Pickling Your Own Produce

Hot Pepper Vinegar

Fill sterilized jar with 1 pound assorted hot peppers such as jalapenos, serranos, and habaneros. In a large pot over high heat, bring 4 cups of apple cider vinegar and 2 tablespoons kosher salt to a boil. Remove pot from heat and ladle hot vinegar-salt mixture over peppers, seal jar. Allow jar to sit for a minimum of 1 week before using. Refrigerate after opening.


Summer Yogurt Pops

Yogurt Pops
Finn absolutely loves yogurt pops.  Here’s a quick and easy recipe to make your own. Use only the ripest fruit in your fruit bowl—cherries, berries, bananas, peaches—and mash with a little sugar. Then stir into plain unsweetened yogurt. Freeze the pops in plastic molds using popsicle sticks – you can buy them at the craft store.  Adults love them too.

Throw a Great GREEN PARTY

Tips for an eco-friendly shindig…

Decorating. Rather than turn on every light in the house, save electricity and set the mood by killing some lights and dimming others. Hang strings of LED bulbs, which last longer and use less electricity than typical incandescent bulbs.

Food. Cooking a full-fledged meal for a crowd can drain you and your kitchen of energy. Host a potluck to lighten the load and ask guests to bring fresh salads and raw vegetables. Regardless of what you cook, opt for local ingredients.

Table Settings. Use real dishes and silverware. Sure, you’ll have more cleanup, but you’ll drastically reduce waste. If you must use disposable, look for eco-friendly options.

Drink. Aluminum is relatively easy to recycle, so offer cans of soda rather than bottles. If you’re purchasing wine or beer, shop around for local and regional labels.

Cleanup. Set up bins or decorative baskets to gather recyclables. If you have a dishwasher, scrape dishes clean and fill it full for optional energy and water savings. Want to finish cleanup before you can run another load? Fill the sink with warm soapy water rather than leave the faucet running.

Invitations. Avoid waste by forgoing paper invitations. Instead, send an e-mail or an invite from evite.com or paperlesspost.com.

Celebrate Asparagus Season: Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus

Eleanor’s favorite appetizer

  • 3/4 pound prosciutto, sliced thinly
  • 1 tub chive whipped cream cheese.
  • 18 spears fresh asparagus, blanched

Boil water in a large skillet and blanch trimmed aparagus spears for 2-3 minutes.

Preheat oven to broil (high heat)

Spread prosciutto slices with whipped chive cream cheese. Wrap slices around 2 or 3 asparagus spears. Arrange wrapped spears in a single layer on a baking sheet.

Bake until cream cheese just starts to melt.  Serve immediately.

Regaining Perspective on Local Food after the Volcano

This is an excellent article from Just Means regarding the tons of vegetables and produce allowed to wilt in Africa during the volcano aviation ban.

Earth Day: April 22, 2010

Forty years ago we celebrated the first Earth Day.

Earth Day 2010 can be a turning point to advance climate policy, energy efficiency, renewable energy and green jobs. Earth Day Network is bringing together millions who make personal commitments to sustainability. Earth Day 2010 is an opportunity for individuals, corporations and governments to join together and create a global green economy. Join the more than one billion people in 190 countries that are taking action for Earth Day.

Seed Bead Embroidered Portraits by Eleanor Pigman

Artist Eleanor Pigman creates amazing portraits with tiny seed beads.

Along with President Obama, which was one of the 30 finalists in the MoveOn.org Manifest Hope competition, she’s created portraits of Mother Theresa, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Abraham Lincoln, Michael Jackson and more.