September signals the end of summer and the beginning of school sports.
It brings the All-American Dairy Show in Harrisburg and the crowning of the next state Dairy Princess in Camp Hill. Although summer is a fun time, I enjoy the crisp cool nights of fall and the blaze of the autumn flora and fauna. I also enjoy harvesting the vegetables from our garden and helping my mom and grandmother with the canning or freezing.
The teenage years can be really confusing. There seems to be more questions than answers and life is full of constant change. But we can reach a good balance, and that starts with eating right and staying fit.
Let's face it, right now life is all about change. Every day is something new. It can be difficult to keep it all together, so we have to learn to control the things we can, like our diet and exercise.
Studies show that 75 percent of Americans aren't getting their three every-day of dairy. However, getting your milk, cheese and yogurt could be as simple as drinking a latte or smoothie on your way to work, having yogurt or a cheese stick as an afterschool snack or substituting a milk chug for a bottle of water during the day. Adding milk to condensed soups or sauces is another way to get your daily intake of dairy and calcium.
Plenty of foods contain calcium, but none are as rich as milk.
For instance, you would need to eat 8 cups of spinach or 2 1/4 cups of broccoli to equal the amount of absorbable calcium as you would get by drinking an 8-ounce glass of milk.
By taking care of our "insides," people will start noticing subtle changes to the outsides. And who doesn't want beautiful hair, skin and teeth. Milk really does do a body good.
In honor of the lovely ladies who will be competing to become the next Pennsylvania Dairy Princess and for our outgoing royalty - Gabrielle Murphy, Deidra Bollinger and Courtney Brant - I am sharing with you the recipe we serve at the coronation dinner during our "Cow" tail hour.
The tropical flavors are so refreshing.
Maui milk punch
1 1/2 quarts vanilla ice cream, softened
3 cups pineapple juice, chilled
1/3 cups orange juice, cold
3 teaspoon lemon juice
4 cups, milk, cold
Beat softened ice cream in a large mixing bowl. Add milk, pineapple, orange and lemon juices. Stir and served chilled.
This next recipe has become a family favorite and was given to us by my friend and current state Dairy Princess, Gabby Murphy.
Buffalo chicken dip
2 package cream cheese
1 cup ranch dip
3/4cup Frank's hot sauce
1 small bag of shredded cheddar cheese
1 15-ounce can of chicken
Preheat oven to 350 F. With a hand mixer, mix cream cheese, ranch dressing and hot sauce together in a large bowl. Once mixed well, add in the cheddar cheese and the chicken.
Put in a 9x9 pan and bake until the top is bubbly (about 25 minutes).
Remove from oven and let sit to cool before serving.
This dish can be served hot or cold and tastes great with tortilla chips or snack crackers.
Franck, 17, is a junior at Mifflinburg Area High School and the SUN Area Dairy Princess serving Montour, Snyder, Union and Northumberland counties. She may be reached at life@ sungazette.com. Her column is published on the first Wednesday of each month.