Caramelized Onion Dip Recipe

Posted on Jan. 1st 2011 1 Comment »

Happy New Year! At this point we probably have all resolved to be healthier, happier and prosperous this year. I’m not sure this dip will help with all aspects but it will cover healthier. This will be a great substitution  for the traditional onion dip for those Super Bowl celebrations. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted by poppa-d | in Onion, Recipe

Beet and Goat Cheese Salad

Posted on Dec. 25th 2010 No Comments »

Preparation for Beets

  • Beets (whole) - 6-8
  • Olive oil - 1/4 cup
  • Salt & pepper - to taste

In a roasting pan, mix beets, oil, and salt & pepper all together. Cover roasting pan with foil and bake at 350 for 45-60 minutes. Once beets have cooled to room temperature the skins will peel off very easily. If not eaten right away they should be stored in the refrigerator.

  • Beets (peeled & cut  into 1 inch disks) - 3-4
  • Goat cheese (cut into 1 inch pieces) - 12oz
  • Walnuts (crushed) - 1 cup
  • Red Butter Lettuce (washed & Chopped) - 1 head
  • Balsamic vinegrette - 1/2 cup
  • Salt & pepper - to taste

In a bowl, mix lettuce and Balsamic vinegrette with a pinch of salt & pepper, then place on serving plate. Lay a beet slice on green mixture and place goat cheese disc over beet. Keep repeating as if you were making tomato mozzarella salad. Finally, top salad with walnuts and finish with Balsamic vinegrette and serve.

Posted by poppa-d | in Beets, Goat Cheese, Recipe, Red Butter Lettuce, Walnuts

Eco-Friendly Cleaning Tips

Posted on Dec. 21st 2010 No Comments »

There are many easy ways to go green in your household cleaning excursions. Following these tips and using eco-friendly cleaning products can truly make a difference in the green movement.  Every little bit helps, and that is the truth.

Baking Soda

Use baking soda to clean!  This household product does wonders.  Baking soda can be used to increase soap suds and for scouring powder. You can also use baking soda to clean your drains, by making a mixture of equal parts baking soda and vinegar. Pour the mixture down the drain.  After sitting a few minutes, pour boiling water down the drain.  You can also use a bit of baking soda and a wet towel to shine silver or stainless steel.

Repurpose old clothes and towels

Instead of purchasing rags for cleaning, use old clothes or towels to dust and scrub your counters and floors.  This way you get the most out of your purchases and save money, all while being green. While your at it, stop purchasing paper towels and use cloth towels for your cleaning needs.

Don’t be toxic

Remove all toxic products from your household. Nothing good can come from them!  Replace toxic cleaning products with non-toxic, biodegradable ones.  Not only will you be helping the environment, you will be protecting your family and friends from the dangers within toxic products.

Freshen air naturally

Instead of purchasing air fresheners, make your home smell wonderful by boiling some herbs, like cinnamon or cloves. Also, fill your home with plants (but be sure to take care of them) that give off pleasing smells.  Green leaf plants are also great for filtering indoor air.

Get more use out of household products

Many household products can be doubled as cleaning agents.  We’ve already discussed baking soda and vinegar, but lemon juice can also be used to cut grease. Peanut butter can be used to take gum out of fabric or clothing. Washing soda, or sodium carbonate, can be used to disinfect and remove stains.

What are your eco-friendly cleaning tips? Do you think about the environment when you purchase cleaning products?

Posted by Abby Gilmore | in Green Living

Curry Noodle Bowl

Posted on Dec. 18th 2010 No Comments »

I added some fresh Chard to this recipe at the end to give it some color. You could get creative on adding seasonal vegetables to this recipe as it’s very good base for peppers, spinach or whatever you have on hand. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted by poppa-d | in Garlic, Onion, Recipe, Soba Noodles, Tofu

Deseo - Westin Kierland

Posted on Dec. 14th 2010 1 Comment »

Deseo - the desire to enjoy phenomenal Nuevo Latino Cuisine and hand crafted cocktails in a lively setting.  From the moment you begin the descent on the staircase colorfully lined with large luminary candles, you begin to anticipate the spicy flair that Deseo has to offer.  Whether you are looking for a cozy place to catch up with friends or a front row seat to watch the action in the kitchen, Deseo has the perfect spot for you.

Stepping first into the Muddle Bar, with its rich colors and sleek, dark woods, you’ll find a cozy and elegant place to enjoy some of Deseo’s Signature Mojitos.  Each Mojito is hand muddled, with fresh mint and limes, to really bring out the flavors of the ingredients.  A custom menu is available so you can select your favorite fruits and liquor and create your own signature cocktail. Sip that cocktail while you watch live painting by Nelson Garcia-Miranda, a renowned Cuban painter, whose painting style meshes perfectly with the upbeat and colorful Latin flavor of Deseo. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted by Caroline | in Restaurant Review

Seasons 52: Great food that happens to be great for you

Posted on Dec. 7th 2010 No Comments »

Last week I had the pleasure of dining at Seasons 52 in Phoenix, twice! The experience was great, and the food was even better!  This place truly knows the definition of green living, and they practice what they preach.

Get this — everything on the menu is less than 475 calories, from their famous flat breads to their “mini indulgences” desserts.  Their menu changes completely every season, while the specials change weekly. Chef Jeff LaVine (head chef at the Phoenix location) hails from more than 20 years of experience cooking professionally. His love for food and love for thinking and eating healthy truly shine through in the dining experience. That being said, Seasons 52 uses only the best products for their customers.  They use only what is in season and get whatever they can locally.

In addition to using great tasting ingredients, the company embraces all-things eco-friendly, down to the hand towels and the to-go boxes.  Also, with more than 120 bottles of wine to choose from at every visit, they go through many wine bottles, which are all recycled.

This restaurant really “gets it” when it comes to living green.  And they definitely get it when it comes to serving up great tasting food without the extra calories.

Seasons 52 is now open at Biltmore Fashion Park, 2502 East Camelback Rd., Phoenix, AZ 85016.  Visit their website at www.Seasons52.com.

Posted by Abby Gilmore | in Green Living

Steamed Broccoli

Posted on Dec. 4th 2010 No Comments »

  • Broccoli - 3 crowns
  • Garlic - 1 tbsp
  • Olive oil - 2 tbsp
  • Vegetable stock - ¼ cup
  • Salt & pepper - to taste

Grill: We have two ways to put this one together. For the grill, put all ingredients in a foil boat and fold up so it is sealed. Heat grill to medium and place foil boat on grill for about 20 minutes.

Stove top: Heat stove to medium-high and place all ingredients in steamer and cover. Cook for about 15-20 minutes.

Posted by poppa-d | in Broccoli, Garlic, Recipe

Tuscan Kale Salad

Posted on Nov. 27th 2010 No Comments »

I doubled up on the breadcrumbs here. Because who doesn’t like a bit of extra crunch? That is reflected in the recipe below. And for those of you without access to pecorino, freshly grated Parmesan would be a reasonable substitute.

  • 1 bunch Tuscan kale (for ex: black or lacinato)
  • 2 thin slices country bread, or two handfuls good, homemade coarse breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 garlic clove
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus a pinch
  • 1/4 (or small handful) grated pecorino cheese, plus additional for garnish
  • 3 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil, plus additional for garnish
  • Freshly squeezed juice of one lemon (scant 1/4 cup or ~50ml)
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Trim the bottom few inches off the kale stems and discard. Slice the kale into 3/4 inch ribbons. You should have 4 to 5 cups. Place the kale in a large bowl.

If using the bread, toast it until golden brown on both sides and dry throughout. Tear into small pieces and pulse in a food processor until the m ixture forms coarse crumbs, or crumbs to your liking.

Using a mortor an pestle or a knife, pound or mince the garlic and 1/4 teaspoon of salt into a paste. Transfer the garlic to a small bowl. Add 1/4 cup cheese, 3 tablespoons oil, lemon juice, pinch of salt, pepper flakes, and black pepper and whisk to combine. Pour the dressing over the kale and toss very well (the dressing will be thick and need lots of tossing to coat the leaves) let the salad sit for 5 minutes, then serve topped with the bread crumbs, additional cheese, and a drizzle of oil.

Posted by poppa-d | in Kale, Parmesan, Recipe

10 Ways to have a Green Thanksgiving

Posted on Nov. 23rd 2010 1 Comment »

1.  Cook less. Do you remember thinking, “Wow, I cooked way too much food!” around this time last year? If so, cook less!  Too many left overs means at least some will go to waste.

2.  Eat local. Buy, cook and eat locally grown food!  Not only are you supporting your local economy, it tastes better, as it does not have to be maintained on a shelf.

3.  Cook organic. Organic food is grown without artificial fertilizers and hormones, so it is all around better for the environment and for you!  Buy everything organic from your turkey to your fruits, veggies and milk.

4.  Use glasswear. Though it may be tempting to take out the plastic silverwear and paper plates, think about how much you’re wasting!  Use your glasswear and silverwear.  If you don’t have enough, ask guests to bring some along.  Worried about doing all those dishes? Throw them in the dishwasher - it uses less water than you would washing them by hand.

5.  Make decorations. So much of the holiday spirit are the decorations we place around our house.  As I mentioned in  my previous article, making decorations from nature is the greenest way to brighten your holiday.  Use construction paper to make cut outs of Pilgrims and turkeys — and then recycle the paper, or make a cornucopia with fruits and vegetables and use it as a center peice.

6.  Stay home if you can. Less travel = less stress!  Also, by staying home you can do your part in reducing global warming by lowering your auto emissions.  Seems like a win/win to me!

7.  If you travel, travel green! Carpool if your destination is within driving distance. If Grandmother’s house is more than a hop, skip and a jump, turn down your thermostat for the duration of your trip.  If you’re flying, consider purchasing carbon credits to offset the carbon dioxide released during your flight.

8.  Pay attention to packaging. Buy products with the least amount of packaging, and check to see if the packaging is environmentally friendly.  And as always, R-E-C-Y-C-L-E!

9.  Get outside. Enjoy the great outdoors and all mother nature has to offer us this Thanksgiving.  Also, open your windows to let a breeze in rather than turning on fans.

10.  Plant a tree. Make it a new family tradition - give thanks to the earth by planting a tree on Thanksgiving from this year forward!

autumn gourds

How are you going green this Thanksgiving?

Posted by Abby Gilmore | in Green Living

Roasted Garlic

Posted on Nov. 20th 2010 No Comments »

  • Garlic bulb
  • 2 cups olive oil
  • Sea Salt
  • Ground black pepper

Chop off the bottom tips of the garlic, pour one cup of in a 4X6 or 6×8 baking pan. Place garlic cut side down in the pan. Add salt and pepper over bulbs along with remaining oil. Cover with foil and bake for 1 hour @ 250. Let cool, then squeeze the bulbs until the cloves pop out of the bottom.

Hint: Strain garlic oil and save for cooking.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted by poppa-d | in Garlic, Recipe