Monday, November 24, 2014

Gingerbread makes everything perfect!

By Michelle Plummer of Winners Drink Milk

Ginger has long been used to help soothe tummy upset, helps with digestion and is considered an antioxidant spice.  Ginger can be used to make tea, included in spicy food dishes to help balance both flavor and digestion, and is a perfect ending to a hearty Hoosier dinner.  Ginger is the spice that comes to mind during autumn.

When I was growing up, my Grandma made perfect little ginger snap cookies.  Each one was perfect for dunking and had a bit of chewy ginger bite.  They were perfect with a jelly jar glass of milk.

I tried to make them, and they all ran together- not my finest culinary moment! I moved to gingerbread men, but soon realized- it took too much time to roll out, cut, bake, and decorate to finally enjoy the tasty treats. I am not a patient cook!

Alas, what I have found is the love of cake- two bowls, one beater, easy to make, with the aroma of ginger, clove, cinnamon and molasses perfuming the house while the oven does its magic to transform a pourable batter into a warm and comforting treat.

Powdered sugar is one way to decorate this bronze orb (I bake mine in a Bundt  pan), but I like the flavor of lemon with ginger a bit better, so I make a glaze of Greek yogurt, powdered sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest (don't measure, just make the glaze to taste).

Cider- Gingerbread Cake with Lemon Yogurt Glaze

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup molasses
  • 3/4 cup apple cider
  • 1/2 cup apple butter
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg white
  • 3/4 cup grated apple
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup Greek Yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Zest of one lemon
  1. Preheat over to 350 degrees
  2. Prepare a 12-cup Bundt cake pan
  3. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cup; level with a knife
  4. Combine flour with next 5 ingredients and sift into a large mixer bowl.
  5. Combine next 5 ingredients in a second bowl; beat at medium speed for 2 minutes. Add flour mixture; beat until well blended. Fold in grated apple.
  6. Pour batter into prepared Bundt pan and bake at 350 degrees fro 55 minutes or until a woden skewer inserted into center comes out clean.
  7. Cool in pan 10 minutes; invert onto cooling rack and cool completely.
  8. Make Glaze:
  9. Combine powdered sugar, yogurt, lemon juice and zest in a small bowl. Add a bit of milk here is glaze is too thick. After cake is cooled; drizzle glaze over cake OR serve on plate next to a slice of cake.

Friday, November 21, 2014

We Are Indiana Agriculture: The Steeles

By Sarah Mahan of This Farm Family's Life

Chris and Marah Steele of Adams County started farming in 2005 on the same land Chris grew up on.  In addition to their farm, Chris is a salesman for a multi-state tire distributor.  Marah was a Kindergarten teacher until their second child was born.  Now she manages the household and the agri-tourism operation. 

Chris and Marah turned their dream of farming into a diversified operation that includes pumpkins, a corn maze, soy candles, a market, freezer meat, special activities and crafts, and a concession stand, as well as corn and soybeans.   They have three children, Carter, 7, Cooper, 5, and Mayah, 3.  While the fall activities on Steele Family Farms are open late September through late October, they sell freezer meat year round.

Chris and Marah are active in Farm Bureau, having served on the State Young Farmer Committee as well as in other positions at the county and state levels.  They are also both active in their community, church and Boy Scouts.

We Are Indiana Agriculture: The Schafers

By Sarah Mahan of This Farm Family's Life

Matt and Kristen Schafer and their son, Lucas, operate Schafer Farms near LaCrosse along with Matt’s father, uncle and brother-in-law.  While Matt went to college to keep his options open, his plan to come back to the family farm never wavered.  He makes most of the crop planning and day-to-day management decisions on the farm.  The Schafer family raises corn, soybeans, seed corn, cucumbers, green beans and some wheat. Their farm also includes a beef cattle feedlot.

Kristen is a teacher who now stays home to care for Lucas and is also involved on the farm.  She grew up in the suburbs of Chicago, and now manages the farm’s website and social media.  Her upbringing and background allow her to provide a unique perspective of life on the farm. 

There is always room for growth on Schafer Farms.  “We want to continue to grow,” says Matt.  “But it has to be done the right way and for the right reasons.”

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Let’s Talk Turkey

By Sarah Correll

It’s the middle of November, and Thanksgiving is nearly here! I’m so excited to be reunited with family, appreciate what we have and, of course, eat some great food. The ladies of The Real Farmwives of America and Friends have shared some great turkey information, and I’m rounding it up here.

Marybeth of Alarm Clock Wars starts at the beginning in her series on how turkeys are raised on her friend Katie’s farm.

Leah of Beyer Beware is giving away a turkey and sharing some great recipes in this post.

Marybeth reminds us not to rinse our turkey here.

And, finally, she shares how to roast the perfect turkey.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 7, 2014

We Are Indiana Agriculture: The Fruetches

By Sarah Mahan of This Farm Family's Life

Craig and Mindy Fruechte are sixth generation farmers in Adams County.  They have two children and both have jobs outside of the farming operation.  Craig has a degree in agribusiness and works for AgriStats in Fort Wayne, while Mindy has a nursing degree and is a case manager at Lutheran Hospital in Fort Wayne.  Their 1800-acre farm produces corn, soybeans and alfalfa.  They share ownership of much of the equipment with Craig’s father and they exchange labor with him during busy times on the farm.

The Fruechtes are very active in their community, volunteering for Farm Bureau, their county fair, their county pork producer organization, Extension and their church.  Craig and Mindy are no longer in the hog business, but they wanted to give their children the opportunity to care for livestock, so they raise livestock for freezer meat and showing.  While the Fruechtes are busy with their farm and off-farm jobs and raising a family, they still manage to find time to educate their children, coworkers and the community about agriculture.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

We Are Indiana Agriculture: The Kakasuleffs

By Sarah Mahan of This Farm Family's Life

George Kakasuleff is the third generation to farm his family’s Hamilton County grain farm.  The farm was started by his grandfather in the 1950s.  His wife, Carly, grew up in the suburbs with no farm experience, but she feels it is very important to give their son Vince, and any future children, the opportunity to be the fourth generation to work the land.

George has a degree in agronomic business and marketing .  Carly has a degree in informatics which proves to be very helpful on their farm as technology plays an important role in the operation.  Grain monitors ensure quality in the new on-farm storage and spreadsheets help with marketing and purchase decisions.

Controlled growth is one of George’s long-term goals.  In the last few years, he has purchased acreage, increased rented acres, began custom farming, and started growing seed corn for a major Midwestern seed company.

The Kakasuleffs stay active in their community by participating in Hamilton County and Indiana Farm Bureau activities and are active in their local Kiwanis and Chamber of Commerce.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Fall Comfort Food

By Sarah Correll

Fall is a time for cozy sweaters and warm food. The ladies of The Real Farmwives of America and Friends are serving up some of their favorite dishes- and sharing the recipes with us!

Creamy and warm, this Sour Cream Noodle Bake from Morgan of Stories of a First Generation Farmwife is sure to be a big hit!

This soup from A of A Latte with Ott,A is freezable and made for the crockpot!

This Pizza Casserole from Leah of BeyerBeware is kid-friendly and quick to make!

What’s your favorite fall food?