Sunday Fun Day Giveaway: Back to the Roots Mushrooms & Last Week's Winner!

Happy Sunday! Hope you enjoyed your weekend and you're in comfortable in your corner of the world. A pretty intense heat wave has been spreading across the country over the past week and I'm pretty much read for fall. Well, not really but some cooler weather would be nice! I know once the temps do cool down, I'll definitely appreciate it much more. Before I get onto this week's fun giveaway, I have a winner to announce! Last week the lovely folks of Rizzuto's Pizza sponsored the giveaway for a Rizzuto's Pizza Party. A lucky reader will receive a 4 pack of Rizzuto's pizza crust of their choice, complete with sauce and a pizza cutter. A special thanks to Rizzto's for sponsoring and I look forward to having another Pizza Party using their crusts again soon. Here's a big Congratulations to the winner of this past week's giveaway! Please shoot me an email at [email protected] to claim your prize...
Rizzuto's Pizza Party!

Winner: Comment #7!
So back to the hot temperatures lately, I wonder what avid gardeners are experiencing with their outdoor gardens. I hope their crops are holding up, given the season! I, for one, do not have a green thumb. I wish I did though! However, I did have some luck with indoor gardens in the past. I have an Aerogarden which has given me some nice fresh herbs to use. That was a year or so ago since I used it but I may get back to it again at some point. Now growing herbs seems pretty common... but have you ever tried growing your own mushrooms?! I recently did - oyster mushrooms, to be exact - and it was so easy and fun to watch! This was made possible by a pretty awesome company, Back to the Roots Mushrooms.

Back to the RoBTTR_Ventures_Alex_Nikhil_2010ots was founded by Alejandro Velez & Nikhil Arora during their last semester at UC Berkeley in 2009. Two months away from graduation, and heading into the corporate world of investment banking & consulting, they came across the idea during a class lecture of being able to potentially grow gourmet mushrooms entirely on recycled coffee grounds. Inspired by the idea of turning waste into wages & fresh, local food, they experimented in Alex's fraternity kitchen, ultimately growing one test bucket of tasty oyster mushrooms on recycled coffee grounds. With that one bucket, some initial interest from Whole Foods & Chez Panisse and a $5,000 grant from the UC Berkeley Chancellor for social innovation, they decided to forget the corporate route, and instead, become full-time urban mushroom farmers! 

Inspired by the idea of producing local, fresh food from what was an urban waste stream, Back to the Roots has since grown to create the Grow-Your-Own Mushroom Garden which lets anyone, across the country, grow their own gourmet mushrooms at home as well!

Who knew you could grow mushrooms at home and so quickly too? The Back to the Roots grow-at-home mushroom kit lets you grow up to 1 1/2 lbs of gourmet, tasty oyster mushrooms in as little as 10 days...right from the box! Some features to note:
  • Grow up to 1 1/2 lbs per crop (pearl oyster mushrooms)
  • Grow multiple crops (at least 2, though some have got up to 4!)
  • Grow your first crop in as little as 10 days!
  • Just 3 Easy Steps - Open, Mist, and Harvest (spray mister included).
  • Grow mushrooms indoors - just set on a kitchen window sill and mist twice a day.
  • The soil inside is 100% recycled coffee grounds - safe & sustainable
My friends at Back to Roots have generously offered to sponsor this week's giveaway and a lucky ready will get a mushroom kit to start growing their mushrooms! This is one giveaway that I'm excited about because it's a sustainable food item that's also eco-concious as well... definitely a win-win concept to be proud of.

Some guidelines:
- Giveaway is only for those who live in the United States - my apologies to my non-United States readers!
- You must check back in a week when winners are announced and email me to claim your prize if you win.

To enter the giveaway, leave a comment answering: 
What's your favorite dish involving mushrooms?

Deadline: Saturday, July 30, 2011 at 12 midnight CST.

One winner will be randomly chosen by Random.Org's Interger Generator based on the number of your comment and will be announced on Sunday, July 31, 2011, within next week's Sunday Fun Day Giveaway. Good luck!

Full Disclosure: The giveaways are sponsored by the same company that provided me with the food related product to reviewProducts I review and offer as a giveaway are ones I personally recommend and would use/enjoy myself and opinions reflected are mine alone.


  1. My mom's broccoli casserole with mushrooms. Yum!

  2. I love stuffed mushrooms or chicken marsala!

  3. spinach mushroom and cheese pizza on whole wheat crust. YUM!!!

  4. Hard to pick one mushroom recipe that I love, there are too many - stuffed mushrooms, chicken with a lemon & mushroom cream sauce, chicken marsalla are just a few in my house.

  5. Anything with mushrooms would be my favorite. Most favorite would have to be just plain sauteed mushrooms in some garlic and butter.

  6. My favorite dish with mushrooms is hot and sour soup!

  7. portobella burgers
    cream of mushroom soup
    turky tetrazzini
    pizza w/ mushtrooms
    stuffed mushrooms
    marinated mushroom

    I think I favor them in any incarnation!

  8. I LOVE pork chops in a creamy mushroom gravy! Mmmm :)

  9. Chicken carbonara! Or baked eggs in portobellos - SO delicious!

  10. -Favorite dish: Chicken Alfredo with Mushrooms

    aliaskys (at) yahoo . com
    Thank You!! :)

  11. I like to make stuffed mushrooms

  12. I love all mushrooms! My favorite way is probably stuffed.

  13. Mushroom burger from Red Robin

  14. I love mushrooms on pizza and on salads! I actually had a very mushroom filled weekend with my meals. I can't get enough of them lately! Great giveaway.

  15. I love mushrooms on almost everything! I guess the question should be "what dish DON'T I like mushrooms on?" If I had to choose one, it might be a nice burger with sauteed mushrooms.

  16. I love stuffed mushrooms or mushrooms on my pizza!

  17. I enjoy wild mushroom risotto, mushrooms on pizza, and grilled portobellos! YUM!

  18. Marchand du Vin sauce. Finely chopped mushrooms, garlic, and ham in a beef and burgundy glaze. You are meant to serve it over stuff, but I just make it and eat it with a spoon like soup.

  19. Beef Stroganoff. The best winter comfort food EVER!!

  20. I love stuffed mushrooms, so good!

  21. I love mushrooms just sauteed with a little salt, pepper, and garlic. They are also my favorite pizza topping.

  22. I love a good burger with a mountain of sauteed mushrooms.

  23. I love to make chicken marsala!

  24. Sauteed mushrooms and onions on top of a nice medium rare steak! YUMMY!!!

  25. So many choices! But I love mushrooms in risotto and in pasta, so simple and so good!

  26. Fresh mushrooms in a Homemade Crawfish Ettoufee - lick the bowl good!

  27. I recently tried this recipe that Barilla emailed me and love love LOVED it! DEF the best mushroom anything I have ever had! Enjoy!
    Wild Mushroom Lasagna

    For your Shopping Cart:
    Extra Virgin Olive Oil
    No Boil Lasagna
    Parmigiano Reggiano An authentic Italian recipe for hearty lasagna with the earthy aroma of mushrooms and the smooth, rich presence of béchamel. Be inventive: choose any variety of fresh mushrooms from your local market.

    1.5 lbs. fresh mushrooms (variety)
    1 oz. dried porcini mushrooms
    5 cloves of garlic
    1/2 cup DeLallo Extra Virgin Olive Oil
    2 tsp. salt
    1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped

    2 9-oz. boxes of DeLallo No-Boil Lasagne
    1/2 lb. fresh mozzarella, diced
    1 1/2 cup Parmigiano Reggiano, grated

    To prepare the mushrooms for the sauce, brush off mushrooms with damp cloth. Do not wash. Dried porcinis must be reconstituted by soaking in hot water until soft. Cut and discard longer mushroom stems, then rough chop into small cubes. Lightly smash garlic cloves and simmer with olive oil in saucepan for about five minutes to flavor oil.

    Add salt and mushrooms to the olive oil and sauté over medium heat. Cook down the mushrooms, approximately 25 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking and to combine flavors. While mushrooms cook down, use time to prepare béchamel. Cover sauce with plastic wrap, once made, to prevent skin from forming.

    Add parsley to cooked mushrooms; sauté for an additional five minutes. Once thoroughly sautéed, remove larger pieces of garlic and puree about 1/4 of mushroom mixture for sauce. The other 3/4 will be to use in lasagna layers.
    Whisk in pureed mushrooms with béchamel until blended.


    Besciamella (Béchamel)

    For your Shopping Cart:
    Besciamella is an integral part of most baked-pasta dishes (pasta al forno). Its also used for binding together ingredients as in polpette (meatballs) and stuffings.

    6 tablespoons butter
    1/4 cup all-purpose flour
    4 cups of hot milk (5 cups for the “no-boil” variety)
    2 teaspoons salt
    1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
    Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Once melted, slowly stir in the flour until smooth. Continue stirring as the flour cooks to a light, golden color (about 3 minutes).

    Increase the heat to medium high and slowly whisk the hot milk into the roux. Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to medium low; continue simmering until the flour has softened and become completely smooth (10 to 15 minutes); then season with salt and nutmeg. Put the sauce aside until needed.

    NOTE: If you are preparing fish lasagna, replace some of the milk with the clams-and mussels-filtered water or commercial fish broth. Nutmeg is not necessary.

    Yields enough for 1 lb of dried lasagna or 1 ½ lbs of fresh homemade lasagna

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

    To prepare lasagna:

    In a 13x9 casserole dish, begin with spreading mushroom béchamel sauce to coat bottom of pan. Layer with lasagna noodles, careful not to overlap, then béchamel. Sprinkle with sautéed mushrooms, diced fresh mozzarella & parmigiano. Repeat for 5 layers, topping with a last layer of noodles, béchamel and cheeses.

    Bake for 40 minutes, covered with a lid or foil, and for another 20 minutes uncovered until hot and bubbly.

    Let stand for 15 minutes before serving.

    *Lasagna noodles may be parboiled for softness; however, if you do not parboil noodles, be sure to make béchamel thin enough to keep the moisture of your dish. For thinner béchamel, whisk with extra milk.

    14earth at gmail dot com

  28. fave: creamy mushroom soup
    deannalw47 AT hotmail DOT com