For the best deal on buying spices, look in the international of your grocery store.
Dec
24

Holiday Prep: Mulled Wine

Shubhra

Wondering what to do with all those bottles of wine your friends gifted to you during the holidays? Transform it into mulled wine - a warm elegant drink with sugar and spice.

Mulled Wine

Serves 10; Cook time: 20 minutes

  • 2 bottles dry red wine
  • 4 ounces port or brandy
  • 12 whole cloves
  • 4 cinnamon sticks
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 large orange, zested

Combine ingredients in a large pot and bring to a simmer. Do not allow mixture to boil. Heat for 20 minutes and serve in a large, heat resistant punch bowl.  For a cute garnish, place a cinnamon stick in each glass.

Written by Greenista Girl Shubhra

Photo by Eco Salon

Recipe Adapted from Food Network - The Cookworks

Cloves are a very good source of calcium, vitamin C, K, and dietary fiber.
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These crafts are great for the winter season, not just the holidays.
Dec
22

Holiday Prep: Make Your Home Smell Like the Holidays

Brianne

If you decided to ditch the Christmas tree this year, you can still make your home smell like the holidays. By using seasonal goodies like cranberries, cinnamon sticks, cloves, oranges, herbs, pine cones, and bits of a friend’s tree, you can get in the holiday spirit. Try out these DIY holiday-scented projects.

Have guests coming over? Simmer water with cinnamon sticks, orange peels, cloves, and cranberries in a pot on low. The sweet aromatic scent will spruce up the whole house.

Feel like getting crafty with the kids? Try dipping pine cones in scented soy wax. Turn them into ornaments or just place in a decorative bowl. Or make pomanders out of oranges and cloves. Just stick a push pin in the orange and then place a clove in the hole. It’ll smell great for weeks.

Wanna make a DIY air freshener? Steal your friend’s Christmas tree stump and a few branches (or ask your local Christmas tree seller). Place the stump in a bowl with water covering half way up the stump. Add in a few tiny stems or some rosemary and place on your heater. The heater will warm the water and heat the stump for a fresh pine scent.

Written by Greenista Girl Brianne

Photo by Harts Cove Potpourri

Approximately 30-35 million living Fir trees are cut down in the US alone every year. By making your home smell nice sans a Christmas tree, you’re also helping the environment.
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Sweet potatoes and yams are two different vegetables, but in the US, a sweet potato is also called a yam. Yams are not common in US markets and may be found at ethnic grocery stores.
Dec
17

Holiday Prep: Sweet Potato Wedges

Brianne

Everyone loves fries but you don’t typically see them at your Holiday dinner table. Here is an elegant version of fries made from sweet potatoes that will fit right into your Holiday menu.

Sweet Potato Wedges
Serves 4 to 6; Prep time: 30 minutes
  • ½ cup, plus 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 4 sweet potatoes, scrubbed and cut lengthwise into wedges
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1.Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
2. In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Remove the pot from the heat
and stir in the cinnamon. Add the potato wedges to the butter and toss to combine. Season the
potatoes with the salt and pepper.
3. Spread the potatoes in an even layer on a baking sheet. Bake the potatoes, turning
occasionally, until tender, about 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from the oven to a serving dish and
serve.
Written by Greenista Girl Shubhra
Photos by
Recipe Adapted from Food Network- Paula Deen
Sweet potatoes are one of the healthiest vegetables to eat. A medium sized sweet potato contains more than your daily requirement of vitamin A, nearly a third the vitamin C you need, almost 15 percent of your daily dietary fiber intake and 10 percent of the necessary potassium
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2 Responses to “Holiday Prep: Sweet Potato Wedges”

  1. Gabriele Doporto says:

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Some cities and organizations recycle wrapping paper or hold large collections each year. Check with your local recycler to see what’s accepted in your program.
Dec
16

Holiday Prep: Recycled Wrapping Paper

Brianne

Ever feel like you spend just as much on wrapping paper as you do on the gifts? Ditch the wasteful paper that just gets balled up and tossed in the trash and make your own from items around the house. Try one of these eco-friendly alternatives to traditional, non-recyclable wrapping paper:

  • Newspaper - It’s super easy to find, cheap, and large, and you can make wrapping unique by using colorful comics or photos.
  • Magazines – Dazzle your gifts with these glossy magazine pages. Tape pages together to create sheets for larger presents.
  • Sheet music – Sheet music adds a whimsical facet to your gifts.
  • Calendars – Since you’re going to toss your old calendar anyways, why not use it to personalize a gift?
  • Maps – Customize your gift with your favorite countries.
  • Brown paper shopping bags and butcher paper – Not only is it recyclable, but this type of paper also lends itself to a fun craft for your kids. Use stamps with non-toxic ink or paint, or let the kids decorate with whatever their little green heart desires.
  • Tissue paper – Save tissue from other purchases, such as clothing, to wrap your gifts. You can even play on the sheer nature of tissue by wrapping your present in a dark color or pattern, then covering it with a lighter solid for an artistic, layered look.
  • Fabric - Fabric pieces or scraps can be used to make bows or ribbons to decorate your gift.

Written by Greenista Girl Brianne

Photos by Real Simple

If every American family wrapped just three presents in reused materials, it would save enough paper to cover 45,000 football fields!
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8 Responses to “Holiday Prep: Recycled Wrapping Paper”

  1. Dale Dillon Lips says:

    I love all of these ideas! You can really be creative and give the trees a second purpose!! I recycle all of my business papers by cutting in half and stapling to form booklets of scratch paper. That way both sides of the paper are used.

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You can also decorate with raw cranberries. String them on twine to make garland or just add them to a bowl.
Dec
10

Holiday Prep: Spicy Cranberry Sauce Recipe

Brianne

Cranberries are an iconic holiday staple. Whether you are eating them or decorating with them, cranberries are must. One of the Greenista Girls’ favorite recipes has a special spicy twist. Make it for your holiday party or Christmas dinner. Your guests will go crazy for it … and go crazy trying to find out your secret spices.

Spicy Cranberry Sauce with Pinot Noir

Makes 2 1/2 cups; courtesy of Simply Recipes

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries (about 8 ounces)
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 2 cups Pinot Noir or other dry red wine
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons chopped crystallized ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
  • Large pinch of Chinese five-spice powder
  1. Heat oil in large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add cranberries and fresh ginger; stir until cranberries begin to burst, 3-5 minutes.
  2. Add wine and sugar; boil until mixture is reduced to 2 1/2 cups, about 15 minutes.
  3. Add crystallized ginger, curry powder and five-spice powder.
  4. Serve sauce cold or warm.

Written by Greenista Girl Shubhra

Photo by Closet Cooking

Cranberries have been linked to treating urinary tract infections and help to prevent cancer, hardening of the arteries, heart disease, and plaque and cavities.
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4 Responses to “Holiday Prep: Spicy Cranberry Sauce Recipe”

  1. Vivienne Weddle says:

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