Defining our state’s culture is the at the core of the Indiana Artisans. Since 2008, this non-profit program has been identifying the best of the best craftspeople and food makers in the state, and helping them market their products and build a brand that signifies “the best” of Indiana.
The annual Indiana Artisan Marketplace, held in early spring at the State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis, is one showcase for these artisans. The new episode of the Indiana Home Cooks Podcast features three of the food artisans at this year’s Marketplace: Lathay Pegues, founder of JohnTom’s BBQ Sauce, based in Muncie; Sister Jean Marie Ballard of the Sisters of St. Benedict in Ferdinand; and Angie Burton, of Burton’s Maplewood Farms in Medora.
Each of these artisans has a unique story about how they turned a traditional recipe into something they can share with folks in the Hoosier State and beyond. From a grandfather’s barbecue sauce, to baked goods with German roots, to a new spin on Indiana maple syrup, these are a small sample of the variety of foods and food stories that come from our Hoosier Heartland.
Look for Indiana grown and produced foods in your local grocery and other small retailers, and at farmers markets, local fairs and festivals. You might be surprised at the variety but certainly not at the quality of products available.
Here are the links to the artisans featured in this episode:
For over a year I’ve wanted to feature Sweet Revolution Bake Shop on the Indiana Home Cooks podcast. And it was worth the wait to interview co-owners Sarah McGregor-Raye and Jonathan McGregor. Hear the Sweet Revolution episode RIGHT HERE.
In the nearly two years this sister and brother team has been in business in downtown Lafayette, they have honed their recipes and their selection to include a wide assortment of delectable pies and pastries, including croissants, tarts, scones, muffins, cheesecakes, cookies, macarons, and my personal favorite, bourbon-chocolate-pecan-banana bread. They’ve developed a loyal clientele, many of whom are sorely disappointed if their favorite pastry treat has run out, such as bourbon-chocolate-pecan-banana bread. So Sarah and Jonathan strive to keep their customers happy and the display cases well-stocked with mostly sweet, and a few savory, pastries and pies.
Sarah’s training, experience, and passion as a pastry chef and Jonathon’s business sense and jack-of-all-trades abilities have come together in Lafayette, Indiana, and our community is the richer for it. Stop in for a pie to take home, and treat yourself to one of their many pastries or individual desserts. While you’re there you may wonder, like I did, how they crank out such a variety of treats, like bourbon-chocolate-pecan-banana bread, from that tiny kitchen. The answer is, it takes precise timing, scheduling, and a bit of choreography. And Sarah and Jonathon are making it work. In the picture below Sarah is mixing the BCP banana bread while the stand mixer in the background is whipping up filling for the macarons.
Sweet Revolution is located at 109 N. 5th Street, in Lafayette, Indiana. They are a fixture at the Farmers Markets in downtown Lafayette and on the Purdue campus. Learn more about the bake shop at sweetrevolutionbakeshop.com. And thanks, Sarah and Jonathan, for bringing us your fabulous pastry creations!
For the latest episode of the Indiana Home Cooks podcast, Time for Indiana Wines, I visited the Horticulture Congress put on by Purdue University recently in Indianapolis. I was specifically interested in the program for Indiana wine makers and grape growers. The Purdue Wine Grape Team organizes the sessions, offering technical instruction as well as marketing and management information for attendees. Listen to the episode HERE.
In the episode, I talk with Kris Kane, wine maker and owner of 21 Brix Winery in Portland, New York. He was a guest speaker at the Hort Congress, sharing his story of building a successful winery within a multi-generational diversified farm, like many in Indiana. I also spoke with Indiana wine maker Shane Christ, of Satek Winery in Fremont, Indiana, and Katie Barnett of the Purdue Wine Grape Team. The team is rolling out a year-long marketing push for Traminette wine, made from Indiana’s signature grape. For more details on Traminette and upcoming wine events in the state, visit indianawines.org.
For nearly three decades, the Purdue Wine Grape Team has worked with wine makers and grape growers in the state to develop and grow the industry and improve production methods. In that time, the number of wineries in the state has increased from around ten to one hundred, producing over a million gallons (five million bottles) of wine each year. Acreage of wine grapes is small, but gradually increasing throughout the state. The industry is home-grown and self-supported, getting a boost from the Indiana Wine Grape Council, established by the Indiana General Assembly in 1989. The work of the Council and the Wine Grape Team is funded through a five cent per gallon tax on every gallon of wine sold in the state.
Indiana wineries are everywhere in the state. Check the Indiana Wines website to find wineries near you and seek them out. They are happy to share their knowledge and passion for wine, and offer tastings and special events to spread awareness, understanding, and the fun of Indiana wines.
I’d like to take a few minutes to update my readers and listeners on where you can tune in and listen to the Indiana Home Cooks Podcast. I am in the process of making some adjustments to my podcast feed and doing more promotion to grow awareness and listenership of the show.
The new audio home (my podcast hosting site) is now Podbean. You can listen there from your computer or on the Podbean app for mobile devices. If you listen on Podbean, it would help me in the quest for more listeners if you would click the “Follow” button right below the IHC picture logo on the Podbean site or app.
Perhaps the easiest way to hear Indiana Home Cooks episodes is to simply subscribe to the podcast on iTunes/Apple Podcasts or Google Play Music. Virtually every computer, smartphone and smart device has one of those apps already installed. You can click the links I’ve provided in this paragraph and go right to the Indiana Home Cooks podcast page, or you can type “Indiana Home Cooks” into the search bar when you open either iTunes/Apple Podcasts or Google Play Music, and you’ll go straight to the page that way. When you get there, please click “Subscribe.” It’s free to subscribe, you’ll not miss an episode, and it will help me build awareness of the show.
The IHC podcast is available on other apps as well, like Spotify and Stitcher, so if you listen to podcasts elsewhere, look for Indiana Home Cooks and subscribe.
No matter where you listen, please SHARE the podcast with your friends and family. Just click the “Share” button wherever you happen to listen. And please “follow” and “share” this blog. It’s the place for added information and stories from the show, plus recipes and pictures.
A programming note for listeners and readers in the Bloomington, Indiana, area–I’m sharing some of my cooking demos with “Earth Eats,” a program featuring news and recipes inspired by local food and sustainable agriculture, on Indiana Public Radio WFIU. Earth Eats airs on WFUI2, 101.9FM, Friday evenings at 7:30, and on WFIU, 103.7FM, Saturday mornings at 7:30. Earth Eats is also a podcast from Indiana Public Media, so you can listen even if you are outside WFIU’s coverage area. My demos appear occasionally on Earth Eats, including one this weekend. Let me know if you hear it!
Finally, you can follow and “friend” Indiana Home Cooks on Instagram and Facebook. Between podcast episodes and blogposts, I stay in touch through social media, sharing what I’m cooking or baking and seeing what others are up to as well. Leave a comment or direct message on either Insta or FB, or contact me with the “Contact” link here on the blog. I hope to hear from you soon!
Over the recent holidays I took the opportunity to trot out an old family favorite recipe.My “Cincinnati-Style Chili” is great when the kids are home or when friends are over, as it makes a large batch that will feed a crowd. And it offers the opportunity to work with spices you might not think of using in chili. My kitchen demo explaining the steps can be heard below, in this BONUS TRACK of the Indiana Home Cooks Podcast.
At some point in my younger days, my family became acquainted with a fast food eatery called Skyline Chili.It was started in Cincinnati by a Greek immigrant who opened his dining establishment within site of the downtown Cincy skyline.He served authentic Greek dishes, and his chili was a big hit with customers. Today dozens of Skyline Chili restaurants dot the states of Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, and beyond.With a unique seasoning blend, added toppings of beans, onions, shredded cheese (chili three-way), all nestled in a bed of spaghetti, what’s not to love?(Hoosiers know Steak N Shake has its own version of this dish as well.)
Not long after getting our first taste of Skyline Chili, my mom happened upon a recipe for “Cincinnati Chili.”She made it and we judged it as good as Skyline’s.It became one of our family’s favorite wintertime meals.
Many years later, newly married and contemplating the eternal question “What’s for dinner?” I remembered the Cincinnati Chili recipe and thought how good that sounded, and I knew my husband would love it.I called my mom and asked her to read the recipe to me over the phone.What I transcribed is shown below.“June 15—Stacy” referred to the upcoming wedding date of my cousin, which my mom had recently learned and informed me of on the same phone call. Our recipe files sometimes contain vital information that has nothing to do with food.
Now this recipe transcription may leave you scratching your head. I failed to record the second ingredient correctly, and it took several attempts to determine that it is indeed tomato sauce, and not paste. Too bad I didn’t use a pencil. And I didn’t even write the title of the recipe at the top until several years later. The sheet was always folded and filed under “C,” and when I came to the recipe headed with “June 15–Stacy,” I knew I’d found Cincinnati Chili.
Rather than forcing you to decipher my quirky recipe notations, I’ll share what I hope are clearer instructions below. They have evolved over the years. Give it a try this winter for a hearty, family-pleasing dinner. And hear the demo HERE.
Subscribe to the Indiana Home Cooks Podcast wherever you get your podcasts–iTunes/Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, etc. Links are to your right and at the top of this page.
Cincinnati Style Chili
Makes 8-10 servings
2 lb. ground beef
2 cups chopped onion
2 T canola or vegetable oil
2 T chili powder
1tsp dried chipotle powder
1 tsp dried ancho chili powder
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp granulated garlic
1 tsp salt
2 T vinegar, any kind
1 T Worchestershire sauce
3 cups water, divided
1 15-oz can tomato sauce
1/2 oz unsweetened chocolate
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp dried chili pepper, if more heat is desired
For serving, you will need:
1 or 2 14-oz cans red beans or chili beans, rinsed and drained
Shredded cheese (Colby, Colby-jack, pepper jack, cheddar, any of those)
Diced sweet (raw) onion, optional
Measure all dry spices and set aside.
In a large pot or dutch oven, brown ground beef, then remove from pot, drain, and set aside. Into pot (med to med-low heat), drizzle oil, then add chopped onions. Sauté for about a minute, then put in all the pre-measured dried spices. Stir them into the onions and cook another minute. You should begin to smell the fragrance of the spices.Return the ground beef to the pot, then add garlic, salt, vinegar, Worchestershire sauce and one cup water. Turn up heat to med or med-high, and allow mixture to come up to a boil. Stir and scrape up any bits that are stuck on the bottom of the pot. Add the tomato sauce, chocolate, bay leaf and 2 more cups of water. (Go ahead and add the dried chili powder if desired, or add later if you feel chili needs more heat. Or serve it at the table and let everyone decide for themselves!) Also, you can add the beans right to the pot at this point, or reserve and heat them up later to serve with the chili.
The chili at this point is very watery. That’s ok, it will cook down. Allow pot to come back up to boil, then turn down heat to low and let it simmer 2-3 hours, with the lid on, but slightly vented. Stir occasionally making sure chili is not sticking or burning on the bottom. If it cooks down and seems too thick, add more water.
Serve over cooked spaghetti, topped with beans (if serving separately), cheese, and onions if desired.
My final podcast of the year is a conversation with my daughter, Christine Hack. She’s a young bride working on the balance of marriage, work, home, and everything else life throws our way. She has many personal interests and cooking and baking are among them. She often sends me pictures of her kitchen triumphs.
During the Christmas holiday season, Christine and I sat down to talk over some of our favorite holiday foods, traditions, and memories. Hear our conversation HERE.
We cover the gamut from the popularity of oyster dressing at Thanksgiving, to fruitcake (paying homage to Christine’s high school freshman English teacher, the late Shari Schap), to Christmas cookies, and the origin story of our family’s French Market Donuts.
Pour yourself a hot beverage, a glass of wine, or a “wee dram,” and join us at the kitchen table while we chat. I’m sharing recipes for French Market Donuts and Cranberry Noels for you to try over the holidays. Enjoy. And here’s to abundant holiday blessings and a happy new year to all. Cheers!
French Market Donuts (Beignets)
Yields about 7 dozen small square donuts(Note: I make a half recipe to feed a family of four on Christmas morning.)
1 cup hot water
1/4 cup shortening
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp salt
1 cup evaporated milk
1 package active dry yeast, dissolved in 1/2 cup lukewarm water
2 eggs, room temperature
About 7 cups all purpose flour
Put shortening in large mixing bowl and pour hot water over shortening. Add sugar, salt, and milk. Give it a gentle stir. When mixture becomes lukewarm, add the yeast dissolved in water, eggs, and 4 cups flour. Beat well with electric mixer. Add the remainder of flour, knead a few times just to get the dough cohesive and smooth. Put dough in a large bowl or plastic container (lightly oiled) and place in the refrigerator over night.
When ready to fry, heat at least 4” of oil in a deep pot on the stove or deep fryer, to 350-375º. Have powdered sugar in a sifter or in a large zip-top bag standing by. Cut off chunks of dough and roll them out on a lightly floured surface. Roll thin (about 1/8”) and cut into squares. A pizza cutter works best. Carefully drop dough pieces into hot oil. They fry very quickly so watch them. When golden brown on both sides, remove to drain on paper towel lined baking sheet. When drained, put hot donuts on serving plate and sift a generous amount of powdered sugar over all. Or, put powdered sugar in a zip-top bag, drop in donuts and lightly shake to coat. Serve hot.
Note: When fried, this dough puffs up to make an airy, yet chewy donut. The dough will keep several days in the fridge, so you can have more than one morning of fresh hot donuts!
Makes about 4 dozen
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 T milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp of orange zest
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans*
3/4 cup shredded coconut
Beat butter and sugar with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add milk, vanilla, salt, and orange zest. Beat until just combined. Gradually add flour, cranberries, and pecans. Mix on low speed until fully combined.
Divide dough in half. Shape each half into 8-inch logs, about 2 inches diameter. Roll each log in coconut and then wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours.
When ready to bake, pre-heat oven to 375º. Using a sharp straight knife (not serrated), cut cold logs into 1/4-inch thick slices. Place on baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake 10-12 minutes, or until edges are golden. Transfer cookies to rack to cool.
*Toasting brings out the nutty flavor of pecans. Toast them whole ahead of time on a baking sheet or pan, at 350º for 8-10 minutes. I put them in a cold oven and let them begin toasting as the oven heats up. Check after 8 minutes. They’ll darken just a bit and become fragrant. Don’t over-bake. Allow to cool then chop fine for this recipe. (Tip: toast a whole bag of pecan halves at once and you’ll have a ready supply for baking, salads, etc.)
In this BONUS TRACK of the Indiana Home Cooks podcast, my daughter, Christine, and I make a quick and easy sweet treat that will have everyone standing in the kitchen crunching and munching the moment it’s done. It’s my Caramel Corn cooked in a paper bag. Hear it HERE.
My mom made this recipe many times when we were growing up. But I had not tried it in ages. When I ran across it in my recipe file a few years ago around Christmas time, I decided I would give it a try on Christmas Day. Something fun to do while celebrating the holiday.
I remembered the caramel corn tasting good when my mom made it, but I had forgotten how addictive it can be! It is very hard to stop eating it once you start. That’s why I hurry and package as much of it as I can to give as gifts. It’s perfect to pass out to neighbors, co-workers, or as stocking stuffers.
Give it a try while the kids are home on winter break. Or if you need a snack to take to a party. It will be time well spent. Very little time, at that.
Caramel Corn in a Paper Bag
8 quarts of popped popcorn (unseasoned)
1 C. brown sugar
½ C. butter
¼ C. light corn syrup
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. baking soda (measure and set aside)
One paper grocery bag
Note: All microwave cooking instructions are for HIGH POWER, 1100 watts.
Put popped popcorn in paper grocery bag and set aside.
Have 2-3 large baking pans ready to cool caramel corn.
Combine brown sugar, butter, corn syrup, and salt in a microwave-safe bowl.(1 to 2 quart capacity) Note:caramel mixture will expand and bubble during cooking so make sure your cooking vessel is large enough. Set aside the baking soda.
Microwave caramel ingredients together for 2 minutes. Stir mixture, and then microwave for 2 more minutes. Add baking soda and stir.Mixture will become foamy.
Pour caramel mixture over popcorn in paper bag.Fold closed and shake bag to distribute caramel. Keep bag closed at all times during cooking and shaking. Place bag in microwave oven. If your microwave does not have a turntable, pause a few times during cooking to move bag around.
Microwave for 1.5 minutes, then shake bag.
Microwave for 1 minute, shake bag.
Microwave for 45 seconds, shake.
Microwave for 30 seconds, shake.
When done, open bag carefully away from your face. Pour caramel corn out onto cookie sheets to cool.
The craft brewing phenomenon in Indiana and across the U.S. shows no signs of slowing down. The Hoosier State is home to around 160 craft brew houses, and counting! There is as much interest as ever in trying new beer tastes and styles. In addition to demand from consumers, it is the increase in home brewing that has driven growth in the number of small craft breweries and tap rooms everywhere. It makes sense that home brewing enthusiasts, with the encouragement of family and friends who love their beer, would be inclined to share their product and passion with a wider clientele.
In the new podcast episode The Brewer’s Craft, I talk with John Blichmann, a home brewer in Lafayette, IN. He has grown his passion for home brewing into a business, Blichmann Engineering, where he designs and manufacturers professional grade equipment for home brewers and small craft brewers. (B.E. also offers a line of wine making gear.)
As always, you can listen to podcast episodes using the links on this blog post. But it’s oh so handy to subscribe to the podcast wherever you like to listen to podcasts, be that iTunes/Apple, Google Play-Music, Spotify, or wherever. On those sites/apps you can download the episodes for later listening, and browse through the entire archive of Indiana Home Cooks episodes. They are all there for listening whenever you like. In your favorite podcast app, just type “Indiana Home Cooks” into the search bar and you are on your way.
If you are interested in getting started in home brewing, look for a home brewing guild or circle in your area. Here in Tippecanoe County, it’s the Tippecanoe County Home Brewers Circle. Also, the Brewers of Indiana Guild has information for craft brewers and for those who enjoy visiting craft breweries around the state and sampling the wide assortment of beers they produce.
The Lafayette Journal & Courier of Sunday, December 2, 2018, features a front page story on Lauren Reed, events coordinator and chef at The Farm at Prophetstown State Park, near Battle Ground, Indiana. Several months ago, she was featured in Lafayette Magazine. But even before that, Lauren Reed was my guest on the Indiana Home Cooks Podcast. Hear it by clicking the “play” arrow above. Or listen on iTunes/Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify or wherever you listen to podcasts. The title of the episode is “The Farm at Prophetstown.” Lauren not only creates farm-to-table cuisine at The Farm, but she also cooks for the VIP tailgates for the Indianapolis Colts and at the Super Bowl! There is more on Lauren and The Farm on the Indiana Home Cooks blog right here.
If you haven’t done so, please subscribe to the Indiana Home Cooks Podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, etc., and you can be notified when a new episode is available. Find the podcast by typing “Indiana Home Cooks” into the search bar. You can stream episodes or download them to your smart phone or tablet for listening later. The great thing about downloading is you can listen off-line without using any of your mobile data. And it’s the perfect way to take your podcasts with you and listen while traveling.
Coming this week on the podcast–my visit with an Indiana master brewer who has turned his passion for home-brewed craft beer into a successful career in manufacturing equipment for home brewers world-wide.