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  • 13 Local Veterans to Be Thankful for Today and Everyday

    Earlier this month we launched our “Thank a Veteran” Giveaway and as per usual, you all blew us away with your thoughtful, emotional entries. We could only pick one winner, but we wanted to share our appreciation for the bravery and sacrifice of everyone who entered and also take this opportunity to express our gratitude to every veteran who has served this great country.

    Serving our country is a tough (arguably the toughest) job, and one of the most meaningful. We honor, we applaud you, and most importantly we thank you. We are the land of the free because of the brave, and we will never take that for granted.

    This Veterans Day, please keep these special service members in your thoughts, who were nominated by their friends and family. Their stories are truly inspirational.

    “I would like to recognize a Veteran who is just simply an amazing woman! She is a Veteran, a teacher and a super mom! Her husband currently serves and while he is away, she is a super mom! She was a pre-school teacher at my son’s school. She has had some major hardships this year and has always bounced back because she is such a strong and compassionate woman. She is such an inspiration to all women!!! I would like to thank her not only for her service to our country, but for being an amazing role model to all women.” –Sarah Adams Rulman.”

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    “My husband, Jon, has been in the military for over 17 years. He’s been on four deployments and continues to proudly serve. He does a lot for our family and is always there for our kids and me, even if not always in the physical sense. We’ve had a crazy year: got married, had a baby, went through our then-10-week-old having surgery, and bought a house! Jon always finds a way to make sure we are all taken care of, no matter what.” – Jen Lapalme

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    “My cousin Toby is a veteran. He joined the army at a very young age and even had to miss his son’s first steps. He is an incredible person.” – Amanda LeClair Goodrich

    “This is my fiancée Robert Thomas. I met him 16 years ago in Hawaii where he was based and we immediately became glued to other. Ever since he got out he always worked hard to provide for us, help our friends in need, always with out hesitation. We love this man with all our heart.” – Emily Andrews

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    “I want to share a recognition of my husbands grandfather. He was truly an amazing man. He joined the Navy at 17 and served there for 4 years. He then joined the Air Force and served there for 20 years. He married the love of his life after he retired from the Navy and before he joined the Air Force (she didn’t want to marry a Navy guy because he could be deployed on a ship/submarine for months on end. In the Air Force he learned many languages. He spoke fluent Japanese and Russian. I think he might have spoken some Chinese too. Grampy was a kind and loving man. He went to school after he retired from the Military and got his Master’s in education. He became a teacher and ended up becoming a Principal. He inspired so many people to become the best that they can be. He passed last year and we love and miss him so much.” – Tosha Foster

     

    “I’d like you to meet PFC Blaine Adams. I don’t know if he qualifies for this contest since on November 29, 2008 he died in a training accident he was 19 yrs old. Blaine joined the US army when he was 17. He is my younger brother…He had a huge heart. My brother is my hero. His nephew Lucas only met him twice, he was a baby. My brother loved him so much. He bought Lucas a power wheels truck, 8 yrs later my son still has it…My brother was simply the best man I knew. He was loving, kind, supportive and smart. He sacrificed so much for his country. He had so much he planned to do… college, a family, seeing different parts of the world. We once asked why did you want to join the army, he replied I want to better myself and my life. That’s the young man I’m proud of and honored to be called his sister.” – Millissa Pierce

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    “I would like to recognize my grandfather, Clarence Conway , who served during the Korean War. In the photo, he is on an Honor Flight Maine trip to see his memorial in Washington DC. He was one of the first to go on a Maine Honor Flight, and active in the early days of the organization. In addition to serving, he has also been a volunteer firefighter for over 60 years, and was Maine Firefighter of the Year in 2004.” – Alan Barker

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    “This is my grandfather from WWII, where he met my grandmother before returning from France (small pictures on bottom is my grandmother). He received the highest level of honor during his service time. When he was stationed in France he met my grandmother. They fell in love during his time there. When he was ready to leave she said she was very sad, then he surprised her with a proposal. They returned to America together, married and that was the beginning of our wonderful family!” – April Rumery

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    “My brother, SSgt Nathan Collin of the USAF, is my favorite vet. He’s in his 11th year of service and has been deployed to the Middle East for several tours. He’s working his way back to the US from one this week. He’s sacrificed so much of himself and his life to do what he does and somehow he keeps his sense of humor. My son absolutely adores him and even has a build-a-bear dressed in camo that he calls “Uncle Nate.” – Cheri Michaud

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    “My story is about an amazing man named Angel. Lance Corporal Angel Rosa of South Portland, Maine to be exact. An incredible man, a Marine, a community activist, soccer star, brother, son, best friend, husband to a beautiful soul, and godfather to my daughter whom we named after his wife. His love for his family and community is matched only by his love for his country. In 2007, Angel gave his life for that country, that family, and that community. He was killed on a mission in Al Anbar, Iraq at 21 years young protecting his brothers in arms and his home so far away. My daughter teaches her class every year about her “unkie” and we keep his spirit alive every Veterans day with flags with his name on them.” – Jennifer Manzo

     

    “My fiancé Craig Oxley is in the military. He balances running a company, being a Sergeant and being a dad to 3 boys. He has had to miss out on important stuff for the kids, but he is our hero and we love him.” – Robin Hakins

     

    “We love our Airman!” – Samantha Miles-Freeman

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    “This photo is from our favorite Veteran’s return home from his deployment this past August. He may travel the world as a pilot in the USAF but no matter where we live, we will always consider Maine to be our home.” – Jennifer Maurais Luce

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  • Egg Nog is Back!

    It’s the happ-happiest season of all…

    You’ve been asking for it and now it’s back! Oakhurst Egg Nog will be hitting shelves the end of this month in traditional, Light and Buttered Rum flavors to enjoy this holiday season.

    Once again, we’ll be donating 5 cents from every ‘Nog purchase to the Salvation Army of Northern New England – meaning your favorite holiday indulgence is also a delicious way to give back. Since creating this annual giving program 16 years ago, we’ve given a whopping $280,000 to the Salvation Army to help families in need. Help us reach $300,000 this year!

    And we haven’t forgotten the kiddos! Even if they don’t drink Egg Nog straight out of the glass there are plenty of ways for the little ones to enjoy it, too. Like this Cranberry Egg Nog French Toast Bake that is perfect for Sunday brunch or even as a Thanksgiving dessert!

    eggnog

    INGREDIENTS

    • 1/2 cup (1 stick) Oakhurst Butter
    • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
    • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
    • 1 loaf Challa bread, cut into 1­inch cubes
    • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
    • ½ teaspoon Nutmeg
    • 8 eggs
    • 2 cups Oakhurst Egg Nog
    • 1 cup fresh cranberries, divided
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • Powdered sugar (optional)

    PREPARATION

    Grease a 9 x 13″ baking dish with butter and set aside.

    In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Stir in the brown sugar and maple syrup. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and pour into prepared baking dish. Arrange half the bread cubes over the brown sugar mixture. Sprinkle half of the fresh cranberries over the bread.

    In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and mix in the Oakhurst Egg Nog, cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla extract. Evenly pour the custard mixture over the bread cubes. Gently press down on the bread to make sure it’s all coated. Sprinkle the remaining cranberries over the top of the dish.

    Tightly cover baking dish with aluminum foil and refrigerate overnight, at least 8 hours.

    Remove the baking dish from the refrigerator.

    Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Bake covered for 45 minutes. Increase oven temperature to 375 degrees and remove foil.

    Bake uncovered until a knife inserted in the center of casserole is clean (and mostly dry) and top is puffy and golden brown. This will vary from 10-20 minutes depending on how hot your oven cooks.

    Dust on powdered sugar if desired and serve warm.

    Author: Ang Paris, Blogger, Juggling Act Mama

    Eat up, drink up, and enjoy the season! Happy Fall-idays!

  • 4 Fall Recipes to Keep You Warm All Season Long

    Sweater weather is finally here and besides cute little babies in warm, snuggly hats – the absolute best thing about Fall is the food. Apples, pumpkins, warm soups and sweet treats are all Fall staples, and we just can’t get enough.

    Here are four of our favorites:

    1. Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

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    http://oakhurstdairy.com/recipes/curried-butternut-squash-soup

    A Fall favorite, this Butternut Squash soup has a healthy and fiber-rich twist with the addition of pureed black beans. The warm, creamy texture and sweet satisfying flavor will satisfy even the pickiest eaters at your dinner table.

    2. Apple Walnut Overnight Oats 

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    http://oakhurstdairy.com/recipes/apple-walnut-overnight-oats

    The perfect combination of tasty, healthy and EASY – this overnight oats recipe is the trifecta of Fall goodness. Use up your extra apples by making the mixture ahead of time and enjoy healthy breakfasts all week long.

    3. Smoky Mac and Cheese

    smokey-mac-and-cheese

    Photo credit: Peter Krumhart and Dean Tanner

    http://oakhurstdairy.com/recipes/smoky-mac-and-cheese

    Fall is all about comfort foods, and macaroni and cheese is the ultimate comfort food. The smoky flavor of the Gouda cheese, combined with the zip of your favorite hot sauce makes for the perfect pasta to warm you up from the inside out.

    4. Apple Cinnamon Pancake Muffins

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    https://milklife.com/articles/recipe/apple-cinnamon-whole-grain-pancake-muffins

    Everything you love about pancakes but in muffin form for on-the-go eating. These muffins are warm, fluffy and made with whole-wheat flour and low-fat milk to keep you fueled up all morning long.

  • Homework Help Tips

    Homework Help Tips

    While many parents are happy to have their kids back in school, one thing most of us aren’t so excited about is the return of nightly homework, which, for many kids (and parents) can spell confusion, frustration and arguments about how and when it needs to get done. To help keep the peace we’re sharing our four favorite tips for making homework time happier.

    • Start Early 
      1. It’s best to start homework as early as possible, ideally before 5pm. This is because kids (especially the little ones) start to get tired after dinnertime, and it becomes more difficult for them to think critically. Tired, frustrated kids can also equal big meltdowns, so it’s better to get at least the tough stuff out of the way early!
    • Create a Special Space 
      1. Homework is easier for everyone (including parents) when kids are excited about doing it. Help them find more enjoyment in homework by creating a special space for them to work in. Their own desk, some fun pencils and other supplies – even a special snack with a glass of milk – can help create a fun environment and routine that they can look forward to.
    • Be Positive 
      1. Homework (whether the amount or difficulty – or both!) can be tough for kids. Be their biggest cheerleader. Having someone in their corner telling them they believe in them and know they are capable of doing it can actually increase their ability to perform. Your confidence in their abilities is critical in developing the self-esteem necessary to succeed. That said, you know your child best. If the amount of homework they’ve received is truly too much, or the concept seems to be entirely out of their reach, don’t be afraid to shut it down and simply pen a note to the teacher explaining your observations and asking for their assistance in making homework more manageable for your child.
    • Be Supportive, but Stand Back

    As parents it can be hard to watch our kids struggle or get frustrated. But that’s all part of the learning process. Be supportive of your kids and encourage them to do their best, you can also help them try to break down concepts they are struggling with, but don’t do it for them. Making mistakes is part of becoming a better learner!

    What helps your kids focus and finish their homework? Comment below or share with us on Facebook!  

  • Milk Jug Flowers

    You know what they say, one man’s (or woman’s) trash is another (wo)man’s treasure. Turns out this is especially true when it comes to milk jugs.

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    Last month the Maine Center for Creativity unveiled a new installation at Westbrook’s Blue Note Park entitled Art All Around. The exhibition featured recycled materials transformed into experiential art. We were excited to see one of those transformations included recycled Oakhurst milk jugs.

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    These adorable Milk Jug Flowers are easy to make and such a cute craft to do with the kiddos on a rainy day. Here’s how to put one together:

    1. Rinse and clean out a one gallon (Oakhurst) milk jug.
    2. Draw petals around the top half of the bottle, stretching down from the opening.
    3. Cut the petals along the previously drawn lines.
    4. Bend the petals backwards (against the natural contour of the bottle) until they hold their new shape.
    5. Paint (spray paint makes for a more uniform color, but brushes can be more fun!) or glue anything you like on the flower.

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  • Back-to-School Breakfast Hacks

    By the end of summer, plenty of parents are ready for their kiddos to head back to school – but one thing that seems to bring about universal dread is figuring out how to get the family fed before they miss the bus. These 4 back-to-school breakfast hacks will help you get energized and out the door in a snap.

    Waffle Iron Eggs

    Skip the frying pan and head straight to the waffle iron for this genius breakfast hack. Simply heat up the waffle iron, scramble an egg (omelet ingredients optional) and pour over the waffle iron. Close it up and wait 30 seconds to a minute for a perfectly cooked scramble.

    Overnight Oats

    This healthy stand-by has been around for a while but the recipe variations just keep getting more delicious. We’re in love with this Apple Walnut version, especially heading into apple picking season!image001

    Ready-to-Blend Smoothies

    Smoothies are already pretty much the perfect on-the-go breakfast. But just in case you hit snooze too many times, you can speed up the prep with this clever trick: freeze all the ingredients (except the liquid) in a Ziploc bag ahead of time. Then on your way out the door all you have to do is dump the ingredients, add milk, water or another liquid and hit blend – no slicing, dicing or measuring needed!image003

    Fruit and Yogurt Popsicles

    Another perfect on-the-go idea for those who just can’t stop hitting snooze – these fruit and yogurt popsicles are the easy way to take your yogurt parfait with you. They’re also great for staying cool on hot summer and fall days. Get the recipe here.image006

    Do you have a quick and healthy breakfast recipe that’s perfect for back-to-school? Share with us on Facebook!

  • Berry-licious Breakfast Treats

    Summertime is berry time. Time for picking, eating and sporting sweetly stained t-shirts showcasing the fruits of your labor (pun intended).

    These fun, delicious (and nutritious!) breakfasts highlight everything we love about summertime and summer berries. And if the weekdays are still too hectic for anything besides a granola bar and an iced coffee on-the-go – we hear you – you can save these gems for Sunday 😉

    Lemon Berry Crepes (http://www.oakhurstdairy.com/recipes/lemon-berry-crepes)image001Photo credit: Peter Krumhart and Dean Tanner

    These incredible crepes literally taste like eating a cloud. Fluffy and warm and full of sweet berry filling. They are easy to make, pretty to look at and so yummy to eat. What more could you ask for?

    Berry Stuffed French Toast with Vanilla Yogurt Sauce (http://www.oakhurstdairy.com/recipes/berry-stuffed-french-toast-with-vanilla-yogurt-sauce)image003Photo credit: Peter Krumhart and Dean Tanner

    Sweet crunchy crust, with a warm berry-filled center – there’s nothing more comforting than some good old French Toast. This recipe takes it one step further with a delicious yogurt sauce that’s even better than syrup!

    Ginger, Strawberry and Raspberry Smoothie (http://www.driscolls.com/recipes/view/7416/Strawberry-Raspberry-Smoothie)image005The sweetness of honey, spice of ginger and overall summer flavor of strawberries and raspberries blend together in this delicious “sippable” smoothie – perfect for a hot summer morning.

    What are you favorite recipes to celebrate summer berries?

  • Mom’s Guide to the Perfect Beach Bag

    Here in Maine, June coaxes the sun out from behind the grey skies and July brings the warmth to match. Our gorgeous coastline offers an endless array of beautiful sunny beaches to cool off on a hot day. However, parents know that a beach day requires more than just loading kids, towels and a healthy supply of sunscreen into the car. A successful family day at the beach means preparing for every possible scenario, from boredom to hunger to wet and sandy kiddo messes. This simple guide to packing the perfect beach bag will prevent some common beach day mishaps and guarantee a some fun in the sun that is more relaxing than stressful. But don’t forget the sunscreen, too!

    1. The perfect beach bag begins with the bag itself. This simple DIY waterproof duck tape beach bag is sure to keep all your contents dry, and in style! Pick your perfect duck tape pattern to personalize your bag and head to the water with no worry of getting it wet.image001
    2. For parents of adventurous kiddos who love the water, a beach day can mean chasing your little ones through the shallow waves or jumping in to make sure they don’t go too deep. This can spell disaster for those forgotten items in your pockets, especially ones that sink! Make sure you can get home and keep your keys afloat with this easy floating cork key chain. image004
    3. As entertaining as ocean waves and sand castles can be, every parent is prepared for that inevitable whine: “I’m bored.” Recycle your empty Oakhurst milk cartons and keep your kids entertained with this fun and easy craft and beach game. Develop hand-eye coordination with a fun game of toss with your jug catchers or use them to scoop water to wash-off at the end of the day.image003
    4. The most stress-inducing part of a family beach day is often not the activities, but rather, the sand that seems to appear in the most unexpected and impossible places – for weeks after your day in the sun! Save yourself this endless clean up and reduce sticky, sandy residue by simply adding a container of baby powder to your beach bag; it acts as a quick and easy sand remover.image002
  • Red, White and Blue Summertime Treats for Kids

    As 4th of July approaches, summer heats up and with kiddos underfoot parents’ lives can grow increasingly chaotic. But whether you’re planning a family picnic, a big Independence Day party, or just a small celebration at home, these crowd-pleasing recipes are sure to get everyone in the patriotic spirit, while sneaking in some delicious nutrition.

    1. Festive 4th of July Lemonade
      Beat the heat and help the kids cool down and stay hydrated with this delicious 4th of July themed drink. This recipe features simple blue lemonade, but you can switch things up by using Oakhurst Cranberry Juice or Raspberry Lemonade for a red drink, Oakhurst Lemonade for white, and our Wild Blueberry Iced Tea for blue. All different taste buds will be satisfied and the kids will be clamoring for more!image002
    2. Patriotic Party Dip
      Pack in the veggies and sneak in a little extra nutrition with this gorgeous Patriotic Party Dip. Whether you’re hosting or attending, this is a great choice for celebratory cook-outs. Incredibly delicious and easy-to-make, this snack is sure to impress indulgers and health-nuts alike. image006
    3. Sour Cream Brownies
      For a sweet treat, try our very own Sour Cream Brownie recipe. Using sour cream gives the brownies a richer, moister taste–perfect for your little picky eaters.  To match the patriotic color scheme and add a serving of nutritious fruit, top the brownies with Oakhurst whipped cream, strawberries and blueberries. For a fun cooking activity with your kiddos, try making your own homemade whipped cream using Oakhurst heavy cream or medium whipping cream and this simple recipe.image004
  • 3 Easy Recipes to Nail your Next BBQ

    Summer is BBQ season, and that means weekends full of running to the store at the last minute trying to figure out what you can make in 45 minutes or less – or buy pre-packaged and pass off as homemade.

    Sound familiar? No worries- we’ve got you covered. These three easy recipes come together in no time at all, and are sure to impress even the most discerning BBQ guests.

    Creamy Buttermilk Coleslaw

    Coleslaw is a BBQ staple – but this yummy recipe takes it up a notch from the store-bought variety with delicious Oakhurst Buttermilk. Just toss all the ingredients together and throw it in the fridge for an hour before you head out. You can also make it the night before if you know you’re going to be busy the next day!

    Buttermilk Coleslaw

    Fruit Salsa with Cinnamon Crisps

    This delicious dip can be served as an appetizer or a dessert. Putting traditional fruit salad to shame, this chopped fruit salsa pairs perfectly with crispy, homemade “tortilla crisps” coated in cinnamon sugar. The whole thing comes together in less than 30 minutes.

    Fruit Salsa

    BBQ Chicken Salad

    Think crockpots are only for cold-weather concoctions? Think again! This BBQ chicken salad puts both your blender and your crockpot to use in a delicious and unique recipe that is sure to become a family favorite.

    BBQ Chicken Salad

    Do you have a family favorite recipe that everyone asks for at BBQs? Share with us on Facebook or Instagram!