Cote de Porc Normand

Written by Cookin Bill on March 1st, 2013


Most people have heard of the region of Normandy in France. In history, it is well known for the D-Day invasion in World War II. However, many people do not realize that Normandy is rich in gastronomical history and has many wonderful food products from the region.


The former duchy of Normandy is administratively divided into two parts. Upper Normandy and Lower Normandy are the two regions. Upper Normandy is primarily an industrial area and is gastronomically tied to the sea because it faces the English Channel. Lower Normandy is inland and is primarily an agricultural area famous for its farms and orchards.

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Because Of What It is…..BACON!

Written by Samuel Reyes on February 27th, 2013


Come back for more pork related comic next week! Bacon time…….

How’s Your Hog Doing?

Written by Lillian Tram on February 23rd, 2013


I’m no biker, but bikes are badass. Or, I guess I should say, hogs are bad ass – since that’s what bikers, and specifically Harley Davidson riders, call their bikes. There’s an owner’s group out there now called the Harley Owner’s Group (get it? HOG?), but even before that, I wondered why Harleys were called hogs. So, I looked it up!


It turns out that down south back in the 1920s and for several decades, Harley Davidson teams of racers had mascots to cheer them along, and one (or maybe more?) of the successful teams had hog and pig mascots. They figured that the bikes and the hogs both had a workman-like, endearing quality to them, and they forever became linked. The racing teams called themselves the hogs as an homage to their hog mascot, and they considered themselves to be linked from it.


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Arista al Ramerino

Written by Cookin Bill on February 21st, 2013


Mmm…Roasted pork loin with rosemary sounds good doesn’t it? The Italians call it Arista al Ramerino. That sounds complicated and sexy, huh? Actually, this is a very simple recipe. All you need is a pork loin, some butcher’s twine, garlic, and rosemary. All of which you can pick up at the supermarket. Oh, and of course an oven.


Roasting poultry or meat dates back to pre-historic times, when cavemen discovered that by putting meat on a stick and holding it over a fire made it easier to eat and it tasted better. To roast any meat, you must cook it in dry heat, either over a live fire or in an oven.

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Guest Blogger Alert: Comic Artist!

Written by Lillian Tram on February 17th, 2013

Samuel and his beautiful wife!


Good news, everybody! We’ve got another guest blogger coming aboard, and actually, this one is a bit of a treat. That’s because he’s not really a guest blogger at all, but more of a GUEST COMIC ARTIST!


Oh yeah. That’s right. We totally went there.


His 3-panel black comic strip will be appearing (get this!) WEEKLY on the blog, and it is going to kick some serious booty!


His name is Samuel Reyes, and he’s a freelance artist who has been doing comic art like this for a while. He pretty much loves all things pork and pig-related, so you know that he is perfect for what we are trying to do here, and he has a deep, deep love of stir fry, bacon, and pork ramen. Ah… bacon….


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Happy Valentine’s Day Oinkers!

Written by Lillian Tram on February 14th, 2013


Happy Valentine’s Day My Pig Me Up readers. Hope you are enjoying this Pigtastic day with your special someone. Hogs and kisses!!!

Pig Out Because You’re Poor?

Written by Lillian Tram on February 12th, 2013


Ok, maybe not because you are poor, per se, but NPR has a fascinating new article up recently about how evolutionary biologists have determined that people are more likely to pig out – i.e., gain weight – over time during two major periods: recessions, and winter time.


It makes sense when you think about it (and you can read more about it here on NPR’s website), but basically, it all comes down to scarcity. When food and other resources are scarcer, or at the very least when they are perceived to be scarcer, they come up more likely that you will use them to ensure that you survive.


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Schnitzel . . . Gesundheit

Written by Cookin Bill on February 11th, 2013

When you hear the word schnitzel, you want to say gesundheit. Well at least I do! Actually schnitzel is an Austrian-German word to describe a thinly sliced cutlet of meat that has been breaded and then sautéed.


Breaded meat cutlets have been sautéed in oil and/or butter throughout the world. It is prevalent in every country in Europe, common in the Middle East, and even done in Africa. The side dishes vary, according to the country.

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Bracing For Antibiotic Resistance

Written by Lillian Tram on February 8th, 2013


Big news on the farm around the country is the issues with antibiotic usage – and now resistance to antibiotics by diseases – by pig farmers all around the country. While pig farmers have been feeding antibiotics to their pigs for years now, just in the last few years the United States and the FDA have come down with some pretty stringent guidelines on antibiotics in animals and for animal food.


Antibiotics, after all, make the pigs ward off disease when they are young and vulnerable, and allow farmers to see to it that they have a clean crop each year and a good set of pigs from which to choose. Plus, antibiotics help the older pigs grow faster on less feed, accounting for more profits and a better profit margin than what had been previously used decades before.


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What’s Up With Cochon 555 This Year?

Written by Lillian Tram on February 4th, 2013


If you’ve been living under a rock, or you’re not as big a fan of pigs as I am (ha!), you may not know about Cochon 555, a kind of new foodie rock & roll paradise that is dedicated to being a traveling circus of sorts. It prides itself on sustainability, and being a “locavore” event for people who love eating, spending, and shopping locally, as well as a cooking contest and a wine tasting event for those who just love food and drink.


Oh, yeah. And the pigs.


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The Best Bacon Bouquet You Can Make

Written by Lillian Tram on February 2nd, 2013


Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, believe it or not, but don’t worry, fellas! If you’ve got a girlfriend (and if she’s anything like me!), chances are she wants two things for the special day: a set of nice, beautiful roses, and something tasty to eat. Well… what if I told you that there was a way that you could give her both of those things at once? And no, I’m not talking about having her eat the roses, silly…


I’m of course talking about a BACON BOUQUET! That’s right – a bouquet of what looks like roses, but instead of being actual flowers and plants, well, it’s bacon! What’s not to love about that?


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It’s All Over For The Hogettes

Written by Lillian Tram on January 28th, 2013



When it comes to famous mascots and amazing crowd support and fandom, few sports can match the intensity of the National Football League. After all, you had Barrel Man in Denver, the famous firefighter who rooted on the New York Jets loyally, and countless other supporters and fans across the country pushing their teams to victory week in, and week out.


But few fans really came up with as original and, ahem, as unforgettable work in their support as those of the Washington Redskins. I’m of course talking about The Hogettes, a group of middle-aged men who liked to dress up as women, in flowery, colorful dresses, with pig snouts on their noses. They loyally cheered at each and every Redskins home game, and even their fair share of road games over time on their way to being, well, unforgettable in the minds of most Redskins fans.


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Sweet and Spicy Thai Basil Pork Stir Fry

Written by Cookin Bill on January 25th, 2013


The other day, in the middle of a cold winter, I was wondering what would be comfort food from elsewhere in the world. Not your usual meat and potatoes from Europe, but something from, say, Asia. I specifically thought of something I usually like to make and treat myself that comes from Thailand. That was sweet and spicy Thai basil pork stir fry.


Stir frying meats and vegetables is a basic cooking technique from all over Asia, but the ingredients I use in this recipe are indigenous to Thailand. I love the way Thais use fish sauce, chili paste, curry, coconut milk, basil, cilantro, peanuts, and lime in so many of their dishes. The, what I call sweet heat, in their dishes tantalize the tongue and often clear your sinuses. And I love it.

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Make Room For The Most Recent Therapy…Pig?

Written by Lillian Tram on January 23rd, 2013


We know therapy dogs work in a variety of situations. You saw them in Newtown after the tragic shooting last month, helping victims and families cope and get through the emotional toil with a new furry, four-legged friend.


You see therapy dogs with soldiers, working to promote their mental and physical health as they get back from Afghanistan or Iraq, and work to improve their lives as they re-acclimate to civilian society.


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Spotted Pig Gate

Written by Lillian Tram on January 18th, 2013


Gordon Ramsay is at it again, and this time, he is feuding (again) with Mario Batali and his business partner April Bloomfield. Back in 2004, Batali and Bloomfield opened up a restaurant called the Spotted Pig in New York’s West Village, and ever since then it has been an extremely solid and high quality restaurant and New York eatery.


With stars in the Michelin guide, stars dining in the restaurant, and great food and dishes prepared by world-class chefs, it’s one of the more famous restaurants in New York, and certainly one that every other celebrity chef would know about.


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Written by Cookin Bill on January 16th, 2013


When you’ve gone to your favorite Mexican restaurant and ordered the usual #2 dinner combo, did you ever think about looking around the menu for another selection? One selection available in many Mexican restaurants is carnitas.


Carnitas means “little meats” in Spanish. They are bite-sized pieces of meat, usually pork, that have been grilled or fried and then braised in a spicy broth. The meat used comes from sliced or cubed Boston butt or picnic ham. The cuts of meat are heavily seasoned before being fried or grilled. The seasoning often used are chili powder, garlic, cumin, onion, oregano, coriander, cinnamon, marjoram, thyme, and/or bay leaf.

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Guess Who Has The Most Pigs In The United States??

Written by Lillian Tram on January 15th, 2013


Well, it’s official. In case you had ever wondered (and you KNOW I did!), Iowa has the largest pig and hog inventory in the United States. According to the US Department of Agriculture, Iowa has a whopping 20.6 million pigs and hogs on farms this year, as of December 1st.


And the population is rising! That’s a three percent increase in pigs and hogs relative to last year. Believe it or not, our nearby neighbors to the north of me in Georgia have the second most pigs: North Carolina comes in with more than nine million pigs and hogs of their own, though that’s less than half of the number one state in Iowa.


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Super Pig To The Rescue!

Written by Lillian Tram on January 12th, 2013

There’s a cool YouTube video out right now with a pig saving a baby goat from drowning, believe it or not. In the video, the pig saves a goat whose foot had become stuck at this underwater petting zoo.



I didn’t know underwater petting zoos exist, of course, but I guess pretty much everything exists nowadays, so I don’t know why I should be surprised…


Anyways, a YouTube user uploaded the video in September, and immediately it got a lot of play because, well, it’s just amazing. When you watch the video, I’ve got to say I am really impressed with how it all worked out and what came from it – it is definitely cool and touching to see that little pig swim over and save the goat from maybe drowning or at least being stuck for quite some time.


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Braised Pork Chops

Written by Cookin Bill on January 8th, 2013

A PIG IN A POT, mmmm good!


Boneless pork chops braised in a crockpot is actually what I’m talking about.


The slow cooking of meat has been around since the Stone Age. Cave men realized that by slow cooking meat and fibrous roots they became tender and were easier to eat. The heat broke down the collagen in the muscle to tenderize the meat. Of course, being cavemen and not Alton Brown, they didn’t understand the science behind this.


Later cooks and chefs realized that by first searing the meat and then slow cooking it in a liquid tenderized the meat and added more flavor. The flavor depended on the spices and the liquid used for the braising.

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Pig’s Head Left Outside Facility Used By Muslims

Written by Lillian Tram on January 8th, 2013


In a weird and unfortunate story last week from the United Kingdom, three people have been arrested for what police say is leaving a pig’s head outside a center used by Muslims in Leicester. Sadly, this sort of thing for attention (or to intimidate the group in question) is really nothing new, both in England and the United States.


The pig, of course, is offensive to Muslims since in their religion they consider it unclean, and they are not allowed to eat pork. So, naturally, finding a pig head is a pretty clear symbol and sign of offense, disrespect, and hate.


The Muslim center in that area is apparently considering a move into a new neighborhood, but there have unfortunately been a great deal of protests in the English neighborhood, and by the British National Party against the move and against opening a new center in general.


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Making Quick and Easy German Potato Salad

Written by Cookin Bill on January 1st, 2013

How do you make quick and easy German potato salad? First be desperate for a side dish and have the necessary ingredients in your refrigerator and cupboard. Well that’s what happened to me. I was going to write a blog recipe on a roasted pork loin. Unfortunately, my oven went on the blink. Fortunately, the cooktop worked. Therefore, we have this recipe for German potato salad instead of roast pork.


Potatoes (kartoffels in German) have an interesting history in Europe. They were brought to Europe from South America by the Spanish because they were thought to be truffles. The word kartoffel comes from the Italian word tartufolo meaning truffle.


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Happy Holidays!

Written by Lillian Tram on December 25th, 2012

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and happy holidays. Oink oink!

Makin’ Mini Quiches

Written by Cookin Bill on December 24th, 2012


During this holiday season, you may need to make a fancy appetizer to bring to a party. A mini-quiche is the perfect appetizer. Just about everyone has tried quiche at one time or another. A quiche is described as an open-faced pastry crust dish filled with custard with meat, cheese, or vegetables.You may wonder from where did such a fancy dish come.


While the word quiche comes from the French “kueche” meaning cake, the German word “kuchen” also means cake. Some have argued that quiche originated in Germany. The custard used in quiche actually comes from England. English recipe books The Form of Cury, Custardes of flessh and Crustade written in the 14th and 15th century included recipes for custard.

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Who You Callin Pigs, Anyways?

Written by Lillian Tram on December 23rd, 2012

Here’s a cool music video we found about pigs, and their treatment, called Who Ya Callin Pigs? It’s kind of a cool and funny video where pigs are “protesting” their treatment and name, and it’s all about getting people to love pigs a little more.



The video and lyrics have a more serious side, though, too; they are a call to attention on pigs and their treatment when used for food in things like bacon and pork by the major food production industries, and by restaurants and corporations around the country.

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Down Home With The Neelys And Pig Barbecues

Written by Lillian Tram on December 18th, 2012


I’m not sure if you guys remember Down Home With The Neelys, which was this show on the Food Network; if you’re like me, you have to watch the Food Network to keep up with the blog, after all! 😉


But for those who don’t watch it quite as religiously as I do, the Neely’s are a husband and wife team who cook a ton of yummy foods, and kind of focus on southern cuisine, and really rich, down-home cooking of various meals.


They come from that Paula Deen vein of really rich, tasty, and decadent foods that are total comfort cuisines. Plus, they’ve got some southern barbecue flavor and flare to them, so you know that they know how to grill a good piggy!

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