Fresh Utah Peach Pie

Utah has wonderful peaches, and peak peach season is just about a month away. In anticipation, we caught up with Shanna Gibbons – dairy farmer, master gardener, master canner, wonderful cook, artist, and mom-extradionaire who shared one of her favorite summer recipes with us. The pie crust is a family tradition – the fool-proof recipe is from her mother-in-law, and the pie can be adjusted to suit a variety of fresh summer fruit. We have included classic peach as well as a strawberry variation. Enjoy!

Fresh Peach Pie

Ingredients – Peach Pie:

  • 1 baked pie crust
  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 pkg unflavored Knox gelatin
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup peaches, finely cut
  • 4-5 cups fresh peaches, sliced

Ingredients – Pie Crust:

Note: Makes 6-7 crusts. Can be halved.

  • 6 cups flour, not too rounded
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 lb lard
  • 1 egg
  • ~3/4 cup milk
traditional pie crust

Fresh, flaky crust

Method:

  1. For the Crust: Sift the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar together.  Add lard. Beat egg in measuring cup and add just enough milk to bring the measurement to 1 cup. Mix to form a dough. Spread into pie plate, poke with holes, cover with parchment and fill with pie weights or beans. Bake ~15 minutes, remove weights and parchment and continue cooking until slightly golden ~10 minutes more.
  2. For the Filling: Mix cream cheese and powdered sugar until smooth. Place in microwave for about 30 seconds – this willl help with spreading. Spread over bottom of cooled pie shell. Mix water, sugar, lemon juice, gelatin, cornstarch and 1/2 cup peaches. Cook on stove until clear and thick. Cool for a few minutes, then add 4-5 cups fresh peaches. Stir and pour into prepared pie shell. Top with fresh whipped cream.

Variation: This recipe is easily adjusted to make fresh strawberry pie.

For Fresh Strawberry Pie: Mix and cook 1 box of Danish dessert according to recipe on box. Cool. Add fresh strawberries and poor into pie shell. Enjoy with fresh whipped cream.

The Gibbons Family
Shanna Gibbons and her husband, Mark, are third generation dairy farmers in northern Utah. Raising their 3 sons on the farm and now sharing their farm and livlihood with their daughters-in-law and 11 beautiful grandchildren has been a true blessing. Active members of the industry and their community, Mark is currently the Utah State Director of the Farm Service Agency and USDA and Shanna is on the State Dairy Women’s Board. Shanna and her family believe that good nutrition comes from the farm.

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Soft Sour Cream Sugar Cookies

Soft sour cream sugar cookies

Ready to take on inspiration

Looking for a fun, yummy treat this holiday weekend? Dairy Farmer, Taunya Otten loves to bake, and she shared this recipe for “make your own sugar cookie pizzas” with us.

Ingredients:

Cookies:

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp orange extract
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
  • 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

Frosting:

  • 1/2cup butter, softened
  • 8 oz cream cheese (regular or Neufchatel)
  • About 1 ½ lbs confectioners’ sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp orange extract
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons milk, if needed

Toppings:

  • Various fruits like mandarin oranges, banana slices, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, peaches, pineapple, coconut, etc. Use your imagination!

Method:

STEP 1: Mix

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs. Add sour cream and extracts; mix well. In another bowl, whisk flour, baking powder and baking soda; gradually beat into creamed mixture. Divide dough in half. Shape each into a disk; wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate 2 hours or until firm enough to roll.

IMG_0291

STEP 2 – Bake

  • Preheat oven to 350°. On a well-floured surface, roll each portion of dough to 1/4-in. thickness. (Note: If the dough is sticky, add more flour until it is soft and workable.) Cut with a round floured 3-in. cookie cutter. Place 2 in. apart on greased baking sheets.
  • Bake 10-12 minutes or until tops spring back when lightly touched. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
Rolling the dough

Rolling the dough

Cooling soft sour cream sugar cookies

Cooling cookies

STEP 3: Frosting

  • For frosting, in a bowl, beat butter, cream cheese and extracts. Add enough confectioners’ sugar, to make the consistency of frosting you like. If it is too stiff, add enough milk to reach desired consistency. Spread over cookies.

Yield: about 3-1/2 dozen.

STEP 4: Be creative!

To make pizzas, put out bowls of the fruits and let everyone use a frosted cookie to make their own “combination fruit pizza” using whatever fruits they like!

Decorating sugar cookies with fruit

Have fun with fruit combos and designs

Taunya Otten and her husband, Russell, were both raised on small dairy farms in Sanpete County, Utah, and now they are raising their 6 children on a large, modern dairy farm in Clarion, Utah. Taunya’s hobbies include cows, traveling, baking bread and cookies, and driving her kids into town and back to the farm. Even though dairy farming has changed over her lifetime, Taunya still believes it is ALL ABOUT THE COWS!

Visit the farm on Instagram: @Barexdairyfamily

Note about the recipe: Sugar Cookie recipe originally published as Sour Cream Cutout Cookies in Taste of Home June/July 1994 but I have modified this recipe to fit my family’s tastes!

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What Happens When you Visit a Dairy Farm?

You may be surprised…

Q: Did anything surprise you about this experience?

Pleasantly surprised that we got such a close view of operations.”

“We have dairy farming in Utah!?”

“How nice the farmers were.”

How open, honest, and complete the tour was.”

Dairy Days Farm Tour Participants

Dairy Days Farm Tour - talking to farmers

Dairy Days Farm Tour – Talking to farmers

Last week as part of Thanksgiving Point’s annual Dairy Days, Utah dairy farmers sponsored free dairy farm tours.  Interested families signed up in advance and within just a couple days, we were quite surprised to find our 2 bus tours booked to capacity with a waiting list. We LOVE that people want to get out to the farm, meet farmers, pet cows, and learn more about how the journey milk takes to get to their fridge.

Dairy Days Farm Tour

Boarding the bus – let the fun begin!

Though we faced triple digit heat, it was a great day. A packed bus left the festivities of Thanksgiving Point and took families to Utah’s largest dairy farm. Currently milking 7,100 dairy cows, tour participants had the chance to meet farmers (4 brothers and their father), tour the milk barn, say hi to the milk truck driver, sit on a tractor, pet baby calves, see what the cows eat and where they live, and ask questions.

Dairy Days Farm Tour - Milk Barn

Watching the cows be milked

Dairy Days - what cows eat

Examining what cows eat

Dairy days farm tour - baby calf

Petting baby calves

Giving people an opportunity to see a working dairy farm is important to us. One tour participant shared that she had been looking for ways to introduce her kiddos to farming and explain how we get food. Our sentiments exactly! We will continue offering these tours for groups and the general public. Thanks for the support.

Q: What was your key take away from this experience?

“Cows really are important to communities.”

“My 5-year-old was the reason we came, and he absolutely loved it and wanted to learn more.”

“Our milk is good”

“I am more confident”

“The farmers and workers take good care of their cows – dairy farming is a complex operation and business. This was outstanding.”

– Dairy Days Farm Tour Participants

Dairy Days Farm Tour

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2015 Dairy Days

Our annual Day on the Farm event adds a bit of a twist this year. We have partnered with the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food to bring you Dairy Days at Thanksgiving Point FREE! Domino’s Pizza will support the event with free pizza (11am – 2pm while supplies last), and we will offer two dairy farm tours (10:30 and 1:30). Sign up for a farm tour in advance to guarantee your spot!

Dairy Days 2015

Dairy Days is designed to be a fun, family event that gives local kids and their parents the chance to learn more about agriculture. Come play cow pie bingo, make ice cream, ride a pony or hop in the cow train. Be sure to enjoy a slice of Domino’s pizza and learn a bit more about their commitment to local farmers and Delivering Dairy Goodness.

Dairy Days promises to be a great day for all – hope to see you there!

Saturday, June 27th 10am – 4pm

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Quick, Easy Hawaiian Egg Casserole

Becky Low shares another family food tradition…this one from our own Jenn Harrison and her family. It’s quick, easy, and sure to please a crowd.

breakfast egg casserole

Quick & Easy Breakfast Casserole

Summer in Utah means sleep-overs, sleep-outs, and sleep-ins. With our State and National holidays, we have lots of family reunions, class reunions and gatherings – and we hate to spend time away from the group to cook. And so we share this Hawaiian Egg Casserole, a 4th generation family tradition.

What makes a fast recipe?

In my book, a fast recipe must meet these criteria:

  1. Familiar
  2. Favorite / comfort food
  3. Simple (few ingredients or little prep)
  4. make ahead – not essential, but a nice bonus!

For Jenn, these criteria are crucial. Unlike me, Jenn isn’t so fond of cooking.  If a recipe has too many ingredients or too many instructions, she tosses it. With her hectic lifestyle, she wants something simple and fast. This recipe does the trick and, it’s been a family staple for generations. Passed on from her grandmother, Dorothy Ecker to her mother, Sue North to she and her sisters, Jenn is almost ready to pass it on to her own daughters. It is one that will endure.

Jenn Sue Dorothy Kennadee

How Fast is it?

Perhaps the reason Jenn shared this recipe, the reason it is an enduring part of her culinary repertoire, is that it meets her criteria. Having had it since she can remember, Jenn is familiar with it, and she likes it. It also has very few ingredients and almost no prep-work – canned soups and pre-cooked bacon (from Costco).  Once you have hard boiled the eggs (which you can do in advance), the whole recipe goes together in just 5 minutes. Then pop in the oven and bake.

Flexibility:

During the summer, not everyone gets up at the same time, or you may want a little special twist to it…this recipe can accommodate:

Avoid leftovers, by prepping the recipe in ramekins, then bake on demand and save the others. Uncooked casserole will keep in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.

Egg casseroles are typically breakfast fare, but this recipe is an easy, weeknight protein-packed dinner.

Pair with other things: Jenn’s family loves to serve this egg casserole with ham and pineapple.

Ingredients:

  • 1 dozen hard-boiled eggs
  • 2 cups cooked, crumbled bacon or cooked sausage
  • 2 cans cream of chicken soup
  • 2 cans cream of potato soup
  • milk ~1 1/3 cup
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 cups shredded cheese (any kind you like
  • ham slices (optional)
  • pineapple slices (optional)
  • sliced green onions (optional)

Method:

Note: Recipe may be prepared ahead and stored in refrigerator overnight.

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray 9×13 pan, or 12, 1-cup ramekins. Line ramekins with 3-4 thin slices of optional ham.

Eggs and bacon should be cooked ahead; dice and place in mixing bowl. Add cream of chicken and cream of potato soups. Fill one soup can with milk and add to bowl. Gently stir ingredients to mix. Note – additional milk may be added if you prefer a thinner consistency. Place casserole in prepared 9×13 baking dish or individual 1-cup ramekins and cover with foil.

Bake until hot and bubbly: 50-60 minutes for 9×13 pan; 35-40 minutes for 1-cup ramekins. For a browned top, remove foil at least partway through baking time.

Garnish with optional sliced green onions; serve with pineapple slices. If casserole was baked in a 9×13 pan serve with a slice of ham.

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Chocolate Milk for Athletes: why? and how?

The 2014/2015 Utah high school chocolate milk numbers are in, and they are pretty cool…

48% Utah schools participated in the replenish grant program & consumed…

28,753 gallons of milk 

(That’s 230,020 pints)

Participating schools earned 60% of state athletic titles

Bus SP

How’s it work?

The Dairy Farmers of Utah offer grant money to Utah high schools to be used for chocolate milk. For the 2014/2015 school year, farmers donated almost $175,000 to the program. So why do farmers do it?  Tasting is believing. It’s one thing to read the science about the importance of milk or the benefits of chocolate milk, but having direct access to the product is extremely beneficial. “There’s nothing like a cold pint of chocolate milk after a tough wrestling match,” says dairy farmer and past Utah Ute wrestler, Jeff Hardy. “When students can taste the product and then see the results, we’ve made a real difference.” Utah’s dairy farmers want high school athletes to have access to chocolate milk throughout the school year AND at championship events. So they have instituted two programs to make that happen.

The Replenish Grant is a yearly opportunity open to ALL Utah High schools. Just 48% of high schools participated last year, and yet 60% of the state athletic titles went to that 48%. Over half of Utah high schools have yet to tap into the opportunity and reap the benefits. In August, check our website for application information.

As the baseball team got on the bus after the state championship game, I was met with cheers!! Had a cooler full of Tru Moo waiting for them.  Could not have ended better.

– Becky Ottesen, Spanish Fork High

Spanish Fork Bus Chocolate milk

On the Bus…Three Cheers for Chocolate Milk!

For three years, the Dairy Council of UT/NV has partnered with the Utah High School Activities Association and the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association on our Refuel Program to make chocolate milk THE official beverage of high school sports in our region.  We know that chocolate milk is an ideal recovery beverage following activity, and this program is one more way to give athletes free access. Here’s why it’s important: Chocolate milk’s nutrient profile does 3 essential things for athletes after exercise:

Utah Refuel Baseball

Refueling – Baseball

1. REHYDRATE:

Replacing lost fluid after a workout is key to recovery. At 90% water, milk not only delivers needed fluid but so much more

2. REPLENISH:

Activity takes energy (carbs), and milk naturally contains replenishing carbohydrate in the form of lactose. Chocolate delivers a small amount of added sugar, which is ideal for a recovering body. Simple carbohydrates are absorbed quickly to replenish energy stores.

3. REBUILD:

Hard exercise damages muscle tissue, and protein builds it back up. Getting protein within 30-60 minutes following a workout can reduce muscle soreness and speed recovery.

This grant was fantastic for Roy High School.  To be able to give kids that little extra after a hard workout or after playing a game was an absolute blessing.  We used it among all the sports, but I really feel that it was very helpful in the success of the football team to win 12 games in a row and 12 games in a season for the first time in the 50 year history of the school.

– Fred Fernandes, Roy High

weightroom refuel

Post Workout Recovery

Farmers will continue to offer both of these opportunities for the 2015/2016 school year, and we look forward to boosting our participation well above the 50% mark.

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Farmer for a Day

What’s it take to be farmer for a day? Jennifer and Bruce Clark are raising their 6 children on their dairy farm in Morgan, Utah, and through 4-H and the local school district, they are committed to sharing their farm and what farm life is all about with local kids. “Farmer For A Day,” gives kids the chance to learn about dairy farming from the ground up. What’s it take to grow crops, raise animals, milk cows? And how does milk turn into the dairy foods we enjoy everyday?

Here’s a little photo essay showcasing this year’s 5th annual Clark Family Dairy, “Farmer for a Day,” as well as a schedule of activities & chores their “farm hands” got to experience.

Farmer for a day 1
2015 Farmer for a Day “Hands”

8:00am

The day begins with staff helpers arriving (4-H Teen Council Members)

8:45am

Kids Arrive: Ice breakers – games, rules of the dairy, divide into groups

9:00am

Dairy barn tour – milk cows | Feed calves on bottles & in buckets

farmer for a day 3

Feeding bottle calves

Farmer for a day 4

Milking Cows

10:00am

Ride horses | Team Scavenger hunt

Hay Ride & Change Sprinkler Pipe

farmer for a day 5

Riding horses

farmer for a day 2

changing sprinkler pipe

12:00pm

Lunch followed by homemade ice cream workshop & tasting

Farmer for a day 7

Homemade ice cream in a bag

1:00pm

Bed calves | bug hunt

2:00pm

“My manger” talk about cows’ diets & compare to MyPlate

farmer for a day 6

3:00pm

All done!

Jennifer and Bruce Clark have been offering farm experiences for their community for the past 15+ years. Through the school district, 4H, and Agriculture in the Classroom they are helping bring a bit of rural life into the city.

We love having the opportunity to share our farm with the community!  We have hundreds of kids visit our farm every year – but our Farmer for a Day camp is, by far, our favorite event.  Spending six hours at a farm really gives kids a feel for what it is like to be a farmer and the work it takes to produce the foods they buy from the grocery store.

-Jennifer Clark 

Want to experience more farm life?

On June 27th, the Dairy Farmers of Utah have joined with the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food to offer a FREE Dairy Days at Thanksgiving Point. We are offering 2 dairy farm tours as part of this event. Even if you can’t be “farmer for a day,” with the Clarks, maybe you can visit a dairy and see what farmers do. Spots are filling up – sign up now.

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