Here is to a New Year!

A New Year, a new start, a clean slate. Time to start the year over. This is when we say that we are going to live a perfect life – finally become that wonderful, productive, healthy, happy person we’ve always wanted to be. The trouble is, the enthusiasm to make changes, especially with exercise and diet, tends to fade once we realize we can’t change everything overnight. If you want to make lasting changes, there are three things you can do to make your resolutions work all year long: Adjust your attitude, change your lifestyle and come up with a plan for success.

Adjust Your Attitude

· If any of these sound familiar, how long do you think you’ll stick with your program? Nobody wants to do something painful, boring or obligatory. Before you throw yourself into weight loss,check out your attitudes about exercise and figure out whether these attitudes are true or just lies you’ve been telling yourself for years. Then look at all the god exercise can bring:

· A way to boost energy and mood

· The only time you’ll have to yourself all day

· A chance to get totally physical and let your mind rest

· A chance to reward your body for working so hard

· A way to improve your quality of life immediately

Remember long-term success requires planning, discipline and finding ways to motivate yourself every day. Motivation will not magically happen. What motivates you will change from day-to-day. You have to recommit to your goals each day, tweak them to fit changes in your lifestyle and attitude and find new ways to motivate yourself over the course of your life.

Believe me you will not always want to exercise and eat healthy. Even the most committed exerciser doesn’t always want to hit the gym. Know that you will have to work on it every day. Last but not least diets don’t work. Stop wasting your time following someone else’s plan for you. Make your own plan based on realistic changes–if you can’t follow your chosen diet for the rest of your life, you’re wasting precious time.

And yes you CAN do it!

Welcome 2011!

By Michelle Plummer

Welcome 2011!  I can hardly wait as I kick off my new year festivities by going to a dear friends wedding!  Before I go I have been asked to choose the wine for New Years Eve! OMG! Going to a party, BYOB or BYOC (champagne!) and not sure of the food, will it flatter the food or be too dry…STOP worrying!  Rule of thumb is if you like it, drink it and all wines work with all food that way.  There is no universal wine but there are collaborations that work well together.  Let me give you some ideas and then let me know how your party went!

Were you one of the lucky ones who received a fondue pot from Santa and wish to use it for New Years?  Here are a couple of great fondues that will be delicious and pair well with the list above.


1/2 pound Swiss-style cheese such as Jarlsberg or Emmenthaler, shredded

1/2 pound Gruyere cheese, shredded

2 tablespoons flour or cornstarch (use cornstarch if cooking gluten-free)

1 garlic clove, halved crosswise

1 cup dry white wine (such as Sauvignon Blanc)

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon kirsch (cherry brandy)

1/2 teaspoon dry mustard

Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

Assorted dipping foods such as cubed day-old French bread (skip for gluten-free version), cubed ham (skip for vegetarian option), blanched broccoli, carrots, or cauliflower, cherry tomatoes, chopped green bell peppers, peeled and chopped apples or pears

Visit: for full details and pictures.

Lastly, before I head off to make my last minute purchases I wanted to share with you from our own website a delicious cheese torte  recipe that is easy, colorful and a perfect complement to any holiday snack table. Smoked Gouda and Tomato Chutney torte.  I hope you enjoy these holiday pairings of cheese, wine and merriment!

A Toast to 2011:

As we leave 2010, and enter 2011 may each day bring you good health and closer to wealth!

Holiday Leftover Recipes

By Michelle Plummer

Well, we have made it past the last holiday food frenzy with much success!  The ham was delicious and not over cooked, rosemary and roasted garlic mashed potatoes were a hit! Here is a hint, unless your brother-in-law is from the old country and is use to grandmother having the entire house smell of garlic at 9:00 am; plan ahead!  None the less dinner was wonderful…but the leftovers, as families downsize consumption, in actual number, and taking home said delicacies….your refrigerator looks like a display for the ‘store & save’ container company!  This is what I am planning for the next few days of meals at home, NO SHOPPING necessary!

Using the leftover pie dough, make a quiche using eggs, milk, cream, bits and pieces of cheese some simple veggies and add a side salad in less than 60 minutes. Not only is it nutrient delicious and colorful but it is different than the last 8 meals of roasted meat, mashed something and ‘little’ wrapped something!  As a little side note, many years ago I had the privilege to assist Howard Helner (known for making the fastest omelets) and his recipe for quiche is never fail.


6  Eggs, salted and peppered
1  Frozen deep-dish pie shell (or a sheet of refrigerated pie crust in a 9-in pie shell)
1  Cup of half & half or whole milk ,or 2% milk,

2  Cups of anything in your fridge that seems like it’ll work
1  Cup of shredded any kind of cheese

Preheat oven to 425-F.  Pierce the pie crust all over with a fork.  Bake, unfilled, for about 8-minutes.  Meanwhile, mix together the eggs, half & half or milk, cheese and anything else and empty it all into the pre-baked pie shell.   Reduce the oven to 325-F and bake for 35 or 40 minutes.  Let it rest for 5-minutes before serving.

Well, what about dinner?  This is the best meal to hide little bits of this and that!  Mis Matched Macaroni and Chees!  Everyone has a basic mac and cheese recipe, and I am no different, however, I rarely make mac and cheese the same way twice.  Macaroni, some cheese- keep using up the bits and pieces—cream cheese and mascarpone are divine, cheese ball…why not!, then sauté or steam diced veggies from the leftover vegetable tray, and chop ham, chicken, roasted beef anything on hand.  My new favorite addition is sweet potatoes, remove the skins, the marshmallows sugar and mash them into the cheese sauce…Delicious and one more vegetable the kids are eating without the fight!

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Happy Holidays from Our Families to Yours

I recently asked a co-worker ‘what excites you about your job?’ She didn’t hesitate. She said, “I enjoy working for Indiana’s dairy farmers. They are great people”. Our entire team shares that attitude. That’s my passion too. I love sharing the great stories about our Indiana dairy farm families and how they care for their animals and the land.

For example, there’s Paul up in Ossian who knows that his cows depend on him for good care, feed, water and bedding; and he depends on the cows for his families’ livelihood. (Paul, a talented singer, has serenaded his cows many times through the years while rehearsing in the barn before a performance). And there’s Sam down in Huntingburg who milks cows with her husband and their two teenage sons. Sam says, ‘Cow care and comfort is critical. Our cows sleep on sand beds so every day is like a day at the beach for them.’

My greatest pleasure is sharing the good nutrition news about milk—one of nature’s most nearly perfect foods. Milk—a food rich in protein, calcium, carbohydrate, vitamins and other nutrients is delicious and versatile. Guilty as charged. I love milk.

I’m so blessed to work on behalf of people who provide such a wonderful product. People who help to provide food—not only for Americans—but for people around the world! Can there be any finer profession than to produce food for your fellow man? Thank you Indiana dairy farm families.

I’ve also had the pleasure of tasting many wonderful recipes over the years. Here are two. Enjoy them with your family.

Old-Fashioned Hot Cocoa
Makes 4 cups
¼ cup cocoa
¼ cup sugar
½ cup water
3 ½ cups milk
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Combine cocoa and sugar. Gradually stir in one-half cup water. Bring to boil. Boil and stir for one minute. Add three and one-half cups milk and heat to serving temperature (do not boil). Add one-half teaspoon vanilla extract and serve immediately. For a change add cherry flavoring to taste for a ‘choco-cherry’ steamer, or add 1-2 tablespoons grated orange peel to the milk, or add ¼ teaspoon cinnamon and 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg with the cocoa-sugar mixture.

Wonderful Chocolate Ice Cream Topping
1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated)
2 squares (1 oz. each) semi-sweet baking chocolate
¼ teaspoon vanilla
Dash salt

Place condensed milk and the two chocolate squares in a small heavy sauce pan. Cover and place over low heat, stirring several times until chocolate is melted and well blended. Add the vanilla and salt. Use immediately for hot topping OR store in refrigerator. Note: For variety, a tablespoon of either hazelnut liqueur or Crème de Menthe may be added. Tip: Place the chocolate topping in a cute little jar, tie on a ribbon and give as a gift.

Christmas Food Traditions

By Diane Ruyack

Christmas food traditions from around the world show how America is a melting pot of many countries.

In Australia, children leave Santa a piece of cake or biscuit and a glass of milk. Their Christmas dinners include roasted meats and vegetables, special fruit cakes, and puddings with a coin baked inside.

Buche de Noel is one of many traditional cakes baked at Christmas. As the name suggests, it is of French origin. The name of this recipe literally translates as “Christmas log,” referring to the traditional Yule log burned centuries past inspired by the real logs which used to be burned in the hearth throughout Christmas Eve.

Hard candies (candy canes, sticks, etc.)were originally manufactured for medicinal purposes. This idea survives today in the form of cough drops. The concept of sugar as medicine probably came from the tradition of Moslem physicians. Continue reading

Put a little health in your holidays

By DeDe Hausmann

OK it’s the holidays and you are fretting about not putting on any (or TOO MANY) pounds during this season of abundance or doing too much so that you get sick and you can’t enjoy this special time.   Don’t fret—you can put a little health in your holidays with some easy tricks!!!

  • Do you normally bake lots of calorie-laden foods and you find yourself “snacking” as you are preparing? This describes me to a “T” so this year I have purposely not baked anything yet and if I must, I will make sure that I have eaten a healthy meal beforehand and will keep reminding myself that I am preparing those GOODIES for others, not for me.  I won’t deprive myself if I want a bite or two but I will limit myself.  I hope this isn’t wishful thinking!!!  I’ve been working too hard on having a healthy lifestyle to blow it all at Christmas.  Does this sound like you?
  • Exercise daily.  If you are a regular fitness person, keep up what you are doing.  Not an exerciser?  Try to do a little something.  Many malls have walking clubs or just make sure to get there before the heavy-duty shoppers arrive so you can get your arms swinging and you can work up to a brisk walk.  If you know you need a “buddy” to keep you on track, call a friend and ask her/him to join you.
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Survive Holiday Stress

‘Tis the season to be jolly…right? I don’t want to speak for anyone else, but the holidays sometimes make me feel irritable, overwhelmed and even a little bit down. And doesn’t stress seem to be magnified during this time of year? Whether the reason for your stress is lack of finances or overspending, relationships, family, over commitment or time constraints, there are some strategies that seem to help me and may help you boost your happiness during the holiday season.

Take a deep breath, take your time and plan. Try to give yourself plenty of time to do what you need to do. Take time to plan your shopping trips, holiday budget, and family gatherings or dinner parties by making a list of tasks that need to be done. There is a sense of relief and accomplishment when you cross them off your list! Stay flexible; plans may not unfold as expected. If this happens, don’t panic and realize there is a solution to all challenges.

Sleep and exercise. You need to make time for both because they will significantly decrease stress and help elevate your mood. Lack of sleep is one of the major effectors of people’s moods. As for exercise, it is recommended that we get 60 minutes of exercise a day. If you aren’t able to get the recommended amount of exercise, remember that every little bit helps. If you’re away from home and can’t do your usual routine, try taking a short walk. If you get enough sleep and daily exercise, you may be able to better deal with some of those difficult relatives!

Don’t overeat. There is a lot of guilt associated with holiday binging, and it may be a significant contributor to the holiday blues. To prevent overeating, eat protein rich snacks like cheese and crackers or half of a peanut butter sandwich, include nutrient rich foods in your meals, and make sure your portions are not too large.

Have fun! Figure out ways to include fun in you holiday activities. You can have a white elephant gift exchange where you buy a silly gift for someone. You can get a group of people together and do something fun like going to a festive movie. You may also find it enjoyable to volunteer some of your time to those less fortunate; this generally creates a sense of well-being and can put things into perspective.

Remember what the holidays are all about: giving and enjoying family, friends and the spirit of the holidays. Try not to extend yourself to the point of anxiety or fatigue; this is supposed to be a joyous time of year, so enjoy it!