Dairy Your Life

milk

Always there, always good. Healthy habits contain milk!

milkThe great chefs of the world have secrets that make their creations tastier…and one of those secrets is milk! Here are some simple ways to make milk part of your every day cooking:

  • Add richness, tenderness and moisture to bread dough and other baked goods by replacing the water with fresh milk.
  • Add extra calcium and protein to muffins, quick breads, pancakes and cookies by adding powdered milk with the dry ingredients.
  • Powdered milk mixed into meatloaf, meat balls or casseroles helps them hold shape their shape better and adds calcium.
  • Whip skim or 1% milk into foam using a manual or battery-powered milk frother or an immersion blender with a whip attachment.
  • Whip cold milk then warm it in the microwave (in a tall cup) to dollop on top of coffee or hot chocolate for that specialty café effect.
  • Make a richer and more nutritious hot chocolate from a powdered mix by replacing the water with milk.
  • Add milk to homemade soups for extra flavour and nutrition. Reduce the amount of water or broth called for by up to half and replace it with milk, adding it at the end of cooking (make sure you don’t let the soup boil).
  • Chill your glass in the refrigerator or freezer for about 15 minutes before pouring in milk for an extra-frosty drink.

cream

Add texture & taste to food the natural way with real cream!

creamWant to add the luxurious texture and flavour of cream to your everyday cooking? Here are a few handy tips:

  • To add velvety texture to gravy, whisk Whipping, 35% Cooking or 35% Country-style cream until thickened, but not stiff, and stir into gravy just before serving.
  • Make a wonderful vanilla-infused cream to use in coffee, desserts such as Easy Crème Brûlée or breakfast recipes like Angels’ French Toast. Place one-quarter of a vanilla bean in 1 cup (250 mL) of any type of cream, cover and refrigerate for at least 2 days or for up to 5 days.
  • Pour 15%, 18% or 35% cream into a plastic squeeze bottle and add finely chopped fresh herbs and salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle the herbed cream over soups for a stellar restaurant presentation.
  • Dress up store-bought or homemade soup by whisking Whipping cream until it’s slightly thickened, then add chopped fresh herbs such as chives, cilantro, basil or mint and drizzle it over a creamed soup just before serving to garnish and add a burst of fresh flavour.
  • For a quick, easy and terrific tasting sauce, pan-sear chicken, pork chops or veal cutlets, add Whipping, Cooking or Country-style cream to the pan juices and bring to a boil, then simply season with mustard or fresh herbs.
  • Cream can replace coconut milk in recipes: for each cup (250 mL), add 1/4 cup (50 mL) unsweetened shredded coconut to 1 cup (250 mL) Whipping cream or 15% Cooking cream and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before using.
  • Add richness, tenderness and moisture to bread dough and other baked goods by replacing the water with cream.
  • Make an at-home cappuccino by whipping cream until thickened and stirring it into a steaming cup of regular coffee. Serve sprinkled with cinnamon.
  • Create a quick hot fudge sauce to pour over ice cream or as a dessert garnish: heat 1/2 cup (125 mL) 15%, 18% or 35% cream in a saucepan or in the microwave just until steaming and whisk in 2 tbsp (25 mL) finely chopped chocolate until melted. Serve hot.
  • Out of eggs? In a pinch for muffins or other quick breads that need 1 egg, substitute 3 tbsp (45 mL) of any type of cream, 3 tbsp (45 mL) all-purpose flour and 1/2 tsp (2 mL) baking powder. Whisk them together and add to the batter.
  • For better tasting pasta sauce, stir a drizzle of Whipping cream or 35% Cooking cream or Country-style cream into traditional tomato pasta sauce just before serving.
  • For cold dips, substitute equal parts whipped cream and plain yogurt in place of sour cream.
  • Make a better tasting, lighter and puffier omelette by whisking Whipping, Cooking or Country-style cream into the eggs before cooking them.
  • Sweeten lightly whipped cream with maple syrup or liquid honey for an especially delicious topping for pancakes, waffles or French toast.
  • For an even more sublime texture, lightly whip Whipping or 35% Country-style cream until thickened (but not stiff) before adding to pastas, soups and sauces.
  • Easily turn simple sorbet into a dessert: fold whipped cream into slightly softened fruit sorbet; spoon into serving dishes and freeze until set. Serve semi-frozen garnished with fresh fruit.
  • For most gently cooked pan sauces, Half-and-Half or Blend cream, or Table or Coffee cream can be used in place of Whipping cream. Just whisk 1 tbsp (15 mL) all-purpose flour or 2 tsp (10 mL) cornstarch into the cream before adding to the pan and cook, stirring, until the sauce is thickened.
  • Make a richer and more satisfying hot chocolate from a powdered mix by replacing one-third of the water with cream.
  • Stir cream into your favourite curry at the end of cooking for a smoother and more elegant taste.
  • Add warmed cream to mashed potatoes to elevate them to a 5-star restaurant level. You won’t believe how fantastic potatoes can be.
  • Avoid store-bought fruit dips made with mysterious ingredients. Instead, sweeten whipped cream with maple syrup, honey or jam and spoon it into small bowls or ramekins. Serve with a plate of fresh fruit for dipping.
  • Make ordinary coffee or tea a special experience by infusing cream with subtle, exotic flavours:
    • Add a cinnamon stick, crushed cardamom pods, vanilla beans, crystallized ginger (or your favourite combination) to cream, cover and refrigerate for about 1 day.
    • Remove spices and whip chilled cream to soft peaks; sweeten, if desired.
    • Serve flavoured whipped cream in small bowls for your guests to top their coffee or tea.
    • Higher fat creams can easily be used in place of lower fat cream in most recipes.

butter

Spread it, melt it, taste it. Nothing beats butter!

butterWhen a recipe calls for butter, only real butter will do! Don’t try to substitute. Below are some tips to enhance the natural wonders of butter:

  • Create a smooth finish in a hot sauce by cutting cold butter into small cubes and whisking one or two cubes at a time into the hot sauce over low heat. Continue adding and whisking until all of the butter is incorporated. Use about 1/4 cup (50 mL) butter for each cup (250 mL) of sauce. Added gradually , the cold butter will melt more evenly and blend into the sauce better.
  • For the best results when using softened butter creamed with sugar in cookies and cakes, the butter should be soft enough that you can easily make an impression with your finger when you press it but not so soft that you can press right through it.
  • Avoid crumbs in your butter! Set aside a small portion of butter, either in the fridge or in the cupboard, that is exclusively for toast and make sure everyone knows not to get crumbs in the rest of the butter. For this, salted butter is best because the salt acts as a preservative.
  • For the freshest flavour, store only as much butter at room temperature in a covered butter dish that you’ll use within two to three days. In the warm summer months, only take out what you’ll use in one day.
  • Maintain the freshness of butter with proper wrapping. Carefully unwrap the foil-laminated paper and cut off as much butter as you need, then re-wrap the remaining butter with the paper. Don’t cut through the wrap or tear it off, as this will leave butter exposed.
  • Butter is best when fresh. Though it will last longer, for optimal flavour, only buy what you plan to use within a week or two. If you want to take advantage of specials or find you’re not using it quickly enough, freeze butter to preserve its fresh flavour.
  • If you plan to freeze butter for longer storage, cut it into 1/2 cup (125 mL) portions and wrap each portion in plastic wrap then in foil or place in an airtight container or freezer bag and freeze. This makes it easier to remove a small amount of butter at a time and avoid refreezing.

yogurt

Smooth and smart. Rich yet healthy. Yes, it’s yogurt!

yogurtHere are some handy tips to add the goodness of yogurt to your every day!

  • Make a tuna salad with plain yogurt in place of half of the usual mayonnaise. The freshness and tang creates a whole new flavour.
  • When using yogurt in baking or cooking, make sure there is no added gelatin, thickeners or artificial sweeteners, as these may not react well when heated.
  • For the creamiest texture, lightly whisk yogurt before adding it to a sauce, soup or stew.
  • To thicken a soup or stew, whisk a little cornstarch or flour into yogurt (about 1 tbsp/15 mL per 1 cup/250 mL) and gradually whisk it into the simmering pot. Cook, whisking, for a couple of minutes to achieve a creamy texture with a touch of tang.
  • Yogurt adds a light twist to dips – use it in place of mayonnaise or sour cream in your favourite recipes.
  • Make your own yogurt “cheese”: Spoon plain yogurt, preferably Balkan-style or Mediterranean-style, into a sieve lined with a coffee filter or cheesecloth and set it over a bowl. Cover and refrigerate for a few hours for slightly thickened yogurt or overnight for very thick yogurt cheese. Use it in dips, spreads or in desserts. It can also be used in recipes that call for Greek-style yogurt.
  • Add a touch of yogurt to fruit milk shakes for a refreshing tang.
  • Use full-fat yogurt in baking to add the most tenderness and moisture.
  • Fold plain, vanilla-flavoured or fruit yogurt into whipped cream for a lighter dessert topping. Add about 1/4 cup (50 mL) yogurt per 1 cup (250 mL) of whipped cream. The rich and tangy combination is terrific with berry, apple and pear desserts.
  • Make traditional Swiss Muesli for breakfast: Stir together yogurt (plain or fruit-flavoured), muesli cereal or granola and shredded apple. Cover and refrigerate overnight then add honey to taste and more fresh fruit in the morning and sprinkle with chopped almonds or hazelnuts.
  • No buttermilk? Substitute 2/3 cup (150 mL) plain yogurt and 1/3 cup (75 mL) milk; whisk them together and let stand for 5 minutes before adding to your recipe.
  • Make an Iced Café Latte with vanilla-flavoured yogurt or frozen yogurt, cold strong-brewed coffee and ice cubes blended until slushy.
  • Add chopped cucumber, dill, salt and a spoonful of mayonnaise to plain yogurt for a “best ever” vegetable dip!
  • Mash an avocado with plain yogurt for a unique nacho dip – simple and delicious!
  • Dress up ordinary desserts with yogurt, either plain or flavoured. Dip fresh fruit into a bowl of yogurt, and then add a sprinkling of brown sugar, grated chocolate or coconut for a light and delicious change of pace.
  • For a delightful, simple dessert or snack, top plain yogurt with any one or a combination of the following: cinnamon, applesauce, maple syrup, honey, raisins, chopped nuts or shredded coconut.
  • Top baked potatoes with plain yogurt and fresh chives or green onions.
  • Mix yogurt into your breakfast cereal – either with milk or just yogurt!
  • Mix yogurt into pancake or waffle batters or dollop fruit yogurt on top before the syrup.

ice cream

A tasty milk treat – perfect for any occasion!

ice-creamYou can eat ice cream straight from a cone, a bowl or even incorporate it into other treats and desserts. Here are a few handy tips:

  • Cold fruit soups are refreshing on warm summer days. For an extra treat, add a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
  • Add nutritious fruit to your ice cream. Let vanilla ice cream soften slightly and fold in: rhubarb sauce, strawberry sauce, mango sauce, raspberry sauce, etc., then freeze until firm.
  • For easy serving when entertaining, pre-scoop ice cream: place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and freeze for about 2 hours or until firm. For longer storage, transfer to an airtight container until you’re ready to serve.
  • Get creative with your presentation for ice cream: use a frozen peach half, hollowed orange half, papaya half, coconut half or cream puff. For a crowd, use a hollowed pineapple half or large meringue shell.
  • Serve ice cream with Mexican flair – butter a small flour tortilla and sprinkle it with cinnamon, mold over the bottom of a bowl and toast it in the oven until crisp. Let it cool then fill it with ice cream.
  • Make a quick Praline Ice Cream Sundae: Toast chopped pecans in a skillet until fragrant and stir in corn syrup and brown sugar. Spoon over a bowl of vanilla ice cream.
  • Create your own Iced Café Latte at home: Combine coffee- or vanilla-flavoured ice cream, cold strong-brewed coffee and ice cubes in a blender and blend until slushy.
  • This variation on Macaroon balls makes a terrific accompaniment to a slice of cake. Simply roll small scoops of ice cream in toasted shredded coconut and freeze on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet until ready to serve.
  • Need a smashing dessert fast? Fill store-bought crepes with chocolate ice cream, drizzle with Kahlua or chocolate sauce and dust with icing sugar
  • Applesauce Parfaits can be an ‘any day’ dessert: Layer vanilla ice cream with applesauce, chopped toasted pecans or walnuts and top with whipped cream scented with cinnamon
  • For a comforting treat, top vanilla ice cream with apples sautéed in butter and brown sugar. Sprinkle with chopped toasted pecans.
  • Quick Tortoni Delight makes a fabulous dessert: For each serving, combine 1 scoop of softened rum-raisin ice cream with 1 small coconut macaroon cookie, crumbled, and fold in 2 tbsp (30 mL) whipped cream. Spoon into paper-lined muffin pans and sprinkle with walnut crumbs. Freeze until firm.
  • Short-cut eggnog for the festive season: combine high-quality French vanilla ice cream, milk or light cream, rum extract or rum and refrigerate until ice cream is melted. Whisk or whiz in a blender, pour into chilled glasses and garnish with a pinch of grated nutmeg
  • Classic ice cream sodas get a new twist: Combine fruit juice and sparkling water (or use sparkling fruit juice) and add a scoop of ice cream. Serve in a chilled tall glass with a straw, of course.

cheese

Aroma, taste, texture & variety, that’s Canadian cheese!

cheeseWhether you entertain with a cheese tasting or an after-dinner cheese plate, there are no absolutes. The only rule should be generous quantities of good wine and good friends to share it with. Cheese is a guaranteed people pleaser.

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