Wednesday, August 21, 2013

One Last Summer Picnic with Real Seal Dairy Products

I love dairy products and so does my family so when asked to join in on the “Back to School Goodness” campaign from Real® Seal, I leapt at the chance!

With so much information these days that seems to conflict about what's good for you and what's not, it can get very confusing. Here are some of the reasons why Real® Seal dairy products are a great fit into a daily balanced diet:

The Real® Sea lets you know what you’re buying is a wholesome, natural dairy product and not an imitation or a substitute. This means the many vitamins and nutrients that are associated with cow’s milk are guaranteed with a Real® Seal product.*

Milk is an excellent source of the following essential vitamins and minerals:

Vitamin D
Calcium and Phosphorus
Riboflavin (vitamin B2)
Cyanocobalamin (vitamin B12)

Milk is a GOOD source of:

Vitamin A
Niacin (niacin equivalents)

To learn more about Dairy Nutrition, visit the website below:
National Dairy Council

*Nutrient claims are based on 1 cup of fat-free milk, with vitamins A & D added, from the USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference.

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Picnic Photos! 

Kids are back to school next week and all I can think is this is our last chance to do something fun before summer ends! We decided on one last picnic before they head back to the books.

I had to take my oldest daughter to pick up transcripts for a change to a new college and I took everyone along with me. We packed a cooler with dairy-rich Real® Sea foods and parked ourselves at the perfect picnic spot.

While these are our favorite picnic foods, they're also terrific for busy school nights or as lunches for the kids. To change up the Muffuletta, wrap it in foil and pop it into a 350 degree F oven for half an hour. Let it stand for 10 minutes then cut into wedges as usual. With everything warmed and the cheese wonderfully melty, it's a beautiful sandwich for cooler nights as well.

The pasta salad can get "winterized" by swapping out summer veggies for cooler weather crops. Try adding crunchy jicama or spicy radishes. Snow peas can stand in for green beans and artichoke hearts, marinated or not, are a nice addition as well. Try a sharp cheddar instead of mozzarella and cubes of ham are delicious in place of salami.

Potato salad is a summer staple, but tossing the still warm potatoes with the dressing adds a complexity you won't expect, making it perfect for chilly nights.

Snow dessert is delicious no matter what time of year you serve it. Wait until serving time for the fruit topping and spoon it over the top warmed. Everyone is sure to love it!

All of these are great as leftovers for lunch, so don't forget the lunchboxes the next morning - you'll have everyone packed up and ready to go in no time!

Here are recipes for our favorite picnic foods:


Serves 6

Our very favorite sandwich for picnics and travels. I make one without tomatoes or olives for the picky eaters.


1 large round loaf of bread (traditionally Italian)
1/2 lb hard salami-sliced
1/2 lb sliced ham
1/2 lb smoked turkey
1/2 lb sliced cheese
1/2 c chopped black olives
1/2 c chopped spanish olives with pimiento
2 plum tomatoes sliced
1/2 c Italian dressing


1. Cut loaf in half horizontally. Remove inside of bread leaving a 1" ring at edge.
2. Layer meat and cheese alternately, I usually make 2 layers.
3. Top with sliced tomato, chopped olives, and drizzle with dressing.
4. Replace top of bread and wrap tightly in plastic.
5. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight. Remove wrapping and cut into 6 wedges.

Pasta Salad

Anne's Pasta Salad
This makes a huge amount of salad perfect for potluck picnics or the like. You'll have leftovers if you don't share!


1 pound rotini pasta
3 large tomatoes peeled seeded and chopped
1 large cucumber peeled seeded and chopped
2 small green peppers seeded and chopped
1 can black olives drained and sliced
2 cups cooked and cut green beans
2 cups broccoli florets cooked and drained
2 cups cauliflower florets cooked and drained
2 cups or 1 (15 oz) can kidney or small white beans-drained
1 cup shredded carrot
1/2 lb salami cut in 1/2" cubes
1/2 lb mozzarella cut in 1/2" cubes
1 large bottle (20 oz.) Italian dressing


1. Cook pasta and drain.
2. Add remaining ingredients except dressing and toss to mix.
3. Refrigerate for several hours before serving and add dressing just before service. Stir well.

Red Potato Salad

Anne's Red Potato Salad
My favorite trick that was an accident - I ran out of mayonnaise and had to use sour cream. The result was so delicious it's the only way I make potato salad now.


3 pounds red bliss potatoes (that means the small ones!) cooked and cubed
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup sour cream
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried dill
1/2 small onion-finely chopped (optional)
2 teaspoons grainy brown mustard or 1 teaspoon ground mustard powder
1 Tablespoon Kosher salt (less for table salt)


1. Combine mayo, sour cream and seasonings and blend well.
2. Pour over potatoes and toss until well combined.
3. Check seasoning and thin with a little milk if necessary.

Snow Dessert

Snow Dessert
Messy and not pretty but oh-so-good! The kids love this one.


1 (10 inch) angel food cake
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
1 cup milk
1 (16 ounce) package frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 (21 ounce) can blueberry pie filling or other fruit filling or 2 cups pudding-any flavor
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


1. Break angel food cake into small pieces, and spread into the bottom of a 9 x 13 inch baking
2. Mix together confectioners' sugar, cream cheese, vanilla, and milk until smooth. Fold in whipped
topping. Pour over cake pieces.
3. Pour blueberries, other fruit, or pudding over all.
4. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and chill for 4 hours or overnight.

*Stipend for food was provided by Real® Seal. All opinions are my own and are in no way influenced by free product. 

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