Monday, June 30, 2008
Saturday, June 28, 2008
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Sunday, June 22, 2008
Dig into debate over 'green' utensils
More Los Angeles-area restaurants turn to eco-friendly to-go packaging, but not everyone's up on how to dispose of them.
June 18, 2008
Now that you feel environmentally conscientious for having used a corn fork -- those forks made with corn starch that lately are the darlings of the takeout world -- what will you do with it?Santa Monica passed an ordinance banning all non-recyclable plastic and polystyrene (Styrofoam) at food service establishments in February, and with daily fines topping $250, restaurants have been quick to comply."Our goal is to become zero waste . . . to go back to a 1950s approach of using less, like wrapping a sandwich in paper instead of plastic," explains Josephine Miller, an environmental analyst for the city of Santa Monica's Green Programs Division. "But first we've got to do what it takes to get the Styrofoam and non-recyclable plastic out of the ocean."Acceptable choices include recyclable aluminum and plastic, paper and those compostable vegetable products.But compostable isn't the same as biodegradable. Corn forks must be professionally composted at high temperatures, or they'll end up sharing landfill space with Styrofoam.Some chefs, including Daniel Snukal of , have always preferred paper products "because they just decompose." And they cost a fraction of their shiny new vegetable great-grandchildren.But others aren't as up on their composting lingo. At Bar Pintxo, manager Angel Stork says the restaurant recently switched from aluminum to corn to-go containers "because they were on the city's list, and they sounded better, so we thought they must be." Aluminum, almost 100% recyclable, is also on the list.The problem isn't the product, but the lack of public compost bins. "The city said we could sign up for a food waste program," says Sang Yoon, owner of Father's Office in Santa Monica. "But we don't use to-go containers. Our customers do."Santa Monica doesn't currently have public compost bins. Miller says the city plans to provide green compost bins for all single-family homes "very soon" (some private homes already have them). But getting compost bins to apartment buildings and office parks "is much more complex."At Andiamo in Silver Lake, which isn't affected by the ban but "tries to keep everything compostable," manager Casey Anderson offers to take customers' used corn products and "put them in our composter." So far, no one has brought back their used cornware."You can always boil the stuff until it dissolves," Anderson says. But he calls back to say, "Forget that -- it'll only turn the fork into a twisted-up, weird science experiment."And distinguishing between recyclable plastic items and corn products isn't always easy. The website for Tender Greens in Culver City touts its "strong sense of environmental responsibility." But co-owner David Dressler says he doesn't alert customers that the box housing their tuna niçoise salad can't be recycled. "We're not the end user of the product, so it's not our responsibility."At Father's Office, Yoon is more direct. "We choose not to give people forks at all."--Jenn GarbeeSmall bites* Animal, the new restaurant from Carmelized Productions caterers (and former Food Network hosts) Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo, has opened, with its daily changing menu of seasonal dishes including fried soft-shell crabs with pancetta vinaigrette and more than two dozen wines by the glass. 435 N. Fairfax Ave., (323) 782-9225.* SugarFish, sushi chef Kazunori Nozawa's latest restaurant, opens Monday with "Trust Me" (omakase gone casual) menus that include his blue crab rolls and white shrimp sushi. 4722 1/4 Admiralty Way, Marina del Rey, (310) 306-6300, www.sugarfishsushi.com.
Friday, June 20, 2008
I've been making lots of changes and always looking for ways to challenge myself on being frugal and more self-supporting. Well, I pulled the family into this one... We cut back our cable. My husband works in the tv biz so this is a big deal in our house. We, I confess, had 3 cable boxes. I further confess that I did like to watch Judge Judy on the flip-down kitchen television while I cooked dinner. Well gone are those days, at least for now. We are now down to one box that is shared in operating the living room tv and the one in the master bedroom. Third confession, I just ADORE falling asleep to some Masterpiece Theatre! Step two of the cable cut-back is programing changes. Do we need HBO and Showtime? I know you're thinking, do we need cable at all? Well, we live in the foothills, and 1/2 mile from a mountain and the only way to get reception is by cable or satellite. So now you're thinking, do we need television? The answer is yes because I do need my husband, LOL!
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Sunday, June 15, 2008
Click here to play video
I showed this to my husband and he said that he was discussing the way I run our home with one of his co-workers. It came up because she is a vegan, does she eat organic, does she belong to a CSA, etc. The co-worker wanted to know if I worked, yes part-time. Wow, how does she get all that done, etc. My answer is learn to love what you have to do. The family in the video knows no other way and must love what they do. I took on this attitude when I first married and had kids and realized that if this was what my day-to-day would be like I better learn to love it or else risk turning into one grumpy gal.
Today, we had homemade cinnamon-raisin bread for breakfast. We had something fabulous and homemade for lunch, oh, I remember. We had some great southwest chicken with a potato casserole. I made extra for later in the week and some goes in hubby's lunch tomorrow. Hubs took one of the boys to see the new Narnia movie and I canned some pickled beets while my little guy tried to nap. I started some homemade tomato-basil bread (what do I do with all these tomatoes - problem solved). For dinner we had cold teriyaki chicken, cucumber salad and cherry pie for dessert. I still have lunches to pack for preschool tomorrow, bread to pull out and a bit of counters to wipe. Oh, I just remembered I did tons of laundry too. Now this was fun for me today. I took a break for tea, called my folks, talked to my dad about what to do with all the green beans I had. It was a good day. It's only 6:30 now and I am off duty soon. I gave one kid a bath already, forgot about that. If I didn't like all that I needed to do in a day, I would be in a real pickle! I'm sure I can complain another day but now I have a cute 5 year old who wants to cuddle!
ps I don't like to organize clutter. Ick. I need to learn who to love that next.
Saturday, June 14, 2008
This was gifty number one from the guys, a garden kneeler. My son A says this will help me "to get close to the thing I'm gardening." He's so right. In addition it will cut down on the comments from people driving by the house such as "Nice butt." I obviously need the kneeling pad, okay. I can admit that.
Now ladies, I bet you're as surprised as I was when I found out that there are garden fashion accessories for the lady gardener. The men folk also gave me this garden tote. It has a zipper compartment in the middle, two open compartments on either side of that and these exterior pockets. Now to make this gift even sweeter, well the one they gave me was PINK! You know this means that hubby won't fill it with plumbing tools! I'm so stoked!! I'm going to call this my gardening purse!
This is called a hori hori. This ladies is a knife for you!!!! Whoa! I never knew I wanted a knife until I received this one! This has a million uses in the garden. It digs holes for bulbs, it cuts away stubborn weeds, it's uses just go on! I admit this was my favorite gift.
Of course there was a celebration, I'm not just into the gifts, really but that was where the pictures came in so I started there to keep you reading. Okay, my oldest son wanted me to have a Power Ranger party and I wanted a garden tea party. Since we couldn't agree we simply winged it. My hubby got off work early and we went to eat at a restaurant. This is a rare occurrence in our home. We went out for Mexican and I even drank a margarita! I made it through the whole thing; I was celebrating! Then we came home for cherry pie. I'm not a cake girl, never have been; I adore fruit pie. Anyway that was my birthday. It was great and I'm thoroughly recharged and ready to tackle my chores this Saturday.
Friday, June 13, 2008
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Homegrown Evolution: Dookie in the Tomatoes
I have new composing tools, cool! I have a compost turner. Yes I do move my pile and that is the best way to go but sometimes it just needs a quick turn not a big turn, you know. I also have a pink tote to store my completed compost. Pink is so pretty in the garden and besides, my husband won't take my pink bucket now will he. I know I won't see this bucket being used to wash cars. It's mine, mine, MINE1
Friday, June 6, 2008
I heard about http://www.ebates.com/ at a few other blogs. It is similar to other sites in that you earn rebates for your purchases. The main difference is that this one actually pays you and the deals are pretty good. I did purchase our Entertainment book through the ebates link. It was on sale and I received the rebate. I think I received a check for about $15. It isn't a fortune but it was better than if I purchased directly from the Entertainment website. I saved again recently. I found out about a KB Toy sale from the ebates website. I got great deals on my son's birthday presents, and received free shipping. The rebate was only $2 but overall, I did save quite a bit on his birthday gifts. I used to use UPromise.com to find out about online sales but the rebates were so small. Yes the rebates go into a college fund, I know but they were soooo small it just didn't seem to be worth it. Click on this referral link if you decide to try ebates and I'll get a referral bonus - http://www.ebates.com/referral/0508bonusosu.htm?referrerid=%2FerZ%2FSx32KkJmNKlCXxdyw%3D%3D Right now there is an offer for 8% cash back from shoes.com orders and 10% from Snapfish, not too shabby.
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
For some reason, I had my fill of the cherries and decided I would share "my" cherries with the boys, but had to pit them quickly (didn't want to spend all day on it like when I was shelling peas, arghh) and frugally (I wasn't going to buy a gadget). I confess the truth, I waited until my husband was out with one of the boys so I only had to share them with the other boy, but I did pit them first. Good mommy!
My new pressure canner arrived. I didn't buy the top of the line since I'm a beginner but I did select a monster Presto 23 quart model. To give you an idea of the size of this wonder of wonders, I've asked my 5 year old son and his Bionicle to sit next to it. Wowee! is that baby big (and so is that canner, hee hee)! So far I have successfully canned pickled beets and stonefruit jam. The first Saturday of June I will receive my order of 15 lbs of stonefruit. I'll make jam with that fruit in my new ginormous canner! Clear the kitchen!
Monday, June 2, 2008
It's 5:24pm and I'm finally getting my 3:00pm tea. Ahhh.