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Another one based on a recipe from Donna Hay’s New Food Fast using fresh spinach from the P.H.E.L.P.S. mk1, this time for breakfast.

  • fresh spinach, blanched or lightly steamed
  • sea salt & freshly ground pepper
  • grated goat Gouda or other cheese of your choice
  • eggs

Preheat oven to 350F. Place spinach in oven-proof bowls, and season with sea salt and pepper. Add grated cheese and crack eggs on top. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, depending on how you like your eggs (they’ll be a little more done than they look–these yolks are firm and not at all runny, despite their glossiness and color). Serve with toast.


I used all that pretty fresh spinach from the P.H.E.L.P.S. mk1 to make this tuna and white bean salad based on a recipe from Donna Hay’s New Food Fast. She uses lime juice in place of the rice vinegar for the dressing (I would have too, but I was out of limes–the rice vinegar added a nice sweetness, so I’ll probably do it this way again).

Serves 2:

  • fresh spinach
  • grape tomatoes
  • 1 cucumber, chopped
  • 1 can white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cans tuna in olive oil (Use the good stuff, and do not under any circumstances be tempted to use tuna in water. The less said about that abomination the better.)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 Tbs rive vinegar or lime juice
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • fresh ground pepper to taste (I like fresh white pepper; YMMV)

Arrange spinach on two plates. Top with tomatoes, cucumbers, tuna, and white beans. Sprinkle chopped parsley on top. Mix Vinegar (or lime) with olive oil and pepper; drizzle over salads.

This is based on a recipe from Frank Stitt’s Southern Table. I used frozen peas instead of fresh lady peas (it’s winter, so sue me!), and used steak instead of tuna.

I cooked the steak like the “Steak & Frites” from Everybody Eats Well in Belgium (basically, pan fried in butter) with a tip from Cook’s Illustrated: heat thick steaks in a 275F oven for 20 mins so they cook more evenly.

    • 2 cups (10 oz package) frozen tiny peas
    • 4 ribs celery, chopped
    • 2 shallots, finely chopped
    • 1 large red bell pepper, roasted, peeled, and diced
    • 2 Tbs olive oil
    • Zest & juice of 1 lemon
    • Freshly ground white pepper
    • 2 tsp rice vinegar
    • 1/2 tsp salt (or a little more, to taste)


Lightly peas so that they are soft and bright green, but not mushy. Then rinse in cold water to cool and prevent over cooking. Combine with other ingredients, and adjust salt to taste.

Some dear friends of ours gave us some spices from Penzey’s spices. Among them were two types of cinnamon, China and Ceylon. Included with them was this recipe for cinnamon honey-butter, which is phenomenal on pancakes:

  • 1 stick butter
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 2 tsp China Tung Hing cinnamon

Melt butter, mix with honey and cinnamon. Try not to eat it all at one sitting.

This recipe is based on the beef carbonnade recipe in The Gourmet Cookbook, edited by Ruth Reichl,


  • 1.5 lb beef brisket*
  • Olive oil
  • Salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 oz dried porcini mushrooms
  • 1 pint Guinness (substitute if you dare!)
  • 1 Tbs balsamic vinegar
  • 1 bay leaf

Preheat oven to 350F.
Brown beef in a large oven-proof skillet with a tight-fitting lid (I used cast iron). Remove beef from pan, and add onions. Saute until golden. Remove half of onions, return
beef to the pan, and put the onions on top of the beef. Add remaining ingredients, cover, and put in oven. Braise for 3 hours. Check from time to time to make sure the liquid hasn’t boiled away; add water as needed. The original recipe suggested that it is better if refrigerated for 2 days before serving. I made it ahead of time, so I can’t compare. If you do make ahead, reheat 30 mins to an hour at 350F.

*The cut of beef I used was labeled “brisket” but I’m pretty sure it was really a flank steak.