A butchers guide: The parts of the cow and what their used for.



1st Section  – Parts of the Bovine and their cuts of meat


  • chuck 7 bone pot roast
  • chuck pot roast (boneless)
  • chuck eye steak (boneless)
  • chuck steak (boneless)
  • shoulder top blade steaks
  • boneless short ribs
  • shoulder steaks


  • rib roast & steak
  • rib eye roast & steak
  • back ribs


  • porterhouse
  • t-bone steak
  • tenderloin steak & roast
  • top loin steak ( boneless & bone-in)


  • tri-tip steak & roast
  • top sirloin steak


  • bottom & top round steak
  •  eye round roast & steak
  •  round tip  roast & steak
  • sirloin tip center steak & roast

Shank & Brisket

  • shank cross-cut
  • brisket flat cut

Plate & Flank

  • skirt steak & flank steak


  • ground beef, cubed steak, beef stew etc.


Wagyu Sirloin


2nd section 

Now let’s learn about our beef. It’s our friend. Well it’s our dinner usually. So there are tons of  terms and phrases that may only be important to your local butcher or a chef, however I always find it convenient to know a little something something about what may or may not end up on my plate. So here we go kids.

Aged Beef– So glad I actually looked this up because my idea of aged beef was very different, for some reason, than what it actually is. It refers to wholesale beef that’s held at a specific refrigerated temperature in order to bring out extreme tenderness and flavor in the meat.

All natural– This one is a bit tricky, in that beef labeled “all natural” is merely processed “minimally with no artificial ingredients”, according to the USDA, which is totally weird because it can still contain antibiotics and hormones. Which if I’m not mistaken are artificial ingredients. Now you know.

Angus Beef– In case you were unawares, Angus is made up of 2 separate breeds, both of which are hornless. Not sure if that is significant information but there it is. Both originating from the Scottish Aberdeen stock. 🙂 Sounds nice.

Baby-back Ribs– These don’t come from baby cows. I say so only because I’ve  heard people say this in restaurants which made me immediately  regret dining out with them. But I can understand the confusion. They are from the top back of the rib cage where the bones are short (baby) and meaty.

Beef Bacon– So this one is new for me, I hadn’t even heard of beef bacon before but was very intrigued and excited to come across it in doing some research. It comes from the steers belly meat and is, apparently, smoked and flavor and is 90 % leaner than pork bacon. whaaaat!!!

London Broil-  This is a method of cooking, not a cut of meat like many people often believe. It’s made from cuts of meat that are much more tough like flank steak.



There may be some cuts I’ve left out or terms I overlooked but you get the general idea of all the fascinating parts of the Bovine that we utilize for food and nourishment. There are far too many misconceptions and mis-information when it comes to our beef. And seeing  that, as a country, we consume something like 70 lbs of beef per person a year,(according the EPA), I figured I would do my part in educating the masses, slightly.



❤ Cassandra






Cheap liquor (vodka) vs. expensive liquor (vodka)….. whats the difference?






Can the average person in a bar  enjoys their liquor of choice  tell the difference between  if it’s expensive or cheap? This is sort of interesting. Mainly when it comes to vodka. The drink that taste testing almost doesn’t apply to. When you compare a Burgundy or a Whiskey or a Wine, there so many very distinct variables that clearly lay out the differences between the types of alcoholic drinks you’re trying. However the same doesn’t often apply to vodka.( For example Vodka can literally be made out of anything at all, although most vodka is made from potatoes and grains.)

So…. What is the difference between a cheap vodka and an expensive one? Is there a difference?

Some things to keep in mind:

The filtration of vodka reduces its alcohol content and most people prefered the taste afterwards of a particular brand of vodka. After reading some of the studies I found it also ascertained that most people couldn’t tell the difference between an expensive vodka with higher alcohol content and a cheaper one with lower alcohol content.

It may not be so much that there is such a difference between cheap and expensive. But rather, mostly the alcohol content and that distinguishes one vodka from another. Taking into account, I would imagine, what it was originally made from. For example most vodkas are made from potatoes or grains, which often tend to taste more round and almost buttery like. While the rest are made from fruits and molasses and other things that give it a totally different taste perspective.


I’ve done the plain unflavored vodka taste test in  my early 20’s, probably more than was necessary. And like most young 20 somethings, my out the gate, drink of choice was often vodka. For many reasons but mostly because at that age our liquor knowledge is usually limited and vodka just seems like an easy and good go-to. It also just mixes well with whatever you might have in the fridge during that house party you forgot you were having. I can say that 9 out of ten times I have been able to tell the difference between whatever liquor was in my shot glass. However, setting aside my special drinking skills acquired in my youth, I have come across and seen many a person not able to tell their vodkas apart.

Going by price when comparing taste differences won’t often work because usually imported vodkas are more expensive due to taxes levied from certain governments. Also marketing plays a huge role in the cost of vodka. Extremely popular vodkas, often will raise their prices for the specified purpose of popularity, making it more of a higher status symbol amongst consumers.

All in all, have we answered this question? I don’t think so but it was really fun discovering if there was an actual difference taste wise in regards to my old Vodka. I can mostly tell the difference between cheap and expensive but mainly I can tell the difference between brands, meaning if you happen to be bartender one day in the future and serve me some bottom shelf shit when I ordered Chopin ( which I discovered was my favorite vodka) I can promise you, I will be able to tell and your tip will suffer for it. 🙂 Cheers!



Happy Sipping folks.

Moonshine: Let’s do it.

Whiskey, whiskey, good for the heart, the more you drink…….the less you fart?? No, that can’t be right. Nevertheless welcome to the whiskey train this month, today we will be speaking on the ever elusive Moonshine Whiskey. Is it illegal still? What’s the alcohol percentage? Where can you buy it? Why is it even called moonshine? These are the questions that usually pop into my mind when I think of Moonshine and the answers are forever blurry or better yet, unknown to me. So, today we will try to discover as much as we can about the wonderfully clear drink (without thinking too hard) that is associated with so many of those wonderful backwater hill billy parties you see on TV shows that we all wish we were invited to.

How the distilling process works. I love pictures!

Moonshine, as we know it today, is basically made up of cornmeal, water, yeast and sugar.

Moonshine is made from a grain like corn or rye, making it a Whiskey folks. That’s why it’s gracing the pages of the “Whiskey Train” 🙂

We all understand, I am assuming, the ins and outs of  why it’s called moonshine? Well I will tell you anyways. Interestingly enough the word Moonshining was a general term that referred to any kind of  “job” or whatever that took place at night. It’s probably safe to assume most activity in those days that happened only when the moon was shining was probably illegal…. So that there is no confusion, Moonshiners made the liquor and Bootleggers smuggled and sold it.

All alcohol needs two special things to happen for us to be able to get nice and trashed when it’s all finished and made. Fermentation and Distillation. I would go into detail about what both those processes are but I decided if you are reading this and don’t know perhaps you shouldn’t be reading the ‘Whiskey Train’ section of my blog. Or you can just google it or refer to the nice diagram I have placed above..your welcome.

Oh… one of the reasons moonshine is often so strong and has such a kick to it is because, in general, moonshine whiskey is what you get straight from the tap without being stored for long periods of time in a barrel. Which is what we do to most of our liquor produced in clean and shiny government regulated facilities. It’s often 150 proof which is something like 75% alcohol.

Is it still illegal to produce? Well to be clear, according to the federal government any alcoholic beverage produced at home with the intention to drink it is illegal. Weird, I wonder if that includes sangria or home-brewed beer? Anyhow, the answer is basically yes. The reason being the government just isn’t handing out licenses for producing alcohol to every Tom, Dick and Harry who want to make moonshine. This has something to do with being able to tax people enough I guess to make it worthwhile for the government and for public safety. Apparently it can be very dangerous if you produce a bad batch as the process is a delicate thing and can go wrong if fools are doing it. I am  not totally sure and mostly don’t actually care. I’m not too concerned about families making moonshine who have been doing it since actual prohibition, but if you don’t know someone who makes that clear magic under some giant 100-year-old willow tree 20 miles outside of town, there are actual government approved moonshine products that can be purchased at your local liquor store. Which are good? Well, here are few I found that are popular. You be the judge. One at a time though, preferably on different days.

1. Tim Smith’s Climax Moonshine, 90 proof

tim smith moonshine


I haven’t had the pleasure of trying this one yet and I think it probably needs no description. The name seemingly speaks for itself.



 2.Old Smokey Tennessee Moonshine, 100 proof

old smokey tennessee moonshine


This brand of Moonshine I have actually tasted. I read the reviews for the flavor profile for this one and apparently it “tastes like day old chinese food white rice” and “soggy old bread”. If my memory serves me correctly I remember actually enjoying this one. I may have had a chaser though and/or been drunk when I decided it tasted good. 🙂


3.Buffalo Trace White dog Mash # 1, 125 proof

buffalo trace moonshine


The only thing I could find about this one was that the burning sensation in your throat after you drink it is unforgettable. As in, It actually may burn your throat. I’d try it.




4. Hudson New York Corn Whiskey, 92 proof

hudson ny corn whiskey


This Brand of Whiskey/Bourbon happens to be one of my favorite, they produce a Baby Bourbon that I never can find in liquor stores but love bunches. I was actually surprised, as I didn’t know they made moonshine. Thank you Internet!




5.Kings County Distillery Moonshine, 80 Proof

kings county moonshine


Aside from the one taster saying it “tastes like pee” I like the bottle and it seems to be a popular one.



Now If you have ever had some good old fashion Moonshine from a neighbor or at a party where you literally have to pass it around then you already know the wonderful enjoyment it can bring. But be ware, it isn’t meant for soft tummy light weights who feel the need to jug every liquor that has a good jingle in their commercial.

It’s been sometime since I myself have had any but the last time I did I was sitting around with friends in the hot summer weather passing the mason jar around and laughing simply because we felt like it. I was inspired to mention Moonshine for this section of my blog since I love whiskey so much but wasn’t sure what to say as I do not come across Moonshine very often in my everyday life. 🙂 Perhaps that should go on my list of summer adventures! But my favorite thing about Moonshine itself is its long history in this country, dredged in mystery and strange myths, what it actually meant to people and their families during prohibition, a way to provide extra income. The production is difficult and requires years of experience and know how to get it to be perfectly drinkable. And to the Moonshiners still doing it today, I salute you.

Hope you enjoyed your ride on the Whiskey Train today. And remember, if you decide to have an evening of moonshine fun, don’t make plans for the next day. Like, don’t drink an entire mason jar or even a third for that matter, if you have work tomorrow. 🙂

Happy Sippin’…… safely!


❤ Cassandra


Illustration courtesy of: science.howstuffworks.com


Women are ridiculous


Women are ridiculous, Yes I said that. As a woman myself I suppose I should have more patience with my own gender. I don’t.

Is chivalry dead? No, ladies it is not. Is being kind a thing of the past? No. Granted so many men need lessons on these topics, I can assure you they exist.

What I am really sick of though, is seeing young beautiful women mistake chivalry, politeness and the act of being kind for flirting or inappropriate behavior from men. So often  women in my generation (I’m born in 1984) can’t take a compliment or take an admiring glance for a stalkers hunger lust. Seriously get over yourself.  Maybe you’re looking super fly today and your outfit is proper. Maybe it’s just that. Perhaps all that incredibly unhealthy tanning you insist on doing all winter long looks good to that guy staring at you in line at the grocery store.  Maybe that hair cut you that you thought was atrocious, isn’t and brings out your cheek bones or something. If someone actually opens the door to the coffee shop you frequent, maybe he is just being kind because his mama taught him right. And if you see that same man at that coffee shop you frequent, perhaps he frequents it too. Despite what all those episodes of Law and Order:SVU has taught us, he may not necessarily be stalking you ladies.

It is also these same women that will be the ones complaining about how there are no good men out there or that “all men suck”. Some men do suck by the way, we have all experienced the idiocy of a crappy guy but I find it annoying that some women insist on lumping all men into that crazy category. Perhaps the good men aren’t the ones that grope you while your drunk and dancing in that way too short skirt at the club last Friday but the guy who musters the courage to give you a random compliment or look in everyday life. Hmmmm… It’s a thought.

How about when women who are taken, meaning, married or in a relationship of some kind, think that any and every compliment, stare or friendly word is some gross attempt by a guy to “steal” them away or be inappropriate. I have seen this with my own eyes. Ever stop to think that perhaps it is just because you are in a healthy happy relationship that you get attention. Your probably glowing with happiness and love which is naturally attractive to others. I feel deliciously good when I am given a compliment by other men and women, it reminds me my man has something good at home.  . 🙂 It reminds me that I am beautiful, not that I need constant reassurance from strangers, but others feeling like we are beautiful counts ladies and damn well does feel good. It lets you know your taking care of yourself or lifts your spirits sometimes when you didn’t know you needed it. I have come across people getting my morning coffee or just sitting out and enjoying the sun that look stunning or are wearing the cutest thing I’ve ever seen and I sometimes will compliment them. It’s like an emotional high-five. They smile and as I am sure I haven’t changed their life, I know it has brought two seconds of happiness that they deserve for getting up that morning and bothering to care about their appearance.

Advice…. Do keep an eye out for those creepy bastards leering at you like your at the end of the bar, because you never know when some one might try to slip a mickey into your drink but don’t discount the genuine glance or the complimentary words that come from the good ones. After all, I sometimes see someone, man or woman, walking down the street and often will tilt my head in admiration to them because maybe they just look absolutely fabulous or their outfit is amazing or something. More simply, maybe they are just hot.  🙂 I just like to give credit where credit is due. And if you are looking particularly awesome in those turquoise dangle-y earrings, someone should tell you about it.


Beer of the Month- Sweet Action, Six point brewery


This summer the heat  hasn’t been quite as sweltering as I was expecting it in the North east (although in true NYC form, I expect it be when I least expect it). Where I think everyone is more likely to be sipping and switching over to lighter beers in this weather I have been sipping on the lovely IPA’s, new and old that I come across. One of my all time favorites is Sweet Action by Six point brewery. I have been in love with this beer since the first time I walked into their brewery for a tour about 6 or 7 years ago in Redhook, Brooklyn. It was a hot July afternoon and I went with co-workers for a weekend summer outing. We showed up at noon and the owners and brewers let us all pick out our own pint glass to taste everything from. When I first had the pleasure of tasting this beer straight out of one of the Vats in what looked to be a Fire station turned brewery, I think they may not have even been bottling it yet. Now you can find it locally in cans, bottle and on tap.  This is my favorite brewery and almost all their beers are a wonder to behold on the palate. They have come a very long way in regards to flavor and are a proud company who even teams up every year with Beer Advocate to host an event in Brooklyn, where they create small batches of unique brews that can not be found commercially. All the proceeds go to the Humane Society of New York.  They brew ‘One time Only’ batches and even produce a ‘Mad Scientist’ series which is something akin to an homage, every 2 months, to their first years as a brewery, their love for the craft of bringing so many flavorful concoctions to the people and the science that allows it to happen. Thank you Six Point, you will always be in my heart and/or my blood stream hehehehe.

Abv: 5.2 %


Style: Cream Ale


Availability: Year round


Flavor: It’s sweet, and creamy and sort of  hoppy without being too much of any of those things. If that doesn’t sound very descriptive I can assure you your lips will be saying the same words once this marvel in a pint glass comes into contact with your taste buds. It’s a full-bodied beer that has some floral notes if you keep a look out for them. Some say orange, others taste grapefruit. Being described as a cream ale ( which has never appealed to me ) I can assure you it doesn’t give the full effect of a true cream ale but has a smooth and pleasant creamy tongue feel half way through. On my voyage to live it and learn it, I have come to deeply respect Six Point brewery for their fervor and audacity to create brews that don’t appeal to the masses but more to the adventurous beer taster and lover. Sweet action is low in carbonation but scores high in the sweet department. I’ve read some reviews that describe it as more bitter than anything else but this is one of the things I love about it. I have tasted this beer at least a hundred times over the years and every single time I have it, I taste, smell and notice something in it I didn’t before. Something unique or some floral note I wasn’t privy to the last time. The medium amber color catches my eye only when I have it on tap as I truly love drinking it straight from the can when I find it and every time I am amazed that so much magic can fit into a 12 oz. glass. My advice? Go out and taste for yourself!!


Happy Sipping!!!!!

❤ Cassandra

Note—> The photo that I used I didn’t take but found on the internet and I have no idea who took it but shout out to the person who did. As soon as I saw this photo of the beer that I love so much it felt like I could taste it through the picture. Now that’s awesome!

My Top 7 Hot Sauces!

So I was on this website Thrillest.com and I was inspired to make a list of all the hot sauces I love. Now I saw about 50 different lists of top tens based on spice, texture, taste, heat and overall awesomeness which I am assuming means you would put it on just about anything your eating. So I wrote out my list,  adjusting it as I saw fit. There were hot sauces that I hadn’t tasted that appeared on every list. So these are my recommended top 7, an amalgamation of hot sauces I have had and the ones I need to try immediately.  My boyfriend, the ever delicious Red, loves hot sauce like he loves to breath and happily, I think he would approve. 🙂 Here I will give you a flavor profile of each sauce (to the best of my ability) and interesting little tidbits of information I have come across about them.

Capsain is the substance in peppers that give them their heat. In order to measure exactly how hot a pepper really is, we categorize them in scoville units. It was a man name Wilbur Scoville in 1912 who developed this taste test. To give you an idea of the level of hotness in different peppers and what that means exactly, bell peppers ( which are not hot at all) range from 0- 100 scoville units and Habanero peppers ( which are extremely hot ) range from 200,00 – 300,00 scoville units and pure Capsain ranks a crazy 15,000,000 scoville units ( which probably would scorch your tongue)


In the name of research, I may or may not get an ulcer after I publish this, seeing that I most definitely will go out into the world and taste all the hot sauces that I haven’t and just see what all the fuss is about. I love spicy food but my idea of spicy is a rice size piece of wasabi on my eel avocado roll when it’s sushi night, so this is going to very interesting as my tolerance is fairly low. And for all you wonderful crazies out there who really want to go hard I came across a Hot sauce of the month club. 🙂 Which made me both smile and cringe.


Give the gift that gives you ulcers! Your Welcome!

1.Huy Fong Siracha-  Los Angeles, California, founded 1980


huy fong sirachaThis sauce is made from sun ripened chillies with no artificial colors or additives. This is one of Huy Fong’s most popular hot sauces. Recommended for soups, sauces, pizza, hamburgers and more its flavor profile is spicy yet sweet enough to enjoy on most food items. The name of the company originated from the boat vessel that carried the founder of the company over to America when he emigrated from his native Vietnam. And in the event you need to stock up that zombie apocalyptic bunker you’ve been building since the early 2000’s, no need to fear 12 pack cases are available for sale. This is a super tasty kind-of-hot hot sauce that is extremely versatile. You can put it on your food to zest it up or throw it in the eyes of a zombie if you are ever in fact attacked by zombies.

2.Cholula- Chapala, Mexico (available in the US for 20 years)



Despite the many different hot sauce products they have their original is the one that I love the best. Made with  a combination of piquin, arbol and red peppers plus other spices, its pretty much my go to when I want a little kick to my eggs or blood mary’s.  It is truly and extremely a flavorful hot sauce. The recipe for the original is over 100 years old and has remained the same to this day. And to all my celiac sufferers out there it is also gluten-free so go wild!

3.Franks Red Hot- Springfield, Missouri, founded 1920


franks red hotThis is the hot sauce that is probably most synonymous with hot wings and rightfully so. However this one can almost certainly be put on absolutely anything. By anything I mean like even popcorn, which isn’t my thing but still somehow works. It’s a cayenne pepper sauce that is made from a blend of aged cayenne peppers, vinegar and garlic. The recipe dates back to 1896 and was formulated by the owner and his pepper farming business partner. Apparently Franks Red Hot was the secret ingredient in the original Buffalo wings that were created in Buffalo NY in 1964 at the Anchor Bar and Grill.



4.Louisiana Hot Sauce Original-  New Iberia, Louisiana, founded 1928


louisiana original hot sauceThis is another cayenne pepper inspired Cajun wonder. The only one Certified as a Cajun hot sauce their peppers are aged for at least a year making for a sauce that’s not too hot, not too mild but just right in the flavor/hot department. So Goldie locks would be satisfied to know her porridge could be saved with just a few drops of this. The Louisiana brands website also was the most comprehensive site (that I found)  for hot pepper information including interesting chili facts, chili pepper terminology and more. Cajun spices and seasonings that help create their sauces and the difference between them all can be found on their website as well. All in all….. I’m sold.


5. Tapatio- Vernon, California, founded 1971

tapatio-hot-sauceThis hot sauce is a yummy one and it comes in 7 gram individual packets, gallon containers, 5 oz., 10 oz. and 32 oz. bottles. I like this one on mexican food of all kinds. Burrito looking sad and lumpy, add some Tapatio. Fajita falling short, add some Tapatio. It’s the perfect condiment for rice and beans and isn’t so spicy that your tongue will feel numb if you accidentally pour a little too much due to your heavy-handedness. And apparently the name Tapatio is the name given to people from Guadalajara, Jalisco which is where the company’s founders are from.


6.Tabasco Original- Avery Island, Louisiana, founded

Tabasco_bottle_2013With a shelf life of five years this is a lot of people’s favorite everyday kind of hot sauce. Or at least for me it is. This is the one hot sauce I definitely always have in my cabinet. I think it tastes way more vinegar-y than any other hot sauce on this list but I love it for that reason as it makes it perfect for those noodle dishes I can’t stop eating and cold chicken wings at midnight I shouldn’t be eating. It’s even great on steak and eggs in the AM. Among their many other sauces they also produce a jalapeno version that I particularly like the flavor of, so if you want to have crazy spicy eggs and are in need of one that is approved for Kosher cooking then this is for you . This hot sauce would definitely have made my number one spot but it’s just not as complex, in regards to flavor and seasoning to me.


7.Texas Pete- Winston-Salem, North Carolina, founded 1929

texas pete hot sauceThis is not one of my favorite hot sauces although it is like number 3 in sales of all hot sauces. Or something to that effect. I have actually read seriously bad reviews about it but I don’t think it is too shabby. Having originated as a bar-b-q sauce in the 1920’s then eventually being revamped and altered into a hot sauce, I think that it’s the hot sauce you use when you run out of the others you really like. However, on a positive note,  Texas Pete now makes a new siracha sauce that is said to have a tame garlic like flavor that stimulates the senses. So that’s the one I will be keeping my eye out for.



These are my top seven hot sauces based on yummy-ness, flavor and texture. I am one of those people who doesn’t always reach for the hot sauce with my dinner but when I do many of these are the ones I go for. Hot sauce is the condiment of champions so spice up your food and your life, if you can and skip over the ketchup and mustard and reach for whatever little jazzy labeled bottle that does it for you with that liquid peppery magic inside.


Ha Cha Cha!!!!

hot pepper



How to feel good…Yogic breathing and stuff


I’ve always believed that in each of us there is a soul and that soul oversees our mind and in turn the mind controls the body. So if all that can be said to be true, then we can feel physical symptoms, ailments and pains if we are disrupted emotionally or mentally in any way. Stress, a constant moving mind and more can literally effect our actual body. Now, if that is true then the same goes for positive feelings, thoughts and emotions. This is a huge reason I practice yogic poses, breathing, smiling and meditation regularly.




The mind, will do as it wants, if we let it. Because in life, generally, we are compounded by so many different types of stress. However if we force our bodies to do things like physically relax, over time the mind finds a way to relax too. Eventually releasing all types of endorphins and hormones that in turn benefit us physically. That helps our sleeplessness, headaches and other ailments. The same goes for yogic poses ( or any kind of exercise really ) and yogic breathing.

Don’t be frightened by the word Yoga. I am by no means a guru in this area, I simply try to attain knowledge in as many areas of life as I possibly can, never knowing what it can do for me, it may turn out to be amazing. I am one of those people who naturally has a ton of energy almost all times of the day, even before I hit my first cup of java in the morning my mind is rolling full speed. The same goes for me before it’s bed time. I have suffered from insomnia off and on for a very long time. Migraines and headaches have been a regular occurence in my life since I was a  teenager. Now I am not saying yoga cures all of this stuff. I am only human and am naturally effected by the everyday weights of life. However I like to exercise and actively try to put aside time to relax my body and my mind and it has been beyond helpful. I am still a super chipper, energetic person, it’s just that over the years I have learned to channel it better so I can continue to be productive in my everyday life. 🙂

I say, try a Sun Salutation in the morning to stretch out your muscles and give you a good start to your day. Your journey to relaxation may have to begin with simply taking time to take deep breaths or simply 10 mins a day sitting still quietly. A hot bubble bath with lit candles or an afternoon stretch might do it for you. Whatever your method of tuning in to your inner happy self, it starts with you and you can do it!!

Yoga power!

❤ Cassandra


❤ Cassandra