All posts by Michelle Philippe

Swiss Chard & Mushroom Frittata created with microfarm goods

microfarm harvest frittata
microfarm harvest frittata topped with chives and basil

Hey, what’s this player doing here?! Click it to hear the author narrate this blog post.

You’ve probably seen a number of posts here that involve eggs. That is because I cook with a lot of fresh eggs. Super fresh and super local. I get them direct from my backyard chickens’ butts. My bathrobe pockets frequently contain Burt’s Bees shimmer chapstick, a kleenex or two, and an egg. And maybe a handful of tomatoes depending on the time of year.

This time of year I roam the garden with a pair of kitchen scissors so I can cut down my Swiss chard and any herbs that may require a trim. (Herbs like to be trimmed so I’m doing them a solid by packing my shears around the microfarm). Which leads us to today’s blog post, making a frittata with fresh ingredients.

You’ve read about the versatility of the frittata in an earlier post. If not, then you have time to do that now. Go ahead, I’ll wait.*

I start with ingredients from the microfarm…
…then add other stuff I have on hand.









The frittata pictured up top of this post is finished with purple basil and chives. The base ingredients are eggs and Swiss chard. I start there with goodies I’ve gathered from the land I’m paying mortgage on. Then I build using stuff I have on hand. I usually have a variety of veggies and cheeses around. And of course my pantry includes Maldon sea salt flakes (add it to your specialty grocery list now). If you look closely you’ll see crystals nestled among the herbs topping the frittata. Those are yummy, yummy salt flakes.

The frittata also gets a swish of butter across the top once it’s out of the oven, before it’s cut. Just a little dab of organic butter adds to the yumminess factor. In “Julia’s Kitchen Wisdom,” Julia Child spears a lump of butter and brushes it over an omelet. Butter, in a word, is delicious.

Where to begin when describing how to make a frittata? It is so basic that outlining instructions seems presumptuous on my part. Like you’ve never seen the inside of a kitchen before. So, for the sake of this blog post, let’s pretend you have never seen the inside of a kitchen before. Continue reading Swiss Chard & Mushroom Frittata created with microfarm goods

Caprese Summer

#microfarm caprese
#microfarm caprese

Hey, what’s this player doing here?! Click it to hear the author narrate this blog post.

This morning I picked one last San Marzano before yanking my spent tomato plants from the garden. It was a beautiful overcast day with the temp in SoCal finally dipping to a reasonable 75 degrees. I basked in the raindrop I thought I felt while standing outside coated in sunscreen.

This year I was blessed with some excellent tomato harvests. When I left for my Italy vacation in May, the little tomato plants I had stuck in the ground in March were just starting to get big. Many already had fruit on the verge of ripening. The thought of being away from them for 16 days was dispiriting. I was comforted only by the prospect of traipsing through Tuscany clothed in something cute and mildly practical, sipping local wines, and taking in the astounding scenery alongside my beloved. Continue reading Caprese Summer

Here we are again with our stupid twenty-three hour day

Spring forward microfarm breakfast

Upon rising this morning I feel the day has been wasted before I do a thing. Before resetting a single clock. Before applying lipstick. Before coffee. I wander the garden in my bathrobe and wide brimmed hat. OMG, what is the world coming to? *My hour has been stolen!

In the garden I pet the plants. The chickens aren’t available for chitchat; they’re hiding in shady areas because the mercury is already rising. I try to remember what I did with my extra hour in the fall when we set the clocks back. Certainly is was something constructive, virtuous, and inspired.

I return to the house and paint my nails. (constructive, virtuous, inspired) ✓✓✓

Continue reading Here we are again with our stupid twenty-three hour day

Refrigerator dinner


Golden Squash Noodles & Sausage with Sorrel
Golden Squash Noodles & Sausage with Sorrel

Growing up in a family that always ate dinner meant always having stuff around to prepare dinner. Stuff that didn’t always get used up or eaten. Sometimes we’d have what my dad called a “refrigerator dinner.” Going out of town? Let’s eat what’s in the refrigerator. Don’t really need to go to the store? Let’s use up what’s in the refrigerator. Basically your meal is bound by whatever perishables you’ve got on hand. Enhancing with pantry items is allowed, but you’ve got to use whatever is in the refrigerator that you’d otherwise have to toss. You cannot go to the store!

The other night I didn’t want to go to the store. Let’s see what’s in the refrigerator: zucchini golden squash from my garden, chicken sausage–use it or freeze it, and rounding out our challenge down in the crisper, a bright bunch of sorrel I’d cut and washed earlier in the week.

Continue reading Refrigerator dinner

Potato Harvest Day

freshly harvested microfarm potato
The Husband pulls a fresh potato from the microfarm grounds

Our annual microfarm potato harvest  is one of my favorite spring events. I love spending all morning outside. On my patio, wearing my fluffy pink bathrobe, I flip through fashion and food magazines and sip freshly brewed coffee in the shade of my giant turquoise umbrella while my husband pulls up potatoes. It feels so rustic!

The spuds were planted in December. The Husband has been waiting for the green potato tops (the stuff that grows out of the potatoes) to wither and die which means those babies are ready to come out of the ground. He gently digs and scoops around the  Continue reading Potato Harvest Day

Spring forward with a leisurely lunch

Hummus with Preserved Lemon & Beet Chips served alfresco
Hummus with Preserved Lemon & Beet Chips served alfresco

Sundays are great. Wake up late. Drink coffee. Play with your chickens. Watch some of the LA Marathon on TV from the comfort of your air-conditioned home. Spend the day doing whatever you want. Maybe you’re hungry? Take an inventory of supplies, listen to some music in the kitchen, and 2-3 hours later you have lunch. Why not? This time of year there is that whole extra hour of light in the evening.

The actual day we spring forward is, for the record, my least favorite day of the year. I hate getting swindled out of that hour. (On the contrary, the day we fall back is my FAVORITE day of the year! I planned my wedding around it.) So, I don’t take extra time to make a leisurely lunch on that particular Sunday, since I’m instead resetting all of my clocks and meditating on my Waste Land-length rant about the loss of that hour.

I made lunch today, when I’d just about gotten over it.

The large supply of preserved lemons I prepared several weeks ago had finally pickled Continue reading Spring forward with a leisurely lunch

8 Tips for driving in LA*

LA traffic scene

Hey, what’s this player doing here?! Click it to hear the author narrate this blog post.

New in town? There’s a lot of asphalt to cover out here under the palm trees. Mastering the following will help you to blend in while enjoying all that the shiny city has to offer.

  1. It is your job to block anyone from entering your lane in front of you. While you are driving in it it is YOUR lane.
  2. When driving in the fast lane on the freeway, tail. If the car in front of you is going 75, you want to go 76.
  3. Race to the red light. That’s what the guy next to you is doing. Continue reading 8 Tips for driving in LA*