Friday, December 14, 2012

Dairy Owns December

For no other holiday season do so many consumers indulge in the finest of foods, with all types of dairy products taking center stage. From the cheese platter to buttered rolls to real whipped cream coffee toppers, dairy rules the period from when the Thanksgiving turkey gets carved all the way to the singing of Auld Lang Syne.

With so many channels of social media available to dairy product marketers, get LOUD about making this year a Merry Dairy Christmas! Get connected and provide your customers with dairy tips.

The Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board can serve as a resource with its new website (, which is devoted to dairy-based dips, expected appetizers on holiday party buffets. That’s because real dairy products are the foundation of nearly every good dip recipe, and that’s certainly true for the more than 50 recipes at From cream cheese and sour cream to natural cheeses--dairy gives dips a full flavor and rich, creamy consistency. Recipes on the site are organized by category, with options for sweet dips, savory dips, holiday dips and more.

And here are two of my favorites—always a hit with friends and family. If you market any of the ingredients used in these recipes, feel free to share, and even modify to boast your brand.

Berry on Dairy’s “Simply the Best Buffalo Chicken Dip”
Dairy Ingredients:
1-8-ounce brick of cream cheese*
¼-cup real blue cheese crumbles
The Rest:
1/3-cup ranch dressing*
1-12-ounce can cooked chicken, drained
1/3-cup hot wing sauce
(* = Use either light or regular varieties; never fat free.)
Directions: Mix all five ingredients together until smooth and bake for 45 minutes to an hour at 350 degrees. (Leftovers should be stored in the refrigerator and are great the next day—warm or cold--on top of a toasted bagel.)

Berry on Dairy’s “Caramelized Onion Dip”
Dairy Ingredients:
4-ounces cream cheese*
½-cup sour cream*
4-tablespoons salted butter
The Rest:
¼-cup vegetable oil
2-large yellow onions
½-cup mayonnaise*
¼-teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1-teaspoon kosher salt
½-teaspoon black pepper
(* = Use either light or regular varieties; never fat free.)
Directions: Cut onions in half and slice into 1/8-inch wide strips. This should equal about 3 cups. Heat the butter and oil over medium heat, adding onions and both peppers and salt. Saute for about 10 minutes. Reduce heat to low and cook mixture for 20 to 30 more minutes, stirring occasionally. Onions should be soft and brown. Very little liquid should be present in pan. Remove from heat and cool. Separately, combine cream cheese, sour cream and mayonnaise in a bowl. Beat until smooth. Hand mix in cooled onion mixture. Serve at room temperature. (Leftovers should be stored in the refrigerator and are great the next day as a sandwich spread.)
Have a Merry “Berry” Dairy Christmas!

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