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Try a new recipe this June Dairy Month

Published on 11 June 2014

For a special treat for our readers this June Dairy Month, we asked HERd management columnists and social media followers to share their best dairy recipes.

  • Amy Engberson

  • Dairy Producer
  • VMonteview, Idaho

What is the go-to dairy product in your kitchen and why?

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Happy Dairy Month! June is a fun month for celebrating dairy products. We are a dairy farm family who believes in adding dairy products to every recipe we make. In fact, we always have several varieties of cheese, in 5-pound bricks, in our refrigerator.

We buy our ice cream in 2½-gallon boxes. We go to the ice cream shop and buy big boxes, just like the ones they have in their serving cases. Of course, we have to have several flavors.

When we run out of Greek yogurt, it’s a crisis. I feel good about serving it to my family because I know they are getting loaded with lots of protein and calcium to keep them going through the day. I use Greek yogurt in everything.

I add it to pancake and waffles batter, cakes, homemade salad dressings, quick breads and Jell-O salads. Greek yogurt parfaits end up in our breakfast rotation about once a week. It’s so pretty to layer fresh or frozen fruit, Greek yogurt and top it off with granola.

Did you know that Greek yogurt can be substituted for sour cream, oil, butter, mayonnaise, cream cheese and buttermilk? The thick texture and creamy consistency makes it ideal for baking, stirring in dips, salads and about anything else you can think of.

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It makes me feel better to use Greek yogurt than oils because it’s packed with lots of “good for you” nutrients. It’s loaded with calcium, potassium, protein (twice as much as regular yogurt), zinc, B6 and B12 vitamins. The probiotic cultures help my family stay healthy during the long winter months. It’s rare to find a food that is so tasty and still healthy.

Next time you are at the grocery store, grab a big tub of Greek yogurt. You will be surprised at how versatile it is. You will become addicted to sharing all the yummy and healthy goodness with your family. Soon it will be a crisis at your house when you run out of Greek yogurt too.

 Fudgy Greek Yogurt Brownie

Recipe: Fudgy Greek Yogurt Brownies

Fudgy Greek Yogurt Brownies are incredibly fudgy. They are rich and decadent and everything a brownie should be. Only you don’t have to feel as bad eating them because you know you are getting your calcium too.

Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 32 mins

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Total time: 47 mins

Serves: 12

Ingredients

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, divided

1 cup sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

1¼ cup Greek yogurt

1 cup flour

½ t. baking powder

½ t. salt

½ cup cocoa

½ cup milk chocolate chips

½ cup walnuts

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line 8”x8” pan with aluminum foil, draping some over the edges. Spray foil with baking spray. Add ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips to microwavable dish. Microwave on half-power for 1 minute. Stir. Continue to microwave at half-power, in 30-second intervals, until chips are melted. Set aside.

Measure flour, salt, baking powder and cocoa in a bowl or sifter. Mix together. In mixing bowl, mix sugar, Greek yogurt and vanilla until combined. While mixing, gradually add melted semi-sweet chocolate. Mix until incorporated.

Add dry ingredients to Greek yogurt mixture. Mix until combined. Stir in walnuts. Pour brownie batter in baking dish. Sprinkle milk chocolate chips over batter. Bake for 38 to 32 minutes. It will look underdone even when they are done. So, don’t over-bake.

  • Deanna Lanier

  • Dairy Producer
  • Valley Center, Kansas

If your family was represented by a dairy product, what would it be and why?

My family would be best represented by different cheeses. Right away, I know my grandpa would be aged cheddar cheese, and no, not because he is older but because he loves to get blocks of mild or sharp cheddar cheese and leave it for months before eating it.

Next, I know my dad would be mild cheddar cheese because he has mellowed over the years. He is a grandpa now and takes his time in life. My brother would be pepper-jack cheese since sometimes he has a temper but still is the funniest guy around.

My husband would be Swiss cheese because it is like he is from another country sometimes and joined in the family. Last, I would be a sharp cheddar cheese because I am always on top of everything and making sure the guys are getting the work done.

Extra Cheesy Potatoes

Recipe: Extra Cheesy Potatoes

(Note: I like to use a variety of shredded cheeses, usually some mild cheddar, sharp cheddar and Colby or Colby jack cheese)

Ingredients

1 pound frozen hash-brown style potatoes (or frozen diced)

1 (10½ oz.) cream of celery (you can use mushroom, chicken or your choice)

1 (16 oz.) container of sour cream

4 cups of shredded cheese

½ cup of onions (finely diced or flakes) (optional)

½ cup of butter

Salt

Pepper

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix potatoes, cream of celery, sour cream, 3 cups of shredded cheese and onions together. Salt and pepper to taste. Spread evenly through in a 9”x13” pan. Spread or melt butter and place all over top of mixture. Sprinkle 1 cup of shredded cheese over the top of mixture and bake in the oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until potatoes are cooked thoroughly.

  • Karma Metzler Fitzgerald

  • Dairy Producer
  • Shoshone, Idaho

What dairy product do you highlight when cooking for friends and family during June?

Truth is, like the rest of you I bet, every month is dairy month at my house. We don’t typically hold a dairy month event here, although we do participate in some of the local activities. When we have friends or family over, I do look for ways to celebrate not only our dairy heritage but our family’s heritage in general.

I really try to highlight cheese since our milk is sold to Glanbia, a cheese company. I’ll put together a cheese plate highlighting each flavor of cheese and, of course, put a slice of cheese on every hot dog and hamburger. I’ll also head over to my friends’ dairies and pick up some of their products to show off.

From Ballard Family Cheese, Idaho Golden Greek – a grillable cheese I can use on the BBQ or cubed on the end of a marshmallow stick and roasted over a fire. From my neighbor Blue Sage Farm, a sheep’s milk dairy, I grab some feta for use on a fresh salad.

One of my favorite recipes, though, is one my dad brought home from an Idaho Bean Commission meeting when I was in junior high – a very long time ago.

The original recipe was called “Vegetarian Chowder.” We’ve always just called it “bean chowder.” It’s warm and filling, and I love it because it not only showcases milk and cheese, but Idaho-raised beans and vegetables when they’re in season. I serve it with hot rolls or cornbread.

vegetarian chower ingredients

Recipe: Vegetarian Chowder

Ingredients

2 cups white beans (we always used pinto beans because that’s what we grew)

1 cup chopped onion

1½ cups chopped celery

¼ cup butter

¼ cup flour

1½ tsp. salt

⅛ tsp. pepper

3 cups milk

1 16 oz. can tomatoes

1 16 oz. can kernel corn

¼ pound cheese Monterey jack or sharp cheddar

Instructions

Rinse, sort and soak beans, drain. In a large kettle cook beans in 6 to 8 cups hot water with 1½ tsp. salt. Cook until tender 2 to 2.5 hours. Don’t drain. Meanwhile, cook onion and celery briefly in butter in a 1½ quart sauce pan. Blend in flour, salt and pepper.

Stir in milk and bring mixture to a boil. Add to beans and their liquid along with remaining ingredients. Heat all to boiling. For extra zip add a few dashes of bottled hot sauce. Left-over bean soup freezes beautifully. Makes 12 generous servings.

  • Ashley Messing-Kennedy

  • Dairy Producer
  • Bad Axe, Michigan

What is the go-to dairy product in your kitchen and why?

Being a dairy farmer, dairy products are a staple in our house. There are three things that have to be in the house all the time, and they all happen to be dairy. First, cheese. There is always an aged Italian cheese like Asiago or Romano, sharp cheddar and mozzarella.

There is nothing worse than needing cheese for a recipe and not having it, so we prevent this conundrum altogether in our house. Second, there is always cream cheese available. We eat a lot of bagels in our house.

Also on the weekends when we are working on projects around the house, a slow cooker dip is a great dish to make because we can grab and go when we are hungry. A lot of those dip recipes use cream cheese. Finally, we always have sour cream. I am a Mexican food lover, which means sour cream is always a necessity around the house.

Dairy Month just gives us another reason to make guests eat more dairy products at our house. If we have friends or family over, mac and cheese is a great dish that everyone loves. It’s also great because I can throw it together ahead of time and put it in the oven before everyone gets here. Be sure to enjoy this recipe this June.

ashley's dreamy mac and cheese

Recipe: Ashley’s Dreamy Mac and Cheese

Ingredients

8 ounces rigatoni noodles

4 tablespoons butter

4 tablespoons flour

1 cup milk

1 cup cream

4 cups cheese: 2 cups Romano or Asiago, 2 cups sharp cheddar

½ teaspoon salt

Black pepper

Cayenne pepper

Mustard

¼ cup Planko breadcrumbs

¼cup crushed-up Ritz crackers

4 bacon strips chopped

Instructions

Melt the butter in a large saucepan. Add the flour, salt and pepper and whisk the butter/flour mixture until blended. Add the cream and bring the sauce to a boil for 2 minutes. Slowly add the milk and continue to boil for 10 minutes. Continue stirring the mixture the entire time to keep the sauce from burning.

Once the sauce is thick, add the cheese slowly and let it melt. To finish the sauce, add in cayenne pepper and mustard to taste. Add the noodles to the sauce and mix well until the noodles are covered. Transfer it to a baking dish. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs, crushed Ritz crackers and bacon on the top of the mac and cheese. Bake at 400ºF for 15 minutes. PD

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