Guest Chef Danny Mesmer’s Cheese Cookies

By Michelle Plummer

2012 is the Year of the Dairy Cows at the Indiana State Fair and this may be a good time to meet one of our chefs who will be demonstrating a delicious dairy recipe each Sunday at 11:00 am throughout the fair!  Chefs cook in a variety of places and settings.  Our guest chef Danny Mesmer, will be treating you to cheese cookies (recipe follows) that can be topped with ice cream as an open faced ice cream sandwich.  Make plans now to join us at the fair to see how to make this all fresh in an hours time.  Including making the ice cream!

Daniel L. Mesmer graduated from IVY Tech Community College with a double major in Culinary Arts and Hotel & Restaurant Management.  While attending IVY Tech, he was chosen to participate in their Education Abroad program and studied at LaVarenne in France where he received the Grand Diplôme.  While attending college, Daniel worked for many City and State dignitaries, including then-Governor Evan Bayh.  After college, Daniel worked at Marsh Supermarkets where he helped to start up the catering business for the company.  In this position, he became their first chef employee in charge of the corporate cafe.  From there he was promoted to help develop their Central Kitchen concept.  Daniel then moved to Millennium Foods, where he is currently the R&D chef.

Daniel is a member of the American Culinary Association, where he has held a Board position since 1992 and is currently Chairman of the Board.  Within this organization, Daniel has judged the Skills USA and the Pro Start (high school culinary competitions), as well as competing in ACF-sanctioned competitions.  Chef & Child Committee membership within ACF has also provided opportunities to teach young people cooking and nutrition skills.  Daniel is also a member of the Research Chefs Association, where he is on the National Board for Education and assists in various projects including the planning of the national convention.  He also volunteers for the Indiana Transportation Museum, where he is one of the chefs involved in serving dinner in the 1930-era dining car.  Daniel is also a member of the Indianapolis Ambassadors, which has provided volunteer opportunities at such locations as the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Indiana Repertory Theater, Indianapolis Indians stadium, and the very exciting opportunity to work with the 2012 Super Bowl.

 By Danny Mesmer

A bit more about the Indiana Transport Museum- It is a 1930 style dining car and it is run by the Indiana Transportation Museum in Noblesville.  It is currently in for some repairs, so we are not cooking on it this year.  We are planning on starting up the dining experience again later this year or next.  There is a diner similar to the one we serve on up in the museum for people to see and walk through.  That is, at Forest Park in Noblesville IN.  It is quite the dining experience for our guests.  It is a four course meal with appetizers, salad, entrée and dessert.  All served in the dining car.  Most of the time while moving.  It is usually on with one of the other tours like the pizza train.  Our guest stays on the train to get served with the pizza guest disboard and dine at one of the local pizzerias in the area.   It is a good time for all.  Information is on the web site  another great summer vacation destination-until the fair arrives August 3!

Cheese Cookies

1 stick of Butter (Must Be Butter)

8 oz. cheddar cheese shredded, or 4 oz. parmesan and 4 oz. cheddar or other combinations work as well

1 cup Flour

Dash of Hot Sauce or Worcestershire or lime juice

Salt and pepper (optional)

2 cups Crushed Rice Krispies ™

Blend together all of the ingredients except for the crushed cereal.  Works best in an electric mixer until all ingredients are combined.

Roll into marble size balls then press flat and press into Cereal.

Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 15 – 20 min.  Cool on a rack.

Cookies can be saved in a tin or frozen.

Tips for Family Comfort & Fun at the Indy 500

Start your engines!

The city of Indianapolis is living and breathing the Indy 500 right now!  You are going to bring your family to the track for the first time and you have a few questions….well I might be able to help! I will keep it simple and if you don’t find what you need here check out or

Tips for family comfort and fun at the Indy 500:

  • First and foremost there are plenty of bathrooms and ATM’s sprinkled throughout the Speedway. So if you need extra money for souvenirs or if you hear “I have to go to the bathroom,” you need not worry! Speaking of souvenirs, the kids will want something to remember their fun experience at the race. There are plenty of low priced items you can purchase.
  • Keep cool. Race day will be HOT! So drink lots of liquids and use lots of sunscreen. Bring your own sunscreen because you will end up spending too much money for a little travel size if you buy it at the track. Bring bottled water and make half of the bottles frozen. Throughout the day they will melt and will be quite refreshing. Plus, you will not need to pack ice! Another idea to keep cool is to put some wet towels in your cooler so that you can put them around your child’s neck when they get hot. Buy a few ‘misters’ before the race so you can mist yourself to cool down.
  • Pack your lunch and snacks. You will save money. A variety of sandwiches, fruit, pretzels, cheese sticks, granola bars and peanuts are just some easy ideas.
  • Other items to bring:
    • Earplugs – the little ones will need these.
    • Moist wipes – you can leave home without those!
    • Strollers (and lawn chairs) are allowed but you can’t bring them in the stands.
    • Bags are permitted but cannot exceed the size of 14” by 14”

Remember to have fun and make memories. Take the camera to capture the moments. After the race you can refuel your body the same way the winning driver does and drink an ice cold bottle of MILK!!

Meet the 2012 Rookie Milkman

By Duane Hill

Never in my life when I was a little boy milking cows would I have thought about the privilege of handing milk to the winning race team at the Indianapolis 500.  Hard work and desire have always paid off in my life in some surprising ways.

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The Indy 500 Milkmen Experience

By Dave Forgey

Last year I was able to be the “Rookie Milkman” following the direction of Richard Thomas who was the official “Milkman”. This year I’ll have that honor and will be sharing the experience with Duane Hill as the “Rookie Milkman” during the 97th running of the Indy 500. Continue reading

Wine and Cheese- The Perfect Couple!

By Michelle Plummer

June is for weddings—Wine and Cheese that is! What better reception hall than the Vintage Indiana Wine Festival on June 2, 2012 at Military Park!

Here is why the marriage works. The higher the acidity and alcohol in the wine, the better to cut through the butterfat coating, thus marrying with the cheese’s creaminess and allowing for a balanced wine and cheese flavor interaction.

Contrasting Intensity is important- pairing contrasting characteristics in cheeses and wines creates very desirable flavor profiles, much like pairing sweet with sour or smooth and crunchy textures, which add complexity and interest to foods. An example would be the contrast between the saltiness of Gorgonzola and the higher residual sugar of a Port-like dessert wine.

Every wedding offers dessert! Wine and cheese boards are perfect. Select two to three wedges of cheese in a variety of intensity such as a sharp white cheddar, gorgonzola and brie. Add fresh ripe fruits that have their leaves or stems for visual appeal. Dried fruits will also add interest. Toasted nuts, chutneys and assorted breads- from rye to French baguettes, toasted, fresh and sliced are also luscious additions. Select a tray or platter and include a cheese knife for slicing.

Q & A from our readers and followers:

Q: It is well and good to talk about, marriages of wine and cheese but I want to be an active participant, can I do this in Indianapolis?

A: The answer is yes! Check out these Local Wine Events.

Q: What is a unique gift for a special wedding couple?

A: Make your own platters! Add a few cheeses and bottle of wine, an opener and cheese knife and the special couple truly has a memory! This process is called slumped glass and is wonderful fun for everyone involved!

Q: What if I am lactose intolerant?

A: Hard cheeses such as aged cheddar, Swiss and aged blue cheeses are lower in lactose and generally more tolerable. Don’t forget to go slowly and try small amounts.

Q: I am just getting started and don’t want to make a poor selection. Do I have to buy expensive cheeses and wines?

A: No, begin where you can afford and remember with all the other items you only need a small amount of everything to fill your board. Many cheese shops will let you sample before you purchase as will wineries.  Vintage Indiana is also a great time for this activity and you get to so many other things there as well!

Just so you know- my first wine was Strawberry Hill with American—I have since moved up but you have to start somewhere!

Hope to see you at Vintage on June 2nd and tell us your favorite pairing!

Why is Sodium Important?

By Diane Ruyack

Sodium is an element that the body needs to function properly. The body uses sodium to regulate blood pressure and blood volume. Sodium is also critical for the functioning of muscles and nerves. Sodium occurs naturally in most foods.

Too much sodium may lead to high blood pressure in those who are sensitive to sodium. If you have high blood pressure, your doctor will probably recommend that you reduce your sodium (salt) intake. Sodium may lead to a serious build-up of fluid in people with congestive heart failure, cirrhosis, or kidney disease. Such people should be on a strict sodium-restricted diet, as prescribed by their doctor.

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Lactose Intolerance & Osteoporosis – How are they related?

By DeDe Hausmann

May is National Osteoporosis Month and why does it deserve that designation?  Osteoporosis is a health condition in which bones become weak and can break very easily.  Around 10 million Americans already have the disease (according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, the NOF) and another 34 million are at risk of getting the disease.

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