Franklin Foods Blog

Team Member Spotlight: Erin McGee

September 11th, 2016 (franklin)

Meet Erin McGee, Franklin Foods Machine Operator.

  • Where were you born: Newport, Vermont
  • What is your background (i.e., experience, education, etc.)? High school graduate 1998 North Country Union H.S. and I have been working at Franklin Foods for 5 1/2 years as a machine operator.
  • What is your role at Franklin Foods? Machine operator on the 8 oz. bar line, 3 Lb bar line, portion control line, two lane cup line and case packer.
  • What do you like most about Franklin Foods? Competitive wages and the people.
  • What are your hobbies? Gardening, hunting, fishing and ice fishing.
  • What is your favorite song? Girl Crush by Little Big Town
  • What do you consider your greatest achievement? Raising my three children as a single mom.
  • Who has influenced you most in your life? My mother. She raised three children by herself, sometimes working as many as three jobs to the pay the bills.
  • Where is one of your favorite places to visit? Ogunquit, Maine, and heading there this summer!
  • What is your favorite flavor of cream cheese or dish made with cream cheese? Deep fried pickles stuffed with our Jalapeño Cream Cheese.
Erin McGee

Erin McGee and Family

Franklin Foods Blog

Team Member Spotlight: Alex Ledding

July 22nd, 2016 (franklin)

Meet Alex Ledding, Franklin Foods West RO/UF Operator.

  • Where were you born? Miami, Florida
  • What is your background (i.e., experience, education, etc.)? Graduated Sun Prairie WI. I have been working in dairy manufacturing for 10 years: Cheese Making− Block Cheese, Cottage Cheese and Cream Cheese. Filtration: Micro Filtrating, Ultra Filtration, Reverse Osmosis, Water Polishing, Dia-Filtration, and running Protein Dryer.
  • What’s your role at Franklin Foods? Run the Filtration side of Franklin Foods, the UF/RO and State of Arizona point-person for HTST inspections. Worked my way up from Cheese Maker.
  • What do you like most about Franklin Foods? I love the work environment, the people and the products we make.
  • What are your hobbies? Spending time with my kids and building race cars.
  • What is your favorite song? I love all music mostly, besides country.
  • What do you consider your greatest achievement? Being able to provide for myself and my kids and keep them happy and cared for.
  • Who has influenced you most in your life? My brother, he has always been there for me no matter what. And has made me what I am today.
  • Where is one of your favorite places to visit? I grew up in California and Florida, the ocean is my go to place for surfing and boogie boarding and sun.
  • What is your favorite flavor of cream cheese or dish made with cream cheese? Jalapeño poppers and Jalapeño cream cheese.
Alex Ledding, Franklin Foods Team Member Spotlight

Alex Ledding, Franklin Foods Team Member Spotlight

Franklin Foods Blog

Congratulations Peter and Kelsey!

December 31st, 2015 (franklin)

Two Arizona high school students from the Careers for Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP) Culinary Lab Scholarship Program have won the Greek Cream Cheese Challenge, sponsored by Franklin Foods.

They were tasked with serving up healthy snack recipes including Greek cream cheese, with prizes going to the best savory and the best sweet recipe.  And the winners are Peter McQuaid of Tempe, AZ, in the savory category with his Greek Cream Cheese Bruschetta, and Kelsey Anders from Tucson, AZ, with her Greek Cream Cheese N’ Fruit Kabobs in the sweet category.

Franklin Foods, a local Arizona company that makes Greek Cream Cheese, sponsored this challenge as a way to introduce these young chefs to their innovative product, which has more protein and less fat than regular cream cheese.  Each of the winning students will be featured on Franklin Foods’ blog and social media channels and receive a $100 gift card.

The Careers through Culinary Arts Program works with public schools across the country to prepare underserved high school students for college and career opportunities in the restaurant and hospitality industry. C-CAP Arizona is part of this national program supporting culinary arts classes across the state.

C-CAP Arizona students participate in Culinary Lab sessions conducted by C-CAP Alumni Chefs.  Culinary Lab sessions include:

  1. Cheese Making and Use
  2. Healthy Breakfasts
  3. Healthy Snacking
  4. Dairy Farm Tour and Smoothie recipe.

Students have the opportunity to work with their culinary teacher to bring the information back to their culinary class to present to the other students.

Dairy Council© of Arizona (DCAZ) partners with C-CAP to further Fuel Up TO Play 60 goals in local schools by offering the opportunity for senior culinary students to participate in the Fuel Up To Play 60 / C-CAP Culinary Lab program and earn a scholarship to an Arizona culinary school.

Meet Kelsey Anders and Peter McQuaid

Kelsey

  • Where were you born?  Tuscon, Arizona
  • What’s your favorite course/technique taught at C-CAP? Learning the different knife cuts I think would be my favorite thing that I have learned and worked with so far, and how speed, skill, and patience become a big part in correctly making everything in the competition.
  • What do you like most about C-CAP? I love how C-CAP has so many different opportunities and can provide so many connections for each student.
  • What are your hobbies? My hobbies include baking, painting, 3D sculpting, swimming, ice skating, traveling, swimming, trying new things, and going out with friends.
  • What is your favorite song? That’s hard, top three would be Tori Kelly -All In My Head (Acoustic), Shawn and Hailee cover of Stiches, or Sai-Big Girls Cry
  • What is your favorite thing to cook? My favorite thing to cook is French Macarons, I love being able to combine and mix different flavors, not to mention being able to specially decorate each one.
Kelsey Anders

Kelsey Anders

Greek Cream Cheese N' Fruit Kabobs

Greek Cream Cheese N' Fruit Kabobs

Kelsey Anders' Greek Cream Cheese N' Fruit Kabobs Recipe

Kelsey Anders' Greek Cream Cheese N' Fruit Kabobs Recipe

Peter

  • Where were you born? Phoenix, Arizona
  • What type of cook do you consider yourself? I am definitely a savory cook, and love to meld many flavor profiles together, as well as using many influences from around the world!
  • What do you like most about C-CAP? I love all the opportunities I have to work along side some of the best chefs in Arizona. C-CAP offers tons of amazing opportunities and it is an honor to be part of such a wonderful organization.
  • What are your hobbies? Along with my love and passion for food and cooking, I love to travel and explore new places. I also have been doing martial arts for ten years and have attained seven black belts.
  • Who has influenced your life the most? The biggest influences on my life are my two mentors, Chef Beau MacMillan and Chef Silvana Salcido Esparaza. I currently work for Chef Beau and have worked for Chef Silvana in the past. They are huge influences on my life, both in my culinary knowledge and career, in life aspects such as being humble and always going after opportunities and attaining my goals. My parents and family are also some of the biggest influences in my life of course, they are always so supportive of me and push me to be my best.
  • What is your favorite thing to cook? I am always looking to cook new things and use techniques and ingredients I have never heard of before. I am always searching for new things to try and experience.
Peter McQuaid

Peter McQuaid

Greek Cream Cheese Bruschetta

Greek Cream Cheese Bruschetta

Peter McQuaid's Greek Cream Cheese Bruschetta Recipe

Peter McQuaid's Greek Cream Cheese Bruschetta Recipe

Franklin Foods Blog

Team Member Spotlight: Kelsea Monks

October 22nd, 2015 (franklin)

Meet Kelsea Monks, Franklin Foods West Food Safety and Quality Manager/SQF Practitioner.

  • Where were you born? I was born in Mesa, AZ and raised in Florence, AZ.
  • What is your background (i.e., experience, education, etc.)? I attended the University of Denver, where I earned two Bachelor of Science degrees. One in Biochemistry and the other in Molecular Biology. I also minored in Medical Physics and Neuroscience.
  • What’s your role at Franklin Foods? I am the the Food Safety and Quality Manager/SQF Practitioner at Franklin Foods West in Casa Grande, AZ.
  • What do you like most about Franklin Foods? I love what I do and I enjoy the people that I work with. Franklin Foods is truly a wonderful company to work for.
  • What are your hobbies? One of my favorite things to do is ride horses and team rope. I also enjoy singing, spending time with my family and watching NFL football with my dad. Go Broncos!
  • What is your favorite song? It’s hard to pick just one. I am a huge George Strait fan and I love all of his songs.
  • What do you consider your greatest achievement? Earning two Bachelor of Science degrees. It was no easy task.
  • Who has influenced you most in your life? My Father. He has always encouraged me to my follow my dreams and to never give up, even when things get difficult.
  • Where is one of your favorite places to visit? I love Colorado. I enjoy being outdoors and it’s a great state for outdoor activities, all year round.
  • What is your favorite flavor of cream cheese or dish made with cream cheese? One of my favorite desserts is cheesecake and cream cheese is a key ingredient!
Kelsea Monks

Kelsea Monks

Franklin Foods Blog

Targeting Trends 2015 Conference: A Taste of Sustainability

October 2nd, 2015 (franklin)

Dairy Council of Arizona's 25th Annual Targeting Trends Conference

The Arizona Dairy Council hosts the 25th Annual Targeting Trends Conference: A Dish of Sustainability. The conference will explore sustainability from several different aspects, from farm to table to trash.

Speakers:

Jason Van Der Toorn: Every Day is Earth Day on a Dairy Farm

Learn about the environmental innovations used by dairy farmers as they care for the animals and land.

Shane C. Burgess, Ph.D.: Ag in AZ

Did you know that it’s possible to eat a healthy, balanced diet with what’s grown and produced in Arizona? Agriculture in Arizona is abundant, varied and delicious!

Anupama Joshi M.S. and Ashley Schimke, DTR: Farm to School

Farm to school enriches the connection between schools and fresh, healthy food and local food producers. School gardens provide unique educational opportunities.

Erin Fitzgerald: Nutrition Sustainability

You’ve heard about ‘carbon footprints’ and what farmers do to reduce greenhouse gases. But what about about you – what’s your ‘Foodprint’? You can make an impact on the environment with how you shop, cook and eat.

Jennifer Reeves, M.Ed. and Melissa Jahnke: Sustainability in School Wellness

Does your school struggle with implementing a wellness policy? Do you have a SWAT (School Wellness Advocacy Team) Team in your school? Learn how Fuel Up to Play 60, the premier school wellness program in the nation, has helped Arizona schools create sustainable changes.

Brandon McFadden, Ph.D: Biotech & Agriculture

Do you eat only organic or avoid GMOs? Learn about the research behind these and other agricultural technologies.

Franklin Foods Blog

2015 GENYOUth Arizona Empowerment Town Hall

September 28th, 2015 (franklin)

GENYOUth AND DAIRY COUNCIL OF ARIZONA’S 2015  YOUTH-EMPOWERMENT TOWN HALL

GENYOUth AND DAIRY COUNCIL OF ARIZONA’S 2015 YOUTH-EMPOWERMENT TOWN HALL

A nation-wide series of events to foster collaboration between key business and school leaders in making positive changes in our communities to benefit youth.  This four hour event will look at how Arizona students make strides academically thanks to improved nutrition and increased physical activity.  We will also explore the influence of youth empowerment on making these positive changes.  Share your voice in this vital conversation and participate in round table discussions to generate innovative, actionable steps toward further change.  Hear from a dynamic panel of local leaders and key decision-makers in the areas of education, health and wellness, student leadership and business;  including:

·        Michael Bidwill, President, Arizona Cardinals

·        Farah Lokey, M.D., Pediatrician

·        Cole McDaniel, Youth Ambassador

·        Paul Rovey, Dairy Management Inc. Board Chairman and United Dairymen of Arizona Board Chairman

·        Jeff Smith, PhD., Superintendent, Balsz School District

Discussion Topics

  • School Breakfast: How and why school breakfast is the single most effective way of meeting the urgent nutritional needs of students.
  • Youth Empowerment: How GENYOUth is working to ensure youth have the power, the potential, and the resources to create healthful environments that increase their chances for success in school and in life.
  • Farm-To-School: Why today’s students must care about where their food comes from and the importance of making healthful choices.
  • The Business Role: Find out how the corporate/business sector can and must support their initiatives that enable empowered, visionary youth to change the school and community wellness environments.
  • The Learning Connection: Highlighting positive effects of improved nutrition and greater opportunities for physical activity on academic success.

Franklin Foods Blog

Pinal 40 Awards $135,000 to Students and Non-Profits

August 7th, 2015 (franklin)

By Susan Randall, Casa Grande Dispatch

Pinal County has a new, home-grown philanthropic organization — a fraternity of businessmen who joined forces last December to promote Pinal County, especially its youth, farming and ag-related businesses. Click here for the entire article.

The Pinal 40 awarded $135,000 in grants and scholarships, including $40,000 to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Casa Grande, Valley, $10,000 to the Pinal County 4-H Fair, $10,000 to Arizona FFA Foundation, and $20,000 to the Pinal 40 Endowment Fund. When the endowment reaches $1 million, it will permanently provide $60,000 a year for kids. The organization set aside $15,000 to be available to any Pinal County charity. Applications are available at pinal40.com. It also awarded $40,000 in agricultral scholarships to 18 students,who will study ag-related subjects at Central Arizona College, the University of Arizona or Texas Tech University.

Pinal 40 Members: Franklin Foods represented by Rocco Cardinale

Pinal 40 Members: Franklin Foods represented by Rocco Cardinale

Pinal 40 Member Frank Boyce of Shamrock Foods presents $2,000 scholarship to local student.

Pinal 40 Member Frank Boyce of Shamrock Foods presents $2,000 scholarship to local student.

Arizona FFA Foundation awarded $10,000 grant

Arizona FFA Foundation awarded $10,000 grant

Franklin Foods Blog

Greek Power Pop

August 6th, 2015 (franklin)

Today’s post might be the simplest way to Greek out in a healthy and creative way.  Getting half the fat and 4 times the protein is not the easiest task, but this scrumptious little snack proves otherwise.  If you love the idea, but don’t enjoy walnuts or craisins, feel free to replace these ingredients with almonds or anything hanging around in the kitchen that would suit this snack well.  This snack can become something you never get bored of if you find ways to interchange the ingredients!

Ingredients:

8oz bar Franklin Foods Greek Cream Cheese

1 tbsp honey

2 tbsp chopped craisins

¾ cup chopped walnuts

lollipop sticks

Greek Popsicle Snack Ingredients

Greek Popsicle Snack Ingredients

Step 1:

Mix together the cream cheese, honey, and chopped craisins.  When these three ingredients have been mixed properly, roll them into balls.  (Step 1 is easiest completed if done with hands)

Combine ingredients and gently mix together.

Combine ingredients and gently mix together.

Step 2:

Chop walnuts (if not already chopped).  Take the cream cheese balls and roll them in the chopped walnuts.

Place Greek Power Pops in muffin pan

Place Greek Power Pops in muffin pan

Step 3:

Put the lollipop sticks into the cream cheese balls, refrigerate, and ENJOY!

Refrigerate and enjoy!

Refrigerate and enjoy!

About Anthony

My name is Anthony LaMacchia.  I am currently working for Franklin Foods as a marketing intern.  I will be entering my senior year this fall at Grinnell College where I am a history major and a member of the Men’s Basketball team.

As an athlete, it is very important to be in great physical condition.  One of the ways I keep myself in shape over the offseason is by eating healthy.  Whether I am in school or at home for the summer, this is not a task so easily completed, as it is difficult to find healthy foods that I also enjoy eating.  However, with the help of foods including Franklin Foods Greek Cream Cheese, I am able to eat something that I thoroughly enjoy while taking in half the amount of fat and more protein.  I hope to share and blog about how I eat healthier and stay in shape by using Franklin Foods Greek Cream Cheese and yogurt in recipes and everyday snacks.

Anthony is Franklin Foods' marketing intern and guest blogger from Grinnell College.

Anthony is Franklin Foods' marketing intern and guest blogger from Grinnell College.

Franklin Foods Blog

Franklin Foods Welcomes Interns to Arizona!

August 5th, 2015 (franklin)

Interns Jack from Florida and Anthony from Ohio have successfully completed visits to Franklin Foods in Arizona for a two-day “Farm to Table” immersion experience into the Arizona dairy industry. Many thanks to the teams at T & K Dairy in Stanfield, United Dairyman of Arizona in Tempe, and Franklin Foods West in Casa Grande.

Team Franklin Foods with Jack Tusa at Franklin Foods West in Casa Grande, Arizona.

Team Franklin Foods with Jack Tusa at Franklin Foods West in Casa Grande, Arizona.

T & K Dairy in Stanfield Arizona.

T & K Dairy in Stanfield Arizona.

Rocco Cardinale and Anthony LaMacchia visiting the United Dairyman of Arizona facility in Tempe.

Rocco Cardinale and Anthony LaMacchia visiting the United Dairyman of Arizona facility in Tempe.

United Dairyman of Arizona in Tempe.

United Dairyman of Arizona in Tempe.

Franklin Foods Blog

‘Tis the season of sun rays, pool play, and frozen snacks!

July 25th, 2015 (franklin)

‘Tis the season of sun rays, pool play, and frozen snacks in the heat of a midsummer day. Yes, popsicles and ice cream are in season and I assume everybody is just as excited as I am!

I have recently rejuvenated my love for popsicles and I’ve been eating them like I just graduated kindergarten.  While this is great news for my taste buds and inner-child… it’s not exactly the best for my health and eating habits.  Just like with every other tasty snack, there is usually a downside, but with the help of Franklin Foods Greek Cream Cheese, we can eat our favorite snacks without that feeling of guilt.

Whether or not you share my love for frozen pops of deliciousness, the recipe I will be sharing today is a healthy and tasty alternative to the artificially flavored and sugar filled frozen pops of our childhoods.  I call them Raspberry Greeksicles!  And this is how you can replace all of that sugar and artificial flavoring Franklin Foods Greek Cream Cheese.  Yes, you could use other cream cheese brands, but with Franklin Foods Greek Cream Cheese you will be getting HALF the amount of fat and 4x the regular amount of protein!

This is what you will need:

  • 8oz Franklin Foods Greek Cream Cheese
  • ⅓ cup nonfat vanilla yogurt
  • ⅓ cup of coconut, almond, or soy milk
  • ½ pint of fresh raspberries
  • ⅓ cup flaxseed meal (for topping)
  • ⅓ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon margarine or butter
  • about 8 dixie cups (for freezing) and 8 popsicle sticks
  • and a blender
Ingredients for Raspberry Greeksicles

Ingredients for Raspberry Greeksicles

Step 1 (topping):

Melt 1 Tbsp of butter for 15 seconds.  Then take the ⅓ cup of flaxseed and 1 Tbsp of brown sugar and mix them together in the melted butter.  Simple as that, your topping is complete.

Topping

Step 2 (put in blender):

Put 8oz Greek Cream Cheese, ⅓ cup nonfat yogurt, ⅓ cup powdered sugar, 1 tsp vanilla extract, ⅓ cup milk of choice, and ½ pint raspberries into a blender and blend until the mix is complete.

Step 3:

It is your choice as to where the topping will go.  It can either go on top of the popsicle (bottom of dixie cup before mix is poured) or the stick end of the popsicle (put on after the mix is poured).  Either way will work just fine, but if you want both sides covered just simply double your topping measurements to have twice the amount of topping.

Next, pour the blended mixture into the dixie cups and insert the popsicle sticks.  When each dixie cup is filled, put the cups in the freezer and wait 3-5 hours until the popsicles are properly frozen.  (When removed, the dixie cups will peel right off)

Step 4:

Enjoy the Raspberry Greeksicles!

Greeksicles

Greeksicles

About Anthony

My name is Anthony LaMacchia. I am currently working for Franklin Foods as a marketing intern. I will be entering my senior year this fall at Grinnell College where I am a history major and a member of the Men’s Basketball team.

As an athlete, it is very important to be in great physical condition. One of the ways I keep myself in shape over the offseason is by eating healthy. Whether I am in school or at home for the summer, this is not a task so easily completed, as it is difficult to find healthy foods that I also enjoy eating. However, with the help of foods including Franklin Foods Greek Cream Cheese, I am able to eat something that I thoroughly enjoy while taking in half the amount of fat and more protein. I hope to share and blog about how I eat healthier and stay in shape by using Franklin Foods Greek Cream Cheese in recipes and everyday snacks.

Anthony is Franklin Foods' marketing intern and guest blogger from Grinnell College.

Anthony is Franklin Foods' marketing intern and guest blogger from Grinnell College.