Archive | FOOD AND DRINK

Green Tip: Pick an Organic Pumpkin

Green Tip Pick an Organic Pumpkin

Did you plant your pumpkins and gourds last spring? If so, you should have a bounty of them to use for decorating and baking this fall. If not or if you live in Florida like me, that’s alright, you can find lovely organic pumpkins and gourds at your local organic farm, farmer’s market or organic grocer. Do you need help locating great organic pumpkins in your area? Check out Local Harvest to locate a farm in your area, and enjoy autumn!

Where do you get your pumpkins?
Do you purchase local organic ones?
P.S. My favorite place to pick pumpkins is in the North Carolina mountains at the New River Pumpkin Patch. Hurricane Irma made it possible this year! We happened to be evacuated at the time and were able to stop by before heading home! 

Blow the BBQ Competition Out of the Water With These Organic Memphis-Style Ribs

Summer is a season filled with pool parties, beach days, and most importantly, backyard barbecues. There’s something special about gathering friends and family in your own backyard and preparing a meaty smorgasbord for all. And if there’s one thing America knows about barbecue, it’s that you better have ribs at the picnic table.

You may have a favorite way to cook and eat barbecue ribs, but in this recipe you’ll be learning something a little bit different. As you may or may not know, there are four major regional styles of barbecue in America: Kansas City, Texas, Memphis, and Carolina-style.

Today, we’re going to teach you how to make organic Memphis-style barbecue ribs right on your own grill! Let’s get started.

What You’ll Need:

  • 2 cups organic ketchup
  • ¼ cup packed organic dark brown sugar
  • ¼ cup organic cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. organic vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup organic steak sauce
  • ¼ cup organic Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 tbsp. organic yellow mustard
  • ½ tsp. organic cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp. organic onion powder
  • 1 tbsp. organic ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. organic salt
  • ½ tsp. organic ground celery seed
  • 1 tbsp. organic molasses
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons organic liquid smoke
  • 1 full rack of trimmed organic spare ribs
  • ½ cup organic apple juice
  • 1 cup damp wood chips

To Prep:

First, set your apple juice aside. You won’t need it until you place your ribs on the grill! Once that’s done, begin by trimming your ribs. Since you’ll be cooking them on the grill, you’ll want to trim off a bit of the excess fat. Keeping some of the fat on is a good idea and will help create nice, tender ribs, but too much could result in unnecessary grill fires. In addition, divide your damp wood chips in half and wrap each pile in tin foil, poking several holes in your bundles to let smoke escape. Your grill should be just hot enough to start the wood smoking.

For the Sauce:

This barbecue sauce recipe may be simple, but there’s no denying that it will be a hit with your family and friends. To begin, mince your garlic and make sure your brown sugar is free of any clumps. After that, place all of your ingredients, minus your vegetable oil, into a medium-sized saucepan. Bring your saucepan over to the stove and place it over low to medium heat, stirring until all of the ingredients are well-combined.

Bring your mixture to a low boil, stirring often. After it has reached a low boil, lower the heat and simmer for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once your 25 minutes are up, remove your mixture from the heat and gradually stir in your vegetable oil. And voila! You’ve got some kickin’ barbecue sauce the whole family is sure to love. This recipe should yield approximately three cups of sauce.

For the Ribs:

Now that your ribs are trimmed and your sauce is ready, it’s time to fire up the grill. Place your wood chip bundles close enough to your burner that they start to emit smoke. Once those are smoking, it’s time to turn down the heat and place your ribs on the grill!

The key to great ribs is indirect heat. Ideally, your ribs should be placed between the two burners being used. Place your rack bone-side down on the grill and let the ribs cook, covered, for 30 minutes. Your grill should hold a steady temperature of 300 degrees Fahrenheit for this period of time. When you open the lid, your ribs should be browned on all sides. Once the 30 minutes is up, place some tin foil underneath your ribs.

Remember that apple juice we were saving? Now, pour it evenly over the ribs and wrap the tin foil around them, bringing the grill up to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Cook with the lid closed at this temperature for about 30 minutes. After this, remove the tin foil, lower your grill temperature to approximately 265 degrees Fahrenheit, and let your ribs finish cooking for an additional five to 10 minutes.

To Finish:

You should open up your grill to a rack of beautiful, tender ribs. And now, it’s time to add your Memphis-style barbecue sauce! The key to excellent, saucy ribs is adding two coats of sauce and letting your ribs sit on the still-hot grill for about five minutes between coats. Of course, you should still have enough sauce leftover for dipping!

For a more in-depth grilling tutorial, consult the experts at The Spruce.

The Perfect Green Cocktail for Summer: Frozen Organic Gin Lemonade

Looking for the perfect drink for your 4th of July pool party! The mister whipped up a batch of his famous Gin Lemonade recently and I was reminded how much I love it this time of year! Be careful though, they are strong – one is all you need. Ha!

What you will need:
  • juice from 5 organic lemons
  • 1 1/2 cups organic sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup organic gin (you can also use vodka)
  • 8 cups ice

Directions:

Whisk the lemon juice and sugar together until the sugar is completely dissolved. Add the gin and whisk again. Then, add the 8 cups of ice to a blender with the gin-lemon-sugar mixture and blend until smooth. Add lemon slices for garnish and enjoy.

Happy 4th of July weekend!

Organic Tacos + Jalapeño Crema Recipe

This post is sponsored by Stonyfield and Walmart– all opinions expressed are my own.

So, my family loves tacos! And by love, I don’t just mean love, I mean my husband HAS to stop at every single taco truck he sees. Ha! It’s no surprise that we enjoy tacos at home quite frequently. Especially considering the mister does 100% of the cooking at Casa de Sweet Greens. Thank goodness!

The mister does all of his marketing on Mondays and was excited to hear that I partnered with Stonyfield and Walmart to showcase the wonderful affordable organic options that Walmart has to offer. So, of course he said, I know exactly what I am going to make, tacos! Organic tacos with jalapeño crema (made with Stonyfield yogurt) to be exact!

The taco recipe is pretty simple, add a bunch of your favorite organic taco fillings to a tortilla! This time, the mister used a selection of organic products that he found at Walmart! And, of course, he found a bunch of other organic goodies for the week too!

The best part of the tacos is the jalapeño crema! Who needs a taco, just squirt it into my mouth!

So, now of course you want the recipe, here you go!

Jalapeño Crema Recipe

  • 1 jalapeño
  • 2 cups Stonyfield organic Greek Yogurt
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. cumin

Directions:

  1. Cut the jalapeño in half and seed it.
  2. Broil the jalapeño until the skin is charred.
  3. Place jalapeño in a closed container for 5 minutes.
  4. Peel jalapeño.
  5. Add the jalapeño, 2 cups of yogurt, lime juice, salt and cumin in a blender/food processor and process until smooth.

Add the jalapeño crema to a condiment bottle and enjoy!

If you are looking for a crowd pleaser this weekend, hit Walmart, grab a bunch of organic taco ingredients and invite your friends and family over for some fun!

How to Host a Simple Organic Family Fondue Night + Recipe

apple-cider-cheese-fondue1

What is more fun than staying in watch spooky movies and having a family fondue night. A couple of years ago, Eben (look how little he was!) and I hit the market to pick up all of the organic ingredients, then we were ready to give our new fondue set a try. What ensued was a fun night together, eating yummy food dipped in cheese! Read on for the simple directions for hosting your own family fondue night. It is totally worth it!

1. Gather the Supplies

  • fondue set
  • fondue ingredients (recipe below)
  • organic rustic bread
  • variety of fresh vegetables and fruits

2. Cut the Bread, Fruit and Veggies 
Wash and cut the fresh fruit and vegetables into bite sized pieces – cut the bread as well. Arrange on a large platter. We used a selection of rustic bread, fresh cauliflower, celery and apples.


3. Make the Apple Cider Cheese Fondue

  • 8 oz. organic yellow cheddar
  • 8 oz. organic Monterrey Jack
  • 1/4 cup organic apple cider
  • 2 tbsp. organic potato starch

Directions: Grate all of the cheese into a medium sized bowl. Bring the apple cider to a simmer over medium heat. Add the potato starch to the bowl of shredded cheese and mix until well-combined. Add the cheese to the apple cider and stir until thick and creamy. Add to your fondue bowl over a low flame.

4. Dip and Enjoy!
We sat down and enjoyed a fun evening of everything cheesy! It was a fun way to kick off the weekend and we have already been talking about our next fondue adventure. Next time – chocolate for sure!

What is your favorite fondue recipe? Please share in the comments!