pen rainbow

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Friday's Art Gallery — Street Art

$2 at Goodwill
street art (n.)  Works of art that are developed in the street 

I would expand on Wikipedia's definition a little bit by adding art that is either thrown away or given away, then acquired by someone else who appreciates the artistic expression of the artist.  I'm thinking that this should be a separate category of art, altogether.  The open source version of the art world.  

This first piece was purchased for $2 by my son at the Berkeley Goodwill.  It is acrylic on canvas, and I love the colors and the elemental shapes.  I call this unsigned, untitled piece the gray painting on my living room wall, but for the sake of giving it an actual name, let's call it, "Goodwill."
      
Great colors


Mondrian-ish
The second piece is real street art that started out as graffiti in the parking lot across the street from my husband's old office building in Berkeley.  It stayed on the wall of the Indian restaurant for quite a while and was appreciated daily by customers and employees who parked in the lot until the owners of the lot decided to respray the wall.  The nature of street art is that it can go away and eventually will.  This piece was signed in black spray paint by a graffiti artist called "phat 5." As near as I can tell, anyway.  The signature is a little fuzzy.  

phat 5 in the parking lot
Steve liked it so much that he took a digital photo and had it converted into a canvas print using the online photo service, Shutterfly.  It's a super-cool method for creating your own prints on canvas.  Shutterfly can convert your pix into other fun things like photo books, cards & stationery, calendars, and coffee mugs.  I've used it for canvas prints, and my experience in terms of quality and service has always been good.  There happens to be a sale on canvas prints going on until November 3d, and the prices are great!  These would make nice gifts for Christmas, weddings, or birthdays, and they'd be a neat way to personalize and spruce up an office, a dorm room, or a student apartment.  Costs range from around $60 to $150. 

Now, back to street art around the San Francisco Bay Area.  For the locals, the next time you're on the Nimitz heading back from the airport toward the East Bay, check out the trains parked in the Oakland railyard.  I saw some impressive graffiti coming back from my last flight in September.  Who knows if it's still there...   

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Wednesday: Good for You, Good for the Home—Neat hair thingies!

Simple & sophisticated ways to make long hair look good!


I'm wearing my new incoming gray in a messy twist these days.  Take a look at my favorite big hair clip by Ficcare!

My beloved Ficcare "Maximas" Clip
Ficcare "Maximas" hair clip   $40 for the large size — available at Nordstrom's

As long as you're at the Nordstrom website, check out this pretty blue fasincator!  It's more than a hair clip, and it'll look great when you're on the town during the holidays.  $58 at Nordstrom, plus free shipping!

Check out these cool beaded hair combs  Super affordable and cute!  $1 - $10 on Ebay

Nordie's blue fascinator

i ❤ fascinators

Fascinating fascinators!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Tuesday's Cupboard—Holiday Special: 2011 Halloween Candy

nom nom nom nom nom
Halloween candy at our house this year — Behold the stash!


Reese's Mini Peanut Butter Cups

Peanut Butter M&M's Fun Size

Snack Size Kit Kats

Tuesday's Cupboard—Hearty Tomato & Swiss Chard Soup with Hummus Toast

My hand-written note in the cookbook:  "Delicious!"
Soup, salad and bread—elegant and satisfying after a complicated day.


Easy, fast & absolutely delicious!  


TO PRINT THIS RECIPE:  Copy the url; go to printfriendly; paste the url, edit & print.




Simplify the Recipe
•  Use pre-sliced French bread.  I used Colombo sour French.

•  Use store-bought hummus instead of homemade.  I like Sabra sun-dried tomato or red pepper hummus.  Safeway, Albertson's, and Whole Foods all carry this brand.  If you can't find the sun-dried or red pepper varieties, get plain hummus and sprinkle the top with either paprika or chili powder and grind some fresh black pepper on top.  Yum!

Pre-cleaned, pre-chopped Swiss chard
available at Safeway
•  Use pre-cleaned, pre-chopped chard.  Talk about easy!  I added a whole 12 oz. bag to the soup.  


Tomato & Swiss Chard Soup with Hummus Toast


Adapted from Weight Watchers, Super Foods Cookbook © 2006
Prep Time:  25 minutes or less
Serves 4 - 6


Ingredients
•  2 tsp. olive oil
•  3 tsp. jarred chopped garlic in water
•  3 - 14 oz. cans of chopped Italian-style tomatoes
•  2 tsp. whole dried fennel seeds OR 1/2 c. fresh fennel (fronds &/or stalks), chopped
•  1 - 12 oz. bag of cleaned, chopped fresh chard OR 1 bunch, cleaned & coarsely chopped (about 1-1/2 lbs.)
•  1 - 20 oz. asceptic box + 1 - 14 oz. can of fat-free chicken broth
•  1 large russet potato, scrubbed, cleaned & cut-up into 1" cubes with peel on
•  1/4 tsp. dried red pepper flakes
•  Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper

•  1 (10 oz.) container of Sabra sun-dried tomato or red pepper hummus
•  1 loaf of sliced French bread, sour or sweet

•  1 container of fresh mixed greens with herbs

Optional Extras:  grated or shredded Parmesan cheese & Kalamata olives

Make It
Heat the oil in a soup pot over med-high heat.  Add the garlic; sauté for 30 seconds until garlic begins to color.  Watch it, this burns easily!

Add the tomatoes & fennel seeds; bring to a boil & simmer for 3 minutes to combine flavors.

Add the chard, broth, potato & dried red pepper flakes.  Stir to combine; cover & reduce heat to low.  Simmer for 10 - 15 minutes until chard and potatoes are tender, stirring occasionally.  Season with Kosher salt & cracked black pepper to taste.

Serve
Toast 1 slice of bread for each person.  Spread 2 T. of hummus on each slice.  Cut toasts in half & plate with a handful of naked mixed greens.  Ladle soup into bowls and top with a sprinkle of grated or shredded Parmesan cheese.  I had a few leftover Kalamata olives in the fridge, so I put one on top of the cheese in each bowl.

Bon Appétit!


Swiss chard in the soup pot
soup ingredients & bubbly for the cook



optional extras: Parmesan & Kalamata olive
scumptious hummus toast

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Friday: The Art Gallery—21katz2011

4katz2011
Okay, it's not exactlly the New York Times Arts section, but I am starting a new Friday feature:  The Art Gallery.  We're getting cultured here in Troiland.
  
Every week, I will be exhibiting original art that is either my own or the original work of someone I know.  In the spirit of Warhol and all that is good about commercial art, my stuff is for sale, too.  Watch for price tags on the finished pieces.  What I am showing in today's slideshow are the online proofs.

Like music, art lifts the spirit, inspires, creates, comforts, reveals, disturbs, and renews.  And, it's important to share our creations.  A cave wall to a Cro-Magnon with a handful of soot was the Paleolithic equivalent of sharing art on the Internet.  It must be done.


My cat series was inspired by Andy Warhol's colorful 1955 lithographic series of 25 Cats Named Sam and 1 Blue Pussy.   

Here is a slideshow of my 4 little monsters:  21katz2011


Friday, October 21, 2011

Tuesday's Cupboard—Crockpot Thanksgiving

Streamline the ingredients
An easy & delicious alternative to slaving in the kitchen all day!


BOoOoo!  The holidays are almost here, and in the spirit of empty nesthood and cooking in the 21st Century, I've decided to go for the easiest Thanksgiving I've ever planned.

I've always made turkey and stuffing because it really isn't Thanksgiving without the heavenly aromas of rosemary, thyme, and sage combined with the warm and cozy flavor of a roasting turkey.  I've streamlined my menu every year so that I'm not stuck in the kitchen all day, but even the easiest dishes require a lot of planning and time spent peeling, chopping, seasoning, measuring, and pouring.

Enough of that!  I plan to sit around smelling all of this good food and find out what Thanksgiving is like on the other side of the stove top.

Here is my favorite turkey & stuffing crockpot recipe that is guaranteed to be delicious, fast, easy to make, and low cal compared to a traditional turkey dinner.  And, it will make your house smell just like Thanksgiving Day!

When I did my own test run this week, I whipped up a simple side dish of warm homemade maple-cranberry sauce (see recipe below).  I added a small bag of ready-to-steam fresh green beans and a handful of baby carrots during the last hour of cooking.  I poured a 12 oz. jar of homestyle turkey gravy over the turkey, but it made the stuffing too soupy, so I recommend heating it separately and serving it with dinner.

For Thanksgiving dessert, I plan to serve a store-bought pumpkin pie with vanilla bean ice cream and freshly brewed hazel nut coffee.  YUM!

TO PRINT THIS RECIPE:  Copy the url; go to printfriendly; paste the url, edit & print.

Plan on 30 minutes for prep and 5 to 6 hours for cooking.

BASIC SLOW COOKER TURKEY & DRESSING
Adapted from myrecipes.com
MAKES 5 - 6 servings, about 8 oz. per tenderloin & 1/2 c. of dressing


Ingredients
•  1 - 8 oz. package herb-seasoned stuffing mix (The original recipe called for Pepperidge Farm stuffing; I used a 6-oz. box of turkey Stove Top stuffing)

•  1 large chopped sweet onion
•  2 celery ribs, chopped (I used a .52 lb. container of freshly cut-up celery from Whole Foods)
•  1 c. of dried cranberries (I used Craisins)
•  1/4 c. chicken broth (I made mine from a chicken bouillon cube & microwaved hot water)
•  3 T. melted butter (I added this to the chicken broth & zapped it for about 3 mins)

•  3 lbs. fresh boneless, skinless turkey tenderloins
•  1/4 tsp. kosher salt
•  1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
•  1/4 tsp. thyme OR 2 tsp. of Baron's holiday turkey & poultry rub, #69 (available at Whole Foods)

Preparation
1.  Spray the inside of a 6 - 7 qt. crockpot with butter-flavor or olive oil cooking spray.
2.  Add the stuffing mix, chopped onion, chopped celery, and dried cranberries.
3.  Zap the broth & butter in the microwave for 2 - 3 mins. until butter is melted and broth is hot.  Pour over the stuffing, vegetables & cranberries and mix gently.

Butter & broth — What's not to love, here?

Stove-top gets a helping hand from
dried cranberries, celery & Vidalia onion

4.  Rinse turkey tenderloins & pat with paper towels.

5.  Rub each tenderloin with a little holiday turkey seasoning and place fillets on top of the stuffing.  If you do not use a turkey seasoning rub, mix together the salt, pepper & thyme and sprinkle it over the turkey fillets after they are in the pot.

**  You could make your own basic seasoning rub by combining equal amounts of ground sage, crumbled rosemary, thyme, black pepper, celery seed & onion powder.  Add kosher salt in an amount that is half of the other seasonings.

6.  Place turkey tenderloins on top of stuffing.
7.  Cover & cook on HIGH for 1 hour.  Reduce to LOW and cook for 5 to 6 more hours or until a meat thermometer inserted into the turkey registers at least 170°.
7 qt. crockpot leaves room for veggies on top

The only dishes I used for this recipe (in the drainer)!
8.  Remove turkey.  Stir stuffing gently to fluff.  Cover & let stand for 3 minutes.  Meanwhile, pour a 12 oz. jar of Safeway Homestyle turkey gravy into a 2 c. Pyrex measuring cup & microwave for 3 minutes until hot.  Stir & spoon over turkey & stuffing.

Add fresh green beans, baby carrots &/or cut-up sweet potatoes
on top of the turkey during the last hour of cooking  

STEVE'S MAPLE CRANBERRY SAUCE (recipe below)
Original recipe from Cooking Light, Nov/Dec 1996 - Makes 2 cups (this recipe can be doubled)

Ingredients
•  3 c. fresh cranberries (1 bag)
•  2/3 cup of golden raisins
•  1/2 c. of real maple syrup
•  1/2 c. of honey
•  1/4 c. cider vinegar
•  1/2 tsp. ground allspice

Combine all ingredients in a 3 qt. saucepan.  Bring to a boil; reduce heat & simmer for 10 minutes.  Serve warm.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Mini-Post Thursday—One Who Moved the Dial

Dr. Kameny's testimony before the House
Committee, opposing a bill to revoke
gay org license to solicit funds
He began the struggle for gay rights by challenging the system from the inside—Franklin Kameny: 1925 - 2011

I've never been one for ululation.  When it comes to civil rights, though, I usually pay attention when someone who has spent the majority of his lifetime fighting for equality passes away.  Frank Kameny left an indelible mark on history by working his way through the interminably slow system of law and bureaucratic process and by never flinching in the face of cruel adversity.   

I usually don't like people who agitate.  They're abrasive, loud, and generally annoying.  I really don't like it when they block traffic or keep people from attending to everyday, ordinary business like jury duty or getting to the bank.  But, it makes no difference what they're like as individuals when their clear and coherent message is one that affects us all.   

Permanent change happens slowly and at great personal cost to those who lead the cause.  It's never easy, and at most, one can only hope to move the dial.  Declassifying homosexuality as a mental illness from the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders is moving the dial in a way that enlightens and liberates our culture from bigotry, discrimination, and hate.  We're not completely there, but because of his diligence and determination, we're getting closer.

Early gay rights motto by Frank Kameny, 1968
From the Smithsonian's Museum of American History collection

I had never heard of Franklin Kameny before his obit appeared yesterday in the NY Times.  I'd put him right next to Rosa Parks when it comes to important contributions to freedom.

Copies of original Kameny Papers

Friday, October 7, 2011

Friday Bonus—Cool WordPress Retro MacOS Theme

Back to basics
An online salute to the man who launched a universe of change  
    


As a cool tribute to Steve Jobs, the webmasters at WordPress.com put together a super-neat original MacOS theme page for WordPress blogs.  I love it, and it so reminds me of the early, clunky, start-up days of personal computing, especially the little computer icon.  There was always something exciting hiding behind that little guy, and the possibilities were endless.

WordPress.com retro MacOS theme
You can switch your current WordPress theme directly from the Theme Showcase by selecting the "activate" button, and Voilà!  Your WordPress blog will seamlessly transition to the old look of the early Mac computers.  And, in the spirit of what has always been the best thing about creative thinking and technological progress—it's also free.  

Classy, clever, clean, and inspired.  Steve Jobs would have liked this. ;o)

    

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Wednesday—Good For You, Good For The Home: Fall Projects!

Momentum!  Day 1 of painting the living room...

First things first!  Clean the walls

Switching to modern bright white walls & ceiling

Project Supervisor Snowie

I repaired water damage above this mantel last Fall



Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Tuesday's Cupboard—Rainy Day Supper: Zucchini, Sausage & Rice Casserole

A risotto-like dish that is worth every minute!
I'll  eat anything with Italian turkey sausage and pepper jack in it!  This dish is basically a classic risotto, but lighter and less complicated to make.  It's a lovely (but time-consuming) dish to make during a long, cold, rainy afternoon.


If you have 4-1/2 cups of leftover brown rice, then you'll save 90 minutes of cooking time at the beginning.  Just sauté the vegetables in a nonstick pan until tender and add them to the pre-cooked rice.  


TO PRINT THIS RECIPE:  Copy the url; go to printfriendly; paste the url, edit & print.


This recipe basically has 4 parts:


1.  Prepare the rice & vegetable mixture (allow 90 minutes if you start with uncooked rice);
2.  Make the cheese sauce;
3.  Brown the turkey sausage 
4.  Put it all together


Total prep + cooking time: Approximately 2 hrs. 45 mins.


ZUCCHINI, SAUSAGE & RICE CASSEROLE  
Adapted from Cooking.com.  Original recipe from Eating Well Magazine
SERVES 12 (1 cup servings)


Ingredients
•  1 -1/2 c. long-grain brown rice
•  3 c. reduced-sodium nonfat chicken broth

•  4 c. chopped zucchini or summer squash
•  2 red or green bell peppers, chopped
•  1 large sweet onion, chopped

•  1 -1/2 c. nonfat milk
•  3 T. all-purpose white flour
•  2 c. shredded (or crumbled or sliced) pepper jack cheese, divided (1 -1/2 c. + 1/2 c.)
•  1 - 11 oz. can Mexican-style corn, undrained

•  2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
•  8 oz. mild Italian turkey sausage, casings removed
•  4 oz. lowfat cream cheese (Neufchâtel)
•  1 small can diced mild green chilies (4 oz.)

Directions
Preheat oven to 375°F

Part 1:  Make the rice & veggies
Mis en place:  Chop zucchini, bell peppers & onion.  Mix up in a large mixing bowl.

Mis en place the zucchini, bell peppers & onions
Pour rice into a 9" x 13" glass baking dish.  Measure 3 cups of broth into a 4 c. Pyrex measuring cup & zap it on high in the microwave for about 7 minutes to bring the broth to simmering.  Pour hot broth over rice & add chopped zucchini, bell peppers & onion.  Stir gently to combine.  The rice will stay at the bottom, and the veggies will stay mostly on top of the rice.  Cover tightly with foil & bake for 45 minutes.

Fat-free, reduced-sodium chicken broth
from Safeway
Remove foil and bake for an additional 45 mins. until rice is (mostly) tender & liquid is (mostly) absorbed.  Spoon into a large mixing bowl & set aside.  Wash the glass casserole dish & let it sit in the drainer for later.

Rice & vegetables ready for the oven—
Spoon into a large mixing bowl after cooking

Part 2:  Make the cheese sauce
Pour 1-1/2 c. of cold nonfat milk into a 4 c. Pyrex measuring cup.  Hand whisk 3 T. of all-purpose white flour into the milk until smooth. Pour milk/flour mixture into a small nonstick saucepan.  Cook over medium heat until bubbling & thickened, whisking frequently for about 3 to 4 mins.  Reduce heat to low & fold in 1-1/2 c. jack cheese and 1 can of undrained Mex corn.  Stir until cheese is melted and mixture is smooth, about 1 minute more.  Add cheese sauce to the large mixing bowl with the rice & veggies.  Just toss it on top of the rice; you will mix it all together after the sausage is added.
Start with a simple white sauce (whisk flour into cold milk, then heat)

I crumbled all but 6 slices into the white sauce & saved the
rest for the top of the casserole

Part 3:  Cook the turkey sausage
Heat the olive oil in a nonstick skillet & add crumbled sausage.  Cook, stirring & breaking up sausage into small pieces until lightly browned, about 6 minutes.
chubby mild Italian turkey sausages

lightly browned in a nonstick skillet with a little olive oil

Part 4:  Put it all together
In the large mixing bowl, combine cooked rice & vegetables with browned sausage and cheese sauce.  Season with kosher salt & freshly ground pepper to taste.  Transfer into a clean 9" x 13" glass casserole sprayed with nonstick spray.  Top with remaining 1/2 c. jack cheese & cream cheese broken up into teaspoon-sized globs.  Evenly distribute canned chilies over the cheese.  Grind black pepper over the top & sprinkle evenly with paprika.
rice mixture waiting for cheese sauce & sausage

Top with pepper jack & Neufchâtel
...don't forget the canned chilies

Lighten it up with low-fat cream cheese

Place a piece of Reynold's nonstick aluminum foil on the middle shelf & return the casserole to a 375°F oven.  Bake for 35 to 45 mins. until cheese is melted.  Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.  Makes 12, 1 cup servings.

Nutritional info:  calories 248 (reduced since I used nonfat instead of lowfat milk); 9 g fat (slightly less because of the nonfat milk); carbs 29g; chol 34 mg; sodium less than 491 mg since I did not add any salt & used reduced-sodium broth & low-sodium cheese.  Finished dish will contain the amount of salt in the recipe, plus whatever you add to taste, plus whatever salt is in the canned Mexican corn; fiber 2g; % from fat 33% (less because of the nonfat milk); sat fat 5g (slightly reduced)
Most of these went into the dishwasher

Goats Do Roam (Red 2010) from South Africa holds
up well to this hearty dish

A side of fresh greens and some Cholula Chipotle hot sauce
finish off this wonderfully satisfying supper

Monday, October 3, 2011

Monday—The Reading Corner: Tickering Away Your Authenticity

Sharing your authentic identity
For those of you who don't know much about the new facebook ticker, here's a good article written by my spousal unit, Steve Nelson, for the AP42 blog (September 27, 2011):

Why Facebook Is Counting on Backlash Fatigue


This post talks about the timing of the most recent facebook changes, including those announced at last month's f8 developer conference. It is entirely appropriate, btw, that the conference began with SNL's, Andy Samberg, strutting around on stage pumping his fists to hip hip DJ Khaled's, All I Do Is Win.  


All I do is win • no matter what • got money on my mind • can never get enough
Every time I step up in the building • Everybody hands go up 
And they stay there • and they say yeah • and they stay there


Right...


In case you're wondering what these changes are, Steve specs them out in his September 23 post:  New at Facebook: Timeline, Open Graph, Much More


Pay attention to the last paragraph, "What wasn't there?"


"...the 800 million people whose online lives are shared and transformed by all of this are not Facebook's customers. They are Facebook's product. 


Facebook's customers were missing on Wednesday - companies (or "brands" as my colleague Gary likes to call them) who advertise on Facebook.  Brands also participate in Facebook as content creators (part of the product), but even in that role, they were not that evident in the new features. There were no timelines of the local gym or the national fast food brand.  It looks like Facebook's announcements are a way of reassuring advertisers (Facebook's true customers)  that we, the product, has been enhanced and product supply is not in danger."


Yes, yes, yes — that is what is going on.  Human beings are the product.  It's not the sophisticated software that makes facebook what it is.  It is the thing that Zuckerborg wants to mine, the essence of individuality, our likes and dislikes, our interests, our talents, and our relationships. 


The Zuckerborgs have wrapped their tentacles around our brains, and they have created tools that probe the more obvious and easily accessible chunks of information (frequently without our knowing), but even the most diligent probers have not figured out how to capture the complex system of unique qualities that create the whole unique individual.  They can get a snapshot of the tail and the hooves, but they haven't managed to view the entire horse.


They want to, but it eludes the Zuckerborgs.  The more access they have to the singularities that distinguish us as individuals, the closer they are to cashing in (more than they already have).  Advertisers revere facebook because it gets them closer to their target, the whole person.  And, as Steve said, advertisers are facebook's true customers.  Why waste advertising dollars on just one product with just one purpose when individuals can be showered with a vast array of products precisely tailored to fit the individual's lifestyle?  What advertisers want is authentic identity, an authenticated personality profile for every single person on Earth.  No shit, and really.  They are using facebook to do it.  


Which brings me back to the beginning of this year's f8 developer conference and Andy Samberg's comedic and authentically identifiable introduction...


"Yeah, yeah — c'mon, woo, C'MON
All I do is win!  All I do is WIN!
Love that song!

Hah!...Hey, welcome to f8, okay...We're gonna CHANGE THE UNIVERSE!  Hahaha...Ah, I say that every year.  Alright, I want to start by focusing on some key issues, okay?  The first is the importance of authentic identity.  I am Mark Zuckerberg."

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Wednesday—Good For You, Good For The Home: Cool Baskets!

A quick snapshot of
Michael's sensible shopping tote

Two kinds of eco-friendly baskets!

It's that time again...the holidays are just around the corner, and it's time to think about crafts and gifts.  I was at Michael's in Henderson (Nevada) a couple of weeks ago, and I was totally impressed with their shopping baskets!  

Yay!  Some smart shopping cart designer has finally come up with a really neat, sturdy, in-store shopping tote that takes the weight off of your elbow, doesn't dig into your forearm, and is easy to navigate around narrow aisles.  I charged all over the store with it, avoiding squirrelly kids rolling around on the floor, stuck-up teenagers who wouldn't move the hell out of the way, female friends shopping in pairs, and elderly folks in wheel chairs.  

The totes are wide enough and tall enough to fit awkwardly-sized craft items, and the basket grid is intelligently designed so that skinny items (e.g. paintbrushes or silk flowers) won't slide out or get stuck.  Like wheeled luggage in the airport, these little baskets are super-easy to maneuver.

I don't know if all of the Michael's stores have these neat shopping totes, but I love them, and I hope that other stores get with the program and order them for the convenience and comfort of their customers.

The second kind of really cool basket that I'd like to show you is one that I received as a gift a few years ago from the Tennessee Nelson girls.  I have used this spiffy workhorse-of-a-basket in a variety of ways, but beyond the practical and asthetic reasons why I like it, this particular line of basketry is as environmentally conscious and community supportive as they come.  I love products like this!

i ❤ bolga baskets
Bolga Baskets International™ is a fair trade company that imports sustainable Kinkanhe straw baskets from an area in northern Ghana called Bolgatanga.  The company (based in Oregon) works with African villages to provide pre-financed materials and wages that exceed the local rates so that weavers can produce and globally export their own goods.  As the company grows, its long-term goal is to develop a weaving center in Ghana so that Bolgatanganese craftspeople have in-house supplies, an on-site school, free transportation to and from the villages, and insurance benefits with health care and access to micro-loan programs.  

That is progress in the right direction.  These baskets are beautifully made and everyday functional.  I love mine!  It is currently being used to store bathroom linens, and last Fall, it made a dandy carrier when I walked around the neighborhood to drop off the latest batch of pomegranate jelly.  I've also used it at the farmers' market.  The prices are more than reasonable.  A medium rectangular basket like the one I have sells for $38 on the website.

These would make fantastic Christmas gifts for those who want to give gifts with a conscience and for those who would like to receive a gift that benefits others.         

Tuesday's Cupboard — Fit or Fat Country Pork Stew

Covert Bailey's Fit or Fat Target Recipes
An oldie, but a goodie!  Easy, healthy, cheap & delicious!


This is my all-time favorite stew recipe.  I love this dish served with Cholula chipotle hot sauce &/or Tabasco green jalepeño hot sauce!

TO PRINT THIS RECIPE:  Copy the url; go to printfriendly; paste the url, edit & print.






COUNTRY PORK STEW ~ Serves 6

Adapted from Covert Bailey's original Fit or Fat Target Recipes © 1985

•  1 lb. lean pork, cut into 1" pieces
•  3 medium-sized Russet potatoes, cleaned & unpeeled, cut into 1-1/2" pieces
•  Half of a small bag of whole baby carrots
•  1 green, yellow or red bell pepper, cut up into strips
•  1 medium onion, sliced into rings, then halved (I use Vidalia or Maui sweet onions)
•  1 medium tomato, sliced & halved
•  2 beef bullion cubes or envelopes
•  1 c. water
•  1 T. whole wheat flour
Cholula chipotle sauce on top!

Trim the excess fat from the pork pieces.  Combine all of the ingredients, except the flour in a 3-quart casserole.  Sprinkle the top of the mixture evenly with the flour.

Cover and bake at 350°F, stirring occasionally for 2 hours or until the pork and vegetables are tender.


Calories per serving:  260; fat 7g