CABOT, Vt., Feb. 7, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- After two successful rounds of Reward Volunteers – the nation's first web and mobile app that allows volunteers to log hours and win rewards for themselves and the organizations they serve – Cabot Creamery Cooperative is announcing Reward Volunteers 3.0, just in time for Valentine's Day. But instead of spending a lot of money on jewelry, boxed chocolates, stuffed animals, and overpriced roses this year, the farmers who own Cabot have a better idea.
"Valentine's Day is the time to show someone special just how much you care," says Candace Karu, Cabot's Lifestyle Commentator and Favorite Foodie. "But where is the romance in a store-bought gift? By giving the Gift of Time with Reward Volunteers 3.0, you can say 'I love you' by donating your time to help others, then sending a personalized e-card that dedicates the time you spent volunteering to your Valentine.
Another special way to show you care is to skip the store bought chocolates and surprise your Valentine with a homemade dessert, like Cabot's Cheddar Brownies, Fresh Strawberry Icebox Cake, or Dark Chocolate & Ginger Greek Yogurt Ice Cream."
Reward Volunteers uses Facebook Connect to enable participants to log their volunteer activity and share the volunteer experience with friends via Facebook, email, and the app itself. The more hours logged, the more 'likes' and 'comments' received, and emails opened, the more likely participants are to win prizes each month, now until the grand prizes are awarded on July 14, 2013. The program was created by Cabot Creamery Cooperative, and is made possible by StrongerTogether.coop, All for Good, AARP Create the Good, Hope for Women, Volunteer Spot, Marriott, and Points of Light. Reward Volunteers 3.0 is the third phase of the program; the first ran from February 14 though July 7, 2012, and the second from August 27, 2012 through January 28, 2013. Reward Volunteers participants have logged more than 71,000 hours at over 1,300 organizations.
"While our farm family owners are best known for making the 'World's Best Cheddar,' they should also be known as 'Community Celebrities' for the time they donate volunteering in their communities," says Candace. "As a cooperative, our members have a strong tradition of giving back to the organizations and charities in their towns. By creating programs like Reward Volunteers, we hope to encourage more people to get involved."
As the name promises, Cabot intends to once again truly reward volunteers. This rounds prizes include: $500 in cash to an individual volunteer; $1000 cash to a non-profit organization; vacations to Vermont's Liberty Hill Farm, Couture Farm, and Smugglers Notch ski resort; $100 gift cards for King Arthur Flour and the National Cooperative Grocer's Association; gift baskets of Cabot's award winning cheddar; and a chance to be one of the celebrities on the 2014 Celebrity Cruise! But as past winners will tell you, there is a lot more to Reward Volunteers than the rewards.
"Being recognized as a Cabot Community Celebrity and awarded an Alaskan Cruise through the Reward Volunteers app gave me much more than a vacation," says Francesca Garrett, a Cabot Community Celebrity from San Antonio. "Cabot connected me to a national network of volunteers who inspire me to think bigger, to reach farther, to put an extra hour in at the end of a long day. From other community celebrities from AARP to Points of Light, the benefit of their relentless positive energy is the best reward the farmers of Cabot could have given me."
And just in time for Valentine's Day, Cabot is inviting volunteers to participate in the 'Give the Gift of Time' Cheddar Giveaway! A total of 750 lucky winners will be randomly selected to win 100 snack-size bars of Cabot Sharp Cheddar. Simply download the RV mobile app or log time online at www.rewardvolunteers.coop, then Give the Gift of Time by going to http://www.rewardvolunteers.coop/individuals/give.php and sending an e-card to someone special. After sending the e-card, you'll be directed to the contest entry page. Deadline for submitting entries is February 14 at 11:59pm ET. 750 winners will be randomly selected to win 100 snack-size bars of Cabot Sharp Cheddar.
Valentine's Day Recipes from Cabot Creamery Cooperative. More available at http://www.cabotcheese.coop/recipes/
Makes 18 (3"x2") brownies
8 ounces (2 sticks) Cabot Unsalted Butter, plus extra for baking dish
8 ounces Cabot Extra Sharp Cheddar (about 2 cups)
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt (or 1 teaspoon kosher salt)
5 large eggs
2 cups brown sugar, packed*
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Whipped cream and sliced strawberries (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
2. Melt two sticks of butter; set aside to cool. Butter 9-by-13-inch baking dish.
3. With microplane or other very fine grater, grate cheese, being careful not to let cheese pile too high and clump; set aside. In medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa and salt.
4. In large bowl, beat eggs with electric mixer until pale; add sugar and vanilla and beat until creamy.
5. Add cheese and beat on high speed until well combined.
6. Beat in cooled butter on low speed until incorporated. Add dry ingredients and beat on low speed just until blended.
7. Spread batter evenly in prepared baking dish. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until brownies appear set in center. Allow to cool to lukewarm or room temperature. Serve topped with whipped cream and strawberries if desired.
*or use 1 cup brown sugar plus 1 cup granulated or palm sugar
Fresh Strawberry Icebox Cake
Makes 8 servings
1 pound fresh strawberries
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
3 tablespoons cold water
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
½ cup confectioner's sugar
1 1/4 cups Cabot 2% Strawberry Greek-Style Yogurt or 2% Vanilla Bean Greek-Style Yogurt
24 graham cracker squares
1. Hull and slice strawberries, leaving a few whole ones to garnish top of cake.
2. In small cup, sprinkle gelatin over 3 tablespoons cold water and let stand for a minute until softened.
3. Set bowl in small saucepan of barely simmering water; stir until gelatin is
dissolved and mixture is clear. Turn off heat under pan.
4. In large bowl, beat together cream and confectioner's sugar with mixer until soft peaks form; while continuing to beat, pour in dissolved gelatin mixture. Continue beating just until stiff peaks form.
5. Add yogurt and fold together gently.
6. Spread spoonful of cream down center of 9-by-13-inch baking dish or flat serving plate. Top with 6 graham cracker squares (3 whole rectangles).
7. Spoon about one-fourth cream on top of crackers, spreading to edges. Arrange about one third of sliced strawberries in overlapping rows on top. Repeat layers of crackers, cream and berries 2 more times. Add final layer of crackers and cream.
8. Cover cake loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 4 hours for graham crackers to soften.
9. Top with a few whole strawberries.
Dark Chocolate & Ginger Greek Yogurt Ice Cream
Makes 8 servings
3-inch by 1-inch piece fresh ginger
2 cups light cream
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 (3.5-ounce) bars Divine 70% Dark Chocolate, coarsely chopped, divided
1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) Cabot 2% Vanilla Bean Greek-Style Yogurt
About 3 tablespoons chopped crystallized ginger (optional)
1. Peel fresh ginger and cut crosswise into thin slices. In medium saucepan, cover ginger with water, bring to boil and cook for 1 minute.
2. Drain and return to pan. Add cream, sugar and salt. Bring mixture to boil over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar and salt. Remove from heat, cover pan and set aside to steep for 1 hour.
3. Pour warm ginger-milk mixture through strainer into blender, discarding ginger. Add three fourths of chopped chocolate (set rest aside) and blend until completely smooth. Transfer to bowl, cover and refrigerate until well chilled.
4. Whisk in yogurt. Freeze mixture in ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions, mixing in remaining chopped chocolate at end. Serve sprinkled with chopped crystallized ginger if desired.
ABOUT CABOT CREAMERY COOPERATIVE
Cabot Creamery Cooperative has been in continuous operation in Vermont since 1919, and makes a full line of cheeses, yogurt, sour cream, cottage cheese and butter. Widely known as makers of "The World's Best Cheddar," Cabot is owned by the 1200 dairy farm families of Agri-Mark, the Northeast's premier dairy cooperative, with farms located throughout New England and upstate New York. For more information on Cabot, visit: http://www.cabotcheese.coop
Cabot Creamery Cooperative is the world's first cheese maker and dairy cooperative to achieve B Corporation Certification, a validation of its attention to environmental and social impacts on stakeholders
Contact: Bob Schiers
(888) 214.9444 or firstname.lastname@example.org
SOURCE Cabot Creamery Cooperative