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Naba

Naba

I am not going repeat what I already wrote here. A quick synopsis, starting August 1st, 2010 I will publish a picture I take that day everyday for a year (well to be exact I will do this everyday until July 31st, 2011). This is the 19th of those photographs. Also, there is a Flickr collection called “The Awesome Leftovers” where I put the daily shots that didn’t make the cut.

Naba and our shadows hanging out on a roof in Brooklyn…shooting the shit.

Here are the extras, Day 19 – On the Roof.

-Cara

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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

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

Yesterday’s blog entry was all about air conditioners. In it I wrote ten tips to fight the heat, number 9 was, “Wear a wide-brimmed, vented hat or use an umbrella because your head absorbs the heat, fast and easy.” This is what will be covered in today’s shopping entry.

This is the women’s Solar Roller Hat. According to Altrec, its SolarShield fabric provides a protection rating of UPF 30+ for bright days on the trail. A broad foam-stiffened brim creates shade, while a Coolmax® mesh headband manages moisture. An external drawcord adjustment and a removable chin cord keep the Solar Roller secure through sunset’s gusts.

I also think it looks cute. :)

Dumb Donald

The Beanie Hat is 100% cotton with two eyeholes in the brim to pull off your Dumb Donald (He was the kid who wore a pink stocking cap with eye holes on Fat Albert, and was prone to poor judgment.) look. The hat is available at youmustcreate.com in both camel and a darker mushroom color for £35…more in American money…I loved Fat Albert growing up.

Fan Head

The Safari Solar Hat’s solar and battery-powered fan keeps you chilled. Cool hat for a hot day, on a safari, picnic, watching a game played outside, at the beach, whatever it may be.

A weatherproof hat of natural linen straw uses a built-in solar cell or 2 “AA” batteries to power a small fan that directs a constant cooling breeze to your forehead. It then works in or out of the sun. May I suggest using rechargeable batteries.

Keep it real.

-Cara

I don’t know where you are from, but it is getting super hot in NYC. Along with the heat of summer comes the seasonal struggle of, do I turn on the air conditioner or don’t I? With me it is not just my decision, but also the decision of my girlfriend Marine, who is what you would call a “delicate flower” when it comes to heat. What I mean by delicate flower is, if she senses heat might be anywhere in the vicinity, it is time to shut all the windows, turn on all the a.c.’s and fans and to cease all movement. Without the air conditioner things get dangerous around here.

What I thought I would do after already experiencing round one of our seasonal fight is write an entry on why a.c. is not cool and some helpful tips besides using a.c. to cool down. Fell free to comment with any additional tips you know.

First it is important to learn how an air conditioner works.

AC

Air conditioning is not about adding cool air to the room, but more about drawing the heat out. The end result is a space without that menacing and sweltering air. Air conditioning is in effect just the result of evaporation. A swab of alcohol rubbed on your skin makes you feel cooler as the liquid evaporates. In reality the alcohol does not lower your body temperature, but rather draws heat away from the air as it turns to a gas.

Air conditioning units contain refrigerant, a chemical which has the unique ability to change from a gas to a liquid in a short amount of time. Air conditioning units form a closed system which consist of a compressor, a condenser, and an expansion valve. Motorized fans within the unit aide in circulating conditioned air, while the thin metal fins on the back of your air conditioner allow heat to dissipate quickly.

Air conditioning starts with the refrigerant entering the compressor. The state of the refrigerant is a cool gas at this stage. Next, the gas enters the compressor’s inner chamber, the compressor squeezes the refrigerant and the gas becomes a very hot liquid under high pressure. This hot liquid goes through a series of condensing coils placed outside of the room being cooled. The heat dissipates into the outside air. Once the refrigerant reaches the end of these coils, it is significantly cooler and in liquid form.

The liquid in a high pressure state, at this juncture the liquid refrigerant is forced through the expansion valve. This valve has an extremely small opening, which forces the liquid refrigerant out of the other end of the expansion valve as a very fine mist. Because refrigerant evaporates at a much lower temperature than water, it begins to evaporate while traveling through another set of coils, which are located in the room being cooled. It is this evaporation action that draws heat out of the air, which includes the air in the room being processed. The air conditioning unit’s fan then blows across the metal fins over these coils, blowing cool air into the room and eliminating heat. Lastly, the liquid refrigerant becomes a cold gas again and re-enters the compressor, where the entire process begins again.

Essentially, air conditioning takes indoor heat and pushes it outdoors. To do this, it uses energy, which increases production of greenhouse gases (a little side note on global warming, check out this article on DeSmog Blog) which warm the atmosphere. From a cooling standpoint, the first transaction is illogical, and the second just proves this. We are cooking the earth to refrigerate the diminishing part that’s still habitable. That’s crazy and that’s why a.c. is not cool

Here are ten tips to fight the heat.

  1. Cover all your windows with curtains and during the day. Then at night open your windows and use fans or cross-ventilation to circulate cooler air.
  2. Drink plenty of cold, non-carbonated liquids like water or electrolyte-enriched liquids to replace your fluids even if you don’t feel thirsty or are like me have a hard time drinking water, because you dislike it. No alcohol, coffee or tea!!! :( I curse you heat!
  3. Light meals, like salads, fruit, cold soup, cheese and bread! Avoid hot, heavy meals and don’t use the oven.
  4. Lay a cool, moistened towel over your forehead or back of the neck and replace often.
  5. Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, natural, breathable, organic when possible, light-colored clothing.
  6. Go hang out in your pool, ocean, lake, rock quarry or for people like me the local public pool!
  7. If you go out in this heat stay in the shade.
  8. Stay in air-conditioned areas such as libraries, bookstores, movie theaters, coffee shops (you can drink water there), pottery classes, theater, lectures, and community centers, etc. Even a few hours can cool your body’s temperature.
  9. Wear a wide-brimmed, vented hat or use an umbrella because your head absorbs the heat, fast and easy.
  10. Limit all that physical activity to morning and evening hours people. Avoid physical activity or exercise between 10AM and 3PM usually the hottest part of the day.

I learned a lot writing this entry. My house which only had 2 curtains up that were never closed, now has five curtains in all the main windows. Two we already had, Marine made two others herself, one we found in an unopened package last week after a neighbor moved out across the hall. We have two more windows that need curtains to be made for and then that’s a wrap.

Keep cool.

-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.

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