Ooh, my favorite!


Spring is here dressing
May 20, 2010, 8:38 am
Filed under: Farmer's Market, Food, Recipes

Lately I’ve been attempting to become more aware of what makes me happy. In general I can always say a nice meal or a nice sale at Barney’s, but in my new life away from work I feel this need to fully know and understand what I want and why. Gone are the days of shopping and regular date nights, which I do mourn in some ways, but honestly I’ve found so much more to love. I feel like I’m at summer camp, able to do with my days as I please: a little field trip to the market today, and maybe a little picnic at Dolores Park tomorrow. Lately I get giddy over the smallest things, and I realize how easy it was to miss these when you’re living a life that’s not truly yours. This was the reason I took the leap away from being stuck, to start carving out the life I wanted for myself.

Last week at the farmer’s market I was elated to find that spring had arrived in the form of English peas, young garlic, and spring onions. My baggu’s filled with my list and the additional spring items, I was practically skipping down the aisle. Before heading home I took a few minutes to shell a few peas and sit in the sun. I made a note: this was happy-ness.

The happy-ness continued over lunch with this quick dressing I threw together. The quickly sauteed garlic and onion was mild, but had a wonderful taste and fragrance, especially with the slightly browned pieces from the pan. With the splash of lemon it was the perfect spring dressing.

Spring onion and young garlic dressing

(enough for 2 entree-sized salads)

– 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

– two spring onions

– two young garlic bulbs and stems

– 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice

– 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped

Heat the olive oil in a heavy-bottomed pan and over medium heat. Finely chop the garlic and spring onions and add to the skillet. Season lightly with salt and pepper and stir frequently so the greens don’t burn, about 2-3 minutes. They should maintain their bright green color, but some pieces will be lightly browned. Remove from the heat and let cool. Add the lemon and fresh parsley and stir together. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.

I served with organic mixed greens, fennel slices, carrots, and freshly shelled peas.

Variation: Spring garlic has a short season, the vendor at the market told be about a month, so after the season I’ll rework this with regular garlic and scallions. Also, next time I think I’ll try adding a sprinkling of red chili pepper just before I pull from the heat.






May 18, 2010, 10:31 am
Filed under: Green, Silly, Smile

This was too good not to share. Topos Graphics and Sarah Riegelmann got together to create this magnet as part of a personal anti-SUV guerilla campaign. Ha! Love it.

[via the always awesome swiss-miss]



New Mix: SlimeBall
May 18, 2010, 9:17 am
Filed under: Mixes, Music

One of my favorite things to do is to go to work with my Lova and people watch from the DJ booth. It’s great fun and there’s always something interesting to see when you have girls in too-tight dresses and alcohol involved. Listening-in on requests from people is also an interesting past time; I won’t go into details in this post, but there is an etiquette to making requests, and most do not follow it.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard a girl come up and ask “Umm, when are you going to play something that’s on the radio?” (This usually during a remix of a popular radio tune.) Song selection aside, this has to be one of the lamest things I’ve ever heard. Sweetie, there’s more to life than what you see on TV and what you hear on the radio. To be fair, I admit that I do love a good cheesy pop song, but to limit yourself only to things that are easily accessible is a crime.

So on that note, if you’re looking for something deeper than radio playlists of the same 20 songs, I present to you the club DJ’s answer back to all of the BS requests for Ke$ha and Miley Cyrus: Bass-heavy club music at its best, this is what dance music is.

Be sure to listen out for Starkillers (#5), Empire of the Sun (#7), Autodidakt (#9), and Lauren Flax – Richie Panic & UFO remix (last track).

Tracklist

1. Ill DJ Chris B & Curtis B – Get Up

2. Ludacris – Ho (FnDannyBoy Remix)

3. Canblaster – Chicken Run

4. Sub Focus – Could This Be Real

5. Starkillers – Cantina

6. Sub Focus – Move Higher feat Culture Shock

7. Empire Of The Sun – Walking On A Dream (Punk Rolla Remix)

8. Sharam Jey & Loulou – Monday Morning (Jamie’s Face Down Remix)

9. Autodidakt – 15 Seconds (GTRONIC Rmx)

10. FakeBlood vs Rye Rye – Banging on Mars

11. Momma’s Boy VS MikiX The Cat – At Night

12. Will Bailey Hot Mouth – Set It Off

13. Klipar – Hard To Get That Yo (Dirty Noise Remix)

14. Steve Aoki ft Zuper Blahq – I’m In The House (LMFAO Remix)

15. B Rich – Make Me Dance (KILLABIT Remix)

16. Hostage – Dubtch

17. The Beat Molesterz – iFreak (Beatmoesterz Remix)

18. Kill The Noise – Roots

19. Ladybox – Cookies (B. Rich & AC Slater Remix)

20. Craze – Drop To The Flo

21. Ludacris – How Low (Birdpeterson Remix)

22. Laruen Flax – You’ve Changed My Mind (Richie Panic and UFO Remix)



Bluebottle Coffee Company
May 18, 2010, 7:06 am
Filed under: Green, Organic, Restaurants, San Francisco, Sweets

I’m not a coffee girl, but oh how I wish I was; just the smell of freshly roasted coffee beans makes me feel warm and cozy, and if I could wear it as a fragrance I totally would. Coming from the land of Starbucks you’d think I’d be a pro, but somehow, my love affair stops there as I just haven’t ever been able to drink a full cup of it.

If there was any place where I could be schooled on the delicacies of a proper cuppa joe it would be at Bluebottle Coffee Company – artisanal microroasters of organic, pesticide-free, shade-grown, coffee beans that are off to you within 48 hours of roasting. I love everything about this place, and I wish I could camp out at the Mint Plaza location everyday. I’m officially on a mission to earn some coffee badges.

One thing that could help me along with my coffee training is the Affogato, a generous scoop of ice cream with a shot of espresso for drowning the ice cream with. (I don’t want to offend true coffee connoisseurs and loyal fans of Bluebottle, but I’ve got to start somewhere.) Oh my gosh, there are no words….

It was really big, so it’s perfect for sharing. I can’t wait to go back for an afternoon date so we can share this and sit by the window for some people-watching. I LOVE people watching, especially when it’s over something this good.

So, even though it may take a bit of time for me to appreciate all of the wonderful drinks they offer at Bluebottle, I’ll be be here every chance I get to pick up a bag as a gift or for an afternoon snack with visitors. This is an amazing company and I love what they do: not only are they experts at their craft, but they’ve truly infused environmentally-conscious practices into every aspect of their business. Check this out:

– All our coffees are certified organic, sustainable, and shade grown. We make occasional exceptions for beautiful shade-grown coffees grown responsibly without pesticides but not yet certified organic.

– We use cellophane-lined bags instead of plastic or polypropylene-lined. Cellophane is made from wood cellulose, so it is 100% biodegradable. Because of the slight porosity, cellophane is not used by roasters who are worried about shelf life, but because our coffee does not sit on store shelves for long periods, we can use this material with no trade-off in quality. Once the metal tie is removed from our bags, they are recyclable or compostable.

– We use food-safe stainless steel bins to mix our blends instead of the plastic bins which are standard in the industry. Your beans literally never touch plastic or aluminum from the time they are packed into burlap sacks at the country of origin to the time they are poured into your grinder.

– We compost coffee bean chaff (a waste product of the roasting process) and pay extra for paper (compostable) half gallon milk jugs, rather than plastic gallon milk jugs.

– All test batches, expired batches, or batches that do not meet our requirements are composted or donated to local food banks

– All inks we use are soy-based. All papers (except for our coffee bags – we’re still looking for cellophane-lined recycled paper bags) have post-consumer recycled content of 50% or greater, and are unbleached. All cleaning products are greenest non-toxic products we can find, and all appliances are the most energy-efficient on the market.

– All customer communications are done over the internet whenever possible.

They’re official!


[Thanks Ed for taking the Affogato pics. Still have stage fright with the camera.]

[Thanks Brian for leading the way.]



Remembering Jim Henson
May 17, 2010, 5:33 pm
Filed under: Simply Amazing, Smile
(c)Bernard Gotfryd

If you do one thing today, it should be this…you MUST check out what some of the writers at GeekDad have pulled together in remembrance of Jim Henson’s passing 20 years ago.

I grew up watching obsessing over Fraggle Rock and Sesame Street, and when I got a bit older I would watch The Muppet Show reruns on Nick at Night. I still get teary-eyed when I think about hearing the news that he had passed away. You know when people ask which five people you’d have over for dinner, alive or dead? It’s always so hard to answer in that moment, but I will always have a spot saved for Jim Henson.

All of the videos from his memorial in 1990 are posted over at GeekDad, but here’s a favorite of mine with Big Bird singing It’s Not Easy Being Green. These are probably some of the most touching and meaningful moments you’ll ever see, so please, please, please check them out.



RARE
May 17, 2010, 5:02 pm
Filed under: Art and Design, Clean, Gift guide, Green, Nature, Simply Amazing

National Geographic and photographer Joel Sartore present RARE: Portraits of America’s Endangered Species, the result of a three year investigation on the nation’s disappearing plants and animals. For over 2o years Sartore’s been photographing for National Geographic, focusing on endangered species and land issues, so this book promises to be amazing!

Have you seen the Planet Earth episode where the polar bear swims endlessly searching for food? I was a wreck at the end, but it reaffirmed why I choose to live as clean as possible. See the list that Joel has compiled below to help each of us make a positive impact. Oh, and by the way, if you’re still using chemicals to treat your lawn you should be slapped! (I’ll end it at that, although I could go on.)

Threatened – Polar Bear

NOW EXTINCT – Bryn, the Columbia Basin pygmy rabbit

Threatened – Bog turtle

Want to know what you can do to help? Here are a few simple, concrete action steps that you can take to help save endangered species.

1. Be an informed citizen. Learn what the environmental issues are in your town, state, nation and even globally.

2. Reduce, reuse, and recycle whatever goods you buy. Try to leave the smallest ecological footprint that you can each day.

3. Drive a more fuel-efficient vehicle. Better yet, take public transportation or ride a bike once in awhile. If everyone did their part, there would be no need for us to drill in the last wild places left on Earth, including the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

4. Don’t use chemicals on your lawn. They end up polluting the soil and water. And think twice before turning your sprinklers on. It’s a waste of water, something that is becoming scarcer every year. You’ll save time, money, and prevent pollution because you won’t have to mow nearly as often. Around the U.S., many citizens have planted native vegetation instead of bluegrass, resulting in a minimal need for water and care.

5. Support groups that are trying to do the right thing such as The Nature Conservancy, Conservation International and the World Wildlife Fund. Locally, the Conservation Alliance of the Great Plains does good work, supporting education and advocacy here in the Heartland. Joel Sartore is a founding member of this group.

6. Vote. We citizens tend to get the government we deserve. We elect politicians to represent our interests. Only when the majority of voters respect and care about nature will we begin to see the political changes needed to start saving the earth.


Threatened – Atlantic loggerhead turtle

Endangered – Hibiscus flower

–  All images via Joel Sartore. Please visit his site to see more beautiful photos!

–  Buy the book here.



Help
May 12, 2010, 10:56 am
Filed under: Photography, Smile

Cute! From Flickr user DoKo.




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