Bring Wisconsin home for the holidays

WAUSAU, Wis., (WSAW)-- As with every holiday season, storefronts, television commercials and online advertisements fill us with new ideas for meals to share and gifts to give. The choices can be overwhelming!

Here to share unique, Wisconsin ideas the 71st Alice in Dairyland Kaitlyn Riley joined the news at noon.

If you see a red mark on a product at the store, the logo is the mark of a Something Special from Wisconsin company.

Businesses who take part in the Something Special from Wisconsin program guarantee at least half of the ingredients, production or processing activities came from Wisconsin.

“Buying local products keeps dollars in our state and supports our farmers, processors communities and economies,” explained Riley.
How can we incorporate these products into our holiday traditions?

• We’re used to seeing classic holiday popcorn tins. This year, we can add more flavor with Palo Popcorn. Palo Popcorn offers six fun flavors like ranch, jalapeno, bacon and white cheddar cheese. It is easy enough to create a popcorn party mix by adding pretzels, cheddar crackers and other favorites. Palo Popcorn is a family-owned company that sells their hand-crafted popcorn across the country. They use real cheddar cheese in their recipes and their products are gluten free which helps family and friends with allergies. Because the popcorn has such rich flavor, you do not need to add the additional seasoning and flavors.

• Hot dishes, salad, pasta and vegetable sides can have a new crunch of flavor with Savory Seeds from Porubcans LLC. The seeds are a unique blend of toasted parmesan cheese, sesame and sunflower seeds with Italian herbs. Use savory seeds to replace croutons on salads, top a baked potato or complete a green bean casserole.

• For dessert, we can put a Wisconsin twist on any recipe with Soda Fountain Malted Milk Powder from CTL Foods in Colfax. I’ve created a malted milk dip by blending cream cheese with hot fudge and Crave Brothers Mascarpone Cheese. Mascarpone is a fresh, sweet cheese use mainly in desserts. Soda Fountain Malted Milk Powder gives the dip a rich flavor. You can add the malt powder to almost any dessert to make it stand out. The final touch to this dip is simply malted milk balls. It can be served with crackers or fruit.

• Maple Hill Farm in Ladysmith has unique and useful gift ideas to show you care. They use milk from sheep on their farm to craft handmade sheep milk soap and lotion that is sold in their store and at various festivals. Their products are great for people with sensitive skin since they do not have any artificial fragrances or dyes. Plus, their soy candles invite anyone to sit back and relax.

• A unique, Wisconsin gift includes one of our top commodities, ginseng. Heil Ginseng Enterprises gives the best American Ginseng Experience. The sell only what they grow and offer products like ginseng teas, ginseng capsules and an American Ginseng gift box. This is a cultural gift that showcases the diversity of Wisconsin agriculture.

Malted Milk Dip Recipe
-8 oz. block Wisconsin cream cheese
-4+ tablespoons Soda Fountain Malted Milk Powder
-1/2 cup hot fudge
-8 oz. Wisconsin mascarpone cheese
-1 cup malted milk balls
-Beat cream cheese until smooth. Add mascarpone and blend well.
-Mix in hot fudge followed by malted milk powder (extra powder can be added to taste)
-Place malted milk balls in a plastic bag. Smash the balls into coarse pieces.
-Add malted milk balls into mix leaving some for added garnish on top of the dip.
-Serve with fruit, pretzels, or graham crackers and enjoy!