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French Apple Christmas Breakfast

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Christmas is just around the corner, and I have a delicious bread custard from Becky Low. This is perfect for Christmas morning, or any morning. It is prepped the day before, so you just pop it in the oven christmas morning while opening presents and then breakfast is served. So easy and so yummy!

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I made a half batch because it is just me and my husband, but a full batch makes enough for 12. If you are making a full batch, you will need a 9X13. For a half batch, you can use an 8X8 or 8 inch round baking dish. Simply butter the dish, then layer skinned, sliced apples in the bottom.

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Sprinkle on some raisins.

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Next you add your bread. French bread or a crusty bread works really well, but any leftover bread you have should work. Just tear it into pieces and layer it on. Next you mix and pour the custard over the bread, cover, and refrigerate overnight. Super easy!

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An hour before you are ready for breakfast, take it from the fridge to the oven and bake uncovered. When a knife comes out clean and sweet smells feel the air, it is ready. Whip up some caramel syrup and breakfast is served!  Processed with VSCOcam with s1 preset

Ingredients

  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 4 medium apples, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 10 slices firm bread
  • Caramel Syrup (see below)

Method:
Butter sides and bottom of 9×13 baking pan. Combine milk, brown sugar and white sugar. Stir to dissolve sugar. Add eggs, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg; mix well and set aside. Peel, core and thinly slice apples. Arrange apples in bottom of prepared baking pan. Sprinkle raisins over apples. Tear bread into pieces and place on top apples. Pour custard over bread. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 8-10 hours or overnight. Preheat oven to 350º F. Remove cover and bake 60-70 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Serve warm with caramel syrup.

Caramel Syrup

  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 2/3 cup light corn syrup
  • 2/3 cup cream
  • 3 tablespoons milk

Combine brown sugar, white sugar, corn syrup, and cream in heavy sauce pan. Stirring frequently bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and simmer gently 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Syrup will thicken as it cools. Stir in vanilla. When cool stir in milk, one tablespoon at a time, thin to desired consistency. Serve warm. Store unused syrup in the refrigerator.

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-Megan

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Gifts for a Merry Dairy Christmas

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It is just over a week until christmas. Do you have all your holiday shopping done? Whether you need something for the neighbors, a gift for a foodie friend, or something for your cow-loving Aunt Lucy, we got you covered. Check out the ideas below!

1. Cookie Jar Full of Cookies. Cookies are always a big hit this time of year. Whip up some of your favorites or try one of 19 cookie suggestions! You could even try a cow cookie jar for aunt Lucy!

2. Local Artisan Cheese. We have many award winning artisan cheese makers here it Utah, so keep it local and give the gift of incredible taste. Check out the following cheesemakers!

CheeseMakers

3. Holiday Artisan Mac and Cheese Basket. This brilliant idea is from Foodie Crush.

4. Cheese Fondue Basket. Don’t just give kitchen tools, give the whole experience! Love this idea from The Law Students Wife

5. Cheesecake! Have a sweet-tooth on your list? Give them creamy cheesecake. Just one, or as a monthly club!

6Flavored Butters: This is a great idea for neighbors, who may be getting sick of all the sweets. These are simple, fun, and great for cooking!

7. Cow Mugs would be a great gift paired with hot cocoa fixings!

8. Cow Ice Cream Bowls are sure to be a hit with Aunt Lucy!

Happy Holidays!

 

 

 

 

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19 Must Try Christmas Cookies

Chocolate Peppermint Patty Cookies from Two Peas & Their Pod

 

When I think Christmas desserts, I instantly think cookies. This association is probably because of my late grandmother. Every year she had Christmas cookie parties and all the grandkids came over to make and decorate an array of cookies. So weather you have a cookie party/swap, are making neighbor gifts, need some for Santa, or just want them for yourself, these cookies are sure to be a hit. Don’t forget a tall glass of milk for dunking!

Chocolate Peppermint Patty Cookies- Two Peas and Their Pod

White Chocolate Oatmeal Lace Cookies- Skinny Taste

White Chocolate and Peppermint Christmas Wreath Cookies- Foodie Crush

Red Velvet Gooey Butter Cookies- Recipe Girl

Holiday Cut Out Sugar Cookies w/ Easy Icing- Sally’s Baking Addiction

Peppermint Kiss Thumbprint Cookies- Crème de la Crumb

Triple Ginger Cookies- Cooking On The Front Burners

Minty White Chocolate Cookies- Your Home-based Mom

Ginersnaps- Chef in Training

Candy Cane Pudding Cookies- Number 2 Pencil

Soft and Chewy Nutella White Chocolate Chip Cookies- Averie Cooks

Chocolate Turtle Cookies- Two Peas and Their Pod

Oreo Peppermint Crunch Cookies- Inside BruCrew Life

Carmel Apple Cider Cookies- The Girl Who Ate Everything

Rocky Road Cookies- Glorious Treats

Chocolate Cherry Thumbprint Cookies- Julie’s Eats and Treats

Snickerdoodle w/ White Chocolate Chip Cookies- Foodie Crush

Red Velvet Cheesecake Cookies- Two Peas and Their Pod

Orange Cookies Dipped in Chocolate- Closet Cooking

 

Check out our “Dunk it in Milk” Pinterest Page for more fun cookie recipes!

-Megan

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Santa’s Milk Drive: Join Us!

BLD0110841Our country’s food pantries have a crucial need for more milk. According to Feeding America®, the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization, milk is one of the items most requested by food bank clients, yet it is rarely donated. Missing out on milk, means missing out on high-quality protein and other key nutrients.

In the holiday spirit, the Dairy Farmers of Utah have teamed up with local food blogger, Heidi Larsen of FoodieCrush, Winder Farms, and Smith’s to help raise awareness of food banks’ need for milk.

Heidi Larsen’s says, “Everyone deserves milk with their Santa Cookies, and all year long!” Heidi will be at the event with her daughter helping to raise awareness and “teaching my daughter and her friends the true lessons of the season”. She has highlighted the event on her blog and encouraged other food bloggers to do the same.

Winder Farms has a long-standing commitment to giving, and we are thrilled to be part of the Great American Milk Drive this holiday season,” says Melanie Robinson, Vice President of Marketing for Winder Farms. Winder Farms will be supporting the event with:

  • A refrigerated truck to accept donations
  • 50 gallon milk match
  • Egg Nog samples on site

Smith’s has been a partner in the Great American Milk Drive and again supports food bank efforts this Holiday Season. In conjunction with the Grand Opening events of Smith’s Marketplace in West Jordan (5600W 7800S), Santa’s Milk Drive will be an in-store event and all donations will be taken to the Utah Food Bank immediately following the event.

Please Join Us!

WHEN: Saturday, December 6th 1:00pm-4:00pm OR online: santasmilkdrive.com

WHERE: Smith’s Marketplace – 5600 West 7800 South, West Jordan, UT

For those who wish to donate but are not in the area or unable to make the local event, check out santasmilkdrive.com. Entering your zip code when you make an online contribution ensures that your donation stays in your local community.

More info about the event can be found here.

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A Fool-proof Method for Making Delicious Yogurt

By Rashel Clark- Utah State University Dietetics Student

Prior to last year I had always thought of yogurt as an impossible food item to make. In fact, I distinctly remember my 6th grade science project, attempting to make yogurt, going terribly awry. Since then, lets just say that I have kept my distance from the chef’s hat and yogurt. However, last year my sister and I invested in a yogurt maker. It was the best investment ever! Now a yogurt maker makes this process a walk in the park, but I decided to face my fear and overcome that 6th grade science project incident by making yogurt without the crutch of a yogurt maker. So today I am going to share with you my foolproof method of making delicious yogurt!

Keep in mind that there is more than one way to make yogurt. As long as the yogurt reaches the temperatures required and incubates for the specified time you are sure to have a delicious product at the end.

yogurt1

Gather supplies:

  • Insulated pot: Crockpot, or dutch oven works well
  • Food thermometer
  • ½ gallon of milk: The more fat in the milk the easier, thicker, and creamier it will become. However skim milk still works just fine.
  • Yogurt starter: this can be an actual starter that you find in a store, or buy ½ cup of some plain yogurt that says “contains active live cultures” on the label
  • ¼- ½ cup powdered milk (optional)

Directions

  1. Heat up ½ gallon of milk to 180°. I like to use a microwave. It takes about 17 minutes in my microwave. It is vital for the milk to reach this temperature so it will set up consistently rather than break apart.
  2. Let the milk cool to about 110°. I usually just let it sit on the counter, but you can put it in an ice bath so it cools faster. This temperature is ideal for starter culture to grow.Yogurt2
  3. Add the cooled milk to the yogurt starter and powdered milk. The powdered milk is not vital. However it helps the yogurt to get a bit thicker, so I always throw it in. The yogurt starter has the bacterial cultures in it that will ferment the milk to have the characteristics of yogurt.Yogurt3
  4. Allow the mixture to incubate at about 100-110° for 6-8 hours. Its ok if the temperature dips a little bit. The longer the mixture incubates the thicker and more tart your yogurt will become.Yogurt4
  5. After this put the mixture into the fridge overnight. This will stop the fermentation process

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Now you magically have some plain yogurt that I definitely would have received a better grade on for my science class than the curdled milk I had to give my teacher. It is now time to put your own creativity into it and flavor the yogurt to make your taste buds sing! I like to put a little vanilla or jam in mine to flavor it. You can also buy flavors at the store if there is a kind that you like, or just mix it in with sweet berries!

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Our Cheese Adventure Ends at Heber Valley Artisan Cheese

To end our cheesy adventure, we decided to try our hand at cheese making, so we met up with Grant and Russel Kohler, owners of Heber Valley Artisan Cheese in Midway, UT. The milk for their cheese comes from their farm – Canyon View Farm – started by Grant’s grandfather in 1929, where they currently milk 120 Holstein cows.

Loved our oversized rubber boots!

Loved our oversized rubber boots!

We pulled up to the creamery just as the sun was rising, not quite early enough to milk the cows (that was done hours earlier) but early enough to put in a full day of cheesemaking. After suiting up, a process that entailed donning white coats, white rubber boots, and a stylish hairnet, we entered the creamery where Russel already had the milk measured and waiting for us in two large vats. We were making two different kinds of cheese. Specific bacteria was measured and added to the milk, a process that acidifies the milk as the bacteria eat lactose – milk’s natural sugar – and produce lactic acid. A bit later, rennet was added. The addition of rennet causes the milk proteins to curdle and allows the liquid to separate as whey – “curds and whey.”  The milk is heated to a specific temperature, pH is tested, and then the curds are cut and turned to allow the whey to drain. We tried some of the fresh curds – salt had yet to be added, but the curds were mild, fresh, and quite delicious.

The nutrient-rich whey is drained and saved where it is added back into cow’s feed. Whey from large cheese plants is often dried and made into whey protein powder for addition to nutrition bars and drink mixes.

The next step in the cheesemaking process depends on the type of cheese you are making. We were making cheddar and queso fresco, and the process was different for each.

The Queso Fresco Verde

Mixing the cheese

Breakking up the curd and mixing in the salt

Once the whey was drained, salt was added and mixed into the curd. Then we mixed in a special-recipe chile verde salsa from one of the Kohler’s employees. It tasted sabroso! Once everything was mixed, the curd was loaded into large metal rings lined with a cheesecloth and pressed for about 12 hours to remove any additional the whey and excess moisture. We didn’t get to stay till the cheese was finished, but after pressing it is ready to be packaged and sold.

The Cheddar

Cutting into stackable blocks

Cutting into stackable blocks

One the whey was drained and the salt was added to the cheddar batch, the curds were separated into two large sheets to set up and continue draining. After about 30 minutes, the sheets were divided and stacked to further press out the moisture. This “cheddaring” process continues as the blocks are stacked and flipped to remove the moisture. Once they are ready, they can either have a seasoning mixed in or just be loaded into the rings for pressing. They also flavor their cheese with dry rubs and sauces, which are added during packing, to flavor the cheese as it ages. This cheese needs to age before it is ready, so after being packaged, it was placed in a temperature-controlled cheese cave for aging. The longer a cheddar cheese ages, the sharper the end product.

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Just a few of the tasty cheese we sampled.

The Kohlers are always trying new flavors with their cheese. We had the opportunity to try about 20 different flavors, such as chile, lemon sage, cinnamon honey, orange marmalade, mustard herb, and vanilla bean. Some of their most unique flavors include Oreo, BBQ, 3-cheese spice rub, and peanut butter, yes peanut butter cheese, which is actually a “request only” menu item at the neighboring Homestead Resort.

Their innovative cheeses are tested by the public, at their monthly cheese tasting. It is only 7 dollars to try fun new flavors and give feedback on which ones you would like to see again. Check them out today!

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What To Do With Your Thanksgiving Leftovers

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Thanksgiving is over and along with warm memories and tired families, you probably have a fridge full of turkey. If you don’t know what you are going to do with all that turkey, we’ve got you covered. These recipes are the perfect way to reuse that turkey and maybe even a little of the leftover sides as well.

For the traditional, we have a Thanksgiving Turkey Wrap. Grab the stuffing, sweet potatoes, turkey, and cranberry sauce for this tasty wrap. It can be served warm or cold and will allow you to enjoy all the flavors again.

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Thanksgiving Turkey Wrap (per person)

Ingredients
1 large flour tortilla (10-inch)
3 tablespoons cooked candied sweet potatoes
3 tablespoons cooked stuffing or dressing
1/4 cup cooked turkey, chopped, diced, sliced
1/4 cup shredded reduced fat cheddar cheese
Cranberry sauce, optional

Directions: Spread tortilla with mashed sweet potatoes to within 1/2 inch from edge; place cooked stuffing or dressing down one side; arrange cooked turkey next to stuffing; sprinkle entire tortilla with shredded cheese. Starting on stuffing side, snugly roll tortilla up. If desired, warm in microwave until heated through. Serve with optional cranberry sauce.

* Remember, leftover turkey should be used within 3-4 days. Stuffing should be removed from the turkey and refrigerated separately.  Use stuffing or dressing and leftover gravy within 2 days.

 

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For the spicy, we have a Turkey Quesadilla. This fun twist doesn’t seem like thanksgiving leftovers, and will have your family begging for seconds.

Turkey Cheese Quesadillas

Ingredients:
2 flour tortillas (10-inch)
Melted butter (about 2 teaspoons)
1/2 cup cooked turkey, shredded, diced, sliced, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1/2cup shredded cheddar cheese (extra for top if desired)
Salsa, optional

Directions: Preheat oven to 375° F. Lightly brush one side of tortillas with butter. Place 1 tortilla, butter side down, on baking sheet; arrange turkey on tortilla; sprinkle with chopped cilantro; sprinkle with shredded cheese. Top with second tortilla, butter side up; press tortillas firmly together. Bake approximately 10 minutes or until heated through and edges begin to crisp. Turn Quesadilla over and continue to bake 5 minutes longer or until bottom tortilla is crisp. Sprinkle the top with extra cheese and leave in the oven until golden brown, if desired. Cut in quarters and serve with optional salsa.

Printer Friendly Thanksgiving Leftovers

-Megan

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