Monday, December 29, 2008

Celebrate Green in 2009

Here are some great drink recipes to ring in the new year with! Check 'em out and see which ones you may serve at your party this New Year's Eve!

New Year's Eve Green Drinks!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Holiday Parties

'Tis the season this year at those festive holiday parties by bringing your favorite organic appetizer! With the selection of organic wines and foods out there the sky's the limit!

Try pairing organic cheeses with some organic pears, apples and grapes! Or surprise your hostess or host with a your favorite bottle of organic wine and a box of organic chocolates!

Here are some links for you to check out and try!

Cowgirl Creamery
Organic Valley
Diamond Organics
iGourmet Cheeses
Valley Wine & Spirits
EcoWine Company
Dogoba Chocolate
Green & Blacks Organic Chocolate

Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Pear Nog— By, Cheryl Tallman and Joan Ahlers

Here is a twist on a traditional festive drink for the Holiday season that the whole family and friends will enjoy and love!

• 1 pear peeled, cored and cut in chunks
• 1 cup of egg nog (dairy or soy)
• 2 ice cubes cracked
• Dash of cinnamon

Place all ingredients in blender. Blend at high speed for 15 seconds. Makes 2-3 kid-size servings, or 1 1/2 cups.

About the authors: Cheryl Tallman and Joan Ahlers are sisters, the mothers of five children, and founders of Fresh Baby,

Friday, December 12, 2008

Passion For Pomegranates by, Cheryl Tallman and Joan Ahlers

Pomegranates are quite unique. Slightly sweet. Slightly tart. Pomegranates are fun to eat, but they do require a little work. Inside the crimson-colored fruit, you'll find exactly 840 arils. These are seeds surrounded by a sac of sweet-tart juice. The arils are held together in layers resembling honeycomb. Simply peel off the arils and pop them in your mouth for a burst of pomegranate goodness.

For those of us looking for great flavor with "open and enjoy" convenience, there are several brands of pomegranate juice on the market to quench your thirst and deliver an antioxidant punch.

At the market: Pomegranates are available fresh from October through January. Pomegranates are picked when ripe, so when you see them in stores, they are ready to eat. When selecting a pomegranate, consider that the heavier the fruit is, the juicier it will be.

Pomegranate juice is sold under several brand names. You'll find pomegranate juice in the produce or juice sections of the market. Check the label to ensure you are purchasing 100% pomegranate juice.

Storage: Whole fruits can be stored for a month in a cool, dry area or refrigerated up to two months. When frozen, the arils or juice will keep for several months in airtight containers.

The Art of Eating a Pomegranate: At first glance, the pomegranate appears a bit intimidating. Here's the quickest way to harvest the arils from the skin:

  • Cut off the crown and then cut the pomegranate into sections.

  • Place a section in a bowl of water. Using your fingers, gently separate the red arils from the skin. The arils will sink, and the white skin will float to the top.

  • Discard the skin—it is not edible. Drain the water by pouring the arils into a colander or strainer.

Note: Pomegranate juice stains fingers, clothes, and carpeting. Sitting at the kitchen table or outside is the best place to enjoy pomegranates.

Here are some creative and simple ideas to include pomegranates into your family meals:

Dressings and marinades: Pomegranate juice has an acidic, citrusy flavor, making it a great substitute for citrus in marinades and salad dressings. Simply substitute the same quantity of pomegranate juice in a recipe that calls for orange, lemon, or grapefruit juice. Pomegranate flavor is also a great complement to lamb. Here is a simple recipe that uses a pomegranate marinade that is perfect for making lamb kabobs.

Pomegranate-Marinated Lamb Kabobs

  • 1/2 cup pomegranate juice

  • 1/4 cup olive oil

  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice

  • 1 tsp. salt

  • 1/4 tsp. fresh ground pepper

  • 1 tsp. dried rosemary or 1 Tbsp. fresh rosemary, chopped

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 pounds boneless lamb shoulder or leg, cut into 1-1/2 inch cubes

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together pomegranate juice, oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, rosemary, and garlic. Add lamb cubes and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate at least 6 hours or overnight.
  2. Thread lamb equally onto bamboo or metal skewers.

  3. Place skewers on medium-hot BBQ or a lightly greased grill pan on medium heat.

  4. Cook, turning often until meat is well browned outside, but pink in the center, about 10–15 minutes. Serves 6.

Enjoy a pomegranate soda: Start with tall glass filled with a few ice cubes. Pour sparkling water to half full. Then, fill to the top with 100% pomegranate juice. Garnish with sprig of fresh mint or a lemon twist.

Return of a classic: Many years ago, grenadine was made from pomegranates. Sadly, bottled versions today are made with artificial flavor and food coloring—no pomegranates at all. To put the pomegranate back into grenadine, make your own at home. It's easy!

  1. In a small saucepan, simmer 2 cups of pomegranate juice over medium heat and cook until reduced by half, about 7 minutes.

  2. Reduce heat and add 1 cup sugar, stirring constantly until dissolved, about 2 minutes.

  3. Let cool. Store in a tightly closed jar or container in the refrigerator for up to a month.

Along with making a great Tequila Sunrise or Shirley Temple, this pomegranate syrup is a tasty treat. Here are some great ways to use this syrup:

  • Drizzle over pancakes, waffles, or French toast

  • Stir into plain yogurt, smoothies, or oatmeal

  • Pour over frozen yogurt, ice cream, or pound cake

Great garnish:
Pomegranate arils add a dash of color, flavor, and texture to many dishes.

Try sprinkling or tossing arils in:

  • Guacamole or salsa

  • Creamed spinach

  • Fried rice

  • Salads—green, spinach, or fruit

  • Brown rice, couscous, or quinoa

  • Alfredo pasta

Pomegranate-Infused BBQ Chicken: Put some zip into store-bought BBQ sauce by combining a ½ cup of pomegranate juice and ½ cup of BBQ sauce in a saucepan. Bring to boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 10 minutes. Baste the sauce over a chicken while it's baking or slather over chicken in the final minutes of grilling.

About the authors: Cheryl Tallman and Joan Ahlers are sisters, the mothers of five children, and founders of Fresh Baby ( ). They are the creators of the award-winning So Easy Baby Food Kit and Good Clean Fun Placemats, available at many fine specialty stores and national chains, including Target and Whole Foods Markets.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Bakeovers, by MaryJane Butters

One of the menu staples at my farm is a BakeOver, a one-skillet savory meal or sweet dessert that can be made with virtually any combination of fresh vegetables or fruit. It’s fast, it’s easy, and best of all, it’s homemade. The idea for BakeOvers came to me years ago, but figuring out what to call
them took a while longer. At one point, early on, I used a fancy French name (Tarte Tian), but I decided to abandon that the very moment I was about to serve one to Oprah’s chef when I was in Illinois, a guest of Lois Weisberg, Chicago’s Commissioner of Cultural Affairs. Pretending I know anything at all about French cuisine in front of someone who does made me feel silly.

I started out wanting to create a food concept that allowed people to not only spend less on their food bill, but also avoid the entire middle section of a grocery store—the section where all the expensive, dyed, denatured, and preserved foods are. People who have incorporated BakeOvers into their lives shop the produce, dairy, and meat sections of a grocery store. They fill their carts with different vegetables like jicama, rutabagas, and celeriac; they select good meats and artisan cheeses. Then they walk out the door.

I also wanted to encourage people to routinely shop their local farmers’ markets, where there’s usually an abundance of organic vegetables, or to use the zucchini and rhubarb from their own backyards. That rutabaga or fennel bulb you brought home from the market? No problem. Dice it up and toss it in. Endlessly versatile, but with a gourmet flair, my one-skillet BakeOver idea has turned people into gourmet chefs, cooking from scratch, but always, only twenty minutes in the kitchen. My idea works. It’s novel. It’s easy.

With a BakeOver, there are no limits to what you can create. For the feast on the previous page, I used parsnips, kumquats, and yams; a handful of cashews; a bit of dried purple basil; and a sprinkling of asiago cheese. My BakeOver Buttermilk Biscuit Mix made a beautiful crust that held it all together. This meal looked gorgeous, the flavor was perfect, it was organic... it was made from scratch, sort of.

Here’s how to make a MaryJanesFarm BakeOver:
Preheat oven to 425°F.

With one skillet, you’ll be able to make hundreds of different dinners and desserts. The skillet that works best is nonstick, rounded, and deep (like a wok) and about 8 inches in diameter. (What could be easier than one skillet to wash and think about?) For more details on the skillet that I recommend, see my website, It is possible to use a small cast-iron skillet (a big one is too heavy to flip), although it won’t be as deep, so you won’t be eating as many vegetables or fruits.

Choose a topping from my line of BakeOver mixes (an added bonus: my mixes include my own baking powder recipe that is sodium-free and uses rice starch instead of corn starch, which is usually made from genetically engineered corn) to match your choice of vegetables or your selection of fruit, or use the Basic Crust recipe, below.

Select fresh vegetables and fruit. If you eat dairy or meat, you can add grated or cubed cheese, meat, tofu, or any boneless fi sh to the vegetables. To the fruit, you can add a layer of cream cheese. Pick your favorites and be creative; they all work.

After you’ve chopped or sliced the vegetables or fruit, add seasonings to taste and sauté them for 3 to 5 minutes in butter or oil in your skillet over medium heat. Then roll out the dough for your topping and place it on top like a piecrust. If you don’t have time for a rolling pin, divide the dough into 8 equal balls and flatten each ball between the palms of your hands. Arrange the fl attened
balls on top of the sautéed vegetables or fruit.

Bake for 20 minutes, then just flip the contents upside down onto a plate and serve.

You can top your one-skillet dinner with any of my BakeOver mixes:
• Black Bean Corn Bread
• Buttermilk Biscuits
• Chili Batter Bread
• Corn Bread
• Focaccia Bread
• Garlic Pesto Fry Bread
• Shepherd’s Pan Bread

You can top your one-skillet dessert with any of my BakeOver mixes:
• Brownies
• Buttermilk Biscuits
• Chocolate Chip Cookies
• Corn Bread
• Scones

Or you can start completely from scratch:

Basic Crust Recipe
1 1/2 cups flour (Tip: a handy way to check for rancidity in flour is to put a pinch on your tongue—if it tastes bitter, it’s rancid. Fresh-milled is best! )
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup water

Mix dry ingredients. Cut in butter. Add water, form dough into a ball, and roll out a top crust.

Here are the foods I’ve tried so far … in a thousand different combinations.

Black Bean Corn Bread, Brownies, Buttermilk Biscuits, Chili Batter Bread, Chocolate Chip Cookies, Corn Bread, Focaccia Bread, Garlic Pesto Fry Bread, Scones, Shepherd’s Pan Bread

Artichoke Hearts, Asparagus, Beans, Beets, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celeriac, Celery, Chard, Fennel Bulb, Garlic, Jicama, Kale, Mushrooms, Onions,
Parsnips, Bell Peppers, Hot Peppers, Potatoes, Rutabagas, Sea Vegetables, Spinach, Squash, Sunchokes, Tomatoes, Turnips, Yams, Zucchini

Almonds, Brazil Nuts, Cashews, Peanuts, Pecans, Pine Nuts, Poppy Seeds, Pumpkin Seeds, Sesame Seeds, Sunflower Seeds,Walnuts

Black Beans, Coconut, Sauerkraut, Tempeh, Tofu, Tuna

Cheeses: Asiago, Cheddar, Cream, Feta, Parmesan/shredded; Meats/cooked: Chicken, Sausage, Beef, Venison; Fish/boneless/cooked

Chili Powder; Herbs, fresh or dried; Pepper; Salt; Soy Sauce; Umeboshi Paste

Use fruits like Apples, Apricots, Bananas, Blackberries, Blueberries, Cherries, Figs, Gooseberries, Kumquats, Mangos, Peaches, Pears, Pineapple, Raspberries, Rhubarb, Strawberries

Since fruits can sometimes be watery, here are a few tips:
• If using fresh sliced fruits, sprinkle at least 1/2 cup flour over the fruit before adding your
crust, depending on how much moisture is in the fruit (i.e., bananas need very little, apples
need some, and raspberries need a lot).
• If using canned fruits, drain first.
• If using frozen fruits, thaw and drain first.
• If using dried fruits, rehydrate in warm water, then drain.

For more amazing recipes and over 400 pages of wonderful farmgirl thoughts and ideas, check out: MaryJanesFarm Ideabook, Cookbook, Lifebook and to learn more about MaryJanesFarm, visit

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Recycled Bags

Instead of throwing away those plastic bags we get everything in these days, there is a woman in our office that makes really innovative bags out of them! She uses all different colors and patterns! She simply cuts the plastic bags into strips and knits them into a masterpiece! Cool way to save more than just a bag!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

You Tube Video, Just Do One

Have you ever wanted to change the world? Here’s your chance.

Greg Horn, author of Living Green, is on a worldwide quest for the best short video articulating personal-action solutions for a better planet. The website containing more information is slated to launch 11/18, with contest guidelines shortly thereafter! Take a peak at Greg's message to you here:

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

One of the lovely houses in town that makes Halloween a treat!

Apple Cider Press

Last weekend my husband's family uncovered a 100 year old cider press. So, we pressed apples for cider. End result: 100 lbs of hand-picked apples yields about 6 gallons of Rich Cider. I think the smiling face at the end of the photos says it all - delicious!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Roasted Root Vegetables!

Among the Harvest season, root vegetables are a favorite. Root vegetables are plants that are used as vegetables. My dad would always chop up the root vegetables into the same size pieces and roasted them with a little salt, peeper, and olive oil. Roast in an oven 375 for about 30-35 minutes or until the edges are brown and caramelized. You can always add flavor with spices-and remember to garnish with some fresh chopped herbs! Here are some great varieties to choose from:

Turnips or Rutabaga
Parsnips (looks like a white carrot)
Sweet potatoes

Monday, October 20, 2008

Carving Pumpkins...or Squash!

Carving pumpkins always promises fun…but don't limit yourself to the traditional orange Jack O’ Lantern. For a change, other squash will lend themselves to carving and décor just as well. Try carving acorn squash and use them as hanging luminaria. Carving has never been easier since adults and children can now select from a broad range of stencils and carving tools on the market to yield spectacular results. Many are even optimized for safe use by the very young so almost everyone can participate.

Your family’s decorating efforts don’t need to be limited to carving. Try painting pumpkins and squash using painter’s tape along with craft paint, antiquing stain, and water-based varnish. For those of you that live in colder climates, try using an assortment of cut up vegetables to attach to your pumpkin or squash with toothpicks to create your own Halloween character! Decorative dried gourds can be used all year…and they are often used as part of fall displays with dried corn and greens both inside and outside the home.

Whether you’re going to use them for décor or for a special addition to seasonal menus, enjoy the season and have fun exploring the markets and discovering new squash favorites!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Healthier Alternatives to Hand Out on Halloween

Halloween and candy seems to go hand in hand these days….but it doesn’t have to! There are alternatives to what you hand out to those trick or treaters this Halloween. Here are few different options to what you could consider handing out
• 100% All Fruit Leathers or Fruit Snacks
• Organic Granola Bars
• Organic Raisins
• Organic Peanuts in the Shell
• Pretzels
• Organic Trail Mix
• Organic Pre-Packaged Apple Slices and Baby Carrots

Try your local dollar store for some alternatives, like Halloween pencils, stickers, rulers, erasers, and other festive items/toys to avoid the sugar!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Fair Trade Chocolates!

In efforts to help raise awareness of Fair Trade, I thought it would be nice to share with all of you the various types of chocolates you can purchase, online and in your local grocery store. See what selections they have to offer and consider handing out these special goodies on Halloween!
• Endangered Species Chocolates
• Dagoba Chocolates
• Sweet Earth Chocolates
• Greens & Blacks Chocolate
• Lake Champlain Chocolates
• Newmans Own Chocolates
• Cost Plus World Market

Let us know what you find!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Pumpkin Bread-Half Moon Bay Style

I stumbled across this recipe and had to include it because when I lived in the Bay Area, it was always a tradition to go to Half Moon Bay to pick out our pumpkins. I make a pumpkin bread that is similar to this recipe and it is gone before I can try some-its that good! I like to add additional ingredients in some-one or two loaves…cranberries, currants, pecans, walnuts, and chocolate chips. I also use a full tablespoon of cinnamon and nutmeg and add ½ teaspoon of cloves. Try and make it organic by using all organic ingredients! Let us know how what you think!

Half Moon Bay Pumpkin Bread - Half Moon Bay, CA. Bake-off Winner
Makes 3 loaves

3 c Sugar, granulated
3 1/2 c Flour, all-purpose
1/2 t Salt
2 t Baking soda
1 t Cinnamon
1 t Nutmeg
4 lg. Eggs
1 c Vegetable oil
2 c Pumpkin (cooked)
2/3 c Water
1 1/2 c Walnuts, chopped

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter your containers well. Sift the dry ingredients together into a large bowl. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, and add the eggs, oil, pumpkin and water. Beat thoroughly. It's easier to get all the lumps out if you use an electric mixer. Stir in the walnuts with a wooden spoon.

Pour the batter into the containers, filling each only half to two-thirds full. Bake for 60-90 minutes, depending on the sizes of your containers. If you're using a very small container, start checking much sooner. The bread is done when a toothpick in the middle comes out clean. Cool about ten minutes, then loosen the edges of the bread with a knife, and turn out of the pans to cool the rest of the way on a rack. For baking containers, you can use a loaf pan, metal cans, or whatever. If you use 1-pound coffee cans, it takes three of them. For tiny loaves, use soup cans or mini loaf pans.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Roasted Cauliflower

Now that Fall is here, I am happy to turn my oven on since it's getting colder! Roasted Cauliflower is one of my favorite things to make during the Fall and Winter season. It's easy and delicious! My dad shared this recipe with me a couple years ago and I made it for the family I nannied for weekly-and they loved it too! Here's how you make it:

1. Take a head of cauliflower, wash and remove the stem.
2. Slice the cauliflower long-wise in ¼ inch slices
3. Arrange on a lightly greased cookie sheet, drizzle with a little bit of olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
4. Bake in a 350 oven for 20-30 minutes till the edges are golden brown.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Pangea Organics-Ecocentric Bodycare

What makes this product even more unique than the organic product itself IS the package design. The boxes that all of pangea products boxed in are made from recycled paper and laced with organic seeds that go in the ground and grow, so there is no waste! Packages come in either sweet basil or amaranth varieties. There are easy directions to follow-soak the empty package in water for a few minutes before planting in the soil-pot or ground.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Pumpkin Fest for Bay Area Locals

Pumpkins a plenty! Its time again for Half Moon Bay’s 38th Annual Art and Pumpkin Festival. Half Moon Bay is also known as the World Pumpkin Capital! The Festival kicks off with the Great Pumpkin Parade and special guests, the San Francisco Giants! The streets of Main are filled with activities for the kids, adults, and families. Take a tour in the Haunted House, taste the different local micro brew and wines, stroll through the streets to admire the artwork, and enjoy some home-made pumpkin pies! In efforts to support the ‘green’ lifestyle, there will be more awareness of recycling during the festival that will take place on the weekend of October 18-19, 2008. For more information on the green take of the festival, log onto

Sunday, October 5, 2008

My Favorite Pumpkin Pie Recipe

When I visit the grocery stores these days, I have noticed they have pumpkins! I get really excited cause really, this is the only time my family and I make my favorite pumpkin pie...and I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to share it all with you! I hope you all will enjoy this as much as I do!

For the Crust, You will Need:

1/4 Cup Melted Butter
1 1/4 Cups Crushed Gingersnap Cookies

Mix those together and press into a 9-inch pie pan and bake for 10 minutes at 325º.

For the Filling, You will Need:
Blend 1 Tablespoon Gelatin with 1/4 Cup Cold Water and set aside.

Mix Together in a Saucepan:
3/4 Cup Brown Sugar
1/2 teaspoon Salt
2 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon Ginger
1/2 teaspoon Allspice
1 1/3 Cups Mashed Cooked Pumpkin
3 Large Egg Yolks
1/2 Cup Milk

3 Large Egg Whites
1/4 teaspoon Cream of Tartar
6 Tablespoons Sugar

Cook over low heat stirring until the mixture boils. Boil 1 minute. remove from heat. Stir in the gelatin. Cool. When partially set, beat until smooth. Carefully fold in the meringue. Pile into the ginger cookie crust. Chill until set, about 2 hours. Garnish with fresh whipped cream.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Buying Organic in Bulk

Organic is getting easier to find and purchase, and in BULK! Costco offers a large variety of organic products ranging from your typical organic soy milks and milks to coffees, frozen meats, fruits, and veggies…even shampoo and conditioners! For a complete list of organic items, please feel free to contact your local Costco for a detail item list.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

A Bag of Green

A great way to inspire those to loose the plastic is to give them a canvas bag for all those groceries or simply to run errands around town with! has a great bag to offer that is made from biodegradable cotton canvas and printed with environmentally safe inks as well. To purchase or want more information, simply log onto!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Fall Is Here…New Start?

Now that we are close to October, the leaves are really starting to change along with the weather. I have always considered this time of the year to be my new year. Maybe it’s because it reminds me of the new school year from times past. Actually, it seems that everything new began at this time of year in the past. If you think about it, in January, what really changes but the year? Autumn is my new beginning…how about you?

Friday, September 26, 2008

Not Too Cold for Fall Crops!

Summer has come and gone…but that doesn’t mean that we still can’t have fresh ingredients this fall! Here is a variety of what you can still plant…

Kale | Collard Greens | Lettuce | Spinach | Rutabagas | Broccoli | Cauliflower
Mustard | Mâche | Cabbage | Oriental Vegetables | Escarole | Endive
Brussels Sprouts | Arugula | Leeks

All of these ingredients can add fresh and unique flavors to almost any recipe you come up with!

Plant Now, Bloom Later!

Fall is the season to get out there and plant those bulbs… come spring you will have an amazing, colorful garden! There is a variety of bulbs that are available from your local gardening/hardware store, the nursery, and even your local grocery store!

According to environmental-lifestyle expert Danny Seo, bulbs can make great gifts whether for housewarming or other occasions. Grab a bag of bulbs (or pick up a variety and mix) and a small terra-cotta pot with saucer—fill the pot and place the saucer on top, and tie with some raffia! This is a gift that keeps giving!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Spreading the Green Knowledge

Trying to educate your friends and family on why it’s important to start leading a green life? Plan a party! Start off by sending an Evite(on-line invitation) rather than paper invitations. This is also a great way to see who will be there, who can carpool, while providing a handy place to load photos to share with everyone. Instead of going out and purchasing those paper plates that go right into the garbage, use what’s in your cupboards! Shop locally, too. Go to the local farmers’ market or the fruit and veggie stand instead of picking up your menu ingredients in a supermarket. Make sure to pick up organic drinks too—organic wines, in general, have fewer pesticides than regular. Pick up a few small starter plants and give them away as fun party favors! Always make sure to recycle what you can and try to clean up using green or earth-friendly products. The best green cleaning solution is a simple mixture of vinegar, water, baking soda, and lemon.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Unique Veggies for Lucky Northern Californians

Interested in a unique variety of veggies delivered to your door? Thanks to Mariquita Farms (and Daily Candy for bringing this to our attention!), you can have a mystery box of vegetables delivered to your door for $25! The farm is located in Watsonville, California, and they drive up to San Francisco, California, twice a month for cash-only deliveries. Mariquita Farms are known for their unique vegetables ranging from nettles, shelling beans, and carrots to kale, Padrón peppers, and erbette chard. The farm sells to restaurants from Watsonville up the Peninsula as far as San Francisco. $25 bucks…What a steal!

For more information, including recipes or newsletters or how to buy, please log onto

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Other Uses for Baking Soda-Other than Baking!

Earlier on this month, I stumbled upon 61 reason/uses for baking soda. To my surprise, I had never heard of some of these uses and decided to give them a try.

The first tip I tried was adding a half a cup of baking soda to my dishwasher before running it. WOW, what a difference! Maybe it’s just my dishwasher, but when I run my dishes normally I used a solid dishwashing additive to prevent spots, which never seemed to work for me anyway. The baking soda took care of that! It also helps with any odor buildup, if there is any.

The second tip I used was to add a half a cup to each laundry load in addition to soap and fabric softener. My whites seemed whiter and colors really were brighter! I would highly recommend it…it is inexpensive and the results are great!

Some tips that I was not aware of were to add about a half a cup or more to your bath water to soften your skin. By adding a few tablespoons to your baby’s bathwater also helps with diaper/skin rashes.

A big thanks to for these tips we tried here at

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Coffee Cup or Coffee Cup?

Working in the heart of downtown Boise, Idaho, has been great. Every morning, I walk 5 blocks to my office and almost always stop at the local coffee shop on the corner, Thomas Hammer. I had noticed a few weeks ago on my cup that it had the word “ecotainer™” running up the side. As no one was in line behind me (surprising, yes, I know!), I asked about it. I was informed by the barista that those cups, which they use to serve their Fair Trade and organic coffee on a daily basis, are biodegradable. The ecotainer cups are made from a corn-based product that requires less energy to produce and is certified by the Biodegradable Products Institute. For more information, log onto

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Lemonade for Sale!

I don't think I can remember a summer where I didn't see a lemonade stand. Now that it is August and the summer days are coming to and end, I encourage you to get out there and make a large pitcher of organic lemonade to share with your friends, family, and neighbors.

Lemonade is one of those drinks that is so easy to make and tastes much better when it's fresh! Simply take 8 cups of water and 2 cups organic sugar and boil until the sugar dissolves. Cool. While the liquid is cooling, squeeze enough organic lemons to produce 1 cup. Mix the sugar water liquid and the lemon juice, pour in either a glass or pitcher over ice....Cool off and drink up!

**If you are looking to add a twist to your fresh lemonade, simply add 1/3 cup iced tea to 1 cup of lemonade for an Arnold Palmer.**

*thanks to Joy of Cooking for the lemonade recipe.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

How Sweet!

Do you ever get fruit home, excited to cut into that cantaloupe and are bummed cause it doesn't taste all that great? Here are some pointers that can help you avoid those 'bad' melons in the future!

1. Make sure to look for an even round shape.
2. For more ripe melons, look for an even
golden color all around.
3. More green melons are not ripe-you can
leave them at room temperature and they
should ripen within a few days.
4. Smell your fruit. Make sure it smells fresh
and sweet.


Monday, July 21, 2008


I was at a backyard summer soiree this last weekend and was talking with a friend about
how much basil he had in his backyard.

I said,
"You should totally make pesto!"

He replied with,
"Pesto is made out of basil?"

So this is for all of those how may have known, (or in my friends case), not known, that basil is the key ingredient in pesto. It's super easy to make and freezes beautifully! Thanks to Gourmet Magazine, here is a recipe that is easy to follow for those interested in putting all that basil to good use!


You Will Need:
3 large garlic cloves
1/2 cup pine nuts
2 oz Parmigiano-Reggiano, coarsely grated (2/3 cup)
1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3 cups loosely packed fresh basil
2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Here's How You Make it
With food processor running, drop in garlic and finely chop. Stop motor and add nuts, cheese, salt, pepper, and basil, then process until finely chopped. With motor running, add oil, blending until incorporated.

There are so many different things you can pair with pesto-Let us know what's best!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Adding Flavor to your Greens

Tired of the same old greens?

Here some ingredients that can spruce up your salads!

Crumbled Cheeses
Fresh Mozzarella
Goat cheese

Fresh Herbs
Lemon Balm

Artichoke Hearts
Roasted Peppers
Sun Dried Tomatoes
Hearts of Palm

Mandarin Oranges



Smoked Salmon
Bay Shrimp
Ground Beef
Grilled Chicken
Grilled Kabobs

Toasted Nuts
Pine Nuts
Soy Nuts
Slivered Almonds

Black Beans

You can also mix up your greens-don't be afraid to mix arugula with spinach or a spring
mix with some watercress. One of my favorite salads is what I call my "blu" salad-bib
lettuce blueberries, sugared pecans and finished with a little balsamic vinaigrette.
The choice is yours...get creative!

Monday, July 14, 2008

San Rafael Farmers' Market

This weekend I headed to San Francisco to catch up with friends and made some time to visit my absolute favorite Farmers' Market. Just about every Sunday that I lived there for 4 years I would venture north of the city, across the Golden Gate to the San Rafael Farmers' Market. As a native New Englander, I felt like years without seasons could so easily slide right into eachother; my stay there felt like one really long and amazing year! The produce at the market became a way to mark time, watching the many tables of fruits and vegetables roll from one hue to the next and then back again. 

I think the last time I was there was about 3 years ago and I figured it would have changed--and it has. But not in a bad way. All of my favorite vendors were still there, plus a bunch of new ones. I got my favorite mint iced tea, samosa with mango chutney and cilantro and sat in the sun pretty unaware of the time that had passed. It was delicious. 

Friday, July 11, 2008

Know Thy Blueberry

    July is National Blueberry Month, so here you are folks, a tasty recipe that celebrates thy blueberry! Enjoy. For more information on the blueberry,

    Blueberry Muffins

    1/4 cup organic butter
    2 organic eggs
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1 cup organic sugar
    2 cups organic flour
    2 teaspoons baking powder
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    1/2 cup organic milk
    2 cups organic blueberries (fresh or frozen)

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and floor muffin pan
    Beat together butter, eggs, salt, and sugar. Mix flour with
    baking powder and sift into first mixture, alternating with milk.
    Blend in vanilla. Add blueberries. Pour into muffin pan and
    bake for 25 minutes.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Brand of the Free

The Brand of the Free line of apparel provides authentic American grown
and manufactured graphic clothing for men and women. They embody thought
provoking graphics to promote conversation about American pride and our
environment. The shirts also feature low impact dyes with graphics printed
using water based, low impact ink to help preserve the planet. All
shirts are manufactured in America with the highest standards in a sweat
shop free, fair wage environment.

Brand of the Free

100 Ways Organic & Natural Leads to a Healthier You

100 Ways Organic & Natural Leads to a Healthier You

Monday, April 7, 2008

Happy Earth Day

Help celebrate Earth Day by following these every day tips listed on

Everyday Earth Day I
Everyday Earth Day II

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Join millions on Earth Day for a Call to Climate

Earth Day 2008 will be the biggest yet! From the national Mall in Washington DC to thousands of events from Togo to Buenos Aires, plus 1,000 college campuses and religious partnerships, join millions of people around the world who will participate in our Call for Climate. Demand that your government take bold, swift and fair action to tackle climate change. In the US, be part of one million people who will call Congress at 202 224-3121 on Earth Day, April 22, 2008. Ask for your Representative or Senator and ask them to take tough and fair action on climate change. We are demanding a moratorium on coal burning, renewable energy, building efficiency, and protection for the poor and middle class in the new energy economy.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Two Angry Moms

With its film festival debut scheduled for March 30th in Kent, Connecticut, as part of the Kent Film Festival, Two Angry Moms will take the discussion of school food to a broader audience.

There are nearly seventy-three million school-aged children in America. The Centers for Disease Control predicts that these children will be the first generation in history to live shorter lives than those of their parents. Addressing an issue of great concern to parents across the country. Two Angry Moms questions what our children are eating in school and explores the roles the federal government, corporate interest, school administration and parents play in the feeding of our country’s school kids. The film shows how important real food is for the health of each child and the long-term health of the country.

Following the leaders in the fledgling better school food movement, Two Angry Moms outlines a creative five-step strategy for positive change.

For more about Two Angry Moms visit

Friday, March 14, 2008

Expo West: Overheard

Greetings from Expo West!

Overheard on the shuttle over to the convention center this morning:

Person 1: "Did you hear 'eco-sexual' has replaced 'metro-sexual'?"

Person 2: [eyebrow raise]

Person 1: "Yeah. Like it's the new sexy to be green and eat organic."

Person 2: [eye roll]


I couldn't agree more, Person 2.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Weekend Finds

Organic Mainstream
I am getting married this coming fall and in my searches online (looking for something, finding something else totally unrelated) I was happy to see that Nordstrom's has their own organic shopping nook complete with sections for Women, Juniors, Men, Kids, Beauty, and Home. While a lot of the products look like they are cotton/organic cotton blends, it is great nonetheless to see a dedicated area with some environmentally-friendly alternatives make their way to the mall! Check out this intro to organic fibers by Christine Chamberlin of The Clean Bedroom and her blog by the same name to learn more.

Fabric swatches image from Plover Organic

Beautiful Prints
Lovely 100% organic bedding from Plover Organic can be found at Vivaterra. What a breath of fresh air - it is hard to come across more than the basics in organic bedding.

BONUS If you are looking for spring fabric, a few of these beauties are available by the yard.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008


Welcome to's new blog, look forward to more postings soon!