Sunday, March 10, 2013


Olivia and I have lived in Indiana all our lives.  We enjoy immensely the many food traditions tied to each  season we experience in this state.  Maple syrup in the early spring, tomato festivals in the summer, apple festivals in the fall, and madrigal dinners in the winter are just a few of the many events we traditionally attend each year.  We thought we knew of most of the notable events in our area, but boy were we wrong.

My friend, Vickey, told me about an annual event at the Das Essenhaus in Middlebury, Indiana.  It is held annually in March.  It is a cooking show featuring a wide variety of recipes that are demonstrated and samples are offered to those attending.  We have been to the Das Essenhaus many times to eat at their restaurant.  It features  a wide variety of Amish and family favorites and delicious desserts.  The cooking show features much of the same type of fare.  The show recipes are easy and include everyday ingredients you probably have in your pantry.  It is held each year, is free, and also features vendors who offer food related products for sale.  Olivia and I will definitely be putting this event on our seasonal "must attend" event list and on our calendars for next year.

It is delightful to attend such an event and look at common  ingredients with fresh eyes.  The following recipe is an example.  Olivia made this recipe the day after the show.  To give it her own signature flare, she added pimento and said she really liked it that way.  You may use hamburger buns if you like.  Olivia chose chibata rolls-- a family favorite.

If you are near Middlebury, Indiana, check out Das Essenhaus.  It features a restaurant, hotel, theatre, shops, etc.  If that isn't possible, cruise the web looking for unique cooking events in your neck of the woods.  There may be something out there just waiting to put a little pizzazz in your pantry and a tasty addition to your culinary repertoire!

Recipe originally from:  Das Essenhaus Cooking Class
Adapted by:  Olivia Coons


2 lbs. 95% lean ground beef
1/2 lb. sliced bacon
1 package of ranch salad dressing mix
8 oz. package shredded Italian-blend cheese
2 oz. (half a jar) of pimentos, drained well
8 chibata rolls, split.

1)  Cook the bacon on an inside grill.  Remove bacon when crisp and break up into pieces.
2)  In a large bowl, combine beef, bacon pieces, ranch dressing mix, Italian blend cheese, and pimentos.  Mix well.
3)  Form into eight patties.  Grill over low heat on the same inside grill as you cooked the bacon on until burgers are lightly browned on one side.
4)  Turn patties and grill on the other side.  Remove burgers when both sides are lightly browned.  Do not allow burgers to burn.
5)  Turn the grill down to the lowest setting, and gently warm the chibata rolls on the grill.
6)  Serve the warmed chibata rolls with the burgers immediately.  You may serve these burgers with the traditional burger toppings, or leave as is since this is after all, an All-In-One Bacon Cheeseburger!

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