Glowing, radiant health is the new black. Our Green Table is serving it up, for the whole body! Healthy recipes and tips, the latest on eco-friendly food and "skin food"products and a head's up on ingredient safety are all woven into family-centered stories and discoveries. Bring informed, aware and empowered looks good on everyone!

Abrazos! xox Penny

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Cool Hand Cuke

You know by now I am not much of a bartender. Although I did win a first place award for my Bloody Mary...that about exhausted my repertoire...(except for my eggnog which gives that milk moustache raison d'etre!) We are having a houseful of sweeties this weekend and I am about to head out to shop. I experiment a lot with our food recipes...such a fun time to cut loose and dig into my stash of "Oh, can't wait to try this!"

Being Thirsty Thursday, here is what I am going to do beverage-wise...stock up on cucumbers. I love a few slices of cucumber in sparkling or flat crisp and refreshing. Cucumbers as a swizzle sick in my Bloody Mary might be fun or in Pimm's Cup, it's guaranteed de-lish. Lots of cool cuke options here to try my hand at!

Hey, if no one else likes 'em...all the more for me. Any leftovers, I am doing this! 

Happy Thursday! Stay cool!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Live Free!

One terrific feature of the Safe Cosmetics Act of 2011 is the focus on giving small ethical, green companies...small manufacturers....a place in the sun. Did any of you happen to catch the ABC news special where the crew went into three rooms in a family's home and removed everything not "Made in America"? It was stunning to see the house and its toys, furniture, appliances, clothing, shampoos, soaps, emptied out. I believe the only thing left in the kitchen was the sink!

Did you also know a stunning fact shared on that special was for every $64 purchase of truly American made goods, 2000 jobs are created?

I hold great hope that this new bill can combine the best of both worlds...made in the U.S. products creating jobs and supporting those who are making great, clean and green goods right here at home and whenever needed, sourcing from fair-trade companies worldwide. Wouldn't that be a radiant circle of life?! Awesome.

I love that the Made in the USA products I use were created because of one person's dream...and that her dream soared above the Big Companies. I read the original bill from 1938...sickening how it morphed to grow those giants in the industry, both in the traditional retail and direct sales markets, and how we fed our skin for years with inferior, chemically-laden, cheaply-sourced goop with a very expensive price tag. Our health.

Times they are a changin' and we all need to raise our voices for this bill to pass. I have a tall stack of documents here...studies, newspaper clippings, stories of people wanting to live free of harmful chemicals.

Let's give it to 'em. Declare our independence and live free and move these documents from "current events" to "ancient history". 

I will continue to have much more on this later...we are working on a grass roots group here...a noisy one! Want to join us? xoxox

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


This is a big shout out and more tomorrow for the Safe Cosmetics Act of 2011, introduced Friday afternoon. I am so grateful to be supporting a company on this blog that is right in line, actually way ahead of the pack, on safety issues and on sourcing clean, green, ethically produced ingredients and like-minded manufacturers. And one that goes beyond the industry "insider" Personal Care Products Council and is instead a full-fledged and fully-compliant member of the Compact for Safe Cosmetics.

A special shout out to the bill’s authors, led by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, and sponsors [Representatives Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA), and Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI)] and The Breast Cancer Fund.

Read the article below from Forbes today...a Red White and Food shout out to "food safety" food included!!

Here is the article... I also post other articles frequently on my Facebook page, too. Check them out here on Facebook.

Become involved, if not for yourself, for them:

A small group of thoughtful people could change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.

                                                                     Margaret Mead

Monday, June 27, 2011

Not so Lonesome Beans

Phew...what a weekend. Not just any weekend...a Lonesome Dove Marathon Weekend. OMG...truly one thing I would take to a desert island. I LOVED that series.

I watched all the episodes except for the conclusion. Couldn't quite bring myself to watch that and so I taped it. Maybe tonight. Such splendid emotion, scenery and acting. I can hardly believe it's been 23 years. Oh my. Gus, Woodrow, Lorie Darlin'...the gang was all there.

For those who are not aficionados, the saloon in dusty Lonesome Dove was the Dry Bean. And, on the trail, most of the meals those cowboys ate up were beans and so I decided, how perfect. Beans for dinner it is. This bean dish is great and real as a cowboy except for the bacon.

Lonesome Dove "Baked Beans"

1 pound dry white beans, like navy, pea or cannellini (see note)
2 whole cloves
1 small onion, halved lengthwise and peeled
2 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon salt, more to taste
1/4 cup ketchup
1/4 cup molasses
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons dry mustard powder
1/4 teaspoon Tabasco sauce, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 slices of "veggie" bacon
Chopped red onion, for garnish

Cover beans with water to top them by 2 inches and refrigerate overnight, or bring to boil in water to cover, cool 1 hour. Drain and rinse beans. Put them in a pot. Stick whole cloves into onion halves and add to pot along with garlic and bay leaf. Cover with enough water to top them by 1 inch. Simmer beans, partly covered, until just tender, about 1 to 2 hours depending upon age and size of beans; do not overcook. Add boiling water if beans look dry during cooking; they should be surrounded by just a little liquid.

Remove onion, cloves, garlic (if desired) and bay leaf from pot. Stir in the salt. (Yes, I always salt at the end!)

In a small bowl, mix together ketchup, molasses, vinegar, mustard powder, Tabasco and pepper. Pour mixture into beans and stir well. Add a slice of bacon to pot and bring everything to a simmer. Let simmer over low heat until beans are thickened, about 30 to 45 minutes. Remove bacon slice, if desired. Season with more salt if needed.

Just before serving, reheat beans, if necessary. Fry remaining bacon in large skillet (watch closely...veggie bacon cooks quickly) and drain on paper-towel-lined plate. Transfer beans to heated gratin dish or baking pan and top with bacon and red onion. Serve hot. Serves 4.

Note: You can substitute three 15-ounce cans of white beans, if desired. Put them, with their liquid, in a pot and simmer with the ketchup, molasses, vinegar, mustard, Tabasco, pepper and bacon as directed in Step 4. Serve as above.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Green Goddess Saves the Day and the Party!

I feel their pain. Yesterday the nontoxic product line I love launched its new website...or tried to. I got a test link to the new site late Wednesday night and wow...what a beauty!! It was up for awhile yesterday morning, then crashed. I am not sure what the issues are...servers, brower compatibility? Goodness knows I have trouble enough just launching one blog post a day. Navigating this technical world can be rough going. "Open the pod bay door, Hal" is right!

And so, I thought it best today to be completely supportive and reboot my post from first blog party/contest with a big prize for the winner. The website may have its new look...or not. Doesn't matter. At the end of the post is this very appropriate dip that I got from The New York, clean and soothing. Green Goddess to the rescue!

And so, from frogs get Internet? Receive daily briefings? Have an agent? Well, someone or something tipped them off and they redefined loud last night. My backyard was roaring all-night-long. Even the air conditioner could not drown out their croaks and bellows. I got very little sleep.

Lucky Kitty

Once awake, I tossed and turned, tossed and turned. Is it morning yet? Is the cat out of the bag (I am on a bit of an animal tangent today!!)

Yes, it is!!!! And it is beautiful! Click here (and actually the new site may not be glitch-free but the party is on!)

And so today, here's what I am going to do. Have a Blog Party!!! Hey, even rhymes with frog!!

Whether in my backyard or yours, "It's a Party Out There" where you can actually go shopping and saving on this beautiful new site! In addition to helping create a safe, green, clean environment for your backyard plants and animals and the people you love that play there, here are 4 great ways to win:

Number 1. Check out the site here and email your list to me: I will enter your order into the party, pay your shipping and give you a $5 voucher towards your next order. Value: around $12 plus, depending on the shipping fees. What are you out of? How about your Summer Essentials...shampoo, conditioner, sunscreen, shower gel, lip balm, the best "itchy skin" spray on the planet?

Number 2. Shop yourself here and although I am unable to pay your shipping, I will give you 2- $5 vouchers towards your next two orders. Value: $10. Please enter in Party #2978 when you check out because...

Here is the best part...Number 3...

From one of you who order, I will draw a name out of my fish bowl and crown "Party Hostess" which means FREEBIES for our hostess. Could be YOU! Value: between $25 and $200 in free products. You must have placed an order to be eligible. You will be able to select these products once I close the party June 29th at midnight and tally up the exact amount of your FREE-BUCKS.

Then, number 4...I will donate a portion of the proceeds of this party to the organization I featured Wednesday! Party with a purpose...Win-win-win and win!!

Be sure to enter party number #2978 when you check out!!! I will get your coupons ready for $5.00 off your next purchases and I think I may brew up some "Zen" or chamomile tea and just slip a little into that pond water! Happy's a beautiful day and night...and will be even better once the techno gremlins cooperate!

And now, here is a green party munchie...

Green Goddess Dip (The New York Times)

1/2 cup packed fresh dill
1/2 cup packed fresh mint
1/2 cup packed fresh parsley
1/3 cup packed fresh basil
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 scallions, white and green parts, sliced
1 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
Pinch kosher salt, more to taste
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
1/4 cup mayonnaise, optional (I use Vegenaise)

Raw chopped vegetables or pita chips, for serving.

Place dill, mint, parsley, basil, garlic, scallions, lemon juice and salt in a food processor and process until finely chopped. With motor running, drizzle in the olive oil until incorporated. Add feta and process until smooth; pulse in yogurt. Taste dip and add more salt, if desired. If you like a creamier, richer dip, add mayonnaise and pulse to combine. Serve dip immediately with vegetables or pita chips or cover and store in refrigerator for up to 3 days. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Water-Loving Action...Party On! were right. The word I should have used in yesterday's post was "trending". Thanks to those of you way more fluent in techno-speak than I am for pointing that out. I was happy this morning to see it had fallen to number 8. Keep on tumbling down, down, down...

Today, I would like to tell you about my backyard. It is alive with sounds...raucous ones. Birds, bees, dogs, kitties, squirrels. There is a small pond in our yard and about 9 brave goldfish. About 5:00, Happy Hour begins out there and the frogs start showing up. There used to be so many that they would hop on down the sidewalk, into the grass and make their way over to the pond.  Party time. Frogs are party animals at heart and can be extremely noisy. At night, they can actually be a little annoying...their sounds are really amplified in the night air. No complaints here though...means we are doing something right.

This frog is from Long House

The reason I am bringing all this up on Women and Wednesdays is because of a post a reader shared with me yesterday...about frogs and how our gummed-up water supply is killing them. Her facebook post was "Just Say "No " to Poisoning our Water". Yes, let's.

How? What can you do? For starters, change your shampoo, conditioner, shower gel and hand soap to the ones I offer here. Everything here is always without petroleum and without harmful chemicals. Our company has won recognition for its efforts to keep both us and the water supply clean and healthy, too!

We use a million, yes 1,000,000 gallons of shampoo and conditioner in the U.S. every day. Most of those formulas contain polluted petroleum-based oils and waxes, plant extracts that are full of herbicides and pesticides, emulsifiers, volumizers, etc. etc. I did a "Detox Your Locks" party for a salon awhile back and printed out the list of the chemicals used in a popular shampoo...72 pages of chemicals. Sadly, I could not turn off the printer. Such a waste. OMG. Where do they go? You guessed it. Most go right back into our water supply and become life-threatening to the wildlife that lives there. Who's lives are threatened next? Ours.

I agree completely with her headline and the link she provided is full of actions on behalf of all wildlife. Yes, let's say "no" to poisoning our water supply. For those ready to commit, I will give you a special discount on our "Save Our Water" me,  and I will put together a water-loving kit for you! Party on, froggy friends!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

For A Happy, Healthy, Safe Summer...

Just when I thought it was safe to take my eyes off the toxic sludge ball for a moment, while I brushed my teeth...I saw this. Number one hit "trending" on Yahoo's search engine this morning...not "summer solstice" which is today, but "Fried Kool-Aid Balls".

Now, being the optimist, I hope people are curious because this is just so incredibly foul and they are checking it out to make sure they know what not to eat this summer. What not to feed their precious children who, The Centers for Disease Control says, are already facing fewer, less healthy summers than they could in part because of all this chemical soup...made cute and colorful, fatty and sweet, so kids will use and eat these products. For sure, you will not find the recipe here. Don't even go there. It belongs in the annals of Red White and Bad. Seriously upsetting.

And so, it gives me great pleasure to give this Red White and Food shout-out this morning. And I want to thank my son, Christian, for sending it to me. Now this is the way for families to increase the number of summers they share...healthier, happier ones, truly ones with more carefree, sunny days together. Thanks, sweetie. xoxox 

Click summer of your life and enjoy. Great job, Aspen! 

Also, please keep the safety of your sweet pets in mind...plenty of water and shade. There was  this article in our paper today. You can bet I will be checking up on this with my vet.

Here's to a happy, healthy Summer for all!

Fave beach

Monday, June 20, 2011

A Different Kind of Card

Yesterday was Father's Day and I thought about my dad a lot. He has been gone over two years now and it dawned on me that, as an adult, I don't remember ever spending an official Father's Day with him. Having lived almost my married life far away from my own family, Father's Day travel got sacked in lieu of visits later in the summer and in the winter. When his and my mom's health started failing and I began the travel schedule I have now, I still don't remember being there, except the year that Christian and Resh got married. His birthday, yes...a couple of times.

Fortunately, my dad was not the Hallmark kind of guy, nowhere near close to it or close to Ozzie Nelson or that oft-pictured "dad in his glory over the barbeque" for that matter. He was distinct, a bit of a loner.  

While not having an official Father's Day to remember, I do have the memories of lots of "father's days" to savor.

The cards I have from those days are his library card, museum tickets, theater stubs, a napkin from Claudio's were we would sail for oysters, my original skis and ski boots that he and I picked out together, the antics (and gross mishandling of memories on my brother's part, by the way) of my pony days with Topper, being rigged up in the trapeze for a fun (but little scary) and very fast sail in the Fireball, a program from Mashsomack and Long House, his dinghy and oars, a cutting from his pencil cactus, the memory of our winter sunset chase, our canoe adventure on the Peconic Estuary, quiet moments on the beach at Bootleggers Alley. 

Not me obviously but that is the trapeze my dad rigged me up in and how I actually looked under sail, minus the wetsuit.

Gardens at twilight at Long House

I am happy that those memories span 365 days and not just one. Made yesterday a lot easier.

Here is one of Dad's favorite cookies...he loved peanut butter and cookies. Thinking of you, Dad xoxoxo Phutsie

Dad's 'Boo Cookies

1 cup unsalted butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
1 cup peanut butter (I use organic)
2 cups flour (I sometimes use whole wheat or a combo)
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 tablespoon milk

Cream butter and sugar. Add peanut butter. Add slightly beaten eggs to the creamed butter-sugar-peanut butter mixture. Next, stir in milk. Blend flour, salt and soda and add to creamed mixture. Lastly, fold in vanilla. Roll into balls; smash with a fork (wouldn't be peanut butter cookies without those fork marks!) and bake 325 for 15-20 minutes. Makes about three dozen.  

Note: Yes, that is a lot of sugar. Sometimes I hold out 1/4 cup of the white sugar and roll the dough balls in it or use to sprinkle on hot cookies. I also like cookies slightly underbaked and so if you do, too, check the first batch at about 12 minutes and see how much longer you want to bake them. Cookies continue cooking after you take them out of the oven.  

Friday, June 17, 2011

Trying not to miss a beat...

At least, at the end of the day, I could have danced in the beautiful moonlight. Probably should have. Or maybe just howled. Yesterday was worrisome. One of my mom's caregivers gave her notice. Because of the logistics of my being so far away, I asked her for at least a month, better two. I got two weeks. Sigh.

Today is a new day and off I go...on to Plan B. All is good. Everything will be fine.

I was thinking about my mom right before I got the call because I had pulled out a recipe of hers to try. She is an "avid" recipe collector...has hundreds of newspaper and magazine clippings in addition to her vast cookbook collection. Our new farmers' market has fabulous eggs...a little on the small side but rich and flavorful as can the ones from our dear Johnnie and Georgie. I wrote about our hen-keeping days in Mexico and Houston about 200-300 posts ago! Such fun. They were sweeties.

I also dearly love beets...any, yellow, orange, striped. This recipe sounds like the perfect flavor combo...eggs-actly what I need! And, thanks to whomever created it...I can't tell where the clipping is from! Happy weekend!

Spring Beet Salad

1 bunch beets, about 8 small ones
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 garlic cloves, cut in half
dash of Worcestershire Sauce
1 large bay leaf, slightly crumbled
fresh black pepper
dash of chili powder, optional
4 hard cooked eggs
spring greens
1 tablespoon capers, drained
fresh dill

Trim beets, rinse well and place in a single layer in a saucepan. Barely cover with water. Add the vinegar, garlic, Worcestershire, bay leaf, pepper and chili powder. Stir well and bring to a boil. reduce heat, cover and simmer about 15 minutes or until fork tender. Drain, reserving liquid.

Place shelled, hard-cooked eggs in reserved warm beet liquid and let steep 20 minutes. Remove eggs and refrigerate until ready to use.

Place spring greens on four plates. Top with beets slices and then egg slices. Garnish with a dollop of yogurt or sour cream (if desired), fresh dill, a few capers.  I think this would be lovely with some chilled white wine, waterview table preferred!!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

A Step in the Right Direction....

Finally...formaldehyde hits the fan.

Last week the FDA took steps to officially add formaldehyde to the list of known carcinogens.  Found everywhere, you may best know it from the frogs in biology class, nail polish, hair straighteners, particle board, most mass-produced sweat shop creations, etc. etc. Europe is rocking and rolling, protecting its people, with a list of 1342 (and growing) banned chemicals. With its "Hot List", Canada is not far behind Europe. Meanwhile, we check in at less than a dozen.

Feeling a little like we here in the U.S. are standing naked in the toxic breeze? 

Well, just say "know" and get to know what it is you are putting in and on your bodies. Everything on Our Green Table's  site has a 0-1 Hazard Score, essentially as non-toxic as you can get.

Take it from me. As much as I know and care about the cleanliness of the food I eat, I was pretty lax, actually pretty locked into what the trademark said, about my personal care. I am learning something new every day...exciting, healthful, helpful stuff and love sharing it. For those of you who may not want my help, DIY and hang out for a day on It will make you sick...shocked at the very least. The EWG (yesterday's post) does an incredible job rating the hazard risks of thousands of brands and chemicals. Don't see your brand there or all that is up there are "old formulas"? Well, that's a big red light. Run. That company is hiding for a reason. 

Really scary is what is being passed off as safe and who that target market is. Yesterday, I stumbled across a line for kids, really cute, brightly colored packaging with smiling multi-cultural chilldren and cuddly animals, tauting itself as being safe, organic, pure, natural, beneficial...all "those" words that can be so freely tossed around on labels and some of the same ones I had "bought into" before. Well, wiser now, I looked that company up. Scores up to 8 which is red-lighted as High Hazard as in RUN!  Bleech... we wouldn't care or find out, right? Like "cute" trumps "health" or hey..."facts".

OMG...we have lots of work to do raising awareness. Please join's going to take a village...a noisy one. I would love to share with you what I me and let's start talking. The get-together's that I do are informational and fun. I go over some of the risks of toxins in personal care products, share some tools that arm you with knowledge and then help you make choices that are safer...better for you and the planet. Parties that are Good, Clean,and Fun! Let's get together and do this!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Workin' it

The Environmental Working Group works it alright. They are the main group that looks at harmful chemicals in our food, water and personal care products. I would even go so far as to say...we cannot live well without their work or stated more positively...we are able to make better, more educated, fact-based decisions about what to eat, drink and slather on our bodies because of them. This Red, White and Food shout out is for them. EWG, WE LOVE YOU!

Click here EWG food news for the newest report on which fruits and veggies top the Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen Lists!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Sidewalk Allure

Yesterday I was walking by the local Williams-Sonoma and delectable smells poured out their open door and filled the sidewalk air. It was "technique class" day and I hadn't signed up for this series of classes because they were all about Carolina and Tennessee barbecue...meat, that is, or so I thought. Being a plant-based eater I didn't think those particular classes would be of much interest.

Duh...what was I thinking?!  Come on...there is always something to learn. Just bypass the meat. Because...what goes deliciously with meat-y barbecue? luscious coleslaw!!!  

Check this recipe out...the sample taste was fab!!!!

Memphis Style Coleslaw (Williams-Sonoma)

1 head green cabbage, tough outer leaves removed (or use red and green cabbage)
2 carrots, grated
1 green bell pepper, diced
1/4 large white onion
2 egg yolks
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1/4 cup cider vinegar
2 cups olive oil (or combo of oils you like)
1 T. celery seeds
1 t. kosher salt
1/8 t. ground white pepper
1/2 cup sugar

Quarter and core cabbage and shred into 1/8 inch thick ribbons. You should have about 10-12 cups. Transfer to a large bowl and add carrots and green pepper.

Grate the onion over a bowl so that the juice and onion fall into a bowl. In another bowl, combine egg yolks, mustard, one half the vinegar and whisk thoroughly. Slowly drizzle in half the oil in a slow, steady stream to emulsify it into the egg mixture. After half the oil has been added, whisk in remaining vinegar and then quickly whisk in remaining oil. Fold in onion juice and grated onion. You can also do this in a food processor.

Fold in the celery seeds, kosher salt, white pepper and sugar and pour the seasoned mayonnaise over the veggies. Toss to coat well and refrigerate for at least 3 hours before serving. Serves 8.

Friday, June 10, 2011


I love hummus and eat it almost every day. On crackers, as a sandwich, as a veggie dip. I like it nice and garlic-y with just a little bit of a kick. One of the many great e-blasts I subscribe to is "Vegan Fusion". I have their cookbook pictured below and love it.

One of the dreamiest things about that e-blast is the announcement about upcoming vegan cooking workshops they have in Hawaii, Belize, Peru, Europe. Oh...can you imagine the view from those kitchen windows?!!! Might be a little hard for me to concentrate.

Room with a view indeed! 

Anyway, here is a delicious sounding hummus recipe from a recent e-blast. I love creamy, calming and protein-packed and I love a good roasted red bell pepper. I am going to fire-roast mine, whip this together and then dig in. Have a great weekend!

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus (Vegan Fusion)

2-3 red bell peppers, roasted (1 cup) or fire roasted/charred would del-ish!
3 cups cooked and drained well garbanzo beans
3/4 cup tahini, roasted (creamy)
1/4 cup lemon juice, fresh squeezed with zest
3 Tbl wheat-free tamari or soy sauce 
1 Tbl olive oil
2 tsp cumin powder, toasted
1 1/2 tsp garlic, minced
3/4 tsp sea salt, or to taste
3/4 tsp black pepper, ground to taste
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp chipotle chile powder, optional
1/2 teaspoon soy sauce, or to taste, optional

Place pepper in food processor with lemon juice, soy sauce, tamari and olive oil and process until well blended. Add garbanzo beans and remaining ingredients and process until smooth. Eat right away or chill. Serve with fresh veggies, toasted pitas chips or my fave Mary's Gone Crackers. Keeps 3-4 days in 'fridge.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Fair and Sunny

For almost every afternoon the past month, my friend and I have sat and chatted over coffee. She rang me up around the end of April and said she'd be in town for a few days. Those days turned into weeks...really long ones for her. Yesterday she left. Put the pedal to the medal and high-tailed it out of here. I will really miss her.

Our conversations centered around her reason for being here and what an emotional and physical roller coaster ride that was but we also covered every other topic imaginable from our deepest beliefs to our dreamiest wishes (conversing in French in France and Kate Middleton's wedding earrings!)

We met couple of years ago over our mutual interest in fair trade and even contemplated working together with a group she was already involved with in Zimbabwe. She is way ahead of me on that issue and now actually owns a fair trade store in Savannah, Go Fish!

Fair-Traded Shea Butter

And so, you can imaging how giddy I was to learn that a new product I recommend on this blog uses a fair-traded ingredient. I was over the moon!!!!

Why is that so important? Because "pretty is as pretty does" and there is a very ugly side to the beauty industry that I don't want to be a part of. Once I began to "know", I began to say "NO!" more.

While defining fair trade needs broader clarity, it amounts to this:  no one is getting hurt or cheated for the benefit of making a product. Nothing comes from a sweat shop. Children are not being abused or worse, "pimped" out for the sake of an procuring an ingredient. Fair-traded purchases enhance life all the way around.

Maya Spaull of Fair Trade USA had this to say, "...buying fair trade, that is changing a life!" 

I am really happy to be a part of that. I mean...really, really happy. I love it that what I recommend has as clean an inside "back story" as it does a finished product coming out of the tube!

The product I am talking specifically about is the new SPF 30 plus sunscreen I posted about last week.  It uses just six incredible ingredients, one of which is Vitamin A and Vitamin E-rich fair-traded organic shea butter. This sunscreen is both ultra-protective, ultra-moisturizing and ultra-safe! To order yours, email me and I will share my specials for Our Green Table readers. You can also click fair and safe sunscreen and go to "Products" to check things out. The sunscreen is under "Body".

I love it that somewhere else around the world, there are faces smiling. Now, that's a fair and sunny day!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Feeding our Children

Many of you have asked about food for little ones. Before I really launch into the post title, I want to give a Red,White and Food shout-out to Richard Scarry. It would have been his 92nd birthday last Sunday. My kiddos grew up with his delightful characters; Lowly Worm, Huckle the Cat and all the gang in colorful Busytown. Such a precious place Busytown was. Here is Google's interpretation to commemorate the day...

When my children were little ones, I was the DIY Mother Extraordinaire...made all their food and even the dog's too. Living far from relatives, they were born just before the brilliant idea of "play groups" took hold, and so we spent many delicious, delightful afternoons together eating those goodies and reading Richard's magical books. Thank you, Richard Scarry, for popping in every afternoon, nourishing my children's imagination and whetting their appetite for more. You fed them well! Happy Birthday! xoxoxo 

Monday, June 6, 2011


I feel sure that what you put out there you get back and so I am not going to put out there how *** I was this weekend. Or what the thermometer read in my car. Instead, I am going to put on my Summer game face (although it is still Spring, right?) and put out thoughts of this...

Jumping for joy!

Now, I feel better and so excited that it is *warm* enough officially to be salad season...all kinds of salads season.

I went to our new farmers market over the weekend and got the prettiest potatoes. Little pink-skinned beauties. Saturday would have been my dad's 88th birthday and he loved new potatoes. I remembered that my mom made a fab potato salad and decided to whip one up myself. 

Here it is. I used green onions and gorgeous eggs from the market, too. The dressing from the Grilled Romaine Salad post on May 23rd made a wonderful marinade and I loved the little burst of lemon that popped through. This is a very simple potato salad...I will post my mom's later. You can doll this up with a number of extra ingredients which I didn't have on hand. Also...I am not a big fan of really mayonnaise-y salads. Feel free to add more to suit your tastes.

Spur of the Moment Chilled Potato Salad

Early in the day, boil 3-5 small red-skinned potatoes until just fork tender. Slice and drizzle with Caesar Dressing. Marinate in 'fridge for at least 6-8 hours or better yet, overnight.

When ready to serve, toss in sliced green onions, about 3-4 and 2 hard-cooked eggs. Toss with a little mayo, if desired, or more dressing. This recipe serves 2-3.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Today is for Rick

On a personal, extended family note, part of May was miserable. Hardly "merry". We mourned the passing of Dadaji. My mom had a surprise and scary fall with me on the phone doing "long-distance calming" til help arrived, my brother had two mini strokes and his daughter, my FB pal Mer, was hospitalized as well. Rick is having a procedure done today. My heart is with him. I wish him more health and less meat. Goodness me. Oh your stuff and do it well.

Rick and "our" doll, my childhood Flamenco Queen

Anyway, I am sharing one of his favorite marinade recipes... continuing on like the trooper I am with the barbecue focus. Rick does a mean 'cue. One big request...spare the animals
and marinate tofu, seitan, tempeh or just plain veggies. Your life and theirs will thank you.

Love you, sweet brother Rick. Heal and heal WELL, your Pen. xoxoxox

Rick's Magic Marinade

Grated peel of 2 lemons
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/8 teaspoon red pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
2/3 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon paprika

Combine all in a glass jar, give a good shake and refrigerate until ready to use. Makes one cup.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Searing memories

Yesterday I was in the grocery store and saw a gal checking out at one of those DIY checkout kiosks. Her back was to me and even with sunglasses on, I winced at the sight of her sunburn. She was literally purple. Brought back a lot of painful memories. She looked kind of like this stock photo...

I was part of the baby oil and iodine generation. But you have red hair you might be thinking...what were you doing out in the sun? Frying myself until I blistered. Trying in vain to get that California Glow the Beach Boys sang about and made all us Northern gals long to have.

I would even sit in a tin foil "house" to reflect even more sunlight on and into my skin. Starting in March, while all my friends went to Florida, I went to my backyard with yards and yards of Reynolds Wrap and cardboard. I also used sun lamps to clear up my face in time for the weekend. Oh, mercy. If I only knew then what I know now. 

Sunscreens were awkward then...heavy and thick, smelly and weird fake flesh colors. No one used them. Now there are tons on the market and if you have been reading all the articles about how harmful some of them they contain ingredients that increase skin cancer risks, can create their own chemical burns and expose little ones (and adults!) to a host of harmful chemicals their little bodies don't need, you are probably really concerned.

Sticking to my promise to you, I have found a sunscreen without harmful chemicals, with an SPF 30 plus, no nano-particles (HUGE safety factor) and made with just 6 lovely ingredients, organic and fair-traded to boot. Interested in having some safe fun in the sun? Let me know and I will get you some. Please, whatever you do...don't leave home without it! Practice safe dermatologist is over-booked!!! xoxo