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Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Instant Pot Chugwater Chili

Chili is a favorite of ours in the winter time.  It is a great comforting food that is best when cooked all day, and even better on the next day.  I knew the Instant Pot could help us get all the flavors combined in a shorter amount of time. 


A great thing about chili, is it doesn't take many ingredients to make this hearty soup.  We used local beef, and stewed tomatoes from our garden. 

Instant Pot Chili, Chasing Saturdays, easy meal

I browned two pounds of hamburger in the Instant Pot with one chopped onion.  I used the Brown button to brown the meat in the Instant Pot.  This option makes clean up even easier! 



I used 2 quarts of our stewed tomatoes we canned this summer. Two quarts of stewed tomatoes equals 8 cups.  Use tomato juice if you prefer.  We like thick chili. 







INSTANT POT CHUGWATER CHILI
PRINT RECIPE
INGREDIENTS:


2 pounds ground hamburger
1 chopped onion
2 cans chili beans
2 cans stewed tomatoes (I used 2 quarts of stewed tomatoes)
3 tablespoons Chugwater Chili Seasoning
Salt & Pepper to taste


DIRECTIONS:
1. Brown 2 pounds of hamburger and chopped onion in Instant Pot on Brown setting
2. Add chili beans, stewed tomatoes and Chugwater Chili Seasoning.
3. Lock lid, set manual 15 minutes.
4. Quick release soup when finished.













Pumpkin Spice Cake

My husband ran to the store for me this weekend, and informed me he has stocked me up on pumpkin! I think these were a hit! He is sure I will need to make more Pumpkin Spice Cakes. These individual cakes are a perfect size for serving during the holidays. 





This is an easy two ingredient dessert.  You can't go wrong with this dessert. All you need is spice cake mix, and can of pumpkin.  I found this recipe at the Pampered Chef website when I was looking for ideas how to use their brownie pan





Mix the two ingredients and pour into the brownie pan sprayed with cooking oil.



Place in 325-degree oven for 20-22 minutes. Wait 5 minutes, then transfer cakes to a cooling rack, and top with frosting or powdered sugar.




Pumpkin Spice Cake
PRINT RECIPE INGREDIENTS:
1 Spice Cake Mix
1 15 oz can of pumpkin

DIRECTIONS:
1. Mix Spice Cake Mix and pumpkin together.
2. Place in Pampered Chef Brownie Pan sprayed with cooking oil.
3. Bake 20-22 minutes in 325-degree oven.
4 Wait 5 minutes to remove cakes from pan and transfer to cooling rack.
5. Top with frosting or powdered sugar.











Monday, December 11, 2017

Kanne Mint Farms

Besides farming corn and soybeans in Jasper County, Indiana, Gregg Kanne set off to try a different crop in 1994.  Mint farming wasn't too common in the area.  His wife, Sue's family was farming mint, and Gregg saw a great opportunity for his family.  Gregg and Sue have farmed for 40 years, raised four children, and now lives on the farm that has been in his family for over 100 years. 

Kanne Mint Farms, Jasper County, Indiana, Peppermint, Chasing Saturdays
Photo Credit: Kanne Farms

I sat down with Gregg at his kitchen table, in the same house he grew up in, and many other family members before him grew up on the same homestead.  Much has changed with the farm, but many things have stayed the same.  

Photo Credit: Kanne Farms


Harvest has slowed down, but field work continues for mint farmers, weather cooperating. Mint can either be peppermint or spearmint.  Peppermint is grown on the Kanne ground.

Mint plant spreads through the roots not seeds. The mint plant can last four years in a field.  The first year it is considered row mint, years 2-4 are considered meadow fields because the plants spread out with runners.  After the 4th year, the field is put back into a corn/soybean rotation.  

Northern Indiana soils are good for mint production.  Mint grows well in well-drained soils such as sandy soils, loamy soils, and muck grounds.  Mint is grown for the oil in the leaves.  Oil is stored in glands on the underside of the leafs. 



Kanne Mint Farms, Jasper County, Indiana, Peppermint, Chasing Saturdays
Photo Credit: Kanne Farms

One acre of mint produces 5-6 Ton of mint hay, which yields 60-70 pounds of oil.  According to USDA, Indiana has 11,500 acres in Peppermint production, producing 575,000 pounds of mint oil in 2016.



Kanne Mint Farms, Jasper County, Indiana, Peppermint, Chasing Saturdays
Photo Credit: Kanne Farms


When it is time to harvest the mint, mid July through August, it has to be mowed first.  It will be placed into wind rows in the field to dry.  When it is time to chop the mint, it is chopped into smaller pieces, and blown into the mint tub.  The mint tubs are then transferred to the distillery by a tractor.  The distillery is located on the Kanne Farm.  

The tubs are hooked up to the distillery. The oil and vapors from the mint pass into the condensers with 15 pounds of pressure.  Oil is drained into the barrels. 

After the mint is cooked, the tubs are taken back to the fields and piled in plummies.  During the fall, the mint fields are plowed 7 to 8 inches deep, the roots are dormant, and it helps with overwintering, disease and insect control.  The plummie piles are then spread over the fields for protection over the winter months and leftover nutrients are added back to the field.



Kanne Mint Farms, Jasper County, Indiana, Peppermint, Chasing Saturdays
Photo Credit: Kanne Farms

Mint usually is contracted three years out.  The growers know how many acres they need to keep in rotation well in advance.  The buying companies pick up the mint from the farm by 55-gallon barrels.  It is very important to sample and grade all oil, especially since it is used in food-grade. 

Peppermint oil is a very strong and distinct fragrance.  The main end users are Colgate and Wrigley, farmers know their mint crop is going towards toothpaste, gum, and other flavored products.




Kanne Mint Farms, Jasper County, Indiana, Peppermint, Chasing Saturdays




This post was sponsored by The Glass Barn, brought to you by the Indiana Soybean Farmers. As always all thoughts and opinions are my own.



Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Crock Pot Meat Lovers Pizza Casserole

I have never tried a crock pot pizza.  I would love to do a crock pot pizza with pizza crust, that one will be in the works soon.  This Crock Pot Meat Lovers Pizza Casserole gives us the opportunity to use a lot of the meat options we have in our freezer!

Crock Pot Meat Lovers Casserole, Chasing Saturdays
 



I picked Rotini pasta because it looks fun, and makes a great base in the casserole crock pot.  I boiled the entire box, but use your own judgement. If you are adding a lot of meat options, save back some of the pasta! 

We have lots of meat options in our freezer. I used a pound of hamburger, a pound of ground pork, one ham steak, and a pound of bacon.  I also used some pepperonis! 


Crock Pot Meat Lovers Casserole, Chasing Saturdays


Use your favorite pasta sauce, in our house, it is Prego! 


Crock Pot Meat Lovers Casserole, Chasing Saturdays


Before cooking, add your favorite shredded cheese. We prefer mozzarella shredded cheese with our pizza.


Crock Pot Meat Lovers Casserole, Chasing Saturdays


Cover, and cook on high for 3-4 hours, or on low for 5-6 hours.

Crock Pot Meat Lovers Casserole, Chasing Saturdays

Crock Pot Meat Lovers Casserole, Chasing Saturdays



Crock Pot Meat Lovers Casserole, Chasing Saturdays









Crock Pot Meat Lovers Pizza Casserole PRINT RECIPE
INGREDIENTS:
1 box of rotini pasta
2 jars Prego Sauce
1 cup water
1 pound ground pork sausage
1 cup chopped pepperoni
1 pound ground hamburger
1 pound cooked bacon
ham
1 minced garlic
1 chopped onion
2 cups shredded mozzarella
2 cups shredded cheddar

INSTRUCTIONS:
  1. Brown hamburger and pork sausage with minced garlic and chopped onion.
  2. Pour the cooked pasta in crock pot sprayed with cooking spray.  You may not need to add the entire box!
  3. Add browned hamburger and ground pork sausage.
  4. Add bacon, ham, chopped pepperoni, and other ingredients you prefer.
  5. Pour in water and sauce.  
  6. Top with cheese, cook on HIGH for 2.5-3 hours, or low 5-6 hours.
















Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Instant Pot Macaroni & Cheese

Instant Pot Macaroni and cheese, Chasing Saturdays


Macaroni and cheese is the best comfort food, ever! I wanted to try it in the Instant Pot.  The IP continues to amaze me.  It hasn't left my counter yet! 

Harvest is still going on in Indiana. I would say we are at 99.9% done, with a few customers left to haul in.  The Instant Pot has really helped me out this fall, getting food prepared faster.  

I would also like to share with you some amazing views we have had lately at home. 



Indiana has not disappointed in sunrises or sunsets! I took this earlier this summer, from our back yard, what a view! 


A beautiful October sunset from our front yard!



This is my view during harvest, this November sunset was a bonus!


Instant Pot Macaroni and Cheese, Chasing Saturday's


I have selected the cheese my family and I prefer, make sure to use your families favorite cheese to keep everyone in the family happy! 




INSTANT POT MACARONI AND CHEESE
PRINT RECIPE INGREDIENTS
1 lb elbow macaroni
4 tbsp butter
1 tsp yellow mustard
1 tsp hot pepper flakes
½ tsp pepper
½ tsp onion powder
2 tsp salt
4 cups water
1 12-oz. Can evaporated milk
16 oz cheddar cheese
6 oz parmesan cheese
1 cup bread crumbs

DIRECTIONS
  1. Add macaroni, butter, yellow mustard, hot pepper flakes, onion powder, pepper, salt and water into Instant Pot.  
  2. Select Manual, cook on high for 6 minutes.
  3. Quick release valve, open lid and make sure macaroni is cooked.
  4. Add evaporated milk, and all the cheeses.
  5. Stir until creamy.
  6. Add salt & pepper to taste.



Instant Pot Macaroni and cheese, Chasing Saturdays