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4 delicious dairy recipes

Support dairy farmers by using their products to make these tasty treats.

Creamy bacon mac and cheese

4 strips bacon
1 large sweet onion, thinly sliced
6 ounces dry elbow macaroni
8 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded (2 cups)
2 - 4 ounces blue cheese, crumbled
1 cup half-and-half or light cream
1/8 teaspoon pepper

1. Preheat oven to 350˚F. In a large skillet cook bacon over medium heat until crisp, turning once. Drain bacon on paper towels; crumble. Reserve bacon drippings in skillet.

2. Cook onion in reserved bacon drippings for 5 to 8 minutes or until onion is tender and golden brown. Set aside.

3. Cook elbow macaroni according to package directions. Drain and place in a 1½-quart casserole. Add the crumbled bacon, onions, 1½ cups of the mozzarella cheese, the blue cheese, half-and-half, and pepper. Toss gently to combine.

4. Bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Stir gently. Top with the remaining mozzarella cheese. Bake for 10 minutes more or until top of casserole is brown and bubbly. Let stand 10 minutes.

Berry-cream cheese tart

½ of an 8-ounce package reduced-fat cream cheese (Neufchatel), softened
2 tablespoons reduced-calorie orange marmalade spread
½ of an 8-ounce container frozen light whipped dessert topping, thawed
1 recipe Baked Tart Pastry (below)
3 cups assorted fresh berries (such as blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, and/or quartered strawberries)

1. For filling, in a medium bowl, beat cream cheese with an electric mixer on medium to high speed about 30 seconds or until fluffy. Beat in marmalade. Fold in topping. Spread filling in Baked Tart Pastry. Top with berries. Cover and chill until ready to serve. Makes 12 servings.

Baked Tart Pastry: In a large bowl, stir together 1¼ cups all-purpose flour and ¼ teaspoon salt. Using a pastry blender, cut in 1/3 cup shortening until pieces are pea-size. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon cold water over part of the mixture; toss with a fork. Push moistened dough to side of bowl. Repeat, using 1 tablespoon cold water at a time, until all dough is moistened (4 to 5 tablespoons cold water total). Form dough into a ball.

Preheat oven to 450˚F. On a lightly floured surface, flatten dough. Roll from center to edge into an 11-inch circle. Wrap pastry over rolling pin; unroll pastry into a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Ease pastry into pan without stretching; press pastry into fluted side. Trim to edge. Prick bottom and side. Line with a double thickness of foil. Bake for 8 minutes; remove foil. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes more or until golden. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes

Ricotta pancakes

1 cup ricotta cheese
¾ cup flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
1½ tablespoons sugar
Pinch of salt
¾ cup milk
3 eggs, separated
1 teaspoon vanilla

Drain the liquid from the ricotta. If it's really moist, place it in a mesh strainer or some cheesecloth to drain it. Place the ricotta in a large bowl, and add milk, egg yolks, and vanilla. Beat until well combined.

In a separate bowl, whisk the dry ingredients together. Add them to the ricotta mixture, stirring until combined.

Beat egg whites until stiff, then fold into the batter.

Use a 1/3 cup scoop to ladle the batter into a greased skillet or griddle over medium-high heat.Once they start to bubble, flip pancakes and cook a few more minutes until golden brown. Makes 15 four-inch pancakes.

Lemon-blueberry semifreddo

1 pint lemon ice cream
1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon honey
2 drops yellow food coloring (optional)
1 package (6 ounces) fresh blueberries
14 lemon or shortbread cookies, coarsely crushed

1. Soften ice cream on counter for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, coat a 9×5×3-inch loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray. Line pan with plastic wrap.

2. In large bowl, beat cream and honey to stiff peaks, about 3 minutes.

3. Beat ice cream mixture into whipped cream. Beat in food coloring, if using. Fold in berries and 2/3 cup of the crushed cookies.

4. Transfer ice cream mixture to pan. Tap gently on counter to release air bubbles. Press remaining cookie crumbs on top to adhere. Cover with plastic; freeze at least 4 hours or overnight. Use plastic to lift loaf from pan and invert on tray. After 15 minutes, slice and serve. Makes 10 servings.

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