Monday, December 20, 2010

Welcome to Wonka World!

Saturday was our annual Christmas cookie day! Here are the highlights....

We actually started Friday night by getting some of the candy items done.

First, pretzels with kisses or Rolos and an M&M.

Next up, pretzel rods dipped in mint chocolate or white chocolate.

Then we made our cute (and slightly evil looking) Holiday mice.

We finished Friday by making spiced pecans and a tray of "Christmas Crap" (all the left over goodies we put on a tray and made into a delicious bark!)

Saturday we were up and at it early and started with a fan favorite, the Almond Roca...toffee bits, almonds, and chocolate!

Next up were the dreaded Christmas Wreaths! I complain about making these every year. I think they're gross and not really that cute but one of my cousins LOVES them so we make them for him each year. Also, it's become a tradition that the rookie baker that year gets the honor of making these marshmallow messes. Good job Melissa!

Then we started making some of my favorites, the Mexican Wedding Cakes and the Molasses Cookies!

We also have a decorating contest every year. We use big Christmas Tree sugar cookies as our canvas. Here were the contestants:

And the winner is....ME!

We also decorate Grandma's Vanilla Sugar cookies.

Then we bring out the old cookie gun, plus a "new" one my parents bought at an antique store this year, and make Spritz cookies.

We finished the day with our new cookie for the year, a Red Velvet Shortbread.

For a grand total of 1,323 cookies

and an unmentionable number of pounds of butter!

I'll post recipes soon! MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Another class done!

As most of you know, I added a Food Studies minor to my PhD program this year. I took my first course in that department this semester: Food and Culture. Our project for the semester was to create a food journal and write articles to publish in the journal. We created the Indiana Food Review. We are still in the process of publishing it but we have created a website to highlight our work for the semester. Below is the link to the website with my article. I did an interview with some students about the new farm on Butler University's campus. Enjoy!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Happy Friendsgiving!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Our official Thanksgiving dinner was so great! There were 82 of us there this year...lots of laughs, delicious food, and amazing beer and wine :)

On Saturday night I decided to do an encore of Thanksgiving for some friends so I named it Friendsgiving! It was an organic farmers dream...

Turkey Fresh from Skillington Farms

I tried a new technique on my first ever Thanksgiving turkey. It's called spatchcocking. I got the idea from The Bitten Word ( You cut the backbone out of the turkey and break the breast bone. The turkey can lay flat and it cooks much faster. Mine cooked in 65 minutes and was so moist! I covered it in olive oil and sprinkled it with garlic salt and lemon pepper. Then I put onion, garlic, apples and oranges on it. Delicious!

Sweet Potatoes in Orange Bowls

The sweet potatoes were the last from our garden. I cooked them in the microwave and then mashed them up with butter, marshmallow fluff (okay, not really organic or healthy), maple syrup, cinnamon, egg, and a little salt. Then I halved the oranges and scooped them out. I put the mashed sweet potato in the orange cup and topped with marshmallow and pecans. Bake on 350 for about 30 minutes.

Corn and Green beans from the garden

And for dessert....

Black Raspberry Pie (my dad's famous pie) from berries pick at my uncle's house.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip cookies from the last of our pumpkin from the garden this year.

It was a delicious dinner made from all homegrown or local food! The evening was finished off with a competitive game of Catch Phrase!

Monday, November 15, 2010

A Farm Girls Birthday!

Last week was my birthday (Happy Birthday to me!), and what do you give a farm girl to celebrate? Farm themed cupcakes! Look how cute! Thanks Carissa!

Pigs, tractors, chickens...

Aren't they sweet!?!?! They put my face on a pig!

Cupcakes are from
Chez Jean Bakery & Deli
8923 S Meridian St # B4 Indianapolis, IN 46217
317) 881-9010

Monday, November 1, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Here's some pictures of my pumpkin for this year...

We had our annual bonfire at the neighbors house last night. Hot dogs roasted over the fire, s'mores, lot of jack-o-lanterns, and just a few trick-or-treaters.

I thought it was time for a few fall recipes. Here's a delicious pumpkin butter recipe that is great on biscuits or toast.

Pumpkin Butter
2 (15-ounce) cans of canned pumpkin or about 4 cups of fresh-- I used fresh
1 1/4 cups maple syrup
1/2 cup apple juice
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon ground ginger -- I'm not a fan of ginger so I left this out
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt

Put all the ingredients in a crock pot and cook on low for 5-6 hours. I would probably do 6-7 to make it a bit thicker next time. Stays good in the fridge for 1-2 weeks and then you can freeze whatever you haven't eaten yet.

Adapted from:

Another great fall recipe is Apple Cinnamon Bread.

Apple Cinnamon Bread (
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon all spice
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2 large eggs
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup applesauce
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup granulated sugar
2 cups chopped apples, skin removed

2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray an 8 by 4 loaf pan with cooking spray and set aside.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, all spice, and cloves. Set aside.

3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the eggs and beat on medium speed for about 30 seconds. Add in oil, applesauce, and vanilla and mix until smooth. Next, add the sugar and mix until well combined.

4. Slowly add in the flour mixture and mix until flour is barely combined. Gently fold in the apple chunks. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan.

5. In a small bowl, mix together brown sugar, sugar, and cinnamon. Sprinkle over the batter in the loaf pan.

Bake for 50-55 minutes, or until loaf is golden and a toothpick comes out clean.

6. Cool bread in pan for 10 minutes. Loosen sides and remove from pan. Cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.


Thursday, October 14, 2010

Apples, Apples, Apples

Fall is definitely in the air! We picked the apples from our tree last weekend (one of our trees lost all of its fruit this spring...sad! But we had plenty of apples from the one tree!).

Dad picking...

Mom picking...

By the way, I'll be spending the whole weekend with my mom so there will be lots of great opportunities for Deb quotes...I'll post them next week!

Our abundance of apples...

Since picking the apples we've made and canned applesauce, eaten apple crisp, had apple cinnamon pancakes, and snacked on an apple daily. You'd think I'd be over it already but you'd be wrong! I'll post recipes next week!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Last of the garden

It's that time of year...the garden is quickly stopping production. Here's what's left:

Lima beans

Brussel sprouts


A few little tomatoes

And a tomato worm

And some pretty flowers

So what do you want to hear about this fall and winter? Recipes? Tips for eating local?