Hi, this is Rebecca Harrop, Mifflin County Dairy Princess. I had so much fun at the Taste of Home cooking school last week. We had gotten the dairy products for the chef and delivered them Monday afternoon. I met Chef Michael and spent a few minutes talking with him. Matt from The Sentinel asked if I would like to come back Tuesday night. Of course I said yes! My mom has wanted to go the last couple of years and it hasn't worked out, so she was really excited. I was down by the stage handing out recipes and cow erasers as people went to and from the vendor area. I finally got to meet Jane Mort, the food editor of The Sentinel. She introduced herself to me as I was handing out recipes.
Chef Michael also introduced me during the show and I got a picture with him after the show. He was really nice. He gave some helpful ways to prepare some foods such as mangos. I know mom was happy about that one. She said maybe now she won't make such a mess when she tries to use them. We did get all the recipes because they are in the magazine that comes with your "goodie bag." All the dishes looked good except the one with sauerkraut and corned beef. I am not a fan of sauerkraut, but if you are, I'm sure it would be good. The eclairs were my favorite. I am going to make them some weekend when Mom is home and can give me a hand. We all love eclairs. Ben always tries to stop at the Donut Shop in Belleville any time he is around Belleville for eclairs.
I think everyone who attended the show found something of value. I know Mom and I really enjoyed Chef Michael's presentation.
Last week was really busy again. Besides the Taste of Home event, I was at Sacred Heart Wednesday, Rainbow Connection in Juniata County on Thursday, and Strodes Elementary on Friday.
I did want to send a special "Thank You" to Paige who is a "Little Miss" from Juniata County. She was my little helper Thursday at the Rainbow Connection.
I also had an opportunity to do an interview at WJUN radio station in Juniata County on Thursday.
April is turning out to be one of my busiest months. But that's a good thing. It means I have more opportunities to tell people how important dairy products are for them. I think sharing the importance of eating dairy products is a very important job. Some of the benefits of consuming dairy products include building and maintaining strong bones and teeth and helping to prevent osteoporosis.
Last fall my Mom and some friends were at a local restaurant having dinner. Mom always drinks milk with her meals at home. Sometimes she orders it when she eats out also. She ordered it at this restaurant but was told they didn't serve milk as a beverage choice. She suggested they might want to consider serving milk. We were discussing this at home and we decided that we should do something to encourage those who don't serve milk to do so. We should also thank the restaurants that do serve milk. I made up a nice "Thank You for serving milk, from the Dairy Princess" card to leave with our tip. I also made up a card suggesting they consider serving milk if they don't already. We have been leaving these at local restaurants since December when we order milk. I hope to have all our local restaurants serve milk. Currently I have to say so far we've only been to one restaurant that doesn't serve milk. That's pretty good, but I still hope to convince that one to serve milk. I will keep leaving my Thank Yous for now.
I just wanted to make a quick comment on the seventh grade Ag Technology Tour held April 8. Despite the rain, I think most of the kids learned some pretty valuable information. I also would like to thank all the people who volunteered either time or services to help make the tour a success. The David C. Yoder farm and Kish View farm both deserve a special thank you for hosting the tour and allowing us all to invade them.
Sunday is Easter and as with most holidays we all get caught up in the excitement of the meal planning, special treats for the kids and a million other details. Please take some time on this very special day to think about all that this day means to us.
This week's recipe is for a cheese spread that can be used with your Easter meal. If you are invited to someone else's house for the Easter meal, take this treat along for an appetizer. You will be everyone's favorite guest.
Happy Easter everyone and don't forget to get three servings of dairy every day.
60 minutes preparation time
12 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup butter, softened
3/4 pound sliced provolone cheese
1 (8-oz.) can crushed pineapple, well-drained
3 tablespoons finely chopped red bell pepper
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh garlic
1/4 cup sliced green onions
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1/4 teaspoon salt
Edible flowers, such as pansies
Basil leaves or parsley, if desired
Serve with crackers, assorted cut-up vegetables
Combine cream cheese and butter in medium bowl; beat at medium speed until creamy. Reserve 1/2 cup. Cover with plastic food wrap; set aside at room temperature. Stack cheese slices. Cut into thin strips; coarsely chop. Add chopped cheese and all remaining cheese mixture ingredients to remaining cream cheese mixture in bowl. Beat at medium speed until well mixed. To form crown for hat, line an (11-ounce) custard cup with plastic food wrap, extending over edges. Firmly press 1 1/4 cups cheese mixture into lined cup; cover with plastic food wrap.
To create hat brim, place remaining cheese mixture onto serving plate.
Shape into 9-inch round; cover with plastic food wrap. Refrigerate crown and brim until firm (at least 2 hours). Remove plastic wrap from crown and brim; invert crown onto center of hat brim. Peel off plastic wrap. Re-shape with hands, if necessary. Frost hat with reserved cream cheese mixture. Use carrot peels for ribbon. Garnish with edible flowers and basil leaves, if desired. Cover; refrigerate to blend flavors (at least 1 hour). Remove from refrigerator 15 minutes before serving. Serve with crackers and cut-up vegetables.
Recipe tip: To create carrot ribbon, peel 1 carrot. Use vegetable peeler to make long flat slices; attach where crown and brim meet. Pull table knife from hat ribbon to edge of brim to create a decorative design on hat brim.