Saturday, November 11, 2017

Calzone Pinwheels

I'm sure this comes as no surprise, but I love cheese! I have pretty good radar when it comes to finding recipes that include cheese, and lots of it! When our friend Ana made these Calzone Pinwheels as a snack for my family, I knew I needed to share the recipe with you. 

This batch stayed in the oven a bit too long, but I'm still shocked I got a photo before they were gobbled up!

Calzone Pinwheels

1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
1/2 cup diced pepperoni
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh mushrooms
1/4 cup chopped green pepper
2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 package (8 ounces) refrigerated crescent rolls
1 jar (14 ounces) pizza sauce, warmed

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a small bowl, mix the first nine ingredients.
2. Unroll crescent dough and separate into four rectangles; press perforations to seal. Spread rectangles with cheese mixture within 1/4 inch of edges. Roll jelly-roll style, starting with a short side; pinch seam to seal.
3. Using a serrated knife, cut each roll into four slices; place on a greased baking sheet, cut side down. Bake 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with pizza sauce. Makes 16 appetizers.

Thanks to Taste Of Home for this recipe.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Two Little Steps and What They Taught Me

August 22, 2017 - Two days before the beginning of the Minnesota State Fair. Two days before I begin my 12 days of chaperoning Princess Kay of the Milky Way and her court. This is what happens when you don't see two little steps in a dimly lit room. 

Thanks to my daughter Sara and the great staff of Midwest Dairy I was able to rest up at home the first four days and then return via a motorized scooter for the remainder of the fair. But I'm getting ahead of the story...

August 24- Two days after falling- can't get a shoe on my swollen foot- trip to ER- Dr. says "two broken bones- here's some crutches- can put some weight on it- don't think you will need surgery but call surgeon after the Fair."

September 8- I'm in surgery- staple permanently implanted in my foot- no weight on foot for 2 weeks- can't walk up steps- bedroom on second floor- sleeping in a recliner is not ideal- eating in a recliner is awkward.

September 21- Transitioned from surgery wrap to a cast- red is my favorite color- no weight for 2 more weeks- getting tired of sitting- nothing good on TV- my family is amazing help- thinking of my Mom and Dad a lot as they were not mobile for the last several years of their lives- reality check- stop complaining and be thankful.

October 5- Transitioned from cast to walking boot- no weight for 1 week- progress?- still sitting- sorted magazines- read two books- made two Christmas stockings- isn't being waited on supposed to be a luxury?- feeling helpless but thankful.

October 12- I can stand- walking boot for two more weeks- can walk to the bathroom alone (that's a big deal!- excited to do laundry and dishes- never thought I would say that.

October 26- Can start transitioning from walking boot to shoe with an ankle brace- what shoe is going to fit this swollen foot and brace?- swelling could last 4 months or longer- sigh... slow and steady wins the race.

Thank goodness for stretchy tennis shoes! They fit over a brace and a swollen foot. I can even climb steps, all the way to the seat in the combine so I can combine corn! is good! 

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Farm Tours

Our farm gets frequent requests to host farm tours. My husband and I typically decline the requests. It can be a lot of preparation. It takes time away from doing our daily chores that still need to get done. Our farm isn’t new. We don’t have the latest equipment or state-of-the-art facilities. Our farm isn’t big. Yes, we came up with a long lists of reasons to say no.

Now don't get me wrong- growing up, my family has participated in farm tours for decades. Growing up on my parents farm I rubbed elbows with eager young school children every Spring. Living only 20 minutes from downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota, we were often the destination for students to get their first chance to visit a real, live dairy and chicken farm!
When I was younger, all my grandparents and all six of my uncle’s families were dairy farmers. Notice I said were. Today only about 2% of the United States population lives on a farm. Most folks are two to three generations removed from farming.

With the decline in most people having little or no connection to farming, who is going to answer consumer questions? Who is going to refute misinformation? Who is going to defend farmers- our farming methods, our animal care, our supposed mistreatment of the land and our animals. So are we going to sit back and let this bashing and misinformation continue, or are we going to step up and tell our side of the story. And that’s how it happened. That’s what helped my family decide to host farm tours.

I’d like to share a bit about a recent farm tour. We hosted a youth orchestra from Germany. Eighty youth and their chaperones descended on our dairy farm. Since they were from an agricultural area in Germany, their host organization felt they would appreciate seeing the difference between our farming practices versus that of their homeland.  Upon arrival we discovered they were from wine country and knew very little about dairy farming.
Since there were 90 people in this tour, we broke into three groups and rotated between three stations. One was the calf barn hosted by Grandma Karen, our champion calf- raiser. She spoke about newborn calf care and feeding.
Our son Michael handled the milking station which explained cow care and the milking process.
My husband John then showed and described the feeding as well as the crops. The students were so eager to ask questions and learn as much as possible. And they didn’t refuse the ice cream treats at the end of the tour either!
Our family was honored guests at the concert the youth orchestra performed that evening. I am so happy that our farm was included in their American experience. 
So is it work to host farm tours? You bet. Is there preparation that needs to be done? Of course. Does it disrupt the flow of chores? Sometimes. Is it worth it? Absolutely!

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

A Halloween Spooktacular

We love Halloween at our house. We decorate the inside of our house and the yard outside. Heck, we even decorate our food to get in the spirit of this spooky season. Daughter Sara went all out with these ghoulish recipes on her TV show Aprons Optional. You can watch her latest episode on YouTube, but first here's a sneak peek.

Whether you are entertaining friendly ghosts or goblins, or serving up a frightfully good meal to your family, I know you will enjoy these recipes.

These "Jack O'Lantern Stuffed Peppers" are filled with ground beef, brown rice, and PARMESAN CHEESE. I love the colored peppers!

"Tator Terrors" are a fun addition to a meal or as appetizers, and your young little prince or princess can help you decorate them! They are stuffed with MOZZARELLA CHEESE.

Don't be scared by these "Halloweeno Poppers" made with Jalapeno peppers, CREAM CHEESE, and PEPPER JACK CHEESE. These little mummies are delicious.

Show off your artistic flair with "Spider Web Dip". It's taco inspired flavor pairs perfectly with the cute black olive spiders. It can be eaten year 'round if you spread the SOUR CREAM and SHREDDED CHEESE rather than making the web design.

This one is my favorite! The "Pumpkin Cheese Ball" is dairy delicious with CREAM CHEESE, SOUR CREAM, and SHREDDED SWISS and CHEDDAR CHEESE. It will make another appearance after Halloween since I think it will look perfect on our Thanksgiving table too!

And now- on with the show!
Aprons Optional

You can find the recipes on Sara's  Aprons Optional Facebook page.

As you can see, we at Bremer Farms use a lot of dairy foods when we are cooking. Our refrigerator is always chock full of dairy because of its flavor and flexibility. 

What dairy foods are in your fridge right now?

Monday, October 9, 2017

National 4-H Week

More than six million young people across America recently celebrated National 4-H Week.

Here's what I have gained from 4-H-

Exploring new interests and learning new skills 
Giving demonstrations and learning to speak before an audience 
Going on exchange trips to other states to learn independence 
Acting in plays to learn how to express myself 
Hosting Cloverbud Day Camps to learn leadership skills
Serving as a Camp counselor to learn responsibility 
Being a club and County Officer to learn organization 

Helping me choose a career, becoming a better person, being proud of who I've become, that's only a small bit of what I learned in 4-H. 

Thank you 4-H!

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

TV Time Talking Malts

If you know me, you know that I can be quite a talker, (alright friends and family- quit snickering) and one of my favorite things to talk about is dairy. Imagine that! So when I get the chance to talk dairy, you don't have to ask me twice.

I recently appeared on a couple television programs introducing this year's Flavor Of The Fair, which is the one-year-only flavor of malts and sundaes served at the Dairy Goodness Bar at the Minnesota State Fair. (Don't worry ice cream lovers- all your yummy favorite toppings are still available.)
I blogged about this year's choices here- Flavor of the Fair.

I then visited WCCO TV so Jason and Kylie could taste the 3 finalists.
See which one they chose by clicking here.

So the votes are in, and ta-dah, the winner is...
Pie n' The Sky.
It's Minnesota dairy farmers secret recipe vanilla ice cream, tart and tangy lemon curd, spicy crisp "airplane" cookies, all topped with a drizzle of dark chocolate syrup, and it is GOOD!

So good in fact that the Minnesota State Fair featured it as one of the New Foods of 2017, a very elite list! So off I go again to talk a little dairy. This time I went to FOX 9 TV to help present the winning malt along with a few other folks that had their food make the elite New Foods list also.

L-R, Mobster's Caviar, Duck Bacon Wontons, Pie n' the Sky Malts, and Maple Cream Nitro Cold Press Coffee
FOX 9's Cody was more than willing to sample the food, and I'm happy to say he gave the Pie n' the Sky Malt rave reviews. Am I surprised? No. After all, it's brought to you by Minnesota's dairy farmers! Did I mention Pie n' the Sky is also available in Sundaes?

So there you have it. TV personalities Cody, Jason, and Kylie all agree that it's delicious!
See you at the Fair!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

'Atta Boy Dairy Farmers!

Don't we all appreciate a pat on the back once in a while?
 Isn't it exciting when your boss says, "Great job!" Or how about "Thanks Mom, dinner was great!" from your kids. We all like to be thanked and appreciated, and recently one of our local bankers gave dairy farmers an 'atta boy!

Frandsen Bank & Trust in Hastings, Minnesota said "Thank you dairy farmers" in celebration of June Dairy Month.  They realize the impact dairy farmers have on our community. 

Dairy farmers purchase machinery, trucks, fuel, and more from local companies. This creates jobs and produces revenue for our area. Dairy farming requires a large investment in land, buildings, equipment, and feed for the animals, so many farmers know their banker very well  :)

Only 2% of the United States population has a connection to farming, so events like this are important for folks to connect with the agriculture community. Thanks to Laura Stiles, local dairy princess, for greeting visitors and treating them to ice cream. Also, thanks to Sorg Farms for bringing Norman (the calf) to visit. And a HUGE thanks to Frandsen Bank!