Though it may be hard to think that an adolescent is able to think anywhere outside of him or herself, it DOES actually happen. I think more often than not, if we just gave them the benefit of the doubt. My 13 year old sister built her own raised garden bed and is growing some of her own vegetables this summer. Check out what she did with her eggplant…makes me hungry!
What an inspiration! At just 13 years old! Be inspired!
The obvious choice would be to NOT get on an airplane that uses god knows how many gallons of fuel. Okay, so apparently according to USA Aviation Consultants a Boeing 747 carries between 48,000-60,000 gallons of fuel. I would assume that traveling 4,000 miles used A LOT of gallons…at least I was with a few hundred other people. But I am going to Buenos Aires to study-so it’s for a great cause, clearly.
ANYWAY, what did I do this year to make my experience less “impactful” on good ol’ Mother Earth, and not to leave out-much less “impactful” on my wallet? What I always do, bring my own food and my own containers. My lovely mother packed me a lunch in the morning, which I estimate saved me about $10 at the airport and I brought my own EMPTY water bottle through security and then filled it up at the water fountains in the airport. 24 oz bottles drank: 2. Cost: $0. Hydration level for the dehydrating act of flying: Awesome.
I also found bulk bins filled with trail mix and candy and you KNOW I took advantage of that. Took my little piece of tupper ware and filled it up with rice cracker mix. The lady behind the counter was yelling at me because it weighed more than it would have if I used a bag and that I “should have used a bag and THEN put it in the tupper ware.” Because that makes sense.
Total spending at airport in 24 hours of travel: $10. Rice cracker mix and then a salad in Miami. If that doesn’t motivate you to bring your own food and refill your water, I don’t know what would.
Happy 1st Day of SUMMMMMERRRRRRRRR. And being 98˚ out, it couldn’t feel like anything else. Even exercising at 8am was too hot. What’s the best thing to do on a day like today? SWIM! In a river, lake, pool, ocean, fountain, toilet…errrrrr-maybe not. But, get in the water and stay cool. Yesterday, I hit up Margate for some fun in the sun and water along with some friends and “fam.” Peep it (that means check it out, mom) to see how I tried to make my beach day as least trashy as possible. (And the shore desperately needs us to do this, especially after the embarrassment of THE Jersey Shore).
1) 2 of my friends and I carpooled down and split money for gas and tolls. MUCH cheaper and eco-friendly.
2) The spread. It’s extremely important to go prepared if you want to try and do this.
The spread for 3 people at the beach from 830am til 6pm.
-Bobbi’s roasted red pepper hummus (made here in Philly).
-homemade black bean(Ithaca,NY) hummus* with homemade corn tortilla chips.
-Homemade trail mix with almonds, walnuts, cashews, dried cherries and chocolate chips (all from the bulk bin)
-Homemade almond butter
-Homemade strawberry jam
-Bread—at least we go the day old version so it was 1/2 off!
-Cheerios (or other cereal from the bulk bins) to munch on
-leftover peanut butter from school event
-4 bottles of water (we did end up buying drinks on the way home—-i figured hydration was the better option)
-4 reusable napkins
The only thing left after this was 1 slice of bread. HAHA. After a sweet day of sun, surf, slacklining and frisbee, you’re bound to be hungry. Try bringing one item with you to the beach, pool, lake, WHEREVER and create 1 piece less of litter. Or better yet-just go “hard body karate” and do as much as you can if you’re a dive right in type. Just remember-as Baz Luhrmann said-“Wear sunscreen.”
Our active day at the beach included….. air mattress jumping,
…and anything else that involved ridiculous antics. And let’s not forget about the surfing!
This last pic pretty much sums up our attitude towards our day.
*Black bean hummus:
1 cup of soaked black beans with cooking liquid (or can of rinsed beans)
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 jalapeño/serrano pepper
1 clove of garlic
1 tbsp. of tahini
salt and pepper to taste
Blend all ingredients together in a food processor until smooth. Buen provecho!
Need some assistance on knowing what to do with the beets, arugula or 1,000 blueberries you picked this past weekend? This website has recipes organized by season, diet and meal. Check it out for some inspiration.
What IS the difference between a free-range, cage-free, caged, organic, pastured or whatever you want to call it? A brief video explanation.
I apologize for this being so late. I posted it last week and somehow it never actually posted. Sooooo I am going to cut this one short instead of re-writing it all over again.
These are garlic scapes. They are out for a very short time, maybe 2 weeks. Look for them in your farmer’s market or CSA. They make for a delicious pesto to spread on bagels/baguettes/pasta as pictured below…
1 bunch garlic scapes with white ends cut off
2 tbsp. olive oil
1/4 c. parmesan cheese (I omitted this and it is still delicious)
1/4 c. walnuts (or pine nuts would work)
Salt and pepper to taste
Blend everything together in a food processor until you have desired consistency. Don’t be afraid to taste as you go and add cheese or olive oil if necessary or desired. Spread on toast or use in your pasta dish! Buen provecho!
Recently at the Rittenhouse Farmer’s Market I discovered a little fishery that catches their seafood off of LBI (which happens to be one of my favorite Jersey beaches) on Friday, and brings it to the market on Saturday. Luckily for me I had some tupperware and asked the vendor to fill me up with some scallops. I pondered what to do with them that would keep everything local and decided to make broiled scallops and serve over a bed of sauteed kale.
Olive oil or butter
Garlic-1 clove chopped
Turn broiler on.
Mix together olive oil or melted butter, chopped garlic and salt in a bowl.
Coat scallops with mixture and place under broiler for 6-8 minutes.
Wash kale, chop and remove stems.
Saute with onions, garlic, cumin and crushed red pepper. If kale is too bitter for your taste I suggesting adding a bit of honey, agave or brown sugar.
Lay kale on plate and place scallops on top.
*To make this dish more hearty, make polenta and place on the plate underneath the kale. To make polenta bring 4 cups of water to a boil and then add 1 cup of polenta and parmesan cheese (optional). Continue stirring on medium heat for approximately 30 minutes.
This got me eating asparagus. That’s all I’m gonna say. Well, not really. Here is some more I have to say.I have started eating less flour because a) the kind you buy in the store comes from who knows where and obviously, in a bag and b) the kind at the farmer’s market is expensive. However, when I do decide to splurge, I usually end up making waffles and/or pizza dough. I make the pizza dough ahead of time and freeze half of it and put the other half in the fridge for a day or two until I am ready to make it.
Follow this recipe for pizza dough:
1) Let pizza dough sit at room temperature for 10 minutes.
2) While the pizza dough is warming up, saute onions on medium heat in a frying pan for 5-6 minutes, or until translucent. Sprinkle with a variety of spices. I use salt, pepper, chili powder, crushed red pepper and cumin.
3) Wash and cut the asparagus and mushrooms.
4) Add the asparagus to the onion mixture. Add a few more of the spices to the asparagus to make sure they are seasoned thoroughly.
5) When asparagus starts to cook through and soften, add the sliced mushrooms to the mixture.
6. Roll out pizza dough and top with tomato sauce (from Jersey, of course), dried or fresh oregano, vegetables and cheese. ( I have made this vegan many times and it is just as good).
7. Pop it in the oven on a baking sheet or pizza stone if you have one and bake for 7-8 minutes.
8. Cut, serve and mangia.mangia!
This has got to be THE best time of the year for seasonal eating. Strawberry season is in full swing, and sadly, almost over. Cherries, blueberries and black raspberries(gasp!) are here and near. One of my favorite activities to do during the summer is pick fruit at a nearby farm and freeze or preserve it.
I blew my own mind last night with strawberry rhubarb preserves that were out of this world. Making your own preserves is a great way:
1) control how much sugar goes into each jar
2) to eat out of season fruit all year
3) make an awesome gift
4) is surprisingly easy!
4 cups berries
1-4 cups sweetener-I have used sugar and honey in separate recipes and they have come out great. The reason for the disparity of the amount of sweetener really just depends on personal taste and the fruit used. Some fruits tend to be sweeter than others.
3 tbsp. or 1 package pectin
1/2 juice of lemon (aids with preservation and gives preserves a more vibrant color) I actually don’t use this.
How To: (This is going to seem like a lot, but in practice, it’s really simple)
1) Wash berries and hull or remove pit. (If you are doing cherries I highly recommend a cherry pitter)
2) With a potato masher, (or any other mashing tool,) mash berries in a large pot.
3) Place pot on medium-high heat and bring to a rolling boil while you stir. While doing this sterilize jars in boiling water. Be sure to throw lids into pot as well with the jars. Remove CAREFULLY. I do not have a canner or any special equipment. I use a ladle and an oven mitt. Obviously, owning tongs or a magnet to pull out the jars would make life a little bit easier.
4) Add sugar and pectin to the fruit and bring to a rapid boil for about 1 minute
5) Reduce heat and let simmer for about 10 minutes. If you want to test the thickness of the preserves and to see if they will “set,” put a spoon in the freezer and then scoop out a bit of the preserves and let sit on counter for a few minutes. If it starts to look a more gel like(what a precise term), then it should be ready.
*Note: The preserves will set over a period of time, so just because it may look a little runny, does not mean you have to add more pectin. I have made the mistake of adding too much and having more of a strawberry ‘rock’ than preserves.
6. Pour the fruit mixture into the canning jars leaving about 1/4 inch at the top.
7. Place jars in canner if you have one. If you are using a stock pot as I do, I lower the jars into the water vertically so they are completely covered. Leave in boiling water for about 10 minutes. Remove with the ladle.
8. POP! That is the sound you will hear when your jars are sealing. If you aren’t around for that most satisfying sound, you can check the seal by pressing down on the top of the jar, if it doesn’t move at all, it is sealed and if it pops in an out (think Snapple) it is unsealed. Store in a cool place, aka…basement. ORRRRR stick it in the fridge, stick it in the fridge, stick it in the friiiiiidggeeeeeee.
9. Serve on waffles, toast, pancakes, in yogurt or ice cream!
Awesome preserves: Strawberry, strawberry jalapeño (great with goat cheese), strawberry rhubarb, blueberry, cherry, raspberry, apricot, plum etc.