Sunday, June 25, 2017

3 Kid-Friendly 4th of July Treats

Can you believe that 4th of July celebrations will be starting in just a week?!  No matter if you're hosting a big barbecue, or if you're keeping it simple with just watching the local fireworks with your family, you need to make something special and fun for Independence Day.  Here are 3 kid-friendly treats that my family loves to help you celebrate:

3 Kid-Friendly 4th of July Treats - Kid Friendly Trail Mix

My family loves a good trail mix and we created this recipe by combining some of our favorite sweet and salty snacks.  Add some patriotic M&Ms to make it not only kid-friendly but festive too.

3 Kid-Friendly 4th of July Treats - Caramel Crispix Mix

Here's another great snack mix to use patriotic M&Ms in.  You can never have too many snacks on hand when you have kids, are going camping, or if you are hosting a party.

3 Kid-Friendly 4th of July Treats - Red, White & Blueberry Yogurt Pops

There's nothing like cooling down with a popsicle on a hot, summer, 4th of July day.  My kids love these red, white and blueberry yogurt pops.  They're creamy, cool and sweet!

What's your favorite way to celebrate the 4th of July?

Friday, June 23, 2017

Buttermilk Parmesan Pork Chops #dairymonth

Celebrate National Dairy Month with this juicy, flavorful, Buttermilk marinated pork chop that is an quick supper fix any day of the year.

Buttermilk Parmesan Pork Chops - a juicy, flavorful recipe for anytime of the year #dairymonth

I've enjoyed sharing dairy recipes this week with several of my blogging friends and it got me thinking about my favorite dairy products.  My family and I love all dairy products from ice cream, to cottage cheese, to milk.  But one, maybe surprising, dairy product that I love to cook and bake with is - Buttermilk.

Buttermilk brings a richness to any food you add it to.  In baking, it adds a creamy taste and texture.  In cooking, it can give a tangy flavor while making your meat juicy.  It is a versatile dairy product that my family is always excited to see in our refrigerator because they know I have plans to make something extra special and delicious!

Now onto my Buttermilk Parmesan Pork Chops.  Being pig farmers we obviously eat a lot of pork in our house.  And yes, even though I love the most popular pork product - bacon - just like the rest of the world, my favorite is the pork chop.  Pork chops are easy to make and we probably make them a couple of times a month.  These Buttermilk Parmesan Pork Chops are simple, yet with lots of flavor.  My favorite part is that you marinate them in buttermilk overnight to make them nice and juicy!

Buttermilk Parmesan Pork Chops - a juicy, flavorful recipe for anytime of the year #dairymonth

Buttermilk Parmesan Pork Chops

4 boneless Pork Chops
1/2 pint Buttermilk
1/2 cup Bread crumbs, Italian seasoned
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
1 tsp Seasoning salt (being an Iowan my favorite is Cookies 😉)
Salt and pepper

Place all four pork chops in a resealable plastic bag with the buttermilk.  Lay flat in refrigerator overnight so each pork chop is covered evenly in buttermilk.

After marinating, take the pork chops out of the buttermilk, keeping a nice coating of buttermilk on each one and discard the remaining buttermilk and bag.  Season each pork chop with salt and pepper.  In a pie plate, mix bread crumbs, parmesan cheese and seasoning salt.  Dip each pork chop evenly on both sides in bread crumb mixture.

Heat skillet to medium/medium high.  Melt 1 tablespoon butter in pan and cook coated pork chops 2 minutes on each side, or until lightly browned.

Place pork chops in a shallow baking dish and bake at 350°F for 10 minutes, or until pork reaches 145°F.  Let rest and enjoy!

Be sure to check out my other #dairymonth recipes from earlier this week (Whole Milk Yogurt Banana Custard Muffins and Chili Cheese Corn Salad) and check out the other great recipes shared by some of my other blogger friends too!  Thank you to all the dairy farmers that work hard everyday to take care of their animals and take pride in making quality milk and fresh dairy products.  What is your favorite dairy product?  Are you a buttermilk fan like me?  Remember to Comment for a Cause.

Celebrate National Dairy Month with recipes for food bloggers across the United States #dairymonth #dairymonth2017

Caramel Apple Empanadas {With Cajeta or Dulche de Leche} by Cooking With Carlee
Summer Fruit Smoothie by Palatable Pastime
Berry Cream Muffins by Jolene's Recipe Journal
Black Currant and Rosemary Tea Ice Cream by A Day in the Life on the Farm
Chocolate Oreo Fudscicles by Family Around The Table
Yogurt Banana Pudding Pops by A Kitchen Hoor's Adventures
No Bake Oreo Cream Pie by Tip Garden
Creme Anglaise ('Real Custard') by Caroline's Cooking
Buttermilk Parmesan Pork Chops by Corn, Beans, Pigs & Kids
Earl Grey Panna Cotta by Culinary Adventures with Camilla
Best No Bake Cheesecake with by Feeding Big
Grandma’s Cheesy Ranch Party Potatoes by Mommie Isn’t Made of Money

Buttermilk Parmesan Pork Chops - a juicy, flavorful recipe for anytime of the year #dairymonth

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Jen's Chili Cheese Corn Salad

This creamy, cheesy, savory corn salad is the perfect side dish to bring to your next picnic or potluck this summer!

Chili Cheese Corn Salad - the perfect creamy, cheesy, savory side dish for the summer

Happy First Day of Summer and Happy National Dairy Month everyone!  One of my favorite things to eat during the summer is salads - side salads, pasta salads, egg salads, taco salads, and meat salads.  And after I made this salad for a family gathering over Memorial Day weekend I knew I needed to share the recipe on the blog.  So you can thank several of my family members for requesting the recipe. 😉

This Chili Cheese Corn Salad was a recipe that my friend Jen always brought to potlucks and gatherings.  Whenever I make it, it always makes me think of her and brings a smile to my face.  Jen always had a big smile and an infectious laugh.  She is actually the person that encouraged My Farmer and I to get more involved with the Young Farmer Program around ten years ago.  We have gained so many experiences, knowledge and friendships from the program, and that is in part thanks to her support. 😊

I know you'll love this corn salad as much as Jen did and we do!  It is quick - which is always a plus during busy summers, and it is delicious!  The corn and cheese make the perfect savory combination, and the red onion and crunched up corn chips on top give the salad that little added bite and crunch.

Chili Cheese Corn Salad - the perfect creamy, cheesy, savory side dish for the summer

Jen's Chili Cheese Corn Salad

2 cans corn, drained
1 cup mayo
2 cups cheddar cheese, finally shredded
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
2 cups chili cheese corn chips, crushed

Mix the corn, mayo, cheese and onion together and chill in refrigerator for 2+ hours.

Just before serving, stir around salad and add crushed corn chips.

*Chef's note - if you don't plan on eating the entire salad in one setting, you can add the chips to individual servings rather than the entire bowl.

What are some of your favorite salads to make and eat during the summer?  Remember to Comment for a Cause and check out the other #dairymonth posts!

Celebrate National Dairy Month with recipes for food bloggers across the United States #dairymonth #dairymonth2017

A Visit to Ol' McGrandpa's Farm by Cooking With Carlee  
Alfredo Sauce with Cream Cheese from Feeding Big
Chili Cheese Corn Salad by Corn, Beans, Pigs and Kids
Chipotle Cheddar Patty Melt by Jolene's Recipe Journal
Breakfast Egg Bites by Family Around the Table
Gluten Free Rotini with Cabot Cheddar, Chorizo and Saffron by Culinary Adventures with Camilla
Grilled Peaches with Ice Cream by A Day in the Life on the Farm
Homemade Fudgesicles by From Gate to Plate
How to Make Labneh from Caroline's Cooking
Skillet Jalapeno Popper Dip from A Kitchen Hoor's Adventures
Southern Style Pimento with Bacon Mac and Cheese by Tip Garden
Zucchini Tots with Jalapeno, Cheddar and Bacon by Palatable Pastime

Chili Cheese Corn Salad - the perfect creamy, cheesy, savory side dish for the summer

Monday, June 19, 2017

Whole Milk Yogurt Banana Custard Muffins #AEdairy #dairymonth

* This post has been compensated through the AE Dairy Blog Ambassador program.  All views and opinions shared are my own. *

Wake up this morning with a warm, soft Whole Milk Yogurt Banana Custard Muffin - the perfect way to celebrate National Dairy Month!

Whole Milk Yogurt Banana Custard Muffins #AEdairy #dairymonth #sponsored

AE Dairy came out with a new Whole Milk Yogurt product line in May and I was so excited to find several flavors out on the grocery store shelf in time for June Dairy Month.  AE has always been known for their yogurts and it is one way they differentiated themselves from other dairy businesses in the 1960s.  Just like they responded to changing consumer needs back then, they have recognized changing consumer trends today for whole milk products.  

I have enjoyed each of the seven flavors of AE Dairy's Whole Milk Yogurt - Almond Sweet Cream, Banana Custard, Boysenberry, Cocoa Hazelnut, Raspberry, Strawberry and Sweet Cream.  The yogurts are thick and creamy.  Each serving provides 12 grams of protein, calcium and 5 probiotics - and all under 200 calories.  The whole milk yogurts are both delicious and satisfying.

One of my favorite flavors is the Banana Custard variety, and after the first bite I started thinking of different ways to use the whole milk yogurt.  I've used yogurt in smoothies and frozen yogurt pops in the past, but I thought the Banana Custard whole milk yogurt would be perfect in some banana muffins!  I hope you enjoy these pillowy-soft muffins as much as my family and I do.

Whole Milk Yogurt Banana Custard Muffins #AEdairy #dairymonth #sponsored

Whole Milk Yogurt Banana Custard Muffins

1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
3 bananas
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 Tbsp vanilla

Cream butter, sugar and whole milk yogurt.  Mix in bananas.  Add dry ingredients and vanilla.

Add two tablespoons of muffin mixture into each muffin cup and bake at 350°F for 14-16 minutes.  Makes 2 dozen muffins.

I'm going to be celebrating National Dairy Month all week by sharing about some of our ice cream travels as part of our Iowa Ice Cream Roadtrip, as well as sharing two more delicious recipes featuring dairy products!  I've also joined up with several other bloggers this week to celebrate #dairymonth.  So be sure to check out all of their great recipes all week long!

Celebrate National Dairy Month with recipes for food bloggers across the United States #dairymonth #dairymonth2017

Welcome to our week long celebration of June being #DairyMonth hosted by From Gate to Plate and Cooking With Carlee.  We are putting together our best recipes using cow milk, goat milk, butter, cream and cheeses.  We can't wait to share them with you.

Avocado Ranch Dressing by Tip Garden
Frosty Chocolate Pie by Jolene's Recipe Journal
Gluten Free Penne with Brie, Fig and Rosemary by Culinary Adventures with Camilla
Jalapeno Bacon Cheddar Grilled Cheese with Rhubarb Sauce by Grumpy's Honeybunch
Orange Creamsicle Martini by A Day in the Life on the Farm
Orange Creamsicle No Bake Cheesecake by Cooking With Carlee
Peaches and Cream Smoothie from Feeding Big
Strawberry Crisp Milkshake by From Gate to Plate
White Cheddar and Bacon Pasta Salad by Palatable Pastime
Whole Milk Yogurt Banana Cream Muffins by Corn, Beans, Pigs and Kids
Milk Braised Chicken Thighs from A Kitchen Hoor's Adventures

Have you tried AE Dairy's new Whole Milk Yogurts yet?  What is your favorite flavor, or which one are you excited to try?  If you can't find it at your local grocery store be sure to ask for it!  Remember to Comment for a Cause!

Whole Milk Yogurt Banana Custard Muffins #AEdairy #dairymonth #sponsored

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Dad's Favorite Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Father's Day is in one week and to celebrate I am partnering with my Celebrate 365 friends to throw a Father's Day Favorites Blog Party.

When I think of my Dad's favorite, the first thing that comes to mind is Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies.  Ever have a food that is always tied to a memory?  Well, whenever I make these cookies I always think of my Dad.  Both my Dad and I have a love of farming and the combination of peanut butter and chocolate 😊 My Dad is the one that gave me the interest and love of farming, and who makes me proud to be carrying on our family's farming tradition.  So it only seems appropriate then that these cookies are a staple for us out in the field and have become a family favorite for anytime of the year.

I hope you enjoy my Dad's Favorite and I can't wait to see all of your Father's Day Favorites.  Feel free to link up as many recipe, gift and activity posts as you would like, and be sure to check out my fellow Celebrate 365 friend's pages to check out their Father's Day Favorites:
Celebrate 365 Father's Day Favorites Blog Party - link up your recipe, gifts and activities

Dad's Favorite Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Dad's Favorite Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies + Father's Day Favorites Blog Party

1 cup shortening
1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cup peanut butter
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cup brown sugar
3 eggs
3 3/4 cup flour
2 1/4 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1 - 12oz package semi-sweet chocolate chips

Cream together shortening, butter and peanut butter.  Add sugars and cream together.  Then add eggs, mixing well after each one.  Stir in flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.  Mix in chocolate chips.

Bake cookies at 375°F for 10 minutes.  Take them out of the oven just before they look done to get a soft cookie.  Let rest on cookie sheet one to two minutes before letting cool on cookie sheets.

Dad's Favorite Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies + Father's Day Favorites Blog Party

So what are your Dad's favorites or your favorite things to eat and do for Father's Day?  Be sure to link up to our blog party and always remember to Comment for a Cause!

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Freedom Rock Tour

It's the first of June and this is usually when I announce my new Comments for a Cause program.  But this month, I'm going to change things up and instead of choosing a new cause, I'm going to keep with donating $0.50 for every comment made on my blog to the Franklin County Freedom Rock.

Our family has gotten so excited about the Freedom Rock coming to our local county, that we have started going on our own Freedom Rock Tour in our local area so far, but are looking forward to checking out different county Freedom Rocks around the state of Iowa throughout the summer.

We've taken car rides twice in the last month to check out neighboring county Freedom Rocks.  One Sunday after church we took a Sunday drive over to Dows, Iowa, where the Wright County Freedom Rock is located.

Freedom Rock Tour - Wright County, Dows, Iowa

Then on Memorial Day we went on a road-trip to Ackley, Iowa to see the Hardin County Freedom Rock

Freedom Rock Tour - Hardin County, Ackley, Iowa

and over to Greene, Iowa to check out Butler County Freedom Rock.

Freedom Rock Tour - Butler County, Greene, Iowa

I love how each Freedom Rock is unique, yet there is the same sense of pride and honor in each rock's artwork.  We also noticed that each rock has had an American flag "draped" over it.  We can't wait to continue our Freedom Rock Tour this summer!

Now that you have seen some of the completed county Freedom Rocks in Iowa, what do you first notice about each?  What do you like about these three county Freedom Rocks?  Remember to Comment for a Cause all month long to help us support our local Franklin County Freedom Rock!