

Sirloin Stir Fry

When it comes to steaks, sirloins are one of the most versatile cuts. They can be eaten as a steak or cut up to work in a variety of dishes. Last night, they made some delicious beef stir fry!

When it comes to stir fry I’m not much of a recipe person…more of a throw in what you have in the fridge person. Since we’re not quite to garden season in Northern Iowa, this time I took advantage of a frozen stir fry mix. Easy, quick, and delicious!

Thinly slice your sirloin, heat oil in a pan and fry apx 1 min on each side. Set aside so your meat doesn’t get over cooked. Add a little more oil if needed then fry your veggies. Add the beef back in, and enjoy! Customize to your taste by serving over rice, or topping with a stir fry sauce.

Southwest Ground Beef & Sweet Potato Skillet

Recipe number 2 for #beefmonth was a bit outside my family’s comfort zone. Since we use ground beef ALL.THE.TIME. I wanted to make sure our challenge recipe was something new! Courtesy of this Southwest Ground Beef & Sweet Potato Skillet checked all the boxes of a great meal!

I did hold back on some of the chili power and cumin to make sure it wasn’t too spicy for the kids to eat, but I think it would have been great with the full amounts in the recipe. Check it out for yourself and let us know what you think!

1 T. olive oil
1/2 c. diced onion
1 lb. ground beef
5 t. chili powder
2 t. ground cumin
salt & pepper to taste
1 t. garlic
2 c. peeled and diced sweet potatoes
14.5 oz. can fire roasted diced tomatoes
4 oz. canned diced green chilies
1/4 c. water
1/2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
Cilantro for garnish (optional)

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add in the ground beef and diced onion and crumble the beef with a wooden spoon. Add in 1 tablespoon of chili powder, 1 teaspoon of cumin, and season with salt and pepper. When the beef is nearly cooked through add in the garlic and cook for another minute. Pour it out onto a plate and wipe out the skillet.

Add the diced sweet potato, fire roasted tomatoes, green chiles, water, 2 teaspoons of chili powder, 1 teaspoon cumin, salt and pepper to the skillet. Stir everything together and cover it with a lid. Lower the heat and let it simmer for about 20 minutes or until the sweet potatoes are tender.

Add the ground beef mixture in with the sweet potatoes and stir everything together. Top with shredded cheese and cover with the lid again for another minute or until the cheese is melted. Top with chopped cilantro and serve.

Beef Month Challenge

May is #nationalbeefmonth! As a challenge for our family, we’re going to attempt to use each different cut of beef (remaining in our freezer) over the course of the month. Kicking us off is the chuck roast 😍🤤 Making some delicious shredded beef to be eaten tonight with a side of veggies, on sandwiches tomorrow, and shredded beef tacos later in the week! Three easy meals in one.

3 lb chuck roast
1 packet dry ranch seasoning
1 packet onion soup mix
1/2 jar peperocinis
1/2 c. sliced butter

How To: Cooking Highland Beef

They told me…I ‘heard’ them…and I still overcooked the beef. At least 2 sets of steaks, countless burgers and even a few skillets of ground beef – ruined.

Fair warning, I’m not a gourmet chef (as evidenced above) but I can follow a recipe and have learned a few things in our transition to Highland beef to hopefully prevent others from making the same mistakes! Here are my top tips for cooking Highland beef to perfection…

  1. Start in the Kitchen, not at the Grill. It is so much easier to overcook mean on the grill. There are distractions and it’s more difficult to keep a consistent temperature. Perfect not overcooking your Highland beef in the kitchen, then transfer your newfound skills to the grill.
  2. Your crock pot is your friend. Low and slow is the name of the game to truly take advantage of the tenderness and flavor of Highland beef. Similar to not overcooking, taking the TIME to cook your beef slowly is the best way to enhance its top notch flavor and texture.
  3. Use a meat thermometer…seriously, do it. Unless you have some superhuman powers, you likely can’t tell what the inside of a steak looks like while it’s cooking. We gift our first time beef customers a meat thermometer for a reason. It’s THAT important to enjoying perfectly cooked Highland beef.
  4. Rest. We all need it, and so does your beef. Cook to temp, and be sure to let your beef rest for at least 3 minutes prior to serving or cutting.

Build Your Favorite Burger

When is a burger not ‘just’ a burger? When it’s made with Highland Beef, of course! There are SO many ways to build the perfect burger, that we thought we’d kick off #nationalbeefmonth by sharing our family’s favorite burgers.

Kyle’s Favorite: Toasted bun and Highland burger topped with bacon, pickles, lettuce, ketchup, pepper jack cheese, and Ruffles potato chips.

Katie’s Favorite: Toasted bun and Highland burger topped with crispy bacon, BBQ sauce, avocado, and blue cheese.

Harper’s Favorite: Slider size bun and Highland burger topped with bacon, ketchup and ranch, pickles and cheddar cheese.

Tate’s Favorite: Unassembled bun, Highland burger, bacon, Kraft singles cheese and ketchup for dipping.

The most important part of building your perfect burger starts with the burger itself, so make sure you’re cooking your beef correctly! Since Highland beef is often leaner that what you’d find in a grocery store, take extra care to cook your burgers low and slow regardless of where you’re doing your cooking (grill, stove top, oven). Lightly season with your favorite seasoning (we prefer Cookie’s Flavor Enhancer) but don’t overpower the flavor of the beef…you purchased Highland beef for a reason!

Need a few additional ideas to build your burger? Mix and match below!


  • Slider
  • Toasted
  • Sourdough
  • Ciabatta
  • Brioche
  • Pretzel
  • Texas Toast
  • Lettuce Wrap
  • Sesame Seed
  • Potato


  • Lettuce
  • Spinach
  • Tomato
  • Onion
  • Pickles
  • Bacon
  • Mushrooms
  • Egg
  • Peppers
  • Jalapeño
  • Avocado
  • Pico
  • Sauerkraut
  • Onion Ring
  • Pineapple
  • Mac & Cheese
  • Chips


  • Cheddar
  • American
  • Provolone
  • Blue
  • Kraft Singles
  • Velveeta
  • Brie
  • Smoked Gouda
  • Mozzarella
  • Colby
  • Muenster
  • Pepper Jack
  • Swiss


  • Ketchup
  • Mustard
  • Mayo
  • Ranch
  • Chipotle Ranch
  • Steak Sauce
  • BBQ
  • Honey Mustard