Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Ron Howard for Obama

Go Opie and Andy!
Ron Howard visits some familiar TV characters to help make a great pitch for Obama.
I could feel old for being familiar with these guys, but Ron Howard is still older (and balder) than me. He is much cooler than me, but not sure what the Fonz has to say about that!
Watch this hysterical, but poignant video and watch Ron reach into the past to help create hope in the future.
eat. vote. be merry!
GD Meg

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Brook There - Eco-Fashion from Maine

I am so in love with this ‘tubeshirt’ from Brook There! I’ve been really wanting to shift my wardrobe to more natural and sustainable and sustainably manufactured clothes. While I have had access to some of the latest eco-fashion trends, this is the first time I’ve tried bamboo.
Bamboo is an amazing textile source. I found these bamboo towels that start out in a small, dry poker-chip sized package - add water and they become soft, versatile towels for kitchen, bathroom, travel, whatever! the Go! Towel was my first introduction to the wonders of bamboo fibers. I was and remain very impressed with the towels, but had not, until now tried any clothing.

I’ve been blessed with one of these tubeshirts and I am stunned by the softness and the hang of the fabric! I want one in every color - and maybe 2 in black. The best part may be the little reinforced (by cute polka-dotted satiny fabric) thumb holes.

The wonder of bamboo is that unlike many other synthetic fabrics it will biodegrade. This is unfortunate for me and I live in terror of this shirt biodegrading before I’m done with it. I have a tendency to love some of my non-biodegradable clothing to shreds!

Brook There is based in Maine and all their design and production is done there. Maybe that brisk, fresh northern New England air is infused in this garment. Maybe that is part of what I love about it. Perhaps it brings back the breezy memories of summers in Maine. Okay, enough about me, Brook There is all about local, sustainable and ethical practices and reassure us that no one is abused in the production of their clothing.

Other great sustainable fabrics that they use are organic cotton, soy (which is also very intriguing and I have to try that next!) and organic wool.

There is definitely a freshness and simplicity to the designs and a refreshing newness. These are clothes to feel great about.

eat. blog. be merry!

GD Meg

Friday, October 24, 2008

Great Green Tomato Salsa

Went to Princeton again this past Sunday to indulge in a wonderful communal meal with the Suppers For . . . people. It was Supers for Sobriety, but the spectrum of people interested in participating goes beyond recovery from alcoholism, so the group is a diverse range of people who need to learn more about how food affects their depression or blood sugar challenges, people who are in OA (Overeaters Anonymous) who are looking for something more. In any case, we are all foodies and just love to cook it, talk about it, learn about it and of course eat it.

Our host, Dor had a cornucopia of mostly locally harvested foods. Walking in the kitchen door, I passed a bucket of green tomatoes on the porch. As cooking assignments were doled out, Kay and I were elected to create a green tomato salsa to go with the black-eyed peas and brown rice, hearty vegetable and chicken soup and turnip slaw.

Here’s what we came up with . . .


NOTE: we have a wonderful time preparing these meals and always say, “we should write this down so we can make sure we can share the recipe.” But, we never do. I remember what we used, but may not have all amounts entirely accurate. Luckily, this is one of those recipes that is so easy to adjust and adapt to personal preferences. Have fun with it!

3 - 4 Green Tomatoes (chopped finely)
2 - 3 Peppers (a variety of colors and ‘heats’ also depends on preference, chopped finely)
1/2 medium Red Onion (chopped finely)
2 - 3 Cloves Garlic (crushed)
1 T. Cilantro (chopped)
1 T. Parsley (chopped)
1 Lime (juice)
1/4 C. Ume Plum Vinegar
Salt & Ground Pepper to taste
Agave or Stevia to taste

If it is possible to mix all the ingredients and let it sit for at least a 1/2 hour before serving, all the wonderful flavors marinate and blend nicely.

This salsa was so delicious. Everyone was slopping spoonfuls in their soups. I enjoyed it with my black-eyed peas and rice. I’ll share those recipes as we transcribe our memories from the other night!

Found a nice article that offes some interesting facts about green tomatoes and a host of recipes - We Love Green Tomatoes.

I went home and picked all the green tomatoes clinging to my dying tomato plants! More green tomatoe salsa coming up!

eat. blog. be merry!

GD Meg

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Sustainable Rod Stewart?

I did a post recently about, which has a great sustainable standards system. While researching the site, I fell in love with these awesome Mandala Bowls! The one you see above is my very own photographed by my digital imagery sidekick and video guru, Zack Wozniak, who sidelines as a TV producer in NY when he isn’t working a Green Diva gig.
The top image is the inside of the bowl, and the bottom image is the bottom, which as you can seen was an old Rod Stewart LP!

These beautiful bowls are made from old vinyl albums. This is recycled music at its best - if someone comes up with something we can make from those ancient 8 tracks or soon to be useless cassett tapes, that might trump this. The wonderful mandala designs are painted in acrylic on recycled vinyl records then heat-sculpted to make these awesome bowls. If I could figure out how to heat sculpt these things, I would make use of the 300 albums rotting away in my garage! Of course, this would require me to be a good, creative painter/designer . . . oh well. Thanks to artist Christine Claringbold, untalented folks like me can still get their hands on these great bowls (and other items made from albums as well)!

Could make nice, colorful, interesting and green holiday gift . . . See’s sustainability rating and order one!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Gloria Steinem's Enlightened View of Sarah Palin

If you haven't seen the powerhouse Op-Ed by Gloria Steinem about Sarah Palin that was published in the Los Angeles Times last month, I highly recommend taking a few minutes to familiarize yourself with Ms. Steinem's POV. She passionately articulates what so many of us have wanted to say. Thank you Gloria!

If you are a woman or love one (or several, whatever), I hope you will consider carefully how damaging the gun-toting Gov. and her 'maverick' boss could be to women's rights and reproductive rights among other vital issues of course.

The next president will likely have to make a Supreme Court appointment.

I've heard too many educated, smart women say that they don't believe Roe v. Wade would ever be overturned or 'oh, McCain would never do that'. I want to scream, 'REALLY!?!? Do you have any idea what the agenda for the GOP is for reproductive issues?' Please visit the McCain/Palin agenda on 'Human Dignity & the Sanctity of Life' and read the first line! (hint - it is at the top of their agenda to overturn Roe v. Wade). Make no mistake, overturning Roe v. Wade is only the beginning.

There are many huge issues at stake in this particular election, but this is one I personally feel strongly about.

Whatever you do, make sure you exercise your rights and participate in this crazy flawed democracy - vote, and bring a friend or two or a hundred!

eat. blog. be merry!
GD Meg

Friday, October 3, 2008

Luscious Organic Mod.Skin Care

I have extremely sensitive skin, so I am very careful when offering to test skin care products. When I read about Mod.Skin, I was cautiously optimistic and excited about the prospect of a line that seems so clean. Of course I was also skeptical because I’ve tried some that say such wonderful things on their packaging and in their promo materials that it is easy to be enthusiastic until my skin rebels in a show of random blotchy rashes or better yet, zits. ick. I’ve gotten these results from some of the best-promoted ‘organic’ natural skin care products touted out there. I won’t diss them here because part of it is probably my extraordinarily sensitive skin. I think I’m a perfect skin care product tester - like a canary in a coal mine - if it isn’t really squeaky clean, my skin will react to it. So far, only a couple of products have kept this canary’s face rash/zit free and Mod.Skin is one of them.

Under My Skin
I’m still pretty ignorant about the various ingredients that I’m supposed to know about - which ones are okay, which ones are not, which ones are controversial. Heck, I can’t even pronounce most of them, which makes my mental retention of them and their intended uses and/or abuses almost impossible to remember. (perhaps this explains why I’m not a scientist, but a common ordinary, garden variety writer.)

Mod.Skin has a very ‘green diva meg’ friendly (which means a baboon could understand it) page about skin care ingredient knowledge, which I found helpful. They take a very holistic, simple, natural and practical approach and avoid synthetic ingredients while using nutritional-type ingredients to feed our skin. I was particularly validated in my resistance to sunscreens (even having had a wee bout of skin cancer already) and liked their philosophy, which includes staying out of the sun during peak hours and wearing hats rather than slathering on potentially harmful sunscreens on our faces.

My Experience with Mod.Skin
I was offered two products to play with - the Samurai Scrub and the Face Sculpt Serum. As I said, I was cautious and skeptical, but decided to give it a try and if I didn’t break out in the first week, I figured I would go for two and see how things progressed from there. I’ve been using these products for about a month now and I intend to keep going! The scrub has a wonderful texture and consistency. It reminds me of when you are mixing room-temperature butter with sugar. I definitely wanted to taste it - but I restrained myself. I have used the scrub a couple of times and it is very refreshing and not too harsh when used with water even for my wimpy skin. The serum I’ve been using every day and am quite addicted to it. I had been using a wonderful moisturizer made from honey from my local bee lady, but this firms things up and keeps me moist without anything else! And NO rash or breakouts!

There are many other wonderful attributes to this skin care line, including the philosophy of the founder, Raffaele Ruberto.

I highly recommend giving these products a try!

eat. blog. be merry!
GD Meg

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Sustainable Sunday Dinners - 1

Not sure about you, but while I love cooking I don’t always have time during the week to cook full meals and I really try to minimize the prepared foods and the take outs/ins.

Over the years, I’ve devised a few meals that make for a great Sunday family feast and also can sustain at least one other meal throughout the week.

My kids are the ultimate test of any recipe’s sustainability in our household, so when I find one that is nutritious, seasonal and more local than not, AND my kids will eat it not only once, but possibly twice (or more if it can be made into other tasty dishes, which this one can), it is worth recording it.

One that has developed into our Fall and Winter favorite is roasted chicken with roasted vegetables . . .

It makes the whole house smell delicious and the leftover meat makes a great chicken salad or if I save the carcass, the base of my infamous healing chicken soup. I’m sure you have your own favorite roast chicken roast leftover recipes (unless of course you are a vegan, in which case you might appreciate the roasted veggie part of this recipe best).

organic, free-ranging, as local as you can get it chicken
roasting potatoes
whole garlic cloves
brussel sprouts
butternut squash carrots
(whatever roasting veggies you like best!)
olive oil
sea salt
fresh ground pepper


For Chicken

Preheat oven to 350° and put rack in center of oven. Rinse the little bugger inside and out (remember to thank it for its sacrifice while trying not to be too grossed out by the whole scene – my beloved Wayne takes care of this for me – thank God!) and remove neck and other icky bits in the bag. Pat it dry and place in a roasting pan. Rub butter all over the naked beast. Salt & pepper liberally. Surround the chicken with the vegetables (instructions below) not too much so they don’t cook well – don’t worry, you will be using an additional pan for more veggies too. Tent with foil (for first half hour only) and place in oven. The rule of thumb I use is 20 minutes per pound and/or when a thermometer jammed in the thick of the thigh is 175° - 180°.

NOTE: Make sure you un-tent at least a half hour before it is due to be finished and then, baste it pretty regularly to get a nice golden brown, delicious skin.

For Veggies
Wash, scrape and dry everything accordingly. Chop into smaller size chunks – no bigger than about 1-inch square. I usually half or quarter the mushrooms. Peel and nip off the ends of the garlic, but keep them whole so those that have an adverse reaction to these delicious treats can enjoy the flavor as it mixes with the other veggies without too much intestinal trauma. The amounts of which veggies you use is really a personal choice. But, I usually end up with 4 – 6 cups of chopped veggies in a nice large mixing bowl. Pour in some olive oil – enough to cover everything, but not too much. Salt & pepper to taste and mix it all up. Put some around and even in the chicken and get an additional pan (large glass baking pan works for me) and arrange them in almost a single layer if possible. Spray it with olive oil spray and bake along side or in rack beneath the chicken.

NOTE: Don’t leave extra veggie pan in oven for much more than 1 hour as they can get too over cooked. We usually serve this with a brown rice pilaf.

WARNING: there is never enough veggies! So, if you are able to, make another pan of them.
eat. blog. be merry!
GD Meg