Monday, June 30, 2014

Summer Begins with National Ice Cream Month

Summer has finally arrived in Northwest Arkansas! Although the cows and I don't really enjoy all the heat and humidity, we do like to stand under the shade trees and enjoy the view of the flower bed full of colorful lilies!  

There's only one thing that makes this even better...

                                      thinking about all the ice cream we can enjoy during July!

                             Happy July--National Ice Cream Month!!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

Romance with a dairy farmer is always interesting! In January, Cody, our oldest son, wrote his proposal on the blue door (Margaret's favorite door)
and set the stage for the life-changing question!
I'm thankful for these special moments with  my dairy farm family
 the June Dairy Month  wedding that happens in just a couple of days!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Tuesday's Taste of Dairy: Macaroni and Cheese Balls

I kicked off June Dairy Month having fun and eating delicious dairy recipes at the Arkansas Farm Bureau Dairy Foods contest.     James Martin of Ward, Arkansas, won first place in the Party Idea category with Macaroni and Cheese Balls.  From his excellent preparation technique, it was obvious that he has prepared this many times for his family and enjoyed sharing his recipe with us.

Macaroni and Cheese Balls


4 quarts water
1 tsp. salt,divided
2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
1/4 cup milk
8 ounces Velveeta cheese,cubed
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup grated jalapeno cheese
1/2 tsp. black pepper
4 large eggs
2 cups Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
1/2 cup cornmeal
Canola oil for frying


Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Grate and cube chesses as noted above.
In a large saucepan, bring water and 1/2 tsp. salt to boil; add pasta and cook 6-8 minutes, drain well.

In a large bowl, combine hot cooked pasta, milk,
Velveeta cheese, mozzarella cheese, jalapeno cheese,1/2 tsp. salt, and pepper. Stir until cheese is melted.
Shape into small balls (size is individual preference, I like 11/2 -2 inch) and place on lined baking sheet. Put in freezer for 1 1/2 -2 hours.

In a small bowl, combine breadcrumbs and cornmeal. In another small bowl, whisk eggs. Dip balls into egg mixture, and then dredge in breadcrumb mixture.

In a large pot, pour oil to a depth of 2 inches and heat to 350 degrees. Fry mac and cheese balls in batches, 3-5 minutes or until golden brown. Remove with slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.

Serve with Marinara sauce or any sauce you like. Makes approximately 24 balls.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Arkansas Dairy Ambassador

Congratulations to Ethan Parker of Gravette  for being named the 2014-15 Arkansas Dairy Ambassador!
I love the fact that Arkansas Farm Bureau supports youth programs that aim to not only promote agriculture but help our youth to develop skills and interest in agriculture careers.
Ethan will be participating in functions related to the dairy industry during this next year and promoting all the great features about dairy. After listening to his talk on "What's So Great About Dairy?", I know he will be convincing a lot of consumers about the benefits of dairy nutrition.
Although it's not a requirement to show dairy cattle to be a dairy ambassador, Ethan has been showing Jersey cattle since he was about 4 years old. It was natural for this  picture of his Arkansas Dairy Ambassador plaque  to include  one of his favorite Jersey girls!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

Hunger is real in America--in  fact, 1 in 6 Americans face hunger. I felt privileged to learn about   The Ozarks Food Harvest which is  the Feed America food bank for Southwest Missouri.  This organization is located in Springfield, Missouri and serves 200 hunger relief organizations across 28 Ozark counties.
It's a beautiful facility made possible by generous donations from the O'Reilly family and many other community businesses and organizations.
We toured all of the warehouse facility--including the refrigerator and freezer sections.
Dairy farmers always want to see where the milk is stored!
It takes a lot of dedication from employees and volunteers to get the food where it is needed.
I particularly enjoyed learning about the
efforts made to educate about nutrition and how to cook the food that is being donated.
I'm thankful for food banks across America and for the Great American Milk Drive that is working to get milk donated to food banks.

Macaroni Celebrates June Dairy Month

 There are absolutely no losing recipes at the Arkansas Farm Bureau Dairy Foods Contest but the overall winner of the Main Dish category this year was The Toasted  Macaroni and Pimento Cheese with Bacon Sandwich. The delicious winning sandwich was a creation of Hope McAlee of McRae, Arkansas.

While watching Hope prepare this recipe for the contest, it was obvious that she had prepared this may times for her family. She did tell us it was a bit messy to eat but you will be happy to use your fork to eat every last bite!

The Toasted Macaroni and Pimento Cheese with Bacon Sandwich


Pimento Cheese--
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
3/4 cup of Miracle Whip
1/4 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. dark chili powder
1 tsp. to 1 tbsp. hot sauce (optional, use to personal taste)
1 (4oz jar) of Pimento peppers,diced and drained
Salt and pepper as needed
8 oz. cream cheese
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. paprika

Macaroni and Cheese--
2 cups macaroni
2 tbsp. butter
1/4 cup pimento cheese spread
4 oz. of heavy whipping cream
1 cup mixed blend of cheese
4 oz. Velveeta Cheese

Bread: Your choice of thick sliced bread

Bacon: 1-2 slices bacon per sandwich

Preparation Directions:

Pimento Cheese--Place cheddar cheese, cream cheese, Miracle Whip, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, chili powder, hot sauce and pimento cheese into bowl and mix. Mixer may be used, although a simple spoon or fork works well. Season with salt and pepper.

Macaroni and Cheese--Cook macaroni in boiling water for 6-9 minutes. Once cooked, strain and place back in pot. Add butter, whipping cream and Velveeta. Once butter has melted, add cheese.

Bacon: Fry bacon, chop in small pieces.

Sandwich--Slice bread , and butter on one side of the pieces of bread. Spread macaroni and cheese on one piece of bread, and pimento cheese on the other piece. Chop up bacon and place heart portion on macaroni side. Put sandwich together. Place sandwich in preheated skillet and toast bread to desired darkness. Flip sandwich and repeat step. Once finished toasting, remove from skillet. It is suggested that the sandwich is cut in half because this sandwich can be quite messy.

Serving suggestions: Serve with chips or other favored sides. Eat with fingers or fork. Enjoy the cheesiness!

Cooking time: approximately 30 minutes

Sunday, June 15, 2014

June Dairy Days

What do you get during June Dairy Month  when you have kids from the four state area, cows and lots of ice cream?  4-State Dairy Days!!  This is the 25th year for the event located in Bentonville, Arkansas, known as 4-State Dairy Days.

It all began when a few dairy loving Benton County  parents decided more experiences for showing dairy cattle needed to be created for kids interested in 4-H dairy projects. Twenty-five years later, the mission is the same--"to promote the dairy industry by providing opportunities for youth to learn and compete in a fun, safe, family-friendly environment.

If you're looking for a weekend full of dairy activities, come to the Benton County Fairgrounds in Bentonville,  this Friday (June 20). Check out the list of events at 4-State Dairy Days.


                                  You're never too old or too young to enjoy June Dairy Days!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Happy Father's Day!

Even when you're a Daddy's girl,
 a Daddy's boy that's all grown up,
Father's Day will always be  a time to
 remember how much we were loved and nurtured during the lifetime of our dads.
It's those lifetime lessons taught by our fathers
that have helped us raise  this fourth generation down on the dairy farm!
Hope you have a very special day with your family!
Happy Father's Day!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

Rain everyday for more than a week with temperatures that require long sleeved shirts during June Dairy Month is almost unheard of in Northwest Arkansas. Although we're  behind on the hay cutting schedule, I'm thankful for the abundant grass in the pastures, the comfortable temperatures for our dairy cows to enjoy

                                                 the beautiful flowers I find in the garden.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Milkin' Magic Down On the Dairy Farm

June Dairy Month is a great time to "open the barn doors" and provide show and tell for consumers of all ages. A couple of weeks ago, I was privileged to share our farm with young students from the Fayetteville Montessori School. They were very interested in finding out for themselves where the milk really comes from.

After explaining how we clean off the cow's udder and teats before the cow gets milked, several of the children wanted to touch and milk the cow.
                                                       Show, tell, and touch...

It's the perfect way to learn  how milking equipment delivers milk directly from the cows to a refrigerated tank to preserve freshness and safety.
It's  the milkin' magic...milk is never touched by human hands. 
 Dairy farmers are committed to providing  a safe, steady supply of dairy products
 everyday down on the dairy farm.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Cheese and Bacon Celebrate June Dairy Month

Can you imagine a better start to June Dairy Month than getting to sample delicious dairy recipes prepared by a group of amazing young cooks?  It was my privilege to be one of three judges for the Arkansas Farm Bureau Dairy Foods Contest last week in Little Rock.

Each recipe is judged on the use of dairy products, originality, the availability of products used, and serving technique. Contestants for this contest are selected from the winning recipe submitted from  each county Farm Bureau.

Cheese and Bacon Stuffed Shells prepared by Kendall Yarbrough,14,  4-H member from Benton County  won second place in the Main Dish Category. I can tell you first hand--it is rich, creamy, and deliciously loaded with dairy products. Kendall told us that she loves this recipe "because of the cheese and bacon" and  "likes stuffing the shells." 

Cheese and Bacon Stuffed Shells


24 uncooked jumbo pasta shells
2 cup chopped  fresh mushrooms
1 cup finely chopped onion
1 tablespoon plus 1/4 cup butter,divided
1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese
1 package (8oz) cream cheese, softened and divided
1 1/2 cups Asiago cheese,divided
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1 cup crumbled, cooked bacon
2 tablespoons  minced fresh parsley,divided
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup 1 percent milk
2 cups shredded Romano cheese
2 cups shredded mozzarella

 Cook pasta according to package directions. In a large skillet, sauté  mushrooms and onions in 1 tablespoon butter until tender. In a large bowl, beat ricotta and 4 oz. cream cheese until blended. Stir in 1/2 cup Asiago cheese, Parmesan cheese,bacon, 1 tablespoon parsley, garlic salt,nutmeg, pepper and mushroom mixture. Spoon into shells and place in a greased 13"x 9" baking dish. In a large saucepan, melt remaining butter. Stir in flour until smooth and then gradually add the cream,
broth and milk. Bring to a boil. Cook and stir for 1-2 minutes or until thickened. Stir in Romano cheese and the remaining cream cheese, Asiago and parsley. Pour over shells. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake another 10-15 minutes longer.

Serving Size: 2 stuffed shells
Servings: 12
How much milk does an average dairy cow produce per day?
Answer: The average dairy cow produces anywhere from six to eight gallons of milk per day.
This means the average dairy cow produces more than 2,000 gallons of milk every year!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

It was my privilege   to be one of the judges for the Arkansas Farm Bureau Dairy Foods Contest held in Little Rock today.
These eight young contestants from across the state provided this dairy farmer with a delicious celebration for the start of  
 June Dairy Month!
                                       I'm thankful for the many programs and contests that
                                   Arkansas Farm Bureau members across our state  support 
                                                to help young people develop life skills.

Happy June Dairy Month!

Monday, June 2, 2014

Spotted Cow's Tuesday Trivia with Taste

To celebrate June Dairy Month, I thought it might be fun to share a tasty dairy recipe every Tuesday during June served with a little dairy trivia!
Can you name the six breeds of dairy cattle?
Answer: Ayrshire, Brown Swiss, Guernsey, Holstein, Jersey, Milking Shorthorn
Do you know how many spots are identical on the average dairy cow?
Answer: Every cow spot is like a snowflake; no two are the same.
No matter which kind of dairy cow produces the milk you enjoy---milk is a nutritional bargain costing about 25 cents a glass.
You can find Spotted Cow's Trivia Taste recipe this week at
Banana-Caramel Smoothie


2 medium bananas, peeled, sliced and frozen
2 cups fat-free milk
1/4 cup purchased caramel sauce

*Note: Use frozen banana slices to chill and thicken your smoothie. Just peel and slice each banana and freeze in a separate zip-top plastic bag. This is a great way to use ripe bananas and have them ready for your smoothie.


Combine all ingredients in a blender; blend until smooth. Serve in tall glasses or on-the-go drink containers.