MI Fresh Dairy Tour + National Dairy Month

MI Fresh Dairy Tour + National Dairy Month

It seems like it was just a few weeks ago, but it was actually back in April when I was invited to attend the MI Fresh Dairy Tour with the United Dairy Industry of Michigan (UDIM). I guess it's true when they say time flies when you're having fun!

This blogger culinary event took place in Grand Rapids and focused on fresh dairy foods, made in Michigan products, and quality ingredients. Not only did I get to sample ice cream, cheese and wine all day, but I got to spend some time with my awesome Michigan blogger friends and the great people at UDIM!

Here I am with my beautiful and talented friends Lori, Sheila and Kirsten!

I took a tour of a Dairy Farm last year thanks to UDIM (read all about that trip here!) and I have to say I love learning about where our food comes from. From milk to yogurt to ice cream and cheese, I'm obsessed with soaking up all this knowledge.

Our first stop on the MI Fresh Dairy Tour was Hudsonville Ice Cream. We had an amazing tour of their facilities and, of course, got the chance to sample some of their most popular ice cream flavors. In case you're wondering, the Seaside Caramel is AMAZING!! If you live in the Midwest, specifically MI, IN, OH or IL, then you've probably seen Hudsonville Ice Cream at your local grocery store.

Chef Ray from Hudsonville talked to us about food science and creating new ice cream flavors! (Photo courtesy of UDIM)

After we gorged ourselves on ice cream, we headed to Reserve Wine and Food where we learned how to pair Michigan cheeses with local beer and wine. Yeah, that was such a tough job. Hand me plates full of cheese and glasses of beer and wine. What a terrible time, huh? Not! We all had an awesome time taste testing, talking, and learning about the handcrafted beer, wine and cheese from West Michigan.

The gorgeous spread at Reserve! (Photo courtesy of UDIM)

After a fabulous nights sleep at the gorgeous JW Marriott, we spent our second day in Kitchen Stadium for a team Iron Chef Challenge! 

Team Dairy Divas! From left to right: SheilaMeganWendy, Chef, me, Cathy (a local dairy farmer) and Staci (UDIM) (Photo courtesy of UDIM)

Each team was tasked with creating two courses using at least three dairy ingredients and other fresh seasonal ingredients. We all had a blast during the challenge, and luckily when it was all over we got to eat all of our food during lunch! Oh, and I think my team may have won the challenge by the tiniest of margins. It was all in friendly competition of course!

This was our teams' main dish - Yogurt marinated chicken breast with fried butternut squash, roasted onions and peppers with a cucumber salad and saffron and cilantro cream sauce. DELISH! (Photo courtesy of UDIM)

I had a blast at the MI Fresh Dairy Tour! I learned so much, ate amazing food, and enjoyed spending time with my fellow blogger friends. They are all so talented and have fabulous blogs, be sure to stop by and check them out!

Liz from The Lemon Bowl
Kirsten from Comfortably Domestic
Rachel from Rachel Cooks
Wendy from The Local Cook
Sheila from Eat2gather

Did you know that June is National Dairy Month? Read some interesting Michigan Dairy facts below, and be sure to check out the Milk Means More Pinterest board for delicious dairy recipe ideas!

I was graciously hosted for a two-day local dairy tour by the United Dairy Industry of Michigan. All thoughts and opinions my own. To learn more about UDIM be sure to connect with them on Facebook, Twitter or YouTube.

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