Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

                        We were just getting the gates ready to walk this heifer to the barn  for
                         delivery assistance when she laid down and within a minute, delivered  her calf.
                                    She wasted no time standing up to clean  her baby and
                                          nudge the newborn to stand up for the first time.

                                                             Aren't mothers amazing?

I'm thankful for the safe delivery of every 
new baby down on the dairy farm!

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Muffins and Milk

Garrett Lance from Howard County convinced us that Cheesy Muffins would be a perfect menu  addition with our favorite soup or chili.  Cheesy Muffins brought a fourth place win at the Arkansas Farm Bureau Dairy Foods Contest.

My only suggestion for this recipe is to serve with a big glass of cold milk!

Cheesy Muffins


1 1/2 cup flour
1 1/2 Tablespoons sugar
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1/2  Tablespoon salt
1 cup shredded Colby-Jack cheese
1 cup shredded mild cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 cup milk
1 egg
1/4 cup melted butter


Whisk together dry ingredients and then stir in cheese. In a separate bowl, whisk egg, milk and butter together. Pour milk mixture into dry ingredients and stir with a spoon to combine. Bake in greased muffin tins at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes.  Makes 12.

Serving Suggestions: Add 1/4 cup green chilies in batter for a Mexican flair.
                                   Great with soup or chili.

Friday, June 24, 2016

June Dairy Month Lasagna

If you love lasagna, you will love Farmer's Market Lasagna.  Adam Richter of Boone County  won third place  with this winning combination of fresh herbs and dairy products in the Main Dish category  of the Arkansas Farm Bureau Dairy Foods Contest.

Farmer's Market Lasagna


Pan spray such as Pam
Aluminum foil
Deep dish 9 x 13 pan
2 Tablespoons extra-virgin oil
3/4 lb. ground beef
1 lb. ground pork
1 teaspoon Cavendar's Greek Seasoning
1 small finely chopped yellow onion (about 3/4 cup)
2 cloves garlic,finely chopped
1 sprig rosemary (stem removed),finely chopped
1 sprig oregano (stem removed), finely chopped
1/2 bunch parsley (stems removed), finely chopped
2 24 oz. cans Hunt's 100% Natural Simply Pasta Sauce
15 oz. container whole milk ricotta cheese
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1 large egg
1 teaspoon Italian herbs
24 oz. shredded Italian blend cheese
1 package ready to bake lasagna noodles
2 cups loosely packed fresh spinach,chopped


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray pan and set aside.

Meat Filling: Place 1 tablespoon olive oil,ground beef,pork, Cavendar's Seasoning and onion into skillet. cook until meat is cooked through and is crumbly. Remove from heat.

Red Sauce: Place 1 tablespoon olive oil, chopped garlic, rosemary,oregano and parsley into pan and heat over medium heat for approximately 2 minutes to release fragrance. Add sauce and stir to combine. Remove from heat.

White Sauce: In a mixing bowl, combine ricotta cheese, heavy whipping cream, egg and Italian herbs. Whisk or stir with spoon  until smooth. Now it's time to layer. Using a ladle, add a small amount of red sauce to cover the bottom of the pan. Add a layer of noodles. Cover the noodles with a small amount of red sauce, white sauce then sprinkle with meat, spinach and cheese. Repeat these layers two more times for a total of 3 layers. Cover the lasagna with foil and bake for 45 minutes.Remove foil and continue baking for an additional 20 minutes or until all sides are bubbling and top is browning slightly. Let lasagna sit at room temperature for at least 10 minutes prior to serving in order for the sauce to set and allow for better serving.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

                                           As we finished feeding the calves yesterday afternoon,
                                        these soon to be mamas gathered up next to the fence.

                                       It seemed like they had a lot they wanted to talk about
                                but when I moved closer to the fence most of them moved back.
                                       I didn't take it personally because though they are large
                                       curious creatures, cows don't usually want hugs and kisses.

                             I'm thankful for the one that listened to me and for the fact  that we
                        are given the opportunity to care for these beautiful dairy cows everyday!

                                                  June Dairy Month--it's all about the cows!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Dairy Recipe Winner

If you love strawberry shortcake, you will love  Bossy's Buttermilk LeMoo-Cakes created by Aggie Richter of  Boone County for the Arkansas Farm Bureau Dairy Foods contest.  It's a perfect recipe for enjoying dairy products and local Arkansas grown fruits during June Dairy Month!

Bossy's Buttermilk LeMoo-Cakes

Cake Ingredients:

1 cup unsalted butter,room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar
6 eggs
Zest of 2 lemons (approximately 1 teaspoon)
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (takes about 2 large lemons)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup buttermilk

Topping Ingredients:

Heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
1-2 tablespoons honey
1 pound of seasonal berries-strawberries,blackberries,raspberries are all perfect for this recipe.

Cake Directions:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray muffin pans with Pam. Place butter and sugar in mixer with whisk attachment. Beat on medium-low until butter and sugar are creamy. You may need to stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl a few times. While mixture continues to beat, add eggs one at a time until the mixture is smooth. Add lemon zest,lemon juice, vanilla extract and continue mixing. Add 1 cup flour,1/3 cup buttermilk. Mix until incorporated. Repeat two more times. Using a cookie scoop, measure batter and fill muffin tins 3/4 full. Place in oven and bake for approximately 20-22 minutes. Use a toothpick and test center to make sure cakes are done before removing from oven. Let cool on counter for 10 minutes before removing from pan.

Topping Directions:

While the cakes are baking, remove any stems from the berries and if needed slice into bite sized pieces. Rinse under cool water and drain. Place fruit in a bowl, drizzle with honey and toss slightly. Let sit at room temperature until cakes have finished baking (up to 30 minutes). This allows the berries to release their juices and creates a sweet sauce for the cakes. Using a whisk, beat together the heavy whipping cream and powdered sugar until it forms slight "peaks". Keep in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Once cakes have cooled slightly, place on plates and add a spoon of whipping cream and fresh berries. Cakes served warm.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Celebrate Dad With Dairy

I can't think of a better way to start a Father's Day celebration than by preparing a delicious breakfast featuring Sausage Enchiladas.  Sue York of Monroe County proved to us that this is a winning recipe at the Arkansas Farm Bureau Dairy Foods Contest by being awarded  second place in the Main Dish category.

Besides tasting delicious and having the ability to be prepared ahead to fit a busy schedule, Sausage Enchiladas definitely qualifies for  celebrating  the use of dairy products during June Dairy Month.

Sausage Enchiladas


1 lb. bulk sausage
1 1/2 cup of shredded Monterey Jack cheese (divided)
1 bag (2 oz.) of real bacon bits
1 bag (8 count) 8 inch flour tortillas
1 cup of heavy cream (whipped)
1 cup of whole milk
1/2 teaspoon of salt
6 eggs
1 Tablespoon flour


In a skillet over medium-high heat, brown sausage while breaking it up with a spoon. Drain the fat. Let meat cool slightly then stir  in 1/2 cup of the shredded cheddar cheese, 1/2 cup of the Monterey Jack cheese and 1/2 of the bag of bacon bits. Spoon mixture down the center of 8 flour tortillas. Roll up and place seam side down in a 9 x 13 inch baking dish coated with nonstick cooking spray.

In a large bowl, beat together eggs,flour and salt. Mix in heavy cream and milk. Pour over the tortillas in pan. Cover the dish and place in the fridge overnight (or bake immediately). When ready to bake, sprinkle remaining cheese and bacon bits over the tortillas. Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes. Uncover dish and bake 10 minutes longer or until eggs are set and cheese is melted.

Prep time: 30 minutes
Total time: 75 minutes
Serves: 6

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

Dairy farmers in Northwest Arkansas can be found celebrating
 June Dairy Month in the hay field!
Today's hot,sunny weather  was perfect for cutting,baling and 
wrapping hay for our dairy cows. 

I find it amazing to watch this process...

                                I'm thankful for the two sons who work on our Arkansas dairy
                                  farm  to make sure we  have quality feed for our dairy cows.

Dairy Recipe Winner

If you're looking for a fun and delicious  party idea, this dairy recipe is it!  Natalie Lester of Williford,Arkansas (Sharp County) placed second in the Arkansas Farm Bureau Dairy Foods Contest with Strawberry Pecan Pretzel Parfaits.
Served in a small mason jar, tied with a pretty ribbon, it would be perfect for any party.

As we watched Natalie prepare this recipe, it is obvious that she mastered whipping cream. If you follow her recipe directions, you too can be successful!

Strawberry Pecan Pretzel Parfaits


2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups pretzels,crushed
1 cup pecans,chopped
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 1/2 cups butter,melted
4 cups strawberries,diced
2 (8 oz.) cream cheese,softened
2 tsp. vanilla


Whipped Cream: The most important step before you begin to make homemade whipped cream is to make sure everything is really cold. Place the beater and the bowl of the mixer in the freezer for about 15 minutes. Also place the heavy whipping cream, in the freezer at the same time. Place the cream, 1/4 cup granulated  sugar and vanilla in a mixing bowl. Turn the mixer on low at first. until all the ingredients are fully mixed. Then turn the mixer on medium speed. Medium speed is key to making the best homemade whipped cream. Whip the cream until almost stiff peaks form. The best way to tell if it is ready, is when the beaters are lifted out of the cream you can see little peaks that do not fall right away. If yo mix too much you will make butter. The best whipped cream is right before it gets to the butter stage.

For remainder of the dish: Mix together crushed pretzels, chopped pecans, brown sugar and melted butter. Spread on a large baking sheet with sides and bake at 400 degrees for 7 minutes. Allow the mixture to cool and then break it into small pieces. Beat together softened cream cheese,remainder of granulated sugar and vanilla. Fold in whipped cream mixture. Now layer in the jar as follows: pretzel mixture, strawberries, cream cheese mixture and sprinkle a little more of the pretzel mixture on top.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Dairy 3 for Me

June Dairy Month is the perfect time to get serious about making sure 
that your daily diet includes the recommended three daily  servings 
of dairy to ensure a well balanced diet.

By taking the Dairy 3 for Me Pledge you are committing to getting the three 
servings of dairy daily and promising to enjoy your
 favorite dairy products like milk,cheese and yogurt every day.

Consider these Midwest Dairy tips for including  dairy in your diet:
                             -Substitute syrup on pancakes and waffles with flavored yogurt
                             -Top sandwiches and salads with your favorite cheese
                             -Prepare oatmeal and other cooked cereals with milk instead of water
                             -Make milk your mealtime beverage
                             -Use plain Greek yogurt in place of sour cream or mayonnaise
                             -Recover from a tough workout with a tall glass of chocolate milk

Contestants and judges from the Arkansas Farm Bureau Dairy Foods 
Contest took the Dairy 3 for Me Pledge last week.

Will you take the pledge?

Sunday's Peace

Abide With Me

Abide with me! Fast falls the eventide.
The darkness deepens; Lord, with me abide!
when other helpers fail and comforts flee, 
Help of the helpless, oh, abide with me.

Swift to its close ebbs out life's little day. 
Earth's joys grow dim; its glories pass away.
Change and decay in all around I see;
O Thou who changest not, abide with me.

I need Thy presence every passing hour.
What but Thy grace can foil the Tempter's pow'r?
Who,like thyself, my guide and stay can be?
Thro' cloud and sunshine, oh, abide with me!

I fear no foe,with Thee at hand to bless;
Ills have no weight, and tears no bitterness.
Where is death's sting?Where,grave, thy victory?
 I triumph still if Thou abide with me.

Hold thou Thy cross before my closing eyes; 
Shine thro' the gloom, and point me to the skies.
Heav'n's morning breaks, and earth's vain shadows flee!
In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me!

                                              --Henry F. Lyte, 1793-1847

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

Julie Griffin of Benton County was selected to serve as the 
 2016 Arkansas Dairy Ambassador
 during the 4 State Dairy Days Show in Benton County last weekend. 

I'm thankful for the dairy programs that are available for youth participation,

for the opportunity to watch the growth and development of our youth

                                                     for the adult leaders that invest their
                                                     time and talents for our young people.

Dairy Recipe Winners

The Main Dish category winner of the 2016  Arkansas Farm Bureau Dairy Foods Contest is Christen Talley of El Dorado (Union County). Christen told us that she selected the recipe and modified it slightly because she wanted to use dairy products in a recipe that wasn't a dessert.

 As we watched her prepare Cajun Corn and Crab Bisque last week during the contest in Little Rock, it was obvious that she developed a variety of culinary skills, especially her knife skills. Watching young people develop life skills and supporting them through volunteer activities like the Dairy Foods Contest  is a rewarding experience for me. The other positive of being invited to judge the contest is the tasting of a lot of great dairy foods!

Cajun Corn and Crab Bisque


4 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 tablespoons flour
1 medium onion,diced small
1 stalk celery, diced small
1/2 cup carrots, diced or grated
2 cloves garlic,diced
2 cans chicken stock
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning
1 1/2 cups whole kernel corn (frozen)
2 cups heavy cream
2 cups milk
6 green onions,diced (divided in half)
8 oz. cream cheese
2 pounds lump crabmeat
1 teaspoon liquid crab boil to taste
Salt and pepper to taste


In a large pot, melt butter. Add flour and brown lightly. Add onion, celery and carrots. Cook until vegetables are soft. Stir in garlic at the very end to keep it from overcooking. When vegetables are soft, stir in chicken stock,bay leaves, Cajun seasoning and corn. Bring to a boil and boil for 15 minutes. Remove the bay leaves. Reduce the heat and slowly stir in heavy cream,milk, and cream cheese. Add in half the green onions (retain half for garnish) and allow to return to almost boiling. Once heated through and cream cheese is completely melted, combine into bisque. Add liquid crab boil, salt and pepper to taste. Fold in crabmeat (if you stir too much, the crab falls apart). Serve immediately garnished with diced green onion.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Dairy Paradise

I can't think of a better way to kick-off June Dairy Month than getting to taste  delicious recipes made with a variety of dairy products at the Arkansas Farm Bureau Dairy Foods Contest in Little Rock. It truly is a dairy paradise of good eating!

Recipes are judged on the use of dairy products, originality,the availability of ingredients and preparation and  serving technique. It's always fun and rewarding to observe the contestants, who can range in age from 9 to 19, preparing their recipes for the contest.  As a Farm Bureau member I take pride in the programs that support the development of our young people because it's obvious that each one has learned a variety of life-long skills by participating in this contest.

Congratulations to this year's winner of the Party Idea category  Emma Williams of Searcy (White County). She described her recipe as a mixture of all the foods she loves. When you taste this pie, you will definitely agree it's a bit of dairy paradise!

Paradise Coconut Cream Pie



20 pecan shortbread cookies (crushed)
1 cup flaked coconut
1/3 cup butter (melted)


1 small package vanilla instant pudding
1 cup flaked coconut
1/2 cup sour cream
1 large banana (sliced)


1 8 oz. can crushed pineapple (drained)
11/2 cups whipping cream
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup toasted flaked coconut


Crust: Mix cookie crumbs, 1 cup coconut and melted butter in a small mixing bowl and blend well.
Press into a pie plate to make crust. Bake at 10 minutes at 325 degrees or until lightly browned.

Filling: In a large mixing bowl, combine milk and vanilla pudding and whisk until stiffened. Fold in 1 cup coconut and sour cream until blended. Set aside. Arrange sliced bananas on the bottom of cooled crust. Cover with pudding mixture; Set aside.

Topping: Combine whipping cream in a bowl and beat until stiff. Add sugar and continue to beat until mixed. Fold drained pineapple and prepared whipping cream together, spoon over the pudding mixture of the pie and sprinkle with toasted coconut.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

Planning a harvest time for any crop can be tricky when the weatherman
 is predicting a chance of rain everyday.
When it looked like we might have a day of sunny weather  to allow
 just enough drying time before chopping and hauling to the silo,
 the mowing began

Watching this process is fascinating when it goes according to the plan.
Most of the crop was hauled to the silo but  when mechanical
 issues stopped the process,

I'm thankful 

we still managed to harvest the crop by 

changing the plan to  wrapping and baling.