Thursday, October 31, 2013

Words That Should Be In The Dictionary : KateMoss (as a verb)

Note the unique spelling of this verb, unlike traditional English spelling, the third consonant is capitalized as a reference to the origin of the word.

KateMoss – verb – to throw up, to vomit, to pray to the porcelain God; from the 1990’s supermodel Kate Moss who was believed to have actively engage in bulimia, now used to describe any act in which stomach contents are expelled.

After a wild Halloween and too much candy, our Jack-O-Lantern KateMossed all over the guest ensuite

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Breaking News: Mundo Vegan Restaurant With Latin Flair Coming To Montclair NJ

Mundo Vegan will be opening on Church Street in the near future! The new all-vegan cafe will be opening in the space that was formerly occupied by The Stockpot. 
Once open, Mundo Vegan will serve breakfast and lunch dishes with a latin flair. The menu will change seasonally, and owner Fanny Fuentes Phalon promises to use local, seasonal produce to cook up creative plant-based meals. 
Real the full story on Devil Gourmet: "Mundo Vegan Coming Soon to Church Street Montclair" 


Earmarks ~ A Word We Love Because It's Not So Scary After All

Earmark (noun) Originally a cut or mark in the ear of sheep and cattle, serving as a sign of ownership; first recorded 1577 in figurative sense; in modernity, the term earmark has come to mean something set aside for a specific purpose, usually money, but it can be time (I will earmark 15 minutes a day to reflect on my daily

With regard to earmarks and financial issues, the concept is to set aside funds for a special purpose. In an education bill for instance, specific funds may be set aside for the stated goal of replacing the roof of a certain school, or in a transportation bill, specific dollars are included to guarantee that railroad crossings in rural areas are upgraded for safety issues.

Like anything else, earmarks can be exploited and abused. Anyone who has seen a new traffic light installed, upgrades to their emergency response system (911), or new fire trucks purchased for their community with money from the Federal Government has benefitted from earmarks.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Going Green With A Lasagna Garden : Sheet Composting Saves Time!

Lasagna is always best the day after you make it and like it's namesake a Lasagna Garden is an organic gardening option that requires a little effort this season and when left over until next Spring, the garden soil  is so much better!

Lasagna Gardens, also called Sheet Composting, is a super simple method of layering organic matter over the soil to decompose slowly and naturally. It is the most passive form of composting as the only real effort from the gardener involves the initial spreading of material. It also is the method that most closely mimics nature - the leaves on the forest floor fall where they may and slowly break down into that rich loam just below the crackly leaves. That's what we're going for here!
Sheet Composting is best done in two situations : creating a new garden bed and revitalizing annual beds over the course of winter.

In my garden, there is a small, less than one metre wide and about 10 metres long, strip of land between my garage and neighbors fence. It really doesn't serve any purpose and would be impractical to grow anything useful to me so it has sat fallow, save for some random weeds, for two years now. Then the idea struck that for next season that small bit of land would be turned into a bee and butterfly friendly haven, even if I don't get to see the garden.

I have learned, and will be able to confirm in the spring, that lasagna gardening also does wonders to break up hard, compacted soil, just like the kind alongside the garage. Enough of that, so how does one Lasagna Garden?

For this garden space the method was simple, using the electric weed wacker I cut down all the weeds and allowed their corpses to remain there and become my first layer. With autumn leaves falling I was about to rake some and toss them as the next layer but realized that the lawn could us a trim so quickly mowed the lawn, this time using the grass catcher to capture the combination of cut grass and shredded leaves that I mowed up. The mixture was a combination of nitrogen rich grass and carbon rich dead leaves. Next step : spread the leaf/grass mixture over the area.

Over the next several weeks, as more leaves fall, a few more layers will be added. Some of the dead annuals in the garden as well as some kitchen peelings will also be diverted from the regular compost to the sheet compost area. During the winter months the material will start to break down and enrich the soil.

My guess is that next Spring there will be some dried material at the top of the planting bed, not unlike the dried leaves on the forest floor. That material will find its way to the regular compost in April or May.

Sheet composting is also a great way to put your annual and garden beds to work for the winter. Once the last tomatoes have been harvested, and the last pansies have bloomed, sheet composting those garden areas will not only protect the soil from erosion, but will also add vital nutrients.

People who regulary compost might even consider spreading a layer of their "almost finished compost" over an existing bed, or even a new bed for that matter, then going wild will new sheets of lasagna. It's a fairly passive way to work your existing beds and will free up the regular compost container for all that new material you will be adding this winter.  The other benefit is that all of the leaf matter that may have found its way into a landfill will not be returned to the soil near where it fell.

A lasagna garden makes an ordinary garden extraordinary!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Lessons I Am Learning From Bobby Kennedy

“Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” – Robert Kennedy

- - - - - - -

Children know this. Children live this. So why do we as adults forget this important lesson?

Daring to fail greatly starts in infancy: pushing our bodies to roll over, to see our world from a different vantage point that WE decide. Of course later on there is walking. Boom! Fall down. Get up and do it again, know that a fall could happen again. Babies, and even the adults around them do not see the falls as failures, they all seem to know that it is a part of the process of learning to walk. So why is it that we as adults are so afraid of the stumble in our lives?

Are we afraid of failure, or is our fear more deeply rooted in the words and reactions of others who may see us on that journey? Does the reaction of others, or our perception of the reaction of others really matter? In that vein does failure even matter, perhaps failure is a perception as well. Thomas Edison referred to all the attempts at creating a lightbulb '1000 way of how not to make a light bulb.' Of coure there are all those lab workers who crash cars into walls, looking for failure points, all in the name of learning how to make a safer automobile.

Perhaps the biggest misnomer of failure is its absoluteness. The Kennedy family has had more than its share of triumph and tragedy, but every member of the family picked themselves up, often multiple times in their lives, and worked to complete the tasks at hand. Failure doesn't have to be final, it can be a speedbump on our journey, a chance to slow down and really examine all that is around us, then continue on the journey, toward success.

Olive Oil: It's More Than Salad Dressing. Nov 1st at Kings Cooking Studio.

We’ve all heard it more times than we can remember: Olive Oil is heart healthy and we should all consume more of it, but how many salads can we eat!
In this class we’re going to release Olive Oil from being trapped in the salad bowl and show how this  golden liquid can be used for baking, cooking, and poaching both sweet and savory dishes.

On the menu:  Fish, poached in Olive Oil; Brownies, Shortbread, and Chocolate Cake; plus we’ll show how to make pie crust and crumble toppings using olive oil instead of butter or shortening; and by the time this class starts John will come up with even more ways to shatter your preconceived ideas about olive oil.
This three hour class starts at 6:30 pm on Friday November 1st at Kings Cooking Studio in Short Hills NJ; for details visit Kings Cooking Studio

Sponsored by Colavita Olive Oil.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Bal Arneson's Sweet Potato Cakes from @CookingChannel

I have made this recipe several times and have been so happy with the results each time. One of the surprises here is the chick pea (garbanzo bean flour) which not only brings protein to the dish, but is also gluten free.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Downton Madness Has Begun (As If It Ever Went Away) A First Look At Series 4

A first look at scenes from Downton Abbey Season 4 on MASTERPIECE. (Downton Abbey Season 4 premieres Sunday, Jan. 5, 2014, 9pm ET on MASTERPIECE on PBS.) 

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

A Favorite, But Forgotten Word : Flout


Flout  – verb

 (used with object)

to treat with disdain,
or contempt;
 scoff at;

 to flout the rules of propriety.

Jesus flouted the authority of religious leaders who flaunted their piety.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

An Anglo-American Disgrace

Roughly 25% of all household food purchases
 made in both the US and United Kingdom
 goes right into the rubbish bin.

That unloved banana,
 the last few slices of bread,
 that freezer burned lamb chop
 - it all adds up really fast