Home Made Baby Food… Good for Baby and the Planet

My Blogging friend Jessica at And Then There Were More was looking for guest bloggers as she prepared to give birth I jumped at the chance to help a fellow blogger out. Check out my post there about homemade baby food it is green (no packaging, natural, fresh, and cheap).

Please stop by her blog and give her some kind words of support she had a very difficult and complicated birth that almost cost both of them their lives but they are both doing VERY well. I am sure she would love to hear from you.

In a few months Jessica’s daughter Natalie will be ready to solid food so here is two baby food recipes my kids love.


Awesome Lentils
1/2 small onion or 1/4 cut of finely chopped leeks
1 cup of carrots chopped
1 tbsp of vegetable oil or butter
1/4 cup of split red lentils
1 3/4 cups of sweet potato peeled and chopped
1 3/4 cups of of chicken stock (or water or vegetable stock)

Saute the onions and carrots in the oil until soft. Add the lentils and sweet potato and add broth. Bring to a boil and then turn heat down and simmer for 20 minutes. Puree in the food processor. This recipe freezes well and is HUGE favorite here

SPSP (Sweet Potato, Spinach and Peas)
1 1/4 tbsp of butter
3/4 cup of leeks finely chopped
1 sweet potato peeled and chopped
3/4 cup of water
1/2 cup of frozen peas
3 cups of fresh baby spinach (wash and remove stalks)

Melt butter and saute leeks in saucepan until leeks soften. Add the sweet potato and add water. Bring to a boil then cover and simmer for 7-8 minutes. Add peas and spinach and cook for 3 minutes (the spinach reduces in size significantly). Puree in food processor. This also freezes very well.

Holiday Gift Wish List: 2010 Edition

There are lots of gift guides out there but there are three holiday wish/ recommendation lists out today that you have to check out Cupcakes and Cutlery, Hank and Hunt, and of course this one.

Our lists are different they blog about how to have awesome parties and fun crafts. This list will give you some green gift ideas… some are for the beginner greenie and other are for those who have been on the green path for a long time, some are things I have while other items are things I want… really want!

The perfect gift for kids: A modern and green Dollhouse. I want to get this dollhouse for my daughter mostly because I love it. This is the Brinca Dada Bennett townhouse. First it is not plastic, that is always great but this is like a LEED certified type of dollhouse The townhouse features a two-story living room, elevator, roof top pool and glass rail balconies in both the master bedroom and children’s bedroom. Solar-powered LED lights make for play by sun or moon. And Bennett House is made of CARB-certified woods and non-toxic, lead-free paints and stains, so it is easy on the environment.

For cooks: the best gift is a gift pack of grass feed beef from LaCense beef and some great barbecue tools. I love LaCense beef, it tastes great and more natural than anything you have ever had before… A true foodie would appreciate it. If you really want to turn up the green meter for a gift for a cook get them a solar oven! I have told my husband that I really want to get one and he laughs at me EVERY time. But think about it in the heat of the summer the last thing you want to do is turn the oven on in your house.

energy-wise landscape design
For the Gardener or New Homeowner: the book Energywise Landscape by Sue Reed is perfect for the experienced gardener and the beginner. It is amazing how many things you can do to make your landscape energy efficient. The book is laid out in a way that explains how things work. The book also offers you many different options to achieve the same thing.
Complimentary gifts: gardening tools, gift certificate to the local nursery, rain barrel (so they can collect the rain water to water their new landscape), or even better some of your time in the early Spring to help them do the work!

For EVERYONE: an iPad. I wrote an entire post on how green the iPad is and I stand by it. Oprah just gave them to everyone too. I have used signficantly less paper by canceling my newspaper subscription, renewing my magazine subscriptions as digital subscriptions, and purchasing my books through the countless e-reader apps you can download including Amazon Kindle, Barnes and Noble Nook, and Apple’s iBook (still not sure which one I like the best).
Complementary gifts: an iTunes gift card for apps, a cover (everyone makes them you can find them anywhere but I prefer the Apple cover for mine)

And for my final WISH LIST item… the Chevy Volt!

Really I mean what want to be environmentalist would not want this car. It is cooler looking than the Prius for one and it is the Motor Trend Car of the year (ok, that is not really a reason for me but….) and it completely electric. To be honest I have no idea how I would plug it in, my 120 plus year old house hardly has enough plugs for my computer, blackberry and iPad forget about a CAR but I want one… I really do. They start at $41,000 so I think I will have to be a really good girl for Santa, my husband and everyone I ever met for them to chip in to buy this for me. I wish I had a million readers and Chevy gave me one to drive and blog about my experince. Anyone out there at Chevy reading this contact me.  Complimentary gifts: extension cord and cool bumper stickers.

Bonus: I also created a whole list of awesome Chronicle Book, check out the list and leave a comment for a chance to win every book on the list as part of the Happy Haulidays giveaway.

Hope everyone has a great holiday and that shopping for your gifts are fun… try not to wrap your gifts, put your gifts in a canvas bag your family and friends can re-use… The Volt won’t fit in a bag though?! Hmmm?

Want to follow some cool people on Twitter and Facebook… here are the details on my fellow bloggers:

Cupcakes and Cutlery: @cupcakescutlery and facebook like Cupcakes and Cutlery

Hank and Hunt: @hankandhunt

Green4u: @greenforu and Facebook like me Green4u

Photo credits: Town House from Brinca Dada, Energy Wise Landscaping from Sue Reed, iPad from Apple, Chevy Volt from keesta.com and Chevy

The Best Chronicle Books… You Could Win!

So Chronicle Books is an innovative book publisher that really gives a voice to some really creative and environmentally conscious people. They are probably my favorite publisher. Their e-mail is the only “junk” mail I open 100% of the time because they have such amazing books. I guarantee you all own one.

Chronicle Books is running the coolest contest ever called Haul-idays. I post my $500 wish list of books and you comment. One blogger and one commenter gets all the books on the list as well. Post your comment by December 10th!!

If you cannot wait to see if you win you can follow the links for any of these books, if you order before December 12th (EXTENDED) you can receive a 35% discount and free shipping through their friends and family sale (code: FRIENDS). Leave a comment and tell your friends.

Green Interest:

Farm Together Now $27.50 More and more people are thinking about the food they buy and what they can grow themselves this book looks at this issue in detail. It is described as “Part oral history and part treatise on food politics, this fascinating project is an introduction to the many individuals who are producing sustainable food, challenging public policy, and developing community organizing efforts.”

A Force for Nature $24.95 Memoir by John H. Adams, founder of  Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). I think I might have to buy this book I really respect the work of NRDC and I can imagine this is an interesting story since the organization started in the 1970″s and is still relevant today.

Coffee Table Book:

Creature $60.00 This is a visually beautiful book that would look great on anyones coffee table. Photographer Andrew Zuckerman’s takes amazing pictures of animals from around the world. There are 175 wild creatures including two of my favorites baby leopards and bears. Photography buffs and animal lovers will love this book.


Fast, Fresh & Green $24.95 I am not a vegetarian as I state in my “about” and people email me about all the time… but we all need to eat more vegetables both for the environment and our health this book will help us do that. There are more than 100 recipes for appetizers, snacks, entrees, and side dishes, many of them vegan, make Fast, Fresh & Green an excellent resource for vegetarians and omnivores.

The Commonsense Kitchen $35.00 This book is hard to explain but awesome… I will let Chronicle Books description say it all: The Commonsense Kitchen… comes from an unusual source: one of the toughest colleges to get into in the United States, Deep Springs is an organic farm, school, and working cattle ranch in the high desert of the Sierra Nevada. This general cookbook has more than 500 recipes for delicious, honest staples and sassy regional specialties… this book features amazing food as well as lessons in life skills, from the proper way to wash dishes to how to make homemade soap. Ideal for anyone regardless of where they live.

From Seed to Skillet $30.00 This book combines how to plan and grow a garden with recipes. With this essential garden manual, home gardeners can learn how easy it is to plan a garden, design and construct growing beds, tend the crop without using harmful chemicals, harvest gorgeous vegetables, and cook a delicious feast using Jimmy’s favorite family recipes.

Love in Spoonfuls $19.95 I made my daughters baby food and I still make her food now. This is one of many books I could recommend to a new parent or someone who just wants to start making homemade food for their children. I am convinced that making your own baby food helps make good eaters and healthy children… a perfect gift for a new parent.

Kitchen Garden Box $18.95 With the Kitchen Garden Box, gardeners will learn how to collect, store, use, and replant seeds of their favorite tried-and-true vegetables, from squash and cucumbers to peppers, peas, and heirloom tomatoes. Over the course of 55 conveniently organized cards, gardening guru Mike McGrath provides simple step-by-step instructions, practical tips, and delicious recipes for each veggie.

Simply Organic $24.95 I wrote a post about how much I love this book. Not to sounds like a movie trailers but “if you only buy one cookbook this holiday season make it this one!”


NRDC: Simple Steps Deck $14.95 I LOVE deck of cards with tips of things to do. Great gifts for people who want to make a change in their life, these beginner steps can help the person along.


Handmade Weddings $24.95 With the recent announcement of Prince William and Kate Middleton’s engagement who is not thinking about weddings. For those of us without the Queens money this book helps us make personal weddings that are handmade. There are pictures and step by step directions.

I’m Dreaming of a Green Christmas $24.95 The holiday season is filled with waste… Thankfully there is a book that can give us some ideas of we can do to make the season less wasteful, and more meaningful and healthy.

The Little Guide to Vintage Shopping $18.95 I need this book!! I have no idea how to approach vintage shopping but I really really want to do it. I hope that Santa brings me this book or I win this contest.

French General: Home Sewn $24.95 I love to sew so there had to be a sewing book on my list. This book includes 30 simple sewing patterns for French-inspired projects—a scalloped tablecloth, piles of pillows and bedding, a festive party garland, totes—and more.

Drawing Nature: Journal $16.95 If you know someone who loves to draw this is the perfect book for them. Getting people out into nature to enjoy it is one of the first steps in creating a new environmentalist. Perfect gift for any aspiring artist!


Create Your Own Planet $14.95 Create a world unlike any other with this one-of-a-kind jumbo coloring book. Best-selling illustrator and author Todd Parr takes kids on a quirky, inspiring journey through a planet they create. With the help of stickers and wacky drawings, kids will design out-of-this-world houses, bicycles, animals, pizzas, birthday cakes, and even underwear! Guaranteed to keep kids occupied for hours!

Heroes of the environmentt $16.95 If I win the contest I am going to give this book to a local school to help inspire a new generation of kids. Heroes include a teenage girl who figured out how to remove an industrial pollutant from the Ohio River, a Mexican superstar wrestler who works to protect turtles and whales, and a teenage boy from Rhode Island who helped his community and his state develop effective e-waste recycling programs. Plenty of photographs and illustrations bring each compelling story vividly to life.

Simple Steps Toward a Healthier Earth $12.99 This one-of-a-kind activity book encourages kids to reduce waste and make their homes, schools, and neighborhoods more environmentally friendly. It’s packed with plenty of in-book and out-of-book activities and 2 pages of stickers. Kids will have a blast while they develop an understanding of local and worldwide environmental challenges.

Architecture and Design:

Sustainable Design $24.95 Written for students and practitioners in the fields of architecture and interior design, this book gives a concise overview of all the techniques available for reducing the energy footprint of structures and spaces. With clear, simple language and a practical “can do” approach. It is fascinating what architects and designers can do to make a long-lasting change in our environment.


All My Friends Are Dead $9.95 This book is a humors look at everyday situations or things you simply never really thought about from a humorous but real perspective.

Honorable Mention Terra Incognita Limited Edition beautiful pictures of our wonderful world. I could not include it in the list because it cost $400 but is worth every penny.