Family Reunions: Food, Fun and Memories

We’re getting ready for the 110th Artley Family Reunion.  Our branch of the family is hosting the event this year in Middlebury, Indiana.  Lots of preparations are being made, the media have been alerted and the invitations have gone out.  We have games planned and are looking forward to visiting with family members we only see at this event.

One of the most important aspects of summer reunions and picnics is the food.  It is critical to keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold while serving at these gatherings.   We’re making memories and we want them to be happy ones!

Find food safety tips at www.befoodsafe.gov.   USDA reminds us about the four steps to food safety:  Clean, separate, cook, chill.

Clean:  Keep hands clean.  Wash before and after handling food and after using the restroom, touching pets, etc. Wash with soap and warm water for 20 seconds.

Separate:  Keep foods separate.  Use one cutting board for fresh produce and another for raw meat, poultry and seafood.

Cook:  Cook foods to the proper temperature and keep them hot—140 degrees F. while serving.  Use a heat source like a chafing dish, warming tray or slow cooker.

Chill:  Cold food should be kept at 40 degrees F. or less.  Keep food cold by nesting dishes in bowls of ice or use small serving trays and replace them often.· Perishable food should not be left out more than 2 hours at room temperature (1 hour when the temperature is above 90 °F).

Reunions Magazine www.reunionsmag.com recommends replacing empty platters with freshly filled ones on buffet lines.  Don’t add food to the serving dishes that have been sitting out.

Dorothy Viola’s Favorite Potato Salad

(With a twist:  Greek yogurt and sour cream)

Ingredients

  • 3 1/2  pounds potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 10 eggs
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cups celery, chopped
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  •  ½ cup sour cream
  • 1/3  cup mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup mustard
  • ¼ cup pickle relish
  • 1 Tablespoon celery seed
  • 3 large stems fresh rosemary, strip leaves from stems
  • course black pepper
  • celery salt
  • fresh parsley for garnish

Directions

  1. Place the potatoes and sweet potatoes in a large pan of water and boil over medium-low heat until tender, about 12 minutes. Drain the potatoes, and place in the refrigerator to cool.
  2. Place the eggs in a saucepan of cold water over medium heat, and bring to a full boil. Turn off the heat, cover the pan, and allow the eggs to sit in the hot water for about 15 minutes. Cool the eggs thoroughly under cold running water and shell them. Chop the cooled eggs and place them in a large salad bowl.
  3. Stir the onion, celery, yogurt, sour cream, mayonnaise, mustard, pickle relish, celery seed and fresh rosemary leaves into the eggs, and let the mixture chill in the refrigerator at least l/2 hour to blend the flavors. Mix in the chilled chopped potatoes, and refrigerate for at least 1/2 hour.  Season with course black pepper and celery salt to taste.  Garnish with fresh parsley.  Serve cold.

International Picnic Day – Fun in the Sun

International Picnic Day is June 18th

Guest Bloggers:  Amber Swinehart & Cheryl Jones, Ball State University Dietetic Interns

It’s that time of year again when the sun is shining and everyone likes to get out for some fun and fresh air!  Get ready to have some food and fun on international picnic day, June 18th.  It’s time for friends and family to get together to enjoy the outdoors.   Though it’s not an official holiday recognized by Congress, tons of families, organizations, and social clubs gather to celebrate this special day. 

The word picnic comes from the French word “piquer” (to pick or peck) and was joined together with the obsolete word “nique” (meaning to trifle).  These words were put together to form “picnic” where family and friends “pick” at small or “trifling” amounts of a wide variety of different foods brought by everyone to form a meal.

Change it up with a fun new place this year!  Try a riverbank, wooded area, garden, meadow, or even a picnic on a boat.  No matter 2, 4, or 10 people, a picnic can be an enjoyable experience for everyone and every occasion.  Get your friends and family involved in some fun and games like Frisbee golf, a scavenger hunt, horseshoes, charades, or corn hole.  To keep the kids entertained try making a picnic coloring book, playing with bubbles, having a water balloon toss, or setting up a play tent. 

After all the fun and games don’t forget to bring a picnic basket full of delicious foods and drinks for everyone to enjoy.  Some quick and easy ideas could include stuffed pita pockets, wraps, fresh summer fruit like strawberries and melon, cheese and crackers, and potato and macaroni salads.  Cool down with a refreshing beverage like strawberry lemonade, a glass of ice-cold milk, or a glass of champagne for adults.  For a fun and refreshing dessert try a yogurt S’more parfait  or some angel food cake with berries.  No matter what you pack in your picnic basket just relax and enjoy the company of your friends and family.

Library Lovers’ Month: Children’s Book Recommendations

By Diane Ruyack

Library Lovers’ Month is a month-long celebration of school, public, and private libraries of all types. This is a time for everyone, especially library support groups, to recognize the value of libraries and to work to assure that the Nation’s libraries will continue to serve.

Childhood obesity is an important issue in the United States, and throughout the world. Teaching children about proper nutrition is no easy task so in order to promote positive attitudes about food and healthy eating, a nutrition book for children must keep them engaged, and most importantly, allow them to have fun learning!

Here are a few that would help children to learn about nutrition and health:

Continue reading

Calling All Football Fans!! Pig Skin Potatoes

It’s that time of year again!  Here is a great recipe for all those game day parties! This recipe is sure to be a hit!
Pig Skin Potatoes

Ingredients
  • 8 (8-ounce) medium baking potatoes
  • Cooking spray
  • 2 cups coarsely chopped roasted chicken
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) freshly shredded reduced-fat sharp Cheddar or
  • Pepper Jack cheese, divided
  • 1-2 canned chipotle peppers, minced plus 1 tablespoon liquid from can
  • 1 tablespoon taco seasoning
  • 1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
  • 1/2 cup chopped chives

Prick potatoes with a fork. Bake for 1 hour at 425°. Let cool slightly.

Cut potatoes in half lengthwise; scoop out pulp for other desired use, leaving a 1/2-inch shell. Place potato shells on a baking sheet; spray inside of shells with cooking spray. Bake at 425° for 15 minutes or until crisp.

Combine chicken, 1 cup cheese, chipotle pepper and liquid, taco seasoning and sour cream; divide evenly among potato shells. Bake at 425° for 5 minutes. Top with remaining cheese and bake an additional 5 minutes or until cheese melts. Sprinkle with chives.

Note: For fans desiring a less spicy ‘skin, use one chipotle pepper and substitute water for the liquid from the can.

Recipe courtesy of 3-Every-Day™ of Dairy

Makes 8 Servings
Prep Time: 95 min
Cook Time: 10 min

Nutritional Facts
Calories: 270
Total Fat: 9 g
Saturated Fat: 6 g
Cholesterol: 55 mg
Sodium: 430 mg
Calcium: 25% Daily Value
Protein: 21 g
Carbohydrates: 26 g
Dietary Fiber: 2 g

Family Day

Family Day

Celebrated September 27, 2010

the 10th Anniversary!

When I was growing up dinner was at 5:00 and if you were not there, you were in trouble!  Dinner was a great time to yell above your other siblings about what happened in your day, your grades, and most importantly what happened on the way home from school!  Didn’t everyone eat as a family?  Sometimes Mom and Dad were not there…but Grandma was and WOW could she cook!  I was quite naïve…every family was like this wasn’t it…..

Last year many of you received or ordered #Back to the Table® DVD from www.winnersdrinkmilk.com and one segment was on the benefits of eating as a family, or group.  Eating together at the same time while talking, laughing, and sometimes arguing… but still learning from each other.

According to CASA eating with family is critical for optimal child growth.  I would have never learned to eat biscuits one layer at a time if it was not for my sister or more importantly; learning to spell supercalifragilisticexpialidocious if it was not at the dinner table practicing with my other siblings.

CASA also states: “Whether you’re cooking a gourmet meal, ordering food from your favorite take-out place or eating on the go, rest assured that what your kids really want during dinnertime is YOU! Family meals are the perfect time to talk to your kids and to listen to what’s on their mind.  The more often kids eat dinner with their families, the less likely they are to smoke, drink or use drugs”

I am sure as I was growing up we had many serious conversations about school, eating right, smoking, drinking, driving but it is hard to remember the serious stuff!  Today, with more dangers to our children, more technology and less time to cuddle and protect them isn’t it time to begin having dinner as a family?  Dinner does not have to be at the dining table, it can easily be in the car before a game (not driving, but stopped and able to have Mom involved); or at the picnic site, it can even be in a corner of a auditorium with drive-thru bags before an instrument performance.  Be creative, you never know when your children are really listening….usually when they are laughing…supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!

Bored with Dinner?

Heather Cupp, a Registered Dietitian working for Riley Hospital, is our guest blogger today. She is a busy mom of two children and knows the stresses of evening meals. We hope that her healthy ideas will inspire your future dinner creations!

Bored with dinner?  Need some easy meal ideas that your family will love?  You’ve come to the right spot! With afterschool practices, games, and other activities finding healthy, creative, and quick dinner ideas can be challenging.  So, here are a few fun ones:

Roll-up:  Tortillas and flat-breads are fun to make dinners with your kids.  Try a flat bread spread with peanut butter then topped with a banana rolled up for a delicious treat. Don’t forget the other food groups!  Adding a glass of milk and some raw veggies with dip completes this delicious meal.

Easy Pizza: 1 whole grain English muffin topped with tomato sauce, turkey pepperoni, mushrooms, bell peppers, and cheese for each person.  Add a side salad and mix some berries with yogurt for a dessert.  You could also have a fun day with the kids by buying some dough (already made or mix), setting out a variety of toppings, and letting them make their own individual pizzas!

Leftover: Be creative with leftovers.  Use chicken to make quesadillas or BBQ chicken sandwiches.  Leftover ground beef or turkey can be made into sloppy joe’s, patty melts, or taco salad the next day.  Use leftover pork roast to make pulled pork sandwiches, quesadillas, or wraps.  You can also be creative by adding these to a salad. 

Shape, Alphabet, or Other Themed Meals: A “c” themed dinner could include a chicken sandwich with cheese, cucumber slices and carrot sticks on the side with fresh cherries for dessert. A circle theme would have crackers, reduced fat cheese cut-outs, melon balls, cherry tomatoes and other circle foods. Or try an ocean theme: tuna salad with goldfish crackers, broccoli trees with dip and blue Jell-O with fruit for dessert.

My family loves when I make these quick, easy, and delicious meals for dinner. I hope yours does, too! Enjoy!

Looking Back… Indiana State Fair 2010

Elles Niessen, the 2010 Indiana Dairy Princess, is our guest blogger today. We hope that you enjoy learning about her memorable experiences at the Indiana State Fair.

            I realize that the Indiana State Fair has been over for almost a month, but I still want to share my experiences

Elles, second from right, at Indiana State Fair Dairy Show.

from it since I’ve attended it every year since I was in the 4th grade. To make it even better, this year I got to experience it as the 2010 Indiana Dairy Princess. First, I had the privilege of helping hand out ribbons and welcoming everyone to both dairy shows during the State Fair this year. I was also able to attend one of the milking events where we taught the public about the milking process and allowed them to ask questions about it and dairy cows in general. Every day at the state fair, I met and interacted with many new people who share a love for the dairy industry and try a variety of dairy products, like fried butter. For example, I attended the ice cream crank off in the Pioneer Village and taste-tested all of the different homemade ice cream flavors, like chocolate covered strawberry. Yum!

            Not only did I get to experience that event, but I also welcomed and educated the public about the importance of consuming three servings of milk and other dairy products every day while standing outside of the Dairy Bar. I was handing out “I love milk” stickers to kids when an adult asked if she could have some to take home to her grandchildren. This is when I thought of the idea to propose her with a DAIRY question to make her earn the stickers

Elles & Buttercup in the daily State Fair parade.

while engaging her dairy knowledge. It actually turned into a fun game for those waiting in line, while also getting them involved and testing their knowledge one person at a time J . The Dairy Bar also provided me with plenty of milk shakes and grilled cheese sandwiches to keep me on my feet, especially for the evening parade. In the parade, I rode the float with my side kick, Buttercup the Cow. It was probably my favorite part of the State Fair because people knew we were promoting the dairy industry with our logo “Winners Drink Milk.”

            The whole fair experience was great, and I probably had my picture taken over twenty times. I know that there were many girls there who dream of becoming the Indiana Dairy Princess when they get older. Even though you may think I helped the public become more knowledgeable about the dairy industry, I believe this was a great learning experience for me. I only showed Holstein cows and heifers at my county fair, so this opportunity gave me the chance to learn many valuable things about judging different dairy breeds and the specific details judges look for in larger shows like that at the State Fair. I enjoyed my experience greatly and hope to see many more people at Kelsay Farms on October 23rd, where I will next be seen following through with my legend!