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...

Monday, November 25, 2013

Two course dinner

Sometimes in our CSA farm box we receive food that we haven't heard of/wouldn't normally buy/don't like. Kohlrabi fits into all three categories. We do our best to find a recipe for anything that shows up in the farm box, and sometimes we really have to work to find something that covers the taste. We first encountered kohlrabi two years ago from which James made a soup, and we blogged about it again earlier this year when we prepared this salad. A final kohlrabi for the year had me once again looking for a recipe, and I settled on kohlrabi and apple slaw. It was simple to prepare, and the host of other flavors canceled out the bitterness of the kohlrabi. It was prepared as a side dish to some baked pasta with cheese. We adapted a recipe from our 365 Ways to Cook Pasta Cookbook - Three Color Twists with Mozzarella - in order to use the rest of the fancy pasta we used for the Exotic Mushroom Pasta Alla Mamma. The cooked pasta was mixed with a white sauce made from 1 1/2 T. butter, 1 1/2 T. flour, and 1 1/2 c. milk (this was whisked together in a sauce pan over heat for about 10 minutes, until thick). Shredded mozzarella was added to the mix and then placed in a greased baking dish, along with some chopped tomatoes. It was topped with additional mozzarelli and baked at 350 until the top turned brown (about 20-25 minutes).  We dubbed this one "comfort food for snobs". All in all a successful meal.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake

According to the Food Librarian last Friday (November 15) was National Bundt Day, so I had no choice but to find a good recipe and make dessert. After looking a several choices, I settled on Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake. I could tell once I mixed up the batter that I was going to have a rather small cake, so I doubled everything (except the sugar, which I always use less of than the recipe calls for), and still wound up with a short cake. It was quite dense, and very good though. I used flax seed in place of the eggs. I don't know if eggs would have make the cake much taller or not.

Roots II

More turnips last week. We still had two turnips from our final CSA farm box pick up so I found a recipe for creamed turnips flavored with spices. After peeling and chopping the 'nips I boiled them with three whole peppercorns, three whole cloves, and a bay leaf until they were tender. I removed the aromatics, drained, and then mashed with a bit of milk and butter. Finally I added fresh grated nutmeg. This turned out to be a good way to completely hide the flavor of the turnips. We had these as a side dish with some salmon.

Monday, November 11, 2013


We have a few turnips from the final CSA farm box pick up, so I checked to see if there were any recipes that called for turnips and leftover rice. The pickings were slim, and there was no recipe for which I had all ingredients, so I adapted one that I seemed do-able with what I had on hand. I started by sauteeing a small onion and then adding one chopped turnip, and three rather small chopped potatoes. I added a cup of water and waited until it started boiling. I let it all boil for about 1/2 hour until the turnips and potatoes were soft. When they were cooked, I drained the water and then put everything back in the sauce pan along with some black truffle infused olive oil, and the leftover rice, garlic salt, pepper, and cumin, and cooked until everything was heated through. This was served as a side dish with some cod James picked up and cooked with some lemon and herbs. I found that I liked the rice dish best when I mixed it together with the fish. All the food was white in color, so although it looked a bit bland, there were a lot of flavors in this.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Exotic Mushroom Pasta Alla Mamma

We stopped in Williams Sonoma yesterday because we were out of filters for our Chem-X (which is really the best thing for making coffee - we've been making due with our French Press) and I was taken in by this incredibly overpriced, yet fun-looking pasta. It was packaged so nicely, too. Tough to admit that even I can fall for food-porn marketing.

Anyway, our daughter is home for the weekend, so the time to celebrate was right. I asked her to help me pick something from the 365 Ways to Cook Pasta Cookbook. She said she really wanted something with mushrooms, so we selected the exotic mushroom pasta alla mamma. It was quick and easy to prepare, and yummy. 

After melting 4 T. of butter in the cast iron pan, I added an 8 oz. package of chopped mushrooms, and sauteed for about 5 minutes, then added one minced garlic clove, 2 T. chopped parsley, and a bit of dried basil and oregano and stirred some more. The pasta cooked while I did all of this. Once the pasta was cooked drained it was added it the pan. Next I added 4 beaten eggs and stirred until the eggs began to set. Just before serving, put in some grated Parmesan cheese.

Everyone enjoyed this. Paloma took a picture of her plate before eating, but as we have learned from our almost 3 years of food blogging, food photography is usually best left to the experts. The picture above is simply the dry pasta.

Friday, November 1, 2013

A Samhain Supper

I pulled out my Wicca Cookbook for Halloween (or Samhain - pronounced SOW-en - as the pagans call the holiday that takes place from the evening of October 31 through November 1). I found two recipes that I was able to make with ingredients I already had: Chicken-Barley Stew with Herbs; and Eclectic Eggplant, and I managed to time them so that they were both done at the same time!

Using my indispensable cast-iron pot, I sauteed 3 garlic cloves and some chopped scallions in 2 T. of butter, then added cut pieces of boneless, skinless chicken thighs and cooked until brown on all sides. Next I added 3 3/4 c. of water, 3 T. of red wine vinegar, 3/4 c. of barley, and two crushed bay leaves. This was left to simmer for about an hour. I started the preparation of the eggplant about halfway through the cooking of the soup. The eggplant was cut into slices, coated with flour, and then dipped into a mixture of egg, olive oil, garlic salt, and pepper, then coated with bread crumbs. They were placed in a greased baking pan and baked (covered in aluminum foil) at 375 for 15 minutes; then removed from the oven, and topped with tomato slices and shredded mozzarella cheese, then, back to the oven (uncovered) for another 10 minutes. Just before ladling the soup I added some minced fresh sage to it. Everything was served at once and looked gorgeous on our fall-themed table, presented along side some of our homemade mead.

Our first trick-or-treaters arrived just as we were sitting down to enjoy the meal, but it was still plenty warm when we got back from dispensing the candy.  James deemed the soup one of his top five favorites. The red wine vinegar gave it a good tangy taste. This turned out to be a good way for the us to prepare eggplant, too, as we are not big lovers of the purple plant, but occasionally get some in our CSA farm box. All the other flavors worked together to camouflage the taste of the eggplant and next time I would even cook it longer, as we prefer our eggplant really mushy.

A hearty warm meal for the start of the Pagan New Year.