In a snap of a finger, the holidays are over and a new year has begun. Food is a huge part of the holidays, but just because the celebrations are over doesn’t mean you have to give up that good eating. The 2018 Milk Calendar from Dairy Farmers of Canada makes eating tasty food throughout the year easy with monthly recipes.

In addition to the delicious food during the holidays is the time spent eating and enjoying this food with my family. Families that eat together, eat better. Maybe it’s the lack of distractions from our busy lives, technology, or other factors, but I know that when I sit down for a meal with my family, the food is going to be wholesome and delicious. Take advantage of the Milk Calendar recipes by using them as a reminder to enjoy family meals on a regular basis.

Since I began my job at Alberta Milk I’ve worked on the Milk Calendar- coordinating distribution, ensuring our event information was accurately represented, and of course, testing the recipes and enjoying the results. My latest kitchen adventure was with the Milk Calendar’s January 2018 recipe: Hearty Sweet Potato Au Gratin. Every month there is a new, beautiful photo of the featured recipe, and I get excited to see what the next month will offer. The Milk Calendar is such a hot commodity that the requests start coming in even before it’s printed.

Everyone Loves the Milk Calendar

I’m not the only one who loves the Milk Calendar! Here’s a thank-you note we received from one of our annual recipients who kindly requests multiple copies for her family and friends overseas:

“Thank you, so very much, for the [seven] MILK CALENDARS which I received on 16th November… [The calendars are being sent to] Malaysia-Singapore-England-Australia-(and one for me, for sure!): Happy friends/classmate look forward to the monthly recipes: Thank you!! The calendars make a great gift!”

Have you ordered your free Milk Calendar for this year? Order online  while supplies last. If you’ve received the calendar in the past, what is a favourite recipe you’ve made from it?

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Hearty Sweet Potato Au Gratin
Prep Time
15 minutes
Cook Time
45 minutes


2 medium sweet potatoes (about 1 1/2 lbs- 750 g), thinly sliced
2 tbsp (30 ml) butter
1 large clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp (2 ml) salt
2 tbsp (30 ml) all-purpose flour
2 cups (500 ml) cream
2 tbsp (30 ml) chopped fresh thyme (optional)
1/2 cup (125 ml) shredded aged Canadian Cheddar


  1. Preheat oven to 375 F (190C).
  2. Peel potatoes; slice into rounds no thicker than 1/8 inch (0.3 cm). In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat; add garlic and salt. Stir 1 minute. Whisk in flour until combined. Gradually add cream, whisking until combined. Gradually add cream, whisking until combined. Bring to a boil, whisking occasionally until thickened, for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Layer half the potatoes in an 8x8-inch (20x20 cm) baking dish. Scatter with half the thyme. Top with half the cream sauce. Repeat with remaining potatoes; drizzle remaning cream mixture over top. Press potatoes to even out layers and coat in cream. Cover with foil.
  4. Bake for 30 minutes.
  5. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with cheddar cheese and remaining thyme. Bake uncovered for 15 minutes until bubbling and top is a deep golden brown. Remove from oven and let stand for 10 minutes.