Sunday, March 14, 2021

Colcannon with Bacon

Colcannon with Canadian Bacon Slices
Serve with Bacon, Ham, Canadian Bacon or Sausage

Recipe by Robin

Colcannon! I’ve never made it and wasn’t planning on it. But our weekly food shares have delivered cabbage and potatoes for weeks. I’m not keeping up cooking-wise. Plus, St. Paddy’s day is right around the corner. I’m usually way to busy to coordinate an Irish treat on this holiday, but colcannon can be as simple as the two main ingredients plus butter and a few scallions. Proportions are forgiving, depending on quantities on hand. And yes! It’s perfect comfort food for chilly winter into spring weather!

Sunday, February 21, 2021

Sista Chrissa’s Vegetarian Chili

Recipe Adapted from BUNWC*

My sister claims not to cook, but don’t believe it. While raising her kids a generation or so ago, she made amazing meals every night. Everything that she makes is scrumptious. Including this amazing veggie chili recipe with its surprise ingredients: cashews, raisins, and red wine vinegar. The latter two impart a sweet-sour flair to the usual beans, tomatoes, and savories. The second surprise is allspice, most often tasted in apple pie. It’s counterintuitive to combine it with chili powder and cumin, and you might just have to try it to believe the delectable results.

Sunday, January 24, 2021

Cherney’s Chili (Vegan)

Recipe adapted from R. Cherney

Way back when, I migrated from New England to California, with my worldly possessions and camping gear stuffed into an old Pinto station wagon. Along the way I stayed with a friend of a friend, a grad student at Champaign Urbana. He lived in a communal house and whipped up the most marvelous vegan chili for dinner, not that I knew anything about chili then. Many years and pots of chili later, I can say that what really sets R. Cherney’s recipe apart from the usual crowd is a goodly dose of red wine, enhancing both flavor and aroma.

Sunday, December 20, 2020

Steamed Persimmon Pudding

Steamed Persimmon Pudding Decorated with California Holly
California Holly = Live Oak + Rose Hips

Recipe from Old Surrey, England

A few years ago I met a delightful woman at a winter solstice party. We both had studied art under the same professors at University, and both loved collecting historical recipes. Plus she had concocted my favorite dish of entire potluck using an old time recipe. As I raved over it, she insisted on sending me the details. Alas, I’ve lost touch with her over the years and have forgotten her name, but not her face. This year, for the first time, I made her traditional persimmon pudding recipe from Surrey, a charming rural county southeast of London.

Sunday, December 6, 2020

Foil Wrapped Herbed Tiny Potatoes

Recipe by Robin

A couple of decades ago when I first starting cooking dinners with my not-quite-husband-yet, I frequently prepared small potatoes dotted with fresh herbs and garlic, wrapped in foil and roasted. I had forgotten all about this till I received a homegrown Yuletide herb mix from my neighbor Jennifer, the same week I got small yellow potatoes in my food share. Instant memory jog! Bonus: their easy prep doesn’t interfere with more complicated holiday cooking.

Sunday, November 29, 2020

Deep Dish Turkey Pot Pie

Serving of Golden Brown Turkey Pot Pie
Post-Thanksgiving Comfort Food

Recipe by Robin

Seriously now, is there anyone who doesn’t like pot pies? When my friend Raven shared photos of her post-Thanksgiving turkey pot pies, I knew I had to give the concept a whirl with our leftover 12-pounder for 2. I eliminated the bottom crust to maximize the savory filling, and use more leftover turkey. To simplify further, I employed TJ’s all butter puff pastry rather than making my own. Any good crust will do, since it’s mostly about the filling.This batch o’ filling makes 2 round pies, which can be frozen. Since my freezer is packed, I made one giant pie in a 9” x 11” baking pan, the dimensions of my premade puff pastry.

Sunday, October 11, 2020

Scalloped Summer Squash Casserole

side view of scalloped summer squash
Layers of Gorgeous Squash

Recipe by Robin

Several years and one house ago I mentioned to my gardening neighbor Dana that I love summer squash. Lo and behold, a few weeks later my front steps were covered with bags. When I looked inside I couldn’t believe the number of crooknecks, zucchini, different colored/sized pattypans, and yellow-green squashes. So I made up this casserole to cook down the huge quantities, especially the flying saucer-shaped pattypans, which didn’t look pleasing on their own no matter how I’d cut them.

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Heirloom Tomato Pasta Sauce

pasta with heirloom tomato sauce and Parmesan
Recipe by Robin 

Heirloom tomatoes! Those oddly shaped, strangely colored, and remarkably hefty hunks of flavor! They’re all over the farmers’ markets in September, maybe even in your garden. Though delicious on their own, they also add old-fashioned flavor to homemade pasta sauce. Cook up some sauce today and freeze it for the winter. You’ll love the fresh summery aroma and taste come January.

Sunday, August 30, 2020


sharmoula scooped up on a bread round
Served as Dip = Sharmoula

Recipe by A. and Robin

I messed up. When trying to recreate my cousin A.’s delicious sharmoula, a traditional Libyan salad, memory didn’t quite serve. I got the ingredients right. I cut them right. I adjusted the proportions to maximize deliciousness. I made an acceptable substitution of green onions for red. I made it with love like A. said to. BUT, “Wait, you put the bread IN the salad?” asked A. when I sent a photo. I’d forgotten that the bread goes on the side, to serve like a dip. Still, my salad saved my days-old bread quite tastily.

Sunday, July 19, 2020

Mom’s Potato Salad

Bowl of potato salad

Recipe by Mom

It’s been more years than I’ll admit since I helped my mom make potato salad. And yet, I’ve never made it at all since I left home decades ago—until now. The secret of Mom’s potato salad is that the potatoes themselves are highly flavored. This eliminates the need to flavor-compensate with seasonings like mustard, dill seed, and pickle relish.  The potatoes themselves are the stars of the salad, complimented by a large quantity of eggs, a variety of finely chopped crunchy veggies, and of course mayo.