Sweetness (=Giveaway!!!)

Do you remember when I reviewed a wonderful product called Xagave? Well, Robyn from BetterBody Foods & Nutrition has graciously offered to send one lucky reader a free 18-ounce bottle of Xagave! Nice huh? If you would like to participate in the giveaway, simply leave a comment telling me about your favorite use for agave nectar (recipes are always a good idea!). I know lots of us are planning to bake up a few storms with the onset of the holidays and some free agave nectar would certainly make life a bit sweeter, right? Right. Oh, and please make sure to leave your comment by Friday, December 4th. I will randomly select a winner on December 5th. Good luck everybody!!

Agave nectar makes pretty cupcakes:

Hey Winner!

Just a quick post to announce the winner of the Make Your Place book giveaway… Random Number Generator says… Comment #24. That’s Kim from the Veg-in-Training blog!!!! Kim’s favorite eco-friendly cleaning tips:  “I am in the lemon/baking soda fan club for cleaning porcelain sinks and tubs. I also like to sprinkle lavender oil in baking soda and use it as a carpet freshener. I use lavender oil and vinegar for fabric softener on occasion too”.  I actually had the pleasure of meeting Kim over the summer when she was in Portland with her husband and she was sweet enough to bring me jalapeno salt and chili powder from Arizona!!! Nice! I will contact you via e-mail Kim so we can arrange shipping of your book. Woohooo!!!! Congratulations!

On a side note, if it’s getting a bit chilly in your neighborhood, make this soup. (You could probably find a tasty bread recipe to go along with it while you are visiting Seitan is My Motor):

Curried Pumpkin Soup with Seitan – A perfectly warming, smoky, spicy, flavorful soup.

And, on Friday I will be hosting yet another giveaway, so keep your eyes on the screen.  Enjoy the rest of your week!

Make Your Place – A Book Giveaway!!!!

Hey everybody, what’s up? I’ve been taking some time away from posting to enjoy the lovely rainy weather that rolls around this time of year (yay!!!). My time has also been consumed by pure relaxation (laziness) and cleaning my apartment from ceiling to floor, literally. Transition to the topic of this post: green cleaning. Commercial household cleaners are evil toxic blends of death. The smell alone burns my lungs. In an effort to avoid sacrificing essential organs for a clean home, Tim and I make our own cleaners (laundry detergent, floor cleaner, bathroom scrub, wall disinfectant, etc) and we love them and their effectiveness. Most of the recipes we use come from the handiest, dandiest little book called Make Your Place by Raleigh Briggs. The book includes recipes/tips/skills for health & first aid, cleaning & body care, and gardening. And, everything is so easy to make. The book is written with charm and humor – I just love this book! I love it so much that I am giving a copy away to one lucky reader!!!! Make your place clean too! All you have to do is leave a comment telling me your favorite eco-friendly cleaning tip, recipe, whatever. I will ship the book overseas, so EVERYBODY can enter. I will randomly select a winner on Tuesday, November 24th (11:59 pm Pacific time). Good luck and I can’t wait to hear all of your green cleaning tips!

From a Girl Who Used to HATE Onions

Growing up, I was an insanely picky eater. Celery and PB&J on toast were my staples. Onions were demons. I dissected every meal, seeking out the icky onion bits and moving them to a safe pile away from the rest of my food. Obviously as I have aged my tastes have grown to accept many lovely and amazing foods, in particular, the aforementioned onion. Who would have thought I would ever say “This meal needs more onion”? I said it Monday evening and I will probably say it again, and again, and again… As long as the onion is chopped finely, mind you.

Anyways, Tim and I made another meal from The Kind Diet:

Caramelized Onions

Rice Pilaf with Caramelized Onions

Wow. This meal was so easy and so delicious!!! Carrots, parsnips, onions, rice, seasonings, pecans, pumpkin seeds (and kale we added for pretty color and tasty goodness) make up this dish.

Caramelized Onions 2

We ate the entire batch and I don’t feel even the teeniest bit guilty.