Summer is the Sweet Season

What does summer mean to you? Warm weather brings pool parties, block parties and ice cream parties. Whether it’s a party or a family picnic, we have an award winning recipe from Venae’s Kitchen that’ll be the hit of your next gathering!

Maple Croutons

Ingredients:

  • Strawberry Salad
  • •1 lb. strawberries, sliced
  • •1/2 lb. fresh blackberries
  • •1/3 lb. fresh raspberries
  • •1/4 cup lemon juice
  • •1 cup fresh mint
  • •1/2 lb. feta crumbles

 

Directions:

Melt butter in a saucepan and add sugar. Stir to combine and melt sugar. Let cool slightly. Take the slices of bread and cut into cubes and place in a large plastic freezer bag. Add the butter mixture and shake to coat all the bread.

Place in a single layer on a cookie sheet and bake at 400°F until golden brown. Cool on a rack. Use these sweet croutons to add to a fresh strawberry summer salad.

3 Steps for a Stress-Free Easter

This year, spend less time fretting over your menu and more time enjoying quality moments with your loved ones. We’ve gathered three of our favorite dishes from Venae’s Kitchen that will be a hit at your Easter dinner.

Easter Ham: Now, this Easter ham is anything but ordinary. The sweet pineapple and peach create a delicious crust with flavors that match the light Spring weather. And the great thing about this dish (besides it being a hit!)… you can leave it to cook in the oven until it’s ready to serve, meaning less work in the kitchen for you!

Shaved Brussels Sprouts: Switch up your traditional Easter side dishes with these flavorful Shaved Brussels Sprouts. Needing only a handful of ingredients, this tasty side dish will take you under 30 minutes to whip up!

Lemon Bars: Celebrate the flavors of Spring by whipping up some light Lemon Bars. Best made the night before, these lemon bars will give your family a sweet treat that involves minimal clean up on your end!

 Which one of these Easter recipes is your favorite? Tag us in your recipe recreations and we’ll share it on our social sites!

Winning Game Day Snack Recipes

Nothing goes better with basketball than some tasty game day snacks. This year, skip the chips and switch it up with some simple snacks that will help your party score, even if your team doesn’t.

Check out our four favorite tournament snacks from Venae’s Kitchen that will score points among your guests.

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Muffin Pan Baltimore Style Crab Cakes: Bring a piece of Baltimore home in the simplest way possible. Who knew muffin pan crab cakes could be so tasty? We did!

Cheddar Brats: Take advantage of the warm weather (and commercial breaks) to utilize the grill. Our Cheddar Brats put a simple twist on the traditional bratwurst. These will quickly become a favorite at your viewing party!

Meatball and Sausage Bombs: You’ll take the championship with these finger food staples. Our favorite: bite-sized Meatball and Sausage Bombs straight from Venae’s Kitchen. Serve your “bombs” with a homemade dipping sauce like this one from The Pioneer Woman.

Minvera Dairy Reuben DipReuben Dip: You can’t foul out with this hearty dip! With the flavors of a traditional Reuben sandwich, this dip is a great alternative to pulling out the cold cuts and making a boring sandwich. We suggest serving it with toasted bread for a hearty crunch!

Which one of these game day snacks is your favorite? Tag us in your recipe recreations and we’ll share it on our social sites!

Delicious Dishes Courtesy of a Few of our Favorite Bloggers

soups1. Peppermint Cheesecake Sugar Cookie Cups: Our friends at Home Maid Simple whipped up these delicious, Peppermint Cheesecake Sugar Cookie Cups, using our Minerva Dairy Amish Roll Butter. These minty cheesecake treats make for the perfect cookie!

2. Coconut Macarons: Blogger Leah Says created these delicious Coconut Macarons using our Amish Roll Butter.

3. Chocolate Stuffed Cookie: Are you a lover of whoopie pies? If your answer is yes, then this recipe for Chocolate Stuffed Cookies from Sweet and Savory Food is the one for you. Our Amish Roll butter makes chocolate cookies extremely fluffy, which perfectly compliments the creamy and nutty filling.

4. Dark Chocolate Espresso Cookies with Smoked Sea Salt: This recipe from ABCs and Garden Peas is the perfect combination of sweet and salty. The hints of espresso and smoked sea salt in these cookies pair perfectly together.

The Best Recipes for a Snow Day

When the week is jam packed and busy, we all welcome those relaxing days when our planner isn’t full! February is prime for snow day weather. Here at Minerva Dairy, we like to make the most of those days and use them as an excuse to whip up some of our favorite recipes.

We’ve compiled some of our favorites from Venae’s Kitchen and narrowed them down to our top five choices.

Chocolate Pancakes
When the days are busy, breakfast can quickly become a forgotten meal. So when we have free time, we love to spend the mornings cooking up our favorites. Our go-to’s are Venae’s Chocolate Pancakes. Using Minerva Dairy Amish Roll Butter and cocoa, these sweet and chocolatey pancakes will be a delicious morning treat.

 

Chowder
On your next chilly day off, cuddle up to a warm and hearty bowl of chowder. One of our favorites is Mushroom Chowder. This decadent soup is made extra creamy with the addition of our 84% butterfat Amish Roll Butter.

 

 

Brussels Sprouts
Nothing compliments a meal better than the perfect savory side dish. Using Maplewood Smoked Amish Roll Butter, these Shaved Brussels Sprouts can complete any meal.

 

 

Garlicky Orzo
Sure a quick spaghetti works perfectly for a busy night. But when we have a little bit of extra time, we like to change things up. A Garlicky Orzo is not only delicious but it’s a perfect comforting dish. Our Garlic and Herb Amish Roll Butter adds the perfect amount of garlic flavor to this pasta dish.

 

Grilled Peaches with Caramel
Nothing completes a meal better than dessert! One of our favorites are Grilled Peaches with a Caramel Sauce. This bright dessert will transport you to a warmer day (and who couldn’t use that right about now!)

 

So, next time you find yourself with a little spare time, treat yourself to a delicious home cooked meal, and let our go-to recipes act as your menu inspiration!

Soups You’re Going to Savor All Month Long

soupsFrench Onion Soup:This French Onion Soup recipe will become your new cold weather favorite. Prepared with delicious beef broth, tender onions, French bread and melted Provolone Cheese, this classic and decadent soup will surely please the entire family!

Beef Stew: A hearty beef stew is sure to satisfy your family this month. This tender and rich slow–cooked stew will have your family running to the table. Make this dish even more delicious by serving it in a bread bowl.

Cheesy Cauliflower Soup: Our recipe for Cheesy Cauliflower Soup will warm up any chilly January day. This indulgent soup features cauliflower, carrots, celery and some of our favorite Minerva Dairy cheeses.

Dress Up America’s Most Underrated Cookie

Minerva Pumpkin Snickerdoodle Cookies
We get it, we get it! The leaves are turning hues of ruby red and burnt orange … which means pumpkin. Lots of pumpkin!

So, how do you celebrate fall in all its glory without overdoing the pumpkin in your kitchen? One recipe from Venae’s Kitchen can help you break free of the basic pumpkin spice latte and bring a little warmth to the oft-forgotten snickerdoodle.

Tweet: Celebrate #fall without going overboard on the pumpkin. Give the snickerdoodle a makeover via @churnitup: http://ow.ly/XmFZ305dgkS http://ctt.ec/582dfCelebrate #fall without going overboard on the pumpkin. Give the snickerdoodle a makeover via @churnitup: http://ow.ly/XmFZ305dgkS http://ctt.ec/582df

But before you get a jumpstart on our recipe for Pumpkin Snickerdoodles, make sure your fridge is stocked for fall. (We’ll wait. Go on … take a read and we’ll meet you back in the kitchen to get these treats baking!)

Pumpkin Snickerdoodles
Ingredients
1 cup of Minerva Dairy Pumpkin Spice Butter, softened
3 1/4 cups flour
3 1/2 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp allspice
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 large egg yolk
1/4 cup canned pumpkin purée
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
For Rolling
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon

Directions
In mixing bowl combine flour, cornstarch, cream of tartar, baking soda, baking powder, salt cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and allspice. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, cream together Minerva Dairy Pumpkin Spice Butter, sugar and brown sugar until mixed. Add egg yolk then mix in pumpkin and vanilla. Slowly add in the dry ingredients. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 45 mins to an hour. Preheat oven to 350°F during the last 10 minutes of refrigeration.

In a small bowl combine the 1/4 cup sugar and 2 tsp of cinnamon. Scoop out dough and make a small ball and roll in the cinnamon sugar. Place on cookie sheet and press down slightly on each ball. Bake in preheated oven 10-12 mins.

Cool Weather Tips to Brighten Brunch

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It’s not fall without a few really incredible brunch get-togethers thrown in there, is it? Here are three simple ways to hack your way through the kitchen work and come out with recipes that put fall in reach.

Bulletproof your coffee: We love putting butter in our coffee because we’re butter lovers, plain and simple. But blend a few tablespoons of our Unsalted Amish Roll Butter in a cup of freshly brewed joe for a creamy drink you’ll love waking up to, and you’ll be hooked too!

Amplify your pancake game: Chef Eric Greenspan’s Pancake Lasagna is a clever and insanely delicious way to please the brunch-going crowd. Get the perfect bite and you’re noshing on pancakes, bacon, sausage and eggs … all in one bite. Perfection.

Turn up the flavor with one ingredient:
And that ingredient is butter. Our Pumpkin Spice Amish Roll Butter and our Maple Syrup Amish Roll Butter is the easiest way to add a little pizazz to your favorite pancake recipe … or even to a stack of frozen waffles. Hey. We’re not judging!

Make Family Dinner a Winner … Again!

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This September is Family Meals Month, and just in time because it’s also back-to-school!

If you thought the summer was busy – between the sleepovers, summer camps and spur-of-the-moment play dates – then the school year is bound to give the word “busy” a new meaning.

Tweet: #FamilyMealsMonth made easy (and delicious!) with #MinervaDairy. #ChurnItUp! http://ow.ly/Xwk1303Ap4N http://ctt.ec/hk8Ns#FamilyMealsMonth made easy (and delicious!) with #MinervaDairy. #ChurnItUp! http://ow.ly/Xwk1303Ap4N http://ctt.ec/hk8Ns

When you feel like extra-curriculars are dominating your time, pour some love and attention into the family dinner. It doesn’t have to be pretty, it just has to be! Get your kiddos to the table and trust us, just 30 minutes to a sit-down meal with your family will help you to:

1. Slow down
2. Recharge
3. Live mindfully
4. Give you the energy to tackle the full week ahead

From Prosciutto & Fig Panini’s to Jerk Orange Roughy Flatbread to Grilled Boneless Pork Chops with Pears, we’re making the family dinner a winner again. Our recipes are created by family, for family. Meet you at the dinner table!

Cheddar Brats
Ingredients
4 ounces Minerva Dairy Smoked Butter
1 pack cheddar bratwurst
3 Vidalia onions (sliced)
2 poblano peppers (seeded and sliced)
3 cans of Yuengling Lager
Sea Salt & Pepper to taste

Directions
In an aluminum tray, place Minerva Dairy Smoked Butter, sliced onions and peppers and beer. Place on lower heat side of the grill and stir as needed.

Grill cheddar brats just until the casing becomes charred. Place in the aluminum tray on the other side of the grill to marinate. Cook for 20 minutes. Serve with plenty of the onions, peppers and your favorite mustard on a good sausage roll.

Playing with Our Food: Mastering the Croissant

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If homemade dough leaves you reeling. If lengthy prep times have you rolling your eyes. If classically French recipes scare you altogether, we’ve pulled together three all-star baking tips for croissants that are sure to impress your family.

Tweet: 1 recipe + 3 of our best tips = Killer croissants that are sure to brighten your next brunch. http://ow.ly/pdBd3032DId http://ctt.ec/U8Wj41 recipe + 3 of our best tips = Killer croissants that are sure to brighten your next brunch. http://ow.ly/pdBd3032DId http://ctt.ec/U8Wj4

 
Tip #1: Never skimp on the butter. We recommend using … wait for it … 84 percent butterfat! This is our wheelhouse, so rely on our butter artisans’ craftsmanship and your croissants will be as flaky and tender as ever.

Tip #2: Try making your croissants on a cool day in a room hovering below 68° F. This will help your butter and dough to stay cold, which makes for flaky layers.

Tip #3: Breathe. Take it easy. Have fun! Your croissants may not be award worthy on your first attempt. Just enjoy the ride and relish the first batch out of the oven! You might even want to involve your kids for some quality kitchen time.

Classic Croissants
Ingredients
1 1/2 cups whole milk, heated to warm (105°F–110°F)
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 Tbsp. plus 1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast (from two 1/4-oz packages)
3 3/4 to 4 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. kosher sal
1 1/2 cups cold Minerva Dairy Amish Quarter Stick Butter

Directions
Dough:

Stir together warm milk, brown sugar and yeast in the bowl of a standing mixer and let stand for about 5 minutes until foamy. Add 3 3/4 cups flour and salt, and mix with dough hook at low speed for about 7 minutes until dough is smooth and very soft. Transfer dough to a work surface and knead by hand for 2 minutes, adding more flour as necessary, a little at a time, to make a soft, slightly sticky dough. Form dough into a roughly 1 1/2-inch-thick rectangle and chill, wrapped in plastic wrap for about 1 hour until cold.

Butter:
After dough has chilled, arrange sticks of butter horizontally, their sides touching, on a work surface. Pound butter with a rolling pin to soften slightly. It should be malleable but still cold. Scrape butter into a block and put on a kitchen towel, then cover with other towel. Pound and roll out on both sides until butter forms a uniform 8- by 5-inch rectangle. Chill, wrapped in towels, while rolling out dough.

Prepare dough:
Unwrap dough and roll out on a lightly floured surface, dusting with flour as necessary and lifting and stretching dough into a 16 by 10-inch rectangle. Arrange dough with a short side nearest you. Put butter in center of dough so that long sides of butter are parallel to short sides of dough. Fold into thirds. Brush off excess flour with pastry brush.

Roll out dough:
Turn dough so a short side is nearest you, then flatten dough slightly by pressing down horizontally with rolling pin across dough at regular intervals, making uniform impressions. Roll out dough into a 15 by 10-inch rectangle, rolling just to but not over ends. Brush off any excess flour. Fold in thirds like a letter, as above, stretching corners to square off dough, forming a 10 by 5-inch rectangle. Chill, wrapped in plastic wrap for 1 hour. Repeat three additional times to make a total of four folds. Wrap dough tightly in plastic wrap and chill at least 8 hours but no more than 18.

Shape croissants:
Holding short side (side opposite tip) of 1 triangle in one hand, stretch dough, tugging and sliding with other hand toward tip to elongate by about 50 percent. Return to work surface with short side of triangle nearest you. Beginning with short side, roll up triangle toward tip. Croissant should overlap 3 times, with tip sticking out from underneath; you may need to stretch dough while rolling.) Put croissant tip side down on a parchment-lined large baking sheet. (Curve ends inward to make a crescent shape if desired.) Make more croissants with remaining 5 triangles, then with remaining rolled-out dough, arranging them 2 inches apart on baking sheet. Repeat rolling, cutting, and shaping procedures with chilled piece of dough.

Let croissants rise:
Slide each baking sheet into a garbage bag, propping up top of bag with inverted glasses to keep it from touching croissants, and tuck open end under baking sheet. Let croissants rise until slightly puffy and spongy to the touch, 2 to 2‚ hours.

Bake croissants:
Adjust oven racks to upper and lower thirds of oven and preheat to 425°F. Remove baking sheets from bags. Spritz inside oven generously with spray bottle and close door. Put croissants in oven, then spritz again before closing door. Reduce temperature to 400°F and bake 10 minutes without opening door. Switch position of sheets in oven and rotate sheets 180°, then reduce temperature to 375°F and bake until croissants are deep golden, about 10 minutes more.