Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Eco Friendly Emile Henry's New Risotto Pot

Have you tried Emile Henry cookware yet?  It's eco friendly, made from French Burgundy clay and absolutely no toxic materials.  You dont' have to worry about leaching and it's literally from the earth.  They have recently introduced the new RISOTTO pot and I think it's perfect for all that winter squash you (we) have around the kitchen this time of year.

Look at the gorgeous lines on this pot.  It reminds me of Asian one-pot-meal type cookware, or a Mongolian hot pot.  I've used it this way, it makes a fabulous presentation, and just seems perfect for a rich spicy Asian inspired soup.  The ceramic holds heat, so you can serve from this pot and place it on a trivet to look beautiful on the table where it's handy for second helpings.

Of course it works flawlessly for making risotto, the depth made specifically for all that stirring.  Butternut squash or pumpkin risotto is particularly decadent this time of year, and healthy, and can easily be made vegan.  The little nubs on the inside of the lid help to circulate flavor and promote even cooking and self basting.  Flame top cookware may be used on pretty much any surface, is dishwasher safe and is super easy to clean by hand.   Emile Henry stands behind their product and offers a generous ten year warranty.  Find the Risotto pot HERE. 

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Ibex Pez Long Sweater

Need a sweater that will keep you cozy warm this winter?  Check out the Pez Long Sweater from Ibex.  It's super warm and versatile, functioning as a sweater and as a coat.  That extra length envelops you in soft eco friendly wool that breathes and keeps you comfortable.  I like Ibex for its environmental policy and attention to animal welfare ensuring that their sheep are well cared for and not mulesed.

It's machine washable, so you can play hard in this without worrying about wrecking it, it's durable and made for the active.  Wool is ideal for active people and travelers as it doesn't retain odor and it regulates body temperature.  It looks great with jeans, leggings and boots, and over a dress. With a hat, gloves, and scarf, you can change up the look by adding different colors, and wear it for a coat in moderate cold.   It's nice enough to wear out to dinner, but rugged enough to wear on a camping trip.  Find it HERE.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Organic Crown Maple Syrup for the Holidays

Remember the days when a bottle of liquor was an apt holiday gift?  Times have changed.  People are more interested than ever in being healthy and if you are reading this, chances are you're one of those people and you're friends probably are too.  That doesn't mean a little decadence is not in order from time to time.  What can you give for holiday gifts this year that will knock their socks off and still remain true to their healthy sensibilities?

Check out this elegant bottle of Organic Crown Maple Syrup.   It's handsome and dignified and would be a smashing holiday gift.  If you are staying with relatives over the holidays, this would make a lovely offering, perhaps along with preparing a nice organic blueberry pancake breakfast.   I think the bottle has a masculine presentation making it ideal for the men in your life from fathers to co- workers to sweethearts.  Think hostess gifts, teacher gifts, friends...I can't imagine anyone who wouldn't be thrilled to get this.

Crown Maple Syrup comes from sustainably farmed trees in the Hudson River Valley.  Crown Maple uses a unique reverse osmosis process to craft their syrup making it more pure than other syrups out there.  You can read more about their crafting process here.  When you think of what goes into producing a bottle of maple syrup, it's amazing it's a cheap as it is.  You can also find recipes and purchase this delicious artisan syrup HERE.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving: 3 Reasons to Hold the Turkey

Are you going vegetarian or vegan this Thanksgiving?  A fabulous delicious thanksgiving feast is completely doable without the turkey, I enjoy one every year.  More and more, people are rethinking the need for turkey on the table and switching to vegetarian options.  There are many reasons for this, but the top three are probably the desire to have a cruelty free meal, to be healthier, and to make less impact environmentally.

Ethics:  Every year over 300 million turkeys are killed for Thanksgiving.  This is after they have endured a torturous life in outrageously cruel conditions in factory farms.  They are kept in tiny cages crammed with other birds, they're shot full of antibiotics (which the consumer later ingests), they're beaks and toes are cut off, and on it goes until they are loaded on a conveyor belt, their throats are slit and then they are dipped into boiling water to remove their feathers often while they are still alive.  Not very appetizing.

Health:  Turkey meat is not healthy!  It's high in saturated fat and cholesterol which is implicated in various diseases such as heart disease, cancer, stroke, and diabetes.  During processing, fecal matter routinely spills into the cavities of the birds via eviscerating equipment which leads to Salmonella and Campylobacter.

Environment:  There are over 7000 turkey farms in the US.  Much of the billions of pounds of manure generated by these factory farms ends up in our water supply.  Grain consumed by turkeys could go to the millions of people starving in the world.  As stated by the UN, factory farming is responsible for more co2 emissions than all forms of transport combined.  So globally, it's not a wise use of resources.

And as a final note, I think vegan and vegetarian food is more delicious and would choose it regardless of any other reason.   It's not a sacrifice, and additionally, it's often cheaper and faster, and it's more nutritious.  For more information, check out PETA's guide to Vegan Holidays, there are tabs detailing the points above as well, if you would like more information on that.  Also, a quick google search will yield hundreds of free vegetarian and vegan recipes appropriate for Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Two Vegan Pumpkin Pie Ideas for Your Thanksgiving Menu

Need some ideas for Thanksgiving pies?  A little twist on pumpkin perhaps?  Even if you're not vegan, you might want to consider making these pies for Thanksgiving.  For the last few years, I've been making the vegan cheesecake pie from Fat Free Vegan (it's not fat free, but who cares).  It's so good, I might make it again this year.

But I'm also excited to try the vegan cheesecake recipe from the new Vegan Pie In the Sky cookbook.  Though I'll be making it for the first time next week, I have no reservations recommending this as all other recipes I've tried from these authors have been great.  Check out the blog post on Post Punk Kitchen which shares the recipe and the gorgeous photo at the top of this post.

Monday, November 21, 2011

ISIS Alpenglow Coat: For That In-Between Weather

Too cold for a rain shell but too warm for your heavy winter coat?  Isis has come out with that elusive in-between coat that rea.  If you are looking for that coat to fill the gap between your down coats and those light weight rain slickers, check out the Isis Alpenglow Coat.

This coat is butter soft and does not make that swishy rain coat sound, it feels pretty luxurious on.  A cute bubbly pattern is stitched into the fabric and it has a two way zipper which is handy in the car or any time you're sitting down.  There's a stitched belt panel in the back which creates a slimming feminine line in the back and the side panels and the way the zippers are placed are also quite flattering. Two security pockets, one on the inside and one on the chest are great for tickets, id's and money.

It's machine washable and low maintenance and because it's not bulky, it would be great for travel.  I haven't tried it in really cold weather yet, but it's perfect for 50 degree weather and up.  I'm sure you could go much lower than that.  It's done great in the rain, and though I wish the hood were more rounded and less pointy, but it's functional and works great in a downpour.   It's nice enough that you can wear it with skirts and dresses, and casual enough to look great with jeans.  ISIS is a clothing company focused on active women.  I love that they make quality (read: buy it once) feminine clothes for women who like to get outside, or even more important, to inspire us to get out there.  Check out the versatile Alpenglow coat HERE.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Just in Time for the Holidays: VEGAN PIE IN THE SKY

Vegan cookbook authors Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero are so smart to release their cookbooks at this time of year filling vegan kitchens everywhere with that badly needed holiday inspiration.  Look at the new marvel, VEGAN PIE IN THE SKY, just in time for Thanksgiving!  I'm so excited!

I've been juicing and doing the Natalia Rose thing, thereby avoiding the baked goods.  But on Thanksgiving and Christmas, I'm going to eat whatever I want, and one look inside this book, there are several things I want.  Really WANT.  I have a standard vegan pumpkin pie recipe I use every year, but this year, it's going to be the Pumpkin Cheesecake and the Voluptuous Pumpkin Pie.  And maybe the Sweet Potato Hand much to choose from, my son will be jumping for joy.  There is a gorgeous Frangipane Tart that would be so lovely for Christmas (fill in your own December holiday) and New Years.  Holy Cow, the photos!  Do not look at this book on an empty stomach.  And prepare to salivate.

Because I've been behaving myself, I have not tested a single recipe yet.  But I can vouch for these authors, having all their books and finding their recipes straight forward and reliable.  The layout is ideal, it's very much like Vegan Cupcakes Take over the World (and the subsequent Cookie book--both necessities for the vegan kitchen).  I love their sense of design, their books are pleasing and fun to look at, they always make me laugh, and this latest effort is right on par, you just can't look at this and not be inspired.  I can't wait to taste my first bite of pie.  Get your copy HERE.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Eagle Creek Eco Friendly ORV Trunk Luggage

Traveling this winter?   Whether you are heading out for the holidays or for winter activities, Eagle Creek's ORV is a great pick.  Winter travel is bulkier, you have sweaters, coats, boots and generally more stuff.  This bag can hold it all, and some gear too.

The ORV is part of the Eagle Creek e-series luggage which uses recycled and post consumer materials.  It comes in three sizes, up to a 30 inch tall bag, which is very large.  That means it can hold long gear like snow shows, trekking poles, and the like.  There is a compartment which is separate from the main compartment, so you can put dirty clothes or damp gear in there and still keep the rest of your stuff clean.

The mesh divider in the middle is collapsable if you need the space for large gear, and I like the organizational bonus of the divider.  You can put heavier stuff on the bottom and lighter items in the top section.  Eagle Creek's packing cubes would come in handy for smaller things like socks and underwear.

Two zippered pockets on the front make for quick access to things like tickets, maps, and anything you need to have handy.  The wheels are big and great for more rough terrain like unpaved road and snowy walkways, and the pull handle is comfortable and pops up and back down easily.  There are grab handles all over this bag, making it easy to load and unload in a variety of positions.  Zipper pulls are big chunky loops, the zippers glide smoothly, and external zippers are lockable.   

All four corners of the bag are reinforced to withstand the rigors of bag belts and baggage handlers and other precarious positions a bag made for adventure might wind up in.  Eagle Creek offers a No Matter What Warranty which means they will fix or replace your bag any time anywhere.

This bag comes in different colors and sizes to meet your needs, I think it would be awesome to have a set, or color code for family members.  If you need adventure luggage, be sure to check out the ORV Trunk collection.  Find it HERE.  

Friday, November 4, 2011

THE GREATER GOOD: Free Through Nov. 5

The Greater Good, an award winning documentary film exploring vaccines is available online for free through November 5.  In conjunction with Dr. Mercola's Vaccine Awareness Week from October 20 through November 5, this film will be available as well as numerous articles and videos participating in this crucial discussion taking place this week on

Interviews with Barbara Loe Fisher, president of the National Vaccine Information Center, as well as over a dozen other experts on the subject will be featured.   It's hoped this will open some eyes on the dangers of vaccination and encourage some rational dialogue on this multi-layered topic.     

"THE GREATER GOOD is a character-driven documentary that explores the cultural intersections where parenting meets modern medicine and individual rights collide with politics. The film offers parents, doctors and policy makers a safe space to speak openly, actively listen and to learn from one another. Mixing verité footage, intimate interviews, 1950s-era government-produced movies and up-to-date TV news reporting, THE GREATER GOOD weaves together the stories of families whose lives have been forever changed by vaccination."

To view this MUST SEE film, go HERE.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Horny Toad Eco Friendly Fall Fashion

I just discovered Horny Toad about a year ago, and they quickly became one of my top favorite clothing companies.  I love the versatile styles, the earthy rich colors, and the comfort factor of every single thing I've tried.  Their clothes are made with eco friendly fibers, and a lot of their stuff is made with organic cotton which I'm always on the prowl for.  I love knowing that what is against my skin doesn't contain pesticides, and cotton is one of those heavily sprayed crops.  It's not easy to find affordable fashionable organic clothing!  If you are not familiar, you must check them out and treat yourself--but I can almost guarantee you will get hooked (which is not a bad thing).

Check out the fabulous IMPROV JACKET.  The color is a lush mud-like brown.  It uber soft and dresses up or down--a lot of Horny Toad is great in this way, which makes it awesome for travel.  The buttons give it a feminine touch and the collar creates a flattering line.  The seams are in all the right places, making for a flattering fit.  This jacket is great for casual and also fine for the office.  It's destined to be one of my favorite wardrobe pieces, I love it.

My other HT pick for this season is the OBLIQUE V DRESS.  The idea behind this dress is that it has all the lines and look of a wrap dress, without the risk of coming open, or having too much cleavage exposure, making it great for work or more casual situations.  I love it with boots, tights and even over jeans.  For a dressier look, wear it with heels.  Perfect for holiday parties and way beyond.  Like most other Horny Toad pieces, there are several great color options, making you want more than one.

I have found some great deals on HT to fuel my addiction on sites like Rock Creek, REI, and 6pm.  And fyi:  Horny Toad has a really fun blog, check it out if you want to smile.