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Rubus Idaeus (Raspberry Leaves)

Rubus Idaeus (Raspberry Leaves)

I started a juice fast today. Well, today to start the juice fast I am only eating raw fruits and veggies and then tomorrow will begin the all juice fast.  I will get more into it in a later post. This particular post I will focus on one of the many teas I can drink to replace my million cup a day coffee habit. I am not only scared for me, but honestly, I am a little afraid for the world. The first tea I started today with is an organic raspberry leaf, so to make it more interesting I have done some research on said tea.  I can say for sure, it does not taste nasty…or bad for that matter, which is good.  :]

Species Rubus idaeus, family Rosacaea, raspberry is a relative of the rose, famous for vitamin C in the rose hip. Raspberry leaves (and fruit) are rich in citric acid, malic acid, tartaric acid, citrate, malate and tartarate of iron, potassium and calcium, calcium and potassium chloride, sulphate and phosphate, pectin, fragrine (an alkaloid that tones the tissues), a volatile oil, vitamins A, B, C, E, and fructose. The action is astringent, tonic, refrigerant, parturient, hemostatic, anti-septic, anti-abortient, anti-gonorrheal, anti-leucorrheal and anti-malarial.

If you grow your own raspberries or live where they grow wild you should harvest the raspberry leaves in spring or mid-summer for maximum potency. Use them freshly picked, but if drying them for storage, do so away from light. They dry nicely spread thinly on a cotton sheet hung hammock fashion from the ceiling, according to Norma Whitehead.

For a nice cup of tea using bulk herbs, pour one cup boiling water over a teaspoon of dried leaves and let it steep at least 15 minutes. Raspberry leaves are abundant in potassium (441 ppm), calcium (121 ppm) and magnesium (93 ppm), it is also rich in all important trace minerals such as manganese (.52 ppm), zinc (.35 ppm), iron (.04 ppm) and chromium (.02 ppm). Raspberry leaf tea is a gentle, soothing, nourishing drink – morning, noon and night. Most prefer to take Red raspberry leaves in a tea. It can be drank warm or cold depending on what you like. You can also find it in capsule form.

Red raspberry leaves have been used for many years dating back to the ancient Greeks and Romans. It has also been widely used by and Native American women. Some of the illness they used red raspberry leaves to treat included the flu, gum disease, rubella, upset stomach, hangovers, diarrhea, fevers, vomiting, menstrual problems, and inflammation.

It is also said to tone the uterus and provide many vitamins and minerals to the body. They recommend drinking one cup of the red raspberry leaf tea daily during the first and second trimesters of pregnancy and then increase to two or three cups a day during the last three months. Some say not to use in the first trimester if you have a history of miscarriage it is always best to consult your doctor before starting any type of herbs. Red raspberry tea with red clover (one or more cups daily for several months) promotes fertility in men and women, prevents post-partum depression and hypertension, and with blessed thistle, increases breast- milk production. Remember again, it is always best to consult your doctor before starting any type of herbs.

The red raspberry leaves may change the way the body absorbs medications so if you take any other medicines take the red raspberry at least two hours before hand.

Red raspberry leaves have also been used for a mouth rinse to treat sore throats, thrushes in your mouth (a yeast infection) or canker sores and drinking raspberry tea can soothe the pain they cause.

Raspberry tea reduces the blood flow in females who bleed heavily during their menstrual cycle. It also helps relieve cramps. Later in life, during menopause, it can support the adrenal glands as they try to compensate for the reduced functioning of the ovaries. To regulate a menstrual cycle drink two to three cups of the red raspberry leaf tea a day. After two or three months the menstrual cycle should be right on schedule.

Red raspberry leaves can also be used on the skin as an astringent to relieve irritated skin and it is good for people suffering from acne. It also helps the tissue become firmer and tightens the skin’s upper layers.

Red raspberry leaves have also been found to lower blood sugars in people with diabetes. If taken in large does the red raspberry leaves may cause blood sugar levels to drop too low.

When using the red raspberry leaf to treat diarrhea you will need to drink six cups a day. If the diarrhea continues you should call the doctor.

If you want to treat a cold or flu try drinking only red raspberry leaf tea until the symptoms are gone. Then start back on raw fruits and vegetables. It is important to not eat anything else while fasting on the red raspberry leaf tea or the symptoms of the cold or flu will return.

Men whose bodies have cut down on testosterone production can drink it to help aid adrenal gland performance. It can also help with bed-wetting by toning pelvic muscles.

I read somewhere that it is good in a popsicle form, but I have yet to try that.

That is a lot of good stuff.

-Cara

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jeffe-me

That’s right a year ago, on January 10th, 2008, “The Day After An Inconvenient Truth” was formed. When I first started this blog it was to have a voice in the world that differs from mainstream television, radio, satellite, newspapers, etc.  I was inspired by the movie, “An Inconvenient Truth“, drawn into the meaning of an “inconvenient truth”, the fact that you might not want to hear what the problem is and what can be done to solve said problem, but here is the truth and now that you know, what are you going to do about it?

In the beginning, what I primarily wrote about was eco, environmental “inconvenient truths”, following in the footsteps of the film, but as time went by I began to find “inconvenient truths” in other areas as well, be it the issue of gay rights, human rights, animal rights, freedom of speech, freedom of art, whatever is going on in the world that mass media does not cover or covers up, these were the pieces I exceptionally enjoy writing about. Then there are the “recycle stuff” ones, just there for some information of what extra steps you can take to make a better world, the D.I.Y. projects using recycled materials, or just how to make something green and cool for your everyday life.  Throw in a few organic recipes, cool green events, green product reviews, games, petitions, stories of amazing people who inspire me, beautiful photos, and sometimes just a funny video to relax and you have, “The Day After An Inconvenient Truth“.  :]

What I am getting at with all this is to say, “The Day After An Inconvenient Truth” has evolved from when I began to where it is at now. I went from doing blog entries everyday from January, 10th, 2008 to October 13th, 2008, right around when I got an official 9-5 job, to now where I may not blog everyday, but no more than a few days go by without me throwing one out there. I needed to find a balance in my life and for now this works for me. I’d rather have good ones than just have ones. :]

I really like writing this blog, even when I can’t think of what to write about, or when I’d rather be playing PlayStation with Ms. Marine or web 2.0 out on the million social networks. This blog makes me more accountable.  It is something I started and am still doing a year later (see Tony). Listen, for someone with absolutely no attention span to anything (besides computers and all things tech), I am pretty amazed that “TDAAIT” is still going. What is crazier is when I started this blog I was surprised if I got 10 hits a day, to now where I get on average over 300 unique hits a day from all over the world. Though businesses like MSNBC and other corporations that I do not have any respect for, ask me to place their advertisements on my site, I refuse. I was not working a real job when I started this blog and could have used easy money like that. Instead, I was insulted that they would even ask me, so much so I responded that they obviously had not looked at my blog, because if so they would never have asked me! In retrospect, I am sure they would have asked me anyway. In their minds people are just a herd of non-thinking cows who when they see a blinking ad, inevitably they must click on it. That goes against what I am trying to achieve here. I really hate ads everywhere. I am blessed in  many other ways through this blog, so it doesn’t need to monetarily support me as well.

What else have I gotten from writing, “The Day After An Inconvenient Truth”? I have learned about a lot of bad stuff that goes on, and I have learned about good people, things and ideas, living and growing here on this Earth (I liked it when Alice Walker called humans “Earthlings” in this interview.). I maintain hope and an awesome faith that things will only get better if you do good.

Something I keep in the forefront of my mind is, what each of us does affects the other. It is not just the huge things necessarily, even our smallest thoughts affect the world. Also, we can as one person change things; who you touch in turns will touch others. You may not get the gratification of seeing the change you bring to the world directly, but if you do it, you may see the world itself change. I search for happiness and peace, by going inconveniently through its sorrows, untruths, truths, and ugliness. I also keep the faith. Faith is the most important thing, without it you are lost. I guess that is what, “The Day After An Inconvenient Truth” is to me, a way to not lose hope and to maintain my faith during the era that is the beginning of the end.

This year I have learned that humanity is not as bad and hopeless as it seems, so that’s cool.

-Cara

The Last Time I Made Them

The Last Time I Made Them

It been a hot second since I’ve done a recipe and with the Holidays upon us (and today being Thanksgiving), it’s baking time. These Organic Cheesecake Thumbprints are a sweet delicacy. I love them.

What You Need

4 ounces organic cream cheese, make sure it is room temperature

1/2 cup organic sugar

1/4 teaspoon sea salt, plus an additional pinch

2 large, organic, free range egg yolks

1 1/2 teaspoons organic sour cream

1/8 teaspoon pure organic vanilla extract

2 sticks (1 cup) organic unsalted butter at room temperature

2 cups all purpose organic flour (I recommend King Aurthur Flour’s organic all purpose flour)

What To Do

In an electric mixer bowl using the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese on medium speed until it looks light and fluffy, about 3 to 6 minutes, stopping every 30 seconds or so to scrape the sides of the bowl and let the motor rest for a second.

Once light and fluffy add 1/4 cup of sugar and a pinch of sea salt and beat 3 to 5 minutes until smooth.  Add one egg yolk, sour cream, and vanilla; beat until smooth again. Transfer to a small bowl, and refrigerate  for an hour.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, with the oven racks in the upper and lower thirds. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper and set them to the side. In the bowl of the electric mixer use the paddle attachment to beat the butter and remaining 1/4 cup of sugar, on medium speed, till everything is good and mixed, for about 1 to 2 minutes I’d say. Don’t forget to scrape down the sides of the bowl now and again. Add the rest of the sea salt (1/4 teaspoon) and egg yolk; beat till mixed. Put the mixer on low and gradually add the flour, mixing until it is just combined.

Take a level tablespoon of the dough and roll into a ball about 30 times or until you are out of dough, placing each on a prepared baking sheet, about an inch apart.  Use your CLEAN thumb and make an indentation in the center of each ball, this is where the magic gets put into each mini cheesecake.

Bake the thumbprints for 10 minutes, then remove them from the oven. Make another indention, rotate the baking sheets, return to the oven. Bake for about 7 to 9 more minutes or until the edges of the cookies turn golden brown. Once done remove from oven and place on a wire rack until completely cooled.

Take a teaspoon and fill the center of each cookie with about one teaspoon of cream cheese filling, in a hill shape. Put the cookies back in the oven, baking them until the filling is firm, about 7 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Put them in an air tight container, layered between wax or parchment paper in the refrigerator for at least four hours before serving and to store any leftovers.

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

-Cara

This organic mandarin orange almond salad is a simply delicious salad I love to make.

Watch You Need

1 head of organic green or red leaf lettuce or an organic mesclun mix works

1 can (11 ounces) of organic Mandarin orange segments or the equivalent of fresh organic Mandarin orange segments

1 to 2 ounces of organic toasted almond slivers

What To Do

Toss together in a huge bowl with an organic oil (1 cup), vinegar (1/2 cup) and mustard (2 tablespoons) dressing, or an organic Italian is good.

Try it.

-Cara

This organic vegan chocolate cake is good for you and tastes good. Try it, you’ll like it.

What You Need

1/2 a ripe organic banana

1 pkg. (10.5 oz) organic firm lite silken tofu

1/3 cup organic canola, organic olive or organic sesame oil or a mix of all three

1 1/4 cup H2O

2 1/2 teaspoon organic vanilla

2 tablespoons egg replacer (powder) (Reason 1 this recipe is not organic is I have not been able to fine a dry, organic egg replacer anywhere. If anyone knows about it let me know.)

2 1/2 cup organic pastry flour (for a little denser cake use 2 cups organic pastry flour 1/2 cup organic whole wheat flour)

2 cups organic sugar or organic sucanat

1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/4 teaspoon organic baking powder

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1 cup organic cocoa powder (for extra flavor you may add 1/3 cup carob powder)

What You Do

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Oil and flour pan.

Blend tofu and oil in a processor or blender until smooth. Next, add the banana, water, and vanilla.

Combine remaining cake ingredients in a large bowl. Add to tofu mixture and whip for 8 minutes.

Bake for 35 minutes

If you want a fantastical organic pesto recipe here it is.

What You Need

1 cup organic walnut pieces
2 cups organic cilantro leaves, stems removed
1 organic jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
1/2 tsp sea salt, or to taste
1 tbsp Bragg organic raw apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup purified water, or as needed

Here’s What To Do

Grind the walnuts in a food processor until fine. Add the cilantro, pepper, salt, vinegar, and 2 to 3 tablespoons of water and blend. Blend in more water until the pesto is the consistency of a thick sauce. Taste and correct the seasoning, adding more salt if needed. Keep unused pesto refrigerated in a tightly covered container.

It’s good.

-Cara

This faux chicken is so tasty and really simple to make and takes 30 minutes at most to put together.

What You Need

1 10 ounce package frozen organic peas and carrots
1/3 cup organic butter (organic canola oil for a vegan version)
1/3 cup organic flour
1/3 cup chopped organic onion
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 3/4 cup organic vegetable broth
2/3 cup organic milk (organic soy milk for a vegan version)
1 cup cooked favorite organic vegetable, potatoes, green beans or mushrooms
1 1/2 cups organic chicken style seitan

What To Do

Rinse frozen peas and carrots under cold water to separate; drain. Heat butter in 2 quart saucepan over low heat until melted. Stir in flour, onion, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture is bubbly; remove from heat. Stir in broth and milk. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil and stir 1 minute. Stir in vegetables and seitan.

It’s perfect Autumn food and goes great with my organic biscuits. :]

Enjoy.

-Cara

This is a shout out to Marine. She is into brown sugar everything. Don’t over cook them, unless you like crunchy cookies.  This recipe makes fifty 4-inch cookies. If the cookies harden before you have a chance to remove them from the baking sheet, put the sheet back in the oven for a few seconds to soften the dough for easier removal. They are thinner and crisp.

What You Need

  • 1 pound (4 sticks) organic unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for baking sheets
  • 3 cups packed organic light-brown sugar
  • 1 cup organic granulated sugar
  • 4 organic large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons organic pure vanilla extract
  • 3 1/2 cups organic all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons organic baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups organic chocolate chips

What To Do

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line two baking sheets with Silpat baking mats or parchment; set aside. Cream butter until smooth; add sugars, and beat until smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Into a large bowl, sift together dry ingredients. Slowly beat dry ingredients into wet mixture. Fold in chocolate chips.
  2. Drop 2 to 3 tablespoons dough per cookie onto prepared baking sheets; space dough at least 2 inches apart to allow for spreading. Bake until golden, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove cookies from baking sheets, and allow to cool on baking racks.

I want a cookie.

-Cara

From The Persnickety Palate

Photo From The Persnickety Palate

I love pie crust more than pie, so here is my favorite organic pie crust recipe. This recipe makes two 8- to 10-inch crusts.

What You Need

1 cup (about 2 sticks) unsalted organic butter, plus more for pie plate
2 1/2 cups organic all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling out dough
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon organic sugar

What You Have To Do

  1. Cut each stick of butter into eight pieces, and refrigerate until needed.
  2. Place the flour, salt, and sugar in a large mixing bowl, and mix to combine.
  3. Add the chilled butter. Using a pastry blender, incorporate the butter into the flour mixture; the mixture should resemble coarse meal with small pieces of butter, the size of small peas, remaining visible.
  4. Drizzle 2 tablespoons ice water over the flour-butter mixture, and blend. Repeat with an additional 2 tablespoons water. At this point, you may have to add more water: When a handful of dough squeezed together just holds its shape, you’ve added enough; if the dough crumbles, continue incorporating water, 1 tablespoon at a time, checking the consistency after each additional tablespoon.
  5. Turn the dough out onto a clean work surface. Divide into two equal pieces, and place on two separate sheets of plastic wrap. Flatten, and form two disks. Wrap, and refrigerate at least 1 hour.
  6. Lightly dust a clean, dry work surface with flour. Place the chilled dough in the center of the work surface, and dust the dough as well as the rolling pin with flour. Position the rolling pin on the center of the disk, and begin rolling the dough away from you. Give the disk a quarter turn, and roll again. Continue turning and rolling until you have an even 1/8-inch thickness. Turning the dough as you roll will prevent it from sticking to the work surface. A dry pastry brush is handy to remove any excess flour during and after the rolling process.
  7. Lightly butter the pie plate. To minimize stretching when moving the dough, roll it around the pin, lift up, and unroll over the buttered pie plate. Using your fingers, gently pat the dough into place. Trim any excess dough with a paring knife or kitchen shears, leaving a 1-inch overhang; then fold dough under to reinforce the edge.

I love pie crust…

-Cara

Photo from, The Well-Seasone Cook's Blog

Photo From The Well-Seasoned Cook's Blog

It is an alternative to mashed potatoes I like. It reminds me of my abuela and growing up in Miami. :)

What You Need

2 organic plantains (green or yellow), peeled and cut in half
1/2 cup organic milk
5 tbsp. organic butter
sea salt and pepper to taste
6 cups of water

What To Do

Place the plantains in a saucepan with the water and cover. Boil on high for 45 minutes or until soft. Once soft, discard the water and mash with electric mixer or by hand after adding the milk, butter, sea salt and pepper.

Good times and food.

-Cara

These cracker are good. I myself cut them in any shape I want to. You can even use cool mini cookie cutters. I love them with anything.

What You Need

3/4 cup organic, unbleached white floor

1/4 cup organic fresh mango purée

1 tablespoon organic canola oil

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1/8 teaspoon organic coriander powder

What To Do

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a mixing bowl combine all the ingredients together to form a dough. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough 1/16th inch thick and cut into 3 inch squares for the perfect crackers. Prick each cracker 3 times with the tines of a fork to prevent puffing during baking. Bake the crackers on a lightly oiled baking sheet for 5 to 8 minutes or until lightly browned and crisp. Remove crackers from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool.

So good.

-Cara

I came up with this sauce using my brain and perusing other peanut sauces on-line. It’s great on cold organic Lo Mein noodles or whatever else you want a cold peanut butter based sauce on.

What You Need

organic Lo Mein noodles (Roland Organic makes some)

1/2 cup organic peanut butter (crunchy or smooth…I myself like it crunchy style…)

1/2 cup of cold water

2 tablespoons Bragg Liquid Aminos

2 tablespoons organic lime juice

1 clove organic garlic, minced

2 teaspoons organic grated ginger

some salt and pepper to taste

What to Do

If you are making the cold Lo Mein noodles, in a large pot of boiling water, cook the noodles, gently separating the strands with a long fork as they soften, until barely tender (about 2 minutes). Drain and rinse under cold running water to stop the cooking; drain well. Dump into a bowl and toss with 1/2 tablespoon of the sesame oil to prevent sticking, cover, put it in the refrigerator.

Take all the above ingredients (except the noodles!) and put them in a mixer or food processor and mix well. Makes about 1 cup.

Depending on how many noodles you make or how saucy you like your noodles is how much of the organic peanut sauce you should use. I like to then put the sauced noodles in covered glass container or a covered ceramic casserole dish and let them sit around for a few hours or until the next day lunch to soak in the flavor.

Do it how you do and enjoy.

-Cara

This mac and cheese is so good. The way you cook it makes it crusty on top. I switch the cheeses around to experiment.

What You Need

3 tablespoon organic butter

12 oz organic Gruyere cheese, coarsely grated

12 oz organic extra-sharp cheddar cheese, coarsely grated

1 pound organic elbow pasta, boiled in salted water, until just tender, drained and rinsed under cold water

1/8 teaspoon organic cayenne

sea salt

2/3 cup organic whole milk

What to Do

1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Use 1 tablespoon butter to thickly grease a 9 by 13 inch backing dish. Combine the grated cheeses and set aside 2 heaping cups for topping.

2. In a large bowl, mix the pasta, cheeses, cayenne and salt to taste. Place in prepared pan and evenly pour milk over surface. Sprinkle reserved cheese on top, dot with remaining butter and bake, uncovered, 45 minutes. Next raise the oven’s temperature to 400 degrees and bake an additional 15 to 20 minutes, until it looks crusty on top and bottom.

Good summer fun.

-Cara

I am strange in the sense that I don’t like certain foods solely based on their texture. For example, I don’t like the texture of raw bananas, pudding, Tiramisu, warm fruit, and eggplant depending on how it is prepared, pretty much anything with that thick mucus texture grosses me out.

I try foods I don’t like every year just to see if anything has changed. I never liked peanut butter, but now I do, olives as well, and a plethora of other fine foods I will not list here. Raw bananas since birth has been on my, “not going to happen” list. It is a shame as I like the flavor of bananas and they are good for you with their high potassium level! I did discover that I like banana chips, banana bread and I can even handle some smoothies which contain bananas.  This organic banana nut bread recipe happens to be my favorite way to eat bananas. :)

What You Need

2 1/2 cups organic flour, sifted

3 teaspoons organic baking powder

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1 cup organic sugar

3/4 cup organic walnuts

1/3 cup organic butter, softened

1 organic egg

3 small organic ripe bananas, cut up

1/2 cup organic milk

What To Do

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Mix the flour, baking powder and sea salt in a medium bowl.

Put the walnuts in a blender or food processor and chop for 4-10 seconds. Add to the bowl with the flour and such.

Put the sugar, butter, egg, bananas and milk into a blender or food processor for 6-15 seconds. Then pour over the dry ingredients and mix.

Pour batter into a greased loaf pan and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

It is great in the morning, toasted with a cup of coffee.

Enjoy.

-Cara

sbr

This is an easy, but always good to have recipe.

What You Need

1 cup organic sweet brown rice

2 cups water

1 tablespoon organic unsalted butter

sea salt to taste

What You Do

Put all the ingredients into a pot with a tight fitting lid. Bring ingredients to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 50 minutes. Do not remove lid while cooking. Remove from heat and allow to stay covered for 10 minutes. Fluff with fork.

And it’s good for you!

-Cara

French Toast

Organic pain perdu is a simple to make, tasty Saturday morning treat. It is great for our household as we always seem to have stale baguettes laying around waiting to be turned into a fantastical brunch. :)

What You Need

2 organic eggs, well beaten

1 cup organic milk

1 tablespoon organic sugar

pinch of sea salt

1/4 teaspoon organic vanilla

1/2 teaspoon organic cinnamon with 2 teaspoons organic sugar

2 tablespoons organic butter

2 tablespoons organic olive oil

a stale organic baguette or 6 slices organic white bread (toasted)

What To Do

In a bowl, combine milk, beaten eggs, sugar and vanilla. Mix well. For the stale baguette soak for a few minutes. For the toasted white bread, soak for a second just before frying. Melt butter in a heavy skillet, add oil, and fry bread, as many slices fits at one time, on each side till brown. Mix the cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl and sprinkle over toast while cooking. I do both sides of the bread, but you can do one side, or even wait till they are done cooking and sprinkle the bread on the plate to be served.

Soooo good.

-Cara

mojito

It’s summer, which means it’s Mojitos on the beach time. This recipe is the bomb!

What You Need

2 teaspoons of organic powdered sugar
2 ounces of organic lime juice
4 organic mint leaves
1 sprig of organic mint
2 ounces of organic white Rum
2 ounces of club soda [This is why the recipe is almost organic. I found that there is no such thing as organic club soda. If you can prove me wrong, do it!]

What You Need To Do

Place the mint leaves into a long “collins” glass, if you have one, if not a tumbler works just as well.

tumbler

Next pour the the juice from the limes over it, add the powdered sugar, then gently smash the mint into the lime juice and sugar with a muddler (you can also use the back of a spoon if one isn’t available). Add ice (preferably crushed), then add the rum and stir. Top it off with the club soda and garnish with a mint sprig.

Live it.

-Cara

This gravy is sooo good. You can use it on anything, from fake chicken (frickin as I like to call it), to tofurkey,  to any type of sandwich and beyond.

What You Need

1/2 cup organic olive oil

1/3 cup chopped organic white onion

5 cloves of organic garlic, minced

1/2 organic all-purpose flour

4 teaspoons organic nutritional yeast

4 tablespoons organic tamari or braggs liquid aminos

2 cups organic vegetable stock

1/2 teaspoon organic dried sage

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

What You Need To Do

1. Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Saute onion and garlic until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.

2. Stir in flour, nutritional yeast and tamari to form a smooth paste.

3. Gradually whisk in the broth.

4. Season with sage, salt and pepper.

5. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, stirring constantly for 8-10 minutes or until thickened.

Live it!

-Cara

Yummy

My favorite meal of the day is breakfast. It gets my brain and day going. These organic blueberry ricotta pancakes have it all, antioxidants, protein and carbs! :) Not only that, but they are very tasty.

What You Need

1/2 cup all-purpose organic flour
2 teaspoons organic baking powder
1/2 teaspoon organic sea salt
1 cup organic ricotta cheese
4 organic egg yolks
3 tablespoons organic sugar
1/4 cup organic milk
1-1/2 cups fresh or frozen organic blueberries
4 organic egg whites

What You Need To Do

1. In a mixing bowl combine flour, baking powder, and salt. In another mixing bowl beat together ricotta cheese, egg yolks, and sugar until well combined. Add to flour mixture; stir until smooth. Stir in milk. Fold in blueberries.

2. In a small mixing bowl beat the egg whites with an electric mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form (tips stand straight). Gently fold the beaten egg whites into batter, leaving a few puffs of egg white. Do not over beat.

3. Heat a lightly greased griddle or heavy skillet over medium heat until a few drops of water dance across the surface. For each pancake, pour about 1/4 cup batter onto the hot griddle. Spread batter into a circle about 4 inches in diameter.

4. Cook over medium heat until pancakes are golden brown, turning to cook the second sides when pancake surfaces are bubbly and edges are slightly dry (about 1 to 2 minutes per side). Serve immediately or keep warm in a loosely covered oven safe dish in a 300 degree F oven. Makes 16 pancakes.

Eat well.

-Cara

LuLa

The big Memorial Day weekend is finally here. That means summer is just around the corner (June 20th). Nothing goes better in the summer than guacamole, some chips and a fantastical margarita. Enjoying it on the beach would be nice as well.

This guacamole is no everyday type of guacamole, it is an awesome guacamole. The flavor combination is super fresh. I have yet to make any since last year and am drooling just thinking about it.

What You Need

2 tablespoons julienned organic sun-dried tomatoes

1 ripe organic avocado

1/4 cup finely diced organic ripe papaya

2 tablespoons organic lemon juice (from an actual lemon, not a plastic one!)

1 teaspoon organic honey (to make this a vegan recipe you can replace honey with organic rice syrup)

1 clove minced organic garlic

1/2 teaspoon minced organic fresh cilantro

1/8 teaspoon organic sea salt

What You Need To Do

Soak the sun-dried tomatoes in warm water for at least 15 minutes and no more than 20 minutes, then drain and put them off to the side. Peal the avocado, remove the pit, then mash it into a paste. You want to have about 1/2 cup of avocado. Then in a mixing bowl, combine the tomatoes, avocado, papaya, lemon juice, honey, garlic, cilantro and salt and mix well. Cover and refrigerate. You can leave it at the least in the refrigerator for an hour, but I leave it overnight so the flavors really develop. Serve cold and with some plain corn chips and be ready for the best guac ever!

¡Buen provecho!

-Cara


Reason 99 from, 101 Reasons Why I Am Vegetarian:

Agriculture science inexhaustibly works to eke out every last bit of commodity wealth from farmed animals via genetic selection. Wild jungle fowl lay 2 dozen eggs per year; today’s maligned descendants lay an egg nearly every day. Sows in nature give birth to 5 piglets; today’s factory-raised litters yield 12 young. A hundred years ago a steer took 4 to 5 years to grow to market weight; today the process takes only 14 months. Just 50 years ago cows gave 645 gallons of milk per year; on dairies today, cows give over three times this amount.

This recipe my friend Lexi gave to me like a hundred years ago when we were just kids working at Whole Foods. This was before Whole Foods became a publicly traded company [I am a Whole Foods stockholder as when we worked there we were given stock and/or allowed to buy it cheaply. I just want to be honest and above board. ] and sold out. John Mackey, what a joke. I can say this as I experienced it firsthand. I never had such a great job before they went public. It was the best work environment and best people to work with. We all loved our jobs so much that it positively affected how we treated Whole Foods customers. It wasn’t a hassle or annoying, as we were respected and treated so well that we want to excel at our jobs and do what was right for the company. We were paid really well and had amazing benefits. It is the simple theory of treating your employees well and not only will they work hard, but you will make more money and a have a better life yourself. We were a true community and since that time I have never experienced that type of job.

The issue was to get the real big money they decided they needed to go public and it became no longer about us, it was about the stockholders and their happiness. Everyday, things changed more into a factory environment with dress codes, piercing policies, green aprons, whatever the stockholders wanted Mackey gave them. It became a place where if you did not agree with them they would fire you based on untruths. The place is not a good place to work anymore. I guess caring about what you do and how you do it doesn’t pay for a 720-acre ranch in Texas. Sorry, to get all up in it that way. January 1992 was just a sad time in history for all of us that worked there. If you don’t believe me here are some links I found from others like me who worked for this company and saw Whole foods devolve into what it is today.

Whole Foods Fight

Unconscionable Capitalism: How Whole Foods Values Policy Over Employees Well-Being

Good company to work for? (applying, business, change, part-time) [scroll down on this one to see some ex-employees of Whole Foods opinion.]

The Whole Foods Cure For Herpes

That’s enough for now, but if your not convinced do a search and you will find thousands of articles on what it is to work for a company with a nice exterior, but not so clean an interior.

To quote an ex-Whole Foods employee south2nd:

Ugh, stay away from Whole Foods. Before they became a publicly traded company, they were pretty great to work for. It has completely changed. They have eliminated most of the programs that made them different. The associates are not treated well, the pay is low, and the the atmosphere is very clique-ish and cutthroat. I would not recommend it unless you hate yourself.

01-19-2008, 08:57 AM

OK, I really got sidetracked from my recipe…sorry…bringing it back now. This recipe was originally Lexi’s but since then I have changed it a bit, it is now Lexi and Cara’s Special Organic Yam Yams or Sweet Potatoes recipe.

What You Need

as many organic sweet potatoes or yams you want to eat

as much organic unsalted butter you want per potato (I usually put like two tablespoons cut into squares and put along the potato)

as much organic brown sugar as you want per potato (I usually do about two tablespoons or less depending on the size of the potato)

as much organic honey as you like (I usually use a tablespoon)

a tablespoon of organic beer

What To Do

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees

Wash your yams/sweet potatoes

Cut them into quarters

Place them on a sheet big enough to wrap up said yams or potatoes

Add butter, brown sugar, honey, and a bit o’ beer.

Wrap them in their original shape with foil.

Put on a baking pan or may I suggest a dish with some depth as the juices will leak out of the aluminum sometimes and you don’t want to waste any of the good stuff.

Bake at 350 degrees for an hour or until they are nice and soft.

Put them and all the juices in a serving pan and enjoy.

I want some now!

-Cara


Reason 92 from, 101 Reasons Why I Am Vegetarian:

It is estimated that 30 percent of the world’s fish catch is non-target species, or “bycatch.” Fishers–typically in the cruelest most expedient ways–separate out the discards, only to dump them overboard, dead and mutilated. Bycatch from driftnetting is estimated at 85 percent of catch; despite a U.N. moratorium, Italy, France, and Morocco continue the hugely destructive practice. Shrimp fishing alone is responsible for over 27 percent of the world’s bycatch, despite producing less than 2 percent of global seafood.

This recipe is scrumptious. You can make the organic seitan using another recipe of mine posted here.

What You Need

an organic onion

some organic olive oil

2 to 3 cutlets of organic seitan (or a store bought box)

3 tablespoons of organic seitan stock

2 tablespoons organic flour

2-6 organic milk [or organic soy milk for a vegan version]

a handful of organic parsley

What You Need To Do

Chop the onion and brown it in oil.

Cut seitan into bite-sized pieces.

Add to the onions and fry till brown.

While the onion browns, mix 2-3 tablespoons of the seitan stock with 2 tablespoons flour.

Next, stir it in the seitan-onion mixture.

Season it well with organic salt, white pepper, paprika or whatever moves you. Salt and pepper alone is also fine.

Then bring to the boil.

You can change the consistency by adding 2-6 tablespoons of organic milk or soy milk.

Garnish with chopped parsley.

It is great with potatoes, salad and biscuits.

I realize this is more of a Fall/Winter meal, but while there still is a slight chill in the air I thought why not one more time.

Enjoy,

-Cara


Reason 78 from, 101 Reasons Why I Am Vegetarian:
It is estimated that 40 to 50 percent of U.S. dairy cows are infected with mastitis at any one time. The painful udder infection is considered a man-made affliction. Cows get it by improper care, poor milking procedures, overmilking, and malfunctioning milking machines. The genetically engineered growth hormone Bovine Somatotropin (bST), which is widely used to boost milk yields, is plainly linked to mastitis.

These rice cakes are like no other rice cakes. They are like a healthier, tastier, and all around better rice crispy treat. Not only that but they take no real time to make.

What You Need

3/4 cups organic blanched or just thinly sliced, raw almonds work just as well

3/4 cup organic wildflower honey [I prefer organic wildflower honey, but any organic honey will do]

2 tablespoons of organic crunchy almond butter [I prefer crunchy organic almond butter to smooth, but either is fine.]

1 teaspoon pure, organic vanilla extract

Pinch or two of organic sea salt [I understand that salt cannot be “organically grown”, as it is a mineral, not a plant, but it can be “Certified Organic”. To learn more about that you can go here.]

2 cups organic puffed brown rice [I use Nature’s Path Organic Rice Puffs which I think work perfect for this recipe]

What You Need To Do

In a blender, grind the almonds to a medium-coarse texture. In a 2 quart saucepan, bring the honey to a simmer over medium heat, then simmer on low heat for 5 minutes. Add ground almonds, almond butter, vanilla extract, and salt. In a large mixing bowl, add the puffed rice, then pour the syrup mixture on top and mix well. Press mixture in a lightly oiled 8-inch square baking dish. Allow it to set for 2 hours. Cut them into whatever size you want and enjoy!

I already have everything on the counter to make some tonight. Don’t be jealous.

:)

-Cara

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Reason 71 from, 101 Reasons Why I Am Vegetarian:
Today’s turkeys are unable to copulate on their own, thanks to selectively bred, freakishly huge breasts in the “toms.” The industry must use artificial insemination. The job is nearly as dehumanizing for the workers–who must work rapidly for long hours and low wages–as it is deplorable for the tortured breeder birds, who are essentially raped every week for 12 to 16 months until they are sent to slaughter.

These biscuits I have made a million times and never once did they not turn out. In fact, they have turned out delicious every time. You will not be disappointed.

Organic Biscuits

1/2 cup softened organic butter
2 cups all-purpose organic flour
1 tablespoon organic sugar
3 teaspoons organic baking powder
1 teaspoon organic sea salt
3/4 cup organic whole milk with 1 teaspoon vinegar added to it

Heat oven to 450F. Cut butter into flour, sugar, baking powder and salt with pastry blender until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Stir in milk until dough leaves side of bowl, dough will be soft and sticky. Turn dough onto lightly floured surface. Knead lightly 10 times. Roll or pat 1 inch thick. Cut with floured 2 1/2 inch round cutter or a glass turned upside down. Place on ungreased cookie sheet and bake until golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Immediately remove from cookie sheet.

Eat well.

-Cara

————————————————————

Hoof-and-mouth disease is rarely fatal for livestock, but it remains a death sentence just the same. When blisters form on hooves and lips, and growth slows because of fever, economics prescribe execution and incineration. In 2001, Great Britain responded to an outbreak by destroying nearly 6 million mostly healthy cattle, sheep, and pigs at a cost of [U.S.]$9 billion to save its export trade. There were actually only 2,030 known cases of the disease. The rest were exterminated to provide buffers to contain the outbreak.

This is a classic Cuban recipe for sweet plantain bread. It is not only classic, but delicious.

Again this can be an organic recipe if you can find organic plantains…not an easy feet, but possible.

What you need…

1 large ripe organic plantain

1 tablespoon organic butter

2 1/4 cups organic flour

1 teaspoon organic baking powder

1 teaspoon organic baking soda

1/2 teaspoon organic salt

1/2 cup organic butter at room temperature

1cup organic sugar

2 organic eggs

1 teaspoon organic vanilla

1 teaspoon organic lemon juice

organic butter and flour for greasing and dusting pan

What to do…

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Peal and slice the plantain into 1-inch thick diagonal slices.

Melt the butter in a sauté pan over medium heat.

When hot add the plantain slices.

Sauté 2 to 3 minutes on each side, just until soft.

Transfer the plantain to a small mixing bowl and mash it well with a fork, then set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl, cream the 1/2 cup butter with the sugar. Beat in the eggs, then add the plantain, vanilla, and lemon juice. Add the plantain mixture to the dry ingredients and blend.

Grease 2 8X5″ bread pans with butter and lightly dust them with flour.

Pour the batter into the pans and bake approximately 1 hour, until a knife comes out clean when inserted into bread.

Remove from pan and allow to cool slightly on a wire rack before serving.

Serves about 20 people.

Eat with a great cup of coffee for breakfast and you are guaranteed to have a great day.

-Cara

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According to one study, when diabetics eat copious amounts of fiber they are able to control their blood-sugar levels significantly. Fiber, which is found only in plants, helps people to lose weight because of its ability to satiate. According to a European study of 400,000 people, a high-fiber diet can slash the risk for deadly cancers by up to 40 percent.

Scotch B

Summer is coming up, which means for me, it is time to make my Jamaican jerk sauce. Unlike most commercial jerk sauces, this one is not over sweetened and under spicy. This is the real deal. I have yet to make an entirely organic recipe as I have not found organic scotch bonnet peppers anywhere. I e-mailed a few companies today asking if they sold any organic scotch bonnet peppers or seeds. I will let you know what I find out. If you do find the organic peppers you can have an organic version of this Jamaican jerk sauce, which is how I will write it…I am just warning you if I can’t find organic scotch bonnet peppers anywhere in New York City, it might be hard for you as well. :)

Jamaican Jerk Sauce Recipe

Ingredients

  1. 1/2 cup organic ground allspice berries [you can use organic allspice berries, if available, but use enough to give the equivalent of 1/2 cup ground.]
  2. 1/2 cup packed organic brown sugar
  3. 6-8 organic garlic cloves
  4. 4-6 organic scotch bonnet peppers [to control the temperature you can take out some of the seeds for less heat]
  5. 1 tablespoon organic ground thyme or 2 tablespoons of thyme leaves
  6. 2 bunches organic green onions [also known as scallions or spring onions]
  7. 1 teaspoon organic cinnamon
  8. 1/2 teaspoon organic nutmeg
  9. Organic salt and pepper to taste
  10. 2 tablespoon organic tamari [or Bragg Liquid Aminos if you’d like] to moisten

Tools

Food Processor

What to do!

Place the allspice, brown sugar, garlic, scotch bonnet peppers, thyme, scallions, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, pepper, and tamari in a food processor and blend until smooth!

Once you are done put it in the refrigerator to chill. This sauce, if kept in the refrigerator, never goes bad. I usually rub it on my homemade organic seitan and leave it for a few hours to soak in, then cook it in a pan with a bit of oil for a few minutes on both sides till it’s warm enough. Then throw it on a roll will lettuce, mung bean sprouts, raisins [mine soon to be made in solar powered food dehydrator], and carrot shavings. It is the best, filling, and puts some pep in your step!

Scotch Bonnet Peppers are very tasty and one of the hottest peppers [a heat rating between 150,000–325,000 Scoville Units], some say it is the hottest, others say the habañero [a heat rating between 200,000-300,000 Scoville units] is. I say as far as heat I can tell no difference between the two, but I think scotch bonnet peppers are the best.

While doing my research on scotch bonnets I discovered this guy Neil who runs www.thehippyseedcompany.com. He created a YouTube channel dedicated solely to testing the effects of consuming a variety of hot peppers. In his own words, “Hey, ill test all my varieties, put the vids here, People can see my review buy the seeds if want and mabee get a laugh if its a Hot variety..”

His test rules are as follows,
1. Eat a whole chili
2. Chew a minimum of ten seconds
3. Swallow it (if can)
4. Wait sixty seconds
5. Note results

Sounds simple enough, but watching him go through it all is an experience in itself. If anyone has seen a friend in a bet eating a hot pepper or the millions of other YouTube videos where British guys are crying in pain as they eat their peppers, they are in for a surprise with these videos. This guy, he is serious…see for yourself below where he eats a whole scotch bonnet pepper and discusses in real time the effects it is having on him. Sometimes I really like the World Wide Web and what it brings to the table.

There are health benefits to eating scotch bonnet peppers as well. The active ingredient in scotch bonnet peppers [and all chili peppers] is Capsaicin. It has been said to be a miracle drug. I take it to increase my circulation, especially in the winter, in capsule form.

Here are some other ways chili peppers are healing according to SixWise.com,

1. Fight Cancer

A study published in Cancer Research found that capsaicin caused cancer cells to commit suicide. The substance caused almost 80 percent of prostate cancer cells to die in mice, and prostate tumors treated with capsaicin were about one-fifth the size of those in untreated mice.

“Capsaicin inhibits the growth of human prostate cancer cells in petri dishes and mice,” says lead researcher Dr. H. Phillip Koeffler, director of hematology and oncology at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and a professor of medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Further, researchers say capsaicin pills may one day be used to prevent the return of prostate cancer.

2. Provide Pain Relief

A topical form of capsaicin is a recognized treatment for osteoarthritis pain, and may also help alleviate pain from diabetic neuropathy.

Capsaicin is also known to inhibit Substance P, a neuropeptide that is the key transmitter of pain to the brain. Substance P can cause swelling of nerve fibers, which may result in headaches and sinus symptoms. Studies have found that capsaicin both relieves and prevents cluster headaches, migraine headaches and sinus headaches.

3. Prevent Sinusitis and Relieve Congestion

Capsaicin has potent antibacterial properties that fight and prevent chronic sinus infections, or sinusitis. Because it is so hot, it also helps to stimulate secretions that help clear mucus from your nose, thereby relieving nasal congestion. This phytochemical may also help relieve sinus-related allergy symptoms.

4. Fight Inflammation

Capsaicin is a potent anti-inflammatory agent. It works by inhibiting Substance P, which is associated with inflammatory processes. Capsaicin is being looked at as a potential treatment for arthritis, psoriasis and diabetic neuropathy.

5. Soothe Intestinal Diseases

A Duke University study found that capsaicin may lead to a cure for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The substance can also help to kill bacteria such as H. pylori, which can help prevent stomach ulcers.

6. Burn Fat and Lose Weight

Capsaicin is a thermogenic agent, which means it increases metabolic activity. This, in turn, helps to burn calories and fat. Many popular “fat-burning” supplements on the market contain capsaicin, as the substance may significantly increase metabolic activity for over 20 minutes after it’s eaten.

7. Protect Your Heart

Capsaicin may help to protect the heart by reducing cholesterol, triglycerides and platelet aggregation. It may also help the body dissolve fibrin, which is necessary for blood clots to form. Further, cultures around the world that use hot peppers liberally in their meals have significantly lower rates of heart attack and stroke than cultures that do not.

Eat well.

-Cara

——————————-

Fish make vibratory sounds with various “calls” that researchers have identified as communicating alarm and aggravation. They possess fully formed nervous systems as well as complex social behaviors. They are also capable of learning complicated tasks. British researchers discovered in 2003 that fish have the cerebral mechanisms to feel pain. As one animal activist once put it, “Fish are not merely vegetables that can swim.”

pa

Today’s recipe is really easy to make and so very good. I usually make it on a Saturday morning. I have yet to meet someone who did not LOVE it. :)

You’re welcome. :P :)

-Cara

Organic Pineapple Casserole

ingredients
1 stick organic butter, softened
3/4 cup organic sugar
5 pieces organic white bread toasted and crumbled
3 oganic, free-range eggs
large can organic crushed pineapple w/juice
tools
creamer
mixer
what to do
pre-heat oven to 350. cream together butter and sugar. combine eggs with the mixture and beat till fluffy. add bread and pineapple and mix well. bake at 350 for 40 minutes.

——————————-

Beef cattle are best suited to moist climates, such as those in Europe where their ancestors evolved. But ranchers in America’s West continue the destructive tradition of herding their animals on the nation’s most arid land. Grazing destroys ecologically regenerative riparian zones. According to a recent U.N. report, “the livestock sector may well be the leading player in the reduction of biodiversity…as well as one of the leading drivers of land degradation, pollution, climate change, overfishing, sedimentation of coastal areas, and facilitation of invasions by alien species.”

OK, so right now I am more or less self-employed, but I will probably have a job at some point where I’ll be able to bring my lunch with me. This is a good thing as I love cooking and we always seem to have leftovers, so I’ll eat good food and save money!

I do make lunches most days for my significant other, like today what I did was wrap up a slice of this meatless meatloaf I made last night. Which was soooo good. I found the recipe yesterday on-line [I used organic, free-range eggs, not the vegan version, but I will try it that way as well.]. What inspired me to look was I am attempting to eat more green after writing the green calculator entry on Saturday. Which you know…not only does that mean not eating animal products, but you must also buy food from local farmers/distributors. The best I could do yesterday for jelly was to buy the one non-Italian made product, but for the produce I did alright. I realize I should make it a habit, at least once or twice a week, to go to Union Square Farmer’s Market, Greenmarket, and get my cheese, bread, produce, etc., since I am blessed to have one so conveniently located.

Back to the point, when I put together lunch-to-go today, I wrapped the meatloaf and bread in aluminum, put the mayo in a cleaned, recycled, plastic, delivery container and then put the lunch into a plastic bag that I use to put said lunch in everyday. On Global Stewards’ website they give some tips and information on how to pack a waste-free lunch. Let’s see how I did today….

Pack a Waste-Free Lunch

A waste-free lunch means that you have no packaging to throw away when you’re done – nothing other than apple cores, banana and orange peels, peach or cherry pits. The best way to reduce garbage is to not create it. (source: Environmental Forum of Marin)

Five Simple Ways to Pack a Waste-Free Lunch

YES
NO
REUSABLE carrier (cloth bag, lunch box)
NO throw-away bags
REUSABLE containers
NO plastic wrap, foil or Styrofoam
THERMOS for drinks
NO single-use cartons or cans
CLOTH NAPKIN to wash and re-use
NO paper napkins
SILVERWARE to wash and re-use
NO plastic forks and spoons

Lunch Waste Facts

ALUMINUM FOIL More than 20 million Hershey’s kisses are wrapped with 133 square miles of foil every day
ALUMINUM AND TIN CANS In the time it takes you to read this sentence, more than 50,000 12-oz. aluminum cans were made
BANANA AND ORANGE PEELS Food debris in a landfill decompose only 25% in the first 15 years (try composting or vermiculture!)
JUICE BOXES Most inorganic trash retains its weight, volume, and form for at least four decades
PAPER BAGS AND NAPKINS It is estimated that 17 trees are cut down for every ton of non-recycled paper
PLASTIC BOTTLES, FORKS, WRAP U.S. citizens discard 2-1/2 million plastic bottles EVERY HOUR
STYROFOAM U.S. citizens throw away 25 billion Styrofoam cups EVERY YEAR

My big mistake was the aluminum foil! I always think about that. :) Tupperware is the solution. I realize aluminum seems much easier because you can throw it away with no clean-up, but what a waste for a few minutes of manual labor or a few seconds if you own a dishwasher. Plus for me, I just remembered I have a super-fresh lunch box I got as a gift awhile back, now all I need is a job to go to!!!

My Super-Fresh Lunch Box

My Lunch Box

Another tip I read somewhere is when you are ordering delivery make sure to tell them you don’t need any disposable utensils. No one ever uses them really and then they end up either in the garbage or in a drawer for a few months until you finally decide to clean that drawer where you keep all your unwanted plastic utensils…or is that just me?

Waste Free!!!

-Cara

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