Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Home for a Hoosier Holiday

The recipes in this post are in "Home for a Hoosier Holiday", an article in the December 2015 Edition of Center Grove Magazine

I really enjoy writing an occasional food related article for Towne Post Publications, a group of community magazines. I am especially grateful for the publishers of the Center Grove and Greenwood editions who gave me the initial chance to submit an article, and then for the past three Decembers have asked me to write one with seasonal recipes. For the first article, I took the recipes straight off the blog. The second year, I got the great idea, (not really), of making and photographing favorite family dishes from all the contributing writers. My kitchen looked like a bomb had gone off in it. Jenny was helping me, but we were going through every measuring utensil, pot, and pan as we rushed to cook things in time to photograph them before the short winter daylight was gone. I ran out of the correct ingredients and found myself substituting items such as oil for butter. Of course we saw the humor in it and laughed all day long, but we collapsed at the end.. Neither one of us wanted to cook for a long, long time! This year I wrote about the traditional Indiana recipes that are in this post. My kitchen still reached the boiling point where I wasn't keeping up with the cleanup, but it was much more manageable! I was also motivated because Roy's family was coming over to eat the results and celebrate his mom's birthday. Everyone raved about the food - especially the ham. It is scrumptious if I do say so. I hope your family will like it as much as ours did!

Sorghum Glazed Ham


 A cured ham that is large enough to yield ½ pound serving per person
1 cup sorghum (or maple syrup)
1 cup Dijon mustard
½ cup apple cider vinegar
4 minced garlic cloves
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
¼ teaspoon crushed red chili flakes


Whisk the sorghum, mustard, vinegar, garlic, coriander, rosemary, chili flakes. Set aside.  Preheat oven to 275.  Roast 15 minutes per pound. Pour glaze on during the last hour of cooking.

Apple Butter, Corn Relish, and Indiana Fried Biscuits

Apple Butter

Ingredients for a 5 cups of apple butter

 46 oz. unsweetened applesauce
 2 ½ cups light brown sugar
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon salt.


Place all ingredients into crock pot and mix well. Cook covered on high setting for 1 hour. Then set the lid ajar. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, 4 to 5 hours until mixture is thickened. 

Corn Relish

Ingredients for three cups of Corn Relish:

1 (15 0z.) drained can whole kernel corn
¼ cup vinegar
1 cup pickle relish
¼ cup minced onion
¼ cup diced pimientos
3 tablespoons sugar
1½ teaspoons celery salt


Mix all ingredients together in a glass casserole dish, cover with wax paper, and microwave on high for 10 minutes. 

Indiana Fried Biscuits

Ingredients for 24 biscuits: 

1 ½ cups vegetable oil
2 ½ cups flour
1 rounded tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups milk
3 tablespoons vinegar


 Mix dry ingredients in a bowl. Combine wet ingredients and stir in. Roll out on floured surface to ½ inch thickness. Cut into biscuit rounds, then cut each in half. Heat oil to 325. Fry a batch at a time in covered skillet, three minutes per side. 

Green Bean and Sweet Potato Casseroles

Classic Green Bean Casserole from Campbell’s Soup Company

Ingredients for 12 servings:

  4 cups cooked green beans

1 can Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup

½ cup milk

1 teaspoon soy sauce, dash pepper

1 1/3 cups canned fried onions


 Preheat oven to 350. Mix 2/3 cup of the onions and other ingredients together in 9 x 13 pan. Bake 30 minutes. Top with remaining onions and bake 5 additional minutes.

Sweet Potatoes with Miniature Marshmallows

Ingredients for 8 servings:
4 cups cooked and mashed potatoes
1/4 cup butter,
1/4 cup orange juice
1/2 cup miniature marshmallows
1/4 teaspoon salt



Preheat oven to 350. Combine ¼ cup of the marshmallows with the other ingredients. Place in 9 x 13 pan and bake 30 minutes. Top with remaining marshmallows and bake 5 additional minutes.

Sugar Cream Pie and Persimmon Pudding

Sugar Cream Pie from Taste of Home


Prebaked single crust pastry shell
1 cup sugar
¼ cup cornstarch,
2 cups 2% milk
½ cup butter cubed
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon cinnamon


Preheat oven to 3750. In pan, mix sugar with cornstarch, then add milk and stir until smooth. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and cook 2 minutes to thicken. Remove from heat, stir in butter and vanilla. Pour into pie crust and sprinkle top with cinnamon. Bake 15 to 20 minutes until browned.

Persimmon Pudding from Tuttle Orchards


1 pint persimmon pulp
2 cups sugar
2 beaten eggs
1 ¾ cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup half and half,
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup melted butter, dash cinnamon


 Preheat oven to 3250.   Combine persimmon, sugar and eggs. Alternate adding the flour and baking powder with the half and half, buttermilk, and baking soda. Stir in butter and cinnamon. Pour in greased 9 x 13 pan and bake 1 hour.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

The Kane Sisters' Carrot Cake

This post should actually be called the Mueller sisters' carrot cake for its true original source. During summers between college semesters, my sister and I worked as life guards at a country club. (My brother actually was employed there too, but I was off in the real world by then.) We worked with the Mueller girls who were blonde, blue eyed, very pretty, and obsessed with dieting.  In fact, that was pretty much the topic of conversation around the pool. Except - at some point this recipe surfaced. I can't remember how, but I know it's from them. For years my sister and I brought it to pitch-ins and parties. The directions on it are very strange for a cake recipe since the first thing is to combine eggs and oil, but the result is honestly the best carrot cake I've ever had. It is the gold standard to which I compare all other carrot cakes. The cream cheese frosting is just a bit different as well; definitely not as much powdered sugar than other recipes I've seen. The result is a bit more tangy and less sweet. For a pitch-in I bake this in a 9 x 13 pan, but it also makes a great eight inch layer cake.

Ingredients for the Carrot Cake:

3 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups flour
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups shredded carrots
1 cup raisins
1 cup undrained crushed pineapple
1 cup flaked coconut
1 cup chopped walnuts

 Ingredients for the Cream Cheese Frosting:

2 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions for the Carrot Cake:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour either a 9 x 13 baking pan or two eight inch cake pans.  Beat the eggs and oil together until they are combined.

Add the flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt and mix well.

Stir in the carrots, raisins, coconut, pineapple, and chopped nuts. Pour into the 9 x 13 pan or evenly divide the batter between the two cake pans. Bake the 9 x 13 pan for about 50 minutes and the cake pans for about 40 minutes. When done, the edges will be coming away from the side of the pan, the cake will spring back when touched in the middle, and an inserted toothpick will come out clean. Let the pan(s) sit for 5 minutes after they are taken out of the oven. Then, run a knife along the edges between the cake and the pan. Turn the pan upside down on a wire rack and gently tap the edges and top of the pan to loosen it. Lift the pan up to release the cake. Allow the cake to completely cool before proceeding to frost it.

Directions for Making the Cream Cheese Frosting:

Beat the cream cheese and butter together with an electric mixture. Add the confectioners sugar and vanilla extract and continue to beat until all the ingredients are combined together. Ice the top of the 9 x 13 pan or divide the icing between the two eight inch layers. Place the first layer on the plate and put about a third of the icing on top, spreading it from edge to edge. Top with the second layer and heap the rest of the frosting on top, extending it to cover the sides as well as the top. If you start to get crumbs in the frosting, get a clean knife to continue. Go back if possible and gently cover any of the crumbs with excess icing. Store in refrigerator.