Real. Good. Fud.

and other joys in life


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Fascinating Fall: Pumpkin Tea Latte and Kettle Corn

Ahh… the sweet flavor of fall.

Fall is above and beyond, my very favorite season.  I guess it’s the feel of the cool air- a fresh sensation following the dreadful humid heat, the beauty of trees changing colors, the smells, and most importantly- the food. 

As much as I love the fresh produce of summer, I cannot wait to begin seeing pumpkin, butternut squash, and spaghetti squash available!  My favorite seasonings are cinnamon, cocoa, and honey.  I think I was “born this way” (and remember, “God makes no mistakes; I’m on the right track baby…”; sorry- gotta love Gaga!), but I have always loved rich food; dark chocolate; dry, bold red wine; dark, bold coffee; creamy casseroles; and heavy soups.

So naturally, I get giddy when I see orange leaves outside! 

An obsession with rich, heavy foods does not have to mean you can’t be healthy!  I will be sharing all kinds of foods to fit these fancies, and how to keep your health in mind along the way.  Don’t forget that the fundamental principle with living a healthy lifestyle is to keep it real- make it yourself.  So put down that package of hot chocolate loaded with sugar and unknowns, and let’s get into the kitchen!

First in line- the perfect enhancement for my night in last Friday…

 

Pumpkin Tea Latte

adapted from Modern, Christian Woman 

1 tea bag (any kind- I used green) 

1 cup water 

A couple spoonfuls of cooked (or canned) pumpkin 

Honey

 Pumpkin pie spice (or cinnamon, cloves, allspice, nutmeg) 

1 cup milk (I used soymilk)

 

Steep the bag until tea is ready.  Heat the milk, then whisk in other ingredients.  Combine milk mixture with tea.  Feel free to mix it up- add cocoa, vanilla, or whatever else sounds delicious!

 

Have you ever made popcorn on the stove top?  I have always avoided it, thinking I needed that special popcorn popper pan… not true!  I hear you can also do it in the microwave (in a paper sack), but have never tried.  On the stove, just use a heavy bottom pan with a lid.  Add some oil to it (I like sunflower or coconut oil– something that can withstand high heat), and some seasonings.  For my kettle corn, I added salt and brown sugar.  Pour in a couple tablespoons of popcorn.  Note- popcorn explodes way more than you may estimate; so start with a little and add more if you need to!  When it begins to pop, just shake that pan like crazy, so it doesn’t burn.  Once there is a pause between pops, remove from the heat and enjoy (the entire, humongous bowl if you’re like me).

 

What’s your fall favorite?

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Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Any fellow elementary school Earth Club members out there?

Remember that phrase, “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle”?

Note the order of the ‘r’ words.  Perhaps they are in this order for a reason.

In our modern day, being “green” has become quite the fad.  It’s trendy, and lots of people are making lots of money from labeling things as ‘green’, ‘recycled’, ‘recyclable’, etc.  This is a great thing, as everything from compost bins, low and no-VOC ‘non-toxic’ paint, to organic foods is pretty easily attainable.  And I love that most public buildings have recycling bins!

However, sometimes we get so excited about our organic cotton sheets and bottle made from recycled plastic, that we forget the ‘reduce, reuse’ part of the popular saying.

Reduce.

This is first, and quite an important, step in being ‘green’.  If we reduce our consumption, there is no need to continue with the other steps.  Reducing consumption reduces production of new goods; therefore conserving resources as well as reducing the energy of production.  Reducing consumption also reduces waste.  Even the waste that is recyclable requires energy to process it.

So think about your consumption habits.  Do you really need to use paper towels very often?  I always have them on hand for really nasty business, like puppy poop and chicken blood J.  However perhaps reusing (I’m getting ahead of myself here) old rags could do just as good, if not a better job.  Or how about napkins; why not use fabric napkins?  Cloth diapers, buying in bulk to reduce packaging, bringing your own coffee mug to the coffee shop, the list goes on and on.

Reuse.

We obviously cannot reduce our consumption to nothing.  So, the next step is reusing.  Reuse old rags and even clothes to clean.  Shop at a thrift store.  Use old jars to store leftovers or food that you buy in bulk.  Wash that salsa jar and store some rice in it!

Recycle.

I don’t think this one needs explanation.  It’s really easy to do in today’s society; many communities even have curb-side now!

 

Keeping the three ‘r’s in mind are really pretty simple, and become habit with time.  However, these simple steps can have a huge impact on our environment!  So next time you plan to purchase some bottles of water, why not reduce your consumption and reuse a Polar Bottle or Nalgene instead?  Take a few days and note what things you really could do without, take a shorter shower, and make sure to use your recycling bin more than the trash can.  And don’t forget, the less you consume and more you reuse, the more money you’ll save!