Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

Even though we still desperately need rain, we have had beautiful fall weather that has allowed us to plant fields of wheat and other types of spring forage that will be enjoyed by our dairy cows when harvested in the spring. I'm thankful for the green fields that growing and the limited amount of rainfall that we have received.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Santa's Cookie List

When flipping through my recipe file with thoughts of baking cookies for the holiday, I found a
recipe that my nursing school roommate gave me years ago. Just looking at the recipe card brought a flood of memories of special occasions and fun events that we enjoyed together while in school.  You can never have too many cookie recipes and this is a perfect one for Christmas,Valentine Day,showers or just because! I wonder if this cookie could be on Santa's list?

Raspberry Hearts 

1 pound butter (softened)
1 cup sugar
6 cups flour
Raspberry or strawberry jam

Beat butter with sugar until fluffy. Add flour to sugar and butter mixture. (dough is dry)
Roll out thin (1/2 inch). Cut out with small  heart shaped cookie cutter. Spatula onto an ungreased pan.
Bake at 400 degrees only 5-7 minutes. Cool.
Spread raspberry or strawberry jam on top of cookie and place second cookie on top.

Optional: Glaze cookies before baking with 2 egg yolks and 2  tablespoons water.

I'm thinking Santa would probably enjoy these with a glass of milk!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Healthy Holiday Breakfast

It's not every one that can get excited about Homemade Low-Fat Granola! Last week while grocery shopping, I gave up on finding a plain granola that I could put with my low-fat vanilla yogurt. Lo and behold, this recipe is on the Dairy Makes Sense website.  What's even better, why not make this  for a    special person on your Christmas list that enjoys a low-fat nutritious and tasty breakfast! 

Homemade Low-Fat Granola

Ingredients for the granola:
4 1/2 cups old-fashioned oatmeal,uncooked
1/3 cup sliced almonds
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup apple juice
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 cup raisins

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Stir together oatmeal,almonds,cinnamon,and salt,if desired, in a large bowl. In a seperate bowl,whisk maple syrup,apple juice and vegetable oil; pour over oatmeal mixture and stir to coat thoroughly. Spread mixture in an even layer onto a 15x12-inch baking pan. Bake for 25 minutes,stirring twice during baking time.

Cool mixture in the pan before adding raisins. Store granola in an airtight container. To serve: Pour 1 cup milk over a heaping 1/2 cup of granola. Top with fresh berries, if desired.

Substitution Idea: Instead of milk,top one cup of fat-free yogurt with the granola.

Can't you just see this granola recipe in a cute little mason jar decorated with a holiday ribbon?

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Celebrating Farm Love

Twenty eight years ago today, I married not only the farmer,I married the farm. It was obvious from the start that the farmer's first love would always be the cows and the land and I accepted that condition. Not only have I accepted it , I truly understand farm love after twenty-eight years!

We're totally committed to farm love
 and  providing you with safe,high-quality milk and dairy products!
Don't forget to enter the Spotted Cow giveaway by Clicking here and submitting your email address to Country Outfitter. Leave a comment here on the blog letting me know you submitted your email.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Black Friday Turkey and Cheese Special

There's nothing wrong with a delicious turkey sandwich made from our Thanksgiving leftovers , but I know from past experience that my family will desire other options very soon!  Fortunately, I found  Turkey Tetrazzini with Cheddar and Parmesan on the Dairy Makes Sense website and it's the perfect option for the leftover turkey  and  my  Black Friday plans.

Turkey Tetrazzini with Cheddar and Parmesan

Non-stick cooking spray
1 package (12 ounces) whole wheat penne pasta
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup flour
3 cups low-fat milk
1 cup fat-free low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup dry white wine (or additional chicken broth)
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 cups sliced white button muschrooms
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 cups diced cooked turkey breast (works well with leftover turkey or chicken)
1 cup frozen peas
1 cup shredded reduced-fat Cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a shallow two to three-quart baking dish with cooking spray; set aside. Cook pasta according to package directions. In large saucepan over medium heat, melt butter and stir in flour. Stirring constantly, cook about 2 minutes. Whisk in milk, chicken broth,wine and pepper; bring mixture to a boil. Stir in mushrooms,reduce heat and cook about 10 minutes,stirring frequently, or until mixture thickens and mushrooms are softened.

Stir Parmesan cheese,pasta,turkey and peas into milk mixture; spoon into prepared baking dish. Top with Cheddar cheese and cover loosely with foil. Bake about 45 minutes or until bubbling at edges and heated through.
Spotted Cow's got its own Black Friday Special,too!
Click here and submit your email address to Country Outfitter for a chance to win a $150 gift certificate to go shopping on them!
Leave a comment here on the blog letting me know you submitted your email to Country Outfitter.
                                          A random winner will be selected on November 28th.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

After our cows are milked and fed ,
we're heading to town for  Thanksgiving dinner at my Mother's house. Even though I miss those that are no longer with us around the table, I'm thankful for the wonderful memories and stories that we will laugh and talk about as we make more  family memories for the younger generation.                                                                  Happy Thanksgiving!!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Got Milk and Chicks

Deviled eggs are a family favorite any time of the year but it's just not Thanksgiving unless you find them among the many dishes on the holiday table.  I must admit, this year I have a new appreciation for all the chicken farmers--both egg farmers and chicken farmers!

 Back in October when I went to a local elementary school to talk to a first grade class   about dairy farming, I also delivered the Farm Bureau poultry  incubater and a dozen eggs from a local hatchery. And like Paul Harvey, here's the rest of the story: 
After the kids watched the chicks hatch, the  chicks needed a home--so they came to the dairy farm.
They were kept inside on my front porch in a large box under a heat lamp for a couple of weeks until they began to jump out of the box. At that point, they graduated to the chicken coop outside!
So far, all eleven chicks are still alive and I am enjoying watching how they  grow and change everyday.  Chicken chores do have their perks!
Maybe someday, I'll even  have a few home grown eggs!
In the meantime, I'll be buying eggs produced from egg farmers and thanking them for their dedication to providing eggs for Thanksgiving and everyday of the year!
Deviled Eggs
Halve hard-cooked eggs lengthwise; remove yolks and mash with these seasonings:
For 6 eggs:
1/4 cup Miracle Whip
1 teaspoon vinegar
1 teaspoon mustard
1/8 teaspoon salt,
dash pepper
Refill whites and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Happy Thanksgiving!!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Fantastic Fescue Survives Drought

Fescue is a common cool season grass found in pastures and hay fields  across the United States. It was planted in mass in Arkansas in the early 1940's to increase grass for livestock and soil conservation. Fescue is usually baled and fed as dry hay but in this year of extreme drought that has created a shortage of forage feed, we are harvesting fescue  after frost to add to our dairy cow's diet.   Even though many fields of fescue in Northwest Arkansas  have died due to the drought, we are fortunate to have a few fields of mixed grass and fescue that are being harvested and hauled to the silo.
A sample of the chopped feed will be analyzed by  a forage testing lab to provide  our dairy nutritionist with information in  designing  the nutritious diet for our cows. High-quality milk begins with taking good care of our dairy cows by making sure they eat a balanced, healthy diet.   Efficient use of every feed ingredient is even more important in a drought  year when  feed availability  is limited.
We added some of the "green chop" fescue with the other feed ingredients and the cows are enjoying every bite! 

Season of Thanksgiving

After last week's freezing temperatures, I'm sure this is probably the last rose of summer in my garden. It's a perfect reminder of God's faithfulness  in bringing each season for us to enjoy. As summer becomes a memory, we're enjoying the harvest of crops and the anticipation of winter rest to prepare for spring growth. I find thanksgiving in each season.
The second verse of the old hymn, Great Is Thy Faithfulness says it all:
Summer and winter,
and springtime and harvest,
Sun,moon,and stars in their
courses above,
Join with all nature in manifold witness
To Thy great faithfulness,mercy and love.
Great is Thy faithfulness!
Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see;
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided.
Great is Thy faithfulness,
Lord,unto me!

                               Blessings to you and your family in this season of Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Dairymom Goes Bananas!

What happens when two lonely over-ripe bananas are found in the fruit bowl at the end of a busy week?  You find a tasty recipe and provide a dairymom goes bananas  experience for the family. I found this recipe on the Dairy Makes Sense website. 

Yogurt and Banana Spice Muffins

1 (18.25 ounces) box spice cake mix
1 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt
2 large eggs
2 ripe large bananas,mashed with fork
1/2 cup low-fat milk
1 cup chopped walnuts
Cooking spray
3 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon powdered sugar,optional


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, mix together cake mix,yogurt,eggs,bananas and milk until just combined. Fold in walnuts. Using 1/4 cup measuring cup,pour into muffin tins coated with cooking spray. Bake for about 25 minutes or until center of muffin tests clean with toothpick.
Let cool for 5 minutes in pan on wire rack. Remove muffins from pan,cool completely. If desired, sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon of powdered sugar over each muffin before serving.

       For an even more special Dairymom Goes Bananas experience--serve with a big glass of milk!


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

Last week we attended the opening of the Austin-Baggett Park in Bentonville. It is a fantastic honor for two long serving city council members--Ed Austin and my mother,Mary Baggett.
Austin-Baggett park is located in a neighborhood just down the street  from a house my grandparents lived in and the Ice Plant where my grandfather worked.  It has the feeling of home!
It was a beautiful,sunny Saturday with a park full of family,friends and children enjoying the event.
I'm thankful for my trail blazing Mother who sets a great example for service to community.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Boots and Blog Share the Love

Before I married a dairy farmer,I had never owned any kind of boots. Thanks to my boot loving husband, I now have all kinds of boots. I have the not fun but necessary boots for the everyday jobs on the farm but my favorite boots are the pretty ones I wear to town! When I decided to attend the Arkansas Women Bloggers Conference in August, I couldn't believe that I had a chance for new boots.

Country Outfitter, a retailer of Ariat boots, gave me these Brown Oiled Rowdy and Sapphire Blue boots to review.
Here's my review: Love everything about these beauties! They're my first pair of square toe boots and they are super comfortable.
Hugs and Kisses to my Country Outfitter Friends  and Arkansas Women Bloggers!
Now for the fun part,Country Outfitter is giving you (my blog supporting friend) a chance to win a $150 gift certificate to go shopping on them! You could pick Ariat boots like mine or something completely different. We are making it sooo simple for you  to enter in just two little steps.
1. Click here and submit your email address to Country Outfitter (you may receive occasional emails from them).
2. Leave a comment here on the blog letting me know you submitted your email to Country Outfitter.
A random winner will be selected in two weeks (November 28th.)

                            It's true---a girl can never have too many diamonds, friends or BOOTS!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Harvest Round-Up

This year's drought has created a severe shortage of hay and pasture grass for our dairy cows and calves. Harvesting every bit of hay available is vital to our farm.  With the weather man predicting a hard freeze and the chance of rain, we seemed to be going in every direction to complete the hay baling and crop planting last week. I knew oldest son  Cody was desperate when he asked if I could help him get the bales loaded on the trailer in the field.
 My job was to drive the tractor and trailer to each group of bales in the field so that he could load them on the trailer.
 In the olden days (that would be before I married the dairy farmer), small square bales were picked up by hand and thrown onto a truck and stacked. It was then the hay crew's job to unload them by hand and stack them in the big hay barn.  I have a great appreciation for modern machinery when I think about hauling hay by hand in 100 degree weather!

As you can see, these bales are loaded by a skid loader with a grapple and stacked on the trailer.
Once the trailer was full, the hay was taken to the feed barn for storage.
I love watching Cody unload  and stack the bales --every move is made with precision!
I was also feeling pretty proud--he smiled really big and thanked me for my help!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Black Friday Prep

Besides getting ready for the holiday season's cooking,baking and shopping, we women must begin to get our Black Friday shopping plans laid out. Depending on your Thanksgiving holiday schedule, you may need a quick meal for pre or post Black Friday shopping or perhaps just a quick alternative to the Thanksgiving leftovers in the frig!

My strategic Black Friday plan includes making sure that I stock up on the ingredients for BBQ Ranch Quesadilla Wedges. Even if I choose not to  shop on Black Friday, I can see this recipe fitting perfectly  with calf feeding and farm chores besides the decorating and baking that I plan to do!

BBQ-Ranch Quesadilla Wedges

1 package (16 oz) frozen pepper stir-fry blend
1/4 cup diced onion
11/2 cups prepared shredded barbecue beef
1/4 cup barbecue sauce
1/2 cup light ranch dressing
8 (8 inch) whole wheat tortillas
1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar Cheese
Non-stick cooking spray

Prepare stir-fry pepper blend with diced onion added and heat barbecue beef according to package directions. While vegetables and beef are cooking, mix barbecue sauce and ranch dressing in small serving bowl; set aside for dipping sauce.

On a tortilla, evenly layer 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons each of shredded beef and cheese. Add about 1/4 to 1/2 cup vegetables. Cover with a second tortilla.

Repeat for total of 4 quesadilla. Spray large skillet or counter-top grill with non-stick cooking spray.
Cook each quesadilla for 3 minutes on each side or until golden and cheese is melted. Cut into 8 wedges; serve with barbecue-ranch dip.


                       You can find other great Black Friday  recipes at Dairy Makes Sense!

Saturday, November 10, 2012


Senator John McCain was the guest speaker at the Bentonville Veteran's Day celebration. Words cannot describe the gratitude I feel for the men and women,past and present, who have served to make sure that we can enjoy freedom  that is too often taken for granted.
And ye shall know the truth,
and the truth shall make you free.
If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.
Live as free men,
but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil;
live as servants of God.
                                                              John 8:32,36; 1 Peter 2:16

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Recipe Keepsakes

This weekend I'm going to ease into preparing for the holiday schedule by baking one of my favorite pumpkin recipes to take to our annual Thanksgiving dinner at church. If you love anything pumpkin, you'll enjoy Pumpkin Pie Squares!

 Each time I bake  this recipe I am reminded of the sweet co-worker that shared it with me more than twenty years ago. It's a great reminder of how I have been  blessed by so many special friends and family members. Good recipes that are enjoyed by friends and family  are keepsakes that  just keep on giving through the years. Holidays are the perfect time to share a little love from the kitchen!  You can find other nutritious and delicious recipes for your holidays at Dairy Makes Sense.

Pumpkin Pie Squares with Cinnamon Sugar Yogurt Topping

1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup old fashioned oats
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup butter,melted
2 tablespoons low-fat milk
Cooking spray

2 cups canned pumpkin
2 eggs
3/4 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt
1/2 cup low-fat milk
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon pumpkin spice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup pecans,chopped

2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup plain nonfat yogurt


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl,mix together graham cracker crumbs,oats,brown sugar,butter and 2 tablespoons milk; press into a thin layer in a 9x13 inch pan greased with cooking spray. Bake for 10 minutes. While the crust is baking, in another bowl,beat together pumpkin and  other ingredients except for pecans. Pour over crust and bake for 40 minutes or until set. Sprinkle pecans over pumpkin filling and bake another 10-15 minutes or until center is set. Cool slightly in pan.

Mix together sugar and cinnamon. Mix in yogurt. Top each square with one tablespoon of yogurt topping.
Share a little love from your kitchen this weekend!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

    Even though we desperately need rain and  would welcome  it,  I'm thankful for the   beautiful fall days  that are allowing us to harvest hay and  plant fall crops of wheat and rye that  will be used to  feed our dairy cows.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Dairymom Molded by Buttery Traditions

November is a time of transition on the dairy farm as we finish harvesting our fall crops,plant wheat and rye crops for spring forage and prepare for the winter months on the farm. It also marks the twenty-eighth year of my life on the farm which has been molded by the blessings of farm family traditions. I have transitioned from a city girl that learned the hard way that dairy farmers don't eat margarine to dairymom that uses only sweet creamy butter!

Even though it's recommended to keep butter refrigerated, the butter dish stays on our table all the time to assure the dairy farmer has easy access and spread ability for every slice of bread, homemade roll  or hot biscuit consumed. That happens to be one of the dairymom traditions that I've grown to love because the presence of the butter dish always on the table  was my sweet mother-in-law's tradition and reminds me every day  how blessed I am to live and work on our family dairy farm.

Butter is a staple at our house year round and holiday baking and cooking just don't happen without it! In fact, I'm  stocking up this week in preparation for the holidays  and thinking about baking this family favorite--Crusty Cream Cheese Pound Cake. It goes great with ice cream or fruit salad or both!

Crusty Cream Cheese Pound Cake

1 cup butter,softened
1/2 cup shortening
3 cups sugar
1  8 ounce package cream cheese,softened
3 cups sifted flour
6 eggs
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract

Cream butter and shortening; gradually add sugar, beating well at medium speed of electric mixer.
Add cream cheese,beating well until light and fluffy. Alternately add flour and eggs, beginning and ending with flour. Stir in vanilla.

Pour batter into greased and floured 10 inch tube pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until pick comes out clan. Cool in pan 10 minutes, remove from pan and let cool completely on wire rack.


God Bless America

        Last night at 5:30p.m.  when I went to attend a committee meeting at the Benton County administration building, people were lined up outside in front of the building and across the parking lot  waiting to cast their vote. Even though the election officials have been talking about the large number of people that will be voting in this general election, seeing the number of people waiting to vote reminded me of how fortunate we are to live in such a great country. Even with our problems, America is Blessed!

                                                          My Country 'Tis of Thee

                                                            My Country, 'tis of thee,
                                                            Sweet Land of liberty,
                                                            of thee I sing:
                                                            Land where my fathers died,
                                                            Land of the pilgrims' pride,
                                                            From every mountainside,
                                                            Let freedom ring!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Cows and Clocks

Thank goodness we don't have to explain Daylight Savings time to the cows ! As long as we keep to the consistent routine of making sure our dairy cows are fed and milked twice each day of the year--they're happy!

Our cows are milked every day at 7:30 in the morning and 7:30 each night. While most farmers may start and finish at earlier hours, we have found that this schedule works best for us in getting the daily chores done on our farm. Our commitment to providing high-quality milk begins with taking good care of our cows by providing consistent and regular milking schedule that allows time for the cows to eat a nutritious diet and rest between each milking time.

Through the years, we've found it more challenging to make sure that the humans on the farm get to work at the right time and understand which direction to move the clock for Daylight Savings time than to get the cows to the barn!

I'm glad we don't have to explain to the cows: "Spring forward and Fall Back"!

Friday, November 2, 2012

National Sandwich Day

The 18th century  Earl of Sandwich would probably be shocked to see the variety of creative and nutritious sandwiches enjoyed today!  Sandwiches on the dairy farm are usually meals of convenience when schedules are too busy to linger at the dinner table or dairymom's favorite  excuse--" just no time to cook."  One thing for sure, no sandwich is served without cheese of some kind.

Celebrating National Sandwich Day calls for a little more stylish sandwich so I'm planning to give Sirloin Pita  Salad Sandwich a try!   You can find other delicious and nutritious recipes at Dairy Makes Sense.

Sirloin Pita Salad Sandwich

For the dressing:
2 (8 oz.) containers of fat-free plain yogurt
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced parsley
1 tablespoon minced chive
1 teaspoon dried oregano

For the sandwich:
1/2 pound sirloin or rib-eye steak,trimmed
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
4 (4-inch) whole wheat pita bread rounds,cut in half moons
2 1/2 cups mixed salad greens (such as arugula,radicchio,and baby spinach leaves)
2/3 cup crumbled Blue cheese
1/2 small red onion,sliced and separated into rings
8 cherry tomatoes,halved

Spoon yogurt  into medium bowl and stir in garlic,parsley,chive and oregano until well blended.Set aside.
Rub both sides of steak with salt and pepper. Heat medium, non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Cook steak about 6 minutes on each side (for medium) or until desired. Allow steak to rest 5 minutes before cutting into thin slices.
Warm pita halves in toaster. Into each pita half, spoon 1/4 of the yogurt dressing,mixed salad greens,Blue cheese,onion,steak and tomato. Spoon additional yogurt dressing over top.
Serves: 4

Happy National Sandwich Day!!