How It All Started

Bob Phillips

The title of this blog was inspired by one of my Spanish professor's at Miami University of Ohio, Dr. Robert Phillips, who died in the e...

Friday, April 22, 2011

Food and Life

Last night we watched the first of a three-part PBS series called The Meaning of Food. The rich cultural and ritual uses of food in the United States were highlighted in this episode entitled "Food and Life". Life is celebrated in an Italian wedding feast, and a Greek restaurteur who cooks to honor his deceased wife. Preparing food for religious purposes was explored through the Muslim celebration of Ramadan; a cookbook originally written from recipes passed by word-of-mouth by prisoners at Auschwitz; and a former Texas inmate who found his Christian calling through preparation of the last meals of death row inmates. I am looking forward to seeing the next to parts of this series.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Pasta with (not so) Fresh Tomato and Vegetable Sauce

This week's recipe comes from the 365 Ways to Cook Pasta Cookbook by Marie Simmons. It called for fresh diced tomato, but since we are not in tomato season, I used canned diced tomato instead. This was mixed with cooked penne pasta, and then other vegetables were added. I was glad to used up the less-than-one serving of broccoli that was in the freezer, the six carrot sticks that were in the refrigerator, and the two particially used red and yellow peppers. Oregano, thyme, basil and black pepper were also added, and then it was topped with grated parmesan cheese . It did look pretty. I am sad to report that my vegetarian daughter did not try this dish. She ate her pasta with butter and one piece of broccoli on the side. Even without the fresh tomatoes, this was good. I think it will be a great dish to try again in the summer when we can use farm-fresh veggies.

I really did try a new recipe last week

Today I finally post about the recipe we prepared a week ago. We made the Pizza Rice Casserole last Thursday night, and the following day, when I would normally write my blog post, was spent at the Massachusetts Sustainable Communities Conference, and from there we drove to Connecticut for the night, in order to get to Maryland to visit family on Saturday. In Massachusetts the third Monday in April is a holiday - Patriot's Day (to celebrate the midnight ride of Paul Revere). We came home Monday night, and I realized yesterday that I had not actually posted about the dish. This recipe was good for using up the big jar leftover rice we had in the refrigerator. It was pretty simple to make. After browning some ground turkey, and then adding onion, tomato sauce, and some spices, I mixed it with some cottage cheese. Then I layered the rice on the bottom of a casserole dish and added the meat sauce on top. This was topped with shredded cheese and then baked at 325 for 25 minutes in the convection oven. It was a good dish for using things we had on hand, although I did have to buy the cottage cheese. It made for good leftovers, too. The recipe came from the More-with-Less Cookbook.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Nueva Receta? Well, maybe not

We saw this article in last week's Boston Globe magazine Eggs for supper: Three easy skillet dinners - The Boston Globe. The first recipe for Piperade looked good, and we assumed it would be significantly different than the Chachouka that we make regularly, since the second recipe in the article was for Chachouka. When all was said and done, and eaten, though, it seemed liked all I had done was make a variation on Chachouka. The Piperade did have a bit of meat in it, which we had never done before, and James said he liked it better. I was ready to post this as a "Fail", but James talked me out of it. We will come up with something newer and better this week.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Food Books!

For a feast of food books see the Farmbrarian blog. Reviews of all kinds of books about food, farming, and sustainablity - including fiction, non-fiction and children's books. This website is a collaboration between a nutritionist and a librarian. Well done.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Sweet Potato Chowder

This week I picked a recipe from a never-before-used cookbook - Better Homes and Gardens Annual Recipes 2003. The book has a Christmas sticker on it, in indicating that it was a gift from my mother. I don't think we've had it since 2003, although I am hard pressed to say when it appeared on my cookbook shelf.

This recipe book has a set of recipes for each month of the year. We didn't find any that we were willing to try in the March section (it was still March when we made this), and instead chose the very first recipe in the book, under the heading "Simple Celebrations for the New Year."

This chowder was made with coconut milk, rather than regular milk, which gave it an exotic kick. It also had onion, garlic, vegetable broth, ginger and salt and lemon pepper. This was accompanied with Pita Crisps, the recipe for which was also included. It called for heating cumin seeds, mustard seeds, and caraway seeds, and then spreading the mix on a buttered piece of pita, which was then cooked at 350. Since we had the first two ingredients in a powder, rather than seed form, we melted the butter and added the spices to it, then spread it on the pita triangles. The soup was creamy and warm, and perfect for a late season snowy day. Even Paloma liked it. The crips complemented the chowder well.