Good luck!

The potato is a starchy, tuberous crop from the nightshade family.  First introduced outside the Andes region four centuries ago, today potatoes have become an integral part of much of the world’s cuisine and are the world’s fourth-largest food crop, following rice, wheat, and maize.[

Wild potato species occur throughout the Americas, from the United States to Uruguay.Today over 99% of all cultivated potatoes worldwide are descendants of a subspecies indigenous to south-central Chile. Genetic testing of a wide variety of potatoes suggests that all potatoes have a single origin in the area of southern Peru (from a species in the Solanum brevicaule complex),[7] where potatoes were first domesticated between 3000 BC and 2000 BC.[8]

Introduced to Europe by Spain in 1536, the potato was subsequently conveyed by European mariners to territories and ports throughout the world. Thousands of varieties persist in the Andes, where over 100 cultivars might be found in a single valley, and a dozen or more might be maintained by a single agricultural household.[9] Once established in Europe, the potato soon became an important food staple and field crop.

The annual diet of an average global citizen in the first decade of the twenty-first century included about 33 kg (73 lb) of potato. However, the local importance of potato is extremely variable and rapidly changing. It remains an essential crop in Europe (especially eastern and central Europe), where per capita production is still the highest in the world, but the most rapid expansion over the past few decades has occurred in southern and eastern Asia. China is now the world’s largest potato-producing country, and nearly a third of the world’s potatoes are harvested in China and India.



Sarah’s Brussels Sprouts and Leek Quiche

Dan and Annie’s Brussels Sprouts with fig and Bacon

Lisa’s “It’s cold outside Brussels Sprouts”












We are shakin’ it up this month peoples! Enter your own ingredient only! Lets see where this takes us.

Novembers Challenge!

Our ingredient was originally cultivated in Rome, however made it’s
way to Belgium where it donned it’s name. They are a close relative of
cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli Kale, and kohlrabi. It grows in the
most beautiful spiral fashion on a stalk and is often sold at farmers
markets on the stalk. This special ingredient was brought to the
United states in 1800 from the French, they brought it to Louisiana of
all places, surprising since this ingredient loves the cold. In fact
in the united states this plant can be harvested from June all the way
to January! In Baja California though, they pick up harvest in
December and go through June. So really we can enjoy this all year
round, though locally the season for many of us is prime right now.

85% of the United states production of this plant is immediately
frozen, once harvested they will last 3-5 weeks in a almost freezing
environment and about half that long in a refrigerated environment.

This plant is believed to have significant anti-cancer properties,
though boiling significantly reduces those properties, steaming,
frying and of all things microwaving does not.
Overcooking releases the glucosinolate sinigrin, which has a sulfurous
odor. The odor is the reason many people profess to dislike this
plant, if they’ve only tried them overcooked with the accompanying
sulfurous taste and smell. Generally 6–7 minutes boiled or steamed is
enough to cook them thoroughly, without overcooking and releasing the

And if you didn’t already know it, yes peoples this months ingredient
is my personal favorite vegetable, the Brussels sprout!

p.s. they are really called Brussels sprout not Brussel sprout, who knew!

Lisa’s Pumpkin Black Bean Soup

Kevin and Sarah’s Pumpkin Lune

Sarah’s Pumpkin Apple Sauce Bread





October 15th Poll!

The origin of this weeks mystery ingredient is……. a mystery!  Though this mystery probably has its origins in North America, as pumpkin-esque seeds have been found in ancient Mexico.  Similar to a squash, a pumpkin is a fruit that is borne of vines which have both male and female flowers.  These flowers were at one point pollinated by a specific bee called the squash bee, which we have managed to nearly eliminate thanks to pesticides, leaving the job to our friend, the honeybee.  I’ve seen (and heard from pumpkin farmers) that there is a difference between carving pumpkins and eating pumpkins, though websites I’m finding this morning say either can be used.  (My guess is that it has to do with the thickness of the walls? anyone have any others?)  There are a variety of pumpkin products out there, including canned pumpkin, pumpkin seeds, pumpkin oil, and pumpkin extract (which may help with type 1 diabetes).  The majority of canned pumpkins (90%) are from Illinois.  Bad rains last year have put a dent in the availability of canned pumpkin, but in this season, most of us should have no problem finding real pumpkins to experiment with this weeks.  Good luck!