But, since my new organicness requires that I actually turn on the stove...I have been giving it the old college try.
The most versatile skill I have been developing is the use of various marinades.
Last week it was the beer and garlic concoction.
The other day it was the mustard...which if I just may say was extremely yummy!
Last night is was half a bottle of white Merlot and a Tbl each of rosemary, basil, sage, and thyme.
And, tonight it is lime juice and coconut milk...and I am cooking my rice in coconut milk as well.
I love that I can throw everything in a giant bowl and let it soak overnight.
I feel like since whatever I am cooking makes the house smell so good and comes out with such flavor...that I have really accomplished something.
If any of you have ideas for really good marinades let me know!
Cut chicken breast into strips (as many as you like)
Dredge chicken through mustard, and then seasoned bread crumbs.
bake until chicken is fully cooked and they are golden brown.
Easy and deliscious!
The International Ice Cream Association (IICA) encourages retailers and consumers to celebrate July as National Ice Cream Month. In 2008, National Ice Cream Day will be Sunday, July 20.
The U.S. ice cream industry generates more than $21 billion in annual sales and provides jobs for thousands of citizens. About 9% of all the milk produced by U.S. dairy farmers is used to produce ice cream, contributing significantly to the economic well-being of the nation's dairy industry.
Founded in 1900, IICA is the trade association for manufacturers and distributors of ice cream and other frozen dessert products. The association's activities range from legislative and regulatory advocacy to market research, education and training. Its 80 member companies manufacture and distribute an estimated 85% of the ice cream and frozen dessert products consumed in the United States. IICA, as a constituent organization of the International Dairy Foods Association, can be found online at http://www.idfa.org/.
Check out these sites:
Green & Blacks Chocolate
Ben & Jerry's Organic
Anyway I ended up making these steak and cheese jobbies, and Mr. K said "This is the best thing you ever cooked...EVER!" Even though he meant it as a compliment, it was insulting because I threw it together in about 10 minutes...and I instantly recalled the numerous times I have been in the kitchen for hours at a time.
The bread was called NAAN, and it came in a few different flavors.
The meat was just a top sirloin that I cut into strips and marinated overnight in terryaki sauce. You can marinate in any sauce you like.
Here is the recipe:
1/2 lb. marinated top sirloin (cut into strips)
2 pieces of the NAAN
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbl olive oil
1/2 cup of cheese (whatever kind you like)
Preheat the oven to 350.
Lay 2 pieces of NAAN on a cookie sheet. Brush each with 1/2 tbl of olive oil. Sprinkle each with 1 and 1/2 cloves of minced garlic and 1/4 cup of cheese. Place cookie sheet in the center of the oven.
While, the bread is in the oven, saute the meat in a pan on medium heat for about 10 minutes.
Remove the bread from the oven and plate. Divide the strips of meat evenly over each one, and enjoy!
It is freakin' ridiculous.
I went to Mr. K's restaurant opening this weekend in Beverly Hills, and the gas there was $4.99 per gallon. It's only slightly more than what we've been paying here in LV, but for some reason, the $5.00 mark was a new threshold for me.
After some minimal digging, HI, CA, and AK seem to top the list for the most expensive gas prices in the US. So, I guess if you don't live in one of those 3 states you can breathe a tiny sigh of relief.
I, also, found a list of gas prices around the world, and like the article says...."if you think you're paying a lot..."
On the other hand...twelve cents in Venezuela?!?!?!
It's so crazy! And, the supply and demand argument only goes so far, there are people who are getting richer and richer and we are helping them get there.
So, I started car shopping online for greener options and more economical choices as well. There is more out there than just the Prius! Here is a list of the greenest cars of 2008.
Honda really seems to be the front runner in the alternative fuel market their Civic GX model uses natural gas, and next year's FCX Clarity model uses hydrogen. Definitely worth looking into.
If you aren't in the market to buy a new car just yet, there are little things you can do while you are at the mercy of the big oil company's.
Here are 10 things you can do to conserve the gas you've got:
1. Follow the speed limit! Driving 75 mph instead of 65 mph will lower your fuel economy by about 10 percent.
2. Avoid aggressive driving. Flooring the gas pedal not only wastes gas, and it can be dangerous. I am bad at this one, and I know my friends in Boston are too! But, in the end, it's going to take as long as it takes to get there. It isn't worth the gas, the frustration, a ticket, or an accident.
3. Avoid rush hour. That's a tough one, but the stopping and starting you do in traffic uses more gas up than normal driving.
4. Take a load off. Carrying around an extra 100 pounds reduces fuel economy by about 1 percent. So, if you don't need it where you are going, don't take it! Only keep what you need in the trunk.
5. Conserve the AC. Using the AC increases fuel consumption. I am the biggest AC abuser. I am ALWAYS too hot. But, when it is cooler I do use the windows and the sunroof. When I can't get by on wind alone, I have started turning the AC down to the lowest setting I can, whereas before I kept it full blast the entire time I was in the car.
6. Buy LRR tires (Low-Rolling-Resistance). Switching to a typical set of replacement tires lowers a vehicle's fuel economy as much as 4 percent.
7. Routine Maintenance. Whether you do it yourself or go to a mechanic, a tune-up can increase your fuel economy. Changing the oil, too, will also help your car or truck last longer, replacing the oil and oil filter regularly will also help fuel economy.
8. Use regular gasoline unless your owner's manual says otherwise. Unless your car requires premium, high-octane fuels improve neither fuel economy nor performance and will just waste your money. Don't overfill the gas tank or try to top it off beyond where the automatic nozzle clicks off. Patronize gas stations that have vapor-recovery nozzles (those black, accordion-looking plastic devices attached to the nozzle) whenever you can.
9. Park in the shade in summer to keep your car cool and minimize evaporation of fuel. Windshield shades can cut down on summer heat and help keep the frost off in the winter.
10. Carpool. Why are we all so against this one? It is huge, not only for the environment, but it could cut your gas bill WAY down. Don't forget to start small, try it once a week, and see how it goes. Talk to your coworkers and see who's in. Don't forget to utilize airport shuttles too and save money on gas and parking!
The good news? It's organic and you can get a sample for only $20.
The bad news? If you like it, it's $150 for 1/4 oz!
Let me first say, I love hydrogen peroxide. I have always loved it.
When I was little my mother used it to clean cuts and scrapes and such. I was easily distracted by the bubbles, what can I say? This was before the invention of Neosporin I think, or maybe we were just po'.
Later, I just liked to say hydrogen peroxide because my grandmother would laugh and correct me, arguing it was just peroxide. You say tomato and I say tomaaaato...
Whatever the case it seems like everything has hydrogen peroxide in it these days...from toothpaste to laundry detergent.
I have no idea why, but Mr. K's mom emailed me this morning, to tell me it was on sale at
Wal-Mart. I, however, had already purchased three 2-bottle industrial sized packs from Costo for about $3! Admittedly, I haven't tapped into my supply yet, but I have done an eensy bit of digging on what all this product can do for you.
1. Bleach alternative. Even though I LOVE the smell, Bleach itself is WAY evil to the environment, especially if it winds up in the oceans. So, go green and add a cup to your whites.
2. Whitening Toothpaste. As smart as we are, its amazing what we blindly put in our mouths. If you walk down the toothpaste aisle you're sure to see tons of pastes offering baking soda and/or peroxide. So why pay $4 a tube and get all the other crap, too? Take a tablespoon of baking soda and enough peroxide to make it a paste. Add the flavor you miss with a drop of mint extract or a pinch of cinnamon.
3. Antiseptic Mouthwash. I don't have an exact recipe for this one. I read different recommendations from a tablespoon of peroxide in a glass of water all the way up to gargling with straight peroxide. In any case, the peroxide will aid in the healing of mouth sores, kill bad breath germs, and and work on whitening in those hard to reach spots.
4. De-yellower? To remove yellowing from lace curtains or tablecloths, fill a sink with cold water and a 2 cups of 3% hydrogen peroxide. Soak for at least an hour, rinse in cold water and air dry. Again, there is a bleaching process going on here, so don't try it on darks.
5. Vegetable rinse. To help kill bacteria such as E. Coli on fruits and vegetables, add a quarter cup of 3% hydrogen peroxide to a sink full of cold water. immerse, rinse with cold water and drain. By killing bacteria this will also help keep fruit and vegetables fresher for longer. You can also use a spray bottle containing a 50/50 mix of 3% hydrogen peroxide and water - just spray and rinse.
6. Kill Fingernail and Toenail Fungus. Soak your fingernails or toenails in a 50/50 solution of hydrogen peroxide every day and it will kill harmful fungus.
7. Help Houseplants Grow Healthier. Mix up an ounce of hydrogen peroxide into a cup of water and spray your houseplants with this solution. It will help your houseplants grow greener and more lush. I found this one on a few sites, but never found what it actually does to the plant.
8. Remove Waxy Build Up From Your Ears. Tilt your head and put three or four drops of hydrogen peroxide into the ear that has the waxy build up. Let it set for 5-10 minutes. Then, flush your ear out carefully with warm water. Maybe better to try right before a shower. i also found 2 sites that said doing this on a regular basis in both ears prevents colds and sinus infections. Hmm...
9. Kitchen/Bathroom Sanitizer. Mix up a 50/50 solution of hydrogen peroxide and tap water and pour it into a spray bottle. Use it to sanitize your counter tops, appliances and help keep your kitchen or bathroom germ-free. Only make enough for a single use because hydrogen peroxide the peroxide breaks down. There is a reason it comes in a brown bottle! Light is the enemy. When you're done, pour the extra into the toilet to clean that too!
10. Antiseptic. We all know this one.
These were the most common household uses I found. Give them a try and let me know what works or doesn't work. If you want more information on what hydrogen peroxide really is and how it really works click here.
YAY...I finally found a recipe that Mr. K really liked. I know he liked it because he asked for seconds, but then again he may have just been starving because he hadn't eaten all day because of his dental escapades. I am going to be optimistic.
After my posting about organic wines, I had a voicemail request from someone who requested to remain anonymous, asking "What about us beer drinkers?"
My initial response was this..."I hate beer".
But, I decided to be nice and do a little research and see what I could come up with for my hoppy friends.
Here's what I got for ya...
There is much more to an organic beer than just ingredients. In a truly organic beer not only must all ingredients be certified as organic, but also the production process used in brewing the beer must be certified as an organic process... the storage of the organic ingredients, the milling of the organic grain, the flow of the wort and beer through pumps and hoses, etc. The organic certification process is a rigorous inspection that even involves a check of sales records to determine if more organic beer is being sold than was produced. This inspection is completed annually. Only then are you allowed to declare that the beer is an organic beer. There are only 11 Breweries in the US that are certified organic.
Check out the sites below:
Peak Organic Beer (Based in Maine)
Otter Creek - Wolaver's (Based in Vermont)
Eel River Brewing Brews Up Organic Beer (Based in California)
American Craft Beer Fest (ACBF) (New England Beer Festival)
Still need some convincing? Well, how about taking a look at your bottle of regular beer and seeing just what exactly your getting? Wait, beer makers aren't required to list ingredients.
Maybe you're getting more than you bargained for!
The additives that go into our beer make for grim reading. Isinglass, used for fining, is the industry name for ground fishes' air bladders. And two types of seaweed extract are used, namely "Irish moss", to clarify the boiling hop solution, and alginate, which helps beer retain its head. Sulphur, in the form of SO2, is a preservative (and a major cause of hangovers among the allergic) and the pure chemical form of vitamin C, ascorbic acid, is used as an antioxidant. Then there is caramel for colour, betaglucamate to accelerate brewing, enzymes to assist the yeasts and even salts and minerals used to correct the brewing water.
How does organic taste now?
What a difference 100 years makes!
What struck me most about the email, besides feeling lucky that my annual household income is more than $200, was that some of the things they used out of necessity are what we are trying to get back to. The people who are going green or choosing organic today, are simply looking for ways to get back to simplicity and back to nature.
What made me happy was that so many of the cleaning recipes I have posted here, are from ingredients that have been around for well over 100 years and are NATURAL.
For example the email says that people used to use eggs and borax to clean their hair...which got me thinking.
If I am cleaning the house naturally, why not myself?
You may have heard, or even tried, some homemade hair care remedies. Eggs. Mayonnaise. Beer. Essentially, it is the protein and oils that make these ingredients good for our hair.
Anyway, I scoured the web for some of the more simple recipes and sites, so you can go natural on your haircare too!
Check it out!
How To make homemade shampoo and conditioners eHow.com
Home Made Shampoo by risingsun
If you're not up for making your own shampoos and conditioners, why not try a healthier version? There are lots of alternatives to the ones you pick up at the grocery store, which are more times than not tested on animals.
Here are some Organic options to try:
Organic Bath Co.
All Natural Bath & Body Care Products - by Elayne's Garden
LUSH Fresh Handmade Cosmetics -- Welcome
Official Site of Inara® Organic Body Care