Monthly Archives: June 2009

This Is What Happens…

When you already used the Baggu you keep in your purse earlier in the day.

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No, sir, I would NOT like a bag! I’ll shove everything in my super cute Bungalow 360 purse, thank you very much! It’s easy to say no to a bag when you get in the habit – so make it a habit!

I actually was trying to avoid the grocery store this week, as I’m going to San Diego tomorrow – woo! – but all the Whole Foods in SF are donating 5% of profits today to La Cocina, an incubator kitchen that provides commercial space to low-income entrepreneurs. How cool is that!? I heard about it via Twitter, and was especially excited because earlier this week I won the Neo Cocoa contest through eating/sf and Foodzie, and it turns out that Christine of Neo Cocoa works out of La Cocina. It’s a small world! Actually, it gets even smaller – turns out my good friend Paige is friends with Kasey of eating/sf and we’ve actually met before. I love San Francisco, and the blog world! Anyway, I’m so excited to have won the contest and to be able to support La Cocina. I’m picking up the truffles next week (no need to ship – yay for local products and smaller carboon footprints!) and can’t wait to get them and blog about them – how amazing do these look? I’m drooling in anticipation!

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Cookie Time

Gather round you friends of mine,
I’m Pretty Green Girl and it’s Cookie Time!

Sorry, had to throw a little Troop Beverly Hills in there. One of my favorite movies of all time! Who remembers it? I’m actually trying to figure out a way to play it for all my friends when we go glamping next month, but I can’t figure out how to do it without any electricity (15 girls gathered around a laptop might be too much). Any ideas? We’re not going to be close enough to the car to run power from it…

Anyway, as promised, here’s that cookie recipe I alluded to the other day! They’re kind of like halfway between a cookie and a muffin, with a bit of the taste of a thumbprint cookie (must be the whole stick of butter…mmm).

Strawberry-Blueberry Muffin Cookies

I started with this recipe for blueberry oatmeal cookies, but kind of just threw together what I had.

Preheat oven to 350

1 stick butter, softened
1 stick (1/2 cup) salted butter, softened
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Few splashes agave nectar
1 cups oat bran
1 cup white whole wheat flour
Cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
Handful blueberries
Handful sliced strawberries

I totally forgot to cream the butter with the sugar – you’d think I’d never baked before! So here’s what I did, though it might not be the best method. 🙂

Mix sugar, flour and oat bran in a mixing bowl
Add the rest of the ingredients, minus the fruit and agave.
Add a little agave nectar, tasting the batter to make sure it’s sweet enough, but not too sweet. Be careful not to overstir so the batter doesn’t get dry or tough.
Add the fruit and stir to combine.
Bake at 350 on parchment or a Silipat (more eco-friendly!) or a sheet greased with butter!

They took about 14 minutes, but I set the timer for 10 and then just kept checking them. I’d guess it made about 22 cookies or so.

And they were delicious, if I do say so myself. Not exactly healthy (though whole wheat), but real butter is what makes them good! I think I’d experiment with cutting some of the butter and sugar in the future, but I was really pleased with how they turned out, and they were perfect for my family camping trip!

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Speaking of camping, how cute is my little brother? He’s 7 – big age difference, huh? He’s a half-brother. 🙂 Our campsite was just down the road from this great apple farm. Unfortunately apples aren’t in season yet – and I really wanted some because I LOVE apples – but they did have amazing organic apple juice and other apple products. And the old man working there was so adorable! You leave your money in a little cash box and take the change – honor system. I love that!

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After our last day of camping, my sister and I met my mom, who lives nearby, at a winery for a picnic. My Mom is an amazing cook and hostess and this picnic was fabulous, of course! We met at Toulouse Vineyards which had amazing wine. We actually went wine tasting the day before, and while I really liked those places a lot, Toulouse blew me away! I loved everything I tried – a Pinot Gris, Gewurztraminer, and two Pinot Noirs. I thought I didn’t like Pinot Noir, but I am slowly changing my mind, thanks to the Anderson Valley.

Anyway, here’s the Farmers Market-filled spread my Mom brought for us – organic baby carrots, farm-fresh deviled eggs, asparagus, LOCAL sea salt (amazing), sliced radishes (divine when sprinkled with said sea salt), wraps filled with hummus, havarti, roasted red pepper and roasted garlic (both of which she roasted), organic sparkling pear juice, and her first homemade cherry pie. YUM!

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Thanks, Mom!

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Check out that view!

So, what did you do this weekend?

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Filed under Recipes, what i'm cooking today

Like Butta

Here’s proof you can reuse anything – four ways to reuse your butter wrappers. I love it! It never even occurred to me, but they are perfect for greasing a pan, separating hamburger patties and more!

Thanks to bestgreenblogs for Tweeting the link!

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I’m actually baking some strawberry-blueberry-oat bran-agave-cookie-muffin hybrids (enough hyphens for ya?) right this very minute, and was about to toss the butter wrapper. Not so fast! I’m totally saving it to grease pans, use in place of cooking spray, etc. Just this morning I was thinking how I really hate using cooking spray. I hardly ever use it, but I have some in the house and totally was guilty of it this morning. No more! To the fridge my wrappers will go.

Here’s a preview of the cookies, baked on my Silpat. Hope they’re good! If they are, you’ll get a recipe soon – plus the delish German champagne vinegar potato salad I just made, chile pea puffs and more!

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I leave to go camping with my family tomorrow – 3 days with no computer and hardly any phone service.How will I survive? Wine tasting, that’s how. We know how to camp in style! It’s the perfect warm-up to my summer birthday glamping trip. 🙂

ETA: Just tried the cookies. YUM! Recipe coming soon!

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Your Cup is Hatching!

Remember that super cute I Am Not a Paper Cup reusable mug I got awhile back?

Not all it’s cracked up to be (ha ha).

cracked cup

The adorable little kid I was babysitting for the other night looked at my mug, full of soy latte, and said, “your cup is hatching.” I didn’t get it at first, and then realized – it looks like an egg hatching! How cute is that!? Kids say the best things.

But, bummer! I was so excited about this cup when I got it. I guess that’s what I get for throwing it in my bag with other glass tupperware and stuff, but I thought it would be a littlle more resilient. The silicone top has torn, and the side is totally cracked. I’m going to try to keep using it until it REALLY starts to leak, but then I guess I’ll have to get some kind of replacement. No me gusta!

Do you have a favorite (sturdy, leak proof) reusable mug you recommend?

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Nothing Over $30 Sale

Eco-friendly fashion site The Green Loop is having an awesome sale! Stewart+Brown, Edun, Sublet… some of this stuff usually goes for up to $300 (!). Fair trade, organic fabrics, upcycled materials – they’ve got of cute green fashion you can feel good about buying (and can actually afford, for once). Check it out now before everything sells out!

Some faves:
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Sublet Belinda dress, orig. $275.00, now $29.99

dress2
Stewart+Brown Organic Cotton Racerback Jumper, orig. $199, now $24.99

dress 3
EcoSkin ‘Ranier’ Dress, orig $193, now $29.99

cardi
Grace & Cello ‘Empress’ Cardi, orig. $110, now $29.99

trench
Kelly B. ‘Taylor’ Trench Coat, orig. $275, now $29.99

So, what looks cute to you?

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What’s Fresh in Your Area

I’m sorry guys, I am like 12 years old, but this title totally sounds like an ad for Summer’s Eve, no? 😉

Via Twitter (thanks for the RT that caught my attention, Foodzie), I found this really cool interactive map, where you can find out what’s seasonal and fresh where you live. Apparently okra is in season in CA right now… who knew? I don’t think I’ve ever had it, with the exception of a gumbo in New Orleans. Anyway, you can search for seasonal produce by state and month – check out what’s in season now where you live!

Thanks, Epicurious – very cool!

seasonal mpa
Peak-Season Map

PS: A guy totally asked me if I worked on a farm yesterday! I’m like, I know my jeans are torn, but really, I thought that was trendy. 😉 Turns out it was because I have a Buy Fresh, Buy Local sticker on my computer. I was like, nope, I’m just into that stuff. I have a green blog. Cue blank expression. Ha.

What’s in season where you live? What are you most looking forward to being in season?

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Green Skin

No, I’m not talking about this look:

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but it is pretty wicked, as my friends in New England might say. 🙂

Awhile back, my sister told me about this cool website, Cosmetics Database, where you can look up beauty products and see their score in terms of safety and environmental impact. You can search via keyword for a particular product you’re interested in, or search a topic like “Makeup” or “Skincare” and sort by score.

I have been trying a lot of different products lately, searching for the right balance of eco-friendliness and effectiveness. I just realized I’ve been stuck in the A’s – most of the products I’ve been using are by Alba, Avalon, Auromere Ayurvedic, Almay and Aveda. Heh. Many of these fall in the mid range, with a score of about 4-6. I’m not crazy about this, but I haven’t found anything I love with a lower score… yet. Avalon Organics is a great line my sister likes, but I’m not crazy about the smell of lavender, which is in the shampoo best suited for my hair. I swear, I’m the only person who feels this way – everyone I know loves the smell! I adore violet, but lavender, not so much. I would like to try some of their other shampoos, though. I’ve been using their Vitamin C Moisture Plus Lotion SPF 15 which I like, but rates a 6 out of 10 on the hazard scale. I was using Giovanni shampoo for awhile, which you can buy in bulk at my local co-op. I liked it, but it wasn’t perfect for my hair, which tends to be kind of coarse. If I’m not careful, I lose the battle of the Jew-fro. 🙂 Aveda has a reputation for being “natural” and “plant-based” but many of their products still contain fragrance and less than natural ingredients.

Right now, I’m using Alba Coconut Milk Extra-Rich Hair Wash and Mango Moisturizing Conditioner, which smell great but rate a 5 on the hazard scale. Not bad in the scheme of things, but not great. I also hate the amount of plastic I go through with these products! Buying in bulk is a great option, as I mentioned, but that’s not an option for everyone, and sometimes they don’t have the right products that work for specific hair needs.

mango conditioner

For soap, I really like Dr. Bronner’s. I’ve got a bar of the Citrus and of the Almond right now and they’re great – and only rate a 2! I used to be a Dove addict, but this has been an easy switch. They smell delish! Looks like Dr. B also makes a full-line of other products, so I’m going to keep my eyes open for those. Their Magic Liquid is great, too, for a variety of purposes, but it definitely doesn’t cut it as a shampoo for my hair!

soap

There are so many products labeled eco-friendly out there right now, but it’s hard to know which are real and which are greenwashed. Hopefully Cosmetics Database can help us sort through and find what we’re looking for!

What eco-friendly beauty products do you like? How do they rate on the hazard scale? Have any to recommend to me?

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