Thursday, April 12, 2012

Loss of top soil

Today the Yahoo Ticker featured this amazing photograph of the shoreline in American Memorial Park. These trees once stood as tall beautiful pine trees, today due to the loss of topsoil they are just exposed root stumps. Check out this photo and more at

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

A Happy Green Life Book Club

Seedfolks by Paul Fleischman
Seedfolks by Paul Fleischman
My favorite thing to do is read! If I couldm I would spend all day lounging about reading books. I thought it would be great if could share my favorite hobby of reading with my favorite passion, being green! So we are starting A Happy Green Life Book Club! Each month we will feature a different book that is both happy and green!! This month we are going to start with a little book called Seedfolks by Paul Fleischman.

Seedfolks is an amazing little book about how a community full of people from all walks of life, come together over six lima bean seeds. This family friendly book starts when 9 year old Kim plants her lima bean seeds in a vacant trash filled lot to make a connection with her dead father. Her first neighbor investigates knowing the child is up to no good and is soon filled with regret for her quick judgment and worry for the seeds planted too early. The second neighbor vows to protect the seeds and starts his own garden, the next helps find irrigation, the next pesters the city into cleaning up the lot. 13 different characters are introduced in a series of short vignettes with each character connecting to the next and creating a neighborhood quilt sewn together with different cultures, personalities, and six little seeds.
This book is great for the whole family to sit down and read together. It teaches the importance of acceptance, diversity, community, and of course being green! Check it out at your local library or pick it up on Amazon or at your favorite book store. Let us know how you like it and if you have any suggestions for next month’s read!


Rustic Italian Loaf with Cranberries and Nuts

Water 1 ½ cups
Extra Virgin Olive Oil 2 tablespoons
Sea Salt 2 teaspoons
Granulated sugar 1 teaspoon
Bread Flour 4 cups
Yeast 2 ½ teaspoons

In bread machine add ingredients in order listed above, making a little hole in the top to add the yeast to.  My machine has a setting for French/Italian bread – so that is what I used.  When the machine signaled to take out the paddle, I removed the loaf of bread and rolled it out lightly to add filling.

For filling – I took 1 cup of a cranberry, nuts and seeds mixture and sprinkled in over the inside of the bread.  I added 3 tablespoons of brown sugar – lightly packed over the berries and nuts.  Then I sprinkled 1 tablespoon of cinnamon over that.  Rolled back up and pinched it into a ball shape.  (I know – not a very precise direction – but it worked great!)

Then place back in the bread machine and let it do it’s magic!
The hardest direction is when it says “Bread slices best when allowed to cool” – I am a firm believe that though this may be true – Bread is more delicious when eaten warm out of the machine!  So let it cool a bit and then enjoy!  Delish!
- Kristin

Monday, April 2, 2012

Meatless Monday

I am in love with tonight’s Meatless Monday recipe, and so are my kids! Tonight we are having Smokey Veggie Quesadillas! We are going to pair it with some Mexican rice, some vegetarian refried beans, my hubbys favorite sweet corn tomalito and we are all going to plop down in front of the tv to watch the college ball conclusion!
Smokey Veggie Quesadillas
Ready In: 30 minutes
Yield: 4 servings

juice of 1 lime (around 1/4 cup)
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2-1 teaspoon chipotle puree, chipotle powder, smoked paprika, or regular paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt (or half as much table salt)
1 clove garlic, peeled and pressed through a garlic press
1 medium zucchini, trimmed, and thinly sliced (1/4 inch) lengthwise
1 red bell pepper, ends sliced off, cored and seeded, and cut into wide strips
1 red onion, peeled and sliced 1/4-inch thick
12 corn tortillas or 8 flour tortilla
1/2 pound grated cheddar or Monterey jack cheese
a handful of cilantro leaves, washed and dried
sour cream and salsa for serving


1.     Preheat your grill on high.

2.     Whisk together the lime juice, olive oil, chipotle or paprika, salt, and garlic. Arrange the vegetables in a single layer on a large, rimmed baking sheet, and pour half the dressing over them, turning them to coat the slices evenly.

3.     Turn the grill down to medium-low and roast the veggies, turning them and adjusting the heat as necessary, until they are completely tender, 10-12 minutes. Remove them to a plate, dress with the remainder of the lime juice mixture, and set aside.

4.     Heat a large griddle (or a heavy frying pan) over medium-high heat, and lay half of the tortillas into it (if you're using a pan, you'll need to do this in batches). Divide the cheese over them, top with the remaining tortillas, and cook until the bottoms are golden and crisp. Flip them, and cook until the tortillas are crisp and the cheese is melted.

5.     Open the quesadillas and divide the cilantro and grilled veggies among them, cutting the vegetables as necessary to fit, then quarter the quesadillas and serve with sour cream and salsa.