Tag Archives: local

Bike Basket Pies

I am officially the worst Jew ever.

Ok, maybe not the worst ever. But, Passover started last night, and today I’m blogging about…pie. I ate two pies today. Sweet pie, and savory pie. Cupcake-sized pies, made with organic, local (backyard-local whenever possible!), and seasonal ingredients, and – get this – delivered via bike. God, I love SF. Sorry, fellow Jews. If you’re looking for a more Passover-appropriate recipe, check out this delicious Matzo Brittle from my friend Kasey at eating/sf.

Back to pie. Oh, this delicious Bike Basket Pie. I know Natalie of the pies and baskets though my sister, who used to work with her and is now helping her grow delicious pie-ingredients, like onions and leeks, chard and spinach. She pays her in pie, and tips in beer. I wouldn’t object if my employer wanted to start paying me this way.

What is a Bike Basket Pie, you ask? It’s just the most delicious cupcake-sized treat you can imagine. And I say this as huge lover of the cupcake . Natalie has perfected her crust – it’s perfectly flaky, and flavorful, and… perfect. Perfectly perfect. I’ve only tried three flavors so far – shaker lemon, apple, and potato, leek & cheddar, and I’m dying to try more (see the full menu here). The shaker lemon is made with Meyer lemons grown in Natalie’s neighborhood, and the way the sweet, candied lemon settles into the crust is just out of this world. Natalie delivered me that goodie today, and it was all I could do to save it for after lunch. And for dinner? This little guy, packed full of leeks, cheese and potato. I paired it with a simple salad of spring greens, walnuts, tangerine and goat cheese, drizzled with California Olive Ranch Arbequina, which I discovered via my friend Allison. It was such a nice meal. Even if I did eat it while watching American Idol.

Natalie delivers via bike throughout the flat areas of San Francisco, and can be found at events like Taste the Mission Tour. Pies are $5 when delivered, $4 if you find her on the street. She has a variety of vegan or butter-filled treats available every week. San Franciscans, you’re missing out if you haven’t tried them yet. Get on that.


Photo credit: Andy Smith

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Top 10 Eco-Friendly Ways to Spend $10 Instead of Seeing Leap Year

Over the weekend, I saw Leap Year. Don’t ask my why. It was easily one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen, an actually painful experience. Terribly written, poorly acted, and without one single likable character. Predictable to the point of ridiculousness – and I love a good, silly chick flick. Hell, I even like The Sweetest Thing and thought Aquamarine was cute. I am clearly no movie snob, but this was simply bad, bad, bad. I think the NY Times said it best: Leap Year is “so singularly dispiriting … bad without distinction — so witless, charmless and unimaginative that it can be described as a movie only in a strictly technical sense.”

In my pretty green opinion, Leap Year wasn’t worth the energy used to project the movie on the big screen, to print your movie ticket, or to manufacture Amy Adams’ ridiculous and annoyingly impractical “even-Carrie-Bradshaw-wouldn’t-wear-those” shoes. I’d say you’d be better off throwing away or burning your money, but that wouldn’t be so green, now would it? Instead, I present you with 10 eco-friendly alternatives to wasting your money on this truly terrible film. With $10, you could:

1. Buy a spare Envirosax or Baggu so you always have a reusable bag in your purse. I recommend always having two with you!

2. Get a set of stainless steel straws. I love straws, hate plastic. These will keep your whites pearly, no plastic required!

3. Buy an actually watchable chick flick or two on half.com. Used DVDs at amazing prices (as low as 75 cents for the less popular flicks), shipped cheaply via Media Mail. I have a rule that I’m only allowed to purchase ones coming from CA, and the closer the better. There are usually multiple sellers and states available per movie, so you should hopefully be able to find one close by. My picks: Clueless, Bridget Jones’ Diary, Troop Beverly Hills, See Jane Date, In Her Shoes, Waitress, John Tucker Must Die, and, yes, The Sweetest Thing*

4. Order some natural, non-GMO popcorn to eat while watching chosen watchable chick flick. Yes, you can make it on the stove.

5. Buy a local artisan food product you’ve been hesitant to shell out for. I have my eye on several at my local farmers market!

6. Upgrade a beauty product . Yes, eco-friendly beauty products can be a bit pricey, but you and your skin are worth it. Take that $10 and upgrade your usual to something organic or local or sulfate- and paraben-free.

7. See Up in the Air instead. That George Clooney sure is dreamy.

8. Surprise a friend with cupcakes for no reason. Splurge on organic ingredients and bake ‘em yourself, or find a great local bakery. Everyone likes cupcakes. If you don’t, I don’t think we can be friends.

9. Buy some 100% post-consumer recycled toilet paper. Yes, buying toilet paper is infinitely more fun, and probably less embarrassing, than seeing this movie. I like the Seventh Generation brand. But don’t buy the Trader Joe’s kind. It’s terrible.

10. Have a drink. You can probably afford two if you don’t live in San Francisco. In a real glass, no straw (or bring your own stainless – see Point 2). Hold the cocktail napkin. Preferably made with local-to-you spirits, hops or grapes. You won’t need one as badly as I did after seeing this movie, but please, have one for me.

*I apologize in advance. I don’t know why I like this movie, but I do.

What’s the worst movie you’ve ever seen? What would you spend $10 on instead – something on this list, or something else?

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Light Green Wine

I was lucky enough to get to attend an amazing dinner last night, put on by Foodbuzz and Black Box Wines. The dinner was at Spruce, a restaurant I’d been wanting to try since it opened a few years ago. These are the times when I wish I was a better photographer – my little borrowed digital Canon would not have done this meal justice. Luckily, this was a blogger event, in a private room nonetheless, so you can bet there were some fabulous pictures taken that evening. Check out Beer & Nosh and Chez Us (hi, guys!) for photos and much better recaps of the night. I’ll just say this – house-made charcuterie, halibut with fennel and chanterelles, bavette steak, duck fat fries? Um, yum! I also met some lovely people, and a good time was definitely had by all.

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Fill ‘er up!

Anyway, naturally (heh) my angle was taking in the green aspects of the evening, and there were many. First, Spruce buys local, fresh ingredients, uses naturally raised meats (not sure how I feel about that term, but let’s go with it), and line-caught fish. About 80% of their produce (according to their press materials) comes from a partnership with 5-acre SMIP ranch, which uses no synthetic pesticides, herbicides or fertilizers. I love that!

Since the event was sponsored by Black Box, I definitely wanted to find out about the company’s environmentally-conscious policies. I was happy to learn that both the box and the wine pouch are recyclable – you just have to separate them. Also, since the box of wine weighs much less than the equivalent in bottles, it costs much less to ship. While some of the wines come from far-off places, like New Zealand, Italy and Washington State, it will at least take less energy to get to you than the bottles would. Plus, the wine lasts a lot longer- how many times have you opened a bottle for just one glass or a recipe (what, you haven’t made my wine ice cubes?), and the rest has gone to waste? Remember: you’re not just wasting the wine (alcohol abuse!) but using more bottles as well. One box = much less packaging than 4 bottles. Though, I’d like to do a little more research on the manufacturing and recycling processes of the various materials, but that’s another story for another day. Probably one when I shouldn’t be packing instead of blogging. Oh, yes. Moving day tomorrow.

Ok. I hope this isn’t starting to sound like an ad. I feel very lucky to have had the chance to attend, and now I’ve got a box of Cabernet ready to christen my new apartment, after the big move. Wish me luck, guys.

Finally, I was realllly tempted to catch a cab after the dinner, because it was freezing, the bus (first of 2 I needed to take) wasn’t coming for 15 minutes, and, dare I say it, I was a little tipsy. Hey, four courses with wine pairings, whaddya expect? Anyway, I toughed it out and waited for the bus. I got lucky that I only had to wait 2 minutes for my second bus, and I got home with a fatter wallet and a lighter carbon footprint. I’ll drink to that!

How do you “green’ your wine? Buy local, buy organic, buy in a box?

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I heart MyFarm

I’ve mentioned before that my sister works for MyFarmSF, an awesome urban farm that installs gardens in people’s backyards, and harvests the produce for their CSA. Unlike other local CSAs, which get a lot of their produce from the Central Valley, MyFarm grows everything within SF, which I find totally amazing! I like to take the credit for my sister finding this job, since I read an article about them in Sunset magazine a year or so ago and let her know about it!

Anyway, she just dropped a big box of extra produce for me, and I’m psyched! Check it out – there’s braising greens, turnips, radishes, squash, potatoes, arugula, baby onions salad greens with edible flowers and a delicious smelling herb for tea. I can’t wait! I was out of town all weekend (for my roommate’s amazing wedding), and like always when I get back from traveling, I am craving vegetables like nothing else!

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This summer has been insanely busy for me, and last weekend marked the last one I had booked! I hope this means you’ll see many more blog updates from me in the near future – I’ve missed it! I also am thinking about a NY/Boston/VT trip, so East Coasters, stay tuned!

I forgot to add – if you’re looking for a CSA, MyFarmSF is always looking for new members! I think they’re a great and really unique organization and encourage you to check them out!

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Neighborhood Fruit

Greetings, friends! I’m off celebrating my friend’s wedding, so I scheduled this post in advance!

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My coworker sent me this awesome article this week about a website called Neighborhood Fruit. Neighborhood Fruit connects people with fruit trees with their neighbors who want to eat said fruit! Talk about eating local! Users are currently able to register their trees and find public trees in their area, and will soon be able to search to find neighbors with available fruit. I’ve already found a few nearby fig trees and cherry plums that I will definitely be checking out!

As the article mentioned, it’s still in beta, but I’ve registered and will definitely be keeping my eye on the site. What a great idea!

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Whole Soy & Co: I’m in Love!

Though I love tofu, I’ve never been a big fan of soy milk. At least not of Silk, or the unsweetened kind from Trader Joe’s. Just not my thing. I’ve tried a few different soy frozen yogurts, and found them to have that same funky taste I think soy milk has. Until I discovered the perfection that is Whole Soy & Co. frozen yogurt.

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I was first drawn in by their Chocolate Hazelnut flavor, and OMG, this stuff is good. It has an absolutely amazing flavor and only 120 calories and 2.5 grams of fat per serving. I have a container of their Swiss Dark Chocolate at home right now, taunting me as I try to cut a little bit back on sugar this week. We’ll see how that goes. 😉 I had some the other night and it seriously was better than some full-fat ice creams I’ve had. A few weeks ago, I had some of the Mocha Fudge, and later that night, I was literally so happy that I wasn’t sure if I could sleep. I don’t know if it was the caffeine or what, but seriously, I was giddy. I had a small scoop in my coffee the next morning (hey, people put cream and sugar in their coffee, right?) and I was totally in love with life that day, too. I don’t know if I can account it all to the frozen yogurt, but I think I will so I can eat it more often. 🙂 They have a few other delicious-sounding flavors – Vanilla Bean, Crème Caramel and Black Cherry – and their products are certified vegan, Kosher and dairy-, casein- and gluten-free. I have yet to try their soy yogurts, but I definitely plan to in the near future, especially after learning more about the company.

Whole Soy & Co. is locally based here in SF, but that’s not the only that makes them pretty green. Check out their Sustainability Statement for some amazing facts about what they’re doing!

Some highlights:
* They are independently-owned
* Their products are certified organic
* They source their fruit locally
* They pay livable wages
* They encourage their employees to take public transit (and almost all of them do!)
* They give back to the community
* They source their sugar and cocoa from socially and economically responsible cooperatives
* They participate in a CSA
*They got rid of their plastic lids to keep them out of the waste stream, but will send you one if you want to reuse your yogurt cup (which I recommend you do!)

There are too many wonderful things to list here, so please take a look at their website, and definitely try their products if you see them in stores!

A socially and environmentally responsible company that makes an outstanding product? I’m in love!

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Weekend Highlights: Refillable containers, recycled napkins and a diry little secret!

I had a great weekend – the sun was out every day, which was awesome for reducing my carbon footprint. I walked everywhere!

Some highlights:

*Indian food with my girls, and free champagne at a friend’s favorite bar – the bartenders love her there! I had to get a shot of the recycled napkins used as coasters. I kind of think coasters are pointless and wasteful, but this one’s better than others!

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Clearly, I need a refill!

*Walked 2.5 miles to have dinner with my friend, then we walked a mile to another bar, a mile to another bar after that, and another 1/3 a mile home! Had 1.5 beers, and approximately 10 glasses of water, hold the straw. The bartender accidentally gave me a straw anyway, out of habit. When we teased him about it, he made sure to point out that they compost. Sweet!

*Scored three really cute new shirts at a thrift store, and one adorable pair of lightly worn metallic wedges (used to kind of weird me out, but honestly I think it’s no different than borrowing shoes from a friend). But they broke like a half an hour into wearing them! Taking them to the shoe repair store this week so I can get them fixed. Keeping & fixing what you have – way more eco-friendly than buying something new to replace it!

*As promised, I brought my hummus container back to the store to have it refilled. I ran it through the dishwasher and it was as good as new! If you have to get plastic, don’t throw it out: Reuse! Here’s the really nice guy who works there handing me over my hummus. He told me not to put the picture up, but I told him it was too late. 😀 He mentioned they use Styrofoam and was wondering if there was any way to reuse it. I told him I try not to get it, but he said it’s the only option they use right now. I am going to see if I can talk him into compostable cartons in the future, and he said it was totally ok if I brought my own tupperware for hummus and take-out. Yay, Apollo Market! Remember – you can always ask if you can bring your own containers – it saves packaging and saves the store money, too!

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* Breakfast at my favorite spot in the City, Zazie. I walked there, too! Since it’s Passover, I couldn’t get my favorite thing ever – gingerbread pancakes with roasted pear and lemon curd – so I bought the lemon curd to bring home. It unfortunately came in a little plastic container (the same kind the hummus came in), but I will definitely reuse it! I had the lemon curd later with some vanilla bean Wallaby yogurt. So good! And my omelette with white cheddar, avocado and chicken-apple sausage was pretty darn good, too.

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No, that’s not a giant egg! Yogurt + lemon curd = amazing!

And now… my dirty little secret. Yes, this goes against pretty much everything I believe in: it’s packaged, it’s artificial, it’s a color not found in nature. Yup, I’m talking about Peeps. It brings to mind one of my favorite quotes – Everything in moderation, including moderation. Here you see them peeking out from my junk drawer. They’re sitting there getting stale as we speak – the best way to eat them!

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Oh Peeps, you delicious, artificial sugar bomb!

All in all, a pretty great weekend! What did you do?

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