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Regina’s Table

via Amazon

via Amazon

As a Midwesterner, I cherish good weather–the sun, light, flowers and leafy trees. I love farmer’s markets with fresh produce.

This season, when I shop the markets, I’ll tuck a copy of Regina’s Seasonal Table in my canvas bag.

Written by Indy-based chef and restauranteur, Regina Mehallick:
“Regina’s Seasonal Table focuses on Midwestern USA’s bounty and recognizes the joys of eating seasonally. The 124-page book includes more than 100 beautiful photos and four seasons’ worth of good eating geared toward the home cook. Recipes include Indiana watermelon with prosciutto de Parma and Gorgonzola; Seared beef tenderloin bruschetta with roasted peppers and red onions on Asiago bread and arugula salad; and Ruby red trout with wild rice succotash and Pernod sauce.”

Usually, I don’t like or recommend cookbooks by chefs, but this cookbook is different. Although the recipes are for restaurant-quality presentations, Regina Mehalick speaks to the home cook.

Perhaps it’s because she didn’t start out in a commercial kitchen. She cooked at home for her husband and family, then went to culinary school. Perhaps it’s because she cooked professionally and studied in England and Scotland where in she learned to appreciate balance on the plate.

The instructions are straightforward and homey. As implied in the title, the recipes are organized by seasons, starting with Spring. Chef Mehallick is respectful of her audience and doesn’t overload home cooks with recipes requiring excessive numbers of ingredients.

Chef Mehallick came to Indy in 2000 and opened her restaurant, RBistro, in 2001. It was a dark time in Indy’s food scene and she was a leader, promoting seasonal, local cuisine.

Now she’s graced us with a beautiful, practical cookbook using our food and our ingredients.


Written by Susan Gillie

April 14, 2009 at 3:34 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Joy, Sorrow and Glory

This was a special week. Yesterday was Easter; at sundown last Wednesday, Passover began. An oppressed people freed from bondage by plagues. The son of God, idolized like a rock star, jailed, foresaken by friends and fans, then executed and, eureka, brought back to life.  

No matter what you’re religious persuasion, you  have to admit Passover and Easter are great stories And with all good stories, food is front and center. It’s all about suffering and victory. It’s Matzo and the Host.

This blog has gone through suffering and now a resurrection and victory.

I haven’t posted in ages and a few weeks ago we shut down completely. All seemed lost. It’s a long story, but my blog was bundled with a couple other blogs on Bluehost. Our relationship deteriorated. (I’m being nice. Andrew said” I’m sorry about all this, but bluehost totally f* us all and I’ve spent hours in crisis/fixit mode.”)

The blog came back to life. Andrew switched most of it to WordPress. Then we set about retrieving the domain name. I signed up with godaddy and Andrew transferred indieats and redirected traffic. Type in and you’re directed to

Now I’m on my own. It feels invigorating but scary.

I’ve been reading, reading, reading about WordPress. I have two options: or is safe, affordable (free) but limited. offers more creativity, but more work and expense.  For now, I’m sticking with It’s in my price range and comfort zone.

I’ve wanted to change the direction of indieats and this is the time. While the blog started as a lark, there’s so much to say, so much to do and so much to cook and eat.

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing my vision for the new indieats. See you soon with a brand new look and brand new posts.

Written by Susan Gillie

April 13, 2009 at 12:03 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

November is

National Turkey month, of course.

Did you know the second week of November is National Split Pea Week?

Dried split peas provide folate, fiber, iron, and protein, as well as being low in fat. Unlike cooking other legumes, it’s not necesarry to soak them before cooking with them. It’s easy to make a hot and hearty meal in a hurryUNL Extension in Lancaster County.

And wouldn’t you know it, there’s a U.S.A. Dry Pea and Lentil Council.

Written by Susan Gillie

November 6, 2008 at 5:23 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Auld Lang Syne

Today is the last day for Crawford’s Bakery. After 21 years in business, they’re closing shop on North Capitol Street across from Methodist Hospital.

There’s plenty of media coverage. Even though we’re in the midst of an historic presidential race and ominous economic meltdown, Crawfords made front-page of yesterday’s Indianapolis Star.

Not everyone is weeping, though.

A friend and colleague of mine worked for them, right after she’d graduated from CIA (Culinary Institute of America).

She told me, “when I interviewed, I saw bags of flour and sugar, and thought ‘what a great deal.’ They were all mixes. Here I am, right out of CIA pastry program with mixes. Worse, I wasn’t allowed to decorate much less touch the cakes.

“No, they stuck me on the fryer, with the doughnuts. “

“After a while they let me work with the gingerbread man cookies. Not the whole gingerbread man, mind you, I was only allowed to put on the eyes, noses and buttons.”

“When they decided to expand, they wanted to teach me how to make sandwiches. I felt degraded. I wanted to say, ‘you do no real baking, nothing is from scratch, nothing is of any quality and you want to teach me how to make sandwiches? I stuck it out for a year and left.”

“I don’t blame them. The owner was a nice man. It was my fault. Lesson learned. Now I manage my career. When someone wants to hire me, I look closer at what’s going on. I look at the bags to see if they’re flour or a mix.”

In Indiana, we have a bad habit of rolling around and remorsing over a past that never was. Crawfords is a perfect example, medicore bakery, mediocre sandwich shop.

So today, pick up some free food and watch the ceremony as the Fire Department hauls off the last doughnuts. Shed a tear for Mayberry.

Then, Indianapolis, move on.

Written by Susan Gillie

September 30, 2008 at 1:28 pm

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Written by Susan Gillie

August 2, 2008 at 1:04 am

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Written by Susan Gillie

July 2, 2008 at 1:21 am

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is dairy month.

And for some Hoosiers, dairy is about real milk.

Written by Susan Gillie

June 11, 2008 at 3:04 pm

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Memorial Day

Some people think Memorial Day should be a somber time. Not Indiana. We’re patriotic and love our country, but we breath the smell of gasoline and yearn for the roar of engines. For us it’s about auto racing. The Indy 500.

We honor ambition, precision and anticipation. From the very beginning of this race in the early 20th century, we’ve opened Indy to the world and welcomed race teams from all continents, countries and cultures. That’s our way of remembering those who’ve sacrificed for us. We keep living, we forgive our enemies and make them our friends.

Food writer Marcia Adams described Indiana as “a study in contrasts.”

Economically, Indiana developed first as farmland, but rapid industrialization occurred when oil was discovered. Indiana was no longer a sleepy agarian state…

Indy 500 doesn’t have great food and drink traditions the Kentucky Derby has. We don’t have a Mint Julip, or Roast Beef with Henry Bain Sauce, Derby Pie or sandwiches with Benedictine’s spread.

Perhaps it’s the nature of the two races. Horses run for a few minutes, then there’s an hour of downtime. Time to bet, drink, strut and sup. The 500 is hours of sun, heat, gasoline, noise, hair-raising turns, twists and danger.

Food is for later.

Although we don’t have the great culinary traditions enjoyed by our southern neighbor, there was a time when Indy knew how to roll out the carpet. I lived here in the mid-eighties, and regulary attended 500 parties. Tables were covered with white linens and silver candelabras. Catering staff wore white jackets, white bowties and white gloves. The old supper-club crowd prevailed over parties in this town–it was cocktails and elegance.

Memorial Day is Indy’s collective hangover. Time to take the visitors to the airport, come home, unwind and fire up the grill.

For all of you enjoying a family cookout, I wish I could be with you. Today, though, is my holiday to work.

Written by Susan Gillie

May 26, 2008 at 8:02 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Barbeque Sauce

Most barbeque sauces are too sweet, but this recipe for Chinese barbeque sauce is a perfect balance of tastes.

  • 1/2 cup light soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons bean paste
  • 1/2 cup hoisin sauce
  • 2 tablespoons dry sherry
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon catsup
  • 1 tablespoon orange, pineapple, or praefuit juice
  • 1 teaspon honey
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped

Mix ingredients and stir until well blended.

The Key to Chinese Cooking, Iren Kuo, Alfred A. Knopf, 1981. 

Use as a marinade for meat or as a dipping sauce.

Written by Susan Gillie

May 26, 2008 at 3:16 pm

Posted in Uncategorized


Written by Susan Gillie

May 1, 2008 at 7:26 pm

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