Farm Society in Anderson, Indiana

Anderson, Indiana is a small town a little over an hour north of Indianapolis. There’s not a lot to do or see there, however my grandparents lived there for most of my childhood, so I have lots of memories of summers and holidays spent in the town until they decided to move down to our area of the state.

I haven’t been back much since they moved, but Hanson was playing at the casino up there, so of course I had to go! Especially since it was only an hour drive from Indianapolis. My friend Lacy came up from London, KY and gave me the task of finding a place to eat.

What you’ll find in Anderson is mostly chains or fast food restaurants, but thanks to Yelp, I discovered a cute little farm to table place in the heart of downtown. Farm Society has only been open a little over a year, but it’s a lovely place that’s worth stopping at if you’re in the area and looking for healthy options.

The inside is just darling and an Instagrammers dream, right down to the seated waiting area with the greenery wall and bold lights that spotlight the restaurants name marquee.

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The menu changes depending on what’s in season and we had several different options to choose from including salads, black bean burgers, steak, pasta and a couple seafood dishes. Ingredients are locally sourced from farmers in Madison County. Our drinks were also served with the cutest paper straws!

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I decided on a BBQ chicken sandwich with a side of garlic parmesan mashed potatoes and green beans, which were cooked to perfection. They were hot, fresh and I felt like I was eating green beans from my mom and dad’s garden. The rest of my meal was also delicious, especially the potatoes which had some kind of a fresh herb that topped them and gave the dish so much flavor.

Lacy got a steak and my friend Jenny and her mom got salads along with a slice of chocolate cake. Peep our food photos below (photo cred for the cake goes to Jenny).

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Even though it was a Friday night, it wasn’t too busy; I’m not sure what their peak hours are but we had no problems getting a table around 6:30. The service was also good and our food came out in a timely manner.

So if you find yourself in the area or looking for a road trip for brunch or dinner, definitely stop in and support this lovely business that was much needed in the town of Anderson. I hope to go back and get some cake!

What to Eat at the 2019 Indiana State Fair

It’s that time of year again! The Indiana State Fair is always one of my favorite things to attend and sort of serves as a last hurrah of summer before the pre-fall mindset kicks in. Thanks to Indiana Grown, who gave me a free ticket, I got to attend last night and try out all kinds of new foods, drinks and relived my late teen years by attending the Pop 2000 Tour which was hosted by none other than Lance Bass of ‘NSYNC.

This year’s theme is Heroes in the Heartland and it’s a fun one  – in addition to recognizing our every day heroes like our farmers, military, police and first responders, superheroes have taken over and each day features a different character.

So on to the star of the fair: the food! There are sixteen new items on the menu and while I didn’t try all of them, I did sample a few of the hotter items and have a full review of everything I ate and drank.

Let’s start with the Blue Raspberry Lemon Twister. It’s a lemon shake-up but with a gorgeous blue raspberry twist. I give this one 5/5 and could have drank the larger size. Definitely order one to go along with your Angry Pretzel Poppers.

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My lovely friend Rachael (a.k.a. Forensic Fashion Notes), tagged along to help me eat all the things. Here she is trying out the Angry Pretzel Poppers with Mad Ranch Sauce. OMG. These are a must for this year – they do have some heat to them because of the jalapenos, but they are not overly hot. 5/5 on these as well.


Next up was the Relleno de Papa, which was essentially a fried mashed potato ball with seasoned ground beef inside. It comes with or without rice; I went rice free since I wanted to save room for other food too. I give this one a 4/5 because I like spicy and it could have used a little more kick for my personal preference.

I needed a break to let my stomach digest for a few minutes, so after that, we headed over to the Ag building and looked at all the local vendors in the Indiana Grown Marketplace. So many cool things!

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Then, it was over to the 4-H building! I was a ten year 4-H member and it was exciting to see some exhibits from Gibson County (my home county) take home top prizes 🙂 These kids are really creative and 4-H is such a great program to be a part of.

Appearing on the free stage last night was the Pop 2000 Tour, featuring Tyler Hilton, Ryan Cabrera, Aaron Carter and O-Town. If none of those names ring a bell, you probably weren’t a teenage girl in the early 2000s, haha.

We watched most of the acts, leaving when Aaron Carter came on to go get funnel cakes and then going back for O-Town, who brought out Lance Bass at the end for a rendition of “Bye, Bye, Bye.”

Our funnel cakes are A MUST: I got Birthday Cake (repeat from last year) and Rachael got the Red Velvet.

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Are you going to the Indiana State Fair this year? There’s a WHOLE list of other foods I didn’t get to try, notably the Rollin’ Mac Daddy Egg Roll, Poutine and Bison Hush Puppies. Let me know if you try any of them and what’s unique to your state fair if you live outside the Hoosier state!

 

 

 

The BEST Homemade Pizza Sauce

Homemade sauces are the best. Maybe you’re fine with the jar kind, but don’t settle for second best when you can easily make your own! This recipe is one I use every time I make pizza, it literally takes five minutes and you’re good to go.

Here’s what you will need:
1 Jar of Crushed Tomatoes or Tomato Puree
Italian Seasoning
Basil – fresh is good but dried works too!
Crushed red pepper flakes
Garlic
Salt & Pepper

For the pizza: I made a margherita for me, which included fresh basil and mozzarella but you can top it with anything you like!

I make my pizza sauce the night before so the spices have time to really jive with the tomatoes but if you’re rushed on time, you can make it and eat immediately.  My recipe will make enough for two 10 inch pizzas, so if you are looking to feed more people than that, I suggest doubling the recipe.

Directions:

Pour half of the jar of crushed or pureed tomatoes into a bowl for mixing. Add red pepper flakes, salt and pepper to taste. I really don’t measure out the rest of my seasonings – just do a generous dump of Italian, basil and garlic then mix everything up really well.

Refrigerate over night for optimal flavor.

When you’re ready to bake your pizza, spread the sauce generously over the pizza crust.

Then top with your favorite toppings! I cut up fresh mozzarella and basil for a classic margherita pizza.

Bake in the oven until crust begins to brown – usually takes about 20 minutes. Voila! You now have a delicious, home made pizza AND sauce. Enjoy 🙂

Half Liter BBQ

There’s a new hip BBQ joint in town! Half Liter Food and Beer Hall opened in Broad Ripple a few months ago; one side of the establishment is German food and the other Texas style BBQ.

The seating is open, so walk in, find a spot and start figuring out what you want to order. During the summer, the patio doors are up and if you sit outside or on the upper level, which overlooks the Monon Trail, you will have to wait in a line to order your food.

We went on a Saturday night and the place was hoppin’! Not only can you get brisket, but ribs, pulled pork, fish, sausage and chicken are all on the menu. There’s great selection of sides and some vegetarian options as well, although no meatless options for vegans.

They also have house made beer, whisky and plenty of other cocktails on the menu if you enjoy an adult beverage with your BBQ.

We both got the pulled pork platter with sides of fries, fresh fruit and macaroni and cheese. The portions were big and everything was delicious! I especially liked a few extra smoked burnt ends in my pork – that just gives it an extra kick in my opinion.

There are three different sauces to choose from – a Texas pit sauce, Bourbon and cola and the Carolina BBQ, which is mustard based. We both liked the Bourbon and cola the best – slather it on that gorgeous pulled pork!

And once you finish your meal, hang out in the game area and play some washers or corn hole with friends and family.