Tag Archives: costa rica

The Greennii Blog Updated for Tday-1: Green Your Thanksgiving, Now With Organic Stuffing To Go With The Organic Seven Layer Salad and Organic Pumpkin Pie Recipes

napa at sunset by Nick Dor

Photo by Nick Dor, http://www.ndphoto.com

Oh boy, oh boy! Did I mention in yesterday’s blog that I was excited? While my heart gets little pangs almost hourly at Thanksgivings past in Costa Rica with some of my most favorite people and ones whom I love most in this world, I am grateful to be where I am at this moment and am at times breathless with the beauty that is fall in the Bay Area.

So with one Barbarosa Ranchers turkey thawing in my fridge (it’s for a friend’s family) and the other turkey awaiting its brining party tonight, I am all aflutter with preparations for the big Thanksgiving feast, which mostly includes me getting my recipes in order and passing them on to you!

Laurie’s Stuffing (with real homemade breadcrumbs, of course!)

What:
12oz stale bread crumbs (the bread should be made at least two days prior)
1 C melted organic butter
1 1/2 C chopped celery
1 C chopped onion
1 3/4 C homemade organic chicken stock
1 pound organic, free range sausages of your choice (chicken, lamb, pork
1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 teaspoons ground sage
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

How:
Cook sausage in a separate pan, set aside to cool. Set aside 1/4 cup of broth. Combine bread crumbs with butter and spices. Stir stock in gradually. Crumble sausage and add to mixture. Spoon into 2 1/2 or 3-quart greased casserole dish. Use reserved broth to pour over stuffing to avoid drying while baking. Bake covered 30 minutes at 350 degrees F. Remove cover and bake 5 to 10 minutes longer for a crisper top. Makes 12 (1/2 cup) servings.

Miss Carrie’s Seven Layer Salad

(This is the dish at Thanksgiving that makes you feel like at least your sort of eating something healthy and not totally laden with calories. It lies.)

What:
1 head organic butter lettuce (or other type)
1 large organic red onion, finely chopped
2 C organic canned, frozen but thawed or fresh green peas (fresh is my first choice, but hard to find locally produced this time of year)
1/2 C organic or homemade mayonnaise
1/2 C organic sour cream (can substitute plain organic yogurt)
1 C shredded organic cheddar cheese
12oz. organic, free range, grass fed, loved it’s whole life bacon, cooked and crumbled

How:
Choose a pretty, clear glass salad bowl or cake pan – you’ll want to see the layers. Mix the mayo and the sour cream together. Set aside. Layer in the different ingredients in the order listed, with the lettuce on the bottom. You may not need the whole 12oz of bacon, it depends on the size of your serving dish. Serves 8-10.

Photo from Suzanne Enoch's post on http://www.thegoddessblogs.com

Organic Pumpkin Pie (from a pumpkin no less!)
2 cups of pumpkin pulp purée from a sugar or other pumpkin*
1 1/2 cup organic heavy cream or same amount of hemp milk (my choice by far and I drink milk)
1/2 cup packed organic dark brown or raw cane sugar
1/3 cup organic white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 organic, free range, cageless eggs plus the yolk of a third egg
2 teaspoons of cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamon
1 good crust (see recipe below)

* To make pumpkin purée from a sugar pumpkin: start with a small-medium (about 2 pounds) sugar or other pumpkin, cut out the stem and scrape out the insides, discard (save the seed and see our roasted pumpkin seed recipe). Cut into sections and steam in a saucepan, with a couple inches of water at the bottom, until soft. Scoop out the pulp from the skin. Or you can bake whole or halved in a 350°F oven until fork-tender. Optional – put pulp through a food mill or chinois to make extra smooth. NOTE: I am a lazy cook and I don’t bother with making extra smooth pulp. But, I do bother with real pumpkin. Start it first and it will be done by the time you assemble the rest of the ingredients and it is worth it!

Preheat oven to 425°F. Mix sugars, salt, and spices in a large bowl. Beat the eggs and add to the bowl. Stir in the pumpkin purée. Stir in cream/hemp milk. Whisk all together until well incorporated. Pour into pie shell and bake at 425°F for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes reduce the temperature to 350°F. Bake 40-50 minutes, or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for 2 hours.

Isophene’s Short Pie Crust

This recipe is from my grandmother who’s middle name was Isophene. I am NOT a pastry baker and I was scared of pie crusts until I was 34 and my mother assured me I could make this crust. I was also living in Costa Rica, pre-made crusts were nowhere to be found and I had 30 coming for Thanksgiving dinner. It turned out to be really easy, fun and is the only pie crust recipe I use!

2 C Flour
½ tsp. Salt
¼ tsp. Baking Powder
½ C Salad Oil (this is how my grandma wrote it – I use soy, corn or safflower oil, but not olive – it’s flavor is too strong)
¼ C Water

You’ll need a 9” pie tin and you’ll use this as your mixing bowl. Put your dry ingredients in the pie tin and mix well with your hands. Add wet ingredients and mix with your hands – remember back to your mud-pie days. This crust will not look super even, white-ish spots are fine. You want it blended, that’s all. As my mother wrote in giving me the recipe, “This falls apart easily. Don’t worry. It also smuches back together easily.” Once it’s mixed, start smuching it out towards the edges of the pie tin. Leave a little extra at the lip of the tin and using a pinching method make the little scalloped edges. Wa-la!

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The Greennii Blog Greens Your Thanksgiving With a Local Food Finder and Organic Sweet Potato Pone

Thanksgiving in Costa RicaOh boy! Thanksgiving is just down the road and I’m so excited! In years gone by, we’ve usually been on a boat in the Pacific on Thanksgiving – one of the things you just have to put up with when living in Costa Rica!

But this year, for the first time in a decade, my husband and I are back in the US, not in Costa Rica, and I have to say, it feels a whole lot more like Thanksgiving when it’s 45 degrees out and the streets are wet from the weekend’s storm and the trees are all cinnamon, orange, mustard, salmon, plum, olive, peach and cherry colored.

But enough about me and my tday dreaming. Today is all about you and what you need to make your Thanksgiving healthy, local and green! Local Dirt is a great resource for seeking out local producers of all manner of food from meat from Ferndale Farms to organic produce and flowers from Rodoni Farms (okay, they’re not food, but they sure are pretty on the Holiday table), to herbs and soap from Cow Track Ranch. (Okay, okay, but ya gotta wash too, right?)

If none of these places has what you need, you can always hop on over to Whole Foods, who try to buy locally and certainly have a good selection of organic, free range products.

And not to leave you without a recipe three days before Turkey Day, here’s a great one for Sweet Potato Pone (or pudding or casserole or souffle – depending on how fancy you want to sound). This recipe is a family recipe and in looking up the definition of pone I found two other great sounding recipes that include more spices, different sugars including molasses, and different types of milk.

sweet potatoes

Photo from epicurious.com by Lara Ferroni

Sweet Potato Pone (updated to be organic and free range!)

What:
2 organic, free range eggs
1 C organic sugar
2 C grated organic sweet potato
1/2 tsp. organic nutmeg
1 C organic hemp milk (the original calls for condensed milk, but I am unable to find it organically, and the hemp’s texture and flavor I believe to be better – it lets the spices and other flavors in the dish show through.)

1/4 C organic butter (You can also make your own butter from organic heavy or whipping cream with this easy recipe from kiss my spatula. Yum!)

How:
Beat eggs and sugar until light and creamy. Add all else. Pour into buttered pan (9″ cake pan or pie pan will do) Bake 45 minutes at 350 degrees. When brown on top, stir and brown again. Serves Six.

-Jocelyn Broyles

Getting There

I’m going to go look at a new-to-me car after work today, in the hopes that it will be pretty enough, new-ish enough and run well enough that I can buy it, love it, keep it and convert it to compressed natural gas.

Having lived in Costa Rica for the better part of the last decade, I am thrilled with the vast amounts of road, the smooth pavement, the wide lanes – for that matter, the multiple lanes – in both directions. I am currently driving a Honda Accord, which is a great little car, but I want to take full (and non-guilty) advantage of the resources and tarmac available to me here in what we used to affectionately (and rather wistfully) call The Land of Plenty.

That title held a bit of awe, a bit of yearning and a bit of sadness. On our return trips to the US, we would inevitably be drawn to stores: great, vast, housings of any and all and everything you could ever want, at any hour of the day. But the excess led us to be a little sad and a little homesick for our local market that rarely had two of the same product and certainly didn’t hold regular, much less late, hours.

So, upon my move back to the states, I decided that while I would revel (just a little) in the abundance and wealth that is the US free market, I also decided that I would bound my excess with some standards of where my products were made, how they were made, what they were made out of and how those companies making all this stuff ran their operations.

It was handy, that at the same time, I landed this fantastic job and now spend all my days (and nights, and weekends) finding products that I would personally use and telling you all about them. I am making my way towards being more green and living my life more sustainably, one step at a time, getting there by making small decisions (the car in question, a Miata, is about as small as it gets in the automobile category) and helping you get there the same way.

Going green, being sustainable, living a Green lifestyle, it doesn’t have to happen all at once. In my efforts to help us all get there, whether or not that involves a complete overhaul of your vehicle’s fuel intake system, I will be bringing you stories from the green: news, fun projects for you and your kids, fabulous recipes for organic and all-natural face cream, the newest and greenest gadgets, and all manner of ways to get yourself to greener pastures.

All it takes is one step at a time and though I won’t bore you with a blow-by-blow of the gas-to-CNG-Miata project, I will leave you with a few easy tips for greening-up your car:

1. If you live in Sacramento, check out Quick Quack car washes , or if you wash your car at home, do so with a bucket full of water, not a running hose.
2. Simple Green makes a new eco-friendly car-cleaning product, or use just a few drops of any one of the green dish soaps on our website – your car’s paint doesn’t really like soap anyway.
3. Check the tire pressure on your tires once a week – low tires wear faster, and use more fuel.
4. Check out these Green mechanics if you’re near Monterey (and own a Volvo) or near Mountain View
5. Ride your bike or walk, once a week, somewhere you would normally drive.

-Jocelyn Broyles