Tuesday, March 9, 2010

And the sun doth shine

Can you feel it? I can, spring is in the air. The daffodils are blooming and the geese are noisily making their way north.

Another sign that spring is on its way? All the great Green goodness being planned.

The last winter date of the Coppell Farmer’s Market is March 20th. I’ve really enjoyed going to the market this winter. There was just a little bit of produce, but the meat and egg sellers were there along with some value-added venders.

Also in March is Earth Hour! March 27th 8:30pm local time to be exact. This will be our third year to turn off the lights for Earth Hour. We have a wedding that night so I’m not sure how we’ll celebrate. Maybe we’ll do it the next night? Obviously the lights will be off while we’re gone, but I want to do something with the Man to talk about what we want for the environment.

April is the beginning of some great potential in Denton. April 10th is the first Denton Community Market. The website is new and there’s not too much there, but they do have a large presence on Facebook

Denton actually has a farmer’s market, but it’s not very robust. We’ve gone a couple of times and were disappointed with both the number and quality of vendors. By quality I don’t mean the produce was subpar, just not the organic we prefer. We do try to stop when we see what seems like random vendors to support the cause. Obviously this hasn’t happened often enough, because during the season we drive all the way to Coppell to shop their farmer’s market. The Denton Community Market is hoping to change that and make the market more of a destination, a place where local growers and vendors can sell locally grown produce and arts and crafts.

The Coppell Farmer’s Market opens April 10th as well, but we’ll be supporting the local folks in Denton!

And don’t forget Earth Day on April 22! What are your plans for Earth Day? Will you be joining people in 100 other countries and turning off the lights for Earth Hour?

Monday, January 4, 2010

And back to the grindstone

After having a wonderful two weeks off from work, and still not having time to do the random things like clean house and post here, I’m back at work. It was a hard morning!

Even though I didn’t get to clean the house much, the littlest man and I did make a ton of cookies. We made some No-Bake cookies that actually turned out well for the first time in a couple of years (I don’t know what I did differently!) and some Triple Chocolate Chip cookies that apparently everyone else but the three of us liked. We also made Ginger cookies, mmmmm, that were still moist after a few weeks in the cookie jar. And Sugar cookies that were pretty ’effing good.

The sugar cookies lasted just half a day when we took them to the family down in Houston. These were last minute because, apparently, Santa can’t eat ANY of the other cookies we’d made. Thus, I wanted a fast cookie for which I had all the ingredients, that I didn’t have to put in the fridge to rest, and that I didn’t have to roll out. I found the answer on Hillbilly Housewife. I made changes, including using real butter, unrefined sugar, and more vanilla. I also changed to lemon flavor because, well, I love lemon and I had it.

Drop Sugar Cookies

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup organic sugar
  • 1 medium egg
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 –2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon organic lemon flavoring
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1-1/2 cups flour

In a medium sized bowl (I used my stand mixer) cream together the butter and sugar, until it is smooth and fluffy. Add the egg, milk, vanilla and lemon flavor, mixing well. Add in the salt, baking powder and flour. Mix it all until the dough is smooth. Drop the mixture by small spoonfuls onto a wax paper-lined cookie sheet (I also used my Silpat mat). Bake at 375° for about 8 to 10 minutes.

I don’t know that I’ll be baking cookies for a while, I need to lose weight!

I hope everyone one had a wonderful holiday season

Monday, November 9, 2009

Pumpkins Galore

Please note: I wrote this and then for some reason didn't publish it?

My kitchen table has been taken over by pumpkins. It annoys Shinerman, but all I see is the yummy goodness I'm going to make. Can you say BPA-free Pumpkin Pie?
We've been going to the Coppell Farmer's Market for a while. They have a couple of organic produce vendors and it's all local. Except for the Wild Alaskan Salmon people, which they said is fished by a local family, but I think is a little out of place. The fish was fished by locals not Salmon People. sigh...I'm tired.

We've gotten most of our produce from there since we stopped getting the organic co-op. Oh, I didn't tell you about that? After our friends with whom we were splitting a share decided to stop, the delivery spot we went to dwindled and it was no longer cost-effective. Then we couldn't get a delivery close by on the weekend, yada, yada.

We also have been getting our meat and eggs there, it really has been great. This last weekend was bring the weekly email and get a free pumpkin promotion. So of course I did! And here is how we came to have a table-full o'pumpkins:
Me:Hey, I brought my email for my free pumpkin, can I just pick one out?
Market Man: Sure(he waves towards them) you want more? Take more.
Me: looking as if I don't believe him
Market Man: You want 3 take 3. You can have 10 if you want, we gotta get rid of 'em.
Say the above in an old Jewish Man's cadence; I don't know if he was or not, but that's how it sounds when I replay it in my head.

I took 3 'cause that's all I could carry and went and enlisted Shinerman and the Man. We got 9 total; I felt 10 would be too selfish. Add that to the two we already had and we had a table full!

We've now pureed several and started pumpkin wine out of a few, as well.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Thinking of you...

I know it's been a while since I've written. It's not you - it's me. I've thought about you often in my absence and so much has happened. I'll catch you up with some pictures...

picked blackberries - made wine - made freezer jam...yummm

homemade chicken stock

organic produce at the Coppell Farmer's Market

fancy composting system designed by Shinerman

best winery ever

local produce - cheese - bread - wine + Michael Pollan = best snack ever

love this wine

took the Man to the beach

foraged food from the backyard

started Pre-K

festivals (this one is Oktoberfest)

cooking with the Man

So you see, I've been gathering pictures for you the whole time I've been gone.

What about you? Have you done anything along these lines? I'd love to hear about it!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

smells like patchouli...pay no mind

I smell like patchouli. No offense intended for anyone who also smells like it and enjoys that smell, but I do not. My first memory of this smell is from Fry St Fair my freshman year at UNT. I was walking by that old house next to Lucky Lou's, only when it was just a beer store before it was a bar. They had random shit strewn around the yard and the smell of patchouli was coming out of the house in unending waves. It was gross, and it is still gross.

So why then do I smell like patchouli? I've been on a quest to reduce the trash we generate. I buy what I can in bulk and TRY to remember to bring my own bulk bags. I'm not ready to go the 'no-poo' route so I figured I would try the bulk shampoo and conditioner on offer at The Cupboard. I noticed before that it was Nature's Gate, which I was using anyways, so I didn't look at the label any further to see what version it was and made plans to use it the next time I needed said shampoo and conditioner. Let me say one thing about Nature's Gate - it does have many unpronounceable ingredients, but none that I recognize as nasties(parabens and such) and it's much cheaper than the Shikai that I LOVE!

Off to the Cupboard I went for food and bulk shampoo and conditioner...I got it home and put the conditioner in the bottle I ALREADY had - making progress already. Then I smell it...the PATCHOULI...blech. I thought maybe it wasn't so bad, maybe it'll wear off as soon as it's rinsed out, maybe...but no, I smelled like it all day and actually got a headache from the smell (psychological I'm sure). I asked Shinerman about it and he said it smelled fine, what does he know?
So, now I'm stuck with half a bottle of patchouli smellin' conditioner. I can't bear to throw it away so I'll be smelling like this for a while, if I happen to see you, please...pay no mind.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Clothesline update...as promised

We had a HUGE storm after Shinerman fixed the clothesline and one pole ended up a few feet away, but nothing broke and the line itself actually stayed connected. I'm just glad that there weren't any clothes on it! He fixed it again and it's been serving us well since then. We haven't used the dryer since May! So, I think we're doing very well for this year's Clothesline Challenge.

I left you hanging a bit on the Green Party Plans, though, didn't I? It was great, a little less green than I would prefer, but not too bad.

We did do paper napkins, with a pirate theme, of course. Unfortunately, we had a whole package left over - I hate that! I guess they'll be used at a later date though. For the plates I used Chinet. They are 100% recycled material, not post-consumer material, but better than the competition. And they can be composted at home - double nice! The tablecloths were these really cute striped indoor/outdoor fabric that I think will really get used - I bought them at Target.

The Man asked for chocolate cupcakes for his class party. I'll have to find the recipe to post - they were apparently the BEST CUPCAKES EVER. The frosting was for sure, I just used the recipe for cream cheese frosting in my Joy of Cooking book. I finally had to pour water in the food processor because I kept putting my fingers in there to taste the leftovers! Step away from the frosting, mmmmm... I used the same recipe for his party cake, just used a cake pan. I found some India Tree sprinkles and food coloring at Whole Foods. The colors weren't as bold; I couldn't get the water to look blue for the life of me, so lavender it was - I think I was the only who noticed. Even then, I love that they are all natural and will use them from now on.

No change in the favor bags, except I did get some organic lollipops from Yummy Earth to put in there. I used small paper tote bags (yeah to no plastic!!) and we put stickers on them.

So like I said a little less green than I would prefer, but not too bad...

Monday, June 8, 2009

My grand experiment

For a little over a year now we've been getting our produce from an organic produce co-op. This whole time we've been splitting it with another couple. Recently, they decided to no longer get their portion and instead see how they fare at the Cupboard (GREAT local store). Oh by the way, the Cupboard has fresh LOCAL pastured chicken eggs. yummy!!

I decided that, rather than trying to find someone to share the co-op produce with, we would see how we do with a full share. There have been a couple of times that we've run out of things. With the last shared delivery we had to go to the farmers market to get some food for the next week!
I'm really hoping this will work, but if it doesn't I think we'll look into getting a half share of a CSA. I'll have to do some research when the time comes for that, though.

But the thing is, we don't eat at home every night. Usually at least one night a week I go out with friends and Shinerman goes out another night. On those nights we either eat leftovers or, more often than not, go get sandwiches at a local sandwich shop. And then even on nights when we are all home, it seems I always forget to take something out or get home too late to start dinner.
This week, I got home late on Monday, Tuesday we had dinner at the in-laws for an early Father's Day, and tonight is Shinerman's night at the bar. That leaves just 9 days left to eat all the food! And of course the key is also to be able to do something with it before it goes bad. Bright spot? Two mangoes that will be frozen soon to be made into mango daiquiris, Shinerman's idea and a great one right?! I cannot wait.

I started tomorrow's dinner already - sirloin tip roast in the crock pot. But, I've got to do some serious meal planning. I'll be using this website, supercook.com. You enter in all the ingredients you have in the kitchen. It sounds like that would take a while, but it doesn't. They suggest things as you go and that helps remind you of things you have. The system consolidates recipes from different websites based on the ingredients you have in the kitchen.
My usual process is to write a list of everything in the fridge, freezer, and the cabinet and then troll the cookbooks and websites for something to make. I think the supercook site will seriously save me some time.

I'm off to do some meal planning...